Economics

Five Facts About the Debt

Setting the economic record straight.

|

Five under-appreciated points about the federal budget and debt ceiling:

1. Whenever I need to get my bearings in the debate over the debt, the deficit, or the debt ceiling, I go to the web site of the White House Office of Management and Budget and download historical table 1.3. The story it tells, in very round numbers, is as simple as 2, 3, 4. The federal government spent about $2 trillion in 2000, at the end of the Clinton administration. It spent about $3 trillion in 2008, at the end of the Bush administration. And it is going to spend about $4 trillion in 2011, three years into the Obama administration.

You can fool around with inflation and with the percentage of GDP and with the revenue side of the equation, but the bottom line is that the federal government is spending about double what it was at the end of the Clinton administration. For all the clamor on the left to bring back the Clinton-era top tax rates, there are few, if any, politicians in Washington talking about bringing back the Clinton-era spending levels.

2. A default wouldn't be as bad as President Obama says. "If interest rate costs go up for the United States, they're probably going to go up for everybody. So it would be a indirect tax on every single one of you. Your credit card interest rates would go up. Your mortgage interest would go up. Your student loan interest would potentially go up," Mr. Obama said Friday.  "So it is not an option for us to default."

The reference to "every single one of you" is inaccurate. Credit card interest rates apply only to those who carry a balance from month to month; those with no credit card debt would be unaffected. As for mortgage rates, roughly 93 percent of homes with outstanding mortgages have fixed-rate loans; those payments would be unaffected, too. Home prices might decrease if mortgage rates go up for new buyers, but that'd be good for those people who haven't yet bought a home. As for student loan interest rates, since 2006 they've been set by law, under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, at 6.8 percent.

Even Michael Bloomberg, who knows something about bonds, said the other day that if America defaults, "The world won't come to an end….We will find a way to pay people afterwards and get government going again."

3. President Obama's most recent annual personal financial disclosure form showed that he has by far most of his personal assets, anywhere between $2 million and $10 million dollars, in "U.S. Treasury Notes" and "U.S. Treasury Bills." It sure would be interesting to know if he has since moved out of those positions. If he hasn't, someone should ask him why he's so eager to pay more in income taxes, yet so unwilling to take a haircut on his bond portfolio.

4.  When it was Chrysler secured bondholders objecting to getting defaulted on by the president's auto task force, Mr. Obama denounced them as "a small group of speculators" who were "hoping that everybody else would make sacrifices and they would have to make none." Where was Mr. Obama's newfound respect for bondholders back during the Chrysler deal? Or, conversely, if Chrysler bondholders should have had to bear some sacrifice then, why shouldn't Treasury bondholders now?

5. That constitutional provision in the 14th Amendment that says "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law…shall not be questioned" is followed immediately by a section that says "The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article." It doesn't say "the president." It says, "The Congress." Likewise, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power "to pay the debts" and "to borrow Money on the credit of the United States." If there's a way out of the spending and borrowing problem, it's not only going to be a result of the 2012 presidential election. Congress is going to have to rise to the challenge, too.

Ira Stoll is editor of FutureOfCapitalism.com and author of Samuel Adams: A Life.

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.

267 responses to “Five Facts About the Debt

  1. “…but the bottom line is that the federal government is spending about double what it was at the end of the Clinton administration.”

    Only double? That’s the problem! We can’t achieve hapiness until we are spending at least 5 times the Clinton Administration. People had to live without unicorns in the 1990’s! Unacceptable!

    1. A ten trillion dollar annual budget is not only inevitable, it’s too low!

      1. With a multiplier of, oh, 25 or so, a $10T budget is our only hope for real wealth!

    2. but the bottom line is that the federal government is spending about double what it was at the end of the Clinton administration.

      … and, once again, until all the so-called “libertarians” who willingly, eagerly cast their precious ballots for this monstrously inept con artist in ’08 (finally) acknowledge it: You. Get. What. You. Vote. For.

      1. Blaming the con artist’s election on libertarians?? YGTBFKM! You obviously have no clue as to what the term “libertarian” means…

        1. Blaming the con artist’s election on libertarians??

          Try again, only reading for comprehension this time: “[…] the so-called “libertarians” who willingly, eagerly cast their precious ballots for this monstrously inept con artist in ’08 […]”

          See the wide, yawning gulf between what you wrote and what I did?

          If not: t’aint no worry o’mine, chuckles.

          Pfffftt. Dismissed.

          1. “If I only knew what I knew on Election Day 2008 I would certainly vote for Obama again. Knowing what I know since and given only a choice between Obama and McCain, I would still vote for Obama.”

            “Sure, why not? […] the passage of Obamacare is the only area where we can say for certain that Barack Obama is worse than John McCain would have been.”

            Additional random sampling, from same article-slash-apologia:

            “Obama has done great work for our country. The problem is that traditional media doesn’t cover that, focusing more on encouraging dramatic disinformation.”

            “Yup. Obama’s been pretty successful in doing much of what he hoped to do despite being confronted with monolithic opposition on the Republican side of Congress and marginal competence at best on the Democratic side, so I’ve gotten my vote’s worth so far. I’d like to have seen him do more […]”

            “Yes, Obama was the best of the four options […]”

            Huh. Statements on the internet, living forever. How does that work…?

            1. You obviously have no clue as to what the term “libertarian” means…

              Hmmmmmmm. Well… I know one cannot genuinely believe in the libertarian principles of personal and economic liberty while, simultaneously, willingly casting their ballot(s) on behalf of grasping, autocratic fiscal grifters and open, unapologetic redistributionists.

              Evidently, that places me well ahead of some.

              … and, quite frankly: I’m perfectly okay with that.

              1. Deponent sayeth not? Fine. Argument unrebutted, then.

                1. Cherry picking a few people who claim to be libertarian or citing an author who ALSO cannot comprehend “libertarianism” to bolster your lame claim that libertarians gave the election to Odiot, is ludicrous. NONE of my libertarian friends voted for Babar.

                  1. Cherry picking a few people who claim to be libertarian or citing an author who ALSO cannot comprehend “libertarianism” to bolster your lame claim that libertarians gave the election to Odiot, is ludicrous.

                    Meanwhile, for those of us thankfully in the higher reading group: said “cherry picking” was, in fact, an article published right here — on this very site; by the fucking EDITORS — subtitled, with disarming directness, Catching up with libertarians who voted for the president. (Oopsie!)

                    How humiliating. For you.

                    I suppose it’s always technically within the realm of possibility, of course, that everyone else actually working at Reason — you know, as legitimate, credentialed writers and editors and know-nothing yip-yops of that awful, ragged sort — know absolutely zero zilch nil nada about who gets to be rightfully designated “libertarian” and who doesn’t, and that it’s really, truly all about sweet, wonderful, omniscient-as-Odin YOU, gosh darn it…

                    … but… y’know: I’m just gonna have to go with the actual, demonstrable odds on this one, ultimately.

                    Tell you what, though: better luck next time out! Mm’kay, Sparky…?

                    [::shakes head, chuckling audibly::]

                  2. NONE of my libertarian friends voted for Babar.

                    Third consecutive reading comprehension FAIL. (Seriously: see a fucking doctor!)

                    Nobody hereabouts, to the very best of my knowledge — and demonstrably not me — has baldly stated OR subtly implied that any of “[your] libertarian friends voted for Babar.” Getting in a high, pink-cheeked state of pantie-wadding and pearl-clutching over said non-existent claim is, therefore, pretty much the textbook definition of stick stone bone stupid when you get right down to it, really.

                    Last time pays for all; what was originally posted, in unvarnished and straightforward declamatory prose:

                    “… and, once again, until all the so-called ‘libertarians’ who willingly, eagerly cast their precious ballots for this monstrously inept con artist in ’08 (finally) acknowledge it: You. Get. What. You. Vote. For.”

                    If that’s not you, and not your friends… then, plain and simple: STOP. SNIVELING.

                    I mean… seriously. For fuck’s sake.

                    1. [::checks back in, making certain lungshot’s clumsily choreographed self-pity party is well, truly and finally done with::]

                      [::nods, satisfied::]

      2. Just like in 2000 and 2004?

        1. *siiiiiigh* Yes, any “libertarian” willfully voting for the Team Red candidate in either of those elections — particularly the latter, in which said candidate’s prior track record was well and widely known — also Got. What. They. Voted. For.

          “Elections, how do they fucking work…?”

      3. Any libertarian who eagerly caste a vote for a Democrat or a Republican in 2008 is either not a libertarian or not voting on principle or both.

