Debates 2020

Did We Just Hear Three Democratic Candidates Talk About Reducing Deficit and Debt?

What is this, 2008?

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Most moments in Democratic presidential debates this cycle can be classified in one of three ways: 1) Let's raise all the taxes! 2) Let's spend all the money! Or 3) Let's squabble endlessly over the dreamy-time details of the tax/spending increases on Medicare for All. That, and whatever stupid slap fights the moderators want to egg on.

So color me flabbergasted that not one but two of the six candidates on stage tonight, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said—out loud, even—that they intend to reduce the deficit. Klobuchar, who used to make noises about deficit hawkery back when George W. Bush was president, went first, asking viewers to check out her plan online. And here it is!

Establish a dedicated fund to tackle the U.S. debt and support our economy. Senator Klobuchar will establish a dedicated fund to make a down payment to tackle the U.S. debt and protect our economy. She will initially seed the fund with $300 billion by raising the corporate tax rate and dedicating savings from the government-wide budget review. When the economy is doing well, the fund will finance deficit reduction. When specific economic indicators show our economy is in a recession, the funding will automatically be diverted to increase spending on programs that are effective at stimulating the economy like infrastructure spending, increased unemployment and nutrition assistance, and an increased federal share of Medicaid and CHIP spending. As tax changes are implemented and as departments complete Senator Klobuchar's government-wide review, she will invest additional government-wide savings towards expanding the fund to decrease the deficit and support our economy.

  • Eliminate duplicative government spending. 

Etc. Then Buttigieg, who is competing with Klobuchar in the centrist lane of this primary, went further, expressing outrage that Donald Trump has presided over the return of trillion-dollar deficits, and suggesting that Democrats jump feet-first into the issue.

Several minutes later came the real shocker: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), she of the ever-fuzzy numbers, actually claimed—albeit with almost zero apparent conviction—that her policy plans would, "for those who want to, bring down the national debt." What fresh hell is this!

The last presidential election in which Democrats spent any time at all decrying deficits and debt was…well, the last time there was a Republican in the White House, 2008. While deficit politics came back with a vengeance during the Tea Party backlash to President Barack Obama, that discipline evaporated pretty much the moment Republicans re-took the Senate after November 2014. By the last presidential election, it was all debt denialism, all the time, in both major parties.

So will Democrats turn into the party of deficit reduction? Well, all you had to do was to keep watching—massive climate change investments, free college for most or all, child care, historic Medicare expansion, and so on. Whenever the party gets the keys back to the White House—and it will, someday—the president will do what 99 percent of all elected executives do: Expand power, not voluntarily hand the stuff away. To the extent that deficits will be invoked by Democrats, you can bet it will be in service of raising taxes, not trimming back the sails of state.

Still, it's better to hear politicians talk about this stuff than not. Though until a party campaigns and wins consistently on the issue of reducing government, there is no reason to believe that it ever will.

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  1. Establish a dedicated fund to tackle the U.S. debt and support our economy.

    lol

    1. It’s pronounced “lock-box”.

    2. So nice to see Reason authors in on a coordinated messaging effort. Certainly explains the recent spate of deficit articles.

    3. “Did We Just Hear Three Democratic Candidates Talk About Reducing Deficit and Debt?”

      Not even a little.

    4. “When specific economic indicators show our economy is in a recession, the funding will automatically be diverted to increase spending on programs that are effective at stimulating the economy like infrastructure spending, increased unemployment and nutrition assistance, and an increased federal share of Medicaid and CHIP spending.”
      <>

      1. f@cking ridiculous.. this passes for reducing the deficit and debt at Reason

    5. The outcome of debt reduction and deficit reduction is to harm or destroy the real economy, with no benefit to government, taxpayers, or economic stability.
      Nike creates Nikes.
      Ford creates Fords.
      USA creates USA Dollars.
      Taxes destroys USA Dollars. Nothing more.

      National debt is private assets just like your paycheck is your employer’s liabilities and your grocery store’s income is your deficit and your savings balance is your bank’s liabilities owed back to you, the depositor.

