A $1.5 trillion deficit ought to be cause for compromise

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the deficit for fiscal 2011 will hit $1.5 trillion, or almost 10 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. While the estimate is considerably higher than earlier CBO estimates, it’s also not a surprise. The estimates jumped after Congress and President Obama agreed late last year to extend the Bush tax cuts and continue paying extended unemployment benefits, in some cases for as long as 99 weeks.

Source: CBO/Jay Bookman

Source: CBO/Jay Bookman

By law, the CBO is also required to try to look 10 years into the future in order to give policymakers some guidance about the longer-term impact of their decisions. The chart to the right, for example, documents the CBO projection of what the deficit — as a share of gross domestic product — will do between now and 2020.

At first glance, it doesn’t look so bad. Note the sudden improvement in fiscal 2013 and 2014, with the deficit as a share of GDP dropping by more than two-thirds. However, that improvement assumes that the Bush tax cuts disappear as scheduled after 2012, with taxes reverting to 2000 levels. (It also assumes that other pieces of law, including the so-called “doc fix,” are allowed to disappear as scheduled.)

Congressional Republicans, of course, have no intention of allowing that to happen. They have convinced themselves and their followers that it is possible to address a problem of this magnitude simply by cutting spending.

They have not, however, been able to convince the accountants or anybody else with any familiarity with the numbers.

For example, the GOP’s ambition is to force a cut of as much as 20 percent in non-defense discretionary spending, a step that would do very real damage to popular, even necessary programs. But let’s say that they succeed, that they are able to get those cuts through a Democratic Senate and signed into law by President Obama. What will they have accomplished?

Well, nondefense discretionary spending amounts to 15 percent of the budget. Cutting 15 percent of the budget by 20 percent cuts the overall budget by a whopping 3 percent. That doesn’t come close to offsetting the impact of making the Bush tax cuts permanent.

Earlier this week, in the GOP response to the president’s State of the Union, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan spoke of the deficit in near apocalyptic terms:

“Speaking candidly, as one citizen to another: We still have time… but not much time. If we continue down our current path, we know what our future will be.

Just take a look at what’s happening to Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom and other nations in Europe. They didn’t act soon enough; and now their governments have been forced to impose painful austerity measures: large benefit cuts to seniors and huge tax increases on everybody.

Their day of reckoning has arrived. Ours is around the corner. That is why we must act now.”

Personally, I thought Ryan’s rhetoric was a bit melodramatic, but the problem he describes is real. If he is honest in his concern, he knows that as a matter of politics and a matter of math, the problem can be addressed only through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.

Republicans can’t enact spending cuts of the size needed, particularly in slowing the growth in entitlements, without Democratic help. Democrats can’t enact tax increases of the size needed without Republican help. Together, it is possible to fix this. Apart, it is not.

Bottom line, says the CBO:

“To prevent debt from becoming unsupportable, policymakers will have to substantially restrain the growth of spending, raise revenues significantly above their historical share of GDP, or pursue some combination of those two approaches.”

The longer we pretend otherwise, the worse the problem becomes.

– Jay Bookman

508 comments Add your comment

Kamchak

January 27th, 2011
3:45 pm

jm

January 27th, 2011
3:47 pm

“A $1.5 trillion deficit ought to be cause for compromise”

Amen.

AmVet

January 27th, 2011
3:51 pm

It should be interesting to see what our resident experts/armchair economists have to opine on this topic.

Presuming of course they can stop being resident experts/armchair meteorologists and resident experts/armchair generals long enough to do so…

jm

January 27th, 2011
3:52 pm

Some tax increases (2% rate increase for every bracket, temporary, if recovery provides significant new revenues). Moderate to large spending cuts (discretionary can and should be cut by $100B’s, and reallocate the remainder to be most effective, cut military spending by $100B, and enact some entitlement reform…. which will only have longer term benefits.

This whole thing is making me sick and ill, $1.5 Trillion is so incredibly immense….

