Paul Ryan exposes farce of ‘savings’ in Reid Debt Plan

by NW Spotlight

Liberal blogger supports ‘covering the moon in yogurt’ because it would do more to revive the economy than spending cuts

On Thursday, Paul Ryan mocked Harry Reid’s gimmick-filled debt ceiling proposal. Rep. Ryan said “We might as well announce a plan to spend $5 trillion covering the moon in yogurt, then cancel it and declare it a $5 trillion savings.” President Obama endorses Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) proposal and its false ‘savings’.

Rep. Ryan was quoting a March 2009 column by George Will about fake budget cuts.

A blogger on the liberal Daily Kos actually came out in support of covering the moon in yogurt, as that “would actually be stimulative and would therefore do more to revive the economy than any of these counterproductive, woefully misguided austerity bills”.

Besides being wrong about covering the moon in yogurt being ‘stimulative’, the blogger also missed the larger point that in the analogy the $5 trillion wouldn’t even be spent – it would just be added to the budget one day and then taken out the next, so Reid could claim a false ‘savings’.

 

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn Post to Reddit

Posted by at 11:09 | Posted in Federal Budget | 32 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • 3H

    Nevermind fact checking headlines, how about spell checking them instead?

    • Founding Fathers

       It turns out that at OC they don’t speak English, they speak “Farci”.

      They also don’t seem to understand that the blogger on Kos wasn’t actually calling for the moon being covered in yogurt, he was just pointing out that government spending actually stimulates the economy, like the largest public works project in the history of the country did. You remember–it’s also known as World War II.

      • Joelinpdx

        Yeah, well there’s a big difference between Obama’s spending and WWII. Obama’s spending is the Congress doing what a megalomaniacal president wishes. WWII was the US taking a stand against a madman. Hmmm, Hitler was a megalomaniac and Obama is a meglomaniac, so maybe there are some similarities. Both suffer from delusional fantasies of wealth, power, and omnipotence…but Congress still isn’t totally behind the fight against Obama.

        • Founding Fathers

          What makes you say that Obama is a megalomaniac?

          Are you really trying to equate Obama with Hitler? Do you really think he’s planning on mass exterminations?

        • the real valley person

          What “Obama spending?” Other than the stimulus, which was in response to an economic emergency brought on by his predecessor, what has he “spent” on? 

          There is a difference between self confidence and megalomania. No one gets to be president without a large dose of self confidence. But megalomania? Look it up before you make that charge. It doesn’t fit. Obama has been in constant retreat since the 2010 election.  A megalomaniac would never do that. 

    • Good catch! Thank you.

  • whoa them nellies

    How might 3H and FF like having Sharia law stuffed up their morasses, lubed with blue Kool-Aid or New World KY smelly jelly?

    • Founding Fathers

      What does Sharia law have anything to do with anything anyone has written here?

      • 3H

        FF.. my advice ..  don’t expect him to make sense, or explain his rantings.   Ignore him.   You will feel much happier and at peace with yourself. 

        • Founding Fathers

          3H, I wasn’t really expecting that, just wanted to point out yet another example of senseless drivel written on a right-wing blog.

          By the way, have you seen the story about Joe Walsh’s (the tea bagger Congressman, not the guitarist) financial issues? Apparently he’s not big on paying what’s owed, whether it’s the national debt or his own child support responsibilities.

          • just doing the math

            I just could not help but post this. And we are relying on folks
            like Walsh to manage our debt problem. At least Wu had the sense
            to resign. Read and laugh (or weep).
            Excerpt from the article below:
             
            “A couple more tidbits from the Sun-Times story:”

            “As a sometimes-employed financial consultant/venture capitalist/Republican activist, Joe Walsh’s resume is difficult to characterize. His congressional 
            disclosure statement says he earned $14,500 in 2009 from Advantage
            Futures and Michigan Avenue Ventures and $8,000 in self-employment.”
            “In 2010, he was paid $21,000 by the United Republican Fund of Illinois.
            He also has worked as a teacher and an administrator of education
            trust funds. He now is paid $175,000 a year as a congressman.”
            He was also apparently evicted from his previous condo.

            “This is a shiftless political grifter. No two ways about it. And a
            shitty father too. Spread the word.”

  • 3H

    We could always go with the Paul Ryan “fix” to medicare and medicaid – which is based on health costs rising only by the average cost of living instead of it’s historical rise – which as been greater than the cost of living.  So much so that seniors and the poor will be required to pay more and more out of pocket over time.  

