Patterico's Pontifications

8/18/2018

National Debt Hits New High, with Trillion Dollar Deficits Again on the Horizon

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:52 am

Don’t pay attention to what Trump says. Pay attention to his accomplishments:

The U.S. national debt has increased by more than half a trillion dollars in less than six months, amid predictions that the U.S. is on the verge of returning to another explosion in government borrowing.

. . . .

The Treasury Department says the government is on track to have a total budget deficit of about $850 billion in the current fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

Fiscal 2019 is expected to be worse: The Congressional Budget Office predicts a budget deficit of just under $1 trillion.

The article says the $500 billion per five months rate of growth is “a relative improvement” that “reflects the surge of tax receipts that flowed into the government starting in April, when individual tax returns are due,” but says that the prospects for the longer term look grim.

Ah, well. Now that it’s “our” guy in office, it’s impolite to mention these things, isn’t it? Better to say it would have been this bad under a Democrat too and otherwise shrug. Or put all the blame on Congress and forget Trump has a veto. Whatever you do, don’t criticize Dear Leader!

That which cannot go on forever, won’t. We knew this during the Obama years. Now we must forget it.

Tribalism demands it.

UPDATE: To those who assume it would have been worse under Hillary: apply some critical thinking. Here’s a data point for you to consider. These were the deficits for the most recent Obama years:

Fiscal 2013: $680 billion
Fiscal 2014: $485 billion
Fiscal 2015: $438 billion
Fiscal 2016: $587 billion

Republicans pretend to care about deficits when a Democrat is in office. They spend like drunken sailors while a Republican is in office. Yes, Obama had horrific trillion-dollar-plus deficits before the numbers cited above — but he also came into office just after the Great Recession.

When I talked about the relative strengths and weaknesses of Hillary and Trump presidencies, I routinely said that judges would be one of the best aspects of a Trump presidency and the budget would be one of the worst, because of the tendency of Republican Congresses to care about spending only when a Democrat is in office. The mirror image would be true of a Hillary presidency — as to budgets and judges. Budgets would be better. The judiciary would be far worse.

Remember: Bill Clinton is the only president in forever to run a surplus. He didn’t do it alone. But Republicans behave more responsibly with Democrats in the Oval Office. That’s undeniable.

So spare me the lazy analysis that a Democrat would obviously have been worse. The facts don’t bear it out.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

247 Responses to “National Debt Hits New High, with Trillion Dollar Deficits Again on the Horizon”

  1. Patterico (115b1f)

  2. We’ll just borrow it from China. Right?

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  3. Obligatory truth: Hillary would have spent more, and Bernie would have doubled the debt.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  4. Both parties have done this. W never vetoed a spending bill. The ONLY good thing going on is that Congress is actually passing spending bills, instead of the continuing resolutions that were the hallmark of the Obama years.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  5. “Better to say it would have been this bad under a Democrat too”

    Would have easily and verifiably been worse. You’re whining like a rejected single woman who’s lost her beauty but kept her 200-point Mr. Right list.

    “That which cannot go on forever, won’t. We knew this during the Obama years. Now we must forget it.”

    What we found out during the Obama years is that it can very easily go on for longer than anyone thought possible as long as your enemies network globally and you put out ineffectual ideologues as your champions.

    Fortunately, if anyone’s qualified from prior life experience to force a default and bounce back stronger, it’s Trump.

    Steppe Nomad (30ea7c)

  6. Yes, the deficit is awful, the debt worse, and unfunded liabilities obscene.

    Blaming Trump? Totally unbiased.

    lee (e2ff85)

  7. Does it actually matter so long as the endless credit card limit expansions are at the ready? Who is going to be the “banker” that finally calls the debt due with no more “refinancing.” Is not the USA too big to fail? If she does fail, goodbye world economy as we know it. All the “bankers” understand this.

    As infuriating as it has been to get to this point, it is difficult for me to blame the typical ignorant voter who has been “educated” in government schools and higher academia. All they know is that there is never any direct consequence, besides interest taking up a higher proportion of taxes paid. But, everything absolutely required has been funded. Somehow.

    The coming federal assumption of state and local debt, most especially their pension obligations, are likely to be the straws that broke the bankers’ backs, or perhaps simply take the decision to end the current system/currency out of their hands.

    To my original point – does debt truly matter anymore, or is collapse inevitable and we may as well keep partying as long as we can?

    I still believe we have a moral duty to try to take our medicine and try to fix the broken Federal Reserve system. Yet, I have to acknowledge the Good Americans have been conditioned by their betters and elites to reject such thinking.

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  8. Just a reminder, the TEA Party didn’t form because of Obama’s spending, it was a reaction to the Republican congress (which, if we remember our civics, “hold the purse strings”) of 2006 that revealed republicans are no more fiscally conservative than democrats. The hairy footed wacko birds…

    lee (e2ff85)

  9. I’m not responding personally to Trumpalos. I’m trying to be better about that. But I do have an update that demolishes their arguments.

    (Kevin M, I’m not calling you a Trumpalo, to be clear.)

    Patterico (115b1f)

  10. UPDATE: To those who assume it would have been worse under Hillary: apply some critical thinking. Here’s a data point for you to consider. These were the deficits for the most recent Obama years:

    Fiscal 2013: $680 billion
    Fiscal 2014: $485 billion
    Fiscal 2015: $438 billion
    Fiscal 2016: $587 billion

    Republicans pretend to care about deficits when a Democrat is in office. They spend like drunken sailors while a Republican is in office. Yes, Obama had horrific trillion-dollar-plus deficits before the numbers cited above — but he also came into office just after the Great Recession.

    When I talked about the relative strengths and weaknesses of Hillary and Trump presidencies, I routinely said that judges would be one of the best aspects of a Trump presidency and the budget would be one of the worst, because of the tendency of Republican Congresses to care about spending only when a Democrat is in office. The mirror image would be true of a Hillary presidency — as to budgets and judges. Budgets would be better. The judiciary would be far worse.

    Remember: Bill Clinton is the only president in forever to run a surplus. He didn’t do it alone. But Republicans behave more responsibly with Democrats in the Oval Office. That’s undeniable.

    So spare me the lazy analysis that a Democrat would obviously have been worse. The facts don’t bear it out.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  11. @3 Kevin M

    “Obligatory truth: Hillary would have spent more, and Bernie would have doubled the debt.”

    @5 Steppe Nomad

    “Would have easily and verifiably been worse.”

    Both incorrect. A republican led congress would never have allowed an override to the sequester with a democrat in the white house.

    Davethulhu (fddbc4)

  12. W never vetoed a spending bill.

    He didn’t need to. Despite winning two wars and fighting off a recession, by 2007 the budget deficit was down to 1% of GDP.

    Dave (445e97)

  13. Bill Clinton wasn’t responsible for budget surpluses, Gingrich was. The only responsible congress in my lifetime.

    lee (e2ff85)

  14. “Republicans pretend to care about deficits when a Democrat is in office. They spend like drunken sailors while a Republican is in office.”

    What you’re selecting is less ‘how much is spent’ then ‘what the money is spent on.’

    Allegedly the Obamas had a 1 trillion dollar infrastructure bill that ended up going almost entirely to an army of white-collar bureaucrats.

    “Bill Clinton is the only president in forever to run a surplus. He didn’t do it alone. But Republicans behave more responsibly with Democrats in the Oval Office. That’s undeniable.”

    Bill Clinton was also the only President in forever to preside over an unprecedented postwar technology boom and the wherewithal to fund his surpluses by closing down every military base he could.

    This massive set of base closures also destroyed California’s middle class Republican demographic and ensured future Democrat control of the state in perpetuity, the final cost of which no deficit hawk ever seems to want to make the effort to figure out.

    Rest assured we paid dearly and quite possibly irrevocably for those 90s surpluses.

    Steppe Nomad (4f591e)

  15. @12 Dave

    The majority of the costs of wars were not included in the budget, and so did not affect the deficit.

    Davethulhu (fddbc4)

  16. “by 2007 the budget deficit was down to 1% of GDP.”

    And then nothing important happened in 2008, certainly not the collapse of a federally-funded multi-trillion dollar fake housing bubble propped up by foolish poindextercon rhetoric about how IMMIGRANTS JUST NEED A CHANCE AT HOME OWNERSHIP TO FULLY BECOME REPUBLICAN-AMERICANS, THE DATA CONFIRMS IT.

    This sort of fact-free posturing that pointedly ignores fundamentals is nothing but numerology under a different name.

    Steppe Nomad (ef5589)

  17. The majority of the costs of wars were not included in the budget, and so did not affect the deficit.

    The number I quoted includes all outlays, on-budget and off-budget.

    Dave (445e97)

  18. The cbo that scored obamacare under a trillion dollars, and miscalculated its reach by 160%, that cbo.

    narciso (d1f714)

  19. Fortunately, if anyone’s qualified from prior life experience to force a default and bounce back stronger, it’s Trump.

    Steppe Nomad (30ea7c) — 8/18/2018 @ 11:25 am

    Trump’s answer was bankruptcy. You want America to go bankrupt?

    DRJ (15874d)

  20. Is you’d cut social security and Medicare, by how much and how you nit avoid a bloodbath, lets get real, even in Texas that would be a hard sell.

    narciso (d1f714)

  21. Heads up:

    People who utter falsehoods about me and my positions are going to start getting ultimatums. Back it up or apologize, or you’re gone.

    I’m done with people leveling bullshit accusations about my positions, and taking a hard line makes me happy and helps me get rid of an element I don’t want here anyway.

    If you mischaracterize my position innocently, and I call you on it and you think twice and say: gee, you know, I let my piehole get out in front of the facts . . . you’ll be fine.

    Stubbornly stick to the bullshit? That’s a ticket to Moderationsville, population you.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  22. The people who have chosen to be stubborn include random viking, Anon Y. Mous, (so far) George Orwell’s Ghost, and (so far) Richard Aubrey.

    The last three still hold the keys to the jail in their pocket. All they have to do is back up what they said or apologize (sincerely, George Orwell’s Ghost!). If they do either, they’ll be welcomed back into the fold. If not, see ya! And no tears will be shed.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  23. There are things we can do to address our budget problems, narciso. What is Trump doing?

    DRJ (15874d)

  24. And then nothing important happened in 2008, certainly not the collapse of a federally-funded multi-trillion dollar fake housing bubble

    The Bush administration started warning about “Goverment Sponsored Enterprises” (GSE’s – Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac) in the 2002 budget (submitted in April 2001):

    “financial trouble of a large GSE could cause strong repercussions in financial markets, affecting Federally insured entities and economic activity.”

    The Bush administration’s warnings to congress got more and more dire every year. In 2003 Treasury Secretary Snow begged congress for improved oversight of Fanny and Freddy to no avail.

    In 2005, John McCain introduced legislation to reform Fannie and Freddie and prevent them from speculating on mortgage-backed securities; every Democrat on the senate Banking Committee opposed it, and it never reached the floor for a vote.

