Spend, Baby, Spend!

The trouble with Obama's economic agenda

Not long ago, President Barack Obama ordered the creation of a commission that would report back to him with policy recommendations on cutting the federal deficit.

And as great leaders throughout history have proved, the most effective way to tend to any intergenerational crisis is to create a bipartisan commission to study it—but only after midterm elections.

You, the public, are only asked to suspend your disbelief and accept that the president is deeply worried about the deficit, the huge national debt, and the federal spending explosion. As a candidate, after all, the president assured us that he would scour the budget "line by line" for any wasteful spending, yet today we've seen the national debt climb to $13 trillion, and federal spending is nearly 25 percent of gross domestic product. Washington likely will spend $1.56 trillion more than it took in last year—putting the Bush administration to shame.

At the G-20 summit, in fact, for the first time in history, the U.S. president is the one advocating that other nations hasten their bankruptcy agendas, increase government debt, and strengthen control economies by offering more "stimulus."

Hasn't the president heard? His own administration doesn't have the nerve to refer to the trillion-dollar government/union boondoggle as a "stimulus" anymore. Today the preferred White House parlance is "emergency" bill.

Yet the audacity of hope dictates that the president turn the tables on his critics and start kicking some serious tea party butt. That's why we heard this from him: "Next year, when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt start stepping up, because I'm calling their bluff."

Now, by "difficult choices," rest assured we're talking about a bundle of tax increases—because no one in Washington right now will significantly cut spending. Democrats claim that nothing can be taken off the table in the budget fix. Which is good to know when the discussion turns to capital gains cuts, corporate tax cuts, or slashing entitlement programs and subsidies for those morally sound industries the left loves.

Republicans, on the other hand, face a political dilemma, as well. They are bluffing. Cutting funding for the National Endowment for the Arts? The Department of Education? Senate salaries? Is that going to do the trick? If the Republicans want to be credible on the issue, they must do more than reverse ObamaCare, which is improbable in the short term, anyway.

A recent Pew Research poll found that 23 percent—a growing number—of Americans believe that the federal budget deficit is the top concern facing the nation. If the opposition party—needing redemption on this issue—can't offer a coherent, viable long-term strategy to undo the damage done by reckless spending, it is going to be doomed to remain in the minority for a long time.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his website at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.

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  • Subsidize Me!||

    If the opposition party—needing redemption on this issue—can't offer a coherent, viable long-term strategy to undo the damage done by reckless spending, it is going to be doomed to remain in the minority for a long time.

    So long as Social Security, Medicare, assorted cabinet-level federal agencies, large-scale corporate welfare for defense contractors, and various other forms of social welfare and centralized economic planning remain popular among ordinary people who call themselves Republican (much less their spineless representatives), there's no hope for any kind of austerity even with republican majorities in Congress.

  • Old Mexican||

    +1

    Unfortunately, people are turned on by fascism.

  • ||

    If by "turned on" you mean "ready to kill the facist fucks", then i guess so.

  • Old Mexican||

    No, they are turned on by the promises of free stuff or free money taken from others. You know, Fascism.

  • ||

    Actually, I don't think the source matters, as long as that shit is FREE!

  • West Texas Boy||

    Contemporary American Politics in a nutshell.

    KICK THAT GODDAMN CAN DOWN THE ROAD AND KEEP THE FREE SHIT ROLLIN INN!

  • ||

    Of course, libertarians are fond of "rule by corporations"...you know, fascism.

  • ||

    It is my understanding that Libertarians aren't very fond of rule by anyone or anything other than themselves. disclaimer: I am a borderline passive aggressive sociopathic egomaniac and my understanding of Libertarianism may be somewhat jaded.

  • ||

    That's OK, ben; Dan is a way-past-borderline passive aggressive contrarian retard, and his understanding of libertarianism is purposefully obtuse.

  • ||

    *applause*

  • ||

    Actually my problem is that I understand libertarianism a little too well...

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Actually, your problem is that you think any two things which have some similar attributes become the same in essence if you use the right turn of phrase and omit important differences.

    Economic power does not have the capacity to use physical force or coersion(Fascism) until you let the government interfere with voluntary trade.

    This fact will remain true no matter how many catch-phrases full of loose associations and loaded with false package deals about fascist-libertarians you come up with.

  • Chad||

    Your logical failing, fiscal meth, is that you believe that "physical force" is the only kind that matters, and that it would magically disappear if libertarians were in charge.

    Both are patently false.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I am logically correct, Chad.

    Physical force is exactly the difference that you statists always want to hide from or avoid mentioning when you say libertariaism and Fascism are one and the same and yet, if it's so unimportant, if it's just a silly detail one shouldn't get hung up on, then why do you seek to inject it into every imaginable individual choice and human interaction? Why do you never forget to build every definition of "progress" around it?

    Physical force is central to every policy you want, so stop acting like you don't know what the big deal is. It's dishonest and transparently so.

  • ||

    Economic power does not have the capacity to use physical force or coersion(Fascism) until you let the government interfere with voluntary trade.

    One thing that needs to be remembered is if a corporation (or any entity) gains enough power to shut down significant competition, it becomes a de facto government. The negative effects are compounded if they in addition have no responsibility for the welfare of the area local populace. The idea of 'government' needs to be broadened just a bit.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    The idea of government does NOT need to be broadened a little bit. That is my whole point. When you say "corporations become de facto governments" you are being poetic not factual. Wal-Mart cannot kick down your door and throw you in jail or shoot you if you resist arrest. It does not have a legal sanction to use physical force. It is intentional that so many people and political movements are trying to blur the lines of government.

  • ||

    You are correct that Libertarians want a fantasy world where there are no rules and everybody just kind of behaves themselves. And they want to enjoy the benefits of civilization without the costs.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    You're too fucking stupid to troll.

  • ||

    I think it's worst than stupid.

  • Bobby||

    Maybe you are thinking of anarchist-libertarians. There may be a little truth there. Even if it did work (I am willing to grant the possibility), we can barely get the stray libertarian elected to a few spots across the country and it is impossible to have a real debate in this country about something as important as Social Security's solvency let alone make any substantial changes to get rid of any programs or actually make any cuts in spending even when people campaign to do so. So in that sense it is a fantasy world. But not in the sense that you mean it.

  • ||

    And the left believes that the government can swoop in as the night in shining armor to solve all problems.

    Libertarians don't believe that everybody will "behave themselves." It is precisely because people won't naturally behave themselves that sound private property and a limited government are necessary.

  • ||

    You are correct that Libertarians want a fantasy world where there are no rules and everybody just kind of behaves themselves. And they want to enjoy the benefits of civilization without the costs.

    I thought I saw a post where you had claimed to understand what libertarianism is. This was obviously a completely different "Dan T." since you would not make this statement if you understood even the first thing about it. BTW, I don't consider myself a libertarian, but not because I have some stupid concept of it like the above.

  • Soonerliberty||

    Actually, under National SOCIALISM, corporations and businesses joined together, which is the exact opposite of what libertarians want. Corporations paid 90% taxes under Hitler, which is sort of what, you know, um, the left wants. Libertarians want the complete divorce of business and government. At least know what you're saying before you open your mouth. Fascism is a phenomenon of the left anyhow, hence the name NAZI - NATIONAL SOCIALISTS.

  • ||

    Fuck you! What a fucking straw man. You haven't heard a fucking word of what the vast majority of us are saying, have you?

  • ||

    I was replying to Dan T.

  • Ted S.||

    I thought they were turned on by the uniforms.

  • Noah||

    You really think there are no significant differences between our current system and Mussolini's Italy? I think a lot of the reason libertarians aren't taken seriously is that too many say ridiculous, snarky, self-righteous nonsense like that.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Point out the differences, then, Noah. Oh, of course, the armed guards on top of the wall aren't there yet, but... oh, wait, was thinking of old East Germany.

  • ||

    I think a lot of the reason libertarians aren't taken seriously is that too many say ridiculous, snarky, self-righteous nonsense like that.

    People of all political pursuasions say stupid things. So? Hyperbole is a common form of argument. Unfortunately, too many people either are unable to understand it or at least prefer to pretend ignorance.

  • ||

    Hersani hit the nail on the head. The plan is very simple. Raise spending as much as possible between now and November. Then when the Dems get destroyed in the election, which I am increasingly convinced they know is going to happen, play off a Republican Congress by being "responsible" and doing something about the deficit by raising taxes beyond anything anyone has ever imagined. And at the same time offer a few meaningless spending cuts and bully the Republicans by calling them grandma killers for wanting to return spending to the dark ages 2008 levels.

  • J||

    "Then when the Dems get destroyed in the election, which I am increasingly convinced they know is going to happen."

    As much as I hope the Dems get destroyed in November, and that we have sweet, sweet deadlock, I am not convinced it is a sure thing. And, the more people talk about it like it's a done deal, the more I am afraid it won't actually happen.

  • ||

    It is too late for deadlock. The Democrats opened the floodgates of spending and socialized medicine. You have to stop that. And you can't do that with deadlock. Deadlock is what they want.

  • J||

    It's the most we can hope for in November, unless you know something I don't.

  • Pes||

    There is no hope. Don't be foolish.

  • ||

    You're right, but the alternative is even more socialism and statism.

    Repealing anything that's passed in the past 1.5 years is going to be nigh impossible.

  • Sort of a L-word||

    "Repealing anything that's passed in the past 1.5 years is going to be nigh impossible."

    Repealing anything that's passed in the past 150 years is going to be nigh impossible. Well, I guess it has been done a few times .......

  • ||

    It's definitely not a sure thing. I'm just hoping the GOP takes the House...not counting on the Senate.

    Gridlock is the fiscal conservative's best friend.

  • Rich||

    Just cut spending on everything a mere 5% every year. In 14 years spending would be halved.

    BWAHAHAHAA!!

  • ||

    Why do I think it should be Obama's new motto?

    So we can get the impeachment proceedings started.

