Thursday, February 4, 2010

Obama - "We've Been Very Fiscally Responsible"

Someone should remind him that he proposed a $3.8 trillion budget for fiscal 2011 with a projected deficit of $1.6 trillion, and his budget from last year.

Video embedded below.


  1. you know most elements of that deficit are from the wars, money lost because of the recession and spending triggers put in place before obama in response to the recession.

    from reading your commentary it feels like you underestimate the size of this crash

  2. Ummm... "before" Obama was.... Obama. He was in the Senate, voting to approve spending measures long before he was in the Oval Office. The US Congress holds the nation's purse, not President Obama, and NOT Fmr. President George W. Bush.

    Bush, Obama, Sammy Davis, Jr., the occupant of the White House matters not. He can propose whatever budget he wants, final responsibility for every dime spent by the US govt is held by Congress - read your Constitution. And the Dems have had control over the nation's purse for, what? 3 years now?

    So, I guess Obama was being fiscally responsible when he voted to approve TARP while seated in the Senate, huh? Or to finance the wars? I know, I know, he INHERITED a $1.4 trillion deficit. Well, except for the Omnibus bill from earlier in 2009, for the remainder of FY2009, which he signed himself. Oh, and the stimulus, which he also signed.

    And exactly WHERE in the Constitution does Congress (or the executive branch) have the power to spend that money for bailouts, stimuli, etc.? Maybe if the Federal Government would stop exercising so much effort in extra-constitutional activities, WE WOULD NOT BE BROKE.


  3. if your trying to make the case that democrats waste alot of money, sure. granted that the Bush Tax cuts, medicare part d, the three trillion dollar excercise in adventurism in Irag and the bank bailouts were all bi-partisan efforts. but of course Bush like his father and the weirdly worshiped Reagan all did the most to put us in long term structural deficits and at the time all with the lock=step complicity )except in some instances ron paul) of republican politicians and the rest of the right-wing governing apparatus in america (fox news, talk radio, heritage,so on) cheering them on . All taking it upon themselves to cut taxes for wealthy people while at the same time blowing money on wasteful military adventures and defense contractor friends like Cheney.

    and then I turn to my right-wing friends who will say "well thats not me im a SMALL government conservative" as if such a thing exsits. they all spend the question is on what. at least the provisions in the stimulus are politically popular and may provide some people relief now. a good friend of mine was able to buy a house off a union salary because the stimulus gives a tax credit to first time homebuyers. and at the very least if some infrastrucure is built that can lay groundwork for economic activity to pick up faster then more the better.the most compelling critisisms of the stimulus argue that it wasn't BIG ENOUGH anyway. we'll need a miraculous period of economic growth to bring us out of the structural deficits that all you conservatives are now running away from but helped cause with your advocacy and complicity.

    your absolutly right about the constitution, it doesnt grant congress the explicit authority to do most of what it does everyday. but im having trouble figureing out what your practical point is, this is a state-capitalist economy that is pretty much entirely dependent on spending from the public sector. What major industry isn't in some way depdendent or borne out of spending taken from the public? so i guess your right, if the federal government would "stop exercising so much effort in extra-constitutional activities, WE WOULD NOT BE BROKE." because we wouldnt have to worry about being broke, we would have no economy to begin with.

  4. MY advocacy and complicity? Dude, you have NO clue.

    The way I see it, there is one thing and one thing only our federal govt should be doing: Those duties SPECIFICALLY ENUMERATED within the Constitution, no more and no less, FIRST AND FOREMOST of those being defense of the nation.

    You wanna know how we got in this crap barrel, go back to 1913, with the Federal Reserve Act (Thanks, President Wilson, DEMOCRAT), later the not-so-bright moves of FDR (outlawing private ownership and govt confiscation of gold) and Nixon slamming the window shut on the gold standard. Do you know what those Federal Reserve Notes in your wallet are REALLY worth?

    Politician has become synonymous with spendthrift, and they don't care. It's not THEIR money. How many poor guys do you see enter federal office? More importantly, how many do you see LEAVE poor?

