The wages of profligate spending is economic death

The Bible famously teaches us in Romans 6:23 that the “wages of sin is death.” Given the warnings we have received recently from Wall Street and the International Monetary Fund, we should now realize that the wages of profligate spending is economic death.

In an unprecedented move last week, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the long-term debt outlook for the United States to “negative.” S&P noted that the lack of adults in the room willing to deal with ever-increasing national debt and long-term budget problems, such as unfunded liabilities represented by entitlement programs, could result in a lowering of long-term debt rating “within two years.” As you can imagine, Wall Street did not react well to the news as stocks fell by 1 percent the day the S&P released the statement.

Such an action would compound an already dire situation, for example, by increasing the costs associated with borrowing to finance debt. Perhaps even more troubling is that we may soon be overtaken by China as the world’s next economic superpower; a country that is also, and not coincidentally, America’s largest foreign creditor.

Two days ago, another economic bombshell fell. Brent Arends of MarketWatch noted on Monday that forecasts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) anticipate China’s booming economy will “surpass that of America in real terms in 2016.” He calls the report the “end of the Age of America.” It is neither easy nor pleasant to digest such a profound statement; and many political observers will be quick to dismiss the prognosis as exaggerated or politically motivated. The fact is, such a warning is serious business, and is sloughed off at great peril.

Arends also notes the report, “provides a painful context for the budget wrangling taking place in Washington right now. It raises enormous questions about what the international security system is going to look like in just a handful of years. And it casts a deepening cloud over both the U.S. dollar and the giant Treasury market, which have been propped up for decades by their privileged status as the liabilities of the world’s hegemonic power.”

While the IMF itself chose not to highlight the report, there is no getting around the fact it underscores what fiscal conservatives, including many now in the majority in the House of Representatives, know to be true. The fact is, the American economy which, since the close of the Second World War has largely driven the world’s economy, has become a house of cards resting not on a sound, market-based economy, but on the porous sands of runaway deficit spending.

This is more than a wakeup call; and there’s more than sufficient blame to go around. In recent decades and with only a few brief exceptions, both major parties have repeatedly and openly refused to address the disastrous situation presented by so-called “entitlements” with locked-in benefits that have become essentially untouchable. They also have continued to fund virtually every major wish of the Pentagon; afraid otherwise to be labeled “soft on defense.”

The American people — long-accustomed to having the federal government as the option of first resort to address all manner of society’s needs, from education to road building and from the environment to health care — are equally to blame for this looming economic train wreck.

Whether there is even now the will to change course in order to avoid this slide to economic mediocrity — or whether there is even sufficient time to do – is unclear. Early signs are far from encouraging. The strident opposition to the GOP’s “Ryan Budget” by the Democrats in the Congress and the Administration indicates that party remains locked in its New Deal feet of concrete. The fact that already some Republicans in both houses are voicing hesitancy to support the tough-love measures in the Ryan Plan is even less encouraging.

The last, best hope for salvaging America’s once-bright economic future – which will dictate also our political future – will come from three sources: the grassroots of the American electorate, a handful of new governors who understand like Washington does not that a government cannot survive living beyond its means, and whoever the Republican Party puts forward as its standard bearer in next year’s election. Heaven help us if any of these three elements falter.

By Bob Barr – The Barr Code

62 comments Add your comment

Katharine Otto

April 27th, 2011
6:57 am

Americans have been socially engineered to wasteful spending and spending beyond their means, following the government’s example. You don’t get value for your money with debt interest, and this is the federal government’s problem now.

Just look at what people buy in the grocery store if you want proof that people don’t know how to manage money. No wonder Americans are fat and unhealthy. Blame the media, advertising, and mind pollution through television. TV is the latest opiate of the masses.

