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Showing posts with label Deficit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deficit. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

A Very Busy and Informative CBO

So, the Congressional Budget Office has been busy of late. First up, we have this...

CBO: Deficit to shrink to lowest level of Obama presidency 

In a report released Monday, CBO says the deficit will be $468 billion for the budget year that ends in September. That's slightly less than last year's $483 billion deficit.

Of course, the Cult is still going to believe whatever is reported inside of their highly emotional and irrational bubble. Maybe a picture might help.




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(note: the above graphic does not include the revised and even lower figures just released by the CBO).

We also have this from the CBO...

Budget Office Lowers Its Estimate on Federal Spending for Health Care


With the latest revision, the budget office has now reduced its 10-year estimate for spending by Medicare, Medicaid and other health programs by $1.23 trillion starting in 2010, the year the health care law took effect. By 2039, the savings would amount to $250 billion a year today, or about 1.5 percent of the economy.

And the bubble continues to contract...:)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

How Fucked Up?

When children throw a temper tantrum, they usually end up breaking something. Mom's dishes or dad's sports memorabilia isn't quite on the level of the US Economy.

Republicans are far more likely to oppose raising the debt limit than anyone else; they say don’t raise it by 61-25. Republicans, however, also believe overwhelmingly that not raising it would cause serious economic harm — by 66-27.

At least we now have confirmation as to just how fucked up the Right is there days.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Obsessives

I've been saying for quite some time now that the Right's obsession with the deficit and the debt is detrimental to our economy. Apparently, everyone agrees now that this is the case. By "everyone," I mean the people who live outside of the bubble and actually deal with economic and financial matters on a daily basis.

Example #1

“Fiscal tightening is hurting,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of Pantheon Macroeconomic Advisors, wrote to clients recently. The investment bank Jefferies wrote of “ongoing fiscal mismanagement” in its midyear report on Tuesday, and noted that while the recovery and expansion would be four years old next month, reduced government spending “has detracted from growth in five of past seven quarters.”

Agreed. The article details how unemployment would likely be around 6.5 percent and quarterly growth between 3 and 4 percent as opposed to the 2 percent we are at right now.

Example #2

The Federal Open Market Committee, which sets policy for the central bank, noted signs of improvement in the private sector last week in a statement. “But fiscal policy is restraining economic growth,” it added, echoing public comments that Ben S. Bernanke, the Fed chairman, has made for months. In April, the International Monetary Fund said the United States would achieve further growth “in the face of a very strong, indeed overly strong, fiscal consolidation.”

Again, US fiscal policy is restraining growth. One would almost think that the Right doesn't want the president to succeed. Hmm....

Example #3

“Whenever I talk to our customers or clients, they sort of brush off everything that’s related to fiscal policy,” Mr. Daco said. “The view is, ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter.’ That’s what I hear a lot.” “What we try to convey is that it does matter,” he said. “It is important in terms of growth. It’s also important in terms of confidence.” He noted that the economy was much stronger than Europe’s largely because the United States initially opted for stimulus measures and allowed deficits to increase when the recession and financial crisis hit five years ago. European governments pursued austerity policies to cut their debts, further stalling economic activity and in turn inflating deficits.

Isn't it time we did away with all this debt and deficit obsessiveness? It's all rooted in emotion anyway. The Right just doesn't like government spending. The only way they would embrace it is if Jesus himself came down and told them it was poor fiscal policy. And even then, I'd have to wonder....

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happily Going Over The Cliff

It's been amusing in a sort of horrifying way to watch Congress try to come up with some sort of plan to avert the tax rate rise and spending cuts that are going to occur on January 1, 2013. I don't think I've ever seen a Republican leader admit that he was powerless as Speaker Boehner did last week. "It's now up to the president and Harry Reid," he said. Unbelievable.

But that's what happens when you have a caucus that is comprised of juveniles who are eternally stomping down the hallway and slamming their doors at what they perceive to be their dad. They're perfectly happy to crash the car in order to sate their adolescent power fantasies. They'd rather cut of their nose despite their faces.

