Obama's Big Spending Denial

President Obama is traveling across America on his campaign trail making false claims about his spending history as the Commander in Chief. In his recent appearance rallying in Des Moines, Iowa, Obama said, “Federal spending since I took office has risen as the slowest pace of any president in almost 60 years.”

With a little creativity and imagination, that claim can appear to be true, however, the bailout inflated the government budget in 2009 right before Obama's inauguration, and as nearly $150 billion has been paid back during his presidency, his administration is counting that money has "spending cuts."

This is a prime example of imaginative mathematics because twisting numbers around can give anyone a desired result. This claim the President has made, miraculously excludes all spending of 2009 which includes the "Stimulus Bill," TARP spending, and all were tacked on Bush's spending even though he had left D.C long before. All spending in 2009 was authorized and signed off on by Obama whether he'll admit it or not. The President's selective fiscal memory has clearly created this claim to be completely off the mark.

While spending may be lowering today as the House moves for budget cuts again, the national debt is what really affects the American economy and the future of young Americans. In the long run, the debt is what will affect today's young generation and the future of a stronger economy. The reason spending is such an issue isn't about what we're spending money on, but who will be responsible to pay back the debt in the future. The result of the debt accrued from government spending means the youth will be paying down national debt from before they were even born. That is the road Obama is taking the country "forward" on.

The spending in 2009 and 2010 was astronomical, however in 2011 and now in 2012 is has decreased; however the Republican power in the House has had a lot to do with the spending cuts and fiscal responsibility. You can make facts and figures say whatever you like, just like Obama has in his recent claims, however the calendar cannot be pushed back or removed no matter how much the President wishes he could forget those first two years. And in twenty years, our children will still be paying for the decisions of this president. Obama has had his chance, and it's on to the next one.

Posted by bigtex at May 30, 2012 12:53 PM
Comments
Comment #345665

Yes, spending was high his first years in office. Almost every economist agreed at the time we were on the verge of depression. Amazingly, you’re wishing we embraced spending cuts at that point; a strategy that historically makes weak economies weaker (see Europe 2011/2012 and the wonders spending cuts did for growth).

I keep hearing that the children are going to have to pay back this debt. If that is necessarily so, can someone explain why we aren’t now paying back the debt accumulated when we were children?

Posted by: Schwamp at May 30, 2012 1:08 PM
Comment #345672

1) Clinton increased revenues at an average of about 7% per year, but spending only at 3.2% a year, on average.

2) Bush increased revenues at 1.1% a year, and increased spending at a rate of about 6.5% a year. By the time 2009 rolled around revenues were at FY2000 levels. This is the how and the why of the Bush deficit.

3)Outlays for the Bush Administration were already at 2.98 Billion dollars in FY2008, and Bush sent a budget request for 3.1 Billion dollars the next year. The financial crisis obviously required additional spending.

4)Bush signed the appropriations bills, but had an argument over the final budget. Obama signed the remaining authorizations in March 2009, only two months roughly after he was inaugurated. I have a source over at my page from the Libertarian Ludwige Von Mises Institute that makes it clear that Obama was responsible for very little of the spending in question, despite having signed the budget.

5) The 2010 budget spent less money than the 2009 budget did by a margin of 61.46 billion dollars, the only net decrease in the federal budget’s outlays since 1965

6) Even if you look at the OMB numbers from a less forgiving perspective for Obama, the claim the man has made is true: if the 2010-2013 budgets go as they are planned to go right now, the average rate of growth per year in the budget will have only been 1.89%. This would make this the slowest growth in a President’s fiscal year budgeting since Eisenhower’s first term. Even if you only count average growth for the first two years, the actual fiscal years that have been carried out in his administration (2010 and 2011), you only get 1.15% growth in spending.

7) But what if we’re talking real percentage growth? For the whole planned administration, it would be 8.12% Sounds like a lot, untill you realize that the First Bush term represented a 32.7% increase over Clinton’s last budget, and his next term a 42.30% increase over his first term. The growth that has already occured is only 2.43%.

