Our deficit is shrinking...

Most Americans may not know it by listening to Republicans, but reality shows that our deficit is shrinking. And, if you didn't know that, you're not alone. A new Google poll found that nearly half of Americans think that the deficit is actually increasing. During the first ten months of 2012, the government spent 973 billion dollars more than it took in. The deficit for this year is currently $600 billion, and projected to wind up at a total of $670 billion at the end of the fiscal year. That's about 30% less than last year. And, as a percentage of our GDP, the deficit is less than half of what is was in 2009, when President Obama took office.

No matter how you calculate it, the numbers show that the Republicans' ominous warnings about deficits are nothing more than fear mongering and excuses to slash social spending. In addition, these figures show that we don't have to destroy our social programs to improve our nation's fiscal woes. According to Daniel Gross of Newsweek, “the miracle cure for deficits, it turns out, isn't ripping up the social safety net, or a grand bargain. It's growth.”

It's highly unlikely that these figures will have any impact on the Republicans' effort to shrink government to the size it can be drowned in a bathtub. But, the evidence is clear, and it shows that investing in our nation is the best way to stimulate our economy, and further-reduce our nation's deficit. We can't cut our way to prosperity, but we can stimulate our economy and spur even more economic growth.


Carson L's picture
Carson L 9 years 41 weeks ago

Artist - Groucho Marx - Song - I'm against it! Says it all! And if you've already heard it and still arn't up to date on what it means to be a Republican in the early 21st century then just look up the leading figure representing the ultimate epitome of modern Republicanism, Dennis Hope! Sheer republican genius! He's even offered to use his astronomical financing means and methods to President Obama in order to finally settle our national debt! Lunar Real Estate at a bargain! What a guy! I think he's gonna steal the show at the 2016 Republican Primary! Look out Hillary, this guy's on a whole nother level!!

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 41 weeks ago

Try using that math with your own household budget, The bank will own your home before Xmas. I hate to break it to you but the real numbers are that as a Country you owe: 17 trillion as a American $53,000 each , a family of four $212,000. because half of Americans don't pay taxes it is up to you if you are working and paying taxes to cover $148,000 each.

This is the highest per person in the WORLD. I guess the fussy math will make you feel better though.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 41 weeks ago

"Fussy" math or "Fuzzy" math? Fuzzy math may make one feel better. Fussy math may make one's head spin. Problem is that most of that $17 trillion is "Bushy" math...numbers that were created by Bush and his fellow criminal war mongers and economic criminals in Wall Street who have created the derivative mess that puts us way beyond hope of ever seeing realistic numbers again. So, they try to resort to ridiculous gimmicks...$trillion coins? Give me a break!

And yes, Obama has helped carry the war criminal torch and continued to bail out the banksters..appointing all economic criminals that created the mess to begin with, to his team. Bush's eloquent Howdy Obama Doody (HOD for short) made it possible to stave off another revolution* while they continued to wage their economic war against us.

* I believe that the people were so ticked off at Bush and the Republicans that, had McCain/Palin won the White House, there would have been way more really ticked off people when the politicians pushed that $700 billion bailout to the banksters through. Obama was just the panderer of false hope that temporarily kept the lid from blowing off the pressure cooker. Now that it is pretty obvious to many people that Obama, the fake liberal/progressive/democrat, after he managed to fool them in voting for him in for yet a second term, the pressure cooker lid just may pop off finally. If you can't trust your own party after making all kinds of promises and instead acting more like Republicans, then who can you trust? Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters? We all got slimed! It's time we all slime back!

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 41 weeks ago

I yell at Thom (June 26, I think). I yell at people like Kend. The number one concern should be the economy, not the debt or deficit. Economists usually look at the GDP to measure the goodness of the economy. As an aside, I think a far better set of metrics, besides the GDP, should include the DOW, the median wage (inflation adjusted as appropriate for comparison), and the number of workers (all directly copied from Larry Beinhart). Now you should look at the deficit and the debt and see what effect they have on the economy by either of those metrics.

