published Sunday, December 12th, 2010

The Ribbon Cutting

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

63
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Yano said...

Deficit spending IS a future tax increase. Therefore, since Republicans have consistently created the biggest deficits, they are by far the biggest taxers in this country. (Remember that Obama during his first year as president was operating under Bush's last budget.)

It's especially sad since we finance our debt by borrowing with interest from the Chinese.

If only the Republicans were patriotic enough to balance the budget like President Clinton did.

December 12, 2010 at 12:08 a.m.
fairmon said...

Abolish the legislatively imposed 30%+ cost imposed by local, state and federal government on businesses and employ the millions unemployed that would then buy goods and services plus pay taxes. Abolish unnecessary departments, czars, grants, subsidies, incentives, deductions,reductions and other political tools of manipulation and control. Quit two needless wars or win and end with an aggressive unpopular strategy that doesn't worry so much about world opinion and collateral damage.

These are radical no doubt but would work if not for our "big brother/sister" leaders that will not relinquish the power and prestige they sought so hard to get. People would be wise to study those former world powers that failed under the burden of debt and dependent societies they created. Rome, Spain, Great Britain and others that were world dominating and had the worlds reserve currency. Their ever increasing confiscation of wealth and the demands of those wanting to share more of the wealth led to their demise. They were in denial and never accepted reality. Sound familiar?

December 12, 2010 at 1:22 a.m.
woody said...

Yeah, right..Cut taxes and lower debt.. Everyone who believes that..jump up and down, rub your tummy and pat your head..and, oh yeah, how would you like to buy some really nice future ocean-front property in Arizona??

Actually, the word "Boom" (as in lower the..) should have been imprinted on the anvil.

Sorry Clay..I hate to be an 'over-the-shoulder' cartoonist..but....

Oh well, back to my coffee, Woody

December 12, 2010 at 6:33 a.m.
Sailorman said...

In the interest of clarity, change the word "debt" to "spending". Otherwise, good cartoon.

December 12, 2010 at 7:23 a.m.
MTJohn said...

A picture says a thousand words. Unfortunately, the wisdom in this picture is so obvious we still can't see it. We have been blinded by greed.

Please keep up your good work, Clay.

December 12, 2010 at 7:56 a.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

Any questions?

December 12, 2010 at 8:08 a.m.
hambone said...

Lets see now! We're going to cut taxes for business so it can hire more people to make its goods and services, so when these people get back on their feet, they will buy those goods and services and then pay more taxes so the debt will go away!

Hows that work again?

December 12, 2010 at 9:02 a.m.
fairmon said...

hambone,

keep thinking you will get it. I hope you realize every time you buy something produced in the U.S. you are paying any taxes or other government imposed cost on the U.S business producing the product. They just add those cost to their production or service cost and mark the product up enough to recover government imposed cost. How do they stay in business if they don't do that? in fact some haven't. Keep on bashing and milking them and running them off. Imports don't have this additional 30% so you may want to buy imported products. Makes one wonder if U.S. exports might go up if that 30% additional cost wasn't there? Of course that may cause some people that don't even want to work to have a job, god forbid we get to that point. Don't worry, the government can borrow more and keep printing more and more money and distribute it to us so we can buy more imported products. Aren't you glad we have such brilliant political leaders?

December 12, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.
MTJohn said...

Hambone - the last time that I checked, indentured workers employed by American corporations in third world countries don't pay U.S. taxes.

December 12, 2010 at 9:36 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

I loved the Clinton stand in for Obama. It should have been a SNL skit. Here is the ex- president along with a Republican congress that sold us down the river without a paddle. Now that Obamanomics has proven to be a complete failure and has not created 1 job he brings us back to the "GREATEST PRESIDENT EVER" to remind us of what? Has anyone noticed how we keep losing jobs every week but the stock market keeps moving ahead. Corporations are flush with cash because they no longer pay American Wages. They support the third world movement. It's their duty to the stockholders you know. So don't look to these mega dollar groups to provide any American with a job soon. It's not how it works. And a big thank you to President Clinton and the Republican Congress during his time in office for creating the biggest disaster in American History. Now get back to your coffee. It may cost a lot more in the near future so get it while you can.

December 12, 2010 at 9:45 a.m.
bret said...

What harp forgets is that those federal, state, and local taxes that he wants to cut currently go toward providing services and hiring people. If those taxes on businesses are cut, then who makes up the difference? We all do.

About the only thing harp said that makes sense is that we should end the two needless wars. As for "winning" them, that is impossible.

December 12, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.
bret said...

A perfect cartoon, Clay. Perhaps it will help more people see the simple truth that cutting taxes, especially on the wealthy, will simply crush us with more debt.

This is usually the point in the conversation when those on the right go on their anti-spending rants. Government spending is certainly a problem, but it is a different problem (anvil) totally unrelated to the taxes/debt situation.

