Barack Obama

Standard & Poor's Downgrades U.S. Debt

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Fun while it lasted

Story here; PDF here.

Those (many) who are rubbishing the eminently rubbishable S&P tonight are generally not grappling with something we've been talking about for years around these parts: The current fiscal trajectory of the United States is not just deteriorating rapidly, it's definitionally unsustainable. That's not crazy libertarians talking, that's Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke.

As Peter Suderman rightly pointed out as the ink on the debt-ceiling deal was still drying,

[I]t won't be nearly enough. In the long term, the biggest driver of the federal debt growth is health spending, and while the deal that's now hurtling toward a vote might result in some tweaks to the payments the government makes to health care providers, it essentially does nothing to combat the unsustainable long-term growth of health spending. […]

The best reason to have a big showdown over raising the debt limit was to start the process of figuring out how to deal with a federal fiscal trajectory that is simply not sustainable. Instead, we ended up with a politically motivated showdown that resulted in gimmick-filled plans full of likely-bogus spending reductions and that, if anything, ultimately made our credit outlook slightly worse by illustrating, in painful and prolonged detail, how difficult it will be for our political system to truly come to terms with the nation's debt problem when it eventually has to.

Blame S&P all you want, but this won't be the last downgrade; the math really is that bad. As Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is fond of saying, Democrats are going to have to give on entitlements, and Republicans are going to have to give on military spending, as a starting point. There really isn't any other way.

I eagerly look forward to this being blamed on libertarians, but even more than that I truly look forward to the day when the political class in this doddering country recognizes that you can't just wave away a spending spiral by pretending that it doesn't exist.

NEXT: Moody's Sounds the Alarm on Student Borrowing

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  1. Ah and so falls the Empire.

    1. Then my work here is done!

      1. You suck

      2. ?”There was drama at the White House this week when a man tried to hurl himself over the fence. But the Secret Service intervened and talked the president into going back inside and finishing his term.” ?Conan O’Brien

    2. I eagerly look forward to this being blamed on libertarians

      Pssst!
      We don’t even know you’re alive.

      1. Yet that doesn’t stop the MSM from blaming things on libertarians, which is obviously what Welch was talking about.

        So next time, read a bit better.

        1. Whaaah! The mean MSM is blaming everything on libertarians! Mommy!

          1. It’s true. Just because I have a persecution complex, it doesn’t mean that I’m not paranoid.

            1. I eagerly look forward to this being blamed on libertarians.

              Ok, here you go: The recent downgrading of US debt is a direct consequence of the crazed libertarian tea-party movement and its insane obsession with not increasing taxes. Decades of crazy libertarian policies absolutely eliminating all regulations were the main cause of the housing bubble (greed!!) and the banking crisis and thus got us into this mess in the first place. The last thing we need is more bat-shit racist libertarian policies that cause hardship to the elderly and the small, little childrenz.

              1. Pretty accurate, except they would say women and minorities were adversely affected as well.

                1. Didn’t we elect Reagan and Gingrich to take care of this 30 years ago? Haven’t the Repugs been hacking and slashing at the government ever since? Aren’t all the poor and the elderly and the sick and the crippled and the children and the brown-skinned people all dead by now? Jeez this is taking forever!!!

                  1. “Haven’t the Repugs been hacking and slashing at the government ever since? ” No.
                    http://www.usgovernmentspendin…..chart.html

    3. Obama has done more damage to the US than Osama could ever have hoped to.

      If there are any SEAL teams left, they might want to keep that in mind.

  2. It’s about freaking time.

  3. Matt, no worries. It’s being blamed on the usual suspects…the Republicans.

    1. They deserve half.

      1. So do the other half.

    2. I’m blaming George W. Bush.

    3. It is Bush’s fault. Out of control military spending is what is pushing us into bankruptcy. Of course Obama has done nothing whatsoever to curtail that.

      1. Military spending could of course stand some cuts, but it is a small, small piece of the debt. Entitlements. Entitlements. Entitlements.

        1. Pay my Medicare, Bitches!

      2. Out of control military spending is what is pushing us into bankruptcy.

        Look, do you fucking want Libya conquered, or not…?

        1. “OOOOOooooooo! Libya! That’s a GOOD war!”

        2. I can’t even fucking keep them all straight anymore. I couldn’t remember Libya, and was thinking Syria.

          1. No. Syria is the one whose military and police are killing their peacefully protesting civilians by the thousands while out SecState puts out press releases. Libya is the one where our drones are dropping bombs in cities and the rebels kill each other because they want control of oil and could care less about individual freedom.

            1. That was couldn’t care less. Stupid fucking autocorrect.

        3. Yeah we’re doing a hell of a job on that Libya beatdown, aren’t we? We’re we told this was a matter of weeks?

          1. It is a matter of weeks. Many, many weeks.

            1. Many, many, many. And lots more. But not “months”.

    4. More specifically, the Tea Parties. John McCain cried like a little girl about the Tea Party on the Senate floor.

      1. But little girls like tea parties!

        And, why didn’t they downgrade the debt rating 30 years ago?

        1. Exactly.

  4. Obama got mugged again! First by the Tea Party kamikazes, then by S&P! Brother, stay out of those bad neighborhoods, please!

    1. I posted this on Krugman’s latest column, got listed at number 512, with zero likes which is an endorsement of sorts:

      It is telling of the left’s predicament – exemplified by this column by this columnist – that no mention of PPCA, the political capital to pass it, its role in losing Dems the house, and its emerging real costs were even mentioned in the supposed analysis of economics and government these past two-and-a-half years.

      Enjoy your health-care Donkey bitches. Its the gift that will keep giving to the Donks for years to come. Whether the Republicans are worth a shit or not (not holding my breath) that fucking mess will cost Donks for the next decade and more.

      1. I like cats

        1. Well we do not like you, Krudman. Of course, if you feed us, perhaps we’ll hang around awhile and let you rub our asses. Or perhaps not – just depends on how generous we are feeling, which usually is not very.

          1. Of course, if you feed us, perhaps we’ll hang around awhile and let you rub our asses.

            Cats = labor unions?

            1. Cats = Jobs

              1. My theory about Krugnuts is that him and Tony are actually one and the same. It all makes sense to me now. Could this be true?

                1. My theory about Krugnuts is that him and Tony are actually one and the same. It all makes sense to me now. Could this be true?

                  Holy shit. MIND BLOWN.

                2. I dunno. Why would he bother with a made-up screen name when he writes even crazier shit under his real name every day?

                  Though I can easily see Krug as a gay Oklahoman.

                  1. Could be the Dread Pirate Tony (or Krugman).

      2. ***ALERT ALERT***

        http://www.slate.com/id/2301013/

        ***END ALERT***

    2. Teh Racism is strong in this one.

      Why the Dominican brothers always got to be beating on our Kenyan-Kansan cousin in office?

      1. Dominatrix brothers, you mean.

  5. I eagerly look forward to this being blamed on libertarians

    The left will focus more on raising taxes.

    They will call it “revenue” or “revenue side” rather then taxes though.

    1. I tried to intimate the difference to prog facebook freinds, but it devolved into “are you saying governments don’t have the right to tax their citizens??”

      Between equating taxes with revenues and defaulting with not taking on more debt, this whole circus was too much for me to watch for more than 3 minutes a day.

      1. Exactly right. Taxes HURT revenues. Cut the tax rates to zero across the board and watch the money flow into the treasury!

        1. Fucking Laffer curve, how does it work?

          1. I was going to pedant out and say Ibn Khaldun discovered it, but I’ll save that for the next Cathy Young article about Islamophobia.

          2. Fucking Laffer curve, how does it work?

            About 19 percent of the time.

        2. If it flows in, I will throw it into the money hole.

          1. “PRESENT!”

        3. Taxes HURT revenues.

          Not if you keep printing money. #Duh

            1. Are you a cat?

              1. meeeeooowwww!

    2. They call lack of raising taxes “tax expenditures”.

      Orwell be rollin’ in his grave.

      1. Surely weeping tears of joy at being so thoroughly vindicated in his vision of the future. Boot… Face… Forever.

        1. Stop. You’re getting me all lubed up.

          1. AW YEAH!
            *pops a little blue pill*

    3. If the “tax hikes” are anything like the “spending cuts” I don’t think we have to worry.

      1. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way.

  6. News talking heads typically don’t acknowledge libertarians. Sara Palin will be blamed here.

    1. Nah, Tea Party. In fact they’re already being blamed. Seems it’s all their fault for not going along with letting both the Republican and Democrat establishments continue business as usual with the borrowing and spending of the country into the poor house.

  7. Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act. Key macroeconomic assumptions in the base case scenario include trend real GDP growth of 3% and consumer price inflation near 2% annually over the decade.

    1. Wow.

      maybe they thought that they could deflect Democrat hate by putting up that statement.

      Of course now they have both Dems and Reps supper pissed at them.

      Anyway looking forward to the congressional hearings of the S&P.

      1. We’re basically pissed about 1) refusal to raise taxes 2) refusal to cut Medicare spending.

        1. Because raising taxes always generates more revenue, right?

          1. even in fantasy-land where they could actually jack up taxes and have it work, they’d have to raise “revenues” by like FIFTY PERCENT, just to break even. Then tack on another eight percent a year going forward. The real question here is how can everyone be so fucking stupid? Were they going to tax each corporate jet owner a billion dollars a year?

          2. Taxes curb future price inflation. (Palyi)

        2. Nah

          The government could have balanced the budget any number of ways.

          If they had cut (not actually cut more like slow the growth of) say defense and social security by 4 trillion S&P would not have downgraded.

          The choice of putting in suggestions of what to cut and what to tax was pure politics and nothing more.

      2. They’re right, though. Debt is more secure when there’s less of it. It’s not to say taxes are more desirable from a macro standpoint or that the spending is great, just that focusing specifically on the debt the lack of revenue increases or spending decreases makes holding Treasuries less desirable.

    2. meanwhile the democrats demonstrated zero resistance to raising taxes back when they controlled all branches of government.

      1. spending is taxation.

        That amount not covered by explicit taxation must be paid for with money from borrowing or printing, both of which are paid for by people (Loss of future growth by borrowing, inflation by printing).

    3. Taxes HURT revenues.

      Not if you keep printing money. #Duh

    4. “We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process. We also believe that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration agreed to this week falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade.”

      Kind of changes when you use more than one quote, doesn’t it?

  8. I wonder if Gaius Marius has internet in his bomb shelter. It would be nice to hear from him.

  9. We’ll solve the budget crisis by taxing Matt Damon.

    1. I am Matt Damon.

    2. I tax Matt Damon.

    3. I have a cat named Matt Damon. Tee hee.

  10. I expect that some of the same people who are complaining about S&P being too quick to downgrade the Treasury debt now were also complaining about S&P (and Moodys and Fitch) being too slow to downgrade all those mortgage backed securities.

    The truth is that the rating agencies are always behind the curve and the U.S. hasn’t really qualified for a AAA rating for a good while.

    1. I think the linked Krugman piece does exactly that.

      1. My links are late because I’m too enamored with my cleverly named cats.

    2. The truth is that the rating agencies are always behind the curve and the U.S. hasn’t really qualified for a AAA rating for a good while.

      This. Almost everyone lost their AAA rating in the credit crisis, aside from companies like Microsoft which have had near-zero long-term debt for a long time (even now it’s something like 20% of annual income). Or ADP, which is almost entirely equity-financed.

      I have no idea why we’re complaining about AA+. We just spent a ton of money bailing companies out and we’ll probably reach 100% debt/GDP in short order.

