Patterico's Pontifications

8/5/2011

Breaking: We Have Been Downgraded (Update: Full Text)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:42 pm



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Just read it via CNN’s breaking news.  Standard & Poor’s reduced us from AAA to AA+.

Organizations like this told us we needed to get a hold of our debt problem.  Instead the political leadership saw it as a call to raise the debt ceiling, which you know, is kind of the opposite of handing the problem.  Its like a parent telling a teenage girl she is maxing out her credit cards, so she gets a new one.

So, the stock market tanks and we lost our triple AAA credit rating.  This administration has officially diminished America as a nation.  Heckuvajob there, Barry.

2012 can’t come fast enough.

Update: Standard & Poor’s website, unsurprisingly, is very slow tonight.  The WSJ has a copy, but I expect them to get flooded, too, so I will cut and paste the analysis under the fold.

The gist is simply this.  They don’t care how we cut the debt, by taxes, by cutting spending, by whatever, but it is our inability to really, seriously, tackle this issue that led to this.

This is why the Tea Party exists and I am a proud, patriotic member.  I love this country too much to see them do this to us without speaking up.

We have lowered our long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States of America to ‘AA+’ from ‘AAA’ and affirmed the ‘A-1+’ short-term rating.

– We have also removed both the short- and long-term ratings from CreditWatch negative.

– The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.

– More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.

– Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government’s debt dynamics any time soon.

– The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. We could lower the long-term rating to ‘AA’ within the next two years if we see that less reduction in spending than agreed to, higher interest rates, or new fiscal pressures during the period result in a higher general government debt trajectory than we currently assume in our base case.

TORONTO (Standard & Poor’s) Aug. 5, 2011–Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today that it lowered its long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States of America to ‘AA+’ from ‘AAA’. Standard & Poor’s also said that the outlook on the long-term rating is negative. At the same time, Standard & Poor’s affirmed its ‘A-1+’ short-term rating on the U.S. In addition, Standard & Poor’s removed both ratings from CreditWatch, where they were placed on July 14, 2011, with negative implications.

The transfer and convertibility (T&C) assessment of the U.S.–our assessment of the likelihood of official interference in the ability of U.S.-based public- and private-sector issuers to secure foreign exchange for debt service–remains ‘AAA’.

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.

Our lowering of the rating was prompted by our view on the rising public debt burden and our perception of greater policymaking uncertainty, consistent with our criteria (see “Sovereign Government Rating Methodology and Assumptions,” June 30, 2011, especially Paragraphs 36-41). Nevertheless, we view the U.S. federal government’s other economic, external, and monetary credit attributes, which form the basis for the sovereign rating, as broadly unchanged.

We have taken the ratings off CreditWatch because the Aug. 2 passage of the Budget Control Act Amendment of 2011 has removed any perceived immediate threat of payment default posed by delays to raising the government’s debt ceiling. In addition, we believe that the act provides sufficient clarity to allow us to evaluate the likely course of U.S. fiscal policy for the next few years.

The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this year’s wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently. Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements, the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key to long-term fiscal sustainability.

Our opinion is that elected officials remain wary of tackling the structural issues required to effectively address the rising U.S. public debt burden in a manner consistent with a ‘AAA’ rating and with ‘AAA’ rated sovereign peers (see Sovereign Government Rating Methodology and Assumptions,” June 30, 2011, especially Paragraphs 36-41). In our view, the difficulty in framing a consensus on fiscal policy weakens the government’s ability to manage public finances and diverts attention from the debate over how to achieve more balanced and dynamic economic growth in an era of fiscal stringency and private-sector deleveraging (ibid). A new political consensus might (or might not) emerge after the 2012 elections, but we believe that by then, the government debt burden will likely be higher, the needed medium-term fiscal adjustment potentially greater, and the inflection point on the U.S. population’s demographics and other age-related spending drivers closer at hand (see “Global Aging 2011: In The U.S., Going Gray Will Likely Cost Even More Green, Now,” June 21, 2011).

Standard & Poor’s takes no position on the mix of spending and revenue measures that Congress and the Administration might conclude is appropriate for putting the U.S.’s finances on a sustainable footing.

The act calls for as much as $2.4 trillion of reductions in expenditure growth over the 10 years through 2021. These cuts will be implemented in two steps: the $917 billion agreed to initially, followed by an additional $1.5 trillion that the newly formed Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is supposed to recommend by November 2011. The act contains no measures to raise taxes or otherwise enhance revenues, though the committee could recommend them.

The act further provides that if Congress does not enact the committee’s recommendations, cuts of $1.2 trillion will be implemented over the same time period. The reductions would mainly affect outlays for civilian discretionary spending, defense, and Medicare. We understand that this fall-back mechanism is designed to encourage Congress to embrace a more balanced mix of expenditure savings, as the committee might recommend.

We note that in a letter to Congress on Aug. 1, 2011, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated total budgetary savings under the act to be at least $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years relative to its baseline assumptions. In updating our own fiscal projections, with certain modifications outlined below, we have relied on the CBO’s latest “Alternate Fiscal Scenario” of June 2011, updated to include the CBO assumptions contained in its Aug. 1 letter to Congress. In general, the CBO’s “Alternate Fiscal Scenario” assumes a continuation of recent Congressional action overriding existing law.

We view the act’s measures as a step toward fiscal consolidation. However, this is within the framework of a legislative mechanism that leaves open the details of what is finally agreed to until the end of 2011, and Congress and the Administration could modify any agreement in the future. Even assuming that at least $2.1 trillion of the spending reductions the act envisages are implemented, we maintain our view that the U.S. net general government debt burden (all levels of government combined, excluding liquid financial assets) will likely continue to grow. Under our revised base case fiscal scenario–which we consider to be consistent with a ‘AA+’ long-term rating and a negative outlook–we now project that net general government debt would rise from an estimated 74% of GDP by the end of 2011 to 79% in 2015 and 85% by 2021. Even the projected 2015 ratio of sovereign indebtedness is high in relation to those of peer credits and, as noted, would continue to rise under the act’s revised policy settings.

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.

Our revised upside scenario–which, other things being equal, we view as consistent with the outlook on the ‘AA+’ long-term rating being revised to stable–retains these same macroeconomic assumptions. In addition, it incorporates $950 billion of new revenues on the assumption that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high earners lapse from 2013 onwards, as the Administration is advocating. In this scenario, we project that the net general government debt would rise from an estimated 74% of GDP by the end of 2011 to 77% in 2015 and to 78% by 2021.

Our revised downside scenario–which, other things being equal, we view as being consistent with a possible further downgrade to a ‘AA’ long-term rating–features less-favorable macroeconomic assumptions, as outlined below and also assumes that the second round of spending cuts (at least $1.2 trillion) that the act calls for does not occur. This scenario also assumes somewhat higher nominal interest rates for U.S. Treasuries. We still believe that the role of the U.S. dollar as the key reserve currency confers a government funding advantage, one that could change only slowly over time, and that Fed policy might lean toward continued loose monetary policy at a time of fiscal tightening. Nonetheless, it is possible that interest rates could rise if investors re-price relative risks. As a result, our alternate scenario factors in a 50 basis point (bp)-75 bp rise in 10-year bond yields relative to the base and upside cases from 2013 onwards. In this scenario, we project the net public debt burden would rise from 74% of GDP in 2011 to 90% in 2015 and to 101% by 2021.

Our revised scenarios also take into account the significant negative revisions to historical GDP data that the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced on July 29. From our perspective, the effect of these revisions underscores two related points when evaluating the likely debt trajectory of the U.S. government. First, the revisions show that the recent recession was deeper than previously assumed, so the GDP this year is lower than previously thought in both nominal and real terms. Consequently, the debt burden is slightly higher. Second, the revised data highlight the sub-par path of the current economic recovery when compared with rebounds following previous post-war recessions. We believe the sluggish pace of the current economic recovery could be consistent with the experiences of countries that have had financial crises in which the slow process of debt deleveraging in the private sector leads to a persistent drag on demand. As a result, our downside case scenario assumes relatively modest real trend GDP growth of 2.5% and inflation of near 1.5% annually going forward.

When comparing the U.S. to sovereigns with ‘AAA’ long-term ratings that we view as relevant peers–Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K.–we also observe, based on our base case scenarios for each, that the trajectory of the U.S.’s net public debt is diverging from the others. Including the U.S., we estimate that these five sovereigns will have net general government debt to GDP ratios this year ranging from 34% (Canada) to 80% (the U.K.), with the U.S. debt burden at 74%. By 2015, we project that their net public debt to GDP ratios will range between 30% (lowest, Canada) and 83% (highest, France), with the U.S. debt burden at 79%. However, in contrast with the U.S., we project that the net public debt burdens of these other sovereigns will begin to decline, either before or by 2015.

Standard & Poor’s transfer T&C assessment of the U.S. remains ‘AAA’. Our T&C assessment reflects our view of the likelihood of the sovereign restricting other public and private issuers’ access to foreign exchange needed to meet debt service. Although in our view the credit standing of the U.S. government has deteriorated modestly, we see little indication that official interference of this kind is entering onto the policy agenda of either Congress or the Administration. Consequently, we continue to view this risk as being highly remote.

The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. As our downside alternate fiscal scenario illustrates, a higher public debt trajectory than we currently assume could lead us to lower the long-term rating again. On the other hand, as our upside scenario highlights, if the recommendations of the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction–independently or coupled with other initiatives, such as the lapsing of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high earners–lead to fiscal consolidation measures beyond the minimum mandated, and we believe they are likely to slow the deterioration of the government’s debt dynamics, the long-term rating could stabilize at ‘AA+’.

On Monday, we will issue separate releases concerning affected ratings in the funds, government-related entities, financial institutions, insurance, public finance, and structured finance sectors.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

369 Responses to “Breaking: We Have Been Downgraded (Update: Full Text)”

  1. I’ll expand on my previous comments on this subject:

    Damn You, Barack Obama;
    Damn You to Hell!

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  2. Here’s the AP story. Interestingly, the Obama administration believes S&P’s analysis contained “deep and fundamental flaws.” That won’t stop the rest of the Left from blaming the GOP, based on this.

    Karl (37b303)

  3. This administration The Tea Party has officially diminished America as a nation. Heckuvajob there, Barry Teabaggers. There. Fixed that for ya’. Idiots.

    S&P (9d1bb3)

  4. According to Democrats and the liberal media (BIRM) I thought the big problem was Republicans holding the economy hostage over reducing future deficit spending.

    It turns out deficits were exactly what S&P was concerned about.

    SHOCKA!!!!!

    It’s too bad Obama did not have time to wow S&P or the country with his secret plan for the government living within its means.

    Putz.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  5. Spvrty – I really, really hope the Democrats run Obama in 2012.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  6. “S&P” if you actually read the thing you will realize the spiraling debt is the problem. And who has been sounding the alarm on that?

    Right, teabaggers.

    So kindly fuck off.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  7. That’s what four years of a Dem controlled Congress and having one of the biggest jackasses in U.S. history sitting in the White House can do for you.

    Hope President Jackass chokes on his birthday cake.

    And, once again, a pox on the GOP controlled House for caving into the thieving Democrats on the debt ceiling issue. If this is the best they can do, what’s the point of voting Republican?

    “2012 can’t come fast enough.”

    No kidding.

    Dave Surls (28f866)

  8. Note the release talks about revenue and entitlement reform. Jake Tapper got spun earlier in the day, and just put a reminder for him on Twitter.

    And when the trolls arrive, let’s already have noted that Boehner was willing to accept $800 billion in new revenues. The deal fell apart because Obama moved the goalposts.

    Karl (37b303)

  9. yeah, i think i am too angry to type intelligently. I think i will do extreme anti-social violence in the world of video games for a bit. Might play Fallout New Vegas, to practice survival skills for after everything goes to shit.

    Btw, my sense of humor is pitch black tonight.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  10. B’rack can’t believe it
    His Visa’s been down graded;
    Must suck to be him!

    The Haiku Avenger (f68855)

  11. Yes, firing off the Genesis torpedo, seems in character today, they bloody well know that phasing it out the Bush tax cuts, won’t begin
    to put a dent in this, we spent 240 billion in one day.

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  12. The truth hurts.

    The government spends too much. It’s a basic and a long term problem that we’ve needed to fix for ages. The GOP certainly hasn’t solved it. If a democrat partisan thinks that’s the end of the story, they are unpatriotic, as their party has done so much damage.

    But hey, pox on both houses if you like. It’s time to demand a balanced budget.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  13. Karl – S&P made entitlement reform a big point of future debt sustainability in their release.

    Democrats – Keep your dirty hands off!!!!!!!!!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  14. my sense of humor is pitch black tonight

    Join the crowd, AW.

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  15. Interesting given that most of the people I knew at S&P were big New York libs.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  16. The left booed bush when he left the presidency so we should boo Obama…………but we’re better.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  17. Dustin

    We just shouldn’t have raised the debt ceiling.

    Poof, then they would have HAD to balance the budget. Instantly. Yeah, it would be rough, but didn’t someone say it was time to eat our peas.

    Yes, the idiot who said that thought that “eating our peas” meant trying to continue to max out the credit card. It fits his pattern of saying something smart and not following his own advice.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  18. This isn’t about Liberal/Conservative, it’s about $$$$$$$$$

    They don’t want a repeat of what they went through over MBS’.

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  19. “Btw, my sense of humor is pitch black tonight.”

    Aaron – You can always make fun of Ron. It’s better than kicking your dog, if you’ve got one.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  20. Doh

    Tonight, if he was suddenly leaving the presidency…

    I would be throwing tomatoes at him.

