Deficit Nation

Remember the “good old days” when a government deficit of $400 billion seemed like a lot? Two months into the new day of fiscal responsibility we were promised by the Democrats those old deficit figures seem, well, quaint.

We are now told by the Congressional Budget Office, not some right wing blogger, that deficits will run a trillion dollars a year for the coming decade, will be nearly two trillion dollars this year, and will not fall below 4% of the Gross Domestic Product.

Don't worry. The kids will pick up the tab.

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at March 20, 2009 4:34 PM
Comments
Comment #278122

lee

how can you possiply make such an assertion, after all those same budgeting principles worked out so well for california….. wait a minute….. oops…… never mind.

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2009 4:54 PM
Comment #278133

The kids may not pick up the tab, we need them to work first. Most children of the American system at this point, don’t want to work and just want everything for free. They are the future of socialism in America. They are not going to want to pay for our failure to keep up on the bills. Watch in 25 years we will be even closer to socialism. My generation will just end up having the burden of saving for ourselves and losing trust in the Government.We will sit back and watch the show and do nothing. We know we are powerless, we know our voice, if level-headed and concise, will be subdued, repackaged and stolen. Everyone is too scared and dumb to topple a whole team of US reps who flourish in this political scheme. I couldn’t tell if your being negative about what W has done to us or if you are boasting about what that idiot has left us with. Oh yeah but the successful war is what we have to show for it. I guess that is what your trying to point out. I am lost please clarify.

Posted by: chad at March 20, 2009 5:51 PM
Comment #278135

The debt is untenable (both federal and non-federal).

Who thinks it isn’t, and why?

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 March 20, 2009 6:06 PM
Comment #278137

The BHO administration is a circus. This is on the job training and it will cost us our nation. If our politicians were working in the private sector, they would all be in prison. It doesn’t matter what our deficit is, just keep pushing the same democratic socialist agenda. Anyone worried yet?

Posted by: Oldguy at March 20, 2009 6:39 PM
Comment #278140

Remember how the left defended Dodd and Franks a few months ago? I said back then, before it is over we will know the depth of their involvement in Freddie and Fannie and how it caused our economic problems. Well, guess what, the same guys are still in it up to their necks. Our only hope is that Conn will vote Dodd out. He is a crook. They are all scrambling to blame someone else and even though BHO supported him yesterday, the treasury sec is out.

Posted by: Oldguy at March 20, 2009 6:47 PM
Comment #278141

Chad,

I couldn’t tell if your being negative about what W has done to us or if you are boasting about what that idiot has left us with. Oh yeah but the successful war is what we have to show for it. I guess that is what your trying to point out. I am lost please clarify.
I was expressing IRONY. Conservatives have been outraged at the huge expenditures of the Bush administration. Nevertheless, the Obama administration will now add as much to the publicly held debt in its first two years as the Bush administration did, while fighting a shooting war, in EIGHT.

Thereafter it’s “to the Moon, Alice”!

Sadly, D.a.n., you’re right.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 20, 2009 7:03 PM
Comment #278144

Oldguy,
I know Frank played a role in the debacles with Fannie Mae. Dodd deserves to be rode out of town, followed by Geithner, Lawrence Summers, and the whole ‘free market’ crowd. They can’t fill positions at Treasury because virtually everyone from the financial sector is either too tainted or too rich- or both- to bother. What a bunch of crappy people.

And lest you forget, virtually the only positive claim the Bush administration made in the 2004 campaign was the increase in home ownership. Remember? ‘More Americans own their own home…’
Funny how the GOP now blames Frank.

Lee,
Conseratives did not scream about deficits. They funded Bush and the GOP with donations. They voted for the GOP in overwhelming numbers. They cheered on tax cuts, and insisted on keeping the low tax rates even during the weak recovery when they should have been raised. Iraq was much more important than any other issue for conservatives, even though it was fought on a credit card, never included in the annual deficit numbers. And that ‘War on Terror’ absorbed a lot of bandwidth too. Never heard a peep about spending and deficits then, not a peep.