Jay

January 27th, 2011
3:53 pm

chart there now

Dr. Feel

January 27th, 2011
3:54 pm

$1.5 trillion. Sounds kind of nebulous doesn’t it? I know it’s a lot of money but how much. $1.5 trillion is $5,000 for every single (and married) man, woman, and child in this country. So, while the World’s supply of oil, food, etc. remains relatively static, there will be $1.5 trillion more dollars (not to mention Yen, Pounds, Euro, etc.) chasing those finite necessities. If you had to guess, what do think will happen to the price of those necessities? What do you think will happen to your earnings in 2011? Go up? I hope so!

AngryRedMarsWoman

January 27th, 2011
3:55 pm

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 27th, 2011
3:55 pm

Congressional Republicans, of course, have no intention of allowing that to happen. They have convinced themselves and their followers that it is possible to address a problem of this magnitude simply by cutting spending.

Now… There you go GOP bashing again… :)

I said end the tax discounts last year. Let the tax rates reset to 2000 levels. Turn around and lower spending to 2006-2008 levels as the GOP wants. The Dems get a tax increase (as the GOP would call it), and the GOP would get spending cuts (as the Democrats would call it). Look at what happens over 2 years while simultaneously doing a complete top to bottom review of every single program funded by the federal government. Eliminate outdated and unused programs, do away with any agencies with overlapping responsibilities, and consolidate the entire function and operation of the government. At the end of that 2 year period, the government should be leaner and function without most of the bureaucracy that it currently has. Set guidelines in stone so that funding and programs are done as needed and not wanted.

barking frog

January 27th, 2011
3:57 pm

Make the tax cuts permanent and the problem will disappear.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

January 27th, 2011
3:57 pm

Well, I got the problem fixed in two words—well, maybe two if you want to get picky about it:

Off-budget.

It worked when we was fighting two wars. Iraq? Off-budget. Afghanistan? Off-budget.

So it ought to work now. Not just for the two wars but for SS, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense—you name it and we can put it off-budget. Put enough stuff off-budget and we can balance the budget and give another big Tax Cut too.

No charge for the advise. It’s just that sometimes you folks get so smart you overlook the easy fix.

Have a good p.m. everybody.

Pogo

January 27th, 2011
3:58 pm

Jay, I was with you on the first half until you started your diatribe on the “Republicans and taxes”. This deficit has reached a point that if not fixed, it is going to eat us all up alive. To remedy it it is going to require massive spending cuts of all the “sacred cows” and it is going to require increases in taxes and even if these things are done, they will just keep us afloat. Spending has got to be rained in or tax increases will do nothing. Without spending cuts, taxing at a 100% rate will barely put a dent in the interest of our debt. The sad part is, even if these things are done due to the extent of our deficit, this will not save us. It will just keep us treading water. That is how massive our deficit is. I don’t think people have a real appreciation of the term “trillions”.

jm

January 27th, 2011
3:58 pm

Should have extended tax cuts for 1 year and split the difference between expiring rates and old rates for calendar year 2012….. ease us in to the new tax rates.

I don’t like higher taxes. I don’t like sovereign default more.

AngryRedMarsWoman

January 27th, 2011
3:58 pm

“Some tax increases (2% rate increase for every bracket, temporary, if recovery provides significant new revenues).”

I have always said that I would pay increased taxes if I thought for just one moment that Congress would not just increase spending to take up the slack. If I had any trust in our government to take the extra money to pay down the debt and pay back Social Security I would do it in a hearbeat. Unfortunately, giving money to Congress is like giving it to my child — anyone got a bag of crap to sell because my kid will buy it before that money burns a hole in his pocket. LOL

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:01 pm

MarsWoman – Congress will spend itself to oblivion, tax revenue or not…. everyone should be job hunting in Asia, there are good well paying jobs there. And lower taxes and better government in a fair number of the countries.