    There, I said it.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  21. daleyrocks (13)

    I know. Tapper’s story quoted a “govt official” who said S&P would say it was GOP position on taxes. The release mentions both revenue and entitlement reform. Tapper got spun (shocka). One would bet said govt official is an Admin official… or maybe just a loyal Dem.

    Karl (37b303)

  22. The question is:
    What is the Speaker going to do?

    Will he call the Members back from their Districts to hash out a balanced budget/appropriation schedule?
    That is what he needs to do, since it’s an all new ball game now.

    Also, I think this ensures that either Perry or Palin, or both, will announce.
    They will attempt to cast themselves as the outsider riding to DC to change things, and set them right – just as FDR did in ’32.

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  23. I’m not better, DohBiden.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  24. Comment by Karl — 8/5/2011 @ 6:17 pm

    Carney, or Sperling?

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  25. Six of one, half dozen of the other, Sperling was the drone, when the last scam was pulled off.

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  26. You know, it’s curious how S&P delayed this until after the evening Network newscasts, but just in time for Hannity?

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  27. AD-RtR/OS!,

    I would like to think that Tapper would have IDed source as Admin official if s/he was such. Would like to think that. Would at least like Tapper to know we noticed he got spun to make him think twice the next time.

    Karl (37b303)

  28. maybe if Obama would give a speech before the Asian Markets open then we can all have hip hop bbq and everything would be back like it was before America became a brokedick whore nation

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  29. They all get spun.
    Remember, as the old story goes:
    “We know what you are Madam, we’re just trying to figure out what your price is.”(sic)

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  30. Isn’t His Wonderfulness supposed to go to The Vineyard on Monday?

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  31. Right, teabaggers. NFK. Idiots.

    S&P (9d1bb3)

  32. S&P likes getting teabagged.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  33. President Obama makes everything better,

    “What I want the American people and our partners around the world to know is this: We are going to get through this. Things will get better and we are going to get there together,” Obama said in remarks from Washington’s Navy Yard.

    Okay then.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  34. He’s kind of like evil Stuart Smalley, isn’t he?

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  35. ian cormac,

    I expected him to say more about this, something substantive rather than an empty platitude. But then, what was I thinking?

    I was reading that Italy has made some serious decisions in order to get their spending in line,

    The measures included a plan to amend the constitution to make a balanced budget mandatory, a second constitutional change that would force “closed professions” to liberalise services, a speeding up of welfare reforms, and other structural reforms designed to boost Italy’s stagnant economy.

    Cuts in the “cost of politics” – including salaries of elected officials and subsidies to political parties – were also on the agenda, which had been agreed in outline with leaders of employers’ associations and trade unions on Thursday.

    This is Italy.

    Iowahawk wittily observes,

    Terrorists take over Italy: govt. cuts spending, adopts balanced budget amendment.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  36. Yeah, the next thing you know, those Italians will be buying American car companies.

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  37. “So kindly fuck off.”

    If the lefties really want to do their country a service, they’ll FOAD, ’cause just fucking off really isn’t enough.

    Dave Surls (28f866)

  38. Sophist.

    Larry Reilly (a95fdc)

  39. I tweeted that I was reading the S&P release and hoped Tapper realized his source spun him.

    Tapper replied: “Keep reading.”

    I responded that the bits about entitlement reform were left out, either by his source, or him. Noted that his story mentioned GOP position re taxes “in part,” asked whether Tapper asked about the other parts. Also asked whether Boehner’s $800B offer goes down the memory hole now.

    No reply to any of that — snarky or otherwise — from Tapper yet. Won’t be shocked if none is forthcoming.

    Karl (37b303)

  40. So, Aaron? Where is your stalkerboi? He always picks up his cheerleader pom-poms for the Left when you post.

    Simon Jester (261d48)

  41. Yeah, it would be rough, but didn’t someone say it was time to eat our peas.

    Sounds about right, Aaron.

    The sooner we fix this the better. it’s only going to be rough because we left this problem to get so bad.

    A lot of blaming the Tea Party from the left today. No clear reason other than pure desperation. Their plan failed. That’s all there is do it. We simply cannot have a government that is this large. It must be cut down drastically. Entitlements, agencies, graft, regulation, control. This situation cannot go on forever, so we either fix it face a collapse.

    And the sad thing is the really loony part of the left is so aware of this that they utilize the collapse in their cloward piven planning.

    The idea a little bit of revenue would have done any damn good is just another fraud. Unless you’re talking about raising $1.5 trillion in taxes every year, with 7% growth in the economy at the same time, we’re not going to be able to keep this huge government.

    So they shouldn’t have raised the debt ceiling at all. And that’s what the next congress and president will have to face. They will have to deal with all the rioting and screaming about holding the economy hostage as unionized government employees and entitlement dependents raise holy hell. But there’s no getting around the numbers here.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  42. And it’s good to hear from Aaron.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  43. CBS’s Mark Knoller: “Source” says Treasury pointed out errors to S&P which then moved to find a different rationale on which to base their downgrade.

    Karl (37b303)

  44. ok but still that’s like 235 years without a credit downgrade!

    That’s got to be some kind of record!

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  45. Yes, always good to see Aaron.

    Karl (37b303)

  46. Oh.

    jaketapper Jake Tapper
    @
    @justkarl it mentions entitlements. Doesn’t mention Democrats and entitlements. I’m not the one spinning, pal. Have a good night.

    3 minutes ago

    Dana (4eca6e)

  47. “What I want the American people and our partners around the world to know is this: We are going to get through this.”

    Dana – But what about those tough choices between medicine for grandma and college educations for our children?

    Nevermind, I keep forgetting those are just the type of false choices Obama loves to throw out in his speeches. Nothing to see there.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  48. Tapper just responded: “it mentions entitlements. Doesn’t mention Democrats and entitlements. I’m not the one spinning, pal. Have a good night.”

    I replied: “Ah, yes… we all know the House GOP fights entitlement reform by passing the Ryan budget.” But the ‘good night’ suggests he’s running away now.

    Karl (37b303)

  49. “CBS’s Mark Knoller: “Source” says Treasury pointed out errors to S&P which then moved to find a different rationale on which to base their downgrade.”

    Sounds like complete BS. Hot Air says it was a miscalculated ratio which could be translated back into a baseline budget number amounting to $2 trillion. They don’t say what year or whether it would have had an impact on conclusion.

    Agencies typically give issuer time to review a report before it is issued. Finding a math error does not mean agency will change its conclusion.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  50. …and of course, the fact remains that either Tapper or his source caused entitlements to not be mentioned in Tapper’s story at all.

    Karl (37b303)

  51. Treasury pointed out errors to S&P

    Karl, this kind of stuff makes me sick. They are so worried about blame. They are not worried about leaving behind a government that is better off than they found it. They just want to ride this sucker for a while.

    Everybody who isn’t seriously and honestly proposing a way to a balanced budget should be shamed by the media. Most of them are too worried about blame themselves. In a major way, the media is to blame too.

    This treasury is selling debt to the federal reserve right now, raising ‘revenue’ in the form of inflation. That’s why it’s about 30 bucks more to fill my pickup than it was when Obama swore his oath of office.

    The Left (b7410e)

  52. ^Sockpuppet fail on my part

    So sue me.

    (I’m kidding, Ron)

    Dustin (b7410e)

  53. “Sophist.”

    Larry – That is one of the most intelligent things I’ve seen you say at this blog. Do you know what the word means?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  54. It’s someone in love with Sophie, right?

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  55. I predicted when Obama won the election that, in their unwillingness to elevate themselves, the Democrats will bring the rest of us down to their level, and they continue to prove me right.

    What a disgrace. How humiliating. How embarrassing.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  56. Also, finding a math error in a draft rating agency report is not as unusual as they make it sound. That’s one reason why the agencies send you the drafts before publishing them to have you review them. This is just more attempted blame shifting by the Administration, IMHO.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  57. …and of course, the fact remains that either Tapper or his source caused entitlements to not be mentioned in Tapper’s story at all.

    Comment by Karl — 8/5/2011 @ 7:05 pm

    It’s pretty stunning. That’s obviously the largest aspect of our debt situation. It’s the most controversial. It’s the one the readers need to be informed about.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  58. “It’s someone in love with Sophie, right?”

    AD – That would be Sophie’s Choice, would it not?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  59. You’ll actually want to read Kevin Drum:

    http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/08/why-sp-wrong

    Yeah, I’m shocked also.

    Karl (37b303)

  60. Hey, put your sophistry magic spin on this from the S&P news release:
    “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.”

    Larry Reilly (a95fdc)

  61. Larry,

    As already mentioned, Boehner was ready to cut a deal with $800 billion in revenue, at which point Obama moved the goalposts.

    Conversely, Obama agreed to the current tax rates. He didn’t have to.

    Karl (37b303)

  62. we can’t give America any more revenues until she shows she can handle the money she already has responsibly

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  63. Larry, raising taxes now would hamper the economy. It’s true. You know it.

    And it wouldn’t make a dent in our deficit.

    Why raise taxes when the government is putting brine shrimp on treadmills and cocaine in monkeys and diapers on welfare frauds, anyway?

    Cut spending. It is not possible to have a government this big forever. We’re just stealing from our kids.

    That’s not sophistry. It’s a fact. Raising taxes might kick that can a little further down the road, so the next administration can make the cuts, but it is a fraud. We need to cut spending anyway. And the taxes would obviously cripple the economy further, like I said.

    If all you care about is blame, especially blame for a subset of one house of the government, when the dems have failed to lead at all on this, then you’re part of the problem yourself.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  64. we can’t give America any more revenues until she shows she can handle the money she already has responsibly

    Comment by happyfeet — 8/5/2011 @ 7:24 pm

    Did you go to pith school or something? Is this an online course I can take?

    Well said.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  65. Comment by daleyrocks — 8/5/2011 @ 7:15 pm

    Even Sophie has more class than to choose anyone from this group of econ majors in DC.

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  66. “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.”

    Larry – They are discussing those rates not being increased prior to the end of 2012, which was not part of any of the recent plans discussed. The rates are scheduled to increase for everyone at the end of 2012, sophist.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  67. It just occurred to me that most Members of Congress have to be in a state of shock, or close to it, at this point – those in the administration will be wandering about like zombies without a f…ing clue.

    You have to wonder if any of them will be able to get it together in time for the Sunday shows?

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  68. I really hate to say this once again, but the problem is spending, not revenue.

    S&P took its position because of it’s expectation that expenditures will continue to increase, without an increase in revenue (my money).

    So, the left interprets this as a vindication of their insatiable desire to tax and spend more
    However, if Congress and the administration actually reduced expenditures, the downgrade might have been avoided.

    Federal expenditures are like the universe. At some point, the implosion is inevitable. At least if you believe those pesky scientists and economists.

    Or you could look at exactly what is happening in Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain.

    Ag80 (9a213d)

  69. “Did you go to pith school or something?”

    Dustin – I pithed frogs when I was in school. I that what you mean.

    I’ve also pithed my pants a few times, but I’m not sure there’s a school for that. Usually it was a result of being over served.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  70. “I’m going to sleep this off. Please let me know if there’s some other way we can screw up tonight.” -James Kirk, Star Trek VI

    JEA (7c8ea5)

  71. “I really hate to say this once again, but the problem is spending, not revenue.”

    Ag80 – Dammit, give us a spoiler alert when you’re about to say something like that next time, will ya.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

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

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

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  73. Yeah, I know how ya’ll get the vapors and all.

    Ag80 (9a213d)

  74. “Larry – That is one of the most intelligent things I’ve seen you say at this blog.”

    You’re right.

    Larry should stick to one word posts. He sounds way less stupid that way.

    Zero word posts would be even better.

    Dave Surls (28f866)

  75. Palin appearing on Greta now. Tea Party power, Ms. Roseanne Barr..

    Vermont Neighbor (ae55d7)

  76. If you want to eliminate private property, just increase the public debt to the point that all private holdings must be seized to pay for it.

    Debt isn’t a bug. It’s a feature.

    Amphipolis (e01538)

  77. Wonder how long it will be ’til we’re downgraded from richest country on earth to third rate, socialist, banana republic, hellhole?

    Dave Surls (28f866)

  78. Wow–I didn’t think they’d have the balls to do it. Kudos to S&P for recognizing reality and having the guts to follow through.

    Another Chris (c983db)

  79. Comment by Larry Reilly — 8/5/2011 @ 7:17 pm

    Hey Larry, they were also calling for roughly $4 trillion in cuts. Actual cuts, you know, not minor reductions of spending increases.

    Another Chris (c983db)

  80. Larry are you apart of Biden’s teabaggers club.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  81. Larry picks and chooses because he does not want you to read this:

    “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.”

    SPQR (26be8b)

  82. “Larry are you apart of Biden’s teabaggers club.”

    DohBiden – Don’t insult Larry. He’s obviously part of Biden’s cracked head club.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  83. Why I am the only person, apparently in the entire world, to point out that recycling the FY2004 per capita spending levels would yield a budget surplus today? Is the information really that hard to find?

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  84. You have to wonder if any of them will be able to get it together in time for the Sunday shows?

    Sure they will. They’re finishing up the script and passing it around now. Same page and all that.

    we can’t give America any more revenues until she shows she can handle the money she already has responsibly

    I completely agree with this. Unfortunately, the assumption of responsibility is not a priority in this administration. What is, is appearance.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  85. ME, just another inconvenient fact that must be ignored when it conflicts with Teh Narrative.

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  86. What is, is appearance

    Which is why NerObama is off fiddling at a gala, while Rome burns – the “Little People” be damned.

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  87. In Mawy’s world the key to the health of the nation’s private economy is for members of the public to give more of their money to the government.