December 12, 2010 at 10:38 a.m.
delmar said...

whatsthefuss wrote "Corporations are flush with cash because they no longer pay American Wages. They support the third world movement. It's their duty to the stockholders you know. So don't look to these mega dollar groups to provide any American with a job soon."

I especially like "It's their duty to the stockholders you know." Pretty much sums up any publicly traded corporations first order of business. Protect the bottom line for the sake of the stockholder and the rest be damned. Thus moving their manufacturing jobs to Third World slave labor camps.

Wow, that's a big step to get down off the soapbox, hope I don't break a hip. : )

December 12, 2010 at 10:46 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Taxes do provide services. If you have one of these taxpayer funded jobs you are in the minority and enjoy a pay rate that is well above the private sector as to income and benefits. So again, bringing government spending into line with what the private sector is afforded is not just fair but mandatory. That is the SIMPLE TRUTH.

December 12, 2010 at 10:47 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Hey delmar. If you jump instead of step you will most likely land on both feet greatly reducing any chance of a fracture!! Hope that helps!!!

December 12, 2010 at 10:53 a.m.
delmar said...

Whew! Made it, took your advice whatsthefuss, thanks. Oh, before I go, do you know any good Chinese language teachers. Just preparing for the future!

December 12, 2010 at 11:20 a.m.
EaTn said...

If Reaganomics/Bushonomics would have worked like the right-wingers keep dreaming about, the country would be at full employment and in the higher tax bracket to reap the benefits of the tax cuts with no deficit, and we wouldn't need to have these debates.

December 12, 2010 at 12:49 p.m.
fairmon said...

bret,

very good, keep thinking you will pass. You asked the question: "If those businesses don't pay the 30% legislated cost who will pay them? then you stated "we all do". very good and a good answer, who pays them now?. Just think if the goods and services we buy are 25-30% cheaper and millions more are paying taxes and we are also paying more taxes but less than 30% more, who benefits? It is economics 101 that most of your elected elite don't understand and those that do don't want you to understand.

Even worse bret what if those reduced cost to businesses resulted in more exported goods and reduced our trade imbalance? What if they had to expand to meet demand and hire more people? We may run out of people needing a job and the number dependent on government reduced. Wouldn't that be terrible, government less needed? Our elected elite would be hurt. How would they get elected if they were perceived as less needed?

I do understand why people deny this reality. It is not the way it has always been. It is not the way I have always thought about things. it is uncomfortable therefore denied as a possibility. It is what psychologist call the normalcy factor.

December 12, 2010 at 1:54 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...

"...enough to balance the budget like President Clinton did."

Not this B.S. again.

Yano, please do a little research and tell me the last year that the Federal budget was "balanced", i.e. the debt did not expand. Here's a hint, Eisenhower was President at the time.

If one is going to believe a lie like "Clinton balanced the budget", it is no wonder that so many to the left of reality also believe that higher tax rates increase federal revenue. One historically ignorant claim is just as right as another.


It is a fact that the Fed.gov cannot extract more than 20-21% of GDP in the form of taxes. It doesn't matter what the tax rates are, and the data over the last 100 years shows this to be true.

Given this absolute fact, the only way to reduce the national debt is to reduce federal spending to less than 20% of GDP.

Period.

It is too bad that such a large portion of the population is too ignorant to understand this simple fact.

December 12, 2010 at 2:07 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

delmar, Locally we seem to be obsessed with our new German friends and their language. Once we become fluent in German perhaps our attention will turn to the language of the future. Another thought would be to not make the Mexican/U.S. border too secure. We may need to cross it to find employment.

December 12, 2010 at 2:40 p.m.
Yano said...

Scottym: "It is a fact that the Fed.gov cannot extract more than 20-21% of GDP in the form of taxes."

Voodoo economics is not "absolute fact." Are other countries also limited to this magic percentage or just the good old USA?

If this equation is correct, then we should enact huge tax increases to force an increase in the size of the economy!

December 12, 2010 at 2:41 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

How about a little reality with your humor??? http://www.fortunewatch.com/the-obama-tax-system-explained-in-beer/

December 12, 2010 at 2:52 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Extending the tax cuts for the billionaires and zillionaires is a dumb idea and a big waste. Common sense should tell anyone that it will not benefit this country in any way, and will only compound the economic problems created by incompetent self serving politicians.

This money could be put to a lot better use by doing something constructive like rebuilding parts of our nation’s dilapidated infrastructure. It urgently needs to be done and would actually create some ”real” jobs in the process. Everyone would benefit - including billionaires and zillionaires.

December 12, 2010 at 3:13 p.m.
Clara said...