    *ba-dum-bum-tssh*

  • Old Mexican||

    Now, by "difficult choices," rest assured we're talking about a bundle of tax increases—because no one in Washington right now will significantly cut spending.

    Obama:
    "You must all sacrifice a little for the Greater Good - meaning, my good!"

  • ||

    REpublicans, or anyone for that matter should call His bluff. A dollar for dollar, across the board, spending cut for every dollar increase in tax. And I don't mean a cut in the "growth" of spending, but a real cut from the current baseline. Even with His and His disicples' outrageous spending (and of course all the prior administrations) He won't do it.

  • ||

    Republicans won't do it either, because when they say "cut spending" they mean "in other districts, not mine".

  • spambot||

    Damn Dan T. said something correct, well hell even a busted clock is right twice a day.

  • West Texas Boy||

    Dan, you are a retard, but unfortunately, this is correct.

    Note, however, that I suspect your attempt to badmouth Republicans as hypocrites was intended as a parry against the usual commenters here, i.e. you are making the common and ignorant assumption that anyone who criticizes one team must therefore support the other, so in actuality you probably failed in reaching your intended dipshit goal. We agree with you in the regard that 95% of GOP politicians are just as bad as the Dems on spending and statism, just in a different color, so yes, the GOP will fuck up spending and be just as responsible for this mess as the Democrats. Nonetheless, if you actually knew that, you probably wouldn't have made the comment in the first place.

    Better luck next time and best wishes with your future trolling attempts.

  • TallDave||

    By "difficult choices" Obama means choosing between raising taxes and borrowing.

    The notion that we might go back to, say, 2005 levels of spending is just too horribly draconian to even contemplate.

    This is what it looks like when the government is run by a combination of public sector unions, academics, and bureaucrats.

  • ||

    a combination of public sector unions, academics, and bureaucrats.

    Well, who else you gonna put in charge? Eeeeeeeevil businessmen?!111one

    /sarcasm-off

  • ||

    We tried putting evil businessmen in charge...it was called the Bush Administration, and you might note that it didn't work out too well.

  • Jordan||

    Obama's assertions to the contrary, the 43rd president was the biggest regulator since Nixon.

    http://reason.com/archives/200.....y-kiss-off

  • ||

    Except for the part where Bush was a terrible businessman, which is why he went into gov't in the 1st place...which makes him a bureaucrat more than a businessman.

    So, STFU.

  • ||

    Sounds like you should look up what a "bureaucrat" is.

    Although you are right that he was a terrible businessman.

  • ||

    What part of "STFU" wasn't clear?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    +1

  • Soonerliberty||

    Fail. Libertarians oppose Bush for the same reason you think we support them. It is not our goal for business to run society, but for society to run itself, instead of concentrating massive amounts of wealth in one entity.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Because ALL businessmen are evil... right, Dan?

  • Al Gore||

    Yes, we could never do anything that drastic with spending, but it will be quite easy (and create jobs!) to go back to 1990 levels of CO2 emissions.

  • Al Gore||

    ...on the other hand, I'm a worthless, cheating shit-sack whose soon-to-be-ex should take to the cleaners in the divorce, because I can't fucking behave myself and not grope the masseuses...

  • ||

    His motto was, remains, and always will be the same: The Voracity of Hope.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    I thought it was "The Mendacity of Hope."

  • ||

    It's that, too, but above all, it's hungry. For your money. Your time. Your commitment. Your freedom. Your soul.

  • ||

    The Opacity of Hope?

  • ||

    The Porosity of Hope?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    The Paucity of Hope.

  • Aqua lung||

    The Bob of Hope.

  • Barry O||

    Now that I'm in office and running shit, it's the audacity of hope.

    I mean, who could want change now?

  • ||

    The Synchronicity of Dope?

  • Invisible Finger||

    Note that Barry's key word was "HOPE" not "RESULTS"

  • ||

    "Next year, when I start presenting some very difficult choices"

    Yo, 'Bama, why not this year?

  • marlok||

    I'm not sure, but I know for certain that it has absolutely nothing to do with the upcoming midterm elections.

  • ||

    This reminds me of a story. When I was young, 13, and very stupid (you know, like liberals who think they're thinking but really aren't) I hooked up with an experienced 16 year old French-Canadian chick. All she wanted was action. Me? I'm not sure what I wanted I was confused. Loser. Anyway, as my friend took advantage of his opportunity with her friend, I looked at her and said, "that'll be us next week." Needless to say, she ditched me.

    Obama is me when I was 13 but in a political setting, you know?

  • Van||

    Bill Clinton never missed a chance like that.

    Just compare his positions before '94 with his positions after '94.

    Based on the comments I am getting from Chad and Tony, Et Al, I think you have accurately described the Liberal approach to women.

  • ||

    What I don't understand is why is he 'presenting' choices. I thought he was hired to make them (even if badly).

  • Dick "Deficits Don't Matter" ||

    Cheney.

    So what?

  • ||

    A 500 billion dollar deficit matters much less than a two trillion dollar one.

    And stop sock puppeting. We know who you are Dan T.

  • ||

    Not me.

    I wouldn't say that deficits don't matter at all, but they aren't nearly the problem that people have been telling us for the past 30 years.

  • ||

    No bounds to your idiocy.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Over the past thirty years, we weren't running yearly deficits of 10% of GDP, either. You know, dose makes the poison?

  • pmains||

    Well, that and the cumulative effect of past deficits are going to catch up to us. If we paid roughly $200 billion in interest last year, imagine what we'll be paying when interest rates return to normal.

  • Soonerliberty||

    Yes, and Greece said the same thing. If spending is such a good idea, why didn't it work in the Soviet Union. You know, a massive social state spurs economies, right?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Speaking of which!

    KRUGMANNNNNNNN!!!

  • Jordan||

    BOOOSH!!1

  • ||

    This ridiculous "war(s)" would be a great place to start cutting...

  • spambot||

    Agreed, good thing Obama was elected to end those........Oh wait!

  • TruthOffering.com||

    Be sure to swing by TruthOffering.com for a great article on monetary policy and why our current policy will undoubtedly lead to hyperinflation:

    http://www.truthoffering.com/c.....ation.html

  • ||

    People said the stimulus package passed recently would lead to "hyperinflation"...but as usual, reality and libertarian theory are not in agreement.

  • ||

    Don't be his porn.

  • Barry O||

    Of course the only thing the stimulus stimulated was unions insisting that they need even more money, just 1 year after they were given nearly a trillion dollars.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Dan, my understanding of why hyperinflation hasn't taken off is because other countries have been going on a spending spree too. The reason that Obama was begging the other leaders at the G-20 to keep spending is because if they stop, the United States has to stop too or risk turning itself into a Weimar Republic.

  • Soonerliberty||

    Let's see - libertarians predicted the crisis and are still predicting that inflation will come (in fact, it does come every year in rising prices throughout the economy). Just because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. The left and right predicted the stimulus would work. It didn't. So, libertarians - +1, left and right - -1.

  • shrike||

    10 yr Treasury notes bid under 3% yield.

    30 yr bonds about 4%.

    The market says inflation is dead. The Fed has barely budged M1 despite the Great Recession.

    99% of "libertarians" don't know shit about money and markets for they hang on a Cross of Gold.

  • ||

    Except the actual money supply has exploded. Expansions of the money supply don't often show themselves in CPI for a number of reasons.

    1)The world outside of the US uses the dollar as a reserve currency, creating an overvaluation of the dollar, simply because it is supposedly safer than other currencies.

    2)Foreigners who overvalue the dollar keep selling us lots of goods in return for less dollars.

    3)A lot of the new money is saved and invested in assets rather than directly spent.

    Expansions in the money supply may not show up in CPI, but the money does indeed go somewhere. It is far and away the largest cause of bubbles in the first place.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Also, with the severe amount of regime uncertainty in the US right now, not to mention the dangerous level of bad assets on the books of a lot of banks - all the huge amounts of money that the Fed has pumped into the economy hasn't really made it into general circulation yet - which means that it's not being put back into savings accounts and the fractional reserve process isn't exploding that money supply on the order of magnitude that you need to see hyperinflation...

    ...Yet.

    A lot of prices are up, or more importantly, haven't come down when they need to thanks to government propping them up.

    For example housing prices are up about $7,000 from last year... Which might not shock you when you consider the $8,000 home buyer credit.

    Food prices are up, too.

    At any rate, I don't remember anyone in the libertarian camp saying we'd see immediate hyperinflation - to the contrary, most folks (myself included) were expecting lots of inflation on about a 5 year timeline...

    Of course, really what I expect is stagflation.

  • shrike||

    Well, I look at real data.

    Crude oil is 50% of 2007 highs. Natgas 30%.

    Milk 50%. Wheat, copper, corn, and other commodities the same (Gold and specialty rare metals excepted).

    M1 has grown 15% in two years. M3 in the USA is down $12 trillion.

    Inflation is dead. The market says so by hiding in low-yield Treasuries.

  • ||

    M3 doesn't include all of the money that is overseas. We are sowing the seeds of future asset bubbles. Actual CPI increases are irrelevant to the issue of whether or not printing money is bad.

  • ||

    Also, M3 is down due to decreases in certain asset values, but the fed is still priming the pump with increased liquidity, thus continuing the boom bust cycle that doesn't technically need to exist. I'm not saying that there is a good way to end the boom bust cycle in the short term, but sticking with a 100% gold backed currency would have prevented all of the booms and busts. The economy would simply grow at a regular rate with few if any wild swings. The interest rate would be the demand for money vs. the supply of savings.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Again - banks haven't actually started lending much of the M1 increase.

    This has a hell of a lot to do with the bad assets still on the books and the utter clusterfuck that is the regulatory environment in the US. And as tkwelge notes - M3 doesn't include money invested overseas either, which is where a ton of money is going right now thanks to said clusterfuck.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Oh and - note that I'm not actually that concerned with what's happening *today*, as I'm looking at things in 5-10 and even 20-year time frames.

