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As the government lurches toward a shutdown, David Stockman says "Bring it on... it’s the...

As the government lurches toward a shutdown, David Stockman says "Bring it on... it’s the wakeup call that we really needed. The fools inside the Beltway are borrowing $100B month in and month out, and there’s nobody left in the world buying except the central banks... There’s no way that’s sustainable or viable."
Comments (83)
  • Shut it down, turn off the lights and throw away the key! Time to go back to a government our founders would recognize, not this bastardization of it we now labor under. Now that's change to believe in!
    8 Apr 2011, 06:46 PM Reply Like
  • 3 thumbs down...Barry, Nancy and Harry - is that you guys? Don't you have some budget cutting to do? Resumes to update? Taxpayers to fleece?
    8 Apr 2011, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • What's ridiculous is that you'd think they would want us sitting around slinging grog in an 18th century Pub like they did.


    I think the founding fathers would think this country pathetic if we hadn't advanced past 18th century philosophy, economics and politics. They favored innovation, not stagnation.
    8 Apr 2011, 08:19 PM Reply Like
  • "Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny." - Thomas Jefferson


    With that, this is far from the "best form of government" and Jefferson isn't just rolling in his grave, he's spinning faster than a circular saw.
    8 Apr 2011, 10:09 PM Reply Like
  • Q. How detached and economically retarded is the "thumbs down troll"?


    A. When he stuffs Jefferson quotes.


    9 Apr 2011, 08:12 AM Reply Like
  • Again, how would TJ have wanted this country? To continually be stagnant in ideas? Sorry, but he was too enlightened for that. To be economically unviable? Who knows, considering he was economically unviable his whole life. Who be politically stagnant? Considering he was the one who expanded the executive beyond the original mandate (and his own words), not likely.


    This country is an experiment in self-rule, not historical tyranny. To think that the founding fathers, and jefferson, conceived of every single way of life forever, every single economic variable forever, and every single political political ideal, forever, is simply asinine.


    The very thought that that those ideas were the apex of all human thinking and that we should stay anchored to them, without exception, is foolish. The Constitution wasn't meant to be a house to live in, it was meant to be the foundation upon which a house could be built, constraining the house in certain ways but not all.
    9 Apr 2011, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • TJ would have wanted this country to be full of corporations and wealthy individuals evading taxes by having headquarters/accounts in Cayman Islands, big corporations controlling the country, dealing in CDSs and CDO squared and bailouts. He would have wanted 1% of the population controlling 35% of the wealth and leaving the bottom 50% with about 2.5%
    9 Apr 2011, 05:26 PM Reply Like
  • Or he would have wanted it full of wealthy slave owners who were deeply indebted to Netherland, French and American creditors and banks.


    The pedestal people put TJ on is amazing, especially when they think he was the paragon of Republican thought. When, in actuality, his actions were neither thrifty, personally or professionally, nor were they wholly Republican or Libertarian (LA purchase expanding executive, almost driving the US into bankruptcy and Barbary pirates being internationalist with domestic armed forces).


    His brash statements are often at odds with his actual actions, leading to a wholly incongruent nature.


    I know that isn't popular with the libertopians and revisionist historians that seem to infest this site, but it is reality.
    9 Apr 2011, 08:54 PM Reply Like
  • This is nothing more than a cock fight to see who's still got the bigger stick. The real fireworks will come when the Harry Reid - Tax and Spend Donkey brigade tries to rise the debt ceiling. The Republicans will shut the government down and it won't be for just a weekend.
    8 Apr 2011, 07:08 PM Reply Like
  • One can hope.
    8 Apr 2011, 07:32 PM Reply Like
  • Central banks issuing fake currency to buy fraudulent debt is, of course, the swapping and compounding of lies on an epic scale. Much of the West ,especially the US, Japan and the EU is now a empire of economic lies and financial vapors.


    As always the laws of economics, morality and nature will prevail. The can be defied but they cannot be broken. The higher the cliff from which the very vain or very stupid man jumps the longer it appears he has defied the law of gravity and until the final moment before obliteration all seems very well indeed.
    8 Apr 2011, 07:09 PM Reply Like
  • The theory of Reflexivity.
    8 Apr 2011, 08:16 PM Reply Like
  • How anyone can thumbs down User's comment can only be attributed to people plugging their ears because it is too painful to bear. But it is the truth. We have to pay the money back and try to salvage our currency.
    8 Apr 2011, 08:33 PM Reply Like
  • @Thomasviewpoint this fight is not about cutting the debt or salvaging our currency. This ideological fight is about small budget items like money that goes to Public Broadcasting or Reproductive health services.