I found this opinion VERY interesting as it reenforces a line of thought I've had for years.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/10/AR2010121002483.html?hpid=opinionsbox1&sid=ST2010121004392

December 12, 2010 at 3:51 p.m.
woody said...

WOW!!! I thought there was a 'snowjob' going on outside..oh wait...there is!!

Scotty..you're a great guy (I guess), but will you finally let Clinton off the hook. Okay, so he wasn't as 'high on fidelity' as RCA Victor (I hope everyone is old enough to appreciate that one!!). He did manage to leave "W" enough to get started on his spending spree..before he began borrowing from the Chinese, that is.

Granted Clinton did 'sign-off' on NAFTA, but it was "Big Daddy Bush" who got the ball rolling.

TTFN, Woody

December 12, 2010 at 4:22 p.m.
GlacierClipper said...

Stop all foreign aid to countries. Useless spending should stop at all levels of government.

  1. Stop funding NASA.

  2. The President should pay for his own groceries, parties and pay a percentage of his salary to rent the White House. His travel should be limited and he should pay a percentage if it is not related to a just cause.

  3. Bring all U.S. Troops back to the USA, including those in South Korea, Japan and those in the European countries.

  4. Build factories here in the USA, to create jobs and stop paying the salaries for the foreign workers selling their lousy products here.

December 12, 2010 at 4:31 p.m.
whatsnottaken said...

Hey. The anvil is labeled wrong. It should "Bennett's deadbeat welfare losers" that our taxes are supporting

December 12, 2010 at 5:08 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...

Woody,

I'm not going after WJC. He wasn't the worst President ever, and he did do a few smart things like cutting the welfare rolls. I do take exception to anyone repeating the lie that there was a balanced budget. One cannot form valid viewpoints upon reality if one is basing those opinions on fairy tails.


Yano,

The one touting "voodoo" economics is you. I can back my claims with data, see: http://mercatus.org/publication/reality-isnt-negotiable-government-cant-raise-more-19-taxes-long

Notice that even when the tax rate on the highest earners was over 90%, the revenues still barely exceeded 20% of GDP and then only for a short time. The overall average is 19%, no matter the tax rates.

The current federal revenues are within a percentage point or two of their long term average right now. The problem is that spending is way above that amount.


Those who advocate taking more from those who already pay the most, on the mistaken assumption that it will improve the budgetary imbalance, are layering class envy upon economic ignorance. Of course when that's all you get from the talking heads on the boob-tube, you just make like a parrot and repeat the B.S.

December 12, 2010 at 5:27 p.m.
Yano said...

Scotty:

Tax rates can be higher or lower, as they are in other countries. The give and take between political factions in this country is what stabilizes federal taxes at around 20 percent of GDP, using a combination of rates and deductions. Indeed sudden swings in real tax rates would be very destabilizing for the economy.

The money of the rich is not sitting around useless, waiting to be taxed by the government so that it can be put to good use. The money of the rich is invested in the economy, creating jobs.

My point was that excessive government spending removes that job-generating wealth from the economy in one of two ways: either it is a future tax increase (to pay off the deficit), or it is a future devaluation of the currency (to pay off the deficit by printing money). Republicans who spend freely while pretending they are not confiscating the nation's wealth through taxation are hypocrites.

I support government spending that is useful, including making health care available to all, which I view as a moral imperative. I do not support wasting money on needless foreign wars and other Republican causes.

December 12, 2010 at 6:08 p.m.
carlB said...

SCOTTYM | On: December 12, 2010 at 2:07 p.m. ReplyL

What Obama is doing might not be completely right for this Republic, but under the circumstances, he has to fight the arrogance of the elected people of both parties and is not worried about his "legacy." This is driving the other elite arrogant Sob's crazy.
It was the split of the Democrats not using their strength when they had the chance to act. They continued to be divided so time was running out, Obama did not get the votes needed from them. They were not going to do anything before next year. Then the Republicans would have control of the House of REP. At the least, Obama woke up the Democrats for making the best deal that they could before the end of the year.

As we get more manufacturing jobs here in the USA, then the money needs to be spent on the Made in USA goods. This will create the trend of getting more jobs here as compared to the buying of the imported goods of the global corporate monopolies.
When the retail stores are full of "Made in the USA" goods at competitive prices with the imports of the global corporate monopolies, then we should have a higher GDP and higher employment. The US Trade Deficit is Unsustainable http://www.safehaven.com/article/316...2/the-us-trade-deficit-is-unsustainable

We have a lot of industry coming into this area but if it wasn't for the subsidies and enticements from the FED and the local tax payers, the jobs would not be created.

December 12, 2010 at 6:31 p.m.
tderng said...

