Obamacare fails...

…America wins! (Thank you Scott Brown.)

“61% Say It’s Time for Congress To Drop Health Care” And with that, it’s time to move on to other America destroying legislation.

After a year of trying to rush this bill through, of trying to hide what is in it and get it passed without any scrutiny at all, and promising, threatening to take over the greedy Healthcare industry, illustrious Senator Reid says, "What Bill? Healthcare reform... what's that?"

“We’re not on health care now,” Mr. Reid said. “We’ve talked a lot about it in the past.” [Like yesterday?]

He added, “There is no rush,” and noted that Congress still had most of this year to work on the health bills passed in 2009 by the Senate and the House. ~nytimes.com


The more the American people learned about every iteration of this atrocious legislation the more they realized that Democrats did not have them in mind. In fact, every policy of this Obama-Pelosi-Reid government has been disastrous. The stimulus, said to have saved or created millions of jobs, is actually driving up unemployment and pushing this country further over the precipice of national bankruptcy.

And now that Healthcare is dead, it's time to pretend to be fiscally responsible!

According to the CBO our trainwreck of government debt is now flying down the tracks toward the Barack Hussein Memorial Precipice. Oddly enough, Obama's ascension to office has been accompanied by an acceleration of spending beyond anything in the history of this nation and there's no slowing down despite some talk (finally) about possibly, maybe, theoretically, at some future date of putting on the brakes.

The CBO baseline contains two important messages. First, Washington is accumulating debt at an unsustainable rate. After the debt slowly grew to $5.8 trillion through 2008, the more realistic baseline shows the federal government adding an astonishing $16.3 trillion in new debt between 2009 and 2020--$130,000 per household over those 12 years. ~heritage.org

Obama will prove that he can ruin the economy with more than just healthcare. I'm sure tax increases, cap and trade, new regulations on businesses, laws re-muzzling the free speech of corporations, and more higher taxes to pay for the same Healthcare reform bill democrats will eventually try to sneak through will bring us right out of the depression and into unprecedented prosperity! Hope and Change!

Posted by Eric Simonson at January 27, 2010 1:26 AM
Comments
Comment #294632

This is a classic case of government overreach. It starts like this.

1. Politicians identify a real problem in society and the people want a solution.
2. The simple solution requires actual work and hard choices so politicians avoid them and blame others.
3. Politicians propose the wrong solutions to the problem.
4. Politicians claim that those who don’t want the wrong solutions they propose don’t want to solve the original problem.

The next step depends on the people. If they buy the BS, they back bigger government, which doesn’t solve their original problem and creates new ones.

If enough people understand the truth, they demand that the politicians go back to the drawing board.

The fact is that nothing is better than the current plans pushed by Pelosi and Reid. They probably cannot be improved within the next weeks and should be scrapped and redone with more thought and intelligence applied.

Posted by: Christine at January 27, 2010 7:21 AM
Comment #294633

“After a year of trying to rush this bill through…”

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Thank you Eric.


Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 27, 2010 7:27 AM
Comment #294636

Eric
“After a year of trying to rush this bill through…”

You do get it? Taking a year pretty much obviates your second assertion about rushing a bill through.

For those that want more Americans to do without health coverage,for those that think its best that insurrance companies can cancel the policies of those that get sick, for those that like paying more and more to get less, for those that want to see Medicare bankrupt, rejoice. You have managed to fight back about the most moderate reform plan you’ll ever see.

Posted by: bills at January 27, 2010 8:24 AM
Comment #294639

Suddenly Republicans are turning their backs on the Republic in favor of more democracy of, by, and for the people polled.

Truly laughable and hypocritical. There appears to be no shame amongst Republican supporters and their leaders in extolling the most blatant of contradictions with the straightest of faces.

Are they liars and deceivers, aware of their contradictions, or, are they that ignorant of their own minds that they are myopically unaware of the contradictions occupying their brains at the same time, or at differing times depending on the expedience factor?

There is some real brain chemistry and genetics at play here distinguishing Republicans from other people, according to some new research I heard about, but, have not yet located the source of.

Anyone else have directions to that research? Might be worth a gander, since these myriad duplicities are rather inexplicable, even in Adam Smith’s labored study of the psychology of human preferences, The Theory of Moral Sentiment.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 27, 2010 8:49 AM
Comment #294642

David,

I think it’s the football mentality. I was talking to an A&M alum the other day discussing their midnight rallies for the football pregames. One has to understand football in Texas is far more important than education, with adults closely following high school games. A&M is like that, but on steriods. The alum described the rallies as “cult like” with a giggle.

