January 28, 2014
Open Thread on SOTU

Have at it.

Posted by pudge at January 28, 2014 07:07 PM | Email This
Comments
1. I refuse to watch the LIAR.

Posted by: Independent Voter on January 28, 2014 07:26 PM
2. I'm not watching either.

It's pretty apparent what state the union is in today and anything that man will say tonight isn't going to make it any better.

Posted by: Smoley on January 28, 2014 07:40 PM
3. I love how the Pres. said he's IN FAVOR , of freeing other countries from tyranny...after he said he's NOT ever sending soldiers to frivolous conflict,or some such, never, ever, ever. hypocrite.

Posted by: Dana on January 28, 2014 07:50 PM
4. I hope you have an exit plan.

Because they are going to shoot you in the head.


http://www.wnd.com/2014/01/matt-drudge-mystery-have-an-exit-plan/

Posted by: Steve on January 28, 2014 08:10 PM
5. Obama says he's going to bypass Congress to pass legislation, and he gets a standing ovation from.... the members of Congress? Okay then...

Posted by: Kevin on January 28, 2014 08:13 PM
6. I purposely missed it and watched part of one GOP response from McMorris-Rodgers, which did not have any glaring fo-pahs, but don't know about the other speeches. Cloward and Piven have made their mark in the Federal Governmentg and are facing a temporary challenge in November.

Small government nationalists are facing a long protracted struggle with the big government statists ! Not mention, there's also Al Qaeda and so-called Al Qaeda JV's out there.

Posted by: KDS on January 28, 2014 08:39 PM
7. I purposely missed it and watched part of one GOP response from McMorris-Rodgers, which did not have any glaring fo-pahs, but don't know about the other speeches. Cloward and Piven have made their mark in the Federal Governmentg and are facing a temporary challenge in November.

Small government nationalists are facing a long protracted struggle with the big government statists ! Not to mention, there's also Al Qaeda and so-called Al Qaeda JV's out there.

Posted by: KDS on January 28, 2014 08:39 PM
8. I am sure the Obamabots sat there staring at the Tele in rapture. Confident in these halcyon days.

The rest of the nation knows better than to waste their time on another set of empty Obama promises.

Posted by: Mike on January 28, 2014 09:19 PM
9. They are going to shoot you in the Head Sound Weirdos. You thought this was some kind of debate. They didn't want to debate you. They wnated to kill you.

They are going to shoot you in the head.

Posted by: Steve on January 28, 2014 09:25 PM
10. @9 - The Liberal fascists are coming ! Fast and furious !

Posted by: KDS on January 28, 2014 09:30 PM
11. Remember in 2004 when President Obama said he would be a grand uniter?

Yeah, that was a lie too. Check out pages 9&10

Pessimism is what happens when you give soaring speeches and yet produce no results.

Posted by: Mike on January 28, 2014 10:01 PM
12. Did Rand Paul rag on again about how Bill Clinton abducted Monica, blind-folded her and then tormented her until she bowed in worship before a craven Aquabuddha idol? Oh, wait...

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on January 28, 2014 10:25 PM
13. Let's see if this is a truly open thread by Pudge and whether he removes my comment.

For SOTU, I also have given up watching. Personally believe they are no longer viable since they have become such partisan affairs (and this started awhile ago). Clinton was probably where it started, but got worse under Bush (both sides at fault), and has degraded to a point of uselessness under Obama. It is like neither side is willing to listen to each other anymore and all the SOTU has become is a campaign prop for each party.

Posted by: tc on January 29, 2014 08:04 AM
14. tc: it did not get worse under Bush, and the problem is not partisanship. The problem is that the speeches have become laundry list of pie-in-the-sky agenda items, a way to excite the country into following the President, instead of a serious examination and explanation of the actual state of the union.

Posted by: pudge on January 29, 2014 08:14 AM
15. As much as you think we hate Obama, and we do.

We hate Republicans more.

Read the comments at the end of this article.

It's not only me.

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2014/01/28/WATCH-Republican-Response-to-Obamas-State-of-the-Union

Posted by: Sean on January 29, 2014 08:25 AM
16. Sean, who is "we"? And why should "we" care?

Posted by: pudge on January 29, 2014 09:09 AM
17. "it did not get worse under Bush"

To give credit where credit is due, Bush did use his 2003 State of the Union speech to lie to the nation, leading us into an unnecessary war in Iraq.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on January 29, 2014 10:03 AM
18. Zatoichi: false.

Posted by: pudge on January 29, 2014 10:10 AM
19. Pudge: True.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on January 29, 2014 10:14 AM
20. Identify a single lie.

He was wrong about a lot, of course. I criticized them at the time. Colin Powell's presentation to the UN convinced me that Iraq very well might not have WMD. It was a weak case, and they were mostly wrong. But I don't think Powell lied, and I don't think Bush lied.

Posted by: pudge on January 29, 2014 11:25 AM
21. Pudge,
1. Thank you for the open thread and actually allowing me to post.
2. I call it partisanship, you disagree. I am fine with you disagreement. People can view what is or is not partisanship differently.
3. Pie in the Sky - Totally agree, which is why I stated they have become more campaign-like. There is a time and place for "a chicken in every pot and car in every garage" (which Hoover didn't actually say). Sure, we would like campaigns to focus on what is actually achievable, but that would make them dull and boring. If candidates actually told the truth that "end poverty" (not actual slogan but example of overpromise) isn't achievable, then there would be no hope.
4. What should the SOTU actually be about? -- You raised a good question as to what would constitute a good SOTU. Do you have an example of one from past presidents that does what you expect? It would be good for comparison. I remember ones from about Reagan on and outside of Bush Senior (GHW Bush), I don't see any SOTU that would fit what I believe your ideal SOTU would be. Would telling it "how it is" actually sell? If Obama, for example, said, "you know what, our economy is sluggish and there aren't any real good options but the slow climb back" would actually fly. The only agreement by both parties in Congress would be that such a statement would be unacceptable, even if it was in fact true. If one wanted to let the market work and government not interfere, then it may take time to climb back to where we were (unemployment-wise). For in fact, even such things as tax-cuts is government meddling in the economy because most of the time the tax cuts aren't straight across the board. When either side cuts taxes, they are usually targeted at segments of the economy they want to encourage. The Bush tax cuts, for example, were more generous for the investment crowd to spur investment. Clinton and Obama target lower middle-class (like with Obama, the Social Security Payroll Tax holiday for a couple of years). This is supposed to "spur" economic growth. To me, it is still "meddling" in the economy (i.e., picking winners and losers).

Just my opinion. I am sure you don't agree with all or even much of it. No worry here.

Posted by: tc on January 29, 2014 12:05 PM
22. @21

Wow! Might be the first ever rational post from one of the Left side commenters. Thanks.

I think the SOTU should tell it more like it is. We are where we are because politicians on both sides have lied and pandered to constituents. Apolitical Americans are not informed because the media cheerleads for Obama, and Obama cheerleads for himself. And the GOP is just plain terrible at messaging. Americans want to get back to whatever it is they do best. Overwhelmingly Americans no longer trust government precisely because of useless pablum like Obama's SOTU and the GOP response.

If we simply had something more like a corporate earnings report, then Americans would have enough info to make more informed voting decisions. And let the chips fall where they may.

But the left is not up to a fair fight with an open and honest reporting of the SOTU. They are addicted to the media and vice versa.

Posted by: Mike on January 29, 2014 01:26 PM
23. Mike, exactly: an honest and sober corporate report is what I would like to see. This is what happened in the last year, this is our state of affairs, this is what we hope to see in the coming year. Obviously, it would be more about financial state than corporate reports are, but the same basic idea.

But as politics stands, it would be pointless, because it would be massaged to make the President look good. Consider the recent White House report that said unemployment benefits do not reduce incentives to find work; that's obvious nonsense, as lack of money is a massive incentive for finding a job. But it supports the President's agenda.