    This FoxNews documentary lays out the timeline, and this White House fact sheet from September 2008 documents the history of the whole Democrat-owned fiasco in painstaking detail.

    Dave (445e97)

  25. Let me take a different tack. All of my life, I have heard that deficits were bad and would lead to big trouble. Despite these admonitions, the government has run deficits almost every year. The big trouble hasn’t materialized. Many who told me about the dangers of deficits told me to buy gold. The price of gold is about what it was in the 1980s. The talk about deficit danger makes sense from what I know about economics. Is it possible that our understanding and concerns are based on erroneous theories?

    Slugger (d8ee56)

  26. Here are 5 ways to address the deficit from 2014. Only one involves Medicare and Social Security, and another urges health care reform. Trump said he wanted to eliminate ObamaCare but quickly gave up. He obviously doesn’t care about our deficit, and why should we expect him to? He didn’t care about his business bankruptcies. He thinks using bankruptcy is brilliant.

    DRJ (15874d)

  27. If the debt doubles during Trumps’ two terms in office, can we at least say he was as good a president as Obama?

    AZ Bob (885937)

  28. The majority of the costs of wars were not included in the budget, and so did not affect the deficit.

    The wars were not in the budget, but the spending certainly did affect the deficit.

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  29. You should revisit your knowledge of the history of US gold prices, Slugger.

    DRJ (15874d)

  30. $PACE Forceeeeee!$!$!$!$!$!

    “To infinity and beyond!” – Buzz Lightyear [Tim Allen] ‘Toy Story’ 1995

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  31. Richard Aubrey is quadrupling down in email. Now I am supposedly calling Trump a racist based on an “MS-13 scam” — despite my consistent defending of Trump on this issue:

    http://patterico.com/2018/05/16/c-span-maligns-trump-with-unfair-edit-in-quote-on-immigration/

    http://patterico.com/2018/06/21/ap-trump-trump-unrelated-alleged-abuse-of-immigrant-children-trump-trump-trump/

    I kind of hope he never apologizes because he is dragging out one baseless attack after another.

    This is the type of stuff that buys people a ticket off this blog. My patience is at an end.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  32. @19. Trump’s answer was bankruptcy. You want America to go bankrupt?

    When you’re great again, you’re ‘too big to fail,’ eh, DRJ?! 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  33. Slugger (d8ee56) — 8/18/2018 @ 12:57 pm

    Deficits up to around 3% of GDP per year are considered tolerable, but not desirable. Deficits of 1% of GDP or so are harmless and possibly even beneficial.

    I would say the biggest danger we currently face would be if interest rates rise. The current very low rates at which the government can borrow money make even the $21T national debt seem sustainable; currently interest payments on the debt are certainly significant (about $300B/year) but they are not crushing (7.5% of the federal budget).

    Historically, government borrowing tends to drive up interest rates, which have nevertheless remained extremely low for a long time. If interest rates rise substantially, the cost of servicing the debt will increase in the same proportion, taking a bigger chunk of the budget, and potentially leading to a vicious cycle of higher interest payments requiring more borrowing at higher rates, leading to even higher interest payments, etc.

    On the other hand, if interest rates somehow stay very low while the economy expands at a robust rate, we could theoretically “outgrow” the debt over time (it would be a shrinking fraction of our national output). But I don’t think there is any realistic scenario in which you can add ~$1T to the debt every year and somehow outgrow it.

    Dave (445e97)

  34. The voters don’t care! Remember 2016 populists won.

    wendell (84e15c)

  35. “Trump’s answer was bankruptcy. You want America to go bankrupt?”

    Sovereign nations can do sovereign things, especially if they want to avoid permanent debt slavery to bad international actors who have no skin in the game and all the incentive in the world to demand interventions that would utterly destroy the Constitution.

    Defaulting is bad but it’s the least bad and most honest of all the available options. And it should be considered an option to anyone who considers government debt a permanently safe harbor.

    “The Bush administration started warning about “Goverment Sponsored Enterprises” (GSE’s – Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac) in the 2002 budget (submitted in April 2001):”

    Mmmmhmmm, they sound REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT THAT…

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/nyt-bush-drive-for-home-ownership/

    “WASHINGTON — “We can put light where there’s darkness, and hope where there’s despondency in this country. And part of it is working together as a nation to encourage folks to own their own home.”

    – President George W. Bush, Oct. 15, 2002

    “Bush did foresee the danger posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage finance giants. The president spent years pushing a recalcitrant Congress to toughen regulation of the companies, but was unwilling to compromise when his former Treasury secretary wanted to cut a deal. And the regulator Bush chose to oversee them – an old school buddy – pronounced the companies sound even as they headed toward insolvency.”

    “For much of the Bush presidency, the White House was preoccupied by terrorism and war; on the economic front, its pressing concerns were cutting taxes and privatizing Social Security, a government retirement and disability benefits program. The housing market was a bright spot: Ever-rising home values kept the economy humming, as owners drew down on their equity to buy consumer goods and pack their children off to college.”

    “Lawrence Lindsay, Bush’s first chief economic adviser, said there was little impetus to raise alarms about the proliferation of easy credit that was helping Bush meet housing goals.

    “No one wanted to stop that bubble,” Lindsay said. “It would have conflicted with the president’s own policies.””

    GOTTA KEEP THOSE NUMBERS LOOKING GOOD gosh this numerological idolatry sounds familiar…

    “But for much of Bush’s tenure, government statistics show, incomes for most families remained relatively stagnant while housing prices skyrocketed. That put home ownership increasingly out of reach for first-time buyers like West.

    So Bush had to, in his words, “use the mighty muscle of the federal government” to meet his goal. He proposed affordable housing tax incentives.

    He insisted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac meet ambitious new goals for low-income lending.

    Concerned that down payments were a barrier, Bush persuaded Congress to spend as much as $200 million a year to help first-time buyers with down payments and closing costs.”

    Trump’s plan to USE THE MIGHTY MUSCLE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to, you know, attack housing prices on the demand side by removing the massive illegal immigrant surge that funded these bubbles sounds like a much more workable idea, honestly.

    Steppe Nomad (23d893)

  36. He obviously doesn’t care about our deficit

    FakeNews!

    In an interview worthy of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, President Trump promised to eliminate the national debt in eight years without raising taxes, by eliminating the trade deficit with China:

    TRUMP: We’ve got to get rid of the $19 trillion in debt.

    WOODWARD: How long would that take?

    TRUMP: I think I could do it fairly quickly, because of the fact the numbers…

    WOODWARD: What’s fairly quickly?

    TRUMP: Well, I would say over a period of eight years. And I’ll tell you why.

    WOODWARD: Would you ever be open to tax increases as part of that, to solve the problem?

    TRUMP: I don’t think I’ll need to. The power is trade. Our deals are so bad.

    WOODWARD: That would be $2 trillion a year.

    TRUMP: No, but I’m renegotiating all of our deals, Bob. The big trade deals that we’re doing so badly on. With China, $505 billion this year in trade. We’re losing with everybody.

    Plan B, announced a few days later, was to sell off $16T of government assets (land, and the oil and minerals beneath it) for cash.

    Of course, the Fake media want you to believe that President Trump hasn’t thought deeply about these issues, when he clearly understands them better than anyone else in the country world universe.

    Dave (445e97)

  37. the filthy pentagon piggies with their coward-lick John McCain piggy-slopping bill are basically raping America

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  38. When stammering Lisa murkowski and Susan Collins stand in the way of any meaningful Healthcare reform, we cam see corker and flake on the next page. There are adjustment that are being made administratitively, but the cbo which has been abysmally bad at calculating the effects there, is little help, and they serve as the air raid claxon.

    narciso (d1f714)

  39. Donald Trump is more popular with Republicans than almost any president since WWII with an approval rating of 87 per cent, poll finds

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article/-5847999/Donald-Trump-popular-Republicans-president-Second-World-War.html

    As in baseball, when you’re in the cellar and on the outs, you change managers, go back to basics and hone fundamentals. Such is the plight of ideologues in this election ‘season.’ But cries of creeping socialism, ballooning debt, wounding tariffs and such are a hard sell with an economy chugging along and a “pragmatist” president popular within his own party and no ideological anchor around his neck. If they can’t beat him and won’t join him, could be time for a new roster of fresh ideas or start a league of their own.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  40. and slicked-up stripper-boy marco rubio is shopping a new entitlement, with his tongue hanging out

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  41. “Remember: Bill Clinton is the only president in forever to run a surplus. He didn’t do it alone.

    The internet boom and a Republican Congress might have helped a smidge.

    harkin (c4b982)

  42. Shut the gubmint down. Then torch it.

    mg (9e54f8)

  43. China should cut its losses in the trade war by conceding defeat to Donald Trump

    https://m.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/united-states/article/2158963/china-should-cut-its-losses-trade-war

    harkin (c4b982)

  44. 37.the filthy pentagon piggies with their coward-lick John McCain piggy-slopping bill are basically raping America

    Can you still sink $14 billion aircraft carriers with a few $350,000 Exocet missiles Mr. Feet?

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  45. @43. They think long term and probably will, but it has to be in a way that doesn’t make them appear to ‘lose face.’ That’s key and where Trump will have to boast about achieving an ‘agreement’ and not brag about a ‘victory.’ Getting him to do that is probably the hardest part of it all.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  46. The numbers provided for years 2013 to 2016 are almost entirely the result of forced declines in spending on national defense issues caused by “sequestration.”

    After rising from 2010 to 2011, spending on national security matters — which includes DOD as well as components of other agencies in DOJ and DOE that are security related — declined by an aggregate of 15% from 2012 to 2015.

    Such spending made up 20% of the government’s overall spending in 2010, but had fallen to only 16% of overall spending in 2015.

    In comparing the spending level to GDP — which factors in the growth of the economy in the same period — spending on national security fell from 4.6% to 3.3% of GDP between those same dates.

    So, if you want to endorse the annual deficit reductions realized by the Obama Administration from 2012 to 2016, you have to endorse the cuts in spending levels from which they were realized.

    The growth in the deficit this year is clearly a result of the cut in income tax rates — even though the government still managed to realize more revenue from tax collections than in any year ever. Economic growth is a lagging indicator when compared to tax cuts. The extent to which economic growth will produce higher revenue even after the cuts to marginal rates is something that can only be demonstrated in the next few years.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  47. “Trump’s answer was bankruptcy. You want America to go bankrupt?”

    Sovereign nations can do sovereign things, especially if they want to avoid permanent debt slavery to bad international actors who have no skin in the game and all the incentive in the world to demand interventions that would utterly destroy the Constitution.

    Defaulting is bad but it’s the least bad and most honest of all the available options. And it should be considered an option to anyone who considers government debt a permanently safe harbor.

    I don’t know what the first paragraph means (the paragraph I put in bold), but your second paragraph tells me you are willing let the US default on its debts. It has happened before, on a very limited and temporary basis, and we paid a price for that. Do you really think the US should experiment with a bigger default because Trump thinks bankruptcy is a brilliant strategy?