As Ravi Batra has pointed out every time the deficit becomes small, the DOW crashes. Every time means 100% correlation. Please fear Obama's decrease of the deficit.

With regards to the debt, we need to increase spending (increase deficit) to lower the debt. It should be viewed as investing, and the validity of spending more to reduce debt is borne out by history.

Now I want to provide a few observations on the debt. 4.2 trillion of the debt is intra-agency debt. The republicans present the Reinhart-Rogoff study to show that no country's economy has ever survived a debt/GDP ratio of greater than 90%. The 17 trillion is about 100% of our GDP. I wonder what the Reinhart-Rogoff study says about intra-agency debt? Of course, it does not matter. The study was a total scam uncovered by a graduate student at U Mass, Amherst. Reinhart and Rogoff cherry picked the data and, if that was not enough, their spreadsheets had "mistakes" in them. The item that really identifies it as a scam is that Reinhart and Rogoff were being entirely funded by Pete Peterson (sp?). Pete is a wall st multi-billionaire that wants to privatize social security.

keenanone's picture
keenanone 9 years 41 weeks ago

Est-ce-que le chat noir?

keenanone's picture
keenanone 9 years 41 weeks ago

Can anyone explain to me why so-called fiscal hawks believe a country's government should be run like a no name convenience store...what we used to call a "stop and rob?" If you own a small business how much money do you think you'd earn with only dollar a day employees here on a guest worker visa? And don't forget you have to build and maintain the highway to your store over the sewer and water lines you replaced a year ago, catch your neighbors when they mow down your customers as they leave then put them in jail, feed and clothe them, take them to the ER when they try to hang themselves from the light fixture since you dont know how to cook, oh and last but certainly not least, stand idly by and watch your store burn to the ground since you're on the wrong side of the street...but most of all bury you when you try to catch the thief who just cleaned out your till. A government is not, and shouldn't be, a for-profit business despite what the Repub ninnies who havent figured out yet they'd have to clean their own toilet, scrape feces off the walls with a putty knife, and then disinfect themselves before going home to a dinner of white bread, grape flavored jelly, and non-fat powdered milk. When you kill off the slaves, who the hell do you think has to tote that bale? You guys just make me so tired.

commchf 9 years 41 weeks ago

Only a dunce who deosn't know anything about macroeconomics would compare the federal government (which CREATES money) with a household budget (which can't CREATE money). We owe the federal debt to ourselves! It's simply an accounting identity.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 41 weeks ago

Commchf, I thought I have been called everything on this blog. But "dunce" is a first. You owe that money to the Chinese. Sorry to break the bad news to you but it is real debt to real people. A household does bring in income, well at least 53% of them do.

Mike-C's picture
Mike-C 9 years 41 weeks ago

One -- Anyone who thinks that half the population does not pay any taxes is grossly ignorant of the money flow. Such an assumption would be predicated on a basis that half the population buys nothing. The final consumer pays the taxes of everyone who has handled the product or service purchased when the product or service is paid for. Is this simple accounting too difficult to understand?

Two – Allegations that a company pays no taxes if it pays no income tax are false. When that company buys materials for production, it pays the taxes that its suppliers pay. Every business recoups its taxes when it sells products or services. Even a plumber covers the tax of the tool maker, the vehicle maker, the vehicle fuel supplier and on and on.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 41 weeks ago

I think Kend meant income taxes. I think it interesting that among the people who don't pay any income taxes (at the federal leve) are Ronald Reagan and the previous owner of the LA Dodgers. I would guess Romney would be another one. The details of how McCourt the ex-owner of the Dodgers avoided taxes became available because he was going through a divorce. The key element he used to avoid paying taxes was accelerated depreciation followed by investment credits. There is evidence that a huge percentage of the 1% use this very scheme. The evidence that I have heard about is the great turnover of luxury hotels. These luxury hotels provide a huge source of depreciation, as well as, investment credits. Another interesting piece of evidence is the congressinal bi-partisan meeting where they were discussing increasing the depreciation life of a corporate jet from 3 years to 7 years. Eric Cantor walked out of the meeting.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 41 weeks ago

Kend, where the hell did you get this crap about half of Americans not paying any tax? I get so tired of hearing this right wing Fox bull. First of all to not pay state and federal income tax probably means you're working for slave wages while enriching the so called job creators like the Waltons. The Walton's in fact should pay a very large amount of tax on the income others had to work to create just so this wealth can get redisributed back into the working class society that in reality earned it to begin with.