    Icy Texan (76fd35)

  88. As per post in an earlier thread, The One beat a hasty retreat for Camp David before 4PM. No need for a mere bag of shells like this for The Presidnet and the First Wookie to stop partying(he’s 50!, you know?) like most public housing residents on an August weekend.

    It’s not complicated; borrow 40 cents of every dollar you spend for a decade never ends well.

    Bugg (ea1809)

  89. Yes.

    The bad news is the world has concluded that we’re not the grown-ups they thought we were.

    A credit downgrade means U.S. Treasuries will not be considered risk-free assets anymore. Instead investors will find German bonds or Singaporean bonds more attractive.

    The general worry about investing in U.S. Treasuries doesn’t mean we’re at risk of a double-dip recession. But, this could be the end of American exceptionalism. The only way to bounce back is for lawmakers to go back and find another $2 trillion to $4 trillion in spending cuts, like originally suggested.

    We’ve now botched three chances at fixing our long-run fiscal problems.

    The Clinton-era surpluses were allowed to evaporate, Social Security reform never happened—it was designed to make the system more progressive, and now, with fiscal crises erupting across Europe, we passed up a chance for serious fiscal consolidation and entitlement reform.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  90. As per post in an earlier thread, The One beat a hasty retreat for Camp David before 4PM…

    No doubt. I bet I know what was just overheard in the Executive Bathtub:

    “Calgon, take me awaaaayyyy!!”

    qdpsteve (f1c59f)

  91. You have to hand it to the WH for creating a new level of chutzpah.
    They actually had the nerve to call S&P out for their minor math error as “amateur hour”.

    AD-RtR/OS! (928bec)

  92. The Clinton surplus, were the same kind of junk bookkeeping that put Arthur Anderson, away, yes
    the demagoging of the SS reform was shameful, but let’s consider, the ’rounding error, was TARP,
    the stimulus and QE 2, that’s what they don’t want
    to take back,

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  93. Mmm-mmm-mmm-Barack Hussein Obama!

    What does this guy do for an encore, anyway?

    Burn down the White House while playing with matches?

    Accidentally start a war with Finland, and then lose?

    Major Kong (3e3c4e)

  94. One time, they left Obama alone in a locked room with two bowling balls. When they came back an hour later, one bowling ball was broken and the other one was missing. I mean, WTF?

    Major Kong (3e3c4e)

  95. TOP FIVE THINGS LOOKING MORE AND MORE LIKELY TO HAPPEN BY THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

    5. Medicare will consolidate costs by introducing public vending machines requiring seniors to enter a ‘secret code'; upon entering said code, machines will automatically dispense last three meds that feds can afford and EPA will approve, namely aspirin, valium and Thunderbird

    4. Federal Elections Commission will announce and implement a “VIP Voting System” in which citizens can enroll to have their votes counted ahead of ordinary Americans, as well as vote online from home, vote a few days early or late, and other perks; joining this new deluxe system will be available for the low low introductory cost of $50, payable to the Committee to Re-Elect Barack Obama

    3. S&P will further downgrade American investments all the way to the “Kohl’s KoolTeenClub First Ever Credit Card” category

    2. China will foreclose on its debt by declaring Nevada, Arizona, and Utah its land and territory (but not California, as even China doesn’t think it’s worth the effort to take anymore)

    1. Rick Perry will announce he’s running for President… of the Confederate States of America.

    qdpsteve (f1c59f)

  96. Those leftists blaming the tea baggers disgust me.

    JD (92e366)

  97. qdpsteve – But if Perry runs and wins, do he and Obama have to have a cage match over who gets to keep the title President Dumbass?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  98. daley: no, that title now and forever will belong to Jimmy Carter. 😉

    qdpsteve (f1c59f)

  99. No, Carter is a piker and ‘no longer America’s greatest monster,

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  100. BBP America had AAA credit.

    Ron Brynaert (d48c3b)

  101. Compromise = AA+, not AAA

    Someone might want to esplane that to Liberals and RINOs.

    Sponge Bob (786e37)

  102. I think on Monday, Obama is going to accuse S&P of moving a decimal point incorrectly to the right and solicit Barney Frank to launch an investigation.

    Sponge Bob (786e37)

  103. Two observations:

    1. There was a grand bargain in the works, and it’s undisputed that Obama blew it up:

    http://patterico.com/2011/07/22/no-big-deal-debt-ceiling-talks-break-down-again

    2. I was briefly puzzled that the WH went after S&P aggressively, instead of blaming the GOP. My hypothesis is that the Admin is trying to scare Fitch and Moody’s away from downgrades.

    Karl (37b303)

  104. Yes, they are pulling the Luigi Fricotti treatment
    on the agencies, first, they got them to recant the first time.

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  105. Karl – you are just a racist sophist teabagger.

    JD (d48c3b)

  106. S&P’s unexpected racist downgrade of Obama’s glorious economic agenda demonstrates how insidious the TEA Party Terrorists have become in undermining the fundamental transformation President-for-life Obama envisioned for modernizing America’s outmoded and selfishly unfair capitalist system.

    Clearly, we need to be more like European countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. The leaders of those countries have strong public and private sector unions to provide the muscle required to decapitate the hostage taking opposition TEA Party insects when uppity fiscal conservatives marching under orders from the richest among us audaciously rear their treacherous heads.

    ropelight (5e00d7)

  107. Ian, that’s Luigi Vercotti…

    Gazzer (82299a)

  108. The downgrade was inevitable, no matter the debt ceiling fight. I predicted it :)
    So, what happens next?
    – Moody’s and Fitch have to decide if they want to pile on.
    – Many other debt instruments will be downgraded. Contagion.
    – More stupid high-paid fiduciaries will be revealed not to have even tried to understand the investments they made.
    – More Madoff-style schemes will be exposed as the tide rushes out.
    – Interest rates may rise (which would be salutary IMHO.)
    – What happens to forex? Dunno. Big rush to USD this week despite/because of the downgrade jitters.

    Bottom line: biggest credit bubble in history still growing! Doing the right thing (austerity) will be painful and ultimately politically untenable with a fickle spoiled entitled electorate. We’re doomed.

    How about those Cubs?

    gp (3e06cb)

  109. ==But what about those tough choices between medicine for grandma and college educations for our children?==

    Righto. Through four generations in my family we all pitch in to take care of grandma and to help our kids get a college education without incurring huge debt in the way of student loans. Whatever it takes. Missed out on a few vacays, new cars and big screen TVs along the way but, hey when you take care of your own without relying on the government it is highly satisfying and sets an example for the next generation to follow.

    elissa (646749)

  110. _____________________________________________

    In honor of the current White House — which, btw, invited the honorable, wonderful Al Sharpton over to help celebrate Barry’s birthday this week — I hereby post the following:

    finance.townhall.com, Bob Beauprez

    The Department of Justice is executing a “Witch Hunt” against banks. Through the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, Attorney General Eric Holder is forcing banks to “relax their mortgage underwriting standards and approve loans for minorities with poor credit as part of a new crackdown on alleged discrimination,” according to a published report by Investor’s Business Daily after reviewing court documents.

    The DOJ has already extorted $20 million for weak and poor credit loans from banks that “settled out of court rather than battle the federal government and risk being branded racist.” The DOJ admits another 60 banks are already under “investigation.” Holder’s demanding the banks sign “non-disclosure” settlement agreements barring them from talking while allowing the DOJ to operate behind a curtain of secrecy.

    The settlements already extracted from banks force them to make “prime-rate mortgages to low income blacks and Hispanics” with credit problems, even if they are living on welfare. According to IBD, the DOJ has ordered banks to advertise that minorities cannot be turned down for a loan “because they receive public aid, such as unemployment benefits, welfare payments or food stamps.” No job; no problem!

    In other words, the DOJ is forcing banks to make loans to people that they know don’t qualify for them and likely won’t be able to afford to repay them, which is precisely the kind of failed public policy that precipitated the financial collapse and recession in 2008.

    Thomas Lifson, writing in American Thinker about the DOJ’s witch hunt, notes that bankers tend to be “a cowardly lot when confronted by the power of the State.” Who can blame them when the government has the power to lock their doors and seize their assets?

    Lipson goes on, “Nobody in a highly regulated business wants the government publicly charging racism. A comparatively small group within the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department has assumed the role of national bank regulators with the intent of favoring groups they support. It’s a corruption of the legitimate role of government.”

    The following assessment (per below) matches my take on things. I think everyone who’s certainly of the right or center, or who isn’t mindlessly leftwing, should scrutinize the folks around them — their family members, spouses, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, co-workers, colleagues, etc — and estimate how many of them fit the description below.

    Everyone needs to be aware that ongoing opinion polls continue to indicate a considerable percentage of Americans blame much of the economic mess of today on George W Bush, while far fewer lay blame at the feet of their “prince of fools.”

    A considerable number of people in this society have — with inspiration from the immortal words of Obama’s former close adviser and pastor — God damned America and, in turn, have God damned themselves. Or to put it another way: Stupid does as stupid says.

    The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.

    “The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.

    “The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.”

    _____________________________________________

    Mark (411533)

  111. Mark, I’m largely in agreement with the conclusions expressed in the last several paragraphs of your comment. However, one quite significant element is conspicuously absent: Obama’s race.

    The prospect of voting for a black man for President loomed large for a great many Americans. It’s importance can’t be ignored and any serious discussion on his election must include that fact.

    ropelight (5e00d7)

  112. I’m confused. Mr B+ got a AA+ and it’s bad?

    #56 Totally agree, bad form to question an ‘auditor”s, at least of sorts, numbers.

    It’s like they don’t understand that it’s these very folks that they have to get to upgrade them – and isn’t that how Obama can win in 2012 – another comeback: call it F the jobs, Obama’s trying journey back to AAA (entirely based on down the road cuts). Yeah, but you just pissed in the referees shoe! D’oh! At least they didn’t call for pitchforks. Yet.

    East Bay Jay (19f566)

  113. Double d’oh! #57, not $56

    East Bay Jay (19f566)

  114. hey when you take care of your own without relying on the government it is highly satisfying and sets an example for the next generation to follow.

    Comment by elissa — 8/5/2011 @ 9:38 pm

    ye suffering gawds…being responsible! pshaw! hush this nonsense before you give the leftists the vapors 😉

    ppk_pixie (1df0c8)

  115. “My hypothesis is that the Admin is trying to scare Fitch and Moody’s away from downgrades.”

    Karl – With you on this. It’s SOP to play the agencies off against each other. I would not be surprised if Obama did not threaten S&P with removal from the SEC’s approved list of NSRO’s or whatever the creation the Dodd-Frank Bill will come up with to oversee rating agencies. I have not kept up with it, but I think that’s one of the many sections of the bill remaining to be fleshed out.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  116. From that ghoul Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: “We own the economy.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/57025.html

    Better believe it, toots.

    Another Chris (c983db)

  117. #110 & #115 – You’re right. Excellent points.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  118. #111 – Excellent points. Thanks.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  119. 118.#110 & #115 – You’re right. Excellent points.

    Comment by Summit, NJ — 8/5/2011 @ 10:28 pm

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  120. ‘From that ghoul Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: “We own the economy.”’

    That’s every socialist’s dream anyway.

    Dave Surls (28f866)

  121. ““We own the economy. We own the beginning of the turnaround and we want to make sure that we continue that pace of recovery, not go back to the policies of the past under the Bush administration that put us in the ditch in the first place,” Wasserman Schultz told Mike Allen at POLITICO’s ‘Playbook Breakfast.’”

    “‘The economy, she said, “has turned around” since President Obama took office, with steady job growth evident…”

    Man, that’s an impressive series of lies, even by lefty standards.

    Nice spot of megalomania too.

    Dave Surls (28f866)

  122. Good grief. Even Austin Goolsbee conceded that the economy was in a bit of a slog.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  123. It’s time to demand a balanced budget.


    It’s time to demand GAAP!!!!

    A “balanced budget” is USELESS without GAAP. The result would only be the same kind of absolute chicanery they have already invoked when Clinton “eliminated the deficit”. It would be the exact same thing as NY State did when it sold Attica Prison… to itself.

    IGotBupkis (aacc3d)

  124. yes… the GOP has succeeded in weakening America:

    Standard and Poors cites Republicans refusal to let Bush tax cuts expire and their refusal to resist new taxes (on the rich) in their decision to degrade America’s credit rating:

    “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”

    The GOP have killed the hostage – the US economy.

    TGD (a33b4a)

  125. #125 – Your opinions, and that’s what they are, just your opinions are based [entirely] on your wishful thinking, on contrived, bogus bullsh*t, aks, intentional lies, on misinformation born out of ignorance, on distortions, and on your screwy rationales which reinforce your screwy delusions. No substance. No facts. Just bullsh*t …, and you were saying?

    Your purpose for posting here was what? You aren’t even rational. Dayum son, we water plants in our garden that are smarter than you are.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  126. “…the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues”

    That’s the general idea.

    Cutting thieving liberals off at the ankles, revenue-wise.

    Too bad the Republicans are doing such a piss poor job of it.

    Dave Surls (28f866)

  127. “Too bad the Republicans are doing such a piss poor job of it.”

    C’mon, cut them some slack. Considering that they don’t have the White House and/or a veto-proof majority in the Senate [yet], they’re doing a pretty damned good job, imo. I’m satisfied and proud of them.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  128. TGD is a part of Biden’s cracked head club.

    Go eff yourself.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  129. And muslim apologists such as TGD accuse us of white supremacy for resisting muslims wantting to chop our heads off.

    So drop dead of a fatal heart attack trolls.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  130. TGD’s comment made perfect sense, provide you ignore everything else they said in the explanation of the downgrade. in other words, TGD is a f@cking liar.