  2. “Still, it’s better to hear politicians talk about this stuff than not.”

    Yeah, but it really doesn’t matter anymore, right?

    1. Wearenotperfect
      January.14.2020 at 11:35 pm
      “Yeah, but it really doesn’t matter anymore, right?”

      Not when all of them are proposing free shit here and free shit there, but to a fucking lefty ignoramus like you, that’s just fine.

      1. Classic Sevo, always with the witty response.

        1. He refers to San Francisco as ” Frisco” so I automatically like him for that

          1. Frisco? Hmm, I always thought there was something fruity about him.

            1. Probably because you want to suck his dick and have him fuck your ass. And in an order that would surprise most of us.

          2. LeaveTrumpAloneLibertarian
            January.15.2020 at 1:02 am
            “He refers to San Francisco as ” Frisco” so I automatically like him for that”

            Scumbag here can’t seem to pay what he owes, so I immediately despised him for that.

    2. Would you vote for a pol who said “Well, I’ll talk about this stuff, but it really doesn’t matter anymore”?

      1. Given that the Republican and Democratic parties are both pro-debt, no i would not.

        1. “Given that the Republican and Democratic parties are both pro-debt, no i would not.”

          As if you gave a rat’s ass about debt.

      2. Pretty sure that everyone that’s ever voted for a candidate that won has done exactly that.

  3. “Did We Just Hear Three Democratic Candidates Talk About Reducing Deficit and Debt?”
    No, you (not me; I’m not about to listen to fingernails on a chalk-board) heard pandering to the center:
    “She will initially seed the fund with $300 billion by raising the corporate tax rate and dedicating savings from the government-wide budget review. When the economy is doing well, the fund will finance deficit reduction.”

    Guy name of Keynes had a similar ‘theory’; all it takes is for a government to use the excess ‘good times’ revenue to pay down the debt instead of buying votes with new free shit!
    Similarly, the commies assumed they could breed the “New Communist Man” who would forswear his interests in the favor of the ‘common good’!
    Get back to us once we all stop laughing at such idiocy. No, none of them proposed anything of the sort; they all proposed unicorns. Grow up and act your age.

    1. Keynesians always forget it’s supposed to be targeted, temporary, and timely. But I understand why: if they only forgot one or two of those three legs, their chair would fall over and remind them. So they cleverly remove all three legs and squat on the floor.

      1. Well it really comes down to getting votes, right? And what do those whom you hope to vote for you want to hear?

        “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”

        ― Benjamin Franklin

        1. America will survive until congress discovers it can bribe the American people with their own money. – de toqueville

      2. Yeah, I don’t even have a major problem with Keynes in very limited situations. Although he was far from libertarian, Keynes was a legit economist. As far as state solutions to offsetting economic ups and downs go, it seems pretty practical in theory to cut deficits and debt in up years and spend on economic stimulation and job creation in bad years – as long as you break even or are gradually cutting spending overall.

        Give me real Keynesianism ANY DAY over the reality we have now where up economy means “yay high tax revenues, we can spend more!” and down economy means “oh no, that Keynes dude says spend more now”.

    2. The outcome of debt reduction and deficit reduction is to harm or destroy the real economy, with no benefit to government, taxpayers, or economic stability.
      Nike creates Nikes.
      Ford creates Fords.
      USA creates USA Dollars.
      Taxes destroys USA Dollars. Nothing more.

      National debt is private assets just like your paycheck is your employer’s liabilities and your grocery store’s income is your deficit and your savings balance is your bank’s liabilities owed back to you, the depositor.

      One would think Reason readers would be IN FAVOR of NET WEALTH ACCUMULATION (in the form of US liabilities aka “dollars”) and not intent on net wealth confiscation and deletion of net financial assets.

      One would think Reason readers would favor the side of overall business profits in the form of US Dollars, and not on the side of overall business losses in the form of US Dollars. One would think Reason readers would favor overall rising incomes not favor falling incomes.

