State Fiscal Crisis

The Latest Fiscal Denialist: E.J. Dionne

|

There is no crisis. These are not the droids you're looking for.

Following the dubious lead of Rachel Maddow, the New York Times editorial page (when it's talking about federal and not state public finances), Michael Moore and countless others, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne has embraced the "nu-uh" counter-argument to the cold hard fact that We Are Out of Money. "We're not broke," Dionne claims, bizarrely:

Yes, nearly all levels of government face fiscal problems because of the economic downturn. But there is no crisis. There are many different paths open to fixing public budgets. And we will come up with wiser and more sustainable solutions if we approach fiscal problems calmly, realizing that we're still a very rich country and that the wealthiest among us are doing exceptionally well.

There is no crisis. OK, let's take a quick tour around the allegedly crisis-free fiscal landscape:

We've got top men working on it. Top. Men.

* The town of Prichard, Alabama, population 27,000, has not been paying pensions to retired public employees for 18 months. Why? "The pension fund had been hemorrhaging money for years before it finally went broke in 2009." Note the word "broke."

* The bankrupt city of Vallejo, California, population 120,000, is choosing between canceling $45.9 million worth of public property leases and cutting $100 million in services and public sector payouts. Note the word "bankrupt."

* The most respected bipartisan chin-stroker in the deep blue state of California, the Little Hoover Commission, issued a report late last month [PDF] that began like this: "California's pension plans are dangerously underfunded, the result of overly generous benefit promises, wishful thinking and an unwillingness to plan prudently. Unless aggressive reforms are implemented now, the problem will get far worse, forcing counties and cities to severely reduce services and layoff employees to meet pension obligations." Note the word "dangerously."

* The president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, said last October that "we're facing an untenable fiscal situation." Note the word "untenable."

* Noted non-libertarian Ben Bernanke that same month issued this colossal buzz-harsh of a prognosis:

If current policy settings are maintained, and under reasonable assumptions about economic growth, the federal budget will be on an unsustainable path in coming years, with the ratio of federal debt held by the public to national income rising at an increasing pace. Moreover, as the national debt grows, so will the associated interest payments, which in turn will lead to further increases in projected deficits. Expectations of large and increasing deficits in the future could inhibit current household and business spending–for example, by reducing confidence in the longer-term prospects for the economy or by increasing uncertainty about future tax burdens and government spending–and thus restrain the recovery. Concerns about the government's long-run fiscal position may also constrain the flexibility of fiscal policy to respond to current economic conditions. […]

Our fiscal challenges are especially daunting because they are mostly the product of powerful underlying trends, not short-term or temporary factors. Two of the most important driving forces are the aging of the U.S. population, the pace of which will intensify over the next couple of decades as the baby-boom generation retires, and rapidly rising health-care costs. […]

[P]rojections by the CBO and others show future budget deficits and debts rising indefinitely, and at increasing rates.

It was a nice gig while it lasted, Ezra

Note "unsustainable," "increasing pace," "especially daunting," "powerful underlying trends," "will intensify," and on and on.

The headline on Dionne's fantasy is "What if we're not broke?" Which is a lot like saying, "What if there was a million-dollar bill in my pants?" Only it's much worse–the consequences of this dream not coming true are truly terrible, at least as bad as Bernanke outlines above. And the defiant can-kicking by Democratic dead-enders is only tacking a premium onto our future pain.

Was Dionne attacking Obama's Republican predecessor for jacking up spending and deficits? You have to ask? Is alleged policy wonk Ezra Klein hi-fiving Dionne's dubious findings? Base your community on reality!

Nick Gillespie wrote in more detail about our broketasticness last week. Related Reason.tv content below.

Advertisement

NEXT: The Enemy of My Enemy

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Headlines with question marks are usually indicative of Pulitzer quality work.

    1. So, “Is EJ Dionne the latest Fiscal Denialist?”

      It sounds so much more open minded (i.e., intellectual) with the question mark…like there’s a possibility that the answer could be yes, no or maybe.

      F*cking Magnets…how do they work?

      1. The electrons run north, the electrons run south….you can’t explain that…

  2. …and that the wealthiest among us are doing exceptionally well.

    Dammit! Wealthy people are still wealthy!

    1. What’s really cool about this, from the “progressive” point of view, is that once you take away the wealthy peoples’ wealth they won’t be wealthy anymore; but those once called “middle class” will now be the wealthiest. And hence Evil. And hence next in line for the soaking.

      Of course reality won’t work that way, but that won’t stop the “progressives” from dreaming and spanking that monkey.

      1. Wealth is the best example of likely “and then they came for me” scenarios. Although at least you’ll probably get out of it broke and alive.

      2. Much the opposite of the least interesting person in the world.

    2. Those bastards!

  3. Therefore, we should defund Planned Parenthood and NPR. That will fix things.

    Our budget issues are not intractable. Unless you are a slave to an ideology that refuses to entertain tax hikes, ever. Since most of the budget problems are Republican’s fault, you’d think they’d be willing to give up some of their pet boondoggles, including their unjustified welfare checks for the rich.

    1. Re: Tony,

      Therefore, we should defund Planned Parenthood and NPR. That will fix things.

      And the NEA, and the Dept of Education, and the Dept of Energy, and Defense (except the Navy), and Social Security, and the FDA, and the EPA, and Medicare/Medicaid, and all welfare schemes, and all of the things that the Constitution does not allow in the first place.

      1. Clearly, the constitution does allow those things, since they exist. Aren’t you against government in principle? Why are you OK with a socialized Navy? If you’re OK with that, what’s wrong with the other programs? The constitution doesn’t say what you think it does, as evidenced by reality.

        1. Clearly, the constitution does allow those things, since they exist.
          Hardly. It’s easy just to ignore it, or get Judges in place that will approve of whatever you want.

          The constitution doesn’t say what you think it does, as evidenced by reality.
          Sure, it can say anything you (Tony) and those who agree with you want it to say.

          1. Hardly. It’s easy just to ignore it, or get Judges in place that will approve of whatever you want.

            I don’t think constitutional requirements are ever ignored in the legislative process or judicial review. But the constitution does say, in reality, what constitutional case law has determined it to say. There is no external reality to this. You might disagree with the interpretation, but it’s not like the constitution is infallible holy writ whose eternal meaning is etched into the universe–it means whatever the interpretive branch says it means, end of story. For example, I have to acknowledge that the constitution allows for an individual right to bear arms, even though I don’t think that interpretation is correct.

            1. “…even though I don’t think that interpretation is correct.”
              But I thought there was no external reality to this. Sure, according to you, whatever interpretation the judiciary comes up with is the correct one?

            2. The Constitution is not a living document.

            3. You might disagree with the interpretation, but it’s not like the constitution is infallible holy writ whose eternal meaning is etched into the universe–it means whatever the interpretive branch says it means, end of story. For example, I have to acknowledge that the constitution allows for an individual right to bear arms, even though I don’t think that interpretation is correct.

              That’s absolutely asinine and Orwellian.

