published Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

A Teachable Moment

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 ...

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EaTn said...

The right are like a first grader squirming in his seat needing to use the bathroom. They would like to stand up and blame Obama for not acting sooner and stronger on the spill, but that would imply that all their rantings about too much government in our lives was just joke. Also, big oil is a major financier of the political machine and they don't want to bite the hand that feeds them.

June 16, 2010 at 5:30 a.m.
woody said...

Can anyone else say "Catch 22?"

The one sad thing about a "Teachable moment" is fewer and fewer learn from them with each passing generation.

Sure we have a government that should be run like a 'lean, mean business machine'. But the standard by which we should mirroring our efforts is long past.

I feel, Bill Gates is a good man, but even his best business practices still come up short of some of the giants, like; J.C. Penny, F.W. Woolworth, Henry Ford and, yes, even Sam Walton.

These men knew how to start and run a business..and then, of course, their children or corporations took over..and so on..and so on.

So, how do we really get down to business??

Let's get busy, Woody

June 16, 2010 at 6:15 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

People sin! People goof! This includes government people of every party, business people, and church people, except Jesus Christ.
Our President can't balance a budget and never plans to. His predecessor also ran huge deficits. Some businesses, however, earn profits. The US government is the biggest bankrupt in the world (a recent Nationl Review online article estimated the real national debt at around $130 billion once you count unfunded promises.) We're stuck with our President until the next election, but if I don't like a business, I can buy from some other business. Easier to boycott BP than to boycott Mr. Obama. Business has instant accountability; government does not. Mr Obama is our only President, but business offers a variety--burger, taco, pizza, sub, sushi...Business offers diversity; government tends to procrusteanism, one-size-fits-all-ism. So enlarge the business sector and shrink the tax-paid sector. Jesus and the Bible are libertarian: he gave his own life instead of crucifying the taxpayers. Governments should do justice, and a private person doing to others what BP has let happen would be a criminal or sueable in civil court, so it's fair for conservatives to want more government action in this case while wanting less in general, jsut as it's fair to ask the police to nail a thief or a vandal while wishing the government would leave parks to Disney and Six Flags, schools to Baylor and CCS and Harvard, welfare to World Vision, and so on. It's also fair to point out that neither President Obama nor his predecessors got ready for a big oil spill, nor made sure oil companies were ready, despite decades of opportunity; nor is he yet doing so even after this spill. And one can say he's defended the spill from Louisiana rather than Louisiana from the spill when he let corrective actions ooze through the bureaucracy instead of jumping on the emergency. Yeah, let businesses try things. They'll try a bunch of things faster and more diverse than government, and their many failures won't usually be as big (TVA is the biggest polluter in America?) www.lohr84.com>

sandyonsignal said...

Perfect, Clay!! A polluted planet is a direct result from embracing the ridiculous Milton Friedman policies. De-regulation and unabashed greed does not work. It is dangerous and disgusting.

As usual, Andrew's comment makes no sense. I don't know how far off topic I want to go with his many errors, but the first thing that must be pointed out was: 10 years ago, under President Bill Clinton, we had a balanced budget. He handed over a surplus to W. who went through it in a matter of months with his tax cuts for the rich. Add to it his wild, out of control spending, Bush left our country with the largest debt ever. Obama is left to clean up the W and Republicans mess. He will get there and get it done, but never forget, Andrew, the Repubs are responsible for this.

June 16, 2010 at 6:48 a.m.
Shock said...

Andrew - right on with your observations! (except for the Jesus/Bible libertarian thing. The bible contains quite a bit of life instruction that a libertarian would not tolerate from a government.)

Sandy - Andrew wasn't referring to Clinton when he said,"His predecessor also ran huge deficits" he was referring to Bush. My take on Andrew is that he's not anti-Obama for the sake of being anti-Obama. He's anti-big government and anti-fiscal irresponsibility. That pretty much makes him anti-Obama and anti-most everyone in congress by default.

Keep preachin' it brother!

June 16, 2010 at 8:37 a.m.
quietreader said...

