Carpe Diem

Quotations of the day: Thomas Sowell on fairness, politics

1. Some people seem to think that, if life is not fair, then the answer is to turn more of the nation’s resources over to politicians — who will, of course, then spend these resources in ways that increase the politicians’ chances of getting reelected.

2. Everybody is talking about how we are going to pay for the huge national debt, but nobody seems to be talking about the runaway spending which created that record-breaking debt. In other words, the big spenders get political benefits from handing out goodies, while those who resist giving them more money to spend will be blamed for sending the country off the “fiscal cliff.”

~A couple gems from Thomas Sowell’s column today

161 thoughts on “Quotations of the day: Thomas Sowell on fairness, politics

  1. 1. – most folks are not looking for the government to make life “fair”. What they are looking for is what this country promises to immigrants which is opportunity. Opportunity is ‘fairness’ in one regard but it’s more equal opportunity for all.

    2. we have 16 trillion in debt that we already owe and should be paying back.

    it’s true we need to cut spending to get not only to a balanced budget but one that is generating enough surplus to start paying down the debt.

    But you are not going to even come close to balancing the budget when your tax revenues are 1.3 trillion and you’re spending that much alone on DOD or entitlements.

    It’s going to take across the board cuts that will include DOD as well as entitlements and the entitlements will have to focus on what is subsidized from the general revenues which is not really social security or Medicare A but instead Medicare B,C and D as well as military entitlements which are a far larger part of the entitlement picture than some are willing to admit.

    • “It’s going to take across the board cuts that will include DOD as well as entitlements and the entitlements will have to focus on what is subsidized from the general revenues which is not really social security…”

      Larry, huh, really? Maybe, and just maybe, the the 2012 Social Security Trustees Report will inform you otherwise.

      From the Report

      “In 2011, Social Security’s cost continued to exceed both the program’s tax income and its non-interest income, a trend that the Trustees project to continue throughout the short-range period and beyond. The 2011 deficit of tax income relative to cost was $148 billion and the projected 2012 deficit is $165 billion.” and…

      The 2011 deficit of tax income relative to cost was $148 billion and the projected 2012 deficit is $165 billion. The sizes of these deficits are largely due to a temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax for 2011 and 2012. The legislation establishing the payroll tax reduction also provided for transfers of revenues from the General Fund of the Treasury to the trust funds to “replicate to the extent possible” revenues that would have occurred in the absence of the payroll tax reduction. Including these general revenue reimbursements, the 2011 deficit of non-interest income relative to cost was $45 billion and the projected 2012 deficit is $53 billion.

      Please note the Report also states Social Security Disability is now being quickly depleted and will run completely out of funding by 2016.

      • re: the 2% payroll tax deduction and 148/168 million dollars
        was part of the STIMULUS

        just as the $400 Make-work-pay tax credit was…

        and yes it did cost the general revenues

        but not because Social Security and FICA are in trouble right now.

        the stimulus chose the payroll tax and make-work-pay credit as 2 of the ones to put money into the economy.

        Social Security has to have some changes made to it because of the changing demographics.

        The same thing is happening to the military pensions.

        Social Security, by law, cannot pay out more in benefits than what is provided by the FICA tax so Congress would have to take some kind of action to reform it or start funding it additionally from general revenues..

        it’s much more likely they will NOT allow general revenues to fund it and will insist of reforms inside the program but they have about 20 years to make those changes and no matter what they do right now – it won’t change the current deficit and debt which gave to be dealt with outside of FICA and SS.

        Why do folks make SS the focus right now when other than the one shot payroll tax stimulus, it has no real impact on the deficit and many other things have to be cut or additionally funded to fix the deficit and debt?

        • “re: the 2% payroll tax deduction…

          Larry, it was a 33% payroll tax reduction for employees, from 6.2% to 4.2%. Right? I, as an employer, did not get that reduction and still pay 6.2% towards Social Security.

          “Social Security has to have some changes made to it because of the changing demographics.

          Yep, absolutely.

          Now Larry, any comments about what to do about Social Security disability running completely out of funding by 2016? I think we both know that the General Fund will be paying for that in the next Fed budget and beyond.

          • re: SS disability -

            agree completely. that program has to be changed because it IS spending every penny of what comes in – in the FICA allocation.

            One of the things that are attracting people to sign up for disability is that if you are accepted, that you are then eligible for Medicare no matter your age.

            http://www.ssa.gov/dibplan/dapproval4.htm

          • ” I think we both know that the General Fund will be paying for that in the next Fed budget and beyond.”

            I’m not convinced that we will. We should not be paying from the general fund and I would be opposed to that.

            we need to implement much stricter rules for disability and to keep that program not paying out any more than FICA brings in.

            this will be the first test of whether Congress will be inclined to use general funds for Social Security – beginning with the disability fund and I’d be surprised that this would pass Congress – my self. I think there are quite a few Dems who do not support that either.

        • I’m not convinced that we will. We should not be paying from the general fund and I would be opposed to that.

          IOUs in the SS trust fund will be redeemed by the SS Admin from the Treasury general fund when receipts are insufficient to cover costs.

          Oh my! That’s right now, isn’t it?

          • all trust funds – like the fuel tax/highway trust fund essentially loan their revenues to the govt to pay for spending then redeem them later and when they do the govt has to sell more T-notes to repay the loan.

            there are 100+ trust funds that work this way to include social security and really all that is going on is the govt uses the revenues that flow into these trust funds instead of selling more T-notes immediately.

            so the trust funds are basically temporary loans that allow the govt to defer actually selling T-notes to the public.

            I would agree that this is not a good thing but the bottom line is that the govt is spending more than it is taking in – in revenues and thus has to borrow and they scoop up what is available in ALL the trust funds FIRST before finally having to sell T-notes to get the money,

            In SS, case – keep in mind that the 2.1T trust fund is a previously built up surplus – and not the primary funding mechanism – which is FICA – which generates about 880 billion a year that flows through the trust fund on it’s way to payments to beneficiaries.

          • all trust funds – like the fuel tax/highway trust fund essentially loan their revenues to the govt to pay for spending then redeem them later and when they do the govt has to sell more T-notes to repay the loan.

            And there’s more unrelated garbage that didn’t address my comment.

            Your assertion that:

            [paying SS benefits from the general fund] “I’m not convinced that we will. We should not be paying from the general fund and I would be opposed to that.

            Is demonstrably not true, as FICA no longer covers benefit payments, so IOUs in the SS trust fund will be redeemed from the general fund to make up the difference.

            See it you can direct your answer to just that issue and nothing else.

            You certainly dance a lot.

          • re: unrelated trust fund “stuff” – it’s not unrelated at all because the critics propagandize that the SS trust fund is unique and a scam set up to fail and I think it’s important to show that the trust fund is not unique to SS and in fact is a very common aspect of government highly misunderstood with the help of AEI and others who demonize it rather than explaining what it is and then taking a principled stand against the CONCEPT of SS and the CONCEPT of trust funds.

            I continue to point out that things like the fuel tax and the military pensions are also trust funds that work very similarly if not exactly like the SS trust funds.

            People who think these trust funds actually are a source of funding got it wrong and in more than a few cases gullible enough to believe the propaganda without getting the facts themselves.

          • “all trust funds – like the fuel tax/highway trust fund essentially loan their revenues to the govt to pay for spending then redeem them later and when they do the govt has to sell more T-notes to repay the loan.” – LarryG

            When your left hand loans money to your right hand, does your right hand pay it back?

          • re: ” When your left hand loans money to your right hand, does your right hand pay it back?”

            the government – a long time ago, not sure when – decided that if it needed to borrow money, it would borrow from itself first through it’s 100+ various trust funds and then when the money was needed for the original purpose for which it was collected (like a gas tax for instance), then the govt would sell T-notes to pay back the money. What the trust funds allow the govt to do is delay having to sell TNotes when it deficit funds.

            this is not the fault of the trust funds – it’s deficit spending that is at the root of it.

            but to some degree, it makes sense to use unused funds to pay bills until the money is needed.

            the point here is to understand how trust funds work (and don’t work) and that they are not unique to social security and not part of some conspiratorial scam as the propagandists would have the gullible believe.

          • larry: “this is not the fault of the trust funds – it’s deficit spending that is at the root of it.”

            What kind of nonsense is this? A trust fund cannot be at fault. It is not capable of acting on its own.

            When the social security trust fund had surpluses, exactly the same people who made the decision to engage in deficit spending made the decision to continue taxing workers for amounts in excess of that needed to fund social security. It’s the same people, Larry. The fault lies with the people who raised social security taxes to levels that created fund surpluses.

            Back in the 1980s and 1990s. had Congress forced Boomers to save more in private accounts – rather than taking their “savings”, spending it on government programs, and putting an IOU into a filing cabinet in Washington – retiring Boomers today would have sufficient funds to make up any social security funding shortfall.

            Please understand that I do not advocate forced savings. But that would have been a far better option that taxation to create social security “surpluses”.

          • larry: “this is not the fault of the trust funds – it’s deficit spending that is at the root of it.”

            What kind of nonsense is this? A trust fund cannot be at fault. It is not capable of acting on its own.

            not the fault of the trust fund method of doing business. better?

            “When the social security trust fund had surpluses, exactly the same people who made the decision to engage in deficit spending made the decision to continue taxing workers for amounts in excess of that needed to fund social security. It’s the same people, Larry. The fault lies with the people who raised social security taxes to levels that created fund surpluses.”

            they raised the taxes to advance-fund the anticipated changes that would have to be made in response to demographic changes. It’s like you saving up for a future cost that you know you’ll have … no different. But I’d agree.. it’s like you saving up for a car then spending the money on something else instead. Has nothing to do with govt trust funds or in your case your checking and savings accounts.

            “Back in the 1980s and 1990s. had Congress forced Boomers to save more in private accounts – rather than taking their “savings”, spending it on government programs, and putting an IOU into a filing cabinet in Washington – retiring Boomers today would have sufficient funds to make up any social security funding shortfall.”

            I essentially agree with that. If you look at the Govt Employees TSP – thrift savings program – that’s how that program does work BUT it is one leg of the proverbial 3-legged stool with SS one of the other legs.

            You will find that even the US military counts on SS being one of those legs when it COULD have a system like you advocate.

            “Please understand that I do not advocate forced savings. But that would have been a far better option that taxation to create social security “surpluses”.”

            I advocate individual mandate, mandatory payroll taxes because the reality is that if we don’t, we all will end up paying for those who did not save. We say we won’t, but we will. That’s the reality.

            Given the reality of those two choices, I prefer mandated savings. It’s the norm in every single industrialized country on the planet – way more than just “socialist” Europe.

          • Me: “See it you can direct your answer to just that issue and nothing else.

            You absolutely refuse to do it!

            Amazing!

          • “…will borrow from itself…”

            LMAO!

            It’s not “borrowing from itself”. Government has no wealth of its own, it confiscates wealth from productive citizens/subjects. The “trust fund” dodge only gives politicians the ability to hide the true scope of their deficit spending.

            In the government’s budget, there are only two lines that matter regarding the deficit:
            1. How much revenue comes in.
            2. How much is spent

            The amounts on both lines is too high.

          • re: borrow from itself and the govt creates no wealth.

            the govt does collect a gas tax, airport fees, premiums and contributions for DOD pensions, royalty fees for oil/gas leases, etc.

            you can deny this and pretend it’s not true – but it is true.

