If Not Now…. When?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I watched the countdown to the potential government shutdown last week with a jaded eye. I can touch on what I wanted to happen in a bit, but what I was watching for was to see how much further we would watch the talking heads go in demonizing their opponents and using emotional rhetoric to sway public opinion. I must say, I was not disappointed. As was true with every major policy debate in the political spectrum over the last few years, each side spouted more nonsense than could be fathomed. It’s just proof to all of you: When you set the proper expectations for those in the political landscape, they are very capable of meeting or exceeding your expectations. And BF has the audacity to say that politicians can’t meet our expectations…

Let me first say that I was not afraid of a government shutdown. I almost welcomed it. Or at least I would have welcomed it if it had been a shutdown of the manner that people expected. If it had truly meant that the government agencies would shut down, I would have welcomed it. My reasoning is simple. I believe that any shutdown that had length to it, had it been a complete shutdown, would prove to many Americans how little a vast diminishment of government would actually impact their lives in a meaningful way. Nothing proves you don’t need government as much as you think you do as being forced for a little while to live without it it. As with so many of our fears, the fear of it happening is far worse than it actually happening.

Did you ever have the one thing that you were really afraid of for a very long time? Then there came a time when you had to confront that fear and you found that it was not nearly as horrible as you had imagined it in your own mind. Our mind has the capability to create worst case scenarios even where they are unfounded. It’s like refusing to try a new food because you just know that it is going to be disgusting, that it will make you gag. Then you for some reason are forced to eat it and you find that it is delicious. You feel foolish for allowing your unfounded fear to deny you having that great tasting dish for so long. Government is like that. A vast reduction in the size and scope of government is a scary thing, it seems impossible to comprehend it being a good thing. But if you are forced to it, I believe that you will find that it is far better you imagined it would be.

So I silently hoped that a real government shutdown would occur and that it would show many Americans how useless the government really is and how little they are needed. For the record, I truly believe that the politicians in Washington are well aware of this. And that is why they were willing to do anything to make sure it didn’t happen. Oh, they postured and pretended that they would let it happen, but there was no way they would follow through. They are petrified at the possibility that Americans may wake up one day and realize that we don’t need them. So in the end, they are willing to sacrifice ANY political stance in order to make sure that their political futures are assured. They can’t have us figuring out that we would be better off without them.

But before they “worked tirelessly to ensure that the American people were taken care of” (read as before they eventually struck a deal to save their own asses), both sides ramped up the emotional rhetoric and showed exactly how manipulative and disingenuous they are. The rhetoric around the looming government shutdown was every bit as toxic, and every bit as insane and dishonest, as the rhetoric preceding the passing of the health care bill. Here are some of the highlights and my thoughts on them.

These Are NOT the Guys Whose Paychecks You Want to Threaten

Military Pay

This was an attempt to infuse political pressure and rhetoric regarding the military into a debate about other issues. I have to be honest and tell you that I am mixed in my thoughts on it. First, as many of you can guess, I don’t like the idea of any of our soldiers not getting paid while they continue to perform their jobs. If you don’t have it set up so that they still get paid, then bring them home… NOW. This is not about whether you agree with what the soldiers are doing or not. It is merely about being compensated for services rendered. But bringing soldiers into the debate is a pure infusion of emotional appeal. It is taboo today to dislike the soldiers, even if you dislike what they are doing. “We support the troops even though we despise the wars,” is a staple in any speech made in public.

But invoking the plight of soldiers and seniors is an effective ploy, hence why the Republicans and Democrats both are prone to using it. In this case, where I heard it was initially from Republicans. A spokesman for John Boehner gave an interview stating, “If the White House rejects a sensible, one-week funding bill, they are significantly increasing the chances of the government shutdown that so many Washington Democrats are rooting for. And every soldier and senior who doesn’t get a check next week will know who to blame.”

But in the time since I first heard it, I have found that both sides are using the soldier aspect of this to stir up emotion. They simply differ on who is to blame. Infusing the plight of soldiers into the debate is a clear emotional ploy. And an effective one. After all, you don’t see a lot of politicians or news pundits decrying the disdain they have for the fact that government lawyers, IRS agents, or DMV personnel will be losing their paychecks. And why, because the average American doesn’t rally to the support of those folks. It isn’t “patriotic” to support the IRS or lawyers (sorry Buck), so there won’t be an outcry over their furlough.

But let’s be clear about one thing. If the military isn’t paid during a government shutdown, that is by a willful choice of the President and Congress. The military was paid during the 1995 shutdown. The President could issue an executive order ensuring that the military gets paid. Barring that, he could make happen what happened in 1995: He and Congress could pass legislation ensuring that the military gets paid in spite of a shutdown. If the military pay was as much of a concern for these talking heads as they claim, they could do something about it and take it off the table as an issue impacting negotiations. The fact that they are not doing so tells us just how far they are willing to go to play the political game.

DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

I won’t even try to summarize what she had to say. I will just let you experience it for yourself:

Wow. So now the debate over a budget is Republicans attempting to say that the citizens of Washington DC don’t count as people? And this is comparable to bombing innocent civilians? Allow me to say that I usually have found Mrs. Holmes Norton to be a pretty fair and even-keeled person. But after watching this video, I see that she intended to use the potential shutdown as a chance to make emotional appeals against the Republican party. But I will give her this: At least she isn’t lying like most are about the abortion issue. She comes right out and says that Washington DC is using taxpayer money to provide those services to women. Refreshing honesty in a time when the vast majority of people are outright lying in order to attempt to avoid bringing that issue to the table for discussion (because yes, Planned Parenthood IS using federal taxpayer money to pay for abortions).

Jesse Jackson

Next up we have one of the great nonsense speakers, Jesse Jackson. He perhaps says more things that make absolutely no sense than any “reputable” public figure this side of Glenn Beck. It felt really good to find that he didn’t let me down. I mean you have to have some things that you can count on in life. Take a listen:

You have to wonder if he is missing scheduled medication when he comes on and makes statements like these. So much of it was ridiculous nonsense. This is a re-fighting of the civil war on the the 150th anniversary of it. Followed up with a quick list of the top five progressive talking points about Republicans. And he ends with a statement that this is “state’s rights” versus “a more perfect union” and further adds that those who support the state’s rights side are anti civil rights. Quick tip for you Jesse, you race-baiting piece of trash, civil rights are guaranteed in the Constitution. Also in that document is a provision that indicates that state’s rights are supposed to be far more powerful than they are. Stop making everything about race.

Chuck Schumer

Oh we had the vaunted Democrat Chuck Schumer getting caught on tape giving everyone their marching orders on how to frame the GOP. He got caught telling them to frame everything as “extreme”. Speaking into a microphone that he didn’t know was open to reporters, he instructed Senators Boxer, Carper, Cardin, and Blumenthal to tell reporters that the GOP is refusing to negotiate and to make sure that they label the spending cuts as extreme. “I always use extreme, Schumer said. “That is what the caucus instructed me to use.”

“The main thrust is basically that we want to negotiate and we want to come up with a compromise but the Tea Party is pulling Boehner too far over to the right and so far over that there is no more fruitful negotiations,” Schumer said on the call. “The only way we can avoid a shutdown is for Boehner to come up with a reasonable compromise and not just listen to what the Tea Party wants. ”

Nothing like letting the American public in on what it is that you are going to frame the opposition as. Oddly, even knowing that the rhetoric prescribed by the caucus is an attempt to manipulate public opinion, there is still a sizable percentage of the far left that will pick it up and spout it like it is the gospel. No doubt Harry Reid had a hand in this strategy. After almost losing to the Tea Party in November, he claims to dismiss them while spending more time bashing them than he does Republicans.

If Not Now… When?

Add to the rhetoric above the overriding concept out there from both sides decrying the other as attempting to score political victories during a time of crisis. How about the following from none other than the man who’s chief of staff once said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”:

A few of my favorite moments from this video…

And we still don’t have a deal. Because some folks are attempting to inject politics into what should be a simple debate about how to pay our bills.

Did he really just say that? Did the world’s preeminent politician just stand up and decry the idea politics would be injected into a debate that is important for the American people? I want you to think about that for a minute. Think about the sheer gall that it takes to stand up there and make that statement. Wasn’t it politics, specifically reelection politics, that caused the Congress completely controlled by your party to choose to NOT pass this budget last year when you were supposed to? Are politics not injected into nearly every single “simple debate” ever brought forth from that body of inept leadership we call Washington DC? I can’t even begin to tell you how much his making that statement should tell all of us about the theater show masquerading as political leadership in America.

But you know what? Companies don’t like uncertainty and if they start seeing that we may have to shut down the government, that could halt momentum, right at the time when we need to build it up. All because of politics.

Remember a mere few months ago when we were debating extending the Bush tax cuts. The Republicans came out with their “uncertainty” points, such as John Boehner stating, “Right now, America’s employers are afraid to invest in an economy stalled by ‘stimulus’ spending and hamstrung by uncertainty.” And the Democrats lambasted them for that statement. Democrats, fueled by “politics” decided that the businesses struggling with uncertainty was a farce to be ignored.

And now the President, when politically expedient for his party, brings forth the exact same argument.

I do not want to see Washington’s politics stand in the way of America’s progress

None of us do, Mr. Hypocrite, none of us do. Unfortunately, Washington’s politics have been standing in the way of America’s progress for decades and decades. In fact I would go out on a limb and say that, with very, very few exceptions, nearly everything that Washington politicians do stands in the way of American progress. You mention the American family while you simultaneously rip the other side of the aisle. If this is a family, you and your counterparts on the other side of the aisle have done all you can to create a divide and make the family as dysfunctional as possible. And you have done it all because it plays into allowing you jackasses to remain in power.

There are times to have those discussions, but that time is not now.

Well I say if not now, when? I have grown weary of politicians attempting to feign concern for the American people. Pretending that they are reasonable, and are willing to have a serious talk about resolving issues, but not now. Not during this particular fight. So let’s interpret this statement for what it really means: I don’t agree with the other party’s position, and rather than debate it on its merits, I would rather claim that my interest in the well being of the American people overrides these issues and therefore we should take care of them and then discuss those topics later. And by later, I mean we should never attempt to tackle them.

And that is the DC dance. Well, I have news for President Obama and every other politician in Washington DC. There is no later. The time has come for us to start having the tough conversations. The time has come for us to have an honest discussion (something they are unfortunately not capable of) about what we can and cannot afford for the future. The debt has grown too large. The annual deficit is a joke. You idiots in Washington are spending at rates that are simply incomprehensible. You have grown the government too large, expanded its scope far past the realm of rationality.

I really liked what Ray said yesterday when he espoused that the first question we should ask is whether the same results can be achieved without using my tax dollars to do so. I, of course, would go further. Planned Parenthood should be cut off. So should NPR. Add to that the National Endowment for the Arts. Anything that is not vital to the safety and security of the country should be terminated from the federal budget. ALL OF IT.

No, We Haven't

I have to be honest at this point and say that I would dramatically cut nearly every single aspect of the national budget, both what is termed discretionary and what is not. Nothing should be taboo. Social Security and Welfare, Medicare and Defense spending. I think that the GOP plan is far too meager. It equated to roughly $620 Billion a year when out annual shortfall is $1.5 Trillion. So at a minimum I see the GOP plan as coming up roughly $900 Billion short of necessity. The first goal should be nothing short of a balanced budget within two years. And once that is accomplished we should start looking to find a way to decrease spending even further in order to pay off our debts. I will have another article coming soon that will talk about this concept further.

But for now, my message to Washington DC is that there is no later. There is NOW. The time has come to start having some real discussions about economic policy and social policy in America. Even if I had some sort of ultra far left epiphany and actually got it in my heart to believe that Charlie and his pals were correct in believing that the morals of society dictate some form of government handout, the reality is that it simply cannot happen. It is not fiscally possible without completely ruining the economy and driving the final nail in the coffin of what America strove to be.

We cannot afford to wait. We can no longer push these discussions off to the next generation. If we do, it will be too late. We are bordering on too late already. You may think that TRUE fiscal conservatism is crazy talk espoused by some Tea Party nut jobs or Libertarian fruitcakes, but it is the one and only way to make this country rise from the fiscal grave. Tough questions. Tough answers. And personal accountability. Those are the only things that can bring us back from the brink.

And no one is Washington has even a smidgeon of intent to do any of them. No one.

 

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Comments

  1. Good morning, USW….

    I did some pretty easy research some time ago that seems to match your article.

    Change that you can believe in: After four years of a Democratic Congress and two years of total democrat control, you have the following:

    Avg.. Retail price/gallon gas in U.S.
    Year 2009 – $1.83
    Year 2011 – $3.55
    69.6% increase in cost

    Crude oil, West TX Inter. (barrel)
    Year 2009 – $38.74
    Year 2011 – $91.38
    135.9% increase on cost

    Crude oil, European Brent (barrel)
    Year 2009 – $43.48
    Year 2011 – $99.02
    127.7% increase on cost.

    Corn, No.2 yellow, Central IL
    Year 2009 – $3.56
    Year 2011 – $6.33
    60.5% increase in cost.

    Soybeans, No. 1 yellow, IL
    Year 2009 – $9.66
    Year 2011 – $13.75
    78.1 % increase in cost.

    Sugar, cane, raw, world, lb. Fob
    Year 2009 – $13.37
    Year 2011 – $35.39
    42.3% increase in cost.

    Unemployment rate, non-farm, overall
    Year 2009 – 7.6%
    Year 2011 – 9.4%

    Unemployment rate, blacks
    Year 2009 – 12.6%
    Year 2011 – 15.8%

    Number of unemployed
    Year 2009 – 11,616,000
    Year 2011 – 14,485,000

    Number of fed. Employees, ex. Military (curr = 12/10 prelim)
    Year 2009 – 2,779,000
    Year 2011 – 2,840,000
    2.2 % increase.

    Real median household income
    Year 2009 – $50,112
    Year 2011 – $49,777
    -0.7% decrease

    Number of food stamp recipients
    Year 2009 – 31,983,716
    Year 2011 – 43,200,878
    35.1% increase

    Number of unemployment benefit recipients
    Year 2009 – 7,526,598
    Year 2011 – 9,193,838
    22.2 % increase

    Number of long-term unemployed
    Year 2009 – 2,600,000
    Year 2011 – 6,400,000
    146.2% increase

    Poverty rate, individuals
    Year 2009 – 13.2%
    Year 2011 – 14.3% ( Figures projected CBO)

    People in poverty in U.S.
    Year 2009 – 39,800,000
    Year 2011 – 43,600,000 ( Figires projected CBO )
    9.5% increase

    U.S. . Rank in Economic Freedom World Rankings
    Year 2009 – 5
    Year 2011 – 9

    Failed banks
    Year 2009 – 140
    Year 2011 – 164

    National debt, in trillions
    Year 2009 – $10,627
    Year 2010 – $14,052 (Year 2011 projected by CBO to be $15,512)

    Interesting non essential fact: In the last two years we have accumulated national debt at a rate more than 27 times as fast as during the rest of our entire nation’s history.. Over 27 times as fast. Metaphorically speaking, if you are driving in the right lane doing 65 MPH and a car rockets past you in the left lane. 27 times faster, it would be doing 7,555 MPH.

