It's OK to Say No

Who spends more, Republicans or Democrats? To hear liberals tell it Republicans shatter the bank. But add up spending by congresses and a different story emerges.

We've heard a lot of going on about how Bush battered the economy. George W. Bush was not, however, king of the United States. He was only its president. Regardless of the high visibility of the Executive Branch it is in no way the most powerful branch of the Federal Government. That honor goes, as it was always intended to go, to the legislative branch. This is especially true of the House of Representatives, which is the Constitutionally mandated source of all revenue bills.

It is well in this time of incessant national dissembling to check into some facts. I did this in a fairly simple way. I went to the Treasury Department's own website, and thence to a page that allows checks of daily national debt. There I entered in dates roughly approximating the terms of all the congresses since 1993. In this case my starting date was January 8 of each term. What I found was very interesting. Democratic congresses, even excluding the current congress's $1.75 TRILLION binge, created government debt at roughly twice the rate of Republican congresses. In three terms, again excluding the current $1.75 trillion, Democrats created $3.64 trillion dollars of debt versus the $2.48 trillion Republicans created in six terms. That is high value profligacy.

Furthermore, while the Treasury's site puts the lie to the liberal fantasy that there were ever any surplusses, it also shows that the closest we came to them happened while Republicans held the reins of government spending. Fancy that.

A great deal of political pressure is being applied to Republicans to be a part of the drunken ribaldry referred to in media reports as "stimulus". It is time to accept being ostracized by the drug dealers and their minions and, as Nancy Reagan used to say, "Just Say No".

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at February 26, 2009 10:39 AM
Comments
Comment #276254

This argument (as usual) boils down to which is more pathetic than the other, when both are so dismally pathetic, it really makes little difference.

There are so many incumbent politicians in BOTH the Democrat and Republican parties that are to blame for this economic mess, massive debt of nightmare proportions, and these dozens of deteriorating economic conditions, that trying to determine which is more irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt is similar to trying to tell which of two piles of $#!+ stinks worse. Good luck.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 12:27 PM
Comment #276257

The secret ballot (re: union formation) should be retained.
The gap in the wealth disparity is growing.
The federal government has been deficit spending for 52 consecutive years, and BOTH politicial parties have their own types of pork-barrel, graft, and waste, and both got us where we are today. As for Republicans “just say no”, too bad they are only now finding some reason for some fiscal sanity, because it may now be too late.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 12:47 PM
Comment #276258

d.a.n.,

What I’m really pointing out is that congresses spend money, not presidents. Democrats told us that Republicans were terrible spenders, which is true, and they promised to be responsible, which is not.

If I’m forced to choose between the dog that won’t stay on the leash and the dog that bites my children I’ll take the one that’s hard to keep at heel. Then I’ll try to train that one.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 26, 2009 12:50 PM
Comment #276261

That dog that bites your children may be an America that is not worth inheriting. The money we spend today is going to come out of our descendant’s pockets…that is a given.

If we don’t invest their money NOW in health care…

If we don’t invest their money NOW in renewable and safer energies…

If we don’t invest their money NOW in education reforms…

What kind of America do we leave them?

It’s a damned-if-you-do, and damned-if-you-don’t situation. If they are going to have to pay for it all anyway, can’t we at least leave them something worth inheriting?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 26, 2009 1:24 PM
Comment #276262
Lee Emmerich Jamison: d.a.n., What I’m really pointing out is that congresses spend money, not presidents.
Not true.

The President has veto power, and the bully-pulpit too.
As a result of the president failing to veto pork-barrel and waste, and failing to rail against pork-barrel and waste, we have pork-barrel and waste (not to mention the perpetuation of these 10 major abuses that continue to hammer most Americans).

Lee Emmerich Jamison: Democrats told us that Republicans were terrible spenders, which is true, …
Yes, Republicans were terrible spenders, but so were Democrats. Most (if not all) incumbent Republican and Democrat politicians in BOTH parties in Congress are fiscally and morally bankrupt. And so is the executive branch when it fails to fight pork-barrel, wasteful spending, and other legislation that is bad for the nation (such as the perpetuation of these 10 major abuses which have been hammering most Americans for decades).
Lee Emmerich Jamison: Democrats told us that Republicans were terrible spenders, which is true, and they promised to be responsible, which is not.
Yes, Democrats are not better, and we’re seeing that now. At a time when we need fiscal sanity and responsibility, we’re getting more of the same status quo, pork-barrel spending, waste, graft, corruption, and lies. Trying to put it on only one party is a waste of time, and when enough voters finally feel the painful consequences of not only tolerating, but also rewarding Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, they will hopefully do what most unhappy voters did in year 1933, when they ousted a whopping 206 members of Congress.
Lee Emmerich Jamison: If I’m forced to choose between the dog that won’t stay on the leash and the dog that bites my children I’ll take the one that’s hard to keep at heel. Then I’ll try to train that one.
I’m force to choose neither, since trying to determine which is more irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt is similar to trying to tell which of two piles of $#!+ stinks worse. When enough voters are bankrupt , jobless , homeless , and hungry, they will hopefully do the same as most unhappy voters did in year 1933. Better late than never, but unfortunately, millions of Americans are going to reap what they have sowed. And that is perhaps as it should be, if they ever hope to learn to love their country more than THEIR party.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 1:40 PM
Comment #276263
marysdude wrote: The money we spend today is going to come out of our descendant’s pockets…that is a given.
It doesn’t have to, and it shouldn’t. Especially if the current debt is near (if not already) untenable.

Where’s the money going to come from when the money to simply service the debt does not already exist?
No country in all of history, so ridiculously deep into debt, has ever borrowed , money-printed , and spent its way to prosperity.
Many nations have already tried and discovered another economic terror:

marysdude wrote:
  • If we don’t invest their money NOW in health care…
  • If we don’t invest their money NOW in renewable and safer energies…
  • If we don’t invest their money NOW in education reforms…
Sure, some of those are good goals, but not by making things MUCH worse by debauching the currency and making the debt untenable.
marysdude wrote: What kind of America do we leave them?
Debauch the currency, and the kind of America we leave behind will most likely be MUCH worse, because a debauched currency will destroy all savings, all pensions, all retirement plans, all wages. That may happen anyway, but creating tens of Trillions of dollars out of thin air will create inflation which could easily trigger hyperinflation. Capital can not be created by merely creating more money out of thin air, and the U.S., the largest debtor nation on the planet, has so much debt that it is near (if not already) untenable.

Where will the money come from to merely pay the interest on the current $67 Trillion of nation-wide debt, when that money does not yet exist, 90%-to-95% of all U.S. Dollars in existence in the U.S. exists as debt, and the Federal Reserve is creating trillions of dollars per year out of thin air. A 1950 U.S. Dollar is already worth only 10 cents. With all of the rampant borrowing, money-printing, and spending, what do you think a 2012 U.S. dollar will be worth? The U.S. has a debt problem. Not a credit problem. The U.S. doesn’t need more credit to grow its debt even larger. Only the $10.8 Trillion National Debt per-capita is already 62% higher than the previous record-high per-capita debt in year 1945 after World War II. And that does not even include the $12.8 Trillion borrowed from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching.

marysdude wrote: It’s a damned-if-you-do, and damned-if-you-don’t situation.
Yes, but only to some extent. It can get MUCH worse if we debauch the currency, and the U.S. Dollar has already been falling for many years.
marysdude wrote: If they are going to have to pay for it all anyway, can’t we at least leave them something worth inheriting?
It will most like be a failed nation if the currency is debached.

You seem to believe there’s no end to the amount of debt and money that can be created out of thin air. History proves different. Are you so certain that the debt can be grow so drastically larger? Since when did the principles of finance, economics, and the laws of the universe become irrelevant?

Again, Where will the money come from to merely pay the interest on the current $67 Trillion of nation-wide debt, when that money does not yet exist, 90%-to-95% of all U.S. Dollars in existence in the U.S. exists as debt, and the Federal Reserve is creating trillions of dollars per year out of thin air.

Have you ever seriously looked at the math, and/or amortized (at only 4.0%) the $10.8 Trillion National Debt, or the $10.8 Trillion National Debt + the $12.8 Trillion borrowed from Social Security, or the current nation-wide debt of $67 Trillion (One-Simple-Idea.com/67Trillion.gif), and see how many centuries it would take to pay down even a quarter of that debt. We’ve already had 52 consecutive years of inflation and federal deficit spending. That’s part of why we are in this mess. How is more of the same going to fix it? When did any nation so ridiculously deep into debt, ever borrow , money-printed , and spent its way to prosperity? Since when was the solution to decades of fiscal and moral bankruptcy more of the same? What is the term used to descibe doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 2:10 PM
Comment #276265

d.a.n.,

I ask again…what kind of country are we going to leave them…

1. If we don’t bring this economy back to a sustainable level?

2. If we don’t improve on those things that will adversely effect them in later years?

I understand your unwillingness to see this as a meltdown, but for those of us who do see it that way, sitting on our hands and hollering, ‘tax cut’, ‘tax cut’, ‘tax cut’, doesn’t seem right.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 26, 2009 2:29 PM
Comment #276268

Democrats spend more and tax more, while Republicans spend more and tax less. Which is why under Republicans, the national debt always grows more than under Democrats, though of course, this next 4 years will be the exception to the rule as Democrats inherit a tanked economy created by Republican excesses and a national debt doubled by Republicans in just 8 years.

