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Breaking the “Fiscal Cliff” Gridlock without Compromising the Principles of Either Side
Engineering Thinking ^ | 11-10-12

Posted on 11/10/2012 8:27:49 AM PST by Etpa

The "fiscal cliff" crisis is here. Wouldn't it be great if the White House and Congress could solve this crisis together, without having to compromise the principles of either side? Sound impossible? Not really; engineers achieve such magic all the time. Here's how.

(Excerpt) Read more at wp.me ...


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: competition; compromise; fiscalcliff

1 posted on 11/10/2012 8:27:59 AM PST by Etpa
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To: Etpa

“Principles of Either Side”??

The GOP principle is “Were not quite as bad as the other guys. Yet”.


2 posted on 11/10/2012 8:34:12 AM PST by all the best (`~!)
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To: all the best

He has the aces....His pen and the Senate. He can let the Senate kill it and no blame falls on him. The guy isn’t wise...and we’re the ones who suffer.


3 posted on 11/10/2012 8:45:29 AM PST by Sacajaweau (r)
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To: Etpa

Why would we consider any offer from the other side unless it was better than the default - better than the “fiscal cliff”. As harmful to the economy as the expiration of the “Bush tax cuts” might be, I am skeptical that a newly empowered Obama will offer anything remotely close to the moderate budget cuts in the scheduled sequestration. We should use the sequestration as a baseline. If the Democrats don’t like a particular cut in federal spending, they can propose a different cut that is more acceptable to both sides. I’m not terribly picky where they cut, as long as the cuts are deep enough. The truth is that the scheduled cuts are nowhere near as deep as we need.

Cut the Education budget? I’m okay with making that zero and certainly with the scheduled cuts.

Cut FEMA? Fine. Keep it for multi-state disasters, like Sandy, that are genuinely beyond the scope that the affected state could handle, not for every blizzard, tornado, and other routine problem.

What about defense? That is one of the legitimate (can we use that word after Akin?) functions of government, but even defense has lots of room for cuts. Negotiate on where to cut defense, if the Democrats will negotiate in good faith, otherwise accept the new lower baseline of sequestration as a gift that will help in keeping spending lower next year.

We need to look open to compromise and clearly articulate our openness to compromise, but we should only consider a “compromise” that is better for America than the agreed sequestration.


4 posted on 11/10/2012 8:50:20 AM PST by Pollster1 (Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Etpa
With respect, wrong.

As both an engineer and business man ... you are absolutely right about competitive criticism.

That said, and in the same engineering spirit: I'm not sure you're an economist or student of social history or political history.

1 quarter (3 months) is like looking at intraday stock averages over the course of 15 minutes. It's meaningless.

The time it would take to measure a plan is far too long - maybe a year and a half ... and by that time, the program in place will have a flock of those who benefit by cottage industries around it's regulations, those profiting from distortions of the market, and so it will never be repealed, because by that time it will have a lobby.

We're past engineering solutions, business solutions, economic solutions. The reason is that this is not a presidency of making the US better, it's a presidency of installing an ideology that preserves it's perpetual existence.

These people aren't like us. They don't just have a 'worse plan.' The democrat party has a plan, but it is not related to the success or lack of success of the US. All you need to do is look at education unions, and that is a good model. No allegiance to anything other than self perpetuation.

Where you make your mistake (what you leave out) is that you are used to functioning in a business where the aim is relatively honest competition to be more efficient than your competitors. But your larger contextual assumption about that is wrong. That's not the game here.

You might as well be telling the kidnapper of your daughter that his tie would look better in a softer blue. It might be right, but it's not pertinent.

5 posted on 11/10/2012 8:55:33 AM PST by HannibalHamlinJr
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To: all the best

I thought the GOP’s main principle was “when the going gets tough, cave.”


6 posted on 11/10/2012 8:57:01 AM PST by Gil4 (Progressives - Trying to repeal the Law of Supply and Demand since 1848)
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To: Etpa

7 posted on 11/10/2012 9:01:14 AM PST by lowbridge (Joe Biden: "Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy.")
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To: HannibalHamlinJr
We're past engineering solutions, business solutions, economic solutions. The reason is that this is not a presidency of making the US better, it's a presidency of installing an ideology that preserves it's perpetual existence.

Correct. Anne Barnhart is doing a tax protest. This is misguided. The path would be for the producers to stop producing. That's our only leverage. When the collapse occurs, sooner than later; we can dictate terms from a position of strength.

