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DaphneT's avatar

What are the economic theories called that are being touted by the Republican Party? Are these the same for the Democratic Party?

Asked by DaphneT (5440 points ) July 14th, 2012

Are they sticking to one theory, if so which one? If they are picking and choosing parts from several, do these theories have names or labels? What are they?

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36 Answers

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Qingu's avatar

So there are two broad economic theories that are accepted by economists: the “Keynesian” economics, and “monetarist” economics.

Keynes wrote about fiscal issues—spending and taxes. The basic idea is that government spending can serve as a counterweight to private spending. In a recession, when private citizens cut back spending, the government is supposed to spend more. In boom times, the government is supposed to spend less. The reverse is true with taxes; in recessions, you’re supposed to cut taxes (to encourage private spending); in boom times you’re supposed to raise them (to pay off deficits). This idea underlies the “stimulus bill,” which consisted of tax cuts and spending programs during the recent horrible recession.

Monetarists are, as you might guess, concerned with the supply of money. They can be traced to an economist named Milton Friedman. Basically, the Federal Reserve controls the money supply. During boom times, there is often high inflation. So the monetarists say the Fed should raise interest rates during boom times to lessen inflation. The reverse is true for recessions, when money is tight—the Fed is supposed to lower interest rates. When the Fed can’t lower interest rates past zero, it can “print money” to further stimulate credit and demand. This is what the Fed has done since the recession.

Historically, Democrats have favored the Keynesian economics (which gained favor during the Great Depression). Then, during the 70’s and 80’s, there was a high inflation scare that Keynesian economics didn’t deal with very well, so monetarism became popular. Monetarism has been associated with Republicans.

However, the two theories are not mutually exclusive! Both Keynes and Friedman were right, and both of their policies have their uses and limits. And Democrats and Republicans, once in office, have used both systems. Repbulicans, for example, are almost always “Keynesian” when it comes to military spending, which they see as job-creating. Democrats have long used monetary policy to control inflation and demand.

___________

That brings us to the modern Republican party. Modern Republicans are crazy. Many reject both Keynes and Friedman, rejecting pretty much all of mainstream economics, to embrace what is often called the “Austrian school” of economics. The Austrian school is a fringe movement that actual economists pay little attention to. The school does not use models (and so is not remotely scientific or empirical). It is basically anarchist; it views any government involvement with the economy as wrong. It has consistently made nonsensical predictions about inflation. If economics was biology, the Austrian school would be like creationism.

Ron Paul and most of the Tea Party support the Austrian school. The Republican elite often opposes Obama’s policies on the basis of Austrian economics. But it’s not clear if elite Republicans (like Romney) actually believe this nonsense or if they are just pandering.

zenvelo's avatar

While the Dems have been leaning towards a Keynesian approach, the Republicans aren’t espousing any particular economic theory at all. They haven’t declared any economic theory, just political viewpoints.

Agree or not, at least Reagan tried to use Laffer and Friedman as the rationale behind policy. The Republicans don’t have any such reason.

Congress is incapable of adhering to an economic principle long enough to demonstrate its value. Keynes would work well if they followed what is necessary: run surpluses during good times and then run deficits when times are tough. But Congress spends when revenues are up, and then spends when the economy tanks.

ETpro's avatar

Republican “economics”, if you could be so generously inaccurate as to even call it that, is Voodoo Economics or trickle down. It is the theory that if you design tax and spending policy so that more and more of the nation’s wealth flows to those who invest the money in offshore tax shelters, that motivates them to be “job creators”. According to this lunacy, they will invest in factories in America and hire millions of people to sell goods and services to the very middle class their policies bankrupted.

The men behind the curtain of Republican Oz are nowhere near stupid enough to believe this. The plan has nothing to do with jobs and everything to do with making the men behind the curtain, already wealthy beyond your dreams, far, far wealthier at the expense of everyone else. It is a plan for making the world their own private banana republic where they are the plutocrats who own government and use its power to subjugate the masses into wage slavery. This is not the 1% versus the 99%. It’s the 1/100th of 1% versus everyone else on Earth. It is class warfare, alright. But it’s certainly not the 99% or the 99.99% doing the shooting and looting.

dabbler's avatar

In modern times, Democrats have been flagged as “tax and spend” which makes sense to me, if you’re going to spend you raise the revenue through taxation one way or another.

Republicans are “spend and hey look ! Shiny!” (or more likely Scary! as in a new war/terror subject) then blame their failure to pay for their spending (aka deficit) on the Democrats.
It’s essentially implementation of Jude Wanniski’s ‘Two Santa Claus Theory’.