      1. Since you’re in the biz, will the downgrade require a sell-off of Treasuries from institutions required to hold AAA investments? If so, what will that do to interest rates going forward, and has the market already taken that into account?

        1. Probably not. First off, the biggest holders (China and Japan) aren’t bound by such restrictions anyway. Second of all, even bond funds that have that requirement to own only AAA-rated debt in their portfolios usually treat US Treasuries differently. And then, of course, Moody’s and Fitch still have the US at their highest rating.

          As for interest rates, that should already be factored in by the market. A 10-year swap — the fixed rate at which the market is indifferent between risk-free fixed-rate debt and risk-free LIBOR debt, a decent proxy for long-term interest rates — is at 2.73%. That’s ridiculously low.

          The problem with interest rates, of course, is that they’re nominal. If you want to know what the creditworthiness of the US looks like, most people would use a medium-term CDS, like the 5-year. It’s at 55 bps (a cost of 0.55% to ensure US debt), which is high but lower than the 100 bps we saw during the middle of 2009. Greece, for reference, is at 1700 bps.

        2. Probably not. First off, the biggest holders (China and Japan) aren’t bound by such restrictions anyway. Second of all, even bond funds that have that requirement to own only AAA-rated debt in their portfolios usually treat US Treasuries differently. And then, of course, Moody’s and Fitch still have the US at their highest rating.

          As for interest rates, that should already be factored in by the market. A 10-year swap — the fixed rate at which the market is indifferent between risk-free fixed-rate debt and risk-free LIBOR debt, a decent proxy for long-term interest rates — is at 2.73%. That’s ridiculously low.

          The problem with interest rates, of course, is that they’re nominal. If you want to know what the creditworthiness of the US looks like, most people would use a medium-term CDS, like the 5-year. It’s at 55 bps (a cost of 0.55% to ensure US debt), which is high but lower than the 100 bps we saw during the middle of 2009. Greece, for reference, is at 1700 bps.

      2. I’m sure it won’t be long before pundits are going to start saying that A+ ain’t so bad.

      3. I’m sure it won’t be long before pundits are going to start saying that A+ ain’t so bad.

  11. An AA+ rating is preposterous. The US government owes more than 100% of the US GDP. An objective rating agency would place it in the junk category. I wouldn’t buy a T-Bill for anything less than a 75% interest rate.

    -jcr

    1. Agreed, but reality is only beginning to set in. Delusion and denial are very powerful forces in human events, they take time to fade. This is just the start.

    2. By the way, contrast the US government with another AA+ credit, Berkshire Hathaway. BRK has about $40 billion in cash, even more in equity securities of rock-solid companies like Coke, JNJ, etc., and owns a portfolio of the some of the world’s most profitable businesses that make a freaking mint every quarter. BRK got downgraded last year when it issued some debt to complete its acquisition of Burlington Northern, an asset that has since been generating cash like crazy.

      The US, on the other hand, doesn’t issue debt to acquire assets. It issue debt to throw more money into the money hole.

      If you had to loan your last dollar, and were given a choice between BRK and thge US government, is there any doubt at all what you’d do?

      1. US Government has guns with which they can seize all the assets they need, including the holdings of BRK. Or Quatar. Or Libya. Or you.

        That’s a significant advantage on the “raise revenue” side of the ledger.

        1. We shall see.

        2. This. S&P is about as likely to mention that reasoning in their reports as Macy’s is to put a sign up saying Santa Claus isn’t real on December 14.

        3. Of course, the flip side is that you have no recourse if the US defaults. Who’s going to enforce a judgement against the US govt?

        4. On the flip side, Cyto, if the U.S. were going to act that way, wouldn’t they have done so in the MidEast by now, and we’d have $40/barrel oil?

    3. Japan is AA- and their debt to GDP is >225%

      1. Net debt/GDP is a bit more relevant. For Japan it’s 120%.

        1. For the US it’s 60%.

      2. Japan’s rating is equally ludicrous.

    4. Also, the 100% debt to GDP counts intragovernment debt. If you exclude that, we’re closer to 60%.

      1. Still not going buy Ben’s funny paper.

      2. But you do have to count that because the “social security lock box” does represent an obligation.

        1. Not really. Stroke of a pen, law of the land, and *poof*, suddenly the SSA is owed nothing.

      3. If you exclude intragovt debt, Social Security and Medicare are already bankrupt.

        1. I include a box of IOU’s to myself that I keep under my bed in my net worth calculations.

          You wouldn’t believe how rich I am… last I counted I have a brazillion dollars…

  12. “Standard.” “Poor.” “Moody.”

    Meh. Let us know how J.D. Power rates us.

    1. J.D. Power’s got nothing on me.

      1. I want to know what Kenny Powers thinks.

        Konichiwa Bitches

        Link NSFW

        1. That was awesome on levels not yet identified by science!

          He should kick Rick Perrys ass.

          Bitchez.

          1. How about mini me?

            1. I always liked Suzanne Powers.

              1. Failure! Stefanie. I meant Stefanie. Looking at her Wiki, I wonder if her nee name makes her a Ron & Rand relative.

  13. S&P is a few months late (minimum) as usual. Right now, the US is a credit which:

    — Operates without an actual budget;

    — Has an unfunded, off-balance sheet liability that is at least $30 trillion and maybe $100 trillion;

    — Has to borrow about $1.5 trillionh annually just to pay its bills, including, but not limited to, the interest on its already-acculutaed debt.

    What more would anyone really need to know? Now, contrast this with any number of corporations in the country, which have large stores of real, non-borrowed cash (the US: zero), no off-balance sheet liabilities, actual budgets (imagine that!), and earn more in revenue than they spend every year (how quaint).

    Thinsg will get darker before they get better. But the good news is that the fantasy world we are living in is now crumbling away at an increasingly rapid pace.

    1. Now, back to America’s Got Talent!

      1. Fuck that. They voted off Fat Guy Dancer.

        1. They voted off Fat Guy Dancer.

          But my cats are named so cleverly.

    2. Apple, Microsoft and those other cash generators better start paying out special cash dividends to stockholders before Barack “America-Eats-Its-Producers” Obama tries to take a big bite out of that cash.

      1. I’d love to see Obama throw a 90% marginal tax rate on Apple. As if Steve Jobs needed any more incentive to move all his production factories to China.

        1. apple has no U.S. factories.

          1. DEY TUK ER JOBS!

          2. That’s even more LOL considering how many left-wing SWPL goons buy their products.

            1. Much as I hate the iCrap products, Macs are awesome. Who knows how much longer Apple will make them though as they lurch more and more toward becoming a purely consumer electronics company.

              1. Based on the quality of the new MacBook Air, I’d say you needn’t worry about their dedication to making high quality computers.

                The shit rules.

          3. While Apple products are assembled in China, the components come from many countries – including the US. And virtually all the engineering work is done here in the US.

      2. They’d have to get it into the US without paying the 35% tax, and we all know that we can’t have corporation repatriating cash without the gummit taking nearly 40% of it.

  14. I eagerly look forward to this being blamed on libertarians

    Careful what you ask for. A lotta guys believe that, behind our genteel monocles, we’re really anarchists.

    1. Epi is an anarchist and admits it.

      The monocle he wears because he is into steampunk cosplay.

      1. This him?

        http://s3.amazonaws.com/kym-as…../532/steam napoleon.jpg?1312332333

      2. Quite a few an-caps here actually…

        1. Anarchism is the only logical conclusion.

          1. I should amend this to point out that it’s the only logical conclusion if you believe that individuals are their own keeper.

            1. anarchism is the only logical conclusion if…individuals are their own keeper

              Gee, I thought that would be “individualism,” not gang warfare.

              And “logical conclusion” to what? Government intrusion into the marketplace? And your answer is…anarchy?

              Pardon me while I giggle.

              [giggle]

              1. Please explain what “individualism” means in the context of the state?

                Anarchism is the logical conclusion because if you own yourself, then no one has the right to dictate your actions or conscript you into abiding by a set of rules based on political whim and backed by violence.

                Minarchism may (or may not) be the most effective means of preventing individual people from violating the rights of others, but anarchism is actually the consistent position if you believe that individuals are the sole owner and controller of his or her own body.

                1. anarchy cant exist.

                  Therefore, minarchistm is the logical conclusion.

                  1. I define anarchy in a way such that it cannot exist.

                    People who will not recognize the monopoly status of an organization I deem to be legitimate must be plundered, imprisoned, or killed… for liberty.

              2. Shucks, it’s like government isn’t a mob either!

              3. Gee, I thought that would be “individualism,” not gang warfare.

                And “logical conclusion” to what? Government intrusion into the marketplace? And your answer is…anarchy?

                Who said anything about gang warfare?

                Anarchy is the logical conclusion for political systems. No one should be allowed to coerce another person.

            2. Just like communism is the only logical conclusion if you believe that people should have equal opportunity.

              1. Point being, logic and the real world seldom have anything to do with each other.

                1. And some (there are multiple kinds of an-capism) are more reality applicable than others. Heathian an-capism, is more reality applicable than say geoanarchism/radical georgism.

                2. Just like communism is the only logical conclusion if you believe that people should have equal opportunity.

                  Point being, logic and the real world seldom have anything to do with each other.

                  Uh, you actually have that backwards. It’s not logical to theorize that there can be a group of people with enough power to run a top down system that will not fall prey to corruption.

                  Logic and the real world have everything to do with each other, that’s why politics is the art of the sales pitch. Politicians are selling something that goes against logic.

              2. Just like communism is the only logical conclusion if you believe that people should have equal opportunity.

                This is completely backwards. Communism is the logical conclusion if you believe that the perfect life can be planned and achieved and that you have a duty to make sure everyone lives this perfect life, whether they choose to or not, because it’s in their best interests.

                1. Anarchism is the logical conclusion if you believe that no one, nowhere, will ever initiate force. In other words, “if men were angels”.

                  The bottom line is that, no matter what, you need an enforcement agency for contractual obligations.

                  1. Anarchists don’t claim coercion will ever stop once and for all. Straw man. But I agree with your second part.

                  2. The bottom line is that, no matter what, you need an enforcement agency for contractual obligations.

                    Why can’t that be contracted out?

                    1. It can. To a thing we call “government”.

                      I have had this conversation with David Friedman, of all people, face to face, and even he recognizes the sticky tension at the pragmatic and logical ends of anarchism. I really don’t feel like rehashing this all over again.

                      At root, there is tension between the morality of anarchism and its pragmatic applications. The end. If you don’t recognize that tension, or are in handwaving mode, then you are not a serious libertarian intellectual. Mind that I am not saying that one cannot be seriously intellectual and an anarchist; just that each side of this debate needs to recognize the moral/pragmatic divide as a fork at the end of the road and stop frigging arguing about it already.

                  3. (+)

    2. In fairness, a lot of us are anarchists

    3. I was an anarchist long before I was a “libertarian” and remain so. Minarchist libertarians are statists by definition.

      1. Were you a collectivist anarchist beforehand?

        1. No, more like an Egoist.

          1. Guess I’m a statist.

      2. You’re about as much of an anarchist as my mom. Which is to say, you never were and never will be, Mrs. Bachmann.

        1. Oh Pissy, don’t get your panties in a bunch! Nobody takes anarchists seriously. And why should they? You anarcho-collectivist-libertarian-minarchists can’t even agree on a definition! That’s why you’re so defensive and angry all the time. I would be too if I wasted all my time preaching a bogus gospel to the nonbelievers. But cheer up. People will finally come around to your way of thinking in…never.

          1. Well you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!

          2. You anarcho-collectivist-libertarian-minarchists can’t even agree on a definition!

            Yes, because the other political ‘definitions’ are set in stone!