      One would think Reason readers would favor the concept of pouring federal spending in new technology to COMPETE with China’s superfast advancing tech (and incidentally new energy to save the planet or at least reduce future economic destruction and disruption with advanced nuclear power power production – NO the solution to climate change isn’t burning natural buffalo dung), instead of looking backwards towards nostalgia and planning future failure on purpose, the collapse of our Rome.

      Technological and human advancement HERE NOW is more important than believing the lie that Uncle Sam can “save dollars” (where? in a lead lined box?) for imaginary future grandchildren.

      If National Debt was going to be destructive at $25 Trillion, don’t you think it would have “blown up” or become “a tsunami” or whatever at $12 Trillion or $8 Trillion or $5 Trillion? No, the economy keeps humming along.

      MMT is descriptive reality, and everyone who remembers World Wars and the Cold War and Reaganomics knows that, whether they admit it to themselves or not. False Ideology is painful when it collapses. Just ask the Communists.

  4. BTW, the photo make it look like they’re all standing in pissoirs.

  5. So will Democrats turn into the party of deficit reduction?
    This is too absurd to even be funny. It’s like some sort of transcendental ludicrousness so beyond any tangential connection to reality that it cannot even trigger a humorous reflex.

    1. Clinton…surplus. QED

      1. Surplus that never happened if you actually check the DOT numbers.

      2. “Clinton…surplus. QED”

        Lefty bullshit.

      3. You misspelled “Gingrich”. And “accounting tricks”.

        It was a helluva lot closer to even than we’ll ever see again, that’s true.

        1. So all we need is a Republican Congress that detests a Dem President, and another dot-com boom. Throw in a few accounting gimmicks and we can have a pretend surplus…for one year.

      4. Clinton surplus – however tiny or inconsequential in the larger scheme – had some major ramifications. It required a MASSIVE INCREASE in Private Debt.

        To that end, skyrocketing private debt creation to feed the economy, Clinton had to pass successive Republican or bi-partisan legislation to make various bank frauds legal and the regulators had to adopt the arguments that banks should regulate credit & risk creation. Shadow banking? Fine. Dark markets? Great. Derivatives 8x the notional value of everything on Earth? Wonderful.

        And it *WAS* wonderful, as long as the credit bubble kept growing exponentially and flipping and refinancing was working. Great until it stopped.

        THAT is the legacy of Clinton’s (partial) fiscal surplus and deficit reduction. It’s really just arithmetic. Federal net spending + private net spending + foreign net spending = GDP.

        Well foreign net spending is negative. We’re advanced capitalism.
        Corporations net import.

        If Federal net spending goes negative, then private net spending must go positive just to have the same GDP and maintain private incomes and private debt payments.

        If private net spending must be greater than private net income, that means borrowing from banks, A LOT. Negative wealth accumulation. Ergo, housing bubble. But wait, that financial wealth didn’t vanish. It was just transformed into housing wealth and derivatives of housing assets.

        Is it necessary to go into more details?

  6. The real title of this article should be why has every Republican president since Reagan raised the debt?

    1. “since Reagan”??? You mean starting with Reagan.

      1. I assume he meant ‘since Regan’s election’

        1. Yeah, I think you are right. Does say “since Reagan raised the debt”.

          Oh well, I say to myself, “fuck off, slaver!”

        2. Reagan made a deal with democrats tor wise taxes in exchange for $3 worth of budget cuts for every dollar in tax increase. We got the tax hike, and then the democrats reneged on budget cuts.

          Democrats have always strive to bankrupt our country.

          1. Reagan’s tax bill was a complete theft of middle class money. Reagan is WAY overrated by republicans. He exploded the deficit, so let’s stop pretending.

      2. The last time the debt dropped was 1957. Technically, every President since Eisenhower has raised the debt.

    2. Doesnt the House control the purse?

      Speaking of national debt, remember all those wars that Democrats started and then the USA took on debt. Civil War, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Yemen, Syria, Libya?

      1. That’s what the civics textbook says, but so much of the spending is on autopilot and continuing resolutions rather than budgeting and appropriations that it’s kind of a running joke. Congress has abdicated its authority over the purse.

