Patterico's Pontifications

1/22/2013

The Budget Numbers That People on the Left Don’t Seem to Understand

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:31 am

Every so often I get into a discussion with someone on the left about the budget, and I find time and again that they seem to think that Social Security and Medicare are not such a big problem — or that the problem they pose can be easily fixed through a small tax increase.

I attempted to address that issue in this post, which embedded this very helpful video:

But I should know by now that, just like readers often don’t click the links, they don’t always watch the videos either.

So I’m going to take the key facts and bring them to the fore, in print, so I will have a post I can refer back to in the future when this issue comes up.

What I am about to post is fairly dense but I think I have made it clear. The bottom line is that, just to balance the budget in 2012, we would have had to raise taxes on everyone 50%. You can’t do it by taxing the rich only, either, because historically even 90% rates don’t bring in more than 18% of GDP, and we are spending 24-25% of GDP. Even if rich people didn’t modify their behavior, there isn’t enough taxable income from the rich to close the gap.

Here are the details:

This is from the President’s 2013 budget, downloadable as a 4.6 MB .pdf here. At page 210, you have the following outlays:

As you can see, what we call “discretionary programs” was $1.3 trillion in 2012. This is basically the entire federal government: Defense, Education, State, Justice, and so forth.

Then we have what we call “non-discretionary programs,” which are Social Security (including SSI), Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and TARP (which is comparatively very small). That totaled $2.25 trillion in 2012.

Interest on all this was $225 billion. Add it all up and the total outlays are a hair shy of $3.8 trillion.

Got that?

Discretionary = $1.3T
Nondiscretionary = $2.25T
Interest = 225B
Total = $3.8T

Now for what we take in:

2012 is again the right-most column. As you can see, that’s $1.16 trillion in individual income taxes and $237 billion in corporate income taxes, for a total of $1.4 trillion in income taxes. Payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare) plus other social insurance taxes total $841 billion. We get about another $235 billion in excise taxes, estate and gift taxes, customs, and related taxes. Our total receipts were $2.47 trillion. Let’s put that in a table like above:

Income tax: $1.4T
Payroll tax: $841B
Other tax: $235B
Total: $2.47T

We’re $1.3 trillion short.

Now, here’s the problem. Pretend we didn’t even have the federal government. In other words, pretend we had no military, no Department of Justice, no Department of Health and Human Services, etc. You eliminate the entire federal government, and just pay nondiscretionary programs and interest. (There would be no employees to issue the checks, but it’s a thought experiment.) You would have to pay $2.5 trillion. But our total revenues are less than that, at $2.47 trillion.

So you use up all our tax revenue, and you still haven’t quite paid entitlements. After you deal with entitlements, every cent of discretionary spending is now borrowed.

To make up the gap by taxing people, in 2012 you would have needed another $1.3T on top of the $2.47T we already took in. That means taxes would have to be raised 50%, across the board. Payroll tax, income tax, everything. If you paid $20,000 in 2012, you’d have to pay $30,000 to sustain Social Security and Medicare.

Can’t we just tax the rich? No, for two reasons.

First, even confiscating all millionaires’ taxable income would not close the gap. It’s difficult to find recent statistics for these numbers, but in posts I wrote in April 2011 I quoted people who had examined IRS statistics and found that in 2008, “Taxable income over $100,000 was $1,582 billion, over $200,000 was $1,185 billion, over $500,000 was $820 billion, over $1 million was $616 billion, over $2 million was $460 billion, over $5 million was $302 billion, and over $10 million was $212 billion.” To get that $1.3 trillion you can’t close the gap by taxing rich people. You could confiscate all the income of people with taxable income over $1 million and it would not close the gap by half.

But there’s another problem: it wouldn’t work that well anyway. As I illustrated yesterday, we have had top marginal rates as high as 91% and as low as 28%, and we still get about 18% of GDP in revenues every year, regardless. Extremely rich people change their behavior when you start to confiscate all their money.

We haven’t even addressed paying off almost $17 trillion in debt. Nor have we addressed the widening gap between revenues and entitlement payouts caused by the aging of the workforce. All we have discussed is what to do to close the gap in a single year: 2012.

Without reforming entitlements, it is simply impossible.

Which means we’ll keep coasting, adding over $1 trillion to the debt every year, until it all comes crashing down.

The Democrats I talk to don’t understand this. But you can’t be president and not understand this.

Barack Obama is lying to the American people when he says we don’t need to fundamentally reform entitlements.

282 Responses to “The Budget Numbers That People on the Left Don’t Seem to Understand”

  1. I know he pays lip service to the idea of cutting them slightly. But look at the math. In 2012 they needed to be cut by almost half. You think he’s working on that?

    Patterico (8b3905)

  2. our cowardly president wants to kick the can down the road

    he figures this is Hillary’s problem

    he’s always hated her you know

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  3. “As I illustrated yesterday, we have had top marginal rates as high as 91% and as low as 28%, and we still get about 18% of GDP in revenues every year, regardless.”

    Its even more basic, Patterico. Democrats think that the 91% tax rate was an effective rate of 91%.

    SPQR (768505)

  4. I’m grateful to you for writing posts like this. When even educated and reasonably intelligent people are woefully ignorant of basic concepts like federalism, it’s not surprising they can’t understand financial matters.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  5. There is no scenario in which a collapse does not happen.

    EC (dda60e)

  6. Phil Mickleson’s recent statements are a footnote for your point that the rich change their behavior when taxes increase. So is Gerard Depardieu.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  7. so is Mr. Sarkozy

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  8. Yes, good point.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  9. One quibble: The Social Security income line item will go up about $150 billion this year, and the Medicare tax will also be up, so the 2013 numbers will be about $200 billion higher on income.

    No doubt Obama will have a place to spend it all, though.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  10. Yes, the rich are leaving their confiscatory abodes taking their money and taxes and jobs with them. Silicon Valley is emptying out; it’s just pitiful that the CA budget was predicated on the revenue from the Facebook IPO, which didn’t materialize as they hoped.

    But I’m sure the rich will not leave California because it’s so beautiful here: a friend of mine told me that Steve Lopez of the LAT said that!

    Patricia (be0117)

  11. patterico,

    Thank you.

    scott (b8618e)

  12. If you don’t understand your audience, you’re not going to get very far in persuading them you’re right…

    People aren’t averse to doing what you say they should because they haven’t been shown the numbers. They are what they are because they like things the way they are right now and see no advantage to themselves of upending the economy to address whatever it is that you’re arguing is going to happen if they don’t.

    For 30 years, deficit hawks have been screaming pretty much the same thing as you are… and for thirty years, they’ve gotten nowhere. Instead of repeating the same arguments, only louder and slower, why not work to come up with an argument that will play to the jury… the number-phobic, live-for-today jury as they are, not as the smart people you wish they were?

    Mind you, I don’t know what that message is. I don’t know if there is such a message that will work to 51% of the public. I just know more of the same isn’t going to change anybody’s mind.

    steve (369bc6)

  13. For 30 years, deficit hawks have been screaming pretty much the same thing as you are… and for thirty years, they’ve gotten nowhere.

    Has the deficit ever been in excess of $1,300,000,000,000 for years on end? Have we ever had to borrow 40 cents out of every dollar? Has the debt ever been as large in relation to GDP? Mto suggest that where we are at is nothing new is silly.

    JD (b63a52)

  14. But I’m sure the rich will not leave California because it’s so beautiful here: a friend of mine told me that Steve Lopez of the LAT said that!

    You wanna know what’s just as beautiful as anything in California? Lake Tahoe. The Nevada side.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  15. Lefties don’t do math.
    That’s because too often, the numbers contradict their utopian fantasies.

    Elephant Stone (c9d765)

  16. 5.There is no scenario in which a collapse does not happen.

    Comment by EC (dda60e) — 1/22/2013 @ 7:54 am

    Correct. Nearly every fiscal blog post I put “$16 trillion” in debt in the comment. And we’re going for $20 trillion in 4-5 years. Even with the rosiest growth estimates, we can’t service our debt before interest and inflation murders the economy again.
    Game over, man!

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  17. JD: It’s different but not. People who didn’t freak when talking (or, more accurately, ignoring) billions aren’t going to worry if there are a couple more zeroes.

    Look at it from this perspective: we’ve had trillion dollar deficits for five years now… and life has gone on for just about everybody.

    Convince someone that THEIR life would be improved with a smaller deficit and they might listen. That’s the challenge. Romney failed to convince enough people that their lives would be better taking his medicine. Your task is to learn from history…

    steve (369bc6)

  18. Look at it from this perspective: we’ve had trillion dollar deficits for five years now… and life has gone on for just about everybody.

    Because it has not had an immediate effect, we should just ignore it?

    JD (b63a52)

  19. When interest rates return to their historical norms, the US will be paying close to a trillion a year in interest payments alone……

    gahrie (acbb2d)

  20. Gahrie – that doesn’t matter. Your task is to learn from history.

    JD (b63a52)

  21. “Look at it from this perspective: we’ve had trillion dollar deficits for five years now… and life has gone on for just about everybody.”

    steve – What are you smoking?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  22. The real estate bubble was great, till it popped,

    narciso (3fec35)

  23. I think comments/sentiments such as “game over man” and “there’s no scenario in which a collapse does not happen”, actually hurt more than help. It takes away hope for any solution for our kids and grand kids. That’s because even if increasing numbers of the American citizenry should read terrific posts like Patterico’s and start to get a clue about the math, they will think, “what’s the point”? As long as they think there is truly no possible chance or way to improve things they will likely just make even more selfish short term self-preservation decisions. And will continue to cast votes which will not only not help fix the problem but will likely actually speed the decline. (Sort of like the dying man choosing to live the life he has left to the fullest, including the greatest ease and pleasure.)

    elissa (adfeba)

  24. Well I don’t quite buy the ‘Cpl Hudson’ argument, because the dropship hasn’t crashed yet, but we’re getting to that point,

    narciso (3fec35)

  25. I’m curious about the “other mandatory programs” that constitute the $711 billion in that chart. What sorts of programs are those?

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  26. we don’t need to fundamentally reform entitlements.

    Not exactly true.

    We could also fix this if we grasp we are entitled to reform the fundaments.

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Labeler of the Obama-Naut (98ae1f)

  27. Daleyrocks: tell me how the deficit/debt has hurt ME in the now and present? Has it cost me MY job? MY house value? The value of MY 401(k)? The price I pay for Christmas presents? If you want people to take seriously your cries of impending doom, you’ve got to start by showing them how their lives have been negatively impacted by what has happened so far (along these lines, one of Romney’s failures was to capitalize on the Obama’s energy policies = higher gas prices connection). 92% of the people who want jobs have one. The majority of people who own homes aren’t in foreclosure and those who are don’t blame the deficit. Seniors are getting their Medicare and Social Security benefits. So how has the deficit hurt THEM? And if it hasn’t, why do you think they’re going to get behind whatever it is that you think they should support?

    JD: you’re missing my point. I’m not saying we ‘should’ ignore it, just that people are going to ignore it if you can’t come up with a new argument. Your assignment, should you wish to accept it, is to come up with an approach that will get people to not only realize the problem exists but to come together on a plan fixing the problem… and I guarantee that saying the same things again and again isn’t going to work.

    Again, I’m not challenging your numbers or saying that you’re wrong that this can’t go on forever. What I am saying is that you are doing a bad job of selling your story to the audience (with audience defined as the public at large, and not the like minded readers of this site).

    steve (369bc6)

  28. The Big Stumble:
    2012 Social Security Expenditures and Revenues
    Exp…$773B
    Rev…$572B

    Right off the bat, the program is upside-down by $200Billion, and the trend line has been, and will continue to, go bad into the foreseeable future as more and more Boomers retire and start drawing from, instead of paying into, that Social Security “Trust Fund“.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  29. What sorts of programs are those?

    All sorts of transfer/welfare programs hidden away in the budgets of various Departments, such as Food Stamps, WICS, Disability, etc.
    They are all the things that The Left insists we need to provide Social Justice, while at the same time, castigating the amount of money spent on “security” that allows their experiment in “social justice” to continue.
    Sort of like complaining about the amount the PD costs while that despised PD keeps thugs from over-running the soup-kitchens serving the poor.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  30. Nobody ever puts up a moral challenge to the tax-the-rich mentality. Why are successful people financially liable for the overspending of the government? If I buy more toys at Best Buy than I can afford I’m not entitled to turn around and seize the rest of the money from the successful fellow behind me just because he can afford it.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  31. Your assignment, should you wish to accept it, is to come up with an approach that will get people to not only realize the problem exists but to come together on a plan fixing the problem…

    We are so screwed.

    JD (b63a52)

  32. #6 & 7, So is Al Gore.

    #23 elissa, it probably does hurt more than help, but remember, people like Patterico are already thinking “what’s the point?” If tax and spend Democrats are going to win elections because of, or in spite of, conservatives’ fiscally responsible views, and are overreaching so far that they threaten our children’s future, cheering it on or prolonging it feels like spitting in the wind in the near term. There are two choices: 1) Smile and root, root, root what is ultimately a failing direction, or 2) get ahead of the curve and warn of the massive problems on the horizon. In the former, we participate in and enable failing policy, as the predetermined losers. In the latter, we have a hope of seeing renewed confidence in our judgement when what now looks likely to eventually happen comes to pass.

    Joseph D (ece5cb)

  33. We are so screwed

    We agree.

    steve (369bc6)

  34. Comment by steve (369bc6) — 1/22/2013 @ 9:22 am

    Look at it from this perspective: we’ve had trillion dollar deficits for five years now… and life has gone on for just about everybody.

