Monday, August 01, 2011

Ohio Art

Estate Sale
James Young

JournoList Still Puts Out The Meme.

"Help! Help!The sky is falling!I have to go tell the king!" I find it humerous that an acorn was also the impetous in the original story. How apt.

  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi“We’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.”

·         Rep. Nancy Pelosi“They want to destroy your rights.”

·         Sen. Harry Reid“The time for ideological extremism should end.”

·         Rep. Rangel“These people don’t care about our country.”

·         Comm. Director Dan Pfeiffer“…could potentially put us towards a depression because House Republicans…are unwilling to compromise.”

·         DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz“This is almost like dictatorship.”

·         Rep. Garamendi (D-CA) – “They basically want to terminate the American Dream.”

·         Rachel Maddow Show“shameless, craven, unprincipled, partisan hackery”

·         Tom Friedman“If sane Republicans do not stand up to this Hezbollah faction in their midst, the Tea Party will take the G.O.P. on a suicide mission.”

·         Rep. Hoyer“They want to shoot every bullet they have at the president.”

·         Van Jones“They want to repeal the 20th century. They want to smash down every American institution our grandparents fought for…”

·         Joe Klein in Time“Osama bin Laden, if he were still alive, could not have come up with a more clever strategy for strangling our nation.”

·         Steve Rattner on MSNBC“It’s a form of economic terrorism…These Tea Party guys are like strapped with dynamite standing in the middle of Times Square at rush hour saying either you do it my way or we’re going to blow you up, ourselves up, and the whole country with us.”

·         Paul Krugman in NY Times“Republicans have, in effect, taken America hostage…”

·         William Yeomans at Politico“they have now become full-blown terrorists. They have joined the villains of American history who have been sufficiently craven to inflict massive harm on innocent victims to achieve their political goals.”

·         Martin Frost at Politico“We now have a group of U.S. politicians seeking political purity, who seem to have much in common with the Taliban.”

·         Rep. Schakowsky“Republicans, stop fragging the American economy and the American people!”

·         Margaret Carlson“they’ve strapped explosives to the Capitol and they think they are immune from it.”

I'm sure that all of these saavy pols are hoping that they called the voters of the US "terrorists" of some such.

“It’s The Spending, Stupid.”

The Toronto Sun reported:

Wars and tax cuts not responsible for U. S. deficit

How did the United States get into this debt mess?

President Obama blames both parties, and he’s right. But the real question isn’t who did it, it’s how. The answer is social programs.

America’s previous debt problems all came from major national emergencies, beginning with the Revolutionary War. The Civil War saw debt skyrocket from $65 million in 1860 to $2.5 billion in 1870; World War I from $2.6 billion in 1910 to $26 billion in 1920; World War II from $43 billion in 1940 to $257 billion in 1950. But when the clearly defined crisis ended, so did the extra spending, and the debt stabilized.

Even the Cold War produced little borrowing; 1960’s $290-billion debt was just 13% higher than in 1950. But then it exploded: $389 billion in 1970; $930 billion in 1980; $3.2 trillion in 1990; $5.7 trillion in 2000; and 2010’s $13.6 trillion.

Still, to say the debt is at record levels is not, by itself, to say much. Between economic growth and inflation, a debt that was horrifying in, for instance, 1840 would be laughable today. (Since you ask, it was $3.5 million.)

The best way to gauge the seriousness of government debt, though far from perfect, is by its share of GDP. That measure shows U.S. federal debt staying under 40% even in the Civil War and World War I, rising a bit above it in the Great Depression, spiking in World War II at over 110%, then falling steadily to under 30% by the early 1980s. Then it rebounded and, after a dip in the late 1990s, shot upward.

A “discourse” on the left blames it all on the right. The Toronto Star’s Heather Mallick just blamed this year’s $1.4 trillion deficit on “George W. Bush’s tax cuts and by Barack Obama’s continuing to wage two unwinnable, unaffordable wars and starting a third in Libya”. But it just ain’t so.

Tax cuts cannot be the culprit because the United States does not have a revenue problem. For six decades federal taxes took an average of just under 18% of GDP and, after a sharp recessionary dip, are heading back that way.

The U.S. has a spending problem. From an average of just over 18% of GDP from 1950 to 1974, federal spending rose to an average of 20.8% from 1975 to 2007 then shot up to over 25%. And not on wars: at $666.7 billion in 2010 (about 4.5% of GDP) the military budget is less than half the deficit. Moreover, defence’s share of GDP fell from nearly 15% in the early 1950s to under 10% by 1970 to under 5% by 2000 yet the budget was not on fire in the 1950s or even 1970s.