  7. Reason’s eternal battle to pretend that Democrats and Republicans are equal vis a vis libertarianism tonight takes the form of pretending that obvious lip service is meaningful proposal.

    Democrats always talk moderate when general elections loom. It’s the only way they can get enough votes to win. Only fools take them at their word.

    1. When have Republicans done anything about the deficit besides run their mouth?

      1. When a Dem president is in. But hey-oh, when a Republican is in, let’s open that tap and let it flow like the Nile. Then they blow up the deficit just in time for a Dem to come in and they can go back to complaining that of coooooourse we don’t have the money for that!

        It’s quite transparent.

        1. This myth idiots push is hilarious.

    2. I assume Matt Welch has watched all the primaries. My guess is lip-service looks like a life preserver when you’ve been watching a litany of some-handsome, some-ancient people propose ways to spend your meager journo bucks.

      There is no question whoever gets elected will continue the status quo of ramping up spending. Indeed the first one to really trim leviathan will be doing so because they have no other choice.

    3. You’re right – they aren’t equivalent. Right now Democrats are probably more libertarian:
      https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2020

      Of course it’s very typical that the party out of power finds bones to pick with the party in power, then does the same thing or worse when they win control. Remember when the Tea Party was all “small government”/anti-spending/anti-debt before Trump was elected?

      1. Given that the Tea Party has fewer seats in congress than the Congressional Black Caucus, it’s not clear what they should be doing.

      2. According to political compass Trump and Pence are way more authoritarian than all the candidates who want to nationalize all healthcare in the US.
        Right.

    4. I agree Mr. JD. I’ll go further: they’ll reduce the deficit like we could keep our plans, our doctors and save money with Obamacare, or like we had a humble foreign policy under GW, or like we could read HW’s lips.

      Neither the Democrats or RINOs are believable. But I do believe Warren who said her policies “for those who want to, bring down the national debt” because she means the Treasury will still accept checks from people willing to send them checks without the IRS forcing them.

    5. The biggest difference between democrats and republicans is the spelling. They both shit all over us and line their own pockets.

  8. Let’s run some numbers, ok? Deficits in billions.

    Deficit FY 1993 (Bush): 255
    Deficit FY 2001 (KKKlinton): -128
    Deficit FY 2009 (Bush the war criminal): 1413
    Deficit FY 2017 (Obama the socialist): 665
    Deficit 2020 (Trump the dotard): 1101

    Tell me why it’s surprising you find Democrats credible on spending again, Matt?

    1. One year out of 4 or 8 is significant? I don’t know what those numbers are supposed to be, but the total of 8 years of Clinton wasn’t negative, and the total of 8 years of Obama was a lot more than that. So maybe the last year? Why does the last year matter?

      1. The total debt didnt decrease in any year under Clinton. Basically they arrive at their number through mental gymnastics. They stated they would gain X in revenues only spent X – Y, but in reality never gained X. Look at the debt in 98. It went up.

      2. “Why does the last year matter?”

        Because this scumbag has but passing acquaintance to logic and honesty.

    2. Clinton never reduced the debt, he had a loss and growth of debt in every year dumbfuck.

      Presidents dont set the budgets spending originates in the house. You fucking fail at everything.

      1. If you paid any attention, it’s quite clear they’re talking about the *deficit*, not overall debt.

        1. Except even there you lie. FY09 was signed by obama, not bush who refused to sign.

          Likewise you seem to ignore where spending originates. you ignore recessions and down turns in economies which drive debt more.

          What you fail to understand is spend growth rates being almost double gdp growth rates.

          So what you are doing is arguing from ignorance like a well trained puppy.

        2. I mean if you were an honestowrson good go look at Obama’s proposed budgets and realize how full of shit you are.

        3. If the deficit numbers don’t reflect the change in debt, then the deficit numbers are bogus.

      2. Lefties cannot win on national debt blame, so they are messing with deficit talking points.

        Its more evidence of desperation by Lefties signaling an even bigger electoral win by Trump in 2020.