    And we’ve had record high deficits – probably for as long as anybody can remember. Ronald Reagan had them. George W. bush had them.

    You remember the story of the boy who cried wolf?

    Convince someone that THEIR life would be improved with a smaller deficit and they might listen.

    That’s nto what you’re arguiong. You’re arguing that their life will geta great deal worse if they don’t go down – bit maybe not nearly as worse if they do, but worse.

    Unless the way they are releioved is by economic grwoth, not more taxes and not lower spending, except that lower spending that comes from people having other income replace entitlements.

    That’s the challenge. Romney failed to convince enough people that their lives would be better taking his medicine. Your task is to learn from history…

    Romney thought their lives would be better if the deficits were bigger. At least for 47% of the population. He thought that was the problem.

    Romney anyway wasn’t really for lower deficits – just lower taxes, or so it appeared.

    even though he really did care about deficits. But he didn’t know much. Was not into details.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  35. “Daleyrocks: tell me how the deficit/debt has hurt ME in the now and present?”

    steve – I don’t know anything about you so why would I even attempt to answer your ridiculous question. Why don’t you instead answer for me what has happened median household income under Obama, the trend in the number of people on food stamps, the trend in the number of people receiving unemployment or social security disability, the labor force participation rate, what the unemployment rate would be with the same labor force participation rate we had at the beginning of the Obama Administration, the trend in energy prices since Obama took office, and then tell me again how life has gone on for just about everybody and I’ll ask you again what you are smoking.

    Deal?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  36. You could find someone – if there is anyone – who could say:

    “You know, I didn’t worry about the deficits in the 1980s. I knew they were no big problem. I didn’t worry about the deficits in the 1990s. And they even went away, I don’t know how or why. I didn’t worry about the deficits during the George W. Bush Administration. But now I’m worried. For such and such a reason (say because the total accumulated debt is climbing fast and tghreatenes to pass 100% or 125% of GDP or something like that)

    Such a person might have credibility.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  37. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/22/2013 @ 10:52 am

    what the unemployment rate would be with the same labor force participation rate we had at the beginning of the Obama Administration,

    And here is where entitlements or the way are structured can cause a problem. Unemployment causes people to go on disability (never mind that the unemployment rate is supposed to be irrelevant) but once people get on they don’t get off. Workman’s compensation is another thing like that. Medicaid is a real poverty promoter. In fact anything that is means tested is extremely bad for the economy.

    And the minimum wage of course when extended to a great percentage of jobs, stops people from ever working.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  38. And we’ve had record high deficits – probably for as long as anybody can remember. Ronald Reagan had them. George W. bush had them.

    Yes, each new year brings another record.
    But, the share of GDP that is the deficit is at a point now that it has never been before absent a World War, and consumer rationing.
    Plus, the fact that the Fed is creating money out of whole cloth to finance this deficit-monster is driving down the value of the Dollar relative to commodities, and opening a window to Wiemar-style inflation, that when it hits, will be a Tsunami.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  39. “In fact anything that is means tested is extremely bad for the economy.”

    Sammy – Why? Are you saying safety net programs should not be means tested?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  40. Romney thought their lives would be better if the deficits were bigger. At least for 47% of the population. He thought that was the problem.

    WTF

    JD (b63a52)

  41. steve and daleyrocks,

    To me, daleyrocks is saying that people should be able to understand the dangers of a failing economy and ballooning debt/deficit. Meanwhile, steve thinks people need to see how they will be hurt to accept there is a crisis. I think you both make good points.

    IMO, and as Patterico has repeatedly said, the biggest danger is to our children and future generations who will have the burden of this crushing debt and the reduced lifestyles it will bring. There was a time when everyone understood the burdens that excessive debt puts on lives, but maybe we have too many credit card babies who see no downside to debt.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  42. steve, are you utterly ignorant of the fact that almost half of the deficits of the Obama administration have been financed not by people buying Treasury securities with wealth but with the Federal Reserve “buying” Treasury securities with printed up “money”?

    SPQR (e945d7)

  43. I like this via Hotair.com. (hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2012/12/28/us-budget-for-dummies/). Ought to be updated monthly and widely disseminated.

    US Budget for Dummies
    POSTED AT 5:12 PM ON DECEMBER 28, 2012 BY JAZZ SHAW

    From my inbox, submitted without comment.

    * U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
    * Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
    * New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
    * National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
    * Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

    Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

    * Annual family income: $21,700
    * Money the family spent: $38,200
    * New debt on the credit card: $16,500
    * Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
    * Total budget cuts so far: $38.50
    Make sense now?

    David (e43d81)

  44. Change the numbers by dropping a bunch of zero’s, and discuss the problem as if it were a household budget.

    Instead of $3.7 trillion dollars, put it in perspective for an average citizen and convert all the numbers to $37,000.

    Then start talking about entitlements, debt service, discretionary spending, in terms of a normal family budget.

    Entitlements = supporting parents, or child support, or alimony, credit card debt, etc….
    Debt Service = Credit Card interest, or student loan interest, etc..
    Discretionary Spending = Cable, internet, cell phone, entertainment, etc….

    Humanize the problem.

    Not that I think this would work as most people do not care. As has been said, they see no pain now, and cannot envision a time when the bill will come due.

    John (6dcbda)

  45. Bah, I see that David #43 beat me to it.

    John (6dcbda)

  46. SPQR: I am aware of both that and most of the other statistics you can dredge up to argue the same point over and over and over and over again. It doesn’t matter what statistic you use, the public is tuning you out, they’re not listening (if they were, we wouldn’t be having this debate).

    DRJ: ‘Act now to save the kids’? Sorry, wishful thinking. You can count on one finger the people who are willing to give up something they think is due them in order to save the kids. Nobody is offering up their tax breaks. Nobody is offering to forgo years of SSA cost of living hikes or to limit SSA to the less well off. Government workers aren’t agreeing to do with less lucrative pensions. Nobody on food stamps or another form of public assistance is offering to do less. Nobody with health insurance is offering to pay more out of their pocket. In fact, everybody is arguing that they’re already paying too much and/or should be getting more. We as a country don’t react in advance of a crisis, nor are we conditioned to give up something now in return for something later. In a world of instant gratification, asking someone to take a hit (even if it is in their minds only) to save the kids isn’t a paradigm changer.

    steve (369bc6)

  47. steve, useless concern trolls are useless.

    SPQR (e945d7)

  48. steve – I am willing to forego all my SS contingent on not having to continue to pay in.

    JD (b63a52)

  49. “Meanwhile, steve thinks people need to see how they will be hurt to accept there is a crisis.”

    DRJ – I think steve is saying that if it has not affected them personally, they don’t believe there is anything wrong, which I think require a willful suspension of disbelief.

    Perhaps steve lives in Washington, D.C. which has maintained relatively full employment and rising incomes over the past four years, but otherwise in most parts of the country it has been pretty tough not to have impacted by friends, neighbors or family members losing their jobs or remaining unemployed for long periods of time. As for the bit about 92% of Americans who want a job being able to find one, that is one of the most dishonest statistics the government puts out there. Unemployment rates for recent college grads and minority youth are dramatically higher than 7.7% and there is a reason Congress extended unemployment benefits to 99 weeks. steve is just avoiding the obvious. He’s also avoiding the consequences of the deficit spending in terms of slowing current and future economic growth, as well as the economy stifling regulatory policies of the Obama regime. It’s a dishonest, small picture argument.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  50. SPQR – spending almost 50% more than is coming in the front door is too complicated of a concept, apparently.

    JD (b63a52)

  51. steve is just doing a concern troll act.

    SPQR (e945d7)

  52. I think steve is saying that if it has not affected them personally

    Not only that, but they haven’t been hurt yet.

    JD (b63a52)

  53. “steve is just doing a concern troll act.”

    SPQR – steve has his stuff and doesn’t care about you h8trs.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  54. re 43: I’ve seen that chart before, but total budget cuts should be $385.00, not $38.50. Still bad, though.

    Brian (182cf3)

  55. the public is tuning you out

    And will continue to do so until the Democracy they have voted for hits them good and hard (Mencken).
    But then, it will be too late; and like most democracies before, we will devolve into tyranny.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  56. Steve,

    I’m not only willing to give up government entitlements to help my children’s generation, I expect it to happen.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  57. Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/22/2013 @ 11:34 am

    Or, like a lot of us, you can continue working past 70, and what you pay into SS after that will not increase your monthly benefit but goes straight into the General Fund without credit.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  58. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 1/22/2013 @ 11:44 am

    They’ve already floated a plan, ala Kirchner, to confiscate all 401k’s, IRA’s, etc.
    They should start with the exec’s at B-H.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  59. You know what else the budget numbers show?

    It shows that greedy corporations aren’t paying their fair share. Even though the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world and corporations are redomesticating to other countries to avoid that burden where legally possible, corporations could be doing more, Obama said so, and we could hobble them more competitively by forcing them to do so.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  60. spending almost 50% more than is coming in the front door is too complicated of a concept, apparently

    JD: If people thought spending more than they made was okay for their personal finances and would have kept doing as long as someone was going to lend them the money to do so, why expect them to be opposed to the federal government doing it?

    Daley: for the umpteenth time, I am not arguing that you are wrong, only that your stats and arguments aren’t going to sway enough people to make a difference. College grads and blacks know the job market sucks for them, yet they still voted for Obama. Hispanic jobs got wiped out with the collapse of housing and construction, yet they still voted for Obama. You don’t think they know there are very few jobs out there? Figure a way to reach them and you may be on to something.

    steve (369bc6)

  61. “we could hobble them more competitively by forcing them to do so.”

    Except for Hollywood, green energy companies and other favored constituencies that contribute to the Democrat Party of course.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  62. “Daley: for the umpteenth time, I am not arguing that you are wrong”

    steve – Good, then why do you ask me to do ridiculous things like show you how you have been individually affected by the past four years?

    “College grads and blacks know the job market sucks for them, yet they still voted for Obama. Hispanic jobs got wiped out with the collapse of housing and construction, yet they still voted for Obama. You don’t think they know there are very few jobs out there?”

    Wait, you just said 92% of people who wanted jobs had jobs, are you now backing off that statement?

    Want to know some big reasons blacks, hispanics and young people voted for Obama – Obama was promising lots of free stuff, manufactured racism and fear, dishonest campaigning. The basic Democrat playbook.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  63. steve – Turn the tables. I appreciate your precious concern for the future of Republicans, but was was the positive case for reelecting an economic and foreign policy illiterate such as Obama? Can you please spell that out for me?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  64. A few thoughts in no particular order, FWIW-

    First, I’m sure we realize that is worse than P describes, because P’s calculations (I believe) are based on the best case (but unrealistic) scenario that increasing taxes has no effect on the economy and the amount of income that is taxed.

    Second, pain is a good thing, it gets one’s attention and signals something is wrong. No pain makes a problem easy to ignore. Unfortunately, while the press likes to make up phantom pain under a repub (“jobless recovery”), it likes to pretend there is no problem under the one (real wages stagnant at best, higher unemployment still than ever under Bush, etc., and we’ve always paid over 3.00/gallon for gas, haven’t we??)

    Third, if the one is doing the Cloward-Piven route, it would be a clear explanatioon why he doesn’t think we have a spending problem. (I wonder if boehner has heard of Cloward-Piven.)

    Maybe someone needs to illustrate by making up a $100,000 bill and using it to “pay off their mortgage”, and show that it really doesn’t work.

    One question is whether or not the crushing debt will be our downfall, or whether more direct effects of not having an adequate military will impact us first.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  65. Wait, you just said 92% of people who wanted jobs had jobs, are you now backing off that statement?

    Jeez, do you not understand statistics? 92% of people of people who want jobs have them – IN TOTAL! That doesn’t mean that there aren’t subsets that have lower unemployment numbers (such as blacks and recent college grads). For that matter, given that some subsets have higher unemployment levels, there are going to be some subsets with close to 100% employment.

    And I’m not asking you to show me how I’ve been affected. I’m saying that if you can’t convince an audience that they have been negatively hurt you’re not going to get anywhere with them. Basic rule of marketing: you can’t sell something to someone if they don’t think they need it. 2nd rule: you need to make them think your product is the solution to their problem (in this case, how your plans to ‘fix’ the deficit is going to make their lives better). 3rd: if their eyes glaze over as you go into your pitch, you better come up with another angle or you’re just wasting both of your times.

    steve (369bc6)

  66. If people thought spending more than they made was okay for their personal finances and would have kept doing as long as someone was going to lend them the money to do so, why expect them to be opposed to the federal government doing it?

    Insert picture of Ms Obama eye roll and sneer here.

    JD (d420da)

  67. “until it all comes crashing down”

    Excellent work Mr. Rico. If I may just pick up on the SMOD end using the ‘happening before our eyes example’ of Japan.

    For over 2 decades Japan has quietly endured the regime we have shared with them since the trouble in 2008. Asset price deflation, towering fiscal deficits and ZIRP, zero interest rate policy.

    One may be tempted to suppose we can get away with it too.

    Except one year ago with Japan’s citizens purchasing 96% of their debt standing at 240% of GDP, those creditors began redeeming their holdings for their care in old age.

    Add to this for the first time since Ford was President, Japan began to run a current account deficit. They began to sell less than they import. Now China, 20% of their export market, is quitting Japan for other suppliers for political machinations.

    The Japanese government spends 25% of its revenues maintaining there monstrous debt. A 1% rise in the interest paid on that debt doubles the cost.