I think that is an apt description of most “conservative” Republicans I’ve run into.

Posted by: gergle at January 27, 2010 9:33 AM
Comment #294644

Eric, When you compare twelve to fourteen years of nothing better than lip service from a republican legislature, I guess one year to actually make an attempt does seem like a bit of a rush.

David, I am sorry but I had to laugh at your analogy of the republican persona. It is hilarious in its appropriateness. I haven’t seen the study, but I think an appropriate definitive term would be political schizophrenia.

Posted by: RickIl at January 27, 2010 10:08 AM
Comment #294650

About a third of the deficit relates to the downturn in the economy, but no, we can’t afford jobs or stimulus bills, because that might increase the deficit.

A huge part of future deficits will be a result of medical costs, as they become twenty percent of GDP. We will spend trillions of dollars per year to pay that bill, both with our taxes, and our wages. What things will we give up to pay more to the hospitals and insurance companies?

But a trillion over ten years just to bend the cost curve down a little?

It’s obvious from the Republican response to Wall Street’s increasing addiction to speculative churning of money up in the high-income brackets and all these other things, that Republicans don’t believe that to make money, you’ve got to spend money.

Not all benefits come for free, or from cost cutting. Sometimes we need to invest in changing things for the better now to see benefits down the road. Unfortunately, the Republicans are too busy trying to protect the wealth and prosperity of yesterday, to create the wealth and prosperity of tomorrow.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 27, 2010 11:55 AM
Comment #294652

Government transparency? You can Google the health care bill and read it yourself. Educate yourselves and stop being the dumb sheep that just follows. And please stop trying to use the Rasmussen report to substantiate your facts and figures, they have been shown to be at least five points higher than any other poll. Republicans will be the demise of health care in America and alienate themselves from more of their supporters. Let’s recap, republicans alienated themselves from the Hispanics with Sotomayor, Alienated themselves from blacks with their racist emails, Alienated themselves from gays and their wish for marriage, Supported an administration that managed to take this great nation down to one knee in just a mere 8 years from greed and corruption. Obstructing government for the last year with their unanimous buyout from the pharmaceuticals and health care providers. Greed and corruption are taking it’s toll on the Republican party and the independents you are creating will dictate any future Republican’s holding office. And how about that Scott Rothstein republican ponzi scheme revealed this morning and the latest Watergate scheme? Is anyone in the Republican party policing their own organization?

Posted by: jeff at January 27, 2010 12:14 PM
Comment #294653

Edge-
The question is whether ANY move by Obama towards the middle will be rewarded, or whether Republicans are simply going for a shut-out.

I think it’s more realistic to believe that they’ll continue to move for a shut-out. They haven’t stopped in four years, they’re not stopping now.

Why do Republicans believe that in a Democracy, 41 people should prevail over 59?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 27, 2010 12:17 PM
Comment #294656
So what you are saying is, “thank God for Obama’s transparancy in government”, for without it, we may never have found out what was really in the obamacare bill.

????

Seriously?

What did Axelrod say this weekend again?

But the underlying elements of it are popular and important. And people will never know what’s in that bill until we pass it, the president signs it, and they have a whole range of new protections they never had before.

Claims of transparency are a joke, played on the US Citizenry.

Between negotiating behind closed doors (after Obama on SEVERAL occassions promised during the election that those negotiations would be broadcast on CSPAN), not offering written or digital copies of 1,000 page amendments to Republican senators OR the public before votes were taken and trying to push a bill through before the fall break and admitting that none of the congressmen had read it (which prompted the outrage that people had at the Town Halls, despite what TPM tells you) and you get a pattern of politics as usual masquerating as something new and exciting.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 27, 2010 12:28 PM
Comment #294657

BTW, the link for the above quote is at http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=9636625

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 27, 2010 12:30 PM
Comment #294658
You can Google the health care bill and read it yourself.

After it was voted on, not before…

Educate yourselves and stop being the dumb sheep that just follows.

Pot - Kettle - Black

And please stop trying to use the Rasmussen report to substantiate your facts and figures, they have been shown to be at least five points higher than any other poll.

And yet have been the most accurate polling organization for the past 6 years. Is it that they are wrong or is it that the others are wrong? Perhaps it is in the interpretation of the polling and knowing what they are asking instead of the ‘news media’ trying to compare them…

Remember in 2004, those ‘other polls’ were way off and Rasmussen was right. So, just because a group of people are wrong we are supposed to trust them completely?