  • ||

    Actually, I think you're right here, shrike. Bond markets tell us many truths.

  • Chad||

    Ahh, Sean, Predictions without timelines are silly bunk. Wait long enough, and time will prove just about any prediction right eventually. Just ask all the perma-bears shilling gold every day.

  • ||

    Except the price of gold went from 35 dollars an ounce to almost 1300 dollars an ounce in 40 years. In just the last ten gold went from about 200 dollars an ounce to its present level. All of this pyramiding of wealth has caused countless expansions and contractions. This is exactly what the federal reserve was supposed to prevent, and it instrumental in creating them now.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I gave you a timeline dumbass... 5 years is a timeline. In economic terms it's about as low as you'd ever want to go for something like this as well - I can't tell you when all the bad assets will be weeded out and when banks will start lending again, and I can't tell you for certain what the Fed is going to do.

    The best I can do is say "if X, then Y".

    I've done that repeatedly. If the exploded M1 makes it into circulation, as it very likely will do, then we will see massive price increases as a result. It's only a matter of time in that case.

    Alternatively, if the Fed raises interest rates significantly and M1 decreases, then we might stem the coming inflation at the cost of the artificial "recovery" the government has been propping up the last 2 years.

    In either case, we already have massive stagnation in the economy - all that's needed to become stagflation is for all the new money to circulate in the United States. I don't see that as a very unlikely proposition within the next 2-3 years, barring some major unforseen changes in policy.

  • Chad||

    Well, Sean, either the market is wrong, or you are.

    I'll be happy no matter which you pick.

    lol

  • Sean W. Malone||

    The market is doing largely what I've expected it to do. You just don't look very far ahead, Chad.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Speaking of which, I bought some silver with an explicit plan to hold onto it for approximately 5 years - because, you know... my predicted timeframe for a really healthy turn around was about that... And guess what, it's right on track to double my "investment".

    As for being a "permabear", you might be referring glibly to guys like Peter Schiff who i would note are investing in all kinds of things - just not so much in the United States, so obviously they don't just think everything is bad all the time. What is true, however, is that since the policies haven't changed in the US to something better, they continue to hold a negative long-term view in this market.

    That seems like what one might do if they were concerned with actual evidence.

    When policy changes and we quit fucking up the markets, I will have a better outlook on the future in the US.

  • Al Gore||

    Chad, are you still spreading My Message of Doom? Because it needs to start coming true, and soon, or else I'm going to have my ass handed to me by Tipper's lawyers...

  • Invisible Finger||

    Except the actual money supply has exploded.

    Except that money supply isn't the only thing that matters.

    Per von Mises, the libertarian economist with more brains than Milton Friedman, it's money supply PLUS CREDIT SUPPLY. If Helicopter Ben prints $2 Trillion in cash while the rest of the economy rescinds $6 Trillion in credit, you have deflation.

    Note that the housing bubble - aka massive inflation in prices - occurred while money supply was essentially constant. Credit supply during that same period skyrocketed (mostly due to central bank policies).

    Since the CPI doesn't include housing, it's a useless figure.

  • ||

    I pretty much went over all of that. I include credit in the supply of money.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Agreed on all counts, Mr. Finger.

  • pmains||

    All that tells us is that there is a bubble in Treasury bonds. That's not surprising, as TBs are considered safe investments. Their yields go down every time there's another panic, e.g. Greece. In the absence of a bubble dynamic, yields would be rising.

  • shrike||

    Again - if inflation were coming investors would run to consumable commodities.

    Not happening.

    I fear investors are right. I want inflation. Modest inflation is healthy.

  • ||

    It is the inflation that you don't see that is the problem shriek...

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Or maybe they'd be running to other inflation hedges like... uhh... Gold?

  • ||

    See, you keep hammering the CPI, but that's not what I'm talking about at least.

  • ||

    The 2010 Federal Budget's composition is about the same as previous ones:

    In 2010, some 20 percent of the budget, or $715 billion, will pay for defense and security-related international activities. The total includes the cost of supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is expected to total $172 billion in 2010.

    Another 20 percent of the budget, or $708 billion, will pay for Social Security, & related programs.

    Three health insurance programs — Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — will together account for 21 percent of the budget in 2010, or $753 billion. Nearly two-thirds of this amount, or $468 billion, will go to Medicare,. The remainder of this category funds Medicaid and CHIP, which in a typical month in 2010 will provide health care or long-term care to about 64 million low-income children, parents, elderly people, and people with disabilities. Both Medicaid and CHIP require matching payments from the states.

    Two other categories together account for another fifth of federal spending:
    Safety net programs: About 14 percent of the federal budget in 2010, or $482 billion, will support programs that provide aid (other than health insurance or Social Security benefits) to individuals and families facing hardship.

    Conservatives and libertarians love to talk about cutting spending, but are often unwilling to admit that the waste and corruption in the defense sector are the most blatant and costly.

    Obama faces a situation where the revenues have drastically dropped, but there is nothing in this year's budget that is significantly different from previous years.

    The situation will remain the same until the really big earth changes hit in a few years, totally demolishing the federal system.

  • ||

    If you hang around here for long I think you'll see that many of us bitch frequently about all the waste and corruption in the defense budget. Gotta agree with you on the conservatives though.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Conservatives and libertarians love to talk about cutting spending, but are often unwilling to admit that the waste and corruption in the defense sector are the most blatant and costly.

    What libertarians are you referencing? And how are the waste and corruption worse in the Pentagon than the rest of the government?

  • ||

    Your numbers disprove your point. So the defense budget is $715 billion. Not all of that can be fraud by defense contractors. And a good chunk of that is to pay soldiers and to pay for the care of ones who have been wounded. Since we sent them to war we kind of owe them that. Moreover, we have to spend something on the defense budget.

    $753 billion dollars goes to entitlements. By your own numbers we spend more on entitlements than we do on defense. Also understand that the defense budget doesn't have programed in to it like the entitlements do. And then of course you act like none of that $753 billion is unnecessary or taken up by fraud or that the $483 billion in welfare programs goes to anyone but old ladies and orphans.

    But somehow you finish with the non sequiter "hat the waste and corruption in the defense sector are the most blatant and costly." Really? Why don't you try reading and paying attention to your own numbers.

  • ||

    The thing is, the number of people receiving entitlements is huge. I actually favor more pay for soldiers, they deserve it. What I am talking about is Private Security companys financially connected with Dick Cheney, et. all getting huge contracts, weapons programs overruns, etc. Entitlement are millions of little leaks, in defense the chunks are bigger.

  • ||

    What I am talking about is Private Security companys financially connected with Dick Cheney, et. ...

    No problem. Dick Cheney will be dead soon.

  • Uninformed Teabagger||

    Socialist!

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Conservatives and libertarians love to talk about cutting spending, but are often unwilling to admit that the waste and corruption in the defense sector are the most blatant and costly."

    Well not really.

    There is more money in total spent on entitlement programs than on defense.

    And unlike defense, which does actually provide a service to those paying the taxes for it, the ENTIRE amount spent on entitlement programs is a complete waste because they provide absolutely nothing of any value whatsoever to those who are actually pauying for those transfer payments.

  • Tony||

    Sorry, if you can't wrap your mind around the fact that spending trillions to blow up shit in other countries is possibly more wasteful than guaranteeing medical care and a monthly income for people too old to work, then your priorities are too perverse to take seriously.

    At least social welfare spending is broadly stimulative. I guess war spending is stimulative if you work for Lockheed or Halliburton, but really it's such a vast waste of resources that could be better spend domestically. Especially when the war was a big ass fucking mistake that everyone acknowledges except sniveling Bush apologists.

  • ||

    "Especially when the war was a big ass fucking mistake that everyone acknowledges except sniveling Bush apologists."

    And President Obama and the entire administration that you voted for.

    Seriously Tony, you are not even trying anymore. You just cut and paste your trolling.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Quit trying to pass yourself off as sentient being.

    Social welfare spending isn't any kind of "stimulative" broad or otherwise. They are TRANSFER PAYMENTS.

    The benefits to the transferees is completely offset by exactly equal detriments to the transferors.

  • ||

    I would have to question if the detriment is exactly equal. My spidey sense tells me that in many cases, the taxes being used to pay an afdc check would have been more stimulative had they been left in the pocket of the wage earner.

  • ||

    They cannot be as stimulative because of the "costs" of wrenching them from one person to give to another. IRS agents, bureaucrats, and social workers don't come cheap, you know. And they are, by definition, non-producing members of society.

  • pmains||

    You forgot to mention the deadweight loss associated with collecting the taxes in the first place.

    I don't mind transfer payments nearly as much when they're presented from the "help the needy" angle as I do when pseudo-economists pretend that transfer payments stimulate the economy.

  • ||

    I think that all spending will need to be cut. Military should probably be cut first, but the long term entitlement programs that go to people who don't really need the money should be soon to follow, ie social security and medicare. I'd even reduce current SS and medicare payouts by 5% today. Since education receives most of its necessary education funding from state and local governments, I'd cut that by as much as ten percent. The military I'd cut by 20% as a start. I'd probably then raise taxes by a couple percentage points just to round out the numbers. Even all of this won't solve the problem, but it's a start.

  • Chad||

    So I see that you aren't serious about fixing the budget, twelkge.

    5 and 10 percent cuts are child's play. You need to be talking about 1/3 cuts to everything, now, or else you are just a peacock strutting his fanciful feathers.

  • ||

    Ideally yes, but that isn't politically practical. I don't think that what I suggested is politically practical either, but whatever.

  • ||

    I'd eliminate most of the extra deficit spending, no doubt about that. I was talking about the spending that isn't part of the extra spending that we engaged in recently. But yeah, I'd get rid of most or all of that too.

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    For the last fucking time--neither social welfare spending or warfare spending is stimulative. You are the only retard here who thinks that one of those is true.

  • Tony||

    So giving people money they wouldn't have had before, which they then go spend on things, isn't stimulative? Explain. Seems like the definition to me.

