Lars Larson: We can have a balanced federal budget by 2017

Is there any reason we can’t have a balanced federal budget within the next decade?

The president plans on unbalanced budgets going out a decade into the future, well past the end of his first, and let’s hope only, term of office.

But, I talked with Dan Mitchell from the Cato Institute. He says we could have a balanced budget much sooner than that if you look at the numbers. He says that the reason we are going to have an unbalanced budget is that the bureaucracy assumes they are going to grow every single year. They call it current service level.

He says if we held the growth of government to just 1% we’d have a balanced budget by 2017. We’d still have about 20 trillion dollars in debt that would need to be paid off. But, at least the government would be down to spending just what they take in.

If we held it to 2% we could still be balanced by 2021. How’s that as a different assumption than the presidents assumption that we’ll run a trillion dollar deficit every year for the next decade?

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  • valley p

    Question Lars. Given that the baby boomers are starting to retire, how do you plan to holed the growth of federal spending to 1% or 2% per year? And given you have advocated war with Iran, how do you pay for that?

  • Jerry

    You could balance it tomorrow.
    2017???
    What a joke.

  • Norm!

    We could have a balanced budget much sooner merely by letting the irresponsible Bush Jr. tax cuts expire. Miss Clinton/Gore, yet?

  • Bob Tiernan

    *valley boy:*

    Question Lars. Given that the baby boomers are starting to retire, how do you plan to holed the growth of federal spending to 1% or 2% per year? And given you have advocated war with Iran, how do you pay for that?

    *Bob T:*

    Now just hold on there. Wasn’t the plan for Social Security to take that money from people
    all those years and build it up, gaining interests, to make payments? Or did the government,
    which does not need “babysitting” according to you, spend it all some time ago and now
    use SS as a welfare type program that depends on payroll every week? Gosh. And are you
    wondering about the health care costs for a growing number of people? But heck, you
    just said the other day that the gov’t will “save” money under ObamaCare, and Obama
    himself has been saying that the budget will go down because of ObamaCare. He didn’t
    say anything else mattered.

    Which izzit, valley? Didja get your talking points yet?

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

  • Bob Clark

    As Rob Cornilles pointed out in his debate with David Wu, this congress hasn’t even bothered to budget this year. This is the first time since 1974 Congress has failed to budget its spending. So, we’ve got a long ways to go in practice to get back on track to a more balanced budget. First, Congress has to budget.

  • John in Oregon

    VP said > *Given that the baby boomers are starting to retire, how do you plan to holed (sic) the growth of federal spending to 1% or 2% per year?*

    Wait. You told us SSI and Medicare are notta Ponzi. There is lotsa money in the trust funds. So much money Obama could take $5 trillion outa Medicare. You told us not to worry.

    And you told us spending would do it. The spendulus stimulus did its job. GDP growth is so much better now. So much better than that laughable 5% under Bush after the 2000-2001 recession. Or that anemic 6.2% after the 75 recession under Ford. Obamas growth is even better than that 7.7% under that crackpot Reagan. Oh my god look at it go. 1.1 now 1.2, 1.2, 1.2 now 1.3 % go go go all the way to the moon.

    > *And given you have advocated war with Iran, how do you pay for that?*

    What war? The mullahs paved the streets of Tehran with gold and welcomed Obama with open arms. They gave up there atom bombs and are our friends.

    • valley p

      “Wasn’t the plan for Social Security to take that money from people
      all those years and build it up, gaining interests, to make payments? ”

      No. The plan was to mask the massive deficit spending cuased by tax cuts by Reagan and both Bushs and cover it up with extra taxes collected from boomers through the dedicated funds of SSI and Medicare, using that money to sop up some of the debt in exchange for an IOU against future general fund revenues. Now your side, which brought us that deal, wants to renege on it and cry poverty at the same time they advocate additional tax cuts. Its a transparent fraud. Honest people would be ashamed of themselves, but you are obviously not. You now put forth more frauds. Cut taxes and balance the budget. Continue to pay full retirement for boomers and then screw the millenium generation, who are somehow supposed to pay for boomer retirement and their own retirement at the same time. Its all BS. you just have to hope enough people fall for it one more time.

      You do the math Bobby boy. Your program does not compute on any functioning calculator.