Back to my point about half of Americans not paying any tax. Property tax is paid by everyone, both renters and property owners regardless of income. The tax rate per $1000 of value on any property is the same for the person in poverty as it is for the Koch bros. The sales tax on a gallon of gas is also the same for everyone, both rich and poor, as are all sales taxes. Everyone pays payroll taxes both rich and poor but the rich guy stops paying into social security after 113 grand. All of these taxes are regressive in favor of the upper income earners. I've added up all of my taxes and pay about 50% of my earnings in some form of tax. I really get pissed when I see a Mitt Romney not only getting massive unearned income but also only paying about 13% on it. Guys like him most likely pay nothing on much of their income as it goes into offshore bank accounts or stays in the form of equitys, "shares of stock." The lower 50% of the population pays plenty of tax, trust me, it's just not state or federal, again only because they don't get paid enough. By the way, I'm more than willing to pay a 50% tax rate just as long as the Koch's and Waltons also do. I actually have to work for mine though.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 41 weeks ago

Sorry, I should have said Federal taxes. Am I wrong at 53%. During he election everyone was stating that number. When you look at all the retired people living off a Government pension, unemployed living off the Government, welfare, etc i don't think I am that far off.

Doesn't that massive amount of debt scare anyone down there? Here in Canada it is about $16,000 per person compared to $53,000 in the US. I am a old fart, I won't be the one paying it down, it's the 20 something's that will have to pay the piper.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago

"Our deficit is shrinking...!?!!" ~ That's like your Doctor saying, "We can't stop the bleeding; but we slowed it down a bit. You'll live a little longer than we thought you would. Isn't that great news?"

Here the Republicans make a little more sense than Thom or the Democrats. Any deficit is very bad. No serious attempts to do something about it is very bad. Cutting the social safety net as a solution is like putting a Band aid on an chain saw wound. We need serious reform and less rhetoric. There is no need to cut social programs. Social programs had nothing to do with causing this problem. Two illegal unnecessary wars and bailouts to the banks caused it. Deregulation coupled with privitization caused it. Free trade and ridiculous tax cuts to the wealthy caused it. Rewarding and encouraging Corporations to outsource American Jobs caused it. Obscene raises in the pay of CEO's and executives combined with stagnant wages of the middle class caused it. Wall street criminals, their lobbyists and puppet politicians who changed law to make crime legal caused it. Tax loopholes and offshore tax havens for Corporations and ridiculously wealthy individuals caused it. A bought and paid for Corporate media propaganda machine caused it. An opulent and useless military, homeland security, spy industry, "intelligence" industry, and prison complex caused it. Corporate welfare caused it. A for profit health and medical industry caused it. And a bunch of bought an paid for Corporate political shills without a soul or conscience caused it. Now the Democratic rhetoric and nonsense spewed by Thom and the Corporate media try to do temporary damage control and slight of hand. Don't buy it. We need serious major reform. Nothing that is happening is good!!

Treating the symptoms and not the causes is what is creating this economic fiasco. Not pointing this out to the people is just as culpable in this problem as the perpetrators themselves. It's high time We the People stand up to this media circus and call it what it is--a part of the problem. Until people--that includes YOU THOM--who have a microphone stand up for the truth the bigger this hole is going to become. Are We the People ever going to recover; or , are we going to hemorrhage to death? You be the judge!

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 41 weeks ago

DAnne, that is the best think you ever wrote. Bang on.

RichardSRussell's picture
RichardSRussell 9 years 41 weeks ago

Deficit ≠ Debt

Let's put this in terms that normal people can understand. Let's say that, in 2012, you made $40,000 and spent $50,000. That's a $10,000 deficit. Then, in 2013, you got a raise and made $45,000 but spent at the same level as before, $50,000. You've cut your deficit in half — that is, your annual deficit. But you've increased your debt by 50%, from $10,000 to $15,000.