    Look at outflow and inflow pie charts for federal govt.
    8 Apr 2011, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • @rad


    follow the flow of the conversation............. User's comments and then mine. Neither of us talk about the petty fighting going on today in WDC.


    I know the fed's numbers in my head I have looked at them so much.
    8 Apr 2011, 09:34 PM Reply Like
  • David Stockman? Are you fucking kidding me? The same David Stockman who personally invented the classic "magic asterisk" budgeting trick which facilitated enormous Reagan budget deficits? Lecturing on the budget deficit? Sorry. I'm too busy listening to health and career advice from Charlie Sheen to pay attention to David right now. Hil-arious. Keep killing us David!
    8 Apr 2011, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • I wouldn't be so delighted by the shutdown. It tends to expose people to the fact that they are very dependent on the government functioning, which tends to increase their anger at the politicians responsible. Which in turns, lowers the political capital of the politicians involved and lowers their ability to take on more important issues later.


    No one will be very happy about seeing their tax refund delayed. Nevermind the fact that it's technically their money; it still angers people quite a bit and they want a good reason for it.


    Moreover, on a basic level, the Democrats and Republicans are arguing over political issues more than budgetary issues. I'm happy that a few Republicans are starting to get the courage to address entitlement spending, but I'm still not convinced the GOP as a whole will have the guts to take on the issue; and the current arguments certainly have nothing to do with entitlements. (It seems like minor funding to Planned Parenthood's health services is the big issue --- which doesn't inspire confidence from me.)


    Cutting these tiny little programs is completely insignificant in the grand scheme of things; we need to focus on the big items: defense, Social Security, and Medicare/Medicaid.


    I'm willing to sacrifice to make the nation more sustainable long-term, but I'm not so happy about having to sacrifice so the Republicans can cut some small amount of funding to an organization that they don't like.
    8 Apr 2011, 07:30 PM Reply Like
  • @H.J. honeycutt I agree! NEITHER party wants to really cut the deficit where they should. Planned parenthood @$350 million (where the current disagreement is) is a joke compared to $20 billion direct subsidy to Corporate farms (farm subsidy bill) and including indirect subsidies comes to 180 Billion. Subsidies to the poor little oil companies, trillions spent on unnecessary wars and weapons. Rising health care costs are the biggest issue for the deficit - I think nothing short of a single payer system can really help with that.


    And for those bashing planned parenthood as just providers of abortion, please get your facts right - they provide things like contraception, STD testing and treatment (preventing major STD epidemics). 97% of the $300 million odd that goes to them is spent on STD testing and treatment and reproductive services other than abortion.


    When did one line bumper stickers with no facts to back them become more important than the facts? Are we becoming too stupid to really assess the truth.
    8 Apr 2011, 08:16 PM Reply Like
  • The Hyde Amendment has prohibited federal funding for abortion for at least two decades now. So defunding Planned Parenthood REALLY means denying contraceptive, STD treatment, mammograms ultrasounds, colposcopies, and other services to women who can't afford to see private ob/gyns. This is so incredibly mean- spirited and greedy that I can hardly believe intelligent Republican women are supporting it.
    8 Apr 2011, 10:43 PM Reply Like
  • You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequence of ignoring reality.
    - Ayn Rand


    The consequence is coming at us like a runaway train.
    8 Apr 2011, 07:32 PM Reply Like
  • Alan Greenspan used to attend sceances at Ayn Rand's place. She was a Russian emigre and Hollywood screenwriter who preached a bizarre brand of naive capitalism.


    Greenspan took her teachings out into the real world, with results that we have seen.


    What got her started on her rampage was when the Communists confiscated her father's drugstore. If the goddamn commies had just let him keep his effin drugstore they would not have unleashed that crazy woman's rants which still confuse a small number of weak and suggestible intellects.
    8 Apr 2011, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • After you have spent a number of years walking into the depths of a swamp, it is unrealistic to think that Yoda is going to come along and levitate you back to dry land. You will have to find your way out, and the easiest way to do that is to go back out the way you went in.