It took 230 years to get the national debt to 5.65 Trillion Dollars. It took Republicans only 8 years to take it to 10.6 Trillion.

Sorry, if, as Republicans now say, deficits and debt matter, Democrats are clearly the lesser of the two evil parties.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 26, 2009 3:36 PM
Comment #276269
marysdude wrote: d.a.n.,
    I ask again…what kind of country are we going to leave them…
  • 1. If we don’t bring this economy back to a sustainable level?
How you gonna do that by debauching the currency?

Where’s the money going to come from?
Can’t you answer that one simple question?
How many trillions of new money do you think can be created out of thin air, before it debauches the currency?
How much more debt do you think the U.S. can carry, when the nation-wide debt has grown from 100% of GDP in year 1956 to 483% of GDP today?
Have you done the math yourself, or do you simply take other peoples’ word that we can borrow , money-print , and spend our way to prosperity?

marysdude wrote:
  • 2. If we don’t improve on those things that will adversely effect them in later years?
True, but that ain’t gonna happen by debauching the currency. Why do you suppose the wealthy are buying gold, silver, land, and hard assets? Where do you think most Americans are going to be by 2012 with double, triple, or N-tuple the debt we have now? Are you not aware that only the $10.8 Trillion National Debt per-capita is already 62% higher than the previous record-high in year 1945 after World War II. And that does not even include the $12.8 Trillion borrowed from Social Security and Medicare, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 Million baby boomer bubble approaching. Yet you and others still think we can somehow borrow , money-print , and spend our way to prosperty? But it gets much worse. There are dozens of economic factors and abuses which are much worse today than in the Great Depression and World War II. We don’t have the manufacturing we used to have. Germany ($1.1 Trillion) and China ($1.3 Trillion) each (separately) have more exports than the U.S. The U.S.

There are MANY things the government could do to help most Americans, and many of those things do not require a lot of spending.
And for those things that require spending, they should be funded with cuts in all unnecessary spending and waste.

marysdude wrote: I understand your unwillingness to see this as a meltdown, …
That’s pure nonsense, as expected, since I’ve been written thousands of posts and articles emphasizing the seriousness and severity of this economic mess.

You still haven’t said where the money is going to come from.

marysdude wrote: I understand your unwillingness to see this as a meltdown, but for those of us who do see it that way,
More nonsense. What do you call this web-page of mine.

Thus, your comment lacks credibility, to say the least.
Again, where’s the money going to come from.
Since when did any nation so ridiculously deep in debt of nightmare proportions ever borrow , money-print , and spend our way to prosperity?
Can you name one?
Did you do the math, or do you still merely take others’ word that we can borrow , money-print , and spend our way to prosperity?

marysdude wrote: I understand your unwillingness to see this as a meltdown, but for those of us who do see it that way, sitting on our hands and hollering, ‘tax cut’, ‘tax cut’, ‘tax cut’, doesn’t seem right.
More nonsense, as expected, since I haven’t promoted tax cuts, but ONLY tax fairness.

Or do you not understand that the current tax system is regressive?

Again, your comments are completely false, make no sense, and grossly mischaracterize my positon on taxes, debt, and the severity of the current fiscal crisis.
Just because we may disagree on the solution (which in my opinion is NOT more borrowing , debt , money-printing , and irresponsible spending), does not justify telling lies about others’ positions on taxes , debt , and the severity of the current fiscal crisis. If one wants their comments to be taken seriously, they might refrain from such mischaracterizations and lies. Where you get the idea that I don’t think the current fiscal crisis is severe is a complete mystery (laughable actually).

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 3:42 PM
Comment #276270

The Republicans kicked a hole in the wall, and now the Republicans are complaining about how much we’re having to pay for the guy to come and repair the sheetrock.

They could have avoided the cost had they been more responsible. Now they want us to save money by not fixing the problem. The value of home, though, has been lessened, and only a repair will put it back right.

You might think you’re avoiding a cost, but really you aren’t. All you’re doing is costing taxpayers more as the declining revenues force you to deficit spend more. And spend you will have to. If you don’t spend, you’ll just add to the deflationary problem.

The Republicans seem to want another opportunity to recapitulate the Great Depression and then get out of it their way, just like they tried to refight Vietnam in Iraq.

They’ve already had the chance to prove FDR wrong, by eliminating many of the safeguards that Liberals claimed were necessary to keep the economy from self-destructing. What happened should be obvious. Letting the big banks gobble each other up created banks so big that letting the market judge them would kill the American economy for years to come.

The Republicans want to disclaim responsibility by a number of methods. One is by saying that the Democrats also helped. That doesn’t help them. The logical effect of a tu quoquo (you, too) formulation is that four fingers point back at you. Yes, the Democrats sang the Republican’s tune, but who set the tune? It’s useless to deny just how influential Republicans have been about policy these last few decades. All of a sudden an era when the Republicans dominated the Presidency for all but eight years, and dominated the legislature for much of the latter half becomes a time when liberalism reigned supreme.

For a bunch of people who claim to be hostile to relativism, they’re very good at amplifying an inability to totally dominate the political scene into lost years in the wilderness.

Now, essentially, I guess the Republicans are trying to do the same, only in reverse. A new day has dawned for the Republican Party! Being reduced to a hardline core is considered purification. Becoming ever more isolated from the core mainstream of America is explained as being principled, resistant to the sway of polls. Everything that happens is good for the party, even when its bad.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 26, 2009 3:53 PM
Comment #276273

David,

Democrats spend more and tax more, while Republicans spend more and tax less. Which is why under Republicans, the national debt always grows more than under Democrats,
The numbers from the Treasury Department don’t back up your statement. In twelve years of Republican congresses since 1993 total federal government debt rose by 2.48 trillion dollars. In only six years of Democratic congresses from 1993 to the beginning of 2009 the same measures of debt rose by 3.64 trillion. Now add to that another $1.75 Trillion this years and red ink by the tanker load as far as the eye can see.

Democrats spent money they didn’t have to the tune of 50% more than did Republicans and did it in half as many years.

By the way David, the economy tanked during a Democrat congress, too, not just a Republican presidency.

Oh, and I hope you don’t have to take Medicare for any of your day-job services.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 26, 2009 4:02 PM
Comment #276274

Yes, there’s no doubt that Republican politicians screwed the pooch. And there’s no doubt that Democrats helped them. The IN-PARTY is always more corrupt, and the OUT-PARTY is always there to give the IN-PARTY the rope to hang themselves with.

Seriously, BOTH Republicans and Democrats ran up the debt, it started decades ago, and a majority of the National Debt (nominally and relative to GDP) started growing sharply in year 1980.

BOTH parties shared in this mess.

That’s why trying to determine which is more irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt is similar to trying to tell which of two piles of $#!+ stinks worse.

Yet, too few voters are yet willing to admit that truth, and prefer (for now) to fuel and wallow in the petty, circular partisan-warfare, rather than stop the idiocy of repeatedly rewarding Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, despite the voters’ dismally low 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 4:04 PM
Comment #276275

Lee, how absent minded of you to completely ignore the 5 trillion dollars added to the national debt under GW Bush, and may I remind you that the last fiscal year of 2008 was the only budget year which a Democratic Congress had control of, sort of, as Bush threatened to VETO a budget that departed from what he submitted.

Sorry, your cherry picking data now avoiding the facts that harm your argument, and that is less than honest debate, in my opinion.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 26, 2009 4:08 PM
Comment #276276

David R. Remer, Lee Emirich Jamison has a minor, but point, since all administrations since 1980 have done badly. Even Clinton, who almost balanced the federal budget, created a lot of money out of thin air (and inflation) to temporarily reduce the debt. However, capital is really never created out of thin air. As a result, even under Clinton, the National Debt and Debt-to-GDP did not decrease drastically (see chart)..

Any way, look at the inflation-adjusted debt and debt-to-GDP.

Bush’s administration did run up a lot of debt, and so did Ronald Reagan.
But in inflation-adjusted dollars, it’s about the same as Democrats did in previous administrations, despite the doubling of the nominal amount of National Debt.
Nominal values alone do not tell the whole story.

Also, inflation is probably worse today than what is being reported, because the CPI calculations were changed in 1983 and 1998.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 4:19 PM
Comment #276277

Lee said: “By the way David, the economy tanked during a Democrat congress, too, not just a Republican presidency”

As if that comment has any credulity. Again, Bush’s veto threat of any budget that wasn’t of his design, renders your comment incredulous. Democrats did not have enough seats to override Bush’s veto. Those facts are now historical record. Republicans controlled the budget in 2007 2008, NOT Democrats, despite Democrats less than veto proof majority in Congress.

Democrats couldn’t override Bush’s veto, therefore, they had no choice but to give Bush the fiscal mismanagement rope to hang Republicans in the 2008 election, which is exactly what happened.

