July 20, 2009

$23 trillion.

$23 trillion.


Sy said...

Chump change to Obama. God have to remortgage heaven.

Jerry said...


Lem said...

A series of bailouts, bank rescues and other economic lifelines could end up costing the federal government as much as $23 trillion.

That's a relief; for a minute there I thought it was the tax payer that would end up with that bill.

Oh, wait a minute, just a moment..

Still, the eye-popping price tag provoked an immediate reaction on Capitol Hill. “The potential financial commitment the American taxpayers could be responsible for is of a size and scope that isn’t even imaginable,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

Dam Republicans. How is Obama supposed to take care of the economy with these irresponsible republicans spending all the money ;)

traditionalguy said...

That much money does not exist, yet. It is all play money, and the money in any private savings invested in Dollar assets will instantly become play money too. Our right to live off of owning any private property (Capital) depends upon having access to legal tender which is part of a safe money supply in world exchange rates. Betting on the ObamaDollar has suddenly become a sure loss of most financial assets that anyone owns that are not metallic Gold. So why is there such a great smile on Obama and Soros' faces today! Could it be that they are creating this crisis for a purpose that first requires destruction of America's dollar?

Seven Machos said...

Businesses that suck should not be allowed to fail. No business should fail. We should all have all of health care paid for. And Obama has an obvious solution:

1. Print money.

2. Tax the people who invest in businesses.

Don't worry. It's supposed to work.

Seven Machos said...

Traditional -- Actually, all the other major currencies are busy devaluing, too. It's a little bit of a wash.

We'd be far better off not participating, though.

Cedarford said...

Slightly OT - The One might be nailed in another flubber.

"The country continues to draw inspiration from what you've done," Obama said after meeting with the Apollo 11 crew.

The president recalled that as a boy living in Hawaii, he would perch on his grandfather's shoulders and watch the space capsules land in the Pacific Ocean. "We'd go out and we'd pretend like they could see us as we were waving at folks coming home," he said. "And I remember waving American flags and my grandfather telling me that the Apollo mission was an example of how Americans can do anything they put their minds to."

Astronauts landing in the Pacific, so close that Obama, waving a big US Flag no doubt, up on his grandfather's shoulders - could watch them splash down from Honolulu.

"You can see Russia from Alaska!"

And if you had only been living in Honolulu, you could surf, or be on your Grandfather's shoulders waving the Stars and Stripes and singing the Internationale watching space capsules come down from your backyard..

Freeman Hunt said...


Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt : Horror.

"Historic," the word we are supposed to use is "historic."

Freeman Hunt said...

Why did any of you vote for him? I don't just mean Ann; everyone keeps asking her, but the election wasn't decided by one vote in Wisconsin.

He said what he would do. He was clear about the sort of person he was. So, why did you put him in power?

Some of the older people might not care as much. They might be disturbed but sit back and think, "Wow, so there it goes." But some of us have to live our entire adult lives in this age and have careers in it and raise families in it and send our kids out into it.

How could you cast your votes like that?

I know that some did in hopes of a rebirth of classical liberalism (conservatism), but those hopes had better come to fruition. You've bet the house.

Freeman Hunt said...

Heh. Thank you, Jason. I desperately needed the laugh.

Seven Machos said...

I look at this way:

Twenty-five percent of the country is incorrigibly leftist.

Thirty percent of the country is incorrigibly on the right.

The other 45 percent votes their interests (unions, small business, abortions, guns, whatever) but keeps a somewhat open mind.

Can you really tell these people now that McCain was the better candidate?

P.S. I am an incorrigible libertarian/conservative.

Scott said...

Obama has lost his mind.

Freeman Hunt said...

Can you really tell these people now that McCain was the better candidate?

Yes, I can. He was a terrible candidate, but he wasn't a hard left socialist, and that's what he was running against. Informed people knew it, and they're responsible for having known it now.

The Capitalist said...