  • ||

    The money had to come from somewhere else. Somebody else had to decrease spending or saving for the recipient to increase their spending or saving.

  • ||

    Even the keynesian concept of stimulus involves borrowed funds, not redistributive funds. Even that is flawed logic, as increasing borrowing decreases savings which actually does play a role in the economy. Printing money creates its own set of problems too.

  • Tony||

    So tax the rich. Money they are going to sock away into an investment or their mattress isn't nearly as stimulative as transferring that money to someone who actually will spend it.

  • ||

    Savings isn't the same thing as "removing" money from the economy, Tony. Also, poor people save money and pay down debts, too. Poor people also buy things from abroad. All of that money goes somewhere. Even if people were to shove it in their mattresses, that would still play an economic role.

  • Jordan||

    Do you think that money magically appears from nowhere?

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    That's why you're a dumbass.

    Answer me this: Is it stimulative to take money from someone who was going to spend said money on a new TV or on new tires for his car or on a nice dinner at a local family restaurant?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Jesus... Everytime Tony is on a thread anymore, I try to avoid talking directly to him because of this kind of stupidity.

    Please Tony, for the billionth fucking time.... read Bastiat. Please.

  • T||

    No shit. Instead of trolling here he could read some econ and edumacate himself. I'll even throw out a link:

    Start here!

  • Tony||

    Is economics a science or is it a religion? If it's closer to the former, then why the fuck would I want to read someone who's been dead since the mid-19th century?

  • Tony||

    That wasn't clear... I gladly read long-dead scientists. However, it's a technologically different world, and just as I read living scientists for the latest information on a topic, I prefer to read economists who are familiar with the 21st century and its types of economies.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    You still would consider it a viable use of your time to read Isaac Newton - or at least, the principles he revealed, no?

    You are the one actually treating economics as a religion - because for you there are no standard principles - only what applies to "today's" economy. Hate to break it to you, but laws of supply & demand and the logical fallacies on which you base the vast majority of your arguments are still applicable now as they were when Bastiat was alive... Just like the laws governing fluid dynamics still apply.

  • SammyA||

    Tony,

    I recommend Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson. It's a quick and illuminating read. You can find it in any major library. Or, you can read this online version:

    http://jim.com/econ/

    What era the book was written in is really irrelevant. Decide for yourself whether the logic is sound.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Tony is devoid of that skill, Sammy...

  • ||

    Thanks once and for all, Tony, for showing us liberals really don't read. They just assume they know the past and understand the present. Seriously, you can't possibly believe reading Pareto, Smith, Bastiat, Galliani, Ricardo and even Law is a "waste of time." I refuse you can be this utterly ignorant.

  • Soonerliberty||

    "Broadly stimulative" - that's why the Soviet Union was successful. It had broad stimulative spending. Greece was wildly successful for the same reason.

  • Soonerliberty||

    Oh, and I agree that military spending is wasteful, as would most libertarians. You're thinking more of conservatives.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I will at least agree to Tony's statement that spending trillions to blow up shit in other countries is ridiculously wasteful.

    It's also the Republican's favorite use of the broken window fallacy to support bad policy.

    Of course, then Tony gets everything else wrong, as usual.

  • pmains||

    He only brought up "spending trillions to blow up shit in other countries" as a diversionary tactic. The point he was pretending to rebut is that transfer payments do not benefit the payer. Even in a perfectly-administered government run by philosopher kings, this would be true.

    On the other hand, national defense is a service which benefits tax-payers (as well as non-tax-paying free-riders). We can argue about whether or not invading Iraq and Afghanistan advanced that goal, but Gilbert Martin's point still stands. Tony can't argue that point, so he goes for the cheap applause line and hopes nobody notices.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Oh... I know... I'm far too familiar with Tony's retarded tactics.

  • Tony||

    Because, you know, it's all in the Constitution... people are supposed to get free shit. For free.

  • ||

    So, according to this, 54% of the budget will got to programs that are, by and large, redistributionist in nature.

    And all you can focus on is the part of the Defense budget(20%) that may be corrupt in some fashion?

    54%--think there's any corruption there?

    $1,943,000,000,000.00, that's the cash that goes into taking money out of one pocket and putting it into another.

    And you're worried about defense spending?

  • ||

    Spending is exactly what the government should do in the case of a sluggish economy. The current deficit is larger than ideal but still manageable.

  • ||

    Don't be his porn.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Bullshit.

  • Jordan||

    Don't you Keynesian clowns have Twilight fan fiction to write or something?

  • ||

    No, we're busy trying to correct the problems caused by you supply-siders.

    And when are those Bush tax cuts going to create jobs again? Are the wealthy just not getting around to creating new jobs with their newfound money?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "No, we're busy trying to correct the problems caused by you supply-siders."

    There are two things that you cannot prove:

    That any Keynesean economic program has ever worked anywhere on the planet.

    That supply-siders have ever caused any problems whatsoever.

    But of course that is to be expected.

    You are a liberal. And no liberal has ever been the least bit capable of proving anything they have ever claimed in their entire life.

  • Tony||

    Besides the very recent history which contradicts everything you're saying, you're forgetting that time when deficit hawks extended the Great Depression and only via massive Keynesian stimulus (in the form of debt being 120% of GDP) in both the New Deal and WWII did the country emerge and become wildly prosperous.

    I know, you have an entire invented history for that. Hell, you apparently have an alternative history just since 2008.

  • Jordan||

    Besides the very recent history which contradicts everything you're saying...

    Evidence?

    deficit hawks extended the Great Depression and only via massive Keynesian stimulus (in the form of debt being 120% of GDP) in both the New Deal and WWII did the country emerge and become wildly prosperous.

    Wrong. Those are precisely the conditions that extended the depression. It was only after draconian economic controls were lifted at the end of WWII that recovery even began. What's really funny though, is by your own logic, the War in Iraq is making us wealthier, since WWII did.

  • Tony||

    Draconian economic controls following WWII... would those include upper-income marginal tax rates near 90% for two more decades?

    You're trying to tell me that the end of the Great Depression had nothing to do with the massive industrial expansion that occurred before and during WWII?

    As for evidence of recent Keynesian spending working, you have to accept the premise that the economy was headed for depression and maybe 20%+ unemployment, as everyone, even Republicans, believed at the time.

    But I don't expect you to do that--you have no trouble fabricating silly alternate histories that confirm your dogma. Not surprising, because if you actually cared about facts you wouldn't be hanging onto it in the year 2010, long after it's been proven (again) to be a dismal failure.

  • Jordan||

    You're trying to tell me that the end of the Great Depression had nothing to do with the massive industrial expansion that occurred before and during WWII?

    That's exactly what I'm saying. By your own logic, we should just put people to work building tanks and bombs. We're kind of done in Iraq. Where to next? Iran? Once we destroy the rest of the world's industrial capacity (as we did in WWII), then recovery will be a sure thing. We'll just ignore all of the wealth that was destroyed in the process.

    As for evidence of recent Keynesian spending working, you have to accept the premise that the economy was headed for depression and maybe 20%+ unemployment, as everyone, even Republicans, believed at the time.

    Show evidence of anyone who claimed that. Even according to Obama's economic council, unemployment would climb to 8-9% if we didn't pass the stimulus. Guess what unemployment is now after having passed it: 9.9%. Of course, U6 is actually over 16%.

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    Right on Jordan. I always wondered why anyone thought that those in charge had any clue as to what they were talking about--especially after we've ended up worse since the stimulus was passed.

    Now we're relying on the same people who didn't see this coming to get us out of it.

    For all of the people who don't understand why we're in the shape we're in--please read Bastiat. His writings are short and to the point and well thought out.

    For all of those who purposefully misconstrue our ideas and positions--kindly go fuck yourself with a shampoo bottle.

  • Soonerliberty||

    You're a walking broken-window fallacy. Out of the one side of your mouth you detest war. Out of the other side, you say it has magic stimulative powers. If war is such a good idea, then why not blow up the US? That would surely stimulate the economy. If deficit spending is such a good idea, why don't we do it nonstop? Keynesianism has never worked, but even if you believe it did, you would be saying that taxes should be lowered, because the assumption is that more dollars to spend stimulates. But since gov't can't spend without taxation, borrowing, or printing, why do any of that? Just leave the money where it was.

    Quiz: If spending is a good idea, why did the Soviet Union fail? (besides the fact that you weren't in charge - we know that you would've been a better leader)

  • Tony||

    I'm saying war can be stimulative, but it's definitely wasteful. It's much better to spend that money on things that will produce future returns. Sometimes a war might be necessary, the returns being your existence as a country remaining intact, but other than that, roads and schools are probably much more efficient uses of public money.

    But the thing is, even spending massive amounts of money to essentially build big ships and dump them in the ocean is stimulative. So surely focused domestic spending can be so as well, just more cheaply and efficiently.

  • Jordan||

    But the thing is, even spending massive amounts of money to essentially build big ships and dump them in the ocean is stimulative.
  • Jordan||

    HTML fail.

    But the thing is, even spending massive amounts of money to essentially build big ships and dump them in the ocean is stimulative.

    Good lord. You can't be this stupid. Do you pay people to come to your house everyday and dig holes and fill them back in?

  • ||

    Tony reasons like a New York Knicks fan who still thinks they matter. Seriously, dude, I'm sure this works well over at Huffington but come on.

    Sorry, Tony. Evidence for this - New Deal. There's no proof either that Hoover/Coolidge laissez-faire could very well have lessened the depression's impact. Truth is, you can't tell just like you won't be able to tell if Obama's insane spending will lead to anything. It looks less strategic and more like him throwing money to shock the system in hopes it will catch because he follows the same group think bull about Keynes.

    Now I know why governments obsecenely spend. They have useful idiots that allow them to do it.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I love how this completely contradicts Tony's earlier statement about the military spending trillions blowing shit up in other countries as being wasteful.

    Problem is, because folks like Tony & Dan T don't actually understand the fallacies they're employing, they're stuck with these kinds of contradictions.

