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Monday, February 26

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Charles / July 26, 2011 9:05 AM

Well, in the "$1600 & 1600 Showdown of 2011" they should lower spending and increase the cap. I don't care if it is short or long term, as long as they agree on something and get it passed before Aug 2.

Spook / July 26, 2011 10:15 AM


For the next two year or so, with the exception of cutting corporate loop holes and public welfare to the rich, further removing- what passes for -the safety net for the hyper increasing poor and shrinking middle class will only add consequential and special costs to our already shattered economy. So we need to spend, spend spend, education grants, work programs, massive public infrastructure programs. In short we need a massive "New Deal" program

The Camp Crystal Lake Counselors addressing the debt ceiling- and our economy -combined with insane and rapidly increasing unemployment rate( that Obama and Congress refuse to address) will crumble our second rate bloated empire ahead of schedule unless we wake the F #ck Up!

P.S Paul Krugman was right!

Cheryl / July 26, 2011 10:33 AM

We're the only country in the world with a debt ceiling. Why?

Mucky Fingers / July 26, 2011 11:14 AM

Whatever the problem is, nothing will get accomplished. The President's adversaries have continued their extended game of "Fuck That Nigger, He's Not My Boss!"

Sarah / July 26, 2011 11:25 AM

I pretty much agree with Mucky, unfortunately. I'm trying not to pay attention to the drama, because it just makes me angry. Big business has managed to corrupt this country to such an extent that our elected officials don't give a crap about what's actually good for the country. Just wish people wouldn't be foolish enough to vote for republicans.

vise77 / July 26, 2011 11:35 AM

So many of our fellow countrymen want the trappings of empire (big military; entitlements for al sides, rich, poor and middle class) yet think we can live in some Little House in the Prairie world of (largely mythical) too-good-to-be true tax rates. That is the main source of our problems.

And yeah, Spook is right (it happens about twice a year). We need a massive investment program in our country's infrastructure, education and health care. Or, the permanent underclass will simply grow.

So, in essence, a long way of saying our leaders are full of shit and pretty useless as this point, and that things are very likely to get much, much worse over the next generation before they get better.

vise77 / July 26, 2011 11:37 AM

"Just wish people wouldn't be foolish enough to vote for republicans. "

Yeah, I see you your point, and I raise you a "Never listen to a Tea Partier" but the Dems have done a damn good job of kicking this can down the road since the early '90s. And please recall that it was the tax increase backed by the first Pres. Bush that helped out our national finances a great deal, even if that tax increase played a huge part in making sure he did not win a second term in 1992.

amyc / July 26, 2011 12:34 PM

End the Bush Tax Cuts immediately, plus at least one of the three or four wars we're currently fighting. That should take care of most of the gap. Trying to "cut spending" by gutting the programs that help the most vulnerable people is, at best, tinkering around the margins of the problem and, at worst, fucking evil.

Charles / July 26, 2011 12:49 PM

I like Obama's plan the most, and I think it's cowardly that no Republican presidential candidates have come out with anything other than their usual "cut spending" tagline on their websites, but with a week to go I don't see anything resembling "Change" being passed.

Andy / July 26, 2011 12:56 PM

I think President Obama should grow a sack, invoke the 14th amendment and raise the debt ceiling by executive order. Congress can sue him if they don't like it. I'm not normally in favor of increasing executive power, but this congress is completely dysfunctional and something needs to be done.

Long term, we do need to balance the federal budget, but there's no reason for any of this to be tied to the debt ceiling, and improving the unemployment rate is a far more pressing problem for our country.

Peter / July 26, 2011 1:21 PM

2009 Tea Party: We oppose the massive spending because it won't achieve its objectives of lower unemployment and job growth and will put the US on a fiscally unsound path

2011: They were right.

Bicker as much as you like, and blame the "racism" (really? still? yawn.) of people who don't share your opinion, but its not the debt limit that jeopardizes the country, it is the debt itself.

Raising the debt limit begets more debt, which increases the risk of an actual default (not the crisis escalation default threats we are seeing now).

As a useful example, watch the dollar-demoninated securities bounce upon any news of a deal (crude, for instance). The market knows that any deal means more debt and that means the US dollar will be worth less, so the prices jump across the board. The continued devaluation of the dollar is the tax increase so demanded by the left (but of course it doesn't target the evil "rich"). Hope you enjoy it.

The dollar index is currently hovering at its alltime lows, so there is incredible danger that a deal without real spending controls would push it to new lows. If that were to happen, then we would see renewed calls to remove the Us dollar as the world's reserve currency, and our economy would forfeit the stabilizing measure that we are currently afforded.