Andrew I'm with you for the most part and poor Sandy is still looking to Obama as if he's our savior. W was slow to react to Katrina but Obama appears to be doing nothing but talk about the oil spill. We need government help to clean up the oil but part of that help needs to be getting rid of the red tape that is stalling companies that can do the work. BP needs to be stepping up the pace also. Surely the companies that make the booms and the ones that own the boats to put them in place could have done a lot to help corral the oil if the bureaucrats would let them. This isn't a Republican or Democrat issue. Someone needs to say "JUST DO IT!" How many environmental studies do we need on clean up procedures when the ocean is being choked by black crude? Can it get any worse than it is?

June 16, 2010 at 8:56 a.m.
alprova said...

This just in...Oil is STILL spilling into the Gulf of Mexico!!

Critics are STILL calling for the President to do something about it. Undercover Media took our hidden cameras to discover just who these people are, who are so critical of the President's response to the crises.

What we discovered was that every one of those who are calling for a massive response effort, truly had no clue as to what the heck was going on down in the Gulf, and were relying on the media for their information. Others were glued to their computers, absorbing much of what they could glean from websites well known for espousing conspiracy theories.

If that was not bad enough, we discovered that those who are calling for people to rush to the scene and to begin to clean up oil residue that has hit the shores, were extremely unwilling to demonstrate any courage of their convictions.

These people vehemently refuse to leave their air conditioned homes, or disrupt their lives for so much as a minute, to head to the Gulf and to lend a helping hand.

Up next!! One Louisiana man is making quite a living from selling tar balls that he has collected from the shore on e-Bay. It seems that Americans who live far away from the Gulf are bidding like crazy on them.

We'll be right back.

June 16, 2010 at 9:45 a.m.

As American citizens we want our POTUS to act like the leader of the free world. You know, maybe call together the best of the oil industry worldwide to find resolutions to this disaster. Instead, we got a community organizing college professor who has spent his energy attacking the private businesses we desparately need to succeed.

It is the responsibility of our federal government to protect it's citizens and that means regulate and enforce regulation to prevent these types of disasters (financial, health care, energy, immigration, etc.).

Is it too much to ask the government to simply do their jobs?

June 16, 2010 at 10:19 a.m.
bret said...

Once President Obama came down hard on BP and the oil spill, the right was left with no alternative but to support the oil spill.

June 16, 2010 at 10:25 a.m.
Musicman375 said...

"Once President Obama came down hard on BP and the oil spill, the right was left with no alternative but to support the oil spill."

You win the most idiotic statement of the day award. Congratulations!

June 16, 2010 at 10:28 a.m.
aces25 said...

And perhaps Venezuela, China, North Korea, and Cuba are more like what the US should be like?

Ugh.

sandyonsignal wrote:

"Perfect, Clay!! A polluted planet is a direct result from embracing the ridiculous Milton Friedman policies. De-regulation and unabashed greed does not work. It is dangerous and disgusting."

Plenty of government regulation exists. Whether or not it is the correct regulation is what is up for debate. The more important item to focus on is course of action.

June 16, 2010 at 10:32 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Our president was a man who ran on the promise of reform, changing how business was done and replaced people in positioins of power to do just that. The problem still exists. You can't point at your predecessor's failings and then allow the people you put in place to also run amuck. This well was drilled on this administrations watch. They filled out a pile of paperwork to be allowed to drill this disaster. We as taxpayers funded this oversight by MMA and what was presented to and accepted by MMA was a made up fairy tale. And this is what we are left with after the observation by President Obama during his campaign that change was needed and on the way inside this very agency. It appears it never happened. The faces changed but everything stayed the same. Please get over yourselves with the Democrat and Republican nonsense and wake up to the reality. We have been had!!! I would have liked his power play on BP much better last night if he brought with him a financial arraingment from BP instead of a threat to a company he has yet to speak with. I want my president to do more than bark. If BP is pushed to bankruptcy guess who will be left to clean up this mess. As to the promise that the taxpayer won't pay for the clean up, lets see if gas prices count. To President Obama claiming that the gulf will be better than it was before, did he give up smoking cigarettes for the crack pipe???

