the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

The Golfer

Posted by Jeff Id on June 16, 2010

The BP spill will be a memory someday, and not  a good one.   In the face of a disaster far greater than any global warming crap will ever replace, we have to wonder why the United States Government, run by the allegedly ‘greenest’ administration in history, DIDN’T ACCEPT INTERNATIONAL HELP!!.   For the first time in my life, the US actually needed help.  We needed know how, we needed equipment, we needed money and our greenie in chief said NO.

NO is what communist countries say when the US offers help because they don’t want the US to spy on their evil empires, NO is not what the US says.. Don’t bring up GWB please, I’m not happy with him either.  The ignorance of it is astounding——YES with reasonable application is the answer

If you don’t know why Obama, the greenest red of all said NO, you should consider what he gets if this disaster worsens.

Just in case you think I’m opportunistic about this, consider that Obama, who should spend every minute worried about what to do about his Katrina, this site says OBAMA HUSSEIN has played 8 rounds of golf during the greatest ecological disaster in the US history……..

Think about that.

Spend and borrow our way to disaster, eliminate reasonable energy production, eliminate evil manufacturing, expand government power, what can possibly be the positive in this?

Why isn’t every single American LIVID??


74 Responses to “The Golfer”

  1. Jeff Id said

    Sure this is just another rant but my god the world has gone crazy.

    When GW was in power a 450 billion debt was a big deal, now it’s 3 months work and the SOB spends all his time playing.

  2. Jeff Id said

    I’m really pissed lately about how our government is spending insane money as though it will be ok. They know it won’t be ok, they know damned well. Our media acts like nothing is going on,yet the spending is more rampant than anything in history of any nation …… EVER.

    It’s not going to last people, we can’t have unlimited unemployment. We cannot simply tax our way to utopia. My god, the fact that half of the people in the US think everything is ok is proof of the idiocy of the common man.

    If there is a single reader who supports what is going on, please explain!!

  3. sod said

    you are wrong Jeff.

    “The fact of the matter is,” Obama replied, “is that when we came into office, the deficit was $1.3 trillion — $1.3 trillion. So when you say that suddenly I’ve got a monthly deficit that’s higher than the annual deficit left by Republicans, that’s factually just not true, and you know it’s not true. And what is true is that we came in already with a $1.3 trillion deficit before I had passed any law. What is true is, we came in with $8 trillion worth of debt over the next decade.”

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/jan/29/barack-obama/obama-inherited-deficits-bush-administration/

    the situation would not be different under Bush. (well, actually it would be worse)

  4. Sean Peake said

    Wilson had WWI. FDR had Pearl Harbour. JFK had the Soviet threat. And now Obama has his war on the environment. No surprise here—all these progressives needed a “war” to reduce personal liberties. At least they are consistent.

  5. sod said

    Wilson had WWI. FDR had Pearl Harbour. JFK had the Soviet threat. And now Obama has his war on the environment. No surprise here—all these progressives needed a “war” to reduce personal liberties. At least they are consistent.

    complete nonsense.

    it would be really shocking, if the liberty to spill oil into the sea would be reduced…

  6. a jones said

    As an outsider, a Brit, the whole affair seems surreal.

    Quite apart from US environmental regulations which compel deep water exploration instead of cheaper, simpler and safer shallow water and onshore extraction the US Gov’t response seems hopelessly inadequate: indeed muddle headed.

    As I, an outsider, understand the US Gov’t system one of the prime functions of the Federal Gov’t is to provide assistance to States which have suffered some disaster: usually in the form of cash or men and materiel.

    Yet here nothing seems to have been done by the Federal Gov’t except to obstruct State governments from taking local emergency action. Moreover the supposed Federal resources in terms of equipment either do not exist or if they do they have not been deployed.

    And when BP wanted to cap the well, as they have now done, the idea was strongly opposed by the Federal authorities who have, it seems no expertise in the matter. So well over over a month has been wasted before practical steps could be taken.

    Yes there is much expertise around the world to deal with such a problem but again it should be left to BP to call it in after the usual industry fashion. such problems are not new. It is not for other Govt’s to offer assistance they do not have, except it makes them look good, or for the Federal Gov’t, which has none either, to accept them. On the evidence they wouldn’t know what to do with it if they got it.

    This is not some massive humanitarian disaster when tents, food and water are wanted urgently to save lives. It is merely a local one which will affect many small businesses from fishing to tourism: but essentially that is a matter of cash.

    If BP had been left to get on with the job and the State governments to do their part, which it seems they were more or less prepared for if money and supplies were forthcoming, the whole crisis would have been over weeks ago. But neither BP nor the States were allowed to do this without the say so from Washington.

    Which never came.

    Of course as an outsider I may be entirely wrong. But either way it is the US’s problem.

    Kindest Regards.

  7. JAE said

    What is double-frigging-funny is that Obama and his minion-thugs, AS WELL AS the top BP execs keep talking about how they “care about the little people.” WOW! Don’t these morons have even a clue about how MAD that makes the Gulf Coast folks! The problem is that these guys–oil execs AND govt. leaches–are so out of touch with reality that it is mind-boggling. The frigging PC universities have successfully taught their “brightest” students to be absolutely STUPID in terms of reality. Just WHAT is taught these days in the humanities? WOW!