              There is no power on Earth that can make “Congress shall make no law…” mean “Sometimes, Congress shall indeed make a law…”

              Why you have capitulated your basic judgment as a human being so totally that you’re willing to engage in that kind of doublethink?

              It’s kind of pathetic that you would come on here and talk about being a slave to ideology when you are such a slave to statism that you’re willing to sacrifice logic and language itself to it.

              To you, since it’s necessary for statism for the Constitution to be an “unperson”, it is. That’s good enough for you.

              1. “Congress shall make no law” is usually the easy part. It’s the language that follows that usually needs interpretation in specific cases.

            4. Re: Tony,

              But the constitution does say, in reality, what constitutional case law has determined it to say.

              So indeed there is no need for a Constitution, as case law determines what is and what is not. That is what you’re implying, in case you are not aware of it.

              There is no external reality to this.

              You mean the clear text of the constitution is not reality?

              You might disagree with the interpretation, but it’s not like the constitution is infallible holy writ whose eternal meaning is etched into the universe[…]

              Basically you are saying – once again – that the Constitution is irrelevant.

              By the way, legal documents are not intrepreted, they are read and understood. If a law is incomprehensible enough to require “interpretation,” then it is not a law, as its meaning would be left to the volition of an individual. You will have the case that you seem to abhor: That of Rule Of Men instead of Rule Of Law.

              You have not thought of that at all, have you? You lack sophistication (which is a polite way of saying you’re an ignorant fool.)

              1. The constitution isn’t absolutely necessary. Lots of countries don’t have them. But it is the basis for this country’s social contract. Let’s just not pretend it’s magical or perfect, ok?

                You read the apparently plain, unambiguous language of the constitution and come to a radically different interpretation from what centuries of learned jurists have… either you’re smarter than they are, or it’s not so clear after all, and you just want to get out of arguing for policies on their merits and instead stamp all your beliefs with an extra special legitimacy based on the unassailable rational principle of “because I say so.”

                1. So trying to make people stick to “this country’s social contract” is avoiding the argument and just saying “because I say so.” Glad to hear you say that.

                  People, store this quote for about 2 hours from now when Tony try’s to use the social contract argument.

                2. Re: Tony,

                  The constitution isn’t absolutely necessary. Lots of countries don’t have them.

                  Then, first, I don’t understand your beef against my position regarding the plain reading of the constitution, if you don’t consider it relevant. It’s like we are fighting about a movie you don’t even like.

                  But it is the basis for this country’s social contract.

                  You’re contradicting yourself. If the Constitution is not relevant, for you, why would you even consider the above relevant? Either it is relevant, or it is not.

                  Let’s just not pretend it’s magical or perfect, ok?

                  I am not pretending anything. It is a legal document of plain reading – that’s a fact. The issues you have with the restrictive nature of the Constitution are YOUR problem, not mine.

                  You read the apparently plain, unambiguous language of the constitution and come to a radically different interpretation from what centuries of learned jurists have…

                  Are you really arguing that only learned sages can read and interpret the Constitution?

                  Were the Framers just as learned, more learned, or less learned? I don’t understand your contention – if a document was written to plainly state the responsibilities of a government, why would only “learned men” be allowed to “interpret” it? Isn’t government supposed to be “all of us”? How can that exclusivity jive with the concept of “government of the people”?

            5. I don’t think constitutional requirements are ever ignored in the legislative process or judicial review.

              I can’t decide if this is the biggest lie or the most egregious example of willful ignorance I’ve ever read. Fuck, man, since there’s video of at least one Democratic congressman stating flat out that he doesn’t worry about the Constitution when it comes to BarryCare I’m going to go with “biggest lie.”

        2. Re: Tony,

          Clearly, the constitution does allow those things, since they exist.

          Rape exists – can you point out the Constitutional allowance for it?

          Aren’t you against government in principle? Why are you OK with a socialized Navy?

          Of course I am not Ok, but nobody has bothered to amend the Constitution on it, so I guess we’re stuck with it.

          If you’re OK with that, what’s wrong with the other programs?

          They’re not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

          The constitution doesn’t say what you think it does, as evidenced by reality.

          You must have read a different Constitition, or your mother tongue is something besides English.

          Just because Congress has violated the words they swore to uphold does not mean the MEANING of the words suddenly changed. English is still English.

          1. The only one applying an arbitrary, self-serving, and demonstrably false interpretation of the constitution is you. What the constitution means is what constitutional case law says it means.

            1. I’ve jumped so far up my own ass I can taste my duodenum!

            2. So Tony, if ‘case law’ were to decide that tails are actually legs, would that mean that in reality most dogs would have 5 legs?

              1. We’re not talking about objective reality, we’re talking about what the constitution means. It’s the judiciary’s job to determine that when there is a dispute. If the text were perfectly plain and unambiguous, there wouldn’t be disputes!

                1. Re: Tony,

                  We’re not talking about objective reality, we’re talking about what the constitution means.

                  That would require learning to read English, as the document is written in that language.

                  It’s the judiciary’s job to determine that when there is a dispute.

                  But you have it backwards. The judiciary is supposed to ponder the merits of a dispute on Constitutional grounds, not to CHANGE the meaning of the constitution to FIT the issues of the dispute one way or the other.

                  If the text were perfectly plain and unambiguous, there wouldn’t be disputes!

                  You’re begging the question, Tony.

                  And it isn’t “were,” it’s “was.”

                  1. Oh lord, a comically misinformed lecture on logic followed by a comically misinformed lecture in grammar. Bonus points for OM.

                  2. And it isn’t “were,” it’s “was.”

                    Tony is using the little-used but grammatically correct subjunctive tense.

                    It’s basically the only thing he’s gotten right on this thread.

                2. But you have argued that judicial interpretation is what determines objective reality. At least try to pretend that you have a little intellectual honesty and integrity.

                  1. WTF I’m trying to argue that there is no constitutional reality outside of case law. You can say you disagree with how it has been interpreted, but the courts are not in error, as if there is some authority beyond the system itself to appeal to (I think OM has demonstrated that his concept if “plain English isn’t such an authority.)

                    1. WTF I’m trying to argue that there is no constitutional reality outside of case law.

                      Which is just another way of saying the Comstitution may as well not exist, since it has no meaning, since it’s meaning can magically ‘change’ according to the whims of judges. What about the plain meaning of the words? How would you like it if the contract for your home mortgage had no fixed meaning, and the terms could change based on the motives of an ‘interpreter’? Again we have devolved to the Rule of Men rather than the Rule of Law. All power (including deciding what words mean) flows from the barrel of a gun, right Tony?

                    2. Re: Tony,

                      WTF I’m trying to argue that there is no constitutional reality outside of case law.

                      You’re all over the place. First, you insinuate the irrelevancy of the Constitution, yet on the other hand you indicate the importance of it as base for the “social contract.”

                      If it is the basis for the “social contract,” then how can “case law” (i.e. someone’s opinion) determine “Constitutional reality”? What would be the point of having a Constitution then? And if it is the base for the “social contract,” how can then be subject to the whims of a few notables? Both contentions are contradictory, they cannot both be right.

