January 26, 2010

The Big Freeze.

Obama's serious about controlling spending... or something.

ADDED: But McCain was a madman... with a hatchet.

171 comments:

Salamandyr said...

I would be all in favor of this...if it applied to his stimulus bill.


It doesn't.

Kirby Olson said...

CNN had a show on last night enumerating how the Stimulus Package went into the hands of corrupt companies. One company in Boston indicted for crummy cement got a million or two to make crummy cement for the Big Dig.

I think Obama is bipolar. Spend spend spend save save save.

Repeat cycle according to mood.

Pogo said...

"I think Obama is bipolar. Spend spend spend save save save."

Instapundit (via Breitbart) documents Obama ripping McCain for suggesting a freeze, saying 'we should use a scalpel, not an axe.' Wanker.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

The Big Chill -- what went down liberal Democrats' spines yesterday...

MadisonMan said...

He should do more than freeze.

(1) Get rid of the Department of Education.

(2) Get rid of the Department of Homeland Security

(3) Eliminate TSA workers.

(4) Close most military bases in Europe. (I think a lot have been closed -- why are the rest of them still there? I'd say we need 1 or 2 as ferry points from the States)

(5) Remove half the staff from the Executive Branch. Armtwist Congress into doing the same (at least) for the Legislative Branch. I realize this would mean political cronies would have to compete for jobs in the Private Sector.

(6) Eliminate Congressional Health Care.

(7) Bet on the over-under for the Super Bowl and take the Saints.

rhhardin said...

Being serious is just another way of being frivolous.

Actual seriousness turns out to be serious only retrospectively.

Pogo said...

MadisonMan ...is that really you?

Agree to all.
Hmmmm.

MadisonMan said...

Pogo, you really think the Saints will win? :)

Robert Cook said...

"CNN had a show on last night enumerating how the Stimulus Package went into the hands of corrupt companies. One company in Boston indicted for crummy cement got a million or two to make crummy cement for the Big Dig."

That's nothing; I heard there were a clutch of big companies on Wall Street and a gaggle of insolvent banks that got in on the payouts...and they're using our money to pay themselves huge fucking bonuses. Put those gangsters in prison where they belong.

NO President is serious about cutting costs if he or she does not take a cleaver to the military budget. At the least, it should be halved.

Lem said...

Did somebody slip some tea in MM cup?

Pogo said...

As Beth sez: Geaux Saints.

AJ Lynch said...

Mad Man:

If that is really you [per Pogo's question], I like most of your ideas! Except the Colts win in a blowout.

AJ Lynch said...

Mad Man:

Btw you said bet the over-under- which is it over or under?

Scott M said...

A spending freeze is not savings. It's not spending anything more. In real terms, what it actually amounts to, if history be our guide, is a freeze on INCREASES to departmental budgets. Government budgets are based on annual increases either based on inflation or other internal mechanisms.

I think the code here is "I will not increase anyone's budget for three years". As a glass-half-full point of view, I suppose we would save over three years, if nothing other than the percentage points per budget that would have increased if left up to the inherent inertia of federal spending.

I don't for a single second believe that he will follow through with this any more than he allowed CSPAN cameras into the negotiations on health care...which he just last night admitted was a mistake.

If you want to increase jobs, there is only one thing you can do...REMOVE UNCERTAINTY TO THE ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE. Businesses small and large aren't making any moves involving unnecessary capital (new projects, hiring new people, etc) because THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN and the Obama administration is singularly responsible for making it possible.

Lower the corporate tax (we're currently one of the highest in the world), make sure businesses know the Bush tax cuts won't change in 2011 and remove the specter of Obamacare mandates/fines from business budgeting calculations...then we might see some movement on the jobs front.

Big Mike said...

I've lived in and around Washington for something like 40 years, and in that time there have been numerous government freezes. I've come to realize the following:

(1) A freeze is a panic reaction. When candidate Obama said "we should use a scalpel, not an axe," he was being perfectly correct. But using a scalpel takes thought and time and requires one to spend political capital. When one has put in zero advance thought and one is out of time, then out comes the axe.

(2) Our inefficient government is about to become even more inefficient, as some agencies find themselves short-staffed but under legal obligation to perform certain tasks that take away from their core responsibilities.

(3) The trouble being, of course, that a freeze means agencies that are currently overstaffed are likely to remain overstaffed. During freezes it becomes difficult for government employees to transfer, so agencies that are currently bloated remain bloated.

(4) And he shouldn't be publicly kicking the idea around ahead of time. Do it, or don't do it. But don't sit around talking about it like some frat brothers over a keg.

Quayle said...

This is like telling your spouse to lay off the big blitz on the credit card, and they respond by saying that they aren't going to spend a penny on anything ever again!.

Both are equally ridiculous.


(BTW, did we ever get those savings ideas that Obama ordered from his cabinet departments last spring? Cause I never saw them.)

Montagne Montaigne said...

Obama campaigned against spending freezes! What a wanker. He campaigned for Health Care reform. What a wanker. He shouldn't try to do anything he campaigned for or against, because he's a wanker.

Is that right?

I certainly hope this is not the administration's attempt to curry favor with the right. They should realize that nothing they do or do not do effects the terminal, nihilist opposition of the right, who care only about their political fortunes and haven't given a moment's thought to what policies are good for the country.

Scott M said...

@Big Mike

I meant to include that point from the fall debate. Obama didn't agree with it when McCain put the idea forward when the financial crisis looked it's absolute worst. Why would he now agree that it's a good idea to pick up the hatchet when there's at least some evidence of equilibrium if not slow, slogging recovery?

Mike is correct. It's a panic move. A spending freeze from this administration at this time is just the kerf were the buzz saw hit 'em.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Calypso Facto said...

Oh great! After wasting a trillion dollars on stimulus, we're going to "cut" the 7% growth of the 17% of discretionary spending not protected from this freeze, resulting in about $28 Billion (between 1% and 2%) reduction in projected outlays. And that's IF actual spending is frozen rather than just the spending authorization (Bush's bookeeping trick).

But, hey, I'm glad to see ANY talk of fiscal restraint at this point, Just please, please don't call spending an equal amount "saving"!

Montagne Montaigne said...

$300 billion of the stimulus was tax cuts. Most of the rest went to prop up state budgets. Can someone explain how that was waste? And how they would have arrested the disintegration of the banking system last fall. Thanks.

Quayle said...

...because he's a wanker.

Yes - he is a politician and therefore, ipso facto, he is a wanker.



wv: plopopp - the sound Obama's rhetoric makes when it hits the water.

MadisonMan said...