Canada is well run too.

kayaker 71

January 27th, 2011
4:01 pm

Liberals keep harping about retaining the Bush tax cuts will increase the deficit. There is only one thing that will decrease the deficit…… don’t spend as much. You don’t have to be an armchair economist to figure this one out. Just a pragmatic American who is concerned about he future of his country.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:02 pm

Germany has a low unemployment rate…. folks broaden your horizon. The US looks likely, although not definitely, to be toast.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:06 pm

Without spending cuts, tax rates need to go up somewhere around 14% (for everything, corporate, income, capital gains, etc). Terrifying.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

Obama is a complete dumb-a– for focusing on health care first…. the guy deserves to be fired in 2012. He put ideology before practicality. That’s grounds for dismissal.

AmVet

January 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

Now… There you go GOP bashing again…

Yes! More Bookman vitriol!!

carlosgvv

January 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

Republicans will keep defense spending high because defense contractors are one of their major sources of campaign cash. It’s just that simple and the Republicans are just that base.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:10 pm

Our country is so poorly run, it is just mind boggling.

@@

January 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

Alls I gotta say, is….since there appears to be time, THEM FIRST! CUT THE SPENDING…then come talk to the taxpayers.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a Mexican standoff.

And NO, I’m not holding anyone’s…..errrr….hand while they make up their collective minds.

PULL THE TRIGGER! BITE THE BULLET! GIT ER DONE!

Kamchak

January 27th, 2011
4:12 pm

Germany has a low unemployment rate…

And I’ll bet it’s because they have a lower percentage of workers in a union than the U.S.

:roll:

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 27th, 2011
4:12 pm

AmV

I knew it wouldn’t take long for someone to say it. Figured I’d be a joiner today. :)

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:13 pm

A feel like my whole economic future is being toyed with by stupid and morally corrupt democrats and republicans.

Gotta get back on that singapore job website tonight.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:14 pm

Kamchak – they have partially rigid labor laws. But it has more to do with a thriving export business. Ie, they know how to make sh-t better than ADD, ignorant, under-educated, lazy americans.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:15 pm

On the bright side, the homeless guy I’m helping finally got a GA ID today. Big accomplishment. Next step, a bank account and MARTA card….

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 27th, 2011
4:17 pm

If there is anybody who can really tell you what the economy is going to look like in 2020, they are a whole lot smarter than me.

Fedup

January 27th, 2011
4:18 pm

Let us enact all the budget proposal of the GOP side for this fiscal year. After the year is over if the unemployment does not go down and/or the deficit increases in the next fiscal year let us increase the taxes to the preReagan era. Will the GOP take that bet?

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 27th, 2011
4:18 pm

they know how to make sh-t better than ADD, ignorant, under-educated, lazy americans

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-OkHz2Lmy0&NR=1

If you feel that way about your fellow countrymen, then maybe you SHOULD get back to that Singapore job website.

Kamchak

January 27th, 2011
4:20 pm

No, jm. You never miss an opportunity to bash unions and now you cite a country that has a higher percentage union representation so you gotta make sh_t up as caveats.

Del

January 27th, 2011
4:22 pm

The CBO Director warns that if spending isn’t brought under control our debt could soon reach 100% of total economic output. The first step is to aggressively tackle spending and then look at how additional tax revenue generation may be necessary. Just giving politicians additional tax dollars to waste before government gets into a disciplined budget spending pattern would be irresponsible. Of course the Democrats don’t care much for that approach but they’ll have no choice but to get on board or get off board.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:23 pm

SoCo 4:18 – the stats bear me out. college and high school graduation rates, test scores, etc etc.

Kamchum – buddy, I did admit they have a higher unionization. their culture is also very different (their unions are cooperative, not adversarial like ours). so – what’s your point? nevermind…. don’t really care

Doggone/GA

January 27th, 2011
4:24 pm

“If there is anybody who can really tell you what the economy is going to look like in 2020, they are a whole lot smarter than me”

Projections are not predictions

AmVet

January 27th, 2011
4:24 pm

SoCo, it’s always struck me as more than a little bizarre.