June 16, 2010 at 11:21 a.m.
InspectorBucket said...

G.K. Chesterton

**

Precious little learning gets accomplished in a country where so many Know Nothings persist so determinedly in declaring that they Know Everything.

Believe none of them. They are errant knaves all, especially the ones roosting in Oval Offices and Corporate Board Rooms.

June 16, 2010 at 11:51 a.m.
nurseforjustice said...

well said Inspector

June 16, 2010 at 12:22 p.m.
redbearded said...

The only thing H is in charge of is finger-pointing. He keeps repeating that BP is responsible for all claimss and damages. All well and good. However, what that means in his double-tongued way is that the people of the gulf can expect no aid whatsoever for this disaster. All they're going to get is what they can get from BP. Best of luck with that. Also, there is not one chance in this world that I would set up an account of billions of dollars and let that madman administer it in any way. He'll give money to his banker buddies, bail out his union pals, but not one red cent to the people of the gulf who need it most.

June 16, 2010 at 12:58 p.m.
alprova said...

Bookieturnersghost wrote: "As American citizens we want our POTUS to act like the leader of the free world. You know, maybe call together the best of the oil industry worldwide to find resolutions to this disaster."


Who the heck do you think has been working on this for the past 7 weeks? The experts don't necessarily have to come to Washington D.C. or to Louisiana in order to lend their expertise. We ARE living in the 21st century you know.


"Instead, we got a community organizing college professor who has spent his energy attacking the private businesses we desparately need to succeed."


Another unoriginal thought. For four weeks, he stepped back and watched BP organize a response team and allowed them to make several attempts to plug the hole. Now that he gets involved and offers to be tough on them, we read stuff like the above.

The man can't win, at least with some people anyway.


"It is the responsibility of our federal government to protect it's citizens and that means regulate and enforce regulation to prevent these types of disasters (financial, health care, energy, immigration, etc.).

Is it too much to ask the government to simply do their jobs?"


Look...it's not as if there were Government personnel who are poised on every rig in the Gulf to make sure that every oil company and their contractors are not skirting regulations pertaining to safety. Someone knows that they screwed up. We will probably be informed to who that is at some point in the future.

BP has a disaster on their hands. They want it fixed as badly as everyone else does. They are going to pay through the nose for all that has happened, but nothing matters more than stopping the oil spewing into the Gulf.

You need to make up your mind. Do you want the President to give BP a pass or do you want him to be tough on them for what they did? Private businesses who kill their employees and spill billions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico kinda need to be spanked in public.

June 16, 2010 at 1:50 p.m.
alprova said...

Bret wrote: "Once President Obama came down hard on BP and the oil spill, the right was left with no alternative but to support the oil spill."

Musicman375 responded with: "You win the most idiotic statement of the day award. Congratulations!"


Aw c'mon Musicman, you know doggone well that he typed the truth. If John Boehner could find a way to condemn President Obama for coming down on BP, he'd have done it and then some.

The silence is deafening.

June 16, 2010 at 2:01 p.m.
alprova said...

Here's another teachable moment.

WARNING for those easily offended: It's about Sarah Palin.

Last week, Mrs Todd Palin, who's spouse now handles her baggage wherever she goes these days, worked for BP for 18 years. She was moaning about foreign oil companies. She urged those in the Gulf to "learn from Alaska's lesson with foreign oil companies." She said: "Don't naively trust -- verify."

The Houston Chronicle published an exclusive article last week, outlining the fact that initial offers of assistance in dealing with the spill from the Netherlands were declined, but a later offer of equipment to deal with the cleanup effort was accepted by BP, for a payment of $340 million.

Now the reason the initial offers were declined was largely in light of the fact that the Dutch wanted an outrageous sum of cash to deploy a full response team to the Gulf. It was also in the early days of the spill, when BP thought they could cap the leak easily. Who knew?

Here's the article;

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/steffy/7043272.html

At the bottom is a link to Mrs. Palin's stupendous rant on Fox News last night, where she lifted at least one sentence from the above article and uttered it word for word.

