Gitmo Gone?

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Breaking via the AP:

The Bush administration is nearing a decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and move the terror suspects there to military prisons elsewhere, The Associated Press has learned.

President Bush's national security and legal advisers are expected to discuss the move at the White House on Friday and, for the first time, it appears a consensus is developing, senior administration officials said Thursday.

The advisers will consider a new proposal to shut the center and transfer detainees to one or more Defense Department facilities, including the maximum security military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where they could face trial, said the officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing internal deliberations.

Mitt Romney's "Double Gitmo" plan just got a lot less likely.

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  1. But they told us that anyone who didn’t support keeping these guys at Guantanamo was supporting the terrorists.

    Wouldn’t this mean that Bush is supporting the terrorists?

  2. and Mitt and his staff worked tirelessly for months working out the physics and engineering of actually doubling the size of Guantanamo. It’s a damn shame.

  3. Mitt Romney’s “Double Gitmo” plan just got a lot less likely.

    ?Crear dos, tres, muchos Guant?namo!

  4. Levenworth is where the military originially wanted to put them. The circuit court that governers Kansas, loves the military. It would have prevented these dirtbags and their dirtbag lawyers from forum shopping. If Rumsfeld and especially Ganzalez would have had any brains that is what they would have done. They would have held article 5 tribunals followed by military commissions that followed the rules set at Nuremburg. Those rules are established international law and propegated by the UN. They also are very broad and allow conviction by documentary evidence alone and mere membership in organization declared to be criminal to be enough for convictions. Declare membership in the Taliban or Al Quada to be a crime, try the bastards and hang them. When the Amnisty International types pitched a fit, they could have thown it right back in their faces and explained how everything that happened was by established international law, with precident and with the endorsement of the UN. It is really pretty simple. But Gonzalez and Rumsfeld and by extension Bush were so fucking stupid about this they managed to completely fuck it up.

  5. John-

    I’m not sure I’m comfortable with everything you describe, but I’ll say this much: I’d be much more comfortable with a process that follows established precedents and traditions and structures, rather than “The Justice Department holds Amateur Hour and invents a new system on the fly, and the Decider gets to Decide who is held without any sort of trial.”

  6. Thoreau,

    Read the history of the Nuremburg trials. They didn’t screw around. They were not anything like is portrayed in the media. Yet, they are still the established international law for doing this kind of thing. The problem was Gonzalez and Rumsfeld were convinced that terrorism was some kind of special case, a new threat that needed a new paradigm. It didn’t. It is no different than any other war crime or piracy. Civilized Armies have been dealing with this kind of thing for 100s of years. There are rules and ways of doing things. The rules and ways are harsh, but that is the nature of warfare. They could have done it by the law and still gotten everything they wanted. Why the didn’t is beyond me.

  7. Yet, they are still the established international law for doing this kind of thing.

    Really, the most important thing about Nuremberg was that the vast majority of the world perceived the trials and punishment to be fair. Amazingly, the Bush Administration decided that in this case, it didn’t matter how anyone else in the world perceived this process, so long as the bad guys feared us. Their naivete still makes me shake my head in disbelief. All the more so because they seemed to think that those of us pushing for established legal norms were the naive ones.

  8. I think it was a mixture of arrogance and stupidity that caused them to ignore all of the harsh and lawful tools at their disposal. With a bit of power lust as well.

  9. Levenworth is where the military originially wanted to put them. The circuit court that governers Kansas, loves the military. It would have prevented these dirtbags and their dirtbag lawyers from forum shopping.

    Cause when the government assigns a case to one of its most servile courts it’s justice, not forum shopping….

    LOL

  10. “The Bush administration is nearing a decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and move the terror suspects there to military prisons elsewhere, The Associated Press has learned.”

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    “President Bush’s national security and legal advisers are expected to discuss the move at the White House on Friday and, for the first time, it appears a consensus is developing, senior administration officials said Thursday.”