  8. JAE said

    I forgot to work in the words “arrogance” and “elitism.” Sorry, LOL.

  9. Kan said

    SOD #3

    “the situation would not be different under Bush. (well, actually it would be worse)”

    What the heck, are you starting to campaign for W to run again? Obama is President, the Democrats have a large majority in the house and Senate. Yet all you see is W running the government still.

    We are 18 months into the Obama Presidency…when will he get any credit for his accomplishments?

  10. Geoff Sherrington said

    If Obama is both green and red, Jeff, then it is fitting that the mix of these colours is brown.

  11. Graeme From Melbourne said

    Check out the following analysis of the gulf oil leak.

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6593/648967

    Note also that the Louisiana state government and BP wanted BP to drill much closer to shore in 500 feet of water. The Feds declared that verboten… so they went out to 5000 feet instead…

  12. [...] The Golfer « the Air Vent [...]

  13. Scott B said

    Refusing the help was stupid but I don’t care if he plays golf. Other than accept help that’s offered and assisting to find solutions there’s not a thing the government can do about it now except help with the cleanup. It’s not like Americans are dying everyday from this. 11 people died in the initial accident and now we have to deal with messed up beaches and ocean (and hopefully at some point cap the damn thing). A tragedy for fishing, tourism, and rich folks with ocean front property, but not something I expect my President to drop everything for so he somehow appears to care more.

  14. CoRev said

    Sod said: “the situation would not be different under Bush. (well, actually it would be worse)” Actually SOD, in 2007 Bush was on track to balance the budget in 2009. Of course on this path his budget plans ran into a little thing called a huge recession.

    The current deficit, 2010, is currently projected to be $1.57T with nearly 1/3 of the fiscal year left. We are today borrowing $1 of every $3 spent.

    Moreover quoting Obama as an authority loses you points to most in today’s political world.

  15. kim said

    America be one very amusing place. One party blocks regulation that would have forestalled the housing and financial crisis and now blames the other party for the mess. Anastigmatic history will not recognize the blindered play.
    ===================

  16. Jeff Id said

    #13, “I don’t care if he plays golf.”

    I prefer if he plays golf actually. At least he isn’t legislating like a petty dictator while he’s whacking a little white ball. However, his lack of leadership has never been more evident.

    #3 I already knew you would say I was wrong but when I consider that Bush’s massive overspending and insider status (which are the reasons why I didn’t like Bush) OBAMA has in 1 year doubled the already massive national debt. NOT the deficit, but the total debt accumulated in our short existence. At our current rate of spending, we will not be America in another 2 years. Of course, hard core leftists like yourself will blame everything else but the answer is pretty glaring at this point.

  17. Jeff Id said

    #15, Yup, and both parties swelter in the stink of stolen cash..

  18. I put up a pic of the golfer on my site yesterday, if interested see:

    http://tinyurl.com/26wml3u

  19. Steveta_uk said

    Re #11.

    I was wondering what happens if the entire well ruptures and dumps its content into the gulf.

    I guess we end up with a situation like northern Canada in a few eons. Folk will be arguing about extracting the oil from the oil-sands of Florida and Alabama.

  20. Sean Peake said

    sod (June 17, 2010 at 12:59 am)

    “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
    Rahm Emmanuel, November 19, 2008

    The current administration will use this war in the Gulf to push forward its climate bill… sorry, reduce dependency on oil. Seeing who is on the new oil spill commission only confirms that suspicion. Another blow to the economies of the Louisiana and Mississippi.

  21. Aussie Realist said

    The truth is this mate:

    The Oil Disaster is a great diversion for the Public. Obama’s minders want it to go on as long as possible, it takes the heat off him and domestic debt and health issues.But he has still fluffed it up when he had his chance at glory.
    But while this spill keeps going it will chew up airtime and take heat off Obama and his congress.
    But if we can flood the blogs claiming that this is the reason for Obamas’s delays we can do damage to his minder’s plans and expose the discusting media playing that is going on.

    Just remember but, its all GEORGE BUSH’S fault, he has oil company shares!!! and he invaded Iraq and Bush speaks with a country accent, so everything is his fault (in the eyes of green leftoids)

    Be like Al Gore, get paid $500000 dollars to talk at the Philippines this month, stealing a poor countries money.

  22. CoRev said

    Jeff Id said: “Yup, and both parties swelter in the stink of stolen cash.” When Bush took over the US Govt was in fact stealing more revenue than it was spending. Bush initiated a tax cut to lower that amount, in an attempt to balance the budget. While that tax was working it’s way through Congress we had a recession and a little thing called 9/11. Both caused increased spending.

    The common approach to getting us out of a recession is to lower taxes so we had a second round of tax cuts implemented. He then he implemented a plan that controlled spending and let the economy grow to the point he was on a path to balancing the budget in 2009. You never saw the balanced budget path referenced in the MSM, but they are the facts. had he been successful, the housing bubble burst two year later, we would be looking at him as the next Reagan. A graphic showing the early 2007 path can be found here: http://www.optimist123.com/optimist/2007/05/deficit_watch_m.html

    By the end of 2007 the economy had stopped growing, and we were starting downward to the recession and the whole thing went to the dogs. Had he been able to have the same full two term period of growth that St Bill had, then his numbers would have looked even better. All that while fighting a war.