    What that means is that in order to extricate the economy from the mess created by the financial crisis, the government has to prime the pump of economic activity and provide capital where private investors stand back in fear. That would mean stimulus and deficit spending. It's too bad that the resources that should have been available to bail out the economy had already been spent on reckless and unnecessary wars, together with unwarranted tax reductions and the addition of further entitlements like Medicare prescription drug coverage whish is expensive.


    But the economy has to be stabilized in recovery mode. When people have jobs and income they will pay more taxes which will reduce the deficit. Many business were given retroactive tax cuts in that they were permitted to deduct huge losses form tax returns going back 5 years. That's over now. they're making money and in due course they will resume paying taxes.


    Then the causes of the financial crisis have to be addressed, firm, fair and final. Big banks out of business, CDS limited to use as insurance, HFT a thing of the past, commodities futures limited to their legitimate use as hedges.


    Nothing will ever make the budget add up if the economy of this country is continuously undermined and destabilized by a cabal of banksters aided, abetted and assisted by their cronies in Washington.


    Firm and evenhanded prudential regulation is called for. That will prevent further recurrences of the plague of mortgage fraud perpetrated by several million of our fellow citizens, with the aid of numerous mortgage brokers no longer in business and criminals within the financial system who have gone unpunished.


    ONce the economy has been stabilized and tax collections return to some approximation of their former level, a realistic dialogue can be started. Ideologues hopefully by then will have been voted out of office, otherwise the whole thing is an exercies in futility.


    There is a report that comes out every year on the funded status of Social security and Medicare. Social security is doing OK and can be fixed by tweaking. Medicare is another issue.


    The fact is, that the vast majority of a person's lifetime medical expenses are incurred in the last two years of life. Grandma and/or Grampa are kept alive in a nursing home, and the kids don't bother to come visit very often, they have their lives to live, but somebody has to pay for it.


    Meanwhile the kids are pretty sure that Grandma and Grandpa should be leaving them the house and an estate and can't believe the injustice involved when attempts are made to use a person's assets to pay for their care. Just not right, somehow.


    Well until we as a society can get honest about those issues there is no way this thing will add up. A lot of political grandstanding about Planned Parenthood or other small line items distracts everybody from the discussions that have to occur.


    CFMA will have to be repealed, Glass Steagall restored, etc., etc. I am so sorry to say this, but it takes time. It took very nearly twenty years of concerted fraud, waste and abuse to dig this hole, it will take a similar period to dig back out of it. It cannot be completed in time for the 2012 elections.
    8 Apr 2011, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • Great analysis Mr. Armistead. You nailed both the causes and solutions in a thoughtful, insightful way. Much better than much of the cartoon-level commentary here.
    8 Apr 2011, 08:28 PM Reply Like
  • I agree with you.. but it is too sensible to be implemented. Lobbies control the government..


    180 billion in Ag subsidies
    Several billion in tax breaks to oil companies
    Tax loopholes that allow companies/wealthy to pay billions less than their fair share of taxes


    Plenty of other subsidies that really conflict with free market principles while producing no social or economic improvement.
    8 Apr 2011, 08:59 PM Reply Like
  • rad


    There is a lot of waste and it needs to be done away with. Ethanol is high on my list.


    However we need to talk Trillions in savings and that means SSA, SSI, Medicare need to be on the table. Throw on DOD for good measure but it is not enough by itself.


    The government needs to break promises because the numbers do not work.
    8 Apr 2011, 09:52 PM Reply Like
  • Tom:


    Indirectly you have said that corruption is bringing us down and there is a lot of truth to that. People with integrity would never expect their government to take money from someone else and give it to them so they could kick back and do nothing. Government officials would never promise things that are paid by debt issuance or stealing from the younger generation and calling it taxes.


    On government spending my memory is that Keynsian economics assumed the government was not already in bad debt when a recession hit so therefore they could increase spending and drive aggregate demand. It also strikes me that driving aggregate demand for factory jobs back in the 30's to support nuclear families is quite different than driving demand today so people can buy another flatscreen TV. In the former case men really wanted to work and now I really question if many people want to work as they are not in survival mode rather they are in luxury mode.
    8 Apr 2011, 10:05 PM Reply Like
  • April 8 (Bloomberg) -- Senator Tom Coburn, (R) Oklahoma, talks with Bloomberg's Al Hunt about how he WILL this year get the agricultural subsidies reduced or removed, I do not know the details of his plan he did not spell them out tonight.
    BTW I have not viewed the linked video but I did watch him on Bloombrg.
    Sounds promising him being a R and all, will have to see the details.
    8 Apr 2011, 10:52 PM Reply Like
  • @Thomas