    DRJ (46c88f)

  48. Hillary would have spent more, and Bernie would have doubled the debt.

    With GOP majorities in both houses, highly doubtful, just as Obama’s spending was constrained by the GOP-led sequester. Hillary or Bernie might’ve asked for more…
    This is really a problem because (1) Trump has already pledged that he wouldn’t touch entitlement reform, a major source of our structural fiscal imbalance and (2) in five years our interest on the debt will be higher than our defense budget, and because we have a strong economy, interest rates have nowhere to go but up.

    Paul Montagu (5b48d1)

  49. In addition, the payment of Obamacare subsidies to insurance companies did not begin until October 2014 – meaning they would not have begun to appear on the spending ledger of the federal government until expenditures totals for 2015 and beyond. Your own numbers show a $150 billion increase in the deficit from 2015 to 2016.

    But that was only for the states that chose to set up insurance exchanges.

    Other states opted to expand the scope of their Medicaid programs, knowing that the Obamacare legislation provided that they would get a subsidy of 100% of the cost of every newly enrolled state resident.

    In the first year of the program, FY 2015, Medicaid expenditures increased 11.6%, to $560 billion. That was the overall increase in expenditures — federal expenditures on Medicaid reimbursement rose by 16%.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  50. The Clinton/Obama cabal would have confiscated anything they wanted from the taxpayer if they could have figured out a way to fix the 2016 election. They would have stolen more than Trump spent.

    mg (9e54f8)

  51. The Clinton/Obama cabal would have confiscated anything they wanted from the taxpayer if they could have figured out a way to fix the 2016 election.

    AG Sessions and our prostrating-to-Trump GOP-led Congress are doing quite the job at confiscating, specifically on civil asset forfeiture.

    Paul Montagu (5b48d1)

  52. the fiscal stewardship of pedophile Mitt Romney’s slicked-up and open-for-business boy toy Paul Ryan has been abysmal

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  53. These were the deficits for the most recent Obama years:

    Fiscal 2013: $680 billion
    Fiscal 2014: $485 billion
    Fiscal 2015: $438 billion
    Fiscal 2016: $587 billion

    Republicans pretend to care about deficits when a Democrat is in office. They spend like drunken sailors while a Republican is in office. Yes, Obama had horrific trillion-dollar-plus deficits before the numbers cited above — but he also came into office just after the Great Recession.

    JVW (42615e)

  54. I’ve posted this before but its informative for people who have not looked closely at this question.

    When the government issues bonds in any given year, it is at the same time paying off bonds at maturity that it has issued in previous years.

    So, for example, some of the money received for bonds issued in 2018 was used to pay off 10 year bonds that were issued in 2008, 20 year bonds issued in 1998, and 30 year bonds issued in 1988.

    At times of low inflation and interest rates, does the government benefit from these swaps?

    Consider this:

    The interest rate on a 20 year bond issued today is 2.95%. So the annual cost to the government of a bond in the amount of $1000 would be $29.50.

    In 1988, that same 20 year bond was sold by the government with an interest rate of 5.7%, and an annual cost of borrowing of $57.

    By swapping the 20 year bond from 1998 with a 20 year bond in 2018, the government has continued to borrow the same $1000, but its cost of borrowing has declined by $26.50 per year.

    You can repeat this math all throughout the bond tables — 1 year, 3 year, 5 year, etc., and you will find consistent numbers.

    While the gross amount of borrowing is increasing as reflected in the rising annual deficit and total national debt, the cost of such borrowing declines each time a high interest rate bond is exchanged for a low interest rate bond.

    So why do bond buyers like the Chinese continue to engage in this exercise? Because even at 3%, investments in US Treasury bonds are the safest, most stable, and therefore most lucrative means by which China and other similarly situated countries can safely park their currency surpluses.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  55. Whoops! Accidentally hit Return. What I wanted to point out is that the deficit surged from $438 to $587 billion right after that lovely bipartisan agreement to end the sequestration. Republicans claimed that our military was being decimated and we would be invaded and conquered by the Virgin Islands, and Democrats claimed that without all of their social spending priorities that 90% of American would die of hunger in the streets. This is why we will never ever again have a balanced budget.

    JVW (42615e)

  56. DRJ — Trump didn’t give up on eliminating Obamacare. The Senate voted, and GOP senators from states that expanded Medicaid refused to go along with the elimination of Obamacare because they could not face the political heat they would receive at home for having dumped people out of “their health insurance plan.”

    Some states chose to expand Medicaid eligibility, in exchange for which Obamacare gave them a subsidy equal to 100% of the cost of each new enrollee — what’s not to like about that?

    The plan to eliminate Obamacare would have ended that 100% subsidy, leaving those states with expanded eligibility, but all their new enrollees would have to be paid for out of state revenues. That was a financial disaster for those states.

    The only choice they would have had — as John Kasich made clear to all who would listen — would be to return the eligibility standards back to what they were before they were expanded, and dump all the new enrollees out of the program — i.e., take away their health “insurance”.

    That political price was too high for Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowsky, and John McCain.

    McCain’s vote was the particularly vexing one because he explained in his speech that it wasn’t the merits of the repeal that was the basis for his vote against it, but rather the partisan nature by which the repeal was being accomplished, without any input or participation from the
    Dems.

    He ignored the fact that Obamacare was passed on a straight party-line vote, and only after legislative games were played with the budget reconciliation process to engineer a vote that could pass the measure with a 51 vote majority.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  57. In addition, the payment of Obamacare subsidies to insurance companies did not begin until October 2014 – meaning they would not have begun to appear on the spending ledger of the federal government until expenditures totals for 2015 and beyond. Your own numbers show a $150 billion increase in the deficit from 2015 to 2016.

    But that was only for the states that chose to set up insurance exchanges.

    The reinsurance provisions did not begin until 2014 but the government did subsidize healthcare from 2011-2013 through the Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan. (42 USC 18001) The government was required to issue an annual report on plans under that section beginning in April 2011 (for the prior 12 month period that began when ObamaCare was signed into law). I don’t know what it cost or how to find what it costs, but I suspect it cost a substantial amount.

    DRJ (15874d)

  58. What political capital did Trump spend to end ObamaCare?

    DRJ (15874d)

  59. McCain’s vote was the particularly vexing one because he explained in his speech that it wasn’t the merits of the repeal that was the basis for his vote against it, but rather the partisan nature by which the repeal was being accomplished, without any input or participation from the Dems.

    This is untrue.

    The first paragraph of McCain’s statement explains why the measure he voted “no” on was bad (i.e. why the merits of the repeal were the basis of his vote against it):

    From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people. The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals. While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens. The Speaker’s statement that the House would be ‘willing’ to go to conference does not ease my concern that this shell of a bill could be taken up and passed at any time.

    McCain then went on to criticize the process itself in the second paragraph of his statement.

    Remember that “skinny repeal” was a place-holder, ostensibly to be completely re-written by something else hammered out in House/Senate conference (hence the reference to Speaker Ryan), but as McCain points out, once approved by the Senate, the House *could have* passed the place-holder (“this shell of a bill”) as-is and sent it to Trump to sign. Since McCain did not want to see the place-holder become law, he voted it down.

    Dave (445e97)

  60. What I wanted to point out is that the deficit surged from $438 to $587 billion right after that lovely bipartisan agreement to end the sequestration.

    Yeah, but look at those numbers. “surged from $438 to $587 billion” as the deficit for a year.

    Now we have seen $500 billion added in less than half a year.

    And Trump cultists don’t care.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  61. Has Trump implemented any of these ideas? I ask that sincerely, not rhetorically. Maybe he has done some of them or is in the process but I can’t find it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  62. DRJ, I don’t recall seeing any of those things mentioned.

    Trump canceled the subsidies that made the program affordable for low-income people.

    How this comports with his endless stream of promises, going back almost 20 years, to “take care of everyone” is unclear:

    “I’m quite liberal and getting much more liberal on healthcare and other things. I really say: What’s the purpose of a country if you’re not going to have defensive and healthcare? If you can’t take care of your sick in the country, forget it, it’s all over. I mean, it’s no good. So I’m very liberal when it comes to healthcare. I believe in universal healthcare. I believe in whatever it takes to make people well and better.” (1999)

    “That’s where I may be a little bit different from the [other] people. You can’t let the people in this country, the people without the money and resources, to go without healthcare.” (July 2015)

    “I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now…they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything.” (September 2015)

    “We’re going to take care of them. We’re going to take care of them. We have to take care of them. Now, that’s not single payer. That’s not anything. That’s just human decency.” (February 2016)

    “You will end up with great health care for a fraction of the price and that will take place immediately after we go in. Immediately! Fast! Quick!” (February 2016)

    Dave (445e97)

  63. “You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter.” – tribalist Dick Cheney, noted Reagan cultist, 2004.

    But that was then. This is now.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  64. “Shut the gubmint down. Then torch it.”

    – mg

    You’re an old guy, right? When you say “shut the gubmint down,” are you referring to everything except your social security checks and Medicare?

    Leviticus (f38321)

  65. “People who utter falsehoods about me and my positions are going to start getting ultimatums. Back it up or apologize, or you’re gone.

    I’m done with people leveling bullshit accusations about my positions”

    “Now we have seen $500 billion added in less than half a year.

    And Trump cultists don’t care.”

    Who are these Trump cultist that said they don’t care? I have never heard a single one say that. They might like the tax cuts more, or think repairing our military is more important, but I have never heard one take the position they don’t care.

    Nate Ogden (f48ffc)

  66. 62 “Trump canceled the subsidies that made the program affordable for low-income people.”

    Trump cancelled the subsidies that eliminated out of pocket cost, that was seldom paid in the first place. The premium subsidies that make the program affordable have not been touched.

    Nate Ogden (f48ffc)

  67. “I don’t know what the first paragraph means (the paragraph I put in bold), but your second paragraph tells me you are willing let the US default on its debts. It has happened before, on a very limited and temporary basis, and we paid a price for that.”

    Your link is extremely unclear and poorly related to the likely consequences of sovereign general default (I’m quite sure rates on new bonds would skyrocket)

    “Do you really think the US should experiment with a bigger default because Trump thinks bankruptcy is a brilliant strategy?”

    Sovereign default is not an *experiment*, it is a financial coup d’etat. But when debt crosses generations, distorts markets and opportunities, and makes slaves of people in their own homelands decades beyond the origination, it’s always a workable option. Definitely something that you’d bring Bannon back for…

    Steppe Nomad (1231f6)

  68. “Remember that “skinny repeal” was a place-holder, ostensibly to be completely re-written by something else hammered out in House/Senate conference (hence the reference to Speaker Ryan), but as McCain points out, once approved by the Senate, the House *could have* passed the place-holder (“this shell of a bill”) as-is and sent it to Trump to sign. Since McCain did not want to see the place-holder become law, he voted it down.”

    In other words, McCain was fine with ObamaCare as-is, unconstitutionality and all, and any hypothetical excuse would do for keeping it around.