    Sources for above figures: (1) U.S. Energy Information Administration; (2) Wall Street Journal; (3) Bureau of Labor Statistics; (4) Census Bureau; (5) USDA; (6) U.S. Dept. Of Labor; (7) FHFA; (8) Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller; (9) RealtyTrac; (10) Heritage Foundation and WSJ; (11) The Conference Board; (12) FDIC; (13) Federal Reserve; (14) U.S. Treasury.

    As you noted…..f not now…when?

    • gmanfortruth says:

      But Colonel, It’s all Bush’s fault, remember? 🙂

      • that’s right, where are the 2008 numbers that are higher then the current numbers /sarcasm

    • Interesting facts Colonel. Obviously, some of these numbers point directly to the leadership players. Others are heavily influenced by actions outside of the US (gasoline prices for example).

      As for the pace of growing debt…. Cut them off. If the Congress once again raises the debt ceiling, they are going to force people to go postal.

  2. USWep

    So at a minimum I see the GOP plan as coming up roughly $900 Billion short of necessity. The first goal should be nothing short of a balanced budget within two years. And once that is accomplished we should start looking to find a way to decrease spending even further in order to pay off our debts. I will have another article coming soon that will talk about this concept further.

    Seriously? I mean “Seriously?”

    How do you believe you can do this?

    Did you not read the last four posts I made?

    How do you believe you can change 150 years of political parties and the system they have created – let alone do it in two years

    You are wasting time when there is no time to waste and you are dragging a lot of energy down with you.

    “If not now, when?”
    Answer: The day after default…but you will not be ready.

    • BF. Did you read this part? I think in this he has acknowledged that it’s not happening.
      “We cannot afford to wait. We can no longer push these discussions off to the next generation. If we do, it will be too late. We are bordering on too late already. You may think that TRUE fiscal conservatism is crazy talk espoused by some Tea Party nut jobs or Libertarian fruitcakes, but it is the one and only way to make this country rise from the fiscal grave. Tough questions. Tough answers. And personal accountability. Those are the only things that can bring us back from the brink.

      And no one is Washington has even a smidgeon of intent to do any of them. No one.”

      That is the way I see it. No matter what NEEDS to be done, it won’t. Those worthless DC bastards aren’t going to do anything.

      I was slightly encouraged to see the Tea Party folks vote against the cont. res.. BUT NOT THAT ENCOURAGED!

      I don’t believe there is ANY intention to do anything but play politics until the Nation goes down the drain.

    • Good Morning, sir. Question for you. ( I am headed out for some IFR refresher – gotta shoot a DME Arc…nobody uses those anymore EXCEPT Mexico…geez , so will read when I retun)

      (1) Don’t you think that a USA default will bring 200 years of policy crashing to the floor? and (2) Even with a default, do you not think that the USA monetary policy will still remain as the top level? I do not see any other currency rising to the top in the even of a total default.

      • D13,

        (1) Don’t you think that a USA default will bring 200 years of policy crashing to the floor? and (2) Even with a default, do you not think that the USA monetary policy will still remain as the top level? I do not see any other currency rising to the top in the even of a total default.

        (1) Yes. The last default trashed the Articles of Confederation and created the Constitution.

        When 1/3 of Americans who depend on government hand outs do not get paid, they will demand change – and now! Those in power will have no power and no credibility.

        There will be huge political vacuums – but dithering about Washington now will prevent any reasonable alternative to fill the vacuum. Believe me, Charlie and his gang are already organized – they have been since 1915.

        As long as the rest are either sleeping or fantasizing or in denial, Charlie’s Red gang will win with ease.

        (2)Even with a default, do you not think that the USA monetary policy will still remain as the top level?

        Who will lend to them?

        No central bank will lend.
        No bond holder will lend.

        So where will the FedGov get is money?
        Only taxes.
        But at what rate….95%?
        Who is going to pay that?
        And who is going to enforce payment…. the Gov checks bounce so do you think the IRS agent is going to go to work??

        I do not see any other currency rising to the top in the even of a total default.

        Do NOT confuse US$ currency with defaulting on T-bills (the debt).

        There are two scenarios, as I’ve laid out:
        (1) endless printing of digital money called US$.
        This will lead to hyperinflation and the death of the dollar. This will eventually destroy Western Civilization and millions will die. This is currency collapse.

        I do not think the FEDReserve will allow this. Even Keynesians understand the disaster of hyperinflation.

        (2) The FED refuses to kill the money, and instead refuses to buy T-bills. The FedGov runs out of money and its first act – like all those that find themselves functionally insolvent is to stop paying interest on the debt. This will default the US T-bill bond – including China’s. No T-bill will be redeemed. This does not affect the currency whatsoever – in fact, will save it but will devastate the US government bank balance – there will be no money in the bank account, and their checks (including T-bills) will bounce.

        This is the scenario I am planning for.

        There are no other scenarios possible

        So dithering around like USWep in this post is futile and dangerous for reasons #1 above

        • So in your estimation, dithering is futile and dangerous. Yet dithering was not apparently futile and dangerous for the “red gang”. They are organized and, according to you, will easily take over after the fall. I submit that if you are willing to submit to that now, good for you. But I believe that attempting to alter the path of history by making those that believe in liberty (and with it fiscal policy that works) get organized so that the inherently immoral “red gang” doesn’t get to strut to power.

          • Hear hear!
            I think many here get the futility of expecting the current government to get anywhere close to doing what must be done. That said, doing nothing will not make us “ready” for collapse, it will make sure that from the ashes even greater tyranny will arise.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      8)

    • BF

      Perhaps it is beyond your ability but some of us can do more than one thing at a time.

      You under estimate the potential resolve of the American People.

      We will soon find out if enough of the old spirit remains.

      • JAC,

        You can not spend the same dollar nor a minute of your time twice.

        Wasting time in Washington is a loss of time purposely preparing.

        JAC, you are the most dangerous of all, even more dangerous then those that do nothing.

        You destroy effort in futility, while starving purposeful preparedness. You will exhaust those that follow you to a point when they need their most energy, they will have given up completely.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Can you talk more of this ‘purposeful preparedness’? Didn’t you, just the other day, say that once the ‘inevitable’ default and collapse comes, even you will be dead as a result? We all know Mathius will be dead, but why will you be dead as well if you ‘know’ what is going to happen and have been preparing for it all along? Why bother?

          • Buck,

            Do you not read my posts?

            Did you not read the two scenarios?

            (1) Hyperinflation – you’re dead
            (2) Default – get ready.

          • The problem is that he’ll have supplies to last him and 100,000 neighbors will not. When they knock on his door, he will not be able to defend what’s his.

            Which is why I will not be defending what is mine. I will be hiding it in my secret underground layer. You can’t steal what you can’t find.

            And remember, forget trying to loot the gun store – if you have a gun, great, if not, too late – loot the vitamin shop. Multivitamins will be worth their weight in gold and can make the difference in survival during the rapture upheaval.

        • gmanfortruth says:

          Flagster,

          All of my prep is outdoor work now, splitting the 60 or so trees for firewood, getting the garden ready to plant at the end of May ect. We have bad weather right now, not much can be done outdoors. My father caught two fingers in the splitter last Thusday, had surgery Friday morning. He’s mostly down for the next month. I’m still healing from a strained back muscle just below my right shoulder (that popped on Sunday). So it’s some downtime while the weather clears out and we heal some.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            This is why I hire people to do such work as splitting wood.

            Hope your father is doing well though!

            • gmanfortruth says:

              Thanks Buck, Father is doing fine, he turns 70 in a week or so, so he needed the rest. The Amish are willing workers, but I’m a do it myself person. It’s good exercise and I have a sense of satisfaction after the work is done.

      • Exactly JAC. We will find out indeed.

    • BF,

      You sir, are a very dangerous person. You say JAC is such, but your decision that destiny is set and therefore we should abandon any other activities will doom hundreds of millions, perhaps unnecessarily, who may have averted disaster instead of sitting on their hands crying because BF said it is too late.

      I won’t be ready? Perhaps not. Perhaps so. Perhaps you are wrong. Perhaps you are right. I don’t have the answer 100% in any direction. I have been willing to entertain your vision of the future. Yet you are unable to even process a version of the future that doesn’t 100% match yours.

      However, since no economic collapse in history has resulted in the absolute end of the world, I choose to place my efforts towards many different paths forward. I will not give up on reforming the government simply because the the task is daunting.

      On some of your other comments, other folks answered much of my thoughts. I did not claim that it CAN be done to balance the budget in 2 years. I simply said it is what needs to happen and failure to dramatically alter our current path is a recipe for disaster. You have decided that disaster is unavoidable. I have not.

      • Welcome Back! Glad to hear SUFA is still VDLG-not BF’s anarchy. No offense BF-I love you-just don’t agree with you 100%

  3. Good morning USW …:) from the cranky red (that was an olive branch, brother). Some serious questions, though.

    Quick tip for you Jesse, you race-baiting piece of trash, civil rights are guaranteed in the Constitution. Also in that document is a provision that indicates that state’s rights are supposed to be far more powerful than they are. Stop making everything about race.

    Lord knows I’m no fan of Jesse Jackson, but I didn’t hear any race baiting in this clip. If anything, he seemed to go out of his way and point to the greater society being affected by the possible shutdown. “Anti civil rights” is not just about race (although knowing Jesse, he probably infused it for that purpose) but he did seem to avoid the two race baiting questions he was asked, I thought.

    I have to be honest at this point and say that I would dramatically cut nearly every single aspect of the national budget, both what is termed discretionary and what is not. Nothing should be taboo. Social Security and Welfare, Medicare and Defense spending. I think that the GOP plan is far too meager. It equated to roughly $620 Billion a year when out annual shortfall is $1.5 Trillion.

    I guess my question is: then what do you do when it all falls apart (or is your assumption that this would cure unemployment and/or that charity would then take care of those in need)? Serious question. I don’t have a problem with some cuts, but I’d sure want to handle the issues of fraud and waste first. Getting out of Iraq & Afghanistan might save a few coins, too. That aside, what happens if you cut all that you want and effectively 15-20% of the population remains out of work? I would think you’d see a lot more foreclosures under such a scenario and since (as we saw two weeks ago on 60 Minutes, our sacred banks can literally defraud people out of their homes), what happens when that many more people are out of work/homes, etc. Again, this is a serious question. What is the answer?

    Having just read BF’s comment, I have to say I agree with him. My questions above were not meant to be a defense of what “this government” is doing at all. It is a well established train wreck in dire need of an enema but not to vanish, to be replenished with something different (uh-oh) … anyway, I agree with BF that nothing will happen. I even agree that there will eventually come a time of chaos in the streets, but I do suspect there will be a nuclear war long before that happens. Aren’t I the cheerful one this am?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      “Nothing should be taboo”…except of course raising taxes.

      There are 5 areas that need to be addressed and we cannot ignore any one of these areas:

      1) Defense
      2) Social Security
      3) Medicare
      4) Medicaid
      5) REVENUE

      The GOP has consistently demonstrated its refusal to address three of these five key areas (Defense, SS, Revenue). For proof, just look to the Ryan prorposal. And its approach to the remaining two are to basically dismantle the programs as we know them and shift the costs to the poor and elderly. This is not a viable approach.

      And before anyone says it, I’m not arguing the Dems have the answer or have been any better at addressing all of these areas. They often don’t sincerely address SS, Medicare or Medicaid (though in the very rare instances they do, at least they aren’t calling for a dismantling of the programs, but for more sensible tweaks to ensure their longevity), and many Dems focus single-mindedly on revenue as the solution. It is not – at least not revenue alone.

      But lets not kid ourselves into believing that revenue isn’t an essential aspect that needs to be addressed.

      • Buck,

        Where do you think “revenue” will come from?

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Taxes.

          • Buck

            What rate? On who?

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Add additional tax brackets. Keep the current highest bracket for those making between 250 and 500; go back to Clinton’s highest bracket for those between 500 and 1M; and add an additional bracket for amounts in excess of 1M.

              I’d be open to tweak these numbers a bit. Maybe 250 to 750; then 750 to 1.5M; then 1.5M+.

      • Buck

        I do not think the Republicans are completely unwilling to address the revenue issue. In fact that large portion of the R’s pushing for a flat tax or fair tax would probably increase the revenue.

        Here is the issue as I see it. The D’s and the Rhino’s have not been honest in their negotiations over budget issues. There is no longer any trust on the “conservative” side.

        So their approach is CUTS FIRST. If the D’s are serious they could get the R’s to commit to addressing revenue if they agreed to CUT FIRST. And then TIE revenue increases into DEBT reduction, NOT deficit reduction.

        Now credit must be given where due. The D’s are much better at playing the political game with the public than the R’s. It is not just use of emotion but how it is used. About half the population falls for it every time. But it used to be more, so there is growing hope.

        The R’s have a good story to tell, but don’t seem to have anyone who can boil it down to the sound bites demanded by the media. This makes them vulnerable when they try to push hard. And of course now they have to deal with an internal group on a mission. A group who doesn’t seem to care as much about the political fall out of doing what is right.

        Somebody needs to stand up and tell the American People just how bad things are and the pain that is going to be required to fix it. While I have no regard for FDR’s programs and policies, one must admit he was good at convincing people they needed to suffer today for brighter times tomorrow.

        So let me ask you. Are you telling your friends the truth or are you simply going along thinking everything is hunky dory?

        • JAC,

          Cut where?

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Its funny that you think the Dems are better at playing the game and using the rhetoric and emotion to sway the public. I’ve always believed the GOP is much much better at this game. Just look at how many millions of people vote R, against their own economic interests each year! The R’s are geniuses at playing to the base, using social issues as wedges to gain support for their platform and candidates. I’m not saying the Dems don’t do the same thing, but they are nowhere near as good at this as the GOP.

          As to the GOP approach to CUTS FIRST – this is (and should be) a non-starter. We need a comprehensive approach that addresses all 5 areas in tandem. Not an approach of ok, lets make all these severe cuts first and then we’ll address revenue (::wink, wink:::) Go down that road and revenue will never be addressed, except to grant even more tax cuts to the wealthy.

