July 11, 2011

How President Obama explained away a poll showing only 24% of Americans supported raising the debt ceiling "to avoid an economic catastrophe."

At the press conference today:
Q: You said that everybody in the room is willing to do what they have to do, wants to get something done by August 2nd. But isn’t the problem the people who aren’t in the room, and in particular Republican presidential candidates and Republican Tea Partiers on the Hill, and the American public? The latest CBS News poll showed that only 24 percent of Americans said you should raise the debt limit to avoid an economic catastrophe. There are still 69 percent who oppose raising the debt limit. So isn’t the problem that you and others have failed to convince the American people that we have a crisis here, and how are you going to change that?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, let me distinguish between professional politicians and the public at large. The public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury option goes. They shouldn’t. They're worrying about their family; they're worrying about their jobs; they're worrying about their neighborhood. They've got a lot of other things on their plate. We're paid to worry about it. I think, depending on how you phrase the question, if you said to the American people, is it a good idea for the United States not to pay its bills and potentially create another recession that could throw millions of more people out of work, I feel pretty confident I can get a majority on my side on that one.
So... the the American people are misinformed if not incapable of absorbing matters beyond the narrow, personal sphere. It's the "What's the Matter with Kansas?" answer. You don't know what is good for you. If you knew, you'd agree with me. It's also what David Plouffe was talking about the other day when he said: "people won’t vote based on the unemployment rate. They’re gonna vote based on, 'How do I feel about my own situation? Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family?'"

And notice that Obama said: "They've got a lot of other things on their plate." I hope they have room for peas!''

ADDED: "Plate of Peas," the Super 8 movie:

190 comments:

Dan in Philly said...

The public certainly was not paying close attention in 2008, so you have to admit he has a point.

Shanna said...

We're paid to worry about it.

Don't worry your pretty little heads about the debt ceiling, dearies.

Obama's such a condescending jerk.

chickenlittle said...

POTUS doesn't see to realize that he need not eliminate the debt to get more people on his side--he just needs to stop its alarming growth, stabilize it, and reverse it if possible. Just imagine if even that happened. Elimination may take years if even possible. Instead he treats the deficit as a living pet shark or a tumor to be fed and encouraged to grow.

johnvert said...

Amateur hour continues.

Curious George said...

"they're worrying about their jobs"

20% aren't.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm having snap peas for dinner!

Does that count toward my peas quota?

Chef Mojo said...

I really hope this jug-eared fuck plans to campaign on those assumptions. I really hope he does. Right up there along with Axelrod and Plouffe.

Please just keep rockin' the condescension!

Jenner said...

Obama explains away by rephrasing: "The poll was not worded properly, you see."

Coketown said...

You expect me to buy this condescending horseshit? Nigga, peas.

Shouting Thomas said...

Any predictions on how bad things are gonna get?

In my field, the bottom has dropped out.

I'm seeing "job" ads in craigslist that ask people to work for free in the hope that a job might develop out of the freebie!

Seeing Red said...

So Americans aren't able to understand must have more income than outgo?

If there's more outgo than income it's coming out of them?


It's amazing Ormand, Ramsey & the lot actually sell anything.

People must not get themselves into debt.

ndspinelli said...

Our prez seems to be channeling Forrest Gump.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

The arrogance of Obama directed at the American public is nauseating.

When he's defeated for re-election, he'll call 'foul' and claim the voters just didn't understand what they were deciding for the country's future.

The sooner he's out the better.

Scott M said...

Democratic leadership. So aristocratic you can smell it all the way to the Mississippi.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

They always put out the false premise that not raising the debt ceiling means not paying on the debt.

It does not meant that at all. It is a false choice.

The REAL choice which they never want to address is that when you have no more money coming IN you must CUT SPENDING.

Cutting spending doesn't mean not paying the debt (interest on treasuries and principle on maturing debt). NOR does it mean cutting programs like Medicare or Social Security.

There are plenty PLENTY of other areas that could be cut and programs that are duplicitous or unwanted.

We dumb rubes in sloping forehead country have a pretty good idea on what is really going on and some concrete steps that could be taken to begin the process of getting our economic house in order.

We aren't as stupid as Obama and the rest of the elites think we are. We are also not as patient as they would like to believe we are.

MikeDC said...

The President is undeniably correct that the average person, even the average politically active American, doesn't have a clue as to how things like this operate, what the government spends its money on, and so forth.

The problem is that he sees this as something to be taken advantage of and I see it as something to be remedied.

Lori said...

The ultimate condescension is having the budget/debt ceiling debate happening in the White House.

The fact that this is not playing out in committee hearings and votes on Capitol Hill is damning to the Democrats and the White House.

They don't want the Senators hearing from the pesky constituents -- you know, the ones who ARE paying attention?

I'm against any "deal". The Republicans should go back to Capitol Hill and tell the Dems to contact them when they are ready to use the regular legislative PROCESS to conduct business. You know, the process where they listen to the voters.

Shouting Thomas said...

And, on the other side of the fence, the Tea Party is ready to scalp any Republican rep who allows the tax and spend program to continue.

Where do we go from here?

The interesting thing about your vote for Obama, Althouse, is that you didn't read Sailer's excellent book about Obama prior to the 2008 election.

At least, I don't think you read it. If you had, you wouldn't be surprised by Obama's true colors. He's a red diaper baby.

Shouting Thomas said...

When he's defeated for re-election, he'll call 'foul' and claim the voters just didn't understand what they were deciding for the country's future.

No, no, no...

Obama and his supporters, if he is defeated, will scream that we are all racists! RACISTS!

Do you hear me?

RACISTS!

David said...

Meanwhile, Green Bay Press Gazette for today has this:

The top Democrat in the Wisconsin state Assembly is urging Republican Gov. Scott Walker to reject maps redrawing political boundaries that the GOP-controlled Legislature plans to take up next week.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said Monday if Walker attempted to come up with a more nonpartisan approach to redistricting, it would go a long way toward restoring trust in the Statehouse following months of deeply partisan fights.

Barca says this is going to be a significant test of leadership for Walker.


Now that they have trashed Walker at every turn, lost elections and lawsuits and generally failed at everything they tried, they want Walker to bail them out?

Ha!

chickenlittle said...

At least, I don't think you read it. If you had, you wouldn't be surprised by Obama's true colors. He's a red diaper baby.

Come on ST--people like Althouse didn't want to be seen judging somebody by the color of their diapers. I was schooled the other day that we shouldn't judge politicians based on their familial backgrounds and other factors outside their control.

john bord said...

This is the very thing Orwell used in his books. The ruling class knows the answers, no matter the question.
The peasants do not how to deal with the larger problems of government, that is why they elected me, to make decisions for them......

Squid said...

"Uncle Bob, if you don't give me a 40% raise, I won't be able to make my house payments!"

"First of all, Barry, you're not getting a 40% raise. That's just ridiculous, and I don't have that kind of money to give you even if I thought you were worth it. Second, you should probably give up the Vegas weekends and the fancy cars before you default on your mortgage. Hell, you should have known you weren't getting the raise, and given up the extravagances a long time ago. Frankly, Barry, if I hadn't promised my sister that I'd give you a 4-year contract, you'd be long gone by now. You're a disgrace to the family."

Yeah, average Americans just can't comprehend budget deficits...

Pogo said...

President Obama:
"Sell that stuff about a man among men...
to those morons out there?

Shucks, I sell them chicken
fertiliser as caviar.

I can make them eat dog food
and think it’s steak.

Sure, I've got them like this.
You know what the public's like,
a cage full of guinea pigs.

Good night, you stupid idiots.
Good night, you miserable slobs.

They're a lot of trained seals...
I toss them a dead fish
and they'll flap their flippers.
"

A Face in The Crowd

Lori said...

Obama: Well, let me distinguish between professional politicians and the public at large. The public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury option goes. They shouldn’t. They're worrying about their family; they're worrying about their jobs; they're worrying about their neighborhood. They've got a lot of other things on their plate. We're paid to worry about it.

If ever there were an argument for congressional term limits, this is it. Where in the Constitution does it call for "professional politicians" to do the nation's worrying? I'm for unhitching them from the public gravy train.

PatCA said...

"The public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury option goes."

Want to bet on that? Like say, the 2012 election?

Fred4Pres said...

I predict Obama folds,

so he can convince the Ann Althouses of the world that he really was a moderate all along and they can just pretend he is not lying to them this time.

David said...

As for Obama: Fool!