She lied through her teeth when she claimed that the Dutch were not able to get in touch with the White House. This week, it's okay to call upon foreigners to deal with the spill.

The woman has no shame, and apparently no recollection of what she states from week to week.

June 16, 2010 at 3:03 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

"Aw c'mon Musicman, you know doggone well that he typed the truth. If John Boehner could find a way to condemn President Obama for coming down on BP, he'd have done it and then some."

Um... no. I'm a conservative and I am certainly don't "support the oil spill." What a ridiculous load of garbage. It was very idiotic to think that any sane indivdual of any party would be glad of the spill.

"The man can't win, at least with some people anyway."

Anyone can say the exact same thing about you in regard to any conservative/libertarian, so stop talking like you are so high and mighty. And that is just one example of your myriad of hypocrisy on this site.

You and the Canadian defector are the two most ridiculous morons I ever had the displeasure of reading.

June 16, 2010 at 3:21 p.m.
ctfpfan08 said...

Less Government! Less Government!

Where's the Government?!

Seriously. Figure out what you want already.

Talk about "flip-floppy"...

I'm sick of it.

June 16, 2010 at 3:26 p.m.
Oz said...

I never thought I would agree with Chris Matthew, Keith Olbermann, and Howard Fineman.

Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Howard Fineman react to President Obama's Oval Office Address on the oil spill. Here are the highlights of what the trio said:

Olbermann: "It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days."

Matthews compared Obama to Carter.

Olbermann: "Nothing specific at all was said."

Matthews: "No direction."

Howard Fineman: "He wasn't specific enough."

Olbermann: "I don't think he aimed low, I don't think he aimed at all. It's startling."

Howard Fineman: Obama should be acting like a "commander-in-chief."

Matthews: Ludicrous that he keeps saying [Secretary of Energy] Chu has a Nobel prize. "I'll barf if he does it one more time."

Matthews: "A lot of meritocracy, a lot of blue ribbon talk."

Matthews: "I don't sense executive command."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/06/15/msnbc_trashes_obamas_address_compared_to_carter_i_dont_sense_executive_command.html

June 16, 2010 at 4:36 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...

Sandyonsignal wrote,

"but the first thing that must be pointed out was: 10 years ago, under President Bill Clinton, we had a balanced budget."

No we did not.

While it is true that the federal budget was closer to being balanced at the end of WJC's second term than it was before or has been since, it was never balanced anytime in the last 50 years and there certainly was no surplus.

Taking moneys from the Social Security surplus, placing IOUs in the SS "trust", using those moneys in the general fund and and then claiming that those IOUs do not represent debt is malfeasance writ large.

The total debt hasn't been stagnate nor has it been reduced since Ike was in office. If neither of those conditions are meet then by definition the budget isn't balanced, there is still a deficit.

It is exactly like using a credit card to pay your mortgage and then claiming that you have balanced your household budget.

Anyone who cannot grasp simple math maybe shouldn't be throwing out falsehoods which are so easily debunked with a little basic numbers crunching.


As for the mess out in the Gulf...

BP bears some fault for shorcutting accepted best practices.

The Federal Government bears fault some fault for looking the other way so that BP could make more money to funnel into politicians' re-election funds and the general tax fund.(BP is a BIG supporter of Cap-n-Tax)

The environmental movement, which through massive lobbying effort has pushed oil production so far off shore, bears fault most of the fault in this mess. Without them BP would never have been out that far to begin with.

There is plenty of blame to go around.

Too bad pointing fingers and making threats is the best our nation's chief executive can come up with. What a pathetic POS.

June 16, 2010 at 4:56 p.m.
aces25 said...

IB, excellent post (as usual)


ctfpfan08 wrote:

"Less Government! Less Government!

Where's the Government?!

Seriously. Figure out what you want already.

Talk about "flip-floppy"...

I'm sick of it."

If you think the "less government" talk that has been said for some time now has anything to do with a national event of epic significance that is the oil spill, you're completely removed from the heart of the issue. There is no doubt government has a role, but the power grabbing that goes on today is far from the role government played when this nation was founded.


And alprova, your crush on Palin still amazes me.

