Economics

What Should We Cut First?

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With the federal budget due out in a couple of days, President Barack Obama is delivering a prime-time speech about budget and economic issues tonight, with the goal of explaining "how he thinks all the economic pieces are entwined," says USA Today.

Early reports are not particularly impressive. Pointing to a deficit that is likely to run well north of $2 trillion this year, here's presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs:

"The biggest thing we're going to do is cut the amount of money we spend each year in Iraq."

That's good news, given that Iraq was a mistake on every level from the beginning, back when Vice President Joe Biden and everyone else in Obama's cabinet who was in office at the time was voting in favor of it. Assuming an immediate 100 percent cut, however, that saves somewhere between $100 billion and $200 billion annually, depending on how you count present and future costs. And you gotta wonder how much ramping up in Afghanistan will cost.

In any case, expect more and bigger spending plans. Here's Obama adviser David Axelrod:

"I think the bigger concern," he said, "is to not be aggressive at a time when a tepid approach could really consign us to a long-term economic catastrophe. We believe the times demand vigor and aggressive action, and so we're having to do a lot of things at once."

When I hear the word vigor, I reach for my wallet.

Too late, it's already gone!

More on the president's speech and plans for yours, mine, and our money.

NEXT: Draft Dodgers

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  1. When I hear the word vigor, I reach for my wallet.

    When I hear the word culture,I reach for my Browning.

  2. “I think the bigger concern,” he said, “is to not be aggressive at a time when a tepid approach could really consign us to a long-term economic catastrophe. We believe the times demand vigor and aggressive action, and so we’re having to do a lot of things at once.”

    Is there a transcription error in there, or is that statement 100% good old-fashioned government issue gibberish?

  3. Is the black man going to take my money?

  4. They ran up the deficit in the first month, now they are going to “cut it” by taxing the hell out of everyone so that BO can claim that he “cut the deficit while in office.

    It is almost quaint now to think of all the people railing against spending “$12 billion a month in Iraq” and the “half a trillion dollar war”. Obama has spent more money than two or three Iraqs in a month.

    Think about this for a moment, right now the only people who can save us are the Chinese. No kidding. The only way BO and his ilk are going to stop stealing from our children is when the Chinese decide to stop loaning them money. Once they can’t borrow any money, they will raise taxes to make up for the shortfall but that will finally get them voted out of office. By that time the country may have passed the tipping point where it can’t borrow anymore but the parasites have become so powerful that it can’t cut spending or taxing either. Obama may be innaugurating the long slow decent towards third world status.

  5. joe needs to find his spine, come back here, and defend some of these shenanigans. I would love to hear it.

  6. Obama may be innaugurating the long slow decent towards third world status.

    John, I vehemently disagree with you on that. It will happen very fast.

  7. Fuuuuuuuck

  8. No doubt on joe. He sure had a lot to say before. So much for threadwinna joe.

  9. I have never seen a case where every worse case scenerio about a President has come through. People said that Obama was the most anti-capitalist candidate ever nominated in this country. They said he was left of McGovern. To which Dems responded that that was just right wing paranoia. Now a month in everything bad that was predicted about Obama, short of him being a Muslim Manchurian Candidate and hell he still has four years for that one, has come true.

  10. “I have never seen a case where every worse case scenerio about a President has come through.”

    were you asleep for the last eight years?

  11. “were you asleep for the last eight years?”

    Yeah this is the SECOND time every worst case scenario about a President has come through. LOL

  12. What Should We Cut First?

    I think we should cut up congress’s credit cards.

  13. “were you asleep for the last eight years?”

    The last 8 years I saw my taxes go down and the economy do pretty well until Barny Franks and Alan Greenspan’s housing bubble went south. I saw a bunch of yuppies and dirty hippes bitch about a war they didn’t have to fight and heard Libertarians complain about a defific that BO managed to exceed in one month in office.

    You think it was the worst case scenerio because you are too stupid to know what that means. You are about to find out what worst case scenerio is.

    There is one bright side of this whole thing. For many years people who are related to child molesters have faced a lot of embarassment for having such people in their families. Now that so many people are related to people who voted for Obama, it will seem much less embarassing for the relatives of child molesters and serial killers and the like.

  14. Yeah, dirty hippies bitching about tens of Iraqis getting killed in horrifying ways. The nerve!

  15. I saw a bunch of yuppies and dirty hippes bitch about a war they didn’t have to fight

    Ah. So you don’t plan on complaining about the stimulus, or TARP II, since you don’t have to print out the checks or coordinate the bank transfers, right.

  16. And you’d better not complain about Obama invading the Sudan and Paki when that happens either, as you’re not in the military anymore.

  17. Stupid argument of the week: you can’t complain about atrocity if you have no involement in committing it.

  18. “You think it was the worst case scenerio because you are too stupid to know what that means.”