        2. “My anarchism is bigger than yours!”

    4. Not liberal = anarchist.

    5. I always thought Minnesotans were too passive-aggressive to be anarchists.

  15. You mean S&P wan’t fooled by my deficit reduction plan? But I worked so hard!

    1. Aw Mr. Speaker, don’t cry.
      Again.

      1. But it’s just so hard out here for a Washington pimp. After weeks of working past 6pm, Harry Reid and I finally agreed to increase the debt ceiling, cut absolutely jack shit from the budget, and then claim that we forged a touch compromise that no one like but was good for the country. And now it’s like no one appreciates it.

        1. Sit in the tanning booth some more. You’ll feel like a new Washington pimp.

          1. Well, they’ve saved the country from certain bankruptcy again — for at least 24 hours. Boehner, Reid, Pelosi and above all, Team Leader Obama.

        2. And I even told them I got 98% of what I wanted!

          Damnit I need a fucking smoke…

          1. Call prezzy. 42% approval- he’s gotta be packing.

            1. Smoke Newports!? Are you nuts??

              1. Boehner worked hard? I still think he’s a dick.

        3. Smoke Newports!? Are you nuts??

  16. Who gives a shit? We want our checks now, motherfuckers!

    1. this is a perfect time to cut taxes! MORE TAX CUTS! Cut them to zero and the revenues will REALLY shoot up! We’ll get our AAA rating back for sure!

      1. The money is in another castle.

        1. Dude, didn’t you always hate it when your older brother made you play David Koch because he wanted to play Charles Koch? Then the bitch still stole all the powerups.

          1. Then the bitch still stole all the powerups.

            Yeah, but he’d get so excited about the tanooki suit that he’d fuckup and lose it immediately, and usually fall into a pit.

  17. In 2004, spending per capita was less than $8000.

    If spending were reduced to $8000 per capita, there would be a surplus.

    1. Are you taking into account inflation?

      1. Are you taking into account inflation?

        No.

        However, inflation was pretty low, so the inflation-adjusted number should not be much higher than that.

        1. You mean the CPI?

          I take it you believe in the Easter Bunny too.

      2. What inflation?

        1. Inflation = Economic Growth

    2. my god man, do you remember 2004? It was a nightmare. Wolves preying on the weak, scarce food, short life expectancy, murder and crime rampant! What’s that? You didn’t mean 2004 B.C.?

      Never mind.

      1. i think most people were secure from wolves by 2004BC.

        1. Matthew 7:15
          Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

          I think Jesus got this one correct.

    3. Your guy was in charge for most of the time since 2004.

      1. Your guy was in charge for most of the time since 2004.

        And yet, if we merely copied my guy’s 2004 budget and multiplied each line item by the population growth factor, we would have a surplus.

        Imagine that.

      2. I think that many poeple miss GWB nowadays.

        1. fuck that, I’m starting to miss carter.

          1. Malia is almost done with my crisis of confidence speech and is about to load it onto the teleprompters.

            1. …we’re really waiting for your “I Am Not A Crook” speech.

              1. [::wagging finger::] “I. Did. NOT. Have. Relations. With. That. Economy.”

        2. fuck that, I wanted him impeached for signing CFR and hung for TARP

      3. Your guy is in charge now, and he’s digging us even deeper into debt than “their” guy did.

        But you don’t care, do you, mustard.

        1. I hate those guys.

      4. Your guy was in charge for most of the time since 2004.

        Harry Browne was in charge? When did that happen?

    4. Your guy was in charge for most of the time since 2004.

      1. …that the guy in charge now is “your guy”?

        1. :blink:

          :blink:

          1. Shhhhhh. Don’t reveal our secret code. One blink, yes. Two blinks you want to suck my cock. Again.

      2. I was in charge?

  18. The real fun is going to start Monday… I will say, I have absolutely no idea how the markets are going to react to this. Especially with the number of institutions that will need to sell US Bonds due to the rating cut.

    1. Probably an “either/or” scenario–could end up being a MASSIVE crash due to all the entities required to hold AAA bonds that have to sell, if no buyers come along for the Treasuries–the PPT could even have to step in if we’re looking at a “flash-crash” type of scenario. On the other hand, the market could end up saying, “Eh, it was fun while it lasted,” and barely move at all because various brokers and agencies have planned ahead for it.

  19. If you need a ratings agency to tell you the US Treasury is a risky investment, it’s a wonder anyone is trusting you with their money.

    Or as Obama’s friends used to say, “I don’t need a weatherman to tell me it’s raining”

    1. “Pals” Get it right.

    2. It’s “you don’t need a Weatherman to tell which way the wind blows.”

      1. Or which way fragments from a bomb blast blow.

  20. The good news is it looks like funding can continue for Cowboy Poetry. The cuts aren’t so draconian as to take that away.

    1. I was kinda hoping for funding for The Naked Cowboy.

      1. Oh, my.

        1. That’s what he said!

          1. I like cats

  21. At least we saved Essential Air Service today. That’s right, $17 million of federal money to make sure residents of Athens, GA don’t have to drive to Atlanta to catch a plane.

    Fuck you, American taxpayers!

    1. We don’t pay income taxes, so glad they’re not talking about us.

      1. our entire system currently hangs on the thread by which these people still reflexively hate anyone who wants to raise taxes.

    2. Just in time for the remasters of the REM catalogue…which leads to the question of oxymoronicity: how do you really remaster anything?

      No, the spelling is not remastur.

  22. I eagerly look forward to this being blamed on libertarians…

    I blame this on your ties Welch!! You sartorial insensibility is what has really brought this country to its knees!! You have a French wife, let her pick your outfits!

    Seriously, though, why “look forward”? You don’t have to wait:

    Nor should we let Ben Bernanke and his colleagues off the hook: The Fed has by no means done all it could, partly because it was more concerned with hypothetical inflation than with real unemployment, partly because it let itself be intimidated by the Ron Paul types.

    1. Damn it BakedPenguin… do you really want me to switch over to whiskey tonight?

    2. Nor should we let Ben Bernanke and his colleagues off the hook: The Fed has by no means done all it could, partly because it was more concerned with hypothetical inflation than with real unemployment, partly because it let itself be intimidated by the Ron Paul types.

      And people wonder why I’m a pessimist

    3. Hilarious how a guy who’s known mostly for Quixotic presidential runs and getting punked by Sascha Baron Cohen suddenly is the most nefarious influence on the economy.

    4. Outfits? You mean outfit. The French wear one outfit all week long. It is cleaned during ‘le week-end’ for the next week, ad infinitum, ad nauseum (literally).

      It’s all that most can afford. But at least there are subsidized stinky cheeses available in an infinite variety, although the avg. frenchpersonne buys a cheap and stinky low-end Cam-um-bear.

  23. Is it time yet to officially declare the recovery over (if it ever really began) and say we are in the midst of a double dip recession?

    1. I think we’d technically have to see contraction for two consecutive quarters. AFAIK GDP is growing painfully slow around 1%.

      1. technically

        Technically, I like cats

      2. …growing painfully slow around 1%.

        Even after taking inflation into account?

    2. During the TARP debate, I said if it passed we would have a dodecadip recession.

      So how come Im not being hailed as a economic genius?

  24. I truly look forward to the day when the political class in this doddering country recognizes that you can’t just wave away a spending spiral by pretending that it doesn’t exist.

    Really? Because that usually doesn’t happen until the cities are in flames and blood runs like a river through the streets.

    DOOOOM

    1. Cities in flames? Sounds like crumbling infrastructure. I had better get out my list of shovel-ready projects . . .

      1. Cities in flames? Sounds like crumbling infrastructure.

        MySpace?

        1. Get Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd to my office. They had good ideas about shovel ready projects.

          1. Damn Right.

    2. you assume we actually give a shit about such things.

      The only thing that actually matters is that the other “side” gets blamed.

    3. Cities in flames with rock’n’roll?

    4. My Military has trained for that…and since I’m the leader……

  25. Credit rating of the government is too important to be left to the
    private sector.

    wdwgtctri?

  26. Does anyone have a dollar I can borrow until next Friday?

    1. [::has IRS forcibly remove dollar from helpless bystander’s wallet; hands it to Ben::]

      1. Thanks. I was just kidding about the next Friday part.

    2. Does anyone have a dollar I can borrow until next Friday?

      Just print another one

      1. http://epson.com/

        I’m bullish on epson.

  27. Are the streets running with blood yet? I feel an urge to buy, buy, buy.

    1. I see some rivulets….

      1. Blame the Joo!!! It’s all his fault!

    2. buy, buy, love
      buy, buy, hapiness,
      hello, lonliness…

  28. Call me crazy, but I am happy with S&P’s downgrade. The fact is this massive spending, borrowing, and accumulation of debt needs to stop now.

    We don’t need anymore phony budget deals with phony/deferred spending cuts that will never happen because they will be undone by the current/next congress. No more deficit commissions that will find convoluted formulas to keep spending levels intact.

    Maybe, just maybe our idiotic, brain-stem, so-called leaders will cease with the pathetic games and face reality. The Math is inescapable.

    Unfortunately, the talk tonight is about rounding errors and the need for more revenue.

    Let me get this straight- our government goes on an 11 year spending bender and you want me along with the working class to swallow a one-two trillion dollar tax increase- screw you!

    Finally, I want to thank S&P for taking the step that should have been done awhile ago.

    1. Maybe, just maybe our idiotic, brain-stem, so-called leaders will cease with the pathetic games and face reality. The Math is inescapable.
      Inescapable math has never had the slightest ability to cause political leaders t face reality.

      This downgrade will drive up the price of borrowing. Thus resulting in… wait for it… the need to borrow more.

      Gaze upon Zimbabwe and see our future.

      1. Math is a repressive tool of the patriarchy

        1. Math is a repressive tool of the patriarchy

          I like cats because, like me, they don’t understand math.

          1. So… wait. Wait. Does that make me an economist… or a cat?

            1. So… wait. Wait. Does that make me an economist… or a cat?

              OK, I LOLed.

              1. Inescapable math? Hahaha! I’ve beaten that bugger so many times it’d make you laugh.

            2. Does that make me an economist… or a cat?

              In the Krugman household, you’re both!

        2. That an intrinsically patriachical repressive tool of the patriarchy.

          You Doof.

    2. Im glad it happened too. The other day my brother-in-law said he wanted to see Congress fail to raise the debt ceiling because maybe it would help people wake up and see that you cant spend more money than you take in, at least not indefinitely. I had to agree with him.

      I hope this downgrade is followed by others and that it leads to real reform–cut military spending in half (we’ll be fine), quit trying to mother and police the rest of the world, end Medicaid (let states take care of that), raise the retirement age, means test SS and Medicare.

      Problem solved.

  29. “If you need a ratings agency to tell you the US Treasury is a risky investment, it’s a wonder anyone is trusting you with their money.”

    Hey, if you can shoot the messenger, maybe the message will get lost!

  30. Obama should be impeached for lying, for devaluing the dollar more than any counterfeiter, for theft of the hard-earned money of 340 million people (OK, make that 140 million) and just generally for having a mind of sheer ignorance and economic perversion. I’ve said it before: He has set back race relations 50 years in this country.

    1. Yeah, after Obama, it will be tough for me to trust a white presidential candidate again.

    2. I have no idea what race has to do with this, nutjob.

    3. He has set back race relations 50 years in this country.

      Don’t be stupid. If anything, he’s proof that the electorate is now perfectly capable of making terrible choices regardless of race. That’s progress, of a sort.

      1. Point taken, of a sort. However, I would change “regardless of race” to “in spite of race”.

    4. “I’ve said it before: He has set back race relations 50 years in this country.”
      Well, I wouldn’t brag about it if I were you. It’s pretty dumb.