                      You cannot have your cake and eat it, too.

                      You can say you disagree with how it has been interpreted, but the courts are not in error[…]

                      Not when Dred Scott?

            3. Re: Tony,

              The only one applying an arbitrary, self-serving, and demonstrably false interpretation of the constitution is you.

              Reading a text as it is plainly written is being “arbitrary”?

              So if I interpret a contract in a way it “says” I can kill you anytime I want, regardless of the text, that would NOT be “arbitrary” in your view?

              1. OM contracts for cell phone plans are longer than the constitution, and it’s supposed to be the basis for an entire country’s policymaking structure! It’s not completely opaque, but it does require interpretation. Unless you can tell me what “cruel and unusual” means, objectively, beyond anyone’s honest doubt.

                1. Re: Tony,

                  OM contracts for cell phone plans are longer than the constitution, and it’s supposed to be the basis for an entire country’s policymaking structure!

                  You’re avoiding the point: Is reading a document, as plainly written, being “arbitrary”?

                  It’s not completely opaque, but it does require interpretation.

                  If I really needed to have a cell phone contract “interpreted” for me, I would not buy it.

                2. OM contracts for cell phone plans are longer than the constitution, and it’s supposed to be the basis for an entire country’s policymaking structure!

                  This is only surprising if your default position is that there should be a vast policymaking structure penetrating all areas of life.

                  It’s really very easy to strip government of powers in very few words, Tony. Complexity only enters the system when you want to pretend you have liberty and a government bounded by law, but have a million different situations where you don’t really want that to be the case.

                  You could probably express the Bill of Rights with even fewer words than are already there, if you sat down to think about it.

                3. Tony, by the logic you displayed re: 2nd Amendment, the SCOTUS determines whether or not cruel and unusual punishment is permitted by the Constitution, not which punishments are cruel and unusual. You are wrong.

                  Let me break it down for you. The right to bear arms shall not be infringed just like cruel and unusual punishment is not permitted. That means the SCOTUS can only determine what is an infringement, and what forms of punishment are cruel and unusual. But none can argue that people don’t have the right to bear arms or that cruel and unusual punishments are permitted by the Constitution.

                  I would argue that sending someone to a prison where they will be ass-raped by other inmates is cruel, but not particularly unusual since it occurs all the time. I would argue that sentencing someone to watch reruns of the WNBA for 13 hours and a half hours a day would be an unusual punishment but not cruel. These are interpretations for SCOTUS to make.

                  SCOTUS may say that registering one’s gun is not an infringement because anyone can register it without prohibition, but if they say you cannot have a gun, they are no longer interpreting the plain language of the Constitution, they are ignoring it.

        3. “Why are you OK with a socialized Navy”

          Might be because of the following:

          Article 1, sec 8 :”The Congress shall have power To … provide and maintain a Navy”

          1. The constitution? Who reads that old thing any more? It’s, like, over 100 years old…

          2. Oh, and you just need to look at the case law – Tony told me so. Is there any case law on the navy? If not…then the navy doesn’t exist. Sorry, Annapolis…

    2. Re: Tony,

      Our budget issues are not intractable. Unless you are a slave to an ideology that refuses to entertain tax hikes, ever.

      Stealing is never the solution, my son.

      Since most of the budget problems are Republican’s fault[…]

      Obama/Pelosi/Reid being innocent bystanders, of course…

      you’d think they’d be willing to give up some of their pet boondoggles

      You’re right in that regard: They do not. Especially Dee-fense.

      […]including their unjustified welfare checks for the rich.

      Not stealing is not ipso facto welfare to the would-be victim, you moron.

      1. But evil thieving is OK if it pays for aircraft carriers, I gather.

        1. He didn’t say that – read carefully.

        2. Re: Tony,

          But evil thieving is OK if it pays for aircraft carriers, I gather.

          It would seem so, as the Constitution does require Congress to keep and maintain a Navy. So, we’re fucked in that regard.

    3. “Therefore, we should defund Planned Parenthood and NPR. That will fix things”

      No, Tony, it won’t fix things but these are items that should not be on the federal government’s budget to begin with.

      1. Says you and Republicans. If the budget crisis is as immense as they’re saying it is, why waste time on these when it does nothing to address the budget? Can’t they get to their petty cultural nitpicking after the huge gigantic crisis is over?

        1. Can’t they get to their petty cultural nitpicking after the huge gigantic crisis is over?

          Never let a crisis, etc.

          If you can’t save a nickel, you can’t save a dollar.

        2. probably because the problem is so large that you can’t just ignore the little things. It’s a thousand little things here and there adding to the problem. It’s not like you can just point to one or two big players and cut them out to solve the whole mess.

        3. Damnit Tony, you know damned good and well we want massive cutting to the federal budget, not just piecemeal pussy crap like NPR and Planned Parenthood. But, seeing as nobody is really willing to cut even those items (which don’t take a lot out of the budget), we are well and truly fucked.

        4. Re: Tony,

          Says you and Republicans.

          And the Constitution – by not specifically allowing it.

          If the budget crisis is as immense as they’re saying it is, why waste time on these when it does nothing to address the budget?

          Because Dems are big spending socialists and the Repubs are big spending fascists – that’s why.

          Can’t they get to their petty cultural nitpicking after the huge gigantic crisis is over?

          They will keep bickering about which side of the egg to crack.

          1. As a Fascist, I am insulted by your comparison to Republicans.

        5. No, because to fix the problem means taking on entitlements and transfer payments. Neither party is politically capable of doing that. So they’ll nitpick at the margins while the country implodes.

        6. “nitpicking”

          Wait, is Tony racist?

    4. Unless you are a slave to an ideology that refuses to entertain tax hikes, ever.

      How are you to be taken seriously when the inverse of this principle is your constant solution?

    5. Therefore, we should defund Planned Parenthood and NPR. That will fix things.

      That sounds like a great start.

      I’ve said it before: Zero out everything except Treasury, Justice and DoD, and even then, there will be significant cuts in those departments. Privatize and close out SS and voucherize Medicare/Medicaid.

      I know, I know, at those funding levels, we’ll go back to the days of anarchy and rape gangs of 1965, but we’ll at least be solvent and free(er).

    6. Since most of the budget problems are Republican’s fault, you’d think they’d be willing to give up some of their pet boondoggles, including their unjustified welfare checks for the rich.
      reply to this.

      Can’t really argue with this except to say that if I could horse trade I’d let you keep Planned Parenthood and National Lonely Saxophone through a Sewer Pipe Radio if we could cut to the bone or eliminate outright all of Old Mexicans candidates.

      Any hazard to guess why Obama is continuing all of the previous administration(s) failed policies?

      1. Any hazard to guess why Obama is continuing all of the previous administration(s) failed policies?

        For the sake of maintaining employment in the short term so he can get re-elected in the not-so-short term. Outside of that, he’s just keeping his head down and waiting to ride into the sunset like Bush 2: Shitty Boogaloo before him. Legacy is all that matters in the end to those who aspire to the presidency, once they realize they actually might have to give up their ill-gotten power. God, we’re fucked.