You can justifiably blame Clinton for signing the Republican Gramm Leach Bliley Act, and a some Democrats in Congress for voting for it, which has created ‘too big to allow to fail’ financial corporations. But, the rest of this economic meltdown belongs to Republicans with their doubling of the national debt, failing to regulate and oversee the excesses of the corporate world, Greenspan and Bush’s official “Owner Society” program which encouraged mortgage loans to those who could not sustain them, and let’s throw in Republian SEC Chairman Cox’s refusal to even investigate numerous alerts to the Bernie Madoff rip off of 50 billion dollars from investors.

Nope! Sorry, your argument doesn’t hold water. Democrats can be blamed for many things, but, this economic mess (GLB excepted), and the requisite deficit spending to correct and remedy it, belongs to Republicans. And the majority of voters recognized that on election day in 2008. That too is historical record.


Posted by: David R. Remer at February 26, 2009 4:20 PM
Comment #276278

CORRECTION: David R. Remer, Lee Em[m]irich Jamison has a minor, but [valid] point …

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 4:21 PM
Comment #276279

Sorry Lee, I still got it wrong. I meant: Lee Emmerich Jamison

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 4:22 PM
Comment #276283
Nope! Sorry, your argument doesn’t hold water. Democrats can be blamed for many things, but, this economic mess (GLB excepted), and the requisite deficit spending to correct and remedy it, belongs to Republicans.
Completley 100% ?

Or would you care to provide a percentage? For example, 55%/45% ? Does it depend on which is the current IN-PARTY?
And which party is almost always the most corrupt?
Which party is the cause of the other party becoming the OUT-PARTY ?
Do you believe the true difference are significant enough to fan the flames of the partisan-warfare ?

Again, the inflation-adjusted debt has been growing steadily from about 1980. There was a small dip in debt-to-GDP only between 1995 and 2000, but debt-to-GDP was still very high. And if the $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security is included, the debt and debt-to-GDP has never been worse. Also, when Bush took office in 2001, the $5.7 Trillion National Debt per-capita left by Clinton was still almost equal to the previous record-high (about $21,719 in 1945 in 2008 U.S. dollars) National Debt per-capita in year 1945 after World War II. Also, if you look at the peak debt-to-GDP in Clinton’s first term, it is only slightly less than the debt-to-GDP now.

Thus, there’s a lot of bickering here to prove that the OTHER party is worse than the OTHER party, when BOTH are truly pathetic, and voters are culpable too for not only tolerating it, but repeatedly rewarding Congress for all of it with 85%-to-90% re-election rates. And for all of that, the arrogant Congress just gave itself its 10th raise in 12 years. Cha Ching!

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 4:47 PM
Comment #276289

Arguments are all over the map. Obama is obviously using this crisis to move his agenda. The Republicans are in total confusion without a clear voice to stop what is coming.

All they can do is vote no, as Democrats are going to use this opportunity to move their agenda.

As Yoda said “there is another hope”. That hope is the markets. Specifically the US treasury market. Obama can spend all he wants, and Congress will give it to him, expecially since the Republicans have lost any credibility on fiscal reponsibility.

In the end it will be the markets that “veto” spending that is to extreme. It is hard to give a speech that will tell the markets to respond.

The S&P 500 was 1200 when Obama passed McCain in the polls, 1000 on election day, and about 750 now. It is ok to blame Bush for the crisis obama inherited. However over time that argument grows less and less strong. Even today David Broder had an article about Obama’s gamble.

All of this that is happening to our country right now has the democrats in control of the decision making going forward. What I am hearing more and more of is that Americans like Obama (He is average in the polls right now for a new president), but do not like his policies. We will see what happens.

Wow is he a spender!!

Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 26, 2009 5:08 PM
Comment #276290

Dan-
You can talk about in parties and out parties until your blue in the face. Most people are going to ask a very good question: just how do we get a Democratic Republic where there aren’t in-parties and out-parties?

This just seems to me to be the kind of split-the-difference insanity that has substituted for genuine independence these last few decades.

Let me leave you all with a thought: Does something being politically moderate make it practically moderate? Or, put another way, can a idea be stupid and impractical despite the fact that it represents a muddled middle between two partisan ideas?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 26, 2009 5:13 PM
Comment #276292

Craig Holmes-
They seem to like his policies just fine. Maybe it depends on who you’re talking to.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 26, 2009 5:19 PM
Comment #276293

Craig said: “Arguments are all over the map. Obama is obviously using this crisis to move his agenda.”

Of course. That is what the people elected him to do. TO move his agenda which he announced on the campaign trail. Which means his agenda is the people’s agenda, well, the majority who voted for him, anyway. Why would anyone expect him to do anything other than this?

Craig said: “All they can do is vote no, as Democrats are going to use this opportunity to move their agenda.”

That’s the problem with political parties, they have agendas, and those agendas are not always what the nation’s circumstances require.

Craig Said: “The S&P 500 was 1200 when Obama passed McCain in the polls, 1000 on election day, and about 750 now.”

Funny how that works. The execs of the financial corporations and big banks leverage themselves into oblivion, bringing the nation’s economy down with them, and then their investors withdraw their investments from not only those financial corporations and banks big time, but, also from the myriad other businesses whose sales are falling precipitously as a result of the Recession which the financial institutions created.

Has nothing to do with Obama being elected, Craig. People invest in a company’s stocks based on their projected earnings and profits and subsequent stock price going up or dividends being paid. Nearly all companies on the Stock Exchanges are experiencing contraction in their business, and therefore contractions in expected earnings and profits.

The only investors who should be buying into these markets are the very long term investors and those foolish day traders (a majority of whom) who have lost their shorts (pun intended) on day trading. Even long term investors however, are wary and not yet, as a group, putting their toes back in the stock waters, or their trust in this economy rebounding, just yet.

Has nothing to do with Obama’s election. You should no better than to try to make that correlation. NO other president who might have been elected could have altered the stock markets course from where it is today, due to the Recession.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 26, 2009 5:33 PM
Comment #276294

d.a.n, nominal is the measure to use, as it provides the percentage of the previous debt which a President’s budgets went over in deficit spending or under in surplus during their administration.

GW Bush nearly DOUBLED the national debt in 8 years. Bush did NOT VETO a single Budget. Bush is responsible for that doubling of the national debt.

No Democratic President in recent history has come anywhere close to deficit spending to that extent. You have to go back to Truman and FDR to find Democrats deficit spending to that extent.

Doubling the national debt doubles, at least, the opportunity cost of the interest on that debt for tax payers. That direct cost to tax payers is immediately experienced by tax payers in foregone government services that could have otherwise potentially been provided.

Then of course, there is the burden on future tax payers who also will pay the interest, and at some point, be forced to pay part of the principle down as well.

A 5 Trillion Dollar addition to the national debt in 8 years is unprecedented as a percentage of GDP, nominally, or by any other measure since the conclusion of WWII.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 26, 2009 5:45 PM
Comment #276295

d.a.n said about national debt: “Seriously, BOTH Republicans and Democrats ran up the debt, it started decades ago,”

I have make a minor correction here. It started centuries, not decades ago. From Wikipedia:

Debts incurred during the American Revolutionary War and under the Articles of Confederation led to the first yearly reported value of $75,463,476.52 on January 1, 1791.

Over the following 45 years, the debt grew, briefly contracted to zero on January 8, 1835 under President Andrew Jackson but then quickly grew into the millions again.[18]

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 26, 2009 5:51 PM
Comment #276296

Stephen D. said:

“The Republicans kicked a hole in the wall, and now the Republicans are complaining about how much we’re having to pay for the guy to come and repair the sheetrock.

They could have avoided the cost had they been more responsible. Now they want us to save money by not fixing the problem.”

That’s a pretty concise way of describing the current situation. But, you left out Bill Clinton’s monumental contribution to this economic crisis, the signing of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. It may have just been a signature, and taken only a few seconds to afix to the Bill, but, it reflects one Democrat’s time spent considering the implications of affixing that signature.

From Mother Jones:

Phil Gramm, then a Republican senator from Texas, and recently an economic advisor to the McCain campaign, took the lead in undoing Glass-Steagall, a move the financial services industry had been lobbying for since at least the 1980s. (James Leach, a former Republican congressman from Iowa, introduced the House version of the bill. He is now a leader of Republicans for Obama.) Bill Clinton was also an enthusiastic supporter of banking deregulation. And it was Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin who brokered the compromise that allowed the legislation to move forward in Congress—shortly before he left the administration to join Citigroup. (In November 1999, Mother Jones published a piece on the dangerous implications of Gramm-Leach-Bliley, under the headline “Robert Rubin Rewrites the Rules.”)

How Democrats in Congress dealt with Gramm-Leach-Bliley has now become a subject of debate. The final version of the legislation won nearly universal bipartisan support and passed by a wide margin in both houses of Congress in November 1998. The Senate’s 90 yea votes included those of such prominent Democrats as Ted Kennedy, Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer, and Harry Reid, along with VP nominee Joe Biden.

Some, by way of trying to absolve Democrats of responsibility for passing this measure, have argued that the vote on the earlier Senate version of the bill (before the final conference version) was 54 to 44, divided along partisan lines, with all of the above Dems voting against it.