Short-term gain, long-term pain... that's the way policy is always dictated in DC, but under Obama it is on steroids.

There's no way taxes can cover this. I wonder what the breaking point for most Americans will be...
Will it be when unemployment hits 15%? When the U.S. Dollar becomes even again with the Canadian Dollar? When prices of food go up?

Unfortunately, I think foreign nations will dictate how things will go for us... I'm referring to foreign nations dumping U.S. Dollar Reserves of course.

Freeman Hunt said...

And I know that many people had hopes that Obama wasn't really that, but you don't pin the fate of the nation on baseless wishes. That's being reckless and cavalier with other people's lives.

Seven Machos said...

You have to lose sometimes.

I say let's lose to a novice who is going to either get educated or set his party back a decade and re-energize conservatism through reckless taxing and spending.

Sy said...

Freeman Hunt,

Ann represents the people have always decided elections. Hell, she voted for Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama. Hardcore democrats and republicans don't decide.

Alex said...

So is Althouse trying to give us a hint with these Obama-bashing threads or am I batshit insane? Someone please clear it up for me.

Joe M. said...

Historic horror? Horror of historic proportions? Histrionic horror?

The Republicans couldn't possibly ask for a better situation. But can they use it for the good?

Seven Machos said...

Alex -- The tea leaves tell me marital discord. I'm thinking Althouse wants to go out with us.

Seven Machos said...

...But I'm sorry, Althouse. I have to decline. I am holding out for Freeman Hunt.

Jim said...

Sy -

"Ann represents the people have always decided elections."

Actually that's not really true. The side that succeeds in turning out its base wins. The reason for that is that in almost every election enthusiasm usually favors one side or another.

For example, in 2000 the enthusiasm edge went to Republicans who were hungry for a win after 8 years of Clinton. In 2004, Republicans retained the enthusiasm edge due to national security concerns.

In 2006, the enthusiasm edge went to Democrats over concerns about the Iraq War and Republican mismanagement. In 2008, that edge was heavily in the Democrats favor due to post-Bush fatigue.

In each of those elections, the side with the enthusiasm edge turned out a greater percentage of its base because they were more motivated to vote positively for (or negatively against) something. On the flip side of that equation, the voters of the party without the enthusiasm edge fail to turn out in sufficient numbers because they're just not as motivated to go to the polls.

The "squishy middle," as it is so often called, typically sloshes around like water in a bucket simply follows the enthusiasm trendlines and votes accordingly. Because they have no "core principles," they typically go with the candidate they hear the most positive things about when they standing around the water cooler at work.

It's a great fallacy that independents decide elections. They don't. They follow the leader.

Look at the current trendlines as an example, only when the "passion index" (heavily favor vs. heavily disfavor) started favoring conservatives did the independents start to abandon Obama. It was the enthusiasm of conservatives and their passionate objections to Obama which moved their opinions.

That's how we ended up with Obama - the passion of the Left was so great it ginned up support in the "squishy middle." In 2010 (and 2012 if current trends are any indication), the same dynamic is likely to produce the exact opposite result.

blake said...

$23 trillion here, $23 trillion there, pretty soon you're talking real money.

Jeff said...

Jim, you are just repeating the conventional wisdom. There is nothing useful there, because you can always find what you want in that.

Chip Ahoy said...

The problem with the photograph with the article is it wasn't appropriately animated.

Jim said...

Jeff -

"Jim, you are just repeating the conventional wisdom. There is nothing useful there, because you can always find what you want in that."

You can call it conventional wisdom, but I call it reality.

The point is that Obama excited his base precisely because he's the hard Leftist that many people proclaim themselves shocked (shocked!) to find out that he is.

Reagan excited his base too (and to some degree Palin shares this characteristic) because he embodied conservative principles.

The point is that no party in modern electoral history won by nominating a "moderate." (Clinton was a fluke due to Ross Perot's candidacy splitting the Republican vote.) Parties win by nominating the candidate that most excites their base.