1) Stop funding and quit the United Nations. 2) Stop sending billions and billions of dollars to nations whose only wish is for the downfall of the U.S. 3) Blow the crap out of the taliban in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan,and accept the deaths of non combatant terrorist sympathizers who live there.THEN BRING OUR TROOPS HOME! 4) Stop giving money for stupid programs and research projects like watching ants fart and funding anything not directly related to programs that help the government do its job ie roads,border defense and defense of American interests overseas. 5) Feed America first. then send the rest overseas,not vise versa as it seems to be now. We grow enough food to feed the world but there are hungry people in America,I have to wonder why this is. We should take care of ourselves first and if any other country doesn't like it,well then,@#%# them! 6) Increase the taxes and tarifs of goods coming in from overseas to reflect the taxes and tarifs that American companies pay when we send goods to them! 7) Put the people who were working on stupid programs and research to work hunting down fraud in the entitlement programs such as welfare and Medicare. The people who truly need these programs should be able to get them without worrying if there is enough money there! There is way too much fraud in these programs and the defrauders should face VERY stiff jail sentences and fines!!!

Come on people this isn't rocket science here. This is the greatest country the world has ever seen. If our politicians aren't willing to work together (and I mean from both parties) then vote their a$$E$ out and put someone in there that will. We need a leader who has the backbone to tell another country who threatens peace anywhere in the world that they will see the full force of the American Military. Our allies should feel confident that we will defend them at any cost,and our enemies should shake in fear if they plan to attack us or our allies. The confidence of our allies is at an all time low because all we seem to do is whine (to the useless U.N) about it when a country threatens our friends and allies. NOTHING EVER SEEMS TO GET DONE ABOUT THESE COUNTRIES WHO THREATEN WORLD PEACE. My God Even the powerful U.S.S.R. was afraid of the U.S. at one time,now most countries just laugh when we make toothless whines about their behavior!!! We won the cold war but that doesn't mean we should decrease our vigilance and let these little pi$$ant leaders threaten us or our allies.

December 12, 2010 at 6:45 p.m.
emersonbigns said...

Please point on the globe the country that taxed itself into prosperity?

December 12, 2010 at 6:50 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Hello woody. WJC giving China permanent normal trade relations in 2000 makes NAFTA look like a penny on the dollar in comparison. After hearing him during his stand up routine he mentioned he is making a lot of money these days. I find it curious that he left the White House in severe debt and was able to command very high fees to speak as soon as he departed as President. His daughters wedding was obsene to say the least. Not to shabby for a poor man. And dems/dums made hay out of Palin being paid to speak? At least she earned her fees in this country. Who was paying WJC abroad and why??? Yano, needless foreign wars are still being waged by the Dems. Whats up with that. Also remember, WJC had his war that no one ever talks about and there were much more pressing needs for military action at the time than Milosevic. Tell all the nice people how many American lives were sacrificed for Mr. Clinton's war and the cost for engagement??? Then rattle on with the bla-bla-bla...

December 12, 2010 at 7:26 p.m.
Yano said...

tderng:

Ugh. You Know-Nothings got it all figured out, dontcha? Now pay attention, Tea Party:

"1) Stop funding and quit the United Nations."

This would save almost no money at all and would make it more difficult for the US to win cooperation with our allies, such as the current sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

"2) Stop sending billions and billions of dollars to nations whose only wish is for the downfall of the U.S."

We spend almost no money at all on foreign aid compared to the overall budget, and what we do give always comes with a price, such as Egypt's recognition of Israel, Colombia's war on drugs, etc.

"3) Blow the crap out of the taliban"

You think we've been trying not to??? Why don't you sign up and show us how it's done!

"4) Stop giving money for stupid programs and research projects"

Our capability in basic science is one of our biggest advantages over the rest of the world economically. Government investment in science is why we invented the Internet, for example. We're gradually losing our edge in the sciences already, and you want to let posturing political yahoos decide what's worth studying? And again, funding for the sciences is a minuscule part of the budget. Eliminating it won't pay for "roads, border defense and defense of American interests overseas." There is a difference between real budget math and wishful thinking!

"5) Feed America first"

We already do.

"6) Increase the taxes and tarifs of goods coming in from overseas to reflect the taxes and tarifs that American companies pay when we send goods to them!"

We already do. It's called the World Trade Organization.

"7) Put the people who were working on stupid programs and research to work hunting down fraud in the entitlement programs"

There is fraud in entitlement programs because it is prohibitively expensive to weed it out. It's not economically worth it to make welfare perfect. The way to reduce entitlement fraud is to make entitlement less necessary by creating more jobs, and stop punishing marriage by reducing benefits for married women and men.

"We won the cold war but that doesn't mean we should decrease our vigilance and let these little pi$$ant leaders threaten us or our allies."

Right, how many more wars should we start around the world against these "pi$$ants?" Are you gonna pay for them yourself? Are you gonna die for the cause?

December 12, 2010 at 8:01 p.m.
alprova said...