I'd take the Saints if the over-under is 9 or more. Meaning I think the Colts will win by 7. (Sorry Beth)

Note that I think the Congress would never do what I suggest. For one -- imagine the political hay that would be made if (when?) after Homeland Security is shut down a successful terrorist attack occurs.

Problems are not solved by increasing the size of the Government. But that's what 9/11 spawned on Bush's watch.

t-man said...

Boy, MM (not MadMan) really is up on the talking points.

URGENT: In all discussions of conservatives, use the term "nihilist".

Henry said...

I'd rather have a freeze than not, but this is incoherent. It's an anti-stimulus, proposed even as the administration defends the stimulus. Based on their own Keynesian logic, if the economy, but for the stimulus, would be far, far, worse, then deficit reduction -- either through a spending freeze, or spending cuts, or higher taxes -- is indefensible.

Obama's lost Paul Krugman. He lost middle america a long time ago.

Quayle said...

And how they would have arrested the disintegration of the banking system last fall. Thanks.

Easy. The bank's balance sheets could have been rapidly stabilized with two fairly easy steps back in the fall:

1. Suspend mark to market for residential mortgage backed securities.

2. Immediately have the fed lend the troubled banks a lot cash collateralized by the MBS/CDOs that temporarily had an indeterminate value (but didn't have zero intrinsic value.)

Then over time the fed could have incrementally, and in a controlled way, let air out of the assets and moved necessary money to banks by choosing periodically, again as necessary, to waive or lower quarterly interest payments on the secured loans.

It would have been a much more simple approach and produced a much softer landing.

Freeman Hunt said...

I also agree with everything MadisonMan wrote, and I'll throw in that whoever he wants can win whatever game he wants in whatever sport he wants if we can get the rest of that list.

Freeman Hunt said...

See? Fiscal conservatism--big tent.

AJ Lynch said...

Ok MadMan- you are saying you will give give points [if 7 or fewer] and take the favrorite [the Colts].

So you are not betting the over or the under which is a bet placed on the total combined score. For example, if the book says the over-under is 51 and you feel the score will be more than 51, you bet the "over".

You should go to Vegas for a Super Bowl. You can bet on who wins the coin toss!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Freezing Spending...

Isn't that what got Rep. William Jefferson in trouble?

Calypso Facto said...

In early 2009 when O was stumping for the stimulus package he warned that if Congress didn't support his proposal: "Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits."

Well, we spent the stimulus, lost 5 million jobs and got double digit unemployment. Sounds like a waste to me.

bagoh20 said...

When your house is on fire, you want a madman with a hatchet.

Obama shows up with a gallon of gasoline and a shot-glass of Evian.

Henry said...

What d'you know. He's lost Bob Herbert too.

Big Mike said...

@Freeman, I've been in that tent for a while.

@Florida, if you're checking this thread, how about you? (N.B., Scott Brown is pro-choice, but fiscally conservative.)

ricpic said...

Obama is Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde. Is that fab or what?!

Calypso Facto said...

And providentially, 2/3 of US economists just agreed with me!

"The vast majority (69%) of respondents reported the fiscal stimulus enacted in February 2009 has had no impact on employment to date," the report says.

http://www.jsonline.com/business/82657582.html

Pogo said...

'URGENT: In all discussions of conservatives, use the term "nihilist"."

In 2004, Garrison Keillor wrote: "The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong's moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt's evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk."


Don't forget the golf pants.

Freeman Hunt said...

Sort of like if Tiger Woods came out now to say that he is committed to fidelity.

Scott M said...

@Pogo

...and that's why I can't stand GK and his life-long tilting at the Lutheran windmill.

You mentioned tax cheats...cuz we all know there wouldn't POSSIBLY be a double standard there.

Chase said...

`



When the first African American President loses African American New York Times Columnist Bob Herbert, it's just about over.


`

AJ Lynch said...

I used to like the radio performances of Prairie Dog Companion [was that the title?]. Keillor was not bitter then.

Now he is just an angry and bitter dork. He's become the poster boy for liberal know-it-alls.

Lem said...

Its like Althouse saying she's going to take a day off... and not blog :0

Richard Dolan said...

MM: "Problems are not solved by increasing the size of the Government. But that's what 9/11 spawned on Bush's watch."

I suppose it depends on what the problem is. Don't you think that the nature of the problem has a lot to do with the shape of the solution?

O's proposed 'freeze' doesn't amount to much from a fiscal or budgetary perspective, but it is astounding from a political one. How are the Dems going to make the 'freeze' rhetoric work when they are still trying to (a) ram through Obamacare, (b) come up with the next 'stimulus/bail-out' (repackaged as a 'jobs' bill), (c) pursue cap-and-trade/'green jobs' to save the Earth and get those pesky oceans to recede, (d) do something for the unions before their large majorities disappear, and all the rest of the Obama agenda? Team O is setting up the Congressional Dems to get hammered no matter what they do -- by November, everyone will hate them.

The short-term focus of Team O just to get past the Scott Brown newscycle is generating political ineptitude on an epic scale. And this from a group that ran a great campaign in '08. It's really startling. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch.

ricpic said...

Bissage is my favorite nihilist in golf pants. Where art thou Bissage? Come back, come back.

ricpic said...

I'm on my first screwdriver of the day. Life is so much better with vodka.

traditionalguy said...

A freeze will only Slow down the government regulators (who are always working the system for job security and benefits). That in turn slows down development and commerce that has to wait for the regulators for 18 months instead of for 9 months on what should always have taken 2 months turn around time max.

Zach said...

So we're continuing the stimulus, but cutting the regular budget? How does that make any sense at all?

AllenS said...

John McCain = hatchet murderer.

Barack Obama = scalpel user, brain surgeon, wife used to work in hospital.

Robert Cook said...

Actually, Garrison Keillor's description of the Republican Party is deadly accurate.

Not that the Dems are significantly any better in their current makeover (of several decades' vintage now).

Paul said...

Brings to mind this parody of a prior Obama cost-saving initiative: Scientists Discover President Obama’s Budget Savings With Electron Microscope http://optoons.blogspot.com/2009/04/scientists-discover-president-obamas.html

master cylinder said...

You guys hate Krugman and Herbert, why now do you care what they think?

Scott M said...

I have an admitted hatred for the Clintons. If one of them turned on the other, I would be all over it. Why is that hard to understand?

AJ Lynch said...

Obama's freeze will save about $25 Billion per year for three years!

I guess this is better than last spring when he ordered his depts to find $100 Million in savings.

Obama is arithmetic challenged- he can not read nor understand financial statements either.