Conservatives SHOULD have been screaming bloody murder. Instead, they went along, because power was more important than principle.

Posted by: phx8 at March 20, 2009 7:32 PM
Comment #278149

Lee, Love your humorous argument.

It immediately translated for me into a visual. A former captain of the boat, a Republican, accepts the assurance of the new captain, a Democrat, that this cruise will be smooth sailing. What makes this funny is that the former captain failed to inform the new captain that he had run aground putting a gash in the port side just above the water line on his last voyage. And this former captain got on the boat for a cruise with new captain, anyway. :-)

The boat begins to take on water as their weight now pushes the gash below the water line, and the former captain, a Republican, begins to throw insults and accusations toward the Democrat captain over how much this is going to cost to fix the boat, that is, if they can even make it back to port, now.

Way to go, Lee. Thanks for the humor. WB could use a bit more of it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 20, 2009 8:11 PM
Comment #278151

OldGuy, just be glad McCain isn’t president. He would be saying the economic fundamentals are fine, and cutting even more taxes will handle the national debt, no problem. And those looking for health care, better wages, better and more affordable education, and oil independence would have been SOL with McCain.

No wonder they chose Obama instead. Phil Gramm could have been the president’s chief economic adviser under McCain. You know, the guy who said in 2000 that the government needs to keep its cotton pickin’ regulatory hands off the derivatives and credit default swap markets which have now resulted in a gutting of AIG.

Of course, to be fair, we now have Geithner at the helm of the Treasury who ALSO fought the regulation of the derivatives and CDS markets, first proposed by a Democrat lawyer who saw the potential for a nightmare scenario arising from this completely black holded unregulated leveraging money pit, which would rise up should financial instability occur, perhaps like the real estate valuation bubble bursting. Bill Clinton also opposed the regulation of these markets. But, then Bill isn’t running the economy, anymore, thank goodness.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 20, 2009 8:17 PM
Comment #278152

david

you left out the part where the new captain a democrat decides that the best way to fix the ailing craft is to put another even bigger gash in the other side thinking that will right it. isn’t comedy great.

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2009 8:18 PM
Comment #278155

dbs-
Why are we supposed to ask the advice of the party that just fouled things up? Seriously. You folks are ALL full of suggestions, and wisdom, and constructive advice, and warnings, and scenarios of utter financial armageddon, now that you’ve been kicked out of power completely for screwing up the very thing you’re being so helpful about.

Newsflash: Geithner and others are in trouble now because they followed the old business-friendly playbook: don’t cause waves, don’t get between these people and their money, socialize the losses, but keep the laws off these people.

It hasn’t worked. It won’t work. The answer to a culture of corruption is not more permissiveness. That’s just wishful thinking.

Lee Jamison-
Such budget numbers are unsustainable in the long run. Long term predictions, though, are difficult to get right. How many times, honestly speaking, did the Bush Budget do better than expected?

It depends on the economy. If we don’t fix the economy, if we try to cut government spending in the midst of a deflationary downturn, it might just create worse deficits by dragging down GDP.

This is more a political problem at this point than a practical one. The Republicans are more interested in gaining political advantage from the economic turmoil we’re in than resolving it. Hence their uncertainty on a measure that even a vast majority of their own party members are in favor of.

This is the wrong time to refight the old battles.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 20, 2009 9:36 PM
Comment #278158

stephen

newsflash:

i told you awhile back when giethner was in the process of being comfirmed he was an idiot. you defended him. i said he’s either a tax cheat or incompetent, and either way it’s not good, and he’s not qualified to be sec. tres. you scoffed. guess what he’s an idiot.

“It hasn’t worked. It won’t work. The answer to a culture of corruption is not more permissiveness. That’s just wishful thinking.”

it’s not another culture of corruption either, and thats exactly what we have don’t we. but then there’s nothing corrupt about a president and a senator knowingly allowing bonuses to be paid to AIG executives, and then acting like they’re outraged after the public gets wind of it, when they knew all along. talk about CYA.

