Thursday October 17, 2013, 4:01 am
Lets talk about economics. I can almost hear the rumble of eyeballs rolling back in dozens of heads as folks prepare to tune this out. I know. Talking about vile acts of TEAbuggery is much more interesting, but this is too important not to know and understand. Day after day we hear Republicans and the media droning on and on about how government is burying America in a mass of debt that will soon crust the economy. Everyone knows that, right? In fact, that isnt true at all.
Thursday October 17, 2013, 7:26 am
Funny thing that, Obama isn't listened to by his opponents, but over here the media tell it exactly as you do.
- If there is a debt, it was mainly caused in the republican eras and were brought down again in the democratic ones.
- The Republicans always try to dazzle everyone with absolute numbers (which nobody else does), in percentage of GDP, both structural as budget deficits in America is doing well.
- In addition it is made clear that the Republicans always come up with this high (absolute) budget for social security, but that they always neglect to show the (absolute) budget for defence. The social security budget is insignificant in comparison to that of defence.
What they do not tell here, however, is the point you make in your last paragraph, and which I fully agree with. Keeping the deficits as low as 3 % through choking austerity in times of crisis is both ridiculous and dangerous for the economy. As you say, a country needs to invest in jobs plus education within its boundaries for the economy to become strong again. As I've said before, we've seen a shift to the right these past decades and with that came the ridiculous call for austerity, especially where social security and education is concerned. Holland has been too austere in the past few years trying to keep within the 3% limit, but the result is that our economy is faltering and de deficit is only going up. Our government is on the point of driving our economy into the ground with more cuts, so the example of how it could turn out in the long run if cuts were less severe, are not welcome at this point in time.
Thursday October 17, 2013, 7:33 am
Thank you so much for this info. I have saved this info in a PDF for reference. I only wish that the White House would get this info across more clearly to the media and rest of the country. EVERYONE should be made aware of these facts.
I was one of those that while in high school and college managed to find any science or math course to get out of taking an economics class. In the last 6 years I have read enough to actually now understand the system, but wonder why others do not do the work of understanding. Things are not good on the economic front, not because of anything this president has done, but because of massive changes that have created so much economic inequality.
No government, not the US or any other government can or does operate like a personal home budget. There is no comparison that is even slightly legitimate. In this instance it really is trying to compare an apple to an onion.
The graph that TC posted is correct and the debt is coming down, though it is also coming down so fast that it could cause us all real problems.
Spending is always a problem, mostly because we spend like a shopalcoholic on steroids on whatever new military gimmick that comes off the drawing board. One sixteenth of the national deficit was spent on one bomber that still does not work. One bomber (F 35) that Pentagon has said from day one they didn't need or want. Over one trillion and counting on one stupid bomber that is already obsolete, but is still being financed. That my friends is the worst kind of Pork Barrel - Ear Mark politics. That does not strengthen this country but drains resources and creates debt.
Yes, we need tax reform, it is high time to tax the wealthy and force them and those corporations that avoid all taxes to pay up. If you and I avoided taxes by putting our assets in an off-shore bank, we would go directly to jail.
Thursday October 17, 2013, 10:39 am
Excellent article TC many thanks. I was most interested with the comparisons of debt between the country and utterly astonished to see that the legendarily fiscally prudent Germans have a national debt of 81.7%! That comparison makes things a little more clear and you are right, it is not that there is a financial problem but the problem is how and what the money is spent on it should be spent on the people not the 1% billionaires!
Just as FDR got America out of the Great Depression by a fiscally wise programme of creating government works to employ people and benefit the nation the jobs the government gave the people enabled them to spend money to feed, house and educate their families which passed money round their communities. Now money is given to billionaires who don't need it and they spend it taking jobs from established industries and moving them abroad to almost slave labour conditions and this isn't just happening in America!
Thursday October 17, 2013, 11:31 am
looking here at my documents about where the US spends its $$$$, half is military...lets cut spending there first ----. biggest gains available quickly.........