Motocross Survivor

April 27th, 2011
7:05 am

The behavior of the general citizenry is usually at the core of problems like this. Just look at people’s relationship with the “health care” industry, which is always booming. They love dem drugs they see advertised on TV. I’ve heard from reliable sources that they often go in to see their doctor and demand a certain drug they’ve been mesmerized by from a TV ad. Never mind the cost—to their health and to their/our wallets.

Blog Soup

April 27th, 2011
7:48 am

China Called. They want Taiwan Back.

Also, the booming China economy is also in it’s infancy. The nature of any burgeoning economy is a cycle of boom and bust. When China busts, and it’s only a matter of time, then look out. It will make the debt crisis look like a picnic. Then we’re all f’d.

China is building a super navy too. When it’s completed it will make world war two look like a game of ping pong. Then we’ll all be double-f’d.

China’s power is in the hands of a communist few. These are evil godless tyrants who are dressing their army’s in capitalist’s clothing are willing to destroy half the world in order to win it all. When they attack, and they will soon, it will make the battle of gettysburg look like a love-in. We’ll all be triple-f’d, man.

carlosgvv

April 27th, 2011
8:37 am

It is true that “the lack of adults in the room” is one of the main problems in American politics. As the Tea Party increases in strength and the nation dumbs down even further, this immaturity will only increase. The average American can do absolutely nothing about this so adjusting our standards downward is the only thing we can do.

sean Yankee

April 27th, 2011
8:41 am

China has 4 times the people we do. OF course they will eventually over take our economy in size. Good grief folks, its not complicated math.

WOW

April 27th, 2011
9:09 am

“As the Tea Party increases in strength and the nation dumbs down even further, this immaturity will only increase. ”

WTF does that mean, carlos?

Trapped in a Red state

April 27th, 2011
9:13 am

Bob

You must have missed Paul Krugman’s NYT article wherein he claims the Ryan budget would not pay down the debt “one cent”. Krugman was citing several leading economist, not just himself, when he described the budget as a “farce”…at once laughable and dangerous”. Krugman’s got some credibility as you know…that Nobel Prize for one.
So, who are you sources that think Ryan’s budget is “Good for America”.

WOW

April 27th, 2011
9:13 am

“The Bible famously teaches us in Romans 6:23 that the “wages of sin is death.”

Not sure what that has to do with our economic problems, Bob. Be careful about taking the Bible out of context.

Anyhoo, neither side is serious about cutting spending. 45% of Americans don’t even pay income taxes so that tells me that this country is going to go bankrupt in the very near future.

Even if the GOP wins the White House in 12, it won’t matter because Obama and Bush have spent us into insane debt.

WOW

April 27th, 2011
9:14 am

“You must have missed Paul Krugman’s NYT article

Yeah, a lot of people missed reading his article because most people know he’s a hack.

WOW

April 27th, 2011
9:15 am

“Krugman’s got some credibility as you know…that Nobel Prize for one.”

Yeah, Arafat had one too, Red.

Oh, and you’re not trapped, you’re just ignorant. Delta is ready when you are.

Trapped in a Red state

April 27th, 2011
9:26 am

WOW

Nobody has any credibility in your opinion…therefore, facts cannot influence you…you have YOUR opinion and you will never be convinced to change that. Your kind of delusional thinking is being talked about in several news reports where we are trying to figure out the “birthers” for one. your kind defy logic and reason. So, from here on, I will not waste anymore of my time responding to you.

Logical Dude

April 27th, 2011
9:30 am

Bob,
You’re on the right track. I would have given the article an A if you added your apolgies for your own contributions to the debt.

I apologize for MY OWN contributions to the debt, as I’ve enjoyed the seemingly prosperous benefits of being an American.

Now, since we are a nation at war, we should FEEL like a nation at war. Taxes should rise to PAY FOR THE WARS that we are in. But hey, the politicians like to say “Everything’s okay, these fiscal matters work themselves out” or “Deficits don’t matter”.
Guess what? Deficits DO matter and we as a country MUST pay it. The sooner we pay it the less painful it will be. But we’ve waited too long already, and it WILL be painful.

