Budget

"At no point in the president's 10-year projection would the U.S. government spend less than it's taking in."

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In his State of the Union address last month, President Obama declared that "we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. That is not sustainable." He was right then, and unfortunately, he's still right: The budget proposal his administration is releasing today wouldn't do much to change the facts about our country's dismal fiscal future.

Echoing the administration's line that "the easy cuts are behind us," Politico's David Rogers says Obama's 2012 budget is "long on tough choices."  That depends on how you define "tough." Jake Tapper of ABC News gives those alleged hard choices some context: "At no point in the president's 10-year projection would the U.S. government spend less than it's taking in." By the president's own definition, then, today's budget plan isn't sustainable. 

Instead, the president outlines a plan that would keep the yearly deficit above $1.6 trillion this year and around $1.1 trillion the year after. The 10-year plan is to shave off about $1.1 trillion from the next decade's total expected deficit. But in the context of a $7 trillion-plus projected deficit, this is hardly a breakthrough, or a serious fix. Last December, the president's own fiscal commission proposed about $4 trillion in cuts, including an overhaul of Social Security. The president's budget, by contrast, barely touches our unsustainable entitlements—and certainly doesn't offer anything in the way of major reform.

In other words, despite the president's recognition of the basic math underlying our country's ongoing fiscal distress, his budget still doesn't fix the problem that we spend more than we make. So much for confronting the facts.

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  1. How dare Obama not immediately fix the fiscal situation Republicans put the country in. Or end the wars they started, for that matter!

    1. Well, why hasn’t he? He’s had plenty of fucking time.

      1. He was too busy bringing in HC

        1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          1. Heller, you’re chamud and all, but please stop trying to break my browser.;-) (giggle)

            1. Who’s gonna be able to fix the fiscal situation the Democrats have put us in, Tony?

    2. Surely it’s enough to ask that he not actually make it worse, right Tony? Has he drawn down troops any faster than Bush’s existing plan– no, and he’s increased in Afghanistan.

      Do these “cuts” leave spending or the deficit below what it was when he took office? No again.

      Tony’s consistent view is that if Bush was bad, Obama gets completely off the hook for being worse.

      1. I think he should be given a wide latitude to fix the many, many disasters Republicans left this country with, and shouldn’t be expected to solve them all overnight, given the magnitude of their disastrousness, especially by people who don’t think government should be doing anything.

        1. Holy shit you’re stupid.

          1. Such stupidity is the rock upon which are government is now based. Look, it’s the Democrats! The Republicans! The Democrats!

            All while things just get worse and worse. The very idea that the government is much more than a parasite on our culture and economy is no less than a total departure from reality. But terrorists! But corporations! But drugs! But racism! Bogeymen galore to distract us, but no solutions. Only more theft and graft.

            1. Teen sexting! Four Loko! Illegal immigration! Ground Zero YMMA community center Mosque!

              Pay no attention to the looming fiscal fuck story behind the curtain.

            2. Make that our government. Danged fingers.

              1. Who’s gonna fix the many, many disasters Democrats are going to leave this country with, Tony?

        2. If he didn’t have a plan to fix the country more or less immediately, he shouldn’t have pursued the mantle of president. That’s why people voted him in, and by all accounts he has been a complete failure.

          1. it was impossible to “fix” the financial markets “immediately”.

            1. Mind you, doing more of what fucked them up in the first place wasn’t a particularly good approach. Or does Obama believe in homeopathic economics?

              1. I like that! I’m going to use it and pretend I thought of it.

              2. Don’t know if “homeopathic” is the word I’d choose, since homeopathy is based on dilution of the medicine.

                It’s more “Pusher” economics: A stronger dose of heroin will make you feel better about those awful withdrawal symptoms.

                1. substitute “federal reserve notes”
                  aka “dollars”
                  aka “soon to be pieces of paper worth 3.3 cents”

                2. From Wikipedia: ‘The basic principle of homeopathy, known as the law of similars, is “let like be cured by like”.’

            2. Were my prescription proposed in 2007 followed, the housing bubble crisis would have been over more than a year ago, the economy rising and employment increasing.

              Of course Goldman Sachs would be smaller, Chrysler, Fannie and Freddie would be dead and GM would be leaner and meaner without huge government and UAW liabilities.