        1. +1 for the movie reference.

    7. Go ahead, raise taxes.

      Of course that won’t come close to covering the spending. On top of that, you’ve still got the states to consider.

      Now what?

    8. Unless you are a slave to an ideology that refuses to entertain tax hikes, ever.

      So if the federal government spends $1.40 for every $1.00 it takes in, clearly the answer is to have it take in more money.

    9. Our budget issues are not intractable. Unless you are a slave to an ideology that refuses to entertain tax hikes, ever.

      My tax hikes helped prevent a depression in ’28!

    10. Since most of the budget problems are Republican’s fault

      Damn them for inventing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid!

    11. Tony|3.14.11 @ 11:40AM|#
      “some stupid shit I made up”

      Thanks, Tony, you’re good at that.

    12. Since most of the budget problems are Republican’s fault, you’d think they’d be willing to give up some of their pet boondoggles, including their unjustified welfare checks for the rich.

      Revenues in 2009 were higher than they were in 2001.

      If spending were reduced to 2004 levels, levels that included billions of dollars spent on the War on Sand Nazi Terror, there would be a projected surplus.

    13. Our budget issues are not intractable. Unless you are a slave to an ideology that refuses to entertain tax hikes, ever.

      Says the idiot who couldn’t do math to save his life.

  4. There are many different paths open to fixing public budgets.

    “For instance, we could raise taxes. Problem solved.”

  5. Possibly the left’s stupidest–and most dangerous–meme in decades. They’re starting to sound like crack whores.

    1. They may actually capture the title of “The Stupid Party.”

      1. Too late! Suck on this! /s/ The Republicans

      2. Libertarians: The Silly Party
        Republicans: The Stupid Party
        Democrats: The Evil Party

        1. You forgot the Very Silly Party.

  6. And the defiant can-kicking by Democratic dead-enders is only tacking a premium onto our future pain.

    To be fair, Republicans deserve to be called out for this as well. Aside from the work of a handful of good souls (Ron and Rand Paul, etc.), let me know when the “opposition” to the Dems shows any sign of taking this problem seriously.

    1. Exactly.

    2. Exactly. There are those who claim there is little difference in the two parties, but I counter that at least the GOP is past the denial stage. There may be a few let’s-keep-kicking-this-can hold outs, but the party as a whole and its supporters acknowledges there is a problem. That cannot yet be said of the Democratic party and its supporters. I’d say they are at least 5 years away from ending the denial.

      1. I’d say they are at least 5 years away from ending the denial.

        That all depends on how 2012. If the Democrats somehow lose the WH, they will find religion on spending discipline so fast it will make your head spin.

        The Rs and Ds really are two halves of a circular firing squad.

        1. If the Democrats somehow lose the WH, they will find religion on spending discipline so fast it will make your head spin.

          I don’t know about that. They may want reductions in military spending, but they’re always (rightfully) game for that. When it comes to entitlements and various social programs, they’ll go down kicking and screaming till they either disappear into obscurity, or they convince enough of the independents to relapse into denial and vote for them.

  7. But there is no crisis. There are many different paths open to fixing public budgets.

    Sure. For instance, wishing them away, like Mr. Dionne seems to be suggesting.

    1. I hear sticking your head in the sand works too.

    2. There are many different paths open to fixing public budgets.

      And as long they don’t involve inhibiting the endless growth of government letalone actually cutting it, they are AOK with Dionne.

  8. Mrs Suderman had a good point in response to Micheal Moore. The combined wealth of every billionaire in America is 1.2 trillion dollars. So you could confiscate the entire net worth of every one of them and still not cover the deficit for this year.

    1. That wouldn’t work, though. Because you can’t confiscate from your political allies.

    2. Re: John,

      So you could confiscate the entire net worth of every one of them and still not cover the deficit for this year.

      The funnier part is that for statist fucks like Moore, or our resident statist fuck, Tony, that would be OK because rich people would still feel compelled to make money just to have it taken by force again…

      … you know, as if all were gold egg-laying geese.

      1. The rich print their own money… or didn’t you know that already?

    3. Please, never let facts get in the way of some good old-fashioned agitprop.

      The US doesn’t have a deficit problem, and the US has never had one. Just as we’ve always been at war with Eurasia.

    4. So I had a guy tell me the other day that all money belongs to the government. And that we can only be prosperous because the government provides a secure place for us.

      So, to him, this whole problem was caused by the government letting us borrow too much of their money.

      1. Why do so many libertarians have so many stupid friends?

        1. The choice is have stupid friends or have no friends. I think its probably 50/50 in this room.

      2. Did you punch him in the balls to reduce his odds of reproduction?

  9. Unless you are a slave to an ideology that refuses to entertain tax hikes, ever.

    Or, alterntatively, you could be a slave to the notion that there is NOTHING the government should not be doing, no matter high high the cost, no matter how small the benefit.

    1. Or a slave to the notion that no government no matter how large should ever shrink in size.

    2. That’s one alternative. When you meet someone who believes that, let me know so I can criticize him too.

      1. Yeah Tony you believe there are things the government shouldn’t do. You just can’t ever seem to think of any of those things. And those things never include something the government is doing now.

        1. You just can’t ever seem to think of any of those things.

          Now, that’s not true, John. Tony believes the government shouldn’t outlaw abortion, and . . . I’m sure there’s something else. Help me out here, T.

          1. I’d bet he also thinks the government shouldn’t allow people to have guns.

        2. Off the top of my head, it shouldn’t torture people and invade other countries on false pretenses.

          1. We agree on something! Hooray! Let’s stop doing both of those and defund NPR and the NEA. Deal?

        3. The Defense Department assured me everything they were doing was above the board, and according to our standards.

          Wait, where are all you Democrats going? Don’t abandon me! Oh, it’s time for your afternoon naps. What was I thinking? That you all actually have principles. Ha! Ha! Crazy, right? You look so cure there on your mats little Democrats, sucking on your juice boxes. I’ll let myself out quietly.

      2. So tony, name us 5 things or so that have substantial budgetary impacts that the government is currently doing that it shouldnt be in your opinion.

        1. I don’t know if there are whole programs I think should be eliminated. Scalpel, not sledgehammer and all that. We should significantly cut Defense, reform the tax code, and hike upper-end taxes to at least 90s-era levels. Cut out unjustified corporate and agricultural subsidies. Since the single biggest contributor to our fiscal situation is rising health care costs, we need to figure that out. Going to a single-payer system for all might work.

          The bottom line for me is that we don’t need to soak the poor, working class, elderly, and infirm to fix this “crisis,” especially if the top 1% aren’t asked to sacrifice a single dime.

          1. So the government can’t even take in enough money to cover it’s budget right now and you want to have them pay for all 300 some odd million of us? You know that doesn’t make sense right?

            1. “Going to a single-payer system for all might work.”

              I always love this line too. Somehow healthcare magically becomes cheaper when the government starts taking it over.