  • Tony||

    I love how this completely contradicts Tony's earlier statement about the military spending trillions blowing shit up in other countries as being wasteful.

    Something can't be wasteful and stimulative at the same time? I mean wasteful compared to other productive things like building infrastructure. The stimulus comes from people being employed to build the shit--be they ships you dump in the ocean or roads--and spending money.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Well I suppose in the extreme & idiotic overly-technical sense, you can say that a policy "stimulated wastefulness"... But that's not really what you're getting at, is it?

    When you say something is stimulating the economy, one would assume that you meant the economy was being pushed into positive actions that actually benefit people.

    When you say something is massively wasteful, one might assume you mean that the actions taken were not benefiting people.

    Seems to me that you had the waste part right - but your conception of stimulus is greatly lacking... Largely because you conflate money with wealth and generic jobs with productivity. In short, you aggregate & oversimplify your thinking far too much without bothering to look at what things are actually accomplishing.

    As such, you see what is easily seen and omit what are the unseen negative side effects of your redistributionism.... Cause.... You're retarded.

  • Comrade Zero||

    Serious question here (but a bit OT): Is it only government policy that has to change to restore our economy? From what I see, there needs to be major changes in the way we (individually and collectively) spend and save money and credit.

  • Tony||

    In short... tax the fuck out of the rich. It will solve ALL our problems.

  • Invisible Finger||

    It was only after draconian economic controls were lifted at the end of WWII that recovery even began.

    US recovery began because there were few economies that could compete - they were busy rebuilding. After rebuilding, large swaths of them went full-bore communist/socialist which kept them from competing.

    Why do you think Obama is scared shitless about the 19 other G20 countries going austere? When they went gangbusters on spending post WWII, the US did fine because our spending was a LOT less relatively speaking. Now that our government spending may be equal or even MORE than our competition, we are essentially going in the direction of 1960's/1970's Europe.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    LOL

    You little work of fiction was the invented history.

    You're in the same boat as Danny boy.

    You are incapable of proving that any Keynesian economic program has ever worked on the planet.

  • ||

    Sorry, but the events before, during, and after the great depression had more to do with monetary policy than fiscal policy. Per capita income correlates much more closely with monetary policy than it does with government spending or deficit spending. Deficit spending didn't even get that high during the New Deal years. The only thing the New Deal policies really did was raise the wage rate artificially creating massive unemployment, which didn't fall below 15% until the 1940's. Sure, the deficit spending during the WW2 years was a game changer, but it was also unsustainable. Also, GDP numbers during the WW2 years aren't really useful as price controls hid most of the deficiencies and most of the real growth was in non civilian production. People can't live in tanks and eat bullets, ya know. The civilian economy actually shrank during ww2. I think that the borrowing during WW2 had some side benefits, but such borrowing was largely unsustainable, and there was a post war boom to take the bite out of the post war austerity. There will be no post war world wide economic boom to carry us through our near future years of austerity.

  • ||

    I'm not defending expansions of credit from the federal reserve, as it is such expansions that cause the bubbles in the first place. The only monetary system that makes true sense is a 100% gold backed currency. The federal reserve expansion of credit did "help" in a short term sense, but it took decades with lots of conflicting factors to resettle the economy. Technically, the economy has never resettled as expansions and contractions of credit have fluctuated wildly. Sometimes we get lucky, and sometimes we don't. At least that seams to be the case.

  • Chad||

    Yes, because there were NO booms and busts back in the gold standard days. None at all. Nothing to see here. Move along...

  • ||

    There has almost never been a true era of a 100% reserve based banking system in conjunction with a metallic monetary policy. The closest we got was the era between Jackson's destruction of the national bank and the civil war. The fact of the matter is that when you have a 100% reserve banking system combined with a sound metallic dollar, it is functionally impossible to have a credit contraction or overexpansion for that matter.

  • ||

    Seriously dude, read Rothbard's, "A History of Money and Banking in the USA." YOu can read it for free. Google it. The artificial expansion of credit has been going on since the founding of the USA. The boom bust cycle that we are used to now didn't exist before the 1800's. There were booms and busts based on war and crop failures, but there were no seasonal booms and busts like we have today.

  • Chad||

    Ahh, the standard "If only my ideology had been adopted in an even MORE pure form, everything would have been ok".

    Any ideology that can't handle impurities doesn't work in the real world. So sorry...

  • ||

    If by "impurity" you mean the national banking system that was pretty much a slightly less regulated federal reserve system that existed in the civil war and post civil war years up until the formation of the federal reserve, you are fucking deluded. There has always been an element trying to pyramid wealth on top of bank reserves that had tried to undermine the gold standard.

    However, even the impure gold standard years, primarily the period of the Jacksonian Democrats up to the beginning of the civil war were superior to the system that we have now. The economy, and the average unskilled wage grew faster between 1840 and 1860 than it did most of the 20th century. We don't necessarily need a pure metallic standard with 100% reserve banking, but the closer we get the less the economy is going to subject to booms and busts.

    Rothbard does a fantastic job of explaining the entire history of banking and puts every part of it into context.

  • Chad||

    We don't necessarily need a pure metallic standard with 100% reserve banking, but the closer we get the less the economy is going to subject to booms and busts.

    Which seems to be in contradiction to the history that I apparently didn't read, which shows that we were booming and busting like mad back in the days when we were far closer to a gold standard than we are now.

  • ||

    Yes, there was the civil war, which included the elimination of the gold standard until 1979. The treasury silver purchase act caused the recession in the mid 1890's, because foreigners believed that we were not sticking to the gold standard. WW1 was basically the death of the "classical" gold standard and the interwar years were full of problems due to the actions of federal reserves around the world and the fact that the gold standard was replaced with a gold exchange standard in most countries. Without a 100% reserve base, any monetary system will be full of booms and busts. You are taking everything out of context. Very intellectually dishonest.

  • ||

    In every example of a boom bust cycle in "the gold standard" years, there was some sort of treasury or national bank or national banking system pulling strings behind the curtain. Every bubble and recession has been caused by monetary manipulation in the modern era.

  • ||

    Perhaps I was being overly optimistic when I said that the CLOSER we get to the ideal, the better things will be. Until we actually see a 100% reserve banking system and a currency backed by some sort of hard metal, we are going to see booms and busts.

  • Chad||

    We don't necessarily need a pure metallic standard with 100% reserve banking, but the closer we get the less the economy is going to subject to booms and busts.

    Which seems to be in contradiction to the history that I apparently didn't read, which shows that we were booming and busting like mad back in the days when we were far closer to a gold standard than we are now.

  • ||

    Way to dance around the argument, btw. WHy don't you just read some history and see what it has to teach you? The gold standard didn't fail due to "impurity," but due to the fact that governments directly undermined it in conjunction with bankers. Your asshattery is especially shallow today.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    What's always amusing to me on this point is that we're arguing against a cabal of banking executives & powerful politicians who have repeatedly undermined the currency for their own gain throughout history - and douchnozzles like Chad stick up for the guys who have been constantly thieving from the average worker for centuries.

    You'd think they'd grasp that they're rooting for the villain, but nope...

  • ||

    If fractional reserve banking is so great, why don't we let furniture manufacturers sell more than one warehouse receipt for each chair they provide? Why don't we let banks sell more than one deed of ownership for each house? Why not sell multiple titles for each car? It's stupid.

  • Soonerliberty||

    Ever heard of the 300 steady years of falling prices before the British Empire started printing cash to finance war? Figures . . .

  • Jordan||

    Consequently, from 2000 to 2004, the share of all individual income taxes paid by the bottom 40 percent dropped from zero percent to –4 percent, meaning that the average family in those quintiles received a subsidy from the IRS. (See Chart 6.) By contrast, the share paid by the top quintile of households (by income) increased from 81 percent to 85 percent.

    http://www.heritage.org/Resear.....h-Tax-Cuts

    There will be no recovery until Keynesian clowns get this through their thick skulls: What causes depressions is an unsustainable runup in credit and debt that precedes it, NOT a failure to go deeper in debt.

  • Van||

    Bush a supply-sider? LOL!

    You have drunk the media Kool Aid. Bush's compassionate conservatism was a repacking of Tony Blair's "Third Way".

  • ||

    The Bush tax cuts were not paid for by spending cuts, so they were just another form of keynesian stimulus. Dumbass.

  • Chad||

    They were anti-Keynesian, tkwelge. Keynsians believe in saving during normal times.

  • ||

    Fucker, every day there were democrats going on TV (between 2001 and 2005) screaming about "the slowest recover since Herber Hoover." Now you argue that those were "the good times." Fuck you, seriously. You don't remember all of that "slowest recovery since Herbert Hoover" talk that the dems were spouting 24 seven? Were you asleep?

  • Chad||

    Growth was normal, and we were as rich as anyone on earth. We should be saving at least 80% of the time.

    It WAS a slow recovery. That doesn't mean we should have been paying our bills by 2003 at the latest.

  • ||

    The democrats were largely looking at the unemployment statistics, I believe arguing every day that the unemployment rate was above 4 percent, that "the economy sucked." There were still democrats saying that the economy "sucked" as late as 2005. Yeah, and up until this recession, the Bush administration had almost achieved a balanced budget. The deficit was almost gone by 2007.

  • Chad||

    "almost" balancing the budget at the height of a boom is utterly unacceptable. We should have had a $500 billion surplus that year.

  • Chad||

    I love ducking and dodging the real question. We liberals are great at that shit.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "They were anti-Keynesian, tkwelge. Keynsians believe in saving during normal times."

    Correction: John Maynard Keynes (halfassedly) argued this - not his subsequent followers and certainly not his many supporters in government today.

    I will grant you that this is largely because Keynes is just a convenient ideology to hold for politicians who wish to do nothing but buy votes & legacies with other people's money - with a little magic fairy dust and invoking the word "Keynes" they have been able to do it to their hearts' content while claiming that their massive pork is actually going to "stimulate" the economy.

