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Wed Feb 29, 2012, 05:34 PM

I shut down a winger today with facts I showed him how to research

I won't go into the circumstances, but this guy wanted to find out where he could get info to refute what someone was saying about the country having zero debt when Clinton left office. He said he knows its been decades since the country had no national debt. I told him that he was right, that we did have debt when Clinton left office but what I think the folks meant was that we were on track to pay off the debt when Clinton left office.

SOOOOO... not being one to miss an opportunity.... I showed him how to use Google to research things. We found http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm, which shows in on September 30, 2000 the country had $5.7 trillion in debt. He said "I knew it!" I said, of course you're right! (heh! heh!) I then said, Ok, well lookee here... Clinton left with the $5.7 trillion and when Bush left it was $10 trillion. Gee! He said, you mean it doubled under Bush? I said, "sure looks like it!" (Heh! Heh!) After pondering a bit HE says, "I'll bet it was the wars." I said, exactly, they were never funded and paid for. I also mentioned the $1 trillion for Medicare Part D that was never funded and paid for. He's kinda quiet now. The figures were only good through 2010, but they show $13.6 trillion in 2010. He said well, it's $15 trillion now under Obama. I said, yeah, that's what they say.

Then I said, let's go look back some more. I then took him to http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo4.htm. I said, "Lookee here!" When Reagan took office in 1980 (using the 9/30/79 figure), the debt was $826 billion. And look here... when Bush I finally left office in 1992, the debt was $4 trillion. He said, "you mean they ran it up that much?" "Hmmm... sure looks like it to me!" I also showed him how the debt was $4 trillion when Clinton took office in 1993 (9/30/92 figure). I said, "I didn't know this (heh! heh!). The debt only increased about $1.5 trillion under Clinton." After a long pause he just says, "Well somebody needs to do something about it. We can't... blah, blah, blah...." I just said, "I dunno... but it just looks to me that here's a lot of info on who NOT to vote for." I also told him simply that debt is not a bad thing. I told him businesses do it all the time. It's called OPM or Other People's Money. I said with interest rates practically nothing, it's better to borrow than to print money and cause inflation. He didn't snap to the fact we are printing money but I was ready to explain how the Fed has it under control by buying back debt. I left him with the same puzzled look dogs have when they cock their head to the side and look confused about something they don't understand. In his case it is something contrary to what he believed due to watching Fox and listening to Rush, et al. I'll see him again in a few days after he has some time to digest and sleep on all this info he had no idea about.

It was beautiful! Isn't the Internet great!

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply I shut down a winger today with facts I showed him how to research (Original post)
Gman Feb 2012 OP
csziggy Feb 2012 #1
Gman Feb 2012 #5
mercuryblues Feb 2012 #2
Solomon Feb 2012 #7
freshwest Feb 2012 #14
arcane1 Feb 2012 #3
nenagh Feb 2012 #4
LiberalAndProud Feb 2012 #6
Gman Feb 2012 #8
freshwest Feb 2012 #15
abelenkpe Feb 2012 #9
southernyankeebelle Feb 2012 #10
Gman Feb 2012 #12
southernyankeebelle Feb 2012 #16
greenman3610 Feb 2012 #11
Gman Feb 2012 #13
Justice wanted Feb 2012 #17
Ilsa Feb 2012 #18
thesquanderer Feb 2012 #19
bluestate10 Feb 2012 #20
BlancheSplanchnik Mar 2012 #21
Quantess Mar 2012 #22
shcrane71 Mar 2012 #23

Response to Gman (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 05:40 PM

1. You went above and beyond - You gave him not just facts

But the ability to check facts and the incentive to THINK about them.

I hope he appreciates this as his world view shifts.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 05:44 PM

5. I had to. It was too perfect!

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Response to Gman (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 05:40 PM

2. You hold out so much hope

He will phone into Rush with these facts and Rush will tell him it is a liberal plot to make the repubs look bad. He will then move on to how Obama made raygun increase the debt by threatening to sick the black panthers on him.

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Response to mercuryblues (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 05:52 PM

7. i agree. his enlightenment wont last a minute.

He just find somebody on the internet saying what he wants to hear and then he'll be in the pink again.

If he can't use the deficit as a reason to vote rep. h e'll just leave that one and find another one.

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Response to mercuryblues (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 06:40 PM

14. LOL!!! I'm sure Rush Wind Bag will do just that...

Last edited Thu Mar 1, 2012, 12:37 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Gman (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 05:41 PM

3. Teaching a wingnut how to fish :)

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Response to Gman (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 05:43 PM

4. You are amazing.. Great story... Helping to change one mind at a time....

And your teaching technique, excellent.. . Thank you for the story...

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Response to Gman (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 05:46 PM

6. I think I love you.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 05:52 PM

8. ..

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Response to Gman (Reply #8)


Response to Gman (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 05:56 PM

9. good job! nt

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Response to Gman (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 06:02 PM

10. You did good. The thing is you didn't make him look stupid. You showed him the facts.

 

Who knows maybe he'll vote for Obama.

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 06:09 PM

12. I'm not a teacher, but I've done a lot of training in different environments before

and the way I do it is show them how to find the answer themselves and help them along to their own conclusions with the info they found. You don't always get an opportunity this perfect.

Like Rachel Maddow says, one is entitled to his/her own opinion, but they're not entitled to their own facts.

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Response to Gman (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 08:03 PM

16. Your right on.

 

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Response to Gman (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 06:04 PM

11. he'll switch the subject to gay marriage.

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Response to greenman3610 (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 06:30 PM

13. He did later go off about Clinton "desecrating" the Oval Office

And recounted stories he had about Clinton in Arkansas. Since it was just "us guys" and he was a bit of a hell raiser himself in younger days, I said, "yeah, but don't you know what a blast it would have been to go chasing women and partying with him?". He started laughing and just said, "Yeah..."

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Response to Gman (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 08:08 PM

17. awesome

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Response to Gman (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 08:18 PM

18. Congratulations! You have led someone

into the light! Let's hope he stops listening to Rushbo and pays attention to facts, not lies.

You have the patience of a saint.

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Response to Gman (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 09:40 PM

19. sources of Bush debt

Yes, unfunded wars, unfunded medicare part D, but don't forget, TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH...

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Response to Gman (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 09:46 PM

20. Most people that I know that vote republican don't perform comparative analysis.

And all of them seem to think that yelling is winning an argument.

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Response to Gman (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 09:24 AM

21. I love this story!

love your natural ability to teach!!

Usually I can be respectful if the person is teachable, like this guy was with you---you did such a great job!!

When it's someone screaming, spewing crazy sewage---that's a different matter. I don't know what to do then---other than walk away.

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Response to Gman (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 10:57 AM

22. Well done!

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Response to Gman (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 05:38 PM

23. I just learned a lot myself. My question is why did the credit markets dry up for the small

business owners during the recession. I understand that we probably had too much easy money, but it seems many good people were punished and driven out-of-business by tightening up lending.

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