      “Wait. You told us SSI and Medicare are notta Ponzi. ”

      Correct. They are not Ponzis. Ponzis are investment frauds. Neither SSI nor Medicare are investment frauds. They are pay as you go social insurance systems.

      “So much money Obama could take $5 trillion outa Medicare.”

      He responsibly cut about $50B a year of wasted taxpayer payments to private insurance companies over 10 years, which by my handy calculator adds of to 1/2 trillion, not 5 trillion. You must be using your Republican calculator again John.

      “So much better than that laughable 5% under Bush after the 2000-2001 recession.”

      There is that Republican calculator again. Have you brought it in for service? Growth under Bush averaged less than 2% over his 8 years. He may have had a year with 5% growth. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But his cumulative growth rate was the lowest under any president since Hoover. And that was under the exact same policies your side wants to repeat.

      Fool me once…..

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Actually there is some truth to what Lars is saying here. I think 2017 is a little unrealistic, but if you simply eliminated baseline budgeting you do get to a balanced budget fairly quickly.

    This wouldn’t be all that hard, but would mean that entitlements would have to be cut back when more people take advantage of them.

    Another interesting thing about this approach would be that it would for the first time fully implement Keynesian economics. The reason why is if such were not implemented then the safety hammock people have gotten used to would evaporate.

    How is this so?

    Well, if you go with zero baseline, then that means when the economy takes a dip, you would not be allowed to increase government spending.

    So what would you do?

    Well, you would have to implement Keynesian economics – you would have to have saved in the good times in order for government to spend in the bad times.

    How is this different from the situation now?

    The answer is Keynesian theory is not currently advocated by anyone. We do hear of Keynes but only in the sense he is used as a distraction by those who just want to spend. Those who say government should spend in bad times have a point. That is one way to spur growth. However they lose that point when they say government should not contract in good times. In essence most who claim to be following the Keynes model really just want to spend all the time. That’s not what Keynes was about.

    I think eliminating baseline budgeting would be a good idea. It is not new at all, Rush was on about it years ago and I’m pretty sure Milton Friedman mentioned it on more than a few occasions.

    • valley p

      “Actually there is some truth to what Lars is saying here.”

      That would be amazing in and of itself.

      “if you simply eliminated baseline budgeting you do get to a balanced budget fairly quickly.”

      Why? Eliminating baseline budgeting does not eliminate the budget. It just supposedly starts from scratch. Only doing so is a myth, because you have 3 million federal employees in office with computers and trucks and phones and tools all with jobs to do. Those jobs, or the need for them, does not disappear at the end of any given fiscal year. When you start zero budgeting things like national parks, you get yourself into a bit of political trouble. If you slowly erode the ability of government employees to do the work they are supposed to do, you also get into trouble, only slower. Might I suggest that a mature approach to budgeting would be to decide what you want done, add up what it costs, and if it costs too much then settle for less being done?

      On Keynesian economics. How can I say this without hurting your feelings? I guess I can’t. So I’ll just say it. You don’t know what in the world you are talking about. And you are so far off the reservation I won’t waste any more time setting you straight.

      Except this, and you may have to look it up. Its called the “Paradox of Thrift.”

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Why? Eliminating baseline budgeting does not eliminate the budget.

        No one ever said it did. Please think a little bit before doing these sorts of pop offs.

        >Those jobs, or the need for them, does not disappear at the end of any given fiscal year.

        No one ever said it did. Please think a little bit before doing these sorts of pop offs.

        >When you start zero budgeting things like national parks, you get yourself into a bit of political trouble.

        No one ever talked about doing a zero budget.

        Again, this would be the mark of an idiot

        You are offering an opinion on eliminating baseline budgeting when you have no understanding of what the term means. From this comment it is apparent you are under the impression it means establishing a zero budget. It does not.

        Who would offer an opinion on a term that is simple to understand, in reasonably common use and would not bother to look it up if they did not understand it?

        An idiot.

        >If you slowly erode the ability of government employees to do the work they are supposed to do, you also get into trouble, only slower.

        No one ever argued for doing this. Please think a little before doing these kinds of pop offs.

        >Might I suggest that a mature approach to budgeting would be to decide what you want done, add up what it costs, and if it costs too much then settle for less being done?

        That is not at all inconsistent with eliminating baseline budgeting. In fact it is the essence of it.

        Again – you need to look up and understand what the elimination of baseline budgeting would mean.