          Now do I think everything is hunky dory? No, not in the least. But I also don’t believe it is anywhere near as drastic as you and others are making it out to be. We don’t need huge slashes to every single program out there without any regard to the effects of these slashes. What we need is to review and tweak these programs to ensure their sustainability over time.

          • How many decades has the “review and tweak” idea been argued for and tried in budget fixes?

            People say stop the fraud, waste and abuse too – and you know what, government is incapable of doing that too.

            It’s all a joke at the expense of the people, but it keeps getting pushed as the way to correct/reform things.

            What a crock of horse manure!

          • Buck

            That you think the R’s are better at the game is proof of just how good the D’s are at it. You recite one of their prime talking points in fact and probably don’t even recognize it. The theory that R’s are brainwashed because they vote against their own economic interest by supporting the R party. The possibility that they are more concerned about core principles than their own economic interest or that they do not equate Govt with that interest never entered your commentary.

            The R’s wedge issues do nothing to increase their base and only when other issues combine help increase turnout.

            The two sides basically represent 20 to 25% each. The rest move to one side or the other based on the rhetoric. When it comes to the major issues, like dealing with Soc Sec, the Dems win these arguments hands down.

            Your unwillingness to deal with cuts first shows you do not have a grasp on the size and nature of the problem and that you would rather the nation crash and burn than deal with it in an “adult manner”. Do you recognize that little insult?

            • Buck the Wala says:

              ::sigh::

              So my refusal to only address cuts first shows my unwillingness to deal with things in an adult manner? What is wrong with putting forth a comprehensive approach that addresses all key areas, as opposed to only part of the equation.

              • Buck

                Yes!

                Just repeating the Dem Party line for you. It cuts both ways doesn’t it?

                I am not agreeing that all things must be addressed. Only the timing as it relates to now. The reason you can’t is two fold.

                1. Negotiation requires trust. The left (both D & R) has killed any trust with the “conservatives” ( both D & R). The only way forward is for the left to negotiate cuts and tie revenue to debt reduction. That will create some potential for trust and further cooperation on both cuts and revenue.

                2. The magnitude of the problem requires that we Reduce spending to EXISTING REVENUE levels, at a minimum. Any increased revenue must be tied to DEBT REDUCTION, this includes the future trust fund deficits.

                What the left should push for NOW is putting Defense/Offense on the table, not the revenue issue. They are only using Revenue now as a political tool to stir up their base for the coming election. Get ready for Round Infinity on Taxing the Rich.

                In fact, what should be on the table today is the long term picture. Such as what tax level would seem acceptable to a thriving private sector economy. Where do taxes begin to drag on the economic output. Agree on this and it forms a sideboard for revenue and cost discussions.

                Other principles also need to be agreed upon. Such as NO MORE SUBSIDIES of ANYONE. You know, like what is the proper role of Govt. Find that level of Govt that everyone can agree to and then fund it.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Ah, got the reference now.

                So the only way forward is for the Dems to drop a key element of what needs to be addressed? The Dems need to sacrifice to demonstrate trust? Come on now! What about the GOP? The Dems are so busy negotiating with themselves that they never fail to cave (at least somewhat) to the GOP position. But its the Dems that fail to negotiate, that fail to demonstrate trust?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                JAC,

                On the issue of fair negotiations and trust. From Daily KOS:

                Here’s some interesting and revealing news about House Republicans:

                Last week, the whining was over defunding Planned Parenthood as a condition of keeping the government open. Last night, the Republicans returned to it. NBC News producer Shawna Thomas sent notice of a new measure that would do exactly that. It’s a correction of the spending bill that would insert this language: “None of the funds made available by this Act may be made available for any purpose to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. or any affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.”
                Filed by Congresswomen Martha Roby (R-Alabama) and Diane Black (R-Tennessee), the measure has little chance of passing, Shawna reports. But what’s amazing is the relentless pursuit of that single conservative goal.

                This tells you quite a lot, really, about the people with whom Democrats are supposed to “seek compromise.” A deal is cut to keep the government running, in which Democrats make major concessions on spending cuts and Republicans make concessions on their single-minded drive for social warfare. Democrats then help deliver up legislative language on specific cuts that can meet their end of the bargain, and Republicans deliver up… legislative language that says they were just kidding after all, and seeking to “correct” the deal after the fact.

                Not exactly an unbiased source, but your thoughts if you will.

      • Truthseeker says:

        Buck, whos list is that? I would disagree that we need to pick 3 to work on. IMO, we should only allow direct funding of the things listed in the Consitution. I bet you know what is covered under that 🙂

        Also, it is all about what you value. You may value only a few things and I only value 1. So to me, if Defense was my number one priority, it means that I can cut anything else below it. Who wins?

        • Buck the Wala says:

          I would disagree that we need to pick 3 to work on as well. We need to work on all 5.

          It doesn’t matter what you personally value. Defense, Medicare, Medicaid and SS are the four drivers of debt and spending. They ALL need to be addressed. Likewise, revenue is essential to pay for these programs and to be down the debt, so revenue must be addressed as well.

          • Buck

            That is obvious. But that is not the question.

            Do you really believe a politician will get elected by telling his constituency that their funding will be eliminated.

            He will get elected by telling them other people’s funding will get cut, and that he will protect theirs.

            Every politician every where will say the same thing.

            They will get elected.
            And what will they do?

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I disagree.

              It won’t be easy, and a candidate may not get elected on such a platform. But if a candidate can lay out a coherent comprehensive proposal that addresses all five areas, without resulting in simple cost shifting to the states and to the poor and elderly, then you may be surprised at the outcome.

              • Cost shifting to the states? Sounds a lot like states rights and the 10th amendment arguement that you disagreed with over the healthcare (insurance) bill.

    • Charlie.
      Believe it or not I see your point on some things.

      But I believe it’s already too late to prevent the coming crash. It’s coming. It’s just a matter of time now.

      I believe this because I don’t believe the DC politicians have the stones to stop it. The only way to stop it is to cut, slash, and burn. An all the sacred cows of the Govt must come down also. The Military, SS, AND Medicaid and Medicare must be under a heavy knife along with everything else.

      Charlie, it won’t do any good to cut the small stuff and leave the major money alone.

      • Esom, I’m totally with you on this. Totally. My only concern is arrangements need to be made with what will occur once such slashing happened (which I believe will NEVER happen under this government–I believe it is bought and sold corrupt). The problem would instantly become lots and lots of decent folk (along with the moochers) out of work/homes … and they aren’t going to walk off in the woods and die peacefully (why I agree with BF’s chaos theory–we disagree on how that can be avoided). The defense budget is absolutely insane (as were these wars that won’t end) … the corruption going on in gov’t staggers the mind and is so inherent to the system now, they’ll never cut their own throats to stop it. I’ll wager recent tea party elected will soon turn toward the graft that has become part of the system. I suspect it’ll be a while before the day of reckoning actually occurs, but there’s no doubt it could be much sooner than I think.

  4. 😐

  5. Truthseeker says:

    Great article USW.

    I was thinking today about how I would solve some of our money issues. Here is what I propose:

    Cut all entitlements across the board. Defense is not an entitlement. How much should it be cut? 100%! If there is a need for the service, private organizations will be created by entreprenuars (SP?) and the services will be created much more efficiently. Since these will be cut, it means more money in your pocket and you can FREELY choose to support a service if you require it.

    To pay down debt, I would tap our Oil reserves to include Alaska, Shale and Oil Sands. I would declare Default on T-bonds and stop all debt interest. Since we would be creating and refining our own Oil and Natural Gas, we no longer need to import it. We can then asses a tax on it and that money would go directly to the deficit (it would be illegal to fund any programs with the money). Excess could be put into the world market.

    What I propose would do a few things:
    1) Create private jobs
    2) Stops spending your money and ultimately lower your taxes
    3) Stops the buildup of our deficit and helps to genuinely pay off our debt
    4) Brings us off of our energy dependance on other countries

    If we had drilled 10 years ago when it was shot down by DEMS and environuts, we would suffer a little less (not a lot) at the pump then we do now and we would be less dependant.

    TS!

    • TS,

      Cut all entitlements across the board

      But that is obvious.

      Do you really believe a politician will get elected with such a platform?

      • Truthseeker says:

        This is why the people that elected those not making the right choice should vote out. If they are not doing what you want, don’t vote for them. Instead, we have a lopsided system where you vote for the lesser of two evils. Eventually, politicians are bound to realize what is going on if congress is constantly changing every 4 years.

        This is also why local politics is important because you can then try to pass laws and take more state power to block Federal Crap.

      • Yes. Occasionally.

        But only in small numbers (too small to make their desired changes) and generally to only smaller offices.

        They are the exception, but it does happen here and there.

    • Truthseeker says:

      To add on, after default, it would be the OPTIMUM time to implement a flat tax. Luxury goods (iphones, iPads, cars over 30k?, boats over 30k?, etc.) would have a much higher flat tax (20%?). In the end, the government would raise its revenue by a flat tax because nobody would be able to avoid it. All the litigation would stop and this would reduce the ammount of lawyers we need and reduce the strain on the judicial system. This would also create some space in jails/prisons and would abolish the need for a huge IRS.

      I can see lots of ways to save money. Nobody has the brass to do it.

      • Flat tax is a regressive tax.

        The rich buy what they want, but for the most part, they save and invest. This is not taxed, so the effective tax rate by income on the wealthy is lower. Meanwhile, the poor spend all of their money, all of which is subject to your flat tax, therefore the poor pay the full rate.

        I’m sure it seems fair in your world-view, but to us progressives, it hardly makes sense to diminish the buying power of the poor (who can least afford it) while giving a lower rate to the wealthy (who can best afford it)

        • Mathius

          The Flat Tax is NOT regressive. It is FLAT.

          That is nothing but a left wing talking point and is not consistent with economic definitions.

          A regressive tax increases the rate of taxation as income declines. Just as the opposite “progressive” tax increases the rate of taxation as the income increases.

          Apparently you do not understand the concept of flat tax. There is NO special treatment for investment income. ALL income is taxed at a flat rate.

          It actually makes absolute sense to impose a flat tax, including the poor. It is called JUSTICE in the original AMERICAN sense. EQUAL application of the law and Govt. It makes ALL of us players. In fact a head tax would be even better but that is probably beyond reach.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            You guys are talking about two different things — a flat tax (a single tax rate applied to all individuals regardless of income, and which, Mathius is correct, overly burdens the poor) versus a value added tax, or VAT, which basically operates as an increased sales tax to the purchase of all goods (which also inordinately burdens the poor for the same reasons Mathius states)

            • Buck

              I am not arguing about two things.

              I am pointing out that a Flat Tax is not a Regressive Tax by DEFINITION.

              The claim that it is REGRESSIVE is a Political Talking Point pushed by the Left for decades.

              I dispute your claim of “overly” burdens by the fact that you can not determine what “overly” is to the person paying the tax.

              And the “Fair Tax” proposal that has been floated for several years would NOT have impacted the poor, unless they chose to be impacted.

              We should all benefit equally from appropriate Federal expenditures. Thus we should all pay equally.

              If a program favors one segment then that segment should pay for the benefit.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                JAC,

                I meant Mathius and TC were talking about two different things. And yes, it is regressive. 🙂

      • TS,

        Nobody has the brass to do it.

        Bingo. Now move on.
        Prepare for the consequences of your insight.

  6. USW:

    The first goal should be nothing short of a balanced budget within two years. OK, well that sounds good. I like spending less than you take in. Forget for the moment the logistical impossibility of making deep cuts to SS and Medicaid and the DOD. I’ll go out on a limb and assume that you don’t mean to balance the budget by raising taxes.

    OK, you just cut spending by 1.5 trillion-ish dollars. A lot of that was going to waste, fraud, cronies, etc. But a lot of it was paying for civil servants. How many people did you just pink slip? According to the BLS (which you just cut): 1.8 million civilians. Then, with the deep cuts to the DOD, we’ll have to add in a few hundred thousand soldiers (not added here for an emotional appeal, just trying to add numbers). Then, we’ll have to figure that there’s another number, probably orders bigger than the 1.8mm number of civilians employed by private companies with government contracts, but let’s say charitably 2mm. With the end of state subsidies, we’re looking at another few million nation-wide, let’s just say another 2, shall we? So that’s, being very conservative, 6 million pink slips.

    Well then, we have another problem to extend this. You just took a few million people off the welfare rolls (let’s go with another 4mm, just making up numbers), which means they won’t have money to spend which means more job losses (to say nothing of the job losses from their lost spending power). Even if those people, now that they’re not getting handouts, collectively got off the couch and decided to get a job, they wouldn’t be able to because the private sector was just inundated with 6 million other new applicants.

    So what I’d like to know is how you see this playing out. Does a spirit of innovation and can-do attitudes combine with rich and powerful people who suddenly invest their money back into the economy since Uncle Sam isn’t taking it anymore? Does this generate 10mm new jobs in 2 years? Does charity and private good-will provide enough food to feed the millions who cannot afford to eat?

    A balanced budget within two years sounds great fantastic in theory, but how would it work in reality?

    • Mathius,

      “Fantastic” is the right word – it is pure fantasy to make such a statement.

    • So what I’d like to know is how you see this playing out. Does a spirit of innovation and can-do attitudes combine with rich and powerful people who suddenly invest their money back into the economy since Uncle Sam isn’t taking it anymore? Does this generate 10mm new jobs in 2 years? Does charity and private good-will provide enough food to feed the millions who cannot afford to eat?

      That is my question without the numbers. What happens next?

      • Charlie

        All previous economic recoveries were preceded by an increase in disposable family and company income. When people begin to feel they have enough to address potential short term crisis they begin to spend on things they put off.

        From there it grows and grows.

        So yes, more money in the hands of people will create more economic activity and then more jobs.

        I would say it would take about 6 years given where we are today to get back to employment before the crash.

        And yes, charity will address the needs.

        • And yes, charity will address the needs.

          If private charity isn’t enough now, how would it be without state aid (welfare, etc.)? I’m lost here. Clearly, people do not have enough now. Slashing the way USW proposed now doesn’t change the % currently unemployed. In fact, initially, I suspect the % would go up dramatically. Six years is a long time to try and placate masses of people being kicked out of their homes/apartments … maybe I’m missing something here.

  7. Canine Weapon says:

  8. Buck

    Add additional tax brackets. Keep the current highest bracket for those making between 250 and 500; go back to Clinton’s highest bracket for those between 500 and 1M; and add an additional bracket for amounts in excess of 1M.

    I’d be open to tweak these numbers a bit. Maybe 250 to 750; then 750 to 1.5M; then 1.5M+.