              1. Your proposal never would have worked. Employment could have gotten almost to 10%. That is unacceptable.

        3. So then why doesn’t he just say, “Cutting spending and balancing the budget are not important given our current economic climate. In fact, it will be detrimental to our recovery since government spending is the only way to return prosperity to America.”

          Now, that line of reasoning flies in the face of hundreds of years of economic theory, and November 2010 proved that few in the populace believe that to be an effective strategy, but at least be honest about your intentions.

          1. I wish he would. I’m not happy about him buying into fiscal hawk rhetoric, which isn’t even the slightest bit honest.

            It’s apparent that reality will never, ever intrude upon your guys’ need to declare Keynesianism a failure, as if we’ve learned anything from the past few years it’s that the voodoo snake oil you guys believe in is what’s the obvious, apparent failure.

            1. You actually believe that anything like the economic policies that “us guys” believe in has been tried any tome in recent history? That’s a laugh.

              1. I believe you’ll never admit to it, even as the dominant economic paradigm for decades has been word-for-word what libertarians peddle. You guys don’t give yourselves enough credit. Understandable, since there’s no more convenient place to be when you’re trying to sell policy than completely irrelevant.

                1. Anyone who says the word ‘paradigm’ is full of shit.

                  1. agreed

                2. I believe you’ll never admit to it, even as the dominant economic paradigm for decades has been word-for-word what libertarians peddle.

                  It’s not so much a matter of admitting as that I would never make such a blatantly untrue statement.

                  If it’s true for you, Tony, I would like to know how you have mastered interdimensional travel, because such a thing is only true in some alternate reality.

                3. Word-for-word what libertarians peddle; action-for-action the exact opposite. And here I thought it was only the Republicans who were stupid enough to think Bush was telling the truth…

            2. Econ 101 teaches the superiority of free markets and small government. This idea that massive government involvment in the economy has anything beyond a distortionary effect on the allocation of resources lacks substantial historical evidence, and that essentially died with the Berlin wall.

              1. Econ 101 teaches the superiority of free markets and small government.

                It’s a shame freshman Econ majors are being so misinformed, then.

                1. Would you also want freshmen neurology students to study phrenology as to not be “misinformed”?

                  It’s one thing to argue for a policy that receives respectable support evidentiary support. What you’re arguing for is an economic policy that has long been rejected by both societies and economic academics.

                  1. J_L_B I’m gonna insist on a citation for that claim. Mostly because I don’t believe there is a single bit of real evidence for the “superiority” of laissez-faire economies. And it’s almost like we’re having a debate out of time, as if the recent financial crisis didn’t convert the free marketeers who were paying attention (instead of the true believers who don’t require evidence, or even feel the need to acknowledge it when it’s staring them in the face).

                    1. Mostly because I don’t believe there is a single bit of real evidence for the “superiority” of laissez-faire economies.

                      It’s more of a movement away from planned economics, or substantial government involvements in the economy. You can see this in the national debate. At one point we had 70 to 90% tax rates for the wealthy. Currently, few outside of extreme left-wing circles support a return to those rates. Today, that is viewed more as a confiscation rathter than a taxation.

                      Obama is about as left-wing as we’re going to get in this country, and even with his obvious flaws he’s pretty tame given democratic socialist standards. Anybody to the left of him would be derided as practically a communist. A Heuy Long type figure is no longer considered a legitimate candidate for anything.

                      (instead of the true believers who don’t require evidence, or even feel the need to acknowledge it when it’s staring them in the face).

                      November 2010 proved that most people aren’t really buying the idea that government spending was to be our salvation from the financial crisis. Further, most aren’t going to believe Wall St. caused this mess just because the New York Times says it did.

                      The public isn’t enamored with the banks, but a sizable portion puts blame on the Fannie and Freddie distorting the value of housing and causing the massive mispricing of assets on Wall St. You can blame Wall St. for having those instruments in the first place, why does the entity that extremely distorted the price of the underlying assets on which those instruments were priced escape culpability?

                    2. J_L_B I was with you up until the point where you implied that somehow the American people are economically literate enough to know what they were doing in 2010 (but somehow not in 2008?) If they buy into the FOX News narrative of the financial crisis, that’s their error.

            3. “It’s apparent that reality will never, ever intrude upon your guys’ need to declare Keynesianism a failure”

              We don’t need to declare it.

              It has unequivocally proven itself to be so.

