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07/19/2010 11:11:07 PM · #101
Originally posted by DrAchoo:



The wiki on Keynes had this apt line: He (Keynes) argued that governments should solve problems in the short run rather than waiting for market forces to do it in the long run, because "in the long run, we are all dead."

I may be dead, but my children won't be.


Oh yes they will since the long run is not limited to your life span...besides, if you wait for market forces to fix things, you might be in for quite the surprise.

Ray
07/19/2010 11:27:06 PM · #102
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

If you borrow from the future to kick start the economy now with government spending, you need to pay that back in the future. The only way to do that is to either raise the effective amount of taxes or to have the economy go so well that the repeated surpluses pay off the borrowing. This is the point I have absolutely no faith that anybody in power would "do the right thing".

...and yet, that's EXACTLY what Clinton did and Obama has pledged to do.
07/19/2010 11:53:14 PM · #103
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

If you borrow from the future to kick start the economy now with government spending, you need to pay that back in the future. The only way to do that is to either raise the effective amount of taxes or to have the economy go so well that the repeated surpluses pay off the borrowing. This is the point I have absolutely no faith that anybody in power would "do the right thing".

...and yet, that's EXACTLY what Clinton did and Obama has pledged to do.


Well that's great and all but what are the chances that the American people will continue to vote in candidates that continue that pledge? The American people are much too finicky to keep any one party in office for very long. That's because whenever we decide to make a change in the POTUS it's for the exact opposite of what was in the office prior and I'm not just talking about party affiliations. If Obama loses his bid at re-election it will be to someone who isn't considered an elitist.

Message edited by author 2010-07-19 23:59:39.
07/20/2010 01:29:08 AM · #104
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:



The wiki on Keynes had this apt line: He (Keynes) argued that governments should solve problems in the short run rather than waiting for market forces to do it in the long run, because "in the long run, we are all dead."

I may be dead, but my children won't be.


Oh yes they will since the long run is not limited to your life span...besides, if you wait for market forces to fix things, you might be in for quite the surprise.

Ray


I understand the skepticism about government being able to act, but Ray is correct. The long run may be a generation, or two generations, and in the meantime a lot of lives are ruined. Or the economy may never recover. Market forces take their sweet time about these things.
07/20/2010 11:55:29 AM · #105
I'd like to believe you guys, but I just don't. The debt stood at $10.6 trillion the day Obama took office. Let's give him 8 years in office (I think there's a good chance). Do you think the debt will stand above or below that mark the day he leaves?

No president in modern history has left office with a smaller total national debt than when he started. Clinton didn't even come close and he had a huge tailwind. Note the total debt was at about $4 trillion in 1992 and $5.5+ trillion in 2000. If he's the best we've had you can understand my lack of faith.

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07/20/2010 12:19:50 PM · #106
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

No president in modern history has left office with a smaller total national debt than when he started. Clinton didn't even come close and he had a huge tailwind.

Carter did it, and Clinton's second term was a net reduction, too. The numbers by presidential term according to the budget office:

Change in federal debt:
Carter 1978-1981 (-0.4%)
Reagan 1982-1985 49.0%
Reagan 1986-1989 40.2%
Bush 1990-1993 32.7%
Clinton 1994-1997 13.2%
Clinton 1998-2001 (-0.2%)
Bush 2002-2005 22.8%

Percentage increase debt/GDP
Carter 1978-1981 (-3.3%)
Reagan 1982-1985 11.3%
Reagan 1986-1989 9.3%
Bush 1990-1993 15.0%
Clinton 1994-1997 (-0.7%)
Clinton 1998-2001 (-9.0%)
Bush 2002-2005 7.1%
Bush 2006-2009 20.0%

Ironic that Republicans claim Democrats are the big spenders! :-/

Message edited by author 2010-07-20 12:20:58.
07/20/2010 12:27:17 PM · #107
Well, I don't think it's fair to split Clinton up. It looks like a 13% increase to me. Also, since terms are tricky, is your source quoting public debt or total government debt (which basically adds the Social Security debt)? And what's with the funny dates? Didn't Carter come into office in '77? Didn't Reagan come into office in '81? Bush in 2001?

Do you have the numbers previous? Was Reagan's Cold War the start of a sea change? What did Nixon, Ford and Ike do?

Message edited by author 2010-07-20 12:32:16.
07/20/2010 01:19:28 PM · #108
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Well, I don't think it's fair to split Clinton up. It looks like a 13% increase to me.

The 2nd term decrease shows that some administrations DO make an effort to curb spending, and even 13% would be a huge improvement over his predecessor. Meanwhile Carter did exactly what you said no president in modern history has done.

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

is your source quoting public debt or total government debt (which basically adds the Social Security debt)?