He hasn't been outside the bubble in his entire life. Punaho, Columbia, Harvard, U of C, Hyde Park, Washington. No wonder he is a failure. Even his community organizer gig was ticket punching--a quick dip into something gritty to polish the resume.

He has no idea how ordinary people think or how they live. He can not even disguise his contempt for those below him, which for him constitutes most of humanity.

Ick!

Henry said...

On the other hand, if you said to the American people, is it a good idea for the United States to reelect a callow politician whose failed economic policies have extended a recession that threw millions of more people out of work do you think a majority would bite?

phx said...

I'm pretty sure the average American is not informed on the ins and outs of the debt ceiling crisis. Obama didn't say they weren't capable of being informed. I'll bet I'm capable of learning a lot more about it, but I don't want to and I'm not going to. I don't think I'm that unusual about this either.

Obama's being pretty honest about that even if you don't like his policies. If we want to play pretend like this is just more evidence that Obama has all this contempt for average Americans go right ahead, but I think it's the wrong tack for GOP to get any traction here.

roesch-voltaire said...

Based on the few times this blog or others have linked to articles on the business page, I suspect few do understand the importance of raising the debt ceiling, few probably would take the warnings of the IMF seriously, few have any understanding how the bondholders were spared by the bailout, or how curbing subprime-lending abuses might have prevented this mess etc--Either way to raise or not to raise is very risky and I will error on the side most economist take rather than going with the poll.

Shouting Thomas said...

Come on ST--people like Althouse didn't want to be seen judging somebody by the color of their diapers.

Well, you shouldn't judge people by the color of their diapers.

But, it is interesting to know what color diapers they wore.

You might even want to take a look inside to see what they leave in their diapers.

pm317 said...

I just saw a bumper sticker on a prius on the DC beltway that said 'Obama Cares'. The driver who looked like a 60+ year old woman will have no problem eating her peas.

'Eat your peas and vote for Obama'

why? because

'Obama Cares'.

David said...

What the heck is a red diaper baby?

Scott M said...

I predict Obama folds

I don't think so. He's been on TV now how many times in just about as many days? My feeling is that there is something very, very, nasty (politically) waiting for him on the other side of August 2nd and he's doing everything he can to avoid it.

Answering a question opposing professional politicians and the public at large (I still cannot believe those words actually came out of his mouth) is quite possibly one of the dumbest thing I think I've heard this guy utter. It smacks of desperation.

President Obama handed his opposition three or four campaign ads today.

John said...

Him and the rest of the professional politicians are the ones who ran up the deficit stealing for themselves and their cronies. Now the rest of the country needs to shut up and "eat their peas" and pay for it. God I am beginning to really hate this jackass.

And Ann, you millions of other doofuses put him in office. It would be nice if you would at least apologize for voting for this disaster rather than claiming you did the rational thing and insulting all of our intelligence.

Scott M said...

He hasn't been outside the bubble in his entire life. Punaho, Columbia, Harvard, U of C, Hyde Park, Washington.

Don't forget stopping off in CT long enough to get a social security number.

Darcy said...

Economic genius. Let's follow him off that cliff, shall we?

C R Krieger said...

So, does this mean that the whole "will of the People" thing is wrong?  Is it just "trust me"?

On local access TV this AM here in beautiful Downtown Lowell (City Life) our City Manager and UMass Lowell PoliSci Prof said "You have to trust the system to work".  This was while talking about an issue (our local dam across the Merrimack River) where the key problem is a lack of trust on the part of the citizens living up-river from the dam and also the National Park Service, which uses the dam as part of their historic presentation of the beginning of industrialization in the United States.  The dam provides power to ENEL, for electrical power generation.  If you want a feel for ENEL, ask some US Service member, or dependent, ever stationed in Naples, Italy.

The City Manager, who is actually a good guy (he gave me an "A" for State and Local Government about a year ago) promised that he would think up a hard question for me for Wednesday, when I am on the show.

But, we have a City Council, Various Neighborhood Groups, Move Lowell Forward, an election every two years and a habit of not keeping City Managers, compared to, say Janesville.  Our City Manager was just asking a caller, who is Chairman of one of about nine Tough Neighborhood Groups, for just a little more patience.  As for the President, maybe not the case.

The President's dismissal of the People is disturbing in a very special way.

Regards  —  Cliff

Seeing Red said...

Red diaper baby describes a child of parents who were members of the United States Communist Party (CPUSA) or were close to the party or sympathetic to its aims.



WIKI

bagoh20 said...

""They've got a lot of other things on their plate."

And my wife and I will decide what's on that plate and how much of it they can have.

Pogo said...

It's possible the American people are indeed morons.

How else would Obama have been elected?

bgates said...

the the American people are misinformed if not incapable of absorbing matters beyond the narrow, personal sphere

Not Obama, though. He isn't caught up in the pedestrianism. He observed it and critiqued it. He was in his high vantage point. He was sober and rational.

What an asshole.

Jim said...

Meanwhile, dozens of polls show big majorities favor letting the tax cuts sunset in order to bring down the deficit. But I guess we're just supposed to ignore those polls. Ignoring the will of the American people is only considered "tyranny" if Democrats do it.

art.the.nerd said...

> you should raise the debt limit to avoid an economic catastrophe

Too late, we already have "an economic catastrophe."

Curious George said...

"I will error on the side most economist take rather than going with the poll."

And what side would that be?

John said...

"If we want to play pretend like this is just more evidence that Obama has all this contempt for average Americans go right ahead, but I think it's the wrong tack for GOP to get any traction here."

There is nothing pretend about it. Going all the way back to the "bitter clinger" remark, Obama has shown himself to be nothing but a condescending prick. That wouldn't be so bad, if he were anything but an affirmative action baby mental midget in way over his head. The incompetence combined with the sneering condescension makes him the most insufferable public figure in a very long time.

Paddy O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

Based on the few times this blog or others have linked to articles on the business page, I suspect few do understand the importance of raising the debt ceiling, few probably would take the warnings of the IMF seriously, few have any understanding how the bondholders were spared by the bailout, or how curbing subprime-lending abuses might have prevented this mess etc--Either way to raise or not to raise is very risky and I will error on the side most economist take rather than going with the poll.


Heh....

Maguro said...

Meanwhile, dozens of polls show big majorities favor letting the tax cuts sunset in order to bring down the deficit. But I guess we're just supposed to ignore those polls. Ignoring the will of the American people is only considered "tyranny" if Democrats do it.

And which party had control of the White House, the House and the Senate when the tax cuts were extended, hmmm?

I will give you a clue: Not the Republicans.

JimMuy said...

Shorter 0bama: The public is stupid.

chickenlittle said...

@Seeing Red: I think the term includes children of overt sympathizers and "fellow travelers," especially if they show symptoms later on in life.

Shouting Thomas said...

Nothing that Obama has done has surprised me, Althouse.

As I said, I read Sailer's book and so I knew that Obama was a red diaper baby and a race hustler.

What interests me about your vote is whether or not you knew this when you voted.

If you didn't, I'm surprised that you could have found a way not to know it.

If you did, I'd have to guess that living in a place like Madison, you meet plenty of people who were red diaper babies... and, so, this sort of background doesn't surprise you or alert you in any way.

Outside of places like Madison (or Woodstock or the Village), a bio like Obama's would be viewed as a cause for alarm.

What else would you expect out of a red diaper baby and race hustler like Obama, except exactly what he's done?

John said...

The Bolsheviks always hated the Russian peasants. But they were constantly puzzled why the peasants wouldn't act in their own interests and support communism. True story. To be a Leftist is to loath the general public but still insist that said public love you. Obama is just continuing that long tradition.

Seeing Red said...

Firing Jamie Gorlick in the 90s would have helped not only w/the Fannie/Fred problem, but 9/11 as well.

Nice try, RV.

Which bondholders were saved?

Certainly not GM bondholders.

Tossing over 100 years of bankruptcy law.....

Besides, we're all US bondholders even if indirectly.

We all have to bend over and take it in a fashion.

We're just describing the fashion.....


I'm done bending over, it's DC's time to take it hard.


And if someone had curbed Barney Frank long ago, need to go back, RV.....


Like the WSJ pointed out today - we already had tax increases under Obamacare.

Now he wants to add more.

James said...

I'm still laughing at what roesch-voltaire just posted. That is truly "Through the Looking Glass" material.

Which bondholders were made whole in the auto bailout?

Who resisted Bush's attempts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Saint Croix said...

When they explain it to me all I hear is, "We need to go deeper in debt." It's like having an insane member of the family who keeps signing up for credit cards.

ricpic said...