    There’s always hope. Seeing is believing.

    “They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing internal deliberations.”

    They said it under a “condition of anonymity”? Why?

    …because they didn’t want anybody to know that they were “nearing a decision” and that it “appears a consensus is developing”?

    The next time someone under condition of anonymity states that a consensus may be developing regarding a decision that might be near, my reaction will probably be the same…

    Huh?!

  11. It’s just rumors.

    Amendment regarding Islam!

    http://tinyurl.com/2qj2nx

    A Proposed Constitutional Amendment

    Background and justification to Amendment 28

    Whereas Religion is defined as an institution dedicated to improving social conscience and promoting individual and societal spiritual growth in a way that is harmless to others not participating in or practicing the same;

    Whereas the United States of America was founded on the ideals of individual rights, including the individual right to practice ones religion of choice, or no religion, and that there would be no compulsion of religion, nor state sanctioned religion, nor a religious test for participation in the body politic;

    Whereas Islam includes a complete political and social structure, encompassed by its religious law, Sharia, that supersedes any civil law and that Islam mandates that no secular or democratic institutions are to be superior to Islamic law;

    Whereas Islam preaches that it and it alone is the true religion and that Islam will dominate the world and supplant all other religions and democratic institutions;

    Whereas Saudi Arabia, the spiritual home of Islam does not permit the practice of any other religion on its soil and even moderate Muslims states such as Turkey and Malaysia actively suppress other religions;

    Whereas Islam includes as its basic tenet the spread of the faith by any and all means necessary, including violent conquest of non-believers, and demands of its followers that they implement violent jihad (holy war) against those un-willing to convert or submit to Islam, including by deception and subversion of existing institutions;

    Whereas on 9/11/2001 19 Muslim hijackers acting in the name of Islam killed 3,000 Americans, and numerous other acts of terrorism have been directed at the American people around the world;

    Whereas representatives of Islam around the world including Osama Bin Laden (architect of 9/11), the government of Iran including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, HAMAS, Hezbollah, and other Islamic groups have declared jihad (war) on America, and regularly declare that America should cease to exist;

    Whereas there is no organized Islamic opposition to violent proponents of Islam;

    Therefore: Islam is not a religion, but a political ideology more akin to Fascism and totally in opposition to the ideals of freedom as described in the United States Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights.

    Be it resolved that the following Amendment to the Constitution be adopted:

    Article I

    The social/political/ideological system known around the world as Islam is not recognized in the United States as a religion.

    The practice of Islam is therefore not protected under the 1st Amendment as to freedom of religion and speech.

    Article II

    As representatives of Islam around the world have declared war, and committed acts of war, against the United States and its democratic allies around the world, Islam is hereby declared an enemy of the United States and its practice within the United States is now prohibited.

    Article III

    Immediately upon passage of this Amendment all Mosques, schools and Muslim places of worship and religious training are to be closed, converted to other uses, or destroyed. Proceeds from sales of such properties may be distributed to congregations of said places but full disclosure of all proceeds shall be made to an appropriate agency as determined by Congress. No compensation is to be offered by Federal or State agencies for losses on such properties however Federal funding is to be available for the demolishing of said structures if other disposition cannot be made.

    The preaching of Islam in Mosques, Schools, and other venues is prohibited. The subject of Islam may be taught in a post high school academic environment provided that instruction include discussion of Islams history of violence, conquest, and its ongoing war on democratic and other non-Islamic values.

    The preaching or advocating of Islamic ideals of world domination, destruction of America and democratic institutions, jihad against Judaism, Christianity and other religions, and advocating the implementation of Sharia law shall in all cases be punishable by fines, imprisonment, deportation, and death as prescribed by Congress. Violent expressions of these and other Muslim goals, or the material support of those both in the United States and around the world who seek to advance these Islamic goals shall be punishable by death.

    Muslims will be denied the opportunity to immigrate to the United States.

