Thursday, July 21, 2011

To Melt-Down .... Or Not to Melt-Down

That is the question.

Two hours ago one of my closest friends, an economist outside of Philly, called to ask me what I thought the odds of the nation defaulting were. I told him I thought about 40%. (Like I know?)

He thought it was higher than that. He's kind of worried. Make that real worried.

But it's not hard to see why.

Congress Continues Debate Over Whether Or Not Nation Should Be Economically Ruined

WASHINGTON—Members of the U.S. Congress reported Wednesday they were continuing to carefully debate the issue of whether or not they should allow the country to descend into a roiling economic meltdown of historically dire proportions. "It is a question that, I think, is worthy of serious consideration: Should we take steps to avoid a crippling, decades-long depression that would lead to disastrous consequences on a worldwide scale? Or should we not do that?" asked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), adding that arguments could be made for both sides ...

When the Onion and Ronald Reagan make the most compelling arguments in favor of a debt-ceiling hike, you know the "debate" has gone several clicks past ludicrous.

Why bring this up on an animation/labor blog? Because if the U.S. defaults on its bond obligations, we're all screwed. No matter what cartoon studio we are working at.


Anonymous said...

The teabagger wingnuts want something for nothing. They disrespect our Soldiers by NOT PAYING FOR 2 WARS. In reality, while shrub gave millionaires a huge tax cut, they raised an ENORMOUS amount of taxes by sending us to war (one more necessary, one not at all), but not paying for it. Guess who has to pay for it? And guess who was asleep at the wheel on 9/11 that led to this in the first place?

Cut the corporate communism. Deny immunity to banks for screwing up the trillions in mortgage defaults. And stop classifying stockholders as "small business owners."

The bush economic debacle continues. While cantor, boner, and ryan whine all the way to hell. The vast majority of Americans know who caused our current fiscal mess, and they know damned well that the childish attitude and behavior of the republikkans shames anyone who supports them.

Steve Hulett said...

I've no interest in refighting the last ten years, mi amigo. About who did what to whom.

But I have a great and abiding interest in breathing life into the next ten.

Contact your congress person about RAISING the debt ceiling!

Anonymous said...

Done it already. And I've written to those who claim to be speaking for the "American People" to let them know they can speak for their constituents, but they can't claim to be speaking for more than that.

This video does nail it on the head, though.

Anonymous said...

How to solve de debt problem? Getting more in Debt of course! There´s more debt that there´s real wealth in the world. The current monetary system is designed to be impossible to pay it back. Abolish the federal reserve and have congress to issue the currency again. Why the government ask for money to a private institution. The fed is not ought to help the american people , they are for their OWN profit.

Anonymous said...

^ People with overly simplistic understandings of the world used to just be smiled at, and given a pat on the head.

Sadly, they've now organized into something called the "Tea Party" and are seriously threatening the health of our country.

Anonymous said...

The TAG blog is so rhetorical when it comes to bashing the right. How about coming up with something else for a change that would be nice. It shouldnt matter if you are left, right whatever. You should look at the tremendous debt we have (14 TRILLION and counting)and government is too big. Obama has been in office over two years so he needs to take responsibility and start offering up solutions and listening (that is the key word) to the American public being he is a public servant not the other way around. The debt is unsustainable and history shows that taxing ones way out of debt only makes it worse. The democrats gave this same speech back in 1967 and during the Carter years about we will default unless we raise the debt ceiling. Like the tea party or not at least they are speaking up and doing what they set out to do. Bob Hope got it right on describing a Democrat, see for yourself

Anonymous said...

>You should look at the tremendous debt we have (14 TRILLION and counting)and government is too big.

Where were you when Bush decided to tell us to all shop after 9-11? I bet you voted for that complete moron and bought a Hummer. Do you know what it is like to think for yourself instead of spewing the lines that are fed to you? "Big government?" Really? You are behind the curve. Government layoffs and cutbacks, after a very temporary band-aid of funds after the bill for Texas George's abject failure as president came due in 08, are currently snowballing. Fiscal conservatives, FORMER neo-con war-mongers who suddenly slipped into this debt argument like f'ing Born Again Christians (convenient, no?), are currently gutting the budget for the new consumer protection dept. to attempt to reign in the massive banks who helped put us here - and they are doing it using the DEBT argument! Talk about irony. Are you f'ing kidding me?? Big government?? Tell me, are you always this happy to pull the trigger on yourself? You hate big government but you are oh so happy to let Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein fund your warmongering and bullshit mortgages. Tea Baggers are utter fools.

Anonymous said...

Abolish the federal reserve and have congress to issue the currency again..."