...the average person...doesn't have a clue...what the government spends its money on...

You're right up to a point. The average person, namely me, couldn't rattle off the details of how, for example, the Dept. of Education slices up its allotted budget. What I do know, maybe sense would be the better term, is that that Dept. is shot through with corruption, that much of its work is useless, that theft is the order of the day. That's true of the Dept. of Defense too, by the way. We don't have to know the details to know that the government has morphed from being an extension of us (however imperfect) to being our enemy.

Shouting Thomas said...

The kicker in all this is: Would McCain have been any better?

Problematic, huh?

And, now, I'm going to stir fry my snap peas!

Seeing Red said...

YAY PJM! Via Instapundit:

“So, when you hear folks saying ‘Well, the president shouldn’t want massive job killing tax increases when the economy is this weak.’ Nobody’s looking to raise taxes right now. We’re talking about potentially 2013 and the out years.” (emphasis added)

Re-elect me to get massive job killing tax hikes when I’m a lame duck and you can’t do a thing about it. That right there is a sure-fire winner of a message. If you want to morph into Walter Mondale circa 1984.

More: This clip is being circulated by Team Romney. Nice catch on their part. And this is one of many clips that should form part of any candidate’s attack on Obama from now on.


wv: liesse

Lie see, what can I lie about today?

Drew said...

Incompetence + Arrogance is never pretty. It is, unfortunately, a common ailment found among the political class.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Maybe the people have figured out that the "default" threat is utterly BS.

It.
Won't.
Happen.

phx said...

@John, I disagree. I think you guys got your feelings all hurt by someone you didn't like to begin with when he made his "bitter clinger" remark. His bad.

But ever since then you all have lived in that bitter play pretend world where Obama is insufferable, constantly condescending you, and always sneering.

Nobody else sees this except the hard right wing, the ones with the hurt feelings. And their common response: Obama is stupid, or in your words "an affirmative action baby mental midget" when he's anything but.

You may not like his policies, you might not like his personality, but as I say your tack only drives YOU folks away from the reasonable part of the American public.

Shouting Thomas said...

The Bolsheviks always hated the Russian peasants. But they were constantly puzzled why the peasants wouldn't act in their own interests and support communism.

Yes, that's the theme of A Hero of Our Times by Mikhail Lermontov. Great novel.

Jim said...

"And which party had control of the White House, the House and the Senate when the tax cuts were extended, hmmm?

I will give you a clue: Not the Republicans."


And that proves what, exactly? Republicans demanded that the cuts get extended and held the unemployed hostage to get it done. You're trying to change the subject. I don't blame you, given that these crybabies are now pushing us toward default and catastrophe to get something that only about 38% of Americans want.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tree hugging sister said...

Well, the Douche-in-Chief can just go PEAS UP A ROPE.

How's THAT for comprehensive?

bagoh20 said...

Just think for a moment that we already raised the debt limit. Now what? We are more in debt. We will cut overspending less, and the decision makers will have learned a lesson, or rather learned that the rest of us have not learned anything.

It may have risks, but they pale in comparison to the risks of not taking them.

It's seeing the cliff ahead and soberly deciding to not stop the car.

Are we Thelma and Louise?

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeing Red said...

So it's the republicans fault Barry has no balls?


BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

He ate his peas then so now we have to?

Robin said...

Jim, what it proves is that your partisan spittle-flecked rhetoric is based entirely upon your practice of ignoring just how much those items were actually bipartisan proposals.

Just as Obama ignores just how much his positions are rejected by a bipartisan majority of the public.

Scott M said...

but as I say your tack only drives YOU folks away from the reasonable part of the American public

I'm a reasonable American and try to give both credit where due and try to suspend emotional when evaluating current events/politics.

President Obama's administration has made unforced error after error since taking office. Moreso than any administration in my adult memory. To the point that my, "well, he won...let's see what he can do," attitude evaporated a long time ago.

None of that changes my personal innate feeling that he wouldn't really care for me and mine, nor what we believe or stand for.

The Ghost said...

"People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate. They’re gonna vote based on, 'How do I feel about my own situation."

If that were true, no incumbent would have lost election for any office, ever.

Maguro said...

And that proves what, exactly?

It proves that, contrary to your polls, the Democrats felt it was in their best interest to extend the tax cuts.

And no offense, but they know politics a lot better than you do.

I don't blame you, given that these crybabies are now pushing us toward default and catastrophe to get something that only about 38% of Americans want.

There will be no default. You've been imbibing too much partisan political nonsense. Take a break and step away from the MSNBC.

AJ Lynch said...

Repubs could personalize the deficit by using Biden's 35 plus years in the Senate as a teaching aid by pointing how much we overspent since Biden arived in Washington. Of course, Biden had some accomplices including Dems and Repubs like Orrin Hatch, Leahy, Specter, Lautenberg, etc.

But it would be a way to personalize the profligate year after year spending done by Beltway insiders. And Alinsky always recommended things and issues be personalized.

Hagar said...

I think that is about the most offensive statement I have ever read that an American president has made about his people.

Fr Martin Fox said...

The President could say the following, today:

"No matter what happens in the next few weeks, months, or in fact, the next year, with the debt limit, one thing is absolutely clear. There will be no default: because the government will not lack enough money to pay all interest on all outstanding debt. There is no question of enough tax revenue to pay all interest.

"Nor will there be any need to delay payment of bills for service rendered.

"However, it will be necessary to scale back expenses significantly--this will be like the government shutdown we narrowly averted several months ago..."

If he said these things, would that not reassure the markets? Especially bond markets? Wonder why he doesn't?

phx said...

ScottM: I know you from my limited reading here to be a "reasonable American," whose views often differ from mine.

You generally express yourself, and your opposition, reasonably, IMO. Many of your brethren here don't see or express themselves so reasonably however. I believe them to be the suicide wing of the Republican Party.

John said...

The bitter clinger remark didn't apply to me. I live in Washington DC and have a high income. But I know a condescending prick when I see one. I also know when someone is blatantly unqualified for a job and in over their heads when I see it.

Obama has never moved the polls on anything since taking office. Despite speaking more than any president in memory, he has never convinced the country to change its mind on a single thing. I think most people have just stopped listening to him or taking him seriously. All these press conferences are are just talking points for the media and the hoards of internet trolls.

Revenant said...

On the one hand, yes, Obama is being condescending.

On the other hand, the American people are so clueless when it comes to government finances that it is impossible to take their responses to polls seriously. In short, Obama is guilty of condescending to ignoramuses.

AJ Lynch said...

Hagar:

Whatch u mean "his people"? Heh.

roesch-voltaire said...

To get a sense of which bond holders were spared read the long piece about Shelia Bair in NYT Sunday Mag. on page 29.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I think a lot of folks flacking for the President do not know--or are being intentionally obtuse about--what "default" means.

They and the President are counting on most of us hayseeds not knowing, either.

Trouble is, lots of ordinary Americans know that if you are about to bump against your limit on your credit card, getting that raised has nothing to do with making your minimum payment, when you have a paycheck that more than covers said minimum payment.

And they know that getting your limit raised, so you can keep charging, is about the stupidest thing to do in such a situation...

Cutting up the credit card is what you ordinary Americans know to do. But we're stoopid, not like those professional politicians who have everything under control...

Phil 3:14 said...

I notice the repeated use of "Tea Partiers" by the Dems. Is the polling on that term good for them or is it simply meant to rally the base?

Seeing Red said...

FYI - 2003 paper as to how much US funds the IMF


estimated at $27 billion.

6/6/09

Washington - The International Monetary Fund, which in many ways has become the globe's answer to a worldwide recession, has come under some tough criticism in the United States as legislators consider whether to boost US contribution to the crisis lender.

US President Barack Obama, who promised a 100-billion-dollar loan to the IMF at an April summit of world leaders, is meeting stiff resistance from lawmakers in both parties who want him to focus on rescuing the US economy - not the world's. ......


The IMF can go scratch.

Squid said...

@phx: "I believe them to be the suicide wing of the Republican Party."

Would this be the same suicide wing that sent record numbers of fiscal conservatives to the Congress and state legislatures across the country in 2010? I think you may be confusing "suicide" with "reform."

Scott M said...

@phx

Much appreciated. My point, though, is that they are not pushing me away from disliking our president's way to going about his professional politician job.

I still can't believe that came across his lips. You've got to have some serious ivory high-rise property not to know that term won't engender the most hostile response from those already of the opinion that large government, for lack of a better term, sucks canal water.

