Budget

Budgepocalypse Now

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 Washington… shit; I'm still only in Washington… Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back in the jungle.

Can we stop pretending the Affordable Care Act is fiscally responsible now? Politico notes what opponents of the health care bill figured out a while ago: Even if the Medicare cuts work (a dubious proposition), using those cuts to fund a new entitlement has made long-term deficit reduction much more difficult:

Health care ate up most of the available Medicare savings and popular tax offsets that might otherwise be tapped to narrow the deficit. And as a result, it's harder to dig out of the deficit hole, and little progress will be made in the short term absent a further surge in the economy.

Another day, another step closer to the budgepocalypse.

NEXT: Soda Buyback Program Offers Veggies for Cans of Coke, Opportunities for Arbitrage

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  1. The horror . . . the horror

    1. Perfect first post.

  2. Budgepocalypse makes it sound like we’re all going to be nibbled to death by parakeets. It’ll be a remake of The Birds but with bright, cheerful primary colors for the assailants.

    1. T, you fool!! Have you never read Heart of Darkness? The Apocalypse Now reference is perfect.

      I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn’t find one of ’em, not one stinkin’ dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like . . . . victory.

      1. Yes, the Apocalypse Now alt text is a nice touch.

        1. Except it was Martin Sheen, not Brando who said it.

          1. I know! But the Brando picture is iconic.

    2. Budgiepocalypse would be having to listen to Breadfan until you kill yourself. Which would be about once or twice. Maybe four times for the guy who wrote it.

      It’s only 6 minutes, yet it manages to seems like hours.

    3. “I had a budgie, but it died. I like pie.”

      1. “Onions is all I eat.”

        1. “It’s like angels dancing on my tongue!”

    4. I did a motivational poster a while back that reminds me of this situation. Well, it reminds me of Kurtz, anyway.

  3. It’s so fucking crazy, it can only be deliberate. I mean, really, who can look at the rocket sled to insolvency we’re on and decide the solution is to light another booster engine?

    1. The same people who thought that helping people who can’t (or won’t)manage their money to buy houses was a winner?

  4. Drop the bomb. Exterminate them all.

  5. Obama is either utterly stupid or he really does just want to watch the country burn. I don’t know which it is. But I do know the effect is the same either way.

    1. It is the latter. I have no doubt.

      1. I say the former. His big words are a cover for his absolute lack of a functioning brain.

        1. I agree–he is an empty suit. He is glib which many people mistake for intelligent. He does have an amazing ability to talk at length, and make people feel good, without really saying anything.

          1. No. He is a cohort of Ayers, Write, et al. They HATE America. So does Obama and so does his wife. They all have this vision of what America should be and they have every intention of seeing that come to pass.

            1. But that vision of what we should be is precisely what makes them stupid as opposed to evil. What they want to see is a system that they’re too damned stupid to realize is insolvent.

              1. I think it’s more like a willful ignorance.

    2. Stupid or evil. It’s not a good sign when people are asking that question.

      1. Well, *some* people. Not hearing too many Dems asking that question, except about Tea Partiers, and they’re not even asking, really.

        1. And in this case, it’s that they’re both stupid and evil, and they’re not asking.

  6. Did anyone else listen to this interview with Senator Kay Hagan from North Carolina wherein she basically argues that Obamacare will SAVE MONEY? She uses CBO numbers that the CBO itself stated were not the whole picture.

    Unreal. How can anyone possibly argue that adding another 30 million people to Medicare will LOWER HEALTH CARE COSTS?

    1. Because otherwise those thirty million people will all go to the ER. Duh!

    2. Que-Hegan? She’s the head of the Zakarum? That explains a lot.

  7. I think it’s pretty obvious that critics of ObamaCare are still ignoring the fact that Goldman Sachs ripped off its investors…

    Now, we can go on talking about this or that, but clearly, if Toyota’s accelerator problem taught us anything, it’s that we can’t afford not to insure 13 million more people.

    So you can go on about emails and lost data, but if we don’t do something about getting more Americans the healthcare they need, global temperatures will keep rising.