    Article IV

    Nothing in this amendment shall be construed as authorizing the discrimination against, of violence upon, nor repudiation of the individual rights of those Americans professing to be Muslim. The individual right of conscience is sacrosanct and the practice of Islam within the privacy of home and self is strictly protected to the extent that such individuals do not violate the prohibitions described in Article III.

    “And thou shalt call him Ishmael and he will be a wildman. His hand against every man and every man’s hand against his.”

    Genesis 16:12

    “You aren’t going to like what comes after America.”

    Leonard Cohen

  12. John is engaging in wishful thinking. If we even started the process he describes, the worldwide media firestorm and international recriminations would have blown up one hundred times worse than anything that happened with Guantanamo. This isn’t 1946, the rest of the world isn’t prostrate, the enemy hasn’t lost the information war the way the Nazis did, and we now have lots of Americans more hostile to Bush than to bin Laden (there weren’t too many Goering fans out there in the good old days).

  13. Good. Maybe now Dave can stop obsessing about 9/11 conspiracies and the Iraq War and start actually covering the politics of the next election.

  14. and we now have lots of Americans more hostile to Bush than to bin Laden (there weren’t too many Goering fans out there in the good old days).

    You’re doing an excellent job of winning the War on Strawmen, srp.

    Speaking as somebody who absolutely detests George Bush, somebody who would jump for joy if Bush were impeached and convicted, I can also say without any reservation that if George Bush marched through Manhattan bearing Bin Laden’s head on a pike I would cheer until my throat was raw. And then I’d high five George Bush.

    Of course, that would only happen if Bush actually made it a priority to get Bin Laden.

    But yes, I hate Bin Laden far more than I could ever hate Bush.

    Underdog-

    You’ve posted that big long off-topic screed at least twice now. You aren’t by any chance friends with this guy, are you?

  15. thoreau,

    I hate to say it, but to be honest I would have to say my hatred for Bush is currently stronger than my hatred for bin Laden.

    Part of that might be the “near enemy vs. far enemy” meme that characterizes radical Islam as well. Part of it might be because I feel betrayed by Bush, whereas I knew bin Laden was a rotten character from the first time I heard of him.

    It’s easy to say, Osama is evil while Bush is merely sincerely mistaken. But can you really, honestly say that bin Laden’s actions have resulted in more harm to our country than Bush’s? That’s a terrible question to even ask, and I’m afraid the answer is more terrible still.

  16. SRP,

    Yes there would have been a firestorm. But there wasn’t anyway. The way you win the information war is to be consistent and firm. If Bush had just constantly repeated “norms of international law” and “Geneva Conventions”, he would be in a lot better shape. The sad fact is that the people at office of legal counsel to the President and DOJ didn’t know shit about international law. So, they assumed that following it would have produced bad results. That is not true. If they had gotten their understanding of international law from somewhere besides 60 minutes and the New York Times, they would have known what that the standards for a military tribunal are pretty freaking low. They would have known that the due process protections given by the Convention are pretty minimal. They basically managed to completely fuck up and discredit a system that been perfected over the last 150 years.

  17. Poor Romney.

  18. Mitt Romney’s “Double Gitmo” plan just got a lot less likely.

    Dave, I hate to shill for Big Arithmetic, but double zero is still zero. So doubling Gitmo actually would get a lot easier after this plan is implemented.

  19. Civilized Armies have been dealing with this kind of thing for 100s of years.-John

    civilized armies?

    Isn’t that an oxymoron?

  20. Underdog, you are sad human being. even sadder than leonard cohen.

    I hope you’ll find happiness in your life.

    Maybe it’ll be a muslim girl you’ll liberate and reform or something.

    But I guess somebody has to make crap up to fuel this war and your types are doing your job. Good luck, I hope you’ll at least personaly get the spoils of the war eventually.

    Religion is a psychological disorder.