Look Ron Paul, nostalgia for the gold standard is not an economic policy as much as a wish to see the system fail. I get it, you want to wipe the slate clean. But that means you are willing - you want - to have a depression. Talk about transfer of wealth. You think that would effect the rich? Really? You think they would suffer nearly as much as the entire population? Seriously? Talk about socialism, in a single swipe you would even out the playing field for everyone except,....ummm...let's see, except the financial elites. Plenty of the rich have already shorted the market betting Bachman will send us all down the drain. You think the parasite wouldn't kill the host if you tried to kill it with your spoons? Listening to Tea Baggers like you is like listening to janitors wax on about brain surgery. Terrorist bad. Kill terrorist. Tax bad. Fed bad. Debt bad. Kill Fed. Bad. Duh.

Anonymous said...

Here we go. Obama, your idiot voted for the same things that Bush did, does anyone realize that or do you just ignore that and blame. Government layoffs...what! On the state level yes on the federal level it is growing and so are their salaries. Cutbacks, not even when it comes to government. How did Christianity come into play here? If you hate religion then fine but don't associate it with this discussion. Have a valid argument without attacking peoples faith, no one here isn't saying you cannot be an atheist so don't attack others. Bank bailouts, well Obama passed the stimulus and helped out those guys. As for the wars, well let us see Obama promised that Club Gitmo would close down, thats not happening, our troops would come home, thats not happening and we are up to our eyeballs as far as Libya and the world is concerned. I wish you Democrats that voted your man into office would stop protecting him and just fess up you made the wrong choice. No harm in that but you get so offended about the whole thing. The hate for the Tea Party is just as hilarious, you hate them because you are afraid of them. Obama has talked about bipartisanship but as we know he isnt really trying to do that. It wont happen but I would love it if Chris Christie ran, instead it will be between Obama and Romney, in my book both are a bad choice. It would be nice if everyone in Congress,the Senate and the White House were thrown out and we started with a new bunch. Stop fighting over your political side and fight for what is right.

Anonymous said...

" How did Christianity come into play here? ..."

Holy shit, it's ALWAYS in play as long as morons keep 'hearing the call from God' to run for office. Oh, look who else is coming from Texas to save us all with the Good Word of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior - Rick Perry. Emotional, blathering idiots without a clue. Who's going to be Treasurer - Joel Osteen giving his sermons on the Holiness of Wealth? Jefferson is rolling in his grave over these mighty crusades these American Born Again's are on. Small government is okay, only as long as it's Christian - or Judeo-Christian. The politically correct evangelists like to throw a bone to the Jews when pointing the finger at Islam.

Anonymous said...

Again, why are you bringing religion into it. Focus on the topic and not what your hatred.

Anonymous said...

You are remarkably blind to the fact that Tea Baggers interpret the US Constitution with the same same myopic fervor as Evangelists interpreting the Bible. They share the same brain, you know - the one that lacks reason and accountability? That one?

Anonymous said...

We are in the middle of a Koch brothers sponsored corporate coup d'etat. The Repo party has become the army of business. The Tea Party are the shock troops. Whatever is good for business is good. Whatever isn't directly and obviously good for corporations banks and business profits is either destructive, irrelevant, unpatriotic, or subversive.

We have allowed the Koch heads and their party to change the subject, from employment to the deficit. Of course when there is a Republican in the White House, "Deficits don't matter." It's no accident the Republican party has yet to propose a single bill directly targeting employment. Don't hold your breath. Hiring Americans is not as good for profits as hiring cheap labor overseas, so they're not interested. Of course they think that if they use terms like, "job killing" and "job creators" often enough, it will sound as if they are interested, but it's just hot air. Just like their crackpot economic theories.

Surveys and polls show that people are wising up. As usual, the little piggies have overreached. You will never convince someone depending on entitlements to survive to give them up because it's "Socialism," or that "future generations" are more important than shelter or their next meal.

If things stay the way they are, there will be an even bigger turn around in 2012 than in 2010.

By the way, anyone who calls Obama an idiot is an arrogant, egocentric moron. Obviously, anyone who disagrees with you is an idiot. "Wrong choice?" Seriously? Yes, McCain would have been much, much better. Right.

Anonymous said...

It's the Ahmadinejad formula - appeal to the religious hayseeds in the hills to subvert the educated in the cities. Bachman and Perry come from that school, that is for sure. People who hear voices will do and say anything for power, because it is God's Will and they are only a vessel of His Will. Ron Paul, who is as Tea Party as you are going to get, doesn't stand a chance against the ones that hear voices. That is a fact. So yeah, religion is the only issue here, like it or not. 'Social' conservatives, if that's what you want to call Evangelists, still rule the right, and everyone knows it.