        1. “Both” is the correct answer. May Frith smile upon you.

    3. We’re investing the future baby! If we spend enough money today, it’s bound to make us more prosperous tomorrow!!!

  2. “The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” It doesn’t say “the president.”

    Ah, the good old enabling clause. Funny, the income tax amendment doesn’t have one.

    1. It didn’t need one because it did not give the government any new powers, it merely removed the rule about apportionment.

  3. Gee where was the total financial market meltdown today that the usual suspects in the administration and their various sycophants in and out of the media have been squawing about since Friday?

    It seems the more the play the chicken little “the sky is falling: routine about what a “catastrophe” it would be to not raise the debt ceiling, the less everybody pays attention to them.

    1. Geewiz, will we get an apology if the world doesn’t end, as predicted, by a default?!

  4. 2. A default wouldn’t be as bad as President Obama says.

    It has been a while since pretty much everybody figured out the guy has a serious problem with the truth, Mr. Stoll. You’re not exactly breaking new ground here.

    1. It has been a while since pretty much everybody figured out the guy has a serious problem with the truth, Mr. Stoll. You’re not exactly breaking new ground here.

      You’ve never been more right:

      New polls confirm Obama’s Democratic base crumbles

      As any carnival midway man could readily tell you: even the dullest, most slackjawed mark gets sick and tired of being fleeced, eventually.

  5. The Bushpigs spent $3.52 trillion at the end – not a rounded “3”.

    Don’t take my word – take John Stossel’s (and the CBO)

    https://reason.com/archives/201…..-cut-gover

    1. You mean the Democratic Congress, which was in charge of spending in 2008, spent it – regardless of whether it was $3.0 or $3.5 T

      1. What did that Congress approve in new spending bills?

        I only recall TARP – which I would not pin on the surprised Pelosi gang.

        1. What did they approve?
          They controlled Congress for 2 years. They voted on plenty of spending bills.

          1. I asked what (they passed)?

            TARP excepted.

            1. What did they pass?

              Apropriations bills that’s what.

              They have to appopriate funds to spend on spending that has been authorized by authorization bills.

              And they are responsible for every cent of spending that occured on their watch, They didn’t cut off approprating funds for it.

              1. As all know, pork is a small % of the budget and split roughly 50/50.

                Basically – you have nothing.

                There were no new spending bills passed (unless Bush approved) in that Congress.

                1. I have everything shreik.

                  Congress is responsible for ALL the spending that occurs on their watch.

                  Period.

                  1. You have nothing. dipshit!

                    You cannot find a thing. You are like the other conservatives here – lying for Dumbya and Dickless Cheney.

                2. pork is a small % of the budget

                  Nonsense. Pork is at least 50% of the military budget, for a start.

                  -jcr

                  1. Agree — with that.

                    Pork is pork. Parts are parts.

                    1. Pork: appropriated funds that my counterpart up for reelection here has spent on items that I will use to rile the masses come voting day.

        2. the surprised Pelosi gang

          I like that unintentionally funny description.

          “The Surprised Pelosi gang”.

        3. I only recall TARP – which I would not pin on the surprised Pelosi gang.

          Oh, Shrike, wanted to pass this along to you. The Bushpig TARP is making us loads of cash and was a smashing success. At least according to this.

        4. Why wouldn’t you pin TARP on the Dems? They controlled both houses of Congress when it passed, didn’t they?

          1. Because TARP was required via lack of supervision from the Bush Administration and it was they who went to Congress hat in hand.

            To kill capitalism in order to save it – remember?

            1. TARP was a bad idea, just as bad as Obama’s supposed stimulus.

            2. Re: Shrike,

              Because TARP was required via lack of supervision from the Bush Administration and it was they who went to Congress hat in hand.

              TARP was not needed. Bailing out failing companies is like bailing water from a leaking boat with one of those little Logan’s Roadhouse’s buckets.

              And the Democratic Congress voted for TARP. Nanci “Botox” Pelosi and Harry “Cowboy Poetry” Reid were just as enthusiastic and economics illiterate to support it as the Republi-rats.

      2. Always a Democrat to blame…

        Half of this country’s structural deficits projected for the next 10 years can be attributed to the Bush tax cuts.

        The same ones the GOP insisted on extending last December. HALF of the problem. And now all of a sudden it’s time to get hysterical over the debt they caused.

        But, there is a Democrat somewhere that can be blamed.

        1. “Half of this country’s structural deficits projected for the next 10 years can be attributed to the Bush tax cuts.”

          You can’t prove a single word of that

            1. Tony, according to Allan Sloan, Bush’s TARP made the country boatloads of money and therefore should not even be in the ‘cost’ column. It should be in the revenue column.

              1. Fine, so take out TARP. That doesn’t change a thing about the tax cuts’ effect on debt.

                1. I was making a finer point– that numbers are easy to play with. And Obama’s cost projections have been played with heavily.

            2. Wrong calculation, Tony.

              The only way that any tax change could be “responsible” for any deficit would be if it lowered tax revenues below the cost of the specific government functions that are actually Constitutional.

              Seeing as how there isn’t so much as a single one of the nanny state government activities that you love that actually IS Constitutional, that means the deficit is entirely caused by too much spending.

              Back the entire costs of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps, farm price supports, all those unconstitutional government departments and agencies like Education, Energy, HHS, HUD, EEOC, EPA, etc. etc. and it is quite obvious that government collects fare more than enough tax money.

              Spending is the problem – period.

              1. Tony, I am going to explain this shit to you one more time.

                Since WW2, the US has averaged 18% of GDP in revenue. That is with 90% tax rates under Ike, 70% under Kennedy, and 35% under Bush. Unless you would like to propose some NEW taxes (like a VAT) you are not going to get more money.

                Currently, we are also spending 26% of GDP. Do you see the 8% spread between our historic average and our current spending? I’m not going to hold my breath, because you clearly suck at math.

                1. AU H2O that little talking point has been soundly dismantled time after time on these boards. I don’t see reason regurgitating it much anymore.

                  It rests entirely on a misleading chart. Put tax rates (which have varied widely) on the same scale as spending/GDP, and boy it sure looks like they don’t have much of an effect. Until you approach it in a factual way–tax rates actually do affect spending pretty much exactly how you’d expect them to.

                  I could make a similar argument to yours and say the average IQ of Americans is 100, therefore Americans all have roughly the same IQ. It’s such total nonsense. But it’s an economic story the Republicans have been telling a long, long time.

                  I’ll give you a pass on this particular lie since Reason magazine is one of the biggest perpetrators of it.

                  1. AU H2O that little talking point has been soundly dismantled time after time on these boards. I don’t see reason regurgitating it much anymore.

                    A historical fact has been soundly dismantled?

                  2. It rests entirely on a misleading chart.

                    It was so misleading, in fact, that it somehow got you to confuse “spending” with “revenue”.

                  3. It rests entirely on a misleading chart.

                    You mean like Table 1.3, page 26, from the government printing office?

                    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy10/pdf/hist.pdf

                    1. Or, Tony, would you like this chart, from 1970 to today?

                      http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/108…..ter4.shtml

                      Top rate in 1970, BTW, was 70%. Now, if you’ll read(you can read, can’t you, Tony?) repealing the Bush tax cuts will have some effect (oh, and the CBO assumes a repeal of ALL the cuts, including the middle class ones). It will bring revenue to 18.8% of GDP (this was a projection before they let the Bush tax cuts continue). The CBO then estimates that revenues will continue to rise between 2013 and 2020 and at at… drum roll please…

                      20.2%. 6% less than our current spending, and no where near enough to keep the growing costs of Medicare and Social Security (which the CBO expects to go from 10% spending as % of GDP to 16%). And Tony, the CBO is part of the government. You cite them all the time when talking about how Obamacare will save money. So, are you telling me that the CBO is a liar? Are you telling me that that the government is a liar?

                    2. It’s amazing that Tony points out the “structural deficits”, yet he conveniently ignores the most egregious
                      structural problems with this governments financial status such as the programs he worships: SS, Medicare, Medicade. Nothing to see here. Move along.

                    3. The historic tax-rate/government revenue as % of GDP chart is a double-edged sword. The right has been guilty of manipulating the y-axis to make the 7% difference between the post-war low (14-ish%) and high (21%) seem insignificant.