    Steppe Nomad (8767e2)

  69. In other words, McCain was fine with ObamaCare as-is

    No.

    Dave (445e97)

  70. In any case, if I want to read libertarian deficit hawks who have a bone to pick with Trump and don’t care about the politics, I tend to pick Karl Denninger, he’s actually smart, consistent, and descriptive:

    https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=234024

    “Leaving aside whether one should be able to intentionally destroy their own body and then bill someone else is the fact that at 500% of what the free-market price would be for such treatment, on an average basis, the common man ultimately pays not just a fair price for such personally-caused treatment but a 500% jacked up one.

    Between Medicare and Medicaid last fiscal year the Federal Government spent $1.44 trillion. The year before that it was $1.414 trillion. 80% of it was stolen through these jacked-up and unlawful practices which is $1.15 trillion last fiscal year alone.

    May I remind you that the official “deficit” was $666 billion last year; we would have run a $500 billion surplus on-budget if this scam was stopped.

    The unofficial (actual) “debt to the penny” last year was, shockingly, approximately that same $666 billion.

    In other words we would have actually decreased total federal debt by approximately $500 billion last year if we stopped the anti-trust violations — which are felonies, I remind you, under 15 USC Chapter 1 — in the medical system.

    Over the last decade we would have subtracted in the neighborhood of $3 trillion from the national debt if this scam was stopped. Instead we added $11.22 trillion, which is more than a clean double and Trump is increasing, not decreasing, the rate of addition.

    Your cost of living measured in dollars has doubled over that same time.

    It should have instead fallen by roughly 30%!”

    “All of this, under 15 USC Chapter 1, was made illegal more than one hundred years ago and it is a felony, not just something subject to a fine. Yet you can literally count on the fingers of an amputated hand the criminal charges laid, the executives in prison and the number of organizations forced to cut that crap out or that have been dissolved. The medical and insurance industries have twice run cases all the way up to the Supreme Court claiming exemption from said law and lost both times, yet there still are no charges laid.

    May I point out that the largest criminal anti-trust case filed (and one of the few to ever result in prison sentences) is still, as far I know, against Optronics? That was over approximately $15 billion in allegedly price-fixed sales annually over five years’ time. The medical and pharmaceutical industry does $15 billion in sales in less than two days time, or a run rate of some 750 times Optronics in terms of economic impact and harm to the American consumer, it goes on every single day and virtually every single bit of it is price-fixed in some form or fashion and thus is a violation of that very same law yet the number of arrests and prosecutions number zero.

    There is literally nothing else that outweighs this as a political and economic matter. Not trade, not taxes, not which party wins the next election, not guns, not whether someone can refuse to bake a cake, not whether weed will be legal in Michigan come November.”

    Now THAT’S persuasive libertarian writing, made more persuasive by the fact that he’s actually delineating the effects of these things on the common man, and calling for arrests and executions as well! Wonder why more libertarians don’t adopt his style?

    Steppe Nomad (2d439f)

  71. i heard Trump sang a good song

    I heard he had a style!

    so I came to see him and listen for a while

    and there he was this icon, a stranger to my eyes

    strumming my pain with his fingers

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  72. McCain is a nasty and grossly hyper-entitled and cowardly military disgrace who leaves behind him a legacy of shame and a large-breasted mouthy daughter

    and he will never

    ever

    ever resign

    no matter if all he can do is drool

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  73. Now we have seen $500 billion added in less than half a year.

    we need to grow the economy

    obama understood that and sabotaged it intentionally

    menopauseherpes didn’t understand that cause she’s all about personal profit (will never be president)

    President Trump gets it!

    he gets he can do things that grow the economy that pedophile Mitt Romney’s receptacle slash speaker paw paw can’t sabotage

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  74. 69 that’s some really bad math and a failure of logic. Not sure where the 500% mark up number comes from but on many services it doesn’t exist. While some hospital services are that over priced; physician services, generic rx, routine diagnotic have slim mark ups. The 500% can’t be extrapolated to total spending.

    Nate Ogden (f48ffc)

  75. cancer drool

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  76. i just love how people who were perfectly all on board with a diseased pedophile Mitt Romney coward-traitor John McCain republican party until

    Trump

    yeah you guys need to off-load your credibility at the credibility surplus site so it’s properly managed and cane be stored until such a time that it’s needed

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  77. That was enron accounting, obama a one trillion baseline on every budget, he presented he did cut about 300 billion out of military expenditures, just as he promised the plowshares people to get the Iowa caucasus in 2008.

    narciso (d1f714)

  78. oopers *can* be stored i mean

    not *cane* be stored

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  79. Yes the fellow who was fooled once by Jonathan grubber and Fina Mccarthy doesn’t have the sharpest judgement.

    narciso (d1f714)

  80. What causes a comment to get flagged for moderation? Seems pretty wild west in here.

    Nate Ogden (f48ffc)

  81. gruber lol

    gruber knee-pad suck-girl Megan McArdle’s profile is

    pretty

    damn

    low

    lately

    even Mr. Instapundit’s stopped linking that slag

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  82. What causes a comment to get flagged for moderation? Seems pretty wild west in here.

    Certain words, and also too many hyperlinks (IIRC four is the maximum allowed).

    Dave (445e97)

  83. Pikachus the gremlin that got into the wiring, disco is allowed to diminish the suffering of texans during Harvey,

    narciso (d1f714)

  84. texans are resilient

    that’s our brand

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  85. if all John Cornyn could do was drool he would resign

    and he’s not even someone of remarkable character he’s just a sloop-sloop

    but he represents Texas

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  86. Mcardle, might be mistaken about something’s, but its no reason to get nasty.

    narciso (d1f714)

  87. no she seriously did a loathsomely full-throated apologia for gruber

    like all down her throat

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  88. plus she has a seriously bizarre fetish for rotisserie chicken

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  89. 83.texans are resilient

    Is that tribalism or cultist, Mr. Feet? 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  90. i’m to the manor born so i’m a wee lil bit biased Mr. DCSCA

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  91. If its the one with lemon pepper, I fully understand. The cob has the rep of the folks that certified the genoa bridge wee safe, or prof stiglitz who did the same for Fannie Mae and the Venezuelan central bank, which is a figment of some ones deranged imagination.

    narciso (d1f714)

  92. that’s our brand

    hmm…

    Dave (445e97)

  93. or prof stiglitz who did the same for Fannie Mae

    slicked-up florida stripper-boy marco rubio says social security is more than robust enough to tack on an extra family leave entitlement

    and how many times has he fellated pedophile mitt romney

    FOIA REQUEST hello

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  94. I only voted for him because he was challenged by Tom cruise wannabe pat Murphy, who they took out Allen west with.

    Narciso (aa286f)

  95. If Republicans don’t stand for fiscal responsibility then what do they stand for, happyfeet?

    DRJ (15874d)

  96. so Donald McGahn is a bush-like simper-slut (lick lick)

    he wanted so bad to be important and relevant

    but not unlike jeb (jeb bush, one-time low-energy presidential candidate)

    he’s kind of a ponce relegated to the ivy-trash dorm room easte-receptacle of history

    nice job Donald

    i’m sure you mum is proud

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  97. DRJ Republicans have been infiltrated all up in it by cowardly military obscenities like navy-filth John McCain and pedophiles like Mitt Romney (daddy it hurts) and by leg-splayed wanton hookers like wisco-boi Paul Ryan

    but President Trump stands athwart

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  98. easte-receptacle of history

    *waste-receptacle* of history

    ugh sorry i have people

    this was air show day

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  99. I think it’s I’ll considered move, considering Mueller track record, btw Peter strzok started his bureau career in beantown, when white burger bureau ties were beginning to surface.

    Narciso (aa286f)

  100. yeah like the rest of the poop-stain commie fbi is “pure as the driven snow””

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  101. Trump has an backward way of standing athwart, happyfeet.

    DRJ (15874d)

  102. he broke the pattern DRJ

    he showed us that

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  103. this is democracy

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  104. They have a nice racket going, like Ryan’s chief of staff who won the nomination this week. You can’t vote for the crazy wannabe ironworker Randy Bruce.

    Now I blame in part the avowed constitutionalist like sasse and co, who took forever and day, to endorse Cruz

    Narciso (aa286f)

  105. harvardtrash ben sasse stuck his own children all nose-up in a dumpster fire

    just to derogate our president, President Donald Trump

    he’s kinda sick and abusive

    NEBRASKA

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  106. Again he is good for useless gestures, but when it comes to actual strategy or policy he’s mostly awol.

    Narciso (aa286f)

  107. Leviticus-
    I am old enough to collect, but have not. Yet. I’m still working as much as I can.
    How’s the curtain crawler?

    mg (9e54f8)

  108. Bruce will flip the seat, though I say that it might be the lonely trickle from blue balls not the blue wave

    urbanleftbehind (eabbab)

  109. It’s a fairly red district, but as Edwin starr put it ‘what is it good for’ and I don’t want to know what that other part meant.

    Narciso (aa286f)

  110. It’s been less red as the Kenosha/Racine/Lake Geneva half start looking more like a suburban Chicago district. If Wiscy gets jobbed next Census and Walkerites are still running stuff, I expect “little Maxine” Gwen Moore gets that part in a “super-Dem” district.

    As to my 2nd point, maybe a) some realization, or b) trying to scare the partisans into showing up:

    http://nypost.com/2018/08/18/cbs-news-pollster-reveals-why-blue-wave-is-unlikely/

    urbanleftbehind (eabbab)

  111. National Debt Hits New High, with Trillion Dollar Deficits Again on the Horizon

    oh sweetie if you thought it was trending lower this must all come as a terrible shock

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  112. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis expressed solidarity with President Trump’s stripping of former Obama CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance earlier this week.

    “All I can tell you is, I have taken security clearances away from people in my previous time in uniform, and a security clearance is something that is granted on an as-needed basis,” he told Pentagon reporters traveling with him in South America on Friday.

    wow

    i might to re-think my appraisal of this little guy

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  113. might *need* to

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  114. i’m really stunned by this

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  115. He’s like general hammond from the original stargate, tough but fair.

    Narciso (aa286f)

  116. trust but verify

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  117. Who are these Trump cultist that said they don’t care?

    Tell me how you feel about the current deficit, Nate.

    Tell me exactly how you feel.

    As for what flags comments for moderation, using or quoting the word bullshit will do it, automatically.

    Patterico (e66a17)

  118. Unless you’re me. The filter says I can say what I want.

    So be careful quoting me. It’s the Wild West!

    Patterico (e66a17)

  119. romeo and juliet they never felt this way i bet

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  120. Was there a viable alternative budget that could get past Collins and McCain and Murkowski, this was back during the Korean fracas

    Narciso (aa286f)

  121. oh sweetie if you thought it was trending lower this must all come as a terrible shock

    Nothing about the debt shocks me.

    You used to support Mitch Daniels, no?

    Why?