WOW

April 27th, 2011
9:42 am

“Nobody has any credibility in your opinion…therefore, facts cannot influence you”

Lot’s of people have credibility with me, Red. Just not some commie appeasing NY Times hack.

“our kind of delusional thinking is being talked about in several news reports where we are trying to figure out the “birthers” for one.”

LOL!!!! My kind? Oh, and it’s funny that you brought up the birth certificate when NO ONE on this blog has even mentioned it.

“So, from here on, I will not waste anymore of my time responding to you.”

Sounds like someone needs a diaper change.

Gerald West

April 27th, 2011
9:54 am

Wow! If the best hope of salvaging our economic future comes from the grassroots American electorate, a handful of Republican governors who posture against “Washington spending”, and the Republican Party nominee in 2012, we’re sunk!

Wasn’t it those “grassroots” voters in the mountain and southern states who voted into office the politicians who brought us the sorry state of affairs. Didn’t they twice elect President Reagan, who gave the rich a big tax break, then covered the federal revenue shortfall by starting big-time deficit spending in peacetime? Didn’t they twice elect the second President Bush, who gave the rich another handout and tax break, plunged the federal budget from burgeoning surplus to deficit, initiated two off-the-budget wars, ran up the national debt to unsustainable levels, and allowed runaway financial euphoria to bring down our economy?

Aren’t the Republican governors among those who accepted federal stimulus money to stem the revenue shortfalls in their state, and demanded even more federal aid?

Aren’t the Republican politicians who are likely to be the nominee in 2012 all agreed that the way to economic prosperity is more tax cuts and favors for the rich, no end to senseless military spending on cold-war weapons development, i. e. the same voodoo economics that brought our economy into recession twice in the lifetime of most adult Americans?

Jeez, Bob! You’re politically blind!

WOW

April 27th, 2011
9:57 am

“Aren’t the Republican governors among those who accepted federal stimulus money to stem the revenue shortfalls in their state, and demanded even more federal aid? ”

Like who?

joe

April 27th, 2011
10:23 am

Precisely why we cannot afford 4 more years of Obama’s spending us into oblivion. ABO in 2012 (anyone but Obama).

Hillbilly Deluxe

April 27th, 2011
11:05 am

Those in Washington keep us focused on the left/right, Democrat/Republican angle and keep right on doing what they’ve always done.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 27th, 2011
11:59 am

Great essay Mr. Barr. “The fact that already some Republicans in both houses are voicing hesitancy to support the tough-love measures in the Ryan Plan is even less encouraging.” Thus you correctly magnify the distinction between a conservative and a republican. Regrettably Georgia is one of the few states with two such non-conservative republican senators.

Barack

April 27th, 2011
12:06 pm

Obamacare is the panacea to bringing our economy back in line. Taxing the richest American’s (you folks that make $250,000 or more can squeeze your cheeks a little tighter…cause that’s you) can raise another $50 billion or so to offset the $1.3 Trillion budget deficit. We can still spend freely folks. Everything is under control as long as ‘ol Barackie gets another 4 years.

jconservative

April 27th, 2011
12:19 pm

We got into the “mess” by cutting taxes and inccreasing spending in the same budgets. And, except for the last 3 budgets signed by Clinton, the “cut taxes-increase spending” model has been the accepted norm since the laste 1970’s.

We will only get out of this “mess” by increasing taxes and cutting spending. One without the other only works in the economic models that are fiction.

But the major portion of the correction must be spending cuts. I agree with Barr that the prospects of any significant spending cuts look dim. A few token, symbolic cuts for sure, but nothing that will change the bottom line.

j

April 27th, 2011
12:46 pm

“The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it’s just sort of a tired feeling.”
-Paula Poundstone

Jefferson

April 27th, 2011
1:04 pm

You cannot have a country of “haves” and “have nots”. The greed and money worship of the GOP is killing the great ole USA.

carlosgvv

April 27th, 2011
1:15 pm

WOW 9:09

If you had bothered to actually read the article you would know it means “the lack of adults in the room willing to deal with ever-increasing national debt and long-term budget problems” is getting smaller every year, thanks to the dumbing down of America and Tea Party morons.

