Tag: Deficit

YES! Bernie Sanders to GOP: Spare me the lectures on YOUR deficit

Crossposted at Daily Kos

    I’ve got to hand it to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), he knocks it out of the park on this. Republicans with their phony deficit concerns want to put the blame of their failed Conservative policies on Democrats and President Obama. But the money quote is right here.

    “I really don’t like being lectured on deficits when you (Sen. Gregg) and many members of your party (Republicans) helped cause the situation we are in right now.”


    “Please, please, spare the lectures on deficit reduction.”

    ~ Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

A short transcript and more below the fold

Bush Tax Cuts: a Handout to the Rich, but at What Cost to Society?

How to save $1.3 trillion a year, get healthcare reform, and lose weight doing it

Michael Lemke, Special Interests Examiner – Sept 3, 2009

Ending the Bush tax cut for the top 1% would save $132 billion next year alone.

While the rich have been getting richer at a staggering rate both under Clinton and under Bush, the lower 80% of US households have been stagnating or getting poorer. We have reach the highest level of income inequality in US history, surpassing even the obscene levels of the late 1920s.


Well, that’s one sure fire way to help pay for Health Care —

Repeal the Bush Give-Away to the Top 1%, or just let them sunset, as the legislation requires!

January 1, 2011, is one Sunset, that can’t come soon enough!

Follow the money


President-elect Barack Obama’s adminstration will inherit a $1.2 trillion budget deficit for 2009 according to the forecast by the Congressional Budget Office.

Unfortunately for the United States, despite owning more than $1 trillion of American debt, China has hinted that enough is enough. Rather than continuing to spend “as much as one-seventh of its entire economic output buying foreign debt”, Beijing now plans to pay for its own $600 billion economic stimulus plan.

China’s timing is unfortunate for the American economy, since the federal budget deficit is likely to swell past $2 trillion in 2009 when Congress passes a further economic stimulus measure. The CBO forecast also does not include the ongoing spending for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Where is Obama going to find the money to restart the U.S. economy?

Midas Touch


Midas Touch ©2008 Emily Duffy Photo by Sibila Savage

Dimensions: 42″ x 24″ x 8″

Description: A wedge-shaped wall hanging simulates a cliff. A toy gas tanker is about to topple off the edge while a chain of elephants (collaged in the U.S. Constitution, and GOP applique patches) march across it’s back. Oversized soldiers defend the tanker. The strata of the cliff is built up from a mound of soldiers, military equipment, then gas-guzzling automobiles.

Materials: Plastic toys, metal, paper, plaster, wood, gold metallic paint, reproductions of the U.S. Constitution, Republican Party logo patches.

Cross Posted at Elephant in the Room (Go there for larger views of images if you wish.)

CBO: “The nation is on an unsustainable fiscal course.”

“The nation is on an unsustainable fiscal course.”

That is the prognosis of Peter Orszag, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which he gave in a press briefing coinciding with the release of a CBO report today on The Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the deficit for 2008 will be substantially higher than it was in 2007, rising from $161 billion last year to $407 billion this year.

The CBO’s report was written before the government announcd the takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, so the impact of the cost of their bailout — a cost of up to $100 billion each — was not factored into the report.

The budget deficit projection gets worse.  

Can we trust Obama?

After several ‘moves’ to the right in the past few days, can we trust Obama to represent the people that voted for him ?

Let’s recap.  Tax funding for religious charities, expanding the death penalty, FISA/4th Amendment, etc. Also let’s not forget his appointment of neo-liberal economists from the Milton Friedman/Chicago school of economic thought.

On the big issues let’s see if he’s any different from McCain/Bush

  • Iraq  Let’s be real; he’s backed off from his early fuzzy ‘combat’ troop withdrawal plan. He’s funded the war everytime.  He’s going to increase the size of the military and the incredible waste of tax dollars.  On this issue, I think McCain might be worse, but right now it’s a tossup as they both want to ‘stay the course’.

  • Healthcare McCain wants to destroy the employer-funded health insurance patchwork we have now. Obama wants to ‘improve’ the current system; how is he going to fund his public plan with all the money going to the ‘Defense’ (War) dept ?  McCain is clearly worse on this; however what’s the likelihood of Obama getting anywhere with his watered down plan ? The insurance companies are going to fight tooth and nail once they have to make any real changes.  Don’t count on it, given his cowardice with FISA, etc. Can McCain get away with his plan ?  I don’t think that’s realistic as we would have probably double/triple the number of uninsured people.  We might have a healthcare fueled revolt on our hands if that happens.