  21. /sarcasm on

    Um yeah ’cause the other Abrahamic delusions don’t have any laws commanding death for nonsense do they?

    /sarcasm off

    WTF is wrong with these nuts?

    Oh, religion, nm.

  22. If y’all are teeing off on John ’cause he thinks the Bush Administration, rather than freelancing, should have followed precedent, then I really don’t get it.

  23. Many of the suppositions in that Amendment thingy are just plain wrong. And your suggestion that we should amend the Constitution so as to discriminate against certain Americans is downright un-American.

    “Religion is a psychological disorder.”

    I hope the word “bigot” comes back into fashion.

  24. John, because I think you make interesting points I’m blogging your comment. Click on my name for a link to the place where I blog.

  25. f y’all are teeing off on John ’cause he thinks the Bush Administration, rather than freelancing, should have followed precedent, then I really don’t get it.Ken

    No, I just don’t much care for Nuremburg as an exemplar.

    With war, the victor gets to make the rules.

    The allies were never tried for bombing Dresden, or nuking Japan.

    Many of those in Guatonemo, by many accouts, were hapless individuals picked up because they were fingered by blood enemies.

    The Taliban itself, while certainly cruel by Western standards, fits into Afghani culture. It is not at all clear that we exhausted all diplomatic options to get Bin Laden before we invaded. So far, we have NOT gotten Bin Laden. And the Karzai regime, while in some ways more enlightened than the Taliban, is so corrupt that it has lost its credibility in most of the non urban regions of Afghanistan.

    I do not relish the idea of hanging all those that John seems to relish.

    Beyond that, I have a serious problem with the idea that nation states are civilized, and that
    warfare between states can even be called civilized.

  26. >>>>But I guess somebody has to make crap up to fuel this war and your types are doing your job. Good luck, I hope you’ll at least personaly get the spoils of the war eventually.

  27. By some error I couldn’t paste my comment so I’ll speak in a later folder.

  28. Error?

    or

    Divine intervention?

    Maybe I’m giving up my deism. Maybe there is a god who can, like, do stuff.

  29. that if George Bush marched through Manhattan bearing Bin Laden’s head on a pike I would cheer until my throat was raw. And then I’d high five George Bush.-Thoreau

    I would be happy he is dead, but without a change to a libertarian foreign policy of non-intervention, I would realize that just like a dead drug lord, Bin Laden’s death only means someone else will take his place.

    Your scenario just seems too over the top ROMAN to me. Maybe we should capture him alive, and hold a TRIUMPH for George Bush, and garrot him on Pennsylvania Av.

    Ben Franklin would approve, ne ce que pas?

  30. libertree-

    Bin Laden certainly isn’t the beginning and end of the problem. But you have to make a point of getting guys who take out 3,000+ people, 2 embassies, 2 skyscrapers, 4 airplanes, a chunk of the Pentagon, and a chunk of a Navy ship.

  31. So, basically, the President, Vice President, Attorney General, and former Secretary of Defense are all waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy to John’s right on the rights and judicial process that should extended to accused terrorists.

    Wow.

  32. John,

    “Why the didn’t is beyond me.”

    Perhaps because the administration deliberately set out to exploit the post-9/11 fear of terrorism to carry out massive power grabs in the legal, political, global, and constitutional spheres.

  33. Bad business that bin Laden is still alive.

    U.S. troops picked up a radio off a dead fighter at Tora Bora, and heard bin Laden on the other end, apologizing to his troops for leading them to death and defeat.

    And then he walked away, because Rummy wanted to prove a point about fighting wars, and Bush wanted to prove a point about not having to listen to anybody.

    Bad business, and it’s going to end in tears for us.

  34. “””The sad fact is that the people at office of legal counsel to the President and DOJ didn’t know shit about international law. So, they assumed that following it would have produced bad results.”””

    They know international law, but believe they can ignore it when they feel justified. It’s part of their modus operandi.