Posted by: pudge on January 29, 2014 01:50 PM
24. "I don't think Bush lied"

I believe President Bush deceived Congress and and the American people by not sharing all the warnings issued by our own intelligence community about the weakness of the uranium claims. Revelation of our own intelligence assessment would have left his SOTU uranium claim relatively worthless. Delivered at the State of the Union, those sixteen words were the political equivalent of yelling fire in a theater. There was no fire. Bush lied. A lie of ommission, perhaps, but a lie all the same, and used as "a way to excite the country into following the President" into war.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on January 29, 2014 02:34 PM
25. "Consider the recent White House report that said unemployment benefits do not reduce incentives to find work; that's obvious nonsense"

What's obvious to me is that Americans are a hard-working people. It's also obvious to me that the unemployed are victims of the recession and it's aftermath, they seeking gainful employment and they are not free-loaders-in-the-making. Did all of the unemployment checks issued over the many decades of the system, including during previous downturns and recessions, create a nation of free-loaders, a nation of people lacking incentive to work? No, we're still a nation of people who want to work.

What should be obvious is that unemployment benefits allow the unemployed more time to search for work and avoid catastrophe that would strain our social safety nets and charities in other ways. What should be obvious is that Unemployemnt Insurance is an insurance program and these people have paid into it and are entitled to receive their benefits. What should be obvious is that unemployment benefits are conditional - if beneficiaries do not look for work, they will not receive benefits.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on January 29, 2014 03:00 PM
26. So this is how liberty dies...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1FFVWEQnSM

Posted by: Steve on January 29, 2014 03:51 PM
27. The TOTUS Who Can't Look America in the Eye
Not once -- not even once -- did the man who claims to be the legitimate leader of our nation ever look me, and all the other watching citizens of this nation, in the eye during his State of the Nation speech. He was a dash-top bobble-head, swinging back and forth from prompter to prompter.

Good grief! The man can't uncouple himself from his comfort-zone technology for even a moment to look Americans in the eye just once, and give us some sense of our comfort that he is sincere.

For those of us who endured the entire speech, it was painfully obvious that our nation is being led by a man who lives and dies by the teleprompter -- Teleprompter Rex.

What more needs to be said?


1087 days

Example DEFINITIVE: Feminist Hag: "I Want To Rip Out The Uterus of That Pro-Life C**T Cathy McMorris Rodgers And Eat It"

Loud lefty's rushing the door to disavow hate speech in 3, 2 ....

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on January 29, 2014 04:15 PM
28. Response to Obama's State of the Union

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on January 29, 2014 04:18 PM
29. Re: Cherry Picking Numbers
Here his WAPosts Fact Check on some of the numbers presented last night.

Posted by: tc on January 29, 2014 04:19 PM
30. @25,

Good to see sober discussion here. We need to reach compromises to address larger issues. Hopefully American people can begin to discuss more as we are in the last few comments. Because it is clear that if left to politicians or media, the interest is in further dividing us.

That said, I somewhat disagree. Americans are generally a hard working people who want to work. But as evidenced by gross swelling of food stamp program, and unemployment numbers that reflect people who have simply given up looking for work, there is a greater sloth class a la European states than ever before in the US. Allowing the entitlement programs to balloon as they have in the last five years is a national shame.

The President wants to be seen as a good guy who feels our pain, but what is needed is not a friend, but a guardian who starkly condemns and is honest about irresponsible policy. If the President applied the same strict standards in communicating to us as he does when parenting his daughters, the US would be much better informed and poise to act to help our government solve problems.

Posted by: Mike on January 29, 2014 04:42 PM
31. Zatoichi: I believe President Bush deceived Congress and and the American people by not sharing all the warnings issued by our own intelligence community about the weakness of the uranium claims.

Generally speaking, no President always shares all internal dissenting views, so you need to give specific reasons why this case is different. What would be lying is if Bush himself thought the intel was weak, and then pushed it as strong (regardless of whether he had any warnings). I have no reason to think he thought it was weak. Clearly, some people in his administration did, but that doesn't necessarily mean he did.


Delivered at the State of the Union, those sixteen words were the political equivalent of yelling fire in a theater. There was no fire. Bush lied.

What Bush said was, "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Do you have any reason to think Bush didn't think that? I don't. They should not have been included in the speech -- and I do fault Bush for not removing them -- because the claim is essentially worthless. I suppose you could claim it is dishonest because it is clearly attempting to sway public opinion using a claim that seems strong, but is obviously -- from the words themselves, without any knowledge of the context -- terribly weak ("someone else has learned that someone else sought something").

I still can't call it a lie unless he knew or suspected it was false. But it was wrong to use it, and I said so at the time (which, again, is part of why I dropped my support for the WMD argument just about a week later, after Powell's presentation).

Posted by: pudge on January 29, 2014 04:52 PM
32. Zatoichi: Did all of the unemployment checks issued over the many decades of the system, including during previous downturns and recessions, create a nation of free-loaders, a nation of people lacking incentive to work? No, we're still a nation of people who want to work.

You're not responding to what I wrote. This does not actually, in any way, rebut or disclaim or argue against my words.


What should be obvious is that unemployment benefits allow the unemployed more time to search for work and avoid catastrophe that would strain our social safety nets and charities in other ways.

Yes. And?


What should be obvious is that Unemployemnt Insurance is an insurance program and these people have paid into it and are entitled to receive their benefits.

Well, that's true, but it does not argue in Obama's favor, since the benefits they are entitled to -- the terms under which they contributed -- is to receive benefits for a limited time, not for perpetual extensions.


What should be obvious is that unemployment benefits are conditional - if beneficiaries do not look for work, they will not receive benefits.

Yes, but largely irrelevant to anything I wrote.


I simply stated the fact that money is an incentive to work, and if you get money from other means, that removes or reduces an incentive. You admitted this yourself: unemployment benefits allow the unemployed more time to search for work. Another way to say that is that their incentives to find work are reduced.

To be more specific, if I have no one providing for me when I lose a job, and I cannot provide for myself, then I need a job to, essentially, survive. That's a damned strong incentive. Unemployment benefits obviously reduce that incentive.

Or take the person who can find jobs, but none he wants. He rejects jobs in favor of the hope of a better one. Without unemployment benefits, he would have a much greater incentive to take a (to him) worse opportunity than the one he would otherwise hold out for.

No, it is entirely certain that unemployment benefits reduce incentives to find work, and the President is lying when he says otherwise. I am not saying we should not have them: I am just stating the obvious about them.

Posted by: pudge on January 29, 2014 05:06 PM
33. tc: the fact checkers got the manufacturing numbers wrong, in that they said Obama was partially right.

The claim was, "A manufacturing sector that's adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s." But it's not true. For example, we added jobs for four straight months in 2004 and three in 2006.

Also, FactCheck plays into Obama's lie about Obama inheriting the 2009 budget, when Obama himself signed the 2009 budget. What a glaring error by our esteemed "fact checkers."

Posted by: pudge on January 29, 2014 05:23 PM
34. "Generally speaking, no President always shares all internal dissenting views, so you need to give specific reasons why this case is different."

It's not that he didn't share all internal dissenting views, he didn't share any of them. And seeing as how it was our own country's intelligence community which dissented and war was the result, I'd say "this case is different".

"I still can't call it a lie unless he knew or suspected it was false."

I call it a lie because we know that he was aware of the dissent. Instead of sharing any of the dissent with the nation in his 2003 SOTU, he instead used the assessment of another nation's flawed intelligence while concealing from us all dissent from within our own intelligence community. I call that lying to us.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on January 29, 2014 06:03 PM
35. "money is an incentive to work, and if you get money from other means, that removes or reduces an incentive"

Perhaps significant money, say from a large inheritance or a lottery win, but not if you want to work, most especially if your UI check is a fraction of what you can earn doing the work one wants to do and have been trained and/or educated to do. That check is only a means to get by until one finds a job.

"Or take the person who can find jobs, but none he wants."

Depends. If someone is an unemployed dental hygenist or software programmer and the first job available is as a custodian, I wouldn't blame those people for continuing to look for work in their chosen field or profession.

"when I lose a job, and I cannot provide for myself, then I need a job to, essentially, survive. That's a damned strong incentive. Unemployment benefits obviously reduce that incentive."

Speaking for yourself, perhaps, although I doubt it would be true of you, especially if you enjoy your work and received a fraction of your previous income as UI benefits.