Chip Ahoy said...

I can see why Himself would choose to be associated with surgeons while simultaneously associating McCain with Liz Borden, but when it comes to contrasting metaphors I say, "Why hold back?"

microlith VS. chainsaw

nail trimmer VS guillotine

Bonsai garden shears VS John Deer 1270D Timber Harvester

Himself is not serious. Not possible. A being conceived and created to use the production of other people, it goes against every atom. But I'm satisfied. Wasn't that one of the reasons the majority elected him?

Tell me, in your opinion, is Heritage.org a bunch of incorrigible right-wing crackpots? The reason I ask is Proteinwisdom linked to an article that comported well with my own understanding.

The Heritage article delivers an abstract that proclaims government stimulus a myth. It cites historical examples that support the view, explains government's role, its capabilities, its restrictions along with common misperceptions about where money comes from, how it's created, what happens to it, how it's multiplied, where it goes, how it's saved and used. It predicts and answers six critiques to its narrative. They're all good. But each answers drives the same point from a different angle -- that government cannot produce anything, it can only reallocate the production of others. What government puts in one area is perforce production removed from another area. All explanations given to the contrary are statements of single-entry accounting so until government officials speak in terms of double-entry accounting they will never make any sense or speak to the real world.

The article assails Keynesian theory. I found it a good article and thought while reading it, "Oh well, I suppose each generation must learn this over again the hard way. That's OK, it's how I learn things best -- by failing. And I do prefer to make my own mistakes. Your mistakes are useful but they're not nearly as edifying for me. The only problem I have are those ideologues permanently stuck refusing to learn and intent on dragging us all to one level, their level, and for that I have no good answer except resistance. But that is resisting what I view as inevitable necessary re-learning.

So. scapel / hachet. OK, fine! I'm gonna' cut. Ha Ha. He kills me.

[I'm otherwise a little bit preoccupied. I got an idea for a pop-up card that requires finding a way to show a monkey flinging open doors. The first page will show two people pop up in front of a doorway. One person has a speech bubble that says, "But it's a scientific fact monkeys cannot open doors." The next page pops up the same doorway except there's an angry monkey flinging open those two doors shown previously with his own speech bubble screaming, "LIES!" The doors must shut and the monkey return when the card is closed. I intend to send it to my G.P. just for fun.]

Montagne Montaigne said...

Repubs hated the health care reform bills, which actually would have cut entitlements ("The elderly of afraid of democrats plans to cut medicare").

Now they hate the spending freeze, because it doesn't touch entitlements and thus isn't really going to be effective.

Republicans are very serious about the budget.

George said...

Actually, it's more like "The Little Freeze". First, he isn't proposing to cut anything, but just halt increases. Second the only parts of the budget that would be subject to such a spending freeze are in discretionary areas amounting to about 11% of the total budget.

The announcement is intended to give the impression of massive fiscal restraint. In reality, it's not so massive. And in the end, it may not even become reality.

AprilApple said...

"$300 billion of the stimulus was tax cuts."

uh - No.

Montagne Montaigne said...

What then, AprilApple? Care to provide any numbers? Or are you a golf-pants wearing nihilist?

AllenS said...

It was decided last year, that there would be no Social Security increase.

Freder Frederson said...

The Heritage article delivers an abstract that proclaims government stimulus a myth.

You know it always amazes me when organizations like Heritage state without any apparent irony, things like this:

"During the 1930s, New Deal lawmakers doubled federal spending--yet unemployment remained above 20 percent until World War II."

Of course, what lesson are we supposed to draw from this? That what finally ended the depression and the massive unemployment of the thirties was World War II--which of course involved no government spending at all.

Or something like that . . .

AprilApple said...

"Repubs hated the health care reform bills, which actually would have cut entitlements ..."

Uh - No.

It will increase entitlements.
The whole thing is a huge increase in spending and entitlements.


Conservatives, independents and some on the center-left don't like the dem's radical plan.
Why?
The transparency and bipartisanship fraud, the back room deals, no open C-span debates, the obvious increase in deficit spending (twisting the CBO out of context), the tax increases, the expanded roll of government in our lives, the expansion of government dependency through expanded entitlements, and it taxes the middle class.
Despite the fact that a majority of Americans don't want it, the dems arrogantly tell us to "shut up" and that we are not smart enough to understand their wisdom.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Nice rhetoric. But what about the $300 billion tax cut in the stimulus package. And please name a single tax that Obama has raised. Thanks.

Big Mike said...

@Robert, I guess you live in Lake Woebegon too?

'Cause you surely don't live in the United States.

master cylinder said...

heritage.crackpots.yes.

garage mahal said...

Obama and/or his economic advises are crackpots. Utterly depressing.

Henry said...

We're all crackpots now.

Paul said...

"Obama and/or his economic advises are crackpots."

Ah you're not a very quick study but you're starting to come around.

Freder Frederson said...

that government cannot produce anything, it can only reallocate the production of others.

The government (or governments) absolutely can and does produce many beneficial things. Nuclear power (a favorite of conservatives), public health systems including clean drinking and waste water, roads, railroads (even the private ones), computers (most of the original work was funded by the government), the transistor and laser (through joint government/industry labs).

traditionalguy said...

Garage...I feel your pain.The day that we see clearly that our Pied Piper who has been playing exactly the song that we wanted to hear is leading us down another road, and also believes we are too charmed to notice the switch in front of our faces, that is the day something in us dies. The next question is whether or not the MSM will begin to see value in reporting the truth again?

Beth said...

Pogo's a member of the Who Dat Nation - Geaux Saints!

SMGalbraith said...

I think he deserves some praise for at least starting the conversation.

We're not going to get out of this debt problem overnight or with one action. It's going to take incremental changes over years.

He's at least making a attempt to offer one proposal.

Henry said...

@Freder -- There is a tremendous amount of discussion among macro economists about whether or not WWII is a useful model for understanding Keynesian spending. Most agree that it is incredibly problematic, as peacetime spending plans are not generally coupled with forced austerity, draconian workforce relocation, and temporary nationalization of industry. One could easily argue that WWII ended the depression because the draft tightened the labor pool and forced austerity created savings to be spent later in the 50s.

@Montagne -- The reason I linked to Krugman and Herbert is specifically because they support the stimulus and, especially in Krugmans case, have called for a second one. I want them to frame the issue. They question is not the rightness or wrongness of the stimulus -- but whether or not Obama's team actually believes in it.

I think Garage Mahal is right. They're crackpots.

Big Mike said...

@Beth, I was living in Maryland back in '84 when the Colts snuck out of Balamer (transcribed from the local pronunciation) in the middle of the night.