            2. Don’t ask Tony to actually do the math on his suggestions. He’s just an English major, after all, so bringning in all those icky numbers would harsh his mellow.

          2. Wait, there’s such a thing as a justified agricultural subsidy? Can you point one of those out for me, because I sure as hell have never seen one.

            1. T,

              I dunno. The excuse for ag subsidies is that food would be too expensive if we didn’t. That may or may not be true. I don’t know. I’m saying there are subsidies that are justified.

              1. There may be justifiable subsidies, but not in agriculture. ADM and Cargill don’t need any more money.

              2. I dunno. The excuse for ag subsidies is that food would be too expensive if we didn’t. That may or may not be true. I don’t know. I’m saying there are subsidies that are justified.

                That would be the dishonest excuse, but the reality is that it INCREASES the cost of foods. Subsidies decrease the production of foodstuffs to keep prices high. Tarrifs and embargos are in place to keep the price high.

                Farmers have been die-hard lobbiests since the early days of the country.

          3. What about us, you callous bastard?

            1. He hates all women except for heffer chicks like Rather who want to be BFFs with their very own gay and give him advice on exploring his sexuality.

          4. “unjustified… subsidies”

            Redudancy alert!

          5. The bottom line for me is that we don’t need to soak the poor, working class, elderly, and infirm to fix this “crisis,” especially if the top 1% aren’t asked to sacrifice a single dime.

            Well, most of us here, libertarian or not, support getting rid of bank bailouts and auto bailouts and farm subsidies and rail subsidies, so those top 1% would be sacrificing a lot.

  10. You see, it’s not fiscal irresponsibility when we do it.

  11. But there is no crisis.

    WE

    STILL

    HAVE

    CHECKS!

    1. And printing presses. Don’t forget those.

    2. When I was newly promoted SGT B I had to do a financial counseling to a young Soldier who had bounced a bunch of checks to the vendors on post. I knew it would be a bad day when he happily explained that there was no way he could be overdrawn because he still had checks in his checkbook.

      1. As a former E-5 myself, all I can say is, wow…just wow. I am dead glad I never had that soldier. And if I did, I’d try to pass him up to the PS for that counseling.

      2. Why was it your responsibility to counsel him on how to spend or not spend his money?

        1. You’re not really familiar with how the military works, are you?

  12. This won’t be fixed until it is forced on us from outside our borders. Won’t be pretty.

    1. The World, “What have you done with the trillions of dollars we have leant you?”

      USA, “We pissed most of it away, but we did build several thousand deliverable thermonuclear weapons”

      World, “Okay, Nevermind”.

      1. I just spit some V8 out my nose. Thanks man.

      2. Japan: We need to rebuild after this devastating earthquake/tsunami. Cost will be billions.

        Let’s sell/redeem our US treasuries.

        US: ummm….we don’t have your money.

        Bond Market: Wait, what was that?

        1. Just hold your horses, there, Bond Market.

          I have it on good authority that we’re winning the future.

        2. “Let’s sell/redeem our US treasuries.”

          Bill Gross at Pimco is ahead of you on that one.

          1. He must of caused the earthquake and tsunami!!!!

      3. See? Buying guns with my credit cards wasn’t a bad idea after all!

      4. You know, if we really do have cataclysmic economic crash, it’s a little disturbing to consider what a more ruthless U.S. government might do, given our military superiority.

        Yet another reason to put Leviathan on a permanent diet.

        1. it’s a little disturbing to consider what a more ruthless U.S. government might do, given our military superiority

          Let me be clear.

          My Administration will always put the interests of The American People first.

          Plus, Justice Ginsburg will be around for quite a while yet. (chuckles)

          1. “The American People?: Now in 5 exciting flavors!”

      5. We’ll go into this room alone, you with your gold, and me with my gun. Let’s see who comes out with what.

  13. Rest assured, the various interests known as bond vigilantes are modelling the biggest raid in the history of the universe as we speak.

    For them, the payday is unimaginably huge – billionaires, many of them, will be made before it is over. Its a sure thing – the Treasury market will crack, and when it does, it will crash because its current level is artificial. And its huge, so the payoff will likewise be huge.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have the liquidity to short the Treasury market. Its a sure thing, IMO, with the only question being when, not whether. Unfortunately, when engaging in leverage speculation, timing is everything.

    1. Buy puts.

      1. If I thought I could call the crash within 6 months, I would.

    2. The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent, always.

      1. come on this is not true. I know plenty of people who borrowed money to buy palladium (at $200) and are laughing their way to the bank (at $800).

    3. As Lord Keynes once said, “The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”

    4. The bond market is definitely going to be the next bubble to burst. I’m predicting sometime in the next year too. All those Boomers that moved their investments out of stocks to bonds are going to be a creek. Poor bastards. Actually believing the bond market is the safest investment you can make.

      1. Poor bastards. Actually believing the bond market is the safest investment you can make.

        Hah. “Full faith and credit” indeed! Curse you Alexander Hamilton. Curse you.

    5. I agree, but I think that everyone is afraid to go first, because the Fed will snap the spine of whoever goes first.

      The ten guys behind him will be billionaires, but that first guy is homeless for sure.

      That can hold the dam back for a while yet.

      1. The ten guys behind him will be billionaires, but that first guy is homeless for sure.

        Apply this corollary writ large to the deciding votes for reducing government spending and it’s easy to understand why it’s so difficult to reduce spending. Once the baseline is increased, spending becomes intractable. Taxpayers become willing serfs with pols merely negotiating over price.

    6. Its a sure thing – the Treasury market will crack,

      Wanna bet?

  14. It’s funny how one nutjob lefty says something stupid — something without any factual basis — and all the rest of the nutjob lefties jump onboard like lemmings.

    1. They had an opportunity after the Bush years to consolidate a stronger position by being the less fucked-up party. Instead, they went into crazy overdrive to make the GOP look like a less much unviable alternative.

      1. You have to understand Pro, they were out of power then. Rather than bide their time, they went insane and convinced themselves that they were only out of power because they hadn’t been crazy enough the last time they were in power.

  15. Explaining shit to the people who read EJ Dionne and Ezra Klein is like playing poker with my sister’s kids.

    1. That right there is pretty damned funny

    2. See! I have a straight! They’re all red! Now pay me!

  16. the only question being when, not whether.

    Yup.

  17. I don’t understand the need to assume just because we’re saying our state governments are going broke that we’re panicking. No one is panicking, simply stating facts. West Virginia has an $8 OPEB debt that they’re doing nothing about. The largest pension system has $4 billion funded at 50 percent, but when you apply market value it’s really $10 billion funded at over 30 percent. I agree with Dionne that we need need to calmly come up with solutions, but that doesn’t mean we’re making up the problem either.

  18. we will come up with wiser and more sustainable solutions if we approach fiscal problems calmly, realizing that we’re still a very rich country and that the wealthiest among us are doing exceptionally well

    1) “– were it the case, of course, that we have fiscal problems.”

    2) “Wiser and more sustainable”, perhaps, but still real sucky.

