How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the National Debt

From the Ezra Klein-led media outlet whose goal "isn’t telling you what just happened, or how we feel about what just happened, it’s making sure you understand what just happened," comes this bit of brilliant 'splainin': "Stop freaking out about the debt." Seriously. Because, as narrator Matthew Yglesias explains in a mind-blowing animated video, "the U.S. government can never run out of dollars. Unlike you, or the company you work for, or the town you live in, the federal government prints dollars."

Dollars in abundance!Vox

I feel satisfyingly explained to, now.

Besides, there are other big numbers, too. "Stop freaking out about the debt" helpfully points out that debt held by the public may be $12.5 trillion, but Gross Domestic Income is $17 trillion. That's a bigger number. So stop freaking out!

Of course, the U.S. Treasury reports that Total Public Debt Outstanding is actually $17.5 trillion, which is bigger yet, but we can make even more dollars.

Vox 's video does acknowledge that if you have "too much money chasing a fixed amount of stuff, that means higher prices. And if inflation gets out of control, that will slow down the economy by raising interest rates." This can, Yglesias admits, have bad effects. Those bad effects include an apparent Space Invaders scenario (see below) in which we fight off invading alien inflation, or something, with laser cannons powered by incinerated masses of dollar bills.

Inflation and bad stuffVox

The way I see it, the Washington Monument is a goner, whether from Economic Growth Rate bombs or ack-ack from the Federal Interest Rate. Looks like a good game, anyway, for 1983.

But inflation is the lowest it's been in 30 years, Yglesias assures us. And higher taxes or cutting spending "would take money out of people's pockets." So debt it up! Besides, war and hurricanes (seriously—you have to see the video).

For the record, the Congressional Budget Office recently revised projections for Gross Domestic Product downward. That means less wealth against which to compare that soaring federal debt. The CBO also warns about the debt itself:

Such large and growing federal debt could have serious negative consequences, including restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually increasing the risk of a fiscal crisis (in which investors would demand high interest rates to buy the government’s debt).

With GDP sputtering and deficits continuing, the CBO warned last year, "federal debt would be growing faster than GDP, a path that would ultimately be unsustainable."

Bluntly, the prosperous country and powerful Federal Reserve that can afford to run up bills and fiddle interest rates to push the day of reckoning into the future is a function of a government perceived to be reasonably fiscally responsible and trustworthy—relative to the alternatives, anyway. If the United States government comes to be perceived as on a hopeless credit-card spree, it will lose financial options, and climbing out of the hole will become difficult and very expensive. The dollars the U.S. government "prints" will be so much toilet paper—worth even less, since it's mostly digital and not two-ply.

The U.S. government's credit rating has already taken a hit, hinting at more expensive future borrowing. The Chinese government gleefully warned the U.S. about debt, and clearly sees some opportunity in our self-inflicted plight.

Stop freaking out about the debt? Fine. How about just resigning ourselves to idiots trying to bankrupt us.

Pour a drink and see the full video here.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...the U.S. government can never run out of dollars.

    That would be part of the problem.

  • Juice||

    The government of Zimbabwe can't run out of dollars either.

  • Doctor Whom||

    I'm a trillionaire 150 times over in Zimbabwean dollars, thanks to eBay.

  • AdamJ||

    Our system is not like Zimbabwe or Weimar Germany, so these examples aren't great. But MMT still operates under the theory that "because something hasn't happened means it can't happen." Like "interest rates are low right now, so they will likely always be low."

  • Lonely Stalker||

    "Our system is not like Zimbabwe or Weimar Germany"

    It isn't?

    "The U.S. government's credit rating has already taken a hit, hinting at more expensive future borrowing."

    I remember Michael Moore calling for prison time for these evil people handing out sub AAA-doubleplus ratings for USD.

  • Surly Chef||

    I refuse to watch anything by Sad Beard. I wouldn't be able to sit through it sober.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I watched it. Sadbeard gives a third-grade-level "explanation" that says why worry about debt today when interest rates are low today? That's akin to saying, "go ahead and eat that seed corn!"

  • Hopfiend||

    MMT always strikes me as a play on, "I'm not broke, I've still got checks."

  • AdamJ||

    It's the new communism. Top men control the money, how much you should have, what industries "have too much slack," how much you should save (none), etc. seriously, read Warren Moslers paper on fiat currency systems and highlight all of his ideas and statements that would require complete top-down control of the entire economy. You're gonna need some spare highlighters...

  • datcv||

    Sadbeard sucks, but I still find Klein to be the winner of America's Next Top Punchable Face.

  • Hyperion||

    I don't know, they both have stiff competition. Patrick Kennedy is a front runner for sure.

  • Surly Chef||

    I can deal with punchable. I feel dumber after being exposed to anything Sad Beard. Those brain cells are to be killed with whiskey, not whatever the help this video is.

  • AdamJ||

    No one will ever take over certain senator from the southeast US

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    ahhh I missed Sadbeard and his never-ending parade of retardation. Now I get to hear him actually SPEAK his dumbness rather than just slather it all over Twitter like an epileptic with a jar of mayo.

  • Libertymike||

    Your disparaging retards and epileptics by even thinking of comparing them with that intellectual pimple on the penis of a protozoa.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    that's true. I am ashamed.

  • Tötmacher||

    I feel like even mayo deserves better than to be mentioned with that guy.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Only if it is full-fat mayo. None of that reduced fat BS or *shudder* Miracle Whip.

  • Surly Chef||

    What if it's artisanal?

  • LynchPin1477||

    I like his little tiny stutters. It makes him seem, like, a real person.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Don't forget Dick "Deficits Don't Matter" Cheney - who had actual say-so, unlike 'Sadbeard'.

