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ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,268
4
0
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
[ ... ]
And nice of you to ignore the fact that right now revenue is at an ALL time high, and this is after tax cuts. Bush cut taxes and the amount of money coming in is higher than it has ever been.

Obviously we are not going to agree on this topic.
More misdirection, I'm afraid. The FACT is that federal tax revenues increase virtually every year, and have consistently done so for at least the last 50 years. Even ignoring inflation, tax revenue is at an "ALL time high" almost every year, after tax cuts, after tax increases, after taxes are left unchanged. Why? Because the American economy keeps growing. The inevitable, obvious result is that tax revenues rise by default, interrupted only by major economic downturns (or extraordinarily incompetent tax policies).

The only meaningful question is how much did tax revenues increase compared to the increase we would have seen under different rates or policies? Unfortunately, that falls out of the realm of solid science and into the realm of partisan speculation. Just bear in mind, when someone spouts Pollyanna claims about how good tax cuts are for increasing federal revenue, he's speaking as a true believer, not as an objective observer.
Ok Bowfinger, read the following
Look at what the CBO predicted would happen to revenue and what actually happened after TAX cuts.
In 2003 proir to the tax cuts the CBO estimated that over 2 years $125 billion would be raised via capital-gains
After the 2003 tax cut the actual revenue was $151 billion... we cut tax rates and ended up with a LOT more money that we had expected before cutting taxes.
Next look at the 1997 capital gains tax cut, after cutting the tax rate by 28% we ended up with 11% more revenue than had been expected before the rate cut.
On the other side, the CBO made a estimation of revenue in 1992. In 1992 Clinton passed a HUGE tax increase, depite increasing taxes by 16-28 % we only saw 1% more money than what the government had expected before the tax increases.

January 2003, before the tax cut was enacted. Table 3-5 on page 60 in CBO?s Budget and Economic Outlook published in 2003 estimated that capital-gains tax liabilities would be $60 billion in 2004 and $65 billion in 2005, for a two-year total of $125 billion.

Now let?s move forward a year, to January 2004, after the capital-gains tax cut had been enacted. Table 4-4 on page 82 in CBO?s Budget and Economic Outlook of that year shows that the estimates for capital-gains tax liabilities had been lowered to $46 billion in 2004 and $52 billion in 2005, for a two-year total of $98 billion. Compare the original $125 billion total to the new $98 billion total, and we can infer that CBO was forecasting that the tax cut would cost the government $27 billion in revenues.

Those are the estimates. Now let?s see how things really turned out. Take a look at Table 4-4 on page 92 of the Budget and Economic Outlook released this week. You?ll see that actual liabilities from capital-gains taxes were $71 billion in 2004, and $80 billion in 2005, for a two-year total of $151 billion. So let?s do the math one more time: Subtract the originally estimated two-year liability of $125 billion from the actual liability of $151 billion, and you get a $26 billion upside surprise for the government. Yes, instead of costing the government $27 billion in revenues, the tax cuts actually earned the government $26 billion extra.
Finally
Using the same kind of analysis, we can see that attempts to raise tax revenues by raising tax rates simply doesn?t work. Consider the massive increase in personal income-tax rates imposed by President Clinton and a Democratic Congress in 1993. Compare actual total tax revenues for the four years from 1993 to 1996 to what had been estimated by CBO in 1992 before the tax hikes took effect. Despite increasing the top tax rate on incomes by 16 percent to 28 percent, actual revenues only beat the 1992 estimate by less than 1 percent.

So what led to the gusher of tax revenues in the late 1990s that helped to put the federal budget into surplus? Simple: It was the capital-gains tax cut engineered by a Republican Congress in 1997. Compare actual total tax revenues for the three years from 1997 to 1999 to what had been previously estimated by CBO in January 1997. Despite cutting the capital-gains tax rate by 28 percent, actual total revenues beat the 1997 estimate by more than 11 percent.
 

Narmer

Diamond Member
Aug 27, 2006
5,293
0
0
Originally posted by: loki8481
the longer we stay in iraq, the more terrorists we create. the more terrorists we create, the longer we stay in iraq.
Bingo. That's it. They really don't want a "solution." The cycle of death you mention keeps the lights on at the military industrial complexes and keeps the fear gauge at maximum. Leaving Iraq would be bad for fear-politics. I think people like ProfJohn are deluding themselves if they think for a second that Bush and Co. want Iraq to be some peaceful place. If it was, they'd just invade another country to get the muck we have in Iraq right now. Either way, American money keeps going into the defense agencies coffers.