57% -- Military (DOD, War, Nuclear Programs)
5.5 % Veterans
6% education & government each, 5.5 % Housing/community, 5 % health, 4 % international affairs, 3% energy and environment, 2.5 % science and labor each, 2 % transportation, 1% food/agriculture!!!!
still watching/listening to Chris Van Hollen video on your open thread, its amazing!
Thursday October 17, 2013, 1:22 pm
The main factor to keep central to any discussion: "America does have a spending problem, but the problem is how we spend, not how much." And the GOP gave back the sequester cuts to the Pentagon that the agency said wasn't needed before the latest games--money that does not turn over multiple times quickly to generate economic activity in this country like benefits to those hurting does.
Thursday October 17, 2013, 4:01 pm
Without a Real JOBs Program the deficit means NOTHING to real Americans - Corporate Welfare has failed Everyone Except the 1%ers! It's time the Democrats did their Job & get Americans working Safely for a Liveable Wage in Green Energy areas!!! NOW CONgre$$ do what you should've been doing all along!!!!!!
Thursday October 17, 2013, 4:36 pm
Big numbers are not understood by the average person, nor are they understood by the below average Republicanus/Teabagger. Simply stated, they are just too big and non relational. And that scares the crap out of people! It`s a psychological thing!
Think about it. Tell someone that the country has a debt of $18.7 trillion, and it is freak out time because there are too many zeros. But tell them that the country`s debt is 77% of the GDP (the aggregate worth of what the nation produces each year) and means that the country has covered its obligations, well that is a much different story. Of course the Republicanus/Teabaggers use the big numbers in addition to their lies to keep the American public confused and angry.
Put it in perspective with personal finance. A person owns a house worth $150,000 and has a mortgage of $100,000 as well as a car loan of $15,000. Their salary is $65,000 per year. That means that their debt is 177% of their income (their GDP). Not so scary in smaller numbers.
Absoluting everything is relational. But the Republicanus/Teabaggers have made the debt a flash point. Mr Obama has indeed brought down the debt, a debt that was years in the making by previous presidents, primarily St Ronnie Ray-gun and Baby Bush. Not only that, if fair taxation is instituted and taxes on those making $1 million or more raised, the money available to repay the debt will increase. That will result in a lower debt to GDP ratio.
Now to get the Republicanus/Teabagger vermin out of Washington and state capitals so there can be some sound financial policies to spur growth.
Thursday October 17, 2013, 10:09 pm
Love the explanation of The Debt(s). ..&...I agree with all you said....But....IF we want to DO all those things...Well...we need to turn Congress around in 2014. We keep the Senate and Take The House back. We need to fight voter restrictions!!! Get people registered to vote & get 'em to the poles ! ...and ...of course Voting DEM.(& vote for DEM Women), We can all help in this by helping people to register & get to poles. Check your state's registration requirements, they may have changed. If you've moved you will probably need to re-register.
Friday October 18, 2013, 4:53 am
I've taken/used enough math and statistics to understand how one can make phony graphs look real. Nice job TC. garbage in garbage out applies as such graphs all depend on what values the creator chooses to input. A simple thing like blaming the entire war costs on Bush would of course skew the graph and make Obama years look good.
Friday October 18, 2013, 1:56 pm
100% of our economic problems are a result of the rich and corporations paying far too little, and none of it is a result of over spending. We spend far less as a % of GDP than countries doing much better than us today.
Friday October 18, 2013, 2:34 pm
The thing that pi$$es me off Most is that RepubliCONs (a few irritating Democrats) WILL try to cut Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid in the name of cutting the deficit! Freaking Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) has already emailed me saying how Mandatory Spending Like THAT has to be Controlled!!!!! Never mind that Social Security is NOT in the Budget, that it's Self-funded & if they'd get more people working it would continue being Fully Funded, if they dropped Caps it would be fully funded Forever! Lying ba$tards send these LIES to Everyone & RepubliCONs NEVER question the LIES!!!!!