Most candidates of both parties are extensively beholden to corporate interests due to the Huge costs of campaigns for public office. This fiscal policy boils down to “follow the lobbyist”.

Jaxk's avatar

The difference between the economic policies of the Democrats and Republicans are not really that much different in concept. Monetary policy is used by both in pretty much the same way. When the economy slows, interest rates are lowered to spur investment. Lower interest rates make the cost of money very cheap, people and businesses are able to easily borrow to invest in expanding their business, buy a home, or car. that injects more money into the economy and it grows. When the economy is growing too fast, interest rates are raised to slow it down and deter inflation. Pretty simple and it works except that the Fed usually doesn’t see the economy changing in time so they are late in moving the interest rates which gives the economy a whiplash effect.

Economic policy is not that much different in that both sides try to inject money into the economy to help it grow. Democrats are more concerned with the demand side while Republicans are more concerned with both the supply side and demand side. Democrats will use government spending to increase demand but by laundering the money through government, you get very little bang for your buck.. We saw that with Stimulus, A $trillion in spending bought very few jobs and little measurable growth. With government spending the small increase4 in demand will only last as long as the spending continues to increase. We saw that with stimulus where we got a small bump for our $trillion but now it’s over and the economy is slipping back towards recession. The problem is the temporary nature of spending, No one changes their spending or investment habits so once it stops increasing you fall right back to the level of recession you had.

Republicans will try to increase demand by lowering taxes. The result is the same people have more money so they spend more, increasing demand. The big difference is that tax cuts are immediate (you don’t have to wait for ‘Shovel Ready’ projects) and by not laundering the money through Washington, all the money goes directly into the economy. The tax cuts that work are permanent. People and businesses know the change will be around making investments in longer range projects business upgrades or home purchases, more likely. The Republicans will also spur investment by lowering the Capital gains taxes. this works the same way as lowering interest rates by allowing business to invest in plant and materials which have a long range payback. It also spurs investment in entrepreneurial endeavors and well as stocks and mutual funds which also spur growth.

Both sides want more money injected into the economy to spur growth. As far as I can tell, the biggest difference is that Democrats are so worried that someone will make money that they can’t stand tax cuts, or the very idea of businesses growing. Tax cuts were used effectively by Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush to bring us out of recession quickly.

Democrats will always point to Clinton to try and refute the claims of Supply side but Clinton didn’t inherit a recession. By the time Clinton took office the economy was healthy and the Internet boom carried him through the 90s. You may also note that Clinton reduced the growth of spending during the nineties and that along with the economic growth of the Internet boom is what balanced the budget. Everyone remembers that Clinton raised taxes but they tend to forget that he also lowered taxes in 1997 with the Taxpayer Relief Act.

It is difficult to isolate a single action by government to explain or prove one works better than the other. There are simply too many moving parts in our economy. The history of tax cuts however is pretty clear. They have worked every time they’ve been tried. I think if Democrats could get past thier fear of business, we could get this economy back on track and fairly quickly.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I am not sure that the Republican Party has a fiscal theory other than Greed.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk,

“A $trillion in spending bought very few jobs and little measurable growth.”

False.

“Republicans will try to increase demand by lowering taxes.”

The stimulus you just criticized was ⅓ tax cuts.

“The tax cuts that work are permanent.”

Prove it.

“As far as I can tell, the biggest difference is that Democrats are so worried that someone will make money that they can’t stand tax cuts, or the very idea of businesses growing.”

No, you’re just lying. You know this isn’t the case. Every Democrat on Fluther whom you have spoken to has said they want businesses to grow.

“Democrats will always point to Clinton to try and refute the claims of Supply side but Clinton didn’t inherit a recession.”
And so on. You keep on adding these stipulations to your economic doctrine. The greatest economic stimulus is tax cuts… but only if they’re permanent… and nevermind the tax hikes under Clinton that accompanied the greatest period of economic growth because they weren’t during a recession… also for some reason Obama’s stimulus’ tax cuts did nothing despite working in the exact same way as the other recessionary examples you cited… also balancing the budget stimulated the economy for Clinton but busting the budget didn’t matter under Reagan and Bush.

There is no consistency here. If a Republican does it it’s good, if a Democrat does it it’s bad.