    5. I was going to link to this video to make a joke about race relations, but then I saw this comment was the highest rated:

      Idiocracy is about the dangers? of corporatism. This is largely lost on most people who manipulate this film to fit their narrow world views. It’s almost ironic how you think this has anything to do with Obama.

      Nothing will ever be funny again.

    6. I don’t think it will matter how much Obama screws up. As long as he maintains his deportment the race line will have been crossed, and there won’t be much concern about the race of the president in future.

      Besides, even if Obama leaves the world in flames, Leftist historians will still glorify him as a hero.

  31. You jeered and taunted while crucifying Him last time out, too, you know. Heathens.

    1. …”He” has the DOJ/CIA/FBI/DHS/CIA/BATF/ICE at his command. And “He” likes to overturn the bankers tables only to return in secret later to collect protection money.

  32. There should be a “Achtung Krugman!” warning that precedes every link to him. Just seeing his photo temporarily lowers my IQ by 10 points. The idiot-force just reeks off of him . . .

    1. “Achtung Krugman!”

      LOL, I named one of my cats that after the U2 album. U2 is a really politically smart band.

  33. Allow me to give you a quick sumamry of the New York Times comments on this: These evil CORPOTAITIONZ!!!! CAUSED THIS GREAT RECESSION!!!! WITH THE BANKSTERS!!! AND AS SUCH SHOULD HAVE LESS POWERZ!!!

    1. Poor Uncle Sugar took Stalin’s dictum about ‘holding friends close and your enemies closer’ and still somehow got it fucking wrong. Because he’s no Joe Stalin in politics despite the Ivy warranty.

      Actually, its because Uncle Obama is an intrinsically stupid man. Just like the previous President. Genetically befuddled by events and numbers beyond his comprehension.

      And before the idiots come out of the wood-work the reasons for his physiologically-inherent stupidity are not because he’s black, but because he’s half white! Uncle Sugar ain’t black enough…he STILL stupid! Gotta purge the Devil before Messiah shows up Donks! Enjoy!

      P.S. I love good beer…thanks Jimmy Obama!

      1. That’s wasn’t Stalin, that was Vito Corleone. Stalin’s dictum was “One man’s death is a tragedy. One million deaths is a statistic.”

        1. I coulda swore Stalin said that. Either way, its brilliant quote that captures organized crime perfectly.

          Thanks for the correction, would rather be wrong once vs. a thousand stupid pronouncements thinking I’m right!

        2. I thought Stalin’s maxim was “Don’t keep friends, and send your enemies to Siberia”

          1. I thought Stalin’s maxim was kill everyone that might be your enemy, and periodically send a friend to Siberia to encourage the others.

            Mao’s was “A schoolgirl a day keeps me leaping forward!”

            1. Mao’s was “A schoolgirl a day keeps me leaping forward!”

              Hey! Mine, too!

    2. Every time some lefty goes, “They need to jack up the corporate tax rate and if they don’t like it, these guys can fuck off elsewhere,” I always say, “That becomes a problem if they take you up on your offer.” After that, cue the whinging about “fairness.”

    3. Oh, also, for the complete round up:

      The Hill, CNN: This is all the Tea Party’s Fault for threatening our debt!!!

      Other Democratic leaning sites: Well, if we had just increased taxes, this wouldn’t have happened!!!
      Gawker, Feministing, and Jezebel: “…”

      Yes,, truly, they are the Crono of the blogging world, minus the Magnus, Robo, or Frog to keep them interesting.

    4. They’re right about the big corporations. Where they’re confused is thinking the Democratic Party are an opposing force to the big corporations.

  34. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. We’ve already been told there’s no chance we get downgraded.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-th…..dit-rating

    The country is in the very best of hands.

    1. Hey, you heard ’em. Debbie Downer-“‘We own the economy’“.

      Yep. You sure do. And you’ve made quite a fucking mess of what already was fucked up.

      Debbie Downer. Turbo Timmy. Cowboy Harry. Nancy “I still don’t know what’s in it” Pelosi. Clueless Joe.

      And the chosen one.

      I hope no one is surprised it’s getting worse with this group of folks running the show.

      1. Hopefully, this will go down in history as “the Obama Downgrade.”

        1. If I were running against him I sure as hell would start labeling it just that…

      2. Deb looks like a woman who melted. Five years from now she’s going to be eating through her zipper.

      3. She only said that because she couldn’t figure out how to clearly say “we pwned the economy”.

    2. Allstate?

  35. This is why I stopped my financial support of Reason. This post seems to blame entitlements for the downgrade, but if you read the full report, it’s a combo of politics as well as a reluctance to increase taxes.

    While pundits lavish love on Ireland (low tax haven of Europe), ratings agencies lavish downgrades – because those low taxes can’t pay the bills. What they always leave out is that American’s pay FICA taxes that were supposed to be directed to S.S. and Medicare, but were not. Thus, American’s paid, up front, for their care, but politicians ruined it.

    Even if we spent exactly what we owed, we’d still be $14.5 trillion in debt. You can’t get out of debt without new income. It’s just that simple. It’s time to admit that taxes need to be raised. It’s time to admit that we can’t afford to spend $800 billion on defense. It’s time to admit that we need a VAT. However, I see no one one either side agreeing to that. Thus — we’re screwed.

    1. Shawn, I actually leave the libertarian camp(Honestly, I’m a classic liberal who supports a small but robust social safety net) on taxes, in that a full tax reform would be fine even if it results in an “in effect” higher tax rate.

      However, this blog has pointed out numerous times that, because taxes only grab 18% of GDP, we have a spending, not a revenue problem.

      Also, good luck selling the VAT to anti-tax Republicans and anti-“Tax the middle class” Dems.

    2. This is why I stopped my financial support of Reason. They’re libertarians.

    3. You didn’t state why spending cuts alone are insufficient. If we end the stupid wars we are in and end (gradually, if we must) all unconstitutional spending, we wouldn’t need any tax hikes.

    4. The VAT has worked wonders for Greece, Italy, and Spain after all.

    5. What are you going to raise the taxes on this year? Stocks went flat. Dividends will be taxed as usual for non-exempt saving plans, but it doesn’t look like there will be any capital gains. I don’t think even wild-eyed-leftist Dems would raise payroll taxes. There’s nothing left to tax but accumulated wealth. That’s more of moral hazard than MATT DAMMON.

      1. I don’t think even wild-eyed-leftist Dems would raise payroll taxes.

        Leftist Dems would tax each and every individual pubic hair on your grandmother’s crotch, if they could legally do so.

        1. Bernie Sanders would, but he’s not a Dem. Like FDR, the likes of [Plastic] Pelosi and [Thurston Howell] Kerry are way too accustomed to first-class living to kill the cow that brings them the milk.

    6. so cut spending even further so we spend less than we owe…

      1. Sedition!

    7. reluctance to increase taxes.

      The more important question is do you want the government to grow or stop growing? In relation to the economy at large is part of this question too. If you think the government has a role in creating jobs, I urge you to consider the path that increased taxes leads to. If you are arguing for increased taxes to pay down debt, fine, but the size of government matters as well, and your comment doesn’t directly address the size of the government.

    8. Shawn…. I would guess most of us here have faced a budget crunch at some point in our own lives. For many, increasing revenue was not an option, yet we managed to work our way out of the hole. Now, I wonder how we did that?

      1. The sweet, sparkly contents of my magical, multi-hued ass…?

        1. Oh, that’s just so hawt.

        2. Dammit, now I have a diamond-cutter! Here kitty, kitty..

      2. “Now, I wonder how we did that?”
        Stopped our financial support of Reason?

    9. Taxes do not increase revenues. In a debt-based fiat currency regime, taxes are merely a curb on future price inflation.

      It’s time to admit that we need a VAT.

      Why do you hate consumers?

    10. This is why I stopped my financial support of Reason.

      May I ask why you started financially supporting Reason? Because an aversion to taxes has always been part of their organizational zeitgeist. It’s not like this is a flip-flop.

    11. So pols that (I also disagree with) increased spending like crazy get off the hook – and I’m (an actual taxpayer) has to pick up the slack.

      oh, yeah… just want we need.

    12. No, Americans did not pay upfront for SS and Medicare. The promised benefits, especially on Medicare, exceed what was paid. But because people think that they paid their fair share (but didn’t), they think that they deserve their welfare, subsidized by others until the pyramid scheme collapses.

    13. I always thought the Irish spelling was Sean, perhaps with an accent on the A, as in Connery. How did you get so screwed? Why did you follow along. Jesus Christ, just go with John, it ain’t so bad.

  36. Meanwhile at Slate, Jacob Weisburg has given up on life:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2300840/

    1. See? There is a plus side.

      1. Corpse of Jacob Weisburg or it hasn’t happened.

        1. No corpse, it was torn to pieces by mindless right-wing Tea Party cannabals, with his head being mailed to Obama as a taunt. Or something like that.

          1. I’d give TWO weeks’ pay to see that.

            1. seeing another war-mongering, treasury-busting prick of a president humiliated. And I’m never going to be a tee-party girl.

    2. Awww….poor little guy.

      On side note, I was talking to my landlord tonight, and I live in Santa Monica’s 30th district…and my landlord is crazy liberal. She wrote a ‘screenplay’ about Mother Jones and Rockefeller, wanted to tell me about it as I paid the rent. And I gave her $1700 for my hovel as such pads here demand, told her it was ounce of gold in ‘real’ money.

      And she erupted. Mentioned how her husband ‘scoring a film in Germany for a famous director…’ – Uwe Boll, I’m not making that up – told her to buy lots and lots of silver. What was the price to do? Didn’t know when I told her 3% of world GDP was price of Obama’s socialist stew but she still got it! She still knew, that this party was over and running from the dollar was the fad. And fads run this town let me tell you (I think every Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf drives within three blocks of my work).

      But when even the lefties don’t buy it anymore, because world figured out its USA’s Xeroxed ‘investments’ are just from a double-cheating whore…

      Well…have fun grandkids!

      1. And she erupted. Mentioned how her husband ‘scoring a film in Germany for a famous director…’ – Uwe Boll, I’m not making that up

        LO fuckin’ L

        1. Uwe Boll is a great, great man.

      2. You sound like an entertaining fellow, ZT. She bored you with crazy, and you shot back with insolence. Too bad you didn’t video the exchange. YouTube has a wider audience than H&R, and better commentary.

      3. Our local liberal talk radio station (we have one of those in the SF Bay Area) runs ads for a gold broker all the time.

      4. I looked up the word xerox. They still exist? I guess so.

        http://www.xerox.com/?CMP=KNC-…..DGRP=brand

    3. The antediluvian Republicans…

      Oh fuck, I had to look that word up. Antediluvian. Is Weisberg saying that Republicans are virtuous in their half-baked attempts to prepare for a disaster or evil for not whistling in the wind?

      1. I think he means they’re old and white.

        1. “I think he means they’re old and white.”
          And they didn’t get wet.

      2. Other than Noah and his kin, the people living before the flood were supposed to be pretty damned rotten. Hence the flood.

    4. Jacob, I am brewing a special batch of kool aid for a party with my cats. Care to join me?

    5. “So instead of trying to pull out of the stall …”

      What a dumbass, trying to pull out is exactly what you’re *not* supposed to do in a stall.

  37. Matt Welch,

    You don’t get payed enough to write this stuff. And my name’s MATT, by the way, not yours.

  38. Too much money is concentrated in the hands of too few.

    1. True. And they’re called “politicians.”

    2. Blah, blah. Same old shit we could hear on MSNBC.

      Get some new material.