        You don’t understand the term and that is clear from your comments. This is the behaviour of someone who would probably be considered an idiot clinically.

        >You don’t know what in the world you are talking about.

        Actually I do and we have had this discussion before.

        you have never been able to point to a single reference or quotation from Keynes that would counter my synopsis of his central thesis.

        Again, this is behaviour of an idiot. You are arguing against a basic fact – Keynes argued for increased government spending in down times with contractions in government spending to save for the next cycle in order to smooth out fluctuations in the economy.

        You have never been able to provide a single quotation from Keynes to counter that yet you persist in saying anyone who states the basic facts of Keynes central theory has no idea what they are talking about.

        You provide no evidence for your belief, nor logical argument why one should be persuaded by your statement. Again, classic behaviour of an idiot.

        >Except this, and you may have to look it up. Its called the “Paradox of Thrift.”

        Again, behaviour of an idiot. Citation of material totally unrelated to the argument at hand due to being unaware one should have knowledge of something used as a citation..

        Keynes use of the phrase “Paradox of Thrift” was in the context of the effect of collective saving by the populace being being a counter to economic growth, not an accelerator of it.

        This has nothing to do with his central theory of smoothing out economic cycles through expansion and contraction of government spending.

        Look – Dean – These are not esoteric topics.

        Most would know to understand what they were citing, as well as its relevance, before citing it.

        Most would think to understand what eliminating baseline budgeting means in terms of a governments budget before participating in a discussion on the subject.

        Clearly you are ignorant on both. You think eliminating baseline budgeting as a concept means eliminating government spending. It does not. You think “Paradox of Thrift” counters the central theory of Keynes. The fact that people don’t generally run around contradicting their own essential theory would occur to most people. It did not occur to you, thus your lack of understanding that “Paradox of Thrift” was used by Keynes in a context not applicable at all to this discussion.

        These are the reasons I think you are an idiot. Again, I do not mean that in the name calling sense of the word. I simply mean it in a more clinical sense of the term.

        • valley p

          “you have never been able to point to a single reference or quotation from Keynes that would counter my synopsis of his central thesis.”

          Its not contained in a single reference or quote. Its his entire works. You have the big picture all muddled up because you have filtered it through your Hayak view of economics, which is basically a refutation of Keynes. You can’t get Keynes because he inhabits a different universe than you.

          “You provide no evidence for your belief, nor logical argument why one should be persuaded by your statement. ”

          The evidence is in Keynes writings and those who study his theories and get them. The logical argument is that you have missed the boat by such a wide margin that it would take a graduate seminar to set you straight, and even that would probably not work because your eyes and ears are too closed. You have convinced yourself you know what you don’t know.

          “This has nothing to do with his central theory of smoothing out economic cycles through expansion and contraction of government spending.”

          Yeah actually it has a lot to do with it. The aggregate effect of individual thrift during an economic crisis creates a shortage of demand, high unemployment or under utilization of labor if you prefer, and a downward deflationary cycle that results in a lot of unnecessary grief. Hence the need for government, as the only possible big scale actor, to “do something,” that something being a loose fiscal policy (lots of spending) until private demand kicks in. Absent the paradox of thrift there is no need for increased public spending.

          As for “saving” in good times. As far as I know, Keynes did not advocate that. He did advocate bringing spending back down to the status quo ante. Keynes was pretty conservative, and did not think government needed to do all that much as a baseline.

          “Look – Dean – These are not esoteric topics.”

          Well you could have fooled me. You have been arguing for months that Obama is spending too much and ought to balance the budget to save your grandchildren from having to pay interest on the debt. You have made this argument in the face of 10% unemployment and no signs that the private sector is going to do anything about it soon. You have offered not alternative measures for reducing unemployment and the misery it brings. Instead you pile on with complaints about extended unemployment insurance. And, your argument for extending the Bush tax cuts negates your call for balancing the budget in any case.

          In short Rupert, you, like your party, do not seem to get the first damn thing about Keynes or why his theory, which was field tested for about 30 years by the way, works pretty darn well, even though classical economists never accepted that reality.

          At least Greenspan had an idea, which was that monetarism was sufficient for smoothing out the business cycles. As it turned out it wasn’t, and he now admits this. But what are you on the right left with? Bupkes. 19th century classical economics that believes the market can never be wrong and always self corrects. All you have to do is liquidate the surplus, whether housing, farms, labor, or capital. Doesn’t matter. Let the price come down to zero if you must and rebuild from there. What a wonderful world THAT would be.