This illustrates the erroneous nature of your assertion that "No matter how you calculate it, the numbers show that the Republicans' ominous warnings about deficits are nothing more than fear mongering and excuses to slash social spending."

BTW, I agree that Republican alarmism is unwarranted, but you don't succeed in pointing that out with bad math or sloppy accounting.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 9 years 41 weeks ago

The Twain Report

All The News That Mark Twain Says He Would Report If He Was Alive Today


It has come to the attention of the Twain Report that the republicans got that post office-crippling bill into law by sneaking it in as a "rider" on other legislation. You know what a rider is, it's when, for instance, congress is considering very important legislation, such as an extremely patriotic bill that would change the name "french fries," into "freedom fries," and of course a bill like that is so important that everyone in congress will vote for it. And of course such an important piece of legislation is so important that it has to be at least 968,000 pages long. Which means that only the lobbyists who wrote the bill ever read it, so when, five minutes before the bill comes up for a vote, some sneaky little republican adds a rider that says, "From now on, up is down, and everyone has to prove their patriotism by wearing a melted cheese sandwich on their head on alternate tuesdays," of course only the person who put the rider there, knows that it's there.

So, comes the day after the vote- which happens to be an alternate tuesday- and the congressional police are going around arresting everyone who isn't wearing a melted cheese sandwich on their heads. And that sneaky little republican says, "Hey, you voted for the bill, what are you complaining about?"

But the thing is, I know this one congressman (or is it a congresswoman? I'm not telling.) And just before congress votes on any legislation that the republicans want passed, he (or she) is going to insert a rider that cancels the republicans' bill. And he- or she- is going to start inserting riders that make it legal, for instance, to throw water balloons at republicans from the congressional gallery, as long as the water balloons are purchased from the congressional gift shop.

Is this sneaky? No more so than anything else that congress does. And more importantly, is it a great idea? Of course it is, I channeled it from Mark Twain himself!

I ask- in all fairness- that anyone who uses this material gives credit to the Twain Report. I would do the same if I used your material.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago

David Abbot ~ You make good sense as always! Channel away!! After all, it is the very least we can expect you to do in this circumstance.

As Jerry Falwell once said--That's 'Fall Well' friends (as in fallen angel)--"Let's kill them all in the name of the Lord and let God sort them out."

We give total credit to the Mark Twain Report for all of this info!! However, throwing anonymous water balloons at anyone is still encouraged.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago

Grateful Dead Lyrics ~ "Throwing Stones"

Songwriters: OWEN, MARK ANTHONY / MCDONALD, MILTON / DONALD, HOWARD PAUL / ORANGE, JASON THOMAS / BARLOW, GARYPicture a bright blue ball just spinning, spinning free
Dizzy with eternity.
Paint it with a skin of sky, brush in some clouds and sea
Call it home for you and me.
A peaceful place or so it looks from space
A closer look reveals the human race.
Full of hope, full of grace, is the human face.
But afraid, we may our home to waste.
Theres a fear down here we cant forget hasnt got a name just yet
Always awake, always around singing ashes to ashes all fall down.
Now watch as the ball revolves and the nighttime calls
And again the hunt begins and again the bloodwind calls
By and by again, the morning sun will rise
But the darkness never goes from some mens eyes.
It strolls the sidewalks and it rolls the streets
Stalking turf, dividing up meat.
Nightmare spook, piece of heat, you and me, you and me.
Click, flashblade in ghetto night. rudies looking for a fight.
Rat cat alley roll them bones. need that cash to feed that jones
And the politicians throwing stones
Singing ashes, ashes all fall down.
Commissars and pin-striped bosses role the dice
Any way they fall guess who gets to pay the price.
Money green or proletarian gray, selling guns instead of food today.
So the kids they dance, they shake their bones
While the politicians throwing stones
Singing ashes, ashes all fall down.
Heartless powers try to tell us what to think
If the spirits sleeping, then the flesh is ink.
Historys page, it is thusly carved in stone
The futures here, we are it, we are on our own.
If the game is lost then were all the same
No one left to place or take the blame.
We will leave this place an empty stone
Or this shinning ball of blue we can call our home
So the kids they dance, they shake their bones
While the politicians are throwing stones
Singing ashes, ashes all fall down.
Shipping powders back and forth
Singing black goes south while white comes north
And the whole world full of petty wars
Singing I got mine and you got yours.
And the current fashions set the pace.
Lose your step, fall out of grace.
And the radical he rant and rage, singing someone got to turn the page
And the rich man in his summer home,
Singing just leave well enough alone
But his pants are down, his covers blown
And the politicians are throwing stones
So the kids they dance they shake their bones
Cause its all too clear were on our own
Picture a bright blue ball just spinning, spinning free
Its dizzying, the possibilities. ashes, ashes all fall down.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago
Quote RichardSRussell:Let's put this in terms that normal people can understand. Let's say that, in 2012, you made $40,000 and spent $50,000. That's a $10,000 deficit. Then, in 2013, you got a raise and made $45,000 but spent at the same level as before, $50,000. You've cut your deficit in half — that is, your annual deficit. But you've increased your debt by 50%, from $10,000 to $15,000.