    SS is a benefit that people pay into. It is 40% of the inflows and only 20% of the outflow into the Fed Govt. (See Reform it, don't kill the benefits/


    Medicare - the problem is the rate of rise of health cost. Medicare hole is the symptom. Rising medical costs are a huge problem for Private employers too and if the government addresses that (which I believe can only be done if we get a single payer system). I agree this is a very important point to address, but the solution again is not cutting medicare but bending the cost curve. This is what the original intent of the Health care reform was (the law that passed does not quite do it)


    There are a lot of low hanging fruits that can easily get rid of 500-800 billion per year in deficits. Why not get that done while we discuss the more complex issues like Medicare.
    8 Apr 2011, 11:09 PM Reply Like
  • "Meanwhile the kids are pretty sure that Grandma and Grandpa should be leaving them the house and an estate and can't believe the injustice involved when attempts are made to use a person's assets to pay for their care. Just not right, somehow.


    Well until we as a society can get honest about those issues there is no way this thing will add up. A lot of political grandstanding about Planned Parenthood..."


    Tommy boy, it seems like you just found the glaring answer, unwittingly of course, in your own rambling prose.


    Why don't you just start aborting seniors? A two fer. Problem solved and PP can still get to keep its funding. They can also keep offing children or bleeding out goats or whatever it is they enjoy doing. It would also solve medicaid. Bounce them off the rolls a little early.


    Don't object. The abortion abattoirs are politically correct. Why not senior home abattoirs? Seems very workable. According to the left, life is cheap. Why not cheapen it further? Then all those 'entitlements' whether medicaid or social security would be fixed overnight.


    Just trying to keep you losers ... consistent.


    9 Apr 2011, 12:58 AM Reply Like
  • Madoff sits in his cell wondering why he's there when the federal government and all their entitled payroll ponzi makes him look like an ordained saint.


    Sounds like you are a believer, bro.
    9 Apr 2011, 01:02 AM Reply Like
  • Rad


    Then according to your numbers or is it sleight of hand we should just give everyone their SSA money back and they will be ahead of the game? I say let's get it done now because SSA is way underfunded. People are taking out more than they pay in.
    If we reform it do we raise the age of eligibility until it is useless? One suggestion is 70 years old but that is a sham since the average LE for US males is 75.6. So a US male pays in for 50 years and collects for 5.6 years. That is a fraud.


    And what the hell is the federal government doing providing benefits? Are they some big insurance company? Oh yes I guess they are because they guarantee about 90% of the mortgages. How is that working for us?


    I am skeptical about the bend the cost curve claim and really anything that the government says when the talk numbers. Anytime prices are held down artificially you get side affects. Typically you get less of whatever was being offered at the higher price. Reminds me of Pres Ford's WIN campaign (Whip Inflation Now) which was an utter failure.


    If they can suck it up to get rid of $500 to $800 Billion per year then more power to them but that is unfortunately just a start and they are still running a deficit which is staggering to consider. And if interest rates spike then look out.
    9 Apr 2011, 01:37 AM Reply Like
  • Defense + Intelligence budget = 800 Billion


    Deficit = 1500 billion
    8 Apr 2011, 08:05 PM Reply Like
  • Obviously none of that intelligence ever enters into the Capitol or the White House. That is an oxymoron in WDC.


    Slice the DOD number in half and let people go to war with each other for a while but reserve enough firepower to go and drill a random bad guy or two so we keep them guessing.
    9 Apr 2011, 01:41 AM Reply Like
  • Here is an idea. Let the government shut down and we'll see firsthand just how many of the so called "needed" services from the federal government that we actually don't need. We can then start the process of downsizing a too big federal government.


    I'd say it's time to bring in the clowns, but that would be redundant
    8 Apr 2011, 08:06 PM Reply Like
  • Do you not think that would embolden the forces that are already advocating removing the Right of the US to be the only country to print it's way out of debt? Might not the basket of currencies idea catch strength and if implemented what would result?
    Once the world is not supporting the US economy by buying T bonds would not we go the route of Mexico/ Argentina rather quickly?
    Seems a cut off your nose to spite your face call to me.
    8 Apr 2011, 10:59 PM Reply Like
  • Naw. Not really. None of that actually. There's good debt and bad debt. And the only debt that's been bought lately has been done by the Fed, not foreigners.