No, the benefits only give you more time to look for work before catastrophic consequences of no income at all hits, and that's especially important during a recession or slow recovery when there might be hundreds of candidates for any job opening. There are no doubt some who might see UI benefits as their ship coming in, who likely lacked incentive from the get-go. However, I believe that to be the exception, not the rule for the American worker.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on January 29, 2014 06:41 PM
36. The GOP response was very vanilla, uncontroversial, nondescript, uneventful and the left the President unscathed - on the other hand, safe with no screwups, just a lame overall strategy. The GOP is rolling over again. See it below, if you dare...

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2014/01/28/WATCH-Republican-Response-to-Obamas-State-of-the-Union

Now, the House leadership is readying to try and pass illegal immigration amnesty - hard to believe that Boehner, Cantor and Ryan are that STUPID !!! (but they are, the stupid party refuses to die, just cruising to achieve minority party status)

Posted by: KDS on January 29, 2014 08:06 PM
37. Zatoichi: It's not that he didn't share all internal dissenting views, he didn't share any of them.

False. And how many did Clinton or Obama share?


And seeing as how it was our own country's intelligence community which dissented and war was the result, I'd say "this case is different".

SOME of the intelligence community dissented, and no, that doesn't make it different at all.

And it is false that war was the result. We would have invaded Iraq if they had never mentioned yellowcake uranium. This is absolutely the case. Most Americans knew nothing about the uranium claims over a month later when we were poised to invade. Powell's speech, which had a monumentally greater impact on the push for war than Bush's "16 words," never mentioned the claim Bush made.


I call it a lie because we know that he was aware of the dissent. Instead of sharing any of the dissent with the nation in his 2003 SOTU, he instead used the assessment of another nation's flawed intelligence while concealing from us all dissent from within our own intelligence community. I call that lying to us.

You're simply incorrect to do so. If he gives his opinion of the truth, on what basis is it a "lie" to not give someone else's opinion, too? That's nonsense.

Posted by: pudge on January 29, 2014 09:13 PM
38. Zatoichi: "money is an incentive to work, and if you get money from other means, that removes or reduces an incentive"

Perhaps significant money, say from a large inheritance or a lottery win, but not if you want to work

False. First, by your own definition, this money is significant. If it were not, then it would not be a big deal for it to not given to the unemployed. That's what "significant" essentially means. Second, again, as you said, this money gives them time to find a job, which is literally the same as saying it reduces a particular incentive to find a job.


if your UI check is a fraction of what you can earn doing the work one wants to do and have been trained and/or educated to do

First, everything is a fraction of everything. 100 is a fraction of 100, 1000 is a fraction of 100, and 100 is a fraction of 1000, and 1 trillion is a very large fraction of 1. I hate this phrase: it's literally meaningless.

Second, no, you're wrong, and you even admit it:

That check is only a means to get by until one finds a job.

Exactly! And being able to "get by" is a key incentive for working. Yes, there are other incentives, including (but not limited to) work ethic, self-fulfillment, and doing better than merely "getting by." And some of those incentives are much stronger than "getting by," depending on the person and the circumstances. But it is simply unavoidably and obviously entirely true that this is a major incentive, and that unemployment benefits reduce that incentive.


Depends.

Of course. It all depends: some people will take the best job they can find now, and some will not.


If someone is an unemployed dental hygenist or software programmer and the first job available is as a custodian, I wouldn't blame those people for continuing to look for work in their chosen field or profession.

I was not blaming anyone. I was simply stating a fact, and you agreed with it: that some people have reduced incentives for getting a job due to unemployment benefits. Here, you explicitly agreed with it, instead of implicitly as you had before. If that hygenist or programmer couldn't get unemployment benefits, they would have a much greater incentive to take that custodian job, obviously.

"when I lose a job, and I cannot provide for myself, then I need a job to, essentially, survive. That's a damned strong incentive. Unemployment benefits obviously reduce that incentive."

Speaking for yourself, perhaps, although I doubt it would be true of you, especially if you enjoy your work and received a fraction of your previous income as UI benefits.

First, you cannot doubt it would be true of me while cutting out the part that would make it true. I didn't say, "when I lose a job," I said, "if I have no one providing for me when I lose a job." And that means I would not be getting any unemployment benefits.

Second, the difference between taking a custodian job today -- because I have no savings or income and I need to survive -- and waiting for a programming job weeks from now (enabled by those benefits) is pretty significant. To deny that unemployment benefits have an effect on incentives to find a job is simply nutty.


No, the benefits only give you more time to look for work before catastrophic consequences of no income at all hits

That statement disagrees with nothing I said, so your "No" is very awkward.


There are no doubt some who might see UI benefits as their ship coming in, who likely lacked incentive from the get-go.

So you agree with me, and disagree with Obama.


However, I believe that to be the exception, not the rule for the American worker.

That also does not disagree with anything I said.

Posted by: pudge on January 29, 2014 09:27 PM
39. KDS: The GOP response was very vanilla, uncontroversial, nondescript, uneventful and the left the President unscathed - on the other hand, safe with no screwups, just a lame overall strategy. The GOP is rolling over again.

You are missing what the strategy actually is, and it is not to roll over, but it is to soften the GOP image, which is very poor with moderates in large part due to perceived intractability. This shows a different side to the GOP, which is good.


Now, the House leadership is readying to try and pass illegal immigration amnesty

I doubt it. Amnesty has a specific meaning, and last I heard, the bill contained punishment for violating the law, which is definitionally not amnesty.

That said, I hope it passes. Putting party aside, finding ways for more law-abiding, productive, people to come to our country and eventually become citizens is the American way. Period. If the cost of doing what is right is that the GOP is permanently damaged, then so be it.

And before you say "they are not law-abiding, they are illegals!!!," that is not what U.S. law has ever really said. They are here illegally, in the same sense that I regularly drive illegally by violating the speed limit. Being in the country without proper paperwork has always been, in the U.S., the equivalent of an infraction, such as violating the speed limit. It's never been a crime. So saying that they should get severe punishment, including being perpetually unable to become citizens, for a mere infraction ... that's just silly.

I don't believe it hurts the GOP anyway. I think the only real reason why Hispanics vote overwhelmingly for Democrats is because of the false narrative that the GOP is evil, which is bolstered by the GOP using draconian and nonsensical means to try to curb illegal immigration. If the GOP were to find sensible ways to help good people prosper in this country, things would change quickly. Hispanics are far more in line with Republicans on social issues, they are hard workers and entrepreneurs which means they will quickly become offended by Democratic taxes (those that are not already), etc.

Posted by: pudge on January 29, 2014 09:36 PM
40. I don't see it that way at all, Pudge. I suspect that it's just different perspectives. As someone raised on welfare and later as a ward of the state, to end up on unemployment or any other form of public assistance is incentive enough by itself to want to get off ASAP. It's not a lifestyle, it's a stigmatic, demeaning way to live, being on the public dole, whether it's an insurance program or not. But it might be a necessity and will help many individuals and families, victims of circumstances beyond their control, save everything that they've worked and saved for all their lives. And it's insurance, so why not?

A disincentive to work? Not for all, and probably not for most. Most likely for very few. No, because for many like myself, it would be the exact opposite. Seeing that first check would be incentive enough to do everything possible make it my last. You underestimate the pride and integrity of the American worker, Pudge. That's why you're wrong. You paint with too broad a brush. If you were to say "disincentive for some", I would take no exception at all.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on January 29, 2014 10:54 PM
41. Zatoichi: I don't see it that way at all, Pudge.

But you're objectively, factually, wrong.


I suspect that it's just different perspectives. As someone raised on welfare and later as a ward of the state, to end up on unemployment or any other form of public assistance is incentive enough by itself to want to get off ASAP.

Again, this does not argue against anything I said. At all. Maybe due to your experiences, you're incapable of putting emotion aside, and that's what's governing your thought, instead of rationality.

But (correctly) saying that being on public assistance is, for many or most people, an incentive to get off, does not change the fact that being on public assistance is a disincentive to work. It just means those are different and competing incentives.

It's not a lifestyle, it's a stigmatic, demeaning way to live, being on the public dole, whether it's an insurance program or not. But it might be a necessity and will help many individuals and families, victims of circumstances beyond their control, save everything that they've worked and saved for all their lives. And it's insurance, so why not?