            It’s also true that when these revenues come in – the govt spends that money to pay bills and gives special issue tnotes in exchange for the money and eventually the tnotes are redeemed and the govt gets that money by selling T-notes to the public.

            these are the facts. these are the realities. All this senseless blather otherwise is foolishness by idiots who simply refuse to deal with the realities.

          • Brotio

            When your left hand loans money to your right hand, does your right hand pay it back?

            Hmm. That’s a great question, but Larry will be unable to answer it, as his left hand isn’t acquainted with his right hand.

        • re: hissy fits – actually no. it’s a tough job trying to get folks to realize that AEI and other like-minded groups have spent much time and resources in a fairly successful effort to spin totally wrong data – I will not call it info – it’s more akin to misinformation and disinformation.

          Social Security has some demographic issues but they are not unique – many corporations who have retirees and our own military retirees are growing in number relative to active workers and this in turn affects anything from pensions to life insurance to annuities to included virtually any similar product that is priced and financed actuarially.

          SS has about 20 years to make some changes and get them phased in, that window made possible in part because of accelerated FICA taxes approved by Ronald Reagan. The military pensions have a similar problem but will have to pay for it out of general revenues – and if you looked at their pension obligations over the same 75-year horizon that SS does – you would see very significant liabilities – and no real way to deal with them other than increases in payments from general revenues.

          but what we hear instead is a cherry-picked look at ONLY SS as if it is the only program with such demographic challenges.

          Then beyond that groups like AEI and Heritage have totally sold a bill of goods on trust funds – convincing the gullible that only SS has a trust fund and that the trust fund itself is a government scam that is the source of funding for SS instead of the facts that what funds SS is FICA and that trust funds in the government are a common thing and there are more than 100 of them – to INCLUDE the Military pensions and health care trust funds – of which AEI/Heritage never ever mention in their propaganda about the “terrible” future unfunded liabilities.

          so no.. there are no hissy fits coming from this corner although my tolerance for name-calling and other infantile behavior does wear thin at times – but a majority of the main practitioners of that childish behavior are fairly well known in this blog.

          My basic view is that these programs do need to be reformed but they are fundamentally solid and they do “work” AND every other industrialized country on the planet from not only Europe, but major countries in Asia, and countries like Australia and New Zealand have such “individual mandate” programs for not only pensions but health care.

          “individual mandates” are not the “socialism” that we often hear about because people are pre-paying into programs that they will use later.

          this was originally a Conservative idea. New Gingrich and other GOP supported the individual mandate approach in 1993 and earlier but since then have moved so far to the right and become so reactionary that it’s hard to tell exactly what they do support other than to have us become more like 3rd world countries and unlike the rest of the world’s industrialized countries.

          AEI and Heritages role in all of this is to egg them on by engaging in disreputable disinformation tactics that has been successful – as many folks just find the tasks of getting the actual facts too tedious and they are too willing to believe what they have been “prepped” to believe by these groups.

          • actually no. it’s a tough job trying to get folks to realize that AEI and other like-minded groups have spent much time and resources in a fairly successful effort to spin totally wrong data – I will not call it info – it’s more akin to misinformation and disinformation“…

            Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

            Good one ‘wiki boy‘!

            You’ve yet to put out any credible information on anything you’ve attempt (and failed miserably at) to challenge…

            The truly sad fact is that you’re basically parroting words and ideas you’ve seen before and trying to fit them to your delusional world view….

            It aint selling!

          • “.. as many folks just find the tasks of getting the actual facts too tedious and they are too willing to believe what they have been “prepped” to believe by these groups.”

            Ain’t that just precious coming from Larry the Liberal?

        • re: hissy fits – actually no. it’s a tough job trying to get folks to realize that AEI and other like-minded groups have spent much time and resources in a fairly successful effort to spin totally wrong data – believe something that is demonstrably untrue, as a cursory look at the readily available numbers makes clear.

          I will not call it info – it’s more akin to misinformation and disinformation.

          There’s a difference between info and data? Who knew? Thanks for clearing that up.

          Social Security has some demographic issues funding issues due to changing demographics – namely, the ratio of retirees to new workers inexorably approaching parity

          but they are not unique – many corporations who have retirees and our own military retirees are growing in number relative to active workers and this in turn blah blah…

          While not unique, SS is often used of an example of a failing government program because it is one of the best known and most widely understood. There is a great deal of info-or-data widely available, including all the financial info-or-data which shows that SS is now at a crisis point. To suggest that other programs are also in trouble is totally irrelevant, and in no way diminishes the seriousness of the problems with SS.

          SS has about 20 years to make some changes and get them phased in…”

          You have read that somewhere, and want desperately to believe it’s true, because it supports your progressive/leftist/collectivist/fascist/Obama-cult belief system.

          The reality is – supported by actual math that has no agenda – that the revenues from payroll taxes no longer meet or exceed the amount paid out in benefits. The shortfall will have to be made up from now on by redeeming some of the $2.4 trillion in IOUs in the SS trust fund. That means the money will come from the general fund – which means from taxes, borrowing which adds to the already enormous annual deficit – or from continuing to reduce the value of the USD in the form of inflation. That last one is especially cruel to savers and those on a fixed income such as those receiving SS retirement benefits.

          …that window made possible in part because of accelerated FICA taxes approved by Ronald Reagan.

          That was nearly thirty years ago, and that particular can has long since stopped moving down the road. Reagan can’t save us now. There is an immediate problem that must be dealt with now.

          The military pensions have a similar problem but will have to pay for it out of general revenues – and if you looked at their pension obligations over the same 75-year horizon that SS does – you would see very significant liabilities – and no real way to deal with them other than increases in payments from general revenues.

          While any of that might or might not be true, we don’t care – as it is totally irrelevant to a discussion of Social Security.

          but what we hear instead is a cherry-picked look at ONLY SS as if it is the only program with such demographic challenges.

          You have this backwards. It would be cherry-picking if SS were an unrepresentative example of failing programs, chosen to support a narrow argument that didn’t apply generally, but it isn’t. SS is but one of many failing programs, chosen for it’s wide recognition by a very large number of people, and the obvious immediacy of it’s problems.

          • “While not unique, SS is often used of an example of a failing government program because it is one of the best known and most widely understood. ”

            HA HA HA. LISTEN TO the folks in this blog and tell me they know. they don’t know shit from shinola except for the propaganda spouted by AEI and brethren.

            “There is a great deal of info-or-data widely available, including all the financial info-or-data which shows that SS is now at a crisis point. To suggest that other programs are also in trouble is totally irrelevant, and in no way diminishes the seriousness of the problems with SS.”

            there is but only some of it is credible and real while a good amount of it is not. SS is not in “trouble” to near the extent of other programs and the US budget.

            It’s “problems” are fairly easily solvable between now and 2030 – UNLIKE the current budget.

            “SS has about 20 years to make some changes and get them phased in…”

            You have read that somewhere, and want desperately to believe it’s true, because it supports your progressive/leftist/collectivist/fascist/Obama-cult belief system.

            its what the SS trustees, OBM, CBO and other credible sources say. I believe them over you and AEI for sure.

            “The reality is – supported by actual math that has no agenda – that the revenues from payroll taxes no longer meet or exceed the amount paid out in benefits. The shortfall will have to be made up from now on by redeeming some of the $2.4 trillion in IOUs in the SS trust fund. That means the money will come from the general fund”

            No..that money was PUT THERE from FICA originally. It’s FICA money

            ” – which means from taxes, borrowing which adds to the already enormous annual deficit – or from continuing to reduce the value of the USD in the form of inflation. That last one is especially cruel to savers and those on a fixed income such as those receiving SS retirement benefits.”

            all that has happened is the govt was allowed to defer what they had to do anyhhow which is sell more Tnotes to the public to pay for their spending. They still owe the people they originally borrowed from the people who paid FICA taxes.

            “ …that window made possible in part because of accelerated FICA taxes approved by Ronald Reagan. ”

            That was nearly thirty years ago, and that particular can has long since stopped moving down the road. Reagan can’t save us now. There is an immediate problem that must be dealt with now.”

            Nope and NOPE., If the govt reneges on the special issue notes – the toxicity will spread to the regular Tnotes which will be abandoned by the Chinese and others who bought them and the financial markets would collapse as a result just as if we did not extend the debt limit.

            this is more fall-on-your-sword blather from the “let’s kill SS now” crowd.. nothing more.

            “The military pensions have a similar problem but will have to pay for it out of general revenues – and if you looked at their pension obligations over the same 75-year horizon that SS does – you would see very significant liabilities – and no real way to deal with them other than increases in payments from general revenues.”

            While any of that might or might not be true, we don’t care – as it is totally irrelevant to a discussion of Social Security.

            you do care if the problem is real – you care that it affects all programs not just one. Otherwise you’re perceived as having a biased agenda for or against different programs rather than being really “concerned”.

            “but what we hear instead is a cherry-picked look at ONLY SS as if it is the only program with such demographic challenges.”

            “You have this backwards. It would be cherry-picking if SS were an unrepresentative example of failing programs, chosen to support a narrow argument that didn’t apply generally, but it isn’t. SS is but one of many failing programs, chosen for it’s wide recognition by a very large number of people, and the obvious immediacy of it’s problems”

            it’s not failing if the law says you cannot pay out more in benefits than FICA generates.

            We would be so lucky to have the rest of government run that way.. so we’d have no deficit or deficit spending.

            your agenda is far different from being concerned about the country and it’s deficit. your agenda is a destructive one where you don’t really care what the outcome is as long as destruction occurs.

          • No..that money was PUT THERE from FICA originally. It’s FICA money

            Where is that FICA money? Where will it come from when needed – like now?

            Me: ” – which means from taxes, borrowing which adds to the already enormous annual deficit – or from continuing to reduce the value of the USD in the form of inflation. That last one is especially cruel to savers and those on a fixed income such as those receiving SS retirement benefits.”

            You: “all that has happened is the govt was allowed to defer what they had to do anyhhow which is sell more Tnotes to the public to pay for their spending.

            You have selected answer B – borrowing. You DO understand that Tnotes are the method government uses to borrow money, right? And that borrowing adds to the defecit and the debt, right? You know that Tnotes are claims on future tax revenue, right? That means future taxpayers will have to pay that money back to the lenders, right? That was answer A – taxes. By the way, only a fraction of Tnotes are sold to the public. Most are sold to foreign entities (china is one of them) and a huge percentage to the Federal Reserve. The Federal reserve buys Tnotes by creating money out of thin air, which means you selected answer C – inflation – also. Good work, Larry you correctly picked “all of the above”.

            Then there’s the question of why a supposedly self supporting system that isn’t in trouble – your claim – would have to borrow money at all?

            They still owe the people they originally borrowed from the people who paid FICA taxes.

            People who pay FICA are supporting a pay-as-you-go
            system – Per Larry. They have no claim on any money at all. If the truth be known, they don’t legally even have a claim to any benefits.

            I’m now convinced that you’re the most dishonest person to ever comment here. You continue to evade, misrepresent, and outright lie about issues on which it’s clear to almost anyone that you are wrong.

            I have in the past attributed that to your being misguided and ill-informed – perhaps even stupid – but that’s getting harder and harder to believe.

            Your blind devotion to the Obama cult and to an elitist, progressive agenda no matter how ridiculous and wrong your position is shown to be using actual numbers available to everyone, leaves little doubt that you are merely a shameless liar.

          • “No..that money was PUT THERE from FICA originally. It’s FICA money”

            Where is that FICA money? Where will it come from when needed – like now?

            it’s spent – JUST LIKE the money obtained by selling Tnotes to the public and if you renege on either, disaster will occur.