    Patterico (e66a17)

  122. i thought he could scale

    i was wrong

    he foreshadowed scott walker

    and all i can do now is weep

    do u believe that we can change the future

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  123. The current deficit sucks. The republican controlled congress should be ashamed of themselves.

    Trump would have signed a balanced budget that financed the military if they would have given him that.

    But they didn’t, so it’s all Trumps fault.

    lee (e2ff85)

  124. ther’s only so many people what can scale to the america level

    jeb no

    pedophile mitt no

    disgraced navy-turd coward John McCain no

    i started singin

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  125. ugh *there’s* i mean

    u try commenting with a house-full of people demanding late-summer cocktails

    watermelon juice plus vodka plus a half shot of grand marnier

    yeah i’m not proud but it’s getting the job done

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  126. If we had a McDaniel a Wolfe a few others things might have changed, be in has done a pretty good job in Kentucky, someone else might gave become majority leader.

    Narciso (aa286f)

  127. I’m up to the chapter on International Wealth Transfers now in the latest edition of Sowell’s Basic Economics. The man’s ability to cut through political demagoguery and nonsense is awe-inspiring.

    He demolishes the “debtor nation” trope (which implies that foreign investment in the US is somehow bad) thusly:

    Every time you deposit a hundred dollars in a bank, that bank goes a hundred dollars deeper into debt, because it is still your money and they owe it to you. Some people might become alarmed if they were told that the bank in which they keep their life’s savings is going deeper and deeper into debt every month. But such worries would be completely uncalled for, if the bank’s growing debt means only that many other people are also depositing their paychecks in that same bank.

    On the other hand, if you are simply buying things on credit, then that is a debt that you are expected to pay – and if you run up debts that are beyond your means of repayment, you can be in big trouble. However, a bank is in no trouble if someone deposits millions of dollars into it, even though that means going millions of dollars deeper into debt. On the contrary, the bank officials would probably be delighted to get millions of dollars, from which they can make more loans and earn more interest.

    Donald Trump (as usual) has it exactly wrong. He called us “the piggy bank that everyone robs”. In fact, we are the bank that the rest of the world wants to put its money into (in the form of investment), and understandably so. And we should welcome them, just as a real bank welcomes new depositors!

    As Sowell emphasizes, trade is not a zero-sum game. Trading is advantageous to both parties, and the net investment that flows in the opposite direction is also advantageous to both parties.

    Dave (445e97)

  128. This is not late summer. More like smack dab middle of summer.

    A cooler full of beer is what is appropriate.

    lee (e2ff85)

  129. Because I like that Sphinx backbeat, happy: http://youtu.be/EDwb9jOVRtU

    urbanleftbehind (eabbab)

  130. North of Madison Street and close to the Lake it is the late part of the 2 month summer.

    urbanleftbehind (eabbab)

  131. summer is so almost gone

    but i love fall too

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  132. i love her cause she’s unabashedly america Mr. leftbehind

    she co-branded in the best way

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  133. that vid is a melange of john travolta movie moments btw

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  134. Don’t know,about that, but that Jennifer garner preview seems promising, then again it could turn out like the long kiss goodnight.

    Narciso (aa286f)

  135. that was the longest kiss ever and many lightbulbs died

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  136. but wow

    general mattis standing up like a man

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  137. Good on All American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter for getting in that flick, liked Swing Swing a lot. I wonder if there’s gonna be extra security at the complexes in Maryland and Long Island.

    urbanleftbehind (eabbab)

  138. Well she had some action chops from alias, yes,we won’t speak of electra.

    Narciso (aa286f)

  139. you know she used to live down the street from me

    (hi mb)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  140. So what is to be done next?

    Narciso (aa286f)

  141. i think the pension dominoes fall first Mr. N

    i think that’s what pedophile Mitt Romney’s slicked-up little man has always been counting on

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  142. america has a fat-ass deficit

    this is trump’s fault

    why did he do this on us

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  143. we must have displeased him in some way

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  144. we must have displeased him in some way

    I don’t think I could live with that

    Dave (445e97)

  145. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said on Saturday that he “fully admits” Twitter employees share a largely left-leaning bias after facing accusations that conservatives are discriminated against on the social media platform.

    this is cause they’re america-hating twatter twats not unlike cia slitter-twunt john brennan

    …who they love so much

    but the twats at google are a thousand times worse

    douchebag jack dorsey’s twatter is just a distraction

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  146. Patterico–

    The only thing that kept the deficit down in the Obama years was Quantitative Easing.

    Consider a $20 trillion debt at 1% interest ($200 billion). Now try 3%. Or 5%.

    I believe Obama was paying near zero, but to do this any longer would court inflation. Indeed, even the tail end of that has kicked up inflation, and will drive interest rates even higher.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  147. He didn’t need to. Despite winning two wars and fighting off a recession, by 2007 the budget deficit was down to 1% of GDP.

    And then TSHTF.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  148. Trump would have signed a balanced budget that financed the military if they would have given him that.

    And I would marry a supermodel if one happens to knock on my door this weekend.

    Jeeze guy, Trump is the one who preemptively promised everyone that he wouldn’t touch entitlement spending, and he demanded more defense spending along with tax cuts. There is no way the GOP could have delivered to him a balanced budget that didn’t have further cuts to defense spending as well as real substantive entitlement reform, and there is no way in hell Trump would have touched that budget. Granted, I’m no fan of the current President, though I guess I am also less antagonistic towards him than our host is, but let’s not pretend for one minute that he’s at all interested in curbing our spending problem in any substantive manner.

    JVW (42615e)

  149. BTW, I said years ago that when Obama’s spending was done, and interest rates returned to normal levels (3-5%), there would be hell to pay.

    Would the current year deficit be higher under Hillary? Probably not. But that isn’t the whole picture.

    She said during the campaign that she would jack up taxes a LOT (some of this to compete with Bernie who wanted to go back to 90% marginal rates). Would she have succeeded? Maybe. Obama did. Certainly there would have been no tax cuts. So, yeah, this year’s balance sheet might have looked better (not clear — Obamacare would have cost more) but the out-years would have had less growth.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  150. The only thing that kept the deficit down in the Obama years was Quantitative Easing.

    lol

    that nasty geriatric fed bimbo kept the monetary policy training wheels on obama’s bigwheel the whole 8 years

    fed policy: we don’t raise rates when a putative black man is prezzy

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  151. plus it turns out michelle obama was a nasty tranner the whole time (chick with a dick)

    have you not seen mark zuckerberg’s infowars?

    it’s eye-opening to say the least

    man

    she’s hung like a donkey

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  152. Fresh mangoes with vanilla ice cream, happyfeet.

    mg (9e54f8)

  153. I found another non-Goldberg libertarian ‘i.e., intelligent, well-read, mature, respectable, consistently intellectually honest, not given to redefining words’ to talk about why default is probably in the cards and probably the most moral option (or *least immoral*, which is a mindset our not so smart libertarians really need to get into sooner rather than later):

    https://johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-news-blog/123917571-defaulting-on-the-national-debt-makes-a-surprising-amount-of-sense

    “Is there a moral basis for default?
    Absolutely. There are actually several moral bases for defaulting.

    Taxation without representation
    Borrowing money that is to be paid back by our children and grandchildren is immoral taxation without representation. Children and unborn grandchildren cannot vote. Yet bond buyers will be indignant if and when the upcoming generations refuse to pay those debts. The bond buyers should have thought of that when they bought the bonds.

    Sons should not be punished for the sins of their fathers.

    The Doctrine of Odious Debt
    There is a legal or perhaps philosophical, ethical Doctrine of Odious Debt. A pertinent Patricia Adams article has the title “The Doctrine of Odious Debts: Using the Law to Cancel Illegitimate Debts.”

    Should the citizens of Germany have had to pay back the debts of Hitler’s Third Reich after World War II? Are Russian citizens obligated to work for decades to pay off the debts of the former Soviet Union? The Soviets sure as hell renounced the Czar’s debts right after the Russian Revolution. And the current Russian government also defaulted on its bonds in the late 1990s.

    Our current impossible debt level (including unfunded liabilities for future entitlements) was generally created by Democrat politicians to buy votes and the loyalty of voters to cement themselves into power forever. Republicans went along because they felt it would be political suicide not to. In other words, they placed their own political careers ahead of the needs of the nation and the oath they took when they got elected.

    Here are some quotes from Alexander Sack, a Russian law professor who taught in Paris in the 1920s:

    If a despotic power incurs a debt not for the needs or in the interest of the State, but to strengthen its despotic regime, to repress the population that fights against it, etc., this debt is odious for the population of all the State. This debt is not an obligation for the nation; it is a regime’s debt.[It is] a personal debt of the power that has incurred it. [When this power falls, that debt] consequently . . . falls with the fall of this power….

    …It is often said that the Constitution is not a suicide note. Actually, it is in the sense that it establishes our fealty to principles that trump mere survival of a form of government. But the Constitution is not a document that should be able to condemn our descendants to eternal serfdom in a poor house constructed for them by long-dead Democrat politicians.”

    Just so. Of course, it requires a singular personality, a singular negotiator, and a singular will to pull off something like that…

    Steppe Nomad (1cf653)

  154. Those debt numbers are just Electronic Blips created by the US government and passed out to their friends and some borrowers.

    They can make as many electronic blips as they need and if worst comes to worst, Treasury can issue bonds which they hold themselves. That has already happened.

    In fact, they could stop collecting taxes and create just as many electronic blips as they need.

    william elbel (fd5d32)

  155. Those debt numbers are just Electronic Blips created by the US government and passed out to their friends and some borrowers.

    Don’t be daft. Nothing was “passed out”.

    The “friends and some borrowers” paid $21T in cash money for those “blips”.

    Dave (445e97)

  156. They are still following static analysis:

    Narciso (e50d2b)

  157. 117 I’ll be more careful with the sources I quote.

    “Tell me how you feel about the current deficit, Nate.

    Tell me exactly how you feel.”

    I think debt will be what kills America. I think it’s crazy that the spending we fight over could probably all be paid for by what we spend on interest. The last spending bill he signed was horrible, I rather have seen the government shut down.

    Now the sad reality I’m forced to live in. No one has shown the spine to balance the budget on entitlements and welfare. Any other solution is short term and meaningless.

    If I have a choice between 400 billion deficits with higher taxes and a gutted military or 800 billion deficits I’ll take the 800 billion.

    I care about the debt; attacking Trump, removing him from office, or some other unspecified solution would make things worse not better. Federal employment is down 24,000, I rather see 240,000 or multiple times that but it is headed in right direction. Manufacturing is up which will have long term positive impact on tax base. If we can get LNG Export terminals up and running that could have a huge impact on future deficits. US Steel is updating their Gary Mill to make it more competitive. Fox Conn building plants.

    With Trumps debt I see tangible benefits. I have yet to see a Solyndra or McCaulf Mississippi Car Company. Wasting a trillion and getting nothing back is infuriating, investing a trillion for future return I am ok with.

    Until entitlements are addressed sadly it is all meaningless, an extra 5-8 Trillion in debt from Trump is a drop to the 100+ Trillion Medicare/Social Security deficit.