June 16, 2010 at 5:22 p.m.

alprova, our federal government is charged with protecting it's citizens and it's land. When the rig exploded and sank, our federal government should have been pushing the limits of BP while gathering ALL the worldy resources together (Exxon, Shell, Chevron, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Canada, etc.). Instead, our POTUS sent in lawyers to begin the criminal investigation... it's all he knows.

So far, I've seen no other company nor country assisting in this disaster. But execs w/ Exxon, Shell, and Chevron were in Washington for Congressional hearings. Again, it's all he knows.

We were promised much with this POTUS yet we have seen very little. I hope the gullible stay home in the next national election.

June 16, 2010 at 5:37 p.m.
alprova said...

Musicman375 wrote: "Um... no. I'm a conservative and I am certainly don't "support the oil spill." What a ridiculous load of garbage. It was very idiotic to think that any sane indivdual of any party would be glad of the spill."


Actually, if you were not taking things so personally, you might realize that he was referring to the right-wing clowns in Washington D.C., who have done nothing but attempt to block every single piece of legislation that has come down the pike, if a Democrat sponsored it.

Not everything is about you.


"Anyone can say the exact same thing about you in regard to any conservative/libertarian, so stop talking like you are so high and mighty. And that is just one example of your myriad of hypocrisy on this site."


Sorry, you're entitled to your opinion, but I know that I am no hypocrite.


"You and the Canadian defector are the two most ridiculous morons I ever had the displeasure of reading."


That one hurt. Not.

June 16, 2010 at 6:15 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

Bret, I love your statement. How absolutely true.

And to Andrew...where is Jesus when we need him? Maybe you could give him a call...

June 16, 2010 at 6:45 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

"Actually, if you were not taking things so personally, you might realize that he was referring to the right-wing clowns in Washington D.C., who have done nothing but attempt to block every single piece of legislation that has come down the pike, if a Democrat sponsored it.

Not everything is about you."

You don't say... Well... I'm speechless. /sarcasm (ROFL)

"...I know that I am no hypocrite."

You know you are. No need to lie.

June 16, 2010 at 6:55 p.m.
alprova said...

Aces25 wrote: "And alprova, your crush on Palin still amazes me."


When the woman stops lying on a weekly basis and has something else to talk about other than our President, then maybe I will find no reason to point out those lies and to comment on her hypocrisy.

June 16, 2010 at 8:06 p.m.
alprova said...

Scotty wrote: "While it is true that the federal budget was closer to being balanced at the end of WJC's second term than it was before or has been since, it was never balanced anytime in the last 50 years and there certainly was no surplus."


I beg to differ with you Sir on that one.

In 1946, the ND as a percentage of GDP stood at 120%. It sharply fell during Truman's, Ike's, Kennedy's and LBJ's administrations to around 40% of the GDP.

During Nixon and Ford's administration, the debt plateaued, but gradually fell to around 32%. Jimmy Carter took office and despite the issues that plagued his years in office, the ND fell to around 31%.

Reagan and Bush came on the scene and by the time George Bush Senior was replaced by Clinton, the debt had steadily shot up to 62%. It plateaued once again under Clinton and dropped to around 55% by the time he left office.

Under GWB, the debt began an almost straight arrow due north to 85% of GDP and it now stands at about 88% with President Obama in the house.

Anytime the debt leveled off, and did not rise, that can only be due to a balanced budget. At times when the debt fell, surpluses paid it down. And that occurred with no question at all under Truman, Ike, Kennedy and LBJ, Nixon, Ford, and Carter. During Reagan's years as President and during both Bush Presidencies as well, the debt rose substantially.

Obama inherited the debt and it clearly has not risen very much at all, but it is still not under control...YET.

Clinton DID balance the budget and there were surpluses that DID begin to reduce the debt.


"Taking moneys from the Social Security surplus, placing IOUs in the SS "trust", using those moneys in the general fund and and then claiming that those IOUs do not represent debt is malfeasance writ large."


By law, the only thing that Social Security can do with excess money in the trust fund is to purchase federal bonds. Consequently, all of the assets in the Social Security Trust Fund are in the form of federal bonds. Buying federal bonds is the same thing as loaning money to the federal government.