If anything, this is a great time to invest in defense/security, even if it means death and destruction for those at the lowest level.

Rothschild once said that the best time to make money is when there's blood on the street. God Bless America.
 

slash196

Golden Member
Nov 1, 2004
1,549
0
0
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
[ ... ]
And nice of you to ignore the fact that right now revenue is at an ALL time high, and this is after tax cuts. Bush cut taxes and the amount of money coming in is higher than it has ever been.

Obviously we are not going to agree on this topic.
More misdirection, I'm afraid. The FACT is that federal tax revenues increase virtually every year, and have consistently done so for at least the last 50 years. Even ignoring inflation, tax revenue is at an "ALL time high" almost every year, after tax cuts, after tax increases, after taxes are left unchanged. Why? Because the American economy keeps growing. The inevitable, obvious result is that tax revenues rise by default, interrupted only by major economic downturns (or extraordinarily incompetent tax policies).

The only meaningful question is how much did tax revenues increase compared to the increase we would have seen under different rates or policies? Unfortunately, that falls out of the realm of solid science and into the realm of partisan speculation. Just bear in mind, when someone spouts Pollyanna claims about how good tax cuts are for increasing federal revenue, he's speaking as a true believer, not as an objective observer.
Ok Bowfinger, read the following
Look at what the CBO predicted would happen to revenue and what actually happened after TAX cuts.
In 2003 proir to the tax cuts the CBO estimated that over 2 years $125 billion would be raised via capital-gains
After the 2003 tax cut the actual revenue was $151 billion... we cut tax rates and ended up with a LOT more money that we had expected before cutting taxes.
Next look at the 1997 capital gains tax cut, after cutting the tax rate by 28% we ended up with 11% more revenue than had been expected before the rate cut.
On the other side, the CBO made a estimation of revenue in 1992. In 1992 Clinton passed a HUGE tax increase, depite increasing taxes by 16-28 % we only saw 1% more money than what the government had expected before the tax increases.

January 2003, before the tax cut was enacted. Table 3-5 on page 60 in CBO?s Budget and Economic Outlook published in 2003 estimated that capital-gains tax liabilities would be $60 billion in 2004 and $65 billion in 2005, for a two-year total of $125 billion.

Now let?s move forward a year, to January 2004, after the capital-gains tax cut had been enacted. Table 4-4 on page 82 in CBO?s Budget and Economic Outlook of that year shows that the estimates for capital-gains tax liabilities had been lowered to $46 billion in 2004 and $52 billion in 2005, for a two-year total of $98 billion. Compare the original $125 billion total to the new $98 billion total, and we can infer that CBO was forecasting that the tax cut would cost the government $27 billion in revenues.

Those are the estimates. Now let?s see how things really turned out. Take a look at Table 4-4 on page 92 of the Budget and Economic Outlook released this week. You?ll see that actual liabilities from capital-gains taxes were $71 billion in 2004, and $80 billion in 2005, for a two-year total of $151 billion. So let?s do the math one more time: Subtract the originally estimated two-year liability of $125 billion from the actual liability of $151 billion, and you get a $26 billion upside surprise for the government. Yes, instead of costing the government $27 billion in revenues, the tax cuts actually earned the government $26 billion extra.
Finally
Using the same kind of analysis, we can see that attempts to raise tax revenues by raising tax rates simply doesn?t work. Consider the massive increase in personal income-tax rates imposed by President Clinton and a Democratic Congress in 1993. Compare actual total tax revenues for the four years from 1993 to 1996 to what had been estimated by CBO in 1992 before the tax hikes took effect. Despite increasing the top tax rate on incomes by 16 percent to 28 percent, actual revenues only beat the 1992 estimate by less than 1 percent.

So what led to the gusher of tax revenues in the late 1990s that helped to put the federal budget into surplus? Simple: It was the capital-gains tax cut engineered by a Republican Congress in 1997. Compare actual total tax revenues for the three years from 1997 to 1999 to what had been previously estimated by CBO in January 1997. Despite cutting the capital-gains tax rate by 28 percent, actual total revenues beat the 1997 estimate by more than 11 percent.
Correlation =/= causation, despite how much people like to pretend they're the same thing they aren't.
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
[ ... ]
And nice of you to ignore the fact that right now revenue is at an ALL time high, and this is after tax cuts. Bush cut taxes and the amount of money coming in is higher than it has ever been.