        4. That settles it – Tony has to be a spoof. No one is actually that stupid.

          1. Oh no… Tony most definitely IS that stupid.

            1. Well, I suppose it’s theorectically possible that ‘Tony’ is a real person and they let him online at the Home for the Mentally Disabled….

    3. So you’re definition of fixing the budgetary problems facing this country is to make the deficit bigger?

      Christ, even I’m not that fucking dumb.

      1. My solution is to bring back full employment and redistribute wealth back to the middle class from whom it has been stolen for decades. That is the only solution to the budget problem. No amount of cutting will fix it, and in fact this entire conversation is a dangerous, cynical distraction.

        1. The fastest way to do this is to slash federal spending, because the bulk of income taxes come from the middle class.

          1. kinnath|2.14.11 @ 11:05AM|#
            …the bulk of income taxes come from the middle class.

            Your definition of middle class must be very large. The top 1% of earners pay 35% of total income taxes. The top 2-5% cover the next 20% of the tax bill. So, unless your definition of middle class includeds the top 5% if earners (who foot 55% of all income taxes), then you are absolutely incorrect.

            1. I was looking at old numbers, corrected below:

              The top 1% of earners pay 40% of total income taxes. The top 2-5% cover the next 20% of the tax bill. So, unless your definition of middle class includeds the top 5% if earners (who foot 60% of all income taxes), then you are absolutely incorrect.

              1. If Tony had his REAL dreams come true, the middle class would be the upper class and, therefore, subject to 90% tax rates and The Next Hated Cause of All Our Ills.

                1. Just because you can’t separate your lizard-brain disgust for certain groups of people from your policy preferences doesn’t mean everyone else is like you.

                  1. The only people I hate are the ones who think they can run my life better than I can.

        2. Da, ask any prison – reaching full employment is easy, tovarisch!

        3. My solution is to bring back full employment and redistribute wealth back to the middle class from whom it has been stolen for decades.

          In the Magic Unicorn Mirror World?, “Full Employment” can be achieved by Executive Fiat and “Not Taxing People” is “stealing.”

          1. Well it would require Congress. Putting people to work digging holes and filling them in would be more useful policy than cutting millionaire’s tax rates, though.

            1. Prepare to be schooled in my Austrian perspective…

              Creating jobs “digging ditches” only builds excess capacity that can not be supported forever. Eventually those people will lose their jobs and the skills they spent years refining will be wasted… Not to mention the opportunity cost. You will also be responsible for the debt.

              THIS is how we got into the housing boom and bust.

              You are much better off removing barriers and letting the market determine it’s own course.

            2. No it wouldn’t, since the former creates absolutely no value and even in the crudest “leveller” economics the latter will result in the millionaires spenting the money on “needless luxury” which will result in people being employed producing something of value.

              1. Except every shred of data shows that tax cuts for millionaires isn’t spent at the rate that money in the pockets of sub-millionaires is, for the obvious reason that the former have the luxury of saving. I’m not suggesting that digging and filling holes is what we should spend money on, just that, as useless an activity as it is, it is still more useful as fiscal policy than tax breaks for millionaires. Presumably we could employ people doing actual productive work. There’s plenty that needs to be done.

                1. Right.

                  Note my reference to “leveller” economics – the crude notion that somehow the rich just “waste” resources. In fact, the rich tend to invest their surplus money, creating meaningful jobs. (Hint: For the most part, rich people got rich by saving and investing, not by spending.)

                  Also, for some reason, jobs created by government programs tend to cost much more to create than jobs created by private investors. [And that is a number validated “by every shred of data”.)

                  1. Even the people whose job it is to create jobs in the private sector are mostly creating them in developing countries rather than the US. The most efficient route to a sound and growing economy is a large middle class with plenty of disposable income, something that has all but disappeared in this country because of specific and intentional policy. It’s a much better way of fixing employment than giving welfare checks to rich people and hoping they spend it on hiring people instead of stuffing it in their mattress.

            3. digging & filling holes in iraq & afghanistan doesnt seem to have reduced the deficit tony.

            4. Tony, you ignorant slut, the “millionaires” you’re always whining about are anybody who makes over $153k. With the Bush tax cuts, the tax rate for those with the highest incomes decreased by 13%. The tax rates for the bottom 50% of incomes decreased by 27%. They shifted more of the tax burden to the “millionaires.” The Bush Tax Cuts made income tax more progressive, not less. That’s why the top 1% was paying 33% of taxes before, and pays 40% after.