            “Me: ” – which means from taxes, borrowing which adds to the already enormous annual deficit – or from continuing to reduce the value of the USD in the form of inflation. That last one is especially cruel to savers and those on a fixed income such as those receiving SS retirement benefits.”

            You: “all that has happened is the govt was allowed to defer what they had to do anyhhow which is sell more Tnotes to the public to pay for their spending.”

            You have selected answer B – borrowing. You DO understand that Tnotes are the method government uses to borrow money, right? And that borrowing adds to the defecit and the debt, right? You know that Tnotes are claims on future tax revenue, right? That means future taxpayers will have to pay that money back to the lenders, right? That was answer A – taxes. By the way, only a fraction of Tnotes are sold to the public. Most are sold to foreign entities (china is one of them) and a huge percentage to the Federal Reserve. The Federal reserve buys Tnotes by creating money out of thin air, which means you selected answer C – inflation – also. Good work, Larry you correctly picked “all of the above”. ”

            what I “picked” – was the reality of what is going on as well as recognizing the consequences of not repaying the money.

            “Then there’s the question of why a supposedly self supporting system that isn’t in trouble – your claim – would have to borrow money at all?”

            wait. I did not say it did not have to be changed, it does but it’s not the crisis that some make it out to be and it’s a gnat on a dogs butt in terms of the budget and entitlements like Medicare. The focus on SS diverts us from the much more important and near term problems that do need to be dealt with now.

            “They still owe the people they originally borrowed from the people who paid FICA taxes.”

            People who pay FICA are supporting a pay-as-you-go
            system – Per Larry. They have no claim on any money at all. If the truth be known, they don’t legally even have a claim to any benefits.”

            this is like the bank that lends the money that you deposited and those that borrowed it default.

            people do NOT legally have a claim on benefits – it IS contingent on their legal status – as it should be.

            “I’m now convinced that you’re the most dishonest person to ever comment here. You continue to evade, misrepresent, and outright lie about issues on which it’s clear to almost anyone that you are wrong.”

            there is no dishonestly at all. I’m totally up front and truthful and will not let folks like you lie and twist the issues.

            “I have in the past attributed that to your being misguided and ill-informed – perhaps even stupid – but that’s getting harder and harder to believe.

            Your blind devotion to the Obama cult and to an elitist, progressive agenda no matter how ridiculous and wrong your position is shown to be using actual numbers available to everyone, leaves little doubt that you are merely a shameless liar.”

            you have, in the past, and now, been as dumb as a stump and clueless and willfully ignorant… and proud of it.

            you guys kill me! ya’ll are just this side of being totally off your rocker.

          • Larry the Liar says:

            people do NOT legally have a claim on benefits – it IS contingent on their legal status – as it should be.

            Yes. And their legal status is that they have no claim to benefits.

    • “It’s going to take across the board cuts that will include DOD … as well as military entitlements which are a far larger part of the entitlement picture than some are willing to admit.” — Larry G

      The Senate Budget Committee reported that in 2011, state and federal government spending on 83 means-tested welfare programs, not including Social Security or Medicare, cost $1.03 trillion. And these expenditures are burgeoning. The Congressional Research Service found that between 2008 and 2011, federal spending on welfare programs increased by 32 percent. The Heritage Foundation has reported that over the next ten years, the U.S. will spend twice as much on welfare as national defense.NRO

      It’s telling that every lefty puke in the country would rather cut defense spending, including military retirement funding, than reduce the welfare state. It is apparently more important to them that freeloaders, who contribute or risk nothing for the country, be allowed to continue to live at the expense of hard working people than to support those who step up to defend us, often at the risk of their lives. Pathetic.

    • What they are looking for is what this country promises to immigrants which is opportunity “if you come over that fence you may be shot”..

    • Americans need to work to pay the debt:

      Yeah, I’ve just gone back to work, hoping to get my individual $184,000 share paid off before I die.

      Just kidding. Actually, my grandson says he won’t mind at all having to pay that when he starts working as long as it’s for the good of the country. What should I tell him?

        • re: ” Ron, tell him to think about Singapore”

          well… here’s the deal… if you believe ONLY the cherry-picked information that the propagandists tell you then you’ll never know things like Singapore has a payroll tax twice ours and has regulations that require price disclosure, caps prices, pits govt-funded hospitals against private ones, and determines which procedures and therapies can be paid for with their health care funds.

          It’s the antithesis of a true free market.

        • Ron, tell him to think about Singapore.

          That’s a good idea. Thanks. I’ll distract him from the real issues that will affect him directly, by pointing to something else.

          “Oh! Look over there! Is that a unicorn I see?”

          • re: Singapore. ha ha ha.. the AEI/heritage folks have hit the exits since the WHOLE TRUTH of what Singapore is doing has come out and clearly showed that their cherry-picking of a “real free market” was total bull-crap and the reality is that Singapore is a top-down, command/control, individual mandate govt-controlled health care system that works as well or better than all those nasty failed European socialist countries.

            ;-)

  2. Our Democrat politicians have found a durable principle to cement a bond between the generations.

    Past producers paid taxes supposedly to support their retirements. Those resources went to then-current retirees who had not paid in enough, and the excess was spent on government “plans”. Nothing was saved.

    Current producers now pay taxes to support the old. Again, nothing is saved for their own retirements.

    In return, current producers gain the right to tax their children to support them. The enduring principle is inter-generational theft under the color of law.

    I nominate Peak Trader for Benvolent Dictator. His theme is “Americans will need to work harder and longer to support 80 million Baby-Boomers about to retire.”

    Only a corrupt government has the power to produce such a disaster. The government will become even more corrupt as it finds ways to make Americans “work harder”.

    • ” Past producers paid taxes supposedly to support their retirements. ”

      not really true. People misunderstand what Social Security is (and is not) with ample “help” from those who would propagandize and mischaractrize it because they are opposed to the CONCEPT of Social Security – the CONCEPT of an individual mandate that requires people to put money aside for their eventual needs when they do retire.

      Social Security is a pay-as-you-go insurance that functions much like other private insurance in that people pay premiums that then go directly to pay benefits. It is not a pension fund like a 401(k). It was never designed to be that in the first place. It was designed originally and explicitly to be “insurance”.

      When you pay your auto or health insurance premium, it does not go into a “fund” either that would be held over decades – it goes immediately to pay claims/benefits from those who have retired.

      http://www.themadisoninstitute.org/PayAsYouGo.html

      What funds Social Security is not the trust fund which is basically a flow-through checking account but the FICA tax which generates about 900 billion a year and that money goes directly to pay benefits for retirees.

      It works much like the military retirement system works in that the government and active duty military are paying taxes that are going directly to pay benefits for retired military.

      The same thing is true of many public pension systems. When a person retires, they receive an annuity and an annuity is essentially an insurance product because it pays a retirement benefit as long as the recipient lives – no matter how long they live and the payments stop when he dies, even if he dies quickly. there is no “residual” fund because it’s basically insurance.

      Every industrialized country in the world has a system similar to social security and that includes countries like Japan, Australia and Singapore.

      • “People misunderstand what Social Security is (and is not) with ample “help” from those who would propagandize and mischaractrize it …” — Larry G

        Yes, starting with left-wing morons – like you.

        “Social Security is a pay-as-you-go insurance that functions much like other private insurance in that people pay premiums that then go directly to pay benefits. It is not a pension fund like a 401(k). It was never designed to be that in the first place.” — Larry G

        Then please explain why the federal government collected payroll taxes in excess of payouts for more than two generations? If, as you claim, it was sold as a “pay-as-you-go” system, why create and perpetuate the fiction of a “trust fund”?

        If any private investment firm had put together a similar scheme their officers would have been prosecuted and thrown into jail.

        Get your head out of your ass.

        • ” Then please explain why the federal government collected payroll taxes in excess of payouts for more than two generations? If, as you claim, it was sold as a “pay-as-you-go” system, why create and perpetuate the fiction of a “trust fund”?”

          they did that in 1983 when Reagan was POTUS because they knew that eventually demographics would affect the program and it would have to be changed and it would be better to do that by phasing it in over years so they built up the surplus to basically buy them time.

          Che – don’t act like a piece of crap when you dialog.

          you can be polite and if you won’t you’ll get the return favor in your face. I’ll be polite to you as long as you are polite but if you want to name call and use pejoratives it’s going to come right back at you – so it’s your choice.

          • You repeat the same ignorant arguments in thread after thread, never addressing the specific points that others make and seemingly incapable of learning anything.

            Take your response above, you do not answer the question you simply side-step it and hope that no one notices.

            The adjustments to SS during Regan’s presidency do not explain why the federal government collected more in payroll taxes than they paid out in benefits for more than two generations if, as you claim, it was always a “pay-as-you-go system”, where “people pay premiums that then go directly to pay benefits”.

            As for being polite, I find your dishonesty offensive. So, bring it on – douche bag.

          • ” The adjustments to SS during Regan’s presidency do not explain why the federal government collected more in payroll taxes than they paid out in benefits for more than two generations if, as you claim, it was always a “pay-as-you-go system”, where “people pay premiums that then go directly to pay benefits”.”

            are you willfully ignorant Che? they collect more to build up a surplus that could make up shortfalls with while making necessary changes to bring it back in balance.

            this was a purposeful strategy to fund a window of transition done in phases.

            do you not understand this or just refuse to?

            you add nothing here other than to display your infantile behavior.

          • “they collect more to build up a surplus …” — Larry

            This statement is a direct contradiction of your previous argument.

            Where is this “surplus”? Oh, that’s right, it’s been spent on numerous social welfare schemes, like the failed “War on Poverty”.

            Now, we will all have the privilege of paying for our SS twice. First, in the form of payroll taxes and then again in the form of income taxes. And this will still not be enough to avoid major cuts in promised benefits.

            Yeah, I’m the one who is “willfully ignorant”.

          • there is no contradiction in the INTENT of Ronald Reagan and Congress to build up a reserve fund that would be used to maintain level funding of benefits while structural changes were made to keep the SS in balance with FICA revenues.

            http://137.200.4.16/policy/docs/ssb/v46n7/v46n7p3.pdf

            I will readily admit that the surplus got spent to fund deficits but that does not mean that FICA/SS are the problem. It indicates that deficit spending is the problem and it adversely affects ALL 100+ trust funds INCLUDING the Military and DOD pensions and health care.

            it affects way more than just SS and killing SS won’t fix the problem not the damage done to other trust funds.

            Che WANTS to be ignorant here.. he knows the truth but he chooses to be ignorant.

          • “…they collect more to build up a surplus that could make up shortfalls with while making necessary changes to bring it back in balance.”

            In the real world, they created a huge money pot for politicians to piss away and leave nothing but IOU’s behind. Great plan!

            Only liberal morons like Larry are surprised when this happens like clockwork.

          • re: ” Only liberal morons like Larry are surprised when this happens like clockwork”

            actually it was that infamous liberal moron Ronald Reagan who believed it.

            ;-)

  3. re: ” If any private investment firm had put together a similar scheme their officers would have been prosecuted and thrown into jail.”

    not if they are selling auto or life or health or home insurance because they all are pay-as-you-go also – as are private annuities.

    your mistake here is believing the propaganda and then spreading it without taking the time to get the facts yourself.

    • To Larry G,

      Your statement is wrong, and wrongly applied to Social Security and other government promises.