Referring to the bonds in the Social Security Trust Fund as "worthless IOU's is highly inaccurate. The bonds in the Trust Fund are as real as any U.S. Savings Bond that you might happen to own. The Social Security program loaned this money to the federal government and has a legal right to receive it back with interest.


"The total debt hasn't been stagnate nor has it been reduced since Ike was in office. If neither of those conditions are meet then by definition the budget isn't balanced, there is still a deficit."


For certain, there has been a national debt since WWI. It peaked however in 1942 and we still have a long way to go yet to reach that peak again.

The Democrats have ALWAYS held a far better record of reducing the ND, and the facts are undeniable and indisputable.

http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

June 16, 2010 at 8:46 p.m.
dss said...

Al--I rarely read many of your words; I have a full-time job which prevents me from reading even a fraction of your words. But one word stood out YET. The President's inherited debt is not under control--YET. This is an interesting spending analogy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5yxFt...

Any minute now, he'll have the debt under control.

June 16, 2010 at 10:50 p.m.
Sailorman said...

As with most topics, especially one having to do with Washington politics, there is some dependence on what you call "debt".

The Other National Debt

http://article.nationalreview.com/436123/the-other-national-debt/kevin-williamson

June 16, 2010 at 11:15 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...

"Clinton DID balance the budget and there were surpluses that DID begin to reduce the debt."

Yet another mathematically illiterate leftist. Keep repeating that lie all you want, it still will not become true. It does, however expose the fact that you are an easily misled fool.

"The Social Security program loaned this money to the federal government and has a legal right to receive it back with interest."

Can't have it both ways. Those bonds are either debt, which has to be re-payed and should be counted on the .gov ledger(which the WH does not do), or it isn't debt to be re-payed and the WH accounting is fine(Only fools believe this). You've argued both within the same post.

BTW, please head over here (http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm) and point out for me the last time that the national debt moved in a negative direction.

Maybe you should stick to ringing the Palin-hate bell, you do better at that.

June 16, 2010 at 11:33 p.m.
alprova said...

Scotty wrote: "Yet another mathematically illiterate leftist."


Scotty, I am hardly illiterate, nor am I necessarily attempting to make this all about politics. The facts are what they are, and they have been since WWII. Measuring the debt against the GDP is the ONLY accurate measure by which to make sense out of the national debt.

When you review your personal finances, do you just count your debts, or do you take into consideration your assets and income that are used to offset your debts?

Dollars and cents related to the total outstanding debt is only half the story and you should know that.


"Keep repeating that lie all you want, it still will not become true. It does, however expose the fact that you are an easily misled fool."


I am not guilty of misleading anyone. You, many members of the press, and so many others are only focusing on half the equation. Don't call me a liar because I choose to include all that puts our national debt into a verifiable context, proving it not be an impending end of the world scenario, as some would have us believe.


I wrote: "The Social Security program loaned this money to the federal government and has a legal right to receive it back with interest."

Scotty replied with: "Can't have it both ways. Those bonds are either debt, which has to be re-payed and should be counted on the .gov ledger(which the WH does not do), or it isn't debt to be re-payed and the WH accounting is fine(Only fools believe this). You've argued both within the same post."


Of course the bonds are part of the national debt, and those bonds are most certainly included in the figures that we know as the nation debt. I never stated otherwise.


"Maybe you should stick to ringing the Palin-hate bell, you do better at that."


I don't hate the woman, but she is solely responsible for setting herself up for the criticism that she receives and deserves.

There is no doubt to the truth that this nation is in debt. And currently, the debt to income ratio is more than a little out-of-whack at the moment, but citing ONLY the debt without including any and all offsets to that debt is woefully misleading in and of it's own right.

The Government is managing it's debts very much at the moment like many businesses across the nation are having to do. Due to reduced income, the debt levels that they are carrying on the books at the moment has increased. When their income increases in the future, their debt will be reduced to a more comfortable level or eventually eliminated.

Whether or not the Government will go to great lengths to do the same remains to be seen.