              1. Mensan that is some impressive bullshit. The top 1% is paying more because they have more of the wealth and income, not because their tax responsibility relative to their wealth and income went up.

                1. I never said that their individual burden increased. I said that their share of the total income tax burden increased. Actually, to be honest, the Department of the Treasury said that, and I just repeated it here.

        4. That settles it, Tony is really Paul Krugman

          1. Nah, Tony is actually a regular commenter. I have to give credit to whoever is sock-puppeting Tony – well done. You actually got me to argue with ‘Tony’ on several occasions, but now you have brought the stupid to such a level it’s obvious he’s just a spoof.

    4. Republicans DID NOT create the New Deal, the Progressive Income Tax, social security, medicare, medicaid, the EPA, the Department of Education, and the great majority of entitlements and pork that are bankrupting our country.

      http://libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

      1. What’s bankrupting the country are two wars and massive tax cuts put on the Chinese credit card. Shall we deal with those before we resort to going back to a preindustrial fiefdom?

        1. Most people on this board are MORE in favour of eliminating the wars than President Obama..

        2. The wars are cheap compared to everything else. As for preindustrial fiefdom, there’s a lot we can learn from those people. Ever heard of the “Mutual Aid Societies”? Before the welfare state it was people who helped people, so if a German immigrant needed help, he went to a German aid society and got help.

          Besides, you can’t be a libertarian and support social security, medicare, the department of education, etc. Read John Stossel.

          1. I do attempt to read Stossel, much more than you guys read Krugman I’d wager.

            Mutual aid societies are what modern governments replaced. If you’d just shed the pathological negative reaction to the idea of governments, you’d realize that it’s all the same thing just on different scales, and that the productive thing to do would be to make sure government works well. I don’t see any need whatsoever to do away with the concept of modern government. It works better than anything else. That’s why modern countries all have it.

            1. The bulk of us react not to government itself, Tony, but rather to raging shitloads of same.

            2. There was no compulsory obligation to donate to a mutual aide society, and they couldn’t throw you in prison for not contributing.

      2. the bush perscription drug program didnt help.

        1. Nor did No Child Gets Ahead. Nor does the continuance of the War on Drugs Sanity.

          All of which were left wholly intact by a Democratic House a filibuster proof Democratic Senate and a Democratic president.

          But Wall Street, Fannie and Freddie, Archer Daniels Midland, the NEA and the UAW all got their money.

          1. “”All of which were left wholly intact by a Democratic House a filibuster proof Democratic Senate and a Democratic president.””

            If your point is that both the Rs and Ds suck to the Nth degree, I’m with ya.

            1. Uhhh, yeah. It wasn’t really that subtle.

      3. “”Republicans DID NOT create the New Deal, the Progressive Income Tax, social security, medicare, medicaid, the EPA, the Department of Education, and the great majority of entitlements and pork that are bankrupting our country.””

        Well, the EPA was passed by Nixon, and Bush jr, greatly expanded Medicare by passing Medicare Part D, which was done when the Rs held 2/3 of government. Also, the Rs have done little to curb all of the aforementioned items.

        It’s all bi-partisan now. Either by creation, expansion, or failure to remove.

        1. Nixon was a progressive Republican, he doesn’t count.

    5. I agree that the Republicans contributed to the problem–that Medicare Prescription benefit was one of the most fiscally irresponsible things I’ve seen in my lifetime.

      …until ObamaCare came along.

      It doesn’t matter whose fault it is really. The point of responsible government isn’t to clearly identify who the better party is. It’s to run the government responsibly.

      Obama isn’t doing that. He’s made our problems worse since he was elected, and this fix of his is a bullshit fix. …and pointing the finger at the Republicans doesn’t change that one bit.

    6. The question is not “why hasn’t he fixed it?” but rather “why hasn’t he reversed or slowed the trend?”

    7. Didn’t he promise to end the wars, when he was running for president? Following through would be a reasonable expectation, and could have saved us hundreds of billions already.

    8. Tony, you lying cunt, take a look at Obama’s contributions:
      http://blog.heritage.org/2009/…..-pictures/

      1. Obama didn’t cause the economic crisis that necessitated the deficits that have happened in his term. The world is not reborn every time a new president is elected.

        1. How much is that fucker spending now, Tony? How is that going to work out in the future?

          It was wrong when Republicans overspent, and it’s wrong now.