  • Cytotoxic||

    *sucks Obama-dick intensely*

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I didn't mention Obama although he has cut the deficit in half from the Bushpigs high of $1.4 trillion.

    Yet still, debt is growing.

  • Cytotoxic||

    *mendacity intensifies*

  • cw||

    I didn't mention Obama

    No one mentioned Dick Cheney.

  • Hopfiend||

    what happens with that deficit in 2015 BTW?

  • ||

    Bushpigs high of $1.4 trillion.

    You mean Obama's high.

    $800 billion of that number you use was the simulas that Obama signed in 2009.

    I have told you this multiple times yet you keep ignoring it.

    Why is that Shrike?

    Why do you keep ignoring the correction i make to your false numbers over and over and over and over again?

    Look no one here is a fan of Bush. We all think he spent way more then he should have.

    We get it Bush sucked.

    Now would you please stop being a huge peice of shit hack and admit that Obama was a huge spender and deficit runner upper and admit that Obama in terms of real dollars has been worse then Bush ever was?

    Can you do that? Can you fucking quit lying to us and to yourself please?

  • Tötmacher||

    Did he recently star a website and do something on the subject?

    Then why the fuck is your idiot ass bringing him up fuckwit?

    Do you see someone calling hi a fucking sage on the subject?

    Then why are you splattering your stupidity everywhere?

    Cheney was crap. So fucking what. Oh right, I forgot, all the Cheney evangelizing that doesn't fucking exist here is your stupid ass excuse.

    Go stand in the fucking corner.

  • fish||

    Don't forget Dick "Deficits Don't Matter" Cheney - who had actual say-so, unlike 'Sadbeard'.

    Hey Putins Buttplug......remember....not republicans here!

    Jesus you fuckwit write it on a sticky note and leave it on your monitor.

  • Paul.||

    Twitter like an epileptic with a jar of mayo.

    I'm going to have to extend you a golf clap for that.

  • GotOutOfCali||

    THIS IS WHAT IDIOTS LIKE YGLESIAS ACTUALLY BELIEVE.

  • paranoid android||

    Why is a Dalek attacking a giant phallus in that second picture?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    because Teathuglicans!

  • ||

    It looked much more like Missile Defense than Space Invaders to me.

  • ||

    I think you mean Missile Command.

  • Paul.||

    It's no longer the Department of War, it's the Department of Defense.

  • ||

    I think you mean Missile Command.

    Sorry, I had a disadvantaged youth, I was playing Aliens and Catchum on my Kaypro II instead of Space Invaders and Pacman on the Atari. I guess I'm only slightly more culturally in tune than Tuccille.

  • Doctor Whom||

    The ultimate truth is that debts are bad only when the other team is in the White House.

  • Almanian!||

    Hey, Jerry, FUCK YOU FOR SUBJECTING US TO THIS SHIT! YOU BASTARD!!!

    *shakes fist*

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

  • Brandon||

    I never saw that before. Yglesias can't even insult people without a fallacy.

  • Not an Economist||

    How can I be out of money??? I still have checks!

  • Voros McCracken||

    My initial thought as well.

  • CE||

    I only owe as much as everyone in the country, combined, earns in one year. That means my debt is under control. If I need to pay it off suddenly, I'll just hike taxes to 100%.

  • Paul.||

    Only 100%?

  • The hand that whips the orphan||

    The debt just isn't a problem right now.

    Brought to you by the same kind of moronic thinking as "the stock market isn't in a bubble" in '00 and "the housing market will have a soft landing" in '06. It will be fine, the Top Men at the Fed promise us.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    pretty much this. It may be the case that debt isn't a problem right now, but I'd much rather have the breathing room for a real emergency. What are we going to do if a few missiles fly over Europe tomorrow from Russia? Uhhh, I guess borrow up to 300%...that ought to be great.

  • LynchPin1477||

    We don't even have to do that. We just have to wait for the entitlement wave to crush us. But oh, yeah, I'm sure we'll get around to fixing that real soon.

  • The hand that whips the orphan||

    And then of course after the panic we'll be hearing from the same train of idiots - I mean Top Economists - about how "Nobody could have foreseen this. Nobody." I can already envision Krugman and Yellan on CNBC with their shocked faces on.

  • JW||

    You left out the part where they blame everyone who warned them about their idiocy.

  • ||

    It may be the case that debt isn't a problem right now, but I'd much rather have the breathing room for a real emergency.

    Personally, I take issue with the whole taxation without representation (Here kids, you didn't get a vote, but pay the interest on this wouldja?) issue too.

    Must be the radical notions like, "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day..." that I was raised on.

  • The hand that whips the orphan||

    Isn't it funny how politicians and the media only have a "MUST DO SOMETHING NOW!" attitude when it comes to things they shouldn't be doing yet have the completely opposite reaction to things they should.

    It almost seems like politicians only care about being reelected and not actually looking out for the "public good".

  • ||

    Isn't it funny how politicians and the media only have a "MUST DO SOMETHING NOW!" attitude when it comes to things they shouldn't be doing yet have the completely opposite reaction to things they should.

    I'm flabbergasted at how a convoluted message like environmental sustainability gets run up the flagpole and everyone snaps to attention but economic sustainability is seen as some sort of prank or quaint ceremonial procedure.

    If I said we could solve environmental sustainability by burning more oil in the short term and expending the energy in a manner that brings an end to global warming, their faces turn red with anger before I can finish the sentence and they'll shoot dozens of holes in my proposition before I even get to the details. But, when you ask them how to solve a long term debt crisis they will tell you 'just print more money and pay off the debt' like you're a moron for not having thought of it.

    I guess we find out who's a moron when the paper and ink is more valuable than the money it's being used to print.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Bernanke has repeatedly warned Congress that their fiscal recklessness is a direct threat to our economy.

