Thursday, January 20, 2005

New Math for Presidents and Secretaries of State

I love these few paragraphs from Maureen Dowd's latest op-ed in the NYTimes:

Slice:

Lawrence Summers, the president of Harvard, has been pilloried for suggesting that women may be biologically unsuited to succeed at mathematics.

He may have a point.

Just look at Condoleezza Rice.

She's clearly a well-educated, intelligent woman, versed in Brahms and the Bolsheviks, who has just been rewarded for her loyalty with the most plum assignment in the second Bush cabinet.

Yet her math skills are woefully inadequate.

She can't do simple equations. She doesn't even know that X times zero equals zero. If you multiply 1,370 dead soldiers times zero weapons of mass destruction, that equals zero achievement for Ms. Rice, who helped the president and vice president bamboozle the country into war.

end of slice:

This from my Dad, who pointed me to the article:

Slice:

Condi doesn't do math. Joe Biden said 4K Iraqi troops, Condi said 120K. ''If so,'' Joe said (in effect), ''where are they?''

Bush should have a known liar as Sec't'y of State. That way foreign governments will know not to believe a word she says.

If Bush believed in the ''ownership society,'' he'd let people paying into SS keep the current overcharge and invest it or spend it themselves, rather than have the government borrow it at treaury rates and use the money to fund tax cuts for rich people. ''Ownership'' means being able to make your own mistakes. Bush wants to keep the SS privatization money in a government account. In other words, he doesn't trust the ''owner'' to be responsible. Big brother, big liar.

As for equality, he's still on the DOMA as good enough, no constitutional amendment required, turning gays into government-ordered 2nd class citizens. Next year, Pink Triangles!

Halt! Show me your papers.

4 comments:

cracker said...

"Fund" tax cuts? That makes no sense since the government does not have any money in the first place. It's called "keeping more of your own money."

Social Security should be eliminated and people should be allowed to keep that money also. However, liberals (needed for SS reform) don't believe people are smart enought o make the right choices regarding their lives and retirement - hence the partial PSAs. Of course, if it had been set up so that congress couldn't spend it to begin with, there probably wouldn't be a problem now...who set that up? Oh yeah, democrats.

Anonymous said...

Half right  

''"Fund" tax cuts? That makes no sense since the government does not have any money in the first place.'' - cracker

The government spends money so it must have money. The money government spends has a source, either taxes, or borrowing. SS is a tax. Tax cuts are spending. Put the two together and what do you have? SS funding tax cuts.

''Social Security should be eliminated and people should be allowed to keep that money also. However, liberals (needed for SS reform) don't believe people are smart enought o make the right choices regarding their lives and retirement - hence the partial PSAs.'' - cracker

If Bush believed that people were smart enough to manage their own lives and retirement, he might make your proposal. But he doesn't and he hasn't. What he's proposing is still vague, but it seems that the government will manage the money, not the individual. Does that make Bush a ''liberal''?

''Of course, if it had been set up so that congress couldn't spend it to begin with, there probably wouldn't be a problem now...who set that up? Oh yeah, democrats.'' - cracker

What would you have the government do with the excess of SS taxes collected, invest them? Taxing people so the government could invest it, now that's individual responsibility. Would you, personally, really liked to be taxed for a government-run investment plan? And isn't that the Bush ''privatization'' proposal?

cracker said...

The government spends money so it must have money. The money government spends has a source, either taxes, or borrowing. SS is a tax. Tax cuts are spending. Put the two together and what do you have? SS funding tax cuts.- Anonymous

Yes the government spends money it collects from wage earners in the form of taxes. If those taxes are not collected or if less taxes are collected, the government then (theoretically) spends less (or what is collected). There is NO FUNDING TAX CUTS since those taxes are not collected since THAT MONEY BELONGS TO THE WAGE EARNERS. Funding means providing money for some type of spending, so funding tax cuts would mean the government paying someone's taxes back to them (since those taxes are not collected to begin with the "funding" is moot). Obviously MR./Mrs./Ms. Anonymous you have no grasp of mathematics, economics, or finance. Your comments will make a fantastic post on liberal logic in finance.

If Bush believed that people were smart enough to manage their own lives and retirement, he might make your proposal. But he doesn't and he hasn't. What he's proposing is still vague, but it seems that the government will manage the money, not the individual. Does that make Bush a ''liberal''?- Anonymous

Actually it's not vague at all. A small percentage of SS tax would go to a private account handled by various firms on Wall Street in very conservative portfolios. Government would not be able to touch it (like they can with SS now). In fact, if this had been done in the first place, the market would have provided a return of about 9% per year since the 1940's. The only reason he would not propose totally eliminating SS is POLITICS. The old liberal scare tactic is scaring old people, which is something Bush is trying to avoid.

What would you have the government do with the excess of SS taxes collected, invest them? Taxing people so the government could invest it, now that's individual responsibility. Would you, personally, really liked to be taxed for a government-run investment plan? And isn't that the Bush ''privatization'' proposal?- Anonymous

SS should have been put in an interest bearing account from the start with Congress unable to spend it. If you research the subject, you will find that Bush started the "individual responsibility" push. He's only been preisdent for 4 years (not quite as long as SS has been around, and mismanaged).

I would srtongly suggest you do some studying on these subjects before you try and present an argument, of course that's why you used "Anonymous".

Anonymous said...

Economics 101 - Government Spending is Not Theoretical  

''Yes the government spends money it collects from wage earners in the form of taxes. If those taxes are not collected or if less taxes are collected, the government then (theoretically) spends less (or what is collected). There is NO FUNDING TAX CUTS since those taxes are not collected since THAT MONEY BELONGS TO THE WAGE EARNERS.'' - cracker

Forgiveness of a debt, or a tax, is the same as income to the recipient. If you get a tax cut, that is exactly the same as the government giving you money. This government spending is in no way ''theoretical.'' There's a name for it, this money not collected, it's ''Tax Expenditures,'' and it's well known to legislatures.

As for the government not spending money because it hasn't collected enough in taxes (so it hasn't the money to spend), haven't you heard of ''deficit spending''? Where does the deficit come from if the government is not spending more than it takes in?

And now the fun part  

''I would srtongly suggest you do some studying on these subjects before you try and present an argument, of course that's why you used "Anonymous".'' - cracker

Everyone on the net is anonymous, aliased. ''cracker,'' lower case, is, I assume, a pseudonym. ''Anonymous'' tells it like it is.

''cracker,'' you get last word.