    Nate Ogden (f48ffc)

  158. 127 “a bank is in no trouble if someone deposits millions of dollars into it, even though that means going millions of dollars deeper into debt. On the contrary, the bank officials would probably be delighted to get millions of dollars, from which they can make more loans and earn more interest.”

    What a failed attempt at logic, that’s not how foreign investment works. If a bank has a negative ROI or an ROI below cost then adding more money only increases losses and leads to a bigger failure.

    Foreign investment does not put money into the US for a small passive return lower than what the US borrower is making reinvesting that money. Any time they buy a distressed property that recovers it’s a negative ROI. When they buy an asset and increase prices it’s a negative ROI for our economy. When they buy an asset, take the IP home and shut down the US operations it’s negative ROI.

    What ever class is proir to Basic Economics Sowell needs sent back. Do they offer a remedial economics he can take or maybe a HS business class if that is still a thing.

    Nate Ogden (f48ffc)

  159. 147 And the domestic oil explosion he fought against, I love seeing liberals trying to give him credit for that. The reduction in trade deficit and domestic jobs/taxes it created saved Obama from 8 years of recession.

    Nate Ogden (f48ffc)

  160. Exactly bcci, bank ambrosiano, one of those Cyprus banks gorged on Greek debt,

    Narciso (a94554)

  161. With Trumps debt I see tangible benefits.

    With Obama’s debt, Obama’s superfans saw tangible benefits.

    I care about the debt; attacking Trump….would make things worse not better.”

    I used the ellipsis to remove the parts irrelevant to our discussion.

    You’re willing to pay lip service to the debt’s importance, but unwilling to criticize a President under whom the debt is exploding worse than it did in Obama’s second term.

    From this, I conclude that your tribalism is more important to you than your claims to be worried about the debt.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  162. lip service is your opinion, easy way to dodge any argument you disagree with.

    I’ve paid substantial taxes of which a painful portion went to debt. Short of paying off the entire debt what would you consider more than lip service? Do I need to call Trump names or burn a MAGA hat for it to be considered sufficient criticism?

    Obama superfans are free to express those tangible benefits as I expressed the ones I saw and those can be debated. Unlike dismissing arguments as lip service.

    Nice selection bias there too, yes Obama’s debt wasn’t exploding in his second term….only because it went nuclear in his first term.

    Nate Ogden (f48ffc)

  163. I’ve paid substantial taxes of which a painful portion went to debt. Short of paying off the entire debt what would you consider more than lip service? Do I need to call Trump names or burn a MAGA hat for it to be considered sufficient criticism?

    You could try, I dunno, actually criticizing him.

    Pretend he’s Obama and the numbers are the same. That should make it easy.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  164. What a failed attempt at logic, that’s not how foreign investment works. If a bank has a negative ROI or an ROI below cost then adding more money only increases losses and leads to a bigger failure.

    Nobody said anything about a negative ROI. Yes, sure, if a bank is careless about how it lends money, it will lose that money, regardless of where the money came from. Completely irrelevant to the point being made.

    Foreign investment does not put money into the US for a small passive return lower than what the US borrower is making reinvesting that money. Any time they buy a distressed property that recovers it’s a negative ROI. When they buy an asset and increase prices it’s a negative ROI for our economy. When they buy an asset, take the IP home and shut down the US operations it’s negative ROI.

    You’re the one who needs remedial work, I’m afraid. This is the witless, zero-sum thinking Sowell demolishes.

    If foreign investment buys a distressed property that recovers, everybody wins. The previous owners win, by exchanging a property that was losing them money for something else they value more, the foreign investors win, and the people who live and work near the now-profitable enterprise win from having jobs, property taxes and goods/services that wouldn’t have been available otherwise.

    Dave (445e97)

  165. -149, JVW, I guess you missed my point.

    Congress is responsible for the budget. Yes, Trump could have vetoed it…then it would have gone back to congress. Does anybody really think that would have stopped deficit spending?

    What would have happened is the government would have shut down, and the media would demonize republicans for doing it. The republicans in congress would have blamed Trump, and for the next year every ill in the world would be because Trump and the republicans refused to do the right thing.

    Of course in truth, the government shutdown wouldn’t matter, and after two days a new budget would be submitted minus the military spending or anything else actually good for the country, and the deficit would be 600 billion instead of 800 billion.

    The TEA Party at least exposed the scam, and that it’s both parties responsible. And how futile it is raging about it.

    As you said, Trump didn’t campaign on beating his head against that particular wall, and blaming him for the debt is silly.

    lee (e2ff85)

  166. It seems like the average US citizen believes that the national debt is someone else’s problem….that we can have across the board tax cuts….health care for all….a bigger military….free college…..endless war….more government programs…no changes to entitlements…and we can just complain about the other side not compromising. We no longer have a functional politics….there are no adults who can get away from the cameras and make difficult decisions. Trump is just another manifestation of this unseriousness. Add in under-funded pensions systems…and we are literally heading for the cliff. We have to stop playing gotcha politics and work on this hard problem. The challenge is that self interest prevents any sacrifice. Who wants to give up their mortgage tax deduction? This isn’t just a Trump problem….it’s an American voter problem. If we were serious about debt and deficits…neither Hillary or Trump would have been our candidates…

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  167. Nice selection bias there too, yes Obama’s debt wasn’t exploding in his second term….only because it went nuclear in his first term.

    It did. I have always criticized him for that. Now it is going nuclear at the same rate under Trump. And you…can’t seem to find any criticism.

    Huh.

    Patterico (e66a17)

  168. As I pointed out earlier, Obama’s excuse was the Great Recession. It’s a piss-poor excuse but he has it. What excuse does Trump have?

    Patterico (e66a17)

  169. You could try, I dunno, actually criticizing him.

    In the abstract — or with regard to specific spending priorities?

    Criticizing him in the abstract only “scratches an itch” that anti-Trump folks seem to not be satisfy.

    I look at WHY the deficit numbers have increased — what policy changes have been made that have likely contributed to the increase in the deficit, and then I make a judgment on a few of questions:

    1. Are the policy changes beneficial and along the lines of what I desired when I voted for him?

    2. Are the increases in the deficit brought on by those changes structural or transitory?

    3. Are there things that can still be done that might begin to curtail the increasing deficit picture, and can those be accomplished still?

    Based on what I’ve read, the increase in the deficit is tied to a few policy changes — the tax cut; the suspension of enforcement of the individual mandate under Obamacare; 3) increases in national security spending to take them back in the direction of spending on such items pre-Obama; and 4) increasing numbers of retirees eligible for SS and Medicare.

    I think all those are justifiable policy changes.

    Are the structural? I think (4) is certainly structural, and will get worse. Some corrective measures are going to be necessary.

    Notwithstanding the tax cut, the Treasury still collected record totals when looking simply at the gross level of income tax revenue it received. Even if the economy started to cool down today, next year’s level of receipts will set yet another record. the problem is that Congress has too often in the past used this as an excuse to increase spending yet again. I fear that Trump will not be a brake on this mentality, as it plays into his “deal-making” psychology — given them the spending they want in exchange for policy priorities of the WH.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  170. I think
    Hoolyweed and the Catholic Church should pay off the debt. Mainly because they suc and lie.

    mg (9e54f8)

  171. Well-said, AJ_Liberty.

    Dave (445e97)

  172. OT: Giuliani today on Meet the Press:

    “Truth isn’t truth.”

    Dave (445e97)

  173. In the abstract — or with regard to specific spending priorities?

    Primarily for refusing to take on entitlements, and secondarily for not recognizing the problem and treating it seriously, which means he is not doing anything else at all to try to deal with it.

    I realize all this doesn’t make him unique, but watching people yawn and spin and rationalize when they screamed at Obama over this issue makes for good fun.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  174. OT: Giuliani today on Meet the Press:

    “Truth isn’t truth.”

    Already have a post on it.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  175. What is “abstract” criticism to you, swc, and how is this distinction meaningful? Is it not concrete or specific, or is it that it is not important to you? I suspect the latter.

    For instance, was it abstract to criticize Trump for exaggerating the size of his Inauguration crowd? That is a specific, concrete topic but probably not something you think is important. Would you say that was abstract criticism or acceptable criticism?

    DRJ (15874d)

  176. Already have a post on it.

    Wow, it’s getting pretty wild west in here!

    :)

    Dave (445e97)

  177. You mean when the ap represented a pic before the event as the actual one.

    Narciso (46f4b4)

  178. Well he made a promise not to challenge entitlements,

    Narciso (46f4b4)

  179. 169 Debt serviceing is one. Rates need to rise but it’s just bad luck for who evers budget it happens under.

    Military is second, I believe it was at a tipping point, it’s expensive to fix neglect.

    Population is third, all those retiring baby boomers are going to be expensive.

    Illegal immigrants would be forth. The bill for open borders and court anointed rights is going to be huge.

    Nate Ogden (971645)

  180. Well done, narciso! You and Giuliani are similarly adept as spinners. Trump only complained about the media reports, right? Trump didn’t send Spicer out to dispute the crowd size. And he certainly didn’t admit he was wrong later.

    DRJ (15874d)

  181. 165 Dave, have you ever had more than a few thousand to your name? If you did, did you get rich off of a COD, do you sock money away in your interest bearing checking account to make money?

    Comparing foreign investment to bank deposits is wrong in every which way. Comparing foreign purchases of US Debt to bank deposits would be a fair analogy.

    Sowell’s analogy didn’t distinguish between positive or negative ROI, just one of many shortcomings. He made the blanket statement that taking on debt was good. While opportunity is good it has cost, debt is only good if you can exceed that cost.

    Chinese buying up foreclosed property for 30 cents on the dollar is good for us how?

    Chinese crash the rare earth market driving the sole US mine out of business then buys the mine for nothing, that is good for us how?

    China’s control over foreign ports by loading them up with debt then foreclosing is a clear example of the potential problem.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  182. 176 — DRJ: abstract is to just complain about the numbers without looking at the causes behind the numbers.

    Trump didn’t sign anything like Obama’s trillion dollar stimulus package for “shovel ready” projects — remember that porker?

    Trump didn’t sign Obamacare which transfers the healthcare cost for 20 million people onto the backs of taxpayers.

    In my opinion it’s mindless criticism to look at a date on a calendar and say that one administration or another is responsible for set of conditions that exist on that date –that’s criticizing him in the “abstract” — it happened, it happened while he was President, therefore he’s responsible.

    Simply because something happened during the Obama Administration isn’t a basis to charge the Obama administration with having been at fault. The fact that the housing bubble popped three months before he was elected in 2008 doesn’t make Obama responsible for the decline in economic growth that followed in 2009.

    But he is responsible for the steps he took to address the problem.

    Similarly, Trump isn’t responsible for spending increases caused by the insurance subsidies or the increases in Medicaid subsidies paid to states. He’s not responsible for the increases in spending that have resulted from the ending of the mandatory “forced sequestration” which hollowed out our military readiness.