Or put more plainly, 2.43% represents the total rate of change from 2009. What if we magically include 2009?

Then, at 20.8% difference, Obama still beats Bush 43, Bush 41, and Ronald Fricking Reagan for spending increases. It’s a squeaker for Reagan’s last term, but Reagan did almost double that much spending increase for his first term.

The simple equation here is summing up the differences for the individual years and dividing them by the fiscal year ending the term of the President before.

What’s my point? The Republicans are pushing a bull**** emotional narrative that casts Obama as a spendthrift, but unfortunately for Bush and all the Republicans before, even if you hand him responsibility for the 2009 budget entirely, forgiving Bush for all the appropriation bills (you know, the ones that actually authorize spending), and for writing up a budget containing 88% of the spending you’re ragging on Obama for, Obama is still less of spend thrift than all of the Republican Presidents of recent times. ALL.

But not Clinton, not if you include FY2009. Clinton’s first term only raised spending 13.6%, while his next term raised it 16.35% from his first.

But even then, Obama to date has been an improvement on the Republicans, and his budgets have kept spending down to its slowest pace of growth since the days of Eisenhower.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 30, 2012 3:34 PM
Comment #345675

Oh, if Obama continued Bush’s non financial crisis rate of spending increases, he would have added an additional 675 billion dollars worth of spending increase over what he actually did (just extrapolate from 2009 at 6.49% change a year)

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 30, 2012 3:49 PM
Comment #345679

Stephen

It is generally true that you do not hold presidents accountable for the first year. In Obama’s case, however, he spent a whopping 900 million on the stimulus, which was not baked into the Bush budget. He made a big policy change and we cannot just forget it.

But let’s take the counter-factual case. You want to blame Bush for the events of 2009. Don’t you also have to give him credit for stopping the job loss, which also happened at that time? If you think the money spent “bought” jobs, you cannot charge Bush for the money spent w/o crediting him for what you think it created.

BTW - I don’t really have a problem with the stimulus itself. The Obama folks spent that money foolishly, which is why the recovery seems so promising and then became the most sluggish in our history.

Posted by: C&J at May 30, 2012 5:06 PM
Comment #345682

Last Tuesday VP Biden said…Mitt Romney is no more qualified than a plumber to be president of the United States.

Imagine that and consider that obama’s claim to qualification was helping folks unplug their toilets and drive them to polling places.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 30, 2012 5:25 PM
Comment #345686

C&J-
The stimulus was not all stacked onto the FY-2009 budget, but was also shared with the 2010 Budget year, half on one, half on the other. So it was something more like 300 or 400 billion on that first year, then the rest on the next.

I won’t deny Bush credit for what actions he took that went well. But if we’re being honest here, we can say that not all of Bush’s 2008 decisions were that good. Rather than unwind Lehman Brothers in an orderly fashion, he just let them collapse, perhaps to deflect criticism that was coming at him for the AIG and Bear Stearns bailout. Republicans, too, tried to dodge the political bullet, and refused the first shot at TARP.

But let’s go back further: Bush encouraged, not to mention relied economically on the Housing Bubble. The greatest heights of it occured in the 2004 to 2007 period, during which his political power was at its peak.

Is Bush, or even the Republican Party the only ones to blame? No, not at all. The thing is, though, there is also a question of what the dominant political ideas were, supporting the policies in question. I’m interested in addressing that because I believe if we don’t address that, if we don’t address the derivatives, consolidation, and transparency problems in the market, the troubles we’re faced with now will simply regenerate emergently as the market recovers.