It would be like me going to the Fudge Report (Presuming there is a blog there?), throwing a daily tantrum, incessantly insulting people personally, using every logical fallacy known to man and then playing the victim role.

Alriiiighty then…

Regarding the economy, yes we’re hosed. Yes we live in a de facto and de jure corporatocracy. Yes the working class continues to get hammered. Yes the white collar criminals and monied interests (hat tip Thomas Jefferson) continue to rule from their Wall Street thrones, but I ain’t throwing in the towel.

I hope to live long enough to see a whole bunch of them spending quality time in an 8 X 12.

BTW, can anyone direct me to the Fountain of Youth? (And not that fake one in St. Augustine!)

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:25 pm

Del – I feel like we’re watching the manufactured downfall of the Soviet Union. From inside this time. The great liberal project will soon come to a crashing halt as they spend themselves into bankruptcy.

andygrdzki

January 27th, 2011
4:27 pm

But Jay, what about…..

From NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell
Dismissing President Barack Obama’s opposition to earmarks as “an applause line,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told NBC News on Wednesday that the president should “back off” and let lawmakers continue to direct spending to their home districts.

Asked during a one-on-one interview with NBC whether Obama was wrong to promise a veto on any bill that contains earmarks, Reid quickly replied, “of course.”

“This is an applause line,” Reid said. “It’s an effort by the White House to get more power. They’ve got enough power as it is.”

Reid, along with other lawmakers who support earmarking, argues that eliminating the practice simply puts more discretion in the hands of executive branch officials who have authority to fund projects. “I have a Constitutional obligation to do congressionally directed spending,” he said. “I know much more about what should be done in Elko [or] Las Vegas, Nevada, than some bureaucrat does back here.”

Reid said voters should recognize that eliminating congressional earmarks does not, in itself, reduce spending but changes how the same money is spent.

“I think it’s absolutely wrong and the public should understand that the president has enough power; he should back off and let us do what we do.”

And the Dems want to keep spending……..

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 27th, 2011
4:28 pm

jm

I talk to Germans on a daily basis. They, amongst other countries, produce engineers out their asses. You can ask them what did they study in school, and they’ll answer, industrial engineering. What do you do for a job? I work in a factory building such-and-such. Education isn’t all you try to make it out to be.

The reason Germany is kicking our ass in business, is because their countrymen believe in their country. They did not sell out their businesses to the highest bidder like we do here. Businessmen here don’t give a sh*t about country, all they care about is $$$. It’s a damn shame even to look at famous landmarks like the Empire State Building and such, and know that they’re not even American owned anymore. That’s what’s wrong with us. We sell more of our own sh*t like crackheads. We damn near sold our entire manufacturing industry.

Doggone/GA

January 27th, 2011
4:28 pm

“And the Dems want to keep spending”

Not all of us

andygrdzki

January 27th, 2011
4:28 pm

Or is it INVESTING!!!!!

ingleburt humperdink

January 27th, 2011
4:29 pm

why don’t we just declare bankruptcy and get a debit card.

Robert

January 27th, 2011
4:30 pm

Let’s not forget the facts. When Obama took office, there was already a $1.2 trillion dollar deficit, which he inherited from Bush and the republicans. So let’s be clear about who created this deficit, lest like Americans idiots…we start hurling shallow accusations around. By the time Obama took office, the republicans had spent $1.2 trillion in deficit for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Bush started with almost a trillion dollar surplus and ended with a $1.2 trillion deficit. The smelly republicans can’t spin this.

Del

January 27th, 2011
4:31 pm

jm, I unfortunately share your feeling. The collapsed Soviet Union at least had good old Uncle Sam to help them out of the gutter. We don’t have anybody and both the Russians and the Chinese along with every other past and present adversary all know it.

Keep up the good fight!

January 27th, 2011
4:31 pm

andy, was the purchase of your home just spending or an investment? the purchase of stock? the purchase of your education?

Kamchak

January 27th, 2011
4:31 pm

their culture is also very different (their unions are cooperative, not adversarial like ours).