    As it happens the new Abe government has decided its only recourse is to grow its domestic market, for which it needs some modest inflation. To attract investment money has to be made.

    Their target is 2% inflation. Do you see a risk?

    Six monts, a year down the road, no one will buy Japanese debt at near zero interest. I don’t know what the sepuku rate is today but its headed up.

    In 2008 the US spent 7% of revenues on maintaining the debt, today 14%, under ZIRP.

    BTW Japan is the largest foreign owner of US Debt. China quit buying our debt months back, Bernanke can still sell to the Japanese if he accepts yen, wink, wink.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  68. Per my point about subsets, people (not me, haven’t ever voted for a Democrat, other than a neighbor) voted for Obama for a number of reasons.

    Some because they were convinced Romney and the GOP were evil. Some because they’re recipients of federal aid/ paychecks and figured Obama was going to do more for them than Romney. Some because Obama is black. Some because they didn’t see a benefit of sending US troops to die in some lousy desert and thought Obama would bring the troops home faster. Some because they hate the rich and think their lives will be better if the rich got hit with higher taxes. Some because they’re obsessed with climate change and saw Romney as a tool of the polluters. Some because they think Obama is going to grant amnesty and citizenship to all the illegals. And some, not because they were in love with Obama, but because Romney did such a Godawful job of showing how things were going to improve if he won.

    A good many of these subsets are never going to vote for a Republican (Romney was inelegant, but no less accurate with his 47% comment). The challenge for the GOP is to peel away the slices that are somewhat available.

    steve (369bc6)

  69. Great post and video. One more thing to consider: the way out of this mess is growth, which requires market clearing interest rates, not Helicopter Ben’s fabrications, in order to direct investment into productive activities (versus more wind mills … or my favorite … the president has waived refinance rules, etc.) With $17T debt, the inflation HB has sought will produces Greek-like bond rates (remember the recovery after Carter with 13% EE Savings Bonds), and we will be faced with massive borrowing costs. You might argue that HB has cleverly flipped his $1.8T of US holdings into long term instruments, so those payments won’t increase, but all this means is that the Fed will find that its assets, these long term bonds paying 2%, are worth $.20 on the dollar. Selling them to absorb excess “liquidity” will not achieve the expected relief from the explosive inflation we will ultimately experience. And of course, everyone else holding US notes will be ruined. Which will prove to be quite a drag on the needed recovery.

    And for Elissa (23), perhaps I’m misreading her intend, maybe it was a joke, but self-preservation is not the same as selfish. Indeed, it is very hard to be alturistic after having failed to preserve one’s self.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  70. I think he can be that ignorant. I think he thinks that if enough people want something, it will come to pass.

    I also think he’s a fool.

    htom (412a17)

  71. “Jeez, do you not understand statistics? 92% of people of people who want jobs have them – IN TOTAL!”

    steve – Jeez, don’t you understand why 92% is a completely misleading number even ignoring the point about subsets?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  72. Our esteemed host wrote:

    The Democrats I talk to don’t understand this. But you can’t be president and not understand this.

    Really? And just what indication is there that President Obama does understand this?

    The possibility exists that, in his head, someone has shown him the numbers — though the bearers of bad news frequently cease to be bearers of news at all — and he sort-of understands them intellectually, but our oh-he’s-so-smart! Harvard edumacated President is not and never has been about intellectual understanding; he has always been about feelings and emotions and warmth and personality, and none of those things have much to do with the understanding of a cold, hard reality. Why shouldn’t he be: feelings and emotions and warmth and personality won him a second term in the White House, while the cold, hard reality of necessity and austerity and truth gave Mitt Romney a very solid and respectable second-place finish.

    As Tom Skerritt noted in Top Gun, there are no points for second place.

    To President Obama, his minions and his sycophants, conservatives are the chicken littles of the country, constantly trumpeting that the sky is falling; the possibility that the sky might actually be falling is dismissible, and dismissed. It will all keep on working splendidly, right up until the moment that it doesn’t.

    The sadly realistic Dana (3e4784)

  73. steve @68 – You are not giving me a positive case to reelect the economic and foreign policy illiterate, only an explanation of why some people might not want to vote for the other side.

    You complain about Republican, but was there any positive reason for people to want to reelect Obama given the hash you admit he made out of the economy? All I saw was a purely negative campaign, no platform, no plans for a second term. It seems petty on your part to complain about Republican messaging when the other side relies purely on negativity.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  74. When interest rates return to their historical norms, the US will be paying close to a trillion a year in interest payments alone……
    Comment by gahrie (acbb2d) — 1/22/2013 @ 9:27 am

    Gahrie – that doesn’t matter. Your task is to learn from history.
    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/22/2013 @ 9:29 am

    Spanish history, I think. But default isn’t an option when the world economy uses your currency as the linchpin — kind of like losing the rotor on your helicopter.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  75. MD in Philly — I agree with you that “pain” gets people’s attention. One way to do that would be to actually pay for our programs via higher taxes. Only then will people be able to make a reasoned decision about whether those programs are worth the cost.

    Are you in agreement that we should raise taxes, to increase the pain for everyone and allow them to make an informed decision?

    Jonny Scrum-half (857153)

  76. The Big Stumble:
    2012 Social Security Expenditures and Revenues
    Exp…$773B
    Rev…$572B

    askeptic, those numbers are from the 4.2% payroll tax period. The payroll tax is now 6.2% on employees (the employer part never dropped). So there will be a 20% increase in 2013 which will bring it up to about $690B. Still not enough, but within range given better employment numbers, which could conceivably happen even under Obama.

    Medicare receipts will also climb now that the Medicare tax applies to capital gains.

    Not that this fixes anything, but it is less horrible from a budgetary position.

    We still as a people need to decide whether we want this level of government. If we do, we need to find a way to pay for it that spreads the pain to everyone, such as a sales tax. If we don’t — and I hope we don’t, the we have to be honest about that, too and take a meat axe to this monster.

    But we cannot continue to debt to get free stuff. At a more normal 4-5% interest, we are so fukked.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  77. htom:

    I think he can be that ignorant. I think he thinks that if enough people want something, it will come to pass.

    I also think he’s a fool.

    Obama’s motivations interest me. I know people who think he is well-meaning but clueless about the economy. (Initially, I was one of them.) Now I think he knows what he is doing and intends the pain, just as he wants the coal industry to suffer so he can accomplish his green initiatives. I guess there is a range of positions between those two points, but basically those are the two important ones to me. What do you think?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  78. > Medicare receipts will also climb now that the Medicare tax applies to capital gains.

    How does that work as a practical matter? If I sell stock, this isn’t going to be withheld, and I can’t imagine that form 1040 covers this. Is there some new form everyone with a capital gain has to fill out?

    aphrael (f44487)

  79. steve @68 – You are not giving me a positive case to reelect the economic and foreign policy illiterate, only an explanation of why some people might not want to vote for the other side.

    I think the point steve was making was that a whole bunch of Obama supporters didn’t think he was an economic and foreign policy illiterate. So, why should there be a positive case to reelect such an illiterate when a great deal of his support didn’t think he was one?

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  80. How does that work as a practical matter? If I sell stock, this isn’t going to be withheld, and I can’t imagine that form 1040 covers this. Is there some new form everyone with a capital gain has to fill out?

    Capital gains are reported on Schedule D

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  81. Kevin M,

    A sales tax would be great but only if it replaces all income/property/etc taxes. That may happen at the state and local level but I don’t think it will ever happen at the federal level, so I’m against it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  82. There is no conceivable path back to solvency for SS, and/or Medicare/Medicaid, absent a massive tax increase, and the wholesale dumping of various programs conducted by the Federal Government – most of which seem to operate at cross-purposes.
    Why do we have price-support programs to raise the costs of basic foodstuffs, and then turn around and spend more money on “nutrition” support programs such as WICS and SNAP (food stamps)?
    This is just one of many glaring examples of the left hand not knowing, or caring, what the right hand is doing.
    What can’t continue, won’t!

    askeptic (2bb434)

  83. DRJ: Repeal the 16th-Amendment!

    askeptic (2bb434)

  84. Loved this Bill Whittle video “Eat the Rich” from a year ago explaining how you just confiscate enough income and assets to make the Dems magic math ever work.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=661pi6K-8WQ&list=PLABCC53F051B98328&index=27

    in_awe (7c859a)

  85. askeptic,

    Heh. I don’t see that happening and, frankly, I’m not opposed to taxes. But I’m very opposed to giving the government a new revenue stream when it has too much money already.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  86. The problem is less that Democrats don’t understand this problem, and more that Democrats don’t trust Republicans to fix it any more then they trust their own. So in the absence of anyone with any credibility on this particular issue, stupid people vote on stupid wedge issues instead.

    MK (ac62d4)

  87. Comment by Jonny Scrum-half (857153) — 1/22/2013 @ 12:41 pm

    I would rather people be sensible and think. While pain is an effective way of communicating, to learn only through pain is a tough way to go.

    One problem with increasing taxes to pay for what we spend is that it will not be enough, there is nothing that I’ve seen to suggest that we can collect 25%+ of our GDP to pay for that amount of expenditures, that if we try we will just implode.

    The other problem is that even when there is pain that gets one’s attention, the correct lesson is not necessarily learned, especially in the world of politics where the idea is to fix the blame on someone else and profit from it yourself, instead of actually learning truth.

    This brings us back to the idea that our government is adequate only for a virtuous people, for a people who would rather deceive one another than live by truth one gets anarchy or tyranny I think, until the punishment from one or the other turns people to recognize their desperation and cry for help.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  88. Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 1/22/2013 @ 11:06 am

    ****Yes, each new year brings another record.
    But, the share of GDP that is the deficit is at a point now that it has never been before absent a World War, and consumer rationing.

    I don’t think so. According to the book “Hamilton’s Blessing” by John Steele Gordon (Penguin Books, 1998) [336.34 in the Dewey Decimal system] which has figures up to 1995 the federal debt-* rose from practically nothing to around 50% of GDP. It multiplied about 40 times, so that was all really in 4 years. The biggest deficit was in Fiscal 1865, almost a billion Dollars and that was some 36% of the debt, and if that was half, in one year we had a deficit of 18% of GDP.-* Now the war was financed by the Union approximately as follows:

    Taxes: 21%
    Greenbacks: 13%
    Borrowing therefore: 66%

    And there was no rationing. The Wholesale Price Index (ths is back calculated) rose from 40 to about 86 and then it dropped back again, and was 40 again by 1878 (as a result of a depression in the era before inventory control. Prices in fact continued to drop to 37 to epeciy
    Plus, the fact that the Fed is creating money out of whole cloth to finance this deficit-monster is driving down the value of the Dollar relative to commodities, and opening a window to Wiemar-style inflation, that when it hits, will be a Tsunami.

    Sammy Finkelman (976d9e)

  89. ==maybe it was a joke, but self-preservation is not the same as selfish==

    I’m not sure I understand your comment, but I was not joking. Examples of what I was referring to as things people will do to “get theirs” if they’re sure the sky going to fall (even if it hasn’t yet) is manipulate the system to go on food stamps (like college students and also people who use the foodstamps to buy canned food to stock up their basement or bomb shelter for the dark times, rather than food for immediate direct need consumption). Or those who manage to go on SSDI at the exact moment their unemployment payments age out and stop–and before they are old enough to collect retirement SS.

    These selfish acts hasten the day when these programs become non-viable for those in real need or who have paid in for a working lifetime, do they not?

    elissa (adfeba)

  90. steve writes: 92% of people of people who want jobs have them – IN TOTAL!

    And so shows us, with this false statement, that he does not understand the basics of unemployment statistics.

    SPQR (768505)

  91. 73. I’m aware of being the die-hard pessimist, Mr. daley, but I think our chance to avert disaster is past.

    The downgrade coming after 4-15 or before will put Treasuries out of the institutional market sweet spot.

    Spain, Argentina, and Greece once again default this year. US banks have $1 Trillion in primary exposure, i.e., will make something like 50 cents on the dollar or less.

    We don’t really know how far the default cascade will reach. Bank of America’s accounting gave them a $7 Billion profit, but, in fact, they lost at least $3 Billion.

    The 3 Million homes in foreclosure overhang get all the copy, but how many zombie commercial properties are out there? No one breathes a word about them but our U3 number in Central MN is 5.7% and yet we have a 70% commercial property occupancy rate.

    Add to that, E15 rules coming on stream with no El Nino we’ll slip back into drought by summer so food prices will go back up with gas and the summer blends.

    There is no light at the end of the tunnel, the cavalry is not on its way and we broke the axel leaving one ditch for that on the other side of the road.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  92. Comment by in_awe (7c859a) — 1/22/2013 @ 1:04 pm

    Thanks for the link, don’t remember seeing it.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  93. Daley #73: To those voters, those were positive reasons to vote for Obama. You may disagree, but they differ, and positive is in the eyes of the beholder (why someone facing a terrible job market would nonetheless vote for Obama because he promises her free birth control pills is something I have trouble understanding, but I know that is what they did). Also, while you and I think Obama had a lot of responsibility for the lousy economy, remember that just as many people (more, perhaps?) blame Bush than Obama. As I keep saying, you have to look at things from the other side and try to understand (not belittle) their perspective if you ever hope to get them to vote for you. (it works both ways: Obama doesn’t understand the bitter clingers, he doesn’t like them, he doesn’t care about them, so just as the sun rises in the east, he didn’t get their votes).