    The science community agrees on that.

    1. Cat in the oven…gotcha.

  8. Economic adviser Larry Summers was almost heady Wednesday, posting his own White House blog celebrating the turnaround in the auto industry and early repayment by GM of some of its loans.

    Yeah Larry, real great news for Government Motors:

    1. The US Government converted $45.3 billion in loans to a 70% ownership position
    2. The Canadian Government converted an $8.1 billion stake into 12% ownership
    3. GM lost $3.4 billion in the 4th quarter of 2009
    4. GM still has $15 billion in debt
    5. GM has $27 billion in unfunded pension liabilities

    1. Yeah, GM was bragging about how they paid this money back “early” and how hard it was for them to take the money in the first place.

      I would prefer they keep the money and turn a fucking profit for the first time in a decade so the $50 billion stake we taxpayers invested might end up breaking even.

      Of course GM is about to once again poop all over themselves with the Chevy Volt, so it was a pipedream to begin with.

      1. California, the new GM, but worse.

        1. That’s so brilliant than I’m gnashing my teeth that I didn’t think of it first: Merge California and GM!

          1. Californial Motors?

            Genefornial Motors?

      2. I’m so sick of hearing about the Volt.

        GM’s IPO will be interesting. Hopefully pension funds scoop it up to form one gigantic financial circular error.

        and of course keep an eye on executive pay now that they’ve escaped TARP shackles.

        1. Chevy Volt: a $40,000 hybrid that will compete with things like the $28,000 Ford Fusion hybrid or the $28,000 Toyota Camry Hybrid.

          And it’s made by GM.

          1. And, even at $40 Large, GM isn’t planning on making a dime off it. Brilliant.

            1. Oh, and did I mention Obama will soak taxpayers for $8000 grand per Volt in tax credits so that more people will buy them?

              You have to laugh at this stuff because if not you will end up needing psychiatric assistance.

        2. The Chevy Volt will be the greatest automobile of all time. Hyper-link to show the sheer power of public/private cooperation in auto marketing.

          1. That was effing hilarious. Thank you SIV.

          2. We are fucked O so fucked. God I have loved Chevy trucks my whole life now what the fuckking VOLT. screw that

      3. Of course GM is about to once again poop all over themselves with the Chevy Volt, so it was a pipedream to begin with.

        The Volt will make the Aztek look like a success.

        1. Nothing can make the Aztek look good. That machine is a blight upon humanity.

          The Volt will suck horribly though.

          1. Product developement costs.

    2. “5. GM has $27 billion in unfunded pension liabilities”

      I’m not taking issue with what you’re saying–it’s true.

      But there is a contradiction somehow in showing that the government converted its stake into equity–and then saying GM’s pension liabilities are unfunded.

      Even in the best case scenario–through whatever partisan/pro-union glasses they want to look…

      IF GM ever gets spun off, the entity and/or stockholders will subtract the outstanding pension liabilities from its value…

      In other words, if 70% of GM stock is owned by the taxpayers, then no matter how you slice it, the taxpayers will eat at least 70% of GM’s outstanding pension liabilities, won’t they?

      1. Go ask Chryslers creditors. The government screwed them over in order to cover the union pension costs.

        In the GM equation, the taxpayer is currently the largest creditor for GM. So yes, we will end up eating GM’s outstanding pension liabilities if they go belly up, and we won’t see a 25 cents on the each dollar of the $50 billion we invested.

        BRILLIANT!!

      2. Yep, any way it’s sliced, we get screwed.

        Supposedly the PBGC won some concessions from Adelphi’s pensioners, but I’m completely ignorant of how much.

      3. Ken,

        Is that supposed to be some sort of ringing edoresment for government take over of industry or something? Cause if it is its looking rather retarded.

        Your post basically dove tails nicely with Suderman’s OP that the fiscal situation is very grim. If GM does go tits up then it means the fiscal picture got that much worse, not better.

        1. “Is that supposed to be some sort of ringing edoresment for government take over of industry or something?”

          Are you blind?