    Then dumbasses like Chony believe them.

  • Paul Krugman||

    I've built my entire career out of that, Sean. Keep it mum, 'kay?

  • spambot||

    The average Keynesian can't write. You have to be able to read if you want to write. How long have these idiots been posting here and they can't understand what libertarianism is?! I mean jeez there are more strawmen in a Dan T. post than a scarecrow convention.

  • nekoxgirl||

    No its not Dan. Thanks to the Federal Reserve, the money supply of the country IS the deficit. Essentially the money supply has more than doubled in the past 10 years. That means the costs of good and services will eventually double along with it. Inflation is the worst kind of tax.

  • ||

    Actually, the cost of goods and services may not necessarily increase with an expansion of the money supply. Foreigner largely overvalue our currency and sell us cheap goods at low prices. Automation of labor also has the effect of keeping prices from going through the roof. However, all of the extra money does reveal itself in the form of credit expansion leading to malinvestment, ie economic bubbles. Just because the CPI doesn't explode, that doesn't mean that there isn't any damage done.

  • J||

    "Then when the Dems get destroyed in the election, which I am increasingly convinced they know is going to happen."

    As much as I hope the Dems get destroyed in November, and that we have sweet, sweet deadlock, I am not convinced it is a sure thing. And, the more people talk about it like it's a done deal, the more I am afraid it won't actually happen.

  • ||

    It won't happen because the GOP is serving up right-wingers when they need moderates. Rand Paul, for example, will turn an easy GOP seat in Kentucky into a battleground.

  • ||

    Rand Paul pussed out. Fuck him.

  • ||

    There are two things that you cannot prove:

    That any Keynesean economic program has ever worked anywhere on the planet.

    Well, Obama passed a Keynesean stimulus bill and it improved the economy. So there's that.

    That supply-siders have ever caused any problems whatsoever.

    Well, Bush cut taxes for the rich and the economy went into the shitter. So there's that as well.

    You are right that we can't take these concepts into a labratory and "prove" them, but that's the nature of economics. We can look at cause and effect, however.

  • Jamie Kelly||

    Wonderful, you fucking two-cent, vacuous clown. Spoken like a true pragmatist. Now go home and read a Big Book of Ideas.

  • ||

    "Well, Obama passed a Keynesean stimulus bill and it improved the economy. So there's that."

    It "improved the economy" only if you don't count private sector employment and GDP growth as part of the economy. I guess if you are UAW or SEIU member it "improved" your economy. But it kind of left the rest of the world out in the cold.

  • Tony||

    Hey John why don't you completely ignore the history of the recession and then take a cheap potshot at auto workers and janitors!

    While you're at it, why not blame welfare queens for the recession and gay people for the divorce rate, or maybe bitch about having to press 1 for English on your phone?

  • ||

    yeah Tony, the recovering economy produced 13,000 jobs last month. Two point six million Americans have lost their jobs since Obama took office. That is a record even Hoover would be lucky to beat. But things are great if you are an SEIU member.

    http://centristatheart.blogspo.....obama.html

  • Tony||

    Things are pretty good if you're a CEO too, but you're not gonna take potshots at them, are you? They do good, productive things like sail in yacht races, while janitors and waiters tend to be, well, you know...

    I believe that the economy probably needs more stimulus. It was a pretty big hole your nonsense Reaganomics bullshit sank us into.

    But what you're gonna do is oppose any of that, then bitch that the economy isn't back to normal again. Just like I said, disingenuous Republican asshole.

  • ||

    Sure, we'll take potshots as CEO's who owe their current existence to bailouts.

  • spambot||

    THIS

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Tony, when are you going to stop being such a wealth-hating schmuck?

  • Tony||

    I suppose when libertarians stop living by the worldview that the poor are oppressors of the rich.

    Oh, and tax cuts don't increase government revenue.

    Just because something is counter-intuitive and you believe it doesn't make you clever.

  • Tony||

    I am SUCH a cunt.

  • Jordan||

    Correlation is not causation. You are completely incapable of proving either of those statements. In fact, you are completely incapable of proving that the economy has recovered, because it hasn't. Not only can you not prove either of those statements, you can't even provide evidence to support them.

    http://globaleconomicanalysis......overy.html

  • Tony||

    Yet you have absolute faith in a program that at every turn has been shown to be inversely correlated with growth.

  • Jordan||

    ...at every turn has been shown to be inversely correlated with growth.

    Provide evidence or STFU.

  • Tony||

    You provide evidence. My version of history is the generally accepted one.

  • Jordan||

    In other words, you're just pulling shit out of your ass.

  • ||

    Yes and the Roman Catholic version of astronomy was the generally accepted version for centuries.

  • Chocolate Salty Balls||

    Then it's STFU. Tony has absolutely no proof or evidence of any kind for anything he says. Neither does Dan T. or Chad or any other braindead leftard on here.

  • Tony||

    Read a fucking history book and not some poorly-designed right-wing hack website and you'll find it.

  • Jordan||

    Waaah! I have no evidence to dispute what you said or back up my claims, so I'll just resort to namecalling!

  • Tony||

    Wikipedia is a good place to start for idiots. Type in Great Depression. Read. Jesus Christ people.

  • ||

    Is it before 2010? I don't read anything before June 30, 2010. Sorry.

  • Smarmy Marmot||

    Since you brought up economics, you might want to look at "association is not causation."

  • ||

    Dan, you're the exact reason why I've been screaming for economics and finance be taught in schools as early as the 6th grade in NORTH AMERICA. I'm serious.

  • Jamie Kelly||

    Dan T.'s thinking represents, sadly, the best that American public education can rob free people to buy at above-market rates.

  • Tony||

    We should pay for the deficits--once the economy can grow on its own again. If recent history is any guide, we'd best have Democrats in office when the time comes, because the last 3 Republican presidents ran up massive deficits and didn't care to do anything to pay for them. Of course that's fully in line with the Norquistian plan of getting policy enacted not through the legislative process but through planned fiscal incompetence.

  • ||

    "We should pay for the deficits--once the economy can grow on its own again. "

    And cap and trade, massive tax increases and Obamacare are going to get us there soon. Keep digging Tony. There is a pony in that shit somewhere.

  • Tony||

    You're such a disingenuous Republican asshole, John. So tax increases will hamper plans to pay down the debt? I suppose another round of Bush tax cuts for the rich is supposed to do the job?

    Do you people pay ANY attention to reality, ever?

  • ||

    Raising taxes in the middle of a recession. That is a hell of a plan. What is so funny is how wonderfully and unknowingly ignorant you are. You claim to be a "Keynesian" because you read the word in some liberal blog list of talking points. So you come on here and talk about how deficits are okay because Keynes said so.

    Since you don't know anything and are in fact too stupid to even understand what you don't know, you also laud tax increases.

    Let me give you a quick lesson in Keynesian economics. It advocates spending but even Keynes admitted you can't raise taxes during a recession. You really should try a bit harder. But doing that would require you to deviate from the party line. And I guess that is not possible.

    Somehow eons of darwinian evolution have produced Tony. Now that is depressing.

  • Jordan||

    Not to mention the fact that Keynes explicitly advocated running surpluses during times of economic expansion. Tony, do you know why we can't increase spending now? Because assholes like you busted the budget even during the good times. You are your own undoing.

  • ||

    That is right. Also consider that because spending was so high and the economy so adjusted to it, increasing spending didn't give the economy the jolt the Keynesians thought it would.

    The whole thing gives me a headache. People like Tony don't even count as Keynesians. They are just ignoramuses who found a word and beat it around for fun an ape uses a cell phone.

  • Tony||

    You mean assholes like Reagan and Bush. My party actually managed the economy quite well.

  • Jordan||

    Wrong. The only time we haven't had massive deficits was when there was a Republican congress (you know, the guys who actually pass spending bills) and a Democratic president (i.e. divided government).

  • anti Max||

    "My party actually managed the economy quite well."

    When the Republicans controlled congress. Gee you really are that stupid.

  • Tony||

    Not this again... Jesus is there a link from Drudge or what?

  • Soonerliberty||

    "Managed the economy" - and you don't like planning? It is not any party's job to manage an economy. They are not the politbureau.

  • Chad||

    My God, Jordan! How you equate Tony with Reagan and Bush II, who are the dingleshits who exploded the deficits, is beyond me.

    Republicans = spend and don't tax

    Democrats = spend and tax

    See the difference?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I don't see a difference. Tax-and-spend is just as bad as tax-CUT-and-spend.

    Cut taxes, AND spending. It's the only way.

  • Tony||

    First of all, what tax increases?

    Second, you're the one arguing for paying down the debt. So, being a non-Keynesian, shouldn't you be in favor of tax increases?

    Or are you just parroting bullshit GOP talking points you read by clicking a link on Drudge and thinking you're educated?

  • ||

    Dumb shit. The Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year. Those tax increases. And if yourside got their way and cap and trade were passed, the price of energy would sky rocket. Obama has admitted as much on numerous occasions. That is effectively a national tax on industry.

    And no, no one is arguing for a tax increase but you. You can solve the deficit by cutting spending. There is no reason or need to increase taxes.

  • Tony||

    K, what spending would you cut, and is any of it politically feasible?

    I gather you'd never, ever be in favor of any tax increase? If so, why should I take you seriously about anything? If taxes exist, there have to be instances in which it's prudent to raise them. Say, if you're a non-Keynesian and you're bleating about budget shortfalls.

    Bush's tax cuts were not paid for. You're claiming to be the fiscally responsible one, you go out and tell middle class people they have to give up 5 years of social security so that millionaires can keep their precious, unfunded Bush tax cuts that haven't done a goddamn thing to stimulate anything.

  • Soonerliberty||

    Get this through your thick head. We don't like Bush or his corporatist/socialist policies. He increased spending more than any other president in history before Obama. You can cut taxes all you want. If you don't cut spending, you can't stimulate jack.

  • Chad||

    Sooner, it doesnt matter what you like, it matters what you cause to happen.