“The history of tax cuts however is pretty clear. They have worked every time they’ve been tried.”
Tax cuts are stimulative, as standard Keynesian economics says. But there are tradeoffs. For example, the Bush tax cuts are the single greatest contributor to the budget deficit.

It’s also rather stupid to talk about “tax cuts” as if they are monolithic. Tax cuts work best when the beneficiaries immediately spend the money. They have little effect when beneficiaries just save the extra money. Moreover, taxes are already at their lowest level in modern history. It is not at all clear that lowering them even more for high-earners will have any effect. That is not how the Laffer Curve works.

“I think if Democrats could get past thier fear of business, we could get this economy back on track and fairly quickly.”
Actually, bald-faced lies like this are a major reason our economy is not getting back on track. Obama has repeatedly offered standard Keynesian stimulus measures, including tax cuts, including measures to support small businesses… but Republicans have opposed almost every one of them. Even when those same Republicans supported those exact same measures under Republican presidents.

It’s in the Republican party’s advantage if the economy continues to struggle until election day. Why bother being constructive and honest when they obstruct Congress from helping at all, repeatedly lie, like you do, that “Democrats hate business,” and make things unpleasant enough that low-information voters throw up their hands and vote for “the other guy”? That seems to be their strategy. Though one wonders who you think you’re fooling here on Fluther, @Jaxk.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

As always, when I say something you don’t like and you have no constructive argument against it, you scream “LIES”. As if that gives your statement more credibility. It doesn’t.

The only tax cuts Obama has done are both small and temporary. That’s why they don’t work. Even his latest tax the rich scheme only extends the tax cuts for the middle class for a year. We’ve done that and it didn’t work. Here’s a shocker, if he does it again, it won’t work again. A temporary tax cut does nothing to change peoples outlook on the economy and consequently does nothing to stimulate it. It’s the age old problem of someone that hears the words but doesn’t quite understand the concept. And of course screams I’m doing the same thing, when they are missing the key ingredient. Your statement about the Bush tax cuts creating the deficit is a prime example. Both sides agree that the best way to reduce the deficit is to grow the economy. When Bus cut taxes, it grew the economy. Now you want to assume it would have grown anyway so the tax cuts were a net negative. It wouldn’t have grown and tax revenue would have been less. You miss the key ingredient.

There are not a lot of Democrats that have tried anything other than spending (whether there’s a recession or not). Kennedy was if you recall, a Democrat which did reduce taxes to get out of a recession and it worked like a charm. As much as you want to make everything a partisan issue, it is in fact a policy issue.

As expected, you immediately rush back to the Clinton Tax hikes. Of course you ignore any contradictions to your theory, such as the fact that Clinton lowered the Capital Gains from 28% to 20%. Or that Clinton reduced the rate of spending, which by your theory should have reduced growth. Neither reduced the growth because there were other factors at work during the 90s. Of course realizing that would mean you’d have to let go your single minded focus on the tax hikes.

Finally I have to comment on this notion that the rich don’t spend, they save. How absurd is that. The rich don’t save, they invest. That’s why they’re rich.

funkdaddy's avatar

What percentage of people would you say actually meter their spending dependent on their outlook beyond the next few years? If that’s a low number, then how would a short term tax cut not make a difference?

In my opinion, the majority of people spend what’s in their pocket. If they have some left over, that gets invested. It’s the same with companies.

As for the difference between Investing and saving, as the term “investing” is used today, it’s really not that much different than saving. That money rarely leaks out into the real world any differently than it would if it were stashed in a safe waiting for a rainy day. It may be moved between investments, but unless you’re buying a home, handing it over to a small business, or buying something material, it’s just swapping between banks and brokerages. The safe has grown, and the interest rate is better, but the money doesn’t leave.

I don’t have a problem with people being able to save money, but I think saying “investing” is somehow better with regards to the overall economy is inaccurate.

I also don’t see a lot of 10 year plans dealing with small percentages of individual income. All extra money, if someone is making sacrifices each month, gets spent. So a tax cut for those with lower income level does necessarily result in spending.

If you look at “investing” as saving, then I don’t think you can say the same for tax cuts for the wealthy. Extra money not needed gets saved and grows.

I love and hate these tax talks, hate because of all the surrounding issues and bile, and love because you get to see different perspectives.

LostInParadise's avatar

The basic difference Democrats and Republicans is demand side versus supply side economics. Demand side economics focuses on the demand for goods. It views recessions as being caused by insufficient demand. The Keynesian approach to correcting this is to increase govenment debt to distribute funds to the more needy, who spend a larger proportion of their income. Thus demand increases, causing companies to hire more people to produce more and the greater employment causes still greater demand, resulting in a positive feedback loop.