This is true—though at the time most Democrats’ objections had nothing to do with preserving the Glass-Steagall firewall. In the end, only nine senators, including Russ Feingold, Tom Harkin, Barbara Mikulski, and Paul Wellstone, along with Independent Bernie Sanders, refused to lend their names to the final bill, regardless of how inevitable its passage was.
Posted by: David R. Remer at February 26, 2009 6:03 PM
Comment #276297
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- You can talk about in parties and out parties until your blue in the face.
Why thank you so much for permission to do so. How very generous.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Most people are going to ask a very good question: just how do we get a Democratic Republic where there aren’t in-parties and out-parties?
You are obviously confused (or self deluded).

The point was NEVER to get rid of parties.
That is a bad assumption on your part.
They point is the same that it has always been, which is that voters should stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, incompetent, FOR-SALE, and corrupt politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates. If you see a flaw in that logic, please let us know what it is? Or is it merely ANYTHING non-Democrat that disturbs you?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: This just seems to me to be the kind of split-the-difference insanity that has substituted for genuine independence these last few decades.
Nonsense. Since when was it “insanity” to refrain from repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, incompetent, FOR-SALE, and corrupt politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates? Perhaps what is so disturbing is that it is truth and plain common-sense. Or is it because it is something that is non-Democrat?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Let me leave you all with a thought: Does something being politically moderate make it practically moderate? Or, put another way, can a idea be stupid and impractical despite the fact that it represents a muddled middle between two partisan ideas?
I have no idea what you are saying, and would venture to say it is more obfuscation to distract from the flaws in your argument(s).

There’s no mystery that you don’t like anyone suggesting anything non-Democrat or non-partisan, as evidenced by the following statments:

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … as I don’t like to hear people get down on my party, …

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction. {Huh? I belong to no third parties.}

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: How many people curse the Green party for George W. Bush (43) getting elected?

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans have the choice, which I gladly let them have, of doing scuzzy things so they can make the Democrats look bad …

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I do think voters should ally with Democrats.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new [110th] congress a do-nothing congress … {Why? What did the 110th do-nothing Congress accomplish since 7-NOV-2006 ? And the 111th Congress consists of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.}

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re underestimating the results of this last election. {We’ll see, since 85%-to-90% of incumbent politicians were re-elected.)

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what Democrats like myself had to do, after all, to take back the majorities and the White House.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have significantly shifted the balance of power, despite all the barriers the Republicans put in place to keep their power.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, I obviously want voters to vote for Democrats. {Really? No kiddin’?}

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote {NEW!, which is ironic indeed}: … why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric …?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Let me leave you all with a thought: Does something being politically moderate make it practically moderate? Or, put another way, can a idea be stupid and impractical despite the fact that it represents a muddled middle between two partisan ideas?

As Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does”.

So it does not matter if it is moderate, or popular.
I’m all too aware of the two extremes:

  • (1) One extreme wants unfettered capitalism and freedom to explore every facet of unchecked greed (which we have seen plenty of lately).

  • (2) And the other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens dependent on the government, with cradle-to-grave programs that nuture a sense of entitlement and the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.
  • However, eventually, those two exremes will crap in their own nest for too long, and enough unhappy voters will most likely do what most unhappy voters did in year 1933, when they voted-out a whopping 206 members of Congress (59 Dems, 147 Repubs). That’s highly probable when enough voters are bankrupt , jobless , homeless , and hungry. When enough voters are fed-up, they won’t care much which party (i.e. two extremes) are worse. They will do what is easiest, and vote out ALL incumbents. That also happened several elections leading up to the mass-ousting of incumbent politicians in 1933. It can happen again, and it should, because what is most certainly “stupid and impractical” is repeatedly rewarding corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, and then incredulously saying “What the hell happened?”, because the only obvious answer is “Duh!”. Voters are cuplable too. If voters don’t do a better job of holding their elected officials accountable now, then the voters will eventually (most likely), do so later (better late than never) when they are finally feeling enough of the painful consequences of their own bad voting habits.

    What is “stupid and impractical” is one who loves THEIR party more than their country, puts PARTY before all else, and repeatedly rewards THEIR party’s incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election, despite most voters’ dismally low 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress.

    What is “stupid and impractical” is fueling and wallowing in the petty, circular partisan-warfare (something the politicians love to fuel, since it is so wonderfully effective at distracting many voters from truly important and substantive issues and the incumbent politicians’ own incompetence and malfeasance).

    What is “stupid and impractical” is trying to defend (or remaining suspiciously silent about) pork-barrel and waste when it is authored by one’s OWN party, but railing against it when it is sponsored by the OTHER party.

    What is “stupid and impractical” is ignoring the excessive corruption that has existed and still exists in BOTH parties.

    What is “stupid and impractical” is deluding one’s self into believing THEIR party had no significant culpability in this economic crises.

    What is “stupid and impractical” is trying to determine which of the incumbent politicians in the two main parties is more irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt, since it is almost impossible to tell which of two piles of $#!+ stinks worse.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 6:05 PM
    Comment #276301
    David R. Remer wrote: d.a.n, nominal is the measure to use, …
    Not true.

    There are multiple ways to measure things.

    David R. Remer wrote: d.a.n, nominal is the measure to use, as it provides the percentage of the previous debt which a President’s budgets went over in deficit spending or under in surplus during their administration.
    A percentage of nominal debt-to-nominal GDP makes sense.

    A percentage of inflation-adjusted-toinflation adjusted GDP makes sense.

    I pointed-out/provided BOTH nominal and inflation adjusted data.
    And if you look at some of the largest jumps in the ratio of nominal debt-to-nominal GDP, it happened during Democrats majority in Congress.
    Democrats have had the majority in Congress all but about 10 years of the last 60 years (since 1956).
    Also, there was a huge jump in debt (both in nominal and inflation-adjusted dollars) between 1980 and 1990, and the Democrats had a HUGE majority in Congress in those years.
    How about them apples?

    Now, consider inflation-adjusted debt and debt-to-GDP ratios.
    There was a huge jump in debt relative to GDP between 1980 and 1990, and the Democrats had a HUGE majority in Congress in those years.

    Therefore, the proof of fiscal irresponsibility by BOTH parties is overwhelming, regardless of whether it is veiwed in nominal or inflation-adjusted dollars.

    David R. Remer wrote: d.a.n, nominal is the measure to use, as it provides the percentage of the previous debt which a President’s budgets went over in deficit spending or under in surplus during their administration.
    Again, you should look at BOTH nominal and inflation-adjusted data.

    Why? Because inflation can often make some increases in debt look worse. Especially if the real inflation rates are actually higher.

    As for debt-to-GDP raios, they should be consistent (e.g. each ratio should use either in nominal or inflation-adjusted numbers, but not a mixture).

    Therefore, looking ONLY at nominal data is not the whole picture. There are many other good reasons for looking at charts with BOTH nominal and inflation-adjusted data.

    For example, I discovered something that was not reported on by any news stattion by looking at inflation adjusted GDP.
    GDP in ANY other previous year’s inflation adjusted dollars showed one of the biggest dips in GDP in the past 100 years (if not ever).
    This is significant, and a very good example of why looking at ONLY nominal data is not good enough to see the whole picture.
    If you only looked at GDP in current dollars, you might say GDP was slowing, when it was actually falling due to inflation (as evidenced by dips in GDP in any previous year’s inflaton adjusted dollars).

    • _____________ Debt-to-GDP (in 2005 dollars) ______

    • 120% |————————-x———————————

    • 110% |————————-x———————————

    • 100% |————————x—x——————————

    • 090% |————————x—x——————————

    • 080% |————————x—-x—————————x
    • $10.8T Debt = 78% of $13.86T GDP
    • 070% |————————x——x———————x-x-

    • 060% |———————-x———-x—————x—x—

    • 050% |———————-x————x———-x———-

    • 040% |——————-x-x————-x——x————-

    • 030% |————x—-x———————xx—————-

    • 020% |———-x-x-x——————————————

    • 010% |x-x-x-x—-x——————————————-

    • 000% |——————————————+———————YEAR

    • ____1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 22

    • ____9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0 00

    • ____0 0 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 0 00

    • ____0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 58

    David R. Remer wrote: GW Bush nearly DOUBLED the national debt in 8 years.
    True, and I’m not trying to defend Bush.

    However, the National Debt (in 2005 dollars) also almost doubled between 1992 and 2000 in Clinton’s 8 years in office (from $3.4-to-$5.7 Trillion).
    What is damning for Bush is that the Debt-to-GDP ratio increased from about 57% to 78% (measured in 2005 dollars).
    However, at the end of Clinton’s 2nd term, the Debt-to-GDP ratio was 67%, which is historically high too.
    Any way, both are actually more pathetic than that, because both helped borrow and spend $12.8 Trillion from Social Security, so the problem is actually much worse.