Weird…

Republicans will be the demise of health care in America

Because doctors will quit offering their services because of Republicans?

What is so abhorrant about going to the doctor and paying for their services? Why is that now suddenly a bad thing?

Alienated themselves from gays and their wish for marriage

And this administration HASN’T? This administration has turned its back on the gay community. I desperatly disagree with Republicans on a large number of issues, including this one, but to suggest that somehow the left is going to change anything for the positive for the complete crapfest this country has taken on the homosexual community is to be sticking your head in the sand and being a follower….

Supported an administration that managed to take this great nation down to one knee in just a mere 8 years from greed and corruption.

Again, get your head out of the sand and actually look at facts of what things were like before Bush took office. I mean, really, this wasn’t a paradise we were living in until 2001…

Obstructing government for the last year with their unanimous buyout from the pharmaceuticals and health care providers.

You do realize that the majority of pharamacutecal and healthcare donations have gone to the left, not the right, including the largest to the president during his 2008 campaign, right? You do remember that in the recent election in Mass that the pharamacutecal companies were paying for large donation dinners for the DEOMCRATIC candidate, not the REPUBLICAN candidate, right?

Or do you just read the liberal blogs, listen to Thom and get on here and rant your indignation?

the independents you are creating will dictate any future Republican’s holding office.

Indpendants that the ‘Republicans’ are creating? They weren’t there before 2008? They aren’t the ones who elected this president into power only to be called racists, uneducated simpletons? They aren’t voting against Democrats directly because of the way the Democrats have been running things the past 3 years?

Amazing

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 27, 2010 12:44 PM
Comment #294659

BTW, to re-mind people who think that Clinton left Bush a surplus…

As can clearly be seen, in no year did the national debt go down, nor did Clinton leave President Bush with a surplus that Bush subsequently turned into a deficit. Yes, the deficit was almost eliminated in FY2000 (ending in September 2000 with a deficit of “only” $17.9 billion), but it never reached zero—let alone a positive surplus number. And Clinton’s last budget proposal for FY2001, which ended in September 2001, generated a $133.29 billion deficit. The growing deficits started in the year of the last Clinton budget, not in the first year of the Bush administration.

Keep in mind that President Bush took office in January 2001 and his first budget took effect October 1, 2001 for the year ending September 30, 2002 (FY2002). So the $133.29 billion deficit in the year ending September 2001 was Clinton’s. Granted, Bush supported a tax refund where taxpayers received checks in 2001. However, the total amount refunded to taxpayers was only $38 billion . So even if we assume that $38 billion of the FY2001 deficit was due to Bush’s tax refunds which were not part of Clinton’s last budget, that still means that Clinton’s last budget produced a deficit of 133.29 - 38 = $95.29 billion.

Clinton clearly did not achieve a surplus and he didn’t leave President Bush with a surplus.

http://www.craigsteiner.us/articles/16

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 27, 2010 12:47 PM
Comment #294660

Even a child would recognize republicans interference and obstruction of the health care bill necessitating behind closed door hearings. To try to hold transparency over his head is immature and a ridiculous argument considering the position Republicans have taken. Ever see the commercial where the guy asks the little girl if she wants a pony? Your not kidding anybody.

Posted by: jeff at January 27, 2010 12:53 PM
Comment #294661

btw Rhineold, there was a surplus, but i guess a credible source is just one that agrees with your agenda. http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/during_the_clinton_administration_was_the_federal.html

Posted by: jeff at January 27, 2010 12:57 PM
Comment #294662

Jeff.

You tell me, the debt increased every year. Now, if you have a checkbook and at the end of the month you owe more money than you made, did you have a surplus or a debt?

Trying to say that you an ‘ignore’ the money that we owe ourselves is BS. We are legally required to pay that money, we can’t just ‘rob it’ to pay shortcomings now and declare a surplus, which is what Clinton and the Republican congress did.

Apparently you want to ‘not count’ money the US government borrowed from itself…

So, who is looking for something to bolster their agenda again?

The debt the government owes to the public decreased for a while under Clinton

From your link.

Understanding what happened requires understanding two concepts of what makes up the national debt. The national debt is made up of public debt and intergovernmental holdings. The public debt is debt held by the public, normally including things such as treasury bills, savings bonds, and other instruments the public can purchase from the government. Intergovernmental holdings, on the other hand, is when the government borrows money from itself—mostly borrowing money from social security.