    He specifically said that entitlements were out of control and would only get worse without action.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Then he enabled and encouraged their behaviour with terrible monetary policy.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No, Congress borrows every year (ex 1999/2000) WITHOUT QE or the Fed.

    QE is a rare thing. Congress borrowing is common.

    "Printing" money is unrelated to debt.

  • Cytotoxic||

    1)Congress borrowing this much is uncommon.

    2) Printing money enables government debt, period. Low interest rates and inflation both make that borrowing, period.

    I bring the facts.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No, you're an idiot who thinks "printing money" is our problem.

    In FACT, Congress spending more than we have year upon year is our real problem and the source of our debt.

  • Cytotoxic||

    If you can't see the connection between the money printing and the spending you are giant fucking retard.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Congress was going to spend all that money anyway, you stupid fuck.

    Albeit at higher rates.

    You don't know shit about this. You are just trying to blame the Fed. No, Congress gets 100% of the blame.

  • Jordan||

    No, you're an idiot who thinks "printing money" is our problem.

    Who do you think is buying all that debt, you fucking idiot?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Sovereigns are buying 80% of it.

    SS and the Fed about 20%.

  • ||

    US megabanks are not sovereigns.

    Here is how the machine works:

    Government loans money to banks at what is ultimately negative interest. (QE plus low interest plus government paying banks for not loaning out savings accounts = negative interest)

    The banks then buy the debt with the loans the government gave them

    Rinse and repeat until you have the largest government mandated transfer of wealth in the history of the universe.

    How you don't see that as the ultimate recipe for disaster is beyond human comprehension.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You are wrong, Corning.

    Banks own 4% of Treauries. Here is a pie chart.

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/pganzn9

    Click "Proceed to site"

  • Hopfiend||

    eventually someone is going to want more than just the interest payments.

    All of those treasuries sitting on balance sheets. The $$ isn't in circulation yet, but it will be eventually. My biggest concern with the whole thing is there isn't a graceful dismount from the QE policy.

  • CE||

    In FACT, Congress spending more than we have year upon year is our real problem and the source of our debt.

    Whoa! I agreed with PB on something, I think for the first time. ....need to go get a drink, clear my head....

  • Paul.||

    What Shrike seems to describe is what my father used to call "A bunch of men in a burlap sack swapping hats for a living".

  • Hopfiend||

    http://useconomy.about.com/od/.....Easing.htm

    This lady seems to think the two aren't that far apart.

  • ||

    Congress, of course, did borrow extensively in 1999 and 2000, but no matter.

    If you'd like congress to borrow on real market terms without the federal reserve buying bonds with new money and suppressing interest rates, I support you 100%. Something tells me you wouldn't much want that though.

  • R C Dean||

    All Federal Reserve notes are debt. "note" is short for promissory note.

    The Fed has been adding Treasuries to its portfolio via QE at a rate that absorbs the majority of new debt issued since 2009.

    One purpose of QE is to suppress interest rates. This only happens if the auctions clear. It is an open secret that the Fed assures the auctions clear at low rates through cats-paws.

  • The hand that whips the orphan||

    Our assessment is that there's not much indication at this point that subprime mortgage issues have spread into the broader mortgage market, which still seems to be healthy. And the lending side of that still seems to be healthy.

    Overall, the U.S. economy seems likely to expand at a moderate pace over the second half of 2007, with growth then strengthening a bit in 2008 to a rate close to the economy's underlying trend.

    Ben Bernanke 2/07 and 7/07

    Perhaps if he were so concerned about fiscal recklessness he could have helped matters by not facilitating it with QE^infinity.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yeah, the Fed missed the housing wreck.

    But we were talking fiscal matters from Congress.

    And Congress can borrow all day long WTIHOUT the Fed "printing" money or QE. QE began in 2008 and Congress had been borrowing for many years prior.

    (Both you and the poster above misunderstand this concept).

  • The hand that whips the orphan||

    I assure you I understand the concept perfectly well. I also understand that without the Fed Congress can only borrow to the point markets are willing to lend, whereas with the Fed that constraint is nonexistent -regardless of whether it's been binding since '09. Furthermore, I understand supply and demand, and realize that without an extra $3 trillion injected in the market since '08 interest rates would be higher than they otherwise are making congress's profligate borrowing more costly.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    True.

    But with -9% GDP and 750,000 jobs lost every month Bernanke had to put a muzzle on rates in order to aid a very sick economy. He did this via Credit Easing and various "Twists" in order to aid borrowers and stimulate a dying economy.

  • Cytotoxic||

    But with -9% GDP and 750,000 jobs lost every month Bernanke had to put a muzzle on rates in order to aid a very sick economy.

    No he didn't. The economy wasn't 'dying' anymore than you are a 'classical liberal'.

  • ||

    Of course GDP is no longer -9%, and you keep insisting that the job market is on fire while stocks are through the roof as we rocket through the recovery stratosphere, so it's kind of a fucking mystery why those policies are still in place, innit?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    so it's kind of a fucking mystery why those policies are still in place, innit?

    The Fed is easing off those policies. Not cold turkey, of course.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I regret coupling you with Cytotoxic - the real idiot who knows nothing about this topic.

  • ||

    I think it is good Shrike that you have finally come around to saying Debt is bad.

    By why do you have to be such a hopeless hack about it?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I have always said that! I support Obama for actually reducing the deficit dramatically.

    That is why I hate Bush/Cheney. They took a Clinton surplus and left a $1.4 trillion annual deficit.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Obama for actually reducing the deficit dramatically.

    Lies.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You're an idiot.

    Stay in Canada. We don't want you here.

  • ||

    You're an idiot.

    It does not take a genius to realize that in March of 2009 Bush was no longer president.

    If he is an idiot what does that make you?

