If you’ve been watching the national news much lately you’ll wonder what ever happened to all the concern about the national debt and the massive budget deficits planned for the next decade. On the up side however you will be quite an expert in addressing issues relating to repairs to the late Michael Jackson’s nose. But I digress….
Hey, maybe we solved the debt and deficit spending problems? Oh. No. We. Didn’t. We owe 11.5 Trillion and it’s rising faster than an inconveniently untrue misinterpretation of a globally warmed sea level on a Florida shoreline. Although it’s true that most economists from most sides felt a stimulus was important, and in fact it appears that has stemmed the tide of a financial death spiral, I think most would agree that as the recovery starts to take shape we need to look long and hard at how much we spend. The *key cut* is obvious and it is the defense budget, but the legions of fake conservatives (often aka “Loyal Republicans”) who carp about a few million wasted here or there refuse to tackle the defense budget, blinded by an absolutely incomprehensible lack of understanding of basic global strategics which have shown throughout history that seeking massive military superiority has little or no justification. From the Ming Dynasty’s Great Wall of China to the Viet Nam to Iraq, “defense” become “offense” and results in massive spending with hugely negative ROI and often just exaggerated the unstable conditions you sought to avoid (e.g. Afghanistan, Middle East).
Incredibly, the concern about the debt has flipped to paying an extraordinary amount of attention to fixing the problems we don’t have anymore. Obama was explaining to a crowd yesterday all the things the government is doing now to prevent the financial troubles *we do not have anymore*. Overvalued real estate? That ship sailed and sunk. We are probably near the bottom now, things seem to be picking up a bit, so lets move on. Financial system? It’s not in great shape but the catastrophe appears to have been averted.
Yes we need oversight but not a huge bureaucratic encumbrances many Democrats are calling for now- ironically many like Barney Frank who are squarely at fault in this crisis for the crappiest era of congressional oversight in the history of the country. The system failed to address the risk factors properly for reasons that are slowly becoming clearer – a combination of corporate greed and incentives run amock, defective ideas about how huge economies work, terrible government mismanagement of the regulatory systems, and I think by far and MOST IMPORTANTLY people using their homes as piggy banks, raiding their paper equity from stocks and Real Estate to live at inappropriately high standards, work less, retire too early, buy boats, speculate in MORE stocks and real estate, etc, etc.
We all made this bed and now we are sleeping in it. YES, even those of us who did NOT mismanage our finances were involved unless they lived alone on an island and didn’t do any investing, borrowing, or buying during the bubble.
The economy has been reset at a lower, more appropriate levels given all the prevailing circumstances. Welcome to how economies *really work* and why the risky investments of the bubble were … risky. But those aren’t the investments people are making now that will put them at risk. New crops of scams are brewing as we speak and more importantly the debt on our backs is weighing down the future prospects *for our children*. The massive debt is unconscionable yet we are fretting over things that will have relatively trivial impacts compared to that debt. The country is acting a lot like the most irresponsible among us during the bubble who simply borrowed and borrowed and spent and spent and now are so far underwater in debt they have *no prospect* of paying things back.
Here’s a site with great debt detail: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/pd.htm
Oh, and if you want to get in your two cents and make a $.02 contribution to reduce our national debt there’s a place for that too, it is called “Dept G” in West Virginia.
The cool thing would be that if your $.02 reduced the 11,500,000,000,000.00 to 11,499,999,999,999.98 you would have changed a whole lot of numbers for a buck. Printing costs alone would more than wash it away though, and you’d have kept the spiral going. But that’s OK becuase that is how we roll now here in America – we spend like there is no tomorrow. And then we spend the money that was supposed to be for tomorrow. And when the spending gets out of hand we …. spend much, much more.
Like your example of Michael Jackson’s nose, I think swine flu has been an excuse to not focus on the economy. Swine flu is far less common and less deadly than the “normal” flu, yet it has been stealing tons and tons of media attention for some time. The only thing that makes sense to me is that it’s “something else” to talk about.
I bet they’re loving all these celebrity deaths.