    So even though it appears that Bush was not a fiscal conservative, for the events occurring under his watch, he did pretty well. Just not as lucky as St Bill.

  23. S. Geiger said

    “OBAMA has in 1 year doubled the already massive national debt.”

    I have to ask….what data are you considering to make this statement? Did I misunderstand the context?

  24. Jeff Id said

    #23, My numbers are wrong, that’s what. You are right.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8296079.stm

  25. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Steveta_uk (Jun 17 09:50),

    Folk will be arguing about extracting the oil from the oil-sands of Florida and Alabama.

    Minor point, but that’s not how oil sands originate. Oil sands are petroleum deposits that have been moved up to the surface by geologic processes. The reason the remaining oil is so heavy is that all the lower molecular weight components have evaporated. Shale oil isn’t really oil either. It’s the organic deposits that would become oil if they were buried deep enough, but not too deep, for long enough. If it’s too deep, i.e. too hot, it’s cracked all the way to methane.

  26. S. Geiger said

    #24. Yes, and interesting. The referenced article points toward decreased revenues (recession) and increased spending (such as Bush’s TARP). I think a reasonable assumption is that at this point we would have been sitting on essentially the same debt/GDP ratio under any admin (givin where we were at in mid 2008). Reasonable people can debate our debt trajectory going forward, the effects of the Health Care program, etc.

  27. sod said

    now that we have established the fact, that the deficit wouldn t be very different under a president from the other party, we can look at other issues.

    for example we could compare the benefits of tax breaks for the rich, with health care for all. (well, most reasonable people will understand that there is no debate required on this)

    or we could look for reasons, why the leaders of the Republican party are AWOL (in the same way they typically are during combat missions) from any serious discussion about action on the oil spill. (no surprise, they are stuck up to their knees in the behinds of some oil manager)

  28. CoRev said

    SOD, said: “for example we could compare the benefits of tax breaks for the rich” So, let me reiterate my earlier point, The first tax cuts were to balance the budget from an ever growing surplus. The early surpluses were used to retire high interest Fed Treasuries. They would have fast run out and we would have been retiring lower interest Treasuries. Most treasuries are owned by….. wait for it ….. retirement funds and retirees. So continued and growing surpluses are not necessarily a good things.

    So when Bush tried to balance the budget he cut income taxes. Income taxes are on;y paid by ~50% of the wage earners. That 50% are the higher end (your “rich.”) It is impossible to cut taxes on those who do not pay them.

    So all you have done today is confirm you are a fiscal liberal and that liberals (and in particular you) do not understand economics. (A recent study so confirmed.)

  29. sod said

    So when Bush tried to balance the budget he cut income taxes. Income taxes are on;y paid by ~50% of the wage earners. That 50% are the higher end (your “rich.”) It is impossible to cut taxes on those who do not pay them.

    So all you have done today is confirm you are a fiscal liberal and that liberals (and in particular you) do not understand economics. (A recent study so confirmed.)

    my understanding of economics is entirely fine. i can assure you, it is really easy to cut income tax, without giving the biggest benefit to the very rich.

    the Bush tax cut gave the highest benefit to those, who earn over $1 mio per year. i am 100% sure, that the term “rich” is the right word to use for those.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/08/washington/08tax.html

    Moreover quoting Obama as an authority loses you points to most in today’s political world.

    i did quote Obama, but from POLITIFACT, who checked his claim and found it to be TRUE.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/jan/29/barack-obama/obama-inherited-deficits-bush-administration/

    commenting without reading the link (or did you read but simply not understand?), loses you a lot of points in ALL of today’s political world!

  30. CoRev said

    SOD said: “i can assure you, it is really easy to cut income tax, without giving the biggest benefit to the very rich.”

    You can assure me til I die, but that is not what happened. You are just presenting a straw man. If you actually want to propose your simple tax cut system, have at it.

    While we’re reading your prior Obama reference it did say this: “So Obama’s number was very close on the 2009 deficit — he said $1.3 trillion — but substantially different from the 10-year projection — he said $8 trillion.” After three trips around the barn they try to justify “O’s” lie. Yes, lie. Because they say the difference is that “O” based his estimate on the Bush tax cuts continuing. Where’s that legislation??? At this time Congress looks like it will not even pass a budget for 2011. So sun setting seems to be a given.

    SOD, your NYT reference ends with this: “The top 1 percent of income earners paid about 36.7 percent of federal income taxes and 25.3 percent of all federal taxes in 2004. The top 20 percent of income earners paid 67.1 percent of all federal taxes, up from 66.1 percent in 2000, according to the budget office.

    By contrast, families in the bottom 40 percent of income earners, those with incomes below $36,300, typically paid no federal income tax and received money back from the government. That so-called negative income tax stemmed mainly from the earned-income tax credit, a program that benefits low-income parents who are employed.

    Put another way: rich families were the undisputed winners from President Bush’s tax cuts, but people in the bottom half of the earnings scale were not paying much in taxes anyway.”

    And in the real world actually the lower 40% received more in earned-income tax credit funds.

    You continue to spout the liberal talking points which are economically inept and historically wrong.