Anonymous said...

OBAMA IS AN IDIOT. I said it and he is, stop thinking he cannot do anything idiotic. He or anyone can, doesn't mean he the worst of the worst but what has he brought to the table in all these talks? That's right nothing. As if you never have called a politician an idiot, you hypocrite. So I guess all of you are in that 80% who want to pay more taxes that Obama said exists well then you are the idiots.

Anonymous said...

idiot. who votes.

Anonymous said...

Cutting spending is precisely what will prolong the economic downturn.

ONLY massive stimulus to the economy will get it back on its feet. We are repeating the mistakes of 1937, when conservatives managed to cut spending--resulting in a worsening of the economy.

Consumers aren't spending because everyone is fearful about layoffs. Therefore there is no consumer demand. Because there is no consumer demand, businesses aren't hiring. It becomes a vicious circle. What is needed is a TRUE return to FDR's WPA program, putting tens of millions of Americans back to work on the thousands of kinds of projects they worked on during the Great Depression.

And to do that, we will need to increase the deficit. And we SHOULD. We MUST. Otherwise, there is only stagnation and a downward spiral.

Anonymous said...

Given that failure to raise the debt ceiling would only result in the total collapse of our economy, there is only one question for the Republicans threatening to make that happen:

Are they merely stupid, or are they evil?

Anonymous said...

So based on all the talk here, most of you must have massive amounts of credit card debt because according to your thinking one must spend to the point of no return to live. It is true, California is full of selfish left wing liberals. I only moved here to work in animation many years ago and what a dismal state this is from the liberals to the liberals who have spent this state into the ground. So much illogical thinking here about spending to fix a problem.

Anonymous said...

The Banksters and the collectivists want you to keep thinking that raising the taxes and the spending is going to help the middle class...

The collapse is inevitable, you can choose to jump out of the moving car (which is going to hurt) or fall of the cliff is heading to.

Stop thinking that you are part of the intellectual elite just because you listen to NPR and think that the tea party is made of red necks. There´s no left or right. The US has not had a real president since Kennedy...Bush implements the patriot act and Obama continues it...

It´s Astroboy fault

Anonymous said...

Finally someone who sees the light of day.

Anonymous said...

A country is not a household. What does a country need to balance its books when it's in debt? Revenue. And what is the correct way to get that revenue? By taxing those who can afford it (the rich) to pay for stimulus programs that get citizens back to work so they can pump money into the economy. For those of you who think we need to cut the deficit, surely you realize that cutting spending on government programs (SS/Medicare/Medicaid, among others) that give people vital services they need to survive is only going to make Americans even poorer, which means it will exacerbate the unemployment problem, which means less people with disposable income, which means less spending, which means less money into the economy, which means you're LESS LIKELY TO BE ABLE TO PAY OFF YOUR DEBT. The fact that Obama hasn't issued progressive policies ala what FDR used to beat back the (first) Great Depression means that he knows what needs to be done to fix the economy - and doesn't care. My friends, liberal, conservative and otherwise, we are ALL being had. None of us has had a friend in the White House for decades now. Google "austerity doesn't work" and see what I'm talking about. To anyone that's going to say "Well would you like President Palin then?" all I have to say is that I prefer the enemy that's out in the open to the one that smiles in your face and stabs you in the back.

Anonymous said...

It's clear the Republicans here on this board are so fiscally illiterate, so uneducated, so totally misinformed. They have no idea what the debt ceiling is. They have no idea how it works. And they have no idea what the consequences of a default would be. So totally, entirely uneducated. They're children.

Do you have a mortgage, you uneducated bumpkin? Do you think having a mortgage is somehow fiscally irresponsible? Absurd! It is perfectly fine, and fiscally healthy, to have a mortgage, so long as you have the means to pay the payments.

America has every means to pay its "mortgage" payments. No, Repugs, we aren't "broke," like your ignorant, filthy, drug-addicted cancerous talkradio hosts lyingly claim.

Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times. Was he wrong to do so? Bush II raised the debt ceiling 14 times. Was he wrong to do so?

You are ONLY putting up a fight now because it's Obama (a Democrat you don't like). That is literally the extent of your true reasoning, because you had NONE of those concerns when it was your guy in office. This is nothing but pure, venal, partisan politics.

Anonymous said...

To follow up:

You Repugs are filth. Traitorous, spoiled, decadent, ignorant, backwoods, economy-sabotaging, hostage-taking, cancerous filth.

I'm sick of you. Sick. That you would put our entire nation at such fiscal risk, would default, causing an economic meltdown like we've never seen before, reveals you to be seditious and an active threat to our nation.