Again with the caveat

Spin spin spin

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 27th, 2011
4:32 pm

Robert

Bush did not inherit a true surplus….. Keep it real, bro.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:32 pm

andy – ““I know much more about what should be done in Elko [or] Las Vegas, Nevada, than some bureaucrat does back here.””

and if its such a good damn idea, why don’t they spend their own state money on it? same goes for savannah port deepening, the beltline, etc etc

SoCo – “They did not sell out their businesses to the highest bidder like we do here. ” I think that’s hard to back up with facts, they’re as aggressively capitalistic as we are. Go hang out in Hamburg. They get as po’d at their country as we do at ours….

Our biggest problem with respect to international trade is China’s currency manipulation, trade barriers, and lack of IP protection….

barking frog

January 27th, 2011
4:32 pm

China’s unemployment is around 4%. Minimum wage
around $200.00 per month. Population around 1.5 billion.
They hold around 20% of US public debt. Why? Seems
they should invest the the money in their country. Maybe
it’s safer here.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:36 pm

Kamchump 4:31 – great factually based rebuttal

A pragmatic Georgian

January 27th, 2011
4:37 pm

It isn’t my deficit.

Try making me pay it…………………Boy!

Pogo

January 27th, 2011
4:37 pm

Amvet, supposedly the new “Pirates of the Whatever” movie concerns that fabled fountain. Talk about an over-used franchise.

And yes, when it is all said and done, we are toast. And when we inevitably become toast, all of this political bickering that is getting SO old to all us will be about as important to us all as a gnat is to an elephant. Kind of sad isn’t it?

Peadawg

January 27th, 2011
4:37 pm

“However, that improvement assumes that the Bush tax cuts disappear as scheduled after 2012, with taxes reverting to 2000 levels.”

However, that improvement assumes that there are big spending cuts in programs like Defense, Medicare, Medicare Part D, Social Security, Food Stamps, farm subsidies, etc. etc. Fixed your typo Jay. No thanks needed.

“Republicans can’t enact spending cuts of the size needed, particularly in slowing the growth in entitlements, without Democratic help. Democrats can’t enact tax increases of the size needed without Republican help” – Only one is needed and I bet Jay can’t guess which one…

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:38 pm

Del – there’s no doubt that Europe is in no position to help us. And a good chuck of the rest of the world would get a rather visceral joy out of seeing us go down. We’re definitely on our own, as it should be.

Question is, will we help ourselves?

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 27th, 2011
4:38 pm

jm

I spent a week walking thru Germany less than 6 months ago. They own their own businesses. From mom and pop stores to mom and pop manufacturing firms. I even think it’s part of their government policy for so much of their business community to be small businesses.

Here in the US, it’s all about how big I can grow my business so that somebody will buy me out. Not too many get into business for the long haul. Look at all the consolidation that goes on here. Free market principles here.. BullSh*t!! How many free market choices do you have for your electrical power?? gas service?? Cable service?? When you go shopping, do you go to Wal Mart/Target first or do you go to Sal’s? How many independent gas station owners are there vs chains??

Our biggest problem with international trade is that we damn near exported everything, including the shirts off our backs. Other than defense equipment, what major areas of manufacturing are completely based in the US? majority based here??

Kamchak

January 27th, 2011
4:39 pm

Kamchump 4:31 – great factually based rebuttal

Rebut what?

The delusions of a Rand-o-phile.

Not worth wasting my powder.

Adam

January 27th, 2011
4:40 pm

So basically, it would be a bad idea to make the tax cuts permanent, to make the doc fix permanent, to repeal the health care law, and to continue paying out extended unemployment past Jan 2012. If I have that right, then good. Because I am cool with all of that.

It would also be a good idea to tackle the budget through defense spending cuts. A good amount of the public supports it and it’s a large portion of our budget. Even a 5% cut in the defense budget would be 4.25% of the whole budget (if I’m right about the math, 85% being leftover from the 15% of “touchable” budget). So let’s say they do both. 7.25% decrease in spending. It’s still nto enough if we just let those tax cuts stay there.