    3. Citation for you being ignorant.

      http://www.craigsteiner.us/articles/16

      Debt never went down. I do like how you idiots now pretend the dot com bubble never burst.

      1. That is a good article until his conclusion is “vote republican”, which is as demonstrably false as “vote democrat” when it comes to deficit reduction.

    4. I own your name now, you sad pedo fuck.

      1. The same guy who hacked Krugmans IP hacked his.

      2. On that note, I think Shreek is really Krugman. Given last week’s admission from a Krugman about downloading kiddie porn.

    5. 1. Official deficit numbers are meaningless. You need to look at changes in debt.

      2. You need to look at changes in debt relative to GDP, population, and absolute debt, not in dollar amounts.

      1. Any way you slice it, it is bad. Really, really bad.

    6. “(KKKlinton)” . Really?

      Haha. Ok.

  9. You did get the part about them doing it by jacking up taxes, right?

    Since when is it seen as a good thing to forcefully confiscate assets from people who earned them?

    There is nothing praiseworthy about Democrats deciding that not only do they want to give away free stuff to everyone, but that they also want to raise taxes even higher so that they can pay down the debt while they are at it.

    1. No difference. Those dollars come from taxes or loans, both out of the economy. I don’t think there’s any practical difference.

      Spending is what matters.

    2. Surprisingly not a single one of them mentioned the two largest drivers of deficit, entitlements and baseline budgeting. This means they are full of shit.

  10. Darn it, by the time I read through the other comments I forgot what I was going to say.

    1. That’s why you comment before you read the articles or the comments.

      1. It’s a tried and trusted method.

        1. only way to be sure

    2. You are now half way in your journey to become a contributor instead of a commenter.

    3. Two days ago, North49: “Betteridge’s law strikes again.”
      Today, me: Yup
      Was that it? I was unfamiliar with the term before I read your comment, but it seems to be fairly consistent.

  11. Yeah, Democrats will say anything to get elected. Of course, “reducing the deficit and debt” to them means the delusional promise of taxing “the tippy top” to fix the deficit and the debt.

    1. If only they could gut defense! That would fix everything!

  12. While deficit politics came back with a vengeance during the Tea Party backlash to President Barack Obama

    Somebody saw the Taxed Enough Already Party’s true (hatred of) colors. They pretended to be against Obama’s policies, but we all knew that their anti-tax-and-spend talk was a thin veneer for the KKK’ers, the Nazis, the white supremacists, the bigots and the racists and the neo-Confederates to push their ethnic cleansing agenda. It wasn’t the black man’s socialist agenda they were opposed to, it was simply and solely the fact that he was black. Glad to see Matt wasn’t fooled by the lies.

    1. Race is everything. Everything is so terrible and unfair. It’s really very simple.

      Haha

  13. Heh, they disappeared the Chinese dude whose entire schtick was based on handing out free money, which I guess proves how #racist the democrats are.

    1. He was cancelled because he admitted that the United States was responsible for only 14% (and going down, due to technology and capitalism) of the worlds carbon output. As a very successful entrepreneur, he also mentioned “I’m Asian, of course I work hard”. He is considered a republican/libetarian Racist operative from both the far left and the mainstream climate jihadi left. The mainstream Democrats will use climate as an excuse to override congress for “National Security” as Authoritarians and a centrally planned economy.

  14. Now that we found something good to say about two Democrats, let’s see if we can find two upsides to going to hell in a hand basket.

    Let’s see, . . . um . . .

    1) Yeah, now that we’re in hell, we’re gonna be on fire a lot, but we’re also gonna save a lot of money on our heating bill!

    2) When you’re in hell, the temperature never gets much below 212 Fahrenheit, but at least the Democrats will no longer try to scare us with warnings about global warming.

    Yes, there are conceivably upsides to going to hell in a hand basket I’m trying to think of a single reason to want a Democrat to win the White House, this election, and I’m coming up blank.

    No, because if a Democrat won, he or she might be a deficit hawk isn’t even close to being one of them.