  • ||

    again i ask:

    Why do you have to be such a hopeless hack about it?

    Bush was bad on spending along with the dem controlled congress at the time, no on here disagrees with you.

    Obama has been worse.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Peter Caca,

    I have always said that! I support Obama for actually reducing the deficit dramatically.


    He didn't reduce the deficit dramatically. Congress reduced the deficit dramatically through the so-called "sequestration". Obama blew the budget out of the water in his first year in office with his "Stimulus Package" torpedo which did none of the things advertised by his sycophants.

    That is why I hate Bush/Cheney. They took a Clinton surplus and left a $1.4 trillion annual deficit.


    While there is no lost love between me and Dubya/Vader, the notion that they took a "surplus" from Clinton is misleading.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, OM, the GOP magically turn into deficit hawks when there is a D in the White House!

    That is why I want a D in the White House!

  • ||

    the GOP magically turn into deficit hawks when there is a D in the White House!

    Dems controlled the house during the last two years of Bush and the first two years of Obama.

    Funny how those 4 years were the worst years of deficit spending of both presidencies.

    GOP are horrible with spending...but come the fuck on Shrike open your god damn eyes.

  • Paul.||

    Which branch of government is ultimately responsible for the purse strings again? It escapes me...

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    You are a bald-faced liar. Either you hate them both for budget busting, or you hate neither. You don't get to pick and choose and remain honest.

    U*N*D*E*R*P*A*N*T*S***O*N***F*I*R*E dishonest.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Peter Caca,

    Bernanke has repeatedly warned Congress that their fiscal recklessness is a direct threat to our economy.


    Yeah, well, the trick here is understanding what "Helicopter" Ben meant by "fiscal recklessness."

    He specifically said that entitlements were out of control and would only get worse without action.


    Right. And what does "action" mean? Raising taxes? Or cutting benefits?

    You can't simply say that a person was singing a different tune if you happen to be tone-deaf, Caca.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Digital toilet paper leaves bits on your butt and chunks on your hands.

  • John C. Randolph||

    What a fucking Ygnoramus.

    -jcr

  • Libertymike||

    Plus + 1.

  • ChrisO||

    Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias under the same roofs. So many punchable faces, so little time.

    the U.S. government can never run out of dollars. Unlike you, or the company you work for, or the town you live in, the federal government prints dollars.

    Let's see. I believe I learned about Weimar Germany and the infamous wheelbarrows full of cash in, oh, about 8th Grade or so. Apparently, Sadbeard skipped that day of class.

  • ChrisO||

    By the way, add David Brooks to the vox.com roster, and you'd have the Holy Trinity of Punchable Faces. At least the ones that aren't currently working (directly) for the Obama administration.

  • fish||

    By the time Klein is finished staffing his lefty funhouse it's going to be a veritable "Wack-A-Mole" game of punchable faces.....I hope he can get E.J Dionne on the team....that would be thuper!

  • LynchPin1477||

    The sad part is, I didn't learn about the Weimar republic, at least as it relates to hyperinflation, until I started listening to Glenn Beck. I don't anymore, but for a while there when the financial crisis hit, he seemed sort of sane and was striking a more libertarian tone. Knowledge can come from the strangest places...

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The Beckerhead is an idiot. He hauled every dumbass goldbug on that would warn us about Weimar Part II.

    I said that in 2009 when all the Peanuts here were predicting hyperinflation too.

    I knew it wouldn't happen because the money supply was contracting then - not expanding.

  • Cytotoxic||

    And now it's inflating, just like they said.

  • ||

    the money supply was contracting then - not expanding.

    Lol! Uh... no. Not even true for a restricted value of "money".

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    M# fell by 20%.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    M3 fell by 20% rather.

  • ||

    Which notably doesn't include T-bills, which the Fed was buying at a fever pitch to restrain interest rates and accommodate 1.5 trillion dollars in unpaid for government spending that year. Hence the reference to a restricted value of "money".

    And of course, M3 estimates are best guesses since the Fed quit publishing M3 data in 2006.

  • Doctor Whom||

    I never learned about Weimar Germany in school; I guess it didn't fit the goodthink that the school wanted to instill in us. I did, however, learn about it in my personal reading while I was in junior high school.

  • Alice Bowie||

    That won't exist with the existence of FIAT and a Central Bank (The Fed).

  • Cytotoxic||

    Fiat money is exactly what made Weimer happen you fucking twat.

  • Jordan||

    HAHAHAHA holy shit!

  • ||

    Just in case there was any remaining sliver of a doubt of your ignorance of the topic.

  • JW||

    Fix It Again Twit!

  • ||

    Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias under the same roofs.

    Want to have your mind blown?

    Vox is partially owned and was founded by....

    *drum Roll*

    Kos of the daily Kos.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    oh that's just perfect. get Joan Walsh in there and it will be the Dagwood of Shit Sandwiches.

  • ||

    Bonus points!!

    I just clicked on the link.

    In the upper right hand corner it says "Presented by GE".

    Why don't the they just give up the ghost and have it presented by Solyndra and Berkshire Hathaway Financial services?

  • JW||

    "Presented by GE"

    Unsurprising that the knob-polisher of the gubmint teet is in on the long con.

  • Dweebston||

    I'm not especially worried about the debtload, per se. I'm worried about the cost of servicing that debt, namely as it affects my tax burden.

    And as someone who vehemently disagrees with the majority of the feds' activities, why should I be thrilled about seeing it financed by investors and bondholders?

  • Edwin||

    //the U.S. government can never run out of dollars. Unlike you, or the company you work for, or the town you live in, the federal government prints dollars."

    Tony also said at one point that it's impossible for the U.S. government to go bankrupt.
    I think this is proof that dedicated leftists are insane. I call it ideological insanity, it's a mild form of insanity involving an inability to understand the objective world around them when it comes to more abstract, detached subjects. It's usually beliefs in politics, but it can also be other stuff, usually ideological of some nature.