Again, this does not argue against anything I wrote.


A disincentive to work? Not for all, and probably not for most. Most likely for very few. No, because for many like myself, it would be the exact opposite. Seeing that first check would be incentive enough to do everything possible make it my last.

Again: saying unemployment benefits are not a disincentive to work is saying that employment benefits are not money, or that people do not care about money, or that the amount of money makes no difference in the recipient's life. We know none of that is true for most people; therefore, it reduces their incentive to work. Period, end of story. That is definitionally true.

That doesn't mean there's not other incentives at play; as I already said, there are other incentives, and you mentioned a strong one just now. You could argue that unemployment benefits are not a net disincentive, but that isn't the claim we're discussing.


You underestimate the pride and integrity of the American worker, Pudge. That's why you're wrong.

You cannot quote a single example of me ever doing that. That proves you're wrong.


You paint with too broad a brush. If you were to say "disincentive for some", I would take no exception at all.

I think you don't understand incentives, because it is simply factually true that if money matters to you, and the amount of money is significant to you and can help you "get by," then getting that money is a disincentive to work. There's no avoiding that fact, and you've provided no argument against it, you've only cited competing incentives and anecdotes.

Posted by: pudge on January 30, 2014 05:55 AM
42. Zatoichi: it really looks to me like you do not understand economic incentives. It seems like you think that a disincentive to work means that someone will not have net incentives to work. That's simply untrue.

Imagine that we could put numbers on incentives. If we have negative numbers, it means a disincentive. If we have positive, it means an incentive.

For anything you do, you almost certainly have multiple, often competing, incentives. A job is clearly one thing that has many competing incentives. I want to be with my family or play video games, I want money, I want self-respect, I want respect of others, I enjoy my job, I hate the commute, and so on.

So imagine that I lose my job, and I get no unemployment benefits, and that the net of all my incentives to find work is 100: +100 for needing to support my family's financial needs, -10 for getting to spend more time with my family, -10 for no more commuting, +20 for respect, etc.

Now consider I get unemployment benefits. The equation changes. The incentive for needing to financially support my family is decreased, necessarily. Maybe it goes from +100 to 0 (if it fully meets my family's needs), or from +100 to +90 (if it meets only a portion of our needs, and none of our wants), but to some degree it is decreased.

But that doesn't mean that the net incentive has decreased. So maybe we've gone to a +90 on financial support, but maybe our need for respect in getting a job has jumped from +20 to +50. That would represent a net increase in incentives. It doesn't mean that the financial incentive did not decrease -- it clearly did. There's no question about it.

For some people -- apparently, you included -- being on unemployment benefits is a net incentive to getting off those benefits. But that doesn't disagree with anything I said, and because clearly incentive calculations are highly individualized, it's impossible to really say what the overall effects on incentives are. We can, however, say with absolute certainty that almost everyone who gets unemployment benefits has, in terms of finances, a decreased incentive to find work. Whether that results in a net reduction of incentives is not the issue at hand.

Posted by: pudge on January 30, 2014 06:42 AM
43. Even I agree with pudge that unemployment benefits are an incentive to not work. I don't think unemployment benefits are the main reason for high unemployment in the USA today, and I think those benefits should be extended, but sure, they have some disincentive effect.

We should be able to admit that every policy has pros and cons, and that one drawback does not make a policy bad. For example, the fundamental American philosophy that a person is innocent until proven guilty has some drawbacks, yet is overall a very good thing.

Some people, especially on this blog, view the world in black and white. Don't fall into that trap.

Posted by: Bruce on January 30, 2014 10:47 AM
44. Dr. Z @25
"...What should be obvious is that Unemployemnt Insurance is an insurance program and these people have paid into it and are entitled to receive their benefits...."

This statement is incorrect, at least in WA State. Employees do not pay unemployment insurance, its a tax businesses pay along with disability insurance.

Also, I am not sure, but I believe in WA State you can't get unemployment if you quit. You also can't get it for furlough days since the those days don't reduce your weekly pay enough to qualify one for unemployment.

As far as incentive disincentive, I would say it depends on what your starting salary is. This page explains WA State Calculation. At the low end (average earnings of $2800 per quarter), the amount of weekly benefit is 69% of pay (148/(2800/13)). At the top of the chart scale, the weekly benefit is 51%. However, the weekly maximum peaks at 624 for ($64K/year). If one makes $100K/year ($25K/qtr), then the $624 equates to only 32% of ones pay. I would put forth that if one makes $100K, unemployment insurance is a disincentive to not work. Whereas, if one made in the $25-50K range, most likely one could get by for a while on unemployment and savings. Of course good financial planning (that so few following, including me) is to have 3 to 6 months of necessary expenses saved. I think an alternative to unemployment insurance is to make savings more attractive. Of course at current savings rates (even CD's) one doesn't make much in interest, but in any event interest on savings at least for those under a set threshhold or up to a certain dollar amount should be exempt from taxes. This is what Obama should have proposed instead of his new Retirement account.

Posted by: tc on January 30, 2014 11:55 AM
45. tc: This statement is incorrect, at least in WA State. Employees do not pay unemployment insurance, its a tax businesses pay along with disability insurance.

That does't make the statement incorrect, except perhaps literally so. It is perfectly reasonable to see the tax paid by the business as a benefit provided to the employee.


As far as incentive disincentive, I would say it depends on what your starting salary is

All that really matters, in whether there is a disincentive, is if the benefit is significant to the individual. If it is, then it's at least a small disincentive to replacing that money with working wages. That's simply necessarily true.

Posted by: pudge on January 30, 2014 12:26 PM
46. Pudge,
On your first item @45, I wouldn't necessarily agree. Here explains what businesses have to pay. The amount is based on total employee wages and the employer's history of layoffs. The only employee benefit is the fact that they work for a company in WA state that is required to pay into the state system. I believe Federal employees (and Military) don't pay into the system, but also cannot draw from the system either.

Posted by: tc on January 30, 2014 12:48 PM
47. Pudge@45 writes, "That does't make the statement incorrect, except perhaps literally so."

Excuse me while I get up off the floor where I was laughing. Pudge, who calls any statement that is only 99.99% true a "damned lie" worthy of banning, now claims that a statement that is literally incorrect is not incorrect?

"It is perfectly reasonable to see the tax paid by the business as a benefit provided to the employee."

Just like it is perfectly reasonable to view income taxes as a charitable contribution. But only if pudge gets to define what is "reasonable" to suit his argument.

Posted by: Bruce on January 30, 2014 01:01 PM
48. TC@44, you are missing pudge's point. Saying "unemployment benefits are a disincentive to work" means only that getting those benefits makes some people somewhat less incented to work. It does NOT mean that all people (or even some people) will decide not to work.

You can admit that pudge's statement is true and still argue that extended unemployment benefits, especially in this economy, are a good idea that will not keep most receipients from seeking work.

Posted by: Bruce on January 30, 2014 01:06 PM
49. Bruce: Pudge, who calls any statement that is only 99.99% true a "damned lie" worthy of banning

You're lying.

Just like it is perfectly reasonable to view income taxes as a charitable contribution.

Charity is, necessarily, voluntarily given. There is no possible way to view income taxes as charitable contributions.

Posted by: pudge on January 30, 2014 01:07 PM
50. Pudge writes, "Charity is, necessarily, voluntarily given. There is no possible way to view income taxes as charitable contributions."

Yes there is: a charity is a organization that helps people. And income taxes are voluntary in the sense that you don't have to live here or earn income.

And your claim that unemployment benefits are an employee benefit can be considered false. My employers paid many years of unemployment tax but I've never received a penny of benefit from that.

Are the above technicalities? Of course they are. That's precisely my point. People would take you more seriously if you stopped using technicalities to call people liars, and actually tried acknowledging the merit in opposing positions and applying your logical and rhetorical skills to them.

Posted by: Bruce on January 30, 2014 01:26 PM
51. Bruce: a charity is a organization that helps people

A charitable contribution is one that is given voluntarily. If you mean the word "charitable" to refer to the recipient organization, then, sorry, that's not how English works. The word "charitable" modifies the word "contribution," and my contribution is not charitable, by definition. You're obviously wrong.