Geaux Saints!

former law student said...

Re Obama's tax increases: The FET on tobacco products went up last March. Ciggie taxes went from 39 cents a pack to $1.04.

Re madman with a hatchet: Reality has a way of smashing campaign rhetoric. The Schwarzenegger who won office promising (and succeeding) to cut car personal property tax by two-thirds, raised it 50 percent as of Jan 1. Still lower than it was under Grey Davis, but a shock to the uninformed.

AprilApple said...

The Conrad/Gregg amendment to create a bipartisan deficit reduction commission just failed 53-46 in the Senate. 60 votes were needed.

Now - back to shoving tax-payer funded, doctor reducing, entitlement increasing, tax everyone-but-connected-DNC-buddies, big money funneled to insurance industry lobbyists -- health care "reform" down our throats.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
miller said...

"How does that make any sense at all?"

Best line of the thread, summing up every decision of Bambi's administration.

AprilApple said...

Jared Polis(D-CO) was giddy about his role in increasing the "death tax" this year.

Taxing evil rich people who have already paid 55-70% of their income in taxation while alive and breathing. The dems love the idea (it's patriotic!) of hitting them up for another 50-60% after they die so that in many cases their children are foced to sell the family business so the government can rape them over one more time.

The Crack Emcee said...

"But McCain was a madman... with a hatchet."

It sucks when you're forced to rely on it, but ain't it grand how hindsight works?

Montagne Montaigne said...

I'm sure Saint John McCain, who has been consistent about every policy position throughout his political life, would have kept 1000% of his campaign promises.

MadisonMan said...

And in the end, it may not even become reality.

The depressing truth. You know some Congresscritter is not going to take kindly to, say, the Dept of Education being axed when there are 2500 Dept of Education workers in his or her district.

Still, the coming fiscal problems might make them do something even if it means in-district pain.

Freder Frederson said...

Taxing evil rich people who have already paid 55-70% of their income in taxation while alive and breathing.

So when was the last time the top marginal rate (let alone the effective rate of taxation for anyone with half a brain) was 70%, or even 55%, in the U.S.?

And of course the inheritance tax only kicks in after a couple million dollars worth of estate, after generous exemptions (and inheritances are generally otherwise exempted from capital gains), so only a small percent of the population, and a vanishingly small percentage--and those who do probably deserve to be hit because it is unfortunately politically incorrect to tax stupidity--family farmers or families of small business owners, ever are subjected to the inheritance tax.

You are just full of shit.

ricpic said...

Obama is going to take (he says) a $250 billion ax to the $3 TRILLION tree he just grew.

former law student said...

The dems love the idea (it's patriotic!) of hitting them up for another 50-60% after they die

Wait a minute. I thought conservatives were against giving wealth to people who had done nothing to deserve it.

Better for everyone to start at the bottom -- builds character.

AJ Lynch said...

Ricpic:

I heard NPR using that $250 Billion number this morning but it is total bullshit.

It's more like $75 Billion or a drop of water in the ocean. So Obama is actually taking a celery chopper to a Redwood tree.

AJ Lynch said...

With this "Little Freeze", Obama will be fighting Global Warming at the same time! Obama is such a soooper geeeenyous!

ricpic said...

Conservatives don't think in terms of giving or not giving wealth, which is not theirs in the first place, to anyone. That's the ethos of liberals, which is to say thieves.

madawaskan said...

MadisonMan



Here is the number of troops deployed in Europe-

Not counting Bosnia or Kosovo, the US military has about 90,000 personnel in Europe
Germany – 57,080
Souda Bay, Greece - 386
Italy – 9,855
United Kingdom – 9,825
Spain – 1,286
Norway - 81
Sweden - 12
Turkey – 1,594
Belgium – 1,328
Portugal – 826
Netherlands – 579
Greece – 363
Greenland - 126


Notice anything?

Most of them are in Germany which is a HUGE medical facility.

Shit but who needs that readily available...

And hell dissolve Homeland Security-

No Problem...

Jeez and Mad Man calls himself a Democrat and-the rest of you were backing that juggernaut Thompspn and then jumped on the Palin train..

And ya' all think Gingrich has a chance!

Gawd!

wv:fardsuls

John Lynch said...

If the President wanted a real freeze, he can just veto new spending. Or, he could veto the bill raising the debt limit. There you go, freeze.

Shanna said...

Oh great! After wasting a trillion dollars on stimulus, we're going to "cut" the 7% growth of the 17% of discretionary spending not protected from this freeze, resulting in about $28 Billion (between 1% and 2%) reduction in projected outlays.

Yeah, that’s pretty much my reaction. Horse is already out of the barn on this one, although I also agree that “I'm glad to see ANY talk of fiscal restraint at this point”. It’s about damn time. What would make more sense is to change the law to NOT spend the “stimulus” junk that hasn’t been spent yet, which is a lot of it.

I heard there were a clutch of big companies on Wall Street and a gaggle of insolvent banks that got in on the payouts...and they're using our money to pay themselves huge fucking bonuses.

Haven’t most of those been paid back or are in the process of being paid back? Why don’t you bitch about the people who got money who have pretty much ZERO intention or ability to pay it back, like say, GM?

Geaux Saints.

Indeed.

Big Mike said...

So when was the last time the top marginal rate (let alone the effective rate of taxation for anyone with half a brain) was 70%, or even 55%, in the U.S.?

Counting state and local taxes, we're there right now.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Shanna, would you want a freeze to the $300 billion in tax cuts in the stimulus as well? Or would you immediately call that "raising taxes"?

mccullough said...

McCain's campaign was full of gimmicks.

Obama's presidency is full of gimmicks.

Chris said...

When it comes to government, pretty much all argument is sophistry. The Republicans will line their pockets and the Democrat will line their pockets. There is no way to avoid this lining of pockets in any possible government. All one can hope to do is limit the pocket lining, and who is better at it is an empirical question.

k*thy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

$300 billion of the stimulus was tax cuts.

Only in ObamaLand. You had a lot of refundable tax credits going out to a lot of people who don't pay federal income taxes. But those aren't tax cuts, as that term is usually used, but rather transfer, or even welfare, payments. They might act as Keynesian stimulus, if such works, but it obviously doesn't, and despite all of those who believe the economics is settled in Keynes' favor, haven't worked for the last 80 years.

Tax cuts are what Bush did right after he was elected, and what are scheduled to expire at, I believe, the end of the year. These were long term (multi-year) tax rate cuts. They allowed capital formation to be used to hire workers and build plants, and small business owners to make plans for the future.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Obviously the stimulus failed. The recession is still ongoing.