    Libertarians get Republicans elected. Ergo, you own their policies. Grow up and deal with it.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Funny, Chad... go ask the Freepers if we get Republicans elected, they'll tell you we help Democrats get elected by "stealing" Republican votes.

    So... which is it?

  • Soonerliberty||

    Let's see - leftists helped Nazis and Commies come to power. Do you take credit for that?

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    We'll never keep our heads above water while worrying what's politically feasible.

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    I beg to differ. If we let Darwinism prevail, Tony, Dant, and all of these other Keynesian dipshits across the globe would have starved to death.

  • ||

    Idiocracy is a very prophetic piece of cinematic goodness.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    Tony and Dan T. are quite the entertaining duo. It's a good thing that they don't collaborate on a blog together. The combined weight of their arguments would be the undoing of libertarianism.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    +1

  • West Texas Boy||

    Atlas Pooped... on Wordpress

  • Van||

    Not long ago, President Barack Obama ordered the creation of a commission that would report back to him with policy recommendations on cutting the federal deficit.

    The purpose of this commission is to report that the budget can't be cut or balanced in any way without tax increases. Tax increases and new types of taxes will be proposed.*

    The good news is that there will be a Republican majority in the House. That's also the bad news. The Republicans will be there because of widespread opposition to Obamacare. Will they have the integrity to push for a Balanced Budget Amendment? Will they balance the Budget in session? It remains to be seen.

    If they can't or won't I recommend to all of you, that you pull a John Galt or whatever your conscience guides you to do to fight socialism.

    *In this case Obama is the Bastard in the organization and the commission are the Ass kissers. (See my post on Scientific Consensus)

  • J||

    "The good news is that there will be a Republican majority in the House."

    This is far from a done deal. Smugness about something that hasn't happened yet is a good way to assure it won't.

  • Van||

    Have you talked to people on the street out in flyover country lately?

    The opposition to Obamacare crosses all demographic lines. People today and in the past forty years are accustomed to having freedom of choice over every aspect of their lives. Even liberals want to be able to choose their own Doctor.

    They might want the uninsured to get care, but they for goddamn sure are not going to give up the power to make their own choices.

  • Chad||

    Van, AMERICA IS THE ONLY GOD DAMNED COUNTRY WHERE YOU CANT CHOOSE YOUR DOCTOR.

    This is BEFORE Obamacare. France doesn't have "networks". Neither does Sweden. Nor Japan. Hell, in Japan, you don't even need an appointment. Just show up at any doctors office anytime anywhere, and they will probably stay late to fit you in.

    Only in our twisted system do you not have the choice of doctor. How bleeping ignorant are you?

  • J||

    Van, yes, there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the health care bill in flyover country. However, it doesn't always translate to people voting the way you think they will.

    Chad, I have experienced the health care system in Japan, and agree, accessibility to doctors is far better than it is here. However, I have yet to read anything convincing to suggest this bill will do anything to make that situation better here.

  • Chad||

    The bill makes it obviously better for the following people:

    1: Anyone ages 18-26 that is not getting insurance through their employer, but whose parents are.

    2: Anyone who has a pre-existing condition that is preventing them from getting insurance

    3: The working poor, who get much larger subsidies for their health care

    4: The elderly, who get a $250 check, and more funding dedicated to Medicare

    Who loses?

    1: Rich people, who will pay higher taxes

    2: People with gold-plated health plans, who will pay higher taxes

    3: Whacky right-wing nutjobs that want to go without health insurance (and then stick the taxpayers with the bill when they get hit by the bus).

    Hmmm...I think I will side with the former.

  • Van||

    Chad, git the fuck off my Blog Posts and stay off.

    I was having an Adult conversation with J about whether the Republicans have the votes to win.

  • Tony||

    They should. Americans are stupid enough to reelect them, it's been like two seasons of the Bachelor since they destroyed everything. But they're doing everything wrong. They need to moderate, and they're going full retard. It may not save every Democrat but their batshittery will sure provide a nice cushion.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "People with gold-plated health plans, who will pay higher taxes...unless they're union members or politicians.

  • Van||

    Please don't taunt him Libertarian Guy. I don't want that little sissy messing up my posts with his hysteria.

  • J||

    Okay, Chad, but back to our original point, I have yet to see anything to suggest the bill would allow people more flexibility in choosing their doctors. Perhaps it does, I've yet to see that even discussed.

  • Van||

    J, my reason for thinking this is that from about last Fall till now, people that I meet when I am out, surprise me with how incensed they are about this administration. I haven't been happy with things, but I don't scare easy and my attitude is one mild pessimism. But the people around me are hoppin' mad about this.

    I predicted in 2004 that Obama was electable after reading a book titled, "The Rise of Southern Republicans", by Earl Black and Merle Black. My office mates in Crystal City can attest to my prediction. The Mother of the young lady I shared my office with worked in Obama's Senate office and presumably works for him now. When he announced his intention to run I made a prediction he would win to coworkers here for the same reasons, but no one believed me.

    I am so confident about this Fall's Congressional Races that I have wagered money on Intrade. I will make any Gentleman who cares to wager a similar bet.

    https://www.intrade.com/#

  • Van||

    I forgot to add. I was laid off last October as the result of Defense cuts. You might imagine that I would be angry, but it is the people around me and the people I meet socially who are angry.

    I am self employed now and don't have to go in to any office space and sit in a cube! This is my preferred method of living.

    "Whatever you do, puhleese don' thro' me in dat briar patch.", said Brier Rabbit.

  • J||

    Van, I have no doubt that anti-Obama sentiments are strong in your circles. Most of the people in my circle are liberals/leftists/progressives. In 2004, it didn't even occur to any of them Bush would win the election, because most of them didn't know anyone who planned to vote for him.

    Since the 2010 elections are spread out across hundreds of communities of people of all stripes, with hundreds of candidates with various degrees of baggage, I think it is too hard to say how it will all come out.

  • Van||

    Care to make a friendly wager?

  • ||

    Of course the republicans voted down a senate bill that would have created a commission by law that would have required a up down vote on the recommendations. Which is probably the ONLY way this shit will ever get fixed.

    Reps = Dems.

    Neither really wants to cut.

  • Liberal Genius ||

    Why do you silly libertarians criticize deficit spending? It's not like it caused the dollar to lose 90% of its value during the Great Depression. FDR's bold actions ended the Great Depression in his first 100 days in office.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Only tough choice I can think of is if the Dept of Labor (which doesn't do any work) should be gotten rid of before or after the Dept of Education (which doesn't do any teaching).

  • Damon Killian||

    Then don't decide, Leon! Hard times call for hard solutions, and here are two hard-asses ready to step in and take charge!

  • Sean W. Malone||

    It's really amazing that Keynes - who's work was widely panned at the time by economists around the world, yet who was popularized by (omg, shocking!) politicians anyway is still as popular as he ever was without his ideas ever producing a damn thing but problems.

    We have them to thank for an ever-expanding deficit, an exploding national debt, prevalent economic fallacies throughout the culture, inflation that is continually robbing people of their purchasing power and has counteracted a huge amount of the gains in productivity innovation has created in the same time.

    It's frustrating as all hell... And they never learn, and they can't even understand the fallacies they employ.

    Wtf.

  • Jordan||

    It's frustrating as all hell... And they never learn, and they can't even understand the fallacies they employ.

    Amen. Tony is now actually claiming that building ships and dumping them into the ocean creates wealth. It just floors me that somebody would actually believe that going around breaking windows makes everyone better off.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    A lot of it stems from people like Tony, or more importantly people like Paul Krugman thinking that money = wealth.

    In the Keynesian view, as long as there's more money (i.e. inflation), everyone will be better off. There isn't even a legitimate theory of *production* present in Krugman's writing or in the minds of any of is moronic disciples.

    It's a big problem... Cause apparently, as long as people are "employed" and as long as the government prints a shitload of money for everyone to have - it doesn't matter at all what those employed people are actually doing, and it doesn't matter if they're just rebuilding the same windows over and over and over without ever producing any more of them because by god, those window-makers have some jerbs and money is moving around.

    It doesn't matter that that money was forcibly taken from someone who might have needed something other than a window. It doesn't matter that there's no higher standard of living as a result... GDP went up, don't you see? Aggregate demand is higher!

    And as we all know... Economic statistics prove economic reality.

    What we're seeing with is the inevitable result of bad premises & bad methodology in mainstream economics.

  • Jordan||

    He also seems to think that unless I walk away from a transaction with a physical widget, no value has been created. Witness him railing against those filthy rich, saving and investing their money instead of spending it.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Yeah... It's really sad how infantile his conception of value is.

  • Chad||

    Actually, I see libertarians make the "physical widget" fallacy all the time.

    If I had a nickel for every time you guys claim "the government doesn't produce anything, I could buy a whole physical widget factory.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    From an economic standpoint, the government tends to produce things at an enormous loss - it's not that they don't add anything, it's just that the value of they're adding is largely negative.

    Consider; the benefits like rule of law & increased security of body & property against the enormous cost of taxation, regulation, redistribution and the increasingly large scale dangers of constant military action - not to mention the continual devaluation of the money supply... I think we're looking at a net loss.

  • Chad||

    From an economic standpoint, the government tends to produce things at an enormous loss

    Citation, please. You guys just assume this all the time, and never seem to question it. How does the government produce, say, police at a loss?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "How does the government produce, say, police at a loss?"


    Well, that much is easy actually anyway - see: pubic sector unions.

    That said, I said "at a net loss", and specifically said you should weigh the economic benefits of law-enforcement (when it's not completely selective & retaliatory or destructive like in the case of the WoD), against the costs of unnecessary regulations, high taxes, mandates and transfer payments.