As for the sluggishness of the recovery… What occurs to me is that you’re applying the typical model of a recession here, as if the deflationary shocks never happened. The real reason that the economy is sluggish to recover is a combination of pro-cyclical labor cuts in the Public sector, and the already austere economics for most working Americans. When Americans (and by that I mean average Americans) get money in their pockets to spend, you will see the economy recover at a higher rate. So long as they are unemployed, or their benefits are expiring, they won’t be funding new job creation. With 2/3rds of your spending in this economy coming from your average consumer, until they recover, the country doesn’t recover.

You imply it’s a debt problem, but the question is, how much debt is actually coming due at this point, and who does most of that debt belong to? Contrary to what you might assert, much of it isn’t due yet. It’s just an empty claim, a way to insert the debt problem inappropriately into current economic discussions. Why?

For the same reason you accuse the President of being a spendthrift, to push this mythological idea of the Republicans as fiscal saviors.

Well, as my stats show, sourced from the OMB’s summary page, The Republicans have tended to spend more than the Democrats, Reagan increasing spending in his first term by 40%. Even if we take your assertion, and the assertion of BillinFlorida at face value, we don’t see Obama go much further than half that number. Without Fiscal 2009, you only see about 1.15% per year increase.

If Obama is a spendthrift, what are you guys? even removing the 20% change from FY-2001 that FY-2009 Presents, Bush increased total spending by somewhere between 60 and 70% from where it was under Clinton, most of that without any help from Democrats.

The reality is, Bush tried to replicate the Reagan experiment, lowering taxes and raising spending, just like Reagan did. Republicans pointedly refused to offset new spending costs in any way, in fact called what they were doing fiscal stimulus, before they had to poison that term to make it look bad for Obama to do it. if Fiscal stimulus was bad, then what were those several payments that Bush did?

The truth is, your side is covering it’s butt. They failed to rein in spending in any way, shape or form, and now they’re trying to reclaim their title as fiscal conservatives. The trouble is, they don’t seem to have learned much, and the person they’re reclaiming things from seems to be doing a good job of eating their lunch on fiscal restraint, even if fantasy notions of Obama being responsible for a budget that the Bush Administration submitted to Congress months before Obama was even in office are applied.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 30, 2012 6:20 PM
Comment #345691

It’s real simple to understand SD. If deficit spending and huge debts helped an economy we would be selling our bonds to Greece.

Bush was not a conservative and neither were the congresses he had when president. American voters are getting wise to Rhino’s and are demanding conservatives for candidates in many races.

Please don’t give obama and the dem senate credit for reigning in spending.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 30, 2012 7:08 PM
Comment #345701

Royal Flush-
If it were real simple to understand me, you would have accomplished it by now.

We are not currently in Greece’s position by a long shot. We control our currency, for one thing. For another, when folks get nervous about Spanish and Greek bonds, do you know whose they buy? Ours. Our yields got lower as theirs got higher.

That doesn’t mean we go on a spending spree without any thought to how we pay for it after the fact, but then that was never what I suggested in the first place. I know you keep on insisting on that, but then that’s what you have to do to cover your ass.

And cover it you must, because it was conservatives who recreated the deficit. I know you claim that it was all the RINOs in the party, but really, with your people actively resisting spending cuts to the Pentagon, and the end of the Bush Tax Cuts, just how do you expect to actually lower deficits? And if you’re not truly lowering deficits by all that much, but you are lowering taxes and punishing the economy with austerity, how do you actually achieve debt reduction?

You were promised something back in the days of Reagan that never could come true, and the pitiful thing about this is that you’ve enshrined this policy as if God himself handed it down, going from a party that could adjust its budgets responsibly, to one that raises deficits every time your people are let in the doors of the White House.

If you doubt me, then tell me, when’s the last time a Republican left office with a reduced deficit?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 30, 2012 8:35 PM
Comment #345705

If Obama gets a second term we will be in Greece’s position Stephen.