                      However, the chart doesn’t vindicate the progressive left either – the conclusion that can be drawn from it at face is that top rates should never go above 40%; as these were the rates in the 21%-of-gdp revenue in the late 90s (FYI the 1993 omnibus included increases on the middle class as well – it wasn’t just “eat the rich”).

                      Though actually taking into account economic history, all the graph shows it that revenue increases were more or less aligned with economic boom times, and falling revenues corresponded with economic busts.

                      Not a very useful chart one way or the other.

        2. Extension of Bush tax cuts:

          Senate vote: 81- 19. 44 Dems and 37 Repubs voted “aye.”

          House vote: 277 – 148. A majority of Dems voted for it.

          So how is the Bush tax cut extension the Republican’s fault?

          1. The evil republicans and faux news forced them to vote for it RC.

          2. Um, because they insisted on it as a condition for extending unemployment aid and Obama’s tax cuts. The Dems wanted the Bush cuts for the wealthy to expire on schedule.

            1. So what you’re saying is that Team Blue didn’t have the courage of their convictions?

              1. No, they outsmarted the GOP. What did they lose? More dollars added to the deficit. So what? That’s the GOP’s pet cause, and they insisted on making it worse for no good reason. The Dems gained actually stimulative policies whose absence would have hurt the economy, and they postponed the Bush tax cuts debate until it would be more useful, 2012.

                I can’t wait for month after month of Republican douchebags crying about the deficit while in the same breath defending tax cuts for millionaires. It’s a real political winner.

            2. So none of them were willing to take a principled stand and vote no? Is that what you’re saying, Tony?

              1. Dems understand something teabaggers don’t–principles are worth shit if they don’t get you anywhere.

                It may seem laudable that the teabaggers care more about principle than about achieving anything, even more than reelection, but I think we’re seeing just how dangerous and anti-democratic that attitude is.

                1. Principles are always worth something, whether or not they “get you somewhere.”

                  And it is more laudable for tea partiers to stand against the old GOP establishment than it is to compromise away their principles. Just like it’s more laudable for Dennis Kucinich to rail against the president and his party’s leadership on the Libya bombing campaign than it would be for him to tow the lion.

                  Principled men fill history books. Unprincipled ones are skid marks on the underpants of humanity.

                2. Dems understand something […] principles are worth shit

                  No great surprise there.

                3. Tony|7.25.11 @ 5:47PM|#
                  “Duck and weave and shuck and jive and give me some more time to come up with other bullshit that might distract you’

            3. Considering that the Dems wanted to extend the tax cuts for the middle class, which accounted for about $200b of the $270b total annual potential revenue forgone by the Bush tax cuts, it’s difficult to see how the Dems are not near equally responsible for the lack of revenue in your version of events. It’s also difficult to see how an extra $270b per year is half of a $1T defficit.

              1. Wait, so having priciples is “undemocratic” now?

                1. Well the important part is the principles are fucked. Totally absurd and horrific. There are no principles here, there is an ideology. The only way dogmas are correct is by accident, and the tea partiers haven’t hit it this time.

                  You have to be able to say what you want in real terms: ending social security checks for millions of people. That’s the result of a principle? Trust us, it’ll be better for your grandchildren? What principle?

                  1. You have to be able to say what you want in real terms: ending social security checks for millions of people.

                    So you’re admitting the “trust fund” is bullshit?

                  2. Re: Tony,

                    You have to be able to say what you want in real terms: ending social security checks for millions of people.

                    Ok, I want to end sending social security checks to millions of people that already have money.

                    That’s the result of a principle?

                    It would be: Solvency.

                    Got it?

        3. Tony re: “Half of this country’s structural deficits projected for the next 10 years can be attributed to the Bush tax cuts.”

          You just can’t go separating out income from expenses when you go claiming that W is responsible for the current mess. Yes, you could balance it for a bit by raising taxes, but cutting spending will do the trick too.

          Obama or Bush, they’re both the same to me. They’re both spending too much just on different foolishness.

        4. Bush’s tax cuts mean that the bottom 47% of filers pay nothing or even have a negative tax. Let’s restore those people to the status of taxPAYERS.

    2. Re: shriek,
      Obama vs Bush: On Debt

      In his State of the Union address [on January 25, 2011,) President Obama [issued] a call for “responsible” efforts to reduce deficits (while simultaneously calling for new federal spending). In light of the President’s expected rhetorical nod to fiscal responsibility, it’s worth keeping in mind his record on deficits to date. When President Obama took office two years ago, the national debt stood at $10.626 trillion. It now stands at $14.071 trillion – a staggering increase of $3.445 trillion in just 735 days (about $5 billion a day).

      To put that into perspective, when President George W. Bush took office, our national debt was $5.768 trillion. By the time Bush left office, it had nearly doubled, to $10.626 trillion. So Bush’s record on deficit spending was not good at all: During his presidency, the national debt rose by an average of $607 billion a year. How does that compare to Obama? During Obama’s presidency to date, the national debt has risen by an average of $1.723 trillion a year – or by a jaw-dropping $1.116 trillion more, per year, than it rose even under Bush.

      1. You’re playing games with numbers.

        Bush inherited a $200 billion Clinton annual surplus. Which he promptly squandered.

        Obama inherited a $1.3 trillion Bush annual deficit and -6% GDP.

        And Bushy-Boy is absolved?

        Get real.

        History will show that the Dickless (Deficits don’t matter) Cheney gang is the culprit.

        1. You’re playing games with numbers.

          Shrike… I mean, Brian, we are all playing games with numbers, my friend.

        2. No, but Obama is being just as reckless as Obama.

          But you’re Team Blue, so you defend it.

        3. “And Bushy-Boy is absolved?”

          Of course he isn’t absolved. Who said he was absolved?

          “A is worse than B.” =/= “B is good.”

          1. Who said he was absolved?

            The voices in his head, as usual.

        4. Bush inherited a $200 billion Clinton annual surplus. Which he promptly squandered.

          A projected surplus is not an actual surplus. It’s called “a guess.”

          Nor did the government ever run a surplus while Clinton was in office.

          1. Wrong. Clinton ran a surplus under cash or accrual method.

            http://factcheck.org/2008/02/t…..r-clinton/

            1. Wrong. Clinton ran a surplus under cash or accrual method.

              Wrong. Clinton ran no surplus.

              09/30/2001 5,807,463,412,200.06
              09/30/2000 5,674,178,209,886.86
              09/30/1999 5,656,270,901,615.43
              09/30/1998 5,526,193,008,897.62
              09/30/1997 5,413,146,011,397.34
              09/30/1996 5,224,810,939,135.73
              09/29/1995 4,973,982,900,709.39
              09/30/1994 4,692,749,910,013.32
              09/30/1993 4,411,488,883,139.38

              http://www.treasurydirect.gov/…..histo5.htm
              http://www.treasurydirect.gov/…..histo4.htm

              Fucking math, how does it work?

              1. But shriek is convinced.

              2. that is proof of your idiocy.

                Of course DEBT went up – FICA must invest its surplus in Treasuries!

                You need a modern class in double entry accounting – where assets rise in conjunction with pension buys!

                Not surprised from a lame-o conservative.

                1. that is proof of your idiocy.

                  Translation: “YOUR FACTS DON’T MATTER TO ME A BLOO BLOO BLOO!”

                  Of course DEBT went up – FICA must invest its surplus in Treasuries!

                  Well, then there’s no “surplus,” is there? That’s money spent–gone with the wind.

                  You’re such a silly little faggot, shrike.

                  1. And he’s arrogant. Nothing worse than an arrogant faggot.

        5. The Clinton surplus was nothing more than an accounting trip. If you took out the money that was being drawn from Social Security reserves then the surplus would habe virtually nonexiststant.

          1. “So the table itself, according to the figures issued yesterday, showed the Federal Government ran a surplus. Absolutely false. This reporter ought to do his work. This crowd never has asked for or kept up with or checked the facts. Eric Planin–all he has to do is not spread rumors or get into the political message. Both Democrats and Republicans are all running this year and next and saying surplus, surplus. Look what we have done. It is false. The actual figures show that from the beginning of the fiscal year until now we had to borrow $127,800,000,000. – Democratic Senator Ernest Hollings, October 28, 1999”

        6. Re: shrike,

          You’re playing games with numbers.

          And you’re not???

          Bush inherited a $200 billion Clinton annual surplus. Which he promptly squandered.

          There was no surplus, shrike. Raiding the SS trust fund and filling it with IOUs could be seen as an amazing feat of accounting trickery but it is NOT a “surplus.”