    Debt is a broad word. Define it.


    Here, I'll start. First what is it used for? Where does the money go? What is the ROIC? Show me the product of the government leverage besides debt service.


    That's a good start. Go.
    9 Apr 2011, 01:06 AM Reply Like
  • Countries want to do business with the US because we have a $14 Trillion output. They don't want to get involved in our finances any further as that is looking like a drunken spectacle.


    We always have the right to print our way out of debt but we have to deal with the inflation and currency deflation.


    We have moved past the time when this will be easy.
    9 Apr 2011, 01:46 AM Reply Like
  • LOL @ anybody from the Reagan admin preaching about debt. They are the ones who started the cut + spend = debt equation.
    8 Apr 2011, 08:21 PM Reply Like
  • " O'Neill, fired in a shakeup of Bush's economic team in December 2002, raised objections to a new round of tax cuts and said the president balked at his more aggressive plan to combat corporate crime after a string of accounting scandals because of opposition from "the corporate crowd," a key constituency.


    O'Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone-posed a threat to the economy.


    Cheney cut him off. "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he said, according to excerpts.


    Cheney continued: "We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due." A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired. "
    8 Apr 2011, 11:01 PM Reply Like
  • Cheney is right. So is Milton Friedman. The debt just needs to sit and rot. Its not the real problem. Future spending is. That is to say, adding to the debt by increased spending is the real demon.


    You could take our current debt and just leave it where it is. You could then cut taxes and let the private sector ramp up and take the lion's share of the economic workload like its been so wanting to do, but for the continued interventionists stopping them.


    And as the private sector noticed the govt. getting the fuck out of the way, the debt in the rear view mirror? Well, this time objects appear farther away than they actually are as distance is created between you and the object over time.


    Its about spending, not current debt.


    For those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
    9 Apr 2011, 01:10 AM Reply Like
  • Pier


    If we only had to deal with the $14 Trillion debt right now and probably another $3 Trillion that is in the pipeline we would likely be OK. The problem is the trajectory and the estimated $50 to $100 Trillion of unfunded promises that have been made by WDC.


    And this does not include state and local budget issues.
    9 Apr 2011, 01:50 AM Reply Like
  • This is the warm up act in a show that we will be watching for a number of months/years as we try and come to grips with how much debt and obligations have been racked up in the government sector. At some point even the most disinterested of our fellow citizens will have an epiphany and realize they are on the hook for $100's of thousands of debt for all kinds of expenditures. That will be an interesting time.


    Can I get a refund?
    8 Apr 2011, 08:29 PM Reply Like
  • Its over people. This country is going into a total collapse. All we can do now is prepare with precious metals, food, water, and protection.
    8 Apr 2011, 08:32 PM Reply Like
  • Agreement reached @ 24:00.
    8 Apr 2011, 11:03 PM Reply Like
  • Lets hope that the Republicans come to their senses and realize no one gives a damn about social issues while our country is burning in debt.


    Lets hope the Democrats realize that no one is interested in "all the pain and suffering" that budgets cuts will cause to adults that should be able to take care of themselves. We know its our children and grandchildren that will feel the real "pain and suffering".


    Maybe then we could see a grand bargain that would get us a balanced budget as part of raising the debt ceiling one last time.


    I know, I know its about as likely as me winning the lotter tonight when I didn't even buy a ticket....... but a guy can hope!
    8 Apr 2011, 08:34 PM Reply Like
  • If we don't have enough money or foresight to offer testing to women for STD's regardless their circumstances then yes, all has been lost already.
    8 Apr 2011, 11:05 PM Reply Like
  • ROFL!
    9 Apr 2011, 01:12 AM Reply Like
  • Dude