    So my point: “It is impossible to cut taxes on those who do not pay them.” is verified by your own reference.

  31. kasphar said

    Obama refused overseas’ help with the oil spill. Despite Bush’s poor response to Katrina, he did welcome help from other countries by suspending the Jones Act.

  32. Jeff Id said

    “now that we have established the fact, that the deficit wouldn t be very different under a president from the other party, we can look at other issues.”

    Sod, you would need a license to be more full of crap.

  33. Tom in St. Johns said

    Sod, I really recommend you read Freedom to Choose by Milton and Rose Friedman. I made it required reading for my kids prior to their high school economics. It will be a good education.

    Jeff, I agree that W was a disappointment on the fiscal and other fronts but that the current administration is well beyond the pale. We are losing liberty at an amazing pace.

    “Change based on principle is progress. Constant change without principle becomes chaos.”
    President Eisenhower Address at the Cow Palace on Accepting the Nomination of the Republican National Convention, 8/23/56

  34. Sean Peake said

    Kasphar, why is it surprising? It’s not about the oil. It’s about the “emergency.” The measures that will be taken to fix the problem will go beyond plugging the hole and re-habing the Gulf. Just watch, and make sure your pitchfork is sharpened and torches are at the ready.

  35. DG said

    Re: sod (Jun 17 15:31),

    sod doesn’t mention the 2008 deficit was a result of the so-called emergency TARP fund, not a budgetary issue which again sod fails to mention, much of TARP has been paid back and a large chunk still remains. That was a simple oversight wasn’t it sod? That is not a defense of GWB, but please sod, is it too much to have some honesty on this subject?

    So why doesn’t Obama pay down the debt with the unused portion of TARP? sod?

    To see the Emperor’s new clothes, http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/index.php

    Keep in mind the projected decline to only $800 billion is the Obama administration’s expectation of increased revenue from the massive tax increases coming next year, which is one reason Obama is pushing for cap and trade. Those who passed Econ 101 however know the effect of higher taxation will not lower the deficit but increase it along with unemployment. There will be a perception of corporate profit increases in 2010, but 2011 will be a very bad year for corporate profits, and a very good year for wealth redistribution.; precisely what capitalist hating modern day Democrats like it seems.

    I don’t know a lot about climate change, but fortunately, my evil capitalist parents taught me what publik edukashun didn’t; economics.

    Folks, we are in for a rough ride and are just scratching the surface of the economic turmoil coming in the next 12-24 months. No amount of spending will fix it as that is root of the problem to begin with. It will be up to the younger generation who will suffer the most to determine what their country will look like 20-30 years from now. I fear we are on the fast path to financial ruin unless drastic steps are taken to stop the insanity now.

  36. joe said

    sod, the major difference between obama’s “inherited” $1.3 Trillion deficit from and the forcasted trillions in deficit is this, the inherited deficit included the 800 or so billion for the tarp bailout while obama’s projected deficits are just the cost of the new government. See how that works, a 1 time 800 billion dollar program to save us from a depression vs just paying for a crappy government. It just sucks to be us. I read somewhere today the epa refused to allow the danish oil booms to suck up the oil because the booms leak a small amount of oil back into the ocean. That just can’t be true.

  37. sod said

    After three trips around the barn they try to justify “O’s” lie. Yes, lie. Because they say the difference is that “O” based his estimate on the Bush tax cuts continuing. Where’s that legislation???

    that legislation is not there, because Bush no longer is in office.

    the conclusion of the fact checkers are clear:

    The large difference on the 10-year projection has to do with Bush administration tax cuts. The CBO creates its estimates based on current law, which means the CBO assumes that the Bush tax cuts will end in 2010 and everyone will start paying higher taxes in 2011 and going forward. The Obama administration, on the other hand, assumed in its baseline that those tax cuts would be renewed.

    Economists we spoke with — Josh Gordon, policy director for the Concord Coalition, and Brian Riedl, lead budget analyst of the conservative Heritage Foundation — both said they believe the White House approach is more realistic because it assumes current policy will continue.

    … In any budget projection there is room for interpretation, but it seems reasonable to assume for a baseline that the Bush tax cuts will continue. Obama’s numbers are fairly solid, so we rate his statement Mostly True.

    but facts do not bother you, do they?

    So my point: “It is impossible to cut taxes on those who do not pay them.” is verified by your own reference.

    i did not dispute that claim. (why should i?)

    my point is simple: the $1 mio and more earners, don t need to be the people who benefit the most. (as you mentioned above, we could simply increase the number of people at the bottom, who don t pay any income tax at all.)

    it is fine, if you have the (false) opinion, that a tax cut to the super rich is a good idea. but denying that this was a wilful decision to give the highest benefit to the super rich, is plain out stupid. it is a fact.

    ps: yes, the group with the highest income, pays the biggest part of the money generated by income tax. but that is fine.

  38. Amabo said

    #37:
    Why, exactly, is a taxcut to the ‘super’-rich not a good idea? Is it a bad idea? Why? Will it cause rocks to fall from the sky? Are the ‘super’ rich plotting to kill all babies, but they lack those 5-10% annual income needed to put their master-plan into action?