          Obama inherited a $1.3 trillion Bush annual deficit and -6% GDP.

          What? Liar.

          http://articles.latimes.com/20…..-2010feb02

          “The deficit is estimated at $1.27 trillion in 2011 — down from a record $1.56 trillion in the current year. The deficit — the gap between budget outlays and tax receipts — was $1.41 trillion in 2009, more than triple the previous high of $458.6 billion in 2008. Except for four years (1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001), the federal government has run a deficit consistently since 1970.”

        7. That is total BS.

          He only had a surplus (forget the fact he raided SS to make it look like a surplus) in ’98, ’99 and 2000. Bush ran a surplus in 2001.

          1998–69.3 Billion
          1999–125.6 Billion
          2000–236.2 Billion
          2001–128.2 Billion

          In addition, Obama inherited a deficit of 458.5 Billion when he took over and preceded to raise the deficit to 1.841 Trillion the following year.

          http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbud…..f/hist.pdf refer to Page 26.

    3. What, exactly, does harping on past spending have to do with fixing the spending problem we have now?

      1. If you love The socialist we have in the house……It keeps the opposition busy “checking the facts” while you spend spend spend.

        If you were part of or loved the last jack wad we had in office then it keeps the “blame” off you.

        End of subject DC spends more than it has coming in. That has to change and change right the fuck now. The budget needs to be balanced, and the debt must be paid back in less than 5 Years. No raiding SS and leaving IOU’s no magic accounting….or relying “foretasted” or “projected” fucking anything. Real numbers in REAL numbers out.

    4. The Bushpigs spent $3.52 trillion at the end – not a rounded “3”.

      OK, here’s a corrected version.

      1. Whenever I need to get my bearings in the debate over the debt, the deficit, or the debt ceiling, I go to the web site of the White House Office of Management and Budget and download historical table 1.3. The story it tells, in very round numbers, is as simple as 2, 3.5, 4. The federal government spent about $2 trillion in 2000, at the end of the Clinton administration. It spent about $3.5 trillion in 2008, at the end of the Bush administration. And it is going to spend about $4 trillion in 2011, three years into the Obama administration.

      You can fool around with inflation and with the percentage of GDP and with the revenue side of the equation, but the bottom line is that the federal government is spending about double what it was at the end of the Clinton administration. For all the clamor on the left to bring back the Clinton-era top tax rates, there are few, if any, politicians in Washington talking about bringing back the Clinton-era spending levels.

      You’re right, you’d reach a totally different conclusion with that correction.

      1. Hell, when you hear all the leftists clamoring for Eisenhower-era tax rates, you never hear them also call for Eisenhower-era levels of government, which would nuke the entire Great Society legacy(godspeed to that day).

    5. Still defending Democrat overspending, eh, shrike.

    6. Why is it never the fault of Team Blue?

      BOTH sides are complicit. If I wind up having great-grandkids, they’ll be balls-deep in debt, thanks to Team Both.

      1. I agree.

        The worst were:

        Bush the Lesser
        LBJ
        Reagan

        1. Considering LBJ helped usher in both Medicare and Medicaid, he is much more responsible for the current deficit/debt problem than those other two.

          1. Not to mention The War for Poverty.

        2. You left out Obama, shrike.

          AND Carter.

          Gosh, I wonder why.

  6. President Obama’s most recent annual personal financial disclosure form showed that he has by far most of his personal assets, anywhere between $2 million and $10 million dollars, in “U.S. Treasury Notes” and “U.S. Treasury Bills.”

    Holy crap. The man is a far bigger idiot than I suspected he was.

    1. Although I agree in theory, I wonder if part of the reason he does that is to avoid any appearance of impropriety when he doles out the corporate welfare.

  7. 5. That constitutional provision in the 14th Amendment that says “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law?shall not be questioned” is followed immediately by a section that says “The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” It doesn’t say “the president.” It says, “The Congress.”

    Never mind that. Mere semantics. People like Tony and Bill Maher want the president to act now, under any pretext. You know, become a dictator.

  8. When it was Chrysler secured bondholders objecting to getting defaulted on by the president’s auto task force

    This is also inaccurate. It was the bankruptcy court that allocated capital via existing court precedent – the “task force” was beholden to the court’s decision just as the debt holders were.

      1. Your brevity is as worthless as your absence of argument.

        1. You’re good at bullshit, shrike, but brevity is, unfortunately, not one of your strengths.

          1. BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAGBUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAGBUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG

            I win I win I win!

    1. Re: shrike,

      This is also inaccurate. It was the bankruptcy court that allocated capital via existing court precedent – the “task force” was beholden to the court’s decision just as the debt holders were.

      “Existing court precedent”? What the FUCK are you talking about, you idiot? What precedent? The Chrysler plan was totally UNPRECEDENTED in that bankruptcy rules had ALWAYS benefited the bondholders FIRST, but not this plan.

  9. By the way, most Americans don’t even know this yet because most of the statist media lickspittles refuse to talk about it, but Egan-Jones, one of the small handful of Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations, has already downgraded the U.S. government credit rating! They did it on July 16, and the last time I checked life as we know it hasn’t come to an end just yet.

    And contrary to what the left-wingers would like everyone to believe, Egan-Jones did NOT downgrade us because the debt ceiling hasn’t been raised yet. They went out of their way to very specifically make it clear that their downgrade decision was done entirely because of our government’s current insane, out of control levels of spending.

  10. What exactly is being set straight here? A completely avoidable catastrophe won’t be “so bad”? Who cares? Why don’t the idiots just do what’s necessary to avoid it… there are a lot of problems facing this country that aren’t so self-inflicted.

    1. If the catastrophe is so bad and the Republicans so crazy, then why not give the Republicans what they want and avoid it? I guess cutting spending is worse in Obama’s eyes or we would have a deal wouldn’t we?

      1. For the same reason you don’t give hostage takers everything they demand when they’ve told you they’re going to shoot the hostages anyway.

        Do you really see the definition of negotiation as “give Republicans everything they want and shut up”?

        1. Well, they did kick the Democrats’ collective ass back in November.

          1. No, they won the majority in the House. That doesn’t mean they get to dictate policy. And they sure as hell didn’t win on a platform of wrecking the economy or destroying Medicare. I seem to recall hysteria over Medicare cuts to be a central aspect of their message.

            1. Obama won the Presidency and got to destroy healthcare and destroy the economy. I didn’t hear much talk like this when he was shoving his bullshit down the country’s throat.

              Tony you are just an authoritarian scumbag. Elections only matter when you win them and compromise only happens when you get everything you want.

              1. Elections only matter when you win them and compromise only happens when you get everything you want.

                Uh, isn’t that exactly what you’re saying?

                What did the Dems want? A clean bill to raise the debt ceiling just like your guys did 7 times under Bush. They are compromising by even having a discussion about future debt.

                1. A clean bill means the Dems keep all of the theft that they enshrined when they were the majority. No, the 2010 election was about spending. Spending must come down. That is the point.

                  1. I guarantee you the 2010 elections were not about dismantling the welfare state (what you mean by “spending”). Just look at any poll before or since.

                    I guess the GOP just gets a mulligan for all those scare tactics about death panels? You do realize all that bullshit was about a single, hugely misrepresented aspect of Obamacare that found savings in Medicare, right?

                    Your guys are all on record for voting to destroy that same program. Good luck to them.

            2. Who owns that economy-wrecking platform outright, Tony?

              Why don’t you accept blame on the part of your party?

              1. FIFY, Republicans own the economy wrecking that’s happened and that may happen. Because they a) want to wreck it for a quasi-anarchic agenda or b) are too stupid to know how to manage an economy. How many decades more do we have to endure before this is apparent to you?

                Democrats are not the ones who claimed that “deficits don’t matter” and started two wars and enacted massive tax cuts and didn’t feel the need to pay for them. If we’re talking about debt, the blame is almost totally on the Republican party. Why should I accept blame when it’s not merited? To let the GOP off the hook implicitly?

                1. Just give me a few good, hard shakes and I’ll fix all your problems. In fact, why don’t you just cut me down?

                2. FIFY, Democrats own the economy wrecking that’s happened and that may happen. Because they a) want to wreck it for a quasi-totalitarian agenda and b) are too stupid to know how to manage an economy. How many decades more do we have to endure before this is apparent to you?

                  Democrats are the ones who claimed that “deficits don’t matter” and started three wars in addition to the two they inherited and enacted massive spending programs and didn’t feel the need to pay for them. If we’re talking about debt, the blame is almost totally on the Democrat party. Why should Republicans accept blame when it’s not merited? To let the Democrats off the hook implicitly?