Just sayin.

kayaker 71

January 27th, 2011
4:41 pm

Congress has he power to fix our deficit problems but they won’t think of doing it. Too many special interest items in their districts that affect their re-election. Can’t you just see anyone from a farm state suggesting that we cut the bloated agriculture subsidies or anyone from Harlem suggesting that we cut away some of the food stamp program, or as it is now known, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), the new Bozo buzz word to make giving away free food more palpable to the American taxpayer? I agree with Mad Woman. Wouldn’t mind raising my taxes about 2% or so if I could trust our “lawmakers” to handle my money with some discretion. But they’ll just stick into their jeans and keep spending. Gotta have those votes, n’est-ce-pas?

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:42 pm

SoCo – almost all gas stations are independently owned. yes, utilities are highly regulated monopolies.

not sure I see your point….

but I do agree with I think your last paragraph, that we need to find a way to rebuild our manufacturing base….

Matti

January 27th, 2011
4:42 pm

SoCo @ 4:28,

SO TRUE!!!! I would love to share how well I know the result of that here… but I don’t want to get in trouble with my foreign conglomerate bosses.

Del

January 27th, 2011
4:42 pm

jm, I second that and would only add to the Question, will we help ourselves?… and if we have the will to help ourselves do we still possess the ability?

Adam

January 27th, 2011
4:43 pm

SoCo: You are 100% right. Also did you notice Germany has a lot of places that don’t take credit cards? And one wonders, given the mom and pop and the lack of credit machines, why they remain stable. Hmmm.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:43 pm

Adam 4:40 your math’s way off

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:44 pm

Adam may be exhibit A for why we’re failing as a nation…. Adam, not to be insulting. I know you were just theorizing. But your math is so far off its wild.

A pragmatic South Carolinian

January 27th, 2011
4:44 pm

@4:37

I with you, Bo.

You’ll not find my signature on no 1.5 trillion dollar loan.

Bring it!

Adam

January 27th, 2011
4:45 pm

kayaker: The food stamp program is necessary. Cutting it “away” should not be an option. Just ask yourself, honestly, if you were suddenly unable to feed yourself and knew no one in your family or friends who would help you with food on a short or even long term basis, and you COULD NOT get another job for months…. Would you just suck it up and starve and die?

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:45 pm

Del – “ability?” probably not until we elect a serious Republican. You know, the fiscal conservative type instead of the social conservative type.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:46 pm

… elect, R, President.

Matti

January 27th, 2011
4:46 pm

SoCo @ 4:38,

Preach it, Brother!!! Is it any wonder we are so discouraged? Your second paragraph… yes…. that’s what they did to us. We had >50% of the market share, too! But that wasn’t enough. They wanted a quick-buck turnaround, and now we belong to a bunch of foreigners who trust the new and exiting projects to the CHINESE, not us, despite our better understanding of our customers and prior success. Morale buster for sure.

AmVet

January 27th, 2011
4:49 pm

Pogo, indeed.

And too much Johnny Depp is never a good thing.

I don’t “do” the movies. It is rare if I go to one a year, but this morning I heard great things about the new Tron. Maybe my kiddo and I will go.

A pragmatic Texan

January 27th, 2011
4:49 pm

@4:37 abd 4:44

Count me in too.

Let the Banker/politicians pay it.

We ain’t.

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 27th, 2011
4:49 pm

jm

How many people do you know who own a Quik Trip? AM PM? I know what you’re getting at though. The convenience store part is usually owned, but the actual gas part is not.

My point is we, as a country, will sell our mama to somebody if it will make us money. Instead of keeping the goose that lays the golden eggs and selling the eggs we don’t need… We’ve sold the goose and now have to buy the eggs we need.