    • Oregonnative

      Everything is going to raise beyound our wildlest dreams. The US is broke and no matter what cuts are coming. Wu & Adams are retiring with great retirement packages that ourselves and our children are going to pay for. What did the do for us at close to a million each and medical benifits throught their life. Maybe they should go work at McDonalds and be part of the increase in employment. Can anybody really believe  that U.S. job growth is measured how many people were hired part time at McDonalds?
      Oh well now Oregon is broke and also Portland. Let us pay our senators, State Senators, Represetative millions for serving the public as form of pay and benifits. Everyone happy now?

      • Founding Fathers

        I see why you’re bitter–you obviously didn’t get your money’s worth in your education.

        On the plus side, community colleges offer basic writing classes.

  • davidg

    One big flaw in what Paul Ryan says. “Only in Washington can you add up math like that.” Actually, in our own state capital of Salem we see the legislature using the same gimmickry accounting. My home town of Corvallis does the same.

    Gimmickry accounting is pervasive throughout government.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    The point to be taken here is if government spending was going to pull us out of the recession it would have worked by now.

    The liberal response to this basic problem for Obama is generally something of the form “Oh yeah, well, Obama didn’t know how bad things were, and besides which things would be  way worse than they are now if he hadn’t spent all the money, the only thing Obama could have done better is he should have spent more.”

    This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. To excuse a plan from not working because you didn’t do enough of it immediately makes clear you didn’t know what you were doing at the outset. There simply was not any more money for Obama to spend. He spent as much as he could and has come damn close to sinking the country with the bills he has run up. To say he needed to spend more, when such was not possible is about as helpful as saying we would all be rich, if only we each had more money.

    The point is, whether it works or not is beside the point. Use of the liberal approach, government spending, to stimulate the economy simply is not possible. We are out of money. Therefore it is moot as to whether or not this is the approach to take.

    This is where Keynesian economics breaks down. To be able to spend in bad times, one has to save in the good. However spending, once engaged in is very hard to pull back from. Our economy is saddled with spending that was never pulled back in good times, only increased. Thus there is no money left to spend in bad times like these. 

  • Rupert in Springfield

    The point to be taken here is if government spending was going to pull us out of the recession it would have worked by now.

    The liberal response to this basic problem for Obama is generally something of the form “Oh yeah, well, Obama didn’t know how bad things were, and besides which things would be  way worse than they are now if he hadn’t spent all the money, the only thing Obama could have done better is he should have spent more.”

    This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. To excuse a plan from not working because you didn’t do enough of it immediately makes clear you didn’t know what you were doing at the outset. There simply was not any more money for Obama to spend. He spent as much as he could and has come damn close to sinking the country with the bills he has run up. To say he needed to spend more, when such was not possible is about as helpful as saying we would all be rich, if only we each had more money.

    The point is, whether it works or not is beside the point. Use of the liberal approach, government spending, to stimulate the economy simply is not possible. We are out of money. Therefore it is moot as to whether or not this is the approach to take.

    This is where Keynesian economics breaks down. To be able to spend in bad times, one has to save in the good. However spending, once engaged in is very hard to pull back from. Our economy is saddled with spending that was never pulled back in good times, only increased. Thus there is no money left to spend in bad times like these. 

    • the real valley person

      “The point to be taken here is if government spending was going to pull us out of the recession it would have worked by now.”

      Really? And what calculator are you using to determine that? If the government increases its spending by $1 for every $2 the private economy decreases spending, how is that going to pull us all the way out of a very deep recession?  It won’t. It will only limit the damage, which is what we have managed to date.

      “The liberal response to this basic problem for Obama is generally
      something of the form “Oh yeah, well, Obama didn’t know how bad things
      were, and besides which things would be  way worse than they are now if
      he hadn’t spent all the money, the only thing Obama could have done
      better is he should have spent more.”

      That’s not the “liberal” response. That is the professional economists response. Read the CBO analysis on the stimulus spending. Read the latest analysis on how the recession was deeper even than had been previously calculated.

      “There simply was not any more money for Obama to spend. He spent as much
      as he could and has come damn close to sinking the country with the
      bills he has run up.”