    3) E.J., please write another piece when, and only when, “we” come up with a solution.

  19. Did some back-of-the-envelope calculations regarding my own state of Connecticut — assuming a four-person household paying state income tax on the four-person household median income, and also assuming a single state retiree with a “low” pension of $40,000 per year (salary only, not counting health and other benefits), it’ll take the full state income tax bills of about sixteen four-person median households — 64 residents out of a state population of just over three million — to pay that one single pension. (Actually, it’s probably more than that, because I calculated their income tax bills as a straight percentage of income, without calculating the two-children deductions the median four-person household can get.)

    1. Default is the disease, inflation is the cure.

      1. I thought I was the cure

    2. Who in their right mind actually believes ANY government can afford to pay an entire generation over 40K a year not to work.

      1. We do! We’re contemptuous of our employers and we’ll fuck them over to our benefit, results be damned. And we deserve it!

  20. Dionne is lying.

    I don’t say that lightly. I literally mean he is conscious of what the truth is and is choosing to say the opposite.

    Basically the left is positioning for upcoming budget votes. It is helpful to Democrat causes for them to pretend we’re not broke for the next three weeks. Therefore, Dionne sat down to write a piece he knows is false merely to bring his paper’s weight to bear on a budget issue now being taken up by the Congress.

    Since this might take the pressure off of some favorite Democrat programs, I’m sure he considers it justified spin.

    1. Dionne is lying.

      I use that as a default setting with Dionne and the rest of the DNC minions. I’m rarely disappoint.

  21. Come on, Tony, don’t hold back; we all know you don’t want “Clinton-level” taxes.

    Admit it; you want to see a top marginal tax rate which would make Harry Truman proud.

    1. …a top marginal tax rate which would make Harry Truman proud blush.

    2. My estimate on Tony’s desired tax rate is 114%.

  22. All those Boomers that moved their investments out of stocks to bonds are going to be a creek. Poor bastards. Actually believing the bond market is the safest investment you can make.

    You gotta admit, though; Bennay and Timmay did everything but put up billboards saying, “We’re going to destroy your savings if you don’t put your money in the stock market.”

  23. Governments aren’t broke.

    http://cafr1.com/

    1. In Russia, government break YOU…

    2. IceTrey|3.14.11 @ 12:53PM|#
      “Governments aren’t broke.
      http://cafr1.com/

      Bullshit, asshole.
      And that link is worthless. Once you dig through the thing, the LA assets are buildings and land.
      So, once more; prove your claim or shut up.

      1. I’m sorry, I can’t help someone who is too imbecilic to understand the simple concept that if you have assets worth more than your debts your not broke. Go back to your crayons before you get hurt little girl.

        1. The thing is, if you have to sell off all of your assets to pay off your debt, you are, indeed, broke.

          Unless your goal is for the government to sell off all of it’s land and buildings and whatnot, effectively dismantling itself in the process.

        2. IceTrey|3.14.11 @ 3:51PM|#
          “Truly ignorant statement followed by ad hom”

          Hey, ASSHOLE! Prove your damn claim or STFU.
          Got that, you stupid shit?

  24. I read this whatever day it came out – fuck me, the stupid is deep these days.

    “We have plenty of money. There is no crisis.”

    Just….fuck me….that is some powerful kinda stupid right there. Wowzers…

  25. I’ve heard people argue for funding for abortion on two grounds, one that it is like funding for the exercise of other constitutional rights (i.e., right to counsel) and two that it should be funded in cases of rape and incest since, both being crimes, the state has failed the victims of both and should provide compensationary aid (which, if chosen, would include abortion services).

    The first one sounds shaky imo (does the state also have to buy us guns?), but the second one not so much.

    1. BTW-the person I heard advocate for the second approach to abortion funding in cases of rape/incest said the funds would come from a victims compensation fund funded by court costs and fines paid for by offenders (these exist in many states).

      1. Also, in Russia, government rapes YOU….

        1. …shit, I just realized I probably conjured Steve Smith….sorry everyone…

    2. Anything else we should fund while we’re bankrupting the states and the country as a whole?

      Cosmetology school? Beekeeping? Phone sex purveyors?

      Weren’t we talking about going broke here? Did I miss something?

    3. one that it is like funding for the exercise of other constitutional rights

      So the fedgov should pay for my guns & ammo and internet connection (it’s where i get my press and do most of my free speechifying), amiright?

    4. People need to stop conflating rape and incest.

      Yes, often times incest is also rape, but that doesn’t make every women who gets pregnant due to incest a victim. If you’re worried about rape, talk about rape.

    5. in cases of rape and incest since, both being crimes, the state has failed the victims of both and therefore should kill one of them.

    6. Re: MNG,

      two that it should be funded in cases of rape and incest since, both being crimes, the state has failed the victims of both and should provide compensationary aid (which, if chosen, would include abortion services).

      Why would paying for the killing of an innocent be “just compensation”?

      Also, who said it is the state’s duty to keep us safe from rape or incest? Where does it say that? The purpose of the State is to steal from people and pretend to provide “services” in compensation. That’s it.

    7. I’ve heard people argue for funding for abortion on two grounds, one that it is like funding for the exercise of other constitutional rights (i.e., right to counsel) and two that it should be funded in cases of rape and incest since, both being crimes, the state has failed the victims of both and should provide compensationary aid (which, if chosen, would include abortion services).

      Think about freedom of religion.

      Government is normally not in the business of building churches; in fact, it would plainly violate the establishment clause.

      But the establishment clause has never been interpreted from forbidding government from rebuilding churches after a natural disaster, and could be roughly likened to funding abortions due to rape or incest.

      As for the constitutional entitlement to counsel, it only exists if the government accuses people of crimes.

  26. We have plenty of money.

    The best part? By “we” he means “you”. Individuals hold a tremendous amount of personal wealth; wealth which “society” has *given* them, so “society” has the right (and the duty!) to reclaim it.

    See how easy this is?

    1. A country as wealthy as this one that can’t fund a basic social safety net has something seriously wrong with it. Almost as if the wealth were being funneled to an elite as in so many oligarchies.

      1. Tony, you are so boring it almost literally brings tears to my eyes.

        1. Tony, this country can afford a mealy-mouthed idler like you, so I guess it can afford a lot of other idiotic things.

      2. Re: Tony,

        A country as wealthy as this one that can’t fund a basic social safety net has something seriously wrong with it.

        What’s a “basic social safety net”?

        Your assertion is as nonsensical as saying that a society as wealthy as ours that cannot fund pools for every house has something wrong with it.

        1. It means everyone has access to the basic needs of life at the low end, and a living wage at the other. It’s not arbitrary and you know it.

          1. In China the President simply decides what the citizens are entitled to. How can that go wrong?

          2. Re: Tony,

            It means everyone has access to the basic needs of life at the low end

            You mean that, if people live in the middle of the desert, somehow they have to have access to the basic needs of life at the low end… without PROCURING THEM FIRST?

            and a living wage at the other.

            What’s a “living wage”?