It's clear Obama has bent over backwards to accomodate your disgusting ideological demands, time and time and time again. And you give nothing. No compromise. Instead, you WANT to see fiscal catastrophe, because you think it will help you in 2012. You don't care how many Americans will get hurt in the process.

I'm so sick of you filth that I won't help you at work. There's various Repugs I work with, who often ask me for help. Guess what? I'm not going to. I'll find creative excuses why I can't. Get bent. If you support economic treason, then all Repugs deserve the punishment reserved for traitors.

Anonymous said...

I like this man.

Anonymous said...

Man are these guys ugly. A lot of hate in there. Someone give him a hug.

Anonymous said...

Is it too much for you Boehner? Are you going off to your room to cry again? Do you need a hug? Do you miss the endless war and have no place to put your hate now?


Anonymous said...

Here's some right wing love for "y'all"...

Anonymous said...

Puppets come and puppets go and the banksters laugh their way to the bank, stop fighting between ourselves and restore America, and what made this nation so wealthy.

Anonymous said...

All empires employ usury to tap and leverage sovereign resources against those of their trading partners. It is a proviso of the centralization of food, water, power, and transportation. Central banking is one of the key factors of American imperial power of the last century. It enabled the acceleration of the coal, oil and railroad economies in the 1900's and created the foundation for the financial structure we know today - the consumer economy. We have been wealthy due in part to central banking. For that, you should be thankful, or at least recognize its meaning in your daily life. China is currently in the throes of the same type of accelerated monetary and economic transformation. The US dollar's standing as a reserve currency is the single peg keeping our country afloat, as without that, the dollar is just another fiat, like most modern currencies today. For how much longer the currency stays afloat is another question, one which I highly doubt any Tea Bagger can answer with any credibility. That especially goes for Michele Bachmann.

One thing is for certain, holding to the debt ceiling is of little consequence, and a side show, as are calls to return to the gold standard, which is pure fantasy.

Anonymous said...

If not the gold standard how about to restore the Glass-Steagall Act act abolish under clinton.

Anonymous said...

So sad to see so many have been brainwashed into the democrat mind set. Keep living of the government and thinking you are entitled. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Keep voting against your own economic interests, rightwinger. The millionaire fatcats will pat your little head and toss you a lollipop!

Anonymous said...

Dear 11:06:00 AM:

You are advocating mass murder of American citizens.

A civilized society NEEDS a government to set the laws and PROVIDE FOR THE WELFARE of its citizens.

I'm supposing you're the kind of person that looks down on those who use programs like EBT, WIC, and welfare. I know what Reagen said - he was wrong. Those poor people you probably think are nothing more than lazy freeloaders need these programs to survive.

Let's just say that tomorrow the government gave you what you wanted. Let's say the government decided to cut all social programs and only provide defense service, ala the Libertarian ideal.

You'd get Mad Max in a week. As the people who need EBT vouchers to eat and their children starve, as seniors on Social Security can't pay the rent and are evicted, as those on Medicaid are thrown out of hospitals and nursing homes, they would not just "go gently into that good night." They'd come for you and me, and try to rob us or kill us out of fear, frustration and anger. (And don't think your gun is going to defend against of horde of desperate people that aren't afraid to die.) They'd storm the politicians' offices and the rich people's homes and DEMAND that services would resume. You'd get Egypt on steroids, and, since American culture promotes competitiveness and violence, a crime wave the likes you wouldn't have thought possible.

We can already see the devastating effects of a neglectful government in the healthcare system. Did you know that the fact that we don't have universal health care costs us 45,000 American lives a YEAR? And that over half of bankruptcies declared by families are declared due to medical debt, and that most of these poor souls HAVE employer insurance? How about the fact that due to low wages and the reformed (read: destroyed) Welfare system that 1 in 50 children in this country are homeless? The lack of a WPA-style goverment stimulus program has earned us an employment rate of 9-20%, depending on what calculations you use.

Tell me, dear 11:06:00 AM:, are you a member of the TAG union? If you are you must realize that the union is the microcosm of the ideal role of government, looking out for its members, fighting for their wages and benefits.

Speaking of this "every man for himself" philosophy that's popular among the right wing - do you live by yourself on an island somewhere? Or do you drive roads and enter buildings and post on an Internet that was created by someone else? Are you a hermit, or do you need friends and family as a social creature? Haven't you ever heard of "No Man is an Island?" How can you be so callous toward your countrymen?

Anonymous said...

I believe the ill-educated right-wing who are chiming in here and there on this thread (unless they're multi-millionaires, which would be the only other excuse for supporting Boehner, Cantor et al) has been nicely schooled on this thread. Well done, all. Some of us are reading our newspapers. Online, but still.