Significantly less spending is the only way out, but neither party is much for the game.

BTW - the numbers that are being thrown around by all sides don't even include Obamacare being fully implemented. Any savings via a 2011 deal will be obliterated once that monstrosity bellys up to the trough.

JasonB / July 26, 2011 1:58 PM

legalize it :P

RobJ / July 26, 2011 1:59 PM

Peter: let me translate that for you:

"2009 Tea Party: We oppose the massive spending because it won't achieve its objectives of lower unemployment and job growth and will put the US on a fiscally unsound path."

We oppose massive spending because the new president is a Democrat and we need to oppose something. We didn't much care about the massive spending, multiple wars, or unnecessary tax cuts during the Bush administration, but hey, we have a black president now, so lets find something to be against. Oh look, we have national debt!

Also, any arguement you were trying to make there was obliterated when you brought up "Obamacare" which the CBO has estimated on numerous occasions actually lowers the federal deficit. ( ">link)

Sorry to bother you with facts.

Peter / July 26, 2011 2:37 PM

The CBO scored a bill that counted 10 years of revenue against 6 years of cost. Its not real hard to hide costs when you are presenting a 40% discount on the initial run rate. The 1 to 1 math makes it a killer.

RobJ / July 26, 2011 2:55 PM

Peter: It took me about 10 seconds of googling to find at least 5 articles disputing your ridiculous claim. Here's one.

Also, since the original link that I included got screwed up, I'm including that again.

Peter / July 26, 2011 3:15 PM

Wow. Ezra Klein? Really? He's only a couple years out of college you know?

Try out the actual CBO score:(you can also see that that Obamacare "will reduce Medicare outlays by $507 billion during
the 2012–2021 period." (p.27) outlays meaning funding - yes Obamacare guts medicare more than Paul Ryan's plan)

Here is how it goes. The CBO scores a bill for its ten year outlook. Obamacare was passed in 2010, so the period the CBO was tasked to score is 2010 - 2020.

Now remember that Obamacare doesn't actually kick in until 2014, so that score would only include Obamacare costs from 2014 - 2020, or six years.

However, some of the Obamacare taxes were implemented upon the bill's passing, so the revenue collecting portion of the bill runs from 2010 to 2020.

If you want to refute this "ridiculous" claim, then show me in the actual CBO score where my claim is innaccurate.

RoJ / July 26, 2011 4:22 PM

Ezra Klein writes for the Washington Post. What newspaper or publication do you write for? No matter. I encourage you to actually read over that CBO pdf that you've linked to. The graph on page 4 (which goes through 2021) is pretty clear. The healthcare bill will mildly increase the deficit for a few years after the mandate kicks in and then projects to reduce it in the years after that. 2020 and 2021, which weren't in the original CBO report but are included in this one, are in fact quite promising, showing a 90 billion reduction in the deficit in those years alone.

Peter / July 26, 2011 4:48 PM

Yes, we know Ezra Klein. He is known for organizing a listserve of journalists to coordinate positive news coverage for Obama, and being a 25 year old "wonk", but mostly for the journolist scandal.

You cannot refute the claim of 6 years of cost v. 10 years of revenue. The CBO score lays it out in plain sight.

But instead, lets look at the pretty graph and go with that because tracing a line on a graph is supreme accuracy - once something is drawn in a graph it is set in stone. What is the GDP growth assumption? I remember 3% or 3.5% being used in all of the Obama projections. Are we even close to 3% GDP growth - nope. Obama's treasury secretary Geithner said just the other week that we would see low growth rates for a long time.

So hmmm... low real growth rates would lend that graph to overstate real revenue and understate real defecits.

What else has changed? Oh yes, there are now over 1,400 organizations that were issued waivers from Obamacare. These organizations range from unions to corporations to entire states. What happens to pretty graphs when there are fewer people paying into the system? Why prices go up, of course.

So we have two easily identified real world changes that have resulted in understatement of revenues to pay for Obamacare and understimates of its effect on real defecits.

Lets not measure and verfiy, lets just listen to 25 year old journalists at the Washington Post and look at the pretty graphs.

RobJ / July 26, 2011 5:54 PM

I see how this works. You link to the CBO report to prove your point. I point out that it doesn't in fact prove your point, so now the number are no longer accurate because you can magically predict GDP growth better than the congressional budget office. As for "pretty graphs" well, that's based on the numbers in the report. That's kind of how graphs are made, dude.

spook / July 26, 2011 10:27 PM

Ezra Klein should totally be dismissed! why? Because he's whippersnapper! More Tea Party Logic.