    JD (92e366)

  131. TGD is as illiberal.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  132. Adolf Worthington,

    His name isn’t Barry.

    I know you’re racist and sick…but are you also a birther? Since birthers claim his name is really Barry Soetoro.

    I don’t read sock comments anymore especially my name is being socked in these threads.

    I just can’t resist reacting to Aaron’s sick sense of humor. He puts sly things in all his posts so as to make Patterico and conservatives look bad.

    He’s disgusting filth…and his avatar on twitter celebrates Lee Harvey Oswald.

    (if socks want to respond go to the “someone smarter than me” post by Patterico (a joke by P, by the way, since you’re all a bunch of stupid socks) because I only read front page posts..and skip over ridiculous comment sections ruled by lying fake conservatives.

    Ron Brynaert (3d3df5)

  133. This downgrade was the only fair thing to do.

    If it is based on a math error, I’m sure that in no time, they can borrow and spend their way there, unless they take it as a warning, a “wakeup call”, but we all know they won’t, so no matter.

    “Eventually, Socialists run out of other peoples’ money”Margaret Thatcher
    “Time has come today”The Chambers Brothers

    A. Weiner (d1c681)

  134. Yes, kudos to S&P, that same stellar outfit who told us those wonderful crap sandwiches called CDOs were AAA guaranteed, bona fide money-makers.

    THOSE folks.

    JEA (7c8ea5)

  135. Got Gold?

    How about Silver?

    Noodles (3681c4)

  136. They don’t care how we cut the debt, by taxes, by cutting spending, by whatever, but it is our inability to really, seriously, tackle this issue that led to this.

    This is why the Tea Party exists and I am a proud, patriotic member.

    You figured it out in your update. But then you go and spoil it by pledging fealty to the idiots who engineered the whole thing.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  137. You are a clumsy and unoriginal liar, spurty.

    JD (306f5d)

  138. You figured it out in your update. But then you go and spoil it by pledging fealty to the idiots who engineered the whole thing.

    Sparty before the downgrade: “IF THE TEAHADIS KEEP THE DEBT CEILING FROM BEING RAISED THE STOCK MARKET WILL CRASH AND WE’LL LOSE OUR CREDIT RATING A BLOO BLOO BLOO!!!”

    Sparty after the downgrade: “IT’S THE TEAHADIS FAULT THAT THE DEBT CEILING WAS RAISED AND THE STOCK MARKET CRASHED A BLOO BLOO BLOO!!!”

    Fortunately, Sparty still has Grindr to provide him a vague feeling of relevance.

    Another Chris (c983db)

  139. “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”

    TGD – Also proves no sane person views those tax rate reductions as the root cause of the problem, sport. You progtards still don’t get it. We have a spending problem, as S&P emphasizes, especially when they talk about the growth of entitlements, not a revenue problem.

    I’m sure they will change their minds when they see Obama’s secret plan.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  140. where are my goddamn food stamps I’m hungry

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  141. Rasmussen shows an uptick in Obama approval rating. Gee, think how popular he’ll be next week when the markets completely tank.

    kansas (7b4374)

  142. kansas – He usually gets more popular when he leaves Washington and doesn’t screw things up.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  143. “Too bad the Republicans are doing such a piss poor job of it.”

    That was one reason I hated to see them get a majority in the House. Nancy Pelosi was asking them where the jobs were before they even were sworn in.
    The math is Republicans control 1/2 of 1/3 of government. They need at least 1/2 of 2/3rds with a veto proof senate.

    kansas (7b4374)

  144. “the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues”

    This is provably false anyway. They were willing to raise ‘revenue’ with an $800 billion tax hike, but Obama broke his word on that deal at the last second.

    The GOP really let me down by showing they were not going to resist any tax increases, but S&P is wrong on this face. This sounds like something Obama’s administration pressured them to say just to give the administration cover.

    The administration has gone years without a budget, and we have no plan to pay for all this crap they are buying. It’s that simple.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  145. This did not have to happen. If Congress had only had the will to effect some meaningful changes to unsustainable entitlement programs and rid the nation of this liberal fantasy that America can stay with the status quo and on this path which is surely the path to destruction.

    And it also didn’t help matters any that the president chose to drag the nation through the largest failed Keynesian experiment/boondoggle in her history.

    ColonelHaiku (d1f5ff)

  146. _______________________________________________

    The GOP have killed the hostage – the US economy.

    In the context of the following — and not even focusing on how various liberals/Democrats before the meltdown of the derivatives market a few years ago happily and lovingly encouraged the behavior of people like Obama’s Attorney General — your comment deserves a big snicker and guffaw:

    http://www.ritholtz.com

    REP. LAMAR SMITH [R-Tex] HOLDS A HEARING ON JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OVERSIGHT, May 03, 2011

    [US Rep. Ted] DEUTCH [D-Boca Raton]: General Holder, thank you for being here. The Wall Street Journal reported today that the U.S. has filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank for lying repeatedly about the quality of mortgages so that they could profit from their resale.

    According to the lawsuit, when selecting mortgages from the Federal Housing Administration’s insurance program, Deutsche Bank did not consider whether the borrowers would be able to repay.

    Including violation of Federal Housing Administration’s mortgage insurance program, these government insured mortgages were then sold off, earning the bank a massive profit while leaving homeowners to face foreclosure and the government on the hook to pay billions of dollars in insurance claims.

    The claims are startling, and the charges highlight the efforts to seek profit at any cost while leaving thousands of people and their families to lose their homes and the taxpayers being forced to pay for the bank’s actions.

    [Attorney General Eric] HOLDER: We have a very active program under way that looks — looking at a variety of players in the mortgage field. We’ve brought a number of cases already. There are a number of investigations that are — that are pending.

    DEUTCH: Next, will the department pursue criminal charges that could result in in-jail time for the heads of these larger banks and servicers, if it’s found that they knowingly took actions like those described in the lawsuit filed against Deutsche Bank?

    HOLDER: Yes, I mean, the scrutiny that we would bring would not simply be at the organizations and be looking to punish the organizations.

    Investors.com, July 8, 2011:

    In what could be a repeat of the easy-lending cycle that led to the housing crisis, the Justice Department has asked several banks to relax their mortgage underwriting standards and approve loans for minorities with poor credit as part of a new crackdown on alleged discrimination, according to court documents reviewed by IBD.

    Prosecutions have already generated more than $20 million in loan set-asides and other subsidies from banks that have settled out of court rather than battle the federal government and risk being branded racist. An additional 60 banks are under investigation, a DOJ spokeswoman says.

    Settlements include setting aside prime-rate mortgages for low-income blacks and Hispanics with blemished credit and even counting “public assistance” as valid income in mortgage applications.

    In several cases, the government has ordered bank defendants to post in all their branches and marketing materials a notice informing minority customers that they cannot be turned down for credit because they receive public aid, such as unemployment benefits, welfare payments or food stamps.

    For example, the government has ordered Midwest BankCentre to set aside almost $1 million in “special financing” for residents living in predominantly black areas of St. Louis. The program includes originating conventional home loans at fixed prime rates for African-American borrowers “who would ordinarily not qualify for such rates for reasons including the lack of required credit quality, income or down payment.”

    The same federal order, signed last month, praises Midwest for adopting “less stringent underwriting criteria” while under investigation.

    “It’s absolutely outrageous after what we’ve just gone through,” said former Rep. Ernest Istook, a Heritage Foundation fellow. “How can someone both be financially stable enough to merit a mortgage at the same time they’re on public assistance? By definition, you don’t have the kind of employment that can support such a loan.”

    ^ The irresponsibility, stupidity, insanity and irony of the above is mind-boggling. We all know that liberal sentiment makes many people particularly idiotic, but what’s being manifested by the current bunch in the White House takes that to a new level.

    weeklystandard.com, Bill Kristol, February 2010:

    [Liberal New York Times columnist] Paul Krugman is, I think, right to be amazed by Obama’s embrace of the $17 million bonus given to JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon and the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

    If Obama’s idea of moving to the middle politically is to embrace Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks, he’s crazy. Usually Republicans are the party of Big Business and Democrats of Big Government, and the public’s hostility to both more or less evens the politics out. But if Obama now becomes the spokesman for Big Government intrusiveness and the apologist for Big Business irresponsibility all at once–good luck with that.

    “President Barack Obama said he doesn’t ‘begrudge’ the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, noting that some athletes take home more pay….’I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,’ Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek…

    [A]s Krugman points out, “irresponsible behavior by baseball players hasn’t brought the world economy to the brink of collapse.” Nor has the federal government spent billions (trillions?) bailing out baseball owners after they signed foolish contracts. Nor does it guarantee baseball owners’–or players’–future solvency.

    _______________________________________________

    Mark (411533)

  147. It’s not over yet. They will be discussing further reforms.

    This sets the stage, rather dishonestly I think, to pressure tax increases.

    The GOP could have negotiated tax increases to come along with major spending cuts, but now that will be far more difficult. The democrats will again hold the economy hostage, demanding no significant spending cuts, and swear up and down the entire problem can be solved by taxes. Impliedly then, they blame it all on the GOP, which is all that matters to many of these idiots today.

    The truth is that spending from the 2007 to today has radically increased, and that is the democrat party’s fault, and they are primarily concerned with avoiding blame. They are not going to budge on something that solves the problem by undoing their programs and expansions. They understand what that would mean as a narrative.

    S&P is telling the truth when they downgrade, I guess, though I want to add it’s not like there was ever any risk we wouldn’t pay our debts. The democrats tried very hard to suggest default was a risk, and so they do deserve further criticism for lying.

    I just worry the way the S&P explains itself will form a powerful talking point that obstructs spending cuts.

    They need a balanced budget amendment.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  148. I don’t have any confidence that a balanced budget amendment would constrain the rampant cowardly whoredom that is the United States Congress and furthermore president bumble never tires of raping the constitution it’s like he’s going for a record

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  149. I concur, pikachu, and no I don’t think that raising taxes would necessarily increase revenue,
    as the Brits have found out from the other thread,
    it would retard economic growth, as Cameron is finding out now.

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  150. Pitch black humor, as with the ‘Black Knight’ only explains this, from the Times:

    ..Obama’s nonconfrontational reasonableness isn’t looking like such a virtue.

    It’s frustrating. We’ve had presidents who were intelligent and progressive but also cynical and ruthless when necessary. Effective, tough-minded, visionary liberals such as F.D.R., Clinton … and Nixon.

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  151. Nixon.

    At least Obama is not a crook

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  152. I don’t have any confidence that a balanced budget amendment would constrain

    Happyfeet, I’m all ears if you’ve got a better idea.

    I think you’re right that there would be non-stop attempts to undermine the constitution, just as there always are. Congress will lie about what the budget says, for example.

    Conservatives would have no recourse but to ask a judge to rule on whether budget is balanced. That would be a nightmare.

    That’s better than what we’re doing now.

    We have no confidence that this country will elect leaders who will balance the budget on their own.

    I would add to this amendment a provision where a super majority of state governors must consent to a debt ceiling increase.

    Everyone knows it’s too high, and yet the democrats complain it’s terrorism to reject raising it for a democrat president (And totally cool to reject doing so for Bush). The American people have to choose between a sonic and light speeds on the road to collapse.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  153. to start with we need to abolish medicare and social security and the EPA and the department of Education and the Department of commerce and the Department of Energy except for the part about atomical weapons cause of they can be dangerous

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  154. Meanwhile, ‘facepalm with an Octopus’

    Former Sen. Alan Simpson, a Republican who co-chaired President Barack Obama’s fiscal commission, says the president is “a little bit smarter” than some of his critics, who “ought to give it up.”

    Simpson, who represented Wyoming from 1979 to 1997, said Obama would have been “savaged” and “torn to bits” had he chosen to publicly support the findings of the commission, which was also chaired by Erskine Bowles, an adviser to the Clinton administration.
    Continue Reading
    Text Size

    “This guy is a little bit smarter than some of the guys who are trying to hammer him,” Simpson said in an excerpt from an interview with the Denver Post posted online Friday. “They ought to give it up.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/60747.html#ixzz1UGTPj5Pw

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  155. Spartacus – care to tell us all of the names you have commented under?

    JD (29e1cd)

  156. Simpson is a useless geriatric whore he should go have useless geriatric whore monkeysex with Warren Buffett

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  157. AD wrote:

    It just occurred to me that most Members of Congress have to be in a state of shock, or close to it, at this point – those in the administration will be wandering about like zombies without a f…ing clue.

    If they actually are in a state of shock, then they haven’t been paying attention. The question has never been was a downgrade either in the works or justifiable, but whether they’d have the testicles to do it.

    The Haiku Obama (f68855)

  158. Crap! Forgot to change my handle.

    The careless Dana (f68855)

  159. No, unlike zombies, they don’t have the self awareness to know they need brains.

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  160. to start with we need to abolish medicare and social security and the EPA and the department of Education and the Department of commerce and the Department of Energy except for the part about atomical weapons cause of they can be dangerous

    Fine, put all that in your party platform and take it to the electorate.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  161. they don’t have the self awareness to know they need brains.

    hahaha

    “They ought to give it up.”

    Yeah, leave that sweet Obama alone. Why worry about what he’s doing to this country? He’s clean and articulate.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  162. The short ter m problem really lies in TARP, the stimulus, and QE 2, that created the new baseline, longterm the other programs are unsustainable, in the tens of trillions of dollars,

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  163. Fine, put all that in your party platform and take it to the electorate.

    Comment by Spartacvs

    What party?

    You assume everyone who disagrees with Obama is a mainstream republican?

    That’s really stupid.

    You are really stupid.