                3. Democrats are not the ones who claimed that “deficits don’t matter”

                  Granted, that’s precisely what we’re claiming RIGHT AT THIS EXACT MOMENT… but, still…

                  1. Which ones? I just heard the president repeat GOP deficit talking points. I don’t know who these people are in your head.

                4. It the republicans its the republicans its the republicans

                  No Tony it is the PROGRESSIVES ….they all live in the same house and they eat out of the same dish.

                  If you cant see that then please show your self to the door.

                5. Share the blame, Tony. Obama has gotten us many trillions deeper into debt. OWN it, or don’t. But you’re an intellectual grub if you put 100% of the blame on Team Red.

        2. You give into their demands if they are willing to kill the hostage don’t you? Let me say it slowly for you Tony

          Y O U L O S T T H E 2 0 1 0 E L E C T I O N S!!

          Elections have consequences and not just when you win. You lost the House. That means you lost control over government spending. That whole Article I thing, you dimwit.

          1. Senate Dems have a voice too, you know. Your scenario depends on them caving to ideological extremism of House Republicans. Just because the latter doesn’t understand how governing works is no excuse to let them win.

            The 2010 elections will soon be remedied when the people realize that voting in the GOP to save Medicare only to have them almost unanimously vote to destroy Medicare wasn’t such a good deal.

            1. And your Team wants their Team to cave to ideological extremism.

              The battle continues.

              1. Raising the debt ceiling is not ideological extremism. It was once a pro forma event. Until, that is, the ideological extremists in the Republican party saw an opportunity to enact their agenda outside of the normal legislative process–by holding the country’s economy hostage.

                You don’t define the alternative to extremism as just another form of extremism. That’s a good way to let the real extremists off the hook. Ah conservative relativism, Jesus would be so ashamed.

                1. “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.
                  Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion.That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.
                  Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.
                  And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.
                  Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities.”
                  Senator Barack Obama?Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt?March 16, 2006

                2. Not just the debt-raising – which Team Blue bitched about, not that many years ago – but everything Team Blue is doing right now, along with Team Red’s help, IS the problem.

                  You’re just so steeped in that fucking stupidity known as Keynesianism, you’re too blind to cop to spreading the blame to EVERY ONE OF THESE JANUS-FACED FUCKTARDS – with Ds and Rs after their names.

          2. Hey John after the 2008 elections did you sit back and say, fair enough, elections have consequences, let’s let the Dems do their thing…?

            1. And the Dems ran up trillions in debt and passed took over the healthcare system. Now that the country punished them severely for that, you want to claim that the other side can’t do anything to undo any of that. You can’t just tell the electorate to fuck off like that and expect to keep a republic, you fascist little pig.

              1. John see the chart I linked to above and stop lying.

                Almost all of this country’s debt problem is doing of Republicans. They even insisted on extending the debt-exploding Bush tax cuts last year. THEN they have the gall to go nuts over deficits? Does it hurt twisting yourself up defending such blatant hypocrisy?

                1. “Almost all”

                  snicker.

                2. Tony, you are not even making any sense. Even if it was the Republicans fault, we can’t spend like this anymore. The public wants it stopped. We are broke. We have to cut spending or we are really going to default.

                  Face, you have finally ran out of other people’s money.

                  1. It amazes me that nobody brings up the recession as a big cause of the current deficit. In recessions, tax receipts go down and government spending on entitlements goes up. Blame the business cycle for that.

                    1. Blame me all you want, I ain’t gonna change my ways.

                    2. Sure and the economy is going to turn around real soon with Obama declaring war on every productive industry he finds. And even if it does, if we don’t do something about entitlements no amount of growth will keep us solvent.

                  2. John,

                    The “public” overwhelmingly favors raising taxes on the rich to help with the debt problem. “We have a spending problem” is just a GOP talking point. Actually, we have quite a large revenue problem too. The “public,” whose opinion you think so highly of, thinks it’s a shit deal to put retired people into poverty in order to maintain tax rates for millionaires. That’s because they’re more reasonable than you and your party.

                    We can, in fact, spend like this, and we need to spend more. Unemployment is still high, as I’m sure you and your party will point out when convenient. How does reducing government spending help, rather than hurt, that situation? There is no economic theory that claims that.

                    Whose fault it is is very relevant, because it lets you understand the agenda. Why are Republicans suddenly deficit hawks when deficits clearly didn’t matter when they had power? Might that dishonesty and hypocrisy be evidence that perhaps deficits aren’t the biggest problem right now?

                    1. Tony, the public thinks nothing like that. You didn’t get destroyed in 2010 because the public wanted more taxes. And if Democrats think that, give the Republicans the win and then campaign on it in 2012. Good luck with that.

                    2. I bet you the Dems campaign on exactly that. Look at the polls. Overwhelming majority favors raising taxes on the rich.

                      Good luck to the GOP defending them at the same time they say we should cut deficits. Oldies aren’t going to like slashes to Medicare any more because they’re being proposed by Republicans.

                    3. LOL

                      You are rqcking up a perfect score – of 0.000.

                    4. The “public” overwhelmingly favors raising taxes on the rich to help with the debt problem.

                      Raising taxes on “the rich” won’t solve the deficit problem–in fact, it won’t even remotely help with a $1.5 trillion deficit in place.

                      We can, in fact, spend like this, and we need to spend more.

                      Reality says otherwise.

                    5. Show me one serious analysis showing we can continue to “spend like this”, including no reforms to social security, medicare or medicaid. Here’s a hint, there is none. We already have an unfunded liability of $37 trillion under those programs, and no amount of taxation will fund those liabilities. It’s simply too much money.

                      At best, raising taxes will cut the deficits at the margins. It can’t fix the massive structural spending problem we have.

                    6. “We have a spending problem” is just a GOP talking point.

                      Yeah. That’s what we kept saying, too.

                    7. The public has been trained to hate rich people, Tony. Of COURSE they’re gonna call for tax hikes on those evil bastards who make more than $249,999.99 a year.

                3. Why should it? Every word of your last post was a lie. Almost all the country’s debt problem is the doing of Democrats, though not for lack of trying on the RINOs’ part. The bipartisan vote to extend the revenue-enhancing (and therefore deficit-shrinking) tax cuts last year was overwhelmed by the Democrats’ reckless spending binges and regulatory job-killing spree.

                  NOW, after your paragons of parasitism have murdered our economy, refused to pass any budget, and refused to make the paltriest of concessions even to raise the debt ceiling, you have the incredible gall to come lecturing people who obviously have a far better grasp of economic realities than you on how every failure of your thieving incompetent and treasonous socialist leadership is somehow to blame on Republicans? What sadomasochistic bizarro planet do you live on that you’re getting off on defending such blatant hypocrisy? How utterly pathetic do you parasites have to be to be losing to Republicans who are hardly even putting up a fight?

                  1. Southerner, where to begin. In fact, almost every word in your post is a lie.

                    The Bush tax cuts did not shrink the deficit. They added massively to it. Just because your nonsense ideology says tax cuts create revenue, reality is in fact the place where addition and subtraction mean what they sound like. No economist thinks the Bush tax cuts added revenue.

                    “The paltriest of concessions even to raise the debt ceiling.”

                    You mean trillions of dollars in spending cuts don’t amount to “paltry”? Is this how you guys think… not giving the GOP everything they ask for means not compromising? Maybe you guys should just give up this thinking gig–it’s not working out.

                    1. You mean trillions of dollars in spending cuts don’t amount to “paltry”?

                      And once again you prove that you can’t do basic math.

                      $200 billion a year over ten years, when the structural deficit is $1.5 trillion a year, is fucking pointless. And promising to spend less of a deficit isn’t a fucking spending cut.

                    2. You admit that you can’t understand why the people threw your thieving leftist buddies out in 2010, yet you go on citing your party’s push polls, talking points, statistics, and other lies as if it hadn’t lost.

                      Saying that the “Bush tax cuts” as you refer to them did not shrink the deficit is disingenuous; they did raise revenue, as one can see by looking at any chart showing revenue in Bush’s time. The deficit did not shrink because the spending far outpaced the rise in revenue, but the fact remains that revenue rose because of tax cuts and your attempt to attribute the deficit to them is therefore a blatant lie. ALL expansion of the deficit was due to new spending, not Bush’s tax cuts. Game, set, and match.