      Factually wrong on 2 counts. First, since the money was basically conjured up (borrowed,) he could have borrowed more. Politically, that might not have been doable. Economically, it was quite doable as the Fed proved when it conjured up 2 trillion out of thin air. Second, he has not come damn close to sinking anything. Your idiot Tea Party just about sank the ship by refusing to allow Obama to sell bonds to willing buyers at near zero interest to finance what Congress has already passed. That little maneuver might have sunk the country, and still might.

      “We are out of money. ”

      So to you, money is some sort of fixed asset, like gold or beads or sea shells. When you run out, that’s it. No more. But to an economist, money is a medium of exchange that is a flexible asset which greases the skids of the economy. Government can decide to increase or decrease the money supply depending on need, which is balanced between inflation and unemployment. Too little and the economy sticks. Too much and it flows too fast. And right now, since unemployment is much worse than inflation, any sensible economist would say do whatever you can to further increase the money in circulation. In other words, make more money and get it into circulation.

      “This is where Keynesian economics breaks down. ”

      No. Where it breaks down is when politicians are too dumb or afraid to follow its advice. And right now we have one very dumb party confronting one very afraid party. So we end up with half dumb policy.

      “Thus there is no money left to spend in bad times like these. ”

      Wrong again. There is plenty of money to spend if we make that choice. But there is a lack of will and good sense to spend it.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Really? And what calculator are you using to determine that?

        The fact that the stimulus bill was labeled as stimulus and sold as the way to pull us out of the recession.

        Please, at least put a tiny bit of thought into your babbling before wasting time with nonsense like this.

        >That’s not the “liberal” response. That is the professional economists response.

        I sure hope you aren’t trying to claim economists roundly hold this view. That dog sure ain’t gonna hunt.

        >Factually wrong on 2 counts. First, since the money was basically conjured up (borrowed,) he could
        have borrowed more. Politically, that might not have been doable.

        So in other words factually right. Thank you for lurching into the obvious.

        >No. Where it breaks down is when politicians are too dumb or afraid to follow its advice.

        I would tend to agree with you here although for different reasons. you are not a great believer in Keynesian economics. I am not much either, but more so than you. I would encourage cutting back government spending in good times so as to have funds in bad. You, on the other hand, would demagog  the issue to score political points in such good times. Much as you did when Bush tried to do something about Social Security. Simply put, if you are a Keynesian, then you should be the first to trumpet cutting back entitlement spending in good times when it is not as needed. Unless you are willing to face that, please don’t go on about Keynes. Thanks

        >Wrong again. There is plenty of money to spend if we make that choice. But there is a lack of will and good sense to spend it.

        And with this you have removed yourself from serious debate.

        I would say if you made the statement that there is plenty of money to spend at a table occupied by those over 16 years old you would be laughed out of the room.

        What nonsense.

        • the real valley person

          Keynes did not recommend cutting spending back in good times “so as to have funds in bad.” The federal government is not like states or households. It does not have to “save” in good times to be able to “spend” in bad times. The reason Keynes said to spend less in good times was to keep the money supply in balance with economic output. Government spending can become inflationary when it happens during times of full employment and output. What you are doing is making the mistake of mixing up micro and macro economics.

          On Bush, (you brought it up again so don’t blame me)  he did not try to “do something” about social security. What he proposed was to divert part of the money working people pay in to private savings accounts, which would have gradually starved SSI of revenues, forcing cuts and hopefully to him and Rove, eventually dismantling the program altogether while handing Wall street a few more trillion to gamble with. His own party rejected the idea, so don’t blame me. (And I have no idea what Bush and SSI has to do with Keynes in any case).

          Keynes would not likely have advocated cutting back on “entitlement” spending during good times.   Since there was virtually no entitlement spending back in his day, we may never know. But entitlement spending is social insurance. It is tapped when needed by those who need it. They are “entitled” to it. It isn’t up to the government to turn that spigot up or down on a whim. Keynes focus was on public works and emergency cash outlays, which could be ramped up or down depending on the rest of the economy.   He wanted new money circulating to compensate for the hoarding of existing money. 

          There is plenty of money to spend Rupert. As long as people will buy government debt and not ask much in return, there is plenty available to spend. You are free to think otherwise, but you are factually wrong. You still seem to think there is some sort of fixed money supply. Read up dude. Ron Paul is not president and gold is not money.

          The average Joe on the street who has never taken a macro econ course or read a book on the subject is convinced that our government is “broke.” But in any logical sense of the word, it isn’t “broke.” It has plenty of means at its disposal if it chooses to deploy them. You can believe otherwise, but you should certainly be less smug about it considering that you are wrong.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            And where you are making the mistake is confusing advocacy for ever increasing spending, what you want, with government increasing or decreasing spending so as to smooth out the business cycle, which is what Keynes wanted.