RichardSRussell ~ Bravo! You hit the nail on the head. Deficit and Debt are not the same thing; and, that is what the media wants us to think. Add to that the fact that our debt has become so extreme that our deficit is created largely by paying the interest alone on the debt. Doing that alone will never pay off the debt. Also, having any deficit is a condition where the debt will never be paid. You will always have to incur more debt just to pay off the deficit. There are two many greedy hands in the cookie jar who don't care about anything other than themselves. (Debt Originating Deadbeats--aka The DOD) We need to do to our Military what Godzilla did to Bambi. We need to take taxation and regulation back to the Theodore Roosevelt era. We need to shut the door permanently on free trade. Selfishness, irresponsibility, and greed got us into this mess. We need to get a grip on the special private for profit interests in this country and prioritize our common economic national interests in the name of National Security. Time's a wasting people, and the debt keeps growing. Politicians who stand in our way need to be treated like the National criminals and enemys of our country that they are. Patting them on the back for doing nothing more than representing a particular Political Party does more harm than the inaction of the politician. Reducing the deficit means nothing more than running up the debt at a slightly lower rate. Like I said before, if you Doctor says he slowed the bleeding but can't stop it, that means you are still going to die--it's just going to take a little longer. We need to start paying down the debt and the interest without a deficit or we are going to be doomed to defaulting. Forever debt = Forever Slavery. Defaulting on the Debt = Foreclosing on our Country. Serious business. Thanks for pointing that out!

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 41 weeks ago

DanneMarc -- The debt can be much bigger than it is now and recover. The cherries that were not picked by Reinhart and Rogoff show that countries with twice our debt did very well over the long run. Remember even the IMF said austerity does not work, but only after they tried it over and over. The thing that nobody is discussing is the investment factor. I have a story to tell about Dr. Chuck (me) and Dr. Jerry which shows that debt is a wonderful thing.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago

chuckle8 ~ I agree that debt and investment can be wonderful things--within reason. One major factor is that one has to have some source of income that can pay off the debt. If not separate income than at least a profitable enough investment to generate the revenue to cover the debt. When income is sacrificed and debt incurred merely to replace the income thus further increasing debt all you are doing is investing somebody elses money for them. They own the investment--not you--and when they decide to stop subsidising your income they sell the investment off to pay your debt. In the end you lose and have nothing except a tarnished reputation, no money, and no credit. There is nothing good about the current strategy. It will not work. Without raising revenue any plan that increases only debt is folly. We have words for people who try to live on perpetually borrowing money. We call them bums and freeloaders. We can't cut our way to prosperity. We can't borrow our way to prosperity. And certainly we can't borrow our way out of debt. We have to restore our revenue generating system or we are finished as a country.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 41 weeks ago