  15. Lip service? What are you talking about?

    Her ‘plan is “1) Let’s raise all the taxes! 2) Let’s spend all the money!

    Or did you miss this, from her ‘plan’–

    She will initially seed the fund with $300 billion by raising the corporate tax rate

    And when the economy tanks due to the usual leftist ignorance of ANY economic system that actually works–

    When specific economic indicators show our economy is in a recession, the funding will automatically be diverted to increase spending

    So tell me, Matt, what part of ‘Raise taxes and increase spending’ didn’t you understand?

  16. History tells us that the best chance for deficit reductions are a Democratic President with at least one House of Congress controlled by the Republicans. If they don’t have the Whitehouse, Republicans will be deficit hawks and Democratic Presidents has shown willingness to compromise. This is not a best solution to the problem of debt, but it maybe the only one we have for the short term.

    1. Lies. They just span the spending increases over a decade so it appears to decrease that FY. Its all smoke and mirrors and the Propagandists in the MSM lap it up.

      Social security, medicare, and medicaid cost taxpayers over $2 trillion per year not including payroll deductions taken from taxpayers. Military spending is too high also but at least its not nondiscretionary spending.

      1. They just span the spending increases over a decade so it appears to decrease that FY.

        You mean like how Trump’s “tax cuts” actually increase the tax rate for 90% of Americans over a decade but gave a temporary “tax cut” that would show up that year?

        To be clear, I’m not saying you’re wrong. But kicking the can down the road is a pretty bi-partisan activity.

    2. The only reason that worked then was because Clinton used the line item veto. Which was later ruled unconstitutional.

      1. This is an important point and it wasn’t until after the 1994 elections when the Republicans took the House that he had this (temporary) power. Since the advent of the omnibus budget the President has little choice other than to accept the budget sent to him or “shut down the government”.

      2. But it is also true that the deficit went down in President Obama’s term. It spiked in the beginning during the recession but then went down in following years. Particularly after Republican took the House, which supports my hypothesis. As long as Republicans are not in the Whitehouse they will be deficit hawks.

        1. Yeah, that’s historically illiterate.

          They piled almost 2 trillion extra dollars onto that spike, between the stimulus and the TARP bailout. And then they couldn’t pass a budget so they locked in the stimulus spending rate, and still piled on an extra stimulus bill.

          Then they passed a “if you don’t pay for stuff, there’s an automatic 1% cut” provision… And there ya go. Economic growth, some tiny automatic cuts and the payback of a trillion in TARP funds and you have “deficit reduction”

          What a crock. They stayed at nearly 50% above baseline the whole time. We still are there. Some marginal effects due to growth and doing a “continuing resolution” version that at least doesn’t add on a half trillion in new spending isn’t exactly what I’d call sound fiscal policy.

          “Better than the year we had an epic failure of the capital market due to mortgage loans” is hardly a benchmark.

          1. And no, this is not an endorsement of republican fiscal responsibility. Rand Paul actually had detailed budget proposals to eliminate the deficit and begin paying down the debt in fairly short order, but I don’t think he even got the support of his own staff on that one.

            Nobody is interested in responsible government. When I talked about his plan with some older conservative guys over coffee at the time, they worried about what all of the federal workers who got laid off would do. Even a bunch of retired old-school socons couldn’t get behind cutting the size of government.

            1. Yes. His plan was something like the radical concept of cutting the federal total budget by more than 1% per year and letting the growth make it up in the long term.

        2. Well, I guess it all depends on where you start.

          Is “reducing deficits” from a one time emergency stimulus loaded budget really even an accomplishment?

          Well, I guess when the top dog is up against so much racism you have to exaggerate his effectiveness to compensate, right?

          Haha.

  17. So we need to raise taxes to pay for more free sit AND we need to raise taxes to pay for the free shot we already give away…if this is the selling point you can keep it away from me.

  18. “”To the extent that deficits will be invoked by Democrats, you can bet it will be in service of raising taxes, not trimming back the sails of state.””

    Raising taxes is really a loser with the voters. That why you will get lip service about how we can already fund it. It’s just a matter of shifting money around.