WOW

April 27th, 2011
2:52 pm

“The greed and money worship of the GOP is killing the great ole USA.”

Does that include GE, GM and BP? All of whom are either owned and operated by the government or gave massive amounts of money to Obama.

“thanks to the dumbing down of America and Tea Party morons.”

So the tea party is responsible for the stupidity of America? Sounds like you have personal issues.

carlosgvv

April 27th, 2011
3:30 pm

WOW

Your reading comprehension skills needs improving. I said the dumbing down of America AND Tea Party morons.

allyanne

April 27th, 2011
4:58 pm

You left out one of the most important of Arend’s points in the article: The United States with its free trade agreements and outsourcing put profits ahead of jobs. Jobs *are* a country’s economic strength and government policy has not only permitted but encouraged outsourcing with tax breaks to our multinationals which have done away with 2.9 million US jobs in the last decade, while those very same companies have created 2.4 million jobs in China. No protection at all from the government on behalf of American workers though European countries all have them. And yes, Ryan’s plan would create a much larger deficit re the CBO while depriving millions of people of health care. Every civilized country in the world has health care benefits for its citizens except the US and they’re cheaper, provide more coverage and are more efficient. Nearly every country has the option of buying outside policies if one thinks they’re better or provide more coverage, but no one is dying because they don’t have any benefits at all. What they don’t provide are outsized profits for the medical and insurance industries. We’ve broken our country on enormous profits and compensation for executives in all large industries while the middle class is ending up with a not even a sliver of the pie, and the Ryan plan just serves to ramp it up even more instead of addressing the real problem – the ballooning of health care costs in the US over the last 30 years. We should re-think what kind of country we want to be. We’re already on the verge of losing it all by handing over the reins to big business who have little stake in the situation – they’re doing very well right now as you can see from the stock market on their profits and sales mostly from abroad. We’ve opened their eyes to the fact that they don’t need the US market but what are we going to do without decent jobs? Our military protects these interests but they’re really no longer “our” interests.

WOW

April 27th, 2011
5:16 pm

“Your reading comprehension skills needs improving. I said the dumbing down of America AND Tea Party morons.”

Carlos needs an enema.

ATF

April 27th, 2011
6:54 pm

We need to reduce spending and to raise taxes on higher incomes. Yes. Raise taxes. We were not communists or socialists in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s when personal and corporate taxes were higher. We built a nation and an economy that no one else could equal. We did that by more wisely using high taxes than any one else. We did not do it by cutting taxes and refusing to spend on things that would build the economy.

Huge defense spending led to real advances in science and really smart entrepreneurs translated those discoveries to consumer goods. We built an entire network of national highways that connected us as never before. We invested in our future. Now all we do is squabble over the president’s birth certificate, illegal immigrants and gay marriage while the future we received from our parents is squandered and we leave our children with only our own losses to pay for.

Tax reductions have not replaced jobs lost overseas. We have seen both income and wealth flow upward, so that as of 2007 the top 20% held 85% of all net worth of the U.S. and 93% of all financial asset; as of 2006, the top 20% received 61.4% of all income, up from 51.9% in 1982.

There has not been a “trickle down” – only a “trickle up.” And since 2006 and 2007, we have suffered the worst financial reversal since the Great Depression. Does anyone think those statistics would not now show an even greater concentration of wealth? You want to raise taxes on those who have continuously lost ground since the mid-eighties. Isn’t there a saying about blood and turnips?

Blog Soup

April 28th, 2011
7:10 am

Obama has dismissed Trump’s one-note sally presidential campaign with one act. this brings up the question: When Trump threw his hat into the ring, how could anyone tell? (you see, his hair is so hat like and well, it’s like a beaver pelt hat or something, you see……okay……exit stage left!)