  • The Laconic Marc F Cheney||

    Makes you wonder how other governments ever go bankrupt. Must be because they print silly foreign money instead of greenbacks.

  • ||

    That is a pretty good explanation. Obama is the poster child for that.

  • Rich||

    The CBO also warns about the debt itself: "Such large and growing federal debt could have serious negative consequences, including restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually increasing the risk of a fiscal crisis"

    Meh. The CBO is notorious for being wrong.

  • ChrisO||

    Yep. They underestimate things. In other words, we're even more screwed than we thought.

  • Rich||

    Whew. Thought I might have to append a "Note to self: Use less-subtle sarcasm."

  • Sudden||

    We all knew you were talking about zombie apocalypse.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Lol,

    Look libertarians, as Matthew Yglesias says, we can do it your way.

    Close down medicare/medicaid/unemployment/public schools, etc.
    Bail out no one (especially the little guy).
    Let it fail.

    Let see how that works out. You guys may be right all along.

    Perhaps, the insigificant 99% of this country will eat some humble pie and realize that they are just not equal to that 1%. And we'll all be libertarians. Because once it all collapses, that will be the natural order of things.

  • Alice Bowie||

    My russian friend from Brooklyn said he was really afraid as for what would happen if the people in the Projects stopped getting their welfare checks.

    I told him not to worry about them, they get their checks from the same guy that prints the money.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Alice Bowie,

    My russian friend from Brooklyn said he was really afraid as for what would happen if the people in the Projects stopped getting their welfare checks.


    I would have told him "That's what God invented guns and Texas for, Boris."

  • Alice Bowie||

    His name is Boris.

    So you lied to me in the other blog, ese.

    You said the "Final Solution" was off the table.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Alice Bowie,

    You said the "Final Solution" was off the table.


    Fine, whatever. You can stay where you are and risk having your brains eaten by a bloodthirsty horde of welfare-bereft zombies!

  • Alice Bowie||

    Like I said, they get their money from the guy that sits next to the printer.

  • Alice Bowie||

    It's all you "roughed individuals" that don't the the gobment for nothin' that better watch out.

    And remember, you all have gunz.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Why should we watch out when we have all the guns? Are you drunk? Cause you type and argue like drunk.

  • Brandon||

    Could you try to make this coherent?

  • montana mike||

    Not possible for the anal queen.

  • Hopfiend||

    I beg of you, please stop suggesting New Yorkers move to Texas.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Don't worry Hopfiend. Neither me, nor my New York Progressive fans venture south of Perth Amboy, NJ let alone Texas.

  • Hopfiend||

    phew.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Have fun being broke in your shithole.

  • Edwin||

    I've been practicing:

    "JUST WALK AWAY. JUST WALK AWAY AND WE WILL SPARE YOUR LIVES. JUST WALK AWAY. ALL WE WANT IS THE GASOLINE"

  • seguin||

    Where's Lord Humungus when you need him?

  • Lord Humungus||

    hello!

  • Paul.||

    Why would your Russian friend be worried, everyone in NY is disarmed.

  • LynchPin1477||

    All the real libertarians will be in our Koch-built bunkers. Only a small number of 99%-ers will be allowed in to provide electricity by running on treadmills. The fat ones, since they'll last longer.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Lol :

  • Hopfiend||

    We'll have to do a quick CBA. The fat ones will also eat more, unless you intend to treat them as disposables.

  • LynchPin1477||

    treat them as disposables

    Well, they won't have money, and therefore, value as human beings, so yes, that was the plan. Unless they got hot as they get thin.

  • Hopfiend||

    Then they become renewables.

  • LynchPin1477||

    The amount of evil genius concentrated on this site is remarkable.

  • fish||

    The amount of evil genius concentrated on this site is remarkable.

    I propose we nominate LynchPin and Hopfiend for the "Koch Bros. Order of the Monocle"

  • Sudden||

    Not until the quarterly evil genius cabal meeting.

    Coincidentally, that will be at the applebee's on Tuesday at 7:00 PM PDT.

    Remember, we chose applebee's so Epi wouldn't show.

  • Libertymike||

    The fat ones, by and large (pun definitely intended), tend to have some strong legs - all the better for power generation.

  • Sevo||

    WIH are you posting about? A bit early to hit the sauce, isn't it?

  • Hopfiend||

    It's never too early to hit the sauce. When I night stocked groceries, I would sometimes have a sixer after the shift at 7 am and then crash at my GFs place. I hated working nights.

  • Sevo||

    Yeah, but did you then try to post on a blog?

  • Hopfiend||

    I had a beeper.

  • Cytotoxic||

    DUR DUR 99% DUR DUR 1%

    It will fail, whether you or I like it or not. Reality exacts itself with a vengeance, and reality is libertarian.

  • Voros McCracken||

    And I would go
    And I would go everyday almost to the sandbox
    And 'cause I loved the sandbox so much
    And 'cause I had my pail and my shovel
    And and my shovel

    And I would play in the sandbox
    And it would be so fun
    And I would make mountains in the sand
    And I would have so much fun

    And and but one day I went to the sandbox
    And it was so sad
    And I cried and I cried because
    Someone took a doody in my sandbox
    Someone took a doody in my sandbox

    And that was so bad
    And that was so disgusting
    And how could they do that
    And and that was so bad

    And and and I didn't see it
    And and I sat right down in it
    And it felt squishy and I got up
    And I cried and I cried and I cried

    And why didn't they clean up after themselves
    Why didn't they clean up the mess

    And now my pants are dirty
    And I'm crying and I'm crying and I'm crying
    And I'm never going to the sandbox again
    I'm never going to the sandbox again
    And I hate everybody

  • Andrew S.||

    You've hit a new low, Alice. You've even gone sub-Tony here. That's a feat.