Posted by: KAP at May 30, 2012 8:52 PM
Comment #345714

Stephen

Bush grew government and it didn’t work. Obama is growing it more and it is not working. We had robust economies in the 1980s and 1990s. Reagan and the Democrats in Congress increased spending and increased the deficit and it worked. Clinton and the Republican congress cut spending and lowered the deficit and that worked too. Neither had the kind of debt we do today, however.

We can and must try different things. Clearly, we need to adjust whatever the Bush/Obama spending has wrought.

Posted by: C&J at May 30, 2012 9:57 PM
Comment #345715

KAP-
Why? Can you explain this claim? Are we suddenly going to find out that the government hid billions of dollars worth of debt that nobody knew about? Are we going to suddenly develop their problem with tax collecting? Are we going to suddenly adopt a common currency rather than having one we can control? Is the dollar, which is currently supported by treasury bonds whose yields, measuring risk are ridiculously low, making our borrowing costs relatively low, too?

We have a high amount of debt, and that’s not a healthy long term thing. In the short term, however, it’s a lousy idea to rush to deleverage, because all austerity puts stress on the economy its deleveraging, and the austerity gets passed from the government to the nation as a whole.

Clinton showed how you deleverage: you take a strong economy, and a reasonably high tax rate, and that means revenues rise as spending remains stable. One passes the other on the graph. The Republicans did it in reverse, trying once again to prove themselves right on Arthur Laffers funny little theory.

Who got us in this mess is rather messy, because of the influences conservatives were able to exercise over the country, but what got us in this mess is clear: Somebody decided to increase spending without increasing revenues at the same rate.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 30, 2012 10:05 PM
Comment #345717

C&J-
This isn’t about government being grown or not grown. This is about paying or not paying for things.

Your people made the conscious decision not to pay for whatever new government spending you consciously decided upon. That simple. Government outlays went up by 1.5 trillion, government revenues… well, at best, they were a little better than we have them now, but during many of those years, we were below or near the FY-2000 revenues.

It doesn’t take a Rhodes scholar. Increase spending about about 6.49% a year, even before the Financial crisis, but barely grow revenues, and you will find yourself spending beyond your means.

Clinton never had one year with lower outlays than the one before it. What he did have was revenues that went up at an average of 7.11% a year. It’s not cutting spending, necessarily, it’s taking in enough money to cover your bills. However, you’re doctrinally required to give low revenue collection a pass in favor of calling it a spending problem.

Obama doesn’t have a spending problem, at least not one he created, he has a revenue problem, created by the economic crisis. You resolve the economic doldrums, and you solve part of your revenue problem for the long term. Then you also set the stage for the austerity necessary to bring the debt down to manageable levels.

We had things right under Clinton, and your party willingly and deliberately changed that, disregarding our advice and dissent.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 30, 2012 10:30 PM
Comment #345719

Stephen, Using math you figure 3 years and the debt rose 5 Trillion putting us at 15+ Trillion in debt. At the rate Obama is going another term would add another 6 Trillion in debt putting us at over 21 Trillion in debt. NEWS FLASH Stephen, Obama is not Clinton and wouldn’t make a pimple on his backside. Not only condervatives Stephen you liberals have had a big hand in our mess.

Posted by: KAP at May 30, 2012 10:40 PM
Comment #345720

Also Stephen Clinton could play the game, Obama hasn’t made it to first base yet in the game of politics.

Posted by: KAP at May 30, 2012 10:46 PM
Comment #345721

Stephen

Our government should live within out means, not demand more money from our citizens.

Let’s go back to the spending and tax levels of 1999, as a % of GDP. This would make a compromise between right and left. Most of us agree that 1999 was a decent year, even if we disagree about the causes.

We do indeed need to increase revenues as the economy grows. But government should not increase as a % of GDP. We may need to tolerate more debt when the economy is going bad, but even with a growing economy, government grew too big.

Bush grew it; Obama grew it more. In 2006 we had record revenues. Had spending not grown, we would have had a surplus. Now when government overspends, should we simply give more money or should we demand more care?