They need us. We need to demonstrate how much, even if we temporarily share the pain.

Tough love is tough.

8 posted on 11/10/2012 9:04:47 AM PST by cicero2k
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To: HannibalHamlinJr

Am a student of history and economics, as well as engineering. You can easily measure a trend over three months. If you step back and consider the proposal, it challenges the Admin. to achieve easily measured results, using their best policies, otherwise the House gets to implement their policies. The competition would be great, and Americans love competition. At the very least, simply submitting such a proposal would have a salutary effect on the debate.


9 posted on 11/10/2012 9:10:02 AM PST by Etpa
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To: Etpa

Of course, this all assumes that Obama wants to fix the problem, not make it worse. I think that’s a faulty assumption.


10 posted on 11/10/2012 9:12:16 AM PST by rusty schucklefurd
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To: Pollster1

I’m not sure you fully read my post, or perhaps I did not make myself clear. The proposal is not a compromise, it is an offer to let the Admin have whatever they want, but only for 3 months. If their policies don’t achieve a positive trend line, the the House gets to implement their own policies. Competition, baby.


11 posted on 11/10/2012 9:13:23 AM PST by Etpa
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To: cicero2k

We are going to share the pain no matter what. Better it be quick and short-lived pain rather than a than this long drawn out nightmare.


12 posted on 11/10/2012 9:16:54 AM PST by formosa (consider me galt)
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To: Etpa

The house will approve ...with the following understandings...note to author, dims lie. It is what they do. It is what they are. That said, not a bad idea. The basic concept could be expanded to much legislation. Two problems, statutory instability due to long lead times for business and the dims will get what they want then sabotage the legislation in some manner. The dims are not interested in saving America. They are interested in changing America into a communist nation. Before the nation can be salvaged, the left must be defeated in detail. There can be no compromise with them.


13 posted on 11/10/2012 9:20:44 AM PST by Nuc 1.1 (Nuc 1 Liberals aren't Patriots. Remember 1789!)
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To: cicero2k
How does a producer strike work out for the Chicoms and the Norks? The government will not let us strike. The limbs in the population won't strike with us. You may argue that we are not the Chicoms or the Norks. Yet.
14 posted on 11/10/2012 9:28:43 AM PST by Nuc 1.1 (Nuc 1 Liberals aren't Patriots. Remember 1789!)
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To: rusty schucklefurd

If the Administration’s policies do not achieve a positive trend line, quickly, then the House gets to implement their alternative policies. There is no incentive, under the proposal, to allow things to get worse.


15 posted on 11/10/2012 9:31:02 AM PST by Etpa
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To: Nuc 1.1

Good points:
Statutory instability: This will be minimized, or even made moot, by the fact that performance must be quickly achieved. Although government may be a sloth, businesses are nimble and will adapt real time to implemented measures.
Sabotage: That’s why performance metrics must be “clear and unambiguous.”


16 posted on 11/10/2012 9:35:48 AM PST by Etpa
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To: Etpa
I have been reading about fiscal ‘deals’ with democrats that require spending cuts to match tax increases my entire life. The spending cuts never, ever materialize - never.
17 posted on 11/10/2012 9:37:16 AM PST by Old North State
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To: Etpa

As a trained engineer, I can say that the thesis demonstrates the limitations.of empiricism. It fails to account for evil. Marxist dogma. Etc.

But to return to the engineering-speak, the assumptions underlying the solution are flawed. Obama does not desire a positive outcome for the country. His guiding principle is the destruction of America. There is no.common ground, principled, practical, or otherwise.


18 posted on 11/10/2012 9:42:03 AM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: Old North State

The proposal is not about a typical government “deal,” the proposal is about implementing competition, without either side compromising. If the Admin’s policies don’t show a positive trend within 3 months, then the House gets to implement their policies. Fiscal Super Bowl!


19 posted on 11/10/2012 9:45:24 AM PST by Etpa
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To: Old North State
Reid is demanding another $2.4 trillion already -- what does that tell you about the prospect for fixing this?

They are doing so much damage at this point I half expect Obama to call Rick Perry and tell him to get out.

20 posted on 11/10/2012 9:45:44 AM PST by hopespringseternal
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

The thesis ensures that if performance is deliberately bad (e.g. due to evil intent) then the Administration’s policies are cancelled and the House’s policies are implemented.


21 posted on 11/10/2012 9:47:38 AM PST by Etpa
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To: Etpa
Right in spirit and theory, wrong in the real world.