Scotty wrote: "Not this B.S. again.

Yano, please do a little research and tell me the last year that the Federal budget was "balanced", i.e. the debt did not expand. Here's a hint, Eisenhower was President at the time."


Scotty, how many times am I going to have to slap your hands before you quit purposely misrepresenting the facts as they were.

A balanced budget is simply defined as any fiscal year in which revenue equals or exceeds spending by the Government.

The National Debt has nothing to do with the Budget, unless spending results in borrowing of money to fund deficit spending, or if excess funds left over at the end of the fiscal year are applied to reduce the National Debt.

In 1998, revenue exceeded spending by $69.2 billion. In 1999, revenue exceeded spending by $122.7 billion. In 2000, revenue exceeded spending by $233 billion. Of that $424.9 billion in excess revenue, $363 billion was applied toward reducing the National Debt over those same three years.

The above was widely reported in the press and there are references to it on the White House website.

Those are documented facts and no amount of squabbling will refute them.

http://www.economist.com/node/533966


"If one is going to believe a lie like "Clinton balanced the budget", it is no wonder that so many to the left of reality also believe that higher tax rates increase federal revenue."


As I reminded you this past summer, the reason that Clinton can and will forever be able to claim credit for those surpluses, is due to the fact that he specifically and personally refused to sign budget bills all three of those years, that the Republican dominated Congress initially proposed.

Two times, the Government shut down until Congress submitted balanced budgets. Gingrich thought he could make Clinton blink, both times.

The National Debt stood at $5.727 Trillion when GWB took office. When he left office, the National Debt stood at just under $9.8 trillion.

GWB alone is responsible for signing budgets containing deficit spending that were equal, almost dollar for dollar, to the previous twenty years of deficit spending, during his eight years in office.

And you people want to blame our current President for it all.

December 12, 2010 at 10:50 p.m.
alprova said...

Scotty wrote: "It is a fact that the Fed.gov cannot extract more than 20-21% of GDP in the form of taxes. It doesn't matter what the tax rates are, and the data over the last 100 years shows this to be true."


Really? Would you be interested to know that currently, the American tax burden as a share of GDP stands at 28%?

Would you be interested to know that there are several developed nations with taxation that is at MUCH higher rates of their own GDP? Switzerland @ 29%, Australia @ 30%, Ireland @ 32%, Canada @ 34%, Poland @ 35%, Germany @ 36%, U.K. @ 38%, France @ 43%, and Denmark @ 49%, all have higher tax burdens above our own.

What's different in those nations? The wealth of those nations are spread out over a higher percentage of the people.

December 12, 2010 at 11:18 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...

"The National Debt has nothing to do with the Budget, unless spending results in borrowing of money to fund deficit spending, or if excess funds left over at the end of the fiscal year are applied to reduce the National Debt."

Exactly right, and the first is what happened in every one of those years as the debt INCREASED in every single one of 'em. Only an moron could be so dense as not to understand the simple logic of this fact.

It doesn't matter what the Budget says. If the debt increased it means that more was spent than was collected. Sophistry from idiots can not change this fact.

Enron was showing profits according to their budgets as well. Until the curtain was pulled back.

I'm not sure how someone who considers(or once did) themselves a financial professional could play along with fraudulent fiduciary claims, but here you are. I'd be careful, as it shows a lack of ethical integrity. You aren't anymore anonymous than anyone else on this board.


"Really? Would you be interested to know that currently, the American tax burden as a share of GDP stands at 28%?"

You might want to check your numbers on that. http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/current-tax-receipts http://imarketnews.com/node/23313

December 13, 2010 at 12:28 a.m.
alprova said...

Scotty, your figure of 14.8% of GDP only represent taxes collected at the Federal level.

That figure does not include State, local taxes, and other miscellaneous taxes collected that drive the true percentage of taxation relative to GDP for year 2010, to 28.2% of GDP (projected of course).

Note that the charts only refer to "Federal Revenue." I include the above to illustrate where my figures came from.

However, I admit that my challenge to your figure was not applicable, as apparently, the discussion was in regard to Federal taxation only.

Please accept my apology for jumping without taking time to understand that the subject did not include taxes other than those collected by the Federal Gov't.

December 13, 2010 at 1:26 a.m.
SCOTTYM said...

Yup, Fed only as I specified in the post you quoted.

And you are also right if one is including all levels of taxation. I come up with the same number you stated, and am disgusted that we waste so much of it.

Apology not required, but accepted none the less.

December 13, 2010 at 1:42 a.m.
alprova said...

Scotty wrote: "Exactly right, and the first is what happened in every one of those years as the debt INCREASED in every single one of 'em. Only an moron could be so dense as not to understand the simple logic of this fact."


I'm going to put this to bed once and for all, Scott.