Obviously we are not going to agree on this topic.
More misdirection, I'm afraid. The FACT is that federal tax revenues increase virtually every year, and have consistently done so for at least the last 50 years. Even ignoring inflation, tax revenue is at an "ALL time high" almost every year, after tax cuts, after tax increases, after taxes are left unchanged. Why? Because the American economy keeps growing. The inevitable, obvious result is that tax revenues rise by default, interrupted only by major economic downturns (or extraordinarily incompetent tax policies).

The only meaningful question is how much did tax revenues increase compared to the increase we would have seen under different rates or policies? Unfortunately, that falls out of the realm of solid science and into the realm of partisan speculation. Just bear in mind, when someone spouts Pollyanna claims about how good tax cuts are for increasing federal revenue, he's speaking as a true believer, not as an objective observer.
Ok Bowfinger, read the following
Look at what the CBO predicted would happen to revenue and what actually happened after TAX cuts.
In 2003 proir to the tax cuts the CBO estimated that over 2 years $125 billion would be raised via capital-gains
After the 2003 tax cut the actual revenue was $151 billion... we cut tax rates and ended up with a LOT more money that we had expected before cutting taxes.
Next look at the 1997 capital gains tax cut, after cutting the tax rate by 28% we ended up with 11% more revenue than had been expected before the rate cut.
On the other side, the CBO made a estimation of revenue in 1992. In 1992 Clinton passed a HUGE tax increase, depite increasing taxes by 16-28 % we only saw 1% more money than what the government had expected before the tax increases.

January 2003, before the tax cut was enacted. Table 3-5 on page 60 in CBO?s Budget and Economic Outlook published in 2003 estimated that capital-gains tax liabilities would be $60 billion in 2004 and $65 billion in 2005, for a two-year total of $125 billion.

Now let?s move forward a year, to January 2004, after the capital-gains tax cut had been enacted. Table 4-4 on page 82 in CBO?s Budget and Economic Outlook of that year shows that the estimates for capital-gains tax liabilities had been lowered to $46 billion in 2004 and $52 billion in 2005, for a two-year total of $98 billion. Compare the original $125 billion total to the new $98 billion total, and we can infer that CBO was forecasting that the tax cut would cost the government $27 billion in revenues.

Those are the estimates. Now let?s see how things really turned out. Take a look at Table 4-4 on page 92 of the Budget and Economic Outlook released this week. You?ll see that actual liabilities from capital-gains taxes were $71 billion in 2004, and $80 billion in 2005, for a two-year total of $151 billion. So let?s do the math one more time: Subtract the originally estimated two-year liability of $125 billion from the actual liability of $151 billion, and you get a $26 billion upside surprise for the government. Yes, instead of costing the government $27 billion in revenues, the tax cuts actually earned the government $26 billion extra.
Finally
Using the same kind of analysis, we can see that attempts to raise tax revenues by raising tax rates simply doesn?t work. Consider the massive increase in personal income-tax rates imposed by President Clinton and a Democratic Congress in 1993. Compare actual total tax revenues for the four years from 1993 to 1996 to what had been estimated by CBO in 1992 before the tax hikes took effect. Despite increasing the top tax rate on incomes by 16 percent to 28 percent, actual revenues only beat the 1992 estimate by less than 1 percent.

So what led to the gusher of tax revenues in the late 1990s that helped to put the federal budget into surplus? Simple: It was the capital-gains tax cut engineered by a Republican Congress in 1997. Compare actual total tax revenues for the three years from 1997 to 1999 to what had been previously estimated by CBO in January 1997. Despite cutting the capital-gains tax rate by 28 percent, actual total revenues beat the 1997 estimate by more than 11 percent.
I read it the first time. And? It is misdirection at best, partisan disinformation at worst. Consider:
  1. Correlation does not prove causation. There are literally thousands of factors affecting federal revenues.
  2. CBO projections are regularly off by significant margins.
  3. Cherry-picked, out-of-context data is a poor foundation for meaningful analysis. It is, however, an ideal tool for propaganda.
  4. Your frequent use of uncredited quotes undermines your credibility, especially when there seems to be a pattern of consistently concealing your use of partisan sources -- the same sorts of sources you glibly dismiss from others. You further aggravate this by mixing such unattributed quotes with unrelated attributed quotes, thus deceiving your audience into assuming all quotes are from the same source.
For example, the first time you presented the quotes above, you opened with a quote you attributed to a WSJ op-ed by Laffer. You then included the quotes above, neglecting to mention they came from a different source. Laffer is bad enough, of course. His "free lunch" theories have been largely discredited by nonpartisan economists. The quotes above are even less credible, however, coming from Donald Luskin's National Review Online column: The 2003 Tax Cut on Capital Gains Entirely Paid for Itself. (This is the third or fourth time I've noticed you posting material from NRO without credit, by the way. Not cool.)

