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quote from a Tea Partier

A local political talk-show (hosted by a fairly liberal guy) asked for "Tea Party supporters only, for the first ten minutes". One of these Tea Party callers just said "With Obamacare, we're racking up tremendous deficits. We need to go back to '08 levels of spending, and get this country back on the right track."

Depending on what he means by "'08 levels", he's either totally or only mostly living in fantasy land. Fiscal year 2007-2008 had by far the largest Federal deficit in history (up until then), after adjusting for inflation: $472 billion, in 1983 dollars (the next largest, at $372 billion, was 1942-1943). Fiscal year 2008-2009 almost doubled that already-record-breaking deficit, to $879 billion in 1983 dollars. The two years since have shown steadily decreasing deficits: at the current slope they'll be back down to 2007-2008 levels in 2011-2012, and back to a balanced budget in 2017-2018. "Going back to '08 levels" does not count as fiscal discipline, and it doesn't count as a cut.

The only way I can imagine someone suggesting that is if he assumed that Republican Presidents are fiscally responsible and Democrats aren't -- in other words, he's arguing from political ideology rather than facts.


I must take exception to your use of the term 'arguing' for that which this tea partier appears to be doing. This implies some sort of defensible position which one explores using facts and reasoned arguments. To quote the noted scholars Palin, Chapman, and Cleese on the matter:

Customer: An argument isn't just contradiction.

Arguer: It can be.

Customer: No, it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.

Arguer: No, it isn't.

Customer: Yes, it is! It's not just contradiction.

Arguer: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.

Customer: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'

Arguer: Yes, it is!

Customer: No, it isn't!

Customer: Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.


Arguer: No it isn't.

which is approximately where the cross-'party' conversations are at, annoyingly.

Edited at 2011-08-01 08:44 pm (UTC)