Dan -- an example is in oder. We should borrow another trillion from China. We would take that trillion to pay off all the student loans. Those students would then start building the wealth of our nation. The estimate is that we get a return of 6x. If we would tax that 6 trillion at 25% we would pay off the original 1 trillion plus another 500 billion. This is the method cowardly idiots like me would do. Investors, the government being the best one around, on the other hand would reinvest that 1.5 trillion to make our economy grow some more. Thus, we would have an ever increasing debt. That is why economists (both left and right) use the metric of debt/GDP. Another way to say this is that we want to build an economic machine that could eat the debt whenever it wanted to, but it should never want to. This is not a theory. As mentioned in some of previous my previous comments, history has verified the investory approach with 100% correlation. Some of these cases based on history. FDR tried to balance the budget in 1936 and within a few months he woke up to what a bad idea it was; unemployment start rising again. Another example, Clinton balanced the budget and 1 year later the stock market collapsed.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago

chuckle8 ~ What a lovely example. It makes perfect sense to me. Unfortunately, it is an example of fantasy. We aren't borrowing any money to invest in education in this Nation!! What planet are you from, anyway?

We aren't incurring debt on this planet from sending students to college, you see, Earthlings in the United States are currently debating how much interest they should charge on student loans. They are PROFITING not INVESTING!! The two are DIFFERENT!!There are no current National loans related to education. Education is a scam that is run by domestic loan sharks that turns a good profit at the expense of our next generation and the good of our nation. Good thing too! Because there are no jobs that demand an education left. "Would you like fries with that order, Sir?" does not require a four year term in an university. Sorry my friend but I don't buy your thesis. RTI 6X on student loans? Do the graduates know this? I know some that are still paying off their loans 10 years after graduation. 6X RTI? Really??? Is this monthly, annually, or in a lifetime? How has this incredible windfall not balanced our budget? You are doing a great job at supporting your claims; but a piss poor job at explaining reality. Maybe one of these 6X RTI students would care to write a comment on just how this happened? I am more than curious--and confused? Last I looked, most victims of student loan extortion were trapped working two menial labor jobs or more a day to pay down their debt and support themselves. Their education went to waste as their careers went overseas.

Quote chuckle8:Some of these cases based on history. FDR tried to balance the budget in 1936 and within a few months he woke up to what a bad idea it was; unemployment start rising again. Another example, Clinton balanced the budget and 1 year later the stock market collapsed.

Chuckle8 ~ Either you are intentionally making up history; or, did you just accidentally mixed these facts up? The Stock market crash of 1929 made it impossible for FDR to balance anything without raising revenue--which he did magnificently. When he did unemployment ceased to exist. A booming Stock market helped Clinton balance the budget during his term. However, the manufacturing industry which Clinton destroyed made balancing the budget after his terms impossible.

Your accounts of history make a good bedtime story for someone from another planet but do little to change my opinion. To restore prosperity to this Nation we must reestablish our revenue generating system, we must eliminate our deficit, and above all, we must pay our debt. There is no other way; and, inventing history while making up flakey theoretical voodoo nonsense about the economy is not going to do anyone any good--especially your own credibility.

David in Vegas's picture
David in Vegas 9 years 41 weeks ago

Thom (and all the other Leftists) are the ones who refuse to tell the truth, simply by how they deliver the data. Saying that our deficit spending is coming down is technically true, but that information is only true by the relationship to the past four fiscal years when the Obama administration racked up 1 TRILLION dollar deficits (give or take a 100 Billion). In order for people to understand a datum it must be evaluated by comparing it to a datum of similar magnitude. (Propagandists never allow you the comparison so you can evaluate the importance of the data presented. They simply throw out a datum with a few !!!'s after and expect you to believe that it is good or bad depending on their 'spin'.)

Ask them if they intend to balance the budget and you will get a million...er billion...er TRILLION reasons why that is just not possible! Ask them why these oh so fiscally responsible Democrats can't seem to pass...er...vote on...a budget and what will we get? The same load of BS.

I would love to see Thom really address this but we'd only get more of the same propaganda...democrats are good, republicans are evil...blah blah blah. What we the people are looking for is responsible government, not out of control children with the parent's credit card.