    When the Dems controlled the Congress they created the forced sequestration system that imposed mandatory cuts in discretionary spending on defense and non-defense budget items. But they rigged the system in a way that set separate triggers in the two areas — with the triggers in the defense and national security segments of the budget being much more likely to go into effect. The spending caps created would actually be lower than set by the legislation IF a joint committee of Senators and Representatives could not agree on budget cuts by a specified date.

    Guess what happened?? The Dems refused to agree, meaning the more austere budget levels went into effect automatically for defense and national security spending. The GOP made that deal when the Dems controlled the Congress and had Obama in the WH, thinking that the Dems would never actually allow draconian cuts in defense and national security spending to take effect.

    Surprise!!! The GOP was a bit late realizing that the modern Dem party constituency doesn’t place much value on defense and national security spending, and gladly allowed the cuts to go into effect by refusing to reach agreement. That just freed up more money for Dem spending priorities.

    The Dems don’t care about a 300 ship blue water Navy, nor do they care about 12 carrier strike groups or 45 brigade combat teams. So they were happy to see the money for those defense projects go away — in 2013, after the cuts began to go into effect, the Army announced plans to draw down troop levels by 80,000, and to eliminate 13 of the 45 brigade combat teams.

    Reversing these decisions is costly.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  183. Dave, in your best Sowell impression, explain the benefit of this, one of many examples.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/25/world/asia/china-sri-lanka-port.html

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  184. “With Obama’s debt, Obama’s superfans saw tangible benefits.”

    Obama’s superfans were, shall we say, generally rather more deplorable than The Deplorables, and their conduct since his tenure ended has only burnished that.

    “Pretend he’s Obama and the numbers are the same. That should make it easy.”

    Yes, if we pretend that spending all that money on entirely different goods, people, and national priorities is exactly the same thing with the same relative values, it’s easy to make false and lazy equivalencies.

    “As I pointed out earlier, Obama’s excuse was the Great Recession. It’s a piss-poor excuse but he has it. What excuse does Trump have?”

    Offhand: the special counsel eating up his political capital and serving as a constant impeachment threat, the fact that the #NeverTrump and other heavily lobbyist-influenced contingent of the Republican party is still large enough to force coalitions with Democrats and do real permanent damage to any future budget plans, the absolutely reprehensible and one-sided media lobby that won’t even acknowledge economic good news, much less necessary economic medicine, and the fact that all of these malign influences collude openly and covertly with each other.

    Steppe Nomad (302967)

  185. we should try sending fiscally responsible appropriations bills to President Trump

    pedophile Mitt Romney’s boy toy Paul Ryan is just running out the clock though rather than legislate anything

    after this he’ll cash in and make millions selling influence

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  186. Dave, in your best Sowell impression, explain the benefit of this, one of many examples.

    Not relevant to Sowell’s point.

    If some idiot borrows billions of dollars and burns them, it won’t turn out well no matter who the borrower and lender are.

    Sowell has page after page – in the same chapter – about how government-driven investments like the Concorde and Channel Tunnel squander resources because they don’t have the same incentives and constraints as private sector projects and are instead instances of politicians spending other peoples’ money, with a view to winning the next election. The Sri Lankan port sounds like a classic example of the same thing.

    Dave (445e97)

  187. He made the blanket statement that taking on debt was good.

    No he didn’t.

    These are the words immediately before the passage I quoted (literally the preceding sentences). I left them out for brevity because I figured his point was obvious, but apparently not to some:

    The point here is that neither international deficits nor surpluses are the inevitable consequences of either prosperity or poverty and neither word, by itself, tells much about the condition of a country’s economy. The word “debt” covers very different kinds of transactions, some of which may in fact present problems and some of which do not. Every time you deposit a hundred dollars in a bank […]

    Note that I did include the following paragraph where he gives a contrasting example of “bad” debt, preserving the meaning of the passage.

    Dave (445e97)

  188. never forget that the reason the corrupt sleazy federal reserve started raising rates had nothing to do with the economy

    they started raising rates because a Republican won the presidency

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  189. The trade deficit leads to a surplus of dollars abroad. That money finds its way back when foreigners purchase U.S. stocks, bonds, treasuries, and assets like a factory, rather than purchasing U.S. exports. It is a vote of confidence in the U.S. economy and its consumers — there is nearly twice as much foreign direct investment in the U.S. than in China which tells you something about the attractiveness of the U.S. market. If foreigners are intentionally throwing their U.S. dollars away, then why does the U.S. economy remain strong? When Trump attacks trade deficits, he is attacking foreign investment. Investment that in large measure leads to greater productivity, higher wages, and higher living standards (because foreigners want a positive Return Of Investment). Protectionism just raises prices on the domestic consumer. When Obama stopped a surge in Chinese tires, it cost $900,000 per job saved. Is this what we want? If trade barriers are good, then why don’t we want them between states, cities, and towns? Answer, because it’s bad for the consumer. In what country has protectionism led to prosperity? Protectionism just leads to politicians picking more winners and losers…frequently for there own electoral advantage. No thanks.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  190. AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 8/19/2018 @ 12:50 pm

    Damn.

    Dave (445e97)

  191. Tribalism and cultism are flotsam for ideologues who’ve been cast adrift or abandoned ship.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  192. 190 WTF, and by extension 191, how oblivious to reality can you be?

    ” Investment that in large measure leads to greater productivity, higher wages

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/07/for-most-us-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/

    “In fact, despite some ups and downs over the past several decades, today’s real average wage (that is, the wage after accounting for inflation) has about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago. And what wage gains there have been have mostly flowed to the highest-paid tier of workers.”

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  193. “The trade deficit leads to a surplus of dollars abroad. That money finds its way back when foreigners purchase U.S. stocks, bonds, treasuries, and assets like a factory, rather than purchasing U.S. exports.”

    It also finds its way back in the form of petro funded terrorist that hijack airplanes and demolish skyscrapers.

    It also finds its way back in a stronger Russia to challenge us militarily. A well funded China that steals IP and military technology.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  194. Trade deficit is only an issue when a Republican is in office

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  195. 183, if Trump cared about funding the military, wouldn’t he have called for spending money on jet fighters first … instead of only after his parade plans fell through?

    DRJ (15874d)

  196. well the influx of cash, did destabilize society in the peninsula, some of the royals overindulged, those that were among the tribes like the utaibi and the qahtan resented that, and made their feelings known through the grand mosque siege, in the end, juhayman won even though he lost the battle,

    narciso (d1f714)

  197. https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/how-china-bought-its-dominance-over-the-west-factory-by-factory-20170403-gvcm0y.html

    “For 30 years or more, Chinese firms have bought cast-off factories from Australia, the US, Japan, Germany, Britain and other developed countries and taken them home.”

    I saw this multiple times where clients would be bought by foreign companies then closed and moved overseas. Yes investors and the rich made out great, the average worker and America as a whole got screwed.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  198. If Trump wants an example of how China legally bought industrial advantage from America, he could look at how China clinched its global dominance in rare earths. These are essential components in many high-tech products, military and civilian.

    General Motors built a state-of-the-art rare earth plant in the US state of Indiana, with the generous support of the American taxpayer. The Magnequench business, as it was known, had unique know-how for making magnets that retain magnetic strength at high temperature.

    This makes them valuable for civilian uses like airbags and mechanical sensors, but also for military ones in “smart bombs” and guided missiles. GM sold the plant in 1995 because it said it wanted to divest its “non-core” businesses.

    A Chinese consortium bought the plant after promising to keep it running in Indiana for five years. The new Chinese owners, including two state-owned enterprises, shut the plant in 2002, the day after the five years were up. They shipped it to China.

    “Not only did the US lose its rare earth elements production capability,” reports Komesaroff, “but it also abdicated its technological lead.” China’s share of the global output of rare earths today? Ninety-five per cent.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  199. the military is a sick con game

    bunch of weaselly grifters who haven’t actually won a war in a coon’s age

    serious discussions being had about privatizing Afghanistan cause the he-she mattis military has bungled it so spectacularly

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  200. fantastic link Mr. Ogden thank you

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  201. “Not only did the US lose its rare earth elements production capability,” reports Komesaroff, “but it also abdicated its technological lead.” China’s share of the global output of rare earths today? Ninety-five per cent.

    Extracting Lithium from oil wastewater

    the feds should be all over this like a chicken on a cheeto

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  202. @200. Privatization: Reaganomixs, Mr. Feet.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  203. if it gets our tatters out of afghanistan then this is what we need to do

    otherwise they just sit there forever flailing around ridiculously like a momo child

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  204. @199 Nate Ogden

    “They shipped it to China.”

    They shipped what to China? A rare-earth mine? A magnet factory?

    Davethulhu (fddbc4)

  205. you have to read the article

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  206. The article seems to be conflating the rare-earths themselves and things produced from rare-earths.

    Davethulhu (fddbc4)

  207. you disapprove of this kind of conflating i can tell

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  208. looks like Mr. nk nailed it

    There never has been nationalism that was not in some way an emulation of Israel, even as a satanic parody. And the New Nationalism looks explicitly to Israel as a portent of revival.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  209. Well you can be Sephardic Ashkenazi, or other, and be israeli.

    Narciso (0c09b6)

  210. 205 the machinery and know how to produce magnets.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  211. Nope, they’ve been kicking out the others, nk’ s 5th place virtue has been rising since Bibi.

    urbanleftbehind (855a1e)

  212. “For 30 years or more, Chinese firms have bought cast-off factories from Australia, the US, Japan, Germany, Britain and other developed countries and taken them home.”

    […] the average worker and America as a whole got screwed.

    Witless zero-sum thinking again.

    Closing “cast-off factories” allows scarce resources with alternative uses to produce things that people value more. That in turn creates wealth and raises our standard of living.

    Until you get over the ridiculous notion that any job lost anywhere in the economy is a bad thing, you’re not going to reach sensible conclusions about anything.

    “In fact, despite some ups and downs over the past several decades, today’s real average wage (that is, the wage after accounting for inflation) has about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago. And what wage gains there have been have mostly flowed to the highest-paid tier of workers.”

    Hourly wages do not include non-wage benefits and compensation, nor do they include improvements in working conditions, nor do they account for changing patterns of full-/part-time employment or demographic changes to the labor force.

    Also, “the highest paid tier of workers” is not a static class of people, but represents people who have reached their peak earning power after rising through lower-paid jobs while they were younger. That is precisely where we should expect to see gains due to productivity – the value of flipping hamburgers, waiting on tables, or doing other entry-level jobs has not increased.

    Moreover, as Professor Sowell explains, there is a built-in bias in the price deflator, in that it only includes things like DVRs and cell phones once they have fallen in price enough to become almost universally owned (i.e. it excludes many goods and services whose prices are falling), and it does not account at all for the improved quality of the products it tracks.

    As the graph in the article you linked shows, real per capita wages have been essentially flat for half a century. Doesn’t that give you a clue that it’s a red herring?