    3. “The needs of the Me outweigh the needs of the You.”

      1. “Dammit Barry, I’m a veep, not an accountant!”

        1. So, if the U.S. economy is Edith Keeler… and Obama is Captain James T. Kirk… then that means he cheerfully ass-banged her, and then allowed her to be pancaked by an oncoming truck?

          See: this is why I never leave the goddamn basement.

          1. Please say “ass-banged” again, sir.

            1. Permission to clean the Jeffries Tube again, Captain!

              1. “THERE! ARE! FOUR! CATS!”

    4. Power, I think you meant to say. And they’re all fucking morons, sadly.

  39. “You are too modest. Lets give some credit to the Jews.
    Yesterday, 23:16:44 ? Flag ? Reply”

    I don’t even have to make this stuff up anymore!?!

    1. Another classic, from the same Slate comments section:

      Joseph Bruce
      The S&P has just downgraded the debt rating of America
      This will increase interest payments on the debt
      The S&P has just comitted an act of TREASON and as such the top officers of the S&P need to be charged tried and convicted of the crime!
      Today, 6:43:04 PM
      ? Flag ? Reply

      [::Endless Facepalm Loop::]

      1. The S&P has just comitted an act of TREASON and as such the top officers of the S&P need to be charged tried and convicted of the crime!

        That guy knows what’s up!

      2. Why did we settle on ‘Kangaroo Court’ instead of ‘Boomerang Court’. Either way, we would have paid respect to Aboriginal Language and the fact that each and every one was individually fucked for belonging to a collectivist label.

    2. Politicians, cops…what’s the diff?

      Res Publica Americana|8.1.11 @ 7:56PM|
      Charge them with terrorism. And then send them to a secret prison in Somalia. And then hang them.

      Anon|8.1.11 @ 11:06PM|
      Can anyone get us the names and addresses (or just names, we can get the addresses ourselves) of these murderers? I think there are some people that would like to meet these upstanding members of society.

      Phlogistan|8.4.11 @ 4:28PM|
      Taze them till the polyester melts.

    3. I was in the trenches of the Slate comment section on that article, the stupidity hurts.

  40. I’m actually happy we got downgraded.

    The sooner the government has to deal with the entitlment mess the better. I’d much rather have the fiscal crisis arrive because noone will lend us any more money than because we can’t pay it back anymore.

    Realizing that the distinction between the two is sorta grey. But still, hold their fucking feet to the fire NOW. It’s better than devaluation.

    1. Great theory. Just one problem.

      These politicians are elected. The system that elects them is designed to filter out anybody that would do anything serious about cutting government spending.

      And we aren’t Greece. Nobody is going to bail our asses out. So get ready for the devaluation. And whatever comes after that.

      Nick and Matt suggest that whatever that is, it’ll probably be good stuff.

      1. I still think that devaluation is the inevitable end, but I continue to hope is desperation that it won’t come to that. Allow me to enjoy my delusions while I can.

        1. Devaluation seems to be the only logical conclusion based on current economic policies. The other option is deflation, which I fail to see as such a bad thing.

          1. Whose devaluation?

          2. Devaluation seems to be the only logical conclusion based on current economic policies. The other option is deflation, which I fail to see as such a bad thing.

            Deflation would encourage people to save.

        2. Whatever happens, I agree with you. Sooner is better than later.

          1. Personally, I hate on OU.

      2. The system that elects them is designed to filter out anybody that would do anything serious about cutting government spending.

        How so?

        1. It’s called, among other things, Public Choice Theory.

          Briefly: Decisions are made that benefit a well organized group against the interest of the country.

          1. Yes, mere Theory, like Darwinism and Relativity.

    2. ^see: Public Choice Theory.

  41. The national debt is a fight against the powers of mankind in the war against the womankind. The kind of thing that does this is a deep hated of love and life that causes me to feel bad about the way our government is eating our future with a big-ass spoon. The government is slamming our assholes with a life-hating zeal that rapes my perception of the way Tiger Woods is WINNING the Masters like a masturbating child trying to understand the world in a way that keeps us safe. Bush knew this, which is the reason he cut taxes for the corporate masters in the way that rapes all our children. The only way to get beyond our greed is a massive army of porno wives that allow for butt-sex. Butt-sex drips shit mixed with cum on the machines of power that control the way we spend money on various things like cigars and bottles of bourbon and butt-sex. Now, if you understand that this means that nuclear warfare destroy the massive porno industry then Gillespie excellent idea of keeping the size of the federal budget to 19% of GPD, then I’ll grant you that butt-sex won’t do a hell of a lot of good. Yet, just remember that life is worth living if the cocaine is in your nose and your dick is in the porno wife’s ass.

    Thanks.

    1. Charlie,

      You’re more lucid than [HERC] and my wife for a few days each month. But you’re no MATT DAMON.

    2. My wrinkled old senior-citizen dick twitched while I was reading that.

  42. Great. Now, with this credit score, we’ll have to get our roads, bridges, and aircraft carriers from Rent-a-Center.

    1. You mean we weren’t already?

  43. Stolen unashamedly from Dave Burge, aka Iowahawk: Now we know Obama’s street name. DOWNGRAYEDD. With two D’s for a double dose of pimpin’.

    1. Awesome

    2. With Barry, it’s more like a double dose of douchebag.

  44. What are you all so worried about? Haven’t you heard that Geithner’s staying to keep us all safe and prosperous? He’s got the Midas touch, if Midas were actually Mugabe.

    1. Geithner needs moar cats. lol

    2. The only thing that’s going to keep us safe and prosperous now is our military. The EU is fixing to puke blood too.

      We may get to see the first world war in history to be fought (unabashedly) over debt as the defaults start.

      1. Yet ironically our ridiculously oversized military is a large part of how we got in this mess in the first place.

        1. The very definition of Irony.

        2. but b’god, there’s not a terrorist left standing anywhere on the globe. except over here, and over there, maybe there’s still a few standing. but not much, not many terrorists still standing. except the ones that are still using the internet so spend more on Big Brother. oh and there’s still a few trying to sneak through air ports so spend more on Big Brother.

          We got all the terrorists except the really really sneaky ones and we need to spend a lot more on Big Brother so we can catch them.

          1. …in the Red States, set up border-crossing checkpoints….

        3. Fuckin’ Libyans. Won’t bomb themselves, you know.

        4. It’s a significant part but the entitlements have been the real killer.

      2. No! It’s a good thing! World War II got us out of the Depression! Broken windows, lmao! (‘n cats… mmmm…)

        1. WW2 did get us (ie, the United States) out of the Depression. It’s not a broken windows fallacy because most of the world suffered greatly from those broken windows for a long time afterward.

          1. It’s not a broken windows fallacy because most of the world suffered greatly from those broken windows for a long time afterward.

            The growth of the American manufacturing center, as well as the rise in salaries such that factory workers with only a high school education or less can support a spouse and three children, was due to the fact that Europe was in ruins.

          2. Tulpa: Yes it did. Annihilating your competition does wonders for the profit margin.

          3. Which was kind of what I was going for in my snark about the military keeping us safe and prosperous.

            “Yeah, we defaulted. what the fuck are you going to do about it?”

          4. Bullshit. The END of (wasteful spending of) WWII got us out of the depression. Knock that chestnut bullshit off!

    3. He’s got the Midas touch

      Yep, he’s making everything as expensive as gold used to be, and gold as expensive as antimatter used to be.

    4. Jesus Christ, people! Where are the gratuitous muffler jokes? The possibilities are endless.

      1. …they do brakes now, too.

  45. On a somewhat more focused note, it would be interesting to see what percentage of the current debt load is due to military expenditures, and how much was spent on everything else.

    Of course, if I knew the answer it’d probably just inspire further blather.

    But I at least want to know we got our money’s worth.

    1. “Everything else” is obviously a much bigger piece of the pie. And managing the military is something the federal government is supposed to do, unlike much of the other crap. As I’ve said before, we can argue over the proper size and scope of the US military, but it’s indisputably a responsibility of the federal government.

    2. A large part of our debtg is unfunded liabilities due to pension programs, Social Security and Medicare.

      It’s not money we’ve actually borrowed yet. It’s money we have a commitment to come up with in the future.

      1. But none of it is on the balance sheet, and thus, when pols and the media talk about the “official” debt and deficit, none of this unfunded liability is included. I’ve found that most people, even relatively well-informed people, know nothing about this, and that ignorance drives a lot of the “raise taxes” nonsense we hear.

      2. Why do the words ‘unfunded’ and ‘pension’ fit together so perfectly in our lexicon? It’s because they can.

  46. Whole thing is kinda crazy when you think about it.

    http://www.anon-web.us.tc

  47. To sum up:

    End of the world. Libertarians cheer.

    1. Wrong summation. Should be:

      Financial catastrophe.

      Democrats pass anti-catastrophe regulation.

      Republicans agree with legislation, but argue for inclusion of tax cut.

      Libertarians recognize reality of unsustainable spending, are then vilified by other two for daring to pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

  48. I eagerly look forward to this being blamed on libertarians,

    Which libertarians? The Palinista, Tea Party types, that are really not much more than paleocons, or the libertarians like Jim Rogers and Peter Schiff that have been warning the US about this since, at least, 2006?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..r_embedded

    1. You are mistakenly expecting the left and the MSM to care about the differences.

      To them, anybody that is not in favor of a completely managed economy is basically a libertarian.

      1. Why is everybody always picking on me?

        1. Cause you’re a clown, Charlie Brown.

      2. Unless they are a left-libertarian, like Chompers.

  49. I eagerly look forward to this being blamed on libertarians

    Libertarians are precious! They so desperately crave attention that they interpret mass disgust with big government as an endorsement of their own anarcho-collectivist non-philosophy, while at the same time secretly hoping that they will be blamed for the mess that they didn’t create. Why? Because they so desperately crave attention!

    A minority of Republicans and Democrats have (temporarily and disingenuously) abandoned their parties. That must mean that they have become…libertarians! Wish it, and it becomes reality.

    1. First, you are an asshole.

      Second, libertarians were blamed for the 2008 meltdown: http://www.thedailybeast.com/n…..ament.html

      1. Oooh, the Daily Beast blamed libertarians! And everybody respects the Daily Beast!

        Ha! Add “delusional” to your attention-craving neurosis.

        1. Show me one liberal douchebag that doesn’t blame Gramm-Leach-Bliley for the mortgage meltdown. GLB, or the repeal of Glass-Steagal, was a libertarian deregulation, right? And that article originally appeared in Newsweek. TDB bought Newsweek, in case you haven’t been paying attention.

        2. Ha! Add “delusional” to your attention-craving neurosis.

          You are a classic textbook case of psychological projection.

    2. “They so desperately crave attention that they interpret mass disgust with big government as an endorsement of their own anarcho-collectivist non-philosophy blah blah blah…”

      Don’t worry you’re little head about it. We know perfectly well that the general public will continue voting in incompetent assholes that think plundering the productive and making next generations clean up the mess is a valid and moral philosophy that leads to a healthy economy.

      The majority of people will probably only learn the hard way, and we’ll be standing there saying “we told you so”.

      1. We’ll be standing there saying “we told you so”.

        Well, when you’re an impotent, ineffectual failure, schadenfreude is some consolation.

        1. Oooo, name calling.

          I am impressed.
          Your mother must be so proud.

          1. Not calling names. Making observations. There’s a difference. For instance, if I wrote,

            Mr Whipple|8.6.11 @ 8:00AM|#
            “First, you are an asshole.”

            that would be name-calling. Hope this helps.

            Toodles!