  • Taxes/Economy McCain clearly has no clue; his whole ‘plan’ is written by the right wingnuts who are in the current administration.  Obama is better, but not bold enough. Can we trust him to follow through on his promises though ? He’s gotten a lot of money from the financial companies.

  • Social Issues/Supreme Court Again McCain is a lot worse on this on the surface. Will the supreme court reverse itself on abortion ? I don’t think so; the religious conservatives would lose their most powerful issue.  But the real issue is whether Obama would appoint a real progressive to the court; given his track record recently I would say no.  We might get Roberts-like judges instead of Scalia-like judges.

In summary, I’d say in terms of foreign policy, there’s going to be virtually no change. On domestic issues, Obama might turn out to be better based on his current positions but who knows what’ll happen when he gets elected; how many more ‘shifts’ in his positions is he going to have?  

Sunday Night Theme Songs

In which some of the week’s top stories are given theme songs.

Democrats are impressed with General Petraeus’s shiny medals, before he proceeds, as expected, to catapult the propaganda about the war.

Washington Post:

Even Democrats who despise the war policy were deferential in the face of the general’s even-keeled demeanor and his shiny silver stars, four to a shoulder. “He’s one of the best,” said Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, who ran proceedings in the ornate hearing room and ordered a succession of protesters ejected when they shouted their anger at the war.

Bush speaks to the nation, to catapult the propaganda about the war.

Alan Greenspan is Full of Shit

Alan Greenspan thinks Bush has been fiscally irresponsible. According to the New York Times:

Alan Greenspan, who was chairman of the Federal Reserve for nearly two decades, in a long-awaited memoir, is harshly critical of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the Republican-controlled Congress, as abandoning their party’s principles on spending and deficits.

In the 500-page book, “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World,” Mr. Greenspan describes the Bush administration as so captive to its own political operation that it paid little attention to fiscal discipline, and he described Mr. Bush’s first two Treasury secretaries, Paul H. O’Neill and John W. Snow, as essentially powerless.

But let’s review what he had to say about Bush’s tax cuts, in 2001.

According to CNN Money:

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan gave his broadest endorsement of tax cuts to date Thursday, while also indicating that the U.S. economy has slowed dramatically, raising investors’ hopes that further interest rate reductions are on the horizon.

In testimony to the Senate Budget Committee, Greenspan declined to comment on President Bush’s $1.6 trillion, 10-year tax cut plan, saying a decision on the size of a cut was best left up to Congress and the political process. But the Fed chairman’s backing of tax cuts as economically sound likely will provide a boost to the new administration’s proposals.

Anyone paying attention, at the time, remembers that supposed deficit hawk Greenspan’s tacit endorsement of Bush’s tax cuts made a huge difference in helping get them passed. And when those tax cuts resulted in the largest federal deficits in human history?

As this February, 2004 New York Times article makes clear:

Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman, told lawmakers on Wednesday that Congress should rein in the federal deficit through reductions in spending — including cuts in entitlement programs like Social Security — rather than through tax increases.

”The crucial issue out here is the rate of growth of productivity and the rate of growth of the economy, and what history does tell us is that keeping tax rates down will tend to maximize that,” Mr. Greenspan told members of the House Budget Committee.

That was music to the ears of President Bush and many Republicans, who want to extend permanently more than $1.7 trillion worth of tax cuts even as they face a deficit that could exceed $500 billion this year.

But Mr. Greenspan touched off a furor by calling on Congress to trim Social Security and Medicare benefits in the future, provoking criticism from Democrats and causing heartburn among some Republicans.

Rob from the poor and the middle class to give to the rich.

As tomorrow’s Times article continues:

Mr. Bush, he writes, was never willing to contain spending or veto bills that drove the country into deeper and deeper deficits, as Congress abandoned rules that required that the cost of tax cuts be offset by savings elsewhere. “The Republicans in Congress lost their way,” writes Mr. Greenspan, a self-described “libertarian Republican.”

If one were to call him a lying sack of shit, one would not be inaccurate. It wasn’t the spending that exploded the deficit, it was the tax cuts that he had concluded would be no fiscal problem. Tax cuts for the wealthy. Would it surprise anyone to learn that Alan Greenspan is a very wealthy man?

Load more