But shucks,
the republicans are looking a gift house in the mouth, because Obama has pretty much sold his base way down the river to appease them, only to encouraged them to run away, back up North, so he could resale them backdown river. Talk about being
bamboozled! It does beg the question as to why the Republicans have such an intrinsic dislike for him? I mean he makes Bill Clinton seem like Hugo Chavez.

PMan / July 27, 2011 6:45 AM

The debt ceiling should be raised, as it was 7 times during the GWB administration and many times more before then. All without a deal on the larger issue of spending. The economy should not be held hostage by members of an apocalyptic cult.

Peter / July 27, 2011 10:15 AM

By all means count Ezra Klein as your trusted source of information. I find his professional behavior lacking in ethics and his judgement lacking credibility. Perhaps that is a function of his age, perhaps not. I don't hold much stock in someone's opinion whose life experience went from a poly-sci degree to pontificating on complex financial matters, with no experience in between. Academics have proven to be woefully inadequate in the real world (Romer, Summers, Goolsbee, all incredible failures).

Consider Klein's "refutation" of the 10 years of revenue vs 6 years of spending accounting that RobJ regurgitated in the above post. His defense is that because in years 1-3 there are minimal administrative costs allocated to the implementation of the bill, no matter that these admin costs are infintesmal in comparison to the real costs of the implemented program, then it cannot be said that there is only 6 years of spending. In other words, the representation of 0.001% (or so) of the yearly Obamacare outlays in years 1-3 counts as normative spending for the CBO's purposes. Its a disingenuous argument, and if someone approached your personal finances with this level of perfidy, you would certainly kick him out of your house. But this level of thinking allows partisans to claim the fiscal solvency it clearly does not afford (all you need to do is google for ten whole seconds to find parroting articles)

In any case, it doesn't matter much, if the debt limit is raised without real spending discipline, the politicos and pundits will hail it as a success and pat themselves on the back for missing that tree, only to find that they are swerving into the next tree. (but that matches this administration's style - govern from crisis to crisis, by means of crisis)

Remember, US GDP is not growing to match growth in spending. So the money will not come from receipts, but will come from printing or borrowing. Either of these puts the country in worse financial shape than it is now.

Cheryl / July 27, 2011 11:27 AM

It does beg the question as to why the Republicans have such an intrinsic dislike for him?

You don't really need me to answer that, do you?

Mike / July 27, 2011 12:14 PM

I'm thinking that 2012 could be the year of the third party. Two doesn't work anymore and people are genuinely fed up. One recent manifestation of this disgust was misguided -- the rise of the Tea Party nuts. Most of them will be out in the next election because the people who made the huge mistake of voting for them are now waking up and regretting what they did. A third party that put the interest of the citizens first would completely devalue the current system, which survives as long as Americans remain divided-and-conquered.

The goals we share and the things we have in common far outweigh the ideological issues we disagree on. The current two parties are bankrupt. They talk about 'working families' and 'small businesses' and they say 'God bless the United States of America' but they think only in adversarial terms. They live in a fake world. Everyone in the real world paying their check is tired of all of them.

vise77 / July 27, 2011 12:39 PM

"I'm thinking that 2012 could be the year of the third party."

I'm not even 40, but I've heard that saying, with a different year, of course, at least three times in my life. I'm not saying I do NOT share that hope--I do, as our system is broken beyond most forms of repair--only that hopes often run into the brick wall of petitions and other places where election law favors the status quo.

HNIC / July 27, 2011 2:07 PM

The extended game of "Fuck That Nigger, He's Not My Boss!" was on ABC a couple seasons ago...a spinoff of "Undercover Boss" when employees learned a black guy was their CEO.

If I recall, it did not get good ratings...and Fox News picked up the reruns.

Hey! Oh!

Spook / July 27, 2011 2:42 PM

Word is bond. I'm tight yo. I can't even do this no more! I'm on some Third Party sh*t mos def.

Cause being a progressive democrat IS nothing more than being in a very abusive relationship and continuously going back "home" after yet another beat down.

It's why I got more respect for the Tea Party Movement ( than I do for the Demoskank) because they are organized and their party listens to them.

Seriously, my elected "leaders" makes me wanna do like Nas did
when he " got a mask and gloves to bust slugs for one love"

p.s "HNIC".... that's gotta be a first for Gapers, Ha! Blockers.

madachode / July 30, 2011 8:14 AM

Streets and roads are for motorized vechicals that do not include pedal operated things. quit trying to turn my city into homo portland

T / July 31, 2011 7:17 PM

Interested in a socialist perspective on this whole mess? I've been blogging it here:

T / August 1, 2011 2:45 PM

What does the "debt deal" mean for the Left in the US?

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