And income taxes are voluntary in the sense that you don't have to live here or earn income.

False. They are forced, clearly, as a result of earning income. That's like saying prison is voluntary because you don't have to commit murder. It's nonsense. Work and murder are voluntary; taxes and prison are forced on those who commit those voluntary acts. You're obviously wrong.


And your claim that unemployment benefits are an employee benefit can be considered false. My employers paid many years of unemployment tax but I've never received a penny of benefit from that.

I never made such a claim. What I said is that unemployment insurance is an employee benefit. And you well know that insurance does not, and is not intended, to ever pay back the insured. You're obviously wrong.


People would take you more seriously if you stopped using technicalities to call people liars

I don't, and you're lying.


... and actually tried acknowledging the merit in opposing positions

When there is, I do. You're lying.

Posted by: pudge on January 30, 2014 01:53 PM
52. "People would take you more seriously if you stopped using technicalities to call people liars"

What I see here is that Pudge did not use that technicality to call me a liar.

"It seems like you think that a disincentive to work means that someone will not have net incentives to work."

Hardly. If anything, with that statement, we're finally making progress. I'm arguing that any disincentive to seek work caused by receiving UI benefits is offset to some degree by the incentives that can also come also come from receiving that benefit.

This started with your comment.

"Consider the recent White House report that said unemployment benefits do not reduce incentives to find work; that's obvious nonsense, as lack of money is a massive incentive for finding a job. But it supports the President's agenda."

It was about benefits being a disincentive to find a job with no acknowledgement at all of any incentives received with those benefits. That's what caught my attention, Pudge. Your comment echoes a firestorm of right-wing blog posts and right-wing mainstream media reports and editorials that began before and continues after 1.3 million unemployed American workers saw their benefits end. As with your comment, it's all about the disincentive, no mention of incentives. And to what affect is this messaging received by the faithful? I'd say that can be gleaned from the many Redstate blog comments about the "lazy" unemployed.

You also remarked how the President has an agenda. It should be obvious, although not mentioned by you, that the President isn't the only one with an agenda that's being being supported.

The incentives are numerous: Work as part of a person's identity that is lost, the stigma attached to being on the dole, hurt pride and lost self-esteem, benefits far less than earnings levels, loss of social status, or put another way, Alpha male gone Omega and can't get a date anymore.

There are so many incentives! You so far have only one disincentive - money. It's takes more than conventional wisdom or your observing from a personal perspective the so-called "obvious" to get to the reality of whether or not UI benefits are a net incentive or disincentive to seeking work.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on January 30, 2014 03:33 PM
53. Bruce @47
Don't pull me into any flame wars you choose to conduct with Pudge. OK.

Pudge is correct that UI is a benefit. I have not problem with that statement. It is a benefit that WA State offers to all workers for companies that employ people within WA State, except for Federal Government (civilian and military). My disagreement was with Dr. Z stating that employees paid into UI, not that it wasn't a benefit. If you follow my link, UI is not calculated on an individual employee basis. It is calculated on a businesses total wages and their history (or the industry they are in if they are a new business) of layoffs. If you look at one's pay stub, there is no line item for employee for UI insurance. Some companies offer Total Compensation statements, which include what companies pay for employees (like FICA and employer health care premiums). These statements also don't include a line item for the employee concerning WA state UI cost.

Posted by: tc on January 30, 2014 04:06 PM
54. "My disagreement was with Dr. Z stating that employees paid into UI"

To be clear, tc, I took no exception to your comment at all. You caught me winging it. I do stand corrected and I should have acknowledged you for that.

Posted by: Dr, Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on January 30, 2014 04:35 PM
55. Zatoichi: I'm arguing that any disincentive to seek work caused by receiving UI benefits is offset to some degree by the incentives that can also come also come from receiving that benefit.

So you agree with me that it is obviously incorrect for the White House to say that there's no reduction in incentives. Good. You believe, contrary to what the White House said, that for most people there is no net reduction in incentives. You can't demonstrate it, of course, and neither can they.


It was about benefits being a disincentive to find a job with no acknowledgement at all of any incentives received with those benefits.

... so? If I say that the dinner gave me gas, am I obligated to also point out that it gave me nutritional benefits, especially when this is mostly obvious?


And to what affect is this messaging received by the faithful? I'd say that can be gleaned from the many Redstate blog comments about the "lazy" unemployed.

You're lying by trying to link my comments to any that call unemployed people "lazy." Nothing I said can be rationally taken that way.


You also remarked how the President has an agenda.

Well, yeah, he said so himself.


It should be obvious, although not mentioned by you, that the President isn't the only one with an agenda that's being being supported.

Actually, what I wrote is not in support of any political agenda I know of. It does not support Obama's desire to extend benefits, nor does it support anyone's agenda to not extend them. I am in favor of not extending them, but pointing out the obvious fact -- an assumption built-in to the law! that's why benefits have statutory limits -- that unemployment benefits reduce incentives to work. This statement does not tell us whether net incentives are reduced, nor take into account whether there's enough jobs out there to support the unemployed workers, and that's what actually matters here in terms of extension policy.


The incentives are numerous

... and saying so literally does not detract from anything I said, in any way. That you keep pretending otherwise is really bizarre.


It's takes more than conventional wisdom or your observing from a personal perspective the so-called "obvious" to get to the reality of whether or not UI benefits are a net incentive or disincentive to seeking work.

Um. I explicitly said that I wasn't speaking about net incentives. So ... once again, for the umpteenth time, you are not arguing against me.


Posted by: pudge on January 30, 2014 05:12 PM
56. tc: If you follow my link, UI is not calculated on an individual employee basis. It is calculated on a businesses total wages and their history (or the industry they are in if they are a new business) of layoffs.

Yes, it is not on an individual basis, but each employee figures into the calculation. So I still maintain it's reasonable ... but I don't really care.


Some companies offer Total Compensation statements, which include what companies pay for employees (like FICA and employer health care premiums). These statements also don't include a line item for the employee concerning WA state UI cost.

That's because it's impossible to break out, not because it isn't actual compensation. I maintain that it clearly is (whether we can say that it is "paid by the employee" or not).

Posted by: pudge on January 30, 2014 05:14 PM
57. Pudge: "I don't believe it hurts the GOP anyway. I think the only real reason why Hispanics vote overwhelmingly for Democrats is because of the false narrative that the GOP is evil, which is bolstered by the GOP using draconian and nonsensical means to try to curb illegal immigration."

I wish I could agree with you, but that could put the GOP House to go to conference with the Democrat-controlled Senate, at which time they will cave and give amnesty for 12-14 million illegals who will vote at least 70% Democrat. That is a real possiblity - because I have learned to expect worst case scenarios with the GOP. I believe Boehner must be deposed. His corruption is clear - he will not appoint a select committee (against the wishes of many) to investigate Benghazi - he has something to hide. Consequently, I don't trust him, Canror or Ryan any more on illegal immigration. The need to pass this reform is overreacting and the idiotic hope that working with the President will pay off, for all he wants to do is deliver the Democrat party a permanent majority.

"If the GOP were to find sensible ways to help good people prosper in this country, things would change quickly. Hispanics are far more in line with Republicans on social issues, they are hard workers and entrepreneurs which means they will quickly become offended by Democratic taxes (those that are not already), etc."

The first problem is that the GOP does not really secure the borders in their proposal - the devil is in the details - I do not trust the House GOP leadership. They have caved to the Chamber of Commerce lobby who is GOP but supports illegal amnesty. Good Hispanics should be allowed, but more importantly immigrants who are tech saavy and can contribute to our culture. The timing is very bad - illegal immigration reform can and should wait until after the next Congress is seated. If the GOP is too hasty and hell bent on passing this reform, they could lose any chance of winning the Senate next year and in the long run become subject the future of the GOP to be grim as a chronic minority party. Voter ID reform by the GOP which has hit a snag in the courts goes hand in hand.

Last questioin - why pass illegal immigration reform when it is as clear as the nose on your face that this administration will not enforce any policies that don't like. Something needs to be done, but more importantly, the GOP needs to start reaching out to Hispanics and single women, rather than focus energy on a false narrative and don't be in a hurry to pass anything.