The excitement of the base translates into support from independents, not vice versa. The mistake Republicans made in 2008 was trying to aim for independents by nominating McCain and then attempting to drag the base along for the ride. As an article yesterday pointed out, the biggest group that didn't turn out in 2008? Older voters who are typically dependable Republican voters who stayed home because McCain didn't excite his base.

You may believe there's "nothing useful there," but it has tremendous implications for both the 2010 and 2012 elections. It is a failure of imagination to think otherwise.

Seven Machos said...

How can you possibly say that Kerry, Mondale, Dukakis, and Dole did not excite the base? What about the first George Bush?

Jim said...

Seven -

I'm assuming that was sarcasm?

Seven Machos said...


Jim said...

Seven -

Phew! Had me worried for a second LOL

Deb said...

"Some of the older people might not care as much. They might be disturbed but sit back and think, "Wow, so there it goes." But some of us have to live our entire adult lives in this age and have careers in it and raise families in it and send our kids out into it."
How old is older? I'm 59 and I am as up in arms as anybody else. I don't have time to recover from this mess before I retire. Thus, I will probably have to work until the day I die. Guess what, I had plans for my retirement! Good thing I love my job. I have two teenaged daughters who will be paying for this crap, if I'm lucky enough to live long enough to have grandchildren (unlikely if Obamacare is instituted) they'll be paying too. I care passionately that the country my father, husband, brother fought for is being systematically destroyed by this CLOWN. All because, let's face it, for many, many people, it was all about electing a black man.
CLEARLY it was NOT about his qualifications.

Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chase said...

Here in California, they've just about decided the budget and the result: the Royal Fucking is coming sooner than we think.

But it doesn't matter here; it's far more important for the Democrat far left social agenda to be discussed and passed than stupid everyday shit like emergency rooms and infrastructure. Hell, there's kindergartners who haven't yet learned that gay people might have their feelings hurt by bigots. Got to indoctrinate the school kids first! THAT'S Priority One among Democrats here - Social pet issues. Hey, it's what we pay those idiots for. But do the voters learn here? Not on your life.

David Brooks has it completely right today: Obama is loved by the Democrats - but not feared by them:

Nancy Pelosi has lower approval ratings than Dick Cheney and far lower approval ratings than Sarah Palin. And yet Democrats have allowed her policy values to carry the day — this in an era in which independents dominate the electoral landscape.

Machiavelli said a leader should be feared as well as loved. Obama is loved by the Democratic chairmen, but he is not feared. On health care, Obama has emphasized cost control. The chairmen flouted his priorities because they don’t fear him. On cap and trade, Obama campaigned against giving away pollution offsets. The chairmen wrote their bill to do precisely that because they don’t fear him. On taxes, Obama promised that top tax rates would not go above Clinton-era levels. The chairmen flouted that promise because they don’t fear him.

reader_iam said...

The excitement of the base translates into support from independents, not vice versa.

Perhaps so. But then how to explain those such as I and others (including a few here whose handles might be familiar) who resisted the enthusiasm in favor of the enthusiastically elected candidate and made a different choice?

istarlaloo said...

what is this for??


bearbee said...

A couple weeks ago I heard as high as $29 trillion.

But, tut, tut, people, not to worry. Aren't total US assets worth in the area of $300 trillion? If we auctioned off every public and private building, business, landholding and space hardware, I'm sure we could cover the debt.

I certain the Chinese, Japanese, Saudis, Russians, Europeans, Indians, Latin Americans would be willing to bid on bits and pieces.

Once everything was auctioned off, and the dust settles the country's political transformation would be remarkable.....dontcha think?

Who would we be leasing the Pentagon and the White House from....or would the new owners wish to move in?

ddh said...

The estimate was $23.7 billion, which rounds to $24 billion. The journalist must have use the thumb rule of rounding--he stuck his thumb over the decimal point and 7.

bearbee said...