    But yes, if we cherry pick you and feet’s various views, I would vote for him, and I’m sure the world would be a better place under his platform than under yours.

    What is your platform, anyway? Fees for crossing bridges and what else?

    Dustin (b7410e)

  164. “This guy is a little bit smarter than some of the guys who are trying to hammer him,”

    Simpson is still way overestimating the intelligence of the teabagger hordes, by a wide margin. If the 2012 election comes down to Obama v the teabaggers, then Obama & the Dems will walk away with it.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  165. The Times and our favorite Thracian nazgul, trumpets the 82% that dislikes how Congress behaved,
    but not the 44% that said more cuts were needed.

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  166. Wishful thinking Spartac btw please keep your sexual preferences to yourself.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  167. Spartacvs wrote:

    Nixon.

    At least Obama is not a crook

    No, he’s just a fool. Being a crook meant that President Nixon had to pay a penalty; President Obama being a fool means that we’ll all have to pay a penalty.

    The disappointed Dana (f68855)

  168. Something else Obama inherited from Bush: a AAA rating.

    Chuck Bartowski (4c6c0c)

  169. I’m not afraid of America’s greedy greedy codgers – they’re old and feeble!

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  170. And to think that there were people who thought that John McCain and Sarah Palin could have done worse.

    The Dana who remembers 2008 (f68855)

  171. At least Obama is not a crook
    Comment by Spartacvs — 8/6/2011 @ 8:50 am

    — Riiight. He just stole all of our futures is all. No biggie.

    Icy Texan (0a55a3)

  172. if Meghan’s coward daddy is the answer you’re asking the wrong question

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  173. Maybe “sparty” and Barcky would be willing to lay out a list of specific cuts in spending, including entitlements, that they would be willing to commit to, and not demagogue?

    JD (2da347)

  174. Let fault lie where it is supposed to … at the feet of Greenspan, Summers and Rubin.

    Anita Busch (a025dd)

  175. Happyfeet, I’m all ears if you’ve got a better idea

    I agree with happyfeet, in that a BBA could end up with Congress increasing spending every year and raising taxes to cover their profligate ways. That’s not such a great future.

    Here’s what I propose: an amendment which restricts any increase in total spending to 1/2 the annual increase in GDP. In years where the GDP contracts, total spending cannot increase. Since tax revenues are strongly tied to the GDP, the growth in revenue will exceed the growth in spending in time. Once the budget runs a surplus, then spending increase is restricted to no more than the growth in GDP.

    This plan will eventually balance the budget and start retiring debt, without any mechanism which allows Congress to raise taxes.

    Chuck Bartowski (4c6c0c)

  176. What is your platform, anyway?

    The discretionary budget is fine, no adjustments needed save for Defense, where the concept that “The govt’ should live within its means” needs to be extended to the Defense dept. As far as none discretionary spending goes, SS is fine with minor adjustments. Medicare is the only real long term problem caused by out of control, largely private sector based, healthcare costs – the best answer, single payer. Revenues also need to go up to close the deficit gap by allowing the Bush tax giveaways to expire and by closing tax expenditure loopholes & giveaways. Ultimately the only way to solve our deficit/debt problem is to get back to sustained economic growth and the GOP’s austerity ideas won’t/can’t do that. We have to speculate to accumulate, which means more govt. spending to pump prime the economy while interest rates are at historic lows, to free all that private cash warming investors backsides and put people back to work.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  177. The truth lies in the story of Brooksley Born.

    Anita Busch (a025dd)

  178. Well Anita, Bernanke has his share of responsibility, specially with QE 2,and how do you exempt Obama, out of this mess,

    Meanwhile, it’s hard not be cynical:

    http://the hill.com.blogs/on the money/801-the economy-many-S&P officials-contributed-to the Democrats. htm

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  179. to free all that private cash

    Barack Obama’s cowardly fail-intensive dirty socialist union thug America is not a country in which it’s wise to invest your money – it’s smarter to invest in brave stalwart free enterprise countries like Brazil and China and Australia and Canada but not Russia cause they’re all criminals

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  180. I hate people like sparty. Their sense of entitlement to other people’s money disgusts me. Their collectivist view of America is the antithesis of what our ideals should be. Plus, spurty is fundamentally dishonesty.

    JD (822109)

  181. Spartacvs,

    You could not have more clearly and succinctly defined, illustrated, and spelled out the immense gulf between your view of our economy, and mine.

    This is stunning.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  182. Obama has a new plan to save the economy and create 3.5 Million new shovel-ready jobs. It’s only going to cost $820 Billion and the Bush Recession will be over. Hooray! We’re saved!

    ropelight (93e182)

  183. Their sense of entitlement to other people’s money disgusts me.

    What George Bush gave away, others can take back – by returning the tax code to some basic fairness.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  184. You could not have more clearly and succinctly defined, illustrated, and spelled out the immense gulf between your view of our economy, and mine.

    Your turn then, spell it out.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  185. Recession? What Recession? Recovery Summer was over, over, a year ago. We don’t need no stinking’ recovery, we already got one or two under our belts, maybe more. Besides, unemployment has been extended to almost 2 years now. What do you want, egg in your beer? Is this a great country or what?

    ropelight (93e182)

  186. Gave away?! Whose money is it? Is the tax code more or less progressive after the Busg/Obama tax cuts? Did the % of actual taxpayers increase or decrease?

    Guaranteed spurty aint an actual taxpayer. This is a freaking high school teacher. Good Allah.

    JD (6e25b4)

  187. Spartacvs wrote:

    What George Bush gave away, others can take back – by returning the tax code to some basic fairness.

    Better than that, we should repeal the 16th Amendment. Then all direct taxes would be apportioned based on population; that would be fair.

    The historian Dana (f68855)

  188. As I predicted previously, the only real cuts a leftist would be willing to agree to would be to defense. The idea that minor tweaks could save the financially sound Medicare/Medicaid and Soc Second is laughable, with no basis in reality. The idea that single payer would improve the financial outlook is so absurd that you have to assume it wasa typo.

    JD (d56362)

  189. Attorney General Eric Holder is forcing banks to “relax their mortgage underwriting standards and approve loans for minorities with poor credit as part of a new crackdown on alleged discrimination,”

    I am sure it will work out well for all involved, like it did last time.

    Standard and Poors cites Republicans refusal to let Bush tax cuts expire and their refusal to resist new taxes (on the rich) in their decision to degrade America’s credit rating:

    And yet, if spending were reduced to $8000 per capita, there would be a surplus.

    Imagine that.

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  190. What George Bush gave away, others can take back – by returning the tax code to some basic fairness

    George Bush did not give anything away by altering the tax code. Some people got to keep more of the money they earned, but they did not receive money from someone else.

    Your view of a cut in taxes as a “giveaway” shows that you have no concept of private property rights.

    Chuck Bartowski (4c6c0c)

  191. Whose money is it?

    Your after tax income is all yours.

    Did the % of actual taxpayers increase or decrease?

    Did the population increase or decrease? Every time a conservative invokes the laughter curve an angel loses its wings.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  192. Don’t worry, be happy. Hope and Change. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Let’s cut $500 Billion out of Medicare, set up death panels to make sure Granny doesn’t suffer a lengthy decline, and borrow enough money to make my father’s dreams of destruction come true.

    ropelight (93e182)

  193. Your view of a cut in taxes as a “giveaway” shows that you have no concept of private property rights.

    The public likes SS, Medicare, food inspections, environmental controls, a big shiny military and a whole host of other things. All these things cost money but the public also favors low taxes. How to resolve these two contradicting positions?

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  194. Let’s cut $500 Billion out of Medicare

    Beneficiaries or providers, the distinction is important.

    set up death panels

    Still pushing that loopy Palin accusation?

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  195. How to resolve these two contradicting positions?

    one good way would be to get our credit rating downgraded and then spend spend spend like greedy greedy crack whores

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  196. Hey, how about using taxpayer money to buy up used cars so people who don’t have jobs can buy new cars for $35 or $40 thousand?

    How’s that for a really nifty idea, only a really smart community organizer who never had a real job could come up with.

    ropelight (93e182)

  197. Spurty – thank you for so clearly outlining your views of private property, and your fealty to government. You did not answer my questions because the answers conflict with your narrative, where it is government’s money primarily, and indivuals are only entitled to their ration. Hint, taxes are more progressive and the % of actual taxpayers decreased. You are really bad at this.

    JD (b98cae)

  198. Well ‘we’ve blown the transaxle, we’re just grinding metal’ now,

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  199. Don’t worry about Spain’s economy eather. I have a plan. Michelle is going to take a few hundred of her closest friends on an all expenses paid (by taxpayers) vacation trip to the most expensive resort imaginable on Air Force Uno.

    And I don’t want to hear any silly jokes about the First Klingon’s spendthrift ways. Sure, she’s taking most of our fleet of private jets, but that’s none of your beeswax. She’s been busy making sure to take the cookies out of Happy Meals. Ungrateful Peons!

    ropelight (93e182)

  200. The public likes SS, Medicare, food inspections, environmental controls, a big shiny military and a whole host of other things. All these things cost money but the public also favors low taxes. How to resolve these two contradicting positions?

    In 2004, spending was less than $8000 per capita and it was enough to pay for all that.

    Today, if spending were reduced to $8000 per capita, there would be a budget surplus.

    Imagine that.

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  201. Your after tax income is all yours

    What a dishonest thing to say. Your implication is that some of the money you earn is not your money.

    The public likes SS, Medicare, food inspections, environmental controls, a big shiny military and a whole host of other things. All these things cost money but the public also favors low taxes. How to resolve these two contradicting positions?

    Which has nothing to do with your concept of private property rights.

    Chuck Bartowski (4c6c0c)

  202. Spartacvs spurts more body fluids with: “What George Bush gave away, others can take back – by returning the tax code to some basic fairness.”

    I already established that the “Bush” tax rates were more progressive than the Clinton era rates. So basically, Spartacvs is showing that he/she cannot be educated, that Spartacvs is immune to facts and will keep repeating lies ad infinitum.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  203. Mark @148 – I am heartened to see discussions about removing tax expenditures from the tax code include eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, which should really provide a jump start to the recovery of the housing market.

    It’s all about teh fairness, bay-bee!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  204. Gotta love Sparticles. “You’re not spending enough of your money, so the government is gonna take it away and spend it for you.” Brilliant!

    Icy Texan (0a55a3)

  205. Megan McArdle was also writing about S&P primarily blaming Republicans. This was obviously a story some WH source was spinning.

    MayBee (081489)

  206. I would like Spvrty and Anita to explain the economic underpinningings of their redistribution argument and why removing what they perceive as “unfairness” will result in growth for the economy. So far all I have seen is appeals to emotion.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  207. ________________________________________________

    The following deals with government at the local and state levels. But if it’s as bad as it is on a smaller scale, imagine how bad it is on a larger one, at the level of the huge national bureaucracy. Moreover, the federal government, unlike state and local governments, can happily print money if their budgets are in the red.


    washingtontimes.com, March 2011:

    More than a third of the nation’s $9.3 trillion in pension assets belong to state and local government employees, even though they make up only 15 percent of the U.S. work force, a study shows.

    Research by the Spectrum investment group found that public-sector employees, primarily through powerful unions, have accumulated by far the most generous retirement programs in the country. Meanwhile, many private-sector workers have had their retirement plans cut back and have had to delay retirement.

    Even with $3.4 trillion set aside to pay public pensions, dozens of strapped state and local governments are struggling to make payments. Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida are calling on state employees for the first time to contribute to their retirement plans the way workers do in the private sector.

    These efforts have met sharp opposition from public-sector unions and are at the center of battles over whether unions should have the right to collectively bargain with the government over pension and health care benefits.

    Many public employees have been able to retire as young as 55 and start second careers while having guaranteed pension benefits. In the private sector, employers have increasingly replaced traditional pension programs with 401(k) plans that require workers to contribute out of their own salary and guarantee only the funds that they have saved and invested at retirement.

    ^ I can understand people being idiotically liberal and pro-government if they’re employed by the public sector. If they’re, for example, teachers, cops, maintenance workers or faceless pencil pushers at some anonymous government agency. But for everyone else, what the hell do they get out of the BS that flourishes when the left is running things? Do they like running around with a sign that says “stupid” and “sucker” taped on their back?

    Mark (411533)

  208. Jay Carney – “The government does not create jobs”

    I guess all Obama’s lip flapping about jobs created or saved was the great big pile of stinking BS we thought, huh.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  209. More good news. Happy Times are Here Again.

    GM reports it sold 125 Re-Volts last month. Wow!

    ropelight (93e182)

  210. …..Let’s cut $500 Billion out of Medicare
    Beneficiaries or providers, the distinction is important.
    …..set up death panels
    Still pushing that loopy Palin accusation?
    Comment by Spartacv

    Nothing like the truth at all…

    Other provisions are designed to reduce future growth in Medicare spending, to encourage the program to operate more efficiently and to improve the delivery and quality of care, in ways including reducing hospital re-admissions. The bill doesn’t take money out of the current Medicare budget but, rather, attempts to slow the program’s future growth, curtailing just over $500 billion in anticipated spending increases over the next 10 years. Medicare spending will still increase, however. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects Medicare spending will reach $929 billion in 2020, up from $499 billion in actual spending in 2009.

    So while the health care law reduces the amount of future spending growth in Medicare, the law doesn’t cut Medicare.

    Still, where does the $500 billion in future savings come from?