Supply side economics focuses on decreasing barriers on companies by lowering taxes and decreasing regulation. There is no doubt some truth to this. Obviously, if you tax companies at 99%, they will not be able to make a profit.

In the current situation, taxes on corporations and the wealthy are the lowest they have been in a long time, but unemployment is still high. The reason companies are not investing is because there is insufficient demand for goods. Giving someone more money does not turn a bad investment into a good one. The way out of this mess is to use Keynesian economics to increase demand.

Patton's avatar

@Jaxk This might sound flippant, but it is a serious question: do you really believe that “Democrats are so worried that someone will make money that they can’t stand tax cuts, or the very idea of businesses growing,” or is that just a bit over the top to make a point? I have two main reasons for asking.

The first is that I know several business owners who are Democrats. They definitely want to make money, and they definitely want their businesses to grow. They just think that if they grow to a certain size, they can be expected to do a little more for the losers that capitalism inevitably creates. They don’t think that the economic losers should be made wealthy, but they don’t think they should starve to death or wind up on the streets just because a game that is at least partially one of chance didn’t favor them.

The second is that I’ve never seen a Democratic plan that would make the wealthy no longer wealthy. They wouldn’t be quite as wealthy when it came to the bottom line, but they would still be much better off than most of the country. What I’m saying is that the Democrats’ plans don’t turn economic winners into economic losers, and they don’t make the wealthy into the poor or even the middle class. The wealthiest will continue to be wealthy relative both to the rest of the country and the rest of the world.

Jaxk's avatar

@funkdaddy

Actually it is different. Whether I’m investing in my own business or a public company an investment will provide capital to the wider economy. Obviously if I’m investing in my own company the investment goes directly towards plant, equipment or even hiring. If it is in a public stock or even mutual fund, the increased buying tends to drive stock prices up. The owners of the stock have more wealth and more propensity to buy things and the company that has a rising stock price is better positioned to use that stock to invest in itself cheaply. The old cheap money trick used by the Fed, Keynesians, and supplysiders.

As for the number of people that don’t plan long term vs those that do, if it’s only 1% that 1.5 million workers. Remember that recovery or continued recession is dependent on the margins. If you’re getting a temporary boost in pay but nothing else changes, some will spend that money and some will sock it away. If your getting a permanent boost you will still have some that save it but more will use it to improve thier lifestyle (spend it) It is easier to buy a new car if you know the raise is permanent than if it is only for a year. It doesn’t have to be everyone that thinks that way, a small percentage will make the numbers move in the right direction.

Jaxk's avatar

@Patton

Actually, yes I believe that. I don’t think they are intentionally killing business but they are so intent on punishing the 1% or 2% that they can’t view their actions logically. If you look at Obama’s tax plan, his stated objective is to tax the rich (I would say punish). But he will get more than just the rich, he’ll hit a wide swath of small business owners, retirees, and middle class as well. If that reduces the GDP by 1% as some have predicted, that will throw us back into recession. We’ve already lost a lot of small businesses as a result of the recession another hit and we lose a lot more. Frankly I don’t see the Democrats concerned about that, they are too fixated on punishing the 1% to care. And remember that no economist I’ve heard thinks that raising taxes on anyone will increase GDP. So we run the risk of a downturn with no upside potential what-so-ever. I can only view that as a don’t care as long as they can punish the rich, attitude.

funkdaddy's avatar

@Jaxk – for the sake of argument, what happens to my money if I put it in a bank vs. what happens if I buy a public company?

Both are available to the wider economy in the sense you’re talking about. The bank loans the money or invests it for a return, buying public stock I’d say actually takes more money out of the economy than saving in a bank account. Both are just a number on a screen or a receipt. Neither sits in a vault.

But neither goes to buy goods in the short term either. The great majority remains invested until one day the person who’s name is attached to that money needs to draw it as income.

As a simple test to see how similar they are
– Does someone save in their 401k account, or do they invest in their 401k account?
– Do you save for your child’s college tuition, or invest?
– Does someone save for a down payment on their house, or do they invest?

Either will work in all cases. For the majority of people investments are bank products, just like a savings or a checking account.

You’re a business owner and as such might invest your profits back into the economy by buying products and services for your business. Realize that is not what most people do to invest.