    I don’t have a problem with negativity per se. Negative ads are a great way of convincing the public of the dangers of an opponent’s campaign. My problem is that Romney did neither positive nor negative particularly well. Nor did he respond well to Obama’s negative ads. Just a total waste of money, more money wasted than on Solyndra.

    steve (369bc6)

  94. SPQR: please enlighten us all why my statement is false. That is how the unemployment rate is calculated, on the basis of how many who want and are looking for jobs are without one. It doesn’t factor in those who aren’t actively seeking a job and thus, by definition, don’t want one. You might wish the rate was based on something else, but my statement is not false.

    steve (369bc6)

  95. Comment by Sammy Finkelman (976d9e) — 1/22/2013 @ 1:16 pm

    Pardon Me all to Hell, SF, for not saying “and/or” about rationing.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  96. No, Steve they spent our money, on Solyndra, and the initial investors got their money back, we were
    left with the scraps. I quibble with some of Romney’s strategy but if they really don’t care about their objective conditions, then there was little he could do, Ironically, those students who had insurance will have their rates go up 45%, available jobs will contract under the weight of the mandate,

    narciso (3fec35)

  97. DRJ — about his motivations, I don’t know. There are times when I wonder if he’s actually trying to ruin the country. Then there are times when I think he thinks that the “invisible hand” will come along and somehow save the economy.

    Having driven the ship of state onto the reefs, it’s time to lighten ship and escape before she’s pounded to bits by the waves, perhaps to the shore for refitting or back to deeper water for some emergency patching.

    htom (412a17)

  98. Disarming the crew doesn’t count as lightening ship, btw!

    htom (412a17)

  99. 88. “our government is adequate only for a virtuous people”

    A keen observer of the human condition.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  100. this post is RAAAAAAAAAAACISSSSSSSSSS!

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  101. 95. Note: 30 hours per week now defines a full time position for BLS purposes.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  102. Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/22/2013 @ 1:50 pm

    Not at all original, I think John Adams at the beginning.
    Of course, that was back when Harvard and Yale and the like were focused on teaching people to be ministers of the Gospel, and even the “secular Ivy” of U of Penn was initially run by the evangelist George Whitfield at Ben’s request. Now such ideas as virtue are anathema to such institutions, hence our problem.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  103. 102- Because that matches with the requirement to provide health care insurance for employees.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  104. Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 1/22/2013 @ 1:53 pm

    You forgot the “T“.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  105. Would you lemon with your T?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  106. I’ve perused the preceding comments. And I’ve read the interesting post.

    I think you’re missing the point. There’s a reason why those on the left don’t understand the numbers.

    It’s racist to even try.

    It’s a litmus test. Obama’s opponents are always, as Obama is only too happy to tell you every time he gets a chance, are arguing in bad faith. If you want try to figure out the numbers, it means you don’t trust Obama. And there’s only one reason why anyone wouldn’t trust Obama, and we all know what that is.

    HotAir – Obama concedes: Obamacare didn’t do anything for rising health care costs

    We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.

    Those on the left understand, Obama and the democrats have been demanding an end to the notion that even the idea of a “conversation” is legitimate.

    Like Benghazi. So what if four Americans are dead. How dare anyone accuse Susan Rice of lying. No matter how obvious her lies (and, by the way, Obama’s lies on a host of issues including ObamaCare) were all along.

    It’s the imagery of old white men questioning a woman of color that must be avoided at all costs. The “conversation,” as in all other things, is over before it starts.

    Obama’s numbers and explanations are always right at the moment he utters them. Pointing out the obvious reasons not to believe him at the moment is “arguing in bad faith.” When Obamas numbers and explanations prove to be incorrect and his opponent’s numbers and explanations of events prove correct that does not prove Obama wrong and his critics right.

    It proves that his critics are deliberately sabotaging Obama because they can’t stand to see a strong black man in the WH.

    As Joe Walsh learned when he blurted out “you lie” as Obama did lie during the SOTU speech about how “if you like your coverage you can keep it.”

    It was such an obvious lie you have to be in a coma not to understand it. Of course you can’t keep your coverage because not even Obama’s HHS has figured out what will be included in the mandatory Obamacare coverage.

    But it’s racist to point out that a black President is brazenly lying to your face. Joe Walsh didn’t say it, but Maureen Dowd’s mental race zampolit added the word “boy” to Joe Walsh’s outburst. Which of course makes Joe Walsh’s outburst racist.

    When Joe Biden asked “who do you trust during?” during the VP debate that wasn’t just a question. It was a warning. Only one of those people don’t trust us.

    I brought up the book “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” on another comment thread. It doesn’t, I pointed out, say anything about Kansas. It does say something about the basic dishonesty of the whole liberal enterprise. While openly selling their program on the basis of class warfare and greed (or as Frank puts it, “economic and social self-interest) they accuse those who they’re trying to rob to pay for the leftist benefactor-beneficiary relationship of daring to question their good intentions.

    The liberals promise their core constituencies free stuff in exchange for votes, and if those third parties who are going to be forced to pay for this leftist political patronage system dare speak up they’re the ones who are greedy and mean and evil.

    Or, now, racist. The Democrats have long searched for the perfect front man to hide their theft behind, and now they’ve got him.

    Face it. The dynamic is now such that only those who are racist and greedy even care about whether or not the numbers work.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  107. 98.DRJ — about his motivations, I don’t know. There are times when I wonder if he’s actually trying to ruin the country. …
    Comment by htom (412a17) — 1/22/2013 @ 1:48 pm

    Can we collectively come up with 3 reasons why this friend of domestic terrorist Bill Ayers is not actively pursuing Cloward-Piven, given what we have seen? 2 reasons? One?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  108. I was under the understanding that the requirement for required health care was 120 hours a month or more. This isn’t 30 hours a week, but 27 and a bit. Thirty hours a week will give you more than 120 hours a month in all but a non-leap-year February.

    htom (412a17)

  109. Wouldn’t it be great if someone asked the one, “What do you say to those who notice that you are pursuing the ‘Cloward-Piven’ strategy?”

    Jake Tapper, are you listening?!?!?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  110. 60. College grads and blacks know the job market sucks for them, yet they still voted for Obama. Hispanic jobs got wiped out with the collapse of housing and construction, yet they still voted for Obama. You don’t think they know there are very few jobs out there? Figure a way to reach them and you may be on to something.

    Comment by steve (369bc6) — 1/22/2013 @ 11:50 am

    We have. But the laws of cause and effect have been deemed racist.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  111. MD in Philly — one, his vanity, maybe. Is he really going to want to live out his life, and have his descendants live theirs, as “the man who ruined the USA!?

    htom (412a17)

  112. htom @112, why not?

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  113. steve wrote: ” … on the basis of how many who want and are looking for jobs are without one. It doesn’t factor in those who aren’t actively seeking a job and thus, by definition, don’t want one. You might wish the rate was based on something else, but my statement is not false.”

    It is a false statement, steve. Because people who want a job but have given up looking for one are not counted in the base number.

    And that’s a substantial number of people. Millions in fact. Your belief that someone who has given up looking for a job does not therefore want one is false.

    Also, people who have a part time job and are looking for full time work are not counted either.

    SPQR (768505)

  114. 113. Well, that’s a very good question.

    htom (412a17)

  115. Comment by htom (412a17) — 1/22/2013 @ 2:08 pm

    If you listen to what he has said over the years, in his mind he would not be ruining the USA, he would be transforming the USA from a racist, unjust, oppressor nation to the nation it should be. And yes, he would love to be known for that.

    But that seems like too much of a nutter stand to be taken seriously.
    But, if you do take him seriously at what he has said to his friends when he thought no one in the general public was listening, it is what you get.
    He is a New Party member, friend of unrepentant domestic terrorists, whose claim to fame was being a “community organizer”. In some circles “community organizer” is a term used by the far left including communists. I heard the term used in that connotation by hard core leftists long before I heard of Barack Obama.

    I am just taking him seriously at what he has said over the years.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  116. “I think the point steve was making was that a whole bunch of Obama supporters didn’t think he was an economic and foreign policy illiterate.”

    Chuck – I disagree. I haven’t seen him make that case. steve agrees that Obama has been a disaster for the economy and a disaster for subgroups which are voting strengths for Obama. The only point I have seen steve make is why people might want to vote against a Republican nominee, not why, Obama himself is a good candidate. The only conclusion I can draw from steve’s comments is that he believes Obama voters are incurably stupid.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  117. 116. When you remind me of all of that, MD, … I got nothing. His vision for this country is a utopia. That will not end well, it never has.

    htom (412a17)

  118. “How does that work as a practical matter?”

    aphrael – I’m not sure whether Kevin M. is referring to the 3.8% supplemental tax imposed on net investment income for taxpayers with incomes above certain threshholds ($200/250 AGI) beginning in 2013.

    Proposed rules for the regulations were only issued on December 5 last year. I have not read them, but my guess is if you think you are going to be subject to them you will either have to adjust your work withholding or join the wonderful world of estimated tax payers.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  119. 116. But that seems like too much of a nutter stand to be taken seriously.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 1/22/2013 @ 2:19 pm

    We have entered a new, kafka-esque, and very dangerous period of American history.

    The arbiters of what is and isn’t a “nutter stand” are the ones capable of uttering (and reprinting as if it were sane) things like:

    U.S. condemns comments from Egypt’s Morsi

    “We believe that President Morsi should make clear that he respects people of all faiths and that this type of rhetoric is unacceptable in a democratic Egypt,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

    I don’t even want to begin peeling the onion of delusion contained in that press statement.

    Let’s just say that the above statement is a clear green light to Morsi that as long as he doesn’t start marching around in a Waffen SS uniform the administration is prepared to ignore the weekly atrocities his government condones against the Copts and the daily incitement of Jew hatred in the rhetoric that has become de rigueur in what the Obama administration is willing to preposterously pretend is a democratic Egypt.

    And it’ll accuse anyone who dares question point out any of the above of being a “nutter.”

    We’re having this conversation about entitlement spending in the same spirit. But the Obama administration is calling people who dare point out the reality of the situation a lot worse than “nutter.”

    While at the same time accusing the people they call evil, stupid, racists of being unable to distinguish between name calling and reasoned debate.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  120. SPQR: It’s not my belief, it’s the definition. If you’re not looking, then you must not want it enough to be counted as wanting one. You want a different definition? Fine, send a letter to BLS (I think they’re the ones). Better yet, organize and send a petition to the White House. Regardless of the definition used, my point is the same: enough people are okay with the way things are for THEM that they don’t buy the argument that the sky is falling. And none of your numbers are going to convince them otherwise, you need to come up with something else.

    Daleyrocks: some might be stupid, as I define stupid. But, heeding my own rule, what is stupid to me isn’t necessarily stupid to someone else with a different perspective, different value system and different goals and objectives. To a lot of these people Obama has not been a disaster, at least not the way they define disaster (for example, imagine a soldier who isn’t thrilled to be risking his life for some rock in Afghanistan and might not think it so bad if he were somewhere else, or the woman wanting an abortion and convinced that the evil gun loving GOP would shoot her if Romney had won)… and you/we are not going to get anywhere trying to convince them otherwise. Nor does it help if you call them stupid (which, in effect, is what Romney did).

    steve (e7e6c7)

  121. “We believe that President Morsi should make clear that he respects people of all faiths and that this type of rhetoric is unacceptable in a democratic Egypt,”

    Mr. Carney – Is that type of rhetoric acceptable outside of Democratic Egypt, say in Gaza, the West Bank, Iran, Syria, Turkey or other places?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  122. Some people won’t believe there’s an iceberg ahead until they see it in the rear view mirror.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  123. Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/22/2013 @ 2:57 pm

    The ME is starting to resemble Central Europe circa the 1930′s isn’t it?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  124. “Don’t you dare call me (or my parents or grandparents) “takers!” I (or they) paid into social security all their lives. Now, raise that debt ceiling so the government can keep my check coming and send the bill for the interest payments to those preschoolers. And of course the system is solvent.”

    Sorry, the cognitive dissonance has really gottent to be too much.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  125. “To a lot of these people Obama has not been a disaster, at least not the way they define disaster”

    steve – You agree Obama has been a disaster and 75% of America believe the country is on the wrong track. He was reelected with the lowest first term approval ratings of any president save Carter and Ford, who both were not reelected.

    Your premise is simple, Republicans are at fault for Democrats voting against their interest to reelect a failure of a president. I don’t agree.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  126. Actually, askeptic the ME is just doing what it does best; resembling the ME.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  127. I think we should quit teaching our children about consequences. Immediate gratification should be the lesson they get. The idea that things that they choose could have unforeseen and foreseen consequences is just silly talk. Anything that might challenge them should be avoided. Do not dare tell them that they are wrong.

    JD (b63a52)

  128. Children are our piggy banks of the future

    pdbuttons (949c1e)

  129. Teach them well and let them lead the way.

    JD (b63a52)

  130. The infinite contradictions of steve (the other steve):

    12. People aren’t averse to doing what you say they should because they haven’t been shown the numbers. They are what they are because they like things the way they are right now and see no advantage to themselves of upending the economy to address whatever it is that you’re arguing is going to happen if they don’t.

    For 30 years, deficit hawks have been screaming pretty much the same thing as you are… and for thirty years, they’ve gotten nowhere. Instead of repeating the same arguments, only louder and slower, why not work to come up with an argument that will play to the jury… the number-phobic, live-for-today jury as they are, not as the smart people you wish they were?

    Mind you, I don’t know what that message is. I don’t know if there is such a message that will work to 51% of the public. I just know more of the same isn’t going to change anybody’s mind.