From September 30, 1997 until September 30, 2001, a total of $476 billion was paid by the Treasury to reduce the public portion of the National Debt. That money came DIRECTLY from four straight years of cash surpluses, three from Clinton, and one from GWB.

TOTAL Federal debt increased approximately $133 billion because of an increase in intragovernmental debt holdings. Intragovernmental debt holdings are NOT considered to be "public debt."

You can read this for yourself on page one of the following document;

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/feddebt/feddebt_ann2001.pdf


"It doesn't matter what the Budget says. If the debt increased it means that more was spent than was collected. Sophistry from idiots can not change this fact."


The National Debt changes by the minute, with very little at all due to spending by the Gov't through the budgetary process. Old bonds mature and are sold. New bonds are issued and bought.

Expected and normal changes in the flow of money in and out affect the debt every day. Money is shifted around as needed in response to those normal and expected monetary needs.


"Enron was showing profits according to their budgets as well. Until the curtain was pulled back."


You're comparing apples to oranges. The only valid comparison would be to say that the Gov't does not follow SEC requirements, but then they don't have to.


"I'm not sure how someone who considers(or once did) themselves a financial professional could play along with fraudulent fiduciary claims, but here you are. I'd be careful, as it shows a lack of ethical integrity. You aren't anymore anonymous than anyone else on this board."


Scott, I've said it before and I'll repeat it now. When the day comes that the Gov't bounces one check that it writes, or fails to pay interest on any issued bond, then come at me with that silly crap.

My "ethical integrity" is just fine, thank you. My faith in our Gov't is well placed, because they have never, not once in 324 years of operation, failed to make good on any instrument it issues to you, I, or any of the millions of others that have chosen to invest in our Gov't.

December 13, 2010 at 2:31 a.m.
alprova said...

234 years.

December 13, 2010 at 2:35 a.m.
anniebelle said...

I wonder if tderng is worried he might be recruited for research on the stupid -- he and his repuke cohorts would be prime specimens for their 'research'. By the way, big shot, when was the last time you put on a uniform and fought for this country?

December 13, 2010 at 5:52 a.m.
Clara said...

Scotty, Alprova,

I admire your presentations but as I've stated before, I am unable to comprehend one bit of the stuff that is offered on the websites you posted.

One paragraph,from the GAO offered this at the end:

"Our tests for compliance in fiscal year 2001 with the Statutory Debt Limit, 31 U.S.C. 3101(b), as amended, disclosed no instances of noncompliance that would be reportable under U.S. generally accepted government auditing standards or OMB audit guidance. However, the objective of our audit of the Schedule of Federal Debt for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2001, was not to provide an opinion on overall compliance with laws and regulations. Accordingly, we do not express such an opinion."

And so on...

I am a simple soul. If I don't have the money, I can't buy it. I do not have credit cards, debit cards, etc.

When I was young, my savings account gained me 3% interest.

Whoopie!

It is now 1%

The gibberish that I hear on all financial subjects is overwhelming. It seems to be a vast shell game at which the average person is inveigled into investing, only to be taken. There seems to be an overabundance of "doublespeak",not only by the private sector but by the government.

More follows...

December 13, 2010 at 6:48 a.m.
Clara said...

And this paragraph was randomly chosen from "The Market Place" above:

One measure of the effect of taxes on the returns from working and saving is the marginal tax rate--the tax paid per dollar of extra earnings or dollar of extra income from savings. The highest marginal income tax rate (the tax rate that applies to the top income tax bracket) was 91 percent in the late 1950s and early 1960s and as high as 70 percent as recently as 1980, although a lower maximum rate applied to earnings in that year. Since 1988, the highest marginal income tax rate has ranged from 28 percent to 39.6 percent. For a representative family of four with median income, the marginal tax rate on earnings (combining the rates for both income and payroll taxes) during the period from 1955 to 1975 was around 20 percent. That rate climbed over the next 10 years as a result of rising payroll tax rates and inflation-driven increases in nominal incomes, which pushed median-income families into higher tax brackets. Following a reduction in income tax rates in 1986, the marginal tax rate for a representative median-income family has remained at about 30 percent.

How many offices in the government can be sited to get the figures you want to present?

Don't try to justify your stand. I'd only get MORE confused.

December 13, 2010 at 7:19 a.m.
alprova said...

Clara, the figures we were haggling over were taxes imposed upon ALL Americans related to and part of EVERY dollar spent across the nation by everyone, per year.

The figures you were mulling over in your second post are related to income tax rates, that are only relative to an individual's personal income.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is charged with determining the total Federal Debt that the Government (Treasury) owes for money it borrows.

It's not necessarily that there are several offices or departments of the Government that cite differing figures. The problem is that far too many people are prone to cherry-picking data in order to only cite what they want to support their particular stances.