Moneyrunner said...

The words Obama used were “treasury auction” not “treasury option.” A treasury auction is the way the government sells its bonds and determines the interest rate it pays. It’s an illustration of people’s ignorance that this has not been corrected in Ann’s comments.

phx said...

Good luck Squid. I believe that heady sense of populist anti-government fever that fueled the TP will also be their quick undoing.

Talk about arrogant. You guys should read some of your own comments here on Althouse's blog before you go calling Dems or the Obamamites arrogant. I've seen lefty arrogance, but man some of you folks got a real lock on it.

Seeing Red said...

Much appreciated. My point, though, is that they are not pushing me away from disliking our president's way to going about his professional politician job.




Who is not pushing you away?


If you're talking about some of us here,


R U suggesting that it's the job of (some) posters here to do that?

If so, why?

Seeing Red said...

Didn't someone predict 10-year bonds may be or are going for 9%?

Ohh, this is gonna be fun.

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ned said...

obama...hmmmm, I can rationalize a vote for him! Yup, I thought it through, completely.

Bobby Caygeon said...

@RV,

That is some great stuff. Obviously your knowledge of anything economic is inept to say the least.

I bet you could ask those GM/Chrysler bondholders how it felt to be "bailed-out". You know the one's who are still taking the blunt instrument out of their a%% after this administration completely ignored priority and capital structure to hand over the companies to their Union buddies in an "accelerated" bankruptcy.

We won't even get into the idiocies of the IMF or the CRA/FNMA/FMAC.

Scott M said...

R U suggesting that it's the job of (some) posters here to do that?

If so, why?


Try at least attempting to spell out the words in your sentences instead of posting like my 7-year-old daughter does on Poptropica and I'll explain to you why you completely misunderstood the back and forth that ended with the sentence you appear to have a problem with.

Squid said...

@phx "I believe that heady sense of populist anti-government fever that fueled the TP will also be their quick undoing."

Just as with your suicide/reform confusion, I think you've confused support for a return to the traditional limits of federal power with "populist anti-government fever."

It matters little. You and your fellow do-gooders are about to run out of other people's money, at which point you'll learn what a quick undoing really looks like.

Bobby Caygeon said...

I think it is also fair to acknowledge that our current President's understanding of anything to do with economics is probably a good proxy for the electorate.

Hard for him to understand the term "default" when he still can't grasp relative valuation ("profit/earnings ratio"). Nobody is defaulting. Fear-mongering at it's best. The Chicago way.

phx said...

Squid: Yeah that seems to be the setup. Either the TP is gonna be the undoing of all that undisciplined socialist judicial activism in DC or . . . they're going out in a blaze of glory and taking what's left of the GOP with them. We'll see.

cubanbob said...

phx said...
Good luck Squid. I believe that heady sense of populist anti-government fever that fueled the TP will also be their quick undoing.

Talk about arrogant. You guys should read some of your own comments here on Althouse's blog before you go calling Dems or the Obamamites arrogant. I've seen lefty arrogance, but man some of you folks got a real lock on it.

7/11/11 4:20 PM

Arrogant is the democrat-communist assetion that the productive class must beggar themselves for the sake of the moocher class. Cut medicare, medicaid,social security,welfare and all farm subsidies. Enough is enough.

Shanna said...

But ever since then you all have lived in that bitter play pretend world where Obama is insufferable, constantly condescending you, and always sneering.

Or maybe he IS insufferable and constantly condescending, which you might realize if you actually listened to the things he says. He is a politician, he is supposed to have the ability to sell bullshit to people without sounding like a complete jackass. He doesn’t have that ability.

WV is "oppress". No lie! Help help, I'm being oppressed!

Shouting Thomas said...

Althouse, if I eat my peas tonight, will you finally link to my blog?

AJ Lynch said...

Rev- I agree with you. For example, most people think schools are underfunded yet spending per student has skyrocketed and they believe public transit needs more and more money. I blame the MSM, in part, for failing to report and disclose hard facts that would help to inform their readers.

Shouting Thomas said...

For example, most people think schools are underfunded yet spending per student has skyrocketed and they believe public transit needs more and more money.

The reason for this is that Democrats never define what would be "enough" money.

All they ever do is to say "more" money is needed.

cubanbob said...

roesch-voltaire said...
Based on the few times this blog or others have linked to articles on the business page, I suspect few do understand the importance of raising the debt ceiling, few probably would take the warnings of the IMF seriously, few have any understanding how the bondholders were spared by the bailout, or how curbing subprime-lending abuses might have prevented this mess etc--Either way to raise or not to raise is very risky and I will error on the side most economist take rather than going with the poll.

7/11/11 3:42 PM

The housing buble is a creation of the federal reserve creating bubble after bubble with the aid of the deomcrats in congress. As for the bondholders, hate to burst your bubble but they are the ones who the constitution requires the government to be paid. Stiff the bondholders and see what kind of risk premium the government would have to pay as far as they eye can see. The founders weren't stupid, they knew the consequences of stiffing bondholders which is why its in the constitution.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Phx:

(Note: not really commenting on prior back-and-forth)...

Squid: Yeah that seems to be the setup. Either the TP is gonna be the undoing of all that undisciplined socialist judicial activism in DC or . . . they're going out in a blaze of glory and taking what's left of the GOP with them. We'll see.

Here's another way to look at it.

The "Tea Party" caucus might be sorry if it succeeds: because what, I think, many in the left are counting on is for the GOP to do is to play their usual role: come in and make the promises and programs the Democrats enacted work.

Case in point: if nothing is done about Medicare, it's on a fast-track to a colossal crack-up; and with it, the entire entitlement set-up.

If the debt limit continues to be raised over and over, and the pain-avoidance approach to budgeting continues, the financial Armageddon being threatened for the near term really will happen.

I'm not sanguine about that, but given those choices, I think the advocates of big government would be better off avoiding such a crack-up. I.e., if the Tea Party actually has some effect.

Revenant said...

To get a sense of which bond holders were spared read the long piece about Shelia Bair in NYT Sunday Mag. on page 29

I'm not going to go buy a copy of the NYT Sunday Magazine just on the off chance that you're right about something for the first time ever.

But suppose you're right, and the bailout really did protect the unnamed group of "bond-holders". Why, exactly, is that a good thing? Taking my tax money and using it to protect the investments of people who invested in a crappy company? So now they've been rewarded for making a bad financial decision, and I've been punished for making a GOOD financial decision.

And we wonder why the economy sucks. Hint: we're rewarding failure. When you reward a behavior, you get more of it.

phx said...

Shanna: Honestly I DON'T listen much to Obama's speeches. But every now and then, and when I have I've not ONCE heard or detected any of that insufferable tone or pose that you and your friends claim. It's like the quote at the top of this posting. Obama describes Americans as not paying close attention to the ins and outs of treasury options and says that if you reframe the Q you get a different answer. And people here see arrogance in that. You see what you want to see.

This is so personal for so many right-wingers Tea Partiers...it's why they will continue to lose. They can't think clearly because of their personal offense and hatred for Obama.

roesch-voltaire said...

Cub Yes I agree the bondholders were spared as you pointed out in contrast to what others claimed, but the housing bubble is more complex and includes many factors--

Bobby Caygeon said...

@phx

because it IS personal for TP's is the ABSOLUTE reason they will continue to have success. these are not leftist thugs who have been taught cradle to grave to organize when some unearned entitlement goes unanswered or because it is an alternative to employment. these are the people driving growth in this country who don't want to be marginalized by the parasitic few who are now in charge. You don't actually think activism comes easy to those with jobs, families, and responsibility do you?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

AAAACK It is a Treasury AUCTION. Not Option.

And yes, we will soon be looking at higher interest rates in the auctions. We will have to do that to avoid having to pay back all the principle of the maturing debt. No one is going to want to renew at .5% or 1% for 10 years.

The alternative to having to pony up trillions of dollars in principle that we do NOT have.... is to keep paying higher and higher interest rates to keep countries that own our debt reinvesting in it.

Inflation....here we come. I remember those heady days as a financial advisor being able to offer 9 and 10% fixed income investments. Of course, lending rates for borrowers were through the sky. 22% car loans. 16% house loans.

Stock up people....it is going to be a bumpy bumpy ride.

Scorpius said...

We're paid to worry about it.

Funny, I thought they were handsomely paid to solve "it" without bankrupting the country.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I agree the bondholders were spared as you pointed out in contrast to what others claimed, but the housing bubble is more complex and includes many factors--

Which bond holders were spared? Certainly not the GM bond holders who took in in the ass. The commons stock owners also were hosed....but then that IS what usually happens in a bankruptcy, so no surprise.