    Comment by steve (369bc6) — 1/22/2013 @ 9:01 am

    17. Convince someone that THEIR life would be improved with a smaller deficit and they might listen. That’s the challenge. Romney failed to convince enough people that their lives would be better taking his medicine. Your task is to learn from history…

    Comment by steve (369bc6) — 1/22/2013 @ 9:22 am

    60. College grads and blacks know the job market sucks for them, yet they still voted for Obama. Hispanic jobs got wiped out with the collapse of housing and construction, yet they still voted for Obama. You don’t think they know there are very few jobs out there? Figure a way to reach them and you may be on to something.

    Comment by steve (369bc6) — 1/22/2013 @ 11:50 am

    121. To a lot of these people Obama has not been a disaster, at least not the way they define disaster … and you/we are not going to get anywhere trying to convince them otherwise. Nor does it help if you call them stupid (which, in effect, is what Romney did).

    Comment by steve (e7e6c7) — 1/22/2013 @ 3:08 pm

    They vote for Obama because he hasn’t been a disaster yet the job market is disaster yet things aren’t so bad for them and they see no point in upending the economy because they like things the way they are right now.

    Yup. All I’ve got to do is figure out a way to reach them.

    While going for the “added degree of difficulty” bonus points of having the people I’m trying to reach launch an angry Twitter/online war against me when I, as a businessman, explain that the reason they’re not only not going to get a job but probably fired from that barrista job they got after college is Obama.

    All the myriad reasons Obama has given me to not only quit hiring but trim my work force.

    No, that shouldn’t be too hard to reach these people who like things things sucking pretty much the way they are right now who will be damned if they’ll listen to anybody besides Obama. Not hard at all.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  131. Steve wrote:

    To a lot of these people Obama has not been a disaster, at least not the way they define disaster

    So, how would they define disaster? Having to actually work for a living?

    The employed Dana (f68855)

  132. But I dare not call the people calling me a racist cracker “stupid.”

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  133. While going for the “added degree of difficulty” bonus points of having the people I’m trying to reach launch an angry Twitter/online war against me when I, as a businessman, explain that the reason they’re not only not going to get a job but probably fired from that barrista job they got after college is Obama.

    Or organize a boycott against said company to try to drive them out of business.

    JD (b63a52)

  134. 132. Steve wrote:

    To a lot of these people Obama has not been a disaster, at least not the way they define disaster

    So, how would they define disaster? Having to actually work for a living?

    Comment by The employed Dana (f68855) — 1/22/2013 @ 3:49 pm

    Excellent question. If anyone from the OWS movement is reading this, I have another. The OWS crowd demanded all sorts of things; government guaranteed housing, forgiveness of all student and consumer debt, free food, etc.

    Then they demanded the government give them jobs.

    If they government is giving you everything you need to live, what do you need a job for?

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  135. 134. Or organize a boycott against said company to try to drive them out of business.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/22/2013 @ 3:52 pm

    Because of course nothing helps employees threatened with job loss because the government has artificially inflated the cost of labor keep their jobs more than a complete collapse in corporate income.

    Yup, all I have to do is figure out a way to reach these clear thinkers.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  136. and you/we are not going to get anywhere trying to convince them otherwise. Nor does it help if you call them stupid (which, in effect, is what Romney did).

    No, he certainly did not. Regardless, if as you state in one sentence, we won’t get anywhere trying to convince the, why would it matter how we talk to them?

    JD (b63a52)

  137. 128. I think we should quit teaching our children about consequences. Immediate gratification should be the lesson they get. The idea that things that they choose could have unforeseen and foreseen consequences is just silly talk. Anything that might challenge them should be avoided. Do not dare tell them that they are wrong.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/22/2013 @ 3:26 pm

    We don’t need to teach them those things. That’s why Gaia and our higher education system created gender and ethnic studies departments.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  138. steve barfs up: “PQR: It’s not my belief, it’s the definition. If you’re not looking, then you must not want it enough to be counted as wanting one. “

    Nope, that they don’t want a job is your interpretation of the definition, not the BLS’.

    SPQR (768505)

  139. Come on, isn’t obvious that “steve” is a concern troll by now?

    SPQR (768505)

  140. Steve57: no contradictions. You think there’s a single profile of an Obama voter, that the millions of people who voted for him are all the same kind of person?

    Some (note the word ‘some’) are in fact college kids who know the job market sucks but voted for him anyway. Some aren’t happy with the economy but either don’t blame Obama or prefer his solution (whatever it is). Some have things going pretty good and see no reason to change. Some had non-economic reasons for voting for him. Some were open to voting for Romney but didn’t hear what they wanted to hear. And some voted for Obama solely because he wasn’t a greedy, racist, sexist, gun nut, polluting the environment Republican.

    Each subset had a reason for voting the way they did and nothing that the GOP did changed their minds. The only thing that ties them together – the liberal New Yorker, the public union worker, the college kid, black, Hispanic and anti-gun nut – is that they somehow, for some reason that makes sense to them and their like-minded friends, figured things would be better for them than if Romney won. Lot of different reasons they came to that point, but the end result was a few million more votes than Romney got.

    steve (e7e6c7)

  141. It’s the government’s definition that if someone is not actively searching for a job, then they’re not counted among the unemployed. If you don’t believe me, go look it up. I can wait, I’ll be here all night.

    To be fair, it’s also my definition. If you’re not motivated enough to get your fat a** off the couch and hit the bricks looking for a job, then you must not want one enough. People who truly want a job don’t stop looking. They keep looking. If they can’t find one where they live, they move. Perhaps you’d prefer a definition that merely saying you want something is enough? No effort required? Perfect for an Obama world.

    steve (e7e6c7)

  142. Chuck, right on about Reno. Several people I know have moved there already. :)

    Patricia (be0117)

  143. those that are no longer looking for work are excluded from the official unemployment numbers, and that portion of the workforce has exploded under Obama, at least 4,000,000+. Additionally, the labor force participation rate has shrunk by 2% during the first term, while population has increased.

    JD (b63a52)

  144. steve now admits: “It’s the government’s definition that if someone is not actively searching for a job, then they’re not counted among the unemployed.”

    Yes, steve, that’s the definition. As I wrote above. Not that they do not “want” a job.

    ” If you don’t believe me, go look it up. I can wait, I’ll be here all night.”

    Since that’s what I told you, I might even believe it. And your promise to troll all night is noted.

    SPQR (768505)

  145. You look at the U6 number on the chart, many of the reporters would think that’s Bono’s spinoff band,

    narciso (3fec35)

  146. 141. Steve57: no contradictions. You think there’s a single profile of an Obama voter, that the millions of people who voted for him are all the same kind of person?

    Some (note the word ‘some’) are in fact college kids who know the job market sucks but voted for him anyway. Some aren’t happy with the economy but either don’t blame Obama or prefer his solution (whatever it is). Some have things going pretty good and see no reason to change. Some had non-economic reasons for voting for him. Some were open to voting for Romney but didn’t hear what they wanted to hear. And some voted for Obama solely because he wasn’t a greedy, racist, sexist, gun nut, polluting the environment Republican.

    Each subset had a reason for voting the way they did and nothing that the GOP did changed their minds. The only thing that ties them together – the liberal New Yorker, the public union worker, the college kid, black, Hispanic and anti-gun nut – is that they somehow, for some reason that makes sense to them and their like-minded friends, figured things would be better for them than if Romney won. Lot of different reasons they came to that point, but the end result was a few million more votes than Romney got.

    Comment by steve (e7e6c7) — 1/22/2013 @ 4:12 pm

    steve, please note I didn’t say “the infinite contradictions of the Obama voter.”

    Instead of repeating the same arguments, only louder and slower, why not work to come up with an argument that will play to the jury… the number-phobic, live-for-today jury as they are, not as the smart people you wish they were?

    There isn’t an argument that will play to the jury. There isn’t a jury.

    But in any case I brought up the OWS movement simply to point out that we’re dealing with a deep dysfunction that no rational argument can penetrate.

    Talking numbers may not be the way to reach them. But as long as they’re convinced (because they have been sold a bill of goods by the education branch of the communist party) that the economic downturn is caused by teh evil white patriarchy throwing a tantrum because a powerful black man is in the WH dismantling its privilege then they’re essentially lost anyway.

    At least, there’s no point in trying to convince them we’re the new, likeable white patriarchy. So might as well give them the truth good and hard; there’s nothing to lose by pointing out that Obama is in fact lying to them. Just like their ethnic and gender studies professors.

    Or their medieval French lit. professors if the ever mentioned post-graduation employment. EVER.

    These people coming out of college have been convinced the capitalist system is failing them. And they’ve been convinced to blame the capitalist system by a crowd living high-on-the-hog on a government gravy train the maintains an educational system that has no semblance to capitalism. But it does require conning high school students to go deep into debt to keep it running, and part of the con is for Professor Grifter to indoctrinate the student that it’s those other people who are lying to them.

    Undoing that is going to take more than an argument. And the GOP just wasted four years pretending the chief defender of this form of systematic child abuse is some really nice guy with the best of intentions whom they all hope succeeds. Because when the President wins America wins.

    BS like that. Four years of educational opportunity lost.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  147. Whatever happened to that ‘Hillbuzz’ guy?
    Middle aged white ladies are sad,so sad
    So very ,very sad
    Their cats are happy
    So happy
    Very very happy

    pdbuttons (949c1e)

  148. been playin’ since they’s babies

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  149. No-really-Hillbuzz is not there
    I think he’s depressed
    he was gung ho
    anyway-I can’t find it
    Like Gates of Vienna
    Strange
    I am wearing purple sneakers

    pdbuttons (949c1e)

  150. steve – Keep effing that chicken.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  151. I’m curious about the “other mandatory programs” that constitute the $711 billion in that chart. What sorts of programs are those?

    Unemployment insurance, which we are extending forever, for one.

    Does any of this affect your view that we can simply raise taxes a smidgen and Social Security and Medicare will be all good?

    Patterico (8b3905)

  152. “Pretend we didn’t even have the federal government.”

    That would be sweet.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  153. First Lunch LadyLand
    rolling eyes “I’m Rick James, b*tch”
    hair-do no hair-don’t

    Colonel Haiku (d60136)

  154. “In fact anything that is means tested is extremely bad for the economy.”

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/22/2013 @ 11:07 am

    Sammy – Why? Are you saying safety net programs should not be means tested?

    To the maximum extent possible. We do have safety net programs that are not means tested. K-12 education is not, and neither is Social Security. Nor is Medicare.

    And if something is means tested means tested it is better that that be a one time thing.

    Otherwise you create incentives for poverty. I think means testing is extremely destructive.

    We also have Disability benefits or workman’s compensation which may not be means tested, but are earned income tested.

    College financial aid is means tested, but most people don’t plan for it. Most people don’t plan before the first application *, except sometimes for Medicaid, but after that they do plan

    * For instance few people know and plan for hthe fact that if their income is below $50,000 in a high school junior’s year, there are no questions about assets on a college financial aid application.

    You can afford to means test for a first application, but it is extremely destructive to do it for a recertification.
    You may see n other way, but it is still extremely destructive,

    Sammy Finkelman (976d9e)

  155. Have you ever been?
    Electric Lunch Ladyland
    haveyoueverbeen?

    Colonel Haiku (d60136)

  156. the same old story
    yeah and it’s the same old game
    drivin’ me insane

    Colonel Haiku (d60136)

  157. Sammy’s theories are consistently bizarre.

    JD (b63a52)

  158. First Lunchladyland
    bologna stuffed marshmellows
    kale infused jello

    Colonel Haiku (d60136)

  159. Patricia, Reno is the most Republican of NV’s two “big cities”.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  160. form a line children
    a spoonful of sugar helps
    on your way now/scoot

    pdbuttons (949c1e)

  161. Comment by htom (412a17) — 1/22/2013 @ 2:08 pm

    Is he really going to want to live out his life, and have his descendants live theirs, as “the man who ruined the USA!?

    I don’t think so, and for reason, he can’t be thinking he’s ruining the United States economy or ruining anything else about the United States… everything extremely seriously wrong with his policies is error. That doesn’t mean he’s very curious. But somebody’s telling him his policies, or the policies he selects, will work out well.

    Sammy Finkelman (976d9e)

  162. steve,

    You consistently claim that convincing people of the danger of our actions is “your” problem — as in, not steve’s problem, but someone else’s. Why is this my job any less than it is yours?

    Also, if you’re driving towards a cliff, there is literally no argument you can make that shows why the driver is worse off “right now.” All you can argue is that the doom is certain and will happen soon. But “right now” we are on level ground. I simply cannot make the case to someone utterly lacking in any foresight or desire to plan for the future, and your blaming me for others’ inability to worry about anything but the here and now is not blame I am willing to accept.

    Patterico (4a65e2)

  163. bologna stuffed marshmellows

    I have salami stuffed cheese in the fridge.

    JD (b63a52)

  164. Means tested safety nets create incentives for policy only if they are luxurious safety nets. The safety nets I would provide would be bare minimums.

    Patterico (4a65e2)

  165. Means testing creates a yet more progressive system.

    JD (b63a52)

  166. means testing is naked redistribution

    boehner gets all squirmy in his chair when you bring it up and has to grab something to cover up his lap

    he just gets so excited

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  167. 167. means testing is naked redistribution

    boehner gets all squirmy in his chair when you bring it up and has to grab something to cover up his lap

    he just gets so excited

    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 1/22/2013 @ 6:06 pm

    He’s old fashioned, Mr. feets. He wants redistribution to just keep her clothes on.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  168. Now these guys, Mr. Feets, want redistribution to get all naked and ride the Wall Street bull and then stop by their rape tent in Zuccotti Park.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  169. A sales tax would be great but only if it replaces all income/property/etc taxes. That may happen at the state and local level but I don’t think it will ever happen at the federal level, so I’m against it.