Anyway, though Luskin is a darling of the Bush faithful, he is more widely known for his misuse of statistics, his supply-side evangelism, and his obsessive attacks on Paul Krugman. He is hardly an objective source. His opinions about a connection between tax cuts and increased federal tax revenue are neither surprising nor especially convincing. See points 1-3 above.

The fact remains federal tax revenues increase virtually every year, after tax cuts, after tax increases, after taxes are left unchanged. Pollyanna claims about tax cuts increasing federal revenue are expressions of faith, not fact.

 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,268
4
0
Bowfinger, I am sorry I was not clearer in my first post when I mentioned the source of my first quote as the WSJ and didn't not change the source for the rest, my mistake, didn't even think about till reading your post.

I usually do not list my sourcing of NRO because certain people will attack the source without looking at the data. (note your own attacks on Luskin) Plus his statements are backed up by actual data, they are not pure opinions.

Now what you said about taxes going up for both tax increases and decreases is true.

Sadly proving that the Laffer curve works is very hard to do, because the only way to really prove it works it to prove that tax cuts are the source of increased economic activity. Since we know that the economy will go up and down on its own, proving that one thing has an effect on it is very hard to say the least.

Therefore, the only way we are left to try and show that the Laffer curve works is to look at every major tax cut in recent history and look at the increase in revenue that followed, as was done in the post.

Best two example:
Tax increase hardly increases tax revenue: Despite increasing the top tax rate on incomes by 16 percent to 28 percent, actual revenues only beat the 1992 estimate by less than 1 percent
Tax cuts result in much greater income: Despite cutting the capital-gains tax rate by 28 percent, actual total revenues beat the 1997 estimate by more than 11 percent.

Now having spent some time looking at Clinton?s budget projections from 1995 to 2000 I came to the conclusion that the CBO projections tended to be WAY below actual revenue during that time (in 1995 CBO projected 1.7 trillion for 2000 actual revenue was over 2 trillion) So if we assume that the CBO is almost always low in its projections, during times of economic growth, then why did we only exceed projections by 1% after the tax increases, but exceeded them by 11% after a tax decrease? Whether tax revenue beat projections by 11% because of tax cuts or other reasons is up for debate.

Now maybe someone can spend a few days going over charts and trying to figure out how far off CBO numbers tend to be and try to draw a correlation, but it certainly is not going to be me :)
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,991
2
0
I thought the Laffer curve was totally discredited long ago among responsable economists----but bad ideas never seem to die.---and can be dredged up at the drop of a hat.

The Laffer curve didn't work---and after 8 years of defecit spending under Reagan---GHB had to raise taxes---12 years of fiscal sanity followed---and went in a year under GWB.
Read my lips---the Laffer curve is booooooooooooogus.

I can hardly wait Prof John---what revisionist history fairy tale will you tell us next?
 

daniel49

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2005
4,814
0
71
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Our criminal attack on Iraq was a tremendous evil and a blunder of stupendous proportions. This war has done sever and perhaps irreparable damage to the United States. The cost for this war should be the extinction of the Republican party as a political force in America. No party has ever been so deeply destructive to our nation. It is no wonder they try to call everybody who thinks differently than they treasonous. They know who they are. The Republican party might as well be an Al Quaeda cell.
when will you lefties get tired of that lame excuse? Saddam invaded kuwait and was driven from the country and forced to surrender.
Absolute and unconditional surrender. He then proceeded to violate that surrender 14 times, so it was never an illegal war as the first violation was breaking the treaty of surrender that he had signed. Making the invasion completely legal.
So lets can that herring and save it for seaworld.
You may argue many reasons against the war but illegality is not one of them.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
344
126
when will you lefties get tired of that lame excuse?
When will you righties stop begging questions with lies?

It was and is an illegal war. That's a seperate question from whether the war was a good idea.

The US signed the UN charter, which limits the power to make war to very specific situations, none of which Iraq met. There's a reason Kofi Annan said the war is illegal (and a reason the UN has not passed a resolution saying so: the US's veto makes the resolution impossible).