Looking at the makeup of the national debt and the claimed surpluses for the last 4 Clinton fiscal years, we have the following table:


Fiscal
Year End
Date Claimed
Surplus Public
Debt Inter-gov
Holdings Total National
Debt
FY1997 09/30/1997 $3.789667T $1.623478T $5.413146T
FY1998 09/30/1998 $69.2B $3.733864T $55.8B $1.792328T $168.9B $5.526193T $113B
FY1999 09/30/1999 $122.7B $3.636104T $97.8B $2.020166T $227.8B $5.656270T $130.1B
FY2000 09/29/2000 $230.0B $3.405303T $230.8B $2.268874T $248.7B $5.674178T $17.9B
FY2001 09/28/2001 $3.339310T $66.0B $2.468153T $199.3B $5.807463T $133.3B

Notice that while the public debt went down in each of those four years, the intergovernmental holdings went up each year by a far greater amount—and, in turn, the total national debt (which is public debt + intergovernmental holdings) went up. Therein lies the discrepancy.

So, if you want to say that, according to government accounting rules we had a surplus because we don’t count the money the government owes itself, sure, you can say that. Does it make you feel better about increasing out debt to say we did it while in the black?

If you want to say that we brought in more money than we spent or was obligated to spend? Nope. The debt still increased.

In the end, it depends on what you want. If you want to claim to be fiscally responsible while borrowing money from yourself to make the books look that way, that’s your choice. But it doesn’t prevent you from going bankrupt while you are operating within budget.

BTW, in ALL of these scenarios, even your link, it is clear that in FY 2001 (the last year of Clinton’s budgets), Bush was left with a pretty hefty deficit of at least 200 billion dollars.

Apparently, there is a different definition of saying that you left a suprlus to someone that was hundreds of billions of dollars in the red that I am unaware of…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 27, 2010 1:23 PM
Comment #294663
Even a child would recognize republicans interference and obstruction of the health care bill necessitating behind closed door hearings.

BULL. They are doing the public’s work. If they can’t handle the Republicans doing entirely legal procedures to block their agenda, they should suck it up and be adults about it or not run for re-election because they obviously can’t handle the pressures of DOING THEIR JOB. Not whine like a little kid and negotiate behind closed doors. The work they are doing is not THEIRS, it is OURS and we have a right, not a privledge, to know what is being done, just as Obama said during the campaign.

“That’s what I will do in bringing all parties together, not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are, because part of what we have to do is enlist the American people in this process,” Obama said at a debate in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2008.
“People say, ‘Well, you have this great health care plan, but how are you going to pass it? You know, it failed in ‘93,’” Obama said on Aug. 21, 2008, at a town hall in Chester, Va. “And what I’ve said is, I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies — they’ll get a seat at the table, they just won’t be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process.”

I guess the Democrats, who got a LOT of money from big pharma and the healthcare lobby, more than Republicans did, didn’t want ‘the people’ to see that…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 27, 2010 1:28 PM
Comment #294664

Rhinehold-
The fact of the matter is, this bills polls are down primarily because of a year long campaign of public relations by the Republicans whose claims were provocative, loud, but unfortunately very unfounded. The provocation and loudness won out over people’s being truly informed about the provisions and benefits of the bill.

What Axelrod says here is that the policy changes in the bill will have a positive effect on people’s lives, and that will speak for itself, as will the absence of the promised cataclysms.

As for paying doctors? Twisted arguments aside, Democrats want to see doctors paid. We also, though, want an affordable system. Maybe somebody gets paid a little less in the bargain, but then, this is simply the result of a market long distorted by different factors, including the fact that folks simply don’t stop trying to get healthcare when it gets more expensive.

As for fiscal policy, regardless of what side of deficit or increase we are in regards to the budget, the Bush Budgets sent both through the roof, and set the stage for our current predicament. You can argue about whether they really closed the Budget deficit, but you can’t argue that Bush did anything but take that further away from reality with his reckless spending.

One more thing, you should reflect upon: The Bush wars are going to cost three or four trillion dollars, when all is said and done, the increases in the military budget almost that much again. His tax cuts are going to end up costing us twice or more as much as healthcare ever did, and contributed greatly to our debt as well.

Yet we have under a trillion over ten years, paid for, not raising the deficit a red cent, and people like you are hitting the roof about it.

This doesn’t seem like fiscal prudence here to me. This seems like a difference in budget priorities from those on on the right and those in the Republican Party who dress it up in their false concerns over the budget deficit in order to hide their ideological resistance to giving middle class taxpayers any kind of help.

And if you doubt they have a problem with this, ask them what their opinion of the middle class tax cut was.