    David R. Remer wrote: GW Bush nearly DOUBLED the national debt in 8 years. Bush did NOT VETO a single Budget. Bush is responsible for that doubling of the national debt.
    Yes, he is partly responsible for it. But so is Congress. And who had the majority in Congress for the past 2 years?
    David R. Remer wrote: No Democratic President in recent history has come anywhere close to deficit spending to that extent. You have to go back to Truman and FDR to find Democrats deficit spending to that extent.
    True, if you want to blame it all on one person (i.e. the president).
    David R. Remer wrote: Doubling the national debt doubles, at least, the opportunity cost of the interest on that debt for tax payers. That direct cost to tax payers is immediately experienced by tax payers in foregone government services that could have otherwise potentially been provided.
    You’re preachin’ to to choir when it comes to disdain for debt, and the lost opportunities. I’m not defending Bush (since I don’t think much of him, which is an extreme understatement). I’m just saying that Congress is at least 51% culpable too, since Congress writes the pork-laden BILLs.
    David R. Remer wrote: Then of course, there is the burden on future tax payers who also will pay the interest, and at some point, be forced to pay part of the principle down as well.
    Yes. Future generations are getting screwed BIG TIME. Besides, I believe the debt is near (if not already) untenable and I do not believe we can borrow, money-print , and spend our way out of this mess. The debt has to unwind and some of it will be a loss (i.e. massive foreclosures, falling stocks, etc.). I believe we are on a very dangerous path to hyperinflation. I’ve heard Bernanke say he’s not worried about it, but Bernanke hasn’t been right about much (if anything). Neither has Congress. Many economists who correctly predicted all of this, and saw it approaching years ago, are now warning that inflation could trigger hyperinflation, and by the time hyperinflation occurs, there will be little (if anything) that can stop it. Besides, the math is not that difficult. Creating tens of trillions of new money out of thin air , massive borrowing , massive interest on debt , massive nation-wide debt of nightmare proportions (never larger per-capita), numerous other deteriorating economic conditions , no sign of downsizing a severely bloated federal government, and the projected costs of all of it looks very much like a recipe for disaster. In addition, one of the most alarming things about all of it is a Congress that didn’t see it coming, and now seems to think we can somehow borrow , money-print , and spend our way to prosperity. And it’s interesting that many talking heads in the news and on the financial channels didn’t see this economic mess either. They don’t seem able to see the trees for the forest. I hope this Stimulus BILL will work and I the federal government knows what it is doing, but based on track-record, I seriously doubt it. The debt is simply too large and there will be a lot of unavoidable pain and misery, but if the currency is destroyed by hyperinflation, it will be MUCH worse. And it looks very much like that is were we are headed. It simply does not make sense that tens of trillions of new money created out of thin air won’t create some inflation. Also, don’t forget; inflation is probably being under-reported. GDP, debt, and unemployment are probably being misreported too. There’s a lot of cookin’ the books these days.
    David R. Remer wrote: A 5 Trillion Dollar addition to the national debt in 8 years is unprecedented as a percentage of GDP, nominally, or by any other measure since the conclusion of WWII.
    The debt is huge. There’s no doubt about it. I’m simply saying there have been huge increases in the debt since year 1980.
    David R. Remer wrote: d.a.n said about national debt: “Seriously, BOTH Republicans and Democrats ran up the debt, it started decades ago,”
    I have make a minor correction here. It started centuries, not decades ago. From Wikipedia: Debts incurred during the American Revolutionary War and under the Articles of Confederation led to the first yearly reported value of $75,463,476.52 on January 1, 1791. Over the following 45 years, the debt grew, briefly contracted to zero on January 8, 1835 under President Andrew Jackson but then quickly grew into the millions again.[18] Yes, but look at the DEBT-to-GDP ratios and the debt-per-capita: One-Simple-Idea.com/Abuses.htm#Debt

    Also, look at inflation.

    • Inflation: Consumer Price Index (CPI=100 for year 1967)

    • 700 |———————————-o (=665: JAN-2008)

    • 650 |———————————o-

    • 600 |———————————o-

    • 550 |———————————o-

    • 500 |——————————-o—

    • 450 |——————————-o—

    • 400 |——————————-o—

    • 350 |——————————o—-

    • 300 |—————————-o——

    • 250 |—————————-o——

    • 200 |—————————o——-

    • 150 |—————————o——-

    • 100 |————————-o———

    • 050 |o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o————-

    • 000 +(1800)—————(2008)YEAR

    Things started to go terribly wrong about 1976.
    Debt spiked.
    Debt-to-GDP spiked.
    Nation-wide-debt spiked.

    Any way, the point is, in my opinion, most (if not all) incumbent politicians in D.C. are largely responsible for this, and the voters need to stop putting THEIR party above all else, and stop fueling and wallowing in the petty, distracting, circular partisan-warfare, and they’d better do it soon, or they will reap what they sow. The differences are not big enough to warrant the fanning of the flames of the partisan-warfare. And when I see so many intelligent people on this blog fueling and wallowing in the partisan-warfare, it feeds my growing suspicion that this nation is most likely going to have to learn the hard and painful way again.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 7:19 PM
    Comment #276309

    David:

    Some interesting pundits are starting to express concern. David Broder, and David Brooks both thoughtful people are starting to raise eyebrows.

    Dan:

    I have a number for you to put up on your list of ills.

    http://www.bullionmark.com/2009/02/us-treasury-default-swaps-jump-to-new.html

    Risk of default of US Treasuries is 90 basis points a new record.

    So there is yet another bubble. default swaps for US treasuries.

    Stephen:

    When was the last time a president talked about raising taxes in a recession?

    Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 26, 2009 9:58 PM
    Comment #276310

    Dan:

    Andrew Jackson was the only President to pay off our federal debt. Of course our country immediately went in a severe depression.

    Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 26, 2009 10:17 PM
    Comment #276315
    Craig Holmes wrote: Some interesting pundits are starting to express concern. David Broder, and David Brooks both thoughtful people are starting to raise eyebrows.
    That’s something for David Broder; not so much for David Brooks.
    Craig Holmes wrote: d.a.n: I have a number for you to put up on your list of ills. Risk of default of US Treasuries is 90 basis points; a new record [up from only 10 basis points 1 year ago]. So there is yet another bubble. [Credit] Default Swaps for US treasuries.
    Thanks for the info (I think?). Not that I like bad news.

    The massive $62 Trillion Credit Default Swap bubble has been looming for several years, and when the smoke clears (which may still take a few years), I shudder to guess at what the landscape will look like afterward. There’s no way the insurers can make good on all of the bad debt that is likely to default in the next few years.

    I’m sure you’ve probably already seen/heard this a hundred times; Warren Buffet described speculation via Credit Default Swaps and other derivatives as: “financial weapons of mass destruction.”

    There are several different serious economic bubbles that have been growing dangerously out-of-control for several years now:

    • (1) One is the massive, unregulated, $62 Trillion Credit Default Swap and derivatives bubble, which is killin’ AIG and other Insurance corporations, is increasing junk-bond defaults by numerous U.S. corporations as the recession deepens, and a rapid chain reaction of failures in the CDS market is not at all far-fetched. The CDS melt-down could easily be the death nail for many (possibly most) global financial systems.

    • (2) There are still around 8-to-10+ Million (or more) foreclosures in the pipeline. It took several years for foreclosures to ramp up to over 3 Million per year, and will take years to fall back down to pre-2005 levels. Especially with banks jacking up interest rates on Adjustable Rate Mortgages.
      • _______________ FORECLOSURES____________________

      • 325K |————————————————————————-

      • 300K |—————————————————————-x——- (10,000 per day AUG-2008)

      • 275K |————————————————————-xx-xx—x

      • 250K |———————————————-x———-xx——-xx-

      • 225K |———————————————x-xx-xxxx—————

      • 200K |———————————————x—-x———————

      • 175K |——————————————xxx—————————

      • 150K |————————————xxxx——————————-

      • 125K |——————-x———-xxx————————————-

      • 100K |——————x-xxxxxxx——————————————

      • 075K |xxxxxxxxxxxx——————————————————-

      • 050K |————————————————————————-

      • ___(2 0 0 5)___(2 0 0 6)_____(2 0 0 7)____(2 0 0 8)____(2009) (YEAR)

      • ___ 846,000 ___1.2 Million __2.0 Million__3.0 Million__ ?.? Million

    • (3) defaults on credit card debt bubble are still high, and increasing. Especially as cash-strapped banks try to use every trick in the book to jack up interest rates and fees.

    • (4) The $10.8 Trillion National Debt bubble is the largest per-capita National Debt in 100+ years (if not ever); 62% higher than the previous record-high in year 1945 after World War II. And that does not even include the $12.8 Trillion borrowed from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching.

    • (5) The $67 Trillion nation-wide debt bubble is at record levels, and has almost qunitupled from 100% of GDP in year 1956 to 483% of GDP today.

    • (6) $3.2-to-$8.5 Trillion of new money has been pumped into the banking system. There has been little accounnting for where this money went, and what it was used for. This can’t help but eventually lead to inflation, and possibly hyperinflation; source: www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-113008-fi-pricetag-g,0,5292528.graphic

    • (7) As a result, unemployment is rising, with 11-to-25 Million unemployed (depending on whose numbers are most believable; see: ShadowStats.com);

    While there may be a way to recover from this mess, I think there’s a high probability that Congress, the administration, the Federal Reserve, and banks will most likely make the problem worse with more excessive borrowing , debt , excessive creation of new money , excessive and irresponsibel spending , growing the bloated federal government larger , and high inflation (and possibly hyperinflation).