Putting aside the fact that the Bush administration foolishly green-lighted Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, Saddam did not 'unconditionally surrender'; he agreed to terms with the US which were put into U. N. Resolution 687: to quote one article summarizing them, "a cease-fire, an extension of sanctions against Iraq, and a UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) concerning weapons of mass destruction within Iraq. Also on March 3, Allied military commanders and Iraqi military commanders met at a captured Iraqi airbase, at Safwan, to arrange terms of a formal cease-fire."

Clearly, over a decade later, Iraq was a sovereign nation and the US lacked any legal authority for invading it. There's a reason George W. Bush wanted a second reslution from the UN authorizing the use of force in an invasion; and he did not get that resolution.

You may argue many reasons for the war, but legality is not one of them.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,991
2
0
To Craig234,

GWB did not get a definite no from the UN---but still got a basic if you feel froggie and do it by yourself its OK from the UN---so arguing the war is totally illegal is also revisionist history.

But history tells us---you can't pander to power crazy types---give em and inch and they take a mile.

Fortunately I very much doubt the UN will be so foolish next time---and will give GWB that definite no he needs---but an over stretched military also does the same thing.---or the US would have invaded Iran already.

But its also interesting that Kerry voted for the congressional authorization of a gulf of Tonkin type reolution---for the stated reason of giving our President international options and clout---which explains the I voted for before I voted aagainst it he never was able to explain to the American public.

But Kerry---who made his bones protesting against the VietNam war---should have learned the lessons of history---and flunked the test.---not many people remember the gulf of tonkin resolution---but it was the sole basis for what became the undeclaired war in VietNam.
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
Originally posted by: Lemon law
GWB did not get a definite no from the UN---but still got a basic if you feel froggie and do it by yourself its OK from the UN---so arguing the war is totally illegal is also revisionist history. ...
I don't remember that. Have a link by chance?
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,874
4,203
126
It seems that few have realized the only "win" in Iraq is the same as that in Vietnam. We'll eventually have "peace with honor", and withdraw just like the Brits did after WWI and as we did in VN. Iraq will continue to be attacked and it's people beaten to a bloody pulp as long as we are there and the US sponsored govt. remains in power. Eventually Iraq will fragment and the once fairly secular society will become run by those who support the Muslim extremists. Once ruled by the Islamacists the killings will decrease, but then we have more terrorist producing "factories".

Great work Bush.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,991
2
0
I still stand on the point that the UN did not give GWB a definite no---and watched with no real protests as GWB
and the coalition of the billing invaded Iraq---if any care to post a link refuting my if you feel froggie---I will read it.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
344
126
To Craig234,

GWB did not get a definite no from the UN---but still got a basic if you feel froggie and do it by yourself its OK from the UN---so arguing the war is totally illegal is also revisionist history.
That's not correct. First, it's not the UN's business to pass things saying 'no, you can't go start an aggressive war in violation of the UN charter'; the charter bans it, and the UN passes resolutions granting *approval* for wars - an appproval they did not pass for Iraq.

This is why the administration wanted the second resolution for the war to be approved - and they discussed it with the other permanent security council members who can veto the resolution. They found that the other members would veto approval for war, and then decided not to submit the resolution to get voted down.

That's the history, easily available. And as I said, the UN didn't then condemn the war because the US could clearly veto any resolution condemning it. This is a basic limitation on the role the UN can play with its permanent members, why it's usually doing things about nations where the five permanent members will agree.

The one exception was the Korean War, where an accident of history had the Soviets, who would have vetoed it, boycotting over admission of Communist China, so they were absent.


But history tells us---you can't pander to power crazy types---give em and inch and they take a mile.
You didn't mean that to apply to Bush and Cheney, did you. But of course, it's incorrect to use a simplistic maxim like that to abandon the many effective ways to prevent war; it's a saying that more often will be used to justify unnecessary war.

Fortunately I very much doubt the UN will be so foolish next time---and will give GWB that definite no he needs---but an over stretched military also does the same thing.---or the US would have invaded Iran already.
First, the UN does not give 'no's' to war that way generally in advance; second, they will not do so here because the UN can veto it; and third, the situation with Iran is different, for many reasons. One of them is that the ruling group there is in some jeopardy from within; if we do little or nothing, they may fall and then our president can take credit for it.

