Contributors

Showing posts with label Federal Spending. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Federal Spending. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

How Federal Spending Lifts Economies

Check out the recent study done by the Washington Center For Equitable Growth. If the United States makes more of an investment increasing our students' science and math scores, the dividends would be enormous.


























The important thing to note here is that the increase in GDP means an increase in government revenue which means the investment in such programs would more than pay off, based on their study.

This study clearly illustrates the power that federal spending has to lift economies. There simply aren't any other entities out there that have this kind of muscle. One would think that the anti-spending crowd would want to make more money, right?:)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

What Is Your Alternative, Ms. Palin?

Sarah Palin recently called Paul Ryan's latest budget "a joke" saying "it is STILL not seeing the problem; it STILL is not proposing reining in wasteful government overspending TODAY, instead of speculating years out that some future Congress and White House may possibly, hopefully, eh-who-knows, take responsibility for today’s budgetary selfishness and shortsightedness to do so."

“THIS is the definition of insanity,” she continued.

Fine. Where do you propose cuts?

“You’d think one who is representing the mighty Badgers, who made it to the Final Four based on sacrificial work ethic and discipline that obviously pays off in the end, … would understand that future success depends on hard work and sacrifices,” Palin said.

Again, where exactly do you propose cuts?

There is plenty to cut, Palin argued, as “every omnibus bill is loaded with pork and kickbacks.”

Be specific. How much? What would happen as a result of the cuts?

“As my Dad would say after these April Fool’s announcements, ‘This would kill a lesser man.’ This out-of-control debt is killing our economic future,” Palin wrote.

How exactly?

Sarah Palin is a great example of how all conservatives have these days is criticism...even of their own party! They don't offer anything but strident language and hollow (and really, really played) talking points that appeal to fear. Considering our massive wealth and assets, the debt is a phantom menace and she is simply lying about our economic future.

Of course, she (and any other conservatives) are welcome to prove me wrong with substantive plans of their own:)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Want To See Where Our Tax Dollars Go?

Check this fantastic site with amazing graphics. You can go to full screen and then examine each slide for details. Granted, the information is a few years old in terms of dollar amounts but how the money is spent and where is generally the same.

So, my question for you folks who proselytize on spending...where would make the cuts?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Big Lie Again

The last two weeks of shutdown have seen several mentions of the Big Lie that government spending does not increase economic activity nor is it a jobs program. It would be fine if those in the Tea Party said, instead, "I don't like the fact that government spending increases economic activity and is a jobs program" because that would be more accurate.

I've explained previously exactly how government spending increases economic activity and can create wealth, offering the example of the Grand Coulee Dam. The same hysterical complaints were heard then and were proven completely wrong. Even today, the government spends money in many sectors of our economy and is a partner in increasing economic activity and creating jobs. The defense industry stands as a shining example of how this works. So do the energy industry and the National Institute of Health. The list on return to government investment is quite impressive, actually, and it's very clear that they naysayers are having trouble with their emotions about government. One would think that they Right understands return on investment but I guess they don't.

The next few weeks will show what kind of an economic hit we are going to take as a result of the shutdown. I've talked about this before as well and, honestly, Americans are clearly understanding what life looks like when you aren't rational about the federal government. If the Right wants something to worry about, I think it should be this.

What exactly is sedition?

According to the US Code (18 U.S.C. § 2384 ), seditious conspiracy is a crime under United States law. The law states in part that, “If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to… prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States… they shall each be fined or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”

That's exactly what Ted Cruz and his merry band of moonbats have done in the last few weeks. In fact, they attempted to hinder many laws, not just the Affordable Care Act. No doubt, if people like Darrell Issa were faced with these facts, a committee would have been formed yesterday. I think that the Right should be thankful that the president and the Democrats are much nicer and forgiving people. 

So, moonbats, I wouldn't rock the boat if I were you.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fantasy Feedback Loop

Michael Tomasky's recent piece is quite brilliant as it exposes the three big lies that we hear all the time from the Right. Before we get to the lies, though, he links a piece which torpedoes, once and for all, the notion that government budgets and family budgets are comparable.

But over a lifetime, the individual is supposed to be working to pay down debts and build wealth, so he or she can afford to stop working in old age. Thrift and saving (and a downward trajectory for debt balances) are virtuous traits in people, because of our life cycles. 

But the government does not have a life cycle; it plans to exist indefinitely. So it makes much more sense to compare the government to a corporation, which also plans for indefinite existence and therefore may have debt as a permanent part of its capital structure. There is not necessarily an expectation that a firm will decrease its debt load over time, and if a company keeps growing, its debt load may keep getting larger without being a sign of financial distress.

Right. I'd further add the point that the nature of each debt is different as well as I have said in the past. 

Now about those lies...they are: we have to balance the budget, public investment is bad, and jobs will result from accomplishing the first and adhering to the warning of the second. As Tomasky notes, each of these assertions is the dead opposite of reality.

Here is a report from the Congressional Research Service that details how short and middle term deficits are completely sustainable while also noting that our deficit has fallen from 10 percent of GDP to 7 percent of GDP since 2009. We are headed towards 4 percent of GDP. Truly, not a problem. There's also some great information in this report regarding the alarm bells on inflation.