    Craig Holmes wrote: d.a.n: Andrew Jackson was the only President to pay off our federal debt. Of course our country immediately went in a severe depression.
    I don’t think paying off debt caused that depression (which started at the end of Jackson’s 2 terms in office). Wikipedia states (source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1837):
      Purported causes [of the depression of 1837] include the economic policies of President Andrew Jackson who created the Specie Circular by executive order and also refused to renew the charter of Second Bank of the United States, resulting in the withdrawal of government funds from that bank. Martin Van Buren, who became president in March 1837, five weeks before the Panic engulfed the young republic’s economy, was blamed for the Panic. His refusal to involve the Government in the economy was said by some to have contributed to the damages and duration of the Panic. Of course, the initial Government intervention in the market had inadvertently been part of the cause of the problem, and further intervention might or might not have been useful. Jacksonian Democrats blamed bank irresponsibility, both in funding rampant speculation and by introducing paper money inflation. This was caused by banks issuing excessive paper money (unbacked by bullion reserves), leading to inflation.
    Thus, in my opinion, that depression, as with many other depressions and recessions, a significant portion of the blame lies with the greedy banks and rampant greed (which permeated banks and government).

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 27, 2009 1:39 AM
    Comment #276316

    Lee,
    Is it ok to just say No to the Argument of Ignorance held by the Democratic and Republican Parties. For why you can blame President Bush, the Democratic and Republican Congress, the Bankers, and a whole host of other groups and enities over the last 25 years. The fact that the American Consumer alone was unable to maintain the Global Economy when gas prices spiked to $4.00 plus per gallon and brought down the value of speculation in the Market rest in the hands of the Stockholders and those Societal Authorities who is suppose to protect them from harm.

    For why I can point out a point in time in 2004/2005 where President Bush showed he lost faith in the American Spirit and armed the WMD used to bring down the Global Market. I can also point out where no alarms were sounded at the time by Citizens who should know or should have known better. No, America has for the last 25 plus years enjoyed reaping the benefits of building a Society that can win the Race to the Bottom. And why I can see were President Obama and the American Barons want to stop the downward spiral. I also see where the Republicans have lost many of their members due to the lack of income.

    So please just let me say No! For why History can tell us who is the most to blame I do believe tha if Americans are interested in gaining their money back than My Peers and Their Children better find to Political Leaders that can say I Can and more important “We the People” can have a stock market of 14,000 and a government that is Debt Free.

    Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 27, 2009 3:53 AM
    Comment #276323

    David,
    Presidents have a position of great power, it is true. To say the spendtrift legislators from the opposition party are at his beck and call is just silly, though.

    Taking your challenge to my methods to heart I adjusted the budget years I assigned to given parties. I made all the years from January of ‘96 to January of ‘08 Republican years. Thus the additional budgetary influence of the Democratic congress from ‘95-‘96 is credited to their ‘score’ and the additional blame for ‘07-‘08 is credited to the Republicans.

    The Democrat congress’s budget influence is now adjusted to show from from 1-06-93 (starting at 4.17 Trillion [102nd and 103rd congresses were both Democratically controlled]) through 1-06-96 (ending at 5 Trillion).

    Republicans are now blamed for all the spending from 1-07-96 through 1-06-08 (starting at 5 trillion and ending at 9.2 trillion [104th through 109th congresses])

    How does this score out for the two parties to the present day?

    Democrats in six years 1 1/2 months- 2.47 trillion dollars in government debt piled up (not including the latest $1.75 trillion and the ensuing red tide).

    Republicans in twelve years- 4.2 trillion dollars in government debt.

    Of course, if you add the upcoming deficits you get more than the Republicans added in more than a decade, and we’re back where we started from.

    By the way, David, in my previous article, had you read the source articles you would have seen the obvious answer to your GLB deflection in the Gramm article. If GLB was the source of the instability in capital markets 1.-the European markets, which had never operated under the restrictions GLB eliminated should have shown weakness first, and, 2.- the most diversified companies should have been more prone to collapse. This has very famously not been the case, as has been pointed out in countless articles going back to the week of September 20th.

    It is elementary American civics that the legislature is the most powerful branch of the government, if it chooses to be powerful rather than cowering so as to appear impotent in the shadows of the presidency. Democrats cower well, and get credit for statesmanship for their whimpering.

    Then they spend us into box seats to Gehenna.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 27, 2009 9:41 AM
    Comment #276327

    Lee,
    If America was $5 trillion in debt at the begining of 96’ and paid the debt down to a surplus in 2000 than should not the data reflect that at the end of the 109th Congress the Republican Leadership had managed to collect an additional 9.2 trillion debt. For why I am not a Whiz Kid; however, the way I figure it is that the Idiots in Charge have spent over $14 Trillion during that time frame. And I do not want to know how much more using the Off the Books Accounting of President Bush and President Clinton. So please tell me how an additional $4 trillion dollar budget is going to bankrupt America.

    For why I know that the Rich in America is going to have to mahe their money the Old Fashion Way by earning it under the programs being offered by President Obama; nevertheless, as an American Layman I do see the benefit of the Democratic Party wanting to use part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to fix up the Federal Buildings, Facilities, and Infrastructure throughout America. Yet, I am amazed that no Republican stood up for the Local and States Rights to reciieve funds to fix up their buildings, facilities, and infrastructure.

    Instead, we are debating the cost of saving every Americans’ Butt who makes over $50,000.00 a year and can have some savings. For it was not the Working Poor nor the Bum on the Street Corner that created the global meltdown that started here in America. However, knowing that no matter which Idiot in Charge does what that the bulk of the Labor will have to be done by those Citizens that the Republicans say do not pay taxes. I see now why the Founding Fathers of America and the Ancient Ones of Songs limited Americas’ Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders.

    For why I have faith that President Obama and the Children of the 21st Century will seek a Peaceful Transformation of Power. Not obligated to such things I wonder what Management would do if Labor in America demanded the pay raise needed to take on the Burden of Society created by the Elite of Society. Since seeing that Rush is calling for the President of the United States to fail and Hannity is openly promoting the takeover of the Establishment, I wonder if they could handle meeting the demand of the wage increase needed by their labor to pay for the additional $2 trillion dollars asked for by President Obama.

    So how do My Peers pay back the nearly $17 trillion they owe the Children of the 21st Century.

    Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 27, 2009 10:43 AM
    Comment #276330

    This is a pretty hilarious post. Basically, you are pointing out that under Clinton the economy did very well, and that under the last part of Bush’s reign it did really really bad. Is that news to anyone?

    Almost every economic study I’ve seen has shown that in the last 80 years at least the economy does a lot better under Democrats. If I find time later today I’ll post some links.

    As far as arguing that the stimulus is unnecessary spending, again you are at loggerheads with any serious economist.

    “Just saying no” is a completely irresponsible position, which by the way is not the Republican, or anyone’s, position. Republicans are all for spending for stimulus, they just have issues with how a small amount of the money is being spent. Jindal only had a problem with less than 1% of the stimulus he was receiving, for instance.

    Of course, Republicans are trying to make it sound like there would be no spending at all if they were in charge, but that’s because they are engaged in irresponsible politics.

    In other words, you can chalk up saying no to the stimulus being a good idea, with saying no to evolution, global warming, and all the other nutball ideas Republicans have been promulgating. This isn’t a serious position, and I’ll bet other Republicans on this board can tell you that too if they have the guts.


    Posted by: Max at February 27, 2009 11:03 AM
    Comment #276344

    Henry,

    If America was $5 trillion in debt at the begining of 96’ and paid the debt down to a surplus in 2000 than should not the data reflect that at the end of the 109th Congress the Republican Leadership had managed to collect an additional 9.2 trillion debt.
    I remind you I am using the Treasury Department’s own figures. They do not show a surplus. EVER.

    This is one of the falsehoods that has been allowed to percolate through the voting populus. The debt was NEVER paid down to zero. It was never even significantly less from one month to another.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 27, 2009 2:27 PM
    Comment #276346

    Max,

    As far as arguing that the stimulus is unnecessary spending, again you are at loggerheads with any serious economist.
    Max you are cherry-picking the meaning of “under Democrats/Republicans” for your personal convenience.

    I could as correctly say, (perhaps even MORE correctly say) the economy did well under a Republican congress in spite of a Democrat president and did very badly under a Democrat congress in spite of a Republican president.

    Congress can do more to damage an economy than the president can and they won’t get either the credit or the blame (Well, they will get the blame if they are Republican…)

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 27, 2009 2:36 PM
    Comment #276347

    Sorry Max, wrong quote from you. The preview button IS there for a reason. I meant to use- “Almost every economic study I’ve seen has shown that in the last 80 years at least the economy does a lot better under Democrats.”

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 27, 2009 2:39 PM
    Comment #276349

    Dan:

    http://dealbreaker.com/2009/02/do-credit-default-swaps-on-tre.php

    Credit Default Swaps went over 100 basis points today.