      Term life, auto, health, and home insurance are indeed pay-as-you-go. The current participants, the ones currently paying premiums, share their risk. The money each year (less overhead and profit) goes to the current participants who suffer losses that year. Note, the people paying in for that year get the money, not others who paid in last year nor those who may participate next year.

      Even though these are pay-as-you-go, the insurer charges enough to keep a fund, in the event that there are greater losses than expected in any year. That fund is funded; it is not merely a promise. State insurance commissions audit to verify that those funds are adequate.

      Annuities are not pay-as-you-go in any sense. Each participant puts in a relatively large payment, or contracts for a stream of installments to fund the contract. The insurance company invests that money and holds a reserve to assure a stream of relatively small future payments. They must hold a reserve (savings) to guarantee benefits for the life of the purchaser. This is also highly regulated by state insurance commissions, which check that the money is there, not merely promises.

      Purchasers of annuities do not share in any way with other purchasers. The insurance company can’t ask you to put in more money because other contracts are not profitable.

      Social Security and other government promises have no funds backing them up. They are only promises. They would be illegal if proposed in the private market.

      Social Security is not pay-as-you-go insurance. The participants (the retired) do not continue to pay toward their retirement benefits, nor is there a fund of their prior payments. The government has promised to collect from other people, those not now retired, to pay the promises made to the retired. This would be illegal under any state’s regulation.

      Social Securitiy does not have a fund of savings and investments to pay its obligations, so it isn’t a legal annuity under private rules. Social Security and other government retirement plans are promises largely independent of what the participants pay in, and don’t have funds, investments, or assets. They have only the promises of politicians, and whatever money those politicians can tax from the public.

      Larry, your mistake here is believing the propaganda and then spreading it without taking the time to get the facts yourself.

      • social security publishes an annual report that details the finances and anticipated longevity of the program including surplus or shortfalls in the future.

        They use a 75-year (and longer) horizon.

        how many private insurance companies and annuity companies public such data and/or make it available to clients and customers?

        Do you know, for instance, how much of a contingency fund State Farm has for hurricane coverage or for that matter whether the DOD military pensions produce an annual report and 75-year horizon on their fund?

        re: ” Purchasers of annuities do not share in any way with other purchasers. The insurance company can’t ask you to put in more money because other contracts are not profitable.”

        they do. What happens to the fund you provide in exchange for an annuity if you die prematurely?

        annuities are insurance – with actuarials…

        re: ” Social Security and other government promises have no funds backing them up. They are only promises. They would be illegal if proposed in the private market.”

        what do you call 800 billion a year in revenues?

        re: ” Social Security is not pay-as-you-go insurance.”

        Social Security IS insurance: Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI)

        it will pay you if you become disabled or die and it will pay you no matter how long you live but if you die prematurely you get nothing beyond a death benefit or survivors benefits.

        It is characterized as pay-as-you go by government and private industry.

        re: propaganda – if you are saying that the government is spouting propaganda and folks like AEI are telling you the truth – shame on you.

        the government is telling the truth guy and most credible private industry companies and organizations agree with what the government says.

        there are more than 100 separate references under the WIKI entry for Social Security. Are you saying that everyone from OMB to CBO to the IRS to the Social Security Trustees are lying?

      • To LarryG,

        I recognize that it is futile to have a discussion with you.

        You confuse “fund” with “funding”.

        You think that Social Security is “insurance” because the government calls it insurance, when in fact it is an annuity that is “funded” by whatever can be borrowed or taxed, but has no “fund” of assets backing it up.

        You ignore distinctions, and so you say anything, and a big cloud of anything at that.

        • You think that Social Security is “insurance” because the government calls it insurance, when in fact it is an annuity that is “funded” by whatever can be borrowed or taxed, but has no “fund” of assets backing it up.

          You ignore distinctions, and so you say anything, and a big cloud of anything at that.

          I do not “think” that. They are the facts as reported by the government and agreed with by private industry and other credible organizations not engaged in propaganda.

          You may not like the CONCEPT of Social Security and that would be a principled argument to have but what you are doing is ignoring facts and preferring to believe what you wish instead.

          SS is an inflation adjusted insurance annuity with disability, death and survivor options.

          that’s the truth.

        • To LarryG,,

          OK, inform me. Show me a link and a quote that identifies the fund that supports Social Security. That is, any assets other than a government promise.

          Hint: The Social Security Trust Fund is not an asset of the government, only an accounting device that represents part of the government’s promises.

          Hint: Try not to confuse the concept of a “fund” (assets set aside to meet future costs), and “funding” (the pay as you go taxes that the government hopes will cover its promises).

          This shouldn’t be hard, if as you say, “They are the facts as reported by the government and agreed with by private industry and other credible organizations not engaged in propaganda.”

      • The problem is one of abysmal ignorance on the part of larry g

        He doesn’t or refuses understand the rudiments of a Ponzi scheme…

  4. The reality is Americans will need to work harder and longer to provide the goods & services and taxes that a huge retired population will consume. Otherwise, living standards will fall.

  5. Thomas Sowell writes:

    “In other words, the big spenders get political benefits from handing out goodies, while those who resist giving them more money to spend will be blamed for sending the country off the “fiscal cliff.”

    Exactly, and the president has not submitted a budget for consideration to Congress in three years. Santa does not do budgets.

    • RE: ” Exactly, and the president has not submitted a budget for consideration to Congress in three years. Santa does not do budgets.”

      He has not submitted a budget at least in part because the GOP was committed to do whatever was necessary to limit him to one term no matter what happened to the country.

      The reality is that the President only recommends a budget but that Congress must pass it and what Congress DID DO – is majorities of both houses DID AGREE to fund the government on continuing resolutions – i.e. continuing the funding levels that were in the last budget passed.

      what was in the last budget passed – and both GOP and DEMs voted to continue – spends a trillion more than we take in in taxes.

      they both voted to do that. Either side could have refused to vote to approve continuing resolutions but neither did and both agreed to continuing the spending.

      Before the POTUS can spend one thin dime – he has to have on his desk, legislation that has passed both houses and needs his signature.

      isn’t that the reality here? If I got it wrong, please show what did happen instead.

      the Dems have to support what the GOP proposes and the GOP has to support what the Dems propose or some compromise in between before the POTUS can sign it.

      • “the Dems have to support what the GOP proposes and the GOP has to support what the Dems propose or some compromise in between before the POTUS can sign it.” — Larry G

        The president submits a budget to congress for the purpose of defining his spending priorities. This budget document is his opening bid in the budget negotiations.

        Each house of congress is then required by law to submit their own budgets – something that the Democrats in the Senate have not done for going on four years, while the Republicans have submitted a complete budget every year – these documents are then submitted to a joint committee of congress for reconciliation.

        When Senate Democrats shirk their legal obligations and refuse to submit a budget that means that there can be no negotiations. At that point the government must be funded through continuing resolution. Or, the Republicans, confronted by the Democrat’s act of bad faith, could refuse to fund the government absent a budget causing the government to shut down.

        Republicans have chosen to allow the government to function in this method with the hope that public pressure would force the Democrats to fulfill their legal responsibilities.

        Despite the Democrats refusal to submit their own presidents budget to a floor vote in the Senate, the Republicans in the House have submitted his budgets for a floor vote every year. Last year his budget did not receive even one Democrat’s vote in the House of Representatives.

        The Democrats will not submit a budget because doing so would make clear the magnitude of the tax increases required to bring the budget into balance under their current spending regime. It also allows them to attack the Republicans budget priorities without ever having to put forward any of their own.

        • “Republicans have chosen to allow the government to function in this method with the hope that public pressure would force the Democrats to fulfill their legal responsibilities.”

          but the public does not support the GOP in their way of doing business. the polls are clear and the election was conclusive.

          “Despite the Democrats refusal to submit their own presidents budget to a floor vote in the Senate, the Republicans in the House have submitted his budgets for a floor vote every year. Last year his budget did not receive even one Democrat’s vote in the House of Representatives.”

          yes.. and that’s not governing. Even Ronald Reagan was willing to compromise to get things done.

          “The Democrats will not submit a budget because doing so would make clear the magnitude of the tax increases required to bring the budget into balance under their current spending regime. It also allows them to attack the Republicans budget priorities without ever having to put forward any of their own.”

          the POTUS supported the sequester – across the board cuts.

          Even then it’s barely 100 billion a year but the GOP says the cuts would be “devastating” so what can you say?

          The POTUS is willing to make cuts – even cuts to entitlements like Medicare but he also knows that 1.3 trillion in revenues is insufficient to even balance the budget much less pay down the debt.

          It’s not that the POTUS won’t make cuts – it’s that the cuts he wants the GOP does not agree with and ditto with revenues. Neither side is 100% right and neither side is 100% wrong but compromise is necessary as it has always been over the years and even folks like Reagan knew that and did that.

          • Hey, genius, what are they supposed to compromise over?

            The Democrats must first submit a budget, something they are legally required to do, they have refused. Are the Republicans supposed to negotiate with themselves?

            So far, Obama has demanded a little over $80 billion a year in tax increases on “the rich”. We are running deficits of over a TRILLION a year – get it?

            This is the most reckless and incompetent administration in the history of this nation.

            Stop comparing this moron to Ronald Reagan. Reagan was a leader.

          • well, see – this is an example of compromise even without a “budget”, eh?

            “WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress sent President Barack Obama a $633 billion defense bill for next year that would tighten penalties on Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions and bulk up security at diplomatic missions worldwide after the deadly Sept. 11 raid in Libya.
            The Senate voted 81-14 on Friday for the massive policy measure that covers the cost of ships, aircraft, weapons and military personnel. The vote came less than 24 hours after the House passed the bill, 315-107.
            The White House has threatened a veto, but it remains unclear whether President Barack Obama will reject the solidly bipartisan legislation. The bill passed by veto-proof margins.”

            http://news.yahoo.com/congress-completes-633b-defense-bill-203351297.html

            see if they can compromise on this, why not other things? It’s not like there were huge “cuts” to DOD, eh?

            this is 633 billion when our total revenues are about 1.4T.

          • yes.. and that’s not governing.

            Hmm. I just happened to notice that one of those 2 legislative bodies is called the “House of Representatives”.

            Did you believe it was the “House of Governors”?

            Would you prefer to be governed, Larry?

          • ” Would you prefer to be governed, Larry?”

            why yes…. per the Constitution… would be nice

            some believe the less they can agree on and legislate, the better…though…

          • Me: ” Would you prefer to be governed, Larry?

            You: “why yes…. per the Constitution… would be nice

            Really? You want a wise master to tell you what to do, as you’re not able to make your own decisions in life without help?

            How pathetic.

          • re: wise masters

            representative government per the Constitution, Ron.

            that’s my choice. I know you cannot reconcile it so you blather endlessly about the parts you hate.

          • “Even then it’s barely 100 billion a year but the GOP says the cuts would be “devastating” so what can you say?”

            I can say you’re a liar. The GOP for the 2nd time this yr passed a spending bill last week that would have exceeded the sequester cuts by around $240 billion. It now goes to Harry Reid’s Senate to be ignored. Obama’s “offer” to Boehner on Nov29 consisted of billions in more stimulus spending, $1.6 trillion in tax hikes on productive people, and the elimination of the debt ceiling. It’s clear Obama has zero interest in reining in his ruinous spending, and just as clear you will continue your ignorance and lies here no matter what happens.

          • re: ” GOP sequester cuts”

            are you sure it was the cuts specified in the sequester or was it a GOP “roll your own and stick it to entitlements and do not cut DOD”

            plan… ????

            don’t lie now. tell the truth here. What was in that GOP proposal?