    John,

    I know that the worst fears of the opposition to both Bush and Obama came true. In the case with Bush, it was increase in Christian values legislation such as faith based initiatives, loss of privacy freedoms with Patriot Act, violation of human rights and international law with Gitmo, and a war waged for a reason that didn’t exist (WMDs).

    Not to mention his complete destruction of the idea of free markets since he was anthing but this, as last year’s TARP (with included auto bailout) proved. Now since Bush became the face of “market” based solutions by the average uninformed person, free markets and capitalism in general have been set back for at least a generation if not more.

    I would say Bush was about as worse of a case for a Republican President I can imagine since he was a hybrid of the worst of both parties.

    If you fail to see that, then I guess I am not alone in being “stupid” shall we say.

  19. I am not aware of any standard by which Iraq could be considered a “mistake.” I am aware of a lot of people who wish that were the case but by any objective accounting it will be seen as a success on just about every score. Certainly I would think libertarians would see the liberation of millions of people at so little cost in blood and treasure as a success… unless libertarians are for something other than liberty? Strange times these.

    Besides, including that snide little remark throws doubt on everything else that is written along with it and makes the writer seem childlike is his inability to keep from tossing in irrelevancies. This is typical leftist drivel of a sort that leads to a president such as Obama.

    Now to the point, there isn’t enough savings to be had by surrendering to our enemies. The ultimate plan is to use inflation to make each dollar of deficit worth half what it currently is. This is what Chauncey Gardener has planned to reduce the deficit whether he is intelligent enough to recognize it or not.

  20. I think Obama may be serious about getting the hell out of Iraq. We can do a Vietnam, go home and watch the government we supported get toppled.

    I will not blame the chosen one for this. That rests solely on the special son of George H.W. Bush.

  21. Yes. I said solely.

  22. If you don’t like my reign, just wait for my successor.

  23. The last 8 years I saw my taxes go down…

    Where does the money to pay for those deficits come from, genius?

    …and the economy do pretty well until Barny Franks and Alan Greenspan’s housing bubble went south.

    So then, the economy wasn’t really doing well. It was just bubbling into a crash.

    If you’re stumping for Reason Village Idiot, you’ve got my vote.

  24. What Should We Cut First?

    How about 100% of the Secret Service budget.

  25. What Should We Cut First?

    Obama’s mic.

    Every time he opens his flapping trap, the market drops. Go away, 0gabe. Please, just go away and leave me and my 401(k) alone.

  26. Certainly I would think libertarians would see the liberation of millions of people at so little cost in blood and treasure as a success… unless libertarians are for something other than liberty?

    While I’m all for redefining and rethinking what liberty means beyond “mah taxes wint down!”, arguing that electively invading a sovereign country, toppling its government, and terrorizing its civilian population, all based on a big fat deliberate lie, is justifiable in any way is something I wouldn’t expect anyone, especially a libertarian, to argue with a straight face.

  27. You gotta admire the Chutzpah of someone that knows nothing about economics going on national TV to lecture the nation about economics.

  28. BenFranklin,

    I am not aware of any standard by which Iraq could be considered a “mistake.”

    We found few WMDs (and those that were found were a few forgotten pieces of ordinance) and no active efforts to create them. Thus the only real justification for the war (admittedly I was skeptical that such a program even existed before the war) didn’t exist in fact.

    Certainly I would think libertarians would see the liberation of millions of people at so little cost in blood and treasure as a success… unless libertarians are for something other than liberty?

    The role of the U.S. military is not to “liberate” people; its role is to protect the United States. If the former were the case our military would be structured far differently than it is – both in our Constitution and as a matter of Pentagon policy.

    As for the cost in treasure, it is what, in the 2-3 trillion dollar range at this point? The population of Iraq is roughly 28 million. So the cost in treasure isn’t “little”; it was tremendous in scope. To give us some perspective, it is roughly – if one uses the outside part of the range – a little under half of what the U.S. debt was when Bush entered office in 2001.

  29. What Should We Cut First?

    I think we should cut up congress’s credit cards.

    I was with you right up until “credit cards”.

  30. Cool, I ask for joe’s comments, but instead I get John’s retarded screed. WIN!

  31. I would say Bush was about as worse of a case for a Republican President I can imagine since he was a hybrid of the worst of both parties.

    I think McCain would have topped him. But otherwise, I agree with you.

    I always chuckle when people describe Bush as “conservative.” But then, I use a rather old-fashioned reading of that term that means basically a Jeffersonian.

  32. Yeah, we need to hurry up and spend bajillions on the economy and we need to slow down and think our way through about getting out of Iraq.

    When Bush said the exact same stupid shit he was rightfully ridiculed.

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