    Nearly $220 billion comes from reducing annual increases in payments that health care providers would otherwise receive from Medicare. Other savings include $36 billion from increases in premiums for higher-income beneficiaries and $12 billion from administrative changes. A new national board will be tasked to identify $15.5 billion in savings, but the board — the Independent Payment Advisory Board — is prohibited from proposing anything that would ration care or reduce or modify benefits. Then there’s another $136 billion in projected savings that would come from changes to the Medicare Advantage program. About 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

    Romney said, “Obamacare takes $500 billion out of Medicare and funds Obamacare.” The law doesn’t literally take money out of Medicare, but Romney isn’t entirely wrong in his point, either.

    Yea, we are not taking money out of old people’s pockets… We are just paying less to take care of them.

    That 7.5% or whatever Baseline Budgeting. Will screw you every time.

    5 year plans were worthless for the old USSR… 10 Year Plans are soooo muuuuccchhh beeeetttteeeer.

    BfC (2ebea6)

  211. ==I don’t have any confidence that a balanced budget amendment would constrain..==

    Unfortunately, I agree with this largely because I live in a state with an existing balanced budget law and yet our state is one of the most faily faily bankrupt states in the union. It is clearly not enforced or very enforceable. It is easy for pols to “work around”. I worry that some people who bank on a balanced budget amendment saving us and being the panacea are in a form of hope and change mindset similar to certain other people whom we love to mock.

    That said, I think passage of a federal BBA is a worthy goal and the narrative over why one would theoretically be good to have on the books is also a conversation very worth having in the street, marketplace, and airwaves. In an article I linked here a few days ago, Peter Fitzgerald, former conservative U.S. Senator (R) from Illinois said basically the same thing about a BBA–very worthy effort, but it’s naive to think of it as “the” silver bullet.

    elissa (4c872f)

  212. Yea, we are not taking money out of old people’s pockets… We are just paying less to take care of them.

    Spurty fails to see the difference.

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  213. That said, I think passage of a federal BBA is a worthy goal and the narrative over why one would theoretically be good to have on the books is also a conversation very worth having in the street, marketplace, and airwaves. In an article I linked here a few days ago, Peter Fitzgerald, former conservative U.S. Senator (R) from Illinois said basically the same thing about a BBA–very worthy effort, but it’s naive to think of it as “the” silver bullet.

    Another thing we should do is return to the gold standard as this country had until the 1970’s, to fight inflation.

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  214. To expand my comment that Members of Congress have to be in a “state of shock” is not to say that they weren’t paying attention.
    Yes, many voices were out there predicting what we saw yesterday, it is just that the prevailing culture on The Hill discounts those predictions.
    Congresses since the New Deal have operated on the philosophy that they can do whatever the Damn Hell they please, and the Devil take the hindmost – because: We’re Members of Congress!
    Well, S&P said: We….Don’t….Care!
    You do stupid things long enough, you have to pay a penalty.
    And now, Congress has to pay a penalty for doing stupid things for 14.8 Trillion Dollars of time.
    All in all, by not raising the debt ceiling, and scaling back government to the level of existing revenues, they would have saved that AAA rating, and gone down in the history books as a Congress of integrity and vision.
    Now, they look like addicts stumbling into an AA meeting, still not quite sure that they’ve reached bottom yet, and are rid of all the denial.

    We, the American People, voted for Hope & Change.
    Welcome to the New Millennium!
    There is no going back, there is only the possibility of correcting your mistakes in the future.

    AD-RtR/OS! (a30445)

  215. Ezekiel Emmanuel the health advisor to the OMB, came up with formula, to do just that, cut off funding to the older funds, something Mini True
    , I mean Politifacts forgot to take into account,

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  216. The Dems haven’t bothered following the law that requires them to pass a budget. Why in the world would anyone think that they would live up to a BBA?

    JD (306f5d)

  217. Let’s all close our eyes, go to sleep, and elect a new President, a community organizer who’s never had a real job. One who hides his past, has a phony Social Security number, a fraudulent Selective Service Number, and a Birth Certificate so obviously froggy that it wouldn’t be accepted at the DMV, let alone pass muster for a Green Card. He’s Teh One, yeah!

    That’s the thicket, we’re saved, he’ll solve our problems.

    ropelight (93e182)

  218. basic tax fairness
    will be when fifty percent
    who pay none pay some

    ColonelHaiku (d1f5ff)

  219. Spurty fails to see the difference.

    Technically, there is no difference.

    But Sparty is still arguing the old “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin”…

    Sparty even has hers/his own Wiki
    :

    The question how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? has been used many times as a trite dismissal of medieval angelology in particular, of scholasticism in general, and of particular figures such as Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas.[1] Another variety of the question is How Many Angels Can Sit On The Head Of A Pin? In modern usage, this question serves as a metaphor for wasting time debating topics of no practical value.[2][3]

    The modern version–Can Pres. Obama create a budget so large that even he cannot pass it with overwhelming Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress?

    Didn’t take long to find that answer.

    BfC (2ebea6)

  220. “but the board — the Independent Payment Advisory Board — is prohibited from proposing anything that would ration care or reduce or modify benefits.”

    Bfc – Right. It is not rationing for the IPAB to eliminate what it considers to be ineffective treatments or to suggest cheaper alternative treatments than patients are currently receiving. For example, it is not currently cost effective for women over 35 to receive annual mammograms according to the government so they suggested reducing the frequency, but that should in no way be considered rationing. No sir.

    Btw, a supermajority of XCongress can always override the recommendations of the unelected, unaccountable IPAB before they go into effect, so there really isn’t any potential problem at all.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  221. Starting point: defining fairness. Not the basic quality of being fair: the condition of being just or impartial, but how it relates to an economy, government’s place, and personal income. Everything stems from that. The left clearly defines it differently than the right and whether or not it makes sense, benefits the taxpayers, or furthers the wealth of a nation, we are stuck with the basic definition our administration holds. It’s very depressing.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  222. #BeforeBlackPresidents the debt of the United States had not been downgraded.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  223. Dana – That’s not funny!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  224. I’m going shoe shopping, daley. That’ll contribute to the economy as well as cheering me up!

    Dana (4eca6e)

  225. I would, however, love to hear those here on the left define fairness. It is a term that gets tossed around to justify certain decision making and it would be interesting to understand their definition and thought process behind it.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  226. Btw, a supermajority of XCongress can always override the recommendations of the unelected, unaccountable IPAB before they go into effect, so there really isn’t any potential problem at all.
    Comment by daleyrocks

    As long as those super majority of both Congresses and the Pres. are Liberal Democrats–At least we will know it is “Fair Share” as Pres. Obama likes to say.

    BfC (2ebea6)

  227. On the subject of fairness the Dems are not fair. They are hypocrites to the max. Take the subject of profiling for instance. Profiling a possible terrorist or an obvious undocumented immigrant–not fair. Unamerican even. Profiling a successful and wealthy taxpaying American citizen–fair! Get the greedy bastards!

    elissa (4c872f)

  228. Some people just make too darn much money and they don’t need all of that money that they aren’t spending and the government sure could use it so the government should just take it to be fair because the government knows better to do with our money than we ever could because that is fair.

    JD (29e1cd)

  229. “I would, however, love to hear those here on the left define fairness.”

    Dana – It’s just as Eric Cantor was describing in his WSJ interview about the debt negotiations today, Obama would never describe the rationale underpinning his demands for “fairness.” They are like jello. They can’t define their terms or make convincing arguments. It is all based on feelings.

    You are completely unfair in asking.

    Btw, buy an extra pair of shoes for throwing while you are out.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  230. The much prettier Dana wrote:

    I’m going shoe shopping, daley. That’ll contribute to the economy as well as cheering me up!

    And it’ll wind up paying 10% or so in California sales taxes! You are so doing your part!

    Unless, of course, you are driving a carbon-emitting automobile to the shoe store . . . .

    The economist Dana (f68855)

  231. “I’m going shoe shopping, daley.”

    Dana – I’m finishing reseasoning some dutch ovens in my oven. Not cheerful, but it is hot, so I’ve got that going for me. Cast iron at 550 degrees makes nice burns if you’re not careful.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  232. “the Obama administration believes S&P’s analysis contained “deep and fundamental flaws.”’

    Uh huh. This crowd plays fast and loose with numbers in everything it does, and they never take responsibility for anything.

    Face it, all that Barack and Co are doing is trying to put the blame on anyone but themselves.

    Lee (e6a37d)

  233. Well, since I am so generously doing my part to help, I may just have to reward myself with that extra pair to throw. Anything to help our economy.

    Good point re the jello: the definition of fairness to the left, appears to be conveniently in a state of flux, thus able to morph and change as necessary. IIRC, fairness was the central argument, which all hinged upon, in the Obamacare debates, debt ceiling debates, bailouts, etc. But never have we had “fairness” defined and if one can’t or won’t define their terms, how does the listener know what they mean? Unless of course, that is the goal – Don’t worry about definitions, just trust me.

    For so many important decisions of gargantuan proportion which will determine the course our country, to hinge upon fairness – and I might caution, at the expense of what is economically sound and fiscally prudent – I should think at the very least we should have the term defined.

    I’m talking to you, Mr. President.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  234. Beneficiaries or providers, the distinction is important.

    It’s a difference without a distinction, since the result is the same.

    If you cut funds for beneficiaries, you prevent them from accessing services unless they have their own funding to access providers outside of the system.
    If you cut funds from providers, they will drop out of the system, thereby depriving beneficiaries of someone who can provide a service within the system.
    Either way, the amount and (probably) quality of Medicare services will decline appreciably.
    As has been noted here by Dr. Mike K, and others, more and more private-practice physicians are dropping out of the Medicare system due to the inability of the system to re-imburse them for their costs of providing care – let alone an amount that allows them a small profit; after all, they are engaged in a business, not social welfare.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2dd1ea)

  235. The discretionary budget is fine, no adjustments needed save for Defense, where the concept that “The govt’ should live within its means” needs to be extended to the Defense dept

    Spartacvs thinks we can balance a $1.4 trillion deficit by cutting part of a Defense budget of less than $700 billion. And he thinks conservatives don’t live in reality.

    Chuck Bartowski (4c6c0c)

  236. “I can’t define obscenity fairness, but I know it when I see it.”

    AD-RtR/OS! (2dd1ea)

  237. Buy! Buy! Buy! It’s a good time to be frugal, to scrounge up some cash and to buy stock in well established corporations which have been and which will continue to be around for a while. It’s a buyer’s market, and you’ll be glad to have that stock years from now. So stop wasting your money on frivolous sh*t, and buy stock. You’ll be glad that you did. Didn’t I just say that?

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  238. Your implication is that some of the money you earn is not your money.

    No, the implication is that the amount you pay in taxes is not an individual decision, it’s a collective decision vested in ‘We the people’.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  239. Right, truthnjustice: elections have consequences. Right?

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  240. Spartacvs thinks we can balance a $1.4 trillion deficit by cutting part of a Defense budget of less than $700 billion. And he thinks conservatives don’t live in reality.

    I believe that’s called a dishonest representation of what I said, go figure.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  241. You are an idiot, spurty. A dishonest craptacular clown.

    JD (822109)

  242. Actually, it was a pretty honest representation of your disconnect with fiscal reality. And more realistic than your claims that the Bush / Obama tax cuts would close the deficit.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  243. Helpful hint to Spurty: The word “collective” is generally not a persuasive one to use for argument in non-Marxist and non-union circles.

    elissa (4c872f)

  244. Ah, the Glory of the Collective.

    You will submit, and be absorbed, into the Collective.

    Tell us, Oh Brave Gladiator, when the Collective decides that you are guilty of counter-revolutionary thoughts and activities, and they come for you, will you submit or resist the Will of the Collective?

    AD-RtR/OS! (2dd1ea)

  245. Spurty thinks we can balance the budget with minor tweaks to the actual drivers of the budget, and slashing defense, and taxing the hell out of people that have the audacity to earn $200K+. Confiscate all their money! Burn them! How far will that get you, spurty?

    JD (6e25b4)

  246. Not to worry, JD. So long as he gets all that time on his hands to feel superior. Sometimes, I understand Mao’s desire to have the intellectuals go work in the fields for a while.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  247. ends justify means
    for spurtacvs maximvs
    pinheaded m00nbat

    ColonelHaiku (d1f5ff)

  248. #247 – Geezez, I’m astonished that you said that.

    A few of the reasons why Spartacus posts here are because he feels insecure, inferior, inadequate and stupid, and in his resentment of all of you, he is constantly trying to over compensate to show that he is as good as you are ……., and you think that he feels superior to you????? To the contrary, he feels inferior to you.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  249. Let’s not forget those in the Senage and the House that all act like toddlers … on BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE … and refuse to work together to get anything done. You can blame Obama for not jettisoning Summers and Rubin.

    But, think about it: Two years, three years, even FOUR years is just not long enough when you are trying to change the diapers of toddlers on both sides.

    The one-sided vitriolic rhetoric that I see on some of these threads is why the country is in such bad shape. The division between parties has deteriorated.

    They all need to go. I wish we had 10 Jefferson Smith’s in politics today. We’d be a lot better off.

    Anita Busch (a025dd)

  250. 1000 is what I meant to write. 1000 Jefferson Smith’s.

    Anita Busch (a025dd)

  251. And I meant to write, Senate not Senage … and, I meant to write: the division between parties has deteriorated any progress.

    Sorry, not much sleep last night.

    Anita Busch (a025dd)

  252. “Two years, three years, even FOUR years is just not long enough when you are trying to change the diapers of toddlers on both sides.”

    especially with a dysfunctional mama like obama

    ColonelHaiku (d1f5ff)

  253. all the sleep in the world can’t cure what ails yer politics, lady.