...

Chris said...

@MM

Nailed it.

Sadly.

Montagne Montaigne said...

You know what else the Bush tax cuts did?

Exploded the DEFICIT. But it was okay, because he was a Republican.

reader_iam said...

Boy, that "nihilist" meme is still strong. I find that hilarious, given that I strongly suspect most people don't even know what the word, or philosophy, means. Especially given how inappropriately it so frequently is used.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You know what else the Bush tax cuts did?

Exploded the DEFICIT.


Incorrect. Spending exploded the deficit.

Its really not that difficult a concept if you're not a complete idiot.

AJ Lynch said...

Montagne:

Shouldn't we all be past the argument of "well your guy did it too"?

mccullough said...

MM,

Actually, it was the increase in spending that exploded the W. deficit.

The deficits would have been pretty minimal without NCLB, Medicare D, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Obama has raised spending to an aesthetic ideal. The problem is that raising taxes in a recession/10% unemployment is a Herbert Hoover move.

bagoh20 said...

"You guys hate Krugman and Herbert, why now do you care what they think?"

When a human being moves away from the left, even if momentary, it is usually a result of increased experience and wisdom. That is what happened here, but like I said: momentary.

shoutingthomas said...

MM, you seem to believe that this is a website for Bush supporters?

Where did you get that idea?

How are the readers of this site responsible for President Bush?

Or, are you just continuing the Obama line... that everything happening now is the fault of the dreaded Bush?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Madison Man for President!

Except for that bullshit Saints pick. Ain't gonna happen. Nuh uh.

Smilin' Jack said...

Obama's freeze will apply to pretty much everything the govt does that might be worthwhile, but of course won't touch his "stimulus."

But hey, let's cut medical research funding so we can buy more stock in GM!

Hoosier Daddy said...

NO President is serious about cutting costs if he or she does not take a cleaver to the military budget. At the least, it should be halved.

Good idea. Make sure its the half that is providing humanitarian aid in places like Hati.

Bruce Hayden said...

Repubs hated the health care reform bills, which actually would have cut entitlements ("The elderly of afraid of democrats plans to cut medicare").

Well, no.

You are playing hide-the-ball here. Medicare entitlement increases would have been flattened, and, possibly the amount of cross-subsidization increased, at every else's expense (i.e. pushing this entitlement off the balance sheet onto every else's medical insurance payments).

But you (cleverly?) ignoring that the entire purpose of this exercise was to implement a massive new entitlement program. You are ignoring the trillions in subsidies for those who earn up to, what?, four times the poverty rate.

Now they hate the spending freeze, because it doesn't touch entitlements and thus isn't really going to be effective.

That is one of the more disingenuous bits of arguing I have read in awhile. He essentially claims that the Republicans oppose cutting Medicare, but then ignores that a big reason for their opposition to ObamaCare is the creation of a huge new entitlement program, and then calls the Republicans hypocrites for pushing for entitlement cuts.

bagoh20 said...

Mort Zuckerman said Obama has done everything wrong. He can just keep reposting that.

I must admit, that if Obmama was a conservative and did the exact opposite fiscal strategy, that I would be saying at this point that, we must wait and give it time to work.

Except, we have history to show it will not. Besides that, it's the cynical methods involved with this leftist policy. The lying, the lack of transparency, the political payoffs, the lack of humility and respect for this nation's exceptional history and strengths.

The daily demonstrations of incompetence are both embarrassing and promising.

Bruce Hayden said...

The government (or governments) absolutely can and does produce many beneficial things. Nuclear power (a favorite of conservatives), public health systems including clean drinking and waste water, roads, railroads (even the private ones), computers (most of the original work was funded by the government), the transistor and laser (through joint government/industry labs).

True, but at what cost overall?

And I don't think that you can really count railroads in there, since the big government intervention there was in the mid-19th century, and we are now in the 21st (and they didn't build them anyway, just gave companies land in trade for doing it).

You can add dams in your list too, and many of the hydro projects. Maybe not always the feds, but mostly some level of government.

Nevertheless, you have to look at the cost too of government - trillions now a year and compare that to what they produce. Not very efficient, and invariably and inevitably at a cost of much lost productivity in the private sector.

Bruce Hayden said...

Nice rhetoric. But what about the $300 billion tax cut in the stimulus package. And please name a single tax that Obama has raised.

Not for want of trying. Think ObamaCare, Tax and Bribe (aka Cap and Trade).

But realistically, his failure to extend the Bush tax cuts is effectively a major tax increase at precisely the wrong time in the economic cycle.

Bruce Hayden said...

So when was the last time the top marginal rate (let alone the effective rate of taxation for anyone with half a brain) was 70%, or even 55%, in the U.S.?

At present, next year, even if ObamaCare and Tax and Bribe (aka Cap and Trade) don't pass. See my previous post.

And of course the inheritance tax only kicks in after a couple million dollars worth of estate, after generous exemptions (and inheritances are generally otherwise exempted from capital gains), so only a small percent of the population, and a vanishingly small percentage--and those who do probably deserve to be hit because it is unfortunately politically incorrect to tax stupidity--family farmers or families of small business owners, ever are subjected to the inheritance tax.

Again, guess what, ignoring the expiration of the Bush tax cuts at the end of the year. Yes, many fewer have been hit with the Death Tax than before, but that is because of the soon-to-expire Bush tax cuts. And, now, the crash in the real estate and stock markets.

So, shortly, we will be facing Death Taxes on estates of maybe $700k again, which was the value of a middling house in some places. And, yes, you can get around this tax on the long held family house at the time of death if the basis is not jumped up then. But that just means that the heirs pay capital gains tax on it when they sell - which is also jumping up dramatically with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

AprilApple said...

Nice rhetoric. But what about the $300 billion tax cut in the stimulus package. And please name a single tax that Obama has raised.

As I recall, that supposed 300 billion tax cut was aimed at getting Republicans on board with the Stimulus back at the beginning of Obama's term.

So far, the dems haven't done anything to ease taxes but are promising all sorts of new ones. Many are hidden in the health care "reform" bill.
With a constant populist drum beat, the dems entire repertoire is based on taxing some "evil" portion of the American economy. Which inevitability leads to a weaker economy and the loss of countless jobs.

The Crack Emcee said...

"I'm sure Saint John McCain, who has been consistent about every policy position throughout his political life, would have kept 1000% of his campaign promises."

I was, and still am, more-than-willing to take my chances with a crazy America-loving uncle I knew, than our 1st worthless Socialist "Brother"-In-Chief that I'd never heard of. How's he working out for YOU?