Gross federal debt (the whole enchilada). The data is listed back to the Truman administration. See if you can spot the "tax and spend" party.

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

And what's with the funny dates? Didn't Carter come into office in '77?...

Think about it. The results of a president's first budget would be when...?
07/20/2010 01:41:17 PM · #109
You may not watch Fox - but the White House does...
"(CNN) – Shirley Sherrod, a former USDA employee who resigned after a controversial video surfaced, told CNN Tuesday that members of the Obama administration "harassed" her and demanded she resign her post immediately.

In an interview with CNN, Sherrod said she repeatedly fielded calls on Monday during a long car ride, during which officials insisted that she pull over to the side of the road and quit her post.

"They asked me to resign, and, in fact, they harassed me as I was driving back to the state office from West Point, Georgia yesterday," Sherrod told CNN. "I had at least three calls telling me the White House wanted me to resign…and the last one asked me to pull over to the side of the road and do it."

Sherrod said the final call came from Cheryl Cook, an undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture. Sherrod said White House officials wanted her to quit immediately because the controversy was "going to be on Glenn Beck tonight."
"

The above quote is from CNN online - today.
btw...my favorite 20 minutes on Fox is the Fox Allstars within Bret Baeir's program. Rotating commentators including at least one left of center
07/20/2010 01:42:33 PM · #110
Are you somehow assuming I'm defending the Republicans? Good lord. They are ALL the spend party. If you go in knowing you only have eight years max to do things the way you want, you had better make your move in that time. It doesn't excuse Clinton at all that things seemed to be headed in the right direction only for him to leave office and his successor shoot things to hell.

The dates make sense when you think about the budget.

Your graph makes two points. 1) These terms are VERY fuzzy because the numbers don't look much like the numbers you posted above (which I'm guessing come from a different source). 2) Carter did NOT lower the debt. It indicates the debt rose by 0.28 trillion dollars. Let's be clear. I am speaking about absolute dollars of debt, not as a % of GDP which can change merely based on how the economy is doing and inflation.

Message edited by author 2010-07-20 13:47:46.
07/20/2010 01:48:55 PM · #111
Originally posted by scalvert:

The 2nd term decrease shows that some administrations DO make an effort to curb spending,


You mean after they loose Congress to a Contract with America to balance the Budget. Which of course not only Clinton but now you want to take credit for. OK by me.
07/20/2010 01:51:27 PM · #112
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

At some point all this spending is going to have to be paid for. There are three and only three ways to do it. 1) Raise taxes massively. 2) Cut spending massively. 3) Default and pay the social, economic, and military price. There's probably a fourth way, but I'd consider it under #3 which is to devalue the dollar so much that the janitor makes $1 million a year and our debt now becomes worthless.


It can get no simpler than this.
07/20/2010 02:24:13 PM · #113
My vote? Large cuts in defense spending, increased taxes on a progressive system, delay social security payments by three years. I don't know how far that would all get us, but it would be a good start. I'm no economist though.

I would predict, however, anybody who did that would not be re-elected the next term. Congress or president.

Message edited by author 2010-07-20 14:25:20.
07/20/2010 02:35:19 PM · #114
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Let's be clear. I am speaking about absolute dollars of debt, not as a % of GDP which can change merely based on how the economy is doing and inflation.


Why, then, do economists always report the debt-to-GDP ratio? Because it is the meaningful relationship. Think about it this way: Your yearly income is $100,000 and you carry $5,000 in debt. Your neighbor's yearly income is $20,000 and he also carries $5,000 in debt. Same absolute debt dollars, significantly different meaning in terms of financial health of the respective parties. Context matters.

The U.S. will never have to pay off its debt entirely. But it does have to achieve a healthy (or healthier) balance of debt versus overall economic output.
07/20/2010 02:49:17 PM · #115
Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Let's be clear. I am speaking about absolute dollars of debt, not as a % of GDP which can change merely based on how the economy is doing and inflation.


Why, then, do economists always report the debt-to-GDP ratio? Because it is the meaningful relationship. Think about it this way: Your yearly income is $100,000 and you carry $5,000 in debt. Your neighbor's yearly income is $20,000 and he also carries $5,000 in debt. Same absolute debt dollars, significantly different meaning in terms of financial health of the respective parties. Context matters.

The U.S. will never have to pay off its debt entirely. But it does have to achieve a healthy (or healthier) balance of debt versus overall economic output.


Overall, I agree, but when speaking about short periods like presidential terms, the cyclical nature of the GDP can overshadow anything the president actually did to change things. So in my view to laud a president for lowering the debt/GDP ratio may be giving him too much credit (and even in reverse when the GDP tanks).

We can both agree that current levels of debt/GDP are not good and the direction does not show a correction coming (only promises).