@ Chase, I heard that CA Treasurer said that CA bonds may attain junk bond status.

Well good luck with that. On the positive side, you can earn higher interest rates.

Does CA remain the worlds 7th largest economy? I hear that business is moving out because of taxes, fees and regulations.

bearbee said...

The estimate was $23.7 billion, which rounds to $24 billion. The journalist must have use the thumb rule of rounding--he stuck his thumb over the decimal point and 7.

Don't we wish.......

Neil M. Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program set up by the Treasury Department, came up with the largest number yet in testimony prepared for delivery Tuesday to a House committee. “The total potential federal government support could reach up to $23.7 trillion,” he stated.

Chase said...

Here's the problem with California, and it's going to happen to this nation under Democrat rule as sure as the sun rises tomorrow:

1) The Democrats are mostly far to ul;tra far left in the Assembly with a few less far left Dems in the Senate. Neither part of the Democrat majority California Legislaure needs any Republicans except for budget deals, which require a 2/3rds majority (thank God!). The Unites States Congress doesn't even need that. You and I will soon be - to put it in layman's terms - fucked.

2) 2 kinds of Californians will never leave the state no matter how putrid the quality of life becomes: Wealthy Coasters (read: Hollywood and anyone who can afford San Francisco) - because they can jet anywhere for whatever they need, and Illegal Immigrants. So, the glory days of California are pretty much forever gone. Seriously.

When America wakes up and finally begions to feel the effects of Pelosi and Reid and Emmanuel and Obama and Frank and Murtha and Kerry and Biden and Durbin and Corzine and Patterson and . . .

. . . they will finally act. But it will never be soon enough to recapture all of the American Dream. Times awastin'. "Hey - let's give 'em a chance." Fair enough:

How long?

Der Hahn said...

reader_iam said ... how to explain those ... who resisted the enthusiasm in favor of the enthusiastically elected candidate and made a different choice?

I'm not saying that there aren't true independents but the direction a contrarian moves is also determined by the crowd.

AJ Lynch said...

$23 Trillion is a mere bag of shells when you are an innumerate like President Obama.

Plus, let's look on the bright side......All of this bad news for the Dems and the Prez seems to have rid us of Jeremy.

Sloanasaurus said...

I am not sure about $23 trillion. Those numbers are always dubious.

Nevertheless, the bonds the Treasury are issuuing weekly to the public are real and we need to do something about it now.

The health care bill is a total disaster. Obama needs to "press reset" and allow a bill to come to the floor that actually has real reform rather than just promotes liberal ideology.

MadisonMan said...

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee. “If you spent a million dollars a day going back to the birth of Christ, that wouldn’t even come close to just one trillion dollars

Well, it would be over $700 billion, which to my mind is awfully close. My conclusion: the ranking Republican on Oversight can't multiply.

Scott M said...


Your and my definition of what constitutes close must be different.

bagoh20 said...

I don't accept this excuse that McCain was a poor candidate. Everyone new what he was about. We knew nothing positive about Obama except some saw a kind of poise or something.

Your vote should not be going to the guy who makes you "feel" something when you have better evidence which you did.

Obama captured the needy female and effete vote. This type always picks the cad when they feel they have cover and then cry when he abandons or disappoints by simply being what he is.

You should be required to kill something with your bare hands before you get the right to vote.

MadisonMan said...

Don't make excuses for innumerate politicians!!

I would not have minded a quote that said not even a trillion dollars. But nowhere close? Pfft. He's just searching for a sound bite and looking foolish.

That said, the underlying assumption that $23T is a ridiculous amount of money for the government to be toying with is inarguably true.

AllenS said...

Nothing says close, like 300 billion.

Scott M said...

You should be required to kill something with your bare hands before you get the right to vote.

That's pretty much what Robert Heinlein thought. Verhoven's treatment of his central themes as fascist always pissed me off.

bearbee said...

So, the glory days of California are pretty much forever gone. Seriously.