June 17, 2010 at 6:50 a.m.
rolando said...

"When [the government's] income increases in the future..."

The only way the government can increase its income is to increase taxes, fees, or whatever...these increases will ultimately be paid by the taxpayer in the form of higher prices.

Yet you continue to claim Dear Leader will not increase "taxes" for those making less than 1/4 million dollars; a claim that explicitly and deliberately excludes fees, charges, fuel costs, capNtrade costs, etc charged companies, users, producers, et al. These fees are simply passed down as an overall price increase to the taxpayers. Happens every day.

Yeah, plausible deniability..."I didn't say that" only works so far, bub.

This post will, undoubtedly, result in yet another unread three-page treatise that addresses anything and everything but the issue above...

June 17, 2010 at 8:37 a.m.
alprova said...

Seen 'em. They are pointless and virtually worthless to all but those who call themselves Tea-Partiers, because those sites provide only references to the debt, and nothing in regard to any offsets to the debt.

It's like watching an actor in a movie have an in-depth conversation with someone who is not there to provide the other side of that conversation.

June 17, 2010 at 9:04 a.m.
alprova said...

Rolando wrote: "The only way the government can increase its income is to increase taxes, fees, or whatever...these increases will ultimately be paid by the taxpayer in the form of higher prices."


Nope. Sorry. You're wrong again.

Diminished revenue, or diminished income into Government coffers, is due in large part because large numbers of people are out of work, or have taken jobs that pay less than the ones they lost. Corporations and businesses are not paying in as much on their sales, because sales are down. And, trade with other countries is down because they too are suffering similar diminished economies.

When our economy rebounds, and it will, despite all those wishing that it will not while Obama is in office, revenue will flow once again to level out deficit spending. It will also be a banner day when the war effort is ended in the Middle East.


"Yet you continue to claim Dear Leader will not increase "taxes" for those making less than 1/4 million dollars; a claim that explicitly and deliberately excludes fees, charges, fuel costs, capNtrade costs, etc charged companies, users, producers, et al. These fees are simply passed down as an overall price increase to the taxpayers. Happens every day."


I've addressed all of the above repeatedly, and you never change your tune. I'm not going to waste my time posting more proof when you have repeatedly failed to acknowledge previously posted and verifiable facts.


"This post will, undoubtedly, result in yet another unread three-page treatise that addresses anything and everything but the issue above..."


Nope. Not this time Rolando. Grasp all the straws you want. You're fooling no one but yourself.

June 17, 2010 at 11:42 a.m.
SCOTTYM said...

"Clinton DID balance the budget and there were surpluses that DID begin to reduce the debt."

This is a direct quote from your own post above. You weren't referencing it as a debt to revenue ratio. You stated simply, and incorrectly that Cinton balanced the budget(he did not) and reduced the debt(he didn't do that either).

Spin away from your previous statement all you want, but the fact is that the fed debt has not moved in a negative direction since 1957. This is fact. Therefore, there was no "balanced budget" (i.e. zero deficit) as that would result in the debt staying exactly the same from one year to the next, and there was no "debt reduction" (i.e. a negative deficit, aka a surplus) as that would result in the debt being lower one year than it was the previous year. Neither of those two happened during Clinton's administration, nor any other time since 1957.

You seem to be confused about the difference between the federal deficit and the federal debt. Or, perhaps you do know and are hoping that no one will notice that you are deliberately conflating the two.

Either way, the facts stand against your assertion, and contrary to the beliefs of most of your type, no amount of blathering will change the facts.

June 17, 2010 at 6:10 p.m.
alprova said...

Scotty wrote: "You weren't referencing it as a debt to revenue ratio. You stated simply, and incorrectly that Cinton balanced the budget(he did not) and reduced the debt(he didn't do that either)."


The argument as to whether or not Clinton did or did not balance the budget and paid down debt has been ongoing for 20 years. You and I are not the only ones who differ on that subject.

But I will concede because it is not worth the argument, and because there is a fundamental truth to what you are stating, and I am guilty of referring to the Congressional method of accounting for deficit spending.