            In terms of cuts – the GOP has spent 4 years saying we have a spending problem. They are the ones that want the cuts. Why won’t they tell everyone what they want to cut instead of shirking that responsibility and claim it’s someone else’s?

            feckless is the word.

          • “but the public does not support the GOP in their way of doing business. the polls are clear and the election was conclusive.”

            So you’re saying the public supports Harry Reid’s Democrat Senate lawlessly not submitting a budget for 3 yrs in a row? I don’t know what the election has to do with this, I guess it’s how you answer every factual charge made against the hand that feeds you: blame the GOP.

            “the POTUS supported the sequester – across the board cuts. ”

            A)That’s not what Obama said in the 3rd debate. I guess he was lying?

            B) The sequester is NOT across the board cuts. SS and Medicare are left untouched. How convenient for you and your life of leisure, Larry.

          • “well, see – this is an example of compromise even without a “budget”, eh?”

            So frickin’ what? They might even compromise on which Chinese restaurant to order takeout. That has nothing to do with Democrats ignoring the law by not submitting a budget. No budget means no plan. No plan leads to a ruinous run-up of debt, A.K.A. the Obama years.

          • re: ” That has nothing to do with Democrats ignoring the law by not submitting a budget. No budget means no plan. No plan leads to a ruinous run-up of debt, A.K.A. the Obama years.”

            sure it does because the GOP voted for CRs and by doing so willingly enabled it.

          • Larry,
            “re: ” GOP sequester cuts”

            are you sure it was the cuts specified in the sequester or was it a GOP “roll your own and stick it to entitlements and do not cut DOD”

            plan… ????”

            Oh, so you admit you don’t have any idea what’s in it, yet you immediately gave it a completely ignorant thumbs down 2 days ago when I pointed it out. Way to show us all how to be a “get things done” kinda guy, Larry.

            “don’t lie now. tell the truth here. What was in that GOP proposal?”

            a plan to make that welfare wagon ride a little rockier. But I thought you wanted specific deficit reduction, Larry? Here it is. Wow, those goal post are sure moving fast! It was just a minute ago when you said, “Even then it’s barely 100 billion a year but the GOP says the cuts would be “devastating” so what can you say?”

            Indeed, what can you say, idiot?

            “In terms of cuts – the GOP has spent 4 years saying we have a spending problem. They are the ones that want the cuts. Why won’t they tell everyone what they want to cut instead of shirking that responsibility and claim it’s someone else’s?”

            This is why it’s pointless to offer you anything other than scorn. The GOP has repeatedly pointed out what they want to cut, and you’re too stupid or dishonest to acknowledge. Your hero Obama appointed 2 deficit reduction commission, why doesn’t he lead? He’s the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. In 2006, Senator Obama declared Bush unpatriotic for running up about half the debt Obama has run up in only one term.

            “They are the ones that want the cuts.” One of the few honest things you’ve said in quite some time. The GOP wants the cuts. Obama wants to keep spending us into oblivion.

          • Oh, so you admit you don’t have any idea what’s in it, yet you immediately gave it a completely ignorant thumbs down 2 days ago when I pointed it out. Way to show us all how to be a “get things done” kinda guy, Larry.

            Nope. I’m letting you know that I understand what you are doing.. typical dishonest behavior

            “don’t lie now. tell the truth here. What was in that GOP proposal?”

            “a plan to make that welfare wagon ride a little rockier. But I thought you wanted specific deficit reduction, Larry? Here it is. Wow, those goal post are sure moving fast! It was just a minute ago when you said, “Even then it’s barely 100 billion a year but the GOP says the cuts would be “devastating” so what can you say?””

            specifics? what good is a “theme” other than to let people know what idiots you are?

            Indeed, what can you say, idiot?

            “In terms of cuts – the GOP has spent 4 years saying we have a spending problem. They are the ones that want the cuts. Why won’t they tell everyone what they want to cut instead of shirking that responsibility and claim it’s someone else’s?”

            This is why it’s pointless to offer you anything other than scorn. The GOP has repeatedly pointed out what they want to cut, and you’re too stupid or dishonest to acknowledge. Your hero Obama appointed 2 deficit reduction commission, why doesn’t he lead? He’s the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. In 2006, Senator Obama declared Bush unpatriotic for running up about half the debt Obama has run up in only one term.”

            you mean you don’t have the backbone and intelligence to actually say specifically what you support?

            “They are the ones that want the cuts.” One of the few honest things you’ve said in quite some time. The GOP wants the cuts. Obama wants to keep spending us into oblivion.”

            you cannot want “cuts” and not say with some clarity what cuts.. Otherwise people think you’re nothing but an ideological zealot who is really not serious.

          • “you mean you don’t have the backbone and intelligence to actually say specifically what you support?”

            Really? You don’t know what I specifically support after all these comment strings since you started trolling here? You’re an idiot.

            “you cannot want “cuts” and not say with some clarity what cuts.. Otherwise people think you’re nothing but an ideological zealot who is really not serious.”

            How about you apply that to Obama for once, douchebag? His Nov29 offer consisted of more immediate stimulus spending. Why doesn’t he champion his own deficit commission guidelines?

            The GOP has offered many specific cuts. You just pretend they haven’t and then zoom away the goal posts once it’s pointed out.

            The Larry Two-Step:

            Larry: “Obama’s not a mind reader. He needs specifics from the GOP since he’s nothing more than a helpless bystander when it comes to spending. ”
            Me: “The GOP twice passed a bill to cut spending that exceeds the sequester cuts. Harry Reid just ignores the bill.”
            Larry: “The GOP lost the election! The public doesn’t like the GOP!”

          • re: what Obama does

            why does not excuse what the opponents won’t do?

            seems like if you advocate something – you need to be specific about it no matter what Obama does.

            don’t worry about Obama. Do what you think needs to be done and let the American people decide.

            if you are honest and stand for your own principles and not a feckless hypocrite -that’s EXACTLY what you’d do.

        • Well che that is as good an explanation of this country’s present predicments as I’ve seen in a very long time…

          Well worded, clear and easy to understand…

          It’ll be wasted on larry g but I appreciate it…

        • “..sure it does because the GOP voted for CRs and by doing so willingly enabled it.”

          God, your dishonesty is really tiresome. The moment the GOP refused to sign on, scumbags like you would be (and were) shouting about Tea Party radicals sending the federal government to the brink of default. You can’t even bring yourself to scold the Senate Democrats for not submitting a budget in 3 yrs, or Obama for submitting budgets so irresponsible that not even a single Democrat has voted for them in the past 2 yrs.

          You’re a lying, partisan hack pretending to be Mr Flexible Pragmatist. Just like your hero Obama.

          • re: ” God, your dishonesty is really tiresome. The moment the GOP refused to sign on, scumbags like you would be (and were) shouting about Tea Party radicals sending the federal government to the brink of default. You can’t even bring yourself to scold the Senate Democrats for not submitting a budget in 3 yrs, or Obama for submitting budgets so irresponsible that not even a single Democrat has voted for them in the past 2 yrs.”

            huh? If they seriously believe in cutting spending why not stick to their principles instead of worrying about “scumbags”?

            besides they say they want to not extend the debt and want to do that. Why not do it at the CR level? Just refuse to vote for the CRs until the other side caves?

            You’re a lying, partisan hack pretending to be Mr Flexible Pragmatist. Just like your hero Obama.

            No hero loving here… it’s a simple question with a simple answer. If you truly believe in your principles you follow through on them and let the other side deal with the consequences.

            but the truth here is we’re dealing with feckless hypocrites – and of course their spineless supporters.

          • As always, you refuse to even address Reid and Obama and focus instead on a GOP that at least submits budgets on time that also gradually cut spending.

            “huh? If they seriously believe in cutting spending why not stick to their principles instead of worrying about “scumbags”?”

            There are quite a few spineless Republicans, I’ll give you that. They are afraid of almost certainly losing the PR campaign to a President who lies every time he opens his mouth. He can count on the low information voters like you and the parasites(like you) to back him every time.

          • I’d have a lot more respect for the Republicans if they actually laid out the specifics of what they think needs to be done and I have little respect for their current tactics

            … no matter what Obama does or does not do.

            this is about what the GOP wants to do and if their whole strategy is to oppose Obama without a real plan of their own – that’s a losing proposition.

            and indeed it was – and it will remain so until they get off the dime and say what they really want.

            I could disagree with specifics but I might agree with some of them and be willing to compromise on others but if they won’t even be specific what am I to think of what they really want?

            they act like a bunch of 5th graders.

      • He has not submitted a budget at least in part because the GOP was committed to do whatever was necessary to limit him to one term no matter what happened to the country.

        Huh?

        annuities are insurance – with actuarials…

        Huh?

        the government is telling the truth guy and most credible private industry companies and organizations agree with what the government says.

        Huh?

        the stimulus chose the payroll tax and make-work-pay credit as 2 of the ones to put money into the economy.

        Huh?

        One of the things that are attracting people to sign up for disability is that if you are accepted, that you are then eligible for Medicare no matter your age.

        How would you explain that?

        1. Incentives matter.
        2. People like free shit.
        3. Both of the above.

        Incidentally, once a person is receiving SS disability payments, the SSA only asks that they please inform
        SSA if their disability ends, and they become no longer eligible for benefits. “We trust you, we know we don’t need to check on you ever again.”

        • re: ” How would you explain that?

          1. Incentives matter.
          2. People like free shit.
          3. Both of the above.

          Incidentally, once a person is receiving SS disability payments, the SSA only asks that they please inform
          SSA if their disability ends, and they become no longer eligible for benefits. “We trust you, we know we don’t need to check on you ever again.”

          huh?

          all of these things might be true but what exactly do they have to do with the specifics of how FICA/SS “works”.

          Beyond that SS is fundamentally not “free shit” because people do pay into it as opposed to getting it for nothing.

          Even SSI is paid into by workers – but the problem is that more people are signing up for SS disability than was predicted and the criteria need to tightened substantially to get it back to balance.

          • all of these things might be true but what exactly do they have to do with the specifics of how FICA/SS “works”.

            As usual you don’t understand your own comments once you’ve posted them.

            YOU wrote the following:

            One of the things that are attracting people to sign up for disability is that if you are accepted, that you are then eligible for Medicare no matter your age.

            If you don’t understand that I can’t help you. YOU wrote it.

            We can assume that people are attracted to sign up for disability – your words – because they perceive benefits in doing so. ONE of those benefits is getting Medicare at an earlier age. Earlier eligibility is free shit. Medicare is mostly free shit for recipients. Therefore saying that people like free shit may be one of the things taht are attracted people to signing up for disability.

            The above is a perfect example of the truism that “incentives matter” I couldn’t have done better myself.

            THEREFORE: Answer #3 – both of the above – is also correct. all three answers are correct.

            I personally know people who have been on SS disability for many years. They could long ago have returned to work but won’t. They have NEVER been contacted by Anyone in any way asking if they still thought they were disabled. It is a permanent, lifetime income, albeit small.

          • re: free shit – I actually AGREE with SOME of this. I think SS disability needs to be seriously tightened up and that the access to Medicare needs to be re-thought although Medicare is not “free”.. it actually costs a premium per month but it’s way less than it ought to be for most folks.

            so you’ll find me agreeing that Medicare should cost more also.

            eventually Medicare needs to costs in premiums what it costs to provide the program.

            It needs to provide basic quality care but if people want more/better, they’re going to have to come up with the additional.