    So we are responsible for women's STD's? If they can have sex then they should be able to work and take care of themselves. Or stay home for crying out loud.
    9 Apr 2011, 01:53 AM Reply Like
  • Somehow it was deemed "acceptable" to give hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer bail-out money to these corporate clowns, via the politicians, as we continue to do today with the QE2 fiasco. It seems many of you turned a blind eye throughout that robbery and now want to shut down govt for sake of a few billion? Get real. If you want to shut something down that will make a difference, start with the commodity traders for bidding up oil to $112, and corn, wheat, sugar, copper, you name it...then move to the for profit health insurance corp that milks Medicare for billions while at the same time paying the CEO 50mm a year, or the FASB changing regulations so the "healthy" banks can continue to operate under this disguise of profitability. Or my favorite, why isn't anyone talking about the 1.2 trillion Fed purchase via FNR/FRE of mortgage back securities aka toxic assets from the top five banks, then providing unlimited funding (losses) to these GSE's, and now let me guess, I bet the next step will be for some genius politician to shut FRE/FNM down and SELL BACK the mortgage back securities via "auction" to the same banks they originally bought them from, but for only pennies on the dollar- that's the stuff you all should be furious about, yet you still talk about Republican and Democrat trivial gibberish. Thats the polarization smokescreen- they want to distract you so you don't pay attention to the real issues. If you're not emailing your officials weekly you're not doing your part.


    Blame much of this situation on the entitlement generation aka baby boomers. Instead of "living it up" in the 80's and 90's these clowns should have been resolving real issues, such as Social Security, medical, energy, banking regulation, environmental, defense etc..but no, all they "accomplished" was the de-industrialzation of America and transforming us into a "service" economy. Now, we're too far in debt to do anything except default, and when that happens, kiss your "good life" bye-bye and brace for food lines and third-world living standards. But at least the top 3% "got theirs" even if at the expense of the other 97%.
    8 Apr 2011, 08:35 PM Reply Like
  • I'm not sure who you are referring to? I believe if you read my comments on this board you'll find I am just as mad about the total lack of prosecutions for the crooks responsible for the financial crisis as I am about the deficit.


    That doesn't change the fact that the government and its spending is a threat to the future of our children and grandchildren.


    Most people don't want the government to shut down in reality - hypothetically, they want it greatly reined in, and if it has to shut down to draw attention to how out of control things are then they are ok with that.


    To me its not about a shut-down, its about spending only what we have. And we are at least 1.6 trillion on the wrong side of the ledger this year!!!


    So prosecute all fraud (including the "friends of Angelo" Frank and Dodd!!), and balance the damn budget!!
    8 Apr 2011, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • Amen brother.


    I don't want a govt shut-down, and I don't mind paying my share of taxes, but I want the money to go where it should, and that's not Jamie Dimons 20mm bonus or Lloyds 19mm bonus. Stop the FED from propping up the banks and de-valuing our $$ for a start, then cut the corporate welfare subsidies and vote in some grass-root politicians that aren't bought and paid for by big business, then we'll see change.


    Yes, prosecute all the fraud- why has no one gone to jail as a result of the biggest financial collapse since 1930's?


    I just wrote a property tax check today for over $6,000 and it makes me cringe to know somewhere some govt worker is retired at 50 years old making 100% of past salary and I'm paying for it. Enough is enough....we need to make some changes NOW.
    8 Apr 2011, 08:55 PM Reply Like
  • Maybe it would be less painful to think of it as rent rather than taxes. The government retirees own your house, and they are charging you rent.


    Or maybe they only own part of it, the family room perhaps, and one of the spare bedrooms.
    8 Apr 2011, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • @davidbc Watch these videos and tell me who voted for the bailout.



    The beautiful thing about these times is once something is caught on videos - it is there. You can have your own opinion - but not your own facts.
    8 Apr 2011, 09:08 PM Reply Like
  • And what "facts" that I wrote do you dispute?
    8 Apr 2011, 09:15 PM Reply Like
  • I was talking to some of my coworkers and an interesting idea came up -


    a) Everyone has to pay their share of taxes
    b) At time of filing taxes, everyone should get to put what percentage of their taxes should go to which one of the say 10 categories in terms of spending.
    8 Apr 2011, 09:18 PM Reply Like
  • "if you read my comments on this board you'll find I am just as mad about the total lack of prosecutions for the crooks responsible for the financial crisis as I am about the deficit.


    So prosecute all fraud (including the "friends of Angelo" Frank and Dodd!!), and balance the damn budget!! "


    Hence implying that Frank and Dodd were responsible for the bailout and pardoning of the crooks. They were the guys who tried to reign in the behavior of the crooks by proposing financial reform. Which I agree is quite imperfect (long, confusing and not restrictive enough), but a step in the right direction.


    I blame the tea party more than the dems though .. the dems are doing the right thing by not giving in to unreasonable demands that are politically motivated and have NOTHING to do with the budget deficit. There are much bigger multi billion dollar items that should go, but neither would touch.
    8 Apr 2011, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • J 457 It is worse than you think..