          1. Well it was wrong when they overspent in times of growth, and more relevantly, that they overspent on pointless, destructive things like wars for invisible WMD and tax cuts for rich people. It wasn’t wrong that government spent during a massive recession. A recession, incidentally, that is now over (despite?) the spending.

            1. “tax cuts for the rich” = wealth-envy, period. It solves nothing.

              1. Okay pretend that I’m not motivated by childish emotions, a convenient distraction from the fact that taxes are almost nonprogressive in this country.

                1. So… leave taxes where they are, and cut spending.

                2. The OECD says the United States has one of the the most progressive tax systems, if not THE most in the world. (See 2008 study Growing Unequal.)

  2. And of course these “cuts” are cuts off of the baseline, not actual “decreases in spending from a year ago.” Cuts off of a baseline which has been raised by previously engorged budgets in the name of “temporary stimulus” too.

    1. A fat guy goes to see his doctor. The doctor says to him, “You weigh 500 pounds, and you’ve gained 100 pounds in the last year. If you don’t do something about it, you are going to die. The first thing we should do is to try to keep your weight the same for the next five years–we wouldn’t want to make any drastic changes.”

  3. I asked for an 8% raise and my paycheck only increased by 3%.

    That’s a 5% pay cut!

    1. That’s actually a 62.5% cut, if you look at it as a percentage of 8%.

      Seriously, we’re trying to gin up sympathy here. Are you a republican plant or something? Acting like you’re helping but really you’re wrecking?

    2. Now that I see your math skills it’s no wonder you ended up in a union.

  4. What can you expect Obama to do though? It’s not like in the past we made due with spending $1 trillion less than we are now…

    Oh wait. We did that back in the 90s with Bill Clinton. Surely the economy must have been in shambles, because we weren’t using money to stimulate the economy right? Oh wait…it actually was pretty damn good and we had a balanced budget.

    Seriously, the easiest fix is to dust off one of Clinton’s last budgets and modify it a bit. I’d prefer an even smaller budget, but at the very least stop the $14 trillion blackhole from getting any bigger.

    1. As a conservative turned libertarian (or perhaps still turnING) it’s hard to admit it but I’d gladly return to the Clinton years.

      1. Are you kidding? I’d go back to Bill in a second. I’d much rather have a government tied up in a tizzy over blow-jobs and fat girls than this shit we have now.

        1. +1 Gridlock is good.

  5. The guy never ran anything ever…not even a lemonade stand and Tony wants more time to let the already failed socialist Keynesian policies to work?

    Typical Obama supporter…as someone here pointed out Obama has just taken the Bush policies that he I’m sure railed against and expanded them exponentially.

    Life is so logical….

    1. hey doc, where in the constitution is “running” something a requirment to be prez?

      1. OO is right. Besides if he had run a lemonade stand we’d be another $trillion in debt.

      2. You’re not required to use a condom during anal, but if you don’t it gets messy. This is also how Tony was conceived.

      3. hey doc, where in the constitution is “running” something a requirment to be prez?

        Hey Orrin, where did I mention the Constitution. I could be CEO of Apple but sadly for me they would scrutinize my resume and frankly my experience doesn’t include “running” a tech company despite it not being listed as a requirement in their corporate charter. Now run along…American Idol is on.

    2. “The guy never ran anything ever…not even a lemonade stand and Tony wants more time…”

      Perhaps Tony is onto something. Since this is the first real job Barry has ever had, maybe we shouldn’t expect him to have any idea how to do it. I’m sure going from no relevant experience to President presents a pretty steep learning curve. Come to think of if, that probably would have been a good reason not to elect him in the first place.

  6. Echoing the administration’s line that “the easy cuts are behind us,”

    When did we make these alleged cuts? I must have slept in that day.

    1. “the easy cuts are behind us,”

      Cuts to your 401 k, cuts to your bond holder status in Chrysler, cuts to your home value, cuts to your employment opportunities, cuts to your insurance options, cuts to your light bulb options, cuts to your net worth etc…etc…etc..

      1. The light bulb think was Bush jr. not Obama.

  7. I thought that that huge deficit back in FY 09 was because of TARP and the other bailouts.

    Don’t tell me Obama and the Democrats have just as many corporate cronies as Bushcheneyhitler and the Republicans. That’s unbelievable.