Blog Soup

April 28th, 2011
8:08 am

The end of the “Age of America”? Gee, you mean these are the good old days? I must have missed this great Age we’re in. Just like, as an Aquarian High School Senior, I missed the “dawning of the age of Aquarius”. I never got laid and I didn’t go to the prom with the hot cheerleader. You nincompoops who have to categorize everything into Ages and Eras and Eons are the problem. Not the statistical data that may indicate a super-power or technological progress by skewing disproportional and arbitrary criteria. Historical revisionism is necessary only because of most journalists’ real-time, current-events revisionism.

Like this old slap: The civil war was fought over states rights, not slavery? Yes, the civil war was triggered by secession, where state law supercedes federal law. And we just couldn’t let a bunch of inbred,tobacco spittin’ hog-wrestlin’ ne’er-do-wells ruin our nation’s destiny. But the issue was and is slavery. Read Jefferson Davis’s inaugural speech. That document is the most important in our history because it clearly states the motive for war. Clearly. From the horse’s mouth. The civil war of 1860 started in 1776, because our war for independence was also a civil war. The issue was grudges, vendettas, jealousy and feuds, usually over land. People ambushed and murdered each other for bottomland and then escaped prosecution by calling their victims, “loyalists”, or “rebels”, depending on who kilt whom.

The issue of slavery confronted our founding fathers and they agreed to disagree and put the conflict off, but they all knew they had condemned a future generation to a civil war. We are still fighting that war. Vestiges of the legal protocol that ensured profitable slave trading lives in our contract law.

Another revolution needs to be fought. A civil war against the antebellum underwriters. (the dirty rats).

LeeH1

April 28th, 2011
8:47 am

Wow! What two-dimensional thinkers everyone is!

With gold at $1,500.00 an ounce, why is all that gold just sitting in Ft. Knox? Don’t sell enough to lower the price, but keep selling it at high prices.

Ditto we should government land, especially in the western states.

Best idea is to sell lottery tickets for green cards to the US. Winner has to pass security nadh ealth inspections, etc., but by allowing people another way in other than illegal, we can raise cash and fill a need.

Charge Mexico and other states the costs of sending their citizens back home. If they have jail time or other detention costs, add all those to the bill. Then add a nice little extra for any American citizen who turns them in. At that point, Mexico would be interested in building the wall on thier side of the border! Profit from filling a need- that’s the American way!

Allow green cards for those people (who pass security and health inspections) who own over $1,000,000.00 in the US. Profitable citizens make profitable income. Instead of a brain drain from other countries, let’s start a money drain instead! There are many millionaires in third world countries who would like the protection of the US residence, and eventual path to citizenship.

Charge illegal immigrants who are caught extra fines and fees. However, those who show they have been good and productive for five years can stay if they pay full taxes, plus something “extra” for the time they did not pay taxes, and because we don’t like them.

There is plenty of money out there for Americans to make to cover the debt. We just need some plain old American common sense. Oh! I forgot. We ain’t got none anymore!

carlosgvv

April 28th, 2011
9:02 am

WOW

Please tell me what you are drinking so I can order a case. There are times when I would like to be out there in la la land where you are.

sam

April 28th, 2011
10:33 am

You are all forgetting the real problem. The problem isn’t the rich–most of them work hard for the money they have made. The problem is we have an ever growing class of ignorant, incompetent, whining, obese, entitlement population that keeps breeding its unwanted little rug rats willy nilly without any thought given to raising them, supporting them either emotionally, intellectually or economically. Of course this country is going to the dogs. Are you one of them?

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

April 28th, 2011
11:02 am

Fascist plutocracy’s Fifth Column false elite (known by America’s “whig” Founders as “tories”) control both the Demublicans and the Republicrats whipsawing the People by effecting the treasons and false wars to drive us into debt to “them” through the Federal Reserve John Kennedy’s Executive Order 11,110 ended.