Most people who invest send their money off to boarding school to grow up and become refined. It may come home at Christmas or for special events, but for the most part they don’t want to hear from it until much much later.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

Both parties follow the Lower and Raise economic theory. Lower taxes then raise spending. Now wait a minute, how can lowering income and raising spending equal no deficit. Trick queestion! It cant! Soon the bubble will burst and America will be forced to sell off its meager assets to pay down a mountain of debt that is interest only. America only pays the interest, not the principle. I will now say we are officialy screwed. My advice, buy gold and run for the Canadian border.

Jaxk's avatar

@funkdaddy

Most people that invest by sending thier money off to boarding school do so via mutual funds. Mutual Funds have a manager that moves the money around to some degree in an attempt to get a better return. Banks on the other hand have much lower returns. The money put into savings will be used for loans or other investments but a portion does stay in cash. During a recession the interest rates are typically very low, the Fed sees to that. so the money doesn’t grow and if you want whatever your saving for, you need to save more to get there. Ergo, less available to spend.

As for your test on savings vs investment, a person could go either way. It’s a simple risk/reward decision. If you are risk adverse, you might go the savings route even though the return is much lower Nobody ever got rich with savings but nobody goes broke either. Frankly I’ve never had a saving account with more than a few hundred dollars in it. But I’ve always had a brokerage account (with varying degrees of success).

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, the reason I call you a liar is because you repeatedly say things that you know perfectly well are not true. Other people have since called you on it; they’ve been more polite than me.

A recent example of you lying:

” If you look at Obama’s tax plan, his stated objective is to tax the rich (I would say punish). But he will get more than just the rich, he’ll hit a wide swath of small business owners, retirees, and middle class as well”

Actually, it won’t. We have repeatedly pointed out to you, in many threads, over many months, that this is not the case. The tax hikes only affect the top 2% of small businesses. You’ve even acknowledged it (for example, in this thread) and then switched your argument to “well it will only affect the top 2% of small businesses but those are the businesses that are important because they’re successful.”

But you keep on saying the thing that isn’t true. That you’ve acknowledged isn’t true.

If you don’t like being called a liar, stop lying.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Refutation that Democrats are fiscally irresponsible and Republicans are fiscally restrained. The actual facts are just the opposite.

bkcunningham's avatar

If it is really a good plan and good for the economy, why wouldn’t Obama’s own party vote on his tax plan?

Qingu's avatar

@bkcunningham, because the Republicans in the house have made it clear they won’t support it, so it would be a waste of time to vote for it.

I know Republicans are fond of meaningless votes, having voted 33 times for a doomed health care repeal act. I guess Democrats are just less fond of wasting taxpayer money keeping Congress open to grandstand.

bkcunningham's avatar

The Democrats are afraid of defections within their own party?

dabbler's avatar

@Jaxk “they are so intent on punishing the 1% or 2%” That is nothing but a talking point, and incorrect. Show us any talk about punishing the top brackets, there isn’t any except from those defending the hyper-wealthy.
People talking about increasing taxes on the top 0.1% especially just want them to pay a fair share. Nobody gets rich on their own, they rely massively on public infrastructure without which their levels of “success” would not at all be possible. Expecting them to pitch in a fair amount to support their own success is only reasonable. If you think getting the hyper-wealthy to pay their fair share is punishment, you don’t have an understanding of fair or punishment.

“Already lost a lot of small businesses due to the recession” We were losing small businesses well before the recession due to globalist trade policies and policies that allow bigger businesses advantages that smaller ones can’t afford to lobby for. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce used to be an advocate for good old-fashioned real business like manufacturing and mom-and-pop stores but is now one of the biggest villains against them, lobbying hard to push manufacturing overseas and skew tax advantages toward huge corporations and to stifle attempts to provide universal healthcare which would be a Huge boost to small businesses of all sorts. We lost and continue to lose small businesses not due to taxes or even the recession but due to pork-barrel favors and trade policy that skews entirely to the largest businesses.