    1. Why? Got GE? Or was that sarcasm?

      1. That was beyond sarcasm. It was sargasm.

      2. I’m not sure how I could have made it more obvious.

        Oh well, we’ll all just have to struggle along until the intertubes perfects html sarcasm tags.

    2. I thought at the time, and events have sadly proven me correct, that the purpose of the stimulus bill was to increase the federal government’s baseline.

      And here you have it: any attempt to roll back what was supposed to be a one-time emergency increase in spending is a “draconian cut”.

      And all that TARP money that was supposed to be used to pay off debt when it was returned by the bailees? Nope. Spent again, immediately (if not in advance).

      Played for fools, every person who believed a word the lying sacks on Capitol Hill said.

      1. “And all that TARP money that was supposed to be used to pay off debt when it was returned by the bailees? Nope. Spent again, immediately (if not in advance).”

        That’s the one that bugs the hell out of me.

        TARP wasn’t paid back! People keep saying it was paid back–but it wasn’t.

        They paid the government back, but they never paid the American people back. They could have retired the debt. They could have given us $700 billion in tax cuts.

        But they didn’t do any of that. …and the money for it is still coming out of our paychecks!

        In some ways? TARP is even worse than it would have been if the recipients had never paid the back to the government. At least then it would have been Wall Street or somebody else screwing us over–not our own elected officials!

        …and if they’d never paid it back to the government, people wouldn’t be walking around today saying it had been paid back. …when it wasn’t.

      2. “”Played for fools, every person who believed a word the lying sacks on Capitol Hill said.””

        If your brand new to politics, maybe I could understand. But I guess the public in general likes being played for fools. They sure love to believe how their next guy on the team will be different.

    3. I remember one of my roommates (pretty liberal) going nuts about the deficit during Bush’s last year. He asked me why I wasn’t more pissed off about the ‘record deficit’. I told him that it sucked but ranting in our house wasn’t going to do anything. I then added that, as for it being a record deficit, wait till the next guy. At the time I didn’t know it would be Obama, but I was proven correct (and haven’t heard him say one word about these deficits).

      1. You dont bring it up once a week? Why not?

        1. I prefer not to talk politics anyway and we don’t live in the same state anymore.

          1. Now would be a great time to broach the subject of the Laffer Curve.

            I know a lot of liberals are against that kind of thinking–because if the only solution to our problems is cutting taxes, then they’d rather we all starved to death…

            …but somebody might point out at some point that we probably would have more in the way of government revenue if we cut taxes.

            Seriously.

  8. Maybe I’ve been reading too much reason, but “Hello captain obvious!”

  9. Alt-text: “Yeah, bitchez, this is the world’s tiniest violin. Now shut up and pay your taxes.”

    1. “Do you want me to pull out that short hair fast or slow?”

  10. My solution is to bring back full employment and redistribute wealth back to the middle class from whom it has been stolen for decades.

    “Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull a hippopotamus outta muh hat!!”

    1. Libertarians shouldn’t lecture others on the impracticality of policy. Everything you guys believe in is utopian by design.

      Besides, there are policies that can improve the employment rate. It’s just that they can’t be implemented at the same time as policies meant to chase the deficit. Unfortunately, focusing on the latter only makes the former more difficult.

      1. You are truly the dumbest person in the world, aren’t ya, buddy? I hope you are wearing a helmet.

        1. Sean W. Malone|2.14.11 @ 12:17PM|#
          You are truly the dumbest person in the world, aren’t ya, buddy? I hope you are wearing a helmet.

          And a diaper.

          1. He switches it back and forth.

      2. How do you know this?

      3. Everything you guys believe in is utopian by design.

        Of course it is. We want a better world.

      4. “Everything you guys believe in is utopian by design.”

        The irony of this statement, coming from an egalitarian fucktard, is most telling.

        1. I am most certainly not a utopian. I rarely mentally masturbate to visions of a perfect society. I used to during my Trekkie phase, but I grew up. It’s just that mental masturbation is pretty much all you guys do. What matters is the next policy that will improve society incrementally, not some far-off set of totally redone policies that you claim, with no evidence of course, will make society the best possible one. I would even go so far as to say that there’s no point in talking about policies that can’t get votes in today’s Congress. I think you don’t want to think that way because it would mean standing by policies that in the short-term have always been failures. If only everything were exactly the way you want it, those policies would actually be successes!

