Government Spending

Deficit Disorder


 Oompah, loompah, doobity-do, the budget deficit is expanding for you…

At the beginning of last year, President Barack Obama promised to cut the budget deficit in half by 2013. So far, though, the president's record on lowering the deficit has been dismal. And according to the most recent review from the Congressional Budget Office, which keeps track of this sort of thing, last month's deficit numbers show a budget deficit that's continuing to balloon.

Typically, we see a budget surplus for the month of December, because revenues are generally higher due to corporate income tax payments, year-end bonuses, and seasonal employment. But, as in 2008, this year we did not see a surplus; instead, we saw a $92 billion deficit — which, adjusted for variations in payment timing between 2008 and 2009, is $11 billion higher than last year's. 

The CBO, which admits a high degree of uncertainty in its findings but is arguably still the best source we have for guesses about the budgetary outlook (and is most accurate when looking at what's already occured), has been calling our country's current fiscal path "unsustainable" since at least June. Half a year later, though, it appears that deficit's still expanding like Violet Beauregarde when she gets to the blueberry pie section of Willy Wonka's chewing gum.

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  1. “First, I’ll quadruple the deficit, then I’ll cut it in half!”

    1. Exactly. That always reminds me of the part in 1984 when they decrease chocolate rations, and then claim the ration has increased by lying about the previous ration size.

  2. So far, though, the president’s record on lowering the deficit has been dismal.

    That’s more like it.

  3. At the beginning of last year, Obama promised to cut the budget deficit in half by 2013. So far, though, the president’s record on lowering the deficit has been dismal.

    C’mon, give him a chance! He didn’t say just how BIG he would make the deficit before cutting it in half! he’s still only 1/4 of his term anyway – he still has ample time to do a lot more damage.

  4. Sometimes I think it should be a capital crime to break a campaign promise. But then I realize that it would just be a game where they claim that by breaking them they’re actually keeping them. So then I think it should be a hanging offense to even make a campaign promise. But then I realize that “I promise to cut the budget” would not be classified as a “promise”. So then I just go right to thinking that everybody that runs for office should be shot.

    1. Works for me.

    2. We could hand them over to Warty

    3. Now you’re starting to take the words out of my mouth, for as I’ve said before:

      The first thing we should do is institute a Survivalist Policy for all elections. All runners-up for office will, in successive pairs, be given a pair of dueling pistols. It’s ten paces, turn and fire.

      The last one standing is the winner. I figure this will favor short thin people (harder to hit) who also have good eye sight (better shot).

      At least we’ll know how we got the fuckheads into office that we end up with.

      Brandybuck, I just don’t think handing them over to Warty would be nearly as entertaining as dueling pistols. Or maybe we should make it swords? Or knives? Much more basic, given much greater proof of the machismo of the final winner.

  5. I bet that Reason hoodie keeps the Reason girl’s mouth nice and warm.

    1. I just wonder if the hoodie makes you surly or if only the surly purchase Reason gear.

    2. Booooiiiiinnnnng

  6. Inspired by its achievements, I wrote/stole a song for Congress this afternoon:

    Gravy Train
    (to the tune of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”)

    Gravy, but that’s how it flows.
    Hundreds of people, living as hos.
    Maybe, it’s not too late,
    To steal like a pro,
    And neglect my home state.

    Fiscal wounds not healing,
    Cash all frittered ‘way.
    I’m going off the rails on a gravy train.

    I’ve listened to lobbyists,
    I’ve listened to fools.
    I’ve joined all the dropouts,
    Who make their own rules.
    One person conditioned, to rule and control,
    The media sells it, and you live the role.

    Fiscal wounds still screaming,
    Driving me to dames.
    I’m going off the rails on a gravy train.

    I know that things are going wrong for you.
    You gotta listen to my words.

    Heirs of some bold whores,
    That’s what we’ve become.
    Inheriting troubles, I’m fiscally dumb.
    Gravy, I just cannot spare.
    You’re living with spending by those who don’t care.

    Fiscal wounds not healing,
    The Congress ain’t to blame.
    I’m going off the rails on a gravy train.

    1. I’m sorry, if you’re going to do all that, you’re going to have to also script all the preamble stuff at the beginning of the song (AY…AY…Ay…ay…). Don’t forget the echo and reverb.

      1. I was going to, but I figured it would be too much. Unless I can get Ozzy to sing it.

        1. Golf claps all around for Pro Lib.

          1. You know, I wish I were Zod, so everyone would have to kneel before me. Then it wouldn’t matter whether their praise was real or sarcastic.

            1. You’re more like Rod, ProL. Rod Stewart, that is.

              1. I think not.

                1. I am highly disappointed that you didn’t get my Rutles reference.

                  1. I am ashamed to say that I’ve never watched The Rutles all the way through. I’ve seen bits and pieces–that’s it.

                  2. “I have always thought – in the back of my mind – ‘Cheese and Onions’.”

                    The words and music to The Rutles were so fucking good, I actually forgave Neil Innes’ participation in Monty Python’s horrible 1974 season (the one without John Cleese).