            It’s not arbitrary and you know it.

            The vagueness of your statements indicate to me that they are indeed arbitrary.

            1. Vague does not mean arbitrary. What people need to live, and indeed what they need to live a dignified life in a modern society, are things that are known. A decent, wealthy society makes sure basic needs are taken care of before it affords a tiny minority control of most of that wealth. You guys spend all your time defending a basically feudal system and you slap the word freedom on it.

              1. A decent, wealthy society makes sure basic needs are taken care of before it affords a tiny minority control of most of that wealth.

                So much evasion in so few words.

                Everyone please take note of the way Tony is proving [yes, proving] that Rand was absolutely right when she argued that the false anthropomorphization of collective nouns was critical to the leftist project.

                1. Whatever… I just don’t understand why you guys never entertain the possibility that wealth at the top was acquired by illegitimate means, while most poor people are parasites on the system. Which group has more power to control where the wealth goes, do you think?

                  1. I’m happy to “entertain the possibility.” Please prove beyond a reasonable doubt that wealthy people have acquired their fortunes via systematic theft and fraud.

                    On the other hand, it’s demonstrably and inarguably the case that poor people are beneficiaries of systematic theft and fraud (i.e., government wealth transfers).

                  2. Tony|3.14.11 @ 5:01PM|#
                    “Speculation followed by strawman”

                    Thanks, Tony, you’re good at that.

                  3. Certainly, punish anyone who can be proven to have acquired their wealth by criminal means. But people in this country have a right to due process. You wish to punish the “wealthy” on the basis of simply possessing wealth, not because you have any definitive proof that the entire set ofindividuals who make up that classification are all criminals. And you have thetemerity to ask why people here don’t want to punish people based on that dubious assumption?

                    1. Money given in welfare to the poor wasn’t done so by criminal means either.

                      The issue I have is the assumption, that seems to be universal around here, that if you’re rich you earned every cent of it. Of course the rich aren’t going to have a system of direct payments. They don’t need to. They can just have an economy that rewards already being rich far more than it rewards work and ingenuity. Though unjustified tax cuts certainly do resemble welfare checks.

                    2. Money given in welfare to the poor wasn’t done so by criminal means either.

                      Merely because government says, “When WE steal from or defraud people, it’s not a crime.”

                      There is absolutely no moral difference between taxation and theft.

                  4. “…I just don’t understand why you guys never entertain the possibility that wealth at the top was acquired by illegitimate means…”

                    While you and those like you just assume that any and all wealth at the top is illegitimate.

              2. Re: Tony,

                Vague does not mean arbitrary. What people need to live, and indeed what they need to live a dignified life in a modern society, are things that are known.

                You mean you simply cannot arrive at arbitrariness through such concepts as “dignified” and “are known”?

                A decent, wealthy society makes sure basic needs are taken care of before it affords a tiny minority control of most of that wealth.

                A decent society treats people like unthinking invalids?

                You guys spend all your time defending a basically feudal system and you slap the word freedom on it.

                But a feudal system was very collectivist, Tony. You had a lord that took care of the most basic necessities of his serfs, especially security. That’s what you want, isn’t it?

                Or maybe you should concede that you haven’t the foggiest idea of what you are talking about?

                1. But a feudal system was very collectivist, Tony. You had a lord that took care of the most basic necessities of his serfs, especially security. That’s what you want, isn’t it?

                  Lords did take care of their serfs. Ostensibly it was in the lords’ self-interest to do so; if their serfs starved to death, they could not arm them with sharp sticks and bucklers the next time their neighbors or a band of barbarians decide to take a piece of the lords’ fiefdoms.

      3. ….aaaaaand I hit my daily tautology quota.

      4. Tony|3.14.11 @ 1:19PM|#
        “Some irrelevant false equivalence I just thought up”

        Thanks, Tony, you’re good at that.

  27. A country as wealthy as this one that can’t fund a basic social safety net

    Seek professional help.

    Seriously.

    1. But if we cut back to 2001 levels of spending poor people would be starving in the streets only to be crushed under the canes and dress shoes of monocle wearing capitalists!

  28. I guess if I lived in Pritchard, or Vallejo, or California (or New Jersey) I’d be worried. As for the Obama quote, he’s the guy who said the treatment of Private Manning was “appropriate.” By the way, who’s got the pinker shirt, E.J. or David Brooks?

  29. It’s not about a basic social safety net.

    If I magically became President and decided I wouldn’t bring the Libertarian Jubilee but would instead try to compromise, I would offer a basic social safety net on the following terms:

    1. The immediate end of all social welfare programs of all kinds, combined with the immediate termination of all public employees engaged in providing those services, combined with:

    2. A Friedmanesque Minimum Individual Income program built on top of the Earned Income Tax Credit, designed to provide the poor with a higher net total of subsidy per person than the total amount of subsidies lost in #1, above –

    The left wouldn’t take the deal. Because the idea that the political class and its hangers on might be put out in the street would be intolerable to them.

    So don’t tell me it’s about a basic social safety net.

    1. +1000

      It’s not about compassion. It’s about power.

    2. If such a system were proven and actually delivered on the progressivity you claim it has, I would have absolutely no problem with it. Your assertions about such aren’t especially convincing, though.

      1. Tony, Tony, Tony – you’ve done it again.

        Made me laugh out loud.

        The Democrats would trot out some talking points about how the poor couldn’t cope without the behavioral intervention our current system provides and you would dance to their tune soon enough.

    3. I would only let people that give up their right to vote get the free handout; but if the terms change, then they get to decide again whether to be a voter or be on welfare.

      Liberals will bitch, but stable democracies only give free people the vote, and dependents don’t count any more than children.

  30. I’m saying there are subsidies that are justified.

    Don’t forget the VOLT, Tony. Helping yuppies finance their lifestyles accessory choices is an essential government function.

    1. The VOLT, and everything about the GM and Chrysler bailouts, was more about keeping UAW members employed.

  31. A Friedmanesque Minimum Individual Income program

    But what’s the point of providing assistance to people without controlling them?

  32. I followed the link to the Mediaite story and read some of the comments as well. Their comments are exactly like H&R’s comments. And I do mean exactly. They could have been written by the same people. The end.

  33. The point of that New York Times article was that conservatives weren’t willing to consider tax increases. A sentiment I somewhat agree with, though before I agree to contribute my money to help get the books in order, I’d like to see some actual headway in terms of spending cuts.

    That being said, while rising taxes could help, the most effective ways to balance budgets is ultimately through spending cuts. As Gillespie pointed out a few days ago, the tax system is labyrinthine and arcane, and the impact higher taxes would have on revenue could easily be negligible.
    The budgetary impacts of spending cuts, however, are more or less absolute.

    That’s all in the context of the federal government of course – for state governments to rely on tax increases to balance the budget seems little short of insane: The states with the some of the highest taxes (i.e. California and New York) are the same ones in the most dire straits.