Most of the very wealthy don’t “invest” in any traditional sense. They stick their money in private equity funds. They don’t know how their money will increase and don’t care, they want an increase any way it can happen. That is not “investing”. Most of the very wealthy don’t have any idea where a lot of their wealth is, just that it’s a big number and they want it bigger.
“Mutual funds” cover such a wide range of ways to place money you can’t talk about them all in any coherent way. Some of them do make value analyses and put money into promising companies that will grow and give a decent return.
On the other end are outfits like Bain Capital that are concerned only with extraction of wealth whatever way they can, usually by hijacking fruitful companies, sucking the life out of them and burdening them with debt then casting them adrift to fend for themselves. Looks great for the fund’s bottom line but they destroy jobs and formerly healthy enterprises.
Putting money away in a bank, or especially a credit union, means growth for the economy because they will loan the money back out for buildings and durable goods. This is only due to the regulations that thank-<deity> are still in place on retail banking. De-regulation is what got us huge parasitic financial institutions that serve no one but their owners and suck resources out of the economy.
Private equity funds are just as likely to be working the commodities markets. They justify their activities claiming that they provide “liquidity”. But these markets are so big they need no injection of liquidity. And, with no means of producing anything, and no intention of being the ultimate consumer, they just take a piece of the action as middlemen, making prices for EVERYTHING we all buy higher than they otherwise would be. You don’t like taxes, there’s across the board taxes on everything you spend money on, imposed by people you will never get a chance to elect, thanks to policies put in place by people we thought we elected to serve us but who are bought entirely by Big Business. You object to taxes? Advocate fixing that situation why not?

Are you hyper-wealthy @Jaxk? If not why do you hate yourself so much to advocate policies that are clearly and entirely against your best interests? And against the best interests of all by about 0.1% of everyone else in the U.S. ?

Patton's avatar

@Jaxk Thank you for your answer, but it actually confirms for me that you don’t really mean what you originally said. The quote was “Democrats are so worried that someone will make money that they can’t stand tax cuts, or the very idea of businesses growing,” but your response says that they don’t realize that they will keep businesses from growing. Your response also doesn’t say that they dislike tax cuts, or that their worry is that people will make money. Instead, your response says “Democrats are so intent on taxing/punishing the rich that they ignore other possible side-effects.” Maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not. But either way, it’s a very different statement than the one I originally asked about.

Qingu's avatar

@bkcunningham, I don’t understand your question.

Defections are certainly possible. But that’s immaterial. The Republican-controlled house has made it clear that they will not support the president’s plan. So I’m not sure why you expect Democrats to waste time voting for a plan that has no possibility of passing.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

Ahhhhhhh, the beauty of partisan politics.

DaphneT's avatar

Ahk! And then so sad. @Jaxk, I will say that your first answer to this question was the first of your’s that I’ve read through, word for word from start to finish. I am disappointed that you indulged in the “spit-and-snarl” and allowed yourself to be pulled off topic. Shame of the rest of you as well for indulging in “spit-and-snarl” rather than stay focused. If you can’t stay focused on topic in Fluther, why do you think Congress can?

Qingu's avatar

Part of the problem with politics today, @DaphneT, is that too many people think that calling out lies is “partisan” or “spit-and-snarl.”

funkdaddy's avatar

Part of the problem with politics today, @Qingu, is that too many people think that the only reason people don’t agree with them is that they aren’t yelling loud enough, and they are happy to fix that.

Compromise is the very essence of politics. And we’ve turned it into such a dirty word that nothing gets done.

Qingu's avatar

I have no problem with compromise. Neither do most Democrats. Republicans overwhelmingly refuse to compromise, however. Remember the debt ceiling debacle?

And that’s how to play the game. Refuse to compromise, then when nothing gets done, throw your hands up in the air and say “partisanship.” Then the public will think both sides are to blame.

Instead of blaming vague concepts like “partisanship” or “politics,” people actually need to look at individual politicians’ and parties’ positions, what their views are, and how they work in Congress and how willing they are to compromise.

Jaxk's avatar

@DaphneT

You make a good point but I’m not really disappointed that I get drug off topic. Most issues are so interconnected that even when they seem off topic, they still pertain. And frankly we’re not discussing proposed legislation so much as philosophical differences. I do get drug into the “spit and snarl” more than I would like. It’s a tough call. If you are attacked personally, you can either defend or counter attack. Nothing is gained by defending your character and the whole point of a character attack is get you to defend yourself. Think of Nixon, “I am not a crook”. It doesn’t work. While you’re defending yourself, the whole point gets lost. It would be good if we could stick to the issues, I don’t see that happening here.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk While I totally take your point, Nixon may be a poor example. “I am not a crook.” might have worked just fine if it hadn’t been proved to be a Big Lie.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

Whereas I would agree, he’s just an easy example. Try thinking of another example that would not start another flame war.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Ya got me there. I can think of plenty of examples to politicians who spoke honestly in their own defense and were drummed out of office anyway, but all would risk a flame war. The only question would be which side showed up with flame throwers fueled and ready. :-)

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