  • ||

    You mean like the Depression of '20-'21?

    Note: 1920-1921 is right around 1 year.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    But that's just because WWII saved us from... oh wait. And NOTHING compares to the depression of 1946.

  • ChrisO||

    A secondary effect of such humongous public borrowing is to crowd out private investment.

    And when the feds' cost of borrowing goes up, as it inevitably will, that will mean that private borrowing will also have to occur at a higher interest rate in order to attract investors. Nice way to kill an economy.

    No fucking way am I watching Sadbeard, but I'm assuming he didn't reach this level of analysis.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    yeah no crowding out mentioned whatsoever.

  • OldMexican||

    Because, as narrator Matthew Yglesias explains in a mind-blowing animated video, "the U.S. government can never run out of dollars. Unlike you, or the company you work for, or the town you live in, the federal government prints dollars."


    And since those printed dollars are backed up by magic wealth, then, everybody's rich!

    And higher taxes or cutting spending "would take money out of people's pockets."


    I'm pretty sure the first one does take money out of people's pockets, but how does lowering spending do the same? Taking money out of someone's pocket means that: TAKING money from someone's pocket, as in putting your hand into someone's pocket to reach for money they already have. It does NOT mean "not spending money."

    Besides, war and hurricanes (seriously—you have to see the video).


    I would rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon and slice my tongue with a crisp sheet of white paper

  • sarcasmic||

    I responded to you on the FDA Bullies thread.

    Reply?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: sarcasmic,

    Reality is that there will always be people who engage in organized violence for the purpose of plunder.

    That is not an argument in favor of government.


    That is nonsense: "If there was no government, then men would organize into groups for the purpose of plunder". You stated this, it is an unequivocal conditional - IF there was NO government, then bad things would happen. But government does the same bad things you allege will happen without government!

  • sarcasmic||

    But government does the same bad things you allege will happen without government!

    Yep. Life sucks and then you die.

  • Brandon||

    It's funny, the scary hurricane graphic they show is a storm going right into New York. Because that's the only place that matters.

  • Alice Bowie||

    So, one day, Russia/China will dump the US Treasury on the Market, sending the US Dollar to its Death Spiral.

    Do you think that will trigger America to be more libertarian?
    I doubt it.

    I think we won't be able to buy foreign good. We won't be able to outsource. And, we are very rich in natural resources, know-how, people, etc. We'll have things for people to do.

  • Doctor Whom||

    So in other words, we have a glorious future as the next Zimbabwe.

  • Alice Bowie||

    You'll see.

    It depends on the President.

    Remember when Bernake decided to get tough on the Street and not Bail out Lehman Brothers? In a mere five days, General Electric, the largest corporation in the World was about to default.

    So, hope for a liberal, for our sake. Or, let's tighten the belt and see what happens.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So, hope for a liberal, for our sake. Or, let's tighten the belt and see what happens.

    GE must not fail! WE MUST ALL FAIL TOGETHER

  • LynchPin1477||

    What exactly do you think GE failing would have looked like? I mean, I don't claim to know either, but it's not like all of their capital goods and IP would have been burned in rabid mob of panic. Those assets would have been sold off in bankruptcy and put to productive use by other businesses that, presumably, might have learned something about how not to bankrupt a huge multinational corporation.

  • Doctor Whom||

    So, hope for a liberal, for our sake.

    Unlike that wild-eyed libertarian, Robert Mugabe.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Do you think that will trigger America to be more libertarian?

    This is actually a good question which is surprising given that it comes from a mouthbreather.

    It will certainly be the end of the American Welfare state. That will be hooped, along with all the little statist side bennies like ANY form of government care and funding for various 'research' bullshit. That does not mean libertarians. I fear by America will be seized by xenophobia and protectionism and other nationalist strains of statism with little respect for civil liberties. That's why we need to get as many of 'our people' like Amash and Massie and Rand in place.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Good Luck...as I breath thru my mouth.

    People won't vote for the guy closing down entitlements while they' losing their jobs.

    I think Mitt Romney learned that one.

    Libertarians will need to become more weasals and start lying to the public and once elected, cut entitlements.

  • Cytotoxic||

    People won't vote for the guy closing down entitlements while they' losing their jobs.

    It won't matter if Our People are there beforehand.

    Libertarians will need to become more weasals and start lying to the public and once elected, cut entitlements.

    It won't matter if the benefits are already gone.

    Here's what you and your stupid proglodyte friends don't understand, and it's why you can't win: reality is not up for a vote. Period.

  • Lonely Stalker||

    reality is not up for a vote

    You destroyed my childhood.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Are you joking? It's hard to tell with you.

    I think we won't be able to buy foreign good. We won't be able to outsource. And, we are very rich in natural resources, know-how, people, etc. We'll have things for people to do.

    Brilliant!

  • ||

    Do you think that will trigger America to be more libertarian?
    I doubt it.

    Well pot and automatic weapons will become defacto legal and I am pretty sure during and after the death spiral you will be able to smoke in the office.

  • Cytotoxic||

    It will also change the social dynamic regarding authority A LOT. Have something to lose? Probably don't want to piss off the PD. Nothing to lose? FUCK DA POLICE

  • SugarFree||

    I've never actually heard him speak. It was painful.

  • Rich||

    Me neither. Think he's gay? (NTTAWWT.)

  • SugarFree||

    Supposedly, he's married. I guess it could be to a turtle or something.

  • seguin||

    No. Gay men have standards. He's most likely in a relationship with a brick, a sofa cushion, or some other inanimate object.

  • ||

    too much money chasing a fixed amount of stuff, that means higher prices.