Obama has both a spending and a revenue problem. He also has a basic competence problem. I don’t think he understands economics or how businesses work.

Posted by: C&J at May 30, 2012 10:50 PM
Comment #345722

KAP-
You’re entirely focused on the dollar amount now, and not how we got there.

The question is, do you support reductions in Military Spending, increasing taxes, abruptly ending the war in Afghanistan, telling millions of seniors that they can no longer get their prescriptions, etc, do away with the Homeland Security Department, etc.?

The problem with being a conservative these days is that you’re politically forbidden from many of these solutions, especially since they undo Bush Policies you still like.

If we forgo economic growth to inflict austerity now, we don’t get anywhere, because the loss of economic growth creates a counterproductive loss in revenue.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 30, 2012 10:53 PM
Comment #345734

Stephen, How we got there is a problem but continuing the problem is pure idiocy. The problem with you Stephen is your child like attitude in pointing the finger at someone else instead of being a man and saying your side has a problem to. I’ve always said both sides have a problem but you never admit your god Obama has screwed up to, it’s always been Bush’s fault and YES HE SCREWED UP. Stephen, Explain what economic growth we have now. Putting people to work Stephen instead of paying them to sit on their A$$ for 99 weeks will put money in the coffers without raising taxes, getting rid of some of the job killing EPA standards, lower corporate taxes so the job creators will want to invest in growing their companies and ADDING JOBS. The only thing I hear out of your side is raise taxes especially on the ones who are the job creators. No you liberals want to put this country back to the stone age, when you do then maybe you will be happy.

Posted by: KAP at May 30, 2012 11:26 PM
Comment #345754

Royal, this has to be one of the best excuses conservatives have used over the yeasrs to justify the actions of conservatives.
“Bush was not a conservative and neither were the congresses he had when president. American voters are getting wise to Rhino’s and are demanding conservatives for candidates in many races.”

My hats off to you for the gall to tell us this. Armey, Lott Delay, Hasert, Blunt, McConnell, Stevens, Boehner, Kyl, Frist, Santorium, and so on weren’t conservatives. GWB/Cheney wasn’t a conservative. The 107th, 108th and 109th congress were repub/conservatives majorities. So unless your thinking is they were openly fascist/corporatist then surely you cannot expect even conservatives to fall for this line of BS. Surely your not going for the purity in the ranks uber alles kind of thing like Bill in FLA are you?

Posted by: j2t2 at May 31, 2012 11:46 AM
Comment #345761

You know, the general problem here is that Republicans nowadays don’t take the policy from more than one side, they always approach it from a conveniently spending only approach, and the spending they suggest get cut is always from Domestic programs.

It’s pathetically transparent: Republicans want to destroy the FDR/LBJ Social programs, but the programs are too popular to challenge directly. A majority of Americans oppose the kind of Overhauls to Social Security and Medicare that Republicans want to make. A majority also want to reduce defense spending.

So, what’s a Republican to do? fearmonger about debt, despite the fact that the market does not and has not been signalling that our debt is a problem, and despite the fact that now is far from the most responsible time to institute economy-slowing austerity.

And before somebody objects that Austerity will not slow the economy, let me remind Republicans that every time they complain about tax cuts being threatened, they make the case that the economy will be slowed if people have to pay more. Republicans simply do not have a consistent perspective on the economic effects of austerity.

As far as everything goes, here’s my assertion: people should be expected, under most circumstances, to pay for the government when they seek government’s help. If you want to have the government help our industries along, fine, but be prepared to pay for it. A social benefit, like the Medicare Drug Benefit? Pay for it. A war you think is ultra-necessary, like the Republicans did with Iraq, and we all did with Afghanistan? Pay for it.

And if you get hit with a massive economic downturn? Pay for it later. That’s the sort of thing debt financing is there for, to make sure that our ability to respond to the threats and the issues of the world aren’t crippled by the kind of events that can suck the oxygen out of the room for revenues.