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2009 10:17 PM
Comment #278160

“Conservatives have been outraged at the huge expenditures of the Bush administration.”

Oh come on Lee only after it was apparent McCain lost the election did the repubs/conservatives find the political will to admit things were not peachy keen during the GWB administration. Conservatives backed the 107th and 108th Congress and the GWB admnistration despite the events of the time. They were in total lockstep as the Bush administration spent without regard to budget and put the “war on terror” on the credit card. Ask yourself this Lee - when times were good did we pay down the deficit or did we prefer tax cuts and borrowing to achieve our agenda?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 20, 2009 11:33 PM
Comment #278161

“Freddie and Fannie and how it caused our economic problems.”

Oldguy give it a rest. If our only problem was Fannie and Freddie the need for the AIG bail out would be moot. Unregulated securities are sinking the entire banking system not Fannie and Freddie. At some point in time you need to face the reality of this fact.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 20, 2009 11:37 PM
Comment #278162

“i told you awhile back when giethner was in the process of being comfirmed he was an idiot.”

dbs after being wrong for years on economic policy why would anyone take a conservative’s opinion seriously? Your team trashed the economic system for years. Your team picked incompetent ODB’s for important positions as a rule yet you can determine a competent pick? Exactly who would you have picked for this position?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 20, 2009 11:47 PM
Comment #278164

dbs-
If I was wrong, it wasn’t about him being a tax cheat. It was about his conflicts of interest in being former Wall Street personnel. We should have picked somebody more willing to tell these guys no.

As for them covering their asses? Well, I prefer this outcome to what would have likely happened with Bush: a shrug of the shoulders. Democrats nowadays have the virtue of being shameable. They’ll actually admit something, or at least do something about it.

There’s another advantage: The rank and file Democrats are less inclined to tolerate the corruption and wrongheadedness within their party for the sake of keeping competitive advantages over the Republicans. We’re willing to do what Republicans were unwilling to do: challenge our leaders to do better.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 21, 2009 12:38 AM
Comment #278165

j2t2

“dbs after being wrong for years on economic policy why would anyone take a conservative’s opinion seriously?”

lets see giethner didn’t pay 34k in taxes. either he did it intentionally, in which case he’s a tax cheat, or he didn’t realize he hadn’t paid them, in which case he doesn’t have a complete handle on his own finances. is someone with either of these qualities a good choice for sec tres.? how is this a conservative opinion? seems like common sense.

“Your team trashed the economic system for years.”

and now it’s your teams turn eh. brilliant!

“Exactly who would you have picked for this position?”

i can tell you who i wouldn’t have picked, giethner.


Posted by: dbs at March 21, 2009 12:45 AM
Comment #278166

David, Phx8, and j2t2,

You make the liberal mistake of believing Republicans (G.W.B., John McCain, David Frum, Michael Gersom, etc.) are the same thing as Conservatives. They are not. I wrote articles on Republican free spending several years ago, but the hard drive on which they sit is in a non-functional computer for the time being. I did more recently write a plaint on the vagaries of Republicanism during the governor’s race here in Texas three years ago. It was originally published in the Huntsville Item.

Let me reprise that here.

Tax Test
By Lee Emmerich Jamison

Multiple choice question: What is the most important factor in effective representative government?
A. Money, money, and more money
B. A theme song and a full head of hair
C. Controversy, scandal, sob stories, and a perky anchorette
D. Look the other way and we’ll take care of it
E. Still more money
F. None of the above

C’mon! Be quick about it.
If you feel a certain sense of dissatisfaction with the options above there are, in boardrooms and cloakrooms across the country, people who would consider you dangerous.