    Swear to god we need to hire these idiots to sell the world onto bitcoin.

  • Lonely Stalker||

    On the other hand, too much money chasing an insane amount of idiocy WANTING TO BREAK OUT AND MAKE THE WORLD SAFE FOR PROGRESSIVISM means Matthew Yglesias High Quality Videos in your face.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I am not watching that video. I'd rather watch New Mexico's finest murder a homeless man. I need to buy some cryptocurrency and metals and soon. I would also like to express my gratitude for the Bank of Canada's not-yet-totally-deranged policies.

    China, if you're listening: sell the bonds, let the Yuan float and exchange freely. CUT THE USD LOOSE.

  • Sunmonocle Backwards Tophat||

    I'm impressed he didn't show the Fed watering a money tree with the sweat of American workers, after which the money tree grows over a village and shelters it from the rain of high interest rates, but only until autumn when the money all falls and there's no more money in the money tree, in which case the people move to the California coast where there isn't really winter and they thrive in the California economy with its year round money trees. It's the news explained, not spun.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I'd pay for that video to get made.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I'd kickstart that. Anyone here can voice an Yglesia?

  • LynchPin1477||

    I'd be willing to give it the old $50,000 try.

  • Andrew S.||

    I doubt it. I'm not sure if anyone here is missing a chromosome.

  • Cytotoxic||

    We'll just have to draw straws and the guy with the short straw has butt-chug until brain necrosis turns him Yglesia-esque.

  • Brandon||

    You don't think Alice, Tony or Shrike is missing a chromosome?

  • The Laconic Marc F Cheney||

    debt held by the public may be $12.5 trillion, but Gross Domestic Income is $17 trillion

    Now, I'm no big-city economist, I think we need that income to, like, live and stuff.

  • Tman||

    No no, that $17 trillion GDI is in the bank. We can pay off the debt whenever!!

    Now, who should I make this check out to?

  • Sevo||

    "Now, I'm no big-city economist, I think we need that income to, like, live and stuff."

    If Obo keeps buying out the car companies, they won't need any customers.

  • GILMORE||

    I'm not going to watch this

    = is this the "Neochartelism for Dummies" that progs have latched onto because - not understanding either money or macroeconomics to begin with, they stumbled across 'something else' they didn't understand, only this one suggested than money is infinite, so latched onto it as the most recent economic-"Settled Science"?

  • Jerry on the boat||

    "Here is a big number, and there is another big number. Don't you worry folks."

  • ||

    $250 billion in interest payments is a pretty big number as well...

    I wonder why they chose to leave that one out.

  • Mike M.||

    Gee, I wonder why Sadbeard and the JournoList are focusing on this strange talking point now?

    Oh right, it's because they know that in all likelihood, we're just six days away from Block Insane Yomomma achieving two of the most dubious milestones in American economic history: seven trillion dollars in total accumulated debt, and a doubling of the total publicly held debt.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    Block Insane Yomomma

    Surely we can come up with a better way to mock Obama than this?

  • Brandon||

    "We" have. The idiot neocon racists keep using that stupid shit, which I guess is helpful because it at least identifies them.

  • Paul.||

    I didn't even know what he meant until I read MBC's reply.

  • sarcasmic||

    Any train of logic that starts with a false premise is a fallacy.

    The premise that money equals wealth is false.

    Anything that follows is a fallacy.

  • ||

    Best analysis yet.

    Edwin I was onto it upthread. Money does not equal wealth is a concept that they just can't get.

  • sarcasmic||

    I see it all the time.

    So-and-so is worth this much money, therefore money equals wealth.

    People seem to thing that because wealth can be expressed in terms of money, that money and wealth are the same thing. But they're not.

    These people include my 70yr old father, with whom I cannot converse about politics or economics without guaranteeing at least a year of the silent treatment.

    So I don't bother. No point. As much of an asshole as he is, I'd rather talk with him on the phone about woodworking or food than not at all.

    Reminds me of something he told me when I was young:

    "Capitalism means if you have money you make money, otherwise you work for a capitalist."

    Show me a leftist, and I'll show you someone with a profound ignorance of economics.

  • Jordan||

    "Capitalism means if you have money you make money, otherwise you work for a capitalist."

    Haha wow. No doubt the first Capitalist found all his money lying in a cave somewhere, left behind by the Old Gods who've left this plane of existence. Ken Schultz likes to say the progressives are dumber than Creationists. That really is spot on.

  • sarcasmic||

    The odd thing is that my father has the entrepreneurial spirit. He chased that pie in the sky all his life. His goal was to become one of those rich people he hates and envies. But it never happened. I often wonder what may have happened had any of his schemes been a success. Would he admit that maybe people get rich not by ripping off the poor, but by providing goods and services to willing customers? Somehow I doubt it.

  • Brandon||

    Hey Suthen, was that you on the Michelle Malkin article comments section? Or a different Suthenboy?

  • Ted Levy||

    "From the Ezra Klein-led media outlet whose goal "isn’t telling you what just happened, or how we feel about what just happened, it’s making sure you understand what just happened,"

    I already understand what just happened. Ezra Klein lied to me.

  • Raven Nation||

    Yglesias in 2002 on Reagan:

    He created a massive, totally unsustainable level of national debt.

    Whole thing here (about 1/3 of the way down the page):

    http://yglesias.blogspot.com/2.....chive.html

  • Sevo||

    Well, like Obo, his views "evolve". Strangely enough, pretty much in tune with the D party.

  • Tony||

    The problem is the theoretical problems caused by debt sometime in the future (you're not going to be more specific than that) are less important than the immediate problems facing us right now, yet you guys obsess over the long-term possible-but-not-likely scenario to the exclusion of almost everything else.