    Cheney’s office is claiming he’s not part of the executive branch to avoid an executive order. They have no shame

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070622/ap_on_go_pr_wh/cheney_secrecy;_ylt=AuYqLuzOBohFA4LQF3HOKcqWwvIE

  35. Underdog, you forgot the article about making Muslims wear a yellow crescent on their clothing at all times!

  36. “The Americans will always do the right thing… after they’ve exhausted all the alternatives.”
    ~Winston Churchill

  37. joe,

    You are far more sympathetic to libertarians than you will ever admit, and John is not really as right-wing as he comes across. Both of you knee-jerk to everything, but y’all are probably closer than not on more issues than either of you will admit. Stop the flirtatious fighting already. We love you both, but we wish you stop this “blue vs red” charade. You two end up dominating too many threads with that crap.

  38. thoreau,

    If you’re comparing body counts and property damage, bin Laden has a long way to go to catch up to Bush. Just because the latter did his thing under the flag of a nation doesn’t excuse it.

  39. I can certainly understand Nuremburg-style trials for Al Qaeda leadership. I don’t see why they’re necessary, since regular criminal trials would have almost certainly gotten the job done, but I can certainly understand the impulse.

    But for run of the mill Taliban guys? And a significant percentage of the guys at Guantanamo are just that. The Taliban’s big crime is that they refused to turn over bin Laden when he was demanded. We have refused to turn over terrorists that Cuba wants – does that mean that individual GI’s should be captured and tried for war crimes?

    Don’t get me wrong – I supported taking military action against Afghanistan, in order to facilitate going in and TAKING bin Laden. But I don’t consider the mere fact that the Taliban refused to cooperate with our request a war crime and don’t see why some dumbass captured manning a foxhole in Afghanistan should be considered a war criminal.

    The worst that can be said about them is that their kit didn’t satisfy the “uniform” requirements of the Conventions, but even that is kind of a stretch. If they could be easily identified as Taliban operatives by some means – occupying a fixed military position, membership in an identifiable unit, any kind of minor insignia at all, etc. – then they weren’t really breaking the laws of war. After all, they couldn’t have been trying too hard to conceal their identity as members of a fighting force if we were able to find them and engage them on a unit level.

  40. TrickyVic,

    Apparently, his claim is that since the VP is also President of the Senate, his office is not wholly in the executive branch, and thus he’s not subject to the President’s authority. Of course, he’s also insisted that he’s not subject to Congress’ authority, so it would seem he thinks he’s literally above the law.

    BTW, the White House is denying this story.

  41. Dave, I hate to shill for Big Arithmetic, but double zero is still zero. So doubling Gitmo actually would get a lot easier after this plan is implemented.

    This is, however, going to play merry hell with Dennis Kucinich’s “Divide by Gitmo” plan.

  42. “This story” being the closing of Guantanamo, not the Cheney controversy.

  43. Jake Boone,

    I’m not sure which would be worse, that or “Gitmo divided by Gitmo”, or even “Gitmo to the Gitmo power”.

  44. I can certainly understand Nuremburg-style trials for Al Qaeda leadership.

    And unlike the Western Allies at Nuremburg, we won’t have to bring in jurists from the Soviet Union to provide their unique perspective on the rule of law (honed at the Show Trials), since we already have a Department of Justice imbued with the spirit of Soviet Jurisprudence.

  45. highnumber,

    If I was actually the knee-jerk partisan you contend, I wouldn’t have such a strong record of being right.

  46. Stop the flirtatious fighting already. We love you both, but we wish you stop this “blue vs red” charade. You two end up dominating too many threads with that crap.

    I think joe and John should tape a big white line down the middle of each thread, and they each have to stay on their own side. If it’s good enough for Joanie Loves Chachi, it’s good enough for me.

  47. BTW, the White House is denying this story.

    Now that the denials are issued I reckon it’s time to start the countdown clock on closing time, eh.

    I think the only open question is where to start it at.