    More of Bush’s fault I am sure. At some point it just might be Obama’s budget but we can’t have that right now.

    Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 27, 2009 3:33 PM
    Comment #276356

    Lee, your attempts to compare apples and oranges won’t work. Bill Clinton was a Democrat working with a Republican Congress, and both acted as a check and balance upon each other regarding fiscal matters, which resulted in a very low relative deficit his last two years.

    That is a very different scenario from Republicans having control of at least one House of Congress and the Presidency and sufficient seats to prevent a minority filibuster in the Senate. That was, for all intents and purposes, a one party government, and the product of that one party government belongs to that one party.

    But, you know Lee, this debate was already had, and the voters were the debate judges, and Republicans left voters with NO CHOICE but to give the power prize to Democrats. Sophistry will not change history, regardless of its sophistication.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at February 27, 2009 4:24 PM
    Comment #276362

    David,

    That is a very different scenario from Republicans having control of at least one House of Congress and the Presidency and sufficient seats to prevent a minority filibuster in the Senate. That was, for all intents and purposes, a one party government, and the product of that one party government belongs to that one party.
    You and I must have lived in parallel universes in the last decade. In the universe where I lived there were Democratic filibusters all the time and lots of filibusters that never needed to happen because senators from Maine can’t tell their right from their left.

    As for, say, the Reagan years where the House was always controlled by the Democrats, perhaps it is possible to discern there the benefit of divided government, but don’t pretend that such is the same thing as full Republican control. I am making a statement here that we are generally, as a people, foolishly ignoring the power of the legislature to take a leadership role in American government. When they do lead it really does matter which party is in charge, as I have shown. I say this to alert people to what is happening now, will be happening over the next two years, and will be burdening our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren for their entire lives.

    As for the last 80 years pointed out above, that is sophistry. With only one exception the worst situation the economy has seen in that period of time has been a fully Democratic congress paired with an economically liberal (i.e. big government) president in peacetime. Those situations have happened with F.D.R., Nixon, Carter, and G.W.Bush.

    And the people’s choice to solve the problems left by the last big government president and Democratic congress? An even more Democratic congress with the biggest big-government president in our history.

    It’s like solving a hangover with cocaine.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 27, 2009 5:30 PM
    Comment #276364

    Lee,

    Weak. It’s really not in the eyes of the beholder which party is better for the economy:

    http://www.eriposte.com/economy/other/demovsrep.htm

    Posted by: Max at February 27, 2009 5:56 PM
    Comment #276382

    Not weak at all Max. Just not the argument you are prepared to have.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 27, 2009 11:26 PM
    Comment #276389

    Max,

    Thanks for the link…it’s a good one.

    Posted by: Marysdude at February 28, 2009 3:08 AM
    Comment #276394

    Lee,
    Not a ringing endorsement of your Republican Party if what you say is true. For telling “We the People” back in 2000 that they finally fixed the debt only to fing out that they doubled it in less than 8 years is not the way to win confidence.

    Yes, you can say that the Democrats were doing and saying the same thing; however, as the political party who demands respect out of Authority I do believe that you show more and more Independents why America may need a Third Party to combat the Federalists of our times.

    Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 28, 2009 4:43 AM
    Comment #276396

    Henry,

    The American people can just barely handle a two party system, why in the world do you think adding a party will or can help?

    You are right, the Republicans have had the balance of power since eighty-one, and look where that’s got us. Lee and his ilk keep trying to say Democrats had either a majority in Congress part of that time, or had the Presidency, but with the teflon coating of Reagan, the back-room thievery of BushI, the Gingrich revolution and Cheney/Bush, it is obvious that Democrats have had very little to sway over real policy for that period of time. We can accept a few crumbs of success and a modicum of blame, but it has truly been a conservative’s show.

    One bright spot was the Clinton years, and he signed NAFTA and GLB, so it hasn’t been a pretty time for us. I have great hopes that if Obama can silence some of the vitriolic spewing of inconsequential froth from the right, America will survive even three decades of poop down economics, and free market mania.

    Third parties are not necessary, if we can just get one of the ones we have to work for America. Viva la CHANGE!!!

    Posted by: Marysdude at February 28, 2009 5:41 AM
    Comment #276397

    Marysdude:

    I’m on the opposite end. I have never been more pessimistic about America than I am today. It’s not so bad for myself (age 53). Our income is scheduled to fall in half this year with the market the way it is. That is actually not as important as one might think with College graduations and weddings all around (three weddings in 14 months). What I mean is that expenses are dropping pretty fast with kids growing up.

    What hurts is when I look at my children’s future. This budget is so full of debt without embarrassment. It’s arrogant spending right as boomers are starting to retire. I have been optimistic about our country probably to a fault. Right now we are actually looking at the type of plans I never dreamed we would look seriously at doing.

    I am really not sure what to do. I’m one of those hated capitalist types. Ok so your side wins. I wont be a hated capitalist anymore. But how are you going to fund your social programs without my tax revenue? If I decide not to build my business up again because the president is targeting people in my industry with his rhetoric how does that help the country?

    Personally, I don’t need income anymore because my children are raised. The left is just going to borrow the money for their programs if I pay taxes or not. I’m certainly not going to prosper just to fill the left’s agenda while Obama targets me as evil at the same time.

    I might be out of this thing. It might be time to fly under the radar and let the world deal with the debt and income issues. It is amazing what a good life a person can have living in a small town in the west debt free. There really are only two expenses that can’t be bartered away, property taxes and medical insurance.

    It’s really tempting. Freezer full of Elk, canning from the garden. Heat with firewood. No heat bill. Get up in the morning go cross country skiing before breakfast. If you add up the cost of living with no real food bill, no heat bill, and no debts, Wow can a person live well on next to nothing. My neighbor in our second town (who is on VA insurance because of military) lives pretty well on about $1000/month.

    Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 28, 2009 6:28 AM
    Comment #276400

    Craig,

    Pessimism is normal, and we all have a share from time to time. But, we can only go one way at a time. It is not a matter of ‘winning’ or ‘losing’, it is a matter of survival. We tried the trickle down, free market, unregulated way for a while and it caused me to be depressed. Now it’s time to tighten up the regulations, bind the market a little, and trickle UP some economy. There is no guarantee it will work any better than your way, but it should be obvious by now that something has to be done.

    I’ve helped raise eleven children…do you really think I want to leave them, their children and their children’s children to carry my load? Do all Republicans and Independents honestly believe we Democrats want to socialize the world and pass the debt on to future generations?

    The only difference is, I look around and see a failed policy, and you look around and see a policy that MIGHT fail. I hope you are wrong, but if you are…where do we go from here? It is not just America that is failing, the world, that has followed our lead for since WWII is also failing.

    By the way, do you have room for a couple of old folks, one Democrat and one Republican, in that mountain hideaway? kctim invited Mother and I to his cabin retreat one time, but he’s back to being angry at me, so I’m probably no longer welcome there.

    Posted by: Marysdude at February 28, 2009 8:55 AM
    Comment #276402

    PS:

    I turned sixty-nine today…your piddling fifty-three makes you a novice at pessimism…:)

    Posted by: Marysdude at February 28, 2009 8:58 AM
    Comment #276419

    Marysdude,
    Why I do support My Peers Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders despite their willingness to protect their Members Ignorance. After 9/11 and since President Bush openly admitted that his generation does not know how to deal with the Issues of Man that has caused us to become involved in two wars and a global meltdown. I speak up on behalf of the Children of the 21st Century about the No-Nothing Party of Today openly asking for the overthrow of the Establishment given the Wisdom that I haved learned from the Know-Nothing party of the mid-1800’s.

    For unless Americas’ Conservative Right can come to terms with the fact that Their Children know that the Political Argument of the American Man and Woman begins with discovering a way to make Every American Citizen Economically Viable and Financially Independent. Than as the Republican Party removed the Whig Party so would I encourage an Independent Party (3rd Party) to stand up for the American Individual and State to be Self-Sufficient despite the Political Will of the Democratic Civil, Political, and Religious Leadership imposing Its Freewill to become Self-Sufficient as a Government and Society. For why the Left and Right may hold the Authority of Man; as an Unlearned Unbridled Anti-Authoritarian Child of the 70’s by Freewill and Self-Nature I do believe that the Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Rights of My Peers and Their Children to build a “Better World” than their Elders and Powers-that-Be overrides even the Argument held by All the Grandmothers and Grandfathers of the Human Race.

    For simply put. Do you want American Barons like Mr. Pickens to build you a Renewable Electric System or do you believe that the Forces of “We the Corporation” should continue to work on making it possible for the Individual American Layman Citizen to be able to produce and reap the rewards of producing Their Fair Share of the Electrcity required to operate Americas’ Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders Reality?

    Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 28, 2009 1:59 PM
    Comment #276433

    Marysdude,

    The only difference is, I look around and see a failed policy, and you look around and see a policy that MIGHT fail.
    We see a policy productive people all around the country can’t imagine doing anything but failing. These are the people who employ people in the creation of the things that make your money worth something. Sure, government can employ some people to dig ditches and other people to fill them up, but the money they pay for the effort is made worth less for having been spent in government piddliness.