You say "you can easily measure a trend in 3 months" ... of course you can, You can measure barometric pressure from one point every .000003 seconds. That doesn't make the measurement meaningful, especially when the scientist needs grants and the current available money says to err on the side of catastrophic climate change.

"it challenges the Admin. to achieve easily measured results,"

No, it gives them an opportunity to distort results.

"The competition would be great,"

No, it wouldn't exist. Please check that your verb is conditional, then you will understand. The goal of this presidency is precisely to eliminate competition, so that nothing can be measured. You're condition properly applies to 'measured' and not future time.

"and Americans love competition."

Evidently 50% do not. Or you could argue, 50% are not Americans. Either way, your solution won't work.

"At the very least, simply submitting such a proposal would have a salutary effect on the debate."

It's not a debate, you can salute or not. As I said, if you want to call it a debate, you are debating the kidnapper of your daughter over the color of his tie. He's using your ideas to distract the audience. He's not interested in winning on ideas. The better you're debate, the more he wins.

Do not confuse university student-hood for education. That's what marxists do, and I can tell you're not one. Be patient, your spirit is right, bu there are things you have to learn that will only come with time, not pell grants. Who is more and more funding your curriculum, and hence authoring it? Think about it.

You're living in reverse Treaudopia. Check out Mark Steyn. :-) Keep reading, but more importantly, keep observing.

22 posted on 11/10/2012 9:59:24 AM PST by HannibalHamlinJr
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To: HannibalHamlinJr

Respectfully, you are way off base in assuming that you know me. I am older and experienced, not some student. I have been running my own engineering business successfully for decades. I also have a broad and deep understanding of economics and politics.
I have proposed a radical idea (competition over a short time frame, when government is divided like it is now) that does not fit within the generally accepted framework of politics. I think that may be why it is hard for some to grasp.
You are correct in that there may be an attempt to cheat. That is why the originating legislation must be carefully constructed (engineers could help!) to ensure proper metrics.
With regard to eliminating competition, again it seems you did not read the entire post. If the Administration performs poorly, they lose their turn at bat, and the House gets to try its ideas.
May the best side win!


23 posted on 11/10/2012 10:43:38 AM PST by Etpa
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To: Etpa
Etpa said: "I also have a broad and deep understanding of economics and politics."

Could you provide an example of what the feedback would look like over three months?

Let's consider unemployment statistics. I truly believe that the positive results achieved over the last three months were probably due to manipulation by the Obama administration. We'll know that in a few months if we see an unexplainable downturn.

The administration has been pumping cash into the economy for years now and yet we see very little inflation; especially if we eliminate a few key items from the calculations. Does that mean we will never face inflation due to the money printing that has been going on? I don't think so. I think the slightest uptick in world economic activity will reveal just how many dollars have been created and we will see prices of some items skyrocket.

What economic process has a time constant so low and a correlation with government activity that is so high that one would be able to measure the effect of a government activity so quickly and with sufficient accuracy?

24 posted on 11/10/2012 11:07:51 AM PST by William Tell
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To: William Tell

Okay, now I agree with the general thrust of your concerns. Yes, the metrics would have to be carefully defined, to ensure no cheating.
However it’s important not to get bogged down in quantitative figures; this would increase the opportunity for cheating, plus would become confusing and boring to the electorate. A simple trend point should suffice; i.e. at the end of three months there has either been an improvement in unemployment and total debt or not. (Other economic markers could be used; this is where there would probably be strong debate during the development of the initial legislation. Such a debate imo would be a very good side effect).
Even if delays or other extraneous factors push the results in the wrong direction, this would result in the faulty measures being extended only for another three months. Eventually, (in much less than four years), the truth will become obvious. During that time the American people will be watching and learning.


25 posted on 11/10/2012 11:24:45 AM PST by Etpa
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To: Etpa

My cat is getting very very angry. Sorry I took you seriously for a couple posts.


26 posted on 11/10/2012 12:19:16 PM PST by HannibalHamlinJr
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To: HannibalHamlinJr

I’m not sure what you mean. I’d be happy to discuss further, or consider/debate any of your alternative ideas.


27 posted on 11/10/2012 12:54:42 PM PST by Etpa
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

I promise that I’m not stalking you:

Must watch, because I know you get this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cwir9QbLOeo


28 posted on 11/12/2012 7:28:19 PM PST by Zeneta (Why are so many people searching for something that has already found us ?)
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