This morning’s e-mail inbox contained a message from Governor Perry (B.) touting a school finance/property tax reform proposal that promises to lower property taxes by one third while at the same time making the state franchise tax, an income tax on businesses, “broader and fairer” (A.). That sounds pretty good until one looks through the body of the message for what has been the key point in the property tax reform movement all along, namely, a limitation on future growth of your property taxes.
It ain’t there.
In other words, if we will give the politicians an extra tube with which to suck our life blood from us they will make a great show of reducing the flow through the property tax tube this year. When property values go up next year they can then quietly resume opening the spigot on the property tax tube that has been bleeding us white for more than a decade (E.). People who have been paying attention will know what to look for (F). The rest of the electorate’s blithe spirits will be suitably anesthetized (D.). If there is no limit on future tax growth in whatever formulation we are given there is no reform. Period.

In the early nineties the voters of the state of Texas were faced with a dominant party that was looking less and less like a Texas party and more and more like a Massachusetts party (A., D., E.). They responded by ditching the Democrats for Republicans (attempted F.). Now, having been plied with visions of pachyderms, many are wondering if they have only been sold repackaged jackasses (A., B., D., E.)

To add to our angst and confusion we are “informed” by major network media (C.) determined to express contempt for the intelligence of an electorate that disagrees with them. People may be forgiven for despairing of political involvement and doing something that seems less cynical (D.). That sort of choice suits government types just fine. Our ignorance, confusion, and apathy lead to their having a free hand to do as they please (A., E.). Recently that has led to stories of corruption (C.), which have caused more people to feel they have no say in the system. More people tune out (D.), which gives politicians even greater latitude to do as they please (C.). If you notice a certain circularity in the discussion above you may have a brain (F.).

This week, and probably for weeks to come, we will see the spectacle of demonstrations throughout the country substantially populated by people who legally have no right to be here (C.). Remarkably, four in every ten of these people have entered the country in the last five years while Republicans (B., D.) were in charge. One of the major selling points of the Republican Party was the assertion that they were a party of “Law and Order”. We find, though, that they have been extremely reticent to enforce those laws that actually protect the borders that make the nation a nation at all. In that respect they have hardly differed from Democrats (A., C., D., C., E.).

Faced with the alphabet soup of situations we see above many will be tempted to turn, in November, to someone from outside the system of politics which has proven itself to be such a contemptible sham in recent years. That would be a poor choice. Whether you vote for an Austin entertainer or an Austin tough grandma you will get (B.) and (D.) and possibly even more (E.). This only fights the fire that is consuming us with the fuel politicians would have us feed them to give them even more power. Instead the voters of Texas and the rest of the country need to look hard at an effective way to do (F.).

I am told again and again that the most effective thing constituents can do in getting government to respond to them is to have a great many of them show an interest in a subject, contacting legislators with original, civil, hand-written faxes and letters, and with phone calls. If you can arrange personal visits, particularly with small groups of like-minded people, all the better.

Things will not get better if we accept the choices we are offered by those who lead us. We, the people, must take the lead in the crucial issues of the day. Then, (G.) we might have a chance to break the cycle of politics as usual.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 21, 2009 12:45 AM
Comment #278168

stephen

“If I was wrong, it wasn’t about him being a tax cheat.”

really, you talked to him personally, and thats what he told you? you know this for a fact? are you actually admitting you were wrong?

“As for them covering their asses? Well, I prefer this outcome to what would have likely happened with Bush: a shrug of the shoulders. Democrats nowadays have the virtue of being shameable. They’ll actually admit something, or at least do something about it.”

sorry stephen bush isn’t president anymore, and your party controls congress, so continuing to use the ” your guys would be worse” argument doesn’t fly. as far as them admitting something, they did so only after they were caught with thier pants down. now thier doing damage control, and engaging in the old circular firing squad.

“There’s another advantage: The rank and file Democrats are less inclined to tolerate the corruption and wrongheadedness within their party for the sake of keeping competitive advantages over the Republicans.”

i’m sorry stephen i’ll have to quit laughing before i adress this one.