You have no clue what you are talking about.

Bobby Caygeon said...

My last dollar for a liberal troll who understood anything about markets, economics, and incentives.

It blows my mind that any rational and educated human being could believe that: if you tax something you get more of it, hand-outs incentivize people to work, minimum wage decreases unemployment, government spending is efficient, and ponzi-schemes are sustainable.

Seeing Red said...

Well, I guess I'm doomed to disappointment then.

Re-read most of the comments, 2.


It's not the 1st time I've run across that sentiment.

That's Y I commented on it.

The Crack Emcee said...

Coketown,

You expect me to buy this condescending horseshit? Nigga, peas.

ROTFLMAO!!!!

All I can say is people have good reason to worry about what's going on in their own lives - since they're out of work. but that's never going to compete with "Nigga, Peas."

It just can't.

Jim Bullock said...

And, on the other side of the fence, the Tea Party is ready to scalp any Republican rep who allows the tax and spend program to continue.

That would be citizens who are paying attention ... and have different priorities than President Obama, the current Senate majority leader, and the former speaker of the house. Also, different priorities than ... how many representatives and senators got voted out in 2010?

To recap, of the folks "not paying attention", only ~25% of surveyed citizens are willing to raise debt ceiling to "avert a catastrophe", with ~69% against. Meanwhile the folks paying attention - the "tea party, for example - are vehemently against this.

T - E - A stands for Taxed Enough Already. What is surprising about a "deal" that includes raising taxes failing miserably.

Here's a suggestions. Can't raise taxes, and can't raise the debt ceiling - say the folks, paying attention or not. The message is pretty clear - stop spending. Maybe start stoping the spending with the salaries of people who decide what kind of lightbulbs the rest of us can use, ban them criving an industry segment off-shore, and create yet another "crime" that is simply people doing as they plese with their own lives, time and money.

How about we start by knocking of the budget busybodying worth $4 trillion over 10 years?

Just stop. What is ambiguous about that?

Rich B said...

I liked the end of the press conference where Obama was leaving and someone asked if he was going to do this every day. That was met with laughter. Oh how the Won has fallen. How far behind can open mockery be?

Jim Bullock said...

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said Monday if Walker attempted to come up with a more nonpartisan approach to redistricting, it would go a long way toward restoring trust in the Statehouse following months of deeply partisan fights.

Here's all Walker need say:

"I'm a big fan of bipartisanism. You first. (I'm sure you know why.)"

dbp said...

Fr Martin Fox, as usual has it exactly right.

That Obama equates not raising the debt limit with default is pure demagoguery (or possibly ignorance). I'll take his proposals seriously when he starts taking this situation seriously and goes from politician to leader.

Not holding my breath on this.

JorgXMcKie said...

Why is it that all Left-wingers think anyone who doesn't think like them is a Right-winger. I can understand a lack of imagination. I can even understand the ignorance that apparently comes from living in a Lefty bubble. But surely anyone with a lick of sense and curiosity reading the comments on this blog would eventually figure out there are more than two possible positions, and that some of them are even reasonable.

Leftism as a psychological disorder of some sort becomes a more and more plausible answer.

Michael K said...

The poorly informed voter is the reason he is there. He needs them again in 2012 but some have wised up. I hope enough.

Revenant said...

The message is pretty clear - stop spending.

Yes, but on what?

SS/Medicare/Medicaid: 43%
Defense 20%
Interest 6%
Everything Else: 31%

We've ruled out raising taxes, so: cut 40% from the above. Now try to get the public to agree to it, keeping in mind that voters are opposed to cuts in Social Security or Medicare by a 2:1 margin.

SunnyJ said...

So, a few questions...if the average citizen isn't bright enough to or too preoccupied with Maslow's or Max-Neefs scale of needs to take time out to understand the workings of the Treasury/Wall St/Investment Basics/Budget Math...if that is true:

Where did the resistance to the progressive's policies come from in the 2010 elections, as well as the growth of the Tea Party, and even more importantly...why was it so important for Obama and his handlers to hide and maniputlate his history, background, legal writings, voting record, and redistribution and reparations? Why hide it?

If we're such schmucks, how'd we catch on and dig in to fight back? How are we, average joe/jane America responsible for 90% of jobs and economic activity? How do we do that, and be such rubes?

Nah...I'm not buying that. I think some people were willing to give it a try...now they see it was all smoke and mirrors...and you get to run one on us one time, but after that its on us...and we're not having any more.

Shanna said...

It's like the quote at the top of this posting. Obama describes Americans as not paying close attention to the ins and outs of treasury options and says that if you reframe the Q you get a different answer. And people here see arrogance in that.

It is condescending to assume people have no idea what they’re talking about or even that the need to pay “close attention” to the treasury to have a general opinion on the issue. Whether or not people can spell it out to tiny details is not the point of the question. The real people are hearing when they ask about upping the debt limit is “should we keep spending gobs and gobs of money without making any other changes” and they are saying NO.

Obama’s answer is basically that those people don’t understand, unlike me. If you just let me rephrase the question to ask them if they want sunshine and rainbows then they would have answered the way I want them to. Wrong, they understand perfectly.

This is so personal for so many right-wingers Tea Partiers...it's why they will continue to lose.

Like they lost in 2010?

They can't think clearly because of their personal offense and hatred for Obama.

Possibly you don’t recognize Obama’s condescension because you are right there with him. You are deciding why you think people don’t like Obama, just like Obama has decided why people don’t agree with him on any number of issues.
Instead of giving someone the benefit of the doubt that they have a rational disagreement on a point of policy, you and Obama go to “personal offense”, “hatred”, lack of knowledge, and yes, clinging to guns and religion. That is arrogance, that is condescension and most of all that is bad, bad politics.

Pogo said...

"Why is it that all Left-wingers think anyone who doesn't think like them is a Right-winger."

It's how all leftist arguments unfold, in what Sowell calls the "argument without argument", in which their "ideological and political views are promoted by verbal virtuosity in evading structured arguments and empirical evidence."

That is, mere assertions stated as fact.

They are of one mind, on the left, one ideology favoring top-down surrogate decision-making by the elite. Those who disagree are thus 'on the right', no matter how different their opinions, casting libertarians in with military dictators.

Shanna said...

The real question, that is. sorry.

dbp said...

Revenant said...

I'm not paid to think about stuff like this, but how is this for a rough draft?

SS--pay out what comes in in FICA taxes. If the amount that comes in is only 95% of whatever the formula is, then that percent is what they get.

Medicare--Same as Social Security except each receipient will get an equal share of the tax receipts in an account which can pay directly for medical services, purchase insurance or some combination of the two.

Medicaid--Goes in with the everything else category.

Defense 20%--Pay in full.
Interest 6%--Pay in full.

Everything Else:--This is where the cuts will be deep and hard decisions made.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yes, but on what?

SS/Medicare/Medicaid: 43%
Defense 20%
Interest 6%
Everything Else: 31%


So, Revenant, do you think that there is no waste, fraud or corruption in Social Security or Medicare? How about the welfare arm of those programs SSI and Medicaid? No room for cutting down at all?

I personally know of a dentist who routinely and for years, billed Medicare and Medicaid for procedures that he never did and for people who were either deceased or in long term care with one foot on the banana peel. Hundreds of thousands of dollars. Eventually he got caught by an alert caregiver of an elderly relative.

Tip of the iceberg.

My husband's ex brother in law was on permanent SSI. Why? His disability was alcoholism and as such he was basically paid by the government to allow him to not work and drink beer all day long with his other buddies who were suffering from stress syndrome. Not too stressed to drink and smoke pot all day long on our dime.

Tip of the iceberg.

Of course any suggestions, such as those by Ryan to try to make the system more accountable or to create a more flexible program or to make ANY changes at all are met with screaming and teeth gnashing and pictures of grandma being shoved over a cliff.

You think that little budget you posted is troublesome. You just wait until the interest payment portion balloons to 15 to 25% of expenditures when rates go UP UP UP.

What do you suggest we do then?

I'm all ears.

Revenant said...

It is condescending to assume people have no idea what they’re talking about or even that the need to pay “close attention” to the treasury to have a general opinion on the issue.

The thing is that having a general opinion on the issue is useless. Is there anyone who would disagree with the statement "the US government shouldn't run huge deficits for decade after decade"?