  • Tony||

    So because public sector unions, I gather, are better at securing living wages than their private sector counterparts, they are thus contributing to government waste? I see win-win. Government is doing its job protecting us from crime, and those it hires to do the protecting are paid slightly better than rent-a-cops. I like my police well paid, what about you? Policing being a basic function of a government, the very thing that enables you to keep your money away from criminals, I'd say very few people are financially burdened at all for paying taxes to fund it.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I like my police to actually obey the laws they're intended to protect, and quite a large number of them don't do that - and then they get to collect $150k a year pensions for the next 40 years after they retire while also working other jobs.

    THAT is some mufuckin waste.

    Are you really unaware of the deadly abyss we're headed towards at an essentially unstoppable rate?

    Personally, I'd rather pay a bank to beef up their own security and keep my money safe from criminals that way... I also own a safe at home for such purposes. But I guess you're the kind of guy who hears a policeman say that he can't protect the little kiddies if he doesn't get a 10% raise and you just go "ZOMG! It's for teh children, give him whatever he wants guyz!!"

  • Chad||

    Tony, there is a difference with paying someone "well" and given them a pension that hits an NPV of several million by the time they are 50 years old. We simply cannot nor should not be paying that much.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    So, Tony and Chad... why should we have a private sector at all, if government jobs are so fucking beneficial?

  • Chad||

    Here is a great tool for helping you understand what you would actually need to do to balance the budget.

    Good luck!

    http://crfb.org/stabilizethedebt/

  • Jordan||

    Repeal Social Security, Medicare, and all cabinet level depts except for Treasury, Defense, and Justice. Cut defense budget in half (at least). Close all foreign bases. End war on drugs. End all foreign aid. End all subsidies. Done.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    ...also what Jordan said.

  • Chad||

    "Repeal Social Security, Medicare"

    And what are your plans for the tens of millions of starving eldery people that would result? Just hope the lack of health care kills them off quickly, and the rabid dogs eat the corpses before they stink too much?

    And I sure hope you don't use an interstate to get to work (they would close), or have a kid who has a student loan or is in special ed, or enjoy water and food that is relatively free of poison and rivers that refrain from catching on fire, and...well, I could go on all day.

    Sure, you would have balanced the budget. You would have also led directly to the deaths of millions, and inflicted endless suffering on everyone else.

    Or, we could have a 5% VAT and a carbon tax. Hmmmm...which sounds less painful?

  • Liberal Genius ||

    He's absolutely right. Before Medicare and Social Security, old people were thrown off cliffs when they were too expensive to take care of. Do we really want to go back to that?

    And where would we be without the interstate system? I can't count the number of times I've driven from Boston to Tulsa.

  • Chad||

    So how do I come out ahead if I get to keep a few extra bucks per month, but now have to take care of my two aging grandmothers? And what about all the little old ladies who don't have family who can or is willing take care of them?

    I would vastly prefer the simple transfer payment. So would anyone but an insane libertarian. I give my parents' generations' 10% of my income. I get 10% of my kids' generations' income. Easy and efficient.

  • Liberal Genius ||

    We liberals believe that everyone is responsible for everyone. That's the only sane way to look at it.

    Yes, a massive bureaucracy is much easier than parents simply leaving money for their children. No one shares unless the government forces them to.

    It's good thing the interstate system is around. Any idiot knows it's extremely inefficient to transport freight by rail.

  • Chad||

    Actually, SS has almost no bureaucracy and minimal overhead...unlike anything in the private sector.

  • Chad||

    How many times has your food driven from Tulsa to Boston?

  • Tony||

    I've driven from Tulsa to Boston! I only paid tolls in Tulsa and Boston, strangely enough.

  • Tony||

    ...but I would have gladly paid a lot more, because I don't deserve what income I have left every payday.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I didn't really get very far into that before I noticed a glaring problem. Reducing spending and raising taxes runs into a Laffer Curve issue, but the little game they want me to play doesn't allow me to address or even consider that issue.

    Lowering taxes while also cutting spending could very likely increase overall prosperity, jobs & thus revenue - whereas taxing people at ever higher rates stifles productivity and pushes employers to send jobs elsewhere (i.e. Singapore, Hong Kong, China, etc.) thus actually reducing tax revenue and making it still harder to pay off the debt.

    Better to go for a system that encourages production & prosperity rather than consumption & poverty.

  • Chad||

    These numbers are from very solid sources, and include any Laffer effects, Sean. CBO and OMB have been measuring such things for years. The reality is that our taxes are far too low to trigger much of any Laffer effect.

    If you can't handle these numbers, you are simply a denier who is unwilling to face the truth.

    Why would a VAT push my boss to switch my job to Singapore, Sean? I don't see that at all...especially since Singapore has a 7% VAT anyway. A carbon tax should be globally synchronized as possible, using both carrots and sticks.

    If you think tax cuts result in "production and prosperity", I suggest you do some research on "America, 2000 through 2010" for a complete refutation of that theory.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Merely stabilizing the debt is not a worthy goal. If you can't understand that, piss up a rope.

  • Chad||

    Then add in a few extra tax increases or spending cuts, and watch it start shrinking.

  • ||

    Nobody is arguing that tax increases and spending cuts wouldn't reduce the deficit. The issue is what gets cut. You're just keeping a ridiculous argument going.

  • Tony||

    How about we just raise taxes?

    Oh no, can't do that, because libertarianism entire raison d'etre is protecting the interests of the existing corporate structure, which oddly is always in favor of lower taxes for the upper income brackets.

    If you can't, as a libertarian, entertain the notion of tax increases, then you're nothing but a Republican, and I see very, very few people here calling for tax increases to pay down the deficit, pay for wars, or for any other reason.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Why not keep taxes where they are, instead of being pissy about another five cents on the dollar... and cut spending by, say, ten cents on the dollar?

    Oh, noes! Can't spend the same or less than THIS year, NEXT year! Oh, the humanity!

    What utter bullshit.

  • Tony||

    Because taxes are at their lowest point in a very long time. I don't suspect there will ever be a time you'll be in favor of raising them, either.

  • Anti-Tony||

    How about we just cut spending?

    Oh no, can't do that, because liberalism's raison d'etre is protecting the interests of the existing government entitlement structure, which oddly enough is always in favor of more spending.

    If you can't, as a liberal, entertain the notion of spending cuts, then you're nothing but a brainless progressive, and I see very, very few liberals here calling for spending cuts to get rid of the deficit or reduce government waste.

  • Chad||

    I am perfectly happy to do what it takes to balance the budget. I don't like all the tax increases and budget cuts I have to make when I use the simulator I link to, but I am an adult and can do it.

    You guys immediately see that the cuts you would have to make to balance the budget are extreme, and those that would be required to balance the budget while keeping all the tax breaks in place even more so. Then you cry foul and throw your hands up in the air, and go back to your normal conspiracy theories about how the numbers must be a lie because they make your ideology hard to implement.

  • ||

    I at least have never said that I would never raise taxes. I just think that raising taxes should always play second fiddle to cutting spending. If all you do is raise taxes, it creates the illusion that the problem is solved. What most of us are saying goes beyond decreasing the deficit. I'm sorry that you can't understand that.

  • Tony||

    I stand corrected for above... you do entertain the idea of raising taxes. Good, you're not a Republican, you're a non-anarchist.

    I understand why it's tempting to obsess about the deficit. (For Republicans it's because it's a weak spot for Obama--and they think we're too stupid to remember they started it, but you're not one of those.) But there simply isn't a deficit crisis right now. There also isn't an illegal immigration crisis (no jobs!) or a freedom disappearing crisis (after Bush? please).

    There's a risk-of-worldwide-depression crisis. The only thing that's known to fix this kind of problem is massive amounts of spending. We can put it on the payment plan, just like we did 2 unnecessary wars, because if we don't the effects of depression will cause far more misery worldwide and even worse fiscal problems.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "The only thing that's known to fix this kind of problem is massive amounts of spending."

    GOD FUCKING DAMN IT YOU ARE THE DUMBEST PIECE OF SHIT EVER.

    / vent

  • SammyA||

    Tony, if you have any semblance of intellectual honesty or curiosity (questionable), I implore you to read this chapter of Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson.

    http://jim.com/econ/chap04p1.html

    Show us where the logic fails.

  • Tony||

    What's to refute? There's not a single bit of evidence presented, just nice sounding assumptions.

    Besides, Hazlitt defends the idea of public spending for useful public works. I'm not arguing in favor of making work for its own sake.

  • Man putting out fire with gas||

    I find your views intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    +1 (after many breathing exercises)

  • Chad||

    How about un-doing tax cuts that we can't afford? That would do more to fix the budget than any plausible tax increases or spending cuts.

  • West Texas Boy||

    How about un-doing tax cuts that we can't afford?

    This is horrible logic. If your boss cuts your salary, do you go to him and say, "Boss, I can't afford this pay cut! The amount you cut is equal to the cost of my monthly meal at the best French restaurant in town!"

    I'm pretty sure that even you know what actually happens, Chad. (or what any sane person should do... which eliminates most politicians)

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I prefer this analogy:

    Company X makes widgets, and decides to cut the cost from $30 to $34.

    Company Y buys them out, and decides to "roll back the price cuts" by five bucks a widget... then declares they are NOT increasing the prices.

    Or... a bum panhandles you for thirty-five cents, then chases you down and holds his hand out for another nickel.

    Same difference, especially on the last analogy, to Democrats.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    That should have read "from $39 to $34". Now it makes sense.

    "But it's NOT a price increase... we're rolling back the price decreases!"

    What lovely PR the Dems have. Lie to the public, AND get paid for it.

  • ||

    I'd like to say something. Thanks for Chad, Dan, Tony and others, the Reason threads are probably among the most vibrant. Other sites have only one side talking to itself on the threads. Whereas here, it's more of a debate. And that's good.

    So for that, I thank you all.

    Now back to the SCTV Network hosted by Earl Cammebert and the Liberal Comedy Hour.

  • The elephant in the room||

    Obama & Bush deficits compared:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....00104.html

  • surpa shoes||

    Not long ago, President Barack Obama ordered the creation of a commission that would report back to him with policy recommendations on cutting the federal deficit.

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

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