    Man, I feel like a kid with a new toy with that “quotes” thingummy. I suppose the thrill will wear off eventually.

  48. JOE, PARTISAN? SURE, HE PRAISES THE REPUBLICAN PARTY EVERY CHANCE HE GETS, BUT THE URKOBOLD WOULDN’T CALL THAT PARTISAN. PARTISAN IS A GUY RUNNING AROUND THE BALKANS SHOOTING NAZIS.

    SOON, WHEN ZOD RAISES THE WHIP OF STATE, ALL SUCH DISTINCTIONS WILL BE MEANINGLESS, ANYWAY.

  49. I wouldn’t have such a strong record of being right.

    I’m afraid your record of being “right” exists largely in your own mind.

    I say largely because their are things where you and I agree.

    And you do realize that your only right if you agree with me, don’t you?

    Everyone else realizes that, don’t you?

    🙂

  50. All I’m saying is, the things I say that get me accused of partisanship keep turning into “everybody knows that” 6-24 months later.

  51. sumtimes me not tipe so gud.

    But I do know the difference between “their” and “there”. Really, I do.

    It’s just that sumtiems my fingrz don’t find thuh rite kees.

  52. joe,

    That’s one of your comments that those who don’t like you will hold against you. I’ve seen your knee jerk plenty of times. One trait that you and John share is that you both have trouble backtracking when you are wrong. This is quite a trivial example of this, to be sure, but I recall a thread about the Dixie Chicks where you were trying to make the case about how rootsy their most recent album was. It was far from it. It was slick, verging on 70s style California country-rock, but for some reason you got it in your head that it was old-school country. You wouldn’t back down. Why? I don’t know, but you took a stand on this trivial issue and wouldn’t admit you had no idea, despite the fact that you apparently would not know old-school country if it laid down in your bed and jerked you off while feeding you haggis fritters.
    Anyway, what I’m saying is don’t act like you’re Captain Correct. We all make mistakes (well, NOT the Urkobold), be humble and admit it once in a while, ya big lug.

  53. I don’t care what those who don’t like me think about me, highnumber.

    I’m not saying I’m alway right, just that dismissing my observations as partisan is a bad idea.

    I can’t help it that one party has been a lot more correct than the other for several years now when analyzing issues of import.

    The certainty that they must always be equally bad and equally wrong is just as much of a prejudice as the certainty that only one can be right. I make my judgements without respect to party. I can’t help it that correct judgements keep ending up closer to one party’s arguments than the other’s.

  54. All right, joe. You’re not listening to me. I totally agree that the Repubs suck. Lots of people were correct compared to them. THat’s like saying, “I totally outsmarted that kid with Down’s Syndrome. It was sweet.”

  55. joe,

    On what specific issues of import has your party been proven correct? I might give you Iraq, but even there, most of your party’s leaders voted for the war (whatever their rationalizations are now).

    I’m not saying that the Repubs or John have been correct more than you, but you make an awfully strong statement there, Cassandra.

  56. Keep in mind that I don’t think joe’s too much of a partisan; he does seem to disagree with the typical Democrat position on unrestricted eminent domain and gun control, for instance.

  57. Dammit, High#

    you’re still pumped about the one-on-one hoops you played with little Jimmy. You made Matt Dillon in “Something About Mary” look like a nice guy.

    And that smack you talked! Man, we had to look some of those words up!

  58. crimethink,

    I’m not claiming that the Democratic Party as a whole has a great record, just that I do, and that one party has a better record than the other.

    But on other issues, off the top of my head, there’s global warming, the effect of the Bush tax cuts on the deficit, the Medicare Part D system being wasteful and cumbersome, government spying, Valerie Plame being undercover, and the Gitmo/rendition apparatus.