As predicted in the fall…hope all of you that voted for Obama are proud of your accomplishment – you will go down in history with Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Frank, et al for destroying our freedoms and our way of life.
How’s all that change working out for ya?
Shark I think most media – and many of us – are guilty of an incredible attention deficit for the big stuff while the ridiculous is reported 24/7/365
Glenn I’m partly happy with the change Obama brought, it’s just that he’s planning about 9 trillion more in change than he should be. But GW was the budget busting president, not Obama. Before him and notably under Bill Clinton we had a debt and deficits that were theoretically manageable. I don’t think that has been the case for some time – we are now living very literally on borrowed money.
(3) Joe people were partly happy with Hitler too but at the end of the day the result of the same.
Whatever the form of tyranny it is still a form of oppression and loss of freedoms. These people are out of control and they are literally destroying the very fabric of our country.
I doubt we will even have a fair election in this country. With all the district rigging that will happen after the consensus, the ongoing fraud going on with ACORN and the lack of any oversight from the MSM we are headed to civil war in this country.
The DoD budget–greatly expanded due to war–comprises most of the deficit, though welfare related expenses are close. Your Fed taxes go to either Military, or welfare. I don’t think the Pelosicrats have managed the problems effectively, but those problems, specifically the lending crisis, were due mainly to Gingrich/Gramm GOP’s de-reg actions in 90s, helped by Clinton/Gore’s demopublican tactics, though the war exacerbated the problems (not for everyone though. The Deep Pockets who laid their bets–long, baby–for crude oil stocks and energy futures saw exponential profits after 9-11-01).
You might not care for govt. intervention in principle, but the New Deal regs were there to prevent financiers gambling with mortgage funds, excessive speculation, and making loans to people who could not afford them, and so forth. I am against Fed bureaucracy as much as anyone, but anyone who objectively examines the facts of the lending crisis will realize that the bipartisan-led moves towards de-reg and privatization were key factors.
(5) Horatiox I have looked at history very carefully and The New Deal was nothing about protecting people it was about ensuring massive control by the government and to ensure future elections by buying votes.
Look at the current stimulus spending…counties that voted for Obama are receiving 2:1 in stimulus payouts to those counties that didn’t support Obama. This is ALL about securing the next election.
That is the key problem in our government – the order of importance is backwards.
The first priority of all is to get re-elected. So every single decision is tainted with that overhead and we can’t possibly win in that situation. Instead of making good sound decisions for the good of the country they only decide to do stuff that helps them specifically in their ever-growing search for power.
Many of the decisions during the New Deal were just plain bad and quite frankly are contributing to the problems we are now having (soc sec, etc) – these are programs that we just can’t afford. Also if you as a private citizen tried any of these same plans…you would be where Madoff is right now.
We are all better off with less government especially in areas that affect our personal choices and long-term health.
… I have looked at history very carefully and The New Deal was nothing about protecting people it was about ensuring massive control by the government and to ensure future elections by buying votes.
Not entirely correct. The New Deal was brought about by the Depression. FDR and his economic advisers (mostly Keynesians) were reacting to decades of greed and speculation. It’s not perfect (actually probably too pro-business), but an attempt to prevent financiers from looting the public (and the treasury), mainly from buying–or lending– on margin with credit they did not have (not that different than what AIG/JPMorgan/Sachs have done over last 10 years). There may have been some bureaucracy and moves towards govt. intervention, but that’s what the situation demanded.
You continually suggest that laissez-faire will result in economic justice or balance of some sort, but the historical record–including depression– does not justify that assumption. In a mercantile society, OK–Jeffersonville–Smithian econ. may suffice. With a global financial economy the market is about as just and ordered as vegas casinos are.
Maybe google the Glass-Steagall act, which was specifically concerned with protecting individuals’ mortgage funds. Gramm managed to ex that reg, which had been on the books for over 50 years, tho’ Nixon had started with FHLMC (and Reagan helped). ACORN, HUD, all the rest are political moves. ACORN may tamper with votes (then so has GOP, most likely), but that’s not really that relevant.