Posted by: KDS on January 30, 2014 05:54 PM
58. "So you agree with me that it is obviously incorrect for the White House to say that there's no reduction in incentives."

Well, picking nits and working with absolutes, yeah. Real world, as in a statistically significant reduction? No, I do not believe that at all.

"You can't demonstrate it, of course, and neither can they."

You left somebody out. Neither can you. You say the one is obvious. So what? So are are the incentives a put out there.

"Actually, what I wrote is not in support of any political agenda I know of" "I am in favor of not extending them"

At least your familiar with your own agenda. What you wrote was in support of your own agenda, as well that of most within the Republican Party. Have you got another explanation for why you talked solely of UI benefits as being a disincentive to looking for work while leaving out any and all reasons for it being an incentive to find work?

"that's why benefits have statutory limits -- that unemployment benefits reduce incentives to work"

And your evidence for proving that is what?

"and saying so literally does not detract from anything I said, in any way"

That's not the point. The point is that you and the Republicans have an agenda not to extend benefits, perhaps to even end them. After all, the sooner the incentive, the better, huh? It's also quite clear that you wanted to frame this as have all others on the right before you, solely as UI benefits taking away someone's incentive to look for work. That's all any of you have to say about it. You, the Republican party and all the right-wing blogs and media, never say by how much. You never talk about how those benefits can also be an incentive to work, countering, perhaps even overwhelming any disincentive from working.

Given all the hours and energy we put in our work, it is nothing less than one of a handful of major frames of orientation in our lives. Lose your job and you lose a major portion of your life that will never be replaced by sitting on one's butt. That loss is usually replaced by finding work. Money? You and the Republican party look at what is truly chump change and seem to want us to believe that people will gladly sell their hopes and dreams cheap, just to sit on their butts watching tv all day. That'd be a damned low opinion of the American worker.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on January 30, 2014 06:19 PM
59. "saying so literally does not detract from anything I said, in any way" "Um. I explicitly said that I wasn't speaking about net incentives."

Understandable. I can see no reason why you would ever want to undermine and diminish the GOP talking point "UI benefits rob the unemployed of incentive to find work" that's been making the rounds for weeks, from Freedom Watch to the WSJ, and now Sound Politics, with discussion of net incentives.

I'm not sure if you were lazy or brilliant in reducing the argument behind the talking point to "it's obvious". All the other bloggers and the WSJ were much more wordy, even citing flawed studies.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on January 30, 2014 06:54 PM
60. KDS: that could put the GOP House to go to conference with the Democrat-controlled Senate, at which time they will cave and give amnesty for 12-14 million illegals who will vote at least 70% Democrat

a. Again, calling it "amnesty" is linguistic and legal nonsense. If this is anything like the last bill (from mid-2013), it will have a penalty ($1,000 in the 2013 bill) for all "undocumented immigrants" to register into the new system. It is therefore not amnesty. Amnesty is the forgiveness and forgetness of an offense. Penalizing it means it isn't amnesty. (And even if there was no penalty, since being in the country illegally is not a crime, calling it "amnesty" is bizarre anyway.)

b. Again going by the 2013 bill, there's a 13-year wait before becoming citizens. That's plenty of time for Hispanics to get over the idea that Republicans are anti-Hispanic or anti-immigrant, if the Republicans stop acting anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant. And if they don't, well, again, doing the right thing for justice and American principles is more important to me than doing the right thing for party.

c. Some GOP candidates would get well over 30% of the Hispanic vote right now (Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio).

The really really really bizarre thing is that everyone knows Obama lies about immigration, all the time. He said he would make it a priority many times, and never did. He said he cannot stop deportations, when he absolutely can (he is the boss of the prosecutors, who have discretion, and he can just tell them to not deport). The Hispanic voters know he is a liar and untrustworthy on immigration reform. And yet they still vote Democrat over Republican ... that's how bad the GOP have alienated Hispanics.

I do not say, as many Republicans do, that Republicans should pander to Hispanics to win their votes. I do say that we should 1. consider how our words are taken, and b. work to solve the damned problem and not to win elections at the cost of doing what's right.

The first problem is that the GOP does not really secure the borders in their proposal

I don't think it is possible, and perhaps not advisable. I would love to be wrong about that. But I've seen no solution that to me appears workable. As far as illegal immigrants go, the best way to secure the border is to have and enforce laws against their participation in the economy (esp. employment). No jobs, less immigration.

The harder problem is potential terrorists, and again, I just don't know that there's a good solution.


The timing is very bad - illegal immigration reform can and should wait until after the next Congress is seated.

I see no reason to wait.


If the GOP is too hasty and hell bent on passing this reform, they could lose any chance of winning the Senate next year and in the long run become subject the future of the GOP to be grim as a chronic minority party.

Why would it hurt them next year? Because conservative voters would bolt? If so, that's their fault. It's weird to blame someone for losing the Senate when you're deciding to not vote for them.

And again, no, the long run is not what you think it is, not unless Republicans make it that way. Conservatives voting out Republicans who support immigration reform ... that would be a good way to signal to Hispanic voters that Republicans are anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant. You're threatening to shoot your parents and then ask for mercy because you're an orphan, here.


Voter ID reform by the GOP which has hit a snag in the courts goes hand in hand.

It does -- because we know that existing states without voter ID requirements simply allow nearly undetectable illegal voting, and it is extremely idiotic to claim that it is not happening much when we're mostly incapable of detecting it -- but the courts will find in favor of its legality (not necessarily specific implementations, but the principle). There's no case here.


why pass illegal immigration reform when it is as clear as the nose on your face that this administration will not enforce any policies that don't like

Because it's the right thing to do and we have an opportunity to do it, and Obama will only be President for another few years, and the longer we wait the worse the problem gets.

Something needs to be done, but more importantly, the GOP needs to start reaching out to Hispanics and single women, rather than focus energy on a false narrative and don't be in a hurry to pass anything.

I do not advocate rushing. They should reject the deal if it is truly bad. But the focus should be on the bill, and not on elections, and I am in a hurry, because this is a massive burden on millions of Americans right now. Work on the bill, find common ground, take as much time as you need to do it right, focus on the right policy and not elections, and get it passed.

Posted by: pudge on January 31, 2014 07:10 AM
61. Zatoichi: "So you agree with me that it is obviously incorrect for the White House to say that there's no reduction in incentives."

Well, picking nits and working with absolutes, yeah.

Then you have established literally no argument against anything I've said.


"You can't demonstrate it, of course, and neither can they."

You left somebody out. Neither can you.

Um. I already demonstrated it. You agreed with it. A few times now. Just above. It's a truism: giving someone money reduces a key incentive to get a job. That's necessarily true (again, unless the money has no significance to the recipient, in which case, it doesn't serve as a real benefit/insurance anyway).


At least your familiar with your own agenda.

You're lying. Last warning.


Have you got another explanation for why you talked solely of UI benefits as being a disincentive to looking for work while leaving out any and all reasons for it being an incentive to find work?

First, I don't need an explanation for why I say some things and not others. There's a lot more things I don't say, than that I do (yes, even me).

Second, if you weren't being so emotional instead of rational, you would go back and read the context and see that I was responding to Mike's claim that the President should make the SOTU more like a corporate earnings report, and this recent report from the White House would just massage any reports to suit their agenda, so it would be pointless. There is literally no reason, in that context, to say anything about positive benefits of unemployment, because my point was not about unemployment, but about the President misleading in a report to suit his agenda: saying anything, in that context, beyond showing how he was being misleading does not have anything to do with my point.

"that's why benefits have statutory limits -- that unemployment benefits reduce incentives to work"

And your evidence for proving that is what?

You're serious? You think there is any question at all that the reason we limit the terms of unemployment insurance is so that people won't take advantage of it and stay on it instead of getting a job? How could you possibly think this isn't the case? If you give me a good answer, I might answer your question. But it's like asking why we have unemployment insurance in the first place; "because people need to have money to survive while they look for work"; "and your evidence for proving that is what?"


"and saying so literally does not detract from anything I said, in any way"

That's not the point.

