[ExI] Warren Buffett is worried too and thinks Republicans are "asinine"

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Wed Oct 16 20:51:49 UTC 2013

On Oct 16, 2013 10:55 AM, "spike" <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> >…Seriously, the Tea Party is the problem here…
> So what happens if we elect a bunch more of them next fall?

I have to wonder: of the US citizens on this list, how many voted for a Tea
Party candidate last year, and how many are now represented by one.  I have
the strong impression that the answer to the latter is "zero" - meaning
that "we" didn't elect them.

I, for one, am represented by Anna Eshoo, a Democrat and very much not Tea
Party.  I, personally, have no direct ability to vote the Tea Party out.

> The TEA in Tea party is for Taxed Enough Already.  The Tea Party goal is
to keep taxes at their current rate and decrease government spending to
match what the government takes in.  Is this really so insane?

It might be sane if that was actually the likely effect of the legislation
they back.  Such is mostly not the case.  Tax breaks just for the rich and
substantial energy spent on disagreeing with Obama for the sake of
disagreeing with Obama are two of the most notable priorities they have
expressed in fact.  They don't actually want to lower your tax rate, but
just their own, even though they claim otherwise.

> >… The dollar is the international reserve currency…
> Why is that?  Should the international reserve currency be issued by a
government which has demonstrated that it cannot live with its own means?

Logic has far less to do with this than history.  It is, and it would take
a lot more work than has been done to replace it entirely with another
currency.  Whether or not another would be better is almost beside the
point...although, every specific viable alternative has its own problem.

Rather than think about it in the abstract, to truly answer your question
you must specifically compare the dollar vs. the euro, vs. the yuan, and so
on for each specific currency you'd propose to replace it.  Run out of
satisfactory options and you have completely answered "Why?": because,
damaged as it is, it's better than the existing alternatives, and
implementing a superior one in practice is far harder than you think,
mainly because gaining the world's trust is a very difficult and laborious
proposition.  See how little success Bitcoin has had so far, and that's far
and away the most widely accepted non-government-backed currency.

> I agree that it is, but I utterly fail to understand why it is.  Why are
other propositions dicier than the securities of a government which has
been spending way beyond its means for a long time, and defines as idiocy
the act of pointing out the obvious?

Because it does pay its debts, in the end, no matter how close to default
it has danced so far.  Just like it ultimately did this time, and will do
so again next time, with greater likelihood than the existing alternatives.

> Sometimes I get the feeling the world thinks that if the USA gets in
trouble it can nuke its way out of it.  We cannot nuke our way out of debt.

Technically we can.  We'd really rather not, but it is physically possible:
just kill everyone to whom a certain debt is owed, their inheritors, their
inheritors' inheritors, and so on until no one remains to claim the debt
(or more likely, the survivors relinquish all claim to the debt).  Some
people sincerely believe this is our backup plan, with not that many
alternatives between the status quo and resorting to that.
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