          “You think “Paradox of Thrift” counters the central theory of Keynes.”

          Read this carefully dear Rupert. You just stated the opposite of what I think. *The paradox of thrift is central to Keynes general macroeconomic theory* The whole point is aggregate demand. It is your side of the aisle that thinks the paradox of thrift is bogus.

          “These are the reasons I think you are an idiot.”

          Well the way I look at is that being thought of as an idiot by someone with your limited cranial capacity is something I can live with. Bring it on dude. I can take it your nerf bat insults.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *Valley:*

    The plan was to mask the massive deficit spending cuased by tax cuts by Reagan and both Bushs and cover it up with extra taxes collected from boomers through the dedicated funds of SSI and Medic…

    *Bob T:*

    Excuse me, but it was during the Johnson Administration that the president, and both houses of
    Congress (all in Dem hands) spent the SS money and put in IOUs and turned it into just another
    welfare program dependent on taxes collected in the before each check is sent out. When the
    government did that, all bets were off.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

  • John in Oregon

    First some house keeping. VP complained that my calculator is broken because the Obamacare cuts to Medicare by his > *handy calculator adds of (sic) to 1/2 trillion, not 5 trillion.*

    Sorry Charlie, the number is $5 TRILLION. September 9, The Wall Street Journal, based on the government’s own Annual Report of the Medicare Board of Trustees.

    Otherwise, STUNNING, just stunning. VP might be starting to get it. VP said, > *The plan was to mask the massive deficit spending* … *and cover it up with extra taxes collected from boomers through the dedicated funds of SSI and Medicare…* The fall of the self deluded seeing the light of day?

    I have been saying this for the last couple of years. The “trust funds” are empty. I know, I know, just the rambling of extremists.

    I do disagree with the partisan aspect of VP’s comment. > *Now your side, which brought us that deal, wants to renege on it and cry poverty at the same time they advocate additional tax cuts.*

    Factually the accounting change that “did the deal” was in 1968, in order to pay for the war in Vietnam and pretty up the numbers of a surging budget deficit. President Johnson arbitrarily decided to include Social Security revenue in the budget. Washington Post, May 29 1998; Page A27

    In truth its not a Democratic or Republican thing. It’s a politician thing. Politicians who enjoy the power of spending other peoples money. Politicians that like to run things.

    VP says > *Its all BS. you just have to hope enough people fall for it one more time.*

    No argument about it being BS. The rest however — FLASH. The people are not fooled. What do you think the people saying NO TARP was about? The one to two million people in DC on 9-12, what was that? The tea party? The people have had enough of the wrecking ball. Enough spending other peoples money.

    The politicians collected SSI and Medicare money and created an obligation. The politicians spent us to the brink of bankruptcy. Unwinding the mess isnt going to be simple. It’s going to take time. We unwind it by reducing spending or it unwinds us in bankruptcy. That is the choice. The fantasy of government created utopia that isnt an actual real option.

    But then you go calculator funky again in discussing growth after the 2000-2001 recession. > *Growth under Bush averaged less than 2% over his 8 years.*

    Growth after the Clinton recession would be 2002, 2003, 2004 and not 2008 as you did. Of course you didn’t “intend” to include the Frank/Dodd recession of 2008. Wait, yes you probably did. And by the way I don’t have a Republican calculator, I have an HP RPN calculator.

    Still I get your meaning. The growth of the wealth makers isn’t important. Taxing is good so long as the wealth taker is you. Throw those old people under the bus they paid the tax so now they aren’t important.

    I suppose you agree with the progressives who rule academia, like Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill. who says that “Everyone benefits when we pay a little bit more.”

    As I have said often the fairest system is the one that rewards the makers in society as opposed to rewarding the takers. Government does not create wealth. It uses wealth that’s been created by the people.

    So tell me this, what percent of the economy do you think government should be? How much is enough?

    • valley p

      “Sorry Charlie, the number is $5 TRILLION.”