Education is part of it, but education alone will not do it all. We used to have a well rounded society. There were the decision makers, the builders/manufacturers, and the end-users. We’ve cut the middle man out of that equation for the most part. We can’t import and spend ourselves to prosperity. We do research and create awesome sh*t. Then we turn around and send that awesome sh*t to China to get built. And we’re supposed to believe that they won’t take our awesome sh*t and make it theirs. I wish you all could see the amounts of counterfeit crap that gets caught trying to enter the country. It makes me sick to my stomach.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:50 pm

Texan – breaking news. They ain’t either.

AmVet

January 27th, 2011
4:51 pm

To SoCo’s numerous valid points, it is called the Corporate Destruction of Capitalism.

And it is not a theory. It is a fact.

And it came to an in-your-face reality, with devastating consequences in September 2008…

kayaker 71

January 27th, 2011
4:51 pm

Adam,

Only an example of what Charlie Rangel would not do to trim the deficit. There are many more examples of our elected officials protecting their turf with earmarks and other federal subsidies to perpetuate their careers….. all at our expense. Point is, they could fix it if they wanted to. They have no intention of fixing anything.

A pragmatic New Yorker

January 27th, 2011
4:52 pm

Hey youse guys.

Can we join too.?

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 27th, 2011
4:52 pm

Meant to also add about education… We could have a population that’s 80% college graduated, however, if nobody knows how to fix a car engine or change a flat tire, how in the hell will we get to work??

:)

Gotta run for a while. Be back later.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:52 pm

SoCo – Every Exxon, Chevron, BP are independently owned. QT, no. But the rest of them are. QT is a small player…. they own the gas stuff too, they just don’t make much $ on it, most profit is in the convenience store.

I generally agree with your last paragraph….

A pragmatic Georgian

January 27th, 2011
4:52 pm

No!

not until you get rid of chucky Schumer.

Del

January 27th, 2011
4:52 pm

Keeping in mind that the Federal Governments most important mission is this nations national security, I have no problem with cuts in defense spending so long as does not compromise our defense capability. I think we should wrap up our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. We can also close down non-strategic military installations overseas and those actions could go a long way.

barking frog

January 27th, 2011
4:53 pm

Elect an R President. What brand? GW Bush. GHW Bush.
Ronald Reagan. Gerald Ford. Richard Nixon. Dwight Eisenhower.

BADA BING

January 27th, 2011
4:55 pm

Jimmy Buffet fell off a stage during a concert in Australia. Was it (A) Nobody’s fault?…(B) His own damn fault?

Joe

January 27th, 2011
4:56 pm

Paul Ryan: “Just take a look at what’s happening to Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom and other nations in Europe. They didn’t act soon enough; and now their governments have been forced to impose painful austerity measures…

I call BS.

Greece? Maybe. But Ireland and the UK didn’t have a spending problem. In fact, their books were in pretty good shape. They were hit by the economic downtown cause by the bursting of the real estate bubble and their revenues nosedived (thanks to anti-regulation fervor). For Ryan to imply that their economic troubles were caused by spending was dishonest.

Also, what have the austerity measures done for these countries? Answer: added insult to injury. Reduced government spending at a time of economic distress leads to fewer jobs which leads to fewer customers which leads to fewer jobs..it’s a vicious cycle. Austerity measures haven’t helped Greece, Ireland, or the UK solve their economic problems. To the contrary, such measures have exacerbated their economic problems.

Here’s what we should do to reduce the deficit:

1. First and foremost, make it our collective mission to control health care inflation. Projected deficits in the out years are caused primarily by the rising costs of Medicare and Medicaid caused by health care inflation that is disproportionate with other industrialized countries. The Affordable Care Act was a good start, but there’s more to do. (No, cutting benefits is not the answer.)

2. Allow the Bush tax cuts expire for the rich (top two rates).

3. Tax unearned income (capital gains, dividends, inheritances) at the same rates as earned income (work).

4. With regard to spending cuts, go after low hanging fruit: defense cuts recommended by Secretary Gates, farm subsidies, oil subsidies, and other forms of welfare for millionaires.