    ColonelHaiku (d1f5ff)

  254. You are focusing too intently on derivatives, they were only the vehicle to get here, this was part of government policy going back to 1994, the whole point was to lend to those who couldn’t afford, hence Fannie and Freddie’s expansion of the secondary market, the likes of FRanklin Raines hiring lobbyists to block any reform, the contributions to the right representatives to insure the gravy train would continue, the fact that two of the major ones, Dodd and Frank, wrote
    the bill that exempted these institutions,

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  255. I will again remind people that Anita is a personal friend of mine who has helped me deal with certain issues in a very positive way. I don’t ask people to agree with her, but treat her with respect. Remember that she is my friend and treat her the way you ought to treat someone whom you know is friends with the blog owner.

    Patterico (f724ca)

  256. I believe that’s called a dishonest representation of what I said, go figure

    You are in no position to lecture anyone here on dishonesty.

    Chuck Bartowski (4c6c0c)

  257. And I meant to write, Senate not Senage … and, I meant to write: the division between parties has deteriorated any progress.

    Sorry, not much sleep last night.

    Comment by Anita Busch —

    Both parties have had periods of sufficient power to solve this problem and have not.

    Though I think one problem (perhaps problem is the wrong word) is that there are two views for how to handle this, and they are not at all compatible. There is no compromise between them that makes sense.

    Either we have the government run our lives, determine winners, take care of needs, and somehow pay for it all, or we have a limited government we do not rely on for a whole lot.

    This compromise version has half hearted but unsustainable entitlements, languishing economy, and in place of debate we have both sides blaming the other.

    Of course, I blame the left more than the right, given my POV that there is no way the left’s view can work. And a lefty will tend to reject that. But they at least should understand there is no real compromise. We can pretend to compromise and paper over the difference, which is basically kicking the can down the road.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  258. “The one-sided, vitriolic rhetoric that I see on somee of these threads is why the country is in such bad shape. The division between parties has deteriorated.” – Anita

    Get a grip, and get real. These discussions are healthy, and they have [not] deteriorated over the years.

    Read our country’s history. The discussions, for example, during Lincoln’s and Teddy Roosevelt’s candidacies were just as what you call “vitriolic” if not moreso. That is what is great about being an American.

    Your comments were just plain silly. I reiterate; get real.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  259. Sometimes, I understand Mao’s desire to have the intellectuals go work in the fields for a while.

    Comment by Simon Jester

    Yes, I’ve always found my professors who have worked in the real world to be less prone to ridiculous fantasies or simple tyrannical ‘I can tell you how to live!’ crap. The idea Bush’s tax cuts were giveaways is a great example. Families work hard, get more of their money than before, and that’s some kind of gift?

    The idea we can just take what people own in order for philosopher kings to have every little pet project they were lobbied for, from monkeys on cocaine to bombs over Libya to free healthcare for hippies? No thanks.

    We have this bloated academy of ‘artists’ and political theories and revisionist historians and various social studies who have no clue what reality or fairness really are.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  260. Anita Busch, if you are trying to describe Obama as trying to improve the tone in Washington, I can’t figure out why you would think so. He’s done absolutely nothing but increase the partisanship himself. Obama’s performance in the recent debt ceiling negotiations was incompetent and counter-productive. The actual final deal was reached only because the congressional leaders threw Obama out o the negotiations.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  261. ________________________________________________

    A few of the reasons why Spartacus posts here are because he feels insecure, inferior, inadequate and stupid, and in his resentment of all of you, he is constantly trying to over compensate to show that he is as good as you are ……., and you think that he feels superior to you?????

    The only thing I most resent about liberals is their believing that leftist bias brings generosity, humaneness, compassion, sophistication, beauty and tolerance to its adherents and to those around them. And that just the opposite applies to conservatives and rightist bias.

    The only thing that truly makes me sickened, if not even disgusted by, so many liberals and their sentiments is the way they and their biases actually foster just the opposite of what “progressives” hold near and dear to their hearts.

    Example: the various news reports going back several months, if not far longer, regarding one of the most liberal communities in the US — the African-American community (ie, where 90-plus percent of it favors Democrats/leftism) — being the origin of behavior that is anything but kind, decent, compassionate, well-educated and sophisticated. I’m referring to articles about large numbers of black teens (and perhaps older) in various cities who’ve been performing a “we’re-rowdy-and-proud-of-it!” or “we-wanna-grab-the-loot!” routine.

    So people associated with one of the most leftwing sectors of American society have been happily harassing and beating innocent bystanders (apparently singling out whites on many occasions) and doing flash-mob looting of stores during business hours.

    Mark (411533)

  262. He’s done absolutely nothing but increase the partisanship himself.

    Sadly some of Obama’s most hostile and angry comments led immediately to violence against Tea Partiers. ‘Punch twice as hard’ was proceeded by folks getting punched a lot.

    Even this S&P downgrade shows a focus on sticking the word ‘Republican’ in the report. Blaming, not solving. Has Obama done anything suggesting he meant it when he promised to cut the deficit in half? Who does he think he is to even spend a single breath blaming, instead of cutting the deficit?

    And the recent Tea Party activism = ‘Terrorism’ crap from the rest of the party is going to do the same.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  263. Dustin – sure, he will cut it in half. First, he will run it up to $2T, and then when they play with the baseline and claim the new deficit is only$1T, he will say he slashed the deficit.

    JD (109425)

  264. Mark Steyn:

    I’ve written a book on the subject. My prognosis is not as rosy as the Boehner-Obama deal, as attentive readers might just be able to deduce from the subtle clues in the title: After America: Get Ready For Armageddon. Oh, don’t worry, I’m not one of these “declinists.” I’m way beyond that, and in the express lane to total societal collapse. The fecklessness of Washington is an existential threat not only to the solvency of the republic but to the entire global order. If Ireland goes under, it’s lights out on Galway Bay. When America goes under, it drags the rest of the developed world down with it. When I go around the country saying stuff like this, a lot of folks agree. Somewhere or other, they’ve a vague memory of having seen a newspaper story accompanied by a Congressional Budget Office graph with the line disappearing off the top of the page and running up the wall and into the rafters circa mid-century. So they usually say, “Well, fortunately I won’t live to see it.” And I always reply that, unless you’re a centenarian with priority boarding for the ObamaCare death panel, you will live to see it. Forget about mid-century. We’ve got until mid-decade to turn this thing around.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/273876/mad-debt-mark-steyn

    elissa (4c872f)

  265. Why doesn’t Spartacturd pay his fair share?

    DohBiden (d54602)

  266. Every time I comment, it leads to one of you saying something incredibly nasty. There’s just too much derision in the comments. All you guys do is carry on day after day after day agreeing with one another and when any other point of view is presented, you blast it out of the water with ridicule, mockery and name-calling. Very ignorant. Hope you are okay, Patrick. Take care. :-)

    Anita Busch (a025dd)

  267. Another Steyn gem:

    When interest payments consume about 20 percent of federal revenues, that means a fifth of your taxes are entirely wasted. Pious celebrities often simper that they’d be willing to pay more in taxes for better government services. But a fifth of what you pay won’t be going to government services at all, unless by “government services” you mean the People’s Liberation Army of China, which will be entirely funded by U.S. taxpayers by about 2015.

    elissa (4c872f)

  268. Anita, 100 to 150 years ago, friends and neighbors had these discussions in taverns, churches, parks, street corners and other meeting places. The only difference with blogs are that discussions are between nameless and faceless people spread out over diverse areas.

    At the end of the day, we’re all Americans, raising issues which serve our own best interests, for which you can’t fault one party or the other. Life is a bitch for all of us. Don’t take what you read here so seriously. Tell me, what have you read here that has ever adversely affected your life in any way? They’re just harmless words on a screen that get you to think, hopefully.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  269. That was such BS.

    JD (0d2ffc)

  270. Anita Busch,

    While I cannot speak for my fellow commenters, I enjoy reading your comments – even though I tend to disagree with them! But it’s good to listen to those with varying thoughts, and for me, it certainly helps shape and refine my own views.

    I see Patterico’s as a big sandbox of strong-willed and opinionated folk with every imaginable point of view. Certainly, there are those who are less tactful in their presentation but no more passionate in their views than the more refined and collected commenter.

    It’s the ideas that spurn such healthy debate and discourse. Yes, it gets rowdy and sometimes viciously personal (which is regrettable and I wish there were more self-control exerted), but I tend to believe at the end of the day and politics aside, the regulars here are the sort of people that you could call in the middle of the night if you found yourself alone on an empty highway with a flat tire and no idea of how to use a jack. I think they are the type that would come, willing to help. Or at least call Triple A for you.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  271. Every time I comment, it leads to one of you saying something incredibly nasty.

    I understand why this would annoy you, but consider stepping over those comments and moving on to something more worth your time.

    Frankly, the phenomena you’re talking about is an internet-wide problem. And there is another trait to this blog, where a lot of commenters actually are welcoming of difference POVs. I have never found a left leaning site where I can comment politely from my honest POV and be treated fairly by a large number of folks. Just doesn’t happen.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  272. hip hop bbq hells yeah I got a red cup you fill it up for me

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  273. Ignorant name calling?

    Irony thy name is Anita Busch.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  274. As I recall, and many times I do so incorrectly (a condition of age, I suppose), but as I remember it, Anita was screwed over by the resident culture and its adherents at the LAT.
    Well, I’m sorry about that Anita, you were treated poorly.
    But, Boo-Hoo, that doesn’t mean that I have to cut you any slack for what I perceive to be your grossly wrong takes on the political situation.
    We, and I think I type for many on this, don’t really lend much credence to the “Victim Culture”, and we don’t give people a pass on something where we believe they are wrong just because they’ve run over a few bumps in the road – we’ve all run over a bump or two in our lives.
    Remember, conservatives deal in facts and logical thought; we leave the failings of “feelings” to the Progressives.
    Life isn’t fair – get over it!

    AD-RtR/OS! (2dd1ea)

  275. #271 – LOL, well, it sounded good.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  276. I think he was talking about our friend Anita NJ person

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  277. Anita:

    All you guys do is carry on day after day after day agreeing with one another and when any other point of view is presented, you blast it out of the water with ridicule, mockery and name-calling.

    I appreciate the trials you’ve been through and the bravery you demonstrated in facing those trials. For that reason alone, I eagerly click on your name whenever I see your comment.

    However, I disagree with your analysis of the commenters here. We share many common goals (and I hope that’s true of liberals and conservatives) but we don’t always agree on how to get there. Are you really interested in writing everyone off because of a few comments? If so, so be it but Dustin has already responded to your comment and now I am, too.

    For my part, I think 40-50 years of compromising Congresses got us into this mess. It’s time for Americans to decide which ideology works best for America. Do we want liberal government or fiscal conservatism? I vote for fiscal conservatism.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  278. Agreed!

    AD-RtR/OS! (2dd1ea)

  279. I also had responded to Anita’s comment.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  280. I just saw that, Dana. (It took me a long time to write my comment!)

    I also hope I’m one of the people you feel you could call, but fair warning: I’m not much good at changing tires. But as you surely know by now, I’m good at telling people what to do so feel free to call me if you need directions.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  281. Heh. I’ll keep that in mind, DRJ. I’m not able to change a flat and have been known, on occasion, to be directionally challenged as well. But call me, and I will sympathize with your plight.

    I don’t think Anita’s objections are to the policy/political disagreement but rather it’s when the disagreement becomes personal. Such as when she makes a statement that those of us on the more conservative think ridiculous, and someone resorts to some sort of name calling and denigration, thus a personal attack. (And yes, the gang-rape comment was also the same thing and IMO, unacceptable as well).

    Disagree as vigorously and enthusiastically as possible, but don’t call me a Dumb Girl or a Complete Imbecile. Then, it’s personal.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  282. You can be sure that, whebever a gossipy Anita gets together with a bunch of her gossipy girlfriends, or whenever they get to excitedly gossiping, giggling and acting silly with each other on the phone, they get a lot bitchier than any gossip that you’ve ever read on any blog.

    The phony touchy, feely, warm and fuzzy, whining hypocrisy of women is soooo funny, especially since, in every species, the females are the most merciless predators.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  283. I see Patterico’s as a big sandbox of strong-willed and opinionated folk with every imaginable point of view.

    Then you need to get out more.

    This place is the ultimate echo chamber for righties.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  284. Spartacvs, which you fail to improve with your bile-filled, and fact-deficient, little screeds.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  285. @ spartacvs,

    This place is the ultimate echo chamber for righties.

    …and yet, here you are.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  286. This place is the ultimate echo chamber for righties.
    Comment by Spartacvs — 8/6/2011 @ 4:57 pm

    And yet you are continuing to post? No interference? Go figure.

    Liar.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  287. o we want liberal government or fiscal conservatism? I vote for fiscal conservatism.

    The evidence is in,

    Democratic presidents have consistently higher economic growth and consistently lower unemployment than Republican presidents. If you add in a time lag, you get the same result. If you eliminate the best and worst presidents, you get the same result. If you take a look at other economic indicators, you get the same result. There’s just no way around it: Democratic administrations are better for the economy than Republican administrations.

    if you want fiscal conservatism elect Democrats.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  288. Isn’t that Kevin Drum you’re quoting, Spartacvs???

    Dana (4eca6e)

  289. Spartacvs, the current Democrats are adding debt at nearly twice the rate as George W. Bush, someone no one defends as a fiscal conservative, so your point is just stupid. The evidence today is that Obama has given us record unemployment, record length of unemployment, record jobless claims ( 17 weeks of 400,000 plus jobless claims this week ).

    And a deficit that exceeds a trillion dollars every year as far as the eye can see.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  290. Hey, Obamy’s #1!

    AD-RtR/OS! (2dd1ea)

  291. but don’t call me a Dumb Girl or a Complete Imbecile. Then, it’s personal.

    How about…
    You throw (shoes) like a gurl!