Anonymous said...

Oh Yeah the democrat is the party of the little people. Keep asking for higher taxes and the ultra rich will keep avoiding them . When they say tax the rich they mean the uper middle class meaning the competitors of the Ultra rich so they can keep having all for themselves while making big money thanks to big government. Google is so liberal and loving that only pays 2% of corporate tax. Limited government does not mean anarchy, limited government is also a good way to avoid monopoly, lobbyist and all the diseases that comes with it. Nobody is against the poor, I´m for having opportunities for everybody so they can make it on their own, yes they should be safety nets and also wealth all around and strong communities so neighbours can come together and help each others out. All the well meaning intentions of the left almost always back fire and the tyrants keep using those ideals to scam you, indoctrinate you and keep collecting your money in higher taxes while they are exempt. Small government, no monopoly, no too big to fail and rule of law for everybody.

Anonymous said...

What do you know, we share common ground! It's apparent that you're not heartless, and I commend you for that. But still, I'm going to challenge you as to whether you honestly believe that small government is the correct path to regain American prosperity. It seems to me you're arguing that it's pointless to try to tax the super-rich because they'll just avoid those taxes through loopholes. Well, yes - they, and the megacorporations they own, already do this to a great degree. But what if the tax code was reformed so they couldn't take advantage of those loopholes? What if we forced them to surrender the billions they have stashed in foreign tax havens back to us? We could have justice by making the super rich pay their fair share. Of course since money equals power it would take an entity even more powerful than the rich moguls to regulate and reign them in; only a "big" (really, a euphemism for strong) government can do that. A big government with vision and principles to not be swayed by private, corporate money could end the wars, which siphon ungodly amounts of money out of the American economy.

I don't think a government should control every aspect of its citizens' lives either, but I do think the function of a government is to ensure a basic standard of living and a level playing field for all. Regulate businesses so that they don't get so big that they cause monopolies, have tax laws that prevent a small cabal of people from hoarding a significant percentage of the nation's wealth, stop attacking other countries because we want their natural resources and work with them democratically to create mutually beneficial foreign policy.

You know, you and I are exactly the same with what we want for this country. I figure that as the country's problems exacerbate we'll eventually be working together to finally create a government that works. Either way, hmm, I'm not angry anymore. Godspeed and have a good weekend.

Anonymous said...

"Oh Yeah the democrat is the party of the little people. Keep asking for higher taxes and the ultra rich will keep avoiding them . When they say tax the rich they mean the uper middle class meaning the competitors of the Ultra rich so they can keep having all for themselves while making big money thanks to big government."

Most vocal conservatives in this country misunderstand government monetary policy and how it functions in their day to day lives. The low 'tax' argument has worked very well at rallying the right wing base around the philosophy of smaller government and proved enormously effective in giving the conservative cause traction in California with Prop 13, but in and of itself the argument is not a policy. Time and time again it has proven ineffective in stemming the overall burden of debt a superpower takes on, and the rate at which this debt builds. Yes, you can hold firm on 'taxes', but that doesn't change growth and spending.

For example, you can create a policy in the Pentagon to conduct a war with a smaller, leaner, faster, more effective professional army, as Rumsfeld and others pushed for in Iraq and other theaters previous, but that does not make it cheaper. It simply shifts costs to 'private' contracts, (Blackwater) who you end up competing against anyway, and which ultimately undermine your original intent for the war. Just because Halliburton serves the burgers to the troops doesn't mean it costs the US government less. In fact, it usually costs the same, if not much more. It is always win-win for companies like Halliburton. This kind of relationship is classic American capitalism. It is what builds railroads, roads, and everything else you take for granted today. You can call it corruption if you like, but that is how empires act.

In times of economic stress, especially enormous stress like the type we are experiencing now, finances at the federal level depend entirely on the central banks ability to expand the monetary base and debase the currency. This hidden tax that you feel day to day is, by far, the largest tax you really pay, it dwarfs everything else you call a 'tax', and keeps you spending enough to keep your neighbors employed, and vice versa. You have no control over that, nor do elected officials.

People like Ron Paul believe elected officials should have control over that, ie, abolish the Fed. However, this is impossible, and, as most economists agree, is ridiculous at this point, as the size of the numbers we are talking about and the speed at which they circumvent the globe makes such an idea preposterous if not completely calamitous to how gas gets in your car to bring the food to your door. Perhaps we could have done something in 1970, but that was a long time ago, and pretending like it is still 1970 like old guy Ron is not going to turn things around. Yes, we have a fiat currency, and yes, it is always growing exponentially, even more as our domestic productivity tanks. Our central bank has little leverage over the situation - the dollar still holds the unique status as an international currency of reserve (for reasons that have stumped even the brightest minds), the Chinese government has been willing and able to keep our fiscal house stable for the time being, and Europe is probably in worse shape than us.