You presented it as an argument against me, so, yes, it is.


The point is that you and the Republicans have an agenda not to extend benefits

Perhaps (you don't know that); but it is irrelevant to what I wrote. As I already demonstrated, what I wrote literally does not support such an agenda. You tellingly offered no rebuttal to this.


It's also quite clear that you wanted to frame this as have all others on the right before you, solely as UI benefits taking away someone's incentive to look for work.

You're a damned liar. I simply made a statement that the President was being misleading, and you agreed with it. That's all that happened.


That's all any of you have to say about it.

Excuse me for stating undeniable facts, that you agreed with, and that the President denied. Wow, that must mean I have an agenda, because I didn't weep and gnash my teeth when you expected me to.


You never talk about how those benefits can also be an incentive to work, countering, perhaps even overwhelming any disincentive from working.

You're a damned liar. In this very discussion I offered detailed exposition on this.


You and the Republican party look at what is truly chump change and seem to want us to believe that people will gladly sell their hopes and dreams cheap, just to sit on their butts watching tv all day. That'd be a damned low opinion of the American worker.

You're a damned liar. I never implied any such thing whatsoever. And you know this. You were corrected on it from the very beginning of the discussion, yet you repeat the lies, because you're a damned liar.

"saying so literally does not detract from anything I said, in any way" "Um. I explicitly said that I wasn't speaking about net incentives."

Understandable. I can see no reason why you would ever want to undermine and diminish the GOP talking point

You're a damned liar, taking my words out of context. All I was saying in those quotes is that you were not actually making points against anything I said. This does not, in any way, support the idiotic claim (where "idiotic" describes both the claim, and the person making it) that I am trying to protect some talking points that I don't know anything about.


"UI benefits rob the unemployed of incentive to find work" that's been making the rounds for weeks, from Freedom Watch to the WSJ, and now Sound Politics, with discussion of net incentives.

You're a damned liar. You pretend that just because I said something that is true, and happens to be on the same topic as what other people have said, and I overlap more with those other people ideologically than you do, that therefore I am part of some conspiracy to push some agenda. You're lying.

Again, please stop being a whiny little girl. Use reason and logic and thoughtfulness, not emotion.

I understand that because you went through some of this yourself, you have a knee-jerk reaction to anyone who comes even remotely close to saying something you think might be an affront. But the simple fact is that I said nothing that isn't true, and I cannot find anything I said on the issue that you even expressed disagreement with! That's how damned irrational you're being: you are treating me like a terrible pariah even though you aren't actually disagreeing with what I wrote, but just because you think -- falsely, obviously -- that I was using those true words to push some other narrative (a narrative which I demonstrated is not supported by those true words, a demonstration which you could not rebut).


I'm not sure if you were lazy or brilliant in reducing the argument behind the talking point to "it's obvious".

You're lying by implying I had motives I didn't have in saying what I did. Stop being a damned liar. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: pudge on January 31, 2014 07:35 AM
62. "You're a damned liar" (repeated umpteen times)

How about that, not just a liar, but a damned liar. All that anger and frustration, so void of reason, logic and thoughtfulness, and only because you don't want to talk about unemployment insurance net incentives. I suppose that's understandable, seeing as how that must be like a hard rain on your talking point parade.

Now we have this, "Again, please stop being a whiny little girl", followed immediately by this gem, "Use reason and logic and thoughtfulness, not emotion."

Reason, logic and thoughtfulness, not emotion. Like you?

"You're a damned liar" "You're a damned liar" "You're a damned liar" "You're a damned liar" "You're a damned liar" "You're a damned liar" "You're a damned liar" "idiotic claim" "You're a damned liar" "You're a damned liar" "stop being a whiny little girl"

Reason, logic and thoughtfulness, not emotion. Yeah, right. Whatever, Pudge.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on January 31, 2014 10:18 AM
63. @60 - I might feel more optimistic about illegal immigration reform by the GOP if Boehner could be trusted to pick a select group to investigate Benghazi, but he has refused - it leads me to believe that he is showing bad faith. WTF is he doing ? Your counterarguments seem plausible, but thin on evidence - Steve King has had a lot of bad press, but he makes some valid points.. At this point, the untrustworthiness of Speaker Boehner is the reason for my opposition. I disagree with the premise of passing this legislation now - wait until next year when the House has a new GOP speaker who can be trusted.

IMO, Paul Ryan lacks political saavy on this topic, where he may be smart on budgets (he was also poor in a debate vs. Biden, which showed his lack of political saavy).

Posted by: KDS on January 31, 2014 05:32 PM
64. My pets are all neutered, just like the GOP.

Posted by: Independent Voter on February 1, 2014 12:33 PM
65. The GOP establishment looks like they are either neutered or corrupted. The Democrat/Statists establishment are bold face liars, corrupt, thuggish and proud of it.

Posted by: KDS on February 1, 2014 01:04 PM
66. In coming up with an illegal immigration policy, the big question is who is the House GOP representing ?




Heather McDonald wrote a detailed discussion not of Immigration reform but of ILLEGAL Immigration reform


Posted by: KDS on February 1, 2014 07:27 PM
67. Zatoichi: All that anger and frustration, so void of reason, logic and thoughtfulness

You seem to be talking about me, but you provide no examples, and it's not evident what you're referring to. Perhaps you think that me calling you a liar when you're lying is the evidence? Or maybe that I added the adjective "damned"? That's simply an expression of how bad a liar you're being (obviously I am not saying you are literally damned, that would be stupid). It's not about emotion, but emphasis. None of that supports the claim you are making here, that I can tell.


... only because you don't want to talk about unemployment insurance net incentives.

See, this is why I say you're a damned liar. I did talk about it. In detail. You're just lying. If you want to make the claim that I am not using reason and logic when I call you a damned liar, don't prove yourself to be a damned liar.


Reason, logic and thoughtfulness, not emotion. Like you?

Correct.


Reason, logic and thoughtfulness, not emotion. Yeah, right. Whatever, Pudge.

Yes.

This is very simple: you repeatedly told lies about me, even after you were repeatedly corrected. If you disagreed with the correction you could have directly rebutted it ... but you didn't. You just repeated the claims that were never backed up to begin with, and then repeatedly pointed out to be false.

So when I call you a damned liar, I am just being, frankly, purely observational.

And when I called you a whiny little girl, I was trying to get you to realize the fact that you are refusing to use reason and are going on pure emotion: you agree with what I say and then criticize me saying it, you pretend I am saying things I am not, all because of your personal feelings, and nothing at all to do with what I actually wrote. Maybe you don't like it, but I am not lacking reason or logic, and not going by emotion, when I say it.

And this is why you're no longer allowed to play here. You're incapable of being rational, and that's what I demand, after civility (and though you might think you're being civil, repeatedly misrepresenting me is the height of incivility).

Posted by: pudge on February 1, 2014 10:46 PM
68. KDS: In coming up with an illegal immigration policy, the big question is who is the House GOP representing ?

I could not care less. The big question to me is whether the policy is good. Nothing else matters to me.

And I didn't read that article past the subhead, which idiotically reads, Advocates of "comprehensive immigration reform" let ideology blind them to the dispiriting facts on the ground. I am such an advocate, but only because of the facts, and not because of ideology (except for American ideologies we all share about rule of law, welcoming law-abiding and productive immigrants, etc.).

OK, I decided to skim it a little more. I saw bold headers, and I am a sucker for those, so I saw "respect the law." I respect the law; so what does the author think?

Well, she thinks, "The rule of law ensures that like cases are treated alike and unlike cases distinguished. But if the immigration protesters have their way, someone who ignored all the procedures for legal entry will achieve the same status and benefits as someone who played by the rules."

The "but" should have, following it, something that is distinguished from what came before it. But it doesn't. There is nothing about committing a mere legal infraction that implies, in any way, that the infractor should never reach the same status as those who are not infractors.

Again, this is the legal equivalent of a speeding ticket. What respect for the rule of law implies is that we do not treat illegal immigrants as criminals -- since they are not -- and instead, we give them some sort of moderate fine, and maybe a delay in their attempts to gain permanent status and citizenship. And that's what the proposals for reform actually do!