    The US ranks 10th or 11th in per capita GDP, adjusted for purchasing power, and every country ahead of us is tiny and/or in OPEC. Every country that could be considered an economic competitor to the US is below us. We’re 20% ahead of Germany and 40% ahead of Japan, France and the UK.

    Dave (445e97)

  213. @204. Sooner or later, Mr. Feet; if only later was sooner.

    “In the end, you will walk out.” – Gandhi [Ben Kingsley] ‘Gandhi’ 1982

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  214. and puddy-slooper Jeb blew 150 million dollars (plus) trying to get the nomination

    lol

    this speaks to the potency of W’s legacy

    turns out when you waste a crapload money slaughtering tons of civilians plus you kill and maim our own soldiers by the bushel people look elsewhere to satisfy their presidential needs

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  215. w’s drunk-ass no-accomplishment daughters voted for hillary though

    cause they like to lick it lick it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  216. McCain is a nasty and grossly hyper-entitled and cowardly military disgrace who leaves behind him a legacy of shame and a large-breasted mouthy daughter

    and he will never

    ever

    ever resign

    no matter if all he can do is drool

    . . . .

    cancer drool

    — happyfeet, whom I am moderating for a week for these comments.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  217. Thanks Patterico.

    Colonel Klink (d8a025)

  218. The world is so rosy in your academic philosophical theoretical world. Millions of people getting left behind are just data points for your pretty models.

    No one said a lost job is a bad thing, stop beating up on strawmen.

    We are talking millions of jobs. Generations of families, entire towns destroyed by your economic ignorance.

    Even after the clear failure of opening China and NAFTA you peddle the same BS.

    What do unemployed families care about per capita GDP? The fact that the person who sold their jobs made 7 figures helps them how?

    Until you pull your head from your backside and notice China isn’t playing free market economics but trying to destroy us you won’t make sensible conclusions.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  219. We are talking millions of jobs. Generations of families, entire towns destroyed by your economic ignorance.

    LOL

    Dave (445e97)

  220. Of note in the NYT piece on McGahn are a few things. One, he met with Mueller for 30 hours. That’s a lot of testimony. Two, while this part was interesting…

    Mr. McGahn gave a mix of damaging and favorable information about the president, but he said Mr. Trump did not go beyond his legal authorities as president.

    …it’s not up to Mr. Gahn to decide whether or not Trump exceeded his authority. Three, Marcy Wheeler has been following things pretty closely and some of the questioning may relate back to his time as FEC Commissioner, when he passed on investigating Trump’s presidential PAC.

    Paul Montagu (5b48d1)

  221. Oops, put this in the wrong place.

    Paul Montagu (5b48d1)

  222. 221, will there be a Jarritos exemption?

    urbanleftbehind (855a1e)

  223. Blood from a chupacabra is exempted though.

    Narciso (f9b4cc)

  224. What excuse does Trump have?

    The need to reignite growth and become the West’s central economic engine again — something that Obama left to socialist Europe. Hence the tax cuts.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  225. To be fair, Patterico, I am daily reminded how little I like Trump being the spokesman for my “side”, in the two-party logic of national politics. He is the epitome of face-palm.

    As yet, however, I am unwilling to adopt his opponent’s attacks on him, since their other prescriptions are anathema. So I just have to grin and bear it.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  226. Just as a side note, Clinton never had a balanced budget year.
    He borrowed money from Social Security and about 10 other government programs to put the general fund into the black. But of course that was just shifting numbers around – under any accounting principles those loans would count against.
    He came closer than any president since Nixon, who was the last to actually have a balanced budget year without borrowing from other programs or similar shenanigans.

    Ingot9455 (68bf96)

  227. Just as a side note, Clinton never had a balanced budget year.

    Total federal outlays (including on-budget and off-budget) were less than total receipts in FY98, FY99, FY00 and FY01.

    The on-budget outlays were less than on-budget receipts only in FY00 (in FY99 they were equal).

    Dave (445e97)

  228. > happyfeet, whom I am moderating for a week for these comments.

    *applause*

    I think the voters of Arizona have grounds to complain that they’re currently not being represented by one of their Senators, but I also would hope they would do so respectfully.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  229. Dave, it’s interesting to discuss how we define a balanced budget. We did go further into debt every year of Clinton’s presidency, and yet it’s hard to complain about spending in those years when we see our current deficit soar.

    Trump is already treated like a demon by the left. I thought the advantage to having nothing to lose was that he could make the hard, savvy businessman’s choices, and finally balance our budget. That was indeed a broken promise that conservatives often considered an existential threat to our country. But it’s not just on Trump. Not even close. Our congress has long taken up the same argument partisans seems to give above: that the other side is worse so the voters will grin and bear trillion dollar deficits. It’s tiresome to keep saying it, but that argument is the real problem. It’s not Trump, it’s not the democrats, it’s not the nevertrumpers, it’s not TV news.

    The settling for the opposite of what you believe in, because partisanship makes you think it’s that status quo versus the opponent team, that has truly unmade our political system.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  230. There is no balancing the budget without significant cuts in entitlement spending and/or defense spending (and/or large tax increases).

    Non-defense discretionary spending – all of it – is less than the deficit. Non-defense discretionary spending consumes 1.7% LESS of GDP than it did when the budget was ~balanced in FY00. Entitlement spending (including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) makes up 4.2% MORE of GDP than it did then (and defense 0.5% more). Add those numbers together, and you get the ~3.2% of GDP budget deficit.

    All those numbers are from FY16, and will have changed slightly by now (in particular, under Trump, the deficit is now over 4% of GDP), but the message is still obvious: it’s the entitlements, stupid.

    Donald Trump, as part of his transparently fraudulent campaign rhetoric that he would make everything perfect with no sacrifices to be borne by any of his supporters, promised he would never touch entitlements. And why should he? His only goal is to maximize his popularity. In the short term.

    Any long term problem that would require sacrifice by his supporters is going to be left to fester until he’s gone. And what that means is that the Democrats will be the ones who eventually decide how to deal with (note I didn’t say “solve”) these problems.

    Dave (445e97)

  231. (typo/failed memory alert: 1.7% should be 1.5% in the above)

    Dave (445e97)

  232. Dave, besides which, he’s setting the stage for blaming financial problems on manipulative globalists and foreigners. I wouldn’t be surprised if he sees Erdogan as a *model* rather than a *warning*.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  233. Dustin,

    I think the establishment Republicans in Congress have embraced Trump’s budget because that’s what they always liked and expected from him. It’s why they ultimately supported him instead of Cruz. They may have had to give on a lot of issues with Trump but they always knew he would want to spend money, and they liked that.

    DRJ (15874d)

  234. DRJ, the hypocrisy is really irritating. When democrats want to spend money on their priorities, we can’t, because deficits. But when republicans want to spend money on their priorities, the deficit doesn’t matter.

    It really makes me distrust anything a republican legislator says on *any* subject. I imagine most conservatives feel the same way about democratic legislators.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  235. No, it’s when something is controversial, it must be “paid for” by adding taxes or cutting spending.

    But when something can be portrayed as essential, you borrow money for it.

    Harry Reid was an expert at contriving things to wind up that way.

    Essential or predictable high priority spending gets left out of the regular budget.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  236. The reason the debt is projected to go up is probably higher interest rates.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  237. RJ, the hypocrisy is really irritating. When democrats want to spend money on their priorities, we can’t, because deficits. But when republicans want to spend money on their priorities, the deficit doesn’t matter.

    I’m not sure how accurately this reflects recent history.

    In the Trump Omnibus, both sides “got” about half of the spending increases (meaning, they could point to them as things their constituents approve of).

    When control of the government changes, there is often a one-time surge of new spending to reflect altered priorities.

    In 2009 and 2010, the newly-installled Democrats spent money very liberally, and a non-negligible fraction of these increases were carried forward by continuing resolutions.

    In 2017, by contrast, there were really only two areas where the GOP wanted to increase spending, and those were defense and homeland security. The ~$80B or so in increased spending there pales in magnitude to the Obama binge eight years before.

    Dave (445e97)

  238. the dems secured their majority by hook or by crook, aphrael, and you see whats coming down the pipeline, with ocasio cortez, we’ll be slicing off zeroes with a ginzu knife to handle the inflation,
    and California, is exhibit a, there, Obama engineered the sequester to target the military, as was his promise to the plowshares people to win the primary,

    narciso (d1f714)

  239. DRJ,

    Insightful point. Indeed this is getting close to the core problem between so-called Nevertrumpers and Trump’s fans. The Cruz supporters were trying to be consistent conservatives, noting Trump’s similarity to the establishment. Trump’s fans insinuate these people are actually soft-spined establishment supporting squishes.

    But at the end of the day, Trump won because the GOP’s establishment wanted literally anything but Cruz, and Trump simply put that to the test. The GOP’s establishment saw the real threat of actual reform as a realistic possibility and they couldn’t let that happen. I suppose they weren’t really supporting Trump so much as preferring to be a minority party than a conservative one, and Trump winning the general election has ruined many plans.

    If only Trump had meant some of what he promised, and actually balanced the budget through a series of drastic cuts! The American people seeing the results, which I believe would have been largely positive, would have changed the long term course of things.

    It really makes me distrust anything a republican legislator says on *any* subject. I imagine most conservatives feel the same way about democratic legislators.

    aphrael

    Exactly. The legislators hold power for so long and under the same rules, so naturally we see each party echo eachother on so many things.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  240. I agree, Dustin.

    Hypocrisy is irritating, aphrael, although I’m learning not to care because there is so much of it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  241. > happyfeet, whom I am moderating for a week for these comments.

    Just these?

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  242. Dave, it’s interesting to discuss how we define a balanced budget.

    California, which has a BBA, traditionally spends more than it takes in. They just lie about next year while papering over last year.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  243. Trump won because the GOP’s establishment wanted literally anything but Cruz, and Trump simply put that to the test. The GOP’s establishment saw the real threat of actual reform as a realistic possibility and they couldn’t let that happen. I suppose they weren’t really supporting Trump so much as preferring to be a minority party than a conservative one

    I slightly disagree. Cruz’s reforms would have been informed by conservatism, but he had the power to think and react. Witness his evolution on H1-B, from wanting to quadruple visas to wanting to reform the system, or end it if that could not be.

    But yes, the GOP establishment (save those who had esthetic objections) accepted Trump as the faux reformer they knew he was. That he seem to be able to rally the left side of the IQ curve to his “reforms” without actually reforming anything is amazing. The establishment doesn’t care; they’re still buying sailboats.

    I also don’t buy the “minority party” thing. I think you’re projecting your distaste on the GOP for accepting Trump. Maybe the the press’s jihad will bear fruit but I can’t see the GOP rank-and-file accepting the Democrat’s charms.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  244. Would Cruz have beat Hillary? I don’t see the Democrats in PA, MI, OH, WI that crossed over and voted for Trump doing the same for Cruz.

    Would anyone on here have preferred a Cruz loss to Hillary over a Trump victory? Sadly I think more than a few would.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)


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