    The govt worker "retires" from the govt at 50, draws 90% of pay and goes to work for a Contracting company (who previously worked for this guy) and gets a huge paycheck in addition to the huge pension.


    These crazy plans aren't available to anyone who joined the federal government say in the last 10 years or so, but is more of a legacy thing. But hey that was a part of their contract!


    If it isn't fair for the government to break AIG and Lehman contracts (for bonus payout), how can it be fair to break contracts between the government and it's employees?
    8 Apr 2011, 09:43 PM Reply Like
  • I think you might want to do some research into the roles that Frank and Dodd played in the years prior to the financial crisis.


    And my reference is to the fact that Dodd received a "sweetheart" mortgage deal from Countrywide under the "friends of Angelo" program at the company.


    And no one has been pardoned.


    And to say that Frank and Dodd are the guys who tried to reign in the behavior of crooks is humorous. I believe they both voted for the bailouts (I could be wrong as tonight I'm not in the mood to go to the voting records). They both were involved in the "inner" discussions as to whether or not to prop up the banks. Neither of them have publicly called for any individual to go to jail. They were both a big part of the problem.


    Unreasonable demands you say? You mean like to borrow 1.6 Trillions dollars. You mean to introduce a budget where you promise to have a debt of over 20 trillion dollars within a few years?
    I think thats pretty unreasonable. Do you think the Democrats aren't motivated by politics??? Do you really think they are the altruistic people just looking out for the county's best interest? Or do you think that Planned Parenthood sounded like the most egregious thing they might be able to throw at the Republicans?


    Guess what if they are truly arguing over Planned Parenthood then neither side in the argument is doing the right thing!!! From the Democrats, planned parenthood receives a small percentage of its money from the government - it supposedly "earned" 100 million dollars last year - sounds like the organization would be able to function without the money from the federal government!! From the Republicans, Planned parenthood's role or lack of role in abortions is already written in the law - if the law isn't effective either enforce it or write a new one - either way it doesn't belong in a budgetary discussion. Want to change the structure of Planned Parenthood then debate it out in the open on its own merits!


    I have some bad news, everything spent has something to do with the deficit. And the "tea party" could frankly care less about Planned Parenthood - EVERYTHING WILL HAVE TO BE CUT!!!!!


    Repeat that. Everything will have to be cut! And you will be able to bring in people in wheelchairs that cry and say they are suffering, and people will have stories about their next door neighbor's grandma that only eats tomatoes for one of her meals. But the choice is simple - either we live according to our means or we ensure that our children will face a lesser future. Want to talk about taxation without representation!!


    At least the adults in today's generation have had their chance. They have lived through the largest creation of wealth in history. They need only look in the mirror as to their lot in life. So lets do whats in our country's best long term interests... take our medicine now and let our children and grandchildren grow up in a country of opportunity and freedom rather than a country of stagnation, bureaucrats, and debt.
    8 Apr 2011, 10:06 PM Reply Like
  • Well said, though I did and do support TARP as a necessary evil.
    8 Apr 2011, 11:11 PM Reply Like
  • But supporting basic reproductive health services for low income americans is not a necessary evil right?
    8 Apr 2011, 11:17 PM Reply Like
  • Take away their government checks, and they'll get their reproductive business in order toot sweet.
    8 Apr 2011, 11:20 PM Reply Like
  • So, did you pony up for NPR?
    9 Apr 2011, 01:15 AM Reply Like
  • "Hence implying that Frank and Dodd were responsible for the bailout and pardoning of the crooks. They were the guys who tried to reign in the behavior of the crooks by proposing financial reform."


    So bro, like, how are the drugs man? For serious, do you feel like a frog all tangled up at the bottom of a laundry basket, stuck in a wet blanket and unable to get out? Fried.
    9 Apr 2011, 01:22 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting comment that gov't workers are retiring at 50 with full salary and they are thinking of moving SSA to 70 years old.


    That is grounds for a massive revolution.
    9 Apr 2011, 01:56 AM Reply Like
  • US govt rode roughshod over a lot of contracts in the past 5 years and strong armed people so screw 'em.


    We should not pay any taxes for any of this organized robbery. They are making any abuses in the banks look pretty tame.
    9 Apr 2011, 01:59 AM Reply Like
  • What?