Their treasons must be adjudicated, their fates “sealed” and all their spiraling concentration of wealth expropriated.

Ventura 2012

Hypocrisy

April 28th, 2011
11:05 am

when barr was a member of a republican controlled congress, there was no effort to cut wasteful spending in defense, agricultural subsidies or entitlements. He’s a pure hypocrite.

RGB

April 28th, 2011
11:11 am

Krugman’s got some credibility as you know…that Nobel Prize for one.

Oh, you must mean FORMER ENRON ADVISER PAUL KRUGMAN.

RGB

April 28th, 2011
11:14 am

when barr was a member of a republican controlled congress, there was no effort to cut wasteful spending in defense, agricultural subsidies or entitlements. He’s a pure hypocrite.

Do you advocate, then, that the U.S. should do nothing to reduce spending, reclaim a favorable bond rating, and restore our economic prosperity? Or should we just resign ourselves to economic destruction because “he’s a pure hypocrite”?

Just wonderin’.

Truth

April 28th, 2011
11:25 am

Simple – get rid of current income tax system and replace with the FAIR TAX

Second – Pass a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment

joe

April 28th, 2011
11:25 am

You cannot have a country of “haves” and “have nots”–SOCIALISM 101

Mel Bay

April 28th, 2011
12:07 pm

One wonders where Bob Barr was in 2001-2003 when the Federal budget went from a surplus to a $400 billion deficit largely because of two wars coupled with tax cuts. Oh, wait! He voted on these items! Can he defend his record?

Jobs

April 28th, 2011
12:22 pm

The reason we do not have jobs is because for the last decade jobs have been leaving the US going to Mexico or China. Watched as 400 people lost their jobs because the company was to receive tax breaks for sending jobs to other countries from 2004-2006. During these years, companies were paid to send jobs out of the US. No you wonder, where are the jobs. They are in other countries but the companies are making profits and that is ALL they care about. These corporations do not care about people just profit. And that my friend, is how it started and hear we are with not enough jobs to go around. Well, the corporations keep making their huge profits on the backs of Americans. Corporations have no incentive to create jobs because they still are making money. The republicans want to keep giving tax breaks to big oil companies, corporations, and the rich. It is time to realize that the GOP’s way of taking from the poor to give to the rich will not work. It is time to raise taxes on the rich and do away with job killing tax breaks for corporations.

Worked in the Corporate world for 30 years and watched the “dog-eat-dog” or “people-eat-people” world.

I Know You Are But What Am I

April 28th, 2011
12:32 pm

I’d like Bob to write a column which explains precisely where our country would be today had Obama not pulled the trigger on Stimulus II.

I’ll tell you one thing: if he’d held the cash, the same whiners who’re killing him over the debt would be asking how he let the country go to hell in a handbasket.

Ronnie Bonzo Reagun

April 28th, 2011
12:33 pm

“Politics is just like show business. You have a hell of an opening, coast for a while, and then have a hell of a close.”

carlosgvv

April 28th, 2011
12:38 pm

Jobs

I worked in the Corporate world for over 40 years and everything you say is true. I would also point out that those corporations sending jobs overseas have absolutely no patriotism at all. Money is the one and only thing they care about.

Jobs

April 28th, 2011
12:52 pm

Carlosgvv,

So there you have it, we know where the jobs are. Money is the ONLY thing they worship.

Eric

April 28th, 2011
12:52 pm

Wasn’t the U.S. responsible for helping build up China’s economy? So what are we getting in return? Evidently nothing.

Tosh.No

April 28th, 2011
12:58 pm

Not all Americans, I have virtually no debt, own my own house, and live well within my means. Maybe the rest of this country and especially our goverment need to learn to do something like this as well.

commoncents

April 28th, 2011
1:01 pm

Tosh.No- “asking” people to learn a certain behavior will never work. They must be forced to act/spend appropriately

Old Dawg

April 28th, 2011
1:04 pm

I’ll echo several folks who have posted here and add a few ideas of my own:

. For too many years we have sent jobs to Mexico, China and other countries while turning a blind eye to the long-term economic needs of the U.S.