            Medicare Parts D and C (especially) – which passed in 2006 I believe essentially blew up Medicare because Part C was subsidized gap coverage that wiped up the 20% co-pay that required seniors to have skin in that game.

            without that 20% co-pay, Medicare became “pay for everything” and if someone wanted a high-dollar knee replacement even if they owned two houses and a vacation beach cottage… it all got paid for by Medicare.

            that needs to stop also.

            but this incoherent just plain wrong blather about SS does nothing to get to the real issues of which Medicare is a far, far, far bigger impact and threat to the current and downstream budget and debt than SS will ever be.

            when people focus on SS and not the real issues.. it removes the focus from where it ought to be.

          • re: free shit – I actually AGREE with SOME of this.

            Now you agree after previously asking what it had to do with the specifics of SS? Specifically I provided a direct response to your one sentence about people signing up for disability. If you can stick to just that issue, what part of my comment DON’T you agree with if you MOSTLY agree with it?

            I agree with Che. Your dishonesty is offensive.

          • Most discussions on the subject of Social Security do not focus on the disability issue but instead the pension issue. I respond on that basis but I’m up front with regard to the disability part (there are 3 social security parts).

            but where I differ entirely is that I think the program should remain for those that really need it and get tightened up to shed the slackers.

          • but where I differ entirely is that I think the program should remain for those that really need it and get tightened up to shed the slackers.

            And whether or not the program should remain was never any part of my very limited discussion of your statement regarding people signing up for SS disability.

            You have once again failed to answer my direct question of what – specifically – do you disagree with – in my comment about people signing up for disability.

            You are really effing incredible. I can’t recall ever reading anything by anybody as squirmy as you, except perhaps your lord and master Obama.

          • “but where I differ entirely is that I think the program should remain for those that really need it and get tightened up to shed the slackers.”

            And whether or not the program should remain was never any part of my very limited discussion of your statement regarding people signing up for SS disability.”

            but we know your general view of entitlements in general. Don’t run off and hide now.

            “You have once again failed to answer my direct question of what – specifically – do you disagree with – in my comment about people signing up for disability.”

            I don’t think so but you can try again if you wish.

            “You are really effing incredible. I can’t recall ever reading anything by anybody as squirmy as you, except perhaps your lord and master Obama.”

            blah blah blah… trying being more creative as this point in the future if you can muster it.. this is tedious and boring and oh so very predictable.

        • Larry: “He has not submitted a budget at least in part because the GOP was committed to do whatever was necessary to limit him to one term no matter what happened to the country.”

          Ron:”Huh?”

          Yeah, I know. Obvious bullshit. Makes no sense. Larry has no defense for Obama’s recklessness. All he knows is it’s the GOP’s fault….somehow.

          • “I agree with Che. Your dishonesty is offensive.”

            Exactly. Larry doesn’t deserve a response that isn’t laced with venom and mockery.

          • re: ” Exactly. Larry doesn’t deserve a response that isn’t laced with venom and mockery.”

            ya’ll do this anyhow, no matter what. so what is new.

            ya’ll is just plain full of hate and venom no matter what.

            seems to define who you are eh?

          • “ya’ll is just plain full of hate and venom no matter what.”

            No, not no matter what. I know I reserve my hate and venom for lying morons.

          • ” No, not no matter what. I know I reserve my hate and venom for lying morons.”

            uh huh.. that seems to be universal among you boys.

            sounds like ya’ll are classic abusers… ” I hit you because you made me do it”.

            uh huh…. ya’ll are hopeless ditto heads… a menace to normal folk.

          • Paul: ” No, not no matter what. I know I reserve my hate and venom for lying morons.”

            Larry: “uh huh.. that seems to be universal among you boys.

            You may be right. I too reserve my hate and venom for lying morons. You are one of the few who fits that description.

            Honest disagreement and discussion can lead to better understanding, but that’s not you.

            It may have escaped your notice – in fact I’m sure it’s escaped your notice – that many who post here are more than willing to answer questions or discuss subjects respectfully and courteously with those who have honest questions or who disagreement with them.

            That’s not you, Larry.

          • “It may have escaped your notice – in fact I’m sure it’s escaped your notice – that many who post here are more than willing to answer questions or discuss subjects respectfully and courteously with those who have honest questions or who disagreement with them.”

            there are SOME here like that and I’m finding more but there are a few “regulars” like yourself that are as far away from courtesy and respect as a black mamba and you fancy yourselves far higher on the human scale than anyone of your ilk ever ought to.

            I KNOW others here that ARE truly polite and courteous to not only me but others that guys like you never fail to attack as soon as they post.

            we know you boy and you’re not polite and courteous – as a rule not only to me but others.

          • I KNOW others here that ARE truly polite and courteous to not only me but others that guys like you never fail to attack as soon as they post.

            I’m sure there are some who don’t know you very well – yet. Give it time.

  6. “It took the government of the United States two centuries to rack up its first trillion dollars in debt. Now Washington piles on another trillion every nine months. Forward! If you add up the total debt — state, local, the works — every man, woman, and child in this country owes 200 grand (which is rather more than the average Greek does). Every American family owes about three-quarters of a million bucks, or about the budget deficit of Liechtenstein, which has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Which means that HRH Prince Hans-Adam II can afford it rather more easily than Bud and Cindy at 27b Elm Street. In 2009, the Democrats became the first government in the history of the planet to establish annual trillion-dollar deficits as a permanent feature of life. Before the end of Obama’s second term, the federal debt alone will hit $20 trillion. That ought to have been the central fact of this election — that Americans are the brokest brokey-broke losers who ever lived, and it’s time to do something about it.” — Mark Steyn

  7. According to one study, “A Review and Synthesis of the Cost and Benefits of Health Services Regulations”, by Christopher Conover, Duke University, July 2003,” we’re throwing away $169 billion a year, because of health care overegulation:

    “A path-breaking study…It looked at the many ways in which the American legal and regulatory systems affect the provision of health services and lumped them into five categories: medical torts; the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); insurance regulation; and the certification of both health professionals and health facilities.

    His team concluded that the overall benefit to society of $170 billion per year delivered by this system of oversight was far outweighed by the $339 billion in annual costs that it imposed. Even ignoring the cost of big federal tax breaks for employer-sponsored health insurance (which Mr Conover left out), his study estimated that the net cost of America’s health regulations resulted in perhaps 4,000 extra deaths each year and was responsible for more than 7m Americans’ lacking health insurance.”

    • I’m sure we can save at least $200 billion a year and maintain the quality of U.S. health care through appropriate deregulation.

      Also, I explained the mechanisms before how huge U.S. trade deficits pay for the U.S. military, and without a strong military, there wouldn’t be huge trade deficits.

    • re: health care regulations – other studies have shown that every other industrialized country has a more cost-effective approach to health care.

      Singapore pays just 6% of their GDP while enjoying one of the highest life expectancies on the planet.

      and Singapore has a ton of “regulations” on health care and is a classic govt-enabled top-down system.

      • Singapore is smaller than New York City. Some facts about Singapore:

        It was the fastest growing economy in the world in 2010. The nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 22.5 percent in the first quarter of 2011 over the previous quarter.

        Singapore along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan are called the ‘Four Asian Tigers.’

        Its strong business and regulatory policies, strategic geographic position, a vast natural seaport, a highly skilled workforce and a favourable tax regime, have created an ideal business environment for businesses to flourish.

        Singapore has a highly developed and successful free-market economy. It is one of the world’s leading business centres and a major destination for foreign investment.

        Financial stability, excellent legal and regulatory framework ensures the financial sector is transparent and efficient. Anti-corruption laws are well enforced. Inflation is low averaging 1.9 per cent between 2007 and 2009.

        Singapore is ranked as the best country in the world to do business ahead of Hong Kong and New Zealand, according to the 2011 World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index.

        Singapore’s economy depends on exports in consumer electronics, information technology products and pharmaceuticals.

        Singapore is considered to be the world’s logistics hub. It has busiest port in the world…has most open economy for international trade and investment.

        …More than 3,000 multinational corporations (MNCs) from the United States, Japan, and Europe have invested in the island nation…MNCs account for more than two thirds of manufacturing output and direct export sales.

        Singapore is the second freest economy in the world. It takes three days to start a business in Singapore while the world’s average is thirty-four days.

        Corruption is perceived as almost non-existent.

        Singapore’s labour market is highly flexible. Today, foreign workers comprise of 35.8 percent of the labour force. Regulations related to work hours are very flexible.

        Singapore has an unemployment rate of 2.2 percent, one of the lowest in the world. Singapore has one of the lowest annual population growth rates in the world.

        Singapore is ranked the 3rd the most competitive country in the world. It is also known as the best protector of intellectual property.

        One of the world’s major oil refining and distribution centres, Singapore has the distinction of being the 18th largest exporter of oil in the world.

        There are 170,000 millionaires in Singapore.

        • re: Singapore – has universal health care paid for by a mandatory 33% payroll tax and has a top-down, central govt control of health care which consumes 6% of their GDP and at the same time has one of the highest life expectancies in the world.

          The question is – do the folks who cite Singapore as an economic free market success also acknowledge it’s health care success?

          • A high 33% payroll tax and low 6% of GDP?

            The data suggest given slow population growth, infant mortality rates may be low, which boost life expectancy. Also, I heard, 15% of Singapore households are millionaire households and perhaps they use private health care, instead of public health care.

      • One of the world’s major oil refining and distribution centres, Singapore has the distinction of being the 18th largest exporter of oil in the world.

        Note to those who tear their hair about US loss of manufacturing:

        Singapore produces none of its own oil and has no reserves. Its oil industry consists entirely of importing, processing and then exporting oil products. This is more akin to a service activity than a manufacturing activity, and requires no natural resources exist in Singapore .

        It’s not necessary to make things to be prosperous.

    • we’re throwing away $169 billion a year, because of health care overegulation:

      “Throwing away” may be too harsh a term. After all, in the past some have posited that there is benefit to paying people to dig holes and then fill them back in.

      Perhaps that just means that $169 billion was spent in less than optimal ways, having not been directed by the invisible hand.

  8. Thomas Sowell: Everybody is talking about how we are going to pay for the huge national debt, but nobody seems to be talking about the runaway spending which created that record-breaking debt.

    Lots of people are talking about both the current spending levels, and the long-term entitlement issue. Republicans and Democrats agree that spending cuts are necessary. They even agree on revenues, though not on marginal tax rate increases on the wealthiest.

    When you base your argument on a false premise, the conclusions will be unsupported; which probably explains this last resort.

    Thomas Sowell: After watching a documentary about the tragic story of Jonestown, I was struck by the utterly unthinking way that so many people put themselves completely at the mercy of a glib and warped man, who led them to degradation and destruction. And I could not help thinking of the parallel with the way we put a glib and warped man in the White House.

    That’s just silly.

    • Republicans and Democrats agree that spending cuts are necessary. They even agree on revenues, though not on marginal tax rate increases on the wealthiest“…

      Is this one of those special happenings on planet zach?

    • “Republicans and Democrats agree that spending cuts are necessary.”

      You mean Republicans want to cut overall spending. Democrats in Congress want to cut military spending. Obama wants to maybe cut some spending in a yr or 2, but he wants more stimulus spending immediately.

      And elimination of the debt ceiling.

    • ” When you base your argument on a false premise, the conclusions will be unsupported; which probably explains this last resort.”

      BINGO!

  9. Paul: You mean Republicans want to cut overall spending.

    Republicans are not “nobody”.

    Paul: You mean Republicans want to cut overall spending. Democrats in Congress want to cut military spending.