                    Sadly, Innes was stripped of his royalties for his great faux-Beatles tunes, yet Jeff Lynne retained all of his.

                    1. I thought you were renaming yourself?

                2. I’m angry with you, Episiarch, because it’s just like Seattle today. Misty, overcast, and chilly enough to be annoying.

                  They’re predicting snow flurries tomorrow. In Tampa! One of my coworkers lost a tropical fish. In her office!

                  I have no issue with enduring the cold, but only where the cold belongs. One of our cleaning crew, a Cuban expat, can’t believe the weather. I think he’s rethinking his hatred of communism.

                  1. It is highly illogical to blame me for the weather, ProL. That’s like blaming Christina Aguilera for immigration woes.

                    1. You know how butterflies in China start hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico? You’re like those butterflies.

                    2. You can’t place faith in material things
                      material things will fail you
                      a hurricane triggered by a butterfly’s wings
                      your conspirators betray you

                      Don’t place faith in human beings
                      human beings are unreliable things
                      don’t place faith in human beings
                      human beings or butterfly’s wings

                      You can’t place faith in a new regime
                      that fascist faith will kill you
                      a hurricane triggered by a butterfly’s wings
                      your conspirators betray you

                      don’t place faith in human beings
                      human beings are unreliable things
                      don’t place faith in human beings
                      human beings or butterfly wings

                      there’s something burning
                      deep inside I know
                      there’s something
                      inside this hole

                    3. See, SugarFree understands.

                    4. No, he doesn’t. He’s just a Turing machine regurgitating your android ramblings.

                    5. At least he can pass the Turing Test. . .unlike you.

                    6. Of course, just as I insult Episiarch, I recall the time he beat joe with a bat on my behalf. What an odd thread that is to read today–hard to believe anyone would ever have tried that hard to defend Obama’s record of limited experience.

                    7. By the way, I do blame her for immigration woes.

                    8. Actually, Pro Lib, my affection for your pastiche is completely genuine. I was merely trying to express, along with my admiration for your work, my very hip lack of overt outward enthusiasm.

                    9. Well, thanks, but I still wish I were Zod.

  7. Funny how most diets will begin tomorrow (which is always a day away.)
    Likewise, President Abominal finds it easier to promise fiscal responsibility that begins in his second term rather than now.

    No, I don’t consider this to be the first of his second term campaign promises that will turn out to be a lie. There will be enough emergencies (real or created) that will make 2014 just as much as an inopportune time as now to tighten the fiscal belt and begin the diet.

    1. I read that as President Abdominal. No I don’t know what that means.

      1. Hey, so did I.

        It means that he’s an incomplete pile of shit? Only a potential and not actual pile of shit?

        I mean I’m just guessing here, you know.

    2. I’m sure around 2013 he’ll just redefine the start date to be 2019. And then push for repeal of the 22nd Amendment.

    3. NoStar!

  8. Relax everybody.

    They are coming up with a beautiful design for the new $100 coin that they will be issuing in 2013.

    1. Is one side going to have Bernake bent over with dollar signs flying out of his anus?

    2. Hope they’re gold.

    3. Yeah, it’ll be copper plated zinc and have Lincoln on one side….

  9. Great, now I have images of Nancy Pelosi as Veruca Salt peforming I Want It Now looping through my head. Bastards

    1. Definitely a bad nut

    2. Are you serious? Are you serious?

  10. I saw the end half of Willy Wonka the other day, and the channel that was showing it had interviews with some of the cast members. The woman who played Violet said the blueberry suit was larger than the dwarfs playing the Oompa-Loompas. As a result, they rolled her head into the door a couple times.

    I think we’ll all feel that way after a couple of Obama budgets.

    1. The woman who played Violet said the blueberry suit was larger than the dwarfs playing the Oompa-Loompas. As a result, they rolled her head into the door a couple times

      I bet that was one hell of a wrap party!

  11. It will be intersting to see if the republicans get serious in reducing the deficit when they take power, which shouldn’t be far off. Or will they just cut the progams they don’t like to increase the funding of the ones they do like.

    We have one hell of a tab to pay down. We need to stop putting things on the credit card while we continue to pay the bill. That philosophy will pretty much sink a pol’s chances of getting elected.

    1. But in a democracy, cutting the budget will pretty much sink a pol’s chances of getting elected.

      1. Depends. In Canada it gave the party that implemented it somewhere around 13 years of governance. Of course it helped that the opposition was either immaterial or fully supportive of deficit cutting.

        And yes, it hurt all around. Just like Volker’s stuff in the ’80s. Seemed to stop a downward trend however.

  12. If Congress (who writes the actual budget, not Obama!) spends this country close to or into bankruptcy, you can expect a real revolution in this country, not just a turnover at the polls. How violent it will be depends on how close to real bankruptcy we are. Everybody except the government has figured out we can’t spend like we were. Shakespeare was only half right: “First we kill all the lawyers”… and all the other politicians.

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