    AD-RtR/OS! (2dd1ea)

  292. Dana, correct.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  293. Drum’s “analysis” has all the statistical rigor of a kindergartener’s analysis of how fair the sharing of the toys is.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  294. The evidence today is that Obama has given us record unemployment, record length of unemployment, record jobless claims ( 17 weeks of 400,000 plus jobless claims this week ).

    Au contraire, the evidence is this is the George Bush legacy which Obama is struggling to mitigate. And the American public agrees with that analysis.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  295. Statistics?, analysis? here you go SP

    Partisan politics and US income distribution

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  296. No, no matter how much you wail, Barcky says he owns the economy, and he claimed the “stimulus” was a success in salvaging the mess. He claimed recovery summer in 2009, yet 2 years into the future, things are worse, and clowns like this dishonest troll are still blaming Bush. Even DWS claims ownership, anodyne recovery. Own it, beeyotch.

    JD (318f81)

  297. Now sparty is going to start spamming leftist “studies”

    JD (318f81)

  298. This one never did simply admit the multitude of names it has commented under, did it?

    JD (318f81)

  299. I don’t take that tack with Anita, it seems wrong to subject her to the rightful contempt we have
    for Brynart or kmart or the Thracian doofus, if I depended on the Daily McClatchy and either times, I’d be misinformed as well.

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  300. Dear Stashiu3…now, that term “echo chamber” was used a LOT by certain trolls in the past. Does that help us determine the identity of the Drum-ette sparticvs (I’m leaning toward truthnjustice)?

    Simon Jester (c47db4)

  301. Spartacvs, a seven year old paper tells us nothing about the destruction of our nation’s fiscal health done today by Democrats.

    Spartacvs, that there are deficits of more than a trillion dollars for the next decade has nothing to do with any “legacy” of George W. Bush. Its a stupid lie. There is nothing in those out of control budgets that represents any “fixing” of anything. They are the broken legacy of out of control Democratic entitlement spending. Nothing else.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  302. “You throw (shoes) like a gurl!”

    LOL, Did you ever see Obama throwing a baseball?

    Or running around a basketball court? Or playing golf?

    Most girls would look masculine compared to our prissy, effeminate and girlyboy POTUS. Yessiree, Democrats sure know how to pick ’em. Bill Clinton was/is a candyass, too.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  303. SPQR, people like this HAVE to believe that Bush has magical powers, and that Obama doesn’t contradict his campaign promises.

    Otherwise, they were rubes to have voted for him.

    And smart guys, like sparticvs, could never have been fooled.

    Seriously, it’s all Sowell’s “Vision of the Anointed.”

    Simon Jester (c47db4)

  304. But…but…Boosh cut taxes for the RICH!
    It has to be his fault.
    Progressives have only the best intent.
    They could never do anything destructive to America.
    It’s all Boooosh’s fault….isn’t it?

    AD-RtR/OS! (2dd1ea)

  305. How about…
    You throw (shoes) like a gurl!

    That’s fine, but just know that this gurl was voted MVP (pitcher, no less!) of several women’s softball leagues back in the day, and I still have the trophies stashed away to prove it. So, take your chances.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  306. JD – Face it. You’re just a horrible person. I’m surprised Dana has not thrown her new shoes at you yet. Her husband probably hasn’t let her out of the kitchen.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  307. I don’t know Dana, just what kind of control can you have underhanded with a Jimmy Choo, or a Manolo Blahnik?
    (((ducks)))

    AD-RtR/OS! (2dd1ea)

  308. Spvrty – Why does income inequality matter? You never answered the question. Please explain. Why does Obama have to hold the country hostage to reduce income inequality rather than grow the economy?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  309. AD – I think with a Choo you can get more of a screwball effect, but I’m not completely sure.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  310. out of control Democratic entitlement spending

    Show your work.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  311. This just in:


    In breaking news, The US Treasury Department has announced
    a plan to bring the public’s expectations in line with future performance
    of US Currency in the world marketplace. The first step of the plan
    involves replacing the word “Dollar” with “Continental” on all bills in
    circulation…


    No, it’s not a link to an Onion article! I swear!

    Smock Puppet, Mathematical Economist (c9dcd8)

  312. Sure, I don’t need “income equality” with Ralph Lauren, but if he’d like to cut loose one of those Ferrari’s he has….

    AD-RtR/OS! (2dd1ea)


  313. with a Jimmy Choo, or a Manolo Blahnik?
    (((ducks)))

    HAH!!! You can’t fool me, ducks are pants, not shoes!!

    Smock Puppet, Mathematical Economist (c9dcd8)

  314. I think with a Choo you can get more of a screwball effect, but I’m not completely sure.

    Well, I’ve certainly been called that before…but as far as throwing one, not so much.

    daley, Darling Hub knows the kitchen is not the room for me. One learns to gracefully accept the weaknesses and strengths of their mates over the decades.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  315. Show your work.

    Comment by Spartacvs — 8/6/2011 @ 5:58 pm

    That’s rich coming from someone who can’t do basic math.

    Another Chris (c983db)

  316. Why does income inequality matter?

    Because plutarchy’s do not survive long.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  317. SPQR – don’t forget how they added over $800,000,000,000 to the baseline of the budget by leaving the temporary one-time “stimulus” aka Dem pork and payoff to the unions.

    JD (6e25b4)

  318. That’s rich coming from someone who can’t do basic math.

    Nothing wrong with my math, how yours?

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  319. If Spartacvs did not like plutarchy, he should not have voted for Wall Street’s candidate, Barack Obama.

    SPQR (26be8b)


  320. This place is the ultimate echo chamber for righties.

    Really? Then how is it we’re listening to your idiotic blather?

    Go on:

    “Uhhh…”

    The only time it echoes only from the right (actually, libertarians are just as prevalent, Numbnutsicvs) is when someone breaks your pointy widdle argumentation process by pointing out the vast array of holes inevitably appearing in it.

    Smock Puppet, Mathematical Economist (c9dcd8)

  321. “daley, Darling Hub knows the kitchen is not the room for me. One learns to gracefully accept the weaknesses and strengths of their mates over the decades.”

    Dana – Not touching that one, but I’ll bet you look better than Obama in jeans.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  322. Show my work? You blithering moron, its not my work.

    Its the CBO’s work that shows that our deficit is from out of control Democratic entitlement spending.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  323. Nothing wrong with my math, how yours?

    Show where you’ve actually worked it out, and you might have some credibility.

    Here’s a couple of links where someone already beat you to it, though. It even has charts printed out since you’re clearly too stupid to think critically through text alone:

    http://www.market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2626292

    http://www.market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=190082

    Refute the math, using actual facts and figures, chump–not your typical land-of-make-believe “elves and wormholes” nonsense.

    Another Chris (c983db)

  324. “Because plutarchy’s do not survive long.”

    Spvrty – Feelings, nothing more than feelings. Actually, plutarchies, of which America is not one,lasted much longer than the failed euro-weenie socialist experiments, so wrong again loin-cloth breath.

    You’ve got nothing, same as Cantor described for Obama.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  325. Holy smokes, daley, that sure came out differently than I intended. Stepping away from this thread Right Now.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  326. Dana – I’ve got no idea how you intended it, which is why I’m not touching it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  327. Show your work.

    Comment by Spartacvs

    show my work spurty?
    my work it dribbles down your
    li’l teabagging chin

    ColonelHaiku (d1f5ff)

  328. Colonel must declare
    chubwa on women who can’t
    stand heat in kitchen

    ColonelHaiku (d1f5ff)

  329. Bill Clinton was/is a candyass, too.

    Closest Bill Clinton ever got to AstroTurf was in bed of pickup truck.

    ColonelHaiku (d1f5ff)

  330. The much sexier Dana wrote:

    Well, since I am so generously doing my part to help, I may just have to reward myself with that extra pair to throw. Anything to help our economy.

    While I’m picturing you as having bought yourself a couple of pairs of Cat Deeley shoes, allow me to suggest that you throw an older pair of shoes. You still get to help the economy, and be sensible about it, too. :)

    The Rule 5 Dana (f68855)

  331. Damn, I was so looking forward to selling those Choo’s at the swap-meet.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2dd1ea)

  332. Another Chris

    Thx for the link:

    We must fix the medical system. If we don’t, nothing else matters.

    Exactly what I have been saying. no?

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  333. SP

    Its the CBO’s work that shows that our deficit is from out of control Democratic entitlement spending.

    Thx for the link, Medicare & Medicaid are THE long term budget problem. Exactly what I have been saying. no?

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  334. No, y are lying. You said that they were under control, just needed minor tweaks. You are a bad liar.

    JD (318f81)

  335. You have to wade through a boatload of Obama ass kissing to get to this gem

    A second possibility is that he is simply not up to the task by virtue of his lack of experience and a character defect that might not have been so debilitating at some other time in history. Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he had voted “present” (instead of “yea” or “nay”) 130 times, sometimes dodging difficult issues.

    .. of course, it was only conjecture.

    After two years of inhaling his excrement, they actual admit that this is at least a possibility. A ‘well done’ goes to the Times.

    A. Weiner (d1c681)

  336. Exactly what I have been saying. no?

    Oddly enough, you ignore everything else. How convenient.

    Another Chris (c983db)

  337. maybe if we promise to be really really good they’ll put the credit rating back where it was

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  338. JD – go back and read what I really wrote.

    To repeat, SS needs only minor tweaks. Medicare is THE problem, caused by out of control cost increases in the private health care delivery sector.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  339. maybe if we promise to be really really good they’ll put the credit rating back where it was

    I foresee the prospect of an upgrade if the public dumps the teabagger caucus in 2012.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  340. Speaking of reading what you have written, sparticvs:

    http://patterico.com/2011/08/06/did-bidens-loose-lips-sink-a-team-6-airship/#comment-828619

    So, again: what was the “dumb comment” Patterico made? Please be specific, and not run away. Patterico will be VERY interested to hear how you represent his viewpoints, and what he writes.

    Unless you are just a dumb troll, trying to stir up trouble because you got your backside banned under another name for being a jerk, that is.

    Simon Jester (c47db4)

  341. caused by out of control cost increases in the private health care delivery sector.

    It’s funny how medical care wasn’t all that expensive until the federal government distorted that market with Medicare.

    Chuck Bartowski (e84e27)

  342. “…I foresee the prospect of an upgrade if the public dumps the teabagger caucus in 2012….”

    Oh, c’mon, you silly poseur.

    I foresee you continuing to be a jerk until you get banned. Again.

    Simon Jester (c47db4)

  343. plus that’s not how you spell spartacus you know

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  344. google it

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  345. Disgusting. Bill Maher and Christina Romer get a huge chuckle over the downgrade.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/08/former-obama-economic-advisor-on-sp-downgrade-were-fked/

    elissa (4c872f)

  346. I think he doesn’t want people to know the drugstore where he buys condoms, Mr. Feet.

    So when he is asked, he and his friends can all cover for each other with: “I am spartiCVS.”

    Simon Jester (c47db4)

  347. Mr. Feets – Accuracy is not Job One for Spvrty.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  348. Jester@344 – I’m sure Patterico will be relieved to know you have his back, but what we all want to know is…. is there any chance of a reach around while you’re there?

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  349. 344 is a really long way to scroll can you maybe do a synopsis?

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  350. Yes, you do sound all peevish, like truthnjustice or that dimwit imdw, “sparticvs.” It’s fine to have a ‘nym. No problem there. The problem is when you get yourself banned for being a jerk, and then sneak back to try to stir up trouble. It’s kind of sick behavior, when you think about it.

    And you do think about it. Every moment of every day.

    Fooling no one.

    Simon Jester (c47db4)

  351. Mr. Feet, our little previously banned troll was simply saying that Patterico was “pushing” a “dumb idea” regarding the deaths of the SEALs overseas. I simply asked him to be specific about what “dumb” idea Patterico was “pushing.”

    He seems all sensitive about it.

    Simon Jester (c47db4)

  352. did you know Biden’s son had a stroke last year nobody tells me anything it’s really becoming something of a problem

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  353. Mr. Feets – Are you sure it was Biden’s son. He’s got that daughter who got busted for weed at Tulane and people claimed to have on tape snorting coke a few years ago. Might could be where Joe got to be a crack head, but you never know.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  354. Jester@344 – I’m sure Patterico will be relieved to know you have his back, but what we all want to know is…. is there any chance of a reach around while you’re there?
    Comment by Spartacvs — 8/6/2011 @ 10:14 pm

    — Sorry, buddy. You’ll have to give yourself that reach-around . . . as per usual.

    Icy Texan (08b9d8)

  355. What is a “reach around”?

    If it’s something dirty, I don’t want to know.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  356. #343 – “I foresee the prospect of an upgrade if the public dumps the teabagger caucus in 2012.” – Spartacus

    He must be joking. Nobody is that ditzy. NOBODY

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  357. Summit – R. Lee Ermey, as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket. How’s your Google-fu?

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  358. Who knew that most of this guy’s experience of the world was via the internet? My.

    Simon Jester (c47db4)

  359. Simon – I think Spvrty is a big fan of receiving Cleveland Steamers the way he writes.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  360. @#279 I appreciate the trials you’ve been through… Maybe, maybe not. Accordingly, here’s a refresher– a decades worth of hell condensed into a few paragraphs.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/08/07/target-i-was-scared-every-day.html

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  361. @#257- Well said.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  362. Anita takes herself too seriously, imho.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  363. #361 – LOL – He can’t help himself. Spartacus obfuscates [again]!!! Unreal.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  364. Yes get rid of the tea party in 2012 and replace them with america hating fascists………….no rhanks america hater.

    DohBiden (d54602)


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