    DRJ, you miss my point. IF WE ARE GOING TO SPEND AT THIS LEVEL, an outcome I would not like, then we need to pay for it with a tax that hits everyone, so that this spending frenzy has some pushback.

    But if we continue to spend at this level, and cannot (as Patterico demonstrates) pay for it with any kind of income tax, we are going to 1) go broke or 2) get European levels of taxation.

    If we are really going to double our taxes to pay for all this wonderfulness, the taxes we add have to hit the people who think it’s all free.

    This isn’t either-or.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  170. I have salami stuffed cheese in the fridge.

    Comment by JD

    I always have to hide the salami, JD.

    Colonel Haiku (d60136)

  171. Comment by bobathome (c0c2b5) — 1/22/2013 @ 12:27 pm

    One more thing to consider: the way out of this mess is growth, which requires market clearing interest rates,

    Where do get the idea the idea you get more investment when interest rates are higher?

    Is that what happened in 1979 and 1980.

    But at least it will end commodity speculation? That’s when gold and silver skyrocketed. Maybe you can bring about a crash, but that’s not good for anybody.

    ) With $17T debt, the inflation HB has sought will produces Greek-like bond rates (remember the recovery after Carter with 13% EE Savings Bonds),

    That was not a market! There is no free market in interest rates. There is only the Federal Reserve Board of the United States. What it decrees, prevails, especially for short term interest rates. And long term cannot defy short term for very long.

    Jimmy Carter arranged for the appointment of Paul Volcker – he had appointed G. William Miller Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board when Arthur Burns’ term expired and then got him out by naming him Secretary of the Treasury.

    Everything that happened in 1980 was because Jimmy Carter wanted it, because Jimmy Carter had contempt for the average person and relied on the experts. And the experts were wrong. Savings bonds followed all other interest rates.

    You might argue that HB has cleverly flipped his $1.8T of US holdings into long term instruments, so those payments won’t increase, but all this means is that the Fed will find that its assets, these long term bonds paying 2%, are worth $.20 on the dollar.

    If interest rates go up. Which if whoever is running the Fed has any sense, they won’t.

    Selling them to absorb excess “liquidity” will not achieve the expected relief from the explosive inflation we will ultimately experience. And of course, everyone else holding US notes will be ruined. Which will prove to be quite a drag on the needed recovery.

    So what kind of a fool would do that? Someone appointed by a Republican, maybe.

    Sammy Finkelman (976d9e)

  172. Not that I’m complaining…

    Colonel Haiku (d60136)

  173. Interest rates cannot be allowed to go back to “normal” for a long, long time.

    Sammy Finkelman (976d9e)

  174. Rollin’… rollin’… rollin’ on teh River…

    http://americandigest.org/sidelines/barry%20mop%20copy%5B4%5D.jpg

    Colonel Haiku (d60136)

  175. That will not end well, it never has.
    Comment by htom (412a17) — 1/22/2013 @ 2:46 pm

    True that. We are in agreement. Note, no one else offered any evidence to the contrary.

    Speaking of teaching our children we don’t need no stinking consequences, in the last 40 years 55 million times people have decided they didn’t need to be “punished” with no baby because they didn’t think about consequences, so there are at least 55 million less children to teach about no stinkin’ consequences.

    And the one vows to make sure it stays that way. That alone should make some pro-choice people think again.

    Meanwhile, if this was a nation of laws, somebody should have made a bigger issue out of there not being any budget as required by law and 1/2 a brain’s worth of common sense. I think the idea of extending the debt limit for 3 months and requiring a budget or those responsible don’t get paid is a great idea. After that q 3 month debt ceiling adjustment with restatement of the obvious.

    Other than that, lots of rearranging chairs on the Titanic, I’m afraid.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  176. Can Sammy Finkelman be allowed to go back to “normal”?

    Colonel Haiku (d60136)

  177. They are likely following the Arthur Burns model, than Volcker, at least till 2014.

    narciso (3fec35)

  178. Survey says… YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Colonel Haiku (d60136)

  179. Interest rates cannot be allowed to go back to “normal” for a long, long time.

    This only works as long as other countries remain agreed that we are the world’s reserve currency. If our debts are suddenly denominated in Swiss Francs or New Deutschmarks or Chinese Renminbi, it won’t matter what the Federal Reserve thinks it “allows.”

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  180. His vision for this country is a utopia.

    “Yo, yo, yo. Woof, woof, woof!”

    Meanwhile…

    washington.cbslocal.com via drudgereport.com, 1-22-13:

    Fewer than four-in-10 Americans (39 percent) rate the US in a positive manner – the most negative feedback the country has produced since 1979.

    A new Gallup poll finds that Americans are as negative about the country’s prospects as they have been in more than three decades. Americans are more upbeat in their predictions of where the U.S. will be in five years (48 percent positive), but this is the lowest rating since an August 1979 Gallup poll was conducted.

    The three previous points in time when ratings were as low as or lower than the 2013 rating were in August 1979 (34 percent), April 1974 (33 percent), and January 1971 (39 percent).

    Mark (e66007)

  181. For those who say that Obama has a spending problem, you should do the math regarding the federal spending in constant dollars for the Bush period vs. the Obama period. I took Bush’s 2008 spending ($2.703T in constant 2005 dollars) and increased the spending by 4% per year, which I thought was a fair approximation of the increases each year over Bush’s first term. The actual increases were 4.6% (2002-03), 3.2% (2003-04) and 3.9% (2004-05).

    I ignored the increase in spending for 2009, which can be attributed to both Bush and Obama, and just increase Bush’s 2008 spend by 4% each year. The result is that in 2010 the actual spending was about $150B more than if Bush’s 2008 spending had increased each year by 4%. In 2011 the actual spending was $87B more than if the spending had increased by 4% each year.

    In other words, Obama’s spending over the immediate past 2-year period is only $240B more in total than what we would have spent had spending increased each year in the same manner as under Bush’s first term. There’s no way that you can argue that our debt is in any way the result of $250B in increased spending by Obama.

    Jonny Scrum-half (55458a)

  182. obama spend like a crack whore what thinks he won the powerball

    but he didn’t he just high

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  183. You take Bush’s 2008 spending, with a budget made by a dem Congress, then increase by the first term percentage, then ignore 2009…sounds like a lot of fudging.

    All I know is that Obama and co passed a huge dem slush fund called a stimulus package, then never made a budget again but forced continuing spending resolutions that kept the slush fund going. The chart from the post the other day shows clearly how spending under Obama has increased as a percentage of the GDP, perhaps in some ways a more important figure than any other number.

    At least Bush always passed a budget.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  184. You’re right Johnny Scrum half. There’s no way to attribute the increase in the national debt under Obama from $10.7 trillion in January 2009 to $16.4 trillion in January 2013 merely to the figures you are working with.

    So the rest of us won’t even try.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  185. MD in Philly — If you use spending “as a percentage of the GDP,” you’re ignoring the actual dollars spent. Moreover, because the recession reduced GDP, your formula automatically makes the spending appear bigger, even if no spending increase occurred.

    Jonny Scrum-half (55458a)

  186. Steve57 — The recession reduced GDP, which reduced tax receipts. The debt increased primarily because of the decline in tax receipts due to the recession, not because of any great increase in spending.

    Jonny Scrum-half (55458a)

  187. JS-h, what other names have you used here?

    askeptic (2bb434)

  188. 187. Better show your work Jon-jon, better yet just sod off.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  189. Not because of any great increase in spending. Except for that 3/4 trillion dollar stimulus added to the baseline. And ObamaCare. And the fact that Bush’s EVIL spending ticked up once SanFranNan took over the House.

    We also notice that you had to manipulate your figures, make assumptions, and attribute blame in order to arrive at your shocking conclusion. I mean, really, none of us saw that coming.

    JD (b63a52)

  190. “The recession reduced GDP, which reduced tax receipts. The debt increased primarily because of the decline in tax receipts due to the recession, not because of any great increase in spending.”

    Jonny Scrum-half – Except now GDP and tax receipts have now recovered to pre-recession levels and we still have trillion dollar deficits. Why?

    Spending went up! D’oh!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  191. Leftists love to raise taxes. Note Johnny half-sack was all-in on raising taxes on everyone, to feel the pain. it is the cure all solution – global warming? Tax. Gas mileage? Tax insurance? Tax. Liquor? Tax. Tobacco? Tax. Global climate change? Tax.

    JD (b63a52)

  192. spending went up up up spend spend spend

    but unemployment is flat flat flat

    thank god for disability I love you obama

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  193. I am critically unclear about how blaming Bush for the problem solves the problem.

    But, if it gives you a lefty stiffy, go right ahead.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  194. What daley said about the false assertion that the decrease in GDP accounts for the increased % of GDP being spent.
    http://www.multpl.com/us-gdp-inflation-adjusted/table

    Consensus opinion backed by evidence, Jonny scrum-half reliability rating: low.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  195. Besides, Obama has said that he doesn’t so much care about tax receipts going up or down to fund the government, he just wants the rich to have more money taken from them, just to be fair.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  196. MD – Johnny HalfSack is not presenting a fact-based argument. It is EMO based.

    JD (b63a52)

  197. MD – he said something similar to that in the Dem primary debate in Philly, right before his super awesome most greatest TelePrompTer reading EVAH about racisms.

    GIBSON: All right. You have, however, said you would favor an increase in the capital gains tax. As a matter of fact, you said on CNBC, and I quote, “I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton,” which was 28 percent. It’s now 15 percent. That’s almost a doubling, if you went to 28 percent.
    But actually, Bill Clinton, in 1997, signed legislation that dropped the capital gains tax to 20 percent.
    OBAMA: Right.
    GIBSON: And George Bush has taken it down to 15 percent.
    OBAMA: Right.
    GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down.
    So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?
    OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.
    We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year — $29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That’s not fair.
    And what I want is not oppressive taxation. I want businesses to thrive, and I want people to be rewarded for their success. But what I also want to make sure is that our tax system is fair and that we are able to finance health care for Americans who currently don’t have it and that we’re able to invest in our infrastructure and invest in our schools.
    And you can’t do that for free.
    OBAMA: And you can’t take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children and our grandchildren, and then say that you’re cutting taxes, which is essentially what John McCain has been talking about.
    And that is irresponsible. I believe in the principle that you pay as you go. And, you know, you don’t propose tax cuts, unless you are closing other tax breaks for individuals. And you don’t increase spending, unless you’re eliminating some spending or you’re finding some new revenue. That’s how we got an additional $4 trillion worth of debt under George Bush. That is helping to undermine our economy. And it’s going to change when I’m president of the United States.
    GIBSON: But history shows that when you drop the capital gains tax, the revenues go up.
    OBAMA: Well, that might happen, or it might not. It depends on what’s happening on Wall Street and how business is going. I think the biggest problem that we’ve got on Wall Street right now is the fact that we got have a housing crisis that this president has not been attentive to and that it took John McCain three tries before he got it right.
    And if we can stabilize that market, and we can get credit flowing again, then I think we’ll see stocks do well. And once again, I think we can generate the revenue that we need to run this government and hopefully to pay down some of this debt.

    Try not to piss yourself while laughing

    JD (b63a52)

  198. Re: Sammy Finkelman 172:

    Where do get the idea the idea you get more investment when interest rates are higher?

    Your question reverses cause and effect and has basically no relation to my comment. But you have struck upon an interesting problem. You get more investment when the money invested earns more than other opportunities. The interest rates earned can become astronomical if the supply of money is excessive, but first the enterprise must be productive in order to generate the revenues to pay the interest, thereby attracting investment. Under present circumstances, the “opportunities” that florish under this feckless administration do not increase productivity and thus do not create wealth, for example, wind mills. The money that is so invested is squandered on parasitic activities that would not exist except for direct federal subsidies. Worse, the uncertainties generated by the administration over taxation, permits, work rules, record keeping, DoJ wannabes looking to host their own perp walk, 52 mpg go carts, and insane financial regulations to mention just a few, all conspire to diminish the willingness to make any investment in any new enterprise. Thus our economy is stagnant. If our economy had investment opportunities that promised substantial growth, then this would change. Money would be invested, machines and software would be developed to implement the means of improved production, and growth would result.

    If such were the case today, Helicopter Ben would NOT be able to control market rates because business would be willing to pay something greater than a few percent in order to get access to capital. As things stand, the money created by HB is just sitting in our large, to-big-to-fail, banks and nobody has any need of the stuff. Should this change, then HB will find that he has painted himself into a corner that he can’t get out of. His “control” of the money supply is predicated on his ability to sell the bonds he acquires thereby sopping up dollars he created by acquiring the bonds in the first place, and thus preventing inflation. By flipping out of short term obligations he has ensured that when the time comes to sell his bonds, they will be worth much less than he paid for them, thus the money he created will continue to slosh around creating further inflation. Had he kept the bonds in short term notes, he could just wait for them to mature then collect his principal from the government. Of course the government would just borrow more money, assuming things stay as they are, but as long as real people were buying the bonds the money would disappear from circulation and a damper would be applied to inflation. HB has guaranteed that that won’t happen.

    And finally, your desire that interest rates never go up if “the Fed has any sense” means that you think investment in free market enterprises is not necessary. But if we don’t invest in activities that are fundamentally superior to existing industry, how will we create the new wealth that could be the basis for paying off our current borrowing? Our plant and technology becomes obsolete rather quickly these days, and just hiring a second shift to run the old steel mill will not create much new wealth. And is becoming more and more evident that investing in governmental growth has no payback. Infact it is almost certainly a drain on the nation’s wealth.