    Dem lawmakers beat up banks for decades that they did not lend to underdeveloped areas and to the lower class. And BF had the biggest mouth of any of them.


    We sure fixed that problem so the banks were loaning money to anyone.
    9 Apr 2011, 02:02 AM Reply Like
  • We need to get out of the business of taking care of people's private parts or at least kick it down to the state level.
    9 Apr 2011, 02:04 AM Reply Like
  • I won't notice either way, so IDGAS. ;)
    8 Apr 2011, 11:01 PM Reply Like
  • Ryan's proposal reduces taxes for the upper 1% while cutting services for the elderly. It's class warfare disguised as budgetary responsibility.
    8 Apr 2011, 11:05 PM Reply Like
  • Class warfare usually refers to income levels not a group age like elderly.


    And how do you define the upper 1%? W2 income? Wealth? Weight?
    9 Apr 2011, 02:06 AM Reply Like
  • Go write a protest song. Raise your fist. March.


    Stick your head into a mailbox and scream into it.


    Then, go run around your neighborhood with your arms out to your sides like an aer-o-plane going wheeeeeeee... all the way down your street.
    9 Apr 2011, 03:00 AM Reply Like
  • Now for all misinformed souls who think the federal government has expanded beyond reason, here's some numbers. Note that under Reagan we had much bigger federal government than under Obama. Today we have the smallest federal government since statistics exist.
    Total number of federal employees per 1,000 Americans:
    1962 (Kennedy) 13.3
    1964 (Johnson) 12.9
    1970 (Nixon) 14.4
    1975 (Ford) 13.2
    1978 (Carter) 12.9
    1982 (Reagan) 11.9
    1990 (Bush) 12.3
    1994 (Clinton) 11.1
    2002 (Bush) 9.1
    2010 (Obama) 8.4+
    9 Apr 2011, 12:31 AM Reply Like
  • Smallest and most expensive, per 1k Americans.
    9 Apr 2011, 12:50 AM Reply Like
  • Indeed, seems to me we used to get more with less. Now they roll up in an Escalade and swipe their name tag at the gate while twirling a gold toothpick in their mouth.
    9 Apr 2011, 01:55 AM Reply Like
  • Apparently we are overspending on employees then. Throw the contractors on those numbers.
    9 Apr 2011, 02:07 AM Reply Like
  • Could you share the source of that data?
    9 Apr 2011, 08:25 AM Reply Like
  • SOURCE: Office of Management and Budget. *= Figure includes temporary Census Bureau workers. += Estimates by OMB and U.S. Census Bureau..
    The table was published by Ed O'Keefe in the Washington Post.
    9 Apr 2011, 09:46 AM Reply Like
  • Thank you. Do you know if there is anything that combines all levels of government. I have seen recent numbers that show % of jobs in each state that are government related (state and local). I believe that overall government employment is now around 15%. But I don't know if that includes the armed forces. It would be interesting to see how all government employment has looked over the years. Anyways, Thanks for your follow up on the data.
    9 Apr 2011, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • Yes, on the census bureau website you can build a table picking the type of government employees that you want to count: state, local, federal, education, libraries, etc.
    I built a table for 2007 with all government employees, in the entire country, and the total is 19,385,969. This is including everybody paid by the government: teachers, postal workers, full and part-timers, etc. I don't think that contractors are included there. For the years that I have been able to find, the trend is the same as for the federal only employees: decreasing number of employees per 10,000 population. It is not the number of employees or their salaries that drive up the government budget; it is the exponentially increasing expenses on health care and the armed forces. Cut these two and suddenly America will have a very healthy budget.
    9 Apr 2011, 05:53 PM Reply Like
  • US corporations have seen gargantuan gains in productivity over the years due to the advent of the computer. Ought not the US government make use of that same technology? But what they save in management they have lost in skyrocketing wages and benefits for government workers. And even a cursory look at the incredible salary increases Obama began in 2009 and 2010 for virtually all federal employees, its clear the US taxpayer is alloting an increasingly larger proportion of his taxes to fund those salaries and benefits all while the remainder of the population is facing sky-high unemployment and underemployment. This is morally bankrupt.
    9 Apr 2011, 10:03 AM Reply Like
  • I am of the mind that we scrap SSA and give every worker in the US the same retirement benefits as government workers. If we are going to go broke we can all go broke together. This would also be a natural governor on the benefit packages.
    9 Apr 2011, 02:37 PM Reply Like
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