          1. Liberalism is most certainly utopian.

            1. There are versions of it that are. I reject utopianism totally, though.

  11. Creating jobs “digging ditches” only builds excess capacity that can not be supported forever.

    That’s why “Chapter Two: The Purges” is an integral feature of the Plan.

  12. the purpose of the stimulus bill was to increase the federal government’s baseline.

    And not just the federal baseline, but every state’s, as well. Trickle down, Baby!

    1. If baseline = payroll.

  13. there are policies that can improve the employment rate.

    Let me guess: more IRS agents.

  14. Government payrolls can only be met by stealing money from the private sector.

    What happens when the goose which lays the golden eggs has been cooked and eaten, Tony?

    1. I am pretty sure Tony hasn’t thought that part through at all… as he has proven hundreds of times over that he hasn’t the slightest clue how economies work or more importantly, what the purpose actually is.

      I mean, good lord….. the guy thinks that a successful economy is about forced “full employment”! Doesn’t matter what labor or capital are directed towards… doesn’t matter that the paychecks for the “employed” are coming out of someone else’s pockets by force or from the productive efforts of future Americans. Doesn’t even matter if the employed are creating anything ay all.

      1. Understand I’m using “full employment” the way economists do. I don’t mean 100% employment. I think it goes without saying that so-called full employment is both necessary for a successful economy and the most important indicator of an economy’s success. Not whether we’re appeasing the free market gods.

        1. It’s pretty simple math. If the government needs x to pay it’s bills, but can only receive y through taxes, as x goes up, y goes down. Unless you think that less people paying taxes means more tax revenue.

        2. I think it goes without saying that you’re a ridiculous idiot.

          Full-employment is by no means a valid “goal” for any economy. A successful economy is one in which people are materially prosperous, and that only has to do with employment to the extent that employed people produce goods & services that make the world materially prosperous.

          If your goal is just to give people “jobs” through the government, and who the hell even cares doing what, what you’ve created is a bottomless pit of misallocated capital & labor and you are actually draining prosperity away from society and making everyone worse off in the process.

          We could actually be in the best economic shape as a nation even at half employment or less, if all of our material needs were met through better production efficiency and maximum utilization… That’s not an option for 2011, of course, but it goes to the point that you’re a moron.

          It would actually be a great life if one person could work 20 hours a week and still support a family of four on his earnings because goods & services were abundant & affordable enough for that to be possible.

          So no, Tony, a successful economy is not just about how many people are employed.

          That said, every idiotic thing that’s come out of your head regarding how to “solve” America’s current employment problems (which are a problem precisely because we do not have the surplus wealth & productive capacity to exist as I described above) is a failure.

          In spite of your bizarre belief in government as perpetual motion machine, reality doesn’t actually work how you want it to.

          If you employ people through a massive WPA style program, you can indeed “put people to work”. However (you fool), to pay those people, you need to first take all of the money for their paychecks out of the economy.

          You are not going to actually increase employment at all this way… you are merely going to hamper employment in one industry or sector, and forcibly increase employment in another. Overall – you’ve done nothing to actually improve the jobs situation in the US. You’ve taken money from the left pocket and put it in the right pocket and done nothing to increase the productivity of the economy.

          What’s worse… You’ve probably done a lot to DECREASE productivity overall, since government has no good way of assessing success or failure of their initiatives and tend to reward political cronyism rather than producers/workers’ ability to meet consumer demand.

          1. Hey I agree with your reformulation. It’s not employment per se that matters, but that we have a certain minimum standard of living for all citizens. Pity that every economic policy you believe in leads inexorably to vast wealth disparity and misery.

            1. You are thinking of yourself, there, buddy… as evidenced by your reliance on economic fallacies and magical thinking instead of remotely grasping how economic growth and prosperity is actually developed.

              1. Also… way to accept a first order point (ie, it’s not actually about jobs but about wealth) without understanding how that undermines all of the idiotic nonsense you constantly bleat about.

                Interacting with you for any amount of time at all just reminds me why I typically never bother with you anymore, Tony.

                1. Don’t bother if you’re going to say absolutely nothing.

                  Do you have any idea how ridiculous you guys sound when you lecture me about the fundamentals of how economics works? Your very problem is that your view of economics is simplistic to the point of childish.

                  1. Do you have any idea how ridiculous you guys sound when you lecture me about the fundamentals of how economics works?

                    This from the same passive-aggresive ‘tard that wouldn’t/couldn’t show his own work when challenged.