  39. Tim said

    Sod says,

    ps: yes, the group with the highest income, pays the biggest part of the money generated by income tax. but that is fine.

    No it is not fine. A democracy gets twisted if the majority of voters pay no or little tax. A fair system needs to collect taxes from as broad a base as possible and that means the middle class should be paying more tax than it does today. That is the only way to ensure that people are held accountable for the services they demand.

  40. CoRev said

    SOD, you completely missed the point re: no legislation in place. IIRC, “O” camp0aigned on not extending the Bush tax cuts. He also then created a budget with the assumption that those cuts would be extended. Where’s his or his party’s legislation to extend them????? Sheesh!!!!

    You also said this: “but facts do not bother you, do they?” after reciting the “around the barn” justification of “O’s” lies. It amazes me how liberals can rationalize almost anything. CAGW, AGW, economics, environmentalists impact on oil drilling locations, etc!

    That’s worth a double SHEESH!!!!!

  41. S. Geiger said

    From what I recall, Obama’s budget did NOT include extension of the tax cuts (hence his ~ $5T increase in the 10-year debt per the CBO’s calculation). This would be the scenario that puts us at Debt/GDP of ~ 90% (not a good place).

    As a fiscally conservative centrist, I see no good options to reverting back to the pre-Bush tax levels (still historically not that high). Bush/GOP could have paid down the debt (which was around $5T when he came in) with his budget surplus…but instead opted for the short term tax cuts…not real conservative in my view.

  42. S. Geiger said

    My bad…per the rationale above he DID include the extension….hence the larger shortfalls, IIRC.

  43. stan said

    41,

    What surplus? He inherited an economy going south. You cut taxes in a rescession. You don’t raise them like Obama. W shifted the tax burden from the middle class to high earners in a major way. And he reduced tax rates to encourage economic growth. Anyone criticizing either or both moves is a freaking idiot or so partisan he’s gone insane.

    I’d ask Sod what planet he’s on, but he’s so far gone I’m not familiar with the planets for stars in other galaxies.

  44. CoRev said

    S. Geiger said: “Bush/GOP could have paid down the debt (which was around $5T when he came in) with his budget surplus…but instead opted for the short term tax cuts…not real conservative in my view.” Actually that’ not altogether true. We simple cannot pay down the debt to zero. Much of that debt is in the various trust funds. Another portion is mandated by law for firms to keep their overall investments balanced and safe. Most is actually owned by pension funds, even those foreign owned.

    In the first several years we did retire some of the long term, high interest treasuries. You can see how that can affect pension funds.

    The most often used model used for paying down the debt is to simply stop borrowing (balancing the budget.) When balanced we retire maturing debt and don’t renew it. Easier on the pension fund managers, and the borrowers in general.

    So, most fiscal conservatives are just as wrong s the borrow and spend liberals. The purest implementation of their views are just not achievable without some nasty consequences.

    BTW, those who think the Social Security Trust Fund has been stolen and not in a “lock box”, can you think of a better way to track those excess funds than non-marketable/transferable treasuries stored in a locked file cabinet? (Isn’t that a locked box?) Is there a better/safer place to invest those excess funds? Is the full faith and credit of the US Govt less safe than any other investment?

    (Hint here: the Chinese, Japanese, UK (and many others) think its a safe (safest) place to invest.)

  45. Thoughtful Tom said

    But isn’t this a datapoint against one world government?!

  46. Thoughtful Tom said

    #2 “explain what is going on”
    I am not a fan of a lot of what Obama does (he is way to timid – he should just go through and DO every campaign promise).

    I think Presidential cycles are more like the seasons than hanging a left in a Ferrari. The longest day of the year is June 22. But the hottest day of the year lags by a few months, and tends to occur in August.

    The same with Presidential policy. The much maligned stimulus has started to create jobs. Keynes was not an idiot. The deficits MUST be reduced – but not during the recession.

    So I think if you shifted the historical filter for past Presidents (by a year to 18 months) – you would find some interesting things (I am not claiming this will be good for either party – simply more accurate).

    Looking back, Carter was prescient about fighting wars in the Middle East and despoiling our environment in pursuit of oil, and Clinton’s BTU tax, if implemented, would put us MUCH further down the road to renewables.

    Paradoxically, I find both the extreme’s of the right and the left more palatable than the mush-in-the-middle that becomes policy.

    All of that said – we still need a price on carbon/pollution, to bring the economic externality into rational decisions consumers make.

  47. CoRev said

    TTom, I’m not sure you actually answered Jeff’s question re: what’s going on. At least you did give a personal viewpoint instead of more vapid sloganeering.

    This comment, however, needs more explanation: “to bring the economic externality into rational decisions consumers make.” Aren’t you assuming away a tax increase as an external economic externality? To which economic externality are you referring?

  48. Retired Engineer said

    Some history: Bubba Bill did not have a surplus. Ever. In each year of the 90’s, the total debt went up. Uncle Sam spent more than he took in. That’s not a surplus. The only way to get one is Enron-style accounting. Just don’t count everything. “Off budget”. In O’s first year, the debt went up by $1.85T, but the deficit was only $1.4T? 450 billion off-budget. W added $5T to the debt in 8 years. O has added $3T in about 1.5 years. The deficit is very close to 90% of the GDP, which may not mean a thing. That could change.