Case study in how to destroy a vibrant economy in 7 not so easy steps.

But not to worry. Just finished reading George Friedman's The Next 100 Years - A Forecast for the 21th Century"

Interesting and surprising stuff about China and other countries. Hope he's on the money with his big picture.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well, it would be over $700 billion, which to my mind is awfully close. My conclusion: the ranking Republican on Oversight can't multiply.

Well MM that really doesn't make sense now does it. $700 billion is close to a trillion so what's another $300 billion eh? That's kind of like saying 2+2 doesn't equal 5 but it comes close.

You might want to rethink your conclusion.

ricpic said...

At the bottom of all this is the liberals' belief that huge segments of the population are incapable of getting through life without help. I'm being generous and not saying this is about power madness or theft. Even assuming the best intentions on the part of liberals, is it true? Is it true that huge segments of the population can't make it on their own? Not to me. To me it's a fantasy. And there's nothing like living a fantasy to lead you into a ditch.

MadisonMan said...

You should be required to kill something with your bare hands before you get the right to vote.

I qualify, then. I killed 60 Japanese Beetles the other day!

AllenS said...

Mad Man, they leave a yellow stain and a terrible smell. No faint of heart, you. This fall, I'm expecting you killing 300 billion. Which is kinda close to 60.

MadisonMan said...

Those Asian Lady Beetles are even worse smell-wise, especially 'cause you have to kill them inside the house. I find their smell harder to wash off with soap than the smell of Japanese Beetle Guts.

junyo said...

Can you really tell these people now that McCain was the better candidate?
If by "better" you mean the lesser of two evils, yep. Especially with a hostile majority Congress.

I was for Fred Thompson. I didn't care for anyone else on the Republican side, or Republicans in general for that matter. But when the other guy is a guy that Joe Lieberman says is to the left of him, you hold your nose and do what you have to do.

I don't blame liberals. I blame all of the Libertarians with their "the lesser of two evils is still evil" crap. No you fucking morons, it's less fucking evil. Would you rather be cut with a Swiss Army knife or hacked with a machete? They both involved getting cut, undeniably a bad outcome, but one's a lot better than the alternative.

This is what voting for Obama/Ron Paul/staying home got us you useless idiots.

End of rant.

knox said...

I voted for McCain, precisely because of the "lesser of two evils" thing. I really came to despise him, and excepting his war record, I have little respect for him. Regardless, Obama's far-left ties were too much for me to risk voting for him. Given a moderate democrat, I quite possible would have voted D.

BUT! Let's not forget, if McCain had won, there would have been two seriously negative outcomes:

1. The Republicans would not have really gotten the message they badly needed: "You guys suck, and we do NOT forgive you for the last eight years."

2. McCain would have continued the spending (though not as bad, certainly) and the economy would have suffered. Is it true that he is for Cap and Trade?? What an ass. Anyway, this would have led to even more selling of us down the river by Republicans and we would have ended up with an Obama in 2012 anyway.

The Republicans didn't just lose, they needed to lose. It's just too bad a real Leftist got in the door as a result.

Scott M said...

/me = card-carrying Libertarian

I left the Republican party after the unbelievably incompetent way they governed after 2004. That being said, I give credit to Bush for being a poor communicator, not a bumbling idiot.

However, the Republicans had taken the '94 revolution in Congress (when I joined the party) and flushed the whole damned thing away.

If Obama hadn't been elected and then turned out to be exactly what he advertised being, the Repubs wouldn't have gotten a clue.

If the Dems hadn't wrested nearly complete control of both houses, the Repubs wouldn't have gotten a clue.

As it is, I have strong doubts that the Republican party is the bastion of core conservative values, at least from a leadership perspective.

I have principles. The Republicans pretty much lost theirs. As I have a low tolerance for suffering fools, I split. Could be this whole episode in American political history is just the opening a true 3rd party needs to gain serious ground.

Jim said...