            Basically you are doing is trying to give a political ideology, ever expanding government, an economic basis, in this case with Keynes. Its standard liberal fare. Unfortunately for you, the concept of ever expanding government has met head on with reality. Ever increasing spending as fiscal policy simply is not possible. Luckily more people seem to be becoming aware of this.

            >The average Joe on the street who has never taken a macro econ course or
            read a book on the subject is convinced that our government is “broke.”

            The average Joe has it about right. When you have debt, as we do, you are not broke. When you have debt you have no ability to pay off, you are still not broke, provided you can maintain interest payments in perpetuity. When you have debt you have no ability to pay off and cannot maintain interest payments, then you are broke. The United States is rapidly moving towards the latter position and in that sense it is close to broke.

            >You can believe otherwise, but you should certainly be less smug about it considering that you are wrong.

            So can we then assume all your talk during the Bush years about overspending is something you now rescind? After all, if we have plenty of money to spend, why were you complaining about it?

            Let’s face it, you know, as do I, your assertion the US has plenty of money to spend is inane. You can take that as smug or laughing at you. Either way I’m pretty sure even you don’t believe your hokum on this one.

          • the real valley person

            Sure, whatever, only I didn’t say anything about “ever expanding government,” so you can make up whatever you want as per your usual.

            The “political ideology” of Keynes was for a mixed economy that is dynamic, not static, adjusting on an as needed basis factoring unemployment against inflation. That happens to  be my own “ideology,” otherwise known as economic pragmatism.

            “Ever increasing spending” is not only possible, its a fact of life. As the economy gets bigger the government can do more things, and most people appear to want the government to keep doing more things, or doing the same things better, even when they say otherwise. They just don’t like being taxed to pay for some of the things (the things they themselves don’t favor or understand, like foreign aid or advanced wheatgerm research).

            The average Joe is not right on macro-economics, nor are you.  Which is not surprising since the average joe is probably wrong about most highly technical matters. The average joe and the average rupert confuse what they may know, household or small business micro economics, with federal government macro economics. They both have the word economics in there, so they must be similar. Only they aren’t. The average rupert can’t issue bonds in a currency that has proven to be the most stable investment on the planet over the past 70 years to pay for goods and services. The average rupert can’t even conceive of this. Which is why Republican and Democratic presidents appoint people educated in macro economics to manage the economic dials of the nation, not an average (or even above average, if one exists) rupert.

            We are not “broke,” nor are we “close to broke,” whatever the heck that even means.  We are currently taxing ourselves about 60 cents for every dollar the feds  spend, which adds accumulated debt. This tax to spending ratio is clearly not sustainable forever, but we had a worse ratio in the past and came out fine, the last time being 1993-2000, when we turned a very large deficit into a healthy surplus by raising taxes, restraining (but not slashing or even cutting) spending, and letting normal economic growth after a mild recession handle the rest. Slashing and cutting while barely coming out of a very bad recession is beyond stupid. It is willfully ignorant.

            I never said Bush was “over spending,” so I have nothing to rescind.  I probably said I did not support what he chose to spend on, nor did I support his cutting of taxes and blowing the surplus he inherited. But spending? No. I have no problem in general with the amount he “spent.” I think Medicare Part D was a good idea. He just should have increased taxes to pay for the new program, like Obama and the Democrats did with Obamacare. I think the Afghan war was justified. I think the Iraq war was a mistake of major proportions. I think his lack of Wallstreet oversight during the housing bubble was borderline criminal negligence.

            You can laugh or guffaw or smirk or do whatever suits you. The economic fact remains that the US government is not restrained from spending a lot more than we are by lack of a physical substance called money. It is restrained by politics fueled by economic ignorance, of which you are exhibit  #1. 

  • Buggy

    I liked the one candidate’s statement.  My two neighbors dogs have done more to create shovel ready jobs than Obama

  • Pingback: Blue Coaster33()

  • Pingback: stop parking()

  • Pingback: water ionizer loans()

  • Pingback: 5 star locksmiths()

  • Pingback: bottled alkaline water()

  • Pingback: house blue()

  • Pingback: electricians scissors()

  • Pingback: pay plan()

  • Pingback: car insurance options()

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)