    Top 10% of income earners, earned a total of $3.8 trillion and paid $721 billion in taxes – or about 18.71%

    So, let’s eliminate 100% of any deductions and use the top rate of 35% to this group:
    = $1.3 trillion or merely $600 billion extra.

    You are going deeper into debt at the tune of $800 billion a year….

    • PS:
      Earners over $250,000 a year represents 1% of the population,
      = $1.6 trillion in earnings. They paid $392 billion in taxes or 24.5%.

      Moving them to 35% gains you $560 billion or an extra $168 billion.

      You are still going into debt at a rate of $1.6 trillion a year….

    • In other words, Buck, your solution is not a solution at all.

      Data from:
      http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Exactly. That $600 Billion would go a long way.

      For some reason you keep looking at my tax proposals as the end all of my view on how to address our current situation. Its not. It is merely 1 of 5 areas that need to be addressed.

      • You jest!

        • Buck the Wala says:

          ??

        • Further, you are STILL going into debt @ $800 billion a year.

          To put that into perspective, that is the entire government budget of 1983, half of the budget in 1997.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Which is why we need to address Defense, Medicare, Medicaid and SS.

            • Buck,

              You believe the recipients – a group of people dependent on this income will elect a politician who will cut this income.

              You are naive.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                That’s because I don’t believe these programs need huge slashes to the benefits being provided to recipients.

            • Buck

              Different kind of question. Very serious question I might add.

              What, if anything, would ever convince YOU that these types of programs need to be slashed significantly?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Show me the exact numbers. Show me exactly how much is coming in, how much is going out, and exactly where the money is going. Show me that the programs are not providing a real benefit to people. And lastly, show me the real impact of any proposed slashes to the programs.

      • As usual, you fail economics.

        You remove $600 billion from the productive economy and put it into the government economy.

        There is a reason why tax increases cause a drop in economic activity. You will actually lower your receipts as you destroy investment income.

        To fund your government, you tank your economy.

        • There is a reason why tax increases cause a drop in economic activity. Source, please.

          That’s too much of a blanket statement for my taste.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            No source as its just not true. Take a look at recent US history.

            Look at the Reagan years and the Bush years. Then look at the Clinton years. Hmm….

            BF’s argument relies on the premise that by not taxing this additional $600B, the wealthy will use the money and inject it into the economy. They don’t.

            • Buck,

              You are economically illiterate like Charlie.

              What do you think the “rich” do with their money?
              Stuff in their mattress?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Not in their mattresses, no. That’d be pretty foolish.

              • Don’t you love being called names, Buck?

                BF, what happened to all that bailout money to banks that was “supposed” to be lent back out?

                Answer: Nothing. They held on to it.

                And all those Bush tax breaks for the rich?

                Answer: If there was investment, it sure wasn’t showing up in the form of new jobs (what they were supposedly supposed to do).

                Economically illiterate vs. arrogant blowhard? Hmmm … so where are the jobs, grand signore?

            • Interesting link.. I scrolled down and found this chestnut:

              One study of the United States between 1959 and 1991 placed the revenue-maximizing tax rate (the point at which another marginal tax rate increase would decrease tax revenue) between 32.67% and 35.21%.[18] Pecorino (1995) argued that the peak occurred at tax rates around 65%.[19] Another empirical study found that the point of maximum tax revenue in Sweden in the 1970s would have been 70%.[20]

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve#Research_on_revenue_maximising_tax_rate

              Your claim: “tax increases cause a drop in economic activity.”
              But this shows the opposite, up to a certain inflection point which may be as high as 65-70%, causes increases in tax revenue. Only at the tipping point, do sharp drops in economic activity cause the rate of revenue to fall.

              Look at the derivative of the curve and it should pop out at you.

              • The 1997 Budget in Ireland halved the rate of taxation of realized capital gains from 40% to 20%. The then Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevy, was heavily criticized on the grounds that this change would reduce revenues. He countered by predicting that revenues would rise substantially as a result of the lower tax rate. Revenues rose considerably, almost trebling in fact, and greatly exceeded official predictions.

              • Mathius,

                The point: any increase in marginal rate decreases the pool of income.

              • Mathius

                Just want to point out you are arguing two different things with this data and the conclusions.

                The effect of an “upper marginal rate” is not the same as increasing the total tax burden.

                Reagan cut tax rates and revenue continued to increase at an increasing rate.

                There is a reason that even Keynes did not propose raising taxes during hard times.

  9. Ray Hawkins says:

    Perhaps my increasing divergence from traditionally left positions is the simple fact that as I near 40, as I see my family grow, as I struggle to ensure we as a family can live comfortably and secure our financial future (better life insurance policies, more money put away for the kids, money put away for retirement, etc) – I continually see a Federal Government (and in some ways my State also) simply get it wrong when it comes to demonstrating responsibility and sound/pragmatic approaches to governance, scope & role and financial management.

    There is no legal standing to state that our Government is responsible for “handouts”. Perhaps via a very thin thread we can say at some point the citizens approved such a thing (and a slippery slope that is) – but no more and no longer!

    In Mathius’ hypothetical we for some reason still insist that even though some kid who is responsible enough to know they need birthcontrol is not responsible enough to save the buck or two needed to go buy it w/o relying on me as a taxpayer to subsidize it for them. Bunk I say – we continually condition people at all levels not to accept responsibility for themselves, their families and their actions.

    Recently the State of PA killed a State subsidy program for Health Care. NPR interviewed a woman who was crying at how she would not be able to afford basic standard care she felt necessary for her and her husband (much of the same emotional rhetoric flung at the PP debate). She had made a choice to run/operate a business as a Consignment Shop owner – a business she loves. That’s great I thought – you’ve opened a business that you love – you found your niche. But you’ve punted on being responsible for your own lot in life and now want to bitch that me as a fellow citizen of PA no longer want to subsidize your Healthcare? WTF!?!?! My ideal job would involve reading and blogging all day so I’d have lots of time to play with my dogs and practice my jiu jitsu. But reality strikes and I have to pay for Healthcare. Now, I did do some right things a found a great career I love that pays me well – but it also took me 15+ years to get there.

    I’ll close with maybe the craziest thing I have ever said – this fiscal mess we’re in is why a formerly registered Democrat like me, who voted for Obama in 2008, may actually vote for a Michelle Bachmann in 2012.

    Yikes.

    • It amazed me the media gave him a pass on this….

      http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/154599-obama-will-veto-gop-short-term-spending-bill

      Obama promises to veto GOP short-term spending measure
      By Sam Youngman – 04/07/11 12:18 PM ET

      The White House announced President Obama would veto a short-term spending agreement proposed by Republicans.

      The threat came less than an hour before Obama was to meet Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to discuss a 2011 spending plan.

      The White House said Thursday that Obama would veto the bill that would fund the military through September and the federal government for one week, saying the president “believes that we need to put politics aside and work out our differences for a bill that covers the rest of the fiscal year.”

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Why should there be a bill that only funds the government for one week (resulting in a continued confrontation over the budget) while fully funding the DOD through September absent any cuts whatsoever?

        I agreed with Obama on this one.

        • Buck

          OK, so WHO was playing politics with shutting down the Govt?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Both parties. But to me it was more so with the GOP. Then again, I am a bit biased.

            • Well the GOP were the ones pretending that they wanted to cut the deficit and using that as an excuse to target red meat programs such as NPR and PP.

              Then again, I am also a bit biased.

        • “Obama would veto the bill that would fund the military through September”
          Why Buck? To keep the emotional issue alive to use against the other side? Unless cutting the troops pay was part of someones budget proposal, it would change nothing to pass on it’s own. Playing politics, plain and simple.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Now you’re just using emotion. Cutting the troops pay wasn’t part of any budget proposal, but cutting the defense budget should be.

    • Ray

      ROTFLMAO

      Well said, so I will only add this thought to go with yours.

      We have a choice from here on in this country. Do we live a life of Dependency or one of Independency?

      I think you know where I stand.

    • In Mathius’ hypothetical we for some reason still insist that even though some kid who is responsible enough to know they need birth control is not responsible enough to save the buck or two needed to go buy it w/o relying on me as a taxpayer to subsidize it for them. The problem isn’t that we have a moral obligation to provide this or any such nonsense.

      No, the problem is that they will not do it for themselves unless it is made easier and cheaper. And if they do not do it, we all have to pay more in the long run.

      It’s as if you neighbor refused to pay for trash collection because it costs too much and just kept piling it up at the curb. Sooner or later, you’d pool money with your other neighbors and subsidize the service for them because it is becoming a problem for the rest of you. It should be his problem, but he’s made it yours through his stupidity/laziness/cheapness. You, certainly, are under no ethical or moral obligation, but you know that he’s just going to keep piling up the garbage and meanwhile, you have to live next door.

      • Mathius

        You make the traditional false argument of the left.

        “And if they do not do it, we all have to pay more in the long run.”

        You create an obligation for all of us to pay for an individuals failure to be responsible and then you use this created obligation to rationalize the next step. We must pay to prevent the irresponsible behavior because it is more “cost effective”.

        Hog wash my friend.

        And as for all those potential babies created by this irresponsible behavior creating some burden I also say hog wash. There are plenty of jobs for them cutting grass, digging ditches, waiting on tables, cleaning motel rooms, etc, etc,. HINT HINT.

        You also constantly confuse the willingness of free people to spend money according to their own desires with Govt theft to implement the desires of those willing to use that Govt for “their” purpose.

        Maybe my neighbors and I pay to hall his trash. Maybe we pay to have him hauled away. Either way, that is our decision.

        • Answer me this: if poor women cannot afford to go on the pill will they
          A) use condoms because they’re cheaper
          B) refrain from sex
          C) some A, some B

          If they opt for condoms will the men willingly use them?
          A) nope, those things are awful
          B) sure, why not
          C) refrain from sex
          D) some A, some B, some C

          Ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away. You can only ignore your neighbor’s trash heap before it begins to impact your home value and standard of living.

          The “obligation” is society to protect itself. You suggest that there will be plenty of jobs for these children cutting grass, and I suggest that they won’t be cutting grass for at least 10 years during which you will have to pay for welfare. If you don’t pay for welfare, hungry children are going to shoplift from your store or break into your home.

          You will pay.

          As Agent Smith said: It is.. inevitable.

          • Mathius

            I will pay if I CHOOSE to pay.

            But you would eliminate MY CHOICE and replace it with YOURS.

            Thus creating a false obligation to justify your next step.

            Children have been born out of wedlock for centuries. As our prosperity increased the number of these children living in abject poverty or neglect declined. All before mandatory Federal programs.

            I say your entire premise of some massive burden on society is HOG WASH. The vast majority of these children will be cared for by one or both parents and their grand parents.

            When people are faced with becoming responsible or dieing they usually choose responsibility.

    • You had a liquid breakfast didn’t you Ray? And I don’t mean the protein shake kind.

      • Methinks he needs a nice refreshing Red Bull..

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Kathy – nope – been trying to ween myself from coffee but still have a small cup along with juice + some water.

        I’m just tired…..

        tired of the b.s.

        tired of the games

        tired of watching my hard earned money evaporate and be used for irresponsible purposes.

    • Bunk I say – we continually condition people at all levels not to accept responsibility for themselves, their families and their actions.

      What do you say when corporations get away with even more? Out and out fraud of home ownership paperwork; kicking people out of their homes with fraidulent foreclosures? Or the bailouts for the matter; totally irresponsible legislation that failed to protect workers at the expense of workers? Do you not think the wealthy own “this” government? Why not try a government of the people (not the rich) … a workers government?

      Michelle Bachmann … oh, brother.

      Obama … oh, brother.

      Try Nader if you’re really concerned about the future. Or the socialist party. Or the communist party. Playing the Republican-Democratic parties is akin to spitting in the wind.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Charlie – I take little pleasure in watching our government blow millions of our dollars try to put an asshole like Barry Bonds in jail – do I care much if he was or was not a drug user while playing a GAME? Nope. Let history and the hall judge him. Stop using my money to justify this nonsense.

        But to your question……

        I am not convinced that a complete free market system allows/enables sufficient consumer visibility to know whether or not the mega-corporation that is making gazillions of dollars off your backs is screwing us all in the rear at the same time (a screwing that we’re usually not aware of right away). Anyone else wondering if Goldman Sachs has anything to do with the current gas price hikes? They’ve been there before because we allowed them to F around in the commodities market. If it were only that easy to use less oil right?

        I am not convinced either that better/tighter/enforced regs are the answer either. The regs are there – we just elect not to enforce them or look the other way. Until some of these corporate dickheads wind up in jail the same will happen again and again and again.

        But that should never be a reason to cease accountability at the individual level.

        • Ray,

          Interesting position.

          I am not convinced that a complete free market system allows/enables sufficient consumer visibility to know whether or not the mega-corporation that is making gazillions of dollars off your backs is screwing us all in the rear at the same time (a screwing that we’re usually not aware of right away).

          So, somewhere in the back of your brain, if a guy makes a profit you believe he is screwing you.

          No, wait – if he makes a large profit…

          No, wait – if he makes a really large profit…

          No, wait – what profit is too large?

          But his profit is not your concern – why do you care?

          You care that you get a product that you value more then the money you paid.

          If it cost him a dollar to make, and its value is $1,000 to you – why do you care it costs him a dollar to make? You couldn’t have made it for less than $1,000 or you would have

          And Goldman Sach’s ability to manipulate is directly tied to their ability to use borrowed money – a benefit from government spending and the FedReserve.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            @Black Flag – we may have differing criteria of what we use to make economic decisions.

            Should I chose to invest in a company where the available information (prospectus, 10K, 10Q, rating reports, news, etc) tells me what I need to know to feel like I am investing in a company that I feel aligns with my morals, values, beliefs, philosophies, etc. there still exists “that which I do not know” or “I do not know what I do not know” – which in the case of Goldman may be intentionally screwing with the commodities markets to make even more money (hence screwing me w/o me realizing it).

            With respect to the Goldman scenario they are essentially/effectively operating and profiting in an unregulated market (the even better example were the credit default swaps and all the repacked crappy securities they strong armed the raters into rating well).

            So…….may we say that Goldman (and many others) were effectively, a niche area, operating in a completely free market?

            Pretty much so.

            And there was zero/zilch visibility by almost anyone into what they were doing.

            That they made a profit is a side effect.

            That they make a profit off “my” dollar in a way inconsistent with who I am is of concern.

            I’d rather buy my veggies from the CSA down the road where I can see more (or all) of the value chain.

            But I also realize that the same cannot hold true for every commodity or service or economic transaction.

            I am merely asking for more visibility rather than none.