    1. I’d like to see some actual headway in terms of spending cuts.

      Exactly. Any tolerance I might have for paying increased taxes is completely swallowed by my unshakable belief that additional money will be thrown into the same ever-expanding hole that all the previous money has been thrown in to.

      1. One of those huge holes was tax cuts for the rich. We had tax cuts that were designed to expire because of the huge hole they put in the deficit. They could not legally pass them without an expiration date because of this (as they were passed under reconciliation rules).

        1. One of those huge holes was in my head, that’s why I think letting people keep their own money counts as ‘spending’. hurr durr durr

          1. It wasn’t their own fucking money. It was the Treasury’s. Then it was given to them. Exactly like a welfare check. And it contributed to the massive deficit. If you aren’t willing to entertain taking away entitlement programs for the very wealthy, then you aren’t serious about the deficit.

            1. Tax cuts are not welfare for the rich. Bailouts are welfare for the rich.

            2. According to TonyLogic, once tax rates rise to encompass a particular dollar of income, that income forever belongs to the Treasury. If tax rates are subsequently reduced, the income still belongs to the Treasury; it’s just that government is now subsidizing the guy who earned the income by generously permitting him keep it.

            3. So Tony, the money you keep from the economic transactions you make really belongs to the treasury? ‘Cause that’s what this particular line of reasoning indicates.

              Say I make $100 in net income. The government then decides a ten percent tax increase, so now my net is $90. Then, sometime later, the gov. lowers the rate so my net income is again $100.

              So, before the tax increase, my $100 was all mine, not the government’s. With the tax increase, the government claimed $10 for itself. But with the tax cut, that $10 I get to keep…still belongs to the government?

              1. Just like a welfare check!

              2. No. Whether the $10 belongs to you or the government depends on whether it’s taken in taxes or not. Kind of by definition.

                1. Tony|3.14.11 @ 7:38PM|#
                  “Truly ignorant circular argument”

                  Hey, Tony, keep ’em coming!

            4. Re: Tony,

              It wasn’t their own fucking money. It was the Treasury’s.

              Because it’s not stealing when the government does it… as the government says so.

              Tony-logic 101.

            5. Tony|3.14.11 @ 5:10PM|#
              “Blatant lie with ‘fucking’ tossed in”

              Thanks, Tony, you’re good at that.

  34. In the course of balancing the budget we’ve tried increasing taxes, ane we’ve even tried cutting taxes. But we have never tried cutting spending. It’s time we consider that. Not just cutting the rate of growth, but and actual spending cut.

  35. Tony|3.14.11 @ 11:49AM|#

    Clearly, the constitution does allow those things, since they exist.

    Is this someone spoofing Tony? LOL’d at this.

    Clearly, the constitution does allow torture, since it exists.

    Clearly, the constitution does allow permanent detention without a trial, since it exists.

    Clearly, the constitution does allow the President to order a Predator drone to kill American citizens without any judicial process whatsoever, since it exists.

    (Insert other stuff the feds do that liberals bitterly oppose)

    1. Until the prosecutions and the court smackdowns start, my point stands.

      1. Huh? So the constitution allows it until the courts say otherwise? Somehow I don’t think this is so (or at least it should not be so).

  36. What people need to live, and indeed what they need to live a dignified life in a modern society, are things that are known.

    [citation needed}

    1. “What people need to live, and indeed what they need to live a dignified life in a modern society, are things that are known.

      [citation needed}”

      You’ll get that about the time Ice Trey proves that assets owned by the governments can be used to pay operating expenses.
      And I’ll be offering a great deal for the ice-skate rental franchise on the banks of the River Styx.

  37. End the wars, tax the rich. SOLVED.

    But obviously, that won’t happen, because the wealthy are too powerful.

    The rationale for separation of powers was that the US Founding Fathers didn’t trust power concentrated in too few hands. Yet, there is no corresponding check upon the power of concentrated wealth.

    In the 1950’s, it used to be that extremely high tax rates on the wealthy(around 90% on income over the equivalent of 2 million) aligned the interests of the wealthy and the rest of the country.
    See Malcolm Gladwell: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs…..dwell.html

    However, this outcome seems unlikely given that the mainstream media is mostly controlled by both the wealthy and the stupid (non-mutually exclusive).

    So, if the wealthy will see to it that they won’t be taxed even at Clintonian levels, the legal system prevents accountability for wealthy bankers who can afford the best lawyers, and POTUS Obama cannot take on Big Money by himself (while he does take poor people’s guns to preserve stability and the status quo), what is the check upon the power/greed/oligarchy of the wealthy?

    Could we decentralize the Federal Reserve’s creation of money (though not necessarily the decision-making authority) so that money is no longer created for central banks and lent back to the public? Could we digitally give everyone, say, $3 (votes) per day to buy FOOD so they can have healthy brains? Why not?

    1. Bill Harrison|3.14.11 @ 10:00PM|#
      “End the wars, tax the rich. SOLVED.”

      One more brain-dead checks in with stupid comment.
      Hey, prove your claim in detail or admit you’re a lefty parrot.
      ———————–
      “But obviously, that won’t happen, because the wealthy are too powerful.
      The rationale for separation of powers was that the US Founding Fathers didn’t trust power concentrated in too few hands. Yet, there is no corresponding check upon the power of concentrated wealth.”

      And strangely, you can’t define the “power” of wealth outside of buying government power, can you?
      There’s a reason “wealth” was ignored; it has no power until it can buy government power.
      But expecting real thought from lefty stupids is asking too much.
      ————————
      “Could we digitally give everyone, say, $3 (votes) per day to buy FOOD so they can have healthy brains? ”

      It’d take ‘way more than three bucks you give you a ‘healthy brain’.

    2. 70% of the Federal budget in the 1950s was towards the Department of Defense (that includes discretionary and non-discretionary). Those top marginal rates aligned the “interests” of the rich with the interests of the Pentagon – whether they (the rich) liked it or not. That money wasn’t funding bread trucks and subsidized daycare – it was funding the cold war and NASA.

    3. End the wars, tax the rich. SOLVED.

      GEE THAT’S SO EASY WHY HASN’T ANYONE THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE??!!

      Christ, everytime a lefty trots out this intellectually lazy argument, the entire collective IQ of the nation drops.

      What’s your definition of “rich”? I’m talking income levels, not some arbitrary, subjective measure of wealth that you thought up when you saw your neighbor driving around in a Corvette. What was your methodology at determining that those above that particular demarcation line were “rich”? Since your idea relies on math, show how this will subsequently solve the budget issues.

      Since 47% of the country doesn’t pay income taxes, why should they be exempt–after all, as Obama says, we’re all in this together, right?

      And given that we could cut the DoD to $0 and still not balance our budget, show how cutting defense–and not any of the entitlement programs, since you clearly want to keep those completely intact–will solve our budget issues. Remember, show your work.

      I’d also love to find out how you think we’re going to pay off the trillions in T-bills the Fed has been purchasing, since they’re now our primary debt-holder.

  38. Well Dionne may not have a million-dollar bill in his pants, but Ben Bernake does. Heck Ben has trillion dollar bills back there!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.