    Can government save the world. As long as you ask government if they can, no matter what you ask them if they can do it, their answer will be an enthusiastic “YES”.

    Can you provide order for my world?
    Yes!
    Can you feed my children?
    Yes!
    Can you put me in the middle class?
    Yes!
    Can you make those rich people finally feel the way I’ve felt all these years?
    Yes!
    Can you guarantee wealth and prosperity to everyone?
    Yes!
    Can you free us from fear of death?
    Yes!
    Can you save my soul?
    Yes!

    There is nothing too audacious for government to gain power by our assigning authority to them for the doing of.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 28, 2009 6:38 PM
    Comment #276434

    Marysdude:

    Google Wallowa and Pictures to see what it is like in my hideout.

    Right now I fear for my children. Obama is legislating America’s decline as a world power. It’s simple economics. I love to backpack. You put too much in your pack, and you will slow down. Obama is piling on the weight of social programs that over time will make our “pack” as heavy as Europe’s. That of course means less military spending, which over time means contraction of our worldwide missions. That creates a vacuum that will be filled.

    It is sad and unnecessary to put into budget that my children will see America loose it’s standing in the world. I am morning that the next generation will not have have the same opportunities I enjoy today. They will most likely have much higher tax rates as well as a much lower standard of living. (Like Europe).
    After all he is not using his money for this agenda but theirs.

    Liberals are big on the above. Obama’s family lives in poverty but he spends my children’s future to solve problems as he stands in lofty judgment of wall street. Let him spend his own money instead of stealing it from the next generation. What utter hypocrisy to criticize wall street while robbing our children blind.

    I am so sad that I have lived to see this day of America’s decline. America’s decline is named Obama.

    Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 28, 2009 6:42 PM
    Comment #276436

    Marysdude:

    You asked a fair question up there so I will do my best to answer.

    It is very hard to argue with success, and I would argue that post WWII has been a great success for the world and the United States in that communism has been defeated and the standard of living across the world has risen. There has been huge progress on many many fronts.

    This entire period has been one of decreasing regulation. What has happened along the way is that budgets and deficits have been remarkably stable. Our expenses have been roughly 20% of GDP with receipts what at about 18.5%. This has had our debt as a percentage of gdp fall from I think 130% of gdp to a low in 1982 and now up around 70% of gdp.

    Whatever the arguments on the specifics the system with both parties participating has worked.

    In general we have shifted expenses from military toward domestic.

    Now we have a crisis, the largest crisis of post WWII era. Why on God’s green earth are we so quick to abandon what has worked?

    I think we should fix what is broken but not destroy the system. We need to keep spending at around 20% of GDP. In this wealth country that is plenty for the government to spend. Obama’s plan will completely disregard the good world of the last 60 years by adopting plans that have proven to produce inferior results. Just check long term growth rates of socialist countries.

    In the current crisis I am not in the mood to get into an argument over tax cuts verses spending because I can plug my nose and support about anything to get the economy back on it’s feet. My concern is that Obama is using this crisis to push through a leftist agenda that will fundamentally raise the role of the federal government for the rest of our lives. Big things simply means big government.

    Just as the United States overtime left the USSR in the distance by having superior economic growth, now the chinese will do the same to us.

    It doesn’t need to be that way. Live on 20%. It has worked for 60 years, it will work for the next 60 years.

    Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 28, 2009 7:00 PM
    Comment #276438

    Craig,

    Post WWII there were a multitude of regulation for business. It was assumed that those regulations would keep rampant greed from destroying our economy as it had in the twenties. And, believe it or not that was the case. Business prospered and our economy became the envy of the world…so much so that the world began to emulate us.

    Comes Reagonomics, and the change to a truer ‘free-market’ began. Our national debt doubled in his eight years, it doubled again during BushI, leveled off during Clinton, but doubled again with Cheney/Bush.

    You tell me that Obama will cause the end of America as we know it…I say, okay, so what. The America we have come to know, is not the America you speak of so nostalgically, but rather a broke, indebted, hollow core of the strong, vibrant America we have become.

    I am not blind. I look and see devastation caused by the tornado of ‘free-market’, greed and deregulation. Your mountain retreat may be your salvation, for real…I don’t have the luxury of such a hideaway, so must hope Obama succeeds.

    Posted by: Marysdude at February 28, 2009 7:19 PM
    Comment #276445

    Craig said: “Obama is legislating America’s decline as a world power.”

    Do you mean the like the way Bush and Republicans legislated the decline America is now undergoing as a result of their governance?

    Craig, there may be no difference between in outcomes between Bush and Republican’s effects on our nation and Obama’s. But, there is one helluva difference in their approach.

    Bush and Republicans assumed America was great and nothing they could or would do would change that. Obama is acutely aware of how America is poised before an abyss of decline, and is fashioning policy and goals to rescue the nation from that abyss. Whether or not Obama’s policy and goals will be effective, time will tell. But, there is nothing in Obama’s behavior to indicate to an objective observer that he has ANY other agenda than to rescue our nation from going into the abyss of economic decline.

    And forgive me for pointing out the obvious here, but, if the private sector were the answer, we wouldn’t be in this crisis today. The private sector created this abyss before our nation. And even after the abyss was apparent, the private financial sector refused to make any sacrifices to alter the course into the abyss, even when given 350 billion dollars with no strings.

    This nation’s economy and the global economy would now be vastly worse off, and likely so for decades to come, had it not been for the efforts and actions of the Federal Reserve and Congress and Bush/Paulson preventing some of those financial institutions from heading into Bankruptcy Court.

    Since, we are at the edge of an economic abyss, and since the private sector took us there, the government is the only entity with the resources to turn to in an attempt to change course away from the abyss. I am dubious of Congress, but, I see nothing in Obama to indicate anything other than the most sincere effort and intent to prevent this nation from taking the next step over the edge.

    It takes an enormous amount of mass to stop a train dead on its tracks a few feet from a collapsed trestle. Likewise, it is taking an enormous amount of dollar mass to prevent this economy from continuing into bankruptcy in both the private and public sectors.

    Like I have taught my daughter all her life, when you fail to act responsibly, there is a price to be paid. Usually, the bigger the failure, the bigger the price to eventually be paid. America is going to have to pay a very big price for its greed, avarice, lack of oversight and accounting, and ignoring the lessons of 1929.

    This is not a Monopoly Game, there are no Go Directly to Go, Collect $200 cards in this reality deck. We cannot just all sit tight and allow this crisis to heal itself. That is a fantasy. Correcting this credit, valuation, and solvency failure scenario without condemning our economy to third world status begging for IMF assistance, must be incredibly expensive. The shortfalls in solvency within in our economy are equally incredible. And there is only one place to go for the money to rescue this system in present time, and that is to borrow from our future.

    No different than a person who has stepped too far into personal debt. They can either go further into debt, and commit a larger amount of their future income to their debtors, or go bankrupt now, and rely upon the mercy of the courts to relieve them of their mismanagement consequences and whatever assets they currently have at auction.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at February 28, 2009 8:12 PM
    Comment #276464

    Graig,
    America has seen its wealth grow from a DOw of 1000 to a Dow of 14,000 over the last 30 years. However, in 2008 we witnessed the Dow drop from 14,000 to 7,000. And admitly not ever American equally shared in the profits or losses during that time. However, seeing that President Obama did not take office until 2009 it is wrong to assume that he is responsible for the decline of America.

    For was it not President Bush who split a piece of gold in half and told his followers that they had twice as much money. Was it not President Bush who paid for the Iraq War with the Money of your Grandchildren. And wasn’t it also President Bush who put in place the Bailout to save the Bank and Investor in 2008 from total failure.

    Yes, you do have the right to complain about President Obama and the Children of the 21st Century demanding Generational Change from the Better World built by the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s; however, until the Citizens over the Age of 30 are willing to debate the Issues that President Bush and Usama Bin Laden say cannot be solved than America and Humanity will decline under the Trickledown Economic Theory of President Regan. For do “We the People” finish the Race to the Bottom or establish a Two Party Hierarchy that will see every American and Citizen of Humanity become Economically Viable and Financialy Independent?

    Because who is more broke today, the Upper 20% or the Lower 20% of Society if all debt is to be called?

    Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 1, 2009 5:17 AM
    Comment #276469

    Henry,

    And, it was Cheney/Bush who removed the war funding (of two wars) from the annual budget, so we’d never find out the true costs associated with either one…further murking up our financial status. Now Obama, by putting those costs back into the budget is being trumpeted by our wonderful media, as having this HUGE budget…a budget far bigger than any in the past…ptewwwy!

    Posted by: Marysdude at March 1, 2009 5:39 AM
    Comment #276474

    Marysdude, I am not taking issue with the accuracy of your last comment. That said, if you remove the cost of the wars from the current budget estimate, this budget remains in the category of sticker shock. It is an enormous annual budget amount, made the moreso by the addition of the two wars added into it.

    But, there is no ignoring the needs of this time to rescue the economy as well as responsibly conduct the wars inherited to their best conclusion.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 1, 2009 6:27 AM
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