But its also interesting that Kerry voted for the congressional authorization of a gulf of Tonkin type reolution---for the stated reason of giving our President international options and clout---which explains the I voted for before I voted aagainst it he never was able to explain to the American public.
Kerry gave an excellent, clear, reasonable speech where he made it very clear that the vote was conditioned on promises from the Bush administration that it was *not* a vote authorizing war, without important things to happen before war that the Bush administration promised but did not do.

I agree with you that he was unable to educate the American people about his vote, though.

I suggest reading his speech at the time of his vote:

Kerry's Speech

...over the course of the last 6 weeks some of the strongest and most thoughtful questioning of our Nation's Iraq policy has come from what some observers would say are unlikely sources: Senators like CHUCK HAGEL and DICK LUGAR, former Bush Administration national security experts including Brent Scowcroft and James Baker, and distinguished military voices including General Shalikashvili. They are asking the tough questions which must be answered before--and not after--you commit a nation to a course that may well lead to war...

Writing in the New York Times in early September, I argued that the American people would never accept the legitimacy of this war or give their consent to it unless the administration first presented detailed evidence of the threat of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and proved that it had exhausted all other options to protect our national security. I laid out a series of steps that the administration must take for the legitimacy of our cause and our ultimate success in Iraq--seek the advice and approval of Congress after laying out the evidence and making the case, and work with our allies to seek full enforcement of the existing cease-fire agreement while simultaneously offering Iraq a clear ultimatum: accept rigorous inspections without negotiation or compromise and without condition...

I want to underscore that this administration began this debate with a resolution that granted exceedingly broad authority to the President to use force. I regret that some in the Congress rushed so quickly to support it. I would have opposed it. It gave the President the authority to use force not only to enforce all of the U.N. resolutions as a cause of war, but also to produce regime change in Iraq, and to restore international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region. It made no mention of the President's efforts at the United Nations or the need to build multilateral support for whatever course of action we ultimately would take.

I am pleased that our pressure, and the questions we have asked, and the criticisms that have been raised publicly, the debate in our democracy has pushed this administration to adopt important changes, both in language as well as in the promises that they make.

The revised White House text, which we will vote on, limits the grant of authority to the President to the use of force only with respect to Iraq. It does not empower him to use force throughout the Persian Gulf region. It authorizes the President to use Armed Forces to defend the ``national security'' of the United States--a power most of us believe he already has under the Constitution as Commander in Chief. And it empowers him to enforce all ``relevant'' Security Council resolutions related to Iraq. None of those resolutions or, for that matter, any of the other Security Council resolutions demanding Iraqi compliance with its international obligations, calls for a regime change.

In recent days, the administration has gone further. They are defining what "relevant" U.N. Security Council resolutions mean. When Secretary Powell testified before our committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, on September 26, he was asked what specific U.N. Security Council resolutions the United States would go to war to enforce. His response was clear: the resolutions dealing with weapons of mass destruction and the disarmament of Iraq. In fact, when asked about compliance with other U.N. resolutions which do not deal with weapons of mass destruction, the Secretary said: The President has not linked authority to go to war to any of those elements.

When asked why the resolution sent by the President to Congress requested authority to enforce all the resolutions with which Iraq had not complied, the Secretary told the committee: That's the way the resolution is currently worded, but we all know, I think, that the major problem, the offense, what the President is focused on and the danger to us and to the world are the weapons of mass destruction.

In his speech on Monday night, President Bush confirmed what Secretary Powell told the committee. In the clearest presentation to date, the President laid out a strong, comprehensive, and compelling argument why Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs are a threat to the United States and the international community. The President said: "Saddam Hussein must disarm himself, or, for the sake of peace, we will lead a coalition to disarm him."

This statement left no doubt that the casus belli for the United States will be Iraq's failure to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction.

I would have preferred that the President agree to the approach drafted by Senators Biden and Lugar because that resolution would authorize the use of force for the explicit purpose of disarming Iraq and countering the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

The Biden-Lugar resolution also acknowledges the importance of the President's efforts at the United Nations. It would require the President, before exercising the authority granted in the resolution, to send a determination to Congress that the United States tried to seek a new Security Council resolution or that the threat posed by Iraq's WMD is so great he must act absent a new resolution--a power, incidentally, that the President of the United States always has.

I believe this approach would have provided greater clarity to the American people about the reason for going to war and the specific grant of authority. I think it would have been a better way to do this. But it does not change the bottom line of what we are voting for.