      I’m not Charlie and no its not. It is $500 Billion over a 10 year period. Try the fact check l;ink below.

      https://www.factcheck.org/2010/03/a-final-weekend-of-whoppers/

      “Factually the accounting change that “did the deal” was in 1968,”

      Yes, and factually Ronald Reagan cut income taxes and raised SSI and Medicare taxes, stating that he was “saving social security” by collecting extra from the boomers to build up the so-called trust fund. Regan doubled the rate that sole propriaters (small business) had to pay.

      “In truth its not a Democratic or Republican thing. It’s a politician thing. Politicians who enjoy the power of spending other peoples money. Politicians that like to run things.”

      That’s right John. Its far easier to cut taxes than it is to cut spending. Which brings us back to square one. There is no plan amongst Republican-Tea Partiers to balance the federal budget. None…nada…zero. And with the release of the “pledge” the pretense is over. The so-called conservatives in this country talk a good game, but can’t balance a checkbook. if your answer is “well everyone does it” then fine, stop bitching about liberals. At least they are honest about it.

      “What do you think the people saying NO TARP was about? The one to two million people in DC on 9-12, what was that? The tea party? The people have had enough of the wrecking ball. Enough spending other peoples money.”

      Where to begin. The people have not said not to TARP. I doubt most people can even tell you what TARP was. Polls show that most people think TARP was an Obama program, which it wasn’t. And few people are aware that TARP is almost fully paid back. So what is it your people are saying “no” to exactly? No to saving the failed financial sector in order to save our economy? They and you would have preferred Great Depression 2? I doubt it.

      2 million people in DC on 9-12? You believe that? I guess if you count all the people normally in DC on any given day that might be true. And anyway, I thought Beck said it was not a political rally? Just a love fest of some sort.

      The wrecking ball was George W Bush, and yes the people had enough of him. The repair crew is the Democratic party, and it would be nice if someone on your side, anyone, picked up a broom or shovel and helped just a little.

      “It’s going to take time. We unwind it by reducing spending or it unwinds us in bankruptcy. ”

      Your party is not going to unwind jack. Read the Pledge. There is no there there. Not a word on reducing entitlements. Nothing. More tax cuts and increases in military spending. Wake up John. You are being had once again.

      “Growth after the Clinton recession would be 2002, 2003, 2004 and not 2008 as you did.”

      I have no idea what that sentence is supposed to mean. A presidents influence over the economy manifests after his or her first year in office and lasts through the first year of the next president. The reason is that the budget year begins on October 1, the election is November, the inauguration in January, and then the work goes into the next budget, not the previous one.

      Bush’s economic record is thus FY 2002-FY 2009. Clintons was 1993-2001. You seem to grasp this by attributing the 2001 recession to Clinton, but then you skip attributing the current recession, which began in December 2007 and lasted halfway through 2009 to Bush. Nice try though.

      “So tell me this, what percent of the economy do you think government should be? How much is enough? ”

      The percent depends on what we want government to do. If we want it to continue to provide old age security, provide a safety net for poor people, subsidize midwestern Republican farmers, maintain transportation infrastructure, take care of parks and forests, inspect food supplies, provide “homeland security,” ride heard over oil companies drilling in places where they can’t control their leaks, rebuilding cities destroyed by hurricanes, fighting endless wars in the middle east, and pay down past debts, then we need to dedicate around 25% of GDP to the federal government.

      If you want to start dropping some of those things you can pay less. But cutting taxes and not cutting any government and pretending it will all work out is getting a bit ridiculous don’t you think?

    • John in Oregon

      When I asked VP what percent of the economy do you think government should be? How much is enough? VP said > *then we need to dedicate around 25% of GDP to the federal government.*

      Is that your answer. 25%. Twenty five percent is enough. That’s the limit, 25% ? because if its not you haven’t answered the question. What is the limit to how much of the economy is government? Is it 25%, 30%, 90%, 100% ? HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH???

      • valley p

        You tell me what you think government ought to be doing and I can give you an estimate. On an open ended question such as you are asking, there is no logical answer. If we want it to do what it is doing at present, the list I gave you, the answer is about 25%,

      • John in Oregon

        > *On an open ended question such as you are asking, there is no logical answer.*

        In other words there is no limit. There is never enough government. When government controls everything it still wont be enough.

        I would say the limit is the US Constitution. You would call me an extremist.

        > *If we want it to do what it is doing at present, the list I gave you, the answer is about 25%*

        GIVE ME A BREAK. It’s at 40% and rising.

        • valley p

          “In other words there is no limit.”