    Bush's tax cuts didn't just help "the wealthy," unless you consider someone like me, with a family of 7, earning $50,000 a year, to be wealthy? Speaking of which, WHY AM I PAYING FOR YOUR BUDDY TO GET A BREAK ON A HOUSE, AT THE EXPENSE OF HELPING MYSELF DO THE SAME?

    NO, the answer should NEVER be "they all spend, the question is on what." The answer should be ONLY to spend what is necessary to fulfill constitutionally mandated duties. Period. I once read that when the federal govt relocated to DC, the entirety of its paperwork fit into 12 boxes. Some 25 years of governance packed into TWELVE BOXES. These wastrels we (voters) insist on sending to DC can fill 12 boxes in 25 minutes.

    For 40-some years of the last 55, Dems held control of the House, where appropriations bills originate, and our national debt has done nothing but grow. Well, except under Clinton... when it actually began to decline. Coincidentally, it took a REPUBLICAN-CONTROLLED HOUSE to make that happen. Then Congress got more than just a little stupid when Bush came into office.

    While we're on the subject of Mr. Clinton, you may recall it was HE that in 1999 signed the repeal of provisions of Glass-Steagall - the very ones that ultimately led to the "housing bubble" and "mortgage crisis" - that prevented just such crises. Granted, that was more stupidity from the Republican-controlled House, but it was supported by Dems as well, and no one forced Clinton to sign on the dotted line.

    Yes, we need miraculous growth of the economy. That would be called GENERATION OF WEALTH. Government has never been and will never be a generator of wealth, merely a consumer of wealth or - at worst, a re-distributor of wealth. A fiat monetary system, where dollars are backed by nothing more than the promise of generation of wealth by the next generation, leads ultimately to the DESTRUCTION OF WEALTH.

    HUD? Nix it. Dept. of Education? Kill it. Energy? No business meddling. Farm or other business subsidies? File 13 - they only distort the market that actually CREATES wealth. WELFARE? ABOLISH IT. Each and every one of these are matters that should be dealt with by the States, right there in the nitty-gritty of it and knowing what is best for their own people, rather than forcing everyone into a one-size-fits-all pair of underwear.

    Because, seriously? It's that whole boxers vs. briefs thing. They might seem to fit OK at first, but eventually you find that either your junk is jangling or you've got something stuck in an inappropriate crack, demanding to be yanked out.

  5. haha your right i have no clue who you are, but its not me your angry at,.

    its telling you and your family enjoyed your tax cut, if thats your guy's yearly income i definetly think you deserve it. i also definetly feel like its ironic your railing against welfare when that tax cut is in practical public policy terms just another form of subsidy that somone at some point will have to pay for, fetishize it all you want.... but lets not raise the maringal tax rate three percent on the wealthiest in the richest country on earth that would be socialism and not explicitly written in the holy constitution. instead lets nix programs that tend to benefit the poor and working class because who cares what they have to say about the matter anyway.

    im not trying to take a personal swipe at you but i really feel like your confirming a suspicion i long had about right wing types that what really bothers them is not the deficit or government spending per se, its the idea that somone outthere is recieiving some form of socialized benefit. as if its some threat to the union to give cheese to poor people.

    lets also not talk about defense procurement because we should definetly let defense contracting corporations drive our policy because we definetly all know that "defense of the nation" will cost whatever the pentagon wants. hey, whatever garunteets the "defense of the nation"

    and you should be happy for my buddy because at least his tax incentive got him to spend, not just on the house but amenitites, furniture electronics for it and so on. which is what were going to need people actually doing to get out of this hole. only the most rabid of freidmanite/ayn rand supply siders and republican politicians are advocating a total freeze in government spending when demand is already through the floor. and lord knows we should listen to those folks now because there ideas have worked out so well for us over the last 30 odd years..