We can talk about the magic pony-producing Republican solutions to the deficit when you folks acknowledge that Democratic leaders have done far more to get the books straight than their colleagues on the right.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 27, 2010 2:15 PM
Comment #294665


If it comes down to your fuzzy math or factcheck, I’m going with factcheck.It’s amazing that you would look at the same link I looked at and yet tried to find something positive for your argument, the link merely pointed out the opposite of what you are trying to prove. The fiscal conservative years your trying to support show the Bush years tanking immediately and getting worse the entire time he was in office across the board. At first you say..(ending in September 2000 with a deficit of “only” $17.9 billion),then you go on to say.. that still means that Clinton’s last budget produced a deficit of 133.29 - 38 = $95.29 billion. but now you say he had a 200 billion dollar deficit. I don’t know whose confused about what.
moving on to health care.
I stated “You can Google the health care bill and read it yourself.”
You stated “After it was voted on, not before…”
There was a 72 hour review period for health care on the internet prior to voting.
You stated
“I guess the Democrats, who got a LOT of money from big pharma and the healthcare lobby, more than Republicans did, didn’t want ‘the people’ to see that…”
If i was a lobbyist, my money would go to the party that’s in charge, not one cent to the people who have no power. Yet republicans got almost as much, how come? do you think they are playing both sides of the street? doing the publics work is laughable.


Posted by: jeff at January 27, 2010 2:17 PM
Comment #294666

Rhinehold, you may want to pick up an Accounting 101 book. Your comment fails to comprehend the words you are using.

Debt has nothing to do with cash flow. You are confusing an income statement with a balance sheet.

If you take in more revenue than you spent, you have a surplus, regardless of what your debt load is, provided you serviced your debt obligations without default for the period in which surplus or deficit are being assessed.

Your argument is rendered entirely bogus by your comment’s failure to observe English language definitions. If you need to redefine the language to suit your political arguments, you have already lost the debate.

It is so easy today to look this stuff up before proffering opinions on things one does not understand, to insure at least the appearance that one does. Sophistry works just as well when one observes the proper definitions of terms, it just takes a little less sloth.

Here is a excellent primer on the basics of income statements vs. balance sheets, from a most credible source, the Securities and Exchange Commission. I highly recommend a quick read before attempting to reply which afford the opportunity to recover credibility on this issue.

Again, one can be in debt 10 times one’s annual income or revenue, and still show an income or revenue surplus in any one, or, all of those years.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 27, 2010 2:21 PM
Comment #294668

David,

First, not only is the comment condescending, it absolutely misses what I am saying.

Let me try again:

In every year that Clinton was in office, the money that was brought in to the government was less than obligated to go out to the public and the government. As a result, our debt increased because of this year over year deficit.

Now, in some of those years the money that was brought in covered the money that was owed only to the public, but still did not cover the money owed to the government. Because of this, the adminsitration is calling a surplus. However, the surplus was only on PUBLIC requirements, not TOTAL requirements.

This is why the Clinton administration claims a surplus in the years where our debt increased. You cannot have a SURPLUS when total debt INCREASES, *That* is basic math.

However, you *CAN* claim a surplus if you move numbers around and then say you have a surplus in PUBLIC obligations and don’t mention the TOTAL obligations.

Beyond that, I’ll chalk the insulting comments up to your not actaully either reading what I wrote or not understanding what the actual facts are.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 27, 2010 2:35 PM
Comment #294669

jeff,

The inconvenient TRUTH is that the Bush years nearly doubled the national debt in 8 years. By definition, that is impossible without deficits. Bush oversaw a rise in the national debt of 4.9 Trillion dollars. It was 5.65 Trillion when Bush came into office.

In contrast, during the Clinton years, the national debt rose 1.42 Trillion.

Here’s the kicker, the cost of 9/11, Katrina, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan only account for slightly more than half of the Bush national debt increase. Talk about your tax payer treasury giveaways!

That said, debt and deficits cannot be summarized with any meaning without the historical narrative that unfolds during those years, to include national emergencies, and public priorities. We are after all, a democratic republic in which all of us are in some small respect or greater, responsible for those priorities.

Example: The Medicare Rx Drug plan was an addition to the national debt and deficits, but, it was widely supported both in Congress and amongst the electorate.