    Military spending is spending. In any case, Obama has proposed several hundred billion dollars in spending cuts.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget

    Paul: And elimination of the debt ceiling.

    Yes, the debt ceiling is a quirk of the U.S. law. Not raising the debt ceiling after having appropriated spending would result in a credit default (breaking America’s promise).

    • re: ” Yes, the debt ceiling is a quirk of the U.S. law. Not raising the debt ceiling after having appropriated spending would result in a credit default (breaking America’s promise).”

      well, the REALLY CURIOUS thing is the GOP’s stance on the debt ceiling – AT The SAME TIME that they willingly vote in favor of the CR’s that continue the deficit spending.

      what’s up with that?

        • re: how can the GOP say that want to keep from extending the debt limit while they vote in favor of CRs that continue deficit spending?

          re: Juandos response: ” say what?” what does that mean?

          conclusion: Juandoze suffers seriously from cognitive dissonance disorder. cannot deal with realities… is adrift in the wilderness but still got that Tourette syndrome to keep him company.

          • conclusion: Juandoze suffers seriously from cognitive dissonance disorder“…

            Squawk! Squawk! larry g wanna cracker! Squawk! Squawk!

          • re: ” Like most other countries, Canada doesn’t have the artifice of a debt ceiling”

            nor a bunch of hypocrites who blather on about the debt ceiling – at the same time- they are approving CRs.

          • nor a bunch of hypocrites who blather on about the debt ceiling – at the same time- they are approving CRs“…

            Aw geez larry g, again you out do yourself in the idiocy department….

            First you whine incessantly the Republicans aren’t cooperating with your man-crush…

            Now when they do you whine about their hypocrisy…

            Let me guess, you didn’t feel the least bit foolish tapping out that CR drivel did you?

            I don’t think the Republicans should be in authorizing CRs business either…

            The dim-witted Dems need to do their job and produce a budget…

          • re: ” I don’t think the Republicans should be in authorizing CRs business either…

            The dim-witted Dems need to do their job and produce a budget…”

            it’s true they did not but why did the feckless GOP enable them to do that by voting FOR the CRs when they had the opportunity to force a budget?

            what can you say Juandos when the proof of the matter is that the GOP bathers their butt off but in the end they function as feckless hypocrites.

            they are just as bad as the Dems – just in a different way, The Dems are unapologetic tax&spenders, no question, but in the hypocrite department they can’t hold a light to the GOP.

          • it’s true they did not but why did the feckless GOP enable them to do that by voting FOR the CRs when they had the opportunity to force a budget?“…

            larry g you don’t have continually prove you’re an idiot, I believe you already…

          • zach says: “Like most other countries, Canada doesn’t have the artifice of a debt ceiling“…

            LMAO!

            You say that like it means something…

            LOL!

            Good one!

    • “Republicans are not “nobody”.”

      Huh?

      “In any case, Obama has proposed several hundred billion dollars in spending cuts.”

      And then you link Obama’s 2013 budget proposal to spend around $3.7 trillion vs. approx $3.7 trillion in 2012… Wow, what a sharp budget axe Obama wields!

      “Yes, the debt ceiling is a quirk of the U.S. law. Not raising the debt ceiling after having appropriated spending would result in a credit default (breaking America’s promise).”

      How convenient. Senator Obama repeatedly voted not to raise the debt ceiling, but now that your guy’s in charge it’s time kibosh any semblance of a credit limit.

      • re: ” “Yes, the debt ceiling is a quirk of the U.S. law. Not raising the debt ceiling after having appropriated spending would result in a credit default (breaking America’s promise).”

        but they could shut down the govt right now if they refused to vote in favor on CRs so why don’t they?

        Could it have something to do with throwing red meat to their rabid base?

        If they were serious and not the feckless hypocrites that they are – they’d vote NO on the CRs – the continuing resolutions.

        • “If they were serious and not the feckless hypocrites that they are – they’d vote NO on the CRs – the continuing resolutions.”

          If you were serious and not a lying jackass liberal, you’d denounce Reid for lawlessly refusing to submit a budget for reconciliation 3 yrs in a row. Instead, you attack the Republicans for not shutting down the government which will result in another crisis. Do you have any clue who much of a joke that makes you look like here?

    • Z: ” Yes, the debt ceiling is a quirk of the U.S. law. Not raising the debt ceiling after having appropriated spending would result in a credit default (breaking America’s promise).

      the promise will be broken sooner or later in any case, as long as debt continues to rise. There are limits to how much interest can be paid to bondholders, even if it is paid through additional borrowing, adding that amount to the existing debt; a limit to how much lenders – other than the Fed – will be willing to lend; limits to how much tax people will tolerate, especially “the wealthy”, and limits to now much and how fast people will tolerate their dollars shrinking in value due to monetization of debt.

      Larry: “well, the REALLY CURIOUS thing is the 0GOP’s stance on the debt ceiling – AT The SAME TIME that they willingly vote in favor of the CR’s that continue the deficit spending.

      What’s up with that?

      Based on what we know of the history of the debt ceiling, it should be obvious to anyone that it has no actual meaning as a limit.

      *Every time* since it was first created in 1917 in an attempt to limit that warmongering Wilson’s appetite for spending during WW!, whenever it has been approached, it has been raised after much posturing and ballyhooing by politicians of both parties.

      It is silly to think of it as a limit, as it has never acted as one.

      Instead, it is a convenient football for those in Washington to toss around and yell about to show their constituents they are “doing something”, even though the outcome is always the same. It tends to be a distraction from the real issue of ever increasing spending and debt.

      • If it were not now closed to me, in order to protect me from myself, I would have a ton of money on Intrade betting the debt ceiling will be raised.

        • well here’s the truth:


          House Passes 6-Month Continuing Resolution to Fund Government
          By: David Dayen Friday September 14, 2012 6:57 am

          The House passed a six-month spending bill that will keep the lights on in government agencies until March 2013. Democrats and Republicans made a bet that the next Congress will find more favorable terrain for them, and kicked any contentious spending issues into it. They may do the same on the fiscal cliff, but there’s not likely to be any action there until the lame duck session, when they’ll know the outcome of the elections. So the calculus could change there.

          As for the continuing resolution, the vote was a bipartisan 329 to 91. There were more no votes on the Republican side, 70, than on the Democratic side, with 21 opposed. Far-right conservatives wanted to see less spending in the bill, but the rank-and-file mostly went along with it, including Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who returned to Washington for the vote. Republicans relented, and allowed the spending level to hit $1.047 trillion on the discretionary side, the target of the spending cap from the debt limit deal. The Democratic no votes were a mix of conservatives who agreed on the allegedly excessive level of spending, and liberals like Barbara Lee, John Conyers, Lynn Woolsey and Dennis Kucinich, who thought the bill cut too deeply.”

          so if the GOP went along with this – what is all this stuff about the debt limit if just not feckless posturing?

          see this is the problem. we have the “spin” put out by the zealots – but down in the real world – this is what actually happened.

  10. Zachriel: Republicans are not “nobody”.

    Paul: Huh?

    Sowell claimed “nobody seems to be talking about the runaway spending which created that record-breaking debt.” That was incorrect, and yet it formed the basis of his argument.

    Paul: And then you link Obama’s 2013 budget proposal to spend around $3.7 trillion vs. approx $3.7 trillion in 2012… Wow, what a sharp budget axe Obama wields!

    As the population grows and ages, baseline expenditures increase. So do receipts for that matter.

    Zachriel: Yes, the debt ceiling is a quirk of the U.S. law. Not raising the debt ceiling after having appropriated spending would result in a credit default (breaking America’s promise).

    Paul: How convenient.

    Convenient or not, it’s a fact.

    • “Sowell claimed “nobody seems to be talking about the runaway spending which created that record-breaking debt.”

      Oh, I get it. You’re sniping about something inconsequential to discredit his entire thesis. Good luck convincing anyone not named Larry.

      “As the population grows and ages, baseline expenditures increase. So do receipts for that matter. ”

      So? That doesn’t equate to “hundreds of billions” in spending cuts. Same regarding receipts.

      “Convenient or not, it’s a fact.”

      It’s a fact Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling. It’s a fact the GOP used the debt ceiling as leverage to extract spending cuts from the most fiscally reckless President since FDR. As even the far left Thinkprogress reported: “The deal the GOP extracted as the price for avoiding default imposed around $900 billion in cuts over ten years. It included $30.5 billion in discretionary cuts in 2012 alone, costing the country 0.3 percent in economic growth and 323,000 jobs, according to estimates from the Economic Policy Institute. Starting in 2013, the deal will trigger another $1.2 trillion in cuts over ten years.”

      I think the EPI predictions are hogwash, but the point is the debt ceiling allowed the GOP to at least slightly slow Obama’s runaway spending freight train.

      • re: ” I think the EPI predictions are hogwash, but the point is the debt ceiling allowed the GOP to at least slightly slow Obama’s runaway spending freight train.”

        but it was all show and no go compared to what would have happened had they refused to vote for the CRs or required reductions to the CRs where, in my view, they would have not only made a strong statement of their principles but they would have SHOWED Americans WHERE the runaway costs where and they were going to deal with them even if Obama would not.

        why did they not use that opportunity to make meaningful impacts rather than the mostly futile symbolism of the debt limit?

        • “but it was all show and no go compared to what would have happened had they refused to vote for the CRs or required reductions to the CRs where, in my view, they would have not only made a strong statement of their principles but they would have SHOWED Americans WHERE the runaway costs where and they were going to deal with them even if Obama would not.”

          Here’s the “logic” in Larry’s broken peanut shell of a brain:

          1)Hold the GOP, who control only the House, to the highest standard
          2) Hold the Democrats, who control the Senate and White House, to no standard at all.

          Somehow, that translates into supporting the Democrats.

          This reminds me of Alinskyite Rule 4: “Make opponents live up to their own book of rules” while requiring nothing from your own side. But I really doubt Larry knows anything about “Rules for Radicals.” Larry hasn’t done any outside reading since he injured himself while deciphering the instructions for how to rub two sticks together.

          • Paul

            Larry hasn’t done any outside reading since he injured himself while deciphering the instructions for how to rub two sticks together.

            Let me guess: The injury was a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

          • ” Under Obama, we burn through a trillion dollars about every 9 months.”

            yes…and the key and dishonest word is “under”.

            Obama is not the one who created that spending.

            Much of it was put in place under Bush – and remains in place – because the GOP approves it in CRs even as they blather publically about a “spending program”.

            they are so dishonest that they talk about the deficit and debt under Obama – people like Paul Ryan – who voted for virtually all of the spending increases (not paid for) under Bush – like Medicare Part D and NOW he says that, in essence, Medicare Part D is Obama spending.

            this is how dishonest people are about this.

            no wonder you lost the election.

          • “Obama is not the one who created that spending.”

            You are a liar, Larry. Of course Obama didn’t create ALL the spending, but he went on a binge since he took over and built the stimulus and bailout $ into the baseline. THis has been explained to you a million times before, but you’re too stupid and corrupt to take any of it to heart.

            ” because the GOP approves it in CRs even as they blather publically about a “spending program”.

            Here you are once again exercising Rule #4. I know you haven’t read anything about Alinsky tactics, so I can only guess it’s inherent in born parasites like you. People like you should be studied like lab rats so we can figure out how to stop the destruction of America.

    • As the population grows and ages, baseline expenditures increase. So do receipts for that matter.

      ?

      Is that meant to somehow excuse spending 50% more than receipts?