If you want a notion of why we’re in crap shape fiscally and economically, why the recovery is so tepid, it’s because the GOP has forced a tepid response, and it would have forced an even more tepid response if it had been able to stall the Stimulus bill.

Somehow, the Republicans suggest, the economy, after dropping 8.9% GDP annualized one quarter, and 6.3% or so the next, would just spontaneously revive itself. Oh, and the millions of jobs that would have been lost at GM and Chrysler, those wouldn’t have meant anything, despite the quite well documented effects of having millions of people out of work. Somehow, the ghostly effects of tax cuts and deregulation, which did nothing at all to save the Bush economy, are expected to do better than the direct, job-creating, industry reinforcing efforts of the Obama Administration. Some claim debt would have crowded out growth, but that’s BS, because the debt in question isn’t coming due anytime soon.

The cost of people being out of work and the benefit of putting them to work is much more immediate than the cost of putting them to work, and the benefit of not paying that cost.

More to the point, there is a developmental, emergent effect in the situation, where today’s doldrums create tomorrow’s greater debt. Counteracting that is an investment in reducing the long term need for such debt financing. We have to balance the responsibility to keep debts low against the reality that the debts will only grow greater if the economy doesn’t recover faster.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 31, 2012 12:58 PM
Comment #345762

Stephen, Those social programs need to be reworked, YOU KNOW IT, and I KNOW IT. Your side is just to chicken and spinless to admit it. You know those social programs need to be revised. So grow up and quit with the blame game and admit your side don’t have all the answers except for getting us deeper in debt.

Posted by: KAP at May 31, 2012 1:58 PM
Comment #345770

According to reports from newspapers around the world, both Spain and Italy are now in deeper trouble, along with Greece, with the rising interest rate for their government bond issues and nearing dangerous levels. So far, their own banks have been buying up the bonds and now the banks are in danger of default.

SD and many libs on WB point to the low interest rate on our government bonds at this time as evidence that we can and should borrow more money. They just can’t, or won’t, understand the eventual consequences of dangerously high debt.

Should those buying our debt slow or stop their purchasing of our bonds the same thing can happen here. Yet, SD and his lib friends continue to wear their blindfolds denying that it could and may happen. China, one of the largest purchaser of our debt, is facing a slowdown of their economy and will begin a stimulus which may reduce the amount of our debt they are willing to purchase.

The dem answer always seems to involve spending money others have to earn or money they don’t have. Spending levels are never too high for them and they see no problem raising taxes on producers to pay for their vote pandering thru more and bigger social programs.

Social programs are popular with their constituency and thus they dare not seem to be in favor of halting their growth despite the admission of many dems that they have no idea of how to pay for what we already have. Increasing taxes on the rich won’t make a dent in the unfunded mandates on social programs already in place.

Yet, the dems passed a huge new social entitlement program with obamacare. They stole $400 billion from Medicare, a program already deep in red ink, to provide seed money for a giant new social program.

And, SD calls this fiscal sanity and a crowning achievement of libs. It’s insanity and the defense of it is further evidence of the liberal attempt to socialize America. Five trillion in additional debt in less than one full term by this president and congress is not enough to satisfy these folks. Should obama be reelected will they push for even more trillions to be spent in a second term? By the end of a second term for obama we could easily face over $20 trillion in debt. That amount of debt is unmanageable and one from which the country can not recover.

What would be the result of a default by the US government unable to manage such debt? One can paint many scary scenarios with no pleasant outcome imaginable. Do SD and his lib friends even realize the probable upheaval in this country should our debt overwhelm us? If so, do they care?

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 31, 2012 4:57 PM
Comment #345784
Those social programs need to be reworked, YOU KNOW IT, and I KNOW IT. Your side is just to chicken and spinless to admit it.