                      As for paltry concessions, empty promises of cuts of two hundred billion dollars a year in the face of your clueless messiah’s continuing trillion dollar+ annual deficits are indeed incredibly paltry. Moreover, the Republicans did offer to cut a bit of military spending and maybe close a few tax loopholes in their compromise. As even the squishiest Republicans are discovering, there’s no point in trying to reason and cut a deal with obstinate fools like the Democrats.

                      On a personal note, don’t knock this thinking gig until you’ve tried it, Tony. Being able to use even half a brain has been working out pretty well for Republicans now that your party has completely lost its mind.

                    3. “Tax expenditures” – “fucking Orwellian double-speak”.

            2. No most of us said oh FUCK.

    2. Re: Tony,

      What exactly is being set straight here? A completely avoidable [sic] catastrophe won’t be “so bad”?

      Economics for the economics illiterate and intellectually challenged (or “leftist boobs” to put it more succinctly):

      Getting a new line of credit to “pay” for the older line of credit is NOT “avoiding” a disaster.

  11. None of the debt ceiling and balance-budgeting discussion matters a whit.

    They will debauch the currency. Hard. The rest is posturing, hot air, circumlocution and misdirection.

    Prepare for inflation and even hyper-inflation and you’ll be fine. The two things you need to financially survive inflation:

    1. Your personal human capital. Have skills that are valuable. you will be compensated regardless of the currency situation.
    2. Inflation hedges like property, oil, and (I hate to say it) raw materials like gold.

    If you haven’t yet done so, buy a house as soon as possible.

    1. Read the posts of Tony and Shrike. Sadly, they are typical Democrats. They absolutely have no clue that they have finally run out of other people’s money.

      1. The republicans will be part and parcel to it all as well, don’t kid yourself.

    2. Property will not be a good inflation hedge in such a scenario. It may not lose value as much or as fast as consumer durables, but it will not retain value nearly as well as commodities unless it is arable land zoned for agriculture.

      1. Rental properties will surge in value I think.

      2. With any justice, “zoning” won’t fucking matter.

  12. You can fool around with inflation and with the percentage of GDP and with the revenue side of the equation, but the bottom line is that the federal government is spending about double what it was at the end of the Clinton administration

    As a percentage of GDP, we’re spending about what we did in the 1980s.

    1. The whole percentage of GDP thing puzzles me. Why should government spending growth track GDP growth? Shouldn’t it lag?

      After all, entitlement spending is intended to be a safety net. Since, we are told, most of the growth in GDP is being captured by the evil rich, wouldn’t this mean that entitlements can grow more slowly than GDP and still provide a safety net?

      On the program side, isn’t there any leverage in agencies? If an industry grows by 25%, why should the agency governing it have to grow by 25% as well? Why wouldn’t, say, 10% more staff/budget be plenty?

      1. Way to move the goalposts. My point is there’s nothing unprecedented about the current level of government spending. Yes, it’s higher than in 2000, but in 2000 we didn’t have the two wars, the Bush tax cuts, the botched Bush Medicare Part D, and the double-whammy of decreased revenues and increased spending on entitlements caused by the worst recession in 70 years. The fact that it’s about where it was during Reagan’s Presidency is a damning indictment of his supposed fiscal conservatism.

        1. “Moving the goalposts, also known as raising the bar, is an informal logically fallacious argument in which evidence presented in response to a specific claim is dismissed and some other (often greater) evidence is demanded.”

        2. He’s saying that the GDP ratio is a red herring, not trying to move the goalposts. FYI

    2. Re: Imp the Perverse,

      As a percentage of GDP, we’re spending about what we did in the 1980s.

      You mean the GDP was a bullshit metric that was inflated back then too?

      Bligh me!

  13. It’s the year 2019, and Speaker Chris Van Hollen refuses to raise the debt ceiling unless President Rubio agrees to a massive tax increase. John is howling at how unfair it all is.

    1. Fuck you. The Dems in Congress made Reagan agree to tax increases in 1982 after Reagan had a bad off year election. This is how the system works.

      1. Fuck you.

        Go take a Xanax.

        And 1982 “after a bad election”? I’m pretty sure the 1980 elections were just fine for Reagan.

        1. Just like 2008 was a good election for Obama. The mid years not so much. That is what happened to Reagan, great in 1980, got a lot passed and then lost some in 1982 and ended up compromising with the new Congress. Same thing happened with Clinton in 92 and 94.

          At least try to know a little history.

          1. Anybody else here that *whoosh* sound? I think it was something going over John’s head.

            Reagan compromised in 1983 (not 1982). He compromised, he didn’t cave because the Democrats childishly threatened to blow up the economy if he didn’t. The GOP of today doesn’t want a compromise and I think Obama’s exposed that pretty well.

            1. Oh you contributed the “3” as opposed to the “2”. Glad to see you can bring something to the table. The Democrats just shut down the government. And they didn’t have to threaten default because Reagan, unlike Obama, was an adult and a statesman who understood that elections matter and in Washington you have to give the other side what it wants once in a while.

              It is funny how the partisan crazies play this. Obama is just as responsible for this as the Republicans. There is nothing stopping him from giving in and vice versa. Both sides have to be willing to compromise. And one side clearly isn’t. And that side doesn’t seem to be the Republicans.

              1. Both sides have to be willing to compromise. And one side clearly isn’t. And that side doesn’t seem to be the Republicans.

                You are delusional. Democrats don’t have to exist on Republican government-hating terms. Yet they’ve offered up huge spending reductions as a COMPROMISE with Republicans insisting on it. What has the GOP compromised on? Name one thing.

                1. They haven’t offered a single spending reduction Tony. they have offered taxes now in return for spending reductions later, which is nothing but shell game.

                  But, they are saying now that Harry Reid is offering real spending cuts and no tax increases. If that is true, then that should pass the Congress and end this.

                  1. You know what though John? Boenher has already rejected it out of hand. Yes, he rejected $2.7 trillion in spending cuts without any taxes. Why? Because it raises the debt ceiling through the next election, and he wants to do this again in the spring. He (or at least his nutter caucus) is holding the country and the world hostage for political points.

                    1. Hold it, if this is so bad for Republicans why does Boehner want to do it again in the spring? Could it be because this debate has outed you people for the nuts you really are?

                  2. Of course the spending reductions are for later… What’s the point of giving in to the hostage-takers if they’re just going to destroy the economy anyway? When did you guys stop caring about jobs? When you realized there was no way you could create any from within your ideological box?

                    1. Government spending hasn’t created any jobs, Tony. No amount of spending will ever create the jobs we need to get unemployment back to 5%, much less 4%.

                2. Well, the Democrats don’t seem to be holding a very strong hand at the moment. I wouldn’t say the Democrats have offered up any meaningful spending reductions, and it would be nice if they did so, as well as the Republicans agreeing to cut defense spending.

                3. Ever hear of the CCB, Tony? It was full of compromises. It was staggeringly popular with everyone except… Senate Democrats, who shot it down. It is you Democrats, and only you, who have failed to compromise, and are losing. The Republican party is riddled with the weak-willed and their offers of compromise, and yet you’re losing to them.

                  Republicans really shouldn’t be offering you losers anything, but they still are, and you’re still losing.

                  1. Why shouldn’t Republicans be offering anything? Do they control the presidency or the Senate? What makes you think they are entitled to everything they want? Because they’re just right?

                    The CCB may have polled well because all the Republicans are good at is formulating simplistic but nice-sounding catch phrases. You think a constitutional amendment, with mere days away from default, is a compromise position? Or even a sane one?

                    Republicans haven’t had decent poll numbers in years, even though they’ve had ample opportunity to take advantage of the circumstances. That’s the problem with being a right-wing extremist.

                    1. “The CCB may have polled well because all the Republicans are good at is formulating simplistic but nice-sounding catch phrases.”

                      “Hope and Change”
                      “Yes We Can”

                    2. … and leave us not forget the ever-popular “Mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm.”

                    3. Methinks the 2010 poll numbers must have been pretty good for Republicans to have trounced you so soundly in the House and destroyed your Senate super-majority that way.

                      Might I remind you, too, that the polls saying the CCB was a big hit with everyone were from that well-known organ of right-wing extremism known as CNN? I guess Fox News had better watch its right flank!

                      Yeah, those right-wing extremists at CNN will be endorsing Lew Rockwell for President any day now; just you wait! Heck, when they hear all of his formulaic and simplistic nice-sounding catch phrases, they’ll have thrills running up their legs! They’ll totally be in the tank for the far right! CNN and the Republican party have gone so far right that Palin (that leftist hussy!) will have to run in the Democratic primaries if she decides to run now.