    Free men and women investing their money in things that seem sensible to them is our only hope for the future. Even if their choices aren’t the same as the ones you would prefer.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  199. Well said, bobathome.

    JD (b63a52)

  200. MD in Philly — If you use spending “as a percentage of the GDP,” you’re ignoring the actual dollars spent. Moreover, because the recession reduced GDP, your formula automatically makes the spending appear bigger, even if no spending increase occurred.

    Comment by Jonny Scrum-half (55458a) — 1/22/2013 @ 7:17 pm

    First of all we’re spending around a trillion more than 5 or 6 years ago. Why don’t you try looking that up before making a statement like that?

    Second the recession’s supposed to be long over.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  201. I have to go to sleep, but:

    askeptic — I’ve never used any other names here. Why do you ask?
    JD and Ag80 — I didn’t “blame” Bush for anything. I just noted the fact that if spending had increased from 2008 at the same rate as under Bush’s first term, the total spend wouldn’t be significantly lower than the actual spend under Obama. I’m trying to correct the attempts to blame the debt on Obama’s alleged spending.
    Also JD — I don’t know how anything I wrote was “EMO”; all I did was state facts.
    Daleyrocks — Actually, tax receipts still haven’t recovered. They’re lower than they were from 2005-08, and also lower than they were from 1998-2002 (in 2005 dollars).
    MD in Philly — I can’t believe that you don’t understand that if you reduce the denominator (here, the GDP), then the numerator increases as a percentage of the denominator, even if the numerator remains constant. I think that you’re just reflexively arguing without thinking what you’re writing.
    gary gulrud — I did show my work; I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Jonny Scrum-half (55458a)

  202. Gerald A — I did look it up. In constant dollars, we spent about $650B more in 2011 than in 2005. We actually spent less in 2010 and 2011 than in 2009.

    Good night.

    Jonny Scrum-half (55458a)

  203. ==I’m trying to correct the attempts to blame the debt on Obama’s alleged spending.==

    Guess Jonny schooled you guys, huh!

    elissa (adfeba)

  204. The problem is the left assumes static analysis, or ignores “Heisenberg’s principles’ they believe no one will react negatively, to a hike in the rate, and the converse,

    narciso (3fec35)

  205. I can’t believe that you don’t understand that if you reduce the denominator (here, the GDP), then the numerator increases as a percentage of the denominator, even if the numerator remains constant. I think that you’re just reflexively arguing without thinking what you’re writing.

    I understand that perfectly well. If you looked at my link you will see that the GDP in 2012 was higher than that in 2007, so if spending is a higher percentage of a now increasing GDP, then spending is what is increasing.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  206. 202. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    Nor whereof you speak:

    http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/

    TARP goes on Ogabe’s account. Loss in revenue due to SS moratorium not accounted for. Ten percent of GDP created out of thin air by Federal Reserve not accounted for.

    We could go on, but what’s the point?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  207. “Daleyrocks — Actually, tax receipts still haven’t recovered. They’re lower than they were from 2005-08″

    Jonny Scrum-half – Not the last time I looked. What are you using as a source?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  208. I don’t know how anything I wrote was “EMO”; all I did was state facts.

    Wrong, as others noted above. Unless facts has a different meaning to you.

    JD (b63a52)

  209. Maybe he’ll make more sense after a good night’s sleep…but again, maybe not.

    Brr, it’s cold here. Even with the space heater by my feet I can’t get the kitchen temp above 64. I’m glad this 100 yo drafty house with 1900 insulation is not in minnesocold.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  210. 210. Tonite ‘sposed to bottom at -5, tomorrow nite back down to -12 as last.

    We gots a dual stage furnace, variable speed fan on always, with curtains drawn below stairs, couple of feet blown insulation above and its pretty tolerable.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  211. winter people

    how on earth do you get through it

    someone should make a documentary about you ones

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  212. Kitchen temp now down to 62, though the space heater is on. this isn’t supposed to happen…

    Well, I’ve always wondered how much weight a person could lose by shivering…

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  213. We had a low of 3 last night. A bit warmer today. I have all 3 furnaces running.

    JD (b63a52)

  214. By the latest lefty excuse maker, we can assume he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but by God it wasn’t Obama’s fault:

    I didn’t “blame” Bush for anything. I just noted the fact that if spending had increased from 2008 at the same rate as under Bush’s first term, the total spend wouldn’t be significantly lower than the actual spend under Obama. I’m trying to correct the attempts to blame the debt on Obama’s alleged spending.

    OK, great and wahoo. I guess he put me in my place.

    Putz.

    Great Obama on a Triscuit bisquit. I could give a great cluster-fark as to the cause. I’m looking for a solution and I don’t see one from anyone that has the power, be it Obama, Pelosi or Reid or Boehner for that matter.

    I can guess the President has some plan to make this all better. I can guess that Congress will have some plan that we can’t know before the plan is passed.

    Someone tell me again why it’s necessary to bother with responding to trolls. I really have to stop doing this.

    I think it’s the meth.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  215. . I just noted the fact that if ….

    You knew it was going to be BS from that point forward.

    JD (b63a52)

  216. Bush’s worst year wouldn’t crack Obama’s top 8 years, according to that leftist tax policy center group I linked above. As is, Bush’s worst, 458B, is around 1/3 of Obama’s “best” to date, 1,293 trillion, $1,293,000,000,000

    JD (b63a52)

  217. bjork is winter people

    pdbuttons (949c1e)

  218. she’s not strictly human though

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  219. I ignored the increase in spending for 2009, which can be attributed to both Bush and Obama

    I ignored the $787 billion stimulus, and then I found . . .

    Patterico (8b3905)

  220. if it gets any colder, we are all bjorked…

    but at least we can burn greenbacks to stay warm.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  221. Concerning the weather:

    http://screen.yahoo.com/welcome-coldest-inhabited-place-earth-004031278.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u03QcymdCtg

    Comment by Patterico (8b3905) — 1/22/2013 @ 10:56 pm
    I guess he or she must think we are quite stoopid. Not very nice to come into someone’s living room and insult everyone.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  222. …your blaming me for others’ inability to worry about anything but the here and now is not blame I am willing to accept

    P: I’m not blaming you for their inability to worry about the future. What I am trying to do is point out that efforts such as yours haven’t worked (would Obama have won if they were working?). If you want to carry the flag up the hill, a new plan of attack is needed, one that takes into account the mindset of the other side.

    I admit I don’t know what that is. I don’t have the magic words to convince people who see things so much differently than I do that the path they’re on is going to really blow up in their faces. Heck, you and I agree on more than we disagree and I can’t figure out how to convince you that you’re not winning the hearts and minds of the enemy opposition other side.

    If, on the other hand, all you want to do is preach to the choir, then you’re in the right place.

    steve (e7e6c7)

  223. Patterico @222 — I ignored 2009 because I didn’t think it would be fair to note that spending has actually decreased since 2009, essentially because of that stimulus package. I also know that Republicans would have passed a stimulus package, as well (although I’m sure it would have been smaller than Obama’s).

    However, even if you want to “blame” Obama for the full $787B in 2009, my point was that in 2010 and 2011 combined the federal spending in constant 2005 dollars was only $250B more than it would have been using the same growth rate as in Bush’s first term (if we started from the 2008 spend). So, even under your argument Obama can be “blamed” for increasing the debt by only $1T. That’s not nothing, but it’s also a very different picture than painted by so many who argue that spending is out of control. It’s really not, at least if you judge it against the federal spending even under Bush.

    By the way, despite the various slurs directed toward my comments, I’m not saying that I agree with Obama’s policies or actions. Medicare and Medicaid spending are serious issues that will need to be addressed. I just think that it detracts from your credibility when Obama is falsely portrayed as some radical departure from everything that’s come before.

    Jonny Scrum-half (55458a)

  224. DaleyRocks @208 – My source is table 1.3 of the historical tables regarding fiscal years. It’s posted at the White House web site. I’m looking at receipts in constant 2005 dollars, and it shows that receipts peaked in 2000, then declined and didn’t reach FY2000 levels again until 2006 and 2007. They’ve declined again since then, presumably because of the recession.

    Jonny Scrum-half (55458a)

  225. Oh democrats these days.

    No budget, insane deficits, a debt increased from 10 trillion to 16 trillion in the blink of an eye…

    And all they care about is saying ‘it’s not our fault’. They don’t show any interest in balancing the budget (which is mathematically impossible without entitlement reform, as Patterico’s recent posts have well illustrated).

    They just give us this childish ‘the GOP did something similar a few years ago’ rebuttal. It’s not really all that reasonable even taken at face value if you look at the details, but it’s also not reasonable if you care about where we are today with Obama’s spending creating an historic crisis for our future.

    Few Republicans will deny that the GOP has spent too much money in its time in power, though the average deficit before the democrats took the House was less than a tenth of what it is today. These periods Johnny is focusing on in order to prove Obama’s innocence… Obama was in congress voting for the spending hikes. It’s totally ridiculous.

    But this is sheer hand waving. The fact is that we are where we are today and we need to change course and get the budget balanced, and we need to reduce the spending to do that. That’s just the way it is. Those who refuse to accept that are actually on the side of destroying all the entitlements and government dependency they hold so dear. Only a fool would rely on federal spending at this level to continue forever. Either we fix it, or it’s going to fix itself in a harsher way.

    Dustin (73fead)

  226. Patterico @222 — I ignored 2009 because I didn’t think it would be fair to note that spending has actually decreased since 2009, essentially because of that stimulus package

    It wouldn’t be fair to note because it is not true.

    So, even under your argument Obama can be “blamed” for increasing the debt by only $1T.

    No, he is responsible for the 6T in increased debt. You are trying to give him credit for the accounting gimmicks of baseline budgeting. You are a good little sophist.

    JD (b63a52)

  227. Kevin M 170,

    I didn’t miss your point. I’d rather us go broke than see us pay for spending by creating another tax. It will only encourage government to keep spending or even spend more.

    Your assumption is that when the taxes hit everyone, they will object and make government stop spending. My assumption is that the more revenue government gets, the bigger it will become and the harder it will be to rein it in.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  228. steve #225:

    Heck, you and I agree on more than we disagree and I can’t figure out how to convince you that you’re not winning the hearts and minds of the enemy opposition other side.

    It seems to me that Obama won the last election by turning out his voters, not convincing your “mushy middle” — people who are, by definition, easily swayed. I suggest the GOP try sticking to some principles and working on its databases/GOTV efforts. Stop trying to walk the tightrope and be all things to all people.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  229. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

    This is from the “non-partisan” tax group that made up fantastic scenarios and assumptions about Romney’s tax proposals. The only way halfsack’s claims even approach honesty is if you adjust actual $ relative to another year. A we have seen before with global warming figures, if the actual figures don’t tell the tale you wish, adjust them! Anytime soneone wants to exclude a year because it doesn’t fit with Teh Narrative, it is a dead giveaway.

    JD (b63a52)

  230. If things are as grim as you believe, why is it still so easy for the US Gov to borrow money at historically low rates?

    Answer: banks and investors trust that it will be payed back.

    In other words, the folks with all the cash aren’t worried, so why should you be?

    Answer: you shouldn’t. Unless you simply enjoy, or cannot help being, paranoid,

    Dry Powder (3d5492)

  231. JD@232 — I’m not sure what you’re saying. Those are the actual numbers for what the federal government spent. What you call “adjusting” the numbers (using “constant” dollars) is a common way to separate out the effects of inflation, so that we can have a real conversation about the numbers.

    In any event, I have to go to work.

    Jonny Scrum-half (55458a)

  232. I suggest the GOP try sticking to some principles and working on its databases/GOTV efforts. Stop trying to walk the tightrope and be all things to all people.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b)

    Amen. Had the GOP established credibility as budget balancers from 2000 to 2006, it would have been a harder path, but I think that they would have a much easier time regaining power when spending emerged as an obvious crisis. Right now, no one is convinced that the GOP will actually get things under control if they miraculously has the power to do so. It’s a question of how fast we drive off the cliff, and that is just not a powerful case.

    In other words, the folks with all the cash aren’t worried, so why should you be?

    Answer: you shouldn’t. Unless you simply enjoy, or cannot help being, paranoid,

    Comment by Dry Powder (3d5492) — 1/23/2013

    Your reasoning is circular as the government is borrowing so much money via quantitative easing. It’s also an appeal to authority, which isn’t rational. Unless you think ‘folks with cash’ are always right, or that they have an alternative.

    The other thing you are ignoring is that if the US Currency or debt service fails, a lot of other investment instruments will also fail, so even our unstable debt may be a ‘least bad’ option.

    The final thing you’re missing is that you’re actually plain wrong. The ‘folks with cash’ have been investing in gold and other similar investments, driving the speculative price of such investments through the stratosphere. UT Austin has $1 billion in gold bullion. That’s not exactly an endorsement of T Bills.

    So if all the folks with cash are worried, why shouldn’t you be?

    Dustin (73fead)

  233. FYI: Hillary Clinton is on TV testifying about the attack in Benghazi to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    ropelight (aae05a)

  234. Your reasoning is circular as the government is borrowing so much money via quantitative easing.

    It also ignores the purchasing of our own debt.

    But, True American is just being a troll. A dull one.

    JD (b63a52)

  235. QE is not the government “borrowing” from itself or printing money, it involves Federal reserve (private) banks.

    Either way, investors who control these huge financial institutions don’t seem hysterical. Yes, it’s smart to be cautious. But not irrational. Like the host man here.