        • I take little pleasure in watching our government blow millions of our dollars try to put an asshole like Barry Bonds in jail

          I’m all with you, my man. The problem isn’t the regs, it’s the system (capitalism). It promotes corruption the same as socialism … the difference being, true(r) socialist states (not the military dictatorships BF will list ad nasuem) do not seem to have as much of a problem as we do. We need first and foremost genuine punishments for corrupt government officials (not slaps on the wrist). Instead, our capitalist system rewarded those on Wall Street … I’ll suggest a sharper veering toward socialism than we have today (which is far from socialism since it rewards money first, people last). I doubt we’ll see it in our lifetime but sooner or later, there’s no denying progressive politics from ruling the roost. BF is right there, it’s inevitable. If only he’d welcome it …:)

          • Charlie

            You have it backwards and that is why you are always screaming in the wrong direction. In fact in all directions at once.

            Corrupt people build corrupt systems. That is why the founder’s quote about our system will only prevail in the hands of a moral people.

            But here is the difference. Capitalism in the true sense is not corrupt in itself. Once it is corrupted it stops being Capitalism as in free markets.

            All your socialist varieties are corrupt in their construct because they place power in the hands of some to rule over the others.

            Corrupt people will exist in a free market system. But they can not enforce their corruption upon others by using “legal force”. The rest of us have a way to retaliate.

    • Truthseeker says:

      Nobody should have to pay for other peoples choices. Some tend to forget that we all have choices to make. I refuse to pay for yours or anybodys choice unless I freely wish to. You get the concept, so I wonder why others do not.

      Arguing about people being a burdeon on society and therefore we must protect them is futile. You (not you Ray) are free to donate whatever you have to a charity you have that meets your moral code. Forcing by violence all tax payers to pay for stuff at PP is rediculous.

      As Ray has stated, the Federal Government was never supposed to create entitlements. The main purpose of Federal Government was to ONLY provide a COMMON defense of the Republic, Create and Honor trade treaties and resolve disputes among states.

      Isn’t that simple? If you want your State to provide all kinds of benefits, it should be up to those in the State to decide what they want.

      • the Federal Government was never supposed to create entitlements

        Times change; it is no longer 1776 (and there’s no longer slavery, so thank you federal gov’t). There are many more millions of people in the US&A today than in 1776 … technology has advanced job creation and hurt it; currently, with all the government deregulation, it kills manufacturing jobs in the US&A … there are mary variables today 2011 than existed in 1776 and I don’t see how you can blame it all on a government corrupted by big money/corporations, then claim big business free of restraint will clean it all up. Capitalism has seen its better days … in 2011, unless you’re a 2% or buying into the never-ending assumptions about capitalism, it just doesn’t work for the greater good.

        • Truthseeker says:

          Charlie, please post your proof that the Federal Government was responsible for slavery? Just because it wasn’t outright outlawed doesn’t mean the Federl Government was behind slavery.

          Also, just because times change, doesn’t mean the Federal Government has to provide entitlements. And your 1776 claim is rediculous. Where we are today technology and comfortwise had NOTHING to do with the Federal Government. YOU can thank entreprenuers and inventors for what we have.

          • Truth Charlie, please post your proof that the Federal Government was responsible for slavery?

            That is BF’s contention, not mine. I’m saying the federal gov’t ENDED slavery (why I was thanking it). Either I wrote it wrong or you missinterpreted it. I’ll take the blame. My bad.

            I never said capitalism NEVER worked. I’m saying it no longer works … or we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today.

  10. gmanfortruth says:

    CINDERELLA was now 95 years old.

    After a fulfilling life with the now dead prince, she happily sat upon her rocking chair, watching the world go by from her front porch, with a cat named Bob for companionship.

    One sunny afternoon, out of nowhere, appeared the fairy godmother.

    Cinderella said, ‘Fairy Godmother, what are you doing here after all these years’?

    The fairy godmother replied, ‘Cinderella, you have lived an exemplary life since I last saw you. Is there anything for which your heart still yearns?’

    Cinderella was taken aback, overjoyed, and after some thoughtful consideration, she uttered her first wish:

    ‘The prince was wonderful, but not much of an investor. I’m living hand to mouth on my disability checks, and I wish I were wealthy beyond comprehension.’

    Instantly her rocking chair turned into solid gold.

    Cinderella said, ‘Ooh, thank you, Fairy Godmother’..

    The fairy godmother replied, ‘It is the least that I can do. What do you want for your second wish?’

    Cinderella looked down at her frail body, and said, ‘I wish I were young and full of the beauty and youth I once had.’

    At once, her wish became reality, and her beautiful young Body returned. Cinderella felt stirrings inside of her that had been dormant for years.

    And then the fairy godmother spoke once more:
    ‘You have one more wish; what shall it be?’

    Cinderella looked over to the frightened cat in the corner and said, ‘I wish for you to transform Bob, my old cat, into a kind and handsome young man.’

    Magically, Bob suddenly underwent so fundamental a change in his biological make-up that, when he stood before her, he was a man so beautiful the likes of him neither she nor the world had ever seen.

    The fairy godmother said, ‘Congratulations, Cinderella, enjoy your new life.’

    With a blazing shock of bright blue electricity, the fairy godmother was gone as suddenly as she had appeared.

    For a few eerie moments, Bob and Cinderella looked into each other’s eyes.

    Cinderella sat, breathless, gazing at the most beautiful, stunningly perfect man she had ever seen.

    Then Bob walked over to Cinderella, who sat transfixed in her rocking chair, & held her close in his young muscular arms.

    He leaned in close, blowing her golden hair with his warm breath as he whispered…

    ‘Bet you’re sorry you neutered me.’

  11. Well. You can argue for this being cut or that. You can argue for taxes being raised or not.

    But despite the aguments for, or against. The only thing that is likely to happen is that our taxes will be raised.

    That is not a solution. That is a disaster waiting. Meanwhile not a damn thing will be cut. And we will keep rolling along to armageddon.

  12. Buck,

    You are the shining example of the “Left” thinking – utterly incoherent.

    First you disagree with me that such a candidate would get elected.

    Then you say, in the very next sentence:

    It won’t be easy, and a candidate may not get elected on such a platform.

    You have such a brain tornado.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Reread my post — I agree with you that it would be difficult and a candidate may not be elected. However, if that candidate was able to lay out a coherent comprehensive proposal, and be able to explain the merits of that proposal as well as its impact, then you may be surprised and he may well be elected. It just won’t be easy.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Ok, I reread your post — a candidate with this platform could well be elected but then would fail to actually enact that proposal. Correct?

        I would still disagree — it would be a long, slow, difficult road, but it could happen. If he was able to convince enough of the electorate and other politicians of the advantages of his proposal, outlined the actual impact, and actually addressed the problem, it could happen.

        • Buck,

          (1) A rare candidate may get elected on such a platform. But a rare candidate does not make policy.

          (2) Long road is not long enough. You do not have decades, you have months.

          (3) The voters do not have the time, care, patience or education to understand a “comprehensive” program. You fail to understand your “audience”. There is NO willingness to absorb short term pain for any future that is not determined.

          Time Preference for the majority of people (and hence majority of voters) is IMMEDIACY. Why do you think the average American is insolvent?

          The average American with a credit file is responsible for $16635 in debt NOT including mortgage

          This is the people who will not vote for your measures. They are the majority. They feel no pain today, so they will continue to do what they do.

  13. Buck

    Not in their mattresses, no. That’d be pretty foolish.

    Good. Progress.
    So what do you think the “rich” do with their excess money?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Hide it in banks!

      • Buck,

        Very good. You are making great progress.

        What does a bank do with the money?

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Ooooh, oooh, I know this one! Loan it out.

          Too bad that just hasn’t been happening. Likewise, the wealthy haven’t been injecting money into the economy. Likewise, business have raked in record profits and have not been hiring. Go figure.

          • Buck,

            Good! Loan it out.

            So, go back to the beginning.

            Taking money from the rich eliminates money from the economy for growth and places it into hands of government that funds non-productive economy: “welfare”.

            What business has raked in “record” profits? The analysis shows that the profit is wholly located in the financial institutions and large multi-nationals

          • Buck,

            And you are correct. Banks are not loaning (see yesterday’s bank reserve graph I posted)

            Banks are not loaning because the rate is too low for the risk of the economy vs. interest the FED pays for excess reserves.

            But the banks not loaning is NOT the “rich” people’s problem.

          • It is easy to figure, Buck. You know the law and you know the rules. We are going to sit on the money. We are NOT going to invest it if (1) taxes are raised, (2) taxes for entitlements remain salary based and indexed, (3) there is increased capital gains, just to name three of the top ones. Explain to me, why we would invest if it is going to be taken away? Moral obligation? Bull crap. Explain to me the reasoning of hiring when taxed to death….and neither you nor the government has a right to ascertain where “deasth” is….

            I still like the Texas model. We have balanced our 24 billion shortfall and we did it without raising taxes or adding a corporate or personal income tax. We have attacked and are attacking the sacred cows (state aid programs, education programs, state medicare and medicaid programs…all of it.) NO area is left untouched. We balance our budgets because we have a balanced budget admendment in our State constitution. I wish it was turned over to the states and the only thing that would be used for taxes is common defense…and I even do not like that too much.

            So, explain to me why the wealthy should inject into the economy when it is frittered away and the progressive mantra is the robin hood approach. You talk a great game but there is no personal responsibility in your approach…it still is an entitlement approach….when the only thing you are entitled to is the fresh air you breathe.

            • So you recognize that we’re entitled to fresh air?

              Great, so you must support the EPA regulating all kinds of emissions.

              And, therefore, I assume, you much also support some level of taxation to fund the EPA.

              🙂

              How are you today, colonel? Have a Red Bull on me.

              • Ahhhh……Matt….Of course I recognize that you are entitled to fresh air….as to the EPA……No…..you know better than that….the EPA, as an organization, is worse than 180 acres of Raptor Poop…..(Raptor poop is preferable..the EPA is stifling and worthless)..so…no tax money to an inept organization that does nothing but create debt and serves no useful purpose.

                However…thank you for the Red Bull….Iam NOT a convert but my son drinks it. I am even cutting back on the DP’s…….sigh.

    • Mayonnaise jar out back!

  14. Buck

    That’s because I don’t believe these programs need huge slashes to the benefits being provided to recipients.

    Quantify what your “huge slashes” or its corollary, your “small slashes”

    • Buck the Wala says:

      I would need to take a much closer look at the actual numbers. You don’t play with fantasy so I’m not going to make up numbers for you, and I just dont’ have the time while at work to dig around for this.

      Briefly taking SS as an example though, just to provide my basic thoughts — we can look into means testing SS and raising the cap at which SS taxes are collected. This would ensure the longevity of the program without a single cut in benefits to those seniors that rely on the program the most.

      • Buck,

        “Means” test;
        Assume that the percentage of people by income is representative of the percentage of people by income on SS.

        Eliminate 5% off of SS by means test.
        $761 billion – 5% = $38 billion.

        “Raise the cap”?
        Right now it is $106,800, out of which $11,107.20 is paid to SS (combined employee/employer). Or nearly 12%. Remember, this is before the 35% tax rate.

        What are you going to bump up? Taxes? SS? both? to what rate?

        • PS: Applying a means test also means the government has defaulted on SS promise. I agree it will happen.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          To be honest, I’m not even so certain SS needs to be means-tested. I would need to take a much harder look at the numbers. However, it is definitely something I would be open to consider.

          • Of course it should – why should we redistribute money to people who don’t need it?

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I’m on the fence on this and see it both ways. In the end I would probably support means-testing, but only if done so to guarantee there is no cut in benefits to those that do need it and ensuring a cost of living adjustment going forward. Where to draw the line is a bit murkier though. Ideas?

          • Buck

            Means Test = very little difference, however, it will be the first step. Also “claw back”, also “retirement age increase”. All of this will probably save $150 billion.

            Thus, SS will collapse. The whole thing will be trash-canned, eventually.

            Prepare to have your elderly parents move back home with their children.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Nope, no retirement age increases. That’s a non-starter for me.

              It is very easy for me to sit behind my desk and wait an additional 5 years to retire. Not so easy for those with physically demanding jobs.

              • So the requirement should be infirmity, not age.

              • Buck,

                And to my point.
                The way out of economic hole is productivity – to earn.
                Yet, you cannot conceive of people working another 5 years.

                You have done well to demonstrate my point – this isn’t even a cut, and you can’t even consider it!

                Thus, the budget will not -ever- go into balance, the debt will grow boundlessly to the point the bond holders finally say “no”.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                To Mathius: That is something I would consider. Still not quite sure on that, but an interesting idea in theory.

                To BF: How is raising the retirement age not a cut?

              • Buck,

                It is a default of a government promise, not a cut.

                But you said you would not raise the age.

  15. chart did not copy well, tried to straighten. If you spent like the fed, but made 50K, you would spend $873,170.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/04/the_feds_financia_statements_i.html
    April 12, 2011
    The Feds’ Financial Statements in Perspective
    K.E. Campbell
    The federal budget, debt, and deficit figures being bandied about are so gargantuan that many people struggle to comprehend them or put them in perspective. Auditors, analysts and accountants have a tool that can help in this regard. Financial statements of different-size entities can be recast into a uniform common-size format. Common-size financial statements make comparisons easier.

    The table below uses the administration’s 2012 fiscal budget, calculates its major components as a percentage of total receipts (i.e., revenue), and applies those percentages to the median household income in the U.S. in 2008 ($50,303) to derive a roughly comparable household-level financial snapshot.

    Federal Govt.

    % of

    2012

    receipts

    Receipts $2,627,000,000,000 100.0%

    Outlays, excl. interest -$3,487,000,000,000 -132.7%

    Interest -$242,000,000,000 -9.2%

    Deficit -$1,102,000,000,000 -41.9%

    Debt $15,813,000,000,000 = 6x receipts

    Unfunded Medicare &
    SSecurity obligations$45,600,000,000,000= 17.3x receipts

    Household
    Household

    Receipts Outlays excl. interest (-132.7%)*

    (annual)
    $50,303 -$66,771

    (monthly)
    $4,192 -$5,564

    Interest*

    -$386 -$4,634

    Deficit (-41.9%)

    -$1,758 -$21,102

    Debt (6x receipts)* $302,795

    Unfunded obligations (17.3x receipts)* $873,170

    * computed

    The household above has a spending problem. Leaving aside the asset part of the equation, it also has a debt problem. In the real world, this household would be in bankruptcy court. To take the analogy further, we could consider the national debt as mortgage debt and the unfunded obligations as unsecured claims, like credit-card debt. The crushing effect of this household’s debt burden shown above would be compounded if interest rates rise from current low levels.