And hey, Montagne Montaigne, when you're in a hole, you need to stop digging - it's over - you lost. Already. Like real fast.

Ha-ha-ha!

Bruce Hayden said...

Shanna, would you want a freeze to the $300 billion in tax cuts in the stimulus as well? Or would you immediately call that "raising taxes"?

Since they were mostly, in fact, transfer payments, and not tax rate cuts, I would definitely be in favor of eliminating them - except most of them have already expired.

And any real tax cuts for "green" stuff are just money flushed down the toilet. They are purely bribes to get us to buy less efficient products. They don't add to real GDP, and so we would be ahead by getting rid of them too.

The Drill SGT said...

Calypso Facto said...
Oh great! After wasting a trillion dollars on stimulus, we're going to "cut" the 7% growth of the 17% of discretionary spending not protected from this freeze, resulting in about $28 Billion (between 1% and 2%) reduction in projected outlays


You are forgetting that Obama signed the 2009 budget into place after he took office which had huge domestic increases built in. same with the 2010 budget.

so these cuts are going to be applied to a baseline that is bloated with program increases.

To put things in perspective, using OMB data, the 2010 budget is 20.4% higher than the 2008 budget.

Lockestep said...


So when was the last time the top marginal rate (let alone the effective rate of taxation for anyone with half a brain) was 70%, or even 55%, in the U.S.?


Let's see, if you are self-employed you get to pay 33% federal on every dollar over 171,500. Plus a 15.3% hit for social security and medicare. Plus, in my state of Maryland, another 8.2 percent if you are in the DC suburb counties. That gets you to 56.5%, before you pay a single dollar of the MD sales tax (6%), or property tax, or the federal and state gas taxes, or the rental car taxes, or the hotel taxes, or any other of the many ways the government gets a hand in your pocket.
Since they are over your 55% right from the start, I'd consider your comment dead wrong.

AJ Lynch said...

Lockestep:

I hate to give ammo to the libs here but FICA is capped at about $110K [right now]. The Medicare 2.9% tax does, however, go on to infinity.

I bet Obama would take the cap off FICA if he could get Congress to make it law.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I bet Obama would take the cap off FICA if he could get Congress to make it law.

Well there is a reason both programs are going broke is because the tax cap whereas every year saw an increase in outlays (either COI or additional Medicare benefits).

As much as I want to see a tax cut, I don't see how you can cut much more at this point without massive cuts across the board, including the military and entitlement programs.

Then again we could also start insisting that the other half of the country that doesn't pay Federal taxes start putting some skin in the game too.

Sofa King said...

We are so screwed.

I wouldn't be surprised if the increasing demands of an ever-larger group of benficiaries (mostly retiress) on a steadily-shrinking pool of taxpayers forces a constiutitonal crisis at some point.

The system will continue until it simply can't anymore. What happens then, is a singularity. We can only guess at the consequences.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The system will continue until it simply can't anymore. What happens then, is a singularity. We can only guess at the consequences

I think its called national bankruptcy.

Joe said...

the transistor... laser... computer

WRONG.

The transistor was invented at Bell Laboratories, a unit of AT&T. As was the laser. Bell labs also had a huge influence on the modern computer, but the modern computer chip was also developed by private industry.

former law student said...

Spending exploded the deficit.

The tax cuts came first and the spending cuts to match never happened. (Instead W. started spending like a drunken sailor.) But typical of every borrow-and-spend Republican since Reagan.

the other half of the country that doesn't pay Federal taxes

What about SS and Medicare? Conservatives should decide once and for all if they are taxes or not.

If you are self-employed... Plus a 15.3% hit for social security and medicare.

Assuming HD is wrong and SS and Medicare are really taxes, Lockestep is wrong because the self-employed only pay 3/4 the 15.3% hit. Plus nobody made him live in Maryland. He should move to Washington state (no income tax) and do his shopping in Oregon (no sales tax).

Shanna said...

Shanna, would you want a freeze to the $300 billion in tax cuts in the stimulus as well? Or would you immediately call that "raising taxes"?

Well, that depends, MM. Are they real tax cuts, as in cuts to the tax rate, or are they tax “credits”, where you pay in 1000 bucks and you get about 8 back? I think I can guess the answer to that.

Seriously, we should cut spending. We may get to the point where we have to raise taxes, but it's better not to spend the money in the first place.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Sofa king raises a good point. We need to bring the benefits of government workers in line with those in the private sector. Replace all pensions with 401k plans and drop retirement health benefits. This would provide a substantial savings over time.

former law student said...

While the transistor was invented at Bell Labs, commercial production became feasible because the DoD poured money into, notably, Texas Instruments to produce them -- the advantages of a nuclear warhead not controlled by vacuum tubes were obvious. The millions that flowed in enabled Jack Kilby to invent the building blocks of the integrated circuit.

Lockestep said...

Ouch, you are right about FICA. Bad note on my part.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But typical of every borrow-and-spend Republican since Reagan.

In other words the government, regardless of political party in power, can't manage a budget.

What about SS and Medicare? Conservatives should decide once and for all if they are taxes or not.

Yes they are taxes. I was talking about Federal income tax. I'm sure you knew that though. Or maybe not.

Hoosier Daddy said...

While the transistor was invented at Bell Labs, commercial production became feasible because the DoD poured money into, notably, Texas Instruments to produce them

So it was privatized.

/smacks forehead

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ouch, you are right about FICA. Bad note on my part.

Yes look at how much money you have now so quit bitching ;-)

AJ Lynch said...

In a way, I disagree that FICA and Medicare are taxes.

I could argue they are prepaid insurance payments [Medicare] and retirement savings [FICA].

They are going broke because we have they are not in individual lockboxes and our longtime Congress critters [both R & D] have gotten in the habit of endowing the populace [aka senior voters] with more and more benefits and COLA increases.

With individual accounts, they would not have been able to do that and go unnoticed.

Sofa King said...

Reducing government employee compensation is certainly a good step. But we are so screwed it won't really make a difference.

You see, it's all about scale. Few people understand how large the dollar amounts are. We're past the point where scuttling a department here and there or cancelling defense programs will help us. We have reached a point where the scale of the problem is so massive that actual feasible solutions are nearly non-existent. Sure you can shave a percentage point here and there, maybe. But that only only slightly delay the inevitable. Only painful, really radical cuts - equivalent to winning WWII! - can help us now. And that quite simply isn't going to happen.

The only, feeble hope that we hang on to is to try to hold the line as much as possible and pray that economic growth will explode. But that just isn't very likely, either.