David in Vegas's picture
David in Vegas 9 years 41 weeks ago

The problem with the equation is that you are trying to 'solve' one problem by creating another problem (borrowed money, debt). The Federal Government has no business loaning money. They further have no business borrowing money to pay for anything. One of the primary duties of Congress is budgeting and paying for the actions of the Government (as outlined in the Consitution). Since the introduction of the 16th amendment (Income Tax) they have progressively gotten out of control on this point. Since the introduction of the payroll tax (around WWII) this problem, along with the governement, has grown exponentially and the people have become serfs to the power elites in Washington.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 41 weeks ago

Dave in V -- From WWII until Reagan, the economy of the US was the strongest the world has ever seen. If you are worried about the size of government, a ruling elite is really small and the antithesis of the US constitution.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 41 weeks ago

Dan - We can argue about history later, but my main point was that a smaller deficit is bad. One of the reasons we have a smaller deficit is because we are not investing in education as you pointed out.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago
Quote chuckle8:Dan - We can argue about history later, but my main point was that a smaller deficit is bad. One of the reasons we have a smaller deficit is because we are not investing in education as you pointed out.

chuckle8 ~ I can see that. We basically agree. You say a small deficit is bad, I say any deficit is bad. My father used to call it not living within your means. However, I can certainly see where an occasional annual deficit can be acceptable. A perpetual annual deficit with a substantial 30+ year debt is clearly dysfunctional budget management.

We both agree about education. Personally, I find that to be one of my greatest concerns. Like the song says, "I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way." Loaning them money to let them finance their own education is the height of irresponsibility of a society. We should be investing not loaning. There was a time in this country when young adults didn't have to worry about how they would pay for an education. They were freed from that burden by a free publicly funded college system. During that time some of the brightest minds were produced. Everyone had the opportunity to reach their own maximum potential and society encouraged that. Now would be talented contributors to society are discouraged from improving themselves every step of the way financially with high tuition, high cost of textbooks, high cost of lodging, and above all, high cost of student loans with high interest and discouraging terms. This for profit educational system of ours is succeeding at impeding the upward mobility of the masses, as well as turning a profit for educational institutions; moreover, it is ruining our society, our future, and our ability to compete in the world market. There is much more to pay than just money in a for profit educational system. We have to start putting our future goals as a society above our petty personal goals as members of it.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 41 weeks ago

Dan -- we and Thom are 100% aligned on our view of the absolute necessity of education.

The small deficit destroying the economy is from historical data provided by Ravi Batra.

I spent most of my 72 years agreeing with you and your father. My key to understanding what is happening is to listen to what both economists on the left and right agree on. The metric to look at is the ratio of debt/GDP. Then, one needs to see how a small or zero deficit effects that ratio. In the words of your father we want to live within our means. However, instead of cutting our spending to live within our means, we should increase our means.

An example of what is wrong on depending on a revenue argument are the tax rate cuts of reagan. As you know, Reagan cut the tax rates for the top 1% from 78% to 33%. The revenue from the top 1% doubled or tripled. The economy tanked.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 40 weeks ago

DAnneMarc -- With regards to Clinton and the DOW crashing, you mentioned it was all those jobs being sent overseas. The assumption being that NAFTA, CAFTA, SHAFTA (Thom's favorite), etc. causing that lost in jobs and subsequent hit to the economy. I also think it was a key factor. The only problem is, as Thom noted recently, that nothing above a normal job lost was happening until Dubya changed the tax code. The DOW crashed before those changes in the tax code.

I should mention that a large deficit can also be bad as well as good. On the other hand a small or no deficit (AKA austerity) has always been bad.

Mauiman2's picture
Mauiman2 9 years 40 weeks ago

And Chuckle8 both the size of government and the percentage of GNP spent by the Federal government was a HELL of a lot lower during that time period than it is now.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 40 weeks ago

Mauiman -- That top tax rate of 92% and reasonable tariffs are wonderful things.

How do you measure the size of government? Also, does your measure include state and local governments?

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