                      Again, don’t knock logic and rational thinking until you’ve tried them, Tony.

  14. To be fair, those are nominal figures. You have to give them a pass for the inflation they caused. When looking at real numbers, it took more like 20 years to double the federal budget.

  15. “As for student loan interest rates, since 2006 they’ve been set by law, under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, at 6.8 percent.”

    This may be true for student loans from the government, however students such as myself, who had to take out private loans in order to cover the exorbitant costs of higher education, will face astronomically high interest rates as a result of a government default. I don’t know about everyone else out there, but I went to school to better myself, not to become an indentured servant for the rest of my life.

    1. I don’t know about everyone else out there, but I went to school to better myself, not to become an indentured servant for the rest of my life.

      Should have thought of that before you signed the promissory note which made you so.

  16. Will there be live blogging of the presidential address?

  17. Recipe for good trolling:
    1) Find a good lefty website.
    2) Post Obama’s 2006 statement on raising debt level.
    3) Have a cold beverage and watch Team Blue’s collective (pun intended) head explode.

    1. The minority party voting against raising the debt ceiling is par for the course. It’s political, yes, but that’s what usually happens. Never before has the majority party actually refused to do it or hold it hostage to something completely unrelated.

      1. Unrelated? Last I check it was held to something completely and totally related.

    2. Optional steps:
      2.5) Pretend it was actually some Republican who said it.
      3.5) Reveal your source after heads explode and watch pieces of exploded heads explode further as Team Blue insists it must have been the Republican who said it.

  18. So raising the debt ceiling is completely unrelated to tax and spending policy?

    That’s one narrow definition of “related” you got there, Imp.

    1. See RC a clean bill that enshrines current taxes and spending at current levels forever is a great concession on their part. When they win elections government explodes. When they lose elections, they do us all a favor and pause that explosion.

    2. Yes, because raising the debt ceiling isn’t going to raise current federal spending or taxes by one penny. It’s about making good on spending that Congress already passed. The time to fight over tax and spending policy is during the budget authorization. Want to shut down the government over tax loopholes for corporate jets and replacing Medicare with discount coupons? Then knock yourself out, that’s entirely appropriate.

      1. Why don’t you just save time and write “That is not fair”? Tough shit. Congress was elected to do something about this mess. And if the debt ceiling is the available way to get the idiot in chief to come around, so be it. Don’t insult anyone’s intelligence and try to claim if Congress did this to Bush you wouldn’t have loved it.

        1. I’ll remember this the next time a Democratic Speaker refuses to raise the debt ceiling without massive tax increases and single-payer healthcare. You should love that.

          1. If the result is that they don’t raise the debt ceiling, it sounds pretty good to me.

            1. Trespasser wins.

          2. Good luck with that.

          3. When your stupid team has the balls to propose the kind of tax hikes needed to balance the budget, get back to me.

            1. It may not take any balls at all. GOP insanity will surely extend to an inability to extend the Bush tax cuts further. If those expire, which they will without any action on the part of Congress, half of our deficit problem will be solved.

              1. Which will promptly be spent by Team Blue…..really Tony you’re not even trying anymore!

                1. fish when have low taxes ever stopped congress from spending? How about when the side insisting on brutal austerity gets backs in power, they can do it themselves? You know, just to show they’re not total opportunistic hypocrites.

                  1. Re: Tony,

                    fish when have low taxes ever stopped congress from spending?

                    1921-1928, the Harding/Coolidge years. The US Gov was actually paying DOWN the debt during those years, even with decreasingly lower tax rates, through less spending.

              2. Yeah, cuz libtards are gonna use that $ to pay down the debt. Hahahaha!

          4. ummm …. OK. Sounds good to me.

      2. When you give your teenage daughter you credit card and drop her off at the mall, and you get a phone call a few hours later from your bank saying that your card has reached its limit, the fault is due to… wait for it… spending! Your house budget may already have been set, but your daughter’s spending spree has still broken your credit.

        1. I swear, comparing national finances to personal ones is the most asinine thing the right wing in this country does.

          Anyway, even that extremely stupid analogy doesn’t make sense. This would be like if you’re worth $5 million, you authorize your daughter to spend $200,000 (which she does), and then you refuses to even make the minimum payment next month just because.

          1. Anyway, even that extremely stupid analogy doesn’t make sense. This would be like if you’re worth $5 million, you authorize your daughter to spend $200,000 (which she does), and then you refuses to even make the minimum payment next month just because.

            LOL at this. What the country is “worth” doesn’t mean shit, unless you’re proposing that the FEdGov starts selling off its public lands or assets on a massive scale. Even then, it’s irrelevant, because all sectors of the economy have a combined debt-to-GDP ratio of about 350%. You’re out of your damn mind if you think that can be sustained.

          2. Except our country has negative networth when you facotr in our unfunded liabilities…..analogy fail.

          3. This would be like if you’re worth $5 million

            “But, honey, we can’t possibly be broke! Look at all the blank checks I still have left in our CHECKBOOK — !!!”

            So very, very FAIL.

          4. Re: Imp of the Perverse,

            I swear, comparing national finances to personal ones is the most asinine thing the right wing in this country does.

            The laws of economics are suspended at the national level!

            And for our next feat: The law of gravity is suspended at the national level!

            Seems like we have ourselves a reunion of economics illiterate boobs. Imp, meet Tony. Tony, meet Imp.

            Both: Meet Paul Samuelson, your daddy.

            1. I swear, comparing national finances to personal ones is the most asinine thing the right wing in this country does.

              Kinda like comparing having to carry auto insurance to having to carry medical insurance. Douche.

              1. At what N between N=1 and N=311,000,000 do finances change?

              2. Rob|7.25.11 @ 8:15PM|#
                “I swear, comparing national finances to personal ones is the most asinine thing the right wing in this country does.”
                I swear, that’s about the most asinine comment this afternoon (excluding shithead’s)

          5. “I swear, comparing national finances to personal ones is the most asinine thing the right wing in this country does.”

            Um no that is how the REAL world works. In order to have money to pay the bills you have to have something of VALUE. Labor, savings, bonds or stocks or gold. None of those things can be extracted out of fairy dust and unicorn tears. It take work and trade in order to build value and money (they are different things).

            You Liberal Progressive folks seem to forget you cant make money out of thin air, read up on the Weimar Republic. IF you do you will see exactly what happens under YOUR chosen “system” that you believe will work so well. But I would guess you lack the courage to admit it to your self even when shown the truth the Kensington economics is wrong and always has been.

      3. Re: Imp of the Perverse,

        Yes, because raising the debt ceiling isn’t going to raise current federal spending or taxes by one penny.

        No, of course not. It will simply place the country in hock a little further.

        Want to shut down the government over tax loopholes for corporate jets and replacing Medicare with discount coupons?

        Again with the corporate jets. Seems like leftist boobs have latched on a new talking point which is just as meaningless and boring as the last one.

        1. Which one?

          Obama is the peace candidate?

          The Stimulus saved America?

          30 million Americans are uninsured (regardless of whether they need or want it)?

          GM has paid the money back?

          China owns America?

          I can’t keep up! Somebody write this stuff down.

  19. Hey, Tony. I don’t get your pants-shitting. You should be thrilled at what’s happening. The way I read your comments, it looks like Team Red has grossly misunderstood what the American people want, and by acting this way (focusing on cutting spending rather than confiscating more income), they are setting themselves up to handing over control of the House to Team Blue in another 16 months.

    Which is it, then? Are they screwing America and not doing what people want, which will lead to your side taking everything back and Obama cruising to another four years? Or are they actually doing what Americans want, MSNBC polls notwithstanding, and are poised to trounce in the 2012 cycle, enabling them to undo a lot of the bullshit that got rammed down our throats over the first two years of the current admin?

    You say one thing, yet methinks youmsee the writing on the wall in a totally different light. And by different light, I mean in reality.

    1. I didn’t realize I was giving conflicting signals. I’m only interested in the facts: failure to raise the debt ceiling would be a disaster, and Republicans are on the politically losing end of this debate. Those are the facts. I have no reason to want the economy to go in the shitter, even if it benefits Democrats. Similarly, I see no virtue in having one party completely overtaken by right-wing ideologues. It helps no one, and for reasons beyond my comprehension they actually control a house of Congress. Right-wing ideologues are never good for anyone, even if their extremism helps elect Democrats. I’m partisan but not that partisan.