    Liberals would argue that such a comparison highlights the need for more revenue (read: higher taxes). However, as explained by W. Kurt Hauser, “over the past six decades, tax revenues as a percentage of GDP have averaged just under 19% regardless of the top marginal personal income tax rate.” And if anyone believes that an increase in government revenue wouldn’t be offset by a proportional increase in spending, I’ve got some swampland to sell you.

    Using a common-size financial statement perspective, by how much did Congress agree to cut fiscal 2011 spending last Friday in its “historic” deal? The agreed-upon $38.5 billion in cuts equates to approximately $737 annually for the above household. That is, the debt-strapped family would spend $5,503 per month rather than $5,564 per month. I don’t think a financial counselor, trustee, or bankruptcy judge would be impressed.

  16. Buck the Wala

    Buck: “So the only way forward is for the Dems to drop a key element of what needs to be addressed? The Dems need to sacrifice to demonstrate trust? Come on now!”

    JAC: I said the left, not the Dems. While the Dem leadership is trying to run the propaganda show, the battle is between the Spenders and the Cutters.

    Buck: “What about the GOP?”

    JAC: They have the same problems as the Dems. A split within of spenders and cutters.

    Buck: “The Dems are so busy negotiating with themselves that they never fail to cave (at least somewhat) to the GOP position.”

    JAC: This does not comport with reality Buck. In the past 15 years all Federal programs have increased. You seem to view any compromise as “caving” yet cry for negotiations. Strange position don’t you think?

    Buck: ” But its the Dems that fail to negotiate, that fail to demonstrate trust?”

    JAC: Spenders have failed to establish and demonstrate trust. That is most of the Dems and the Rhinos from the Repub side. But due to the nature of the debate, and party leaders, it will be the Dems who have to make the move. If they do the “fiscal conservatives” in the R party might move forward. That is who must be convinced. Not the old R’s but the new R’s.

    And I never said to ignore the Revenue side all together. I said they should tie it to DEBT reduction. That would bring it to the table in a manner that might be acceptable to the fiscal conservatives.

    Buck, this has become much like the immigration debate. The conservatives were lied to twice on this issue. Reagan and Clinton. That is why they revolted on Bush II over the issue. The battle cry became, “secure the border first”.

    That attitude reflects a breech of trust in the negotiations over time.

    When Bush II tried to address Soc Sec and he was tied, fried and hung out to dry……….that was a serious breech of trust in the negotiating process.

    In my view it was the D’s who primarily broke the trust over the past 30 to 40 years. That is why they need to take a significant step. Much of this predates your experience but that is the way I see it.

    If the R’s took a step they will simply be vilified, much like is happening to Mr. Ryan at the moment. We will know the D’s are serious when the hateful or spiteful rhetoric stops from the leadership.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      And we will know when the GOP is serious when they actually put forth a proposal that addresses all issues and doesn’t completely leave out Defense, SS and Taxes/Revenue, while merely shifting the burden of the costs for Medicare and Medicaid to the poor and elderly.

      But yes, the Dems have not exactly been so wonderful in putting forth any of their own proposals on these issues. I’ve never claimed they have.

      • Truthseeker says:

        Buck, I am not sure you understand how complex all the big issues are. Why are you lamenting on a comprehensive all ecompasing plan for? Why not start somewhere and promise to touch all the programs fairly? I whole heartedly agree about DoD cuts. 10%? Hell lets do 25% as I see plenty of waste everyday (I work for DoD). Guess what? Sec Gates make a cut already. So lets move on!

        Why does the left seem to love the word comprehensive? TO me, that means you just want to make it overtly complicated and use it as an excuse to slow down the train of cuts.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          I love comprehensive plans because they actually seek to address all of the underlying issues. It increases the chance of negotiation because everything is on the table.

          When you approach these issues piecemeal they never seem to get done because too many compromises are made in each and every round.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Not to mention all of these issues are necessarily intertwined in a single budget.

  17. Somebody please, please tell me that I’m being punk’d

    Story here.

  18. Charlie

    BF, what happened to all that bailout money to banks that was “supposed” to be lent back out?

    Answer: Nothing. They held on to it.

    Correct.
    The banks are terrified to loan into this economy.

    They would rather stuff it into the FedReserve and get paid 0.25% — lose money — then risk losing all the money in a loan…. $1.4 trillion in excess (see graph yesterday post).

    And all those Bush tax breaks for the rich?

    Follow Buck – where do the rich put their money?
    They
    -buy things.
    -put it in the bank.
    -invest.

    They do not stuff in mattresses.

    Answer: If there was investment, it sure wasn’t showing up in the form of new jobs

    True.
    Companies are not hiring.
    Due to the government costs for hiring – SS, Health Insurance, Min. Wage laws, Unemployment Ins., termination costs, etc., …. companies are very reluctant to hire into this lousy economy.

    Indeed, this is the worse in recent history – past recessions when finally hit the bottom, have seen a quick recovery of jobs.

    Not this time. This time is bad. I do not see it getting better, either.

    Economically illiterate vs. arrogant blowhard? Hmmm … so where are the jobs, grand signore?

    In India.

  19. Buck,

    The test to see if government is serious in cutting.

    DoEducation budget: $77 billion.
    Amount cut: -11% …. whoops, I mean a 11% INCREASE.

    Why is FedGov involved in a State responsibility? This should be cut to $0

    If they cannot cut here, how can you expect them to cut SS/Medicare/Military???

  20. Buck,

    Here you are talking cutting.

    Here is the government talking:

    CIA
    The Obama administration disclosed Monday that its fiscal 2012 budget proposal includes a request for $55 billion for the CIA and other civilian intelligence services, marking the first time that the amount of money being sought for U.S. spy agencies has been disclosed.

    Defense Department
    The president’s proposed fiscal 2012 budget requests $553 billion for the Defense Department’s base spending and another $118 billion for Afghanistan and Iraq for a total of $671 billion. .

    Food and Drug Administratio
    Under the President’s proposed 2012 budget, the Food and Drug Administration would get $2.7 billion, an increase of $147 million compared to the 2010 budget of 2.6 billion. The agency would get another estimated $1.6 billion in user fees paid by pharmaceutical, medical devices and tobacco companies, for a total proposed 2012 budget of $4.4 billion.

    Housing and Urban Development
    President Obama’s proposed budget includes $41.74 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, about $1.1 billion less than what was enacted by Congress for fiscal 2010.

    Health and Human Services
    The Health and Human Services budget for fiscal 2012 would be $ 79.9 billion in discretionary spending. .

    Department of Energy
    President Obama’s plan would boost the Energy Department’s budget to $29.5 billion, up 12 percent from the enacted 2010 budget and up 4 percent from estimated spending in the current fiscal year

    Treasury Department
    The administration’s $14 billion proposed budget for the Treasury Department represents a 4 percent bump from the budget that was enacted in 2010. Continue reading…

    Justice Department
    The Justice Department is mostly spared the knife under President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget, with the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies slated for spending increases that average about 2 percent.

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    President Obama’s proposed budget provides $9 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, noting that amount represents a $1.3 billion decrease from the previous budget year. But that’s unlikely to satisfy Republicans in the House who are sharpening their knives to cut even more from an agency that plans to pressure big polluters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
    The Obama administration is proposing $23.9 billion in discretionary funding for the Agriculture Department’s 2012 budget, a decrease of $3.2 billion, with the biggest cuts coming from direct payments to high-income farmers, rural home loan programs and wetlands conservation programs.

    Department of Labor
    Labor Department spending under President Obama’s 2012 budget would fall five percent from what was enacted in 2010, to $12.8 billion. While the agency is charged with promoting the welfare of workers, job seekers and retirees, the budget released Monday “reflects the need to make sacrifices in many areas,” the administration statement says.

    Department of Transportation
    Proposing to spend $128 billion on transportation in fiscal 2012, the heart of the White House spending plan is a push for a six-year renewal of the nation’s transportation blueprint. Continue reading…

    Environment

    In President Obama’s new budget plan, the idea of comprehensive climate legislation appears to have disappeared into thin air.

    [Yahoo!]

    NASA

    The president’s proposed 2012 budget for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is $18.7 billion, almost the same as the appropriated current budget. Continuing a debate over direction begun last year, the budget calls for an increase in spending to help commercial rocket and space companies to develop transport to the International Space Station, and cancels the Bush administration program to build a more conventional new system — which is still being funded under the 2010 continuing resolution.

    State Department/USAID

    By Mary Beth Sheridan

    President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal says that funding for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) would increase only 1 percent over 2010 levels, to $47 billion. But that’s not the whole picture.

    The National Science Foundation

    The National Science Foundation emerges as one of the few winners in the president’s budget, with the nation’s primary funder of non-medical basic research receiving $7.8 billion — a 13 percent boost over 2010 funding.

    Department of Veterans Affairs
    President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget provides $58.8 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs and places a continued emphasis on the care and benefits for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Department of Homeland Security

    The proposed Department of Homeland Security budget of $43.2 billion amounts to a slight increase of .7 percent, or $309 million, over actual funding levels in 2010.

  21. TS,

    On August 21, 1787, a bitter debate broke out over a South Carolina proposal to prohibit the federal government from regulating the Atlantic slave trade.

    The controversy over the Atlantic slave trade was ultimately settled by compromise. In exchange for a 20-year ban on any restrictions on the Atlantic slave trade, southern delegates agreed to remove a clause restricting the national government’s power to enact laws requiring goods to be shipped on American vessels (benefiting northeastern shipbuilders and sailors).

  22. Buck the Wala says:

    Slate’s proposal to balance the budget: DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

    Could this be something anyone here can get behind?

    http://www.slate.com/id/2291054/

    • A fairy tale.

      Where is this growth coming from?

      Is the expectation that interest rates will hover near zero, while inflation increases?

      The expectation is to double personal income tax in 5 years??? Holy smokes!
      … all the while expecting the economy will be robust!! A miracle of central planning!

      The Health care costs expand gracefully…. DREAM ON, CBO!

      The CBO is whistling past the grave yard – their document is dreamland meant to quell the masses that “it’ll be ok, soon”.

      The masses are buying it.

      You had better not believe it.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Per the article and the CBO numbers, this is the current trajectory if NOTHING is done. Tax cuts are allowed to expire (for all, not just those earning over 250K), Obamacare is left fully in place, etc. etc. Obviously this is not something that will ever happen.

        I’m not saying the CBO is 100% correct mind you. But what numbers do you have that shows this trajectory to be wrong?

        • I’ve highlighted a handful already.

          (1) Expectation that personal income tax revenue will DOUBLE in 5 years – do you really believe that? How? From who? The 13 million permanent unemployed?

          (2) no rise in interest rates. Do you think this is reasonable considering inflation is already coming on strong – especially in oil and food – approaching 8% or higher?

          (3) single digit increase in health care costs. When has this ever happened? Like…NEVER! How can you budget single digit increase in costs against the historic values plus the aging population. Do you believe this numbers?

          Never, ever, in government history of the last 150 years (except after a major war) has the deficit numbers decreased.

          But now, they insist it will be common place. What basis is this claim?

          • Buck

            We have 78 million baby boomers who, when fully retired, will collect benefits from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that, on average, exceed per-capita GDP. The annual costs of these entitlements will total about $4 trillion in today’s dollars. Where is this in the CBO? Answer: no where.

        • The CBO’s own evaluation of their own data:

          Marginal tax rates for every bracket, along with corporate tax rates, would need to more than double.

          These tax rates “would significantly reduce eco­nomic activity and create serious problems with tax avoidance and tax evasion,” and such rates “would probably not be economically feasible.”

          The CBO was asked to evaluate raising tax reve­nues as an option to address the huge projected spending and deficits in future years, even though under current law, taxes will rise to record levels as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

          But the voters are ready to vote out of office a Congressman who raises taxes. Congressmen understand this.

          So, as I said, the CBO is whistling past the graveyard. They propose a doubling of tax, knowing full well not one person in Congress will go for it.

          Like I said, Buck, it’s just a fantasy

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I agree that the CBO’s assumptions are often somewhat off-base. But how far off base? I seriously doubt you would see the exact numbers in 2019 as the CBO ends with, but how far off would the final number be? Who knows.

            At the end of the day, you are right in that “its just a fantasy” as Congress doing absolutely nothing would never happen anyway.

            • Buck

              During the health care fight it was shown that the CBO was off by 100% or more on prior projections of health care reform legislation. Such as the prescription drugs, SCHIP, etc.

              By the way, this is also the organization that claimed Clinton had a surplus at the very same time the Fed Reserve was letting folks know it had vanished.

  23. gmanfortruth says:
  24. USW

    Good article. I too was actually feeling angry at the commentary. While house hunting I got to see TV in the motel at night. Good thing they had free whiskey each evening as well.

    One point you only brushed lightly. If the Govt can not spend money without the budget then by what authority does the Administration decide to keep SOME people working and not others.

    And why do the PEOPLE who stay on working change with each Administration?

    I never have been able to sort this little contradiction out. For example, the first time I experienced this all personnel involved in Administering existing contracts stayed on. The contracts were viewed as a hard commitment from prior funding sources. But no new contracts could be awarded. Oh, and Soc Sec checks were delayed. Last time that ever got included.

    The slime is getting so thick in D.C. I am not sure anyone could stand on their own feet for long.

    Also, to be realistic the balancing of the budget needs to be extended over a longer period. Some programs could go immediately with the big cuts phased it at say 10% per year for 10 years.

    This might help reduce the sudden impact of massive govt layoffs. I think it would give the debt buyers confidence to ride out the storm.

    Again, well done.

  25. Buck the Wala

    Re Dem and Rep negotiations, and the planned parenthood issue.

    I keep saying spenders and cutters and you keep arguing about what the Dems and Repubs are doing without delineating which Dems and which Reps.

    It does not surprise me at all that a social conservative would put forth such legislation.

    First, there was no promise made NOT to offer such legislation in the budget deal. They simply agreed to drop the policy riders from the spending bill. In fact the agreement was to deal with these separately.

    Second, there was no “compromise” made in the true sense. There was a stare down and the Republicans gave in. Capitulation on key issues by one party is NOT a Negotiated Settlement. This leads to a lack of support for the agreement within both groups. Thus a bill going after PP and a Dem bill going after something they want.

    Third, and this is where past violations of trust come into play. This is an age old method of the Dems, especially the hard left and greenies. During my career dealing in politics the Dems pulled this rabbit far more than the Reps. So nobody should be surprised the other side now uses the same technique. Remember, beat a man with a stick and you give him the moral authority to beat you once he gets the stick.

    Bottom line, there was no foul and no violation of the core “compromise”. This is political hackery at its finest by KOS. Don’t swallow the bait my friend.

    To the bigger issue which is the real problem. Your commentary follows the same line of thinking that is the cause of the problem. You want comprehensive reform but do not propose to conduct “comprehensive negotiations”.