    As for “inheriting” a deficit? O voted for it. The Rats had control of Congress from 2007 on. They spent what they wanted to spend. They have even more control now. So they are responsible. Heroes or goats, can’t blame anyone else.

    W’s tax cut for the “rich” amounted to about $17B per year. (nearly half the total) But, those “rich” pay well over half the income taxes. So, they paid a higher percentage of the taxes after the cut. And still do. Add the wars in I&A at a bit over $100B per year and you come up way short of the deficits we had and now have. Truth is, Congress and the President spent way too much money. On everything.

    As Thatcher put it, “the problem with Socialism is you run out of other people’s money.” At some point, the Chinese will get tired of supporting our spending binge. That’s a ‘tipping point’ far beyond anything al-Gore ever dreamed of.

  49. S. Geiger said

    #44. – I (nor anyone) ever suggested ‘paying the debt down to zero’. I’m very middle of the road and very appreciative of nuanced arguments…I just think right now the screaming of GOPers (or maybe Tea Partiers?) is based on a lot more that just our fiscal wellness. By any reasonable metric GW Bush did not do well at all with the debt (almost doubling it!). What is magical about the current situation (double digit trillions) vs. where we were with Bush? (is there some threshold for being absurdly indignent when the debt hits $11T vs. when it was mearly $9T?) No, I think its a lot more of other political factors weighing in.

    ANyway, I’m all for paying down the debt to the extent that its benificial.

  50. CoRev said

    Retired Engineer, take a look at this article. http://www.nationalpriorities.org/federal%20deficit%20surplus%20and%20national%20debt In particular look at chart 3 which shows the surplus (that little peak) in the end of Clinton’s term.

    I think you are confusing national Debt with deficits. Deficits are simple math total expenditures exceed total revenues. In the months that is true we borrow the difference (at least almost all of it.)

    Total national debt includes both publicly held and privately held treauries. Much of our total debt is the publicly held debt for excess receipts/revenue to the various trust funds. Debt owed within the Fed Govt. Social Security is the most visible.

    You said after referencing Clinton: “Uncle Sam spent more than he took in.” That’s not actually true. Revenues did exceed expenditures for a few years at the end of his term. Most of the difference was in excess revenue collected for FICA. That excess is placed in the general fund and that ole monthly difference (revenue-expenditure)is calculated on that total amount. That’s why the budget had surpluses, but the total Fed. debt went up.

    The process of moving excess funds to the general fund is universal and written into the originating legislation for nearly all of our revolving/trust fund laws. I will not discuss the difference between “On” and “Off” budget items. It is too complex for a global warming blog.

  51. DG said

    Re: S. Geiger (Jun 18 08:44),

    From what I recall, Obama’s budget did NOT include extension of the tax cuts (hence his ~ $5T increase in the 10-year debt per the CBO’s calculation). This would be the scenario that puts us at Debt/GDP of ~ 90% (not a good place).

    the Debt:GDP is above 90% and projected to exceed 93% next year.

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    Once you add in the unfunded entitlement programs the real number is ~840%.

    Couple that with the monetizing of the debt by the Feds, we have the makings of the Weimar Republic once all the monopoly money surfaces.

    sod, I’d like to see an actual quote from the Heritage Foundation supporting Obama’s fiscal policies. No offense, but your sources are shall we say, less than reliable?

  52. joe said

    #44
    Co Rev “BTW, those who think the Social Security Trust Fund has been stolen and not in a “lock box”, can you think of a better way to track those excess funds than non-marketable/transferable treasuries stored in a locked file cabinet? (Isn’t that a locked box?) Is there a better/safer place to invest those excess funds? Is the full faith and credit of the US Govt less safe than any other investment?”

    The government isn’t investing the money. It’s spending it. There is a difference. If the surpluss SS funds were actually invested in any income producing vehicles then you may have a point about a lockbox, however our illustrious government instead of investing, spends. In order to “earn” the return the government came up with a great idea, tax the future $1.02 for every $1.00 spent. Instant return for the “lockbox”. however it’s even worse than that, because the future you has to pay the past you’s already spent $1.00 plus the $.02 “income” plus your future you’s current $1.00 contribution. This isn’t that difficult a concept, there is no lockbox, locked file cabinet with promises of future taxes or no. What we have is an enormous long term ponzi scheme which we are all (except some lucky govt. employees) forced to succumb to.
    So yeah I can think of a better/safer way to invest SS surplus, it’s called an investment.

  53. kim said

    It’s a lockbox until current fiscal policies destroy the ‘full faith and credit’, in about 3,2,1……….
    ====================

  54. Retired Engineer said

    #50 – Go to http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np
    and look at the total debt for any time you chose.

    The Clinton surplus was just bogus accounting. Bubba claimed he reduced the public debt by 50% (I heard him say this) It did go down a tad, but the intragovernmental portion more than made up for it. Robbing Peter to pay Paul. The point is that like other things (climate for example) the government is not telling the whole truth. The money has to be repaid.

    Deficits are a yearly thing. Debt is long term, the accumulation of deficits.

    Kind of like weather and climate.