5. Grow revenues by growing the economy (specifically putting people back to work via government investments in infrastructure, clean energy, technology, and education).

barking frog

January 27th, 2011
4:57 pm

BADA BING

January 27th, 2011
4:55 pm
———————————–
Quite likely he stepped on a poptop and blew out a flipflop.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:57 pm

Bada – “Hemisphere-Gravity Lag” can be a real pain in the rear.

jm

January 27th, 2011
4:58 pm

frog – I’ll take a Dwight type…. probably was a poptop. or the margaritas.

A pragmatic Idahoan

January 27th, 2011
4:59 pm

You’ll not find our signature on that 1.5 trillion dollar note either.

Count us in.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 27th, 2011
4:59 pm

Bada Bing @ 4:55

Some people say there’s a woman to blame.

jm

January 27th, 2011
5:00 pm

later folks…. gotta go try to build me some intellectual capital

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 27th, 2011
5:01 pm

And we’re supposed to believe that they won’t take our awesome sh*t and make it theirs. I wish you all could see the amounts of counterfeit crap that gets caught trying to enter the country.

Agreed that’s a bad thing but in a way, it’s rather fitting that people who send their stuff there to have it manufactured, for the low wages, have their stuff stolen.

kayaker 71

January 27th, 2011
5:02 pm

Del has a point. Eliminate our involvement in Afghanistan and cut way back in Iraq. Bring home all of our military in Japan, So Korea and Europe. Use many of these troops that we bring home to enforce our border security and escort our unwanted illegals to the border and back home. Also, let it be known to the drug cartels that if one American is killed or harmed due to their activities on our borders, armed retaliation will be the result. That’s after we give notice to Felipe Calderon that his inactivity in doing anything about our illegal immigration program is at an end and we will not tolerate this anymore. This would cut our military budget by at least 15% and increase our security by one hell of a lot. But it takes someone with balls to do this. Bozo, anyone? Not in a million years.

AmVet

January 27th, 2011
5:04 pm

By about 1980, I already had my fill of the on-trick-pony Jimmy Buffet. (Just my worthless opinion.)

At any rate, from what I read he was…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg8cDmi7-U8

AmVet

January 27th, 2011
5:05 pm

Make that one-trick…

A pragmatic Montanan

January 27th, 2011
5:05 pm

We never borrowed nothing from some Dang noodle-head chinamen.

We will stand with the pragmatists.

Come try and make us pay. We are ready.

barking frog

January 27th, 2011
5:09 pm

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms in not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense.”

jm, above is a quote from Ike.

Highest Tax rate 1953 -92%, 91% the rest of his term. capital and earned income.

Del

January 27th, 2011
5:11 pm

Kayaker 71@5:02, “Bozo anyone? Not in a million years.” and therein lies a major obstruction, I don’t believe we have two more years before we need to make major decisions and implement them.

A pragmatic Alabamam

January 27th, 2011
5:11 pm

We is wid yall pragitiatimatics.

we is all over it,sheeeeeeeet.

barking frog

January 27th, 2011
5:14 pm

Jimmy Buffett said his only reason for entering the music
business was to meet girls. I cannot think of any better reason.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 27th, 2011
5:14 pm

It’s true tax rates have been higher then they are now but you also had more things you could count off. You could count interest on car loans, credit card interest, etc. It’d be interesting to see comparison numbers of the effective tax rate, taking that into account, with what the rates are now. My guess is it would be close to a wash but that’s just a guess.

Jay

January 27th, 2011
5:15 pm

Pogo, most readers of that post would conclude that I too believe we need to make spending cuts.

Your mileage apparently varies.

Keep up the good fight!

January 27th, 2011
5:17 pm

Frog…I bet it was not just to meet girls.

Not of point but found your comment downstairs about general complaints about attorneys not personal, and certainly I agree. I dont take it personally. I do understand the frustration. I get frustrated too with law enforcement, courts and state administrators. They have their frustrations too and there are often reasons for some systems or processes. All we can do is keep working to improve and to try to get justice.