Productivity in the states will return as wages and standard of living decline to levels competitive with emerging markets. Which is what they are doing now. They have a ways to go. People will scream and call it 'redistribution of wealth' or 'socialism' or 'China'. But it is happening and will happen. For how long is another question. It seems likely a long, long time.

Anonymous said...

Think what you want up front but give it a try.

Anonymous said...

"Where were you when Bush decided to tell us to all shop after 9-11?"

Oh jeez... Let me see now. I don't remember that much from back than, but the one thing I do remember is every single democrat senator INCLUDING BARAK OBAMA voted against raising the debt limit in 2006.

That must have been because Bush was white right?

Government is too big.
Get it through your thick skull.

Anonymous said...

You DO know the difference between a symbolic vote everyone knows will fail, vs. an actual hostage-taking which actually DOES threaten defaulting on the debt, right?

You conservative wingnuts really have no idea what a default would look like.

In a default, which would get hurt more, government or the private sector? Answer: the private sector, by FAR. No matter who you are, you would get affected. It would be 10X worse than the 2008 meltdown.

There would be no safe place to put your money. There would be runs on banks, as credit lines dried up. Private-sector businesses would lose their credit lines, and drop like flies. Unemployment would quickly skyrocket to 20%. The stock market would meltdown. The GDP would plummet by 20-30%.

You should be very scared about a default. VERY scared. You Repugs have no idea what fire you're playing with here.

These are not idle speculations. These are the conclusions of mainstream economists. Excellent article detailing exactly what would happen:

Anonymous said...

"Oh jeez... Let me see now. I don't remember that much from back than,..."

Exactly, you moron, so the rest of us have to remember for you. You bought that Hummer and several wars from a cash-out refi on your home and your government, then forgot to pay the bills for both and walked. You like to forget, you prefer to forget, you forget what is convenient to forget. You forget who you voted for and why. You are an idiot and you love to vote for idiots like you. Morons will do anything to remain in power. I have no doubt you will pull the trigger on us all to get what you want. You will burn everything to get it. Not only that, but you are a racist piece of sh*t.

Steve Hulett said...

I do remember is every single democrat senator INCLUDING BARAK OBAMA voted against raising the debt limit in 2006.

Which was ... and they knew it ... political posturing. They didn't have the votes to prevail and so could do the "kabuki theatre" thing.

Now we've got a large number of congress persons in the House who want to jump off a cliff, and the scary party is, many of them are lemmings who are true believers.

This will get solved, but it might take a partial economic melt-down to focus the dimmer minds.

Anonymous said...

The US credit rating was lowered last week. We would default purely on the basis we cannot already pay the debt which we have so adding a couple trillion more surely would not help now would it. Funny Steve how you said Obama was against raising it and yes he did say that so why now is he all for raising it? People need to get off the whole protecting their precious little party. The country is in free fall and someone needs to get it on track quickly. For me personally I dont see spending your way out of debt making any sense. For the post about we right wingers went out and got a refi on our homes and bought hummers well you are off there. I never have pulled money put of my house even at the peak of the housing bubble. Buying a hummer, well that is a personal choice and why could I not buy the car I prefer. I have never and do not plan on owning a hummer. I personally stick with muscle cars and I am sure that pisses you off as I suck gas ten times faster than your Prius but again that is my choice and your car is your choice.

Anonymous said...

Even the left winged media is getting it right.

Anonymous said...

^You are confusing The Washington Times with The Washington Post, you moron. Unlike their New York counterparts, in Washington, The Times is the conservative paper. For someone who wasn't in the room, the horse's ass who wrote this article is awfully sure of himself.

Anonymous said...

" For me personally I dont see spending your way out of debt making any sense."

The entire economy is based on consumer spending.

"For the post about we right wingers went out and got a refi on our homes and bought hummers well you are off there. I never have pulled money put of my house even at the peak of the housing bubble. Buying a hummer, well that is a personal choice and why could I not buy the car I prefer."

No it is not personal. The economy and everyone's job depends on you buying whichever car you 'prefer.' You may think you have choice but ultimately you do not. What private interests sells you as 'choice' is window dressing on a system that needs you to purchase for the system. You are basically just a child who likes shiny toys. You are a moth to a flame.

"I have never and do not plan on owning a hummer. I personally stick with muscle cars and I am sure that pisses you off as I suck gas ten times faster than your Prius but again that is my choice and your car is your choice."