    And “Iraq” really should be broken down into the specific issues of contention: did the
    WMD threat justify immediate action? Would Americans be greeted as liberators? Could we impose a democracy on a hostile nation? Would shifting resources to Iraq come at the cost of our efforts against bin Laden? Were there enough troops to pacify the country? Would the war cause an increase in terrorism? Would the war cause democratic revolutions and reforms throughout the region? Was Saddam acting with Al Qaeda? Were we using torture? Is there an insurgency? Is the insurgency on its last legs? Are things getting better in Iraq, or is the media giving us a wrong impression? Is there a civil war? Will the surge work? And on and on and on.

  59. Thank you, crimethink.

    I’m definitely more of an ideologue than a partisan.

  60. Where do John and Joe stand on the drug war?

  61. Bin Laden certainly isn’t the beginning and end of the problem. But you have to make a point of getting guys who take out 3,000+ people, 2 embassies, 2 skyscrapers, 4 airplanes, a chunk of the Pentagon, and a chunk of a Navy ship.-thoreau.

    Granted, he is a bad actor.

    But, there is that little issue of why WE are over there with the battleship in the first place, and our support for corrupt Arab regimes, and our continued meddling for Israel-now supporting Fatah over Hamas…

    In other words, carrying his head on a pike or garroting him after a TRIUMPH is Soooooo ROMAN
    EMPIRE!

  62. I’m agin it, kwais. I think John is, too.

    libertree,

    Quite right. He should be treated like a common criminal.

  63. the effect of the Bush tax cuts on the deficit

    WARNING!: Possible threadjack.

    This may be picking nits, but the tax cuts have greatly increased revenues to the treasury, just as predicted.

    I believe several monthly all time records where set this year and that the deficit is narrowing.

    The problem has been on the spending side by Congress and I fully blame the congressional Republican leadership.

  64. “the tax cuts have greatly increased revenues to the treasury, just as predicted.”

    Untrue! Revenues increased as the economy expanded. Simply assuming that the economy would not have expanded absent the tax cuts is an irrational denial of the business cycle.

    The only sense in which your statement is true is in regards to short-term profit taking in response to capital gains cuts, which reflect only a time-shift in the payment of captial gains taxes, not actual changes in overall revenue.

  65. But yes, the deficit is narrowing with the economic recovery.

    Nonetheless, I remember Bush’s assurances that the tax cuts would not lead to deficits, even if there was a recession.

  66. Well, I don’t suppose the out-of-control spending had anything to do with our deficits. The economy, by and large, is running along despite government action, not because of it, but the government can certainly affect things with tax cuts, muckin’ around with the monetary supply, and spending like it’s the end of the friggin’ world.

    Frankly, the less money–and power–in the government’s hands, the better.

  67. Pro Libertate,

    Of course spending has to do with the size of the deficit, as did the reduction in tax revenue resulting from the recession. The portion of the deficts in 2002-03 that were caused by the tax cuts was 25% – that is, the deficits would have been 25% lower if the tax cuts had never happened.

  68. joe,

    Here in Florida, the state is working on reforming property taxes. This is because we citizens have been screaming for three years about the HUGE windfall the state and local governments have received due to the giant spike in home prices.

    What’s the big deal? Well, the government has this strange attitude that the increase is its right, and that the benchmark should be today, not three years ago. It’s only the we’re-angry-enough-to-vote-you-out-of-office public that’s even putting this issue on the table.

    In other words, I have no sympathy for arguments that the government has more right to our money than we do. Give it back by reducing taxes. Find a way to spend less. Why the latter point is so impossible is beyond me, but it’s certainly a disease shared by both major parties. The more money that people have to invest, spend, save, etc., the better off this country is.

  69. Untrue! Revenues increased as the economy expanded.

    And that is what Laffer predicted over 20 years ago. By lowering taxes, you would encourage investment, and over the long term, You would collect more revenue than you would had you not lowered taxes.

    I agree with you Joe, the deficits of 2002-03 were partially due to the tax cuts. It’s over the long term where you make up the shortfall and them some.

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