And that's just what is going to happen. If no deal is reached by Tuesday (and it looks doubtful), January 2nd is going to be a barn burner at the New York Stock Exchange. At that point, the GOP will be fucked. If they deal now, they are going to get something for those upper income folks. If they wait, however, the only bill they are going to see is one that makes the tax cuts permanent for those making under 250K and they will have no choice but to sign it as the market drops 500-1000 points.

They're also going to get bloody ears (and possibly more) in terms of the spending cuts and will likely have to give in on those as well. Much of their constituency is old people who love Medicare and Social Security. Any sort of cuts will be viewed with much animosity. This doesn't even take into account the defense cuts which, in my view, if they happen, will basically mean the end of the Tea Party. Democrats learned a long time ago that you don't fuck with defense contractors.

So, this begs the question, do the Republicans want to be the Whigs of the 21st century? Given their intransigent stance on immigration (along with the rest of all of this), I think they do. Bottom line: they need to change. If they don't, Texas will turn blue in 2016 or 2020 and that will be it for them.

Monday, October 01, 2012

The Harvester

Lost in this election is one very simple reason why Mitt Romney would not be a good president: he made most of his money off of driving companies into debt.

But what most voters don't know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America's top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth.

By making debt the centerpiece of his campaign, Romney was making a calculated bluff of historic dimensions - placing a massive all-in bet on the rank incompetence of the American press corps. The result has been a brilliant comedy: A man makes a $250 million fortune loading up companies with debt and then extracting million-dollar fees from those same companies, in exchange for the generous service of telling them who needs to be fired in order to finance the debt payments he saddled them with in the first place..

If Romney pulls off this whopper, you'll have to tip your hat to him: No one in history has ever successfully run for president riding this big of a lie. It's almost enough to make you think he really is qualified for the White House.

Indeed.

The video below surfaced recently from Mitt's days at Bain which confirms this.


Harvest them at a significant profit...wow.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Budget Director

I enjoyed David Stockman's recent piece on what has to be done in order to reign in our nation's debt. Likely, no one is going to like what needs to be done including myself. He gets right to the point very quickly.

The resulting squabble is not only deepening the fiscal stalemate but also bringing us dangerously close to class war. This lamentable prospect is deeply grounded in the policy-driven transformation of the economy during recent decades that has shifted income and wealth to the top of the economic ladder. The share of wealth held by the top 1 percent of households has risen to 35 percent from 21 percent since 1979, while their share of income has more than doubled to around 20 percent.

The culprit here was the combination of ultralow rates of interest at the Federal Reserve and ultralow rates of taxation on capital gains.

Hmm...who else has been saying these same things? Me. And I was never lucky enough to be the Budget Director for Ronald Reagan. So, Stockman's not exactly a liberal although by the current GOP's standards he's probably a communist. Later in the article, he puts forth some solutions, one of which I don 't agree with at all.

We are about to descend into class war because the Obama plan picks on the rich when it should be pushing tax increases for all, while the Ryan plan attacks the poor when it should be addressing middle-class entitlements and defense.

Well, there it is. At least someone had the guts to say it. Everyone needs to have their taxes raised. Except I can't see how that would be helpful given the decided lack of consumer confidence. Given that consumers make up two thirds of our economy, raising taxes on the lower 90 percent, in my opinion, would be disastrous. The middle class is the engine that drives this economy and they do not need any more burdens place upon them.

Overall, Stockman's piece states the obvious. Everyone wants solutions but no one wants to sacrifice. Worse, political theater is driving all of this which means nothing is getting done. I've stated many times on here that, as far as I'm concerned, everything is on the table including Social Security and Medicare. Hell, simply controlling the growth of Medicare would make a significant dent in our deficit and debt. Of course, that would mean controlling the cost of health care which means government regulation which means a pile of skulls, right?