Posted by: dbs at March 21, 2009 12:58 AM
Comment #278170
Democrats nowadays have the virtue of being shameable. They’ll actually admit something, or at least do something about it.
Stephen Daugherty, you, young man, are proof of the existence of parallel universes. Anybody who could watch the behavior of Barney Frank (of brothel fame), or Chris Dodd, or Robert Gibbs this week, or Barney Frank ever in the last five years (“There is no soundness issue here…”), or Sheila Jackson Lee (“can the Mars Rover go to where the astronauts landed?”), or, (OH MY WORD how many others?) and find these people shameable must have psychic powers beyond normal human comprehension… Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 21, 2009 1:10 AM
Comment #278171

I just love all you folks posting about how the very people you elected in the Republican party are not conservative. Why the hell did you vote for them? Where was all this denial of their agenda?

Give me a break.

It’s too late guys.


Posted by: womanmarine at March 21, 2009 1:19 AM
Comment #278174

Maybe if we had voted for them they would still be there…

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 21, 2009 1:32 AM
Comment #278187

I completely agree with everything Lee said in his response #278166. I might add a few things I stated in the past. I was in favor of going after Iraq, but it should have been to take out Sadam and his government. We could have done that from the air with small loss of troops. I do not care about nation building because ultimately their religious leaders and beliefs trump any form of democracy. This would have shown our strength and acted as a deterrent to others, i.e. Iran & N Korea. I was also against all the bailouts, even the ones Bush pushed and it was because of this very thing that many republicans either stayed home or voted for another party. I have been disappointed with the direction the Republican Party has gone for several years and I am sure, I am not the only conservative who feels this way.

Phx8:

“I know Frank played a role in the debacles with Fannie Mae. Dodd deserves to be rode out of town, followed by Geithner, Lawrence Summers, and the whole ‘free market’ crowd. They can’t fill positions at Treasury because virtually everyone from the financial sector is either too tainted or too rich- or both- to bother. What a bunch of crappy people.”

I have to agree with you, it’s shameful. Dodd is from Conn and received well over 200k from AIG in campaign funds. He also took a sweetheart deal, (that I might add would not have been given to a common person) for his house loan. He placed safety features in the bailout bill allowing AIG top managers to receive their bonuses and after denying it finally admitted the truth. And now screams loudest about how corrupt his AIG friends have become. Geithner is a tax cheat who promised to crack down on tax cheats and also lied about what he knew and when he knew it, concerning bonuses. There is a laundry list of those chosen by BHO to fill positions in the treasury and most have failed the test because of tax problems. How long could you or I get by without paying our taxes?

DRR:

I am glad McCain didn’t get elected. He would have been another liberal republican signing every bill Pelosi or Reid sent to his desk. Then when all this crap hit the fan, the dems would have blamed it on a republican president. As it stands, everything that has and will happen can be placed at the feet of democrats.

“And those looking for health care, better wages, better and more affordable education, and oil independence would have been SOL with McCain.”

A health care program will destroy our health care system. We don’t need to worry about wages, because we are headed for the days of Jimmy Carter, when people won’t even have jobs. As for education, there is more money spent on children in DC than any other state and yet DC has the worst education system and the most dangerous in the country. The dems even took away vouchers from parents after they begged to be allowed to keep them. The students who go to school with BHO’s girls even sent a personal message to the president and asked to allow them to keep their vouchers, to no avail. What plan has been made for oil independence? Do we wait until the price of oil is $150 a barrel again, so we can listen to the dems say it will take 8 to 10 years to start pumping oil. Whether you believe it or not, we are a nation that needs oil, and we don’t have any other reliable means of energy. Why would I want to spend 30k for an untested battery powered car (Ford Focus) and who has the money to spend on these cars? It will take years to work the bugs out of this technology. One economic analyst said yesterday, it would take 25 years to recoup the cost of a new electric hybrid.