    Dry Powder (3d5492)

  236. Pointing out facts is irrational. This comes from a person that celebrated Breitbart’s passing.

    JD (b63a52)

  237. I see that anyone who disagrees with the House Ideology is branded a “troll”…what you can’t seem to grasp is that this toxic aggression is killing your kind even as we speak.

    Dry Powder (3d5492)

  238. Toxic? Like celebrating someone’s death? Like trolling under multiple names? Pardon me if I doubt your sincerity.

    JD (b63a52)

  239. There you go again with the “trolling” epithet. The last resort for the thick skulled.

    I guess your ideology does not admit dissent or deviation from the extreme.

    To you, I must hate Obama and hold an irrational fear about the economy to belong.

    Well I don’t, yet I consider myself a center-right Republican who has A LOT of problems with the current administration.

    Just maybe not the same ones you do.

    So where does that put me on your scale?

    Dry Powder (3d5492)

  240. Dry Powder, its puts you at “Moby”.

    SPQR (768505)

  241. 234. So much for confidence:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-01-22/sec-bars-egan-jones-rating-us-and-other-governments-18-months

    The government has none, why then its citizens?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  242. This has nothing to do with my ideology. I am discussing your actions and words. It is not irrational to point out facts, no matter how many times you state that to be the case. You claim I am toxic when you celebrate other people’s death based on not liking their ideology. I do not have a scale, so your little straw universe there means not a bit to me. Now, you can act in good faith, or not. in the meantime, I would direct you, again, to the commenting policy below.

    Your comments must follow our copyright policy. Commenters who do not use a consistent name, and/or who use a proxy to post, are subject to banning. Profane language will place your comment in moderation. If you are following the rules and your comment does not appear, do not assume I banned you; instead, e-mail me.

    JD (b63a52)

  243. And I love Dry Powder’s complete ignorance of our financial system.

    The Federal Reserve is a “private bank” ? Yeah, right. One that the President appoints the governing board of, that has the power to print US currency, and the one that has been printing money to buy most of the US treasuries issued in this administration …

    It is unbelievable the horse sh*t that trolls like Dry Powder think are “deep thoughts”.

    SPQR (768505)

  244. 244. Bullseye.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  245. 247. I’ll wager the ‘powder’ is weaponized corn starch.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  246. To you, I must hate Obama and hold an irrational fear about the economy to belong.

    Nonsense. Complete projection.

    JD (b63a52)

  247. 243. A ‘philosophy’ must be internally consistent, and objectively congruent to reality.

    Yours fails the former test flat. Helen Keller would spot you, your attempt is so half-assed.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  248. Look up Federal Reserve banking system, SPQR, you’ll see that it is a government-private partnership. Hence, board chairman is a political appointee, but the money is held in member corporate (not government) banks.

    It does not “print” money as you say, but rather distributes money printed by the government.

    But I see no one here wants anyone to challenge the house of cards you’ve built your hateful and self-destructive ideology around. So good riddance, the Republican Party is better off without you anyway.

    Dry Powder (3d5492)

  249. But I see no one here wants anyone to challenge the house of cards you’ve built your hateful and self-destructive ideology around.

    You are projecting your hate onto others, True American.

    JD (b63a52)

  250. 252. The bank reserves created by the Feds purchase of $2 Trillion in MBS from Banks involved no exchange of cash.

    Yet those reserves are on Banks accounts, used in repo agreements and margin purchases.

    ‘Money printed’ is literary license, not physical actuality.

    Begone fool.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  251. Dry Powder, you really don’t have a clue what you are talking about. All of the Federal Reserve is appointed by the President, not just the chairman. Money is created by the Federal Reserve through the banking system, paper currency is almost meaningless to that money supply. However, while the Bureau of Engraving manufactures currency, the actual currency says what at the top? Read it and learn.

    And your Moby act is quite incompetent.

    SPQR (768505)

  252. Lost in the weeds of the accusations and hate and name calling is this: At its most basic what the heck is even being argued?? DP, you seem not to want to be called a troll. So, then what actual message are you attempting to sell? Is your position that it’s all hype and there is no danger to the country with respect to its current fiscal position– and that things are going to go safely and happily humming along for decades if we just ignore it and be happy? (i.e., without any tax increases or entitlement reform?)

    Or is your position simply stated something else? If so, what?

    You’ve used the phrase “irrational fear” but have not said what that irrational fear is. That modus operandi is the trait of a troll which is probably why you are being treated as one.

    elissa (3c4b57)

  253. elissa, Dry Powder is pretending to be a Republican, when he/she’s plainly not, to pretend to criticize us from an “inside” position.

    But DP’s assertions are of a Democrat nature, including pretending that the US’ credit position is better than it is (to support more unsustainable spending). That anyone believes that the low interest rates currently being paid on US treasuries is because of private confidence when half of the US treasuries issued in the last several years were bought by the Federal Reserve from inflationary created “money” is laughable.

    SPQR (768505)

  254. Believe me I see all that clearly, SPQR@257.

    DP has made many isolated assertions and claims. But what I do not see from DP is any coherent stated debate position/refutation as relates to Pat’s clear position and documented case. That is why @256 I am asking him/her to state one if there is to be continued discussion.

    elissa (3c4b57)

  255. By the way, for anyone who does not believe me, look at this chart from the Federal Reserve itself, look at how much US treasuries the Fed bought in the last two years. More than a trillion dollars worth. Just about half of the deficits the US government has sustained over that period.

    I’m not making this up, folks. Half the US deficit financed by money created by the Federal Reserve out of thin air.

    SPQR (768505)

  256. Look up Federal Reserve banking system, SPQR, you’ll see that it is a government-private partnership. Hence, board chairman is a political appointee, but the money is held in member corporate (not government) banks.

    It does not “print” money as you say, but rather distributes money printed by the government.

    Comment by Dry Powder (3d5492) — 1/23/2013 @ 7:52 am

    That is incorrect. The Fed has assets just like any other bank. What difference would it make if it was all held in corporate banks?

    Gerald A (f26857)

  257. I do agree with all of the concepts you’ve presented for your post. They’re really convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for starters. Could you please extend them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

    hid headlamp (c49c12)

  258. ” Is your position that it’s all hype and there is no danger to the country with respect to its current fiscal position– and that things are going to go safely and happily humming along for decades if we just ignore it and be happy? (i.e., without any tax increases or entitlement reform?) ”

    I see the problem here now…people can’t take a critique at face value without jumping to extreme conclusions.

    My point is simple: The debt is nowhere near the problem that Patterico is making it out to be (and scaring his poor kids in the process about).

    It is also not the fault of Obama alone.

    If you folks can’t stand having a Republican in your midst who doesn’t agree with your extremely prejudicial interpretation of current events, there is no place for you in the current political scheme except as homewreckers at this point. Your hysteria is embarrassing to people that can actually look outside the bubble you’ve encased yourselves in.

    Like I said before, the party is better of as you become more and more (self) marginalized.

    Dry Powder (3d5492)

  259. “The Federal Reserve System’s structure is composed of the presidentially appointed Board of Governors (or Federal Reserve Board), the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks located in major cities throughout the nation, numerous privately owned U.S. member banks and various advisory councils”

    The twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks were established as the operating arms of the nation’s central banking system. They are organized much like private corporations—possibly leading to some confusion about ownership.

    The Federal Reserve Banks have an intermediate legal status, with some features of private corporations and some features of public federal agencies. The United States has an interest in the Federal Reserve Banks as tax-exempt federally created instrumentalities whose profits belong to the federal government, but this interest is not proprietary.[2] In Lewis v. United States,[3] the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stated that: “The Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of the FTCA [the Federal Tort Claims Act], but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations.” The opinion went on to say, however, that: “The Reserve Banks have properly been held to be federal instrumentalities for some purposes.” Another relevant decision is Scott v. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City,[2] in which the distinction is made between Federal Reserve Banks, which are federally created instrumentalities, and the Board of Governors, which is a federal agency.

    Regarding the structural relationship between the twelve Federal Reserve banks and the various commercial (member) banks, political science professor Michael D. Reagan has written that:[4]

    … the “ownership” of the Reserve Banks by the commercial banks is symbolic; they do not exercise the proprietary control associated with the concept of ownership nor share, beyond the statutory dividend, in Reserve Bank “profits.” … Bank ownership and election at the base are therefore devoid of substantive significance, despite the superficial appearance of private bank control that the formal arrangement creates.

    Dry Powder (3d5492)

  260. Moby

    It is not hysteria to point out facts. It is not hysteria to note that our debt exceeds 2012 GDP. It is not hysteria to note our deficits are well in excess of a trillion dollars a year. It is not hysteria to note that we borrow 40 cents of every dollar spent. It is not hysteria to note that SS and Medicare are unsustainable as they are situated.

    What is hysterical is your act, True American.

    JD (b63a52)

  261. Copypasta from wiki doesn’t make you less wrong.

    JD (b63a52)

  262. Not to mention it confirmed that Dry Powder the Moby has no clue what he’s talking about.

    SPQR (768505)

  263. JD-

    Ha ha ha. I asked DP a simple respectful question about his/her own personal position which has been utterly lacking in detail in all of his/her rants. Yeah, we got his point. What is missing, though, is his position on what will happen or needs to happen. I merely asked about what he/she thinks the future holds if we do nothing, and asked if he/she thinks it’s safe to do nothing. He/she read the post and then we get back a haughty, look down the nose non responsive sermon about what/he thinks that we as some unnamed collective mind think. (While managing to throw in the words “extreme” and “blame”). This DP moby person is very shallow and transparent.

    elissa (d983fa)

  264. 267. I don’t get why its so hard for these folk to accept stumbling into a wood chipper was a mistake.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  265. Comment by Dry Powder (3d5492) — 1/23/2013 @ 7:16

    QE is not the government “borrowing” from itself or printing money, it involves Federal reserve (private) banks.

    It’s people like Ron Paul (and Dennis Kucinich) who say the Federal Reserve is privately owned:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdR1kpO9sc8

    You’ve maybe been listening too much to them.

    Sammy Finkelman (728434)

  266. 270. I count one adult in DC:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/robert-j-samuelson-president-make-believe/2013/01/23/4bdba910-6580-11e2-9e1b-07db1d2ccd5b_story.html

    Possibly another, Ryan when asked why GOP was going nuclear on Debt Ceiling considering the low esteem held by Amerikkka for Congress “Well we haven’t anything to lose now, do we?”

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  267. If you diehard Thugs really want a comback get on the bandwagon now:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/the-most-consequential-election-of-2012/article/2519505?utm_source=Washington%20Examiner:%20Opinion%20Digest%20-%2001/24/2013&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Washington%20Examiner:%20Opinion%20Digest#.UQErPOh4w0E

    Christie versus Clinton(foget Bite Me) might be entertaining but Cuomo is a more likely adversary.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  268. Hey Prof, you know that minority with an incomplete you passed to allow him to graduate?

    http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2013/01/24/academics-for-obamacare-stunned-to-find-the-cost/

    There were a few loose ends.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  269. i hate 2016

    it’s like having a year-long dentist appointment scheduled

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  270. The social security is solvent for the next 20 years , the surpluses have been invested in those treasury IOUs which are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.

    97% of scientists agree that humans are causing the global warming. Anyone questioning the science is a science denier.

    Oops – sorry for parodying the obvious

    Math and science go hand in hand. Ironic that those condemning anyone questioning the science are the same ones who lack the basic math skills to see the obvious.

    joe (93323e)

  271. Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/24/2013 @ 5:12 pm

    Thanks for the link. i especially liked this comment:

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
    Good Lt on January 24, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    And may I just ad:
    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!
    Maddie on January 24, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  272. ==i hate 2016
    it’s like having a year-long dentist appointment scheduled==

    HAPpyfeet then maybe you should plan to spend a lot of time out of the country in 2016–avoid the protests and media idiocy–remove yourself from the lying candidates with talking points–reduce stress– do some travel abroad. didn’t you say once that you’ve always wanted to travel to Egypt and see the pyramids?. Oh wait. that country’s all effed up too. never mind.

    elissa (d983fa)

  273. i long to see the fjords elissa – the scandinavian ones mostly

    but I’m not super picky

    also I want to see ayers rock without a bunch of creepy aborigines telling me I can’t take pictures

    the hell I can’t you superstitious twat now go put some clothes on

    also I want to go to Alaska but not on sled dogs to where my tear ducts freeze and they get infected

    but I guess that’s kinda sorta in America huh

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  274. Under Bennie’s mattress:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-01-24/feds-balance-sheet-tops-3-trillion

    Remember, when he sells those MBS for 20 cents on the dollar, its pure profit paid to the Treasury.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  275. Comment by elissa (d983fa) — 1/24/2013 @ 7:43 pm

    That’s assuming that there will be a 2016.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  276. Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 1/24/2013 @ 11:25 pm

    That’s assuming that there will be a 2016.

    It’s already past December 21, 2012, and there doesn’t seem to be any end of the world date coming up. And they can’t change the calendar that fast.

    Of course maybe you mean that the world will be going on pretty much the way it is now. 100 years ago that wasn’t the case.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  277. OMG tone deaf is a understatement

    JD (b63a52)

  278. Sammy, the Mayan Calendar is the least of our problems.
    You must be completely unaware of such things as Nuclear Proliferation in North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, and what a slight miscalculation by anyone could bring about (see: 1914!)
    But then, by your own admission, you get most of your information from the NYT, which explains why you are so un, and mis, informed.

    askeptic (b8ab92)


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