  55. CoRev said

    Joe said: “If the surpluss SS funds were actually invested in any income producing vehicles then you may have a point about a lockbox, however our illustrious government instead of investing, spends.” Those treasuries are earning interest, just as any private sector bond would. The only difference between investing in a Govt treasury and a private sector bond is there little chance of default of that US piece of paper. Lower/lowest risk!

    Retired Engineer, you are correct. It is an issue of how we account for US Govt spending. But, that issue was written into the original legislation in 1937 and most similar legislation since. So, not only is it THE ACCEPTED PRACTICE it is the LAW.

    You all might be surprised to find that I would prefer the mixed (public/private) investment option proposed by Bush to replace Social Security. I am a retired Fed and belong to the TSP program that was the model proposed for the private side. I think that should be available to each and every American. A little personal responsibility for our own retirement can go a long way. The current program is designed for the lowest common denominator for intelligence/responsibility of retirees.

    Anyway, this has been an interesting discussion.

  56. Jimmy Haigh said

    SOD said: “now that we have established the fact, that the deficit wouldn t be very different under a president from the other party, we can look at other issues.”

    Jeff Id said: “Sod, you would need a license to be more full of crap.”

    I like that reply Jeff! How can someone like SOD be? I’m beginning to think he’s just stirring it: Surely he’s not serious?

  57. joe said

    co rev. They are not earning interest. A mortgage earns the issuing bank interest because the borrower pays the interst to the bank for the use of the money. When the government spends the ss surplus there is noone paying for the use of the spent money. I’ll ask a question, who pays the earned interst on the government issued bond? who pays on the private issued bond(unless you’re talking about GM, ha, ha?)
    The answer to #2 is the issuing private entity.
    The answer to #1 is…. oh yeah the taxpayer. Unless you know of some other super secret way the government pays off its debts, if so please enlighten.
    Money spent on stimulating the teachers unions doesn’t earn money.
    So how exactly do you think the ss surplus earns interest?

  58. CoRev said

    Joe, I’m not altogether sure what your point is. Of course the tax payer pays the interest on the TF treasuries as well as those Fed Treasuries held by the private sector. How is that different from a private sector bond? Their customers, that’s the very same Mr and Mrs. tax payer for the US Govt, who pays the private sector bonds by buying their products/services.

    I don’t have the percentages at my fingertips, but much of the SSTF is actually made up of interest on the prior treasuries. Let’s hope when they are now retiring those SSTF treasuries, they are retiring those with the highest interest rates. But, with this administration, I dunno.

  59. joe said

    my point is they aren’t earning interest and are in no way an investment. we are simply being taxed more to cover overspending and the interest on the overspending now that ss pays more out than it receives. It is not an investment. At all. How is a government lending itself money and promising to extract more in taxes from the citizens to pay the interest for the return on the money it lent itself an investment? If it were an investment the govt wouldn’t need to tax us to pay the interest. It would have earned it.

  60. CoRev said

    Joe, interesting point. Mine was you, the taxpayer/customer are paying for those bonds regardless of who issues them. I’m not sure I see the difference where one is better than the other as you seem to imply.

    This comment confuses me: “If it were an investment the govt wouldn’t need to tax us to pay the interest. It would have earned it.” How does Govt earn money? Fed treasuries held by the private sector are still investments.

    BTW, I suspect that what will/is happening is the SSTF bond payments are being funded by borrowing. That borrowing does not add to our debt total, but moves that amount retired from the intra-governmental column to the private held column. Just a change in ownership, and physical change from a musty ole file drawer where its doing little good to some pension fund where it does some good.

  61. joe said

    co rev, yes we the public are eventually paying the return on the private bonds. But they are someone else’s investment and we can refuse to pay the return by not doing business with the issuer. The SS bonds are for our benefit so we are paying our own interest and of course we have no choice. we must issue the bonds because the money is taken directly from our paycheck, and we must also pay the return as again the money is taken from our paycheck. It is as is you invested in a cd @ your local bank and upon maturity you were given a bill not only for the interest “earned” by the bank but also for the principal the bank spent instead of issuing mortgages or buyingother investments.
    So in no way is the SS fund investing in anything. Itis giving money away with the promise that the beneficiaries/investors of the fund will pay back both principal and interest.

  62. CoRev said

    Joe, we are no talking past each other. I agree that there is a choice issue re: buying from a private firm that then uses our capital to pay its debt. Not so true for taxes.

    I do have problems with this statement though: “So in no way is the SS fund investing in anything.” Nor is a private sector bond investing in anything. Both go to pay prior commitments of growth (excess SSTF funds.)

    I think you are ignoring the likelihood that most of the SSTF bonds are converted to private from intra-governmental. In that move they become investments for someone or some entity, foreign Govt or private.

    I held the very same views as you,until I had discussions with some folks really knowledgeable in SS trust issues. From that I learned to disbelieve most of what is written about SS. It’s not going bankrupt. Will not do so. The fix is simple and not costly, ~$1.50/week per wage earner. And, that fix needs to be implemented around 2030. With inflation that amount is even less intrusive.

    Been an interesting discussion. G’day to you.

  63. Squidly said

    Jeff, I AM LIVID!

    Sean Peake – you are absolutely correct about “Progressives” and “war on things”.