Saying we should get "justice" for people who didn't break the law ... do we try to get "justice" for people who are late for work because they don't violate speeding laws? What does that even mean?

So yeah, I really am going to stop reading this article now.

I've found that most of the talk about respecting the law in regards to illegal immigrants simply misunderstands the fact that being an illegal immigrant isn't a crime, and incorrectly believe it should be, according to the law, punished harshly. Now granted, deportation can be seen as harsh, but legally speaking, it's not. It's a mere correction of the infraction: you are here illegally, so we are sending you back to your native country. That's not even a punishment in the eyes of the law. Punishment would be a fine or imprisonment. I wish I would just be sent home after getting caught speeding.

Obviously, in the real world, deportation is very serious, both because these folks do live in this country with all their stuff and their family and friends and jobs, and because reentering after deportation *is* a criminal offense.

But the point still stands: being an illegal immigrant is not a crime, and if we truly respect the rule of law, we wouldn't treat it like one.

The Republicans tried to change this under Bush, to criminalize being an illegal immigrant, and Bush talked them out of it, because it was logistically unworkable and politically damaging due to the massively increased penalties. The House accepted this and tried to amend the bill to remove the criminalization of being here illegally ... but the Democrats, and some Republicans, shot down the amendment.

Why Democrats, you ask? Because they knew it was politically damaging to Republicans, and that it would never become law, and since it was only voting down an amendment and not voting for the bill, it'd be harder to blame them for it. If only all of the Republicans realized how dumb the law was, we'd have a lot more Hispanics voting Republican today.

Posted by: pudge on February 1, 2014 11:02 PM
69. "Why Democrats, you ask? Because they knew it was politically damaging to Republicans, and that it would never become law, and since it was only voting down an amendment and not voting for the bill,"

There is more than semantics here and believe the Democrats are pushing for the Senate bill to become law - whether they think it will doesn't matter. There is a correct and an incorrect way to do illegal immigrant reform. The correct way involves securing the borders first - from what I have been reading, the GOP leadership is willing to relent on this. Fortunately, there is enough pushback from conservatives to not permit this to be put up for a vote in the House.


"it'd be harder to blame them for it. If only all of the Republicans realized how dumb the law was, we'd have a lot more Hispanics voting Republican today."

Fortunately, there is enough pushback from conservatives to not permit this. The problem is that Republican leadership are incapable of communicating this to the people and the media sure as hell won't because they believe the GOP to be evil and racist. Also, the Republicans don't have a reputation of being the stupid party for nothing - and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in elections, like in 2012. It's sad, pathetic, but true - the GOP clearly needs a makeover but that will take some time.

Now, I agree, they need to do something about illegal immigration policy after November and before the 2016 election. However, Obama will either veto or selectively not enforce any part of an immigration law he doesn't like, which is unconstitutional, but that's the way this poor excuse for a president operates. A new speaker of the House who is more saavy to communicating - Boehner is mediocre and he has a credibility problem - refusing to appoint a select committee to investigate Benghazi. It is important to address this issue along with reaching out to the Hispanic community in advance of 2016. They should probably consult Chris Christie who is innocent until proven guilty on how to effectively reach out to Hispanics.

Posted by: KDS on February 2, 2014 09:57 PM
70. KDS: There is more than semantics here and believe the Democrats are pushing for the Senate bill to become law - whether they think it will doesn't matter.

I think you're missing my point. I was talking about a Republican House immigration bill that the Democrats opposed.


There is a correct and an incorrect way to do illegal immigrant reform. The correct way involves securing the borders first

I don't agree at all, because a. border enforcement is not nearly as effective as employment enforcement, and b. I don't know that border enforcement is even reasonably plausible.


KDS: Obama will either veto or selectively not enforce any part of an immigration law he doesn't like, which is unconstitutional

No, it's not. The executive has inherent authority to decide what to enforce and when. We see this all the time in the legal system: it's called "prosecutorial discretion." The President has the same type of discretion throughout the executive branch. This is part of the checks and balances of a republican system.

And Obama knows this, which makes his lie to Hispanics -- that he does not have the discretion to stop deportations -- all the more galling.

Now, not doing what he has the authority to do is very different from doing what he has no authority to do. That's why his recess appointments were shot down, and why he is going to lose the idiotic case about giving subsidies for federal exchange insurance, when the law says it is only for state exchange insurance.

Posted by: pudge on February 3, 2014 06:26 AM
71. "I don't agree at all, because a. border enforcement is not nearly as effective as employment enforcement, and b. I don't know that border enforcement is even reasonably plausible."

Points taken and it depends how border enforcement is defined. Employment enforcement helps - my point has been all along how to get rid of amnesty, be it by enforcing employment, the border security or whatever means possible. I subscribe to Mickey Kaus (his column in the Daily Caller) here, although a Democrat is anti-illegal immigration amnesty and upfront about it.

He writes about how amnesty will go away - that is the main issue by which the GOP will ultimately sink or swim.
Re: Illegal Amnesty - The answer is that it won't necessarily succeed one of these days. Amnesty as we know it can go away, just like the guaranteed income. Here's my tentative simple, four step plan:
1. Block "Legalization First" bills in this Congress. We don't have to worry about Congress passing a bill that would take steps to prevent another illegal immigration wave and then only then offer legalization. Such an "enforcement first" approach-designed to prevent a repeat of 1986, when enforcement measures were dropped once amnesty took effect-is a deal-breaker for Democrats. Immigration activist Frank Sharry says "our bottom line ... is an inclusive, immediate path to legal status for the 11 million, and an achievable and clear path to eventual citizenship." Emphasis on "immediate."

2. Republicans hold on, and maybe even win the Senate in 2014-and hold on again in 2016. Sharry vows that if Republicans do block a bill, his side "will be kicking their ass" in 2014. But even pro-amnesty strategists like Mike Murphy concede that any ass-kicking is unlikely in the lower-turnout midterms. The presidential-year race of 2016 looks to be the test. It's entirely possible Republicans will nominate a candidate who embraces "legalization first," while House members continue to display their current "tepid" enthusiasm. If they do and they retain their numbers, it's unclear why even a President Rubio (let alone a President Clinton) would get them to change their minds.

3. Buy off the business lobby with increased visas and guestworkers, and split the amnesty lobby by legalizing some "DREAMers." The so-called "Dreamers"-illegals brought into the country "through no fault of their own" when they were young-provide the emotional engine of the amnesty movement. Businessmen who've soured on American workers provide the financial muscle. Take away these two forces and the coalition lobbying to legalize all illegals loses much of its juice. Yes, the Dreamers will then turn around (as they're already doing) and raise the specter that their parents (the ones who were at fault) will be deported. But it's not the same.

4. Beat a couple of Dem senators on the issue: Any chance that Democratic Senators will ever be less monolithic in support of amnesty? Well, they used to be pretty monolithic on the issue of gun control, until that stand started to cost them elections (and cost their presidential candidates key states like West Virginia). If Tom Cotton, an anti-amnesty leader, beats incumbent Dem Sen. Mark Pryor with the issue, other reddish-state Dems may abandon amnesty they way they flipped on gun control. (Other suggested candidates for reeducation: Manchin, Casey, Landrieu, Hagan, Heitkamp?) And you don't have to actually beat them to scare them.

Posted by: KDS on February 3, 2014 05:43 PM
72. 1. I understand the trepidation about "legalization first." But I think automatic triggers can solve this. If enforcement benchmarks are not met, the bill automatically and immediately reverts to something else. I want legalization (with penalties, therefore not amnesty) to be immediate, because it causes pain to millions of people right now, and we should alleviate that pain if possible.

2. Again, I just see no reason to wait for 2015 or 2017.

3. That's a given, though I don't think of it as "buying off" anyone. We should increase visas and guestworkers, because these people want to do jobs Americans aren't doing: they benefit our nation, significantly.

4. I don't know what will happen in elections, and as I stated, I don't care too much, not when it comes to what the right policy is. Of course, I usually want to use the right policy to beat Democratic candidates, and would always be looking for ways to do that. But I could never adopt a policy based on how well it will play, but only on whether I think it's right. So yes, let's beat Dems!

Posted by: pudge on February 4, 2014 08:51 AM
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