            1. You are still as asshole.

              And it was Peter Schiff and Jim Rogers who accurately predicted the mortgage meltdown.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0QN-FYkpw

            2. Stop flattering yourself.

              You can tell yourself all you want that your personal attack-oriented comments are observations, but there must be some medicine available for delusions of grandeur.

              You are presenting yourself as nothing but an ad hominem specialist that is most likely jerking off to his own brainfarts.

              I think the proper name for someone like you is “troll”.

              1. Oh my, I must have touched a nerve!

                Libertarians get so defensive when one points out the inherent contradiction in their incessant complaining that nobody pays attention to them or takes them seriously, while at the same time protesting that people keep blaming them for America’s problems.

                To borrow a tiresome meme: Fucking having your cake and eating it too–how does that work?

                Anyway, I do enjoy provoking the puppets and watching them dance. If that makes me a troll, what does it make you?*

                 

                 

                 

                *Trick question! It makes you a puppet!

                1. So, you admit you have nothing meaningful to add to the conversation. Maybe if you could formulate a cogent, logically reasoned argument, you might be worth half a shit.

                2. “If that makes me a troll, what does it make you?*”

                  Dunno, but so far, you’ve proven to be nothing other than one more cow, very smug about the size of your herd.

                3. Anyway, I do enjoy provoking the puppets and watching them dance.

                  Is that why you stick your hand up your own ass Tony? I thought that was more a sexual than a political thing?

        2. Well, when you’re an impotent, ineffectual failure, schadenfreude is some consolation.

          I suspect nobody would know better than Obama.

          1. I learned it from you, Barack!

            1. an impotent, ineffectual failure

              “PRESENT!”

          2. an impotent, ineffectual failure

            “PRESENT!”

          3. an impotent, ineffectual failure

            “PRESENT!”

        3. Well, when you’re an impotent, ineffectual failure, schadenfreude is some consolation.

          The problem here is that schadenfreude means “shameful joy”.

          And there will be nothing shameful about it.

          Being pleased when bad actors suffer the consequences of their illogical and immoral actions is not shameful at all.

          Tell me, what’s the German word for righteous joy?

          1. Tell me, what’s the German word for righteous joy?

            Schadenuumpenleinostfreuleinherrfarfegneugenreisereiserammilieddunkelstromfeurhling.

            1. Fuck. No wonder the Germans specialize in shameful joy, rather than righteous joy. They don’t want to bother having to tell anyone how they feel.

        4. An ineffectual failure — you are no doubt talking about the welfare state that is imploding at this very moment, right?

      2. We’ll be standing there saying “we told you so”.

        Not me. I will be on the other side of my bunker door, shouting at them to go away.

        1. Much too dangerous to be standing next to those people when they melt down.

    3. D+ trolling FTL. Way too obvious.

      The only saving grace is all the hyphenated words, which I liked for some reason.

  50. Let me be clear,

    Our plans would have worked brilliantly and made a better world, if only human nature were a progressive Democrat.

    1. As long as it wasn’t me. I ain’t payin’ no taxes!

      1. Hey, neither are we!

  51. Federal Agencies to S&P: Go fuck yourselves!

    “Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    National Credit Union Administration
    Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

    Agencies Issue Guidance on Federal Debt

    Earlier today, Standard & Poor’s rating agency lowered the long-term rating of the U.S. government and federal agencies from AAA to AA+. With regard to this action, the federal banking agencies are providing the following guidance to banks, savings associations, credit unions, and bank and savings and loan holding companies (collectively, banking organizations)

    For risk-based capital purposes, the risk weights for Treasury securities and other securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, government agencies, and government-sponsored entities will not change. The treatment of Treasury securities and other securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, government agencies, and government-sponsored entities under other federal banking agency regulations, including, for example, the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation W, will also be unaffected.

    See how easy that was?

    1. IIRC this risk-weighting (which unless things have changed recently is 0%, by the way) is true for all sovereign credits rated AA- and higher, so this isn’t new guidance.

      It’s more like perpetually awful guidance, because the debt of publicly traded companies with the same rating has a higher risk-weighting.

  52. An English guy said today that the US government should just “tell all them private companies it’s borrowin’ from to FUCK OFF’ to solve the problem.

    ?????????

    1. Haha, fooled you! I do a good limey, don’t I?

      1. Sneaky mother-fucker!

    2. I kind of like that solution. If you’re lending money to those assholes, you’re part of the problem. At least taxpayers can argue that they don’t have a choice.

  53. I accidentally our credit rating. Is this bad?

    1. Yes, and if I could, I’d send you out the other side of this place right here —

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..re=related

      Skull-fuckery for decades in a North Korean concentration camp would do your despotic ass some good, I think!

  54. FBI to S&P:

    That’s a nice little ratings agency you got there. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it.

  55. Not that I am a big fan of the GOP leadership, but there is an interview with Eric Cantor in the Journal this morning that did have a very telling line:

    “The assumption . . . is that there is some kind of perpetual engine of economic prosperity in America that is going to just continue.”

    I think that’s pretty much spot on.. and even if the Dems are worse on that point (i.e. with the Laffer Curve and labor regulations) both parties are guilty.

    All of these pols have been operating under this assumption, whether for welfare or warfare, that there is something intrinsic about the U.S. economy that will always keep growing and spitting out cash and that that the recession is only a temporary bump in the road.

    Maybe this will start changing some minds, but I’m pessimistic. We’re still going to need some actual negative effects to start making a difference.

    1. I think that’s pretty much spot on.. and even if the Dems are worse on that point (i.e. with the Laffer Curve and labor regulations) both parties are guilty.

      After the meltdown happened in 2008, I’d hear a lot of lefties claim that “the debt and spending aren’t problems as long as we raise GDP.” You ask them what industries are going to hire people back at the rates needed to restore the economy, without artificially goosing it through taxation or inflation, and they can’t name a single one. (witness mobiustrip’s recent arguments)

      They simply assume the economy will right itself “because it always has.” It’s just to horrible to contemplate for them what will happen if it doesn’t, because they know it means the end of the 20th century benevolent welfare state.

      1. Moorish Iberia lasted about three times as long as the United States has and, relative to its neighbors at least was incredibly prosperous, but it’s been all but forgotten.

        1. … except by those guys that claim it’s still part of Dar al Islam.

      2. It’s kind of funny, since for environmental issues, they’ll crawl right up people’s ass for the sort of reasons that we take people to task on the economy — assuming you can just keep fucking with things forever and resources will never run out, not understanding the ripple effects of intervening in a large way in a complex but mostly homeostatic system, etc.

        Government : Private Sector :: Human Civilization : Environment, but they just don’t get it. We’re sometimes wrong the other way, but (I think) not as much, since we’re not ideologically opposed to environmental science as much as cynical about activists and those who have a material stake in their causes.

        1. It’s kind of funny, since for environmental issues, they’ll crawl right up people’s ass for the sort of reasons that we take people to task on the economy — assuming you can just keep fucking with things forever and resources will never run out, not understanding the ripple effects of intervening in a large way in a complex but mostly homeostatic system, etc.

          I wonder how many of those same people who think that we need to be sustainable with respect to the environment say the opposite when it comes to spending.

          Can you name one person, just one ?

        2. It’s kind of funny, since for environmental issues, they’ll crawl right up people’s ass for the sort of reasons that we take people to task on the economy — assuming you can just keep fucking with things forever and resources will never run out, not understanding the ripple effects of intervening in a large way in a complex but mostly homeostatic system, etc.

          I wonder how many of those same people who think that we need to be sustainable with respect to the environment say the opposite when it comes to spending.

          Can you name one person, just one ?

  56. I want to know how the Tea Party infiltrated both S&P and the Chinese government.

    1. Because… terrorists ‘n stuff…

  57. As Peter Suderman rightly pointed out as the ink on the debt-ceiling deal was still drying,

    Yeah, but Suderman’s wife is blaming the downgrade on Republicans for not wanting to raise revenue. As, of course, is Tyler Cowen.

    Democrats are going to have to give on entitlements, and Republicans are going to have to give on military spending, as a starting point. There really isn’t any other way.

    Oh, there is the massively raising taxes way. But that’s certainly going to have to include middle-class taxes, if it’s done mostly with taxes.

    I eagerly look forward to this being blamed on libertarians

    Oh, don’t worry, plenty of libertarians are blaming the GOP already for not being flexible enough on revenue.

    1. JT, in those people’s defense, I’m all for raising revenue- the Simpson Bowles or Dominici-Whatshername way.

      You lower the overall rate, eliminate most deductions, and have fewer brackets. Dominici had two: one at 15%, one at 27%. That’s a lower rate than Reagan.

      Both plans also dropped the corporate rate.

      Of course, because liberals care about the rate, and not the revenue, they would balk at both, but I wouldn’t mine raising revenue by lowering the rate.

      1. Oh, I have been for Bowles-Simpson, and took some crap for it here. But it’s not like the President endorsed it either. His grand bargain is as real as the GOP’s balanced budget.

      2. I wouldn’t have a problem with the Simpson-Bowles tax rates or even the Clinton-era tax rates, if they would be used to actually lower the national debt.

        But they never would be–instead, they’d just find new excuses and new programs to spend the money on, and nothing would actually get done.

        1. Bingo. If the democrats want to tinker with taxes to generate revenue, the price has to be REAL SPENDING CUTS FIRST including FUCKING ENTITLEMENT REFORM.

          1. We have an entitlement to fucking? Nobody tells me anything.

            Oh , Michelle….

      3. Losing deductions would make social engineering and rewarding campaign contributors via the tax code essentially impossible.

        1. This would go a long way to reducing the graft-machine on the Potomac.

    2. Oh, don’t worry, plenty of libertarians are blaming the GOP already for not being flexible enough on revenue.

      Surely you’re not suggesting anyone at The Atlantic is a “libertarian”?
      Specifically, the former Miss “We have to pass Tarp or my former Wharton classmates might lose their jobs!”

  58. Obama’s plan to destroy America is going all too well; it’s happening even faster than I originally thought it would. There may be no hope left at all for our poor country.

  59. ” I truly look forward to the day when the political class in this doddering country recognizes that you can’t just wave away a spending spiral by pretending that it doesn’t exist”

    You mean after we turn into Zimbabwe? ‘Cause that shit isn’t going to happen.

  60. Downgrade you, I can down, can I down, let me downgrade you.
    Rating let me downgrade you.

  61. I saw some thing about China giving the U.S. shit about this. That’s rich. So rich. But China’s not rich either, so they should shut the fuck up.

    1. China’s just doing misdirection–they’ve hardly been investing in Treasuries for quite some time now. They’re probably just pissed that they won’t be able to get a better return on the toilet paper they bought from us earlier.

  62. I tried to care. I really did try, but the “not give a shit” was already priced in.

    I wonder how fucked the housing market is now…

  63. CNN: Warning, Warning Your mortgage, auto and student loan interest rates are going to go through the roof!!!! DANGER DANGER

    FBN (Gaspaino): Forgehtaboutit. It was priced in years ago.

    Who ya gonna believe?

    1. Some rates will take larger hits than others. Maybe we can have a RATEPOCOLYPSE!!!!

      1. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a few basis points on my money market account.

    2. Fortunately, I’m less than a year away from paying off the student loans, and I have no other debt.

      If it ends up being that serious, it probably won’t matter in the end anyway, as people will just say “Fuck you” rather than take out the loans or pay back the ones they have. Just look at all the people who stopped paying their mortgage and still lived in their home for up to two years afterwards, when their subprime payment went through the roof.

    1. “Pardon me for asking, but who gave Standard & Poor’s the authority to tell America how much debt it has to shed, and how?”