The massive transfer of wealth however, from future tax payers to the likes of Haliburton, BlackWater, and the oil companies was a responsibility primarily of the Bush administration, and accomplished only behind cloaks of secrecy, in which, even the Office of Inspector General was complicit in trying to avert its eyes from corruption and fraud and greed which got so bad that it cost American soldier’s lives due to incompetent electrical wiring to increase profitability.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 27, 2010 2:39 PM
Comment #294670

I’m just curious why, when naming something one doesn’t agree with, we refer to it as (inser name of enemy) plus (insert program), such as Obamacare… or Hillarycare…

Is it because if Republicans say “Healthcare Reform Fails, America Wins!”, they’d look like monsters???

Posted by: mike falino at January 27, 2010 2:43 PM
Comment #294671
If it comes down to your fuzzy math or factcheck, I’m going with factcheck.

I’m sorry, adding two numbers together is not ‘fuzzy math’. The problem is that you are not understanding the difference between public debt and total debt.

Every year our total debt increased because our income was not greater than our obligations for that year. HOWEVER, if you split the obligations up into two categories and assign a greater number to one category and less to the other category and then claim a surplus on that one category, you are being factual, but you are also not telling the whole truth.

Factcheck is correct that there was a reported surplus on PUBLIC debt. However, we never had a surplus on TOTAL debt.

The ‘fuzzy numbers’ come from the government, http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np . I assume you are saying that these numbers are ‘lies’?

The fact remains that the total national debt, as explained above, is the only real measure of what we owe. We can discuss the meaning of the different columns of the CBO documents and what they do and don’t include, and we can argue about the accounting tricks that the federal government uses for political reasons. But the fact remains that the Bureau of the Public Debt is responsible for the daily reporting of the total national debt. Regardless of how politicians play with the budget numbers, the current national debt reported by the Bureau of the Public Debt is what we owe. If, at the end of each year, we owe more than we did the previous year, politicians can call it a surplus until the cows come home—but the fact remains that we owed more money than we did the previous year. Playing accounting and political games to call it a “surplus” doesn’t change the fact that we’re even more in debt than we were the year before.
Social Security isn’t the only trust fund in the federal budget. There are a number of others including the civil service retirement fund, federal supplementary medical insurance trust fund, unemployment trust fund, military retirement trust fund, etc. All of these trust funds, like Social Security, invest their surpluses in U.S. government bonds and increase intragovernmental debt. And like Social Security, their surpluses really shouldn’t count toward a “surplus” because the excess money they contribute to federal coffers actually has to be borrowed by the government from the trust funds.

When the government declared a $236 billion surplus in fiscal year 2000, it literally borrowed $248 billion from trust funds and considered that borrowed money “income” which it counted towards a “surplus.”

I would recommend actually READING the facts behind those numbers and what off-budget items are and the difference between INTER- and INTRA- Governmental holdings are and why it is important to not just accept what you are told.

Think for yourself. Do the research yourself. Simple as that.

If, after you have done that, you still want to not include ‘off budget items’ into the deficit calculations, then DO NOT claim that Bush was wrong for putting war spending into the ‘off budget items’ category… It is basically the same thing…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 27, 2010 2:45 PM
Comment #294672

The smartest thing I’ve heard today

The massive transfer of wealth however, from future tax payers to the likes of Halliburton, Backwater, and the oil companies was a responsibility primarily of the Bush administration, and accomplished only behind cloaks of secrecy, in which, even the Office of Inspector General was complicit in trying to avert its eyes from corruption and fraud and greed which got so bad that it cost American soldier’s lives due to incompetent electrical wiring to increase profitability.
Did you know that Dick Cheney’s separation compensation package from Halliburton would be predicated on future profitability? Remember when he arrogantly said he wouldn’t put his investments in a blind trust? Now you know why, and you also know why Halliburton received 10 Billion dollars in unbid contracts while contractors all over America complained that they didn’t even get an opportunity to bid the work even though they were capable of performing the work. Cheney received six figure paychecks from Halliburton for years after he became Vice President. I think the term for him would be war profiteer. Did you know Rumsfield invested heavily in thera-flu? Guess which drug our govt buys the most of? The greed and corruption are rampant and that’s the main reason we are where we are. I don’t know if it was just greed and corruption that cost soldiers their lives, Ignorance and incompetence played a big part.

Posted by: jeff at January 27, 2010 2:55 PM
Comment #294673

Jeff,

I am in no way defending the Bush adminsitration. Just pointing out that the rhetoric about the surplus just doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny. Bush was never ‘handed a surplus’ and the notion of a surplus is incomplete, at best.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 27, 2010 3:05 PM
Comment #294674

Rhinehold,

This CBO has a comprehensive chart of deficits and surpluses during each administration and by each year of their presidency. It demonstrates that deficit picture dramatically improved during the Clinton years, despite the fact that, as you say, Clinton’s last budget over which he had veto authority did create a deficit.