Again, you are a child who likes to eat candy and does not understand what money, or the debt, actually is. You are correct, there is no right or left to vote for. You vote with your wallet hundreds of times a day. And you vote like a right-wing moron. Bankers and wealthy investors who own this country love children like you. But you are 'free', right? This is a 'free' country, right? You are free to drive on roads the government maintains for your car and the oil that the military fights to secure, free to pay for the insurance the financial industry has to sell you for you to afford to pay the enormous cost for fixing that aerodynamic bumper, all for the freedom for you to chose a piece of useless nostalgia for a time that died in 1970. You go on keep livin' that fantasy, child. You keep voting to keep the dream alive.

And you don't understand how you can spend your way out of a bad economy? Really? I think you understand it just fine. Your car is a ghost. You are driving a ghost and you are asleep at the wheel.

Anonymous said...

@Anon Saturday 7:33:

"Productivity in the states will return as wages and standard of living decline to levels competitive with emerging markets. Which is what they are doing now."

Excuse me? You see this as a good thing, some kind of economic solution? Isn't it bad enough that real wages have been steadily declining? Did I miss something? Exactly how will working for third world wages give Americans more disposable income?

Anonymous said...

It's not good or bad, it just is. No, it does not give Americans disposable income. Productivity is not possible with consumer spending any longer, which is why the economy has stalled. Unemployment and wages can no longer be jacked up with financial leverage and credit. The global playing field is disallowing it. Productivity will have to come from labor, innovation, and reduction of standard of living as consumer spending dies. Consumer spending is just dying more quickly now than in the past. You can retain and fight for higher wage levels but they will continue to fall in real terms against inflationary pressures that are beyond domestic control. The headwinds are just too strong without the artificial consumer spending that Wall Street and the government economic policy was actively pursuing for so long. This is just what America looks like with its pants down, that's all.

Anonymous said...

No point arguing with the liberals they see Liberalism as a religion and not based in truth or fact so it is pointless. Obama is their god so we better not upset the balance by poking fun of the chosen one who sits on high and plays with his pawns. They chose to believe yet liberals are the ones who will mock Catholics or Christians for their beliefs. One more thing even though you all wont believe it but Obama is all about class warfare and you are all on board, enjoy.

Anonymous said...

The religious calling the secular religious. That's rich. You forgot to include the Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Wicken in there, Neighbor. Hi-dee Ho!

Steve Hulett said...

The country is in free fall and someone needs to get it on track quickly. For me personally I dont see spending your way out of debt making any sense.

The country isn't in free fall. Yet. The recession ended in the spring of 2009. Look up the stats.

We spent our way out of a depression with massive governmnt spending and work projects. It was called "World War II."

Unemployment went from 10% (1941) to 1.4% (1943). Amazing what national mobilization and massive debt can do for a nation.

Also worked like gangbusters to lift Great Britain (1938) and Germany (1934-37) out of depression.

People don't give two hoots about the deficit. They care about having jobs.

Politicians don't care about the deficit except as a lever to get what they want.

Anonymous said...

So unemployment over 9% means the recession is over? What! I know they say that 2009 we got out of the recession, please look around that is not true we are still in it and just hanging on. When your debt becomes too much and you begin printing money that is not backed by anything (we need the gold standard back) your money becomes worthless. At least with Clinton (yes he was a democrat so I am not against them) we had a balanced budget. At 14 Trillion and rising in debt how as a nation do you even begin to get back to some sort of normal deficit. History has shown that taxing people to death is not the answer. This whole class warfare is just wrong. Steven Wynn summed things up pretty well by saying "I'm saying it bluntly, that this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime," (source: Something to think about instead of the lefties attacking any conservative that comes here and posts.

Anonymous said...

You DO realize that "recession" has an actual technical definition, right? It refers to growth (or loss) of GDP, not unemployment.

No one disputes the economy is very sluggish. Unemployment is bad because the private sector refuses to hire. That's the private sector's fault, not government's.

The worst thing you can do in a sluggish economy is cut spending. It will only make things WORSE, and prolong the economic downturn. Every economist in the world agrees with this.

If you actually want to SOLVE the problem, then government needs to put Americans to work on its payroll, massively, New Deal style (MUCH bigger than the stimulus of 2009). Only then will the economy strike up again.

Anonymous said...

"History has shown that taxing people to death is not the answer."

What history is that? Because if you actually researched history, you would find that higher tax rates incentivizes those "job creators" to invest more money back into their business. Here's how it works... History shows that when the tax rate reaches about 50%, it's no longer worth pocketing that money. So let's say that the tax rate for those earning over $3M is at 50%. All of the income up to $3M is taxed at a lower rate so the person decides that $3M is enough for a good life and the rest goes back into the business. The problem currently is that taxes are so low right now and $3M just isn't enough so they pocket all they can. Never mind that someone who owns a business uses more of "the commons" (roads, utilities, etc) than you or I.