Will the end be bankruptcy? Hyper-inflation? A constitutional convention? Whatever happens, there will be a lot of suffering, and a lot of regret. But that's pretty much unavoidable now.

former law student said...

HD said "Federal taxes" without qualification. When it suits a conservative's argument, even the Federal tobacco tax counts -- "Obama raised Federal taxes." When it weakens his argument, only FIT counts -- "Median income earners pay no Federal taxes."

the government, regardless of political party in power, can't manage a budget.

Since Ford, Republican administrations have coincided with increased National Debt (as a percent of GDP), while Obama is the first Democrat since FDR to preside over an increase in National Debt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Debt_Trend.svg

The Drill SGT said...

I just watched the Obama McCain debate on the budget and Obama promised:

“Net Spending Cut” to what I assume was the then current 2008 budget. instead he added 20% to that baseline. plus porkulus, and TARPtastic, etc

c3 said...

MM;
I see you're desperately trying to score political points. And I would certainly agree that when one views the world as "my side" and "your side" one reaches for any opportunity to impugn the other side. So setting aside your arguments about the freeze as it pertains to Republican opposition to Obamacare, the war in Iraq or support for John McCain (who frankly gets very little love on this blog) I would suggest the following:

The Obama proposed freeze is a start. It apparently ackowledges a concern for governmental spending and the popular displeasure with said spending.

At the same time, it is significantly out of sync with previous BO statements. Now one could conclude its indicative of a significant change in heart. Only further similar actions will confirm that supposition.

Or one could conclude its a political ploy to blunt criticism.

Well, I hope for the positive spin but understand that politicians very often act like ......well, politicians!

former law student said...

So it was privatized.

Government-funded innovation. Your tax dollars at work.

But the vacuum tube industry fought back. With the nuvistor.

http://www.andycowley.com/valves/var/7586/Nuvistor.html

JAL said...

Since we're doing minimal changes to look good, how about sending all the czars home. And at least 25 (yes, that is TWENTY FIVE) of the 27 or so people who work for Michelle home too.

And no more date nights in NY, flights to Boston and Copenhagen (twice) for lost causes.

And cut down the WH parties. And no more $100/lb steaks.

A mill here, a mill there ---

At least it would look like the boss was doing his part.

ricpic said...

OT: The search for aliens should start on Earth not outer space, says scientist.

That's the title of an article in The Telegraph (UK). It can be accessed via Drudge.

Might make a fun thread on Althouse, hint hint.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Government-funded innovation. Your tax dollars at work.

Like I said, privitization. Every leftists nightmare.

HD said "Federal taxes" without qualification.

I'll learn to be more specific for you in the future.

The Drill SGT said...

FLS,

Bush in 8 (2001-2008) years increaed the deficit by a bit over 2 trillion

Obama in 2 (2009-2010) years is projected to increase it by over 3 trillion

Hoosier Daddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoosier Daddy said...

Since Ford, Republican administrations have coincided with increased National Debt

Are you picking Ford as your starting point just because it fits your narrative?

JAL said...

Some of this stuff reminds me of a discussion a marriage therapist had with a relative and her husband.

The husband, a very nice guy, always told people what they wanted to hear -- he lied very nicely about all kinds of stupid stuff.

Turns out his father was a drunk, and so he would tell him what he wanted to hear, because he knew his dad would not remember the next day what he had said.

The therapist pointed out that the wife was not a drunk, and she did remember the next day.

I think BHO's "blank screen projection" schtick in Audacity is like that. He lets people write whatever they want him to be and do for themselves. And they've all gone away happy. Until now.

He has never had anybody keep track and compare.

As a community organizer, he was always spending other people's money, but who cared? Nobody wanted the Annenburg Challenge money back.

He's finding out the slack accountability on gov't and private grant funds he experienced is not the same as maxing out four generations' (and more) of American taxpayers' "credit cards" while sabatoging the private sector's ability to produce.

People are waking up.

bagoh20 said...

As bleak as it seems for the nation's fiscal situation, the only thing making a solution impossible is political will.

Millions of Americans have done much more demanding belt tightening recently and will survive just fine. In general government employees are vastly over paid and over benefited and there are two many of them doing too little of value.

The idea that government spending cannot be cut across the board is just people hiding from the inevitable hard choices that will get harder.

When this happens in the private sector people lose stuff: pay, benefits, jobs. If they don't do enough of that, they lose it all.

The public sector is not immune, it just takes longer and usually involves much more sever outcomes, since you generally can't just go find yourself a new country.

ricpic said...

I'm willing to cut down. Steak once a week. But that's my limit.

garage mahal said...

Looks like the ACORN pimp got clipped trying to bug Mary Landrieu's office. Ruh roh. I bet FOX and Bigovernment.com will be all over this.

AJ Lynch said...

I think that is great Garage. Initiative and persistence in our youth should be encouraged.

Sofa King said...

As bleak as it seems for the nation's fiscal situation, the only thing making a solution impossible is political will.

True. But I think it is a fallacy to presume that as the situation becomes more dire, "political will" will simply materialize out of thin air. In fact, I think that's highly improbable. The less likely a "real" solution appears, the less likely anyone is to sacrifice their own interests to a failure. It's a downward spiral that only ends when either (a) nobody has anything left to lose or (b) nobody has the power to protect their own interests any more. I think the failure of the Roman Empire is instructive here. Perhaps also the USSR.

former law student said...

hd -- the national debt actually declined under Ike and Dick.

Matt said...

JAL
Czars

Please note that the only reason Obama has czars is because Republicans are stalling on his appointments. This is the Republicans problem not Obama's. If you want czars to disappear call your representative and tell them to accept Obama's appointments.

Doug said...

A little off topic, but speaking of nihilists in golf pants, how about this: www.nihlist.blogspot.com (Nihilist in Golf Pants).

I wonder what Althouse's position on golf pants as opposed to shorts is. Some of them can be pretty hard on the eyes.

Joe said...

While the transistor was invented at Bell Labs, commercial production became feasible because the DoD poured money into, notably, Texas Instruments to produce them

Wow, do you even have a bullshit meter? DoD's purchases had nothing to do with making transistors commercially feasible; they didn't order enough stuff to do so and still don't. The transistor was one of the most brilliant inventions of all time. Transistor radios probably had more effect than anything on popularizing the invention.

Joe said...

Please note that the only reason Obama has czars is because Republicans are stalling on his appointments.

Delusion strikes deep on the board today. So, when Obama appointed Czars immediately that was in prophetic anticipation of a non-event? Or are you still under the illusion that Republicans control the Senate?