It is unhelpful for a person to say "stop borrowing" unless that person follows that generalization up with a list of specific spending cuts or tax increases that will bring the budget in line. THAT is the hard part, and that is the part the American public is being profoundly unhelpful with.

Republicans: "We're thinking of touching Social Security or Medicare."

Public: "WE'RE OUTRAGED!"

Democrats: "We're considering tax increases."

Public: "WE'RE OUTRAGED!"

And so on.

soleproprietorPatriot said...

You almost get the feeling he feels contempt for us, the little people. Some of us are actually concerned about the country imploding and having to catch dinner in the woods.

soleproprietorPatriot said...

Excuse me, but I have hatred for a government that borrows 30-40% of what it spends. Because I know that is the fast track to Armageddon. I hate what Obama is doing and represents, but I'm quite rational. Thank you. And at the tea party events I've been to, there's been anti Obama rhetoric, for sure. But mostly it was pure alarm over the spending generally.

Shanna said...

It is unhelpful for a person to say "stop borrowing" unless that person follows that generalization up with a list of specific spending cuts or tax increases that will bring the budget in line. THAT is the hard part

Of course, that is the hard part, but we're talking about a poll. We're talking about the general mood of the country. They are more likely to accept it now than they would have in the past.

It would be nice if congress and the president, who unlike people answering a poll from their house, are getting paid to do the hard part would actually do it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Some of us are actually concerned about the country imploding and having to catch dinner in the woods.

That is where those sacred cows will come in handy.

Money in the bank worth less and less each moment....or a couple of cows, some chickens and a 30.06. Which will eventually be more valuable?

I'm betting on the latter.

Gold. Yea.... Well good. You can't eat gold. You might be able to buy some eggs from me though. Maybe.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Perhaps the treasury already has the power to produce legal tender platinum coins of any denomination. If so, then the whole issue is no big deal. The treasury can just mint multi-billion dollar coins out of a thousand dollars worth of platinum, and pay expenditures with them.

Seeing Red said...

Personally, I think everyone getting a bennie should should show his/her face at least once every 5 years to pick up the check face-2-face.

To verify that U R who U say U R.

IF U R incapable, well, there R a lot of EPA minions who could be transferred 2 HHS or sic the TSA on em.

Seeing Red said...

I mean, 48-49 people total to monitor fraud in the food stamp program?

Come on, we can do btr.

Old Dad said...

phx said:

"I believe that heady sense of populist anti-government fever that fueled the TP will also be their quick undoing."

Translated: I sincerely hope that the TeaPartiers are easily duped whackjobs, but I'm pretty sure that their righteous anger comes from the sincere and factually supported conclusion that they have been supremely fucked over.

ricpic said...

It's how all leftist arguments unfold, in what Sowell calls the "argument without argument"...

roeschie doesn't argue with anyone. He makes an assertion from on high. Then when someone calls his bluff he says that things are complex.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The treasury can just mint multi-billion dollar coins

My father was in Argentina during their hyper inflationary period in the late 80's, visiting with family.

He brought back some currency. A 500,000 note was just about enough to buy a Pepsi.....if you hurried to the market before the price went up.

It was chaos and violence.

We are doing NOW everything that they did then to create this disaster that we will soon be seeing. Coming to a store and neighborhood near you.

DOOM....DOOM....DOOM

And our so called leaders are playing games.

Matt said...

69 percent of the American public aren't too bright. What else is new? Americans for the most part are clueless about politics. This is why politicians [both Democrats and Republicans] can get things by the public by using catch phrases to freak out the voting public.

That said it's time to raise taxes on your rich daddy's out there. Sugar or otherwise....

edutcher said...

Not sure, but I think he called us all bitter clingers.

It's like what Chirac said after 9/11.

The only difference here is that the original targets know how we got here. The rest are just now wondering how someone so awesome could be so wrong.

The next step is wondering how people as awesome as they are could have been so wrong about him being awesome at all.

It's gonna be a long 16 months.

Old Dad said...

Matt said:

"69 percent of the American public aren't too bright. What else is new? Americans for the most part are clueless about politics. This is why politicians [both Democrats and Republicans] can get things by the public by using catch phrases to freak out the voting public.

That said it's time to raise taxes on your rich daddy's out there. Sugar or otherwise...."

Young lady, you do understand that your post has been cached forever?

Your middle school graduation is now highly suspect.

Revenant said...

SS [and Medicare]--pay out what comes in in FICA taxes.

That translates to an immediate 40% cut in Medicare and Social Security, with bigger cuts to follow.

Everything Else [plus medicaid]:--This is where the cuts will be deep and hard decisions made.

"Deep and hard" meaning "by half". That's how much deficit there is left to go, even after chopping Social Security and Medicare by 40%.

It would balance the budget, sure. But there's a reason not a single member of Congress is proposing we do it -- and it isn't because none of them can add.

yashu said...

Anyone see the movie "Secretary"? Now that's the kind of relationship Obama wants, and expected to have, with the American people. Where he can order us-- or give us permission-- to eat our peas (five, to be exact), and we'll feel thrills going up our legs & all over.

Ralph L said...

To verify that U R who U say U R.
You've gone from annoying to blatant rudeness. I'd rather play pinball with Carol Herman.

DBQ, I've read several places that the Fed can supposedly mop up the excess dollars when/if the economy speeds up to prevent inflation. Won't they have to sell Treasuries at very high rates to do that, as in the early 80's, causing another bad recession. What a mess our banana republic is in.

Milwaukee said...

Let's go back to TEA Party, to remember the acronym from whence it came.

Remember how Obama figured the resistance to his 'health care reform' was because he hadn't explained it well enough? The truth was that every time he "explained" it, people liked it even less.

Since the Department of Education has done nothing to raise academic achievement in this country, let's eliminate that department. I have too much experience with graduate schools which are about job security for professors.

Ever try a "do not buy month"? Take a month, and in that month only buy essentials: food, cleaning supplies, gas to get to work, toilet paper, emergency auto repairs and the like. If the tv breaks, too bad, wait until the end of the month. It's called fiscal restraint. All those things on sale will be on sale again (Unless that company goes out of business. Whoops.) Fiscal restraint can happen.

Methadras said...

THE PRESIDENT: Well, let me distinguish between professional politicians and the public at large. The public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury option goes. They shouldn’t. They're worrying about their family; they're worrying about their jobs; they're worrying about their neighborhood. They've got a lot of other things on their plate. We're paid to worry about it. I think, depending on how you phrase the question, if you said to the American people, is it a good idea for the United States not to pay its bills and potentially create another recession that could throw millions of more people out of work, I feel pretty confident I can get a majority on my side on that one.

His arrogance is basically distilled to this: Look, a squirrel!!!

Revenant said...

So, Revenant, do you think that there is no waste, fraud or corruption in Social Security or Medicare? How about the welfare arm of those programs SSI and Medicaid? No room for cutting down at all?

I would be very interested in hearing your plan for cutting out the waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare and Social Security in a manner that neither (a) costs more than it saves or (b) results in de facto benefit cuts.

Tip of the iceberg.

What does that translate to in dollars? The estimates I've seen are that around 5% of outlays go to fraud. Let's double that and pretend we can identify it and stop it for free. Awesome! Now we only need to cut 36% from the budget.

What's the plan?

You think that little budget you posted is troublesome. You just wait until the interest payment portion balloons to 15 to 25% of expenditures when rates go UP UP UP. What do you suggest we do then?

What I'm suggesting we do is make cuts to everything and raise taxes. What I'm suggesting we WILL do is keep dicking around until the government collapses, because there is no politically possible means of balancing the budget.

My preferred method of balancing the budget:

(1): Means-test Social Security and Medicare, effective immediately. End cost-of-living adjustments for both.

(2): End the wars in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan immediately. Cut the remaining defense budget by 30%.

(3): Repeal the Bush ("Obama", if you prefer) tax cuts in their entirety.

(4): Repeal ObamaCare.

(5): Across-the-board 25% cuts to all other government expenditures.

That would roughly balance the budget. It could still never pass, but at least items 2 and 4 are popular and 1 and 3 aren't TOO unpopular.

rhhardin said...

"The GOP is cutting the power to the Gro-Lite." Iowahawk

See, that's a metaphor.

I have legumes every day, at the bottom of the rice bowl (since the steamer basket is on top). Eating them has never been a problem.

Add with olive oil, garlic powder, black pepper, butter and salsa.

I used to add a Thai mix of spices but who has the time.

dbp said...