Businesses are sitting on trillions of dollars. They could hire tons of people. But how can you hire people to make more product if no one can afford to buy your product? Which is the direction we're heading. Trickle down doesn't work. It never has as HISTORY has shown if you're willing to look. I'm so tired of the talking points from Fox "News". You're being lied to people. Please take charge of your own future and educate yourselves.

Steve Hulett said...

Also good to keep in mind that we're not in a "typical" post WWII recession. We're on the back end of a bank meltdown and major real estate bubble (that Greenspan could have prevented, but didn't.)

The reason companies aren't hiring is that they have over-capacity as it is, so why hire? (Companies aren't stupid.) It's true that our tax poicies are screwed up, but until the real estate overhang works itself out, we're not going to have major, major growth, but mostly the sluggish variety.

The U.S. went the "austerity" route in 1937 and fell back into depression. Great Britain is on an austerity kick now and its GDP has declined 2%. Hardly a surprise. Some entity has to be spending and right now that entity is government. Nixon knew it. Reagan knew it (or at least acted like he knew it); unfortunately today's Republicans ... and many Democrats including the President ... have lost the thread.

Anonymous said...

I think it is okay to talk about history for reference, and I don't believe austerity will work, but I don't believe the US has ever found itself in this situation before, at least in terms of such low domestic savings, while having such a large debt, in addition to having the financial industry so globally intertwined as large populated emerging markets turn industrial. All of these factors seem to be making the age old Austrian vs. Keynes western economic argument unable to cope. All bets seem to be off for traditional theories keeping up with what is happening in the markets. Taking a hard line in either direction indicates calamity. Our government, like Europe, is in a giant state of confusion.

Anonymous said...

Our countries spending is out of control. 2 wars wasn't enough now we have 3 wars and a 4th brewing, it's unsustainable, this constant decline of jobs is terrible to witness and be a part of. Haven't seen anything like it since the 70's and I thought those were bad. I live within a budget as do almost everyone else why not the government? They have gotten too big and have become bullies of the American tax payer. Enough already, cut back just like we all had to 2 years ago. Stimulus was a disaster and I'm sick and tired of tax payers being taken advantage of.

Anonymous said...


Your "prescription" guarantees a worse economy.

Econ 101.

Anonymous said...

"Our countries spending is out of control. 2 wars wasn't enough..."

Excuse me, who started those wars, (and the unfunded drug benefit, and the unproductive, unfunded tax cut)?

When a Republican is in the White House, it's "Deficits don't matter."
Now that a Democrat is in the White House, suddenly it's "Spending is out of control!" I guess that means, out of REPUBLICAN control-pure hypocrisy!

Anonymous said...

I also love how they now throw in Libya as some kind of lame ass criticism of Obama's foreign policy, as if our actions in Libya even remotely compare to the two giant invasions under Bush.

Anonymous said...

>>I live within a budget as do almost everyone else why not the government?

Because you aren't as productive as you were in 1950. You want taxes to remain at 1950's levels because you think nostalgia is an economic policy. To fill the gap, you take on massive debt. If you were as productive as your Asian counterparts, you could make the argument that you do balance your budget. But you do not, you shift the costs of your lack of productivity to the US government to make your personal budget look balanced, and then BITCH and COMPLAIN that they are broke and irresponsible and corrupt. You are not competitive. You don't know how to pay for your 80 years of healthcare, your aging roads and bridges, your military and wars, and your baby boomer retirement. That's why. You are unproductive and have been since Ronald Reagan and Don Regan introduced you to Wall Street credit to get you out of that 70's funk. Guess what - the bill is due. And if you think Wall Street and Hank Paulson was bad, just wait to find out how forgiving the rest of the world will be.

What do you care anyway, you won't have to put down the picket sign and pick up a shovel - you'll be long dead.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again blame Bush for the wars fair enough but let us not forget that Obama was there as well and voted with Bush 40% of the time so Obama is not the innocent one everyone seems to claim he is.

Anonymous said...

Anon: July 27, 2011 9:14:00 AM... coo coo, coo coo

Anonymous said...

Anon: July 27, 2011 2:40:00

Hey Grover, I'm not the one dressed up for a Revolutionary War reenactment like a total moron. Who's the nutter?

And you will, of course, blame the President for pulling the trigger on this next shitstorm of your doing. As he is, according to the accurate study publsihed above, the same guy as George W. Remarkable. At least Obama was honest - you are indeed paranoid, religious, and clinging to your rifles.

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