The administration, unwisely, in my view, rejected the Biden-Lugar approach. But, perhaps as a nod to the sponsors, it did agree to a determination requirement on the status of its efforts at the United Nations. That is now embodied in the White House text...

As the President made clear earlier this week, "Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable." It means "America speaks with one voice."

Let me be clear, the vote I will give to the President is for one reason and one reason only: To disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, if we cannot accomplish that objective through new, tough weapons inspections in joint concert with our allies....

Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm him by force, if we ever exhaust those other options, as the President has promised, but I will not support a unilateral U.S. war against Iraq unless that threat is imminent and the multilateral effort has not proven possible under any circumstances.

n voting to grant the President the authority, I am not giving him carte blanche to run roughshod over every country that poses or may pose some kind of potential threat to the United States. Every nation has the right to act preemptively, if it faces an imminent and grave threat, for its self-defense under the standards of law. The threat we face today with Iraq does not meet that test yet. I emphasize "yet." Yes, it is grave because of the deadliness of Saddam Hussein's arsenal and the very high probability that he might use these weapons one day if not disarmed. But it is not imminent, and no one in the CIA, no intelligence briefing we have had suggests it is imminent. None of our intelligence reports suggest that he is about to launch an attack.

The argument for going to war against Iraq is rooted in enforcement of the international community's demand that he disarm. It is not rooted in the doctrine of preemption. Nor is the grant of authority in this resolution an acknowledgment that Congress accepts or agrees with the President's new strategic doctrine of preemption. Just the opposite. This resolution clearly limits the authority given to the President to use force in Iraq, and Iraq only, and for the specific purpose of defending the United States against the threat posed by Iraq and enforcing relevant Security Council resolutions.

If the administration's initiatives at the United Nations are real and sincere, other nations are more likely to invest, to stand behind our efforts to force Iraq to disarm, be it through a new, rigorous, no-nonsense program of inspection, or if necessary, through the use of force...

The international community's support will be critical because we will not be able to rebuild Iraq singlehandedly. We will lack the credibility and the expertise and the capacity.
The purpose of the resolution was clearly to give the president leverage to force Saddam to allow inspections, by giving him the option to use for if Saddam refused. It worked.

Saddam allowed inspections. By February 2003, the UN team was well underway on inspections and reported to the UN that Iraq was providing sufficient cooperation for the inspections, that force was unjustified over the issue, and that the inspections would complete within a few months.

Instead, the Bush administration said the war would start and the inspectors were not allowed to complete the inspections.

That was the betrayal of the resolution, the Congress, the American people by Bush.

It made clear that the administration had acted in bad faith in saying that the use of force would only be used as a last resort if the inspections were not allowed.
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
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Originally posted by: Lemon law
I still stand on the point that the UN did not give GWB a definite no---and watched with no real protests as GWB
and the coalition of the billing invaded Iraq---if any care to post a link refuting my if you feel froggie---I will read it.
On the other hand, despite Bush's best efforts they sure didn't say yes either.

 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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To Craig234,

I wish to point out that I am talking about net effects---and you are talking specific details---but the Kerry yes vote on the resolution ended up being just one more vote for a gulf of tonkin type resolution---what ever private reservations Kerry may have later had---it gave Bush enough to use the overall resolution to the max.---and I understand the Kerry speech---but with the American sheeple---it went over like a lead balloon.

And if the neo-cons had their way---Bush would not even have bothered to discuss it with the UN---but Colin Powell insisted---and ended up being used and then discarded by the GWB administration.---so technically you are right---on its actual administration and the net effects---I am right.

GWB took this nation into an optional war---and could not have without a vague resolution---and the continued lesson is and remains for our legislators---don't give our president any wiggle room---and the recent bill on detainee rights is just another example---where the President got his way---and didn't get stopped .---and thereby just kicks the can down the road.---until some new scandal breaks over thexact same issue. And some new vague reform will pass---and until some entity acts---and gives a very definite no--this will be the technique for the forseeable future---and yes I am making a direct comparison to Hitler---who used the exact same tactics---and finally got called on it in Poland---and then a real war was needed to stop Hitler---who refused to take no for an answer.