(7) Horatiox…the detractors love to say oh it isn’t that relevant…or pork isn’t that big of a deal when you look at the total budget…
Heck we didn’t start having bubbles and bursts really until the Fed was put in place by Rockefeller and crew.
Look at how the AG goes after the Sheriff in Arizona but not the Black Panthers…this is just a complete political circus.
The overall point is the government really doesn’t very much well all because our system actually encourages political corruption and alas it is that very same thing that keeps getting us into trouble.
Political corruption is killing this country.
Remember they are elected to serve us…not the other way around.
Non sequiturs, at least in terms of the deficit and lending crisis, Glennster (and defense spending). The big finance/mortgage companies wanted the Regs dismantled, and Gramm went to work for ’em. Finally Clinton signed off, like ’98 or so. That may not be the entire story–we could blame the lenders and underwriters themselves—but key component, which led to the mortgage crisis, and then bailout. JP Morgan/AIG/Gsachs are not exactly liberal bureaucrats. The Demo congress may have neglected the problem, but the GOP controlled the House until what, 2006–so they failed as well. The Fed was created under Woody Wilson’s admin., anyway.
Interesting reference to Rockefeller, though, Glennster. The Fed Reserve plan that was finally approved by Demos and Wilson (over objections from most GOPers) had little relation to the earlier plans favored by the wall street fat cats such as Aldrich, JP Morgan, and the Rockefellers. Wilson had no love for the tycoons (and Wilson a more effective president than many realize, until the Kaiser and WWI disrupted things) .
Anyway, as time goes by, many out in the Heartland began to believe Rockefeller had organized some Rothschilds-like swindle–when really the Fed has reduced the power of the private banks. Now Ron Paul-bots view Rockefeller (and his children), the Fed, and any govt. banking as part of the Illuminati–along with CBS, viacom, etc. According to more eccentric, tin-foil hat forms of conspiracy-theories, the Rockefellers are taken to be high priests of Lucifer–though I’ve also seen claims that Rockefeller and high-ranking Illuminati are not really humans at all, but aliens (perhaps from Sirius) who can assume human form, and deceive the masses, and are responsible for like nazis, stalinism, Fed reserve, JFK’s death, 9-11, etc. Holy Shapeshifter Batman.
Horatiox this isn’t about Democrat or Republican…that is the WHOLE point. Our government is out of control and has completely lost touch with the people and reality especially in the area of fiscal responsibility.
Wait until inflation hits…don’t think a Zimbabwe type scenario can’t happen here…there is no such thing as TOO BIG TO FAIL.
Take a deep look at Cap & Trade…it is absolutely the biggest tax increase in the history of the world, also it is the biggest scam ever attempted.
Also 85% of ALL the Cap & Trade revenue will be spent back to special interests. That was the deal they had to cut with all the lobbyists to get the support so far. It is the most inefficient tax ever attempted.
I’m not totally down with the Cap & Trade, but the bill does push for alternative energy, and will knock the oil and coal companies down a bit. The Illuminati are probably not behind it, G: though some conspiracy-buffs have suggested Al Gore himself is a……..Shapeshifter.
Gee now Obama finally admits unemployment will keep rising for several months.
Shocker…like most of us didn’t know this to begin with. Unemployment is tracking pretty closely to what was expected for the depth of our economic situation and we are no where near the bottom as they like to suggest.
In regard to Feb when Obama warned the Congress to sign the stimulus bill or we would face increasing unemployment, etc…
Well now we know
A) Obama doesn’t know what he is doing in regard to the economy
B) The stimulus was just a scam
Either way it sucks for America and we are long way away from ending the increasing government tyranny threatening our personal freedoms!!!
Not ok for bailout execs who received tarp or stimulus…but ok for SSA who has received the largest amount of bail-out money and has for almost 100 years running.
Absurd…this is just criminal…
The national debt is some vague amorphous issue that in theory will eventually have to be paid by our grand children but as with everything else we tend to put such far away events out of our mind and think of it as something that will have to be paid by someone else’s grandchildren anyway.
A bridge to nowhere now is more of an issue than repaying the bonds on it forty years from now.