Social Security ran a surplus until fairly recently. I would bet that the FICA taxes would fun at least 90% of benefits according to current formula. Freeze COLA and raise the eligibility by one month per year and it would go back into the black in a reasonable time.

Medicare tax is only 2.9% but consumes something like 5% of GDP, so it would be getting heavily axed.

The thing about both of these programs is that there has always been a widespread assumption that the cost of the programs was to be met with the special taxes earmarked for them. I think the public, especially the taxpaying part of it (which is everyone who works for money legally) would go for this reform.

JAL said...

the the American people are misinformed if not incapable of absorbing matters beyond the narrow, personal sphere

Funny. I see Obama's privileged upbringing as narrow and quite personal.

Private school from age 10 on. Scholarships. College hanging out with radical America haters. Columbia. Harvard Law. The Boss who spent other people's money community organizing dependent people.

Did he ever have a summer job growing up? Pay for his car insurance as a teen? Did he date?
Was he a Boy Scout? Play in the band? See Grand Canyon? Yellowstone? Did he ever visit the Old North Church and take the tour? Go to Gettysburg before he was a paid politician? Buy a starter house without the help of a crooked Chicago developer?

Who's narrow here?

Peter said...

Someone asked "what do we want to cut? Well, here is a start:

The Dept. of Education. Gone!

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Gone!

Dept. of Energy. Gone!

Replace the Defense Dept. with the War Dept. You don't have to justify huge amounts for defense like you do for war. Besides, we haven't declared war since the Defense Dept. was created. Meanwhile we've won every fight but lost the overall "war" ever since then. Well. except for Grenada.

A twenty percent cut in personell in all other federal agencies. And a thirty percent cut in political appointees.

That's my start. I have never seen a goverrnment agency that didn't have a huge amount of people doing nothing but sitting around being important. Well, if they're so damned important let them prove it in the marketplace.

Paul said...

Obama really really is a dumbshit Ann.

He may be book smart but not street smart. I bet he never has done his own taxes himself.

MikeinAppalachia said...

Combine Revenant and Peter's actions and we might be close to some sort of fiscal sanity.
I was kinda hoping to get some kind of SS payment soon, but I have to admit I never really trusted it would be there. A little disgusted about all that I paid into the "program" but it was always just another tax. Oh well, at least my parents and grandparents made out like gangbusters. Greatest (subsidized)Generation but I suppose my grandparents, coming out of the (is it still "The"?) Depression deserved theirs.
It will be interesting how the "means" will be set.

madeleine said...

Seems things haven't changed much. This condescension is exactly why I voted for Bush in 2004.

PETER V. BELLA said...

Obama is the most childish president in history.

Seeing Red said...

There was an article or example a few years ago that a little town in TX that has a population of 300 received about 1700 refunds, (mostly EITC?) what's wrong w/verifying U R who U say U R every once in awhile?


How else does 1 check 4 fraud?

What's wrong w/checking in every now & then instead of grandma's still collecting her check even tho she's deader than Norman Bates' mother?

IF it's good enuf 4 Voter ID, Y should 1 go to SS once and automatically get checks for the next 40-odd years & no one checks up on said person?

My mom worked w/a guy who had 3 different SS numbers. She was going 2 call on him but after a few stories came out about how the USG doesn't follow up on the tips, she figured Y bother?

What good is calling the fraud line if they don't do their job?

These idiots can't/won't even collect back taxes from the IRS employees.

& Yes, I'm being deliberately annoying because I can't believe shortening some words causes such a response.

The English language constantly morphs.

Seeing Red said...

It's not that we're bitter clingers, per se, it's just that we don't cling to their gun (the power of the government) imposing their religion - government uber alles.

With them in charge.

They cling to socialism & MMGW.

Jim Bullock said...

Revenant said...

The message is pretty clear - stop spending.

Yes, but on what?


First, it ain't hard. Takes me less than 10 minutes with any of those on-line budget calculator things. Start by whacking the stuff that makes you go: "Why is the federal government doing this in the first place?"

Second, the House passed a budget radically reducing spending, plus restructuring one of the third rail programs. Passed. The Senate wouldn't take it up & the President wasn't stimulated to reply with an actual proposal with, you know, numbers.

I don't buy the "no appetite for cuts" thing, when there's eighty-how-many freshman Representatives, elected in large part on fiscal fitness. I'd say there's no appetite for reality-based federal finances among some of the denizines of the swamp, but certainly not all. (BTW, the dodge of not passing a budget only holds up for so long for so long.)

As a bonus, whenever I play with one of those on line budget calculators, when I'm done I feel way better about what the feds are doing to me and to others in my name.

(BTW, my mother is 85 and largely dependent on her payments from SS. These payments will in her actuarial lifetime amount to much less than the investment value of her compelled contributions over her long working life. She got screwed. YMMV.

Even so, no way I'm pushing her or people like here off a cliff when I drive those budget calculators. You don't have to, to balance the budget.)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

OK

Repeat of other postings but here is where I would start.

Immediate 10 to 15% cut of every single government agency from top to bottom. If it means laying off people...too bad. Buy cheaper paper. Reuse supplies. You cannot possibly claim that there is not 10 to 15% available for cutting.

Eliminate Programs at the Federal Level and return to the States. Dept of Education for starters.

Fannie Freddie. Gone same for EPA and other agencies that exist only to impede business.

Sever the welfare portion of SSI and Medicaid from the portions that are for those who paid in. If you want a charity for SSI types and for Medicaid types....then fund it from a separate source that doesn't drain the money from those who paid in.

Medicaid back to the States block grant the money to the states and keep the Feds out of it.

SSI more stringent rules and oversight with a cap on the amount of time and money you can get

Means test both SS and Medicare

Opt out give me the option to OPT out of the programs and give me back the money that I paid in. Give younger people the option to partially privatize.

Military pull out of bases that are not needed. Germany for example. Lower military spending by 20% and pull back from undeclared wars and military actions.

Foreign Aid forget about it except in cases of emergencies. Japan for instance. It isn't a permanent piggy bank to line the pockets of tin pot dictators.

Much much more....but that would start.

Ralph L said...

I'm being deliberately annoying because I can't believe shortening some words causes such a response
You don't have enough empathy to be a Supreme. Too bad.

means test SS
It already is a welfare program in disguise. Lower income people get proportionally much higher payments than those with higher incomes, whose benefits are 85% taxable if they have other retirement income. Really low income or short career people make out like bandits if they live past 70. Once you reach a low threshold of contributions, you get the same Medicare coverage as Warren Buffett.

The govt. already discourages saving and hard work way too much, and you want to make it worse. Economic growth is much more important for the poor (and the budget) than "fairness."

Jim Bullock said...

This is so personal for so many right-wingers Tea Partiers...it's why they will continue to lose.

They can't think clearly because of their personal offense and hatred for Obama.


I could care less about the current President, personally. His policies are ridiculous, his posturing more so, and his management of the federal administration is stunningly incompetent, breathtakingly cynical or both.

The folks who elected him should be outraged even more. It seems that the one campaign promies he intends to keep is raising taxes on people making over $200,000/year.

I haven't seen a tea party event with my own eyes that directed hate or even personal animus at the current President. Taxed Enough Already is pretty impersonal. Free markets. Fiscially conservative. Constitutionally limited government. Nope. Nothing in there about the current president, the Democratic party, or, indeed, any party.

You are correct, however, that it is personal. It's my money being spent, since I'm productive, and my productivity that's being impeded by all these shenanigans. For god's sake, between the stuff the secretary is empowered to decide and the waiver mania, nobody knows what working under "Obamacare" will be like, still.

madAsHell said...

I walked by the White House today....it smelled like toast!!

rhhardin said...

Means test both SS...

Structurally a bad idea. It puts a tax on saving for retirement.

Instead raise the age for benefits until there are enough workers below to support the retirees above, whatever age that comes out.

If you want to retire sooner, bridge the gap on your own dime.

What SS is is an inflation adjusted annuity that insures you against outliving your savings.

People can save for an average retirement, but not for the longest possible retirement.

The insurance aspect comes from people who die younger paying for people who die older. It's a pooling of the long-life risk.

It's hard to pull that off privately because 1. you can't insure against inflation - all your policies go bad at once; and 2. your annuity company has to be around in 35 years when you need it, and companies don't last that long.

Marshal said...

Was Obama not paying attention when he opposed raising the debt ceiling as well?

madAsHell said...

I'm reading the comments at cbsnews.com.

Forget the polls!
Forget the moron American Politico!

Obama is toast!

Worst president e-vah!