      While you I won’t defend the ratings agencies and they are far from ethical and moral in their practices, the answer to this stupid question is easy. The market you fucking moron. The market.

      1. I clearly remember hearing that the ratings agencies only provide an opinion.

        1. An informed opinion is what they are supposed to provide.

          The bottom line is they exist because the market deems them of having a worth, they are not forced or subsidized. So even if they are completely unethical fucking shitbags the people find some worth in their service. Something Reich will never understand.

          1. Actually, US law does give them special status, and requires that certain agencies hold debt with certain rating.

            1. So, what happens when they are wrong? What happens when those insurance companies and other agencies are holding AAA and they end up being at or below junk?

              Answer: First Amendment free speech. It’s a double standard.

              1. “So even if they are completely unethical fucking shitbags the people find some worth in their service. ”

                Just like me!

            2. Yes, but there is no law that keeps the individual rating agencies in existence. They are free to fail as far as I know.

              1. Well, that’s true, but it’s a pretty big advantage to be part of the official federal cartel. Being a National Recognized Statistical Rating Organization has benefits.

                1. I agree, but the tone I got from Reich was that they have no merit and I drew on as assumption that Reich would consider the CBO being an entity that has merit. I know, a stretch with the text provided.

                  1. They don’t have any merit. How many times do they need to fuck up before people stop listening to them? Still, when they come out and confirmm what everyone already knows about our fiscal situation, it helps draw more attention to it. That’s something.

                    1. People can stop listening to them. So as long as people continue to place value in their judgment they have merit.

            3. So the answer to Herr Reich’s question would seem to be “Congress gave them that authority”.

              1. But that would violate his narrative that these evul people at S&P are tools of the Tealibanicans (did I get the meme right?) determined to ruin the righteous President Obama.

      2. Love his typical passive-aggressive tone that academics cloak their missives in when trying to make substantive arguments.

        Any evidence that Oompa-Loompa was calling for a downgrade at any time over the last ten years? I seriously doubt it.

      3. No, the U.S. government; IIRC, law favors specific ratings agencies.

    2. He is right. If US govmt debt had been dowgraded after ObamaCare passed, we might have gotten serious about this shit before now.

    1. Hard not to convict when the victim had two shotgun blasts to the back…

      Hope these fucks get some prison loving.

      1. The amazing thing, to me, is that the entire time those scumbags kept claiming that the people were armed and shooting at them in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Though, by the end of the trial I noticed that even the cop-fellators gave up on trying to justify it.

    2. Caught this Katrina Cops Behaving Badly story the other day:

      pet owners from the low-lying Louisiana parish of St. Bernard have accused sheriff’s deputies of having wantonly killed dozens of dogs they forced evacuees to leave behind during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, without regard to the dogs’ size or the potential threat they might pose.

      One owner said her family was forced at gunpoint to leave its dog behind. Another owner said residents became frantic when, they said, they overheard one deputy claim that “once everybody’s gone, we’re going to have target practice tonight.” They claim in court papers that deputies were under ” authorization…of their superiors and employers.

      Two deputies have already been indicted by a grand jury in New Orleans on charges of felony, aggravated cruelty to animals. The Louisiana attorney general’s office is investigating and this morning lawyers for a group of owners will file a comprehensive complaint in federal court in Louisiana seeking class action status for their clients.

      http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/s…..151&page=1

      1. I’d take a cop murder rap for avenging my dog.

  64. “As Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is fond of saying, Democrats are going to have to give on entitlements, and Republicans are going to have to give on military spending”

    This is such a true statement of a sensible solution that it is truly sad that I can’t see the two teams doing it. It’s inexcusable not to means test entitlement programs* and inexcusable to spend over a hundred times more on defense than our nearest competitor does. You don’t need a fundamental debate on the role of government, just those two, common sense changes would do most of the trick… And yet the better bet is that we keep the madness in both areas going strong…

    * I think one can argue for taking money from A and B for C when C is needy (I know libertarians would disagree btw), but what in the world is the justification for doing the same when C is setting pretty? None.

    1. http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~jephrean/classweb/In Context.html

      Look at those figures. It’s madness to suggest that represents a rational level of defense spending.

      1. That was 10 years ago. This is 2008. Same story, different year.

        What really pisses me off is that any talk of retraction brings replies of “Then we can’t defend ourselves!”. Because they’ve redefined the whole concept of Defense.

        1. “Because they’ve redefined the whole concept of Defense.”
          Mission creep, just like the new ‘poor’ who need help.
          At one time, the DoD at least defined an enemy and proposed defense against that enemy.
          Now it seems the definition is ‘anyone we might not like in the next twenty years’.
          And no one has the decency to be embarrassed about it.

        2. Not to mention that new weapons systems are so technologically complex that it now takes over 20 years to make anything mission-capable, AND we get fewer assets than were initially promised to boot as a result.

          In the 1980s, we forced the Russians to essentially spend themselves into bankruptcy trying to keep up with our defense capabilities. Today, Russia doesn’t even have to compel us–it can sit back and wait for the structure to collapse because we’re self-inflicting death by a thousand appropriations.

          1. Not to mention that new weapons systems are so technologically complex that it now takes over 20 years to make anything mission-capable…

            The entire F-22 fleet has been grounded for over three months because they found out its oxygen delivery system is poisoning pilots. So, 20+ years and billions in taxpayer-funded R&D doesn’t necessarily mean “mission-capable.”

            1. Reading articles about this, it seems that the problem is mostly procedural in the case of the F-22s at Elmendorf, though some F-18s have had similar problems in carrier ops. Those could still probably be remedied by controlling the traffic on the deck differently.

      2. lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol !!!!!!!!

      3. Screwed up the HTML again MNG.

        I want you to re-post that link properly 100 times before I come back tomorrow morning.

    2. This policy has kept C needy for forty years and counting. Permanent underclass and intergenerational poverty are direct results of the War on Poverty. Nothing based on force can work.

    3. Also raise the age to start receiving social security and medicare benefits to somewhere between 68 and 75.

    4. It’s really sad that the people who argue for entitlements for all openly admit they do it so entitlements never receive the same kinds of reforms that welfare did.

    5. This is such a true statement of a sensible solution that it is truly sad that I can’t see the two teams doing it.

      It’s pretty obvious since they’re the Top 4 spending items, but that’s exactly why it won’t happen. Both parties will try nickel and diming from elsewhere instead of making hard choices.

    6. I think one can argue for taking money from A and B for C when C is needy (I know libertarians would disagree btw), but what in the world is the justification for doing the same when C is setting pretty?

      C paid into the system for 40 years with the pervasive (if not legally binding) expectation of getting paid back.

      1. Suckers.

        Seriously. They bear full responsibility for not ensuring that their elected representatives didn’t screw them.

        Their “expectation” isn’t worth 2 shits in my book.

    7. It’s inexcusable not to means test entitlement programs* and inexcusable to spend over a hundred times more on defense than our nearest competitor does. You don’t need a fundamental debate on the role of government, just those two, common sense changes would do most of the trick… And yet the better bet is that we keep the madness in both areas going strong…

      I would have to agree with you on defense.

      The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were not as hot as they were in 2004, when we were spending much less both totally and on defense. And I explained that recycling the 2004 per capita spending would yield a surplus.

    8. Republican Party: Political party that favors Welfare and Warfare

      Democrat Party: Political party that favors Welfare and Warfare.

      Any more dumb questions?

  65. and inexcusable to spend over a hundred times more on defense than our nearest competitor does.

    We spend more than every other country combined.

    1. Yes, and we live in a country bordered by two oceans which cannot be invaded. The threats to our homeland are, in the grand scheme, totally insignificant (barring an all-out nuclear war). The amount of military waste is mind-boggling.

      1. ^^^

        Not to mention that the civilian populace, unlike any other country in the world, is armed to the teeth. There is a reason the Axis never invaded the mainland.

        1. But…but…what if Canada and Mexico gang up on us?

          Ok, couldn’t hold a straight face on that one.

    2. personally I’d prefer we stuck to arguing these things based on fundamental reasons, rather than worrying about what all the other kids are spending on defense.

      Just like with universal healthcare and tax rates in other countries. The “herd” is generally a bunch of morons.

  66. This seems like as good a place as any to ask who would be interested in doing a H&R fantasy football league.

    It’ll be like the NCAA pool I did earlier this year.
    No keeper league. No crazy rules and shit. Just your basic FFL.

    So, who wants in?

    1. I’m in if I can be the Kentucky Cats!

    2. Count me in. I owe some of you some serious payback.

    3. Oh, I’d be down like a clown Charlie Buh…

      Charlie Bro…

      Charlie bro…

    4. I’m interested. A bit sad I missed out on the NCAA one.

    5. I’d also be interested. I have never done a fantasy football team, even though my fall/winter Sundays are often spent idling and watching football.

      1. Same here.

        I was actually considering trying to make our next software contest an artificially intelligent fantasy football manager.

      2. I’ll play. Auction or snake draft? Cost?

  67. I, Kahn O’Cast|8.5.11 @ 10:15PM|#
    Ah and so falls the Empire.(..)
    To talk saying the word I, I everybody knows is (unbailedout)BattleStar Rush!!…
    From The Freedomfleets, from TEArepvblic’s Helmsdeep, in fact deep on TEAearth…
    not… sharia, not THE REAL EMPIRE OF THE LAST CENTury: tHE MOTHERBITCH (AND tHE OLD COMMUNISTS,NAZI,AYATOLAND,CASTROLAND USSR(U$ NEOLIBLAND) AND “tHE NEW” KREEPPY CRAPPY $POOKY rinoliphant$, the “neolibtiCAL debt$tar bubble bombing$” throwing the trillionaire ray$ to the future…
    TEA Repvblic of The USA is not designed as an empire, dictatorship, “mere” democratic republic like iran,cuba,siria,BROTHERMUSLIMHOOD’S FACE$,ORG$,FUNDING$,hammas,ayers,
    alinski,dorne,fahracan,blackpanties,
    middleast pro iran protesters…
    but now, Rush, remember when I misstook you for an “I stay with mayoral varez $y$tem fed$ back on 2203 I gess, not sure if he was even you, but he was surprised I re-ejected by MY I DON’T WANT YOU TO TALK TO ME EVER LOOK, he didn’t supposed when visiting me durring “my” slaved miamidade laws by chillis freddy,maria,kevinbruce,steve still (REMARKS paralegal as all of’em, I’m backinjuried) HIS miamidade’s “rights over me” laws” to “re-educate” me along the owner of calle8 119 shopping predpolice videohorn(gay)house (ATTN!: policepred lidio extreme paralegal “streetfight me” trying, dayly, several times/day is (like many arrested castromayoral varez agents, comming out of jail somehow, more mad because I told some friends the danger… by name, now RED “my” new job’s 12hr mandatory “just took back his last “employee” “by surprise” (steve’s mom and virgilio SAY I SHULDN’T TALK on me, but THE WHERE THE ONLY ONES I TOLD ON “A NEW (sub)JOB”)
    I didn’t even tryed to argue the RED (I’m sure police monitoring ALL) position BECAUSE BOSSES DO THEIR WILL and the employee (skinnier than me), he just looked a “normal” local illegalalien CAUSE OF THE SAME THAN ME $1.5/hr salary slaved “zone” (santuary), ah!, maxalvarez the “popular” “model” of boss, I, I saw him ordering any around me, he already slaved me as “boss” at his banckrupted restaurant, actually paralegal street “problem fight, violence”… danger)…
    Remember, Rush, at the time I was blogging for you after Ftlauderdale airport “incident to “discredit” your “moral” (made in the frakers oraloffice)?, remember how few FRIENDLIES ARE WHEN THE TIMES COME?
    Can you imagine, my dear ally on this good Earth (and all the way to this side of TEAmilkyway, including the top delicciouss professional women (sharia’s target, family base) experienced on governing succesfully, without the $y$tem…
    WHAT WE NEED TO DEFEAT bho’$ black…gate racist drivedbymediarrea beltway, bailedout for the trill$,acorn,localauuthority,castroted palpatinekennedy anamontesmayoral varez $y$tem (eating each other if “needed” like ork$…)

    1. Jeez! And I thought I was crazy. (And I am! Crazy ’bout cats!)

      1. There can only be one Paul Krugman. Meet me on the field for battle at sundown. J/K!! We can play with our cleverly named cats in the field! LOL

  68. Example of an ABSTRACT TEApatriot defense missile: RED said where paying my “last 12hr one shift (still unknown salary, miamidade police order on “my” salary is $20/day, $1.5/hr, for the last 3 AYER$ bhork, castrocoyote loudezmartinez CARTELing my family, raped USING POLICE my sister, mom, for ayers bho, loudezmartinez is OLD ACORN MONTHLY PAYMENT BENEFICIARY, you frakin bailout$!!!, AND YOU ARE GOING TO SUFER, I swear of GOd, like I sweared against tedpalpatinekennedy, castro (fidel) and others… with ruin comming in “in the middle of the rich period’s dark$hadow$…
    And I’m loke I blogged on them, Im praying against you, bhorK…

  69. “I will gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today.”