          All I’m saying is that the pension fund liabilities have already been assumed in practice. The taxpayers cannot spin GM off and not absorb those costs. They’ll be built into the price of the shares.

          The market will value GM based on its assets minus its liabilities. People sometimes talk about spinning GM off as if that’s the answer. …as if the people we spin GM off to are just going to fund those expenses at zero cost to the taxpayer–but even if GM is spun off, that isn’t true!

          The taxpayers will get less money for GM’s assets than they would have without those liabilities. Those costs may be buried in the sale–there won’t be any Congressional bill necessary to fund those liabilities, but the taxpayer is already set to incur the costs of those unfunded pension benefits in getting a sale price that takes those liabilities into account.

          And that’s been true since the day we took GM over.

          That’s not an argument for nationalization–quite the opposite. That’s just pointing out that the question of whether the tax payer will bear the costs of GM’s “unfunded” pension liabilities has already been answered in practice.

        2. Tits up nice old time saying

  9. When Obama won the election, I said there was nothing to worry about because he had to govern like Clinton. Only a lunatic would try to explode the government and raise taxes during the worst recession in 70 years.

    I guess I never counted on the fact that Obama and the Dems really are that nuts.

    1. They are not nuts, they are just amoral, or subscribe to a sort of tribal morality; they take money from their foes, and give it to their friends. As long as they have more friends (voters) than enemies, they are in good shape.

  10. Even if the Medicare cuts work (a dubious proposition), using those cuts to fund a new entitlement has made long-term deficit reduction much more difficult:

    Wait- does that mean not going out to breakfast, and using the “savings” to buy ammo isn’t going to result in a net increase in my bank account?

    1. And worse than that, when you buy three things you don’t need because they are 70% off, your bank account is still lower than it was.

      1. Ammo is the one thing we all need.

    2. Only if you use the ammo to rob some other bank. Or the underpants gnomes. They’ve gotta be at 3. Profit! by now.

  11. Ohh, DAMMIT!

  12. Wait- does that mean not going out to breakfast, and using the “savings” to buy ammo isn’t going to result in a net increase in my bank account?

    The government apparently knows something you don’t: You can use ammo to get money.

  13. Can we stop pretending the Affordable Care Act is fiscally responsible now?

    When we stop calling it ObamaCare, the terrorists have won.

    1. When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, we will re-establish the caliphate because you westerners will be busy beating a dead horse.

      1. FAIL.

        Meant to do that under the Osama bin Laden handle.

    2. ObamaCare it shall always be. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act is still McCain-Feingold to me.

  14. Did somebody hear a mouse squeak?

  15. Episiarch is a delivery boy, sent by grocers to collect a bill.

    1. Ahem: “You’re an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.”

      1. I tried not to Google and look what it got me. 🙁

    2. I was with the New York Fed. Seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a Lehman Brothers’ accounting meeting to try and bail it out. We left the meeting after we had restructured the company and its debts, this old man came running after us on Fifth Avenue, and he was crying. He couldn’t see. We went back there, and the CFO had come and burned every bond we had made good on. There they were in a pile burning. A pile of little bonds. And I remember ? I ? I ? I cried. I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized ? like I was shot ? like I was shot with a diamond ? a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought: My God ? the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters. These were men ? trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love ? but they had the strength ? the strength ? to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, then our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral ? and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to steel and pillage without feeling ? without passion ? without judgment ? without judgment. Because it’s judgment that defeats us.

      1. FTW!

  16. Ken Shultz|4.22.10 @ 2:59PM

    That actually make a surprising amount of sense.

    using those cuts to fund a new entitlement has made long-term deficit reduction much more difficultimpossible

    FTFY

    absent a further surge in the economy.

    Further? Doesn’t there have to be a surge 1st?

    Hey, here’s an idea! Lets throw stimulus dollars at the economy, then it will surge and pay for healthcare. If we get lucky, it can pay for its stimulus funds too!

    WTF-FP (whatthefuck-facepalm)

  17. Don’t blame me, I said we had to pass the bill to find out what was in it.

  18. I love the smell of deficit in the morning…

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