                    Christ, at least SM tried to bring actual figures into the discussion when he declared that we could have a prosperous economy on 2% inflation forever, even if the concept of compound interest completely escaped him. Your lame-ass deflection was “I don’t want to show the math, I’m too lazy.”

                    Come back with some actual facts and figures to back up your spew, or STFU with your bullshit. Because your claims of childish economic thinking are revealed in your insipid posts day after day after day.

                  2. “Your very problem is that your view of economics is simplistic to the point of childish.”

                    You do realize that you haven’t once said anything even remotely accurate about economics, and the morons you parrot (badly, I should note) actually don’t even have a coherent capital theory, right?

                    The reason I don’t talk to you that often anymore, Tony, is because you’ve had 9,000 opportunities to become less of an idiot or at the very least, more honest, and you’ve taken none of them.

                    If you could even come close to providing a coherent explanation of how wealth is developed and how a nation actually becomes more prosperous, maybe I’d take you even moderately seriously.

                    But you can’t, so I don’t.

  15. If baseline = payroll.

    Yes. The Stimulus “saved or created” government jobs at the state and local level. And, as we all know, every government job, once created, is by definition “essential”.

    1. “”once created, is by definition “essential”.””

      Yeah. Sadly, so few in government disagree.

    2. I remember Wolf Blitzer trying to ‘get’ Paul about his spending cuts by saying “It’ll cut 100,000 [government] jobs!”

  16. In his State of the Union address last month, President Obama declared that “we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. That is not sustainable.” He was right then, and unfortunately, he’s still right…

    Hate to break it to you Peter, but the general rule “Obama tends to be wrong about important things” holds in this case too.

    In a growing economy, the federal government (not state governments, not municipalities, not households) can and must deficit spend nearly continuously to increase the money supply commensurately with that economic expansion. This is just a fact of life in a world of fiat currencies. A look at the appropriate tables (say, in the Economist, which I like to read weekly) will show that nearly every single fiat money state, i.e. modern country, runs a deficit month after month, year after year. Running a surplus for more than a short time leads to deflation and economic pathologies of various kinds.

    I’ve written more on this surprising and counter-intuitive truth here, or you could go to http://www.moslereconomics.com and poke around in the mandatory readings section.

  17. the federal government (not state governments, not municipalities, not households) can and must deficit spend nearly continuously to increase the money supply

    Preposterous hogwash.

    1. Impressive argument Brooks!

    2. Impressive argument!

  18. In a growing economy, the federal government (not state governments, not municipalities, not households) can and must deficit spend nearly continuously to increase the money supply commensurately with that economic expansion.

    Yet, somehow, we managed for over a hundred and fifty years without deficit spending to speak of.

    And the economy grew!

    This is just a fact of life in a world of fiat currencies.

    The other fact of life is that, historically, every fiat currency has failed. Ours is actually only slightly behind schedule, and that’s only if you don’t count the massive erosion in the value of the dollar as failure because it has happened over decades rather than months.

    1. OMG!@!1!!uno!!! DEFLATION! THE HORROR!!!

    2. Don’t worry, Bernanke is working on it…

    3. Yet, somehow, we managed for over a hundred and fifty years without deficit spending to speak of.

      I am here dealing with what is, not what I (or you) would wish. What I’ve said applies to the period after the creation of the Federal Reserve system, and certainly after the last link with gold was severed in the early 1970’s.

      There are real advantages to fiat currency, which have been written about elsewhere and I don’t care to rehash here. And there are real risks and dangers. Same can be said of automobiles and drugs and nuclear power. We are supposed to be grownups, who can assess risks and harness difficult technologies (like fiat money) to our advantage.

      Sadly, libertarians often come across as flat-earthers when it comes to money.

      1. If by “flat-earth” you mean that we’re warning people that they’re being led straight off a cliff into a giant chasm of failure… Then sure.

  19. Since the money supply is under the control of the Federal Reserve Bank, why does the government have to deficit spend to increase the money supply?

    Couldn’t the government run a balanced budget, and Fed increase the money supply at the same time?

  20. The budget proposal his administration is releasing today wouldn’t do much to change the facts about our country’s dismal fiscal future.

    Actually, it will do a lot to change the facts about our country’s fiscal future. It’s adding 1.1 trillion dollars to the national debt, hardly an insignificant amount.

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