Posted by: Oldguy at March 21, 2009 9:50 AM
Comment #278196

dbs-
Being shameable doesn’t meant they never do things to be ashamed of. It means you can get them to do things when they are confronted with their mistakes. At the very least, they have the political sense to know that they cannot maintain such behavior in the face of public disapproval.

If you could stomach it, do yourself the favor of a nice run around the Left Blogosphere. Look at what they’re actually saying about Geithner at Kos, what Eschaton’s Atrios says about economics, what Talking Points Memo (the group that busted open the Attorney’s Scandal) says about it all. We’re not waiting until our party collapse in ruin to start holding them accountable. In fact, a large part of the Democratic resurgence has been about getting past the old guard in the party. We don’t cheer on the corrupt in our party, we target them almost with more vigor than we do corrupt Republicans, because we not only know they reflect badly on us, we actually see them as obstacles to our greater agenda. This as opposed to the Republicans, who saw losing folks like this as a win to the other side.

I’ll tell you what: Dodd isn’t exactly getting a cheering section on the left.

Now you can throw all the usual Right-Wing Vitriol at the liberals, but I’d caution you that today’s liberals are all too willing to take advantage of your party’s “Wide Stance” on your scandal plagued members to show that your people aren’t exactly angels themselves. So

Lee Jamison-
The Right Wing is the party in the parallel universe. It seems to have gone to a universe where we’re experiencing inflation and high interest rates, where people want less government, where taxes on the rich are viewed as bad form.

Please, I don’t want to be lectured about denial from a party that’s lost two elections in a row and still doesn’t have the sense to reconsider its political position.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 21, 2009 12:54 PM
Comment #278211


Denial is what the voters who support both of these corrupted political parties are best at.

What was the left blogosphere saying about Obama,s choice of Geithner a couple months ago? Only the progressives were warning about Geithner and Summers. The liberals were loving them up.

The liberals thought Obama was the man. They are quickly finding out that Wall Street is the man.

Posted by: jlw at March 21, 2009 2:55 PM
Comment #278219

Dodd has been a wolf in sheep’s clothing for years and it is only recently that he has been looked at, as not “exactly getting a cheering section on the left”. Perhaps the dem voters are not so concerned about how corrupt their politicians are, perhaps they are more concerned about loosing seats in congress. After all, republicans have gone through the same thing during the last 2 elections, as you said.

Listening to you, one would come to conclusion that democrats want to do the right thing instead of the expedient thing.

Posted by: Oldguy at March 21, 2009 4:09 PM
Comment #278220

stephen

“Now you can throw all the usual Right-Wing Vitriol at the liberals, but I’d caution you that today’s liberals are all too willing to take advantage of your party’s “Wide Stance” on your scandal plagued members to show that your people aren’t exactly angels themselves. So”

OOOOOO i’m sooooo scared!

news flash: democrats are in charge now, and are on track to do more damage in 2 months than republicans did in 8 years. the focus is on the democrats now not the republicans, so it is you who needs to beware. no one is going to buy the incessant whinning anymore about how the republicans are to blame. keep it up and 2010 will be a disaster for the democrats.


Posted by: dbs at March 21, 2009 4:22 PM
Comment #278225

2010 is exactly why the dems are playing the blame game, on each other.

Posted by: Oldguy at March 21, 2009 5:30 PM
Comment #278351

Republicans should be looking themselves in the mirror over at least one thing: Alternatives.

It’s one thing for Democrats to devastate themselves. The worst thing that could happen to them, historically, is that they get their way. We can’t simply cheerlead for disaster, though.

Republicans have to accept that conservatives are who they are, rather than some hybrid of statesmanship and Political Science. We conservatives must choose our leaders from people who take real statesmanship seriously and eschew the unmitigated evils of P.S. designed to “lift and separate” small groups to instances of fleetingly useful power.

Conservatism is about the process of lifting all boats by raising the water level rather than picking and choosing groups of boats to jack up out of the water.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 23, 2009 2:29 PM
Post a comment