Message edited by author 2010-07-20 14:49:53.
07/20/2010 02:54:42 PM · #116
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

1) These terms are VERY fuzzy because the numbers don't look much like the numbers you posted above (which I'm guessing come from a different source). 2) Carter did NOT lower the debt. It indicates the debt rose by 0.28 trillion dollars.

The numbers were taken directly from the source I posted. The Federal debt was $1,795 when Ford left office and $1,787 when Carter left office. That's dollars, not % of GDP. Need a calculator?

Message edited by author 2010-07-20 14:56:08.
07/20/2010 03:21:07 PM · #117
Originally posted by Flash:

Originally posted by scalvert:

The 2nd term decrease shows that some administrations DO make an effort to curb spending,


You mean after they loose Congress to a Contract with America to balance the Budget. Which of course not only Clinton but now you want to take credit for. OK by me.


Nice try.

Actually is was the 1993 Clinton budget (Dem controlled Congress) that set the stage for the budget surplus. Passed by one vote in the House. No Republican voted for it and it ushered in the longest economic growth period in decades, including a budget surplus. The Contract on America was a joke. In fact it ushered in the Wall Street deregulation pushed by Phil Graham and further in the Bush II administration that directly lead to the Wall Street fiasco that we are still paying for.

07/20/2010 03:46:28 PM · #118
Originally posted by Flash:

You may not watch Fox - but the White House does...
"(CNN) – Shirley Sherrod, a former USDA employee who resigned after a controversial video surfaced, told CNN Tuesday that members of the Obama administration "harassed" her and demanded she resign her post immediately.

In an interview with CNN, Sherrod said she repeatedly fielded calls on Monday during a long car ride, during which officials insisted that she pull over to the side of the road and quit her post.

"They asked me to resign, and, in fact, they harassed me as I was driving back to the state office from West Point, Georgia yesterday," Sherrod told CNN. "I had at least three calls telling me the White House wanted me to resign…and the last one asked me to pull over to the side of the road and do it."

Sherrod said the final call came from Cheryl Cook, an undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture. Sherrod said White House officials wanted her to quit immediately because the controversy was "going to be on Glenn Beck tonight."
"

The above quote is from CNN online - today.
btw...my favorite 20 minutes on Fox is the Fox Allstars within Bret Baeir's program. Rotating commentators including at least one left of center


Looks like another example of FOX taking things out of context and using it to try to create a political storm. Unfortunately it looks like they succeeded this time and a potentially innocent person gets to suffer. Now FOX can turn around and say how the administration jumped to conclusions (which it looks like they did). Yep, we sure should be proud of FOX. Great journalism.
07/20/2010 03:58:20 PM · #119
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

1) These terms are VERY fuzzy because the numbers don't look much like the numbers you posted above (which I'm guessing come from a different source). 2) Carter did NOT lower the debt. It indicates the debt rose by 0.28 trillion dollars.

The numbers were taken directly from the source I posted. The Federal debt was $1,795 when Ford left office and $1,787 when Carter left office. That's dollars, not % of GDP. Need a calculator?


No need to get snarky. Look at the numbers on the graph you linked on wiki (that's what I was using).

The sixth column is "Increase debt ($T)" and next to Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) it says 0.28. Isn't that a 0.28 trillion dollar increase in the debt?

I'm also not sure where the $1,795 number and the $1,787 number come from. Is that 1.7 trillion? look at the graph I posted earlier. It looks like the total debt should be less than one trillion in the Carter years. You see how confusing this is? We are probably somehow BOTH right and talking about completely different things.

Message edited by author 2010-07-20 16:08:33.
07/20/2010 06:33:53 PM · #120
Originally posted by yanko:

Well that's great and all but what are the chances that the American people will continue to vote in candidates that continue that pledge? The American people are much too finicky to keep any one party in office for very long. That's because whenever we decide to make a change in the POTUS it's for the exact opposite of what was in the office prior and I'm not just talking about party affiliations. If Obama loses his bid at re-election it will be to someone who isn't considered an elitist.


Yes, the anti-elitist knuckleheads will "refudiate" Obama. lol!
07/20/2010 06:56:04 PM · #121
Cool quote from a comment on the video on that page.

"Palin is an authentically stupid individual. Those who are very defensive of her are mentally challenged themselves."

Authentically stupid. I like that.
07/20/2010 07:02:12 PM · #122
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

1) These terms are VERY fuzzy because the numbers don't look much like the numbers you posted above (which I'm guessing come from a different source). 2) Carter did NOT lower the debt. It indicates the debt rose by 0.28 trillion dollars.

The numbers were taken directly from the source I posted. The Federal debt was $1,795 when Ford left office and $1,787 when Carter left office. That's dollars, not % of GDP. Need a calculator?