The most compelling reason that the ND to GDP graph took a downward turn was due to the booming economy while Clinton was in office.

Our Government keeps two sets of books. The set the government promotes to the public ALWAYS has a healthier bottom line. The set of books that the government doesn't promote or ever refer to is the audited financial statement produced by the government's accountants, who follow standard accounting procedures.

The Clinton administration reported a surplus of $559 billion in its final four budget years. The audited numbers showed a deficit of $484 billion. So...depending on which set of books one looks at, we can both be right. But...you are more right than I am.

What are the main differences between the two sets of books? Social Security, Medicare, FUTURE pensions for federal retirees and military personnel, are all excluded from Congressional reports.

And in the interest of being completely fair, Clinton is not the only one guilty of playing parlor tricks when referring to deficit spending.

The Bush Administration opposed including some of those expenditures in the AUDITED financial reports, because Congress can cancel or cut the retirement programs at any time, and thus, should not be considered a government liability for accounting purposes.

June 18, 2010 at 9:38 a.m.
alprova said...

Scotty wrote: "Spin away from your previous statement all you want, but the fact is that the fed debt has not moved in a negative direction since 1957. This is fact. Therefore, there was no "balanced budget" (i.e. zero deficit) as that would result in the debt staying exactly the same from one year to the next, and there was no "debt reduction" (i.e. a negative deficit, aka a surplus) as that would result in the debt being lower one year than it was the previous year. Neither of those two happened during Clinton's administration, nor any other time since 1957."


I hate to break this to you, but the national debt as we know it, does not strictly revolve around money that the Government has spent. Much of the national debt involves conscience and very wise choices by both Americans and foreigners to purchase investments through our Treasury, which are carried on those same books.

American banks are the Federal Government's number one investor. Private American citizens are second in line. Then you have foreign investors. They all purchase T-notes, bonds, and other investment notes that are converted to cash to fund the functions of our Government. It does not mean that all the money is spent and gone.

$5.3 trillion of the debt represents intergovernmental holdings that have been converted to investments. And this is not a matter of "borrowing" from those trusts. Federal law requires those funds to be converted to investments.

The balance carried on the books is a direct reflection of the growth of this nation in terms of people served by the Government, as evidence that growth in numbers results in growth in expenditures by our Government, and the fact that our Government is a good investment choice for many who want a guaranteed return on their money, because those investments are managed very well.

I have stock in America too.


"You seem to be confused about the difference between the federal deficit and the federal debt. Or, perhaps you do know and are hoping that no one will notice that you are deliberately conflating the two."


I'm not confused at all. Both the budget and the public debt are complex, but are easily understood IF you keep them in context as they relate to the funding of obligations that the Government pays out each year.

And trust me, as bad as it may look at the moment, the U.S. is in far better shape than most of the rest of the world, when debt to income ratios are taken into consideration.

We will survive this cash crunch just like we have survived all the others in the past. I just wish that more people would demonstrate a little patience.

Focusing only on the ND is pointless without taking into consideration all that goes into managing that debt and all that offsets that debt as well.

When you do that, which is no parlor trick, it allows you to take a deep breath and to realize that it's nowhere near as bad as it could be, or is claimed to be.

June 18, 2010 at 10 a.m.
SCOTTYM said...

Al,

Much more nuanced.

Clinton didn't start the funny money accounting, of course. It's been an ongoing theme in the WH for quite some time. The only accounting that counts is a true accounting. When Enron tried the same sort of accounting as the WH uses, they got into big trouble, people went to jail. Only the government is allowed to lie about these things. It doesn't mean we have to ignore it, and eat the crap they're feeding us and keep smiling and telling them how great it is.

I know you are sharp enough to know that accounting tricks are a sure sign of malfeasance.

They all need their rears kicked till they taste Nike.

At the current rate, within 3-5 years, servicing the debt will eat more of the budget than the military. Social spending already eats more than everything else put together.

This situation is non-sustainable over time.

It won't work in a corporate environment, it won't work in a household environment, and it won't work in D.C. either.

June 18, 2010 at 11:29 p.m.
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