    In other news, Leon Panetta has apparently already launched his media blitz about how “slashing” the DoD budget will lead to the immediate destruction and subjugation of America.

    WE’RE HELPLESS!!! HELPLESSSSSSSS, I TELLS YA!!111

  70. example of an abstract Tomahawk shot from the far:
    bhork’$ friendlyenemy ayatola MAXIMUM MILITARY GENERAL IS IN CHARGE of opep, so… bhorK’$ dreammed oilprice$ bombing$ nightmare $eem$ (more) real… Moregov…
    the falling empires, utopias, alinski “philo$ophie$”, acorn org$, comunist and terror relation, The enemy’s relation…
    as bhorK, the Balrak of fire… DESIGNED(on tedpalpatinekennedy’s de$k$ along anamontes, rinoliphant$,mayoral varez govring$…neolibtical gralattny$…local ordinary crime, insurgent auuthority)

  71. I’m sorry Kara…

    1. I forgive you. It happens to a lot of guys, and my eye’s almost back to normal.

  72. Throw aside the shackles of grammar and coherence, America. You have a tale to tell!

  73. Paul Krugman|8.6.11 @ 12:30PM|#
    Jeez! And I thought I was crazy. (And I am! Crazy ’bout cats!)
    you sound as police psyco mr perfect freak, from mayoral varez public agent$, and who cares on whatever anybody who’s not a TEAparty talker says?
    this site is to denounce people like you, pre-invasion APOLLOGI$T$ $pending moregov fund$ pursuing anti-terror people, like me, and I’m proud for that.
    Your $odomik pomp eya SOUND$
    your $odomik sharialaw bailedot for the trill$ wanabe $hake$
    your pro$titute babilon felt
    your acorn burn$
    and… hhh…
    you’ll $ee

      1. This picture shows off my perfect cat holding physique

    1. I’m really impressed how much crazier our trolls (?) have become.

  74. The entire F-22 fleet has been grounded for over three months because they found out its oxygen delivery system is poisoning pilots.

    [insert exclamation of shocked disbelief]

    1. It is pretty sad. In addition to the tremendous waste of money incurred by the airplanes just sitting around, the pilots are losing their quals and might have to be retrained- another waste of time and money.

    2. Turns out it’s not funny at all when you fart in a flight suit.

      1. +MST3K

        1. “Poopy Suit!”

        2. Wow, can’t get away with the slightest bit of joke plagiarism around here… 🙁

          1. Heh, I could even tell you what character said that, and when, during what episode. But I won’t. 😉

            1. “The Phantom Planet”, one of my favorite episodes. I think it was Servo, no?

              1. The MST3K Gamera Box Set just came out, this week!!!

                1. Most of them are on Netflix Instant, too.

  75. OMG, whole police “intel”&$y$tem, castrotedpalpatinekennedy, mayoral varez, ma noriega (sent soon it seems to his pooppet martinelli (they can act as bhorK and “look jailed” FOR A WHILE, while ACTIVELY KEEP BUILDING THE US so.border SANTUARY, the mexican insurgency funders) anamontes 30 ayer$ old network experienced (since vietnam)…((((((ETC$!!!)))))
    against an (untreated by ayers now, slaved,paralegal danger, profesional police preds) seriously (working) backinjuried, homeless (by castroMARTINELLI coyoteagent lourdezmartinez (singlename), POLICE KNOWS I “EARN” $1.5/hr and danger, so I WILL ID’em, they saw, as oficer dominic, cptin DORAL noel…
    stay tunned, I have more names, easy to prove, monitor…

  76. Back on April 28, 1993, the government of Canada had its credit rating cut by the Canadian Bond Rating Service to AA+ from AAA. The Conservative federal government, running the usual huge deficit at the time, was naturally dismissive of the move, saying that CBRS was only a small ratings agency and that the big New York-based raters would likely not follow suit (yet).

    Ottawa had just issued a new budget and the market had been hoping for some real deficit-fighting measures and was disappointed with a forecast of $30-billion deficits into the distant future.

    CBRS said it cut the rating because of concerns about general economic weakness, rising inflationary pressures, high wage settlements for government unions, high and rising unemployment and a local currency caught in what looked like, at the time, a death spiral.

    Sound familiar? But today Canada has the lowest debt burden of any developed country. How?

    They cut federal expenditures by 20 per cent, cut 23 per cent of public servants, slashed agricultural subsidies and business subsidies by 40 per cent to 60 per cent, chopped defence spending by 15 per cent, abolished some ministries altogether, and cut transport and science budgets in half.

    Of course, they also hiked Canadian Pension Plan and Employment Insurance taxes – er, “contributions” – and downloaded a ton of federal spending onto the provinces. True, the cause was helped by a rebounding economy (which the U.S. does not quite have at the moment), and as the government cut spending by $14 billion, tax revenues rose by $32 billion, and employment was rising (with the unemployment rate dropping to nine per cent in 1998, from 12 per cent in 1993), which helped by shrinking the welfare rolls and boosting tax revenues.

    http://tinyurl.com/3f5d7hp

    I think there’s a lot to learn from there.

    1. They cut federal expenditures by 20 per cent

      And those were actual cuts , not merely reduction in the rate of increase, right?

      1. I would assume so, given that Canadain federal spending as a percentage of GDP declined by 10 percent between 1992 and 2002 . During the same period in all other OECD countries, it remained more or less constant. A ten percent decline is a lot.

      2. BTW the Canadian political system showed no appetite for any of the hard decisions in ultimately made (cuts in defense, cuts in Medicare (which in Canada means cuts to everyone not just the old), closure of tax loopholes and rate hikes) until the downgrade happened.

      3. forgot where I read this, but the average Canuck (my brother is one of them) gets a lot more bang for their buck government-wise than we do.

        Less corruption? Or ???

        1. I reckon it’s a combination of a simpler tax code and the fact that they have a GST that is extremely easy to collect and difficult to evade (though they do have a heavier tax burden) and a military sector that doesn’t outspend the rest of the world combined.

        2. they also don’t have an open border with a 3rd world country (yet) from which anyone can waltz in and claim entitlements. Nor a array of rotten inner cities filled with dependents who were weaned directly from a racist state to an entitlement state with little chance of integrating.

          As hard as central planning is, a giant heterogeneous mess of a country is just that much harder to dick with federally without screwing things up.

    2. For one thing, it shows that it’s possible to implement marginal tax increases if you slash spending, which clears out the bureaucratic fraud, waste, and abuse and de-scales the complexity of the system in order to work more dynamically.

      Just imagine how many small businesses could begin hiring new people if the corporate-favoring regulations and government agencies that work together to choke off that activity were eliminated. That could actually lead to a substantive recovery, as opposed to one financed by ever-increasing debt bubbles.

    3. How many wars were they fighting at the time?

  77. No matter how future events unfold, whatever badness occurs will be the fault of the market/capitalism (and by default corporations/repubs/banks). And so say the word… hallelujah!

    For an example of this, look at Greece.

    1. Then maybe the market needs to hire better PR firms, lobbyists, and spokespeople. And don’t give me that invisible abstraction excuse again, the public’s not buying it.

      Look at Marcellus Shale Coalition, they just paid Tom Ridge $900,000 for a year of lobbying. That’s the kind of giving back to the community that the market needs to start doing.

  78. There are basically three other developed countries where a combination of a debt crisis and political gridlock got so bad that the country was downgraded: Canada, New Zealand, and Japan. The first one fixed it, the second one did more or less, and the third one changed nothing and is now fucked beyond repair.

    So, despite a lot of histrionic howling, AA+ doesn’t mean you’re a banana republic or the PIGS, but it does mean you have a problem that should be looked at.

  79. Maybe we could have saved a few bucks by withdrawing from Afghanistan before pissing away the lives of the guys who caught bin Laden.

  80. And from Project Syndicate, STIGLITZ AlERT!:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2301013/

  81. 400+ posts and I knew there had to be a veritable army of trolls at work.

    1. Of course. What else do we have here any more?

      1. I am highly entertained by some of them.

      2. I have been mind-raping one named White Indian for over 24 hours now. It’s better than Golden Girls reruns…

  82. HI-HO, HI-HO, IT’S OFF TO WORK WE GO…

  83. “Not to mention that the civilian populace, unlike any other country in the world, is armed to the teeth. There is a reason the Axis never invaded the mainland.”

    Of the 80-90 million armed civilians in the United States, I’d estimate a maximal number of 25-30 million who would be ideologically inclined towards violent resistance in such a situation.

    That’s less than 10 percent of the population.

    And we’d be truly armed to the teeth if federal firearms legislation hadn’t imposed a practical prohibition upon automatic firearms and explosive devices (like grenades), but we’ll probably never know, will we?

    1. That’s still a buttload of guerilla fighters, no?

      1. Oh, of course — it would still be a citizen-army of absolutely unimaginable proportions. I’m just saying that it’s a horrible, saddening pity we aren’t truly a country of 300,000,000 nations unto themselves. As you might have guessed, I’m a pretty great believer in individual sovereignty, having power to back it up, and being self-reliant.

  84. There is a reason the Axis never invaded the mainland.

    An invasion of the faraway US would have made no sense strategically considering that all of them were fighting enemies at the borders of their domains. The only point of that would have been to cripple US industrial capacity, which there were cheaper ways of doing (which ultimately failed).

    1. The goddamned Nazis couldn’t get a few thousand guys across the Channel to invade Britain, a nation a fraction of our size and population. Think they’re going to get a million dudes across the Atlantic?

  85. There is a reason the Axis never invaded the mainland.

    Yeah. My grandfather, the way he tells it. 😉

    1. Eggsellent.

      I’ve got one of those in my family as well.

      1. Mine were Red Army. Grandparents, and I loved them, but unlike his wife, my grandfather was a loyal commie. FFFFFFFF*********

  86. Raise taxes!

    1. Fuck pigs!

      1. Seriously, Max… go fuck a pig. You’d be more productive than you are when you spout socialist bullshit.

  87. I’ll need to see a recent picture first.

  88. Wow, OK man those guys make a LOT of sense. Wow.

    http://www.anon-web.it.tc

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