Scott M -

"Could be this whole episode in American political history is just the opening a true 3rd party needs to gain serious ground."

The short answer to that is: NO.

The Democrats and Republicans have intentionally raised the bar for entry for any third party so high that no 3rd party could quickly get off the ground, and in the time that it takes for a 3rd party to build the passion for that 3rd party will die as political circumstances change.

Just ask the Green Party how that whole 3rd party thing is working out for them...

downtownlad said...

Challenge for Ann - Please show me where this $23 trillion is.

I see a Politico article. And I see a rightwingnews article on this.

Are you always this easily brainwashed?

junyo said...

knox, Scott M:
Fine, send a message. In the primaries, in both Congressional and presidential races. But when it's showtime, "sending a message" looks an awful lot like "voting against the interest of the country". How many years is it going to take to undo the damage done? Was it worth the message? Especially since the national Republican establishment doesn't seem to understand exactly what the message was? I defy you to prove that the Republican leadership could find a clue with a map, flashlight, bloodhound, and a big flashing neon sign above the clue saying "LOOK HERE!"

And a third party won't go anywhere, anytime soon. As long as people insist on political/idealogical purity it'll be impossible to form the coalition needed. And conservatives/Libertarians are all about political/idealogical purity these days. I'd join a party in a heartbeat that said "we're about expanding individual freedom, and we're not going to get hung up on method". So would a lot of other people. But the falloff would start almost immediately, when the government wanted to balance the budget by some means other than restrict access to services (there go the progressives), or when you suggested that it might not be a good idea to restrict the military to three guys on a dingy with a starter pistol (oh, there go half the libertarians), or that the free market isn't the ideal solution to every problem (...and there go the rest), or that just because the Constitution creates a seperation between Church and state (there go the conservatives) doesn't mean that there's no room for religion in the public sphere (...and the rest of the progressives). Combined with the barriers to viability that third parties face, as jim points out, it ain't gonna happen.

Scott M said...


Fair enough. But what you're basically describing is allowing the Republicans to go that much farther off the reservation...which will allow another leftist into office when all of their hypocrisy and mistakes are pointed out.

Frankly, I want the Republicans to live up to their supposed principles. They have the organization and the reach no other conservative-based party does. But they squander it over and over again.

For the record, I agree with what you're saying in regards to how a 3rd party would rise to prominence. It will happen in the local, state and regional level before it goes national. I didn't vote for McCain in large part due to his policies on, among other things, fund-raising, immigration, interrogation, etc, etc. There were a couple of races, however, with no Libertarian candidate here in MO. In those races, I had already checked out the Republican and either voted for him or abstained, depending.

Jim said...

ScottM -

The way you hold the Republican party (or any party) responsible is by supporting the candidate in the primaries that most closely reflects your views. By the time you get to the general election, it's too late.

You show up at their precinct offices, you call them on the phone, you get out and protest - all of the things that the Tea Partiers are doing. You let your representatives know that you are watching their every single vote.

The problem with the Republican party is that the base is too often disengaged from taking these basic steps because, unlike their Democratic counterparts, they have jobs in the private sector and families to look after. (Before any Leftys get up in arms, look at the numbers of unemployed, government employees, and unmarried and/or childless people who belong to the Democratic Party vs. the Republican party and just sit back down. Just because you don't like a fact, doesn't wish it out of existence.)

If you want your representative to be responsive, then you have to force them to be responsive by going out of your way to do so. It really is that simple.

bearbee said...

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Political parties are incapable of adhering to a set of core principles. Through decisive defeat they are forced to relearn past lessons. A third party would ultimately would become corrupt

Term Limits.

If we the voters cannot discipline ourselves to voluntarily limit politicians service time then we need legislation enacted to force incumbents to relinquish power and to return to the real world to experience the result of their own inadequate and faulty legislation.

bearbee said...

re: Califormia, when I heard this I almost choked:

In 2000 state contribution to pension funds was $320 million, in 2008 $7 billion.