For instance, people will often cite the ENTIRE National Debt, in order to paint a picture of doom and gloom, without taking into consideration that close to 50% of that amount consists of intergovernmental holdings that are never considered to be part of the public debt.

I hope that helps.

December 13, 2010 at 8:15 a.m.
SCOTTYM said...

"Intragovernmental debt holdings are NOT considered to be "public debt.""

Ah, but it is owed moneys, yes?

You're being duped by sophistry, and are a willing mark.

Your grousing on about the feds always paying that which is owed, gives away the fact that you know it is real debt.

I'm well aware of how the fed functions. I'm also well aware that if the total debt increases, there is no surplus as a surplus would lower the debt. It is a simple as that. Any complicating "facts" are just headfakes, and your financial-fu is weak.

December 13, 2010 at 8:22 a.m.
SCOTTYM said...

"The problem is that far too many people are prone to cherry-picking data in order to only cite what they want to support their particular stances."

Like those that try to ignore the TOTAL debt and concentrate on only a portion of it.

Using the total number at the very bottom of the equation is not "cherry-picking". Using a random number up in the body of the equation, which is only a part of the TOTAL debt IS "cherry-picking".

December 13, 2010 at 8:26 a.m.
Sailorman said...

Don't waste your time Scotty - the kumbayah kollective is out in force. Must be the cold.

Have a warm day everyone.

December 13, 2010 at 8:33 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Those that support big government will look at the bill as a tax cut for the wealthy and will twist facts and definitions in an attempt to argue for the funding to support an expanded role for the federal government in our lives.

Those who support Freedom and the rights of individuals will recognize that the deficit is a spending problem due to expansion of the role of the federal government.

These two parties will never be able to have a constructive discussion about the budget without first having a discussion about the role of (the federal) government.

December 13, 2010 at 9:44 a.m.

Like most left-minded folk, Bennett fails Econ 101.

December 13, 2010 at 9:46 a.m.
carlB said...

alprova | On: December 13, 2010 at 2:31 a.m.

Reply to alprova: Keep putting out the facts: I do not see any "cherry picking" in your views. It is well known that this Republic is in a record National Debt along with the continuing record trade deficit. Why are people in denial or don't want to realize that when we have the high trade deficit it is asociated with the global corporate monopolies locating their manufacturing plants in the lower monetary value countries while creating "the race to the bottom" for the US? So, at what level of stablization is the USA going to end up? Even with the US in "this" financial condition the US Chamber Of Commerce is still lobbying against getting our manufacturing base and jobs back here in the USA. Not to mention what the effect of the outsourcing of our service jobs has been.

Trade Deficits: Economically Unsustainable and Dangerous http://www.aflcio.org/issues/jobseconomy/globaleconomy/upload/Trade_Deficit_Fact_Sheet.pdf


U.S. Debt Level Unsustainable, Report Says

http://thenewamerican.com/index.php/economy/economics-mainmenu-44/2794-us-debt-level-unsustainable-report-says

December 13, 2010 at 9:49 a.m.
MTJohn said...

Bookie - like most "left-minded folks", I suspect that Mr. Bennett rejects the notion that greed is good.

December 13, 2010 at 10:01 a.m.
Francis said...

"greed" is acceptable and forgivable, MTJohn, if it's the government, huh?

the greed of beurocrats and politicians is a positive thing?

But those who want to keep as much of what they work hard for are greedy?

the government has not proven it's a responsible steward of tax payer dollars...not as long as "public servants" grow wealthy off of our tax dollars.

the greed displayed by those who believe they're entitled to the rewards others have worked hard for is ok, huh?

you libs can't see what's going on around you....people in britain and greece are rioting and protesting because they're not going to get all their "free" stuff anymore.....so they're having a tantrum.........

spoiled....

BRP and Bookie hit it right on the head...

December 13, 2010 at 10:19 a.m.
MTJohn said...

Francis - the simple point that you seem to be missing is that it is not public servants who are growing personal wealth at the expense of the tax payers. Rather, it is multi-national corporations and the lobbyists whom they employ. And, by supporting the policies that benefit those corporations, you and others in the tea party movement are working against your own interests.

December 13, 2010 at 11:53 a.m.
Clara said...

OOPS! I almost fed the troll!

Scotty, Alprova,et.al.

Sorry, No speaka da Language.

the last course I had in so called business awareness , around 70 years ago, was in elementary school.

We were told to pick a stock from the stock market page in the newspaper, follow it for several days, then pretend to invest a certain amount to buy a stock. I picked AT&T preferred. I don't remember what all I supposedly gained, probably $1.00.

I remember getting a job when out of high school and being shocked at the amount of money I took home after deductions.

Although there were business courses given in high school, it was never my choice to take that path. I did learn not to invest in Savings Bonds after my first tryout.