    You want to sit around the table and demand the other side capitulate on key issues. They do the same. It is a recipe for failure. You along with many others do not recognize the difference between negotiated settlement and capitulation, true compromise with surrender.

    The type of agreements needed, that is long lasting, are not achievable in the environment that WE the People and our Media mouth parts have created in Washington D.C..

    Lasting negotiations do not involve sitting around a table and making demands and then waiting for some deadline to force one side to cave in. They in fact start with reaching agreement on a process itself. That includes what type and sources of information they are going to use.

    There should be a minimum time frame for letting it stand without interference. Enough to find out if the predictions come to pass. If trust is built between parties and between Congress and the People it can stand long enough to find out.

    Another reality is shared values or goals. Quite frankly I am not sure there is enough common ground for negotiations on the budget to be successful at all. The sides are far to entrenched in other values that relate to the budget.

    Just look at some of your “hell no” comments about things that should be cut or changed.

    As a trained moderator it was sometimes my duty to inform both parties that negotiations were simply not worth the effort. There was absolutely no way any meaningful agreement could be reached when the core values are diametrically opposed.

    Which is one reason I get so ticked off at talking heads ragging on Congress to do their job and compromise for the sake of the country. Never do they ask compromise what and for whom, or why?

    As for my previous comments about the Funding issue. The Dem party holds leadership and majority in the Senate and the White House. This alone requires them to make a “compromise” move that might work. That combined with their past behavior puts the monkey on their back, in my opinion.

    But you see they won’t. It is not in their nature (Reid and Obama). They want to use the Revenue issue as a WEDGE in the upcoming election. That is their primary goal and a major reason they let the tax cuts slide.

    This will give the R’s the upper hand if they use it. But they won’t either. Their consultants have them convinced that staking out a “hell no to new taxes” position is the way to build their WEDGE.

    • On the PP bill, I thought that the “agreement” was to have a separate up or down vote on the social issues. If so, then the new bill would satisfy this part of the agreement.

      • T-Ray

        That is true. But the amendment referenced by KOS would be to the “negotiated” spending bill. KOS is trying to make this out as some type of “Republican” double deal.

        But the article itself notes the amendment has little chance of passing. Most of the R’s will honor the agreement made by Boehner, I think. The new kids are a little testy and seem unwilling to be controlled.

  26. On reading a lot of the commentary above, I have to conclude that there is equally good and bad. One comment about the “good” times under Clinton’s tax increases needs correction. Clinton was the beneficiary of the peace dividend as many former defense contractors moved to commercial endeavors. Japan Inc. was losing its luster. The dot.com and tele.com booms were in full exuberant expansion, creating wealth with no value. This new wealth grew the tax receipts significantly but vaporized in 2K. Here in CA our legislature went on a spending spree as a result thus contributing to our current problems because bad habits are hard to unlearn. Clinton also had a Repub congress after ’94 who set some things straight thus correcting some of the financial problems leading to the deficit reductions. Unfortunately, the Repubs also fell prey to the easy money and spent like sailors on a spree in the Bush II years. However, Congress for the last 4 years makes Bush era spending look thrifty.
    We are seeing some new leaders come out at state levels. Christy, Walker and a few others come to mind. They are being blunt, telling it like it is. We need to encourage them and desperately need someone at the federal level to do the same. At least the dialog has changed from spending to deficit reduction. I do wish that those now leading (and this seems to be the Repubs) would drop the social issues and stick to the financial ones. Example, Walker could have achieved his goals simply by demanding all new union contracts be placed before the people since “all” politicians cannot be trusted to negotiate in the tax payers best interests. In addition, the government should not be the dues collector for the unions. These two items alone would have accomplished his mission w/o all the rhetoric.
    As for the Repubs in DC, go after all subsidies for all entities, including biofuels, crude oil, alternate energy, PP, NPR, banks, Fannie Mae…….. It may not be possible to eliminate them all immediately but start them on a phased decrease with a final sunset date. Some can go faster than others.
    For cabinet departments, we need to review each according to the goals set up in their “organic” legislation, i.e. the legislation under which they were chartered. If any have failed to meet their goals, I would drastically cut them for next year and schedule another review. Failure to improve will result in more drastic cuts or elimination. Example DoEng. Their goal was energy independence, a strategic goal. Either succeed or die. The DoEd should just die since this is a state function. Why do we have a department of labor? Enforcing labor laws should be done by DOJ.
    Next should be entitlements. I hate the word. No one is entitled. First scrap the new Healthcare law as it does nothing to control costs, on the contrary it drives up costs. SS – We need to wean people off SS and make it a private savings plan. W was right but got demagogued on this issue. It will take 20 years or more to transform this to a private system but our children will thank us for it. It would be a lead item in what I would call the push to personal responsibility. Before you dispute this, start back in 1984 and compute the savings that you would have in an IRA type account had you just invested the excess SS they started withholding for the boomers back then. Had we started then, we would not be in this fix now. Like USW said, “If not now, when?” I will leave Medicare and -caid for others.
    Funding – No new taxes until we learn how to control spending. Do not trust them with your money. Do drill for oil, it is one of our biggest cash reserves. It means American jobs, tax income from employed Americans, more local economic activity, and less US$ going to the ME, Hugo, Ghadaffi, and other trouble makers.
    Last – Defense, cuts are needed but these should start with the defense contracts earmarked by congressmen for their districts. All weapons systems should be fully justified on merits not on manufacturing locale. Start bringing our troops home. Let Europe and Japan stand on their own. They have the manpower and resources to do so if they choose. They are as addicted to our military welfare.

  27. In Reports on March Deficit, Wire Services ‘Forget’ to Tell Readers Spending Reached All-Time Highs
    By: Tom Blumer | April 12, 2011 | 19:33

    In a business that is supposed to treat record achievements, dubious or otherwise, as news, it’s more than a little curious to note that the Associated Press’s Martin Crutsinger, along with Reuters and AFP, all “somehow” forgot to tell readers that March’s reported federal outlays, as seen in the Monthly Treasury Statement released today, came in at

    an all-time record of $339.047 billion, and that this year’s spending through six months of $1.849 trillion —

    also an all-time record — is 3.5% higher than last year’s comparable figure of $1.786 trillion ($1.671 trillion plus a non-cash credit of $115 billion explained here last year).

    This year’s six-month spending total annualizes out to $3.7 trillion, an amount that is almost $1 trillion, or 36%, higher than fiscal 2007. Though spending is the self-evident real problem, frontline reporters and their bosses would apparently prefer that news consumers not see how ugly those numbers really are.

    Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/#ixzz1JPUA8J76

    • gmanfortruth says:

      I would like anyone to explain how the left thinks there’s a “revenue” problem. 🙄

      • Too easy. #8.

        de·ni·al
           /dɪˈnaɪəl/ Show Spelled[dih-nahy-uhl] Show IPA
        –noun
        1.
        an assertion that something said, believed, alleged, etc., is false: Despite his denials, we knew he had taken the purse. The politician issued a denial of his opponent’s charges.
        2.
        refusal to believe a doctrine, theory, or the like.
        3.
        disbelief in the existence or reality of a thing.
        4.
        the refusal to satisfy a claim, request, desire, etc., or the refusal of a person making it.
        5.
        refusal to recognize or acknowledge; a disowning or disavowal: the traitor’s denial of his country; Peter’s denial of Christ.
        6.
        Law . refusal to acknowledge the validity of a claim, suit, or the like; a plea that denies allegations of fact in an adversary’s plea: Although she sued for libel, he entered a general denial.
        7.
        sacrifice of one’s own wants or needs; self-denial.
        8.
        Psychology . an unconscious defense mechanism used to reduce anxiety by denying thoughts, feelings, or facts that are consciously intolerable.

      • Well, some on the left think that taxes should be higher on corporations and the elite.

        I’m not sure if they should be or not, but we’re not talking game-changers in my opinion. Once the recession ends, revenue will come back.

        The problem is with outflow, not inflow.

        The problems are SS and the DOD and a few other issues.

        The problem is financing on the debt.

        The problem is not NPR.

        The problem is not PP.

        The problem is representatives who would rather throw out red meat by attacking contentious spending such as NPR and PP rather than attacking the programs that are costing the money.

        If your house is in debt, you might cut money across the board, but if you had to fight your wife on every penny, you would probably start with the luxury cars you’re both driving which cost $1,500/mo instead of trying to force her to give up her premium coffee which costs $10/mo.

        That is, unless you want the appearance of trying to cut spending without actually doing so.

        Book ’em all, and let’s try this whole thing again from scratch.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          The coffee is always worth it.

          Otherwise, generally agreed. The problem is spending, but to fix that problem we need to address – at least in part – revenue.

          • Buck,

            Almost there, “The problem is spending”, then you throw in the “but”. We need to treat the government like a drunken sailor or man with a gambling addiction. No more! Put them on an allowance or they will continue to increase spending.

            http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/04/the_presidents_budget_address.html
            From 1958 to 2008 the total tax revenue to the Federal Government has averaged between 16% and 20% of GDP. (The highest level in history was in 1944 when it hit 20.9 %.) This despite the fact that the top marginal rate has varied between 90 and 35% over that period. The historical lesson: there is simply no way the government will change the way the people, particularly the wealthy, pay their taxes short of outright confiscation and permanent damage to the economy.

            The left will argue that the wealthy should pay more even if it only makes a slight impact on the deficit. Why, other than out of spite? The only way to increase revenues to the Treasury, as has been proven by history, is to grow the economy, and to do that, the government cannot destroy the incentive of the producer class to do so. That requires dramatically reducing spending, regulations and the size of government at all levels.

  28. The frustration with those on SUFA is not the lack of common sense on what should be done or what needs to be done.

    It is the waste of time pontificating about it.

    Public choice doctrine explains the reason government expansion by the application of concentrated interests vs. diffused costs.

    Politicians tend to choose policies without concern that costs will exceed benefits as long as the costs are diffused among tens of millions of “losers,” and the benefits are concentrated among a much smaller number of “gainers.”

    The losers will have little or no role in the policy process, while the gainers, with much more at stake per person, will have a huge role.

    Such an asymmetrical interest explains why socially harmful government policies trump socially beneficial market solutions.

    Public Choice doctrine explains why gnawing teeth and gums about Washington policy is a total waste of time.

    And the disappointment -that again- another pointless article and hundreds of posts continues to distract from the necessary job at a hand, preparing for the decentralization of the national politics, and building the necessary political theory to accept political power at the county and city levels

    • BF

      Your Public Choice THEORY is exactly why we need to deal with all levels and why discussion of such is NOT a waste of time.

      Your analysis fails to recognize the political power that is tied to the theory. The theory is based on the assumption that the power structure can not be interrupted. But it can be.

      By events outside the system as well as by changes within the system. The question is not whether it can be done but whether there is enough time.

      Absolutely nothing in history or in your presentations supports the notion that national politics will not be centralized again following economic collapse. Creating strong local politics will not prevent centralization.

      It is all tied together and there is nothing you can do to prevent that. So you had better figure out how to address all levels in some form.

      This includes creating a new paradigm based on freedom, liberty and justice and then being able to show the people how it will all work. The NEW system must be sold to the people because it can not be imposed upon them.

      We are in a race. You say we are out of time. I am not so sure and your predictions could be mostly wrong. What if the FED ties up all that printed money to prevent it circulating? Then how does your scenario play out.

      I see that it is possible to buy more time needed to create the awakening on a larger scale. Your local politics fits into this part quite well and is in fact the key place to start.

      • Nancy Pelosi really misses the days when there was little discernable difference between the two major parties. She told students at Tufts University that Republicans should “take back” their party – presumably to a posture that didn’t place so much importance on quaint notions such as rule of law (“Are you serious? Are you serious?”) and fiscal solvency. Check out a longer excerpt from her speech after the break, and give us your thoughts in the comments.

        To my Republican friends: take back your party. So that it doesn’t matter so much who wins the election, because we have shared values about the education of our children, the growth of our economy, how we defend our country, our security and civil liberties, how we respect our seniors. Because there are so many things at risk right now — perhaps in another question I’ll go into them, if you want. But the fact is that elections shouldn’t matter as much as they do…But when it comes to a place where there doesn’t seem to be shared values then that can be problematic for the country, as I think you can see right now.

        Oy. What can you say to that? Who has the heart to tell Pelosi that the vast majority of the country does not share her values?

        Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb-staff/2011/04/13/open-thread-elections-shouldnt-matter-much-they-do-says-pelosi#ixzz1JQFTdf7H

  29. USWep

    You sir, are a very dangerous person.

    Oh, you bet!

    But in an entirely different way. The status quo will not stand, and I am the guy waiting in the wings to reorganize the pieces, while yours are still mucking around weeping about it or fantasizing.

    You say JAC is such, but your decision that destiny is set and therefore we should abandon any other activities will doom hundreds of millions, perhaps unnecessarily, who may have averted disaster instead of sitting on their hands crying because BF said it is too late.

    Deep Survival whether by an individual or by the Nation requires that the person accept that where they are is where they are right now – “you are where you are”. When you are lost in the woods, you are not lost in your living room. Acting as if you were merely wandering your house while lost in the woods will kill you.

    In this matter, the same thing. You believe government is under some management and control by the likes of you, or by some undefined magic, you can capture such control.

    I have been clear. There are TWO and only two ultimate scenarios – both of which are not in your control to choose.

    You do not command Washington.
    You do not command the Federal Reserve.

    Believing you command either or both is naive and fatuous.

    Understanding the consequences of the actions allows for planning.

    You are a warrior. You know a battle is coming, so you plan.

    But this is not what you are doing

    You are pretending the battle can be avoided, but the battle is already being fought. You mumble along believing some other battle is happening and ignoring the vital effort necessary to win the war.

    Perhaps you are right.

    I am as right as man watching another throw a rock in the air, knowing it will come back down. You are the man who believes the harder you blow, the slower it will fall – and maybe not fall at all.

    I am right.

    Yet you are unable to even process a version of the future that doesn’t 100% match yours.

    Absolutely correct. I do not try to manifest a fantasy and a myth in hopes it will exist one day.

    However, since no economic collapse in history has resulted in the absolute end of the world, I choose to place my efforts towards many different paths forward.

    You lack history lessons.

    The Fall of Rome was precisely this event.

    I will not give up on reforming the government simply because the the task is daunting.

    It is where the effort is necessary vs. where the effort is futile.

    By wasting time in the latter, you will lose the former – and you will completely lose everything.

    I simply said it is what needs to happen and failure to dramatically alter our current path is a recipe for disaster. You have decided that disaster is unavoidable. I have not.

    You are a man falling without a parachute, believing if he sews fast enough, he can manufacture a parachute out of his shirt and shoe laces.