Penny said...

"But I think it is a fallacy to presume that as the situation becomes more dire, "political will" will simply materialize out of thin air."

"Political will" appeared in Massachusetts when Brown was elected, and in New Jersey when Christie was elected. It's out there, and it's coming our way with increased fervor.

Let's see what happens in states like California, New York and New Jersey as the money runs out, and the taxes go up and the services go down.

Let's see what happens if fiscally responsible states need to help bail out those that have not been responsible at all.

"Political will" is on its way, and will be at a place near you, sooner rather than later.

Pogo said...

Political Wil is the older brother of Trespassers Wil.

Freeman Hunt said...

Political Wil is the older brother of Trespassers Wil.

LOL (Much love for Winnie the Pooh at this house.)

Pogo said...

When I was little, I thought there was a real guy named Trespassers Wil, and I was skeert of him. I was fond of the wordplay in the book; 'Heffalumps and Woozles' appeals even when very young.

Milne still reads well. My older son liked him best, mostly because his chubbliness was similar to Pooh's.

former law student said...

DoD's purchases had nothing to do with making transistors commercially feasible

It's fine to be wrong but to be breathtakingly wrong like that -- well I don't know what to say.

From Revolution in Miniature (Cambridge 1978): The importance of the military market to the semiconductor industry became evident way back in 1952, when the military bought nearly all of the 90 000 transistors (mostly WE point contact devices) produced that year.

Fascinated by the possibilities, but nervous about relying on a risky, unproven technology, from 1952 to 1964, the Signal Corps gave out a total of $50 million in R&D contracts for semiconductor production development (to ensure production availability, reduce cost, improve performance and reliability). The military's share of semiconductor production (in dollars) ranged from 35% in 1955 to 48% in 1960, tailing down to 24% in 1965. But even in 1965, military usage provided US semiconductor companies three times the revenue of consumer usage (mostly car and portable radios).

In the late fifties, the military provided R%D funds to develop three different microcircuit technologies, but Fairchild's planar process was the winner. In 1970, the military accounted for 40% of integrated circuit sales.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Government is the last of the big bubbles. It's gonna be something when it finally bursts.

avwh said...

I think BHO's "blank screen projection" schtick in Audacity is like that. He lets people write whatever they want him to be and do for themselves. And they've all gone away happy. Until now.

He has never had anybody keep track and compare."


The reason for that: he was never in those other jobs for more than a year or two, voting "present", or only part-time if it was longer (U of C lecturer). So he's NEVER had accountability for ANYTHING before.

We may see some monumental "can't I just eat my waffle?" moments coming if the PR meter and polls don't turn around for the Chosen One.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hey garage, here is Fox on the pimp.

Linky

Maybe he was just trying to find out how much more old Mary was willing to whore herself out to Barry. God knows there isn't enough transparency in your boy's admin.

Nora said...

Let me guess. After the giveaways to his chronies Obama is going to freeze out his opponents?

Bruce Hayden said...

The public sector is not immune, it just takes longer and usually involves much more sever outcomes, since you generally can't just go find yourself a new country.

Part of the absurdity is that the public sector has really been the only part of the economy to thrive over the last year. Employment is up, as well as incomes. The later is one reason that at least at the federal level (but apparently also at least in CA), government employees make more on average than their private counterparts, and that is before taking into account benefits.

What was amazing about the Administration's attempts to detail how many jobs were created or "saved" is that a large number of the "saved" jobs were those of government employees who had gotten raises thanks to the "stimulus" package of a year ago.

So, no, public employees are not suffering yet like their private employee counterparts.

Bruce Hayden said...

Delusion strikes deep on the board today. So, when Obama appointed Czars immediately that was in prophetic anticipation of a non-event? Or are you still under the illusion that Republicans control the Senate?

Until a week ago, the Republicans couldn't even filibuster. So, no, I don't find the assertion that Republicans were keeping Obama's appointees out of office credible.

Bruce Hayden said...

You are forgetting that Obama signed the 2009 budget into place after he took office which had huge domestic increases built in. same with the 2010 budget.

We're not talking the budge that Obama signed with some 8,000 earmarks are you? Entirely written by a Democratic Congress, of course (just preempting the bogus talking point that it was Bush's budget - budget bills Constitutionally start in the House, Democratically controlled for three years now).

reader_iam said...

DoD's purchases had nothing to do with making transistors commercially feasible

And the U.S. space program had absolutely no affect on technology development, either.

***

Uh huh.

Ha ha.

wv: refula--refusing history in favor of la-la

reader_iam said...

OMFG! You mean all those flint arrowheads WEREN'T just created as interesting self-expressive artwork intended for later display in museums for the use and benefit of socio-culturo-politico theorizing?

Well: I'll. [f'n] be. 'Scuse. Me.

reader_iam said...

Did you know that the cannon was developed specifically to give a certain rousing quality to Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture"?

It's true! You just read it on teh internet, so you know it must be. Right?

Bruce Hayden said...

Nice rhetoric. But what about the $300 billion tax cut in the stimulus package. And please name a single tax that Obama has raised.

Well, it turns out that the Democrats have actually managed to raise tax rates by doing nothing. According to this article by Pete DuPont in the WSG titled An Economic Time Bomb:

"The estate tax, which fell to zero this year under the Bush tax cuts, will return in 2011--or sooner, if Congress acts to restore it. Another likely tax increase will be on the income of private equity and hedge-fund managers, from the capital gains rate of 15% to the new higher income tax rates. It has already been passed by the House and is supported by the Obama administration, as is an additional 10-year, $90 billion tax on banks aimed at "rolling back bonuses for top earners." It would affect some 50 banks, insurance companies, and large broker-dealers.

Meanwhile a number of last year's tax deductions have disappeared due to the failure of Congress to extend them into this year. The tax deduction for state and local sales taxes is one; the deduction for college tuition and fees is another; and the 50% write-off for small businesses for capital purchases--equipment, machinery or building a new plant--has disappeared as well, which will have a negative effect upon the construction of new business operation facilities.
"

Sofa King said...

"Political will" appeared in Massachusetts when Brown was elected, and in New Jersey when Christie was elected. It's out there, and it's coming our way with increased fervor.

Respectfully, I disagree. That's simply a reflection of voters flailing about, desperate to find a painless way out from the mess they have made. I predict Brown will not solve any long-term problems (not necessarily for lack of trying), and voters will replace him with someone else who promises they can do it.

It's the same dynamic that allows get-rich-quick schemes and miracle diet pill scammers to fleece the public. It's like the pitch from the Nigerian emails, but coming from someone you know and trust.