    SOD – Your a progressive, useful idiot. Just study a little history, open yours eyes, and try engaging a few brain cells.

  64. Squidly said

    SOD – your ideas on taxation are way off base. I would encourage you to study a little economics. Take a read of this The Revenue Limits of Tax and Spend for starters. Tax revenue can NEVER exceed 20% GDP (can’t even get TO 20%) no matter how you tax. It is called Hauser’s Law.

    Like it or not, it is the rich people that provide the economics for the rest. That is, they more money THEY have, the more money WE have. I know this is a difficult thing to swallow, but it is a fundamental law of economics. Like it or not, the rich provide the opportunities and avenues for the rest of us. Do ALL of them? Hell no. But the largest volume of them do. You don’t seem to understand that the rest of us actually use THEIR money every day. Where do you think you get that money for your house, or your car, or your kids college tuition. It doesn’t just magically appear. It is coming from the coffers of the rich. It’s the rich loaning it to you. Without that money, you are screwed! So, taxing them (especially anything over 18.7% (The Laffer curve) will only server to hurt YOU, not THEM.

    You really need to learn something about “real” economics, not “theoretical” economics.

    P.S. Sorry to cite so much from Wikipedia (I hate them), but, their representation of the matters of subject are relatively close and adequate enough for this posting. I would encourage all to learn more about these. And, The Laffer curve is NOT so much “theoretical” as Wikipedia would have you believe. In fact, it is quite observational and fairly well accurate by all accounts.

  65. Squidly said

    I would also like to make a statement. Make no mistake about it, this Oil disaster is manufactured and being milked for all it is worth, by both BP (who stands to reap billions from Cap-N-Tax and the “green economy”) and this administration (who stands to reap trillions and assume ultimate power). This disaster DID NOT NEED TO BE LIKE THIS!!! This spill is being used for monetary and political gain. PERIOD!

    Please open your eyes to what is going on around you!

  66. Tim said

    #64 – Squidly

    “Hauser’s Law” is a myth since it is based only on federal data. There is only one taxpayer so the only thing that matters is the total revenue from all levels of government and that number is closer to 35% of GDP today – up from 25% 50 years ago. Obviously there is a point of dimissing returns where increasing taxes brings in less and less. But there is no evidence that current taxation levels are anywhere near an ‘upper limit’ in the US. In fact, everyone who buys a US government bond today is betting that the US government will raise taxes significantly in the future. If they did not believe that there would be a Greek style crisis in the US already.

  67. M. Simon said

    Well SOD Wilson did one good thing for the country. He Federalized Jim Crow. I can see why you support him.

  68. M. Simon said

    Joe, interesting point. Mine was you, the taxpayer/customer are paying for those bonds regardless of who issues them. I’m not sure I see the difference where one is better than the other as you seem to imply.

    It is rather simple: I am paying off Intel bonds if I choose to use their products. I am paying off government bonds and I have no choice. Intel has to entice me (the benefit is worth the cost). The government just puts a gun to my head.

    I don’t see what is liberal about putting guns to people’s heads. Maybe that is why I haven’t been a liberal (in the current American sense) for a very long time.

  69. M. Simon said

    Why does it matter? Intel has to provide value and more value than the competition. Government (with its guns) has no competition.

    So the incentive is: Intel has to continually improve. Government not so much.

  70. joe said

    corev, a private sector bond is investing in the company. It is a bet that the company’s plan for the capital will net it enough money to pay back the bond with interest. When the SSTF “buys” US govt bonds it hands over tax receipts to the general fund and the general fund promises the SSTF that it will, in the future, tax another dollar to pay back each “borrowed” dollar and another 2cents to “pay” the interest. Is the SSTF betting the government will become more profitable? Or is the SSTF bound by law to be a ponzi scheme?
    Last time I checked ponzi schemes were illegal, to call the SSTF the “safest investmen”t is to twist the english language into a pretzel.

  71. Geoff Sherrington said

    Jeff Id said
    June 17, 2010 at 6:57 pm “Sod, you would need a license to be more full of crap”.

    I’m not so sure. A person with the skill to use DOS backwards deserves some hearing.

  72. Squidly said

    #66 Tim,

    Really? .. hmmmm .. I would have to disagree with you. A good friend of mine, a very accomplished financial and economic analysts, recently explained and demonstrated to me why Hauser’s Law is not only factual, but is a hard and fast economic LAW (hence the name, Hauser’s Law). Since my friend is very knowledgeable and accomplished in this area, I think I will trust him, especially since it is not only mathematically reproducible, it is also observed through empirical data collected for decades in a wide variety of economies from around the world. This economic law has stood the test of time (hence again, why it is called a Law). Further, ever study the Laffer curve? (among others) .. Which further go to support and demonstrate Hauser’s Law. Sorry Tim, on this one, I say you lose. You will have to go great lengths to demonstrate otherwise. Good luck!

  73. Squidly said

    Jeff Id,

    “you would need a license to be more full of crap”

    Thank you very much for that! .. you just made my day! .. I am sure I will use this one often…

    Thanks Jeff!

  74. Brian H said

    @56
    SOD is a well-known troll, who wanders about the web dumping his cut-and-paste progressivist distortions wherever he thinks he can highjack a discussion. He’s a scroll-by. Ignore.

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