But thereafter a direct competence comparison that fails---for the first two or three years
after Poland---Hitler was golden---everything he tried worked---and GWB and his merry band of neo-cons can't get the first things nailed down.---an overall competence question.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
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I wish to point out that I am talking about net effects---and you are talking specific details
You have to seperate the net effects which are Kerry's fault, and the net effects which are not. What if Kerry had voted just for the troops to be paid for at all - and Bush said that gave him justification for invading Iraq? Sure, if Kerry had not voted for the bill to have troops at all, Bush couldn't have sent them to Iraq - but the Iraq issue would be Bush's fault.

but the Kerry yes vote on the resolution ended up being just one more vote for a gulf of tonkin type resolution
It was not a Gulf of Tonkin type resolution. The bill did not authorize Bush to go to war with Iraq unless all efforts to deal with WMD - i.e., inspections - did not work. Bush broke the terms of the agreement, he violated the bill. That's not Kerry's fault - though he said later he would not again trust Bush to keep his word.

what ever private reservations Kerry may have later had
These are *not private* reservations - they are pointing out that Bush made a deal and broke it.

GWB took this nation into an optional war---and could not have without a vague resolution---and the continued lesson is and remains for our legislators---don't give our president any wiggle room
As Kerry said right in his speech, he fought for the bill you wanted which was less vague, less squiggle room - and with democrats in the minority, he lost, and they got this bill.

So, his choices were a yes or no vote. Should he have voted no?

Here's the thing. The info he had at the time was that it was very likely Saddam *did* have WMD in violation of the agreement, and that this did pose a threat that had to be dealt with.

He also was facing the fact that Saddam had refused inspectons. If he voted no, there was no way to get Saddam to agree to the inspections. So, was he to just vote no, and leave Saddam in power without inspections, free to acquire whatever WMD he wanted?

No, Kerry found that he could have a bill which pushed inspections, while the administration gave him assurances that it was not a vote for war unless Saddam refused the inspections. That was a reasonable position, and better than either giving Saddam the ability to ignore the agreement on WMD, or to vote for war.

Kerry did the right thing - and you are blaming him for Bush's breaking his word. It reminds me of how CA governor Gray Davis faced the crimes of Enron, and the Bush administration did everything they could to help Enron and prevent Davis from solving the problem - which led to the public blaming and recalling Davis, and replacing him with Arnold Schwarzeneggar, a friend of both the Bush administration - whose #1 contributor was Ken Lay - as well as a friend of Ken Lay himself - when Enron held a meeting with key supporters during the crisis, Schwarzeneggar was one of those invited and one of the few to attend the private meetings with Enron, before he was governor.

Kerry did the right thing. How could he have justified *assuming* Bush would break the agreement and giving Saddam a free hand to block inspections on that basis?

The blame lies with Bush, who broke the agreement.

You can fault Kerry for not better educating the public on this and allowing the republican misrepresentations to go so unanswered.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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To Craig234,

I agree with you that Kerry got suckered---and so for that matter did the entire legislative branch with Kerry just bearing a small part of the blame.

In fact I like how you made the case---too bad the American sheeple don't understand it.

But the fact is and remains---future legislators should learn their lessons----never never never pass a gulf of Tonkin type resolution---it always leads to bad results.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
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Lemon Law, I agree with your concerns, but unfortunately, the political process is designed to set up legislators for lesser of evils votes. When they can't trust the other side, the system becomes broken.

What if the republicans presented you with a bill saying that *if* the Iranians were proven to have a nuclear weapon and intent to use it against the US, then the US would be authorized to strike to prevent that?

Among other things, that bill would pretty much give the president only the right to do something he already has the right to do.

If you voted no, you would be saying that if Iran had a weapon they publically showed off, and they said it would be brought into the US on Dec 1 and detonated, you were against doing anything to stop them. Not a real good policy.

And if you voted yes, and then Bush invaded Iran exceeding the scope he was authorized for, based on trumped up claims they had a weapon they didn't, you could say that he had lied to you - but unless some branch with the authority to do something about it, and that's no other nation in the world militarily and only Congress domestically (not even the voters, since he's not up for election again) was willing, all you could do would be to say how wrong it was. You would be stuck between two pretty unacceptable choices. It's quite defensible for you to vote yes and then point out how he broke the agreement - the same situation Kerry was in. At some point it's up to the voters to hold them accountable; unfortunately, just voting no to all the bills would be politically disastrous, as in the example I mentioned, at least until there's a real track record they can't be trusted - and that's not where the country was at the time of the vote. They're a lot more there now.

Again - what if Kerry had taken your advice and voted no, and Saddam *did* have or obtain WMD, and continued to refuse inspections, and sold them to terrorists?

It was not a reasonable position for Kerry to take. He could not really defend the vote against letting Bush push inspections by saying he thought the president would lie.
 

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