KAP what nonsense. SS and Medicare need to be funded not changed. This is conservative propaganda. You have fallen for it. We have known for years the boomers would impact the system as they started retiring. Medicare was funded until the conservatives decided to add big pharma in the loop without paying for it. In fact they cut taxes instead. Stop whining about the bill now as we have, as a country, told the American people who have paid into the systems for years that it would be there when it was our turn. Stop the prattle about only screwing those under 55 as it to is nonsense.


We spend almost as much on the military as the rest of the world combined. That is what needs to be changed. Bring the troops home and defend our Country at one quarter the price we pay today, fund the programs we have paid for this past 40 years or more.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 31, 2012 8:06 PM
Comment #345785

Obama’s “big spending denial” was preceded by endless previous claims (OUTRIGHT LIES) that he was increasing spending more than any recent president. Even if you sack Obama with the full 2009 budget he STILL has increased spending less than BOTH Reagan, Bush 1 and Bush 2. And that is AFTER being delivered the worst economy since the last time the Repubicans crashed the economy into the Great Depression. So who of the “LIARS” has been further from the truth? It’s so typical republican double standard and their lack of taking responsibility for their failures and their denial of basic facts of history. The Great Depression and the Great Recession BOTH started after years of republican dominance. How many times are we going to repeat these episodes of republicans trashing the economy and then having the gall to complain about how long it takes democrats to clean it up. And this time with the most massive obstruction EVER from ANY senate EVER!

Posted by: muirgeo at May 31, 2012 8:09 PM
Comment #345786

j2t2

Re SS - is it really possible that ANY program conceived for conditions of the 1930s and patched up in the 1980s really only needs to be funded and not appropriately adjusted to vastly changed conditions.

Posted by: C&J at May 31, 2012 8:26 PM
Comment #345789

J2, People have to have to have jobs to fund social security. Or do you think the 1% should fund it for you. Yes our social programs need to be adjusted as C&J said. As the people who use those programs rise and the tax revenues dwindle their will be no money there for people like Stephen when he is ready to retire.

Posted by: KAP at May 31, 2012 8:54 PM
Comment #345833
is it really possible that ANY program conceived for conditions of the 1930s and patched up in the 1980s really only needs to be funded and not appropriately adjusted to vastly changed conditions.

What vastly changed conditions are you referring to C&J. Do you think people no longer need the services provided by SS? Do you think the changes in SS over the years that have adapted to the times is not sufficient to provide the necessary services we have paid for these many years? The only real change we need to fund SS is to increase the threshold of income from prox $100k to $200k, but other than that ….

People have to have to have jobs to fund social security. Or do you think the 1% should fund it for you.

It seems the job creators, yes the vaunted 1%, don’t do either. Why is it conservatives can praise the top 1% fore being job creators worthy of tax breaks yet not seem to notice the lousy job these job creators have been ding the past 10 years?

http://news.yahoo.com/big-paychecks-tiny-tax-burdens-21-000-wealthy-100029578—abc-news-politics.html

I believe we need to stop the outright lies and misinformation perpetrated by conservatives on the “job creators”.

Yes our social programs need to be adjusted as C&J said. As the people who use those programs rise and the tax revenues dwindle their will be no money there for people like Stephen when he is ready to retire.

So we seem to agree KAP the problem is more the funding of the program. A simple raising of the threshold will solve the problem.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 1, 2012 11:20 AM
Comment #345841

Royal Flush-
Shorter Royal Flush: Democrats will behave like stereotypes, despite present evidence. Be afraid1

Look, we’re well aware of the situation. We were well aware of it when your people were restarting the deficit.

Democrats will be willing to deal with the deficits. They’ve been willing before. But we’re trying to do things the smart way, not plunge this country into a second recession.

You know all those countries are attempting austerity, don’t you? But the austerity is costing them jobs, and that means higher expenditures on social safety nets and lower revenues.

In other words, in any modern country where we don’t let the unemployed starve, it doesn’t work. Hell, if we let them starve, it wouldn’t work, because folks who are starving don’t contribute a thing to the local economies.

