Depressing Quotation of the Day—Federal Debt Edition

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"We've saved the American taxpayer about 17 hours of spending. That's it. When you just really stop and think about it, we've made very little progress."

Like there's no tomorrow

That's a quotation from freshman Republican Congressman Reid Ribble from Wisconsin in a article, "So much drama, so little debt reduction," on the front page of the Washington Post today. 

As the Post contextualizes Ribble's comment: 

Nearly a year ago, Ribble and other newly elected House Republicans came to Capitol Hill on a single-minded mission to shove the federal debt to the top of the congressional agenda. They succeeded. At every opportunity, they demanded cuts in spending, forcing a series of white-knuckle showdowns that have kept the government in a state of perpetual crisis. Washington nudged close to a public conversation about the kind of government taxpayers want and what they are willing to pay for it.

Last week, however, Ribble went home for the holidays with little to show for all the political drama. The debt stood at $15.1 trillion, $1 trillion more than when he got to town. By the end of next year, projections show, it will grow by an additional $1 trillion. Ribble said he and his allies had cut spending for 2012 by only about $7 billion, a sliver so tiny Ribble could measure its impact in minutes.

In other news, President Obama will be officially asking to raise the debt ceiling by another $1.2 trillion. The Post assures readers that once the President makes this request it will be drama-free because: 

Congress then will have 15 days to say no. But because the House is out of session until Jan. 17 and the Senate is gone until Jan. 23, it is probable that the debt ceiling will be increased without a whimper.

A duplicitous example bipartisan debt planning? 

To read Reason articles dealiing with all things debtish, go here

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  1. Deficit spending of soil fertility ends up “farming out” the bank.

    1. You post about this stuff virtually every day–so what are you doing about it? What would you like us to do?

      Posting comment threads to various places on the Internet isn’t going to do anything about city-states, agriculture, or officers preventing you from gamboling about forest and plain.

      1. No no, this can’t be the same guy. Someone concerned about loss in soil fertility has to support private land ownership in order to avoid the tragedy of the commons.

        This guy has to be the mortal enemy of the “free to gambol” guy.

    2. Indeed, which is why you support private ownership of land and private farming, so that the tragedy of the commons is avoided and people have a responsibility to avoid losing soil fertility.

      After all, it is well known that most Native American tribes, with their communal land traditions, exhausted the soil very frequently with their slash and burn farming approach, and had to repeatedly abandon fields, just as of course Europeans did before soil fertility was better understood.

      Glad to see you taking such a strong approach against letting people be from to gambol. You should argue with this other guy, though.

    3. Please read Yeoman with regards to topsoil and agriculture. Keylining has been used to rapidly build topsoil depth.

  2. Every incumbent out.

    1. Except for my congressman – he’s doing a pretty good job! It’s all the other bastards who have to go.

      Repeat four hundred and thirty-four times. Serves 300 million.

      1. Ugh.

        Horrifically, ^^this.

  3. Hah Hah Hah. My hometown newspaper editorialized yesterday that this was
    “fiscal thuggery” driven by “far right extremists of the tea party.”

    1. I fucking wish we’d see some goddamn fiscal thuggery from the Tea Party guys in congress.

      The only guys who have shown that he’ll go to the mat for a TP cause are the Pauls and, welcome as that is, it just isn’t enough.

  4. I know it won’t happen, but I hope the Republicans finally buck up and say no to the debt limit increase and mean it. You want to borrow more to avoid default? Immediate spending cuts that take effect NOW and measure in the hundreds of billions should be the price. It’s unpopular with much of the government-dependent population but it is the right thing to do.

    1. Or they could vote against the spending in the first place. Approving hundreds of billions in deficit spending and then threatening to hold your breath until you pass out if the government actually borrows they money you told it to is the worst kind of political posturing. Pure lip service without the hope of ever changing a damn thing.

      1. Yes, but since they only control the House, and the Democrats have insisted that they’d rather shutdown the government than make even the tiny cuts in spending contained in the House-passed budget last year, much less more serious cuts, there we are. They’d shutdown the government and then blame it all on the Republicans, which they think (and polls suggest) would work.

        It’s far from clear that serious budget cuts are even popular with most Americans, but even so, they aren’t a politically possible option.

        The repeated games of chicken are necessary to even force tiny changes.

        1. I’m for government shutdown. TSA first please.

        2. So play chicken with the budget, where a compromise bill would actually reduce spending somewhat, instead of going to war over a measure that doesn’t include any spending numbers. We already saw what a “victory” over the debt limit was worth.

      2. Except that we haven’t had a budget in 3 years now.

  5. “A duplicitous example bipartisan debt planning?”

    It almost sounds like the American people don’t want to have the debt reduced. Maybe that’s why they’ve been voting for lower taxes and higher spending for the past 30 years.

    1. That may only apply to baby boomers. In about 10 years they will finally be outnumbered.

    2. Which is why taking away limits on majoritarian power was a bad thing to do.

    3. Yes, Alan.

      People do enjoy “free” things.

      (Or, rather, things they think are free.)

      1. Or things that come at the expense of faceless others.

        Doubly so at the expense of the nebulous “rich.”

  6. I’m shocked. Shocked to find shenanigans going on in DC.

  7. I have an idea. After watching others drive their cars off of cliffs, how about we do the same thing?

  8. Really, this is why voting for Paul matters. No other candidate is going to really make any effort to curtail government spending and excess. None (except for Johnson, of course).

    While the president’s powers in this area are limited, the public pressure he can apply on Congress is substantial.

  9. Sounds like a plan to me dude. WOw.

    http://www.privacy-works.tk

  10. I have an idea. After watching others drive their cars off of cliffs, how about we do the same thing?

    Hey, how about we do it faster?

    1. And in bigger cars! Yes!

      1. At over 9000 miles per hour!

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