  19. Meh. Call us when any of the D candidates propose major spending reductions, especially in social programs.

    1. Err…. I think that would make them very much not democrats. Heck, even republicans are not really for cutting social programs any more.

      1. Remember when Bush jr. proposed taking a tiny percentage of SS withholding and allow people the choice of investing it into private accounts? The media excoriated him over it. So Rs have actually tried, but didn’t have the support (or the balls) to push it through.

        1. Individual republicans. Not “the Republicans”.

        2. Why would I possibly want the irresponsible vultures in fake money land to have access to the public’s retirement safety net? This is sheer stupidity.

          1. I would be happy to manage my own SS funds. But for the average Ameritard, that would be disaster and death at the hands of Wall St. I’m not an investing genius, but I can do better than the government, and I know enough to keep Wall St. at bay – unless, or course, they purchase legislation making it impossible to keep them out of our pockets, always a real possibility with our “government for sale” congress.

    2. Or military spending…a trillion a year for war and surveillance.

      But we better pay our damned student loans, or else we are not good ‘Murcans and the country will go broke.

  20. AM Linx took the day off, I guess:

    “Uber’s new policies could encourage discrimination, advocates fear”
    […]
    “The changes are Uber’s attempt to shield itself from being forced to reclassify drivers as employees under the state’s new gig-work law, AB5, but some outside groups say the overhaul creates conditions for prejudicial treatment.”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Uber-s-new-policies-could-encourage-14975520.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    Screw with the market, what could possibly go wrong? I mean that union-rep hag who pushed the bill is really smart, right?

  21. “Trump support for Iran protesters could fuel anti-US forces”
    […]
    “WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s embrace of anti-government protesters in Iran is another departure from his predecessors, who feared such overt support could backfire and inadvertently help hard-liners in the Islamic Republic.”
    https://www.manisteenews.com/news/article/Trump-support-for-Iran-protesters-could-fuel-14972947.php

    AP straw-grasping is tedious.

  22. I’ll remind those of you who were too young to be there or who are too old to remember…. 2024 was the year that justified the Social Security Trust Fund.

    That was the year that the intake from Social Security taxes would fall below our obligations to the extent that it required raising the Social Security tax and putting the money into the trust fund – investing in US treasuries.

    Of course, investing that money in treasuries means that it is all already spent and we have to use income taxes to pay back those treasuries into the Trust Fund. You know… the trust fund that was set up so that we didn’t have to spend all those tax revenues making up the coming social security shortfall.

    Of course, Armageddon might not actually happen. We’ve proven that you can get away with simply printing money and accumulating debt for much longer than seems reasonable.

    But 2024 was supposed to be the year that the Trust Fund runs dry if we don’t do anything to fix it (we didn’t). All of that lock box stuff was about this moment. (not really, they just wanted more of those sweet, sweet tax dollars to spend.)

    So, we shall see if the models were right. If they were, we should be getting to the point where debt piles up faster than our ability to ever pay it, interest on the debt begins to outpace all other expenditures… and inflation and stagnation return with a vengeance.

    1. Hey, not a problem. The Feds can start handing out title to government assets in lieu of SS benefits or to pay off bond holders. Who doesn’t want to own a couple of acres of National Forest or a share of an aircraft carrier?

      1. I would love to have a plaque on the USS Gerald Ford:
        “Thanks to the generous contribution from Bear Odinson, the Gerald Ford is the most advanced naval platform ever created.”

        I might be eating catfood in my retirement years, but that would be a cool story!

    2. That was the year that the intake from Social Security taxes would fall below our obligations to the extent that it required raising the Social Security tax and putting the money into the trust fund – investing in US treasuries.

      Off the top of my head, we hit that point (SS expenditures > SS collected taxes) a few years back.

      The point where the trust fund is depleted is currently expected somewhere in the early 2030s.

      That said, I’ll never consider this version of bonds as a good-faith argument. For everyone else, buying government bonds is a stable investment. They make up a significant chunk of most retirement portfolios even. Growth isn’t great, but it’s stable. But suddenly when it’s the SSA buying bonds, it goes from “investment” to “all already spent”.