      1. I’m partisan but not that partisan.

        Of course you are!

      2. Whatever, dude. You lost me when you said being princiled wasn’t laudable because you couldn’t get anything from it.

        A man who vilifies principled men yet applauds the mealymouthed deserves no more of my time, regardless of his political beliefs.

        1. Principles that lead to economic disaster aren’t worth shit as principles.

          1. Re: Tony,

            Principles that lead to economic disaster aren’t worth shit as principles.

            The president can take that one to the bank!

      3. I didn’t realize I was giving conflicting signals because I’m just that blind to reality. I’m only interested in distorting the facts: failure to raise the debt ceiling would be a disaster for my party’s plans to tax, spend, and regulate this country to death, and Republicans are on the politically losing successful end of this debate by default more than by anything else. Those are the facts.

        I have no every reason to want the economy to go in the shitter, even especially if it benefits Democrats. Similarly, I see no virtue in having one party completely overtaken by right-wing ideologues because then that party would have enough backbone to stand up to the left-wing ideologues that have overtaken my party. It helps no one on my side, and for reasons beyond my comprehension because I’m just that mindlessly partisan, they actually control a house of Congress. I still can’t believe you stupid voters threw so many members of my party out on their asses for destroying your economy and wrecking this country. Right-wing ideologues are never good for anyone who wants the U.S. destroyed and a worldwide socialist dictatorship in control of all humanity, even if their left-wing enemies’ extremism and control of the media helps elect Democrats.

        I’m partisan but not that partisan to a greater degree than even I myself am capable of realizing.

      4. It would only be a disaster for those who fail to grasp the simple concept that failure to raise the debt ceiling does not equal to automatic default. That is absolutely absurd. Default only occures when someone/something fails to make their interest payments. We can avoid default by prioritizing debt interest payments first, but that is going to require that we cut spending. But there’s the rub, no progressive, and too many conservatives, are unwilling to act financially irresponsible.

        1. * responsible

      5. Re: Tony,

        I’m only interested in the facts: failure to raise the debt ceiling would be a disaster

        I don’t think you even know why it would be a disaster.

        I have no reason to want the economy to go in the shitter, even if it benefits Democrats.

        It’s already in the shitter, Tony.

        Similarly, I see no virtue in having one party completely overtaken by right-wing ideologues.

        But a party overtaken by left-wing ideologues is a much less bitter pill to take in your view, woudn’t it be?

        1. There’s no such thing as “a left-wing ideologue.”

          1. I, for one, am speechless.

          2. Nice spoof.

            1. Had to be a spoof. I got suckered.

          3. Now I’m off to debunk this right-wing ideologue claim I keep hearing that the Pope is a Roman Catholic.

          4. Re: Tony,

            There’s no such thing as “a left-wing ideologue.”

            Hmmm…

            NOW I need a drink. Where’s the tequila?

          5. There’s no such thing as “a left-wing ideologue.”

            Not even ?

          6. Damn straight.

          7. I damned near ruined my keyboard spitting up coffee over that one, Tony.

      6. only interested in the facts: failure to raise the debt ceiling would be a disaster…

        WHY?

        Republicans are on the politically losing end of this debate.

        WHY?

        Those are the facts.

        Opinion ? Fact.

        I’m partisan but not that partisan.

        Not sure if serious.

        1. Okay the second was opinion. It’s the nature of economic chaos that you can’t predict these things. I do know that both sides are being dragged down and the GOP is being dragged down worse. The only way they succeed is if most Americans are stupid enough to buy their bullshit.

          1. Re: Tony,

            I do know that both sides are being dragged down and the GOP is being dragged down worse. The only way they succeed is if most Americans are stupid enough to buy their bullshit.

            I have to agree with you: Many Americans will buy into the GOP’s bullshit. Both parties are just as cavalier with our money.

            The warfare state the GOP wants goes hand-in-hand with the welfare state the left wants.

    2. That is a good point. If the politics of this are so great for the Democrats, they should just give the Republicans what they want and then tell the public “see how bad they are”.

      And I love how a few billion in spending is some radical thing that no one could ever consider doing. The Republicans are just radicals. If only Tony. If only.

      1. Sometimes it feels like certain progressive leaders are simply fiddling while rome burns.

        1. The funny thing also is that the Dems could have raised the debt ceiling when they controlled Congress. But they didn’t because Reid said he wanted the Republicans to have some buy in on debt.

          They really have losed their minds.

          1. “They really have losed their minds.”

            My take is they never had a mind to begin with.

            1. Nancy Pelosi: “It is clear we must enter an era of austerity […]”

              When even Team Blue’s pop-eyed Queen of Batshit cuh-RAAAAAAZY can finally see the gargantuan, blood-red writing on the nation’s fiscal wall (But poor ol’ Tony still can’t/won’t)…

  20. Funny how they keep confusing the public debt with future public debt when mentioning the 14th amendment.

  21. I hope that everyone with a government bond ends up with a gaping, worn out financial anus from the fucking that they deserve.

  22. Three summers of jobless recovery and Sodom Hussein Obama wants QE3 so he can bail out his cronies on Wall Street?

  23. Tony|7.25.11 @ 7:02PM|#
    “There’s no such thing as “a left-wing ideologue.””

    Posts shithead, our resident left-wing ideologue.

  24. Yes,but I object to the Republicans who are holding the country up to ridicule. Where is their honor? For me, an independent, and idealist I have problems with the Republicans whose shoulders the personal and institutional responsibility of the consequences of default is squarely on.

  25. Why wont republicans ever listen?

  26. Boooring. Why does every thread deteriorate into a group debate with Tony that gets absolutely nowhere? Is that guy on this site 24/7?

    1. “Why does every thread deteriorate into a group debate with Tony that gets absolutely nowhere? Is that guy on this site 24/7?”

      Yea he is here all the time, his quest is to slay the evil Libertarian/ Republican dragon .

      He is charged with using his vast knowledge and experience in human nature and economics to “kill the beast” with his razor sharp mind, and cunning words.

      And in between posts his mom (who he wont feed when she gets old and feeble) brings him milk and cookies.

      1. That’s why I lovingly dust ’em with various of the more cyanotic white powders, just before serving.

        I have so very, very much to make amends for, I know.

  27. Bush came into office with a surplus of 2 trillion. Bush 2 trillion + Obama 4 trilion = 6 trillion. Who spent the other 10 TRILLION??? We are at a difference of 16 trillion since Bush started.

  28. A default is not as bad as Obama says…

    Really? You cannot be serious. You are taking the Joe Walsh viewpoint of “Obama is a liar.” Why is everyone an idiot? Is that the mantra for modern politics – you have to oppositionally stupid to your opponent. There is not a civilized person that would agree with this kind of debt logic dialoque.

    Anyone know what the dollar is at now and what the plans are for world currency in 5 years – well there are some people that are trying to figure this out right now because of the paid assasins in the House of Representatives.

  29. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, entire grain cereals, milk, yogurt and cheese with 0% fat, herbal treatments and spices, unsalted nuts and seeds, caffeine and tea, boiled egg, fish and seafood, trim meat

  30. Haven’t read all the comments, so this may have already been addressed, but to point #1, what about spending/revenue as % of GDP…uhh…looks steady to me. Look at outlays and deficit % during the golden Reagan years.

    Come on, can’t you feel it? Debts and deficits are bullshit.

    Economic problems are a result of shock. i.e. housing bust which led to high household debt levels/slack private demand…

  31. More than 200 comments, mostly about the REAL definition of a libertarian, none about the pandering of this article.

    To write off another hit to home prices under point 2 is showing a real lack of understanding the effect this would have on the already soft housing market.
    To quote Bloomberg on anything regarding the debt ceiling is very one sided. Perhaps someone should ask Alan Greenspan to round things out.
    This article succeeded in pushing the two sides further apart without offering any real fact. Personal attacks on Obamas portfolio? The Chrysler deal? Really? Spend more time actually thinking about what you read before commenting on “stupid democrats” and “stupid republicans” while defining “real” libertarians.

  32. Does the $3 trillion in 2008 include TARP which was supposed to go back into the treasury as it was repaid? And repaid with interest which theoretically would have produced a net debt reduction.

    Of course, our current president has found better uses for that money (undeterred by Congress, I must add) and now it’s just more deficit spending contributing to increased baseline spending in the future. What a great deal!

    And aren’t President Obama’s assets and investments in a blind trust over which he exercises no control?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.