    This is not rational, nor is it principled. It is a sham, actually. It's an excuse you made up to encourage cutting spending on programs you don't like. The day you call for massive tax increases to address this supposedly first-order economic problem is the day I'll stop calling bullshit on your bullshit.

  • ||

    $250 billion in yearly interest payments is right now.

    A negative drag of 1% to 2% on your GDP is right now.

    By the way 1% = $170 billion and 2% is $340 billion

    After 3 years (the rest of Obama's term) that loss of GDP is $510 billion and $1.2 trillion respectively.

    It is you who is not being rational.

  • Tony||

    I neglected to add that addressing the immediate economic problems will also serve to address debt faster.

  • ||

    It's always worked that way in the past.

  • Jordan||

    That debt is a problem does not imply that any and all solutions are just. The converse is also true. And that holds even if one is a utilitarian, which I am not. Massive logic fail.

  • Tony||

    What's unjust about Congress raising taxes? They're pretty low historically. Having them higher has never had any noticeable negative economic effects. And it's the principal way to solve the biggest problem in the world, debt, you know, raising more revenues.

    But you're saying I'm right and this is just an excuse you've conjured to cut programs you don't like. I wish you'd just say so, it's not like it's a secret.

  • Jordan||

    They're pretty low historically. Having them higher has never had any noticeable negative economic effects.

    Which says nothing about whether or not they're just.

    And it's the principal way to solve the biggest problem in the world, debt, you know, raising more revenues.

    Strawman down!

    But you're saying I'm right and this is just an excuse you've conjured to cut programs you don't like. I wish you'd just say so, it's not like it's a secret.

    Strawman down!

  • ||

    Having them higher has never had any noticeable negative economic effects.

    By which Tony means to say "has never had any negative effects that I could comprehend" or "has never has had any negative effects that I care about". Which still wouldn't make it okay to rob people at gunpoint. Just another hilarious illustration of Tony's vacuity.

  • Paul.||

    I've come to the conclusion that Tony is very young and doesn't remember 19% interest rates, stagflation and lines at the gas station.

  • ||

    "In the long run we're all dead"

    We understand you haven't a new idea in over 75 years, you don't have to demonstrate it.

    The day you call for massive tax increases to address this supposedly first-order economic problem is the day I'll stop calling bullshit on your bullshit.

    When there are two possible solutions to a problem and one of the solutions violates your ethics, you go with the other solution. Stealing at gunpoint to correct the problem of too much debt when there is a solution that doesn't involve stealing at gunpoint, or at least stealing less at gunpoint, makes sense for people who don't think it's okay to steal at gunpoint. I understand how confusing that can be to someone for whom the idea of solving a problem without administering violence is utterly incomprehensible. But it's not "bullshit" just because you are too stupid to understand it.

  • ||

    ...makes *no* sense for people who don't think it's okay to steal at gunpoint.

  • Tony||

    There is nothing ethical about taking away poor old people's only livelihood and not taxing billionaires a cent more.

    Nothing. You are insane.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The problem is the theoretical problems caused by debt sometime in the future [...] are less important than the immediate problems facing us right now,


    Spendthrifts always live for the moment.

    yet you guys obsess over the long-term possible-but-not-likely scenario to the exclusion of almost everything else.


    Your statement makes no sense.

    The greatest threat that can come from such ballooning debt is that the lenders will one day wise up and stop lending money to the government. At that moment, the wherewithal to pay for the short-term goodies you so prefer will not exist. This is regardless of how much the government thinks can raise tax rates, because the commitments are already way past the possibility of covering them with taxation.

    Yet I do not obsess with the issue of this debt because I do expect and welcome the day the lenders wise up, the well drying up and the welfare state collapsing unto itself, turning people like you into living monuments of human folly.

    What's unjust about Congress raising taxes?


    Taxes are theft.

    Having them higher has never had any noticeable negative economic effects.


    It does - people leave.

  • fish||

    The day you call for massive tax increases to address this supposedly first-order economic problem is the day I'll stop calling bullshit on your bullshit.

    FUCK YOU CUT SPENDING.....

  • Agammamon||

    . . .apparent Space Invaders scenario (see below) in which we fight off invading alien inflation, or something, with laser cannons powered by incinerated masses of dollar bills.

    Dear god man - this is an obvious 'Missile Command' situation, not 'Space Invaders'.
  • Tötmacher||

    If government can never run out of money because they can print what they need, then why do they keep taking it from us?

  • Hash Brown||

    Pour a drink and see the full video here.

    You couldn't pay me enough to watch that. I still haven't got the stench of Ed Asner's teachers union bullshit from what, three years ago?, out of my nostrils.

  • RishJoMo||

    Sounds like some pretty serious business. Wow.

    www.EliteVPN.tk

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The problem is the theoretical problems caused by debt sometime in the future [...] are less important than the immediate problems facing us right now,


    Spendthrifts always live for the moment.

    yet you guys obsess over the long-term possible-but-not-likely scenario to the exclusion of almost everything else.


    Your statement makes no sense.

    The greatest threat that can come from such ballooning debt is that the lenders will one day wise up and stop lending money to the government. At that moment, the wherewithal to pay for the short-term goodies you so prefer will not exist. This is regardless of how much the government thinks can raise tax rates, because the commitments are already way past the possibility of covering them with taxation.

    Yet I do not obsess with the issue of this debt because I do expect and welcome the day the lenders wise up, the well drying up and the welfare state collapsing unto itself, turning people like you into living monuments of human folly.

    What's unjust about Congress raising taxes?


    Taxes are theft.

    Having them higher has never had any noticeable negative economic effects.


    It does - people leave.

  • eyeroller||

    If the debt is the primary problem, then tax increases would be helpful.

    Tax increases would not be helpful.

    Therefore, the debt is not the primary problem.

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