No need to get snarky. Look at the numbers on the graph you linked on wiki (that's what I was using).

The sixth column is "Increase debt ($T)" and next to Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) it says 0.28. Isn't that a 0.28 trillion dollar increase in the debt?

I'm also not sure where the $1,795 number and the $1,787 number come from. Is that 1.7 trillion? look at the graph I posted earlier. It looks like the total debt should be less than one trillion in the Carter years. You see how confusing this is? We are probably somehow BOTH right and talking about completely different things.


If you scroll to the second chart, "Federal spending, federal debt, and GDP," then scroll to 1977, Ford, Federal Debt Adjusted, $1,795, then go to Carter's last year and look at the Federal Debt Adjusted column.
07/20/2010 07:11:11 PM · #123
Originally posted by Louis:

Cool quote from a comment on the video on that page.

"Palin is an authentically stupid individual. Those who are very defensive of her are mentally challenged themselves."

Authentically stupid. I like that.


That's probably why FOX hired her. She's so stupid they overlooked her lack of blonde hair. On second thought maybe that's what this position is for.

Message edited by author 2010-07-20 19:11:46.
07/20/2010 07:46:36 PM · #124
Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

1) These terms are VERY fuzzy because the numbers don't look much like the numbers you posted above (which I'm guessing come from a different source). 2) Carter did NOT lower the debt. It indicates the debt rose by 0.28 trillion dollars.

The numbers were taken directly from the source I posted. The Federal debt was $1,795 when Ford left office and $1,787 when Carter left office. That's dollars, not % of GDP. Need a calculator?


No need to get snarky. Look at the numbers on the graph you linked on wiki (that's what I was using).

The sixth column is "Increase debt ($T)" and next to Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) it says 0.28. Isn't that a 0.28 trillion dollar increase in the debt?

I'm also not sure where the $1,795 number and the $1,787 number come from. Is that 1.7 trillion? look at the graph I posted earlier. It looks like the total debt should be less than one trillion in the Carter years. You see how confusing this is? We are probably somehow BOTH right and talking about completely different things.


If you scroll to the second chart, "Federal spending, federal debt, and GDP," then scroll to 1977, Ford, Federal Debt Adjusted, $1,795, then go to Carter's last year and look at the Federal Debt Adjusted column.


Ah, I see it, but that's really nothing but lies, damn lies, and statistics. We can see right next to that that the debt went from $776 billion to $994 billion. Do we somehow want to give credit to Carter for 15% inflation? So the graph shows us that both Shannon and I were right. The debt never shrunk in actual dollars, but did in adjusted dollars. All part of the magic of a fiat currency and I did mention that as an option for fixing the debt, just not one less painful than the others. Helicopter Ben is doing his best to repeat that plan.

Message edited by author 2010-07-20 19:48:31.
07/20/2010 10:10:26 PM · #125
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

1) These terms are VERY fuzzy because the numbers don't look much like the numbers you posted above (which I'm guessing come from a different source). 2) Carter did NOT lower the debt. It indicates the debt rose by 0.28 trillion dollars.

The numbers were taken directly from the source I posted. The Federal debt was $1,795 when Ford left office and $1,787 when Carter left office. That's dollars, not % of GDP. Need a calculator?


No need to get snarky. Look at the numbers on the graph you linked on wiki (that's what I was using).

The sixth column is "Increase debt ($T)" and next to Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) it says 0.28. Isn't that a 0.28 trillion dollar increase in the debt?

I'm also not sure where the $1,795 number and the $1,787 number come from. Is that 1.7 trillion? look at the graph I posted earlier. It looks like the total debt should be less than one trillion in the Carter years. You see how confusing this is? We are probably somehow BOTH right and talking about completely different things.


If you scroll to the second chart, "Federal spending, federal debt, and GDP," then scroll to 1977, Ford, Federal Debt Adjusted, $1,795, then go to Carter's last year and look at the Federal Debt Adjusted column.


Ah, I see it, but that's really nothing but lies, damn lies, and statistics. We can see right next to that that the debt went from $776 billion to $994 billion. Do we somehow want to give credit to Carter for 15% inflation? So the graph shows us that both Shannon and I were right. The debt never shrunk in actual dollars, but did in adjusted dollars. All part of the magic of a fiat currency and I did mention that as an option for fixing the debt, just not one less painful than the others. Helicopter Ben is doing his best to repeat that plan.


In 1915, a dollar would buy you 20 bottles of Coca-Cola. Today, not so much! So, should we take into account the fact that a dollar today does not have the same purchasing power as a dollar from roughly 100 years ago (or 50, 25, or even 10 years ago), or are we to consider such details merely lies, damn lies and statistics? Without the inflation adjustment, you're comparing apples to oranges, and that's no way to formulate sound economic policy.
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