You’re still relying on free-market-make-pony magic here, still believing that if we do what Republicans did when Reagan was in charge, it will all work out. Never mind that what we did then raised unemployment up to 10.8%, and led to a recession unmatched until the last one, post depression.

You’re going to retry all these rotten policies until it kills us, and at this pace, it will.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 1, 2012 2:15 PM
Comment #345843

J2, You can’t fund a program like SS if people don’t have a job because it’s the payroll and employer contribution that fund it. Those 1% that you so hate are the ones we need to create the jobs so people like Stephen won’t be left out in the cold when it comes time for him to retire. I agree raiseing the cut off will be a help but IMO it won’t be enough. Also we need to get Congress’ greedy paws out of the SS lock box and pay back what they stole in the past.

Posted by: KAP at June 1, 2012 2:56 PM
Comment #345846

KAP-
Those people create jobs for profit. Otherwise they keep the money. When there is no profit in business, as there is at this point because so many are unemployed, they don’t go out of their way to rehire.

The 1% don’t create jobs, customers do, and they only do so when they can afford to. We can’t continue to preferentially enrich the 1% and hope to create jobs, wealth has to start flowing back to the vast majority of people, so they can drive the consumer spending that drives our economy.

Think of it in terms of your body’s circulation. Sure, you can survive if it’s mainly your brain, your heart and your lungs that get blood, but if the rest of the body doesn’t get circulation, you’ll be weak and you’ll feel terrible.

America needs to get the feeling back in its legs. Americans will stop resenting the rich when they can imagine themselves getting somewhere with the hard work and time spent doing work for them. You can’t withhold incentives and expect people to feel rewarded just for having a job.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 1, 2012 3:06 PM
Comment #345847
Those 1% that you so hate are the ones we need to create the jobs so people like Stephen won’t be left out in the cold when it comes time for him to retire.

KAP I don’t hate the 1%er’s. at all. I am just calling them out for attacking the middle class as they have done the past 30 years. I am calling them out for not creating jobs despite all the tax cuts they have had over the years. They have done a bad job of creating jobs despite that being the reason they should have special tax advantages.Why should we reward this type of failure?


I agree raiseing the cut off will be a help but IMO it won’t be enough. Also we need to get Congress’ greedy paws out of the SS lock box and pay back what they stole in the past.

The point is the system isn’t broke nor do we need to reduce it it the point of ineffectiveness. Putting it in a lock box is a no brainer that hasn’t been done because conservatives want to destroy the system not fix it.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 1, 2012 3:33 PM
Comment #345856

J2t2

In 1933 life expectancy was 63. When they set the age of retirement at 65, the expectation was that lots of people would never collect and that those who did would not collect for very long. That is how they could call it “insurance.” There were many workers and not many recipients. Over the years both these conditions changed radically. In addition, real benefits rose and benefits were extended.

Our choices must be informed by reality. Our choice is to continue to pay these benefits and tax the hell out of our children, or to reform the system so that it is sustainable and fair both to the old people collecting benefits and the young people paying for them.

I will soon be in a position to collect SS and my kids will be in the position to pay for it. I guess I am less greedy than my liberal friends. I am willing to get a little less and/or change my lifestyle a little in order to let them have better lives rather than enslave them to pay for me. I choose to seek justice between generations. I know that others will demand what they claim is owed them at expense of others who were not yet born when the “deal” was made. I think this is immoral.

Posted by: C&J at June 1, 2012 6:35 PM
Comment #345858

j2t2

re lockbox - great idea but not one that can work. The U.S. government cannot save money in this way. It was a lie when Gore said it.

But consider that there was a lockbox. Let’s give everybody “back” the money they paid in plus a reasonable return. Of course, that is not something you want. You are demanding that a majority of the recipients receive more than they put in.

Posted by: C&J at June 1, 2012 6:38 PM
Comment #348827

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