The austerity programs we see in Europe aren't working so the idea that public investment is bad is simply wrong. If you want an idea of what steep reductions in government spending do, take a look at Great Britain.

These reductions in government spending are actually worse for jobs as well. I've shown what happens to the economy and how that actually decreases revenue and makes it harder to balance budgets. So, they really have it back asswards on this one.

So, now we are at the point when we have to ask why. Why do they think this way?

Different reasons. I think someone like Ryan must actually believe all this. He is such an ideologue that I assume he wakes up at night after having reread John Galt’s sermon in a cold sweat thinking about debt and inflation and interest rates (the CRS report also explains why these dystopian fears are canards, too). I think a lot of the Tea Party people just hate government and think poor people are irresponsible, and they came here to chop away and haven’t given it much more thought than that; it just seems intuitively right to them that when you’re in the hole, you cut spending. Then I think there are other Republicans who know better but play along anyway because it’s all the rage in their circles, and because if they don’t play along they’ll be primaried, and possibly beaten, by someone who does believe it.

So, it's largely about emotions. As Tomasky notes

Looking back over that last paragraph, I see that what I have described is a rather mad situation—kind of a fantasy feedback loop where the critical mass of people sustain a fiction and the few who know it to be fiction put their position at risk in saying so. And this is how our country is being governed.

Sad and pathetic.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Anti-Spending Anaphylactoids

As we get closer to the Easter holidays, you might want to prepare yourself for that crazy uncle at your family gathering who will likely be foaming at the mouth about federal spending. A good article to show him is this one. The fact is, folks, that when the government spends less money, it has a real world impact.

These reductions, economists say, act as a drag on the economy. Former park employees, clerks, and firefighters such as Lykins are buying only the necessities. Cities are deferring road work, which means contractors aren't hiring people to pour concrete. By far, the largest impact is on school systems, which are laying off teachers, counselors, and janitors.

With the sequester kicking in last Friday, this sort of thing is now going to happening on a national scale. The anti-spending anaphylactoids seem to be operating under the assumption that federal spending occurs in a void filled with evil, darkness and nothing else. Never mind the fact that while all the spending is going on there is revenue coming in and a 15 trillion dollar economy out there that creates the need for government services.

When you cut these services, people like Brian Lykins are affected. "A lot of the private sector depends on the public sector," says Chris Hoene, director of research and innovation at the National League of Cities in Washington. "There are estimates that for every $3 spent at the municipal level, there is $1 in new private-sector activity."

The sooner we accept the fact that government spending is essential to our economy and, more importantly, that as our economy grows, our spending must grow as well, the better position we will be in to finally tackle our long term, economic concerns.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Let It Happen

There are a whole lot of folks that are worried these days about the sequester. The cuts that are going to happen, they say, are going to be damaging to our country and Congress must reach a deal by March 1st. I say let it all happen.

In fact, let's see how our county does for a while when federal spending is significantly cut as it will be next Friday. We should operate with these new spending levels for at least six months to illustrate exactly what it means to make the cuts that the Right perpetually whines and cries over.  It's a big opportunity for the Ayn Rand worshipers out there to strut their stuff.

Let's see how a 16 trillion dollar economy does with minimal services. Have at it, people!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Friday, February 01, 2013





















Well, I certainly didn't see this one coming!

Friday, January 11, 2013


Wednesday, January 09, 2013


Tuesday, January 08, 2013































Uh, that would be a no...no, they didn't. It's not _______ when we do it!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Really Big Lie

These days, when someone from the right will make a statement, the first thing that pops into my head is a question.

"Do I really want to waste my time researching this when I know it's likely completely bullshit?"

Take, for example, the assertion by Mitt Romney and virtually everyone on the right that President Obama has been spending like crazy. An "inferno" is what Mr. Romney called it.

Well, a new piece by Marketwatch has this to say.

Of all the falsehoods told about President Barack Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree.

But it didn’t happen. Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.Even hapless Herbert Hoover managed to increase spending more than Obama has.

There damn well better be some numbers to back that up!

• In the 2009 fiscal year — the last of George W. Bush’s presidency — federal spending rose by 17.9% from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. Check the official numbers at the Office of Management and Budget. 

 • In fiscal 2010 — the first budget under Obama — spending fell 1.8% to $3.46 trillion. 

 • In fiscal 2011, spending rose 4.3% to $3.60 trillion. 

 • In fiscal 2012, spending is set to rise 0.7% to $3.63 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the budget that was agreed to last August. 

 • Finally in fiscal 2013 — the final budget of Obama’s term — spending is scheduled to fall 1.3% to $3.58 trillion. Read the CBO’s latest budget outlook. 

Over Obama’s four budget years, federal spending is on track to rise from $3.52 trillion to $3.58 trillion, an annualized increase of just 0.4%

Huh. I guess we can put the lie away now along with the raising taxes and apologizing to everyone nonsense.

This would be why I don't like to waste my very valuable time. It always turns out to be another bullshit lie.