But, as I said to Jeff above, to understand debt, deficits and surpluses requires the historical narrative of what took place during those years. Clinton had the benefit of a Congress of the opposing party in part, to act as a check his budgets, but, Clinton himself, ALSO sought, during his last 6 years, to improve the debt picture, to include vetoes of budgets (pro-environmental reasons), and veto threats of budgets which went beyond limits Clinton would approve. Clinton was a fiscally conservative president as the CBO chart amply demonstrates.

Bush, on the other hand, never vetoed a budget, never even threatened an on the table budget veto, hid deficits from the American people through emergency appropriations years after the emergency was over, and oversaw the expansion and entirely deficit underwritten expansion of Medicare’s Rx drug bill. As the chart also amply demonstrates, Bush and his Congress’ were NOT fiscally conservative by any stretch.

That is the big picture of reality. To argue one year’s budget as representative and comparative of the Bush / Clinton budgetary process is pedantic at best, and fails entirely the comparison.

As for condescending, well, all I can say is you chose to use words in your comment which made no sense in the English language or context of financial accounting from which those words derive their meaning.

The language is made up of words which have definitions and roots for the express purpose of allowing speakers to accurately convey information. When a person ignores or misuses those definitions and words, they either do so with the intention of deceiving and conveying inaccuracies deliberately, or, they have stepped into a specialized area of knowledge about which their education has ill prepared them. In either case, it is an embarrassing moment for the speaker.

I know. I learned to police my use of the language in response to just such embarrassing moments of my own, in which I spoke without knowing of what I spoke, only to have it pointed out to me publicly in the college classroom, or pot filled party room. I chose to own it and learn from it, rather than try to defend the indefensible.

What others do do with their moments is up to them. The public internet didn’t exist when I learned my lesson. Seems to me the only reason anyone would speak of matters which they are not knowledgeable of today, is because they don’t know what they don’t know, in which case they have no motive to look up on the internet what they don’t know, which takes only seconds to minutes, or, they are deliberately abusing the language in order to deceive or persuade by dishonest means.

My guess is the latter explanation does not apply in this case.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 27, 2010 3:15 PM
Comment #294675

Jeff said: “Ignorance and incompetence played a big part.”

Ignorance can be deliberate. And incompetence is often motivated by greed. Employing non-electricians to wire up GI facilities in Iraq was a cost saving, and profit promoting, measure. Ergo, greed was the prime reason our soldiers died by electrocution while washing vehicles or using the bathroom facilities.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 27, 2010 3:20 PM
Comment #294677
To argue one year’s budget as representative and comparative of the Bush / Clinton budgetary process is pedantic at best, and fails entirely the comparison.

And where exactly did I do this?

I compared nothing, I made statements of facts on the myth of the surplus and how it was only around PUBLIC debt by borrowing from TOTAL debt to make the numbers match up.

Bush spent MORE. Obama is spending even MORE. Clinton was not nearly as bad as these two, but that doesn’t mean the total debt of the US did not increase every year under the Obama administration as my facts, coming from the US Treasury Department, shows.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 27, 2010 3:33 PM
Comment #294681

Rhinehold,
“The work they are doing is not THEIRS, it is OURS and we have a right, not a privledge, to know what is being done…”

Well said.

Posted by: phx8 at January 27, 2010 5:07 PM
Comment #294684

Stephan, sorry for the late response. You are right. The Reps have the logical course of cooperating, working with the Dems or making the mistake in my mind, of attempting to make political hay by stalling and complaining. I hope for some real cooperation.

Posted by: Edge at January 27, 2010 8:28 PM
Comment #294688

Rocky, Bill,

Yes. They didn’t plan or want for it to take a year. They tried to pass it immediately, in the first few months.

You guys seriously don’t remember how they tried to pass this quickly?

Posted by: eric at January 27, 2010 9:32 PM
Comment #294690

David,

I know you are venting but seriously:

Republicans are turning their backs on the Republic… Truly laughable and hypocritical. …Are they liars and deceivers…

Opposing socialism is not illogical. Socialism doesn’t work, David. It destroys freedom and wealth.

Posted by: eric at January 27, 2010 9:38 PM
Comment #294691

Stephen,

The question is whether ANY move by Obama towards the middle will be rewarded, or whether Republicans are simply going for a shut-out.

I would welcome any turn toward more conservative policies on the part of this administration. But Obama campaigned as if he would stay in the center but then took a hard left as soon as he was sworn in. He’s already proved that this is a tactic he uses to asuage disagreement with his liberal policies. I can’t believe that he will carry through with more than token gestures.