Milwaukee said...

Seeing Red: The IRS almost always audits people who rat out other people. They figure it takes one to know one.

Means testing SS is alienating. While folks at lower levels do collect a higher percentage of what they put in, there are some where SS is their sole source of income.

I do agree with raising the age of retirement is a real good idea.

On health care, is there much to show that medicaid and medicare actually help raise life expectancy? Or do anything other than meddle with pricing?

Ralph L said...

amount to much less than the investment value of her compelled contributions over her long working life
I find that unlikely if she retired at 65, unless she could have invested like Pelosi. FICA rates were much lower before 1983. Of course, if she worked to 75, she paid more and also lost benefits from the earnings cap.

A few (10?) years ago, I read somewhere reputable that everyone was getting all their money back, with interest, if they lived past 75. Obviously that's changed some as people have now paid the higher rates longer.

Revenant said...

Second, the House passed a budget radically reducing spending

No. It radically reduced Obama's proposed INCREASES in spending. It didn't cut spending at all; it increases it. Here is the spending for 2010, followed by the proposed spending in the House budget (deficit in parenthesis)

2010: $3,456b (-$1,388)
2011: $3,618b (-$995)
2012: $3,529b (-$699)
2013: $3,559b (-$492)
2014: $3,586b (-$434)
2015: $3,671b (-$481)
2016: $3,858b (-$408)
2017: $3,998b (-$379)
2018: $4,123b (-$414)

Ryan's plan doesn't call for the budget to be balanced until most of Congress is dead from old age. It assumes another $5 trillion borrowed over the next decade plus trillions more in the decades to follow.

I don't buy the "no appetite for cuts" thing, when there's eighty-how-many freshman Representatives, elected in large part on fiscal fitness.

Obama was elected in large part on a platform of fixing the economy and ending the wars. Talk is cheap. Let's see them offer an actually balanced budget. Not "balanced 30 years from now"; balanced in 2012.

Revenant said...

Sounds like you and I are on the same page, DBQ. I do have to ask one thing though:

Fannie Freddie. Gone

What does this mean? They hold the majority of mortgages in America. They can't just disappear. Do you mean "stop lending them money to keep them afloat"?

Shanna said...

Buy cheaper paper.

If you just let them actually buy paper based on what's cheapest, rather than forcing them to buy recycled paper from a minority disabled small business that would be a start.

Seeing Red said...

You don't have enough empathy to be a Supreme. Too bad.

USSC Supreme - no - I'd actually look at the law. & not make my decision based on my mark in history, or what "the world" thinks of me, hello, SDO'C!


Umm, I'm a conservative - don't we, by lefty definition -- put fluffy bunnies, fuzzy duckies, puppies & kittens in a blender every morning & hit frappe?

Then spit on the old, young, weak & take the lollies from babies?

----------

Now Diane(a) &....

Never liked their music. A tad b4 my time.

Seeing Red said...

I'm talking ratting out HHS.

Pogo said...

@rhhardin

Thumbs up on increasing the retirement age.

Thing is, there are hundreds of ideas on cutting gubmint spending, but the Democrats want none of it.

It is axiomatic that spending will increase and the State shall expand.

AJ Lynch said...

There are really only three main buckets to fed spending. By trying to fix all together, we make it too complex.

Let's take soc sec first. The problem isn't that there are too few workers - the problem is the fund has been looted for 30-40 years. It will take 50-100 years to repay this but it can be done in an orderly manner. First sever the benefits and fiduciary responsibilities from Congress. Next have an actuary figure out how it can be paid off by workers over the next 100 years but create a clear cut incentive for those workers to do so. Last- the goal is to privatize soc sec within 50-75 years so we never have to face this baby boom/baby bust issue again.

AJ Lynch said...

"Buy cheaper paper"?

When I see newscasts that depict big tables holding gigantic bound govt publications like Obamacare and the annual budget, I ask WTF are they still printing these things for? Stop printing stuff just because we always have printed it. If the law says we must print it, I say then amend the law.

THE FLAME KEEPER said...

Steve in Atlanta:

It's so frustrating to read Obama who is so ignorant of people. He may be clever in manipulating people who love to hate, but he's piss poor with people who create values.

The Crack Emcee said...

Hey - check this shit out:

You won't believe it,...

Shrikeback said...

Obama is the suicide wing of the Democratic Party.

Party like it's 1979.

amyshulk said...

Jim said...
"Meanwhile, dozens of polls show big majorities favor letting the tax cuts sunset in order to bring down the deficit. But I guess we're just supposed to ignore those polls. Ignoring the will of the American people is only considered "tyranny" if Democrats do it."

Right. After the msm has pounded the left's view that if we just squeeze the *rich* all our troubles will go away. Which is irrespective of the point that even if you confiscated 100% of their $$$ it wouldn't even put a dent in the debt.

It's the spending, not the income that's the problem.

amyshulk said...

Fr Martin Fox said...

"The President could say...
If he said these things, would that not reassure the markets? Especially bond markets? Wonder why he doesn't?"

Because they/he cares MORE about their/his power than what is best for US.

amyshulk said...

phx said...

". . . they're going out in a blaze of glory and taking what's left of the GOP with them. We'll see."

FIFY:

. . . they're going out in a blaze of glory and taking THE left of the GOP with them. We'll see

Scott M said...

Does anyone else marvel at the fact that all these problems are coming to head, exactly as has been predicted for decades, when the Boomers are reaching old age? Not just chronologically and medically, but as it relates to congressional seniority as well.

Interesting, that.

amyshulk said...

phx said...

"Shanna: Honestly I DON'T listen much to Obama's speeches. But every now and then, and when I have I've not ONCE heard or detected any of that insufferable tone or pose that you and your friends claim. It's like the quote at the top of this posting. Obama describes Americans as not paying close attention to the ins and outs of treasury options and says that if you reframe the Q you get a different answer. And people here see arrogance in that. You see what you want to see.

This is so personal for so many right-wingers Tea Partiers...it's why they will continue to lose. They can't think clearly because of their personal offense and hatred for Obama."

I listened to him and watched what he actually did, and saw that whatever he said, he'd do 180% out. Try it some time, actually listen to what he says he WON'T do, and watch that happen in short order.

Lately though, I can't even listen to figure out his intent, he is so mean spirited and condescending.

I didn't go in hating him at all - I was in the USN for 11 years {disabled} and I respect the office. I also know congress actually does the work, and are the ones to hold accountable.

I think the problem here is personal prisms. Some people carry a chip on their shoulder and see racism in everything, while others see sexism, etc.

When someone who sees a pattern emerge and remarks on it, they are seeing through their personal prism too, but they are not reflexively blaming an "ism"

That's the difference.

amyshulk said...

Scott M said...

"Does anyone else marvel at the fact that all these problems are coming to head, exactly as has been predicted for decades, when the Boomers are reaching old age? Not just chronologically and medically, but as it relates to congressional seniority as well.

Interesting, that."

I just hit 50 and have been experiencing deja vu - I remember the big issues of the day in the 70's were Oil, the earth has a cold {and we're to blame!} and SSA is going bankrupt.

The "fixes" left the door unlocked, so we get to experience this hell all over again, joy.

Scott M said...

This is so personal for so many right-wingers Tea Partiers...it's why they will continue to lose."

Please explain "continue to lose" when given the historic thumping the "right-wingers Tea Partiers" dished out in 2010 and, by my reckoning, will most likely continue in 2012. The Democrats are in real jeopardy of loosing the Senate and (again by my reckoning) if things don't improve drastically, the White House.

So...how are we "continuing" to lose?

ken in sc said...

What Ralph said. SS is already means tested in the sense that if you have other income from savings or a retirement plan, more of your SS benefit is taxed. Twenty five % of my SS deposit is withheld for taxes.

Bryan C said...

See! See! Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid!

http://youtu.be/XhvDMhrws1o?t=28s

Revenant said...

SS is already means tested in the sense that if you have other income from savings or a retirement plan, more of your SS benefit is taxed.

I mean "means tested" in the sense of "at $60,000/year including non-SS income". As in, if you have a $60,000 pension from your earlier career, you get $0 from Social Security. If you have a $55,000 pension, you get $5k.

3% of your net worth should be considered "income" for purposes of this calculation. Something like that.

Jason Greaves said...

POTUS: "Is it a good idea for the U.S. not to pay its bills?"

Me: "Heck no!"

POTUS: "And isn't it a good idea to open up new credit cards to pay those bills?"

Me: "Heck y- wait, can you repeat that?"