      If you think the government shouldn’t be selling bonds at all, make that argument. But when bonds stop being investments when you’re talking about SS, and only SS, it’s hard to treat it as a good faith argument.

      1. Right… The “Trust fund” does not really exist – since the government is simply writing itself an IOU.

        The entire point was to save up extra money for the time when there would not be enough tax revenue to cover benefits… they even put out a number – payroll taxes would have to jump to 70% without the increase to 13.5% and the Trust Fund. 70% is obviously not sustainable…. but does it really make a difference if you have to raise taxes to 70% to pay current benefits, or raise taxes to 70% to pay back bonds? It was the dumbest thing I’d ever heard at the time, and it remains the dumbest thing ever.

        You see, being my age, I paid into the Trust Fund all these years, and now I get to pay the trust fund back… and then the boomers will pull that ladder up behind them as they bankrupt the whole thing.

  23. If SCOTUS rules ACA mandate unconstitutional, the deficit and debt go down.

  24. The last presidential election in which Democrats spent any time at all decrying deficits and debt was…well, the last time there was a Republican in the White House, 2008.

    It’s almost like they only think things are bad when the other guys are doing them.

  25. Talking, yeah.
    Doing, not so much.

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  27. Im sorry but literally get the fuck out of here. Is this site grasping at ANYTHING they can possibly find as a reason to like the dems? Every single possible sign points to them spending us into oblivion.
    Mostly from quoting, you know, shit they say on a daily basis. If they did “talk about” it, it was clearly part of a canned line/speech that is contrary to every action they have done, or promises made.

    When Trump says “we have a plan for healthcare, its going to be better, universal, best coverage ever, and save us money” we all roll our eyes, knowing that isnt on his or any R’s mind and its a complete lie. A dem having any semblance of fiscal responsibility or the intention of lowering debt/deficit fits into the same category. You fucker wrote an article about this? A disabled child could see through their lies and you wrote a whole article getting pumped about dems and their new found fiscal responsibility.

  28. Kind of hard to reduce the deficits and National Debt if your entire platform involves spending a ton more money.

  29. Maybe they’re taking a page from the GOP notebook – talk about it, and then do absolutely nothing about it.

  30. The deficit and debt only matters to the party that is out of power…

    Unless you are an idiot who can’t tell the difference between a ‘budget deficit’ and a ‘trade deficit’, and who thinks that importing more than we export increases the national debt.

    Democrats cared about the deficit when Bush was in office too – until they got power… Same for the TEA Party GOP with Obama and Trump…

    Of course, eventually it will matter to all of us if it isn’t brought under control.

  31. Republican admins routinely run up vastly greater deficits than Democrats do.

    Republicans love deficits that fund massive tax cuts for the wealthy and powerful corporations, many of whom run their operations in tax havens to avoid paying for the roads, schools and public services their employees need and use.

    Republicans love deficits that help the rich, but absolutely hate any govt. expenditures that help the poor. It’s the ‘Christian way,’ of course.

    There’d be no problem balancing the budget if the USA were to stop starting wars, expanding wars and garrisoning the world with nearly 1000 military bases/installations abroad and murdering myriad innocents. But that ain’t gonna happen. Why? There’s way, way too much money for the elite in current militarized, pro-plutocratic govt. policies.

  32. BFD – in the end, they will do the same thing republicans do about the debt. NOTHING.

    Democrats can’t do basic math, and republicans only pretend they can when a democrat is in office.

    Intercourse them all.

  33. Why is it we never hear politicians question the entire debt logic. We have borrowed “money” from a group of PRIVATE bankers that Woodrow Wilson authorized to create this “money” out of thin air. The Federal Reserve is not a federal bank but a private bank AND they have no reserves since they create money from nothing. Why do we owe them a penny? I would love for someone to explain this in a way that makes sense.

  34. When a liberal talks about deficit reduction, that’s code phrase.
    What you should hear is “Tax increase”.

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