I also learned not to trust brokers in the stock market, or insurance companies.

I remember getting my pocket picked in San Francisco and it doesn't feel any different now by parts of government or business.

I've survived. It may not be much longer, but thanks to the VA and my SS to which I paid for for years, I might last a little while longer.

You all contribute gibberish to me on this subject, and I'll have to take a vacation until tomorrow to straighten out my feeble old brain.

December 13, 2010 at 12:14 p.m.
Francis said...

muddy the issue all you want..the point is that we pay enough...plenty..the fed. gov. collects enough....now it's time for the fed. governement to cut costs.

you libs have no compassion for working americans. to back rasing everyone's tax rates at this time speaks to your lack of empathy and understanding about the times.

i don't belong to the tea party movement..i've never voted for a tea party candidate...i've criticized repulicans heavily on here....the only trolls on this site are liberals who spout off about democrat party good, republican bad.

really original, clara,...join the horde on here.

by the way...there is hope...great ruling by the federal judge in virginia:

it's plainly unconstitutiona...and plainly overreaching by the federal gov,

December 13, 2010 at 1:29 p.m.
hambone said...

why is this so complicated? The problem as I see it is the recluctance of the public to pay for what it wants from government and the reluctance of those elected to do anything about it for fear of not getting re-elected!

December 13, 2010 at 1:57 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...

"The problem as I see it is the recluctance of the public to pay for what it wants from government..."

Your right, sort of. A large number of us are happy to pay for the services we receive from the government, we just don't like paying for bloated bureaucracies that waste our hard earned dollars on folks who are fully able to care for themselves, but choose not to. Those folks do not pay for the services they receive. They receive much more than they pay, as 45+% pay nothing at the federal level.

No where in the federal government's charter, AKA the U.S. Constitution is the Federal government empowered to take monies from one group and distribute it(minus the waste in the bureaucracies) to others. It is pure theft under color of law.

Socialism sucks. Everywhere. Everytime. It never works,and only fools, and those who believe they can work the system to their benefit, fall for the same B.S. that has wrecked multiple nations in the last century or so.

The only way to fix our debt problem is to fix our spending problem. The only way to fix the spending problem is to rid ourselves of our current runaway socialist system.

If the feds cut the total budget in half, there would be no deficit, and we could begin to pay down the debt. And yes, I mean a 50% cut across the board. All "entitlements", military procurement, and federal employee pay and benefits packages. Everything. All the money problems would be over.

December 13, 2010 at 4:45 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

clara, I understand you are elderly, have worked hard for what you have and find a purpose in posting here, but your troll comment about francis was mean and unnecessary. SCOTTYM in correct with his 4:45 post. Alpo will have a hard time creating an argument to this as it has no % to deal with or $ figures. Just common sense and facts. Come on alpo, give it to me. The rest of you idiots can just continue to be the cowards you are and click the NO button. BLOG ON!!!

December 13, 2010 at 7:56 p.m.
Reardon said...

Scotty, all government's natural tendency is to grow unrestrained. Sadly, even a government such as ours, that was once thought of as being tightly restrained and defined, proves the inevitable end results.

Cutting back 50% of all spending is not enough in the long run. You have to define the very nature, the constructs and application of principle, of a "just" government (an oxymoron in my view), before you can hope to solve any of these natural problems of an unrestrained government.

December 13, 2010 at 8 p.m.
alprova said...

Why would I post another word on the subject? None of us are going to solve any of the problems, no matter how smart any of us think we are. None of us are in charge.

The realism that Reardon and Scotty must face eventually is that no one or no political party is about to step up to the plate and will begin snipping the kind of spending that either of the two of you think should be snipped.

Neither of you will ever see the day before you leave this world that you will not be paying taxes based on what you earn. At some point, an increase in taxation will occur. Those that can afford to pay taxes, will pay taxes.

Socialism will continue, over and above the objections of those who oppose it. Capitalism will continue to be abused by those who are in a position to take advantage of others in their quest to take money from.

And votes will continue to be cast for politicians who will say whatever they have to, in order to be elected. They will be promoted into office by those who contribute to their campaigns, who will likely expect and receive an equal or better return on their investment.

It's the way of the world. Fighting it or about it at our level is pointless and it always will be.

Amen.

December 13, 2010 at 10:28 p.m.
Reardon said...

I agree with most of what you said, Al.

December 13, 2010 at 10:52 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

alprova reminds me of a communist forecasting how the United States will fall to communism from within. We have already abandoned the original intent of the Constitution and are nearly as socialist as the rest of the Western world.

But what is the rest of the story? Al can't seem to see beyond half of one macro political cycle. The current overreaching government will become bloated and inefficient to the point of failure and freedom may have another chance? Humanity has lived through that cycle too.

December 15, 2010 at 12:02 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.