  6. i would argue, (not just to take a swipe at the right-wing, but also at free-market fundemtalism more generally) that the affects of clintons glass-steagal repeal pretty much can be traced back to the amendment in it offered by Phil Gramm, john mccains economic advisor in the 2008 election, which brought down the regulatory wall between the utililty side of finance and the exotic products side. But if you ask most conservatives you know, they will tell you that the crash is the fault of poor people defaulting on homes they couldnt afford, as opposed to thousands of traders in an unregulated credit default swap market tying in these shitty mortgages with peoples pensions, pay rolls and so on to the point where a simple houseing bubble could bring the whole show down.

    yes politicians are spendthrift thats part of my point, and im sure george bush will never have to pay for a round of golf again in his life haha sigh.... but your living in some fantasy world if you refuse to recognize how intimatly tied public spending is with the whole of the economy. in america profit is privatized and loss is socialized, and industires that on their own become large enough where they are intertwined with the rest of the economy always end up at some point forcing the government to step in in a much more burdensome way then if there had just been standard regulations.

    if you want to have an arguement about the efficacy of some programs over other ones sure, but a conversation like that misses the point about the kind of economy we are. When i hear right-wingers talk about how everything would be ok if only we let the magical free market soar, its like listening to a left-wing professor talk about that perfect kind of marxism that was never quite tried. untill these right-wing economic theories run into the wall of human interdependence. that is to say it ignores the political and social structures that underwrite the destribution of wealth in advanced capitalist socieities like our own.

    speaking of marx, i think it would do you some good to brush up on him haha. he did after all call these kinds of trends endemic to capitalist economies

  7. Ian:
    First, who said I was angry at you?

    I am, more accurately, disgusted, with the cesspool of Washington DC (and Lansing, Michigan, where we seem to have a similar brand of stupidity, greed, and corruption).

    Second, you have a nasty habit of picking out PARTS of an argument rather than listening to the whole.

    Try reading what I said again.

    Tell ya what. I just re-opened my profile. If you like, take a peek at an infinitesimally small speck of my rather complex political position, although I post rarely these days, being a new mom - on top of working about 100 hours a week with a disabling chronic illness. (So yeah, you really want to get me started on welfare.)

  8. haha phew, congratulations

    I read your whole argument again and I would still reply in the same way. if not, I think Jon Chait does a pretty good job dismantling the key points made by conservatives with the tendecy to ignore the structural deficits caused largely by the right while implying that this is the fault of "liberals".

  9. anyway angie good talking with you! i like your blogs, i have one too i just started.

    good luck to you with your new child and your constitution love!.

  10. What's your point, besides the fact that you just proved one of mine? The budget surpluses under Clinton (and resultant down-trend in national debt) occurred when R's controlled the House, AND THEN THEY GOT STUPID WHEN BUSH CAME INTO OFFICE.

    Explain how this is the fault of R's, when the House was controlled by D's for 40 years before that point. Remember, NO tax monies collected may be (legally) spent without an appropriations bill originating from THE HOUSE.

    And Bush, like every other pol in this nation, is a doorknob. So, again, WHAT'S YOUR POINT?

  11. democrats and republicans don't exsist on a clean right-left spectrum angie, they are basically one party representing two factions of business interests. I think you may agree with that. but can you truly give the republicans credit when theres a surplus , then when they had power over all three branches and greatly mismangaged the economy write it off as some kind of fluke?

    I think its silly to say that newt gingrich and his ilk got us out of the debt and then magically when bush came to office they just went crazy for some reason. with the clinton surplus specifically, surpluses grew largely because the economy was growing and so it makes sense tax revenues increased (if you look closer at these trends over the past thirty years, while the economy has grown overall since the conservative ascendency in 1980, it has grown pretty much solely for the already richest 1 percent of americans, who also pay the highest proportion in income taxes)

    I guess my point is i don't know why you would be surprised by the conservative wing (all republicans and "blue dog dems") of congress putting us in massive strucutral deficits when that has always been the MO of politicians with a specifically right wing political orientation in the unites states. When Reagan was in power he, with the complicity of congress of course, massivley increased the deficit while cutting taxes, same with HW and with junior. thus i have little symapthy for "corporate centrist" democrats like bill clinton who tack to the political right in order to curry favor with special interests in the private sector.

    yes we both agree, bush is a doorknob


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