. For too many years we have allowed U.S. corporations operating in the U.S. and elsewhere to “operate” their businesses in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying taxes. This is especially upsetting when the corporations make the majority of money on government contracts.

. For too many years we have allowed corporations to complain about the high tax rates in the states, when we all know they either don’t pay any taxes at all, or very low taxes. I’m willing to cut the corporate tax rate if all, and I mean all, of the loop holes are eliminated. For G.E. to have 1,000 tax attorneys working to eliminate taxes is not just a sin, it’s a crime.

. For too many years we have invested too much of our money in our military instead of highways, railroads and communications, the bedrock of domestic infrastructure and movement of goods and commerce

. For too many years we have allowed the concept of cutting taxes to spur economic growth, when all the statistics (i.e.: facts) don’t support this

. For too many years we have allowed our politicians to behave like third graders in regard to political differences, instead of forcing them to compromise on issues and maintaining our country’s strength – creating new technologies, products and services – and selling them to the rest of the world.

It’s long past time to stop the name calling and get down to work. We can solve these problems if we act like adults and don’t consider anyone who has a different viewpoint a communist, nazi, terrorist etc. It’s time for America to grow up, roll our sleeves up and maintain our way of life!

black republican

April 28th, 2011
1:06 pm

Great Column Congressman Barr,but afraid intelligent people like yourself are not being heard anymore!! The fact of the matter is until America starts back helping America we are in serious trouble!!! NAFTA ,OPEC, and other rogue organizations have sucked our economy dry!!!!! We must balance our trades with China in order to keep afloat,I don’t care if Obama does it,Palin,Romney or whomever does it, Balance the Trade with CHINA it hasn’t been equal EVER at least Trump has the balls to say it in public!!! Mention China with the current GOP and Democratic brass runs with their tails stuck between their legs!!!!

poison pen

April 28th, 2011
1:09 pm

Jefferson

April 27th, 2011
1:04 pm
You cannot have a country of “haves” and “have nots”. The greed and money worship of the GOP is killing the great ole USA.

Jefferson, are you cognizant of the fact that Obama has more money in his warchest than any other President? Where do you think he gets his money, from Welfare recipients? DUH!

poison pen

April 28th, 2011
1:12 pm

Krugman’s got some credibility as you know…that Nobel Prize for one

Yes, and Tucker has a Pulitzer, DUH!

RGB

April 28th, 2011
1:18 pm

What I’ve learned today:

If you are running a company whose cost structure is uncompetitive with global competitors, you should maintain your high cost structure, “keep jobs in America”, and just go on with life. Damn the torpedoes…..

When your shareholders ask [post-bankruptcy] “why didn’t you respond to low-cost competitors by lowering the company’s cost structure?” you can square your shoulders, smile broadly and say: “Because keeping jobs in America is (was) the right thing to do.”

Then you can proceed to fire your distribution staff, sales and marketing people, finance folks, etc. and ALL the associated U.S.-based companies who supply goods and services to them. Your bondholders, creditors, suppliers, shareholders, etc. will be left with nothing.

Your foreign competitors will then suck up your market share and retain their non-U.S. based support people and will actually hire more people as a result.

The support folks you fired will go on unemployment or welfare. The government will respond by “raising taxes on the rich” to pay for the government benefits. As a result, the U.S. corporate tax rate will surpass the only nation heretofore with a higher tax rate (Japan) which will raise the breakeven point for even more businesses. Then we can tax the rich again so we can pay for the “benefits”–which causes more companies to close.

We can then elect another liberal to the presidency who blames everything on the rich as we suddenly realize life and prosperity as we’ve known it changed forever. And it’s all the fault of “corporations and the rich…and the Republicans.”