Posted by: eric at January 27, 2010 9:44 PM
Comment #294704

Eric
What?????
talk about revisionism
Obama campaigned as if he would stay in the center????
are you joking??
It was no secret, he campaigned openly on some pretty drastic changes — that is what excited and energized a MAJORITY of voters to get out, work, support and ELECT Obama
the TURN he took off the podium was a distinct RIGHT TURN
Look at the RESULTS of the first year
Guantanamo still open
More troops in Afghanistan
Abandonment of Single payer or even a WEAK public option
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell still in effect
Tax cuts still not recinded
Patriot Act not recinded
wiretapping still allowed
renditions still occuring
secret prisons still in operation
Banks not regulated.
If he turned any more conservative we might as well have elected John McCain! (then you’d be happy)
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS SOCIALIST AGENDA THAT HE HAS “BEEN PUSHING”????
it would be nice if you actually addressed reality.
However
Your biggest lie is “I would welcome any turn torward more conservative policies” — BS
no matter what he does (or has done) you are against Obama
and like I said, the only more conservative policies than what he has actually DONE would be somewhat just shy of Ghengis Khan!

Jon Stewart had it right last night “The are NOT GOING TO LET YOU INTO THE STATION WAGON”
He has been doing everything but getting down and giving the republicans oral sex!
Geez get real —

ERIC
YOUR LITTLE RANT ABOUT HIS “LIBERAL POLICIES”
It was the left that supported him and got him elected and was the basis of his support and approval ratings — it was NOT people like you — and so if his approval ratings have dropped — is it because he is not pleasing YOU or not pleasing the people who elected him?
And since we are on the left, if he had been as hard left as you claim, do you really think his approval ratings, and support would have tanked????
I don’t think so
I know I am pissed off big time at his lack of leadership and lack of fighting for all the things he promised and campaigned on — his total capitualtion of the health care reform.

as much as you use the “socialist boogy label” Single payer systems in all the other industrialized countries provide BETTER Health Care at LESS COST.
and you can wrap yourself in the flag and be indignant that someone dare say that other countries have Better Health Care — that’s fine, just, when you get sick, you better go to France or India if you want to get better without going Bankrupt!!

Posted by: Russ at January 28, 2010 1:20 PM
Comment #294738

Looks like some of you guys are trying out for the writers position on an upcoming comedy special on any of the lw media. This bill is not health care reform. It is really simple. This is government growth 101. There will not be additional coverage under this bill. There will be over 100 new agencies created. For what? Why not give every adult a million dollars to buy lifetime health insurance coverage. That would be less than 300 million forever. That is a whole lot cheaper and people could get what they want from whoever they want.
Giving people the one million of course is not the answer and neither is the plan now before Congress.
Whenever there is government interference in the business world, it always costs more for their interference. It never fails.
Well, good luck with your comedy writing auditions you guys. You will need some luck, because your comedy really is not funny

Posted by: tom humes at January 29, 2010 1:52 AM
Comment #294760

I’ll take the 1.4-1.45 trillion Clinton and a fiscal conservative congress ran up in 8 years a little over 9 years ago anyday of the week,It seems like chump change today.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at January 29, 2010 2:09 PM
Comment #294761

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nERTFo-Sk “Fear the Boom and Bust” a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem

Posted by: Rodney Brown at January 29, 2010 2:29 PM
Comment #294946

And the conservative’s lies and misinformation campaign continues against Americans who want and recognize the need for health care reform. From Fact Check just today regarding a TV commercial I saw airing last night:

The 93-year-old former surgeon general [C. Everett Koop] claims seniors would be ‘too old’ in the United Kingdom to get a pacemaker or joint replacement. He’s wrong.

February 1, 2010

Summary

Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop claims that the United Kingdom’s health care system would consider seniors “too old” to qualify for the artificial joints, heart pacemakers and coronary stent that he’s received in the U.S.

U.K. guidelines make clear that patients of “any age” may receive pacemakers, for example. And in fact, official statistics show 47 patients aged 100 or older got new or replacement pacemakers in a single recent year.

Koop, who held office during the Reagan administration, makes his false claim in a TV spot by the conservative 60 Plus Association. We asked 60 Plus to substantiate the claim but received nothing that backs up what Koop said about joints, stents or pacemakers being denied based on age. A spokeswoman for the U.K.’s Department of Health states that Koop’s assertions are “not true.”

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2010 1:00 AM
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