  11. Ron H: the promise will be broken sooner or later in any case, as long as debt continues to rise.

    Yes, assuming you mean debt relative to GDP, but it’s not an immediate emergency. Rather, the budget has to be brought into line over the next several years. Some of this will be due to increased revenue, some from tax cuts, and some from economic growth. That’s no excuse to immediately repudiate the debt, which is the effect of not raising the debt ceiling.

    • Z: “ That’s no excuse to immediately repudiate the debt, which is the effect of not raising the debt ceiling.

      There’s no excuse for having a debt ceiling. It has never been used to limit debt since its creation in 1917.

      • ” OK, that is a link. Now, please quote the part you are relying on. Really, I can’t read your mind.”

        I’m not relying on anything. You asked what the funding source for SS was and it is the FICA payroll tax.

        It’s a dedicated/earmarked tax by law that is collected for a specific purpose and can be spent only on that purpose and it generates 36% of all govt revenues.

        what else are you after?

        • Heh! Do you think Andrew_M_Garland won’t find your comment if you hide it down here?

          Larry: “I’m not relying on anything. You asked what the funding source for SS was and it is the FICA payroll tax.

          No he didn’t, Larry. Andrew_M_Garland *specifically* cautioned you not to confuse “fund” with “funding”. Remember this?

          AMG: “Hint: Try not to confuse the concept of a “fund” (assets set aside to meet future costs), and “funding” (the pay as you go taxes that the government hopes will cover its promises).

          And, unsurprisingly, you were unable to do it. He asked you for a *fund* and you cited a *funding source*

          He even helped you further by pointing out that the SS Trust fund isn’t an asset. Remember this?

          AMG: “Hint: The Social Security Trust Fund is not an asset of the government, only an accounting device that represents part of the government’s promises.

          Even with all that guidance, you have failed to identified the fund (assets) that support SS.

          I’ll even give you another hint: Psst! (there isn’t one).

          I’m sure Andrew is still waiting patiently for you to respond to his comment in a location below his last one, instead of here as a response to mine. You now have a second chance, and with the help I’ve just given you, you have a better shot at getting it right less wrong. Want to give it another try?

          • you boys are (once again) off in LA LA LAND.

            SS was never designed to be a “fund” from the get go.

            nor are most other countries similar systems.

            ya’ll are focusing on something that is not only a fact but done that way on purpose.

            SS is an inflation-indexed insurance annuity with disability and survivor features.

            it is paid for with payroll taxes.

            it was never intended to be a “FUND”.

            ya’ll disagree with this.. that’s fine but to claim that there is something wrong with it and pretend that it was not supposed to be designed this way -is off into LA LA LAND.

            but that’s typical for you boys. facts don’t get in your unicorn musings.

          • SS is an inflation-indexed insurance annuity with disability and survivor features.

            it is paid for with payroll taxes.

            it was never intended to be a “FUND”.

            If you knew that, why didn’t you just say so when Andrew_M_Garland asked you to cite a fund, instead of dishonestly pointing to a wiki entry for FICA?

            ya’ll are focusing on something that is not only a fact but done that way on purpose.

            At the moment I’m mostly focused on what a dishonest moron you are.

  12. Paul: You’re sniping about something inconsequential to discredit his entire thesis.

    Um, it was one of only two points cited in the original post.

    Paul: It’s a fact Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling.

    Yes he did. There was no question that the debt ceiling was going to be raised, so it was an impotent political act, not a substantive one.

    Paul: I think the EPI predictions are hogwash, but the point is the debt ceiling allowed the GOP to at least slightly slow Obama’s runaway spending freight train.

    Perhaps, but the credit markets took it otherwise. They considered it irresponsible to threaten default to resolve internal political questions.

    It’s like going into the bank with your partner, and threatening to throw your company into bankruptcy, even though you have more than substantial resources to service your debt, simply because you and your partner can’t agree on policy. Those issues should be resolved without threatening your creditors with default.

    • “Um, it was one of only two points cited in the original post.”

      Um, it wasn’t central at all to his overall point about reckless spending.

      “Yes he did. There was no question that the debt ceiling was going to be raised, so it was an impotent political act, not a substantive one. ”

      I do agree it was a typical “all show” for Obama rather than an act of principle. Still, the hypocrisy.

      “Perhaps, but the credit markets took it otherwise. They considered it irresponsible to threaten default to resolve internal political questions. ”

      Wrong. They considered it irresponsible to run up an avalanche of debt in the first place. As further evidence, more downgrades are on the way with or without another budget showdown unless the US radically cuts the deficit:

      http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2012/11/20/another-us-credit-downgrade-is-comingand-it-wont-matter

      “It’s like going into the bank with your partner, and threatening to throw your company into bankruptcy, ”

      Thank you for playing, but no. Any cursory examination of the fiscal situation of the federal govermment would reveal the company is already bankrupt.

      “…even though you have more than substantial resources to service your debt,”

      I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean. Interest on the debt is our 6th largest budget item even though it’s being financed at historically low rates. “Should interest rates rise to the long-term average, interest on the national debt would more than double from the 2011 figure of $454 billion dollars.”
      http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/08/trends-in-interest-rates-on-national.html#ZPOCG6ZY3jxEsXDK.99

  13. Paul: Any cursory examination of the fiscal situation of the federal govermment would reveal the company is already bankrupt.

    Don’t know where you get your facts, but the U.S. has assets of about $188 trillion, a growing economy with GDP of about $15 trillion, debt of about $16 trillion (including intra-government holdings), has ready access to credit at very attractive interest rates; and assuming reasonable rates of growth will create $0.5 quadrillion in goods and services over the next 25 years. The U.S. budget is unbalanced, but they have more than enough resources to set it right. You might be a bit uncomfortable with some of the adjustments that might be necessary, but most of the world would love to have America’s financial problems.

    • Under Obama, we burn through a trillion dollars about every 9 months. We borrow over $4 billion a day to keep up the charade. Those “attractive interest rates” are at least partly artificially kept low by the same Fed that is currently buying up over 70% of the federal debt. Each individual’s share of the debt is now over $50,000 and each family of four owes more than $207,000 on the debt and climbing quickly. That’s without even taking into consideration the fact that the 50% of wage earners don’t even pay income taxes, so their growing $50,000 has to be kicked upwards.

      “You might be a bit uncomfortable with some of the adjustments that might be necessary, but most of the world would love to have America’s financial problems.”

      Well, most of the world are economic basket cases, and many of the rest are being run into the ground by statists like you and Obama. The credit agencies, as I mentioned, are not quite as impressed with the current state of affairs here and further credit rating downgrades are almost certainly in our near future.

  14. Paul: Under Obama, we burn through a trillion dollars about every 9 months.

    That’s what happens when you break your economy. The U.S. should have stayed on the path Clinton established with structural surpluses and declining debt. It would have tempered the overheated economy, and left the U.S. in a much stronger financial position to weather any economic shocks. But America chose a different path.

    Paul: Those “attractive interest rates” are at least partly artificially kept low by the same Fed that is currently buying up over 70% of the federal debt.

    That trick only works if investors have confidence in the dollar.

    Paul: Each individual’s share of the debt is now over $50,000 and each family of four owes more than $207,000 on the debt and climbing quickly.

    Yes, and about an equivalent annual income. In any case, none of that indicates the U.S. is bankrupt by any means. It just means they have to make adjustments going forward.

    • Z: “ The U.S. should have stayed on the path Clinton established with structural surpluses and declining debt.

      Do you mean this declining debt?

      You consistently misrepresent the subject of debt during the Clinton years, and we can only conclude that you are being deliberately dishonest. It’s no longer possible to believe that you don’t understand the accounting gimmicks used to claim a surplus and declining debt in those years.

      • Ron H: Do you mean this declining debt?

        Your graph shows gross debt which includes debt held by the public as well as intragovernmental debt holdings. As we stated, there were structural cash surpluses, but even including intragovernmental debt the budget was essentially balanced.

        • Z: “Your graph shows gross debt which includes debt held by the public as well as intragovernmental debt holdings.

          Yes. It shows the total debt owed by the Federal government, on budget and off. *At no time* did gross debt decrease, therefore *at no time* could total revenue have exceeded total expenditures, so *at no time* was there a surplus, and you are being dishonest to point to accounting gimmicks as a surplus.

          You can’t call borrowed money income in order to declare a “structural surplus”, and then show only part of an accounting sheet.

          No one is impressed with the politicspeak you employ to make a false claim.

          Z: “As we stated, there were structural cash surpluses, but even including intragovernmental debt the budget was essentially balanced.

          Oh! Essentially balanced? That’s a different story, isn’t it? What happened to “The U.S. should have stayed on the path Clinton established with structural surpluses and declining debt.”

          That trick only works when there are trust fund accounting entries to move from your left pocket to your right pocket. It’s kind of a one shot kind of deal.

          The Clinton years saw gross national debt grow by 25% with only a slight slowing in the year 2000, and that’s the path you recommend America stay on?

  15. “The U.S. should have stayed on the path Clinton established with structural surpluses and declining debt. ”

    The path Clinton established was 2 parts dot com/Y2K bubble, 1 part Gingrich GOP fighting him kicking and screaming all the way to a “balanced” budget. The bubbles burst in 2000 when Clinton was still President, but he got out just as the roof was caving in and Bush inherited a recession he didn’t whine about like a little bitch.

    But here we are on the path you wanted for the past 4 yrs. Where is the sunshine? Let me guess: Bush.

    “That trick only works if investors have confidence in the dollar.”

    Uh, you must not be following the dollar’s decline against other currencies under Obama. The Fed’s perpetual motion machine is going to break eventually and the reckoning is going to be gruesome. I imagine you will be totally surprised and blame Bush.

    “Yes, and about an equivalent annual income.”

    A family of four has an average equivalent annual income of over $200,000? What are you smoking?

    “In any case, none of that indicates the U.S. is bankrupt by any means. It just means they have to make adjustments going forward.”

    Yes, “adjustments” like monetizing the debt. Default by another name. Taxing the rich will be like a fart in the wind in these days of Obama trillion dollar plus deficits.

    • re: ” … Gingrich GOP fighting him kicking and screaming all the way to a “balanced” budget. The bubbles burst in 2000 when Clinton was still President, but he got out just as the roof was caving in ”

      so… GOP/Gingrich balanced the budget but it all fell apart anyhow?

      what the…..

      • Even though you progressives would like to control all business activity, it isn’t yet a fait accompli, so there are still significant differences between the federal government budget and the US economy. Don’t confuse the two.

  16. Paul :The path Clinton established was 2 parts dot com/Y2K bubble, 1 part Gingrich GOP fighting him kicking and screaming all the way to a “balanced” budget.

    There was real growth during the Clinton Administration, as the economy restructured for the information age.

    The Republicans certainly had a part by holding Clinton to budget reductions, but Clinton ran on reforming welfare and signed the final legislation. Meanwhile, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 passed without a single Republican vote. Only Gore’s deciding vote as President of the Senate placed the balanced budget bill into law.

    Paul :But here we are on the path you wanted for the past 4 yrs.

    Not particularly.

    Paul :Uh, you must not be following the dollar’s decline against other currencies under Obama.

    “The dollar’s value against other currencies is little changed since early 2008, according to a Federal Reserve index, which measures its value versus U.S. trading partners.”
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324660404578196892204462394.html

    Paul: A family of four has an average equivalent annual income of over $200,000? What are you smoking?

    U.S. GNI per capita was $48,620 in 2011. The mean is not the same as median.
    http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD

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