That’s good thinking and I’m so glad you shared it with me.

Gordon

April 28th, 2011
1:27 pm

RGB – great post.

roughrider

April 28th, 2011
1:38 pm

I wish the political hacks who include medicare in their list of entittlements would wake up and smell the roses. The people paid in enough social security taxes to take care of medicare. We can’t help it if the politicians stole it and spent it on other programs.

carlosgvv

April 28th, 2011
2:10 pm

Old Dawg – “we have allowed”

Unfortunately, the average American can do nothing to stop all these things you correctly point out. We can only vote for those on the ballot. If you know of a way we Americans can undo all of this, please tell us.

Halftrack

April 28th, 2011
3:09 pm

The wages of profligate spending & QE printing of money is economic death. The QE has robbed every citizen by approx. 20% of value so far. The cost of a barrel of oil now cost us more in dollars by 20% or more. It is our own government that is causing the problem and Congress is too scared & weak to say STOP. The debt ceiling must not be raised.

carlosgvv

April 28th, 2011
3:19 pm

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As an alternative, we could change our political election process and free our politicans from corporate dependence. Once corporations understood Congress would no longer take care of them they could make the effort to keep jobs here and learn how to compete with foreign countries. There are certainly many other countries who DON’T ship jobs pell mell overseas. Of course, for this to happen, Congress would have to give up a great deal of corporate bribe money and Big Business would lose all those political perks Congress gives them. I learned a long time ago that these actions, which would help our country so much, will never happen.

WOW

April 28th, 2011
5:10 pm

“Please tell me what you are drinking so I can order a case. There are times when I would like to be out there in la la land where you are.”

You have a really low IQ, don’t you.

Retta

April 28th, 2011
11:55 pm

The Iraq war was about oil; oil companies should have paid for it–the American people already have–we just paid it to the oil companies rather than the government.

Dr David Hill

April 30th, 2011
7:06 pm

Although my Swiss S&T Foundation has been warning of the developing economic might of the East and its social and economic effects on the West for two decades now, western economies are now forewarned that China has now entered its fourth phase of its economic blueprint and where the head of the their central bank has advised their government to offload some US$2 trillion of reserves – or in other words US$2,000,000,000,000. Indeed the bank advises that they invest at least this amount of the US$3.04 trillion they presently hold in reserves, into technologies and investments that will enhance the nation’s future prosperity further. Not many economists warned at the start of the 1990s of the dire effects that this massive balance of economic power transference would have on the West and only in relative recent times have they come to realise this (no more than a decade ago). This enormous buying power, that is increasing at around US$200 billion a quarter in further Chinese reserves, will see vast numbers of western corporations and therefore western jobs fall into the hands of the Chinese (and other eastern corporations). This is just the start of the fourth phase of the Chinese blueprint and where China’s ultimate goal is to capture the dominance in global innovation that will provide for them an unassailable lead in global wealth in the 21st century. Our charity has known these facts for years but no western government has taken any notice. Now this sheer complacency on the part of our politicians and industrialists will simply reap absolute havoc on western economies and their people. But the big question is, when will these same pillars of our western establishment realise that the only way to stem this vast economic and social threat to our people, is to develop and put in place the creative infrastructure where all the people’s thoughts can bear down onto this great economic imbalance. Again our Swiss charity has been stating to governments for two decades to implement this world-leading pre-eminent thinking but where again unfortunately, they simply have not listened. For it is the only way to turn the tide and create whole new industrial global bases. In this respect we need the ideas people to be fully harnessed and allowed to flourish. If we do not understand this, we shall simply see over the next two decades a vast unprecedented decline in our living standards. Therefore our politicians have been advised and warned again, but where this time if they do not listen, they will see their people impoverished like never before. Wake up western governments to the realities that reside on the horizon for us all if we do not change our economic thinking radically.

Dr David Hill
Executive Director
World Innovation Foundation

Koi Scrubs

May 2nd, 2011
8:24 am

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