  30. Buck the Wala and Mathius, Charlie also for that matter.

    I AGREE. Lets put ALL the cards on the table in these negotiations. ABSOLUTE HONESTY in the process.

    I will start.

    The proper role of the Federal Govt is to protect us from invasion, to support the courts needed to address interstate disputes and federal law, to negotiate treaties.

    Therefore, all programs that do not fit this purpose are hereby proposed for TERMINATION.

    So what is it you want to negotiate about?

    • Ok, my cards:

      The proper roll of the Federal government is to: form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

      Therefore, all programs that do not fit this purpose are hereby proposed for TERMINATION.

      • Mathius

        That is the same as what I said.

        Next.

        • Ah, I must have been confused.

        • I would also hazard a guess that my interpretation of “establish[ing] justice” differs somewhat from your interpretation.

          • So you want to negotiate on the meaning of justice?

            Equal application of law, as in applied the SAME to everyone. Govt force is restricted to retaliation against those who use force on the innocent.

            Example, flat tax for everyone or a per capita tax on everyone.

            National defense applies to everyone equally, thus it meets the demands of a Just Society.

            Now what is it you think JUSTICE means?

            • Those with the most ability to pay pay the most. Conversely, those with little or no ability to pay, pay little or nothing because doing so would be economically crippling.

              Your suggestion that national defense protects everyone equally is laughable. It protects the wealthy far more. It protects their seven houses. It protects their yachts. It protects their vast stores of wealth. And the poor are (generally) the ones who get to go do the dying.

              Justice means that children who have done no wrong do not go hungry.

              Justice means the infirm who cannot provide for themselves do not live in the street.

              Justice means the poor do no need to choose between heating their homes or seeking medical attention.

              Justice means that people who cannot afford private schools can still get an education for their children.

              Justice means that a coal plant cannot release tons of toxins into the air in pursuit of higher profit margins.

              Justice means that hospitals cannot turn away emergency patients due to an inability to pay.

              That’s what justice means to me.

              Disclosure: There are many things the government does in the name of justice which, I agree, do not meet my definition. Further it attempts to do many of these things, but does so poorly and requires massive correction.

              Justice means that the infirm, poor, disadvantaged, mentally feeble, and young, are people too, and that they should be treated like human beings by a rich and powerful society. It means that they are more than mere economic statistics.

      • Is this where one gets to throw a penalty flag?

        The Preamble does not contain any rights, powers or authorities, It only sums up, in the Framers beliefs, what the specific Articles and Amendments will accomplish.

        • It sums up, in the Framers beliefs, what the intent and aspiration of the American government should be.

          They intended for a Just society.

          • Mathius,

            No, the Founders did not intend for a “Just” society.

            Jefferson intended a Free Society.

            Hamilton infused the subjective notion of Justice – a tool amply pliable to manipulation.

            One man’s justice is another man’s tyranny.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              “Jefferson intended a Free Society.”

              So long as you were a white, male landowner.

          • Yet it comes down to:

            The Preamble does not contain any rights, powers or authorities…..

            So using it as justification, or right, or authority for the government to act is not valid argument.

            It means nothing in the overall context of the Constitution. It’s the fluff, not the substance of the document.

          • They intended for a Just society.

            Their definition of a just society and yours are likely very different.

  31. JAC

    Your analysis fails to recognize the political power that is tied to the theory. The theory is based on the assumption that the power structure can not be interrupted. But it can be.

    I posted three articles outlining specifically and comprehensively why what you claim is impossible.

    You are naive.

    You believe you can overrun 150 years of precedence and history – believe you can change a system that has been specifically organized to absolutely resist change.

    You offer no historical reference at all which ever shows it has happened before.

    I offer multiple examples of historical reference which shows how systemic change occursall of which rides on the consequences of government default

    The question is not whether it can be done but whether there is enough time.

    I posted awhile back about the “Revolution” – it happened 50 years ago. You are looking out beyond the walls of a crumbling castle for your “enemy”, but you do not realize they have already captured the center behind you.

    You lost before you knew the battle was engaged.

    Absolutely nothing in history or in your presentations supports the notion that national politics will not be centralized again following economic collapse.

    You are not paying attention.

    In fact, I have – Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Soviet Russia for current examples.

    Creating strong local politics will not prevent centralization.

    It is the best defense.

    It is all tied together and there is nothing you can do to prevent that. So you had better figure out how to address all levels in some form.

    You are not aware of the massive geo-political disruption that surrounds you.

    You have not kept up on your reading list.

    Please refer to USWep’s reading list post and review my suggestions:
    Sovereign Individual by Davidson and Moog.

    The ability to express power from a center is collapsing. The dissolution of nation-states is already happening, and will continue to accelerate.

    You had better wake up, or you will be crushed under the fall.

    This includes creating a new paradigm based on freedom, liberty and justice and then being able to show the people how it will all work. The NEW system must be sold to the people because it can not be imposed upon them.

    It is unnecessary to sell or impose.

    The economic default will shatter their world. Any articulated alternative will be seized. A drowning man is not too particular on the type of rope that is thrown to him.

    If you are not ready to step in with a well articulated alternative, you lose.

    Charlie’s gang has an -evil- but very well articulated alternative.
    You have nothing.
    You lose.

    We are in a race. You say we are out of time.

    You lost the race when you lost your kids to public schools.

    I am not so sure and your predictions could be mostly wrong.

    I haven’t been wrong yet.

    What if the FED ties up all that printed money to prevent it circulating? Then how does your scenario play out.

    I have explained this in detail. This is scenario #2: government default.

    Without the ability to monetize its debt, the government defaults.

    FedGov default will decentralized government. There is no “brake” to this decentralization at the State level, since the States cannot monetize their debts either.

    Decentralization, thus, will continue to the lowest political organization – county/city.

    I see that it is possible to buy more time needed to create the awakening on a larger scale.

    You have months to unravel what has been built in 150 years or longer.

    Further, you are premised that the People want change.
    They do not.
    They want what they have now.
    You will not get a hearing from them for you are advocating change from what they have now. Public Choice doctrine, JAC..

    Your local politics fits into this part quite well and is in fact the key place to start.

    Wasting time in Washington will seriously distract and diminish any effort where it is necessary.

  32. Sorry folks but must leave for a few days.

    Moving daughter to her new town.

    Until then, live life to the fullest.

    JAC

  33. gmanfortruth says:

    @BF, JAC, USW and everyone else,

    When I built my plan for any economic type disaster, I set it up in three areas. 1. Food stocks. I grew a large garden and canned relentlessly. Harvested deer and canned the venison. Purchased a 1/4 cow, and a half pig for the freezer. Bought bulk canned veggies wgen on sale. Bought boxed type foods that will last a fairly long time. We may not have enough room for this years canning, but we’ll make room, if need be, under the beds, LOL.

    2. Get my butt out of the city. Done!

    3. Get involved in the local community. Establish a neighborhood watch type program as I have outlined. This serves many purposes, a. Safety and security, a small, well trained group of people with high powered rifles can be quite a force if need be. b. Effect local elections to ensure those elected understand what freedom and liberty mean and how to preserve it. c. Get law enforcement on the side of the people, not the government.

    After planting season is over, I will begin part 3.

    What if Flag is wrong? So what! My food bills will be very low for a long time, and I have made many friends. We will still effect local government elections. Win-Win!

    What if Flag is right? I am prepared to provide for myself and family. I also have a small, well armed militia to defend what is ours. Win-Win

    Bottom line, other than getting killed defending our territory, I have nothing to lose. I will eat well, help others as I can and be a part of the local politics, regardless if F;ag is right or wrong. In the meantime, I have some spare time when the weather is bad to haggle about the thieves in D.C., or whatever other subject comes about. My plans are set and ready to engage whatever comes my way 🙂

    • TexasChem says:

      In the community I live in G-Man your 3 point plan has been a way of life since it was first settled.
      I’d like to add you should invest in fishing gear to help subsidize your meats. Build a smokehouse as well and smoke some meat! Its cheap and efficient.
      I can’t wait for the tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers to start making in my garden so I can pick them fresh in the evening for supper time! Mmmmmmmmm…! 🙂

      • gmanfortruth says:

        I’m with Ya TC! I’ve got a ton of fishing gear, a stocked pond within walking distance (3/4 mile), and two rivers ripe for trot lines for big channel cats! Native rainbow trout are very popular here as well.

        Fresh veggies are great! I alway enjoy knocking down fresh green beans the day the are picked and steamed to perfection!

        • TexasChem says:

          Oh yeahhhh…
          REAL butter slapped on dem’ steaming hot green beans…
          I have several rows of green beans and purple hulls planted!

        • trot lines are unsportsmanlike conduct! 👿 One at a time cheater 🙂

          • gmanfortruth says:

            Ah, My dear Anita, Trot line will only be deployed under extreme circumstances. I like a good rod and reel to do my normal fishing. I’ll be hitting that farm pond soon, stocked with walleye, bass and crappie!

            • gmanfortruth says:

              Forgot, I have 4 Fish Ohio awards from the State Game Department, 3 for walleye, 1 for yellow perch 🙂

            • Don’t forget the perch..perch & walleye…mmm mmm mmm!

              • TexasChem says:

                I camp out on the creek here and set out 10 to 20 cane poles with yellow belly and blue-fin perch as bait!
                Catch some monster Appaloosa and Blue catfish!
                Drink a bit o’ the spirits, stargaze and listen to the sounds of nature all night long! Telling stories to my boys and teach em’ how to live off the land.

              • Ya can’t ask for more than that!

                That’s part of what cracks me up about all the hollerin about politics. You really don’t need much more than what you just said..except a nice big bonfire to go with it.

  34. Sure it’s public worker unions that are bankrupting the country … yeah, right …
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-real-housewives-of-wall-street-look-whos-cashing-in-on-the-bailout-20110411?print=true

    • Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes?

      Yeah, me neither.

      • I’ve seen that quote all over FB today, Matt. It’s a good one.

        Not to worry, all we have to do is remove government and all those greedy gals and pals will smooth everything over for us. They’ll be so much competition for our duckets, nobody will be allowed to cheat (and form monopolies) … all those living in rural areas in need of better education can just take the cheapest form of transporation to the bigger cities and find it; all those living in poverty in urban areas need do is apply for jobs because they’ll be more than we’ll need. And should meat producers decide to skip some safety measures and poison half the population, so what? Mistakes happen.
        The free market does not guarantee our safety. If that half of the poisoned population needs health care and can’t afford it, no problem, they can just die off and help decrease the surplus population (Scrooge, Dickens) …

        Oy vey

      • Remember when :
        Planned Parenthood was Caught Aiding and Abetting Sex Trafficking of Minors?
        Franks and Dodd’s housing bubble crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, then blamed it on Bush?
        Obama’s regulatory agency failed to regulate, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
        GE, who’s president is VERY close to Obama, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes?
        Goldman-Sachs got 40?billion in TARP from Obama.

        Planned Parenthood Caught Aiding and Abetting Sex Trafficking of Minors

    • Charlie,

      There are abuses that are a significant part of the problem.
      You have police and fire calling in sick on normal days, then working on days off at overtime rates. They max out their overtime just before retiring to increase what should be their retirement pay. And what do they really stand for?
      Can you compare the classrooms to a sweatshop?

      http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/04/13/california-teachers-union-draws-rallying-cop-killer/?test=latestnews

      • LOI: Do you really want to go there? Overtime vs. 220 million in stolen cash (never mind the 700 billion; then the 38 billion in excused taxes) … and trust me, far more teachers are killed in the line of duty than corporate CEO’s … in fact, what teachers making $46K in Wisconsin contribute to society far exceeds what the bailed out CEO’s who rewarded themselves with multi-million bonuses for bankrupting their companies did or do.

  35. I wanted the Government to shut down. As a matter of fact, I DARED the sons to do it. I knew they didn’t have the stones.

    So a few govt workers would have been furloughed. Big whup! There weren’t any soldiers going to suffer, despite what Obama blustered. All ESSENTIAL services would have continued.

    For all the Congress’ and the President’s bawling, it wouldn’t have hurt a thing. Except maybe spend a little LESS of the taxpayers money.

    And then there’s the payoff to it. The people would maybe have seen that they didn’t need the government for their daily lives to keep functioning. We don’t need the Federal turds AT ALL.

    Why should the States send money to the Federal, just to have it sent back and then be told what they have to do with it? Why should ANY of us be told what to do with our own money?

    I don’t blame Obama and the Democrats solely for this. I balme them ALL. The Tea Party folks are the ONLY ones who are talking about REAL cuts. Every one of the others are just talking out of their assholes. Because thay ARE assholes.

    • Damn Esom, I sure wish you would quit whitewashing your opinion…go ahead and tell us what you really think!!!!

      • I don’t believe in bulldookey. I say what I believe, unlike politicians. And I don’t care what people think about it. They don’t HAVE to like it. So far, I am free to voice my opinion.

        I would make a very poor politician, don’t you think?

        Of course, when we get the thought police started, my behind is going to be in trouble!

  36. All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…
    All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy…

  37. TexasChem says:

    Whomever agrees with increasing taxes to our current federal government to increase our economic development is a madman in my opinion.

    Those of you that do must still have Michael Moore chomping away inside your head eating your brain if you would agree to let the out of control spendthrifts in control of our government increase their revenue to spend in the non-fiscal manner they have been. Hell you may as well place a burn barrel out into your yard and throw your money into it!

    In other words you are afflicted with or exhibiting irrationality and mental unsoundness, brainsick, daft, demented, disordered, distraught, dotty, insane, lunatic, mad, maniac, maniacal, mentally ill, moonstruck, off, touched, unbalanced, unsound, wrong, bonkers, cracked, daffy, gaga, loony, bananas, batty, buggy, cuckoo, fruity, loco, nuts, nutty, screwy, wacky, crackers, non compos mentis. Or my fav…batshit crazy!

    *Munch,munch,munch,munch,munch.*—Please, please, please use your brain and stop letting idiots eat it!

    • TexasChem says:

      After reading some of these posts I can honestly say that I understand the reasoning behind the beating of serfs during the middle-ages as a learning tool.

      You see— Once upon a time in a land not so long ago…
      the master artisan would take an apprentice under his belt to train in his particular skill. Beatings were very common when mistakes were made…also when a task was completed flawlessly. The beating would be so traumatic the apprentice would remember every detail of the last completed or uncompleted task…

      • TexasChem says:

        No Mr. Congressman you cannot spend the peoples hard earned wealth in that manner…*WHACK*

        No Mr. Congressman you cannot spend the peoples hard earned wealth in that manner…*WHACK*

        No Mr. Congressman you cannot spend the peoples hard earned wealth in that manner…*WHACK*…

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