          The limit is based on what we ask of government. I don’t know how you can interpret that as “there is never enough.” Sure there is enough. But what is enough for you? And what is enough for a majority of voters? Apparently we want a government that delivers 25% of GDP worth of services for 15% GDP cost. That is a popular agenda, and has been reinforced by the GOP “pledge”. Therein lies our problem. We won;t raise taxes to pay for government and we won’t substantially cut government to anywhere close to what we are willing to pay.

          “I would say the limit is the US Constitution. You would call me an extremist. ”

          No, I’ll just call you hopelessly naive. If the US Constitution limited government beyond its current configuration we would already know about it. There has been ample opportunity for you or anyone else to challenge any particular government program as being unconstitutional. What you are really saying is that you want to limit government based on YOUR interpretation of the intent of the constitution. Sorry John, it doesn’t work that way.

          “GIVE ME A BREAK. It’s at 40% and rising. ”

          Lets pull out a reality based calculator. FY 2010 total *federal* spending is $3.6 trillion. GDP estimate is $14.7 trillion. That comes to 24.6%.

          You should check your Republican issued calculator to see what it comes up with. If it is different than 24.6% you should exchange it for a reality based calculator.

          As to whether this is rising or not, the answer is no in the short run (next few years) due to TARP and stimulus spending expiring plus gradual reductions in spending as more people go back to work. The answer is yes in the long run due to a big increase in my generation retiring and sucking up huge amounts of SSI and Medicare. Your party has offered nothing to change this. At most they say they want to change old age benefits for those currently under 40. That will accomplish nothing budget wise for 25 years, so again, you do the math.

          Lets hear your proposal for reducing federal government spending down to a level where you think it should be. And lets see you find a single Republican-Tea Party politician who is running on your platform. Bet you can’t.

        • John in Oregon

          So in response to my comment that your position is that there is no limit to what Government can run, takeover or do you answered > *The limit is based on what we ask of government.*

          That’s just a different way of saying there is no limit.

          As to the constitution > *What you are really saying is that you want to limit government based on YOUR interpretation of the intent of the constitution.*

          No. I am not. The constitution means what the writers and those who adopted it intended it to mean. Nothing more. Nothing less. It is the progressive that wishes to abuse the constitution by imposing interpretations.

          In the past 80 years two US Presidents have threatened the US Supreme court for exactly that end.

          In other words you tell us again there are no limits.

          You do have your talking points down as Cass Sunstein tells us that “Some conservative legal thinkers think that the Constitution means what it originally meant.”

          Yes Cass we do. Because if the constitution doesn’t mean what it meant then it has no meaning. None at all. Which is of course fine for Sunstein as he has no wish to be limited by the constitution.

          So Van Jones whips up the base with the tea party wants to run your life. “If you think things are bad now, what will happen when the people who are screaming and yelling at these tea party events are actually in charge of your government, actually in charge of your life, in charge of your kids future”.

          No Van they don’t. But you know that don’t you. Its not a Sophie’s choice of the Dems or Reps running peoples lives. The 9-12 and tea party intend that government be in charge of no ones life.

          • valley p

            “That’s just a different way of saying there is no limit.”

            Its a democracy John. We get to choose. We don’t have a predetermined limit on how much of the GDP we can decide to dedicate to government services. As a practical matter, 60% seems to be in the range of the upper limit. That is Denmark’s share, and they are doing pretty fine thank you. They have a trade surplus with us.

            “The constitution means what the writers and those who adopted it intended it to mean. Nothing more. Nothing less.”

            Yes John, and they were so crystal clear in their thinking that we have had no arguments about their intent ever since the ink was dry right? Only Jefferson and Madison thought a central bank was anti constitution, and Washington and Hamilton felt otherwise, and won the argument. And we have had these sorts of arguments ever since. But no need to worry. You and Clarence Thomas know what their real intent was, so end of story.

            “It is the progressive that wishes to abuse the constitution by imposing interpretations. ”

            Right. When we dare to offer an interpretation different than yours, we are the abusers. That is very convenient for you. Its like having God on your side.

            “The 9-12 and tea party intend that government be in charge of no ones life. ”

            So they are not going to try and outlaw abortion? They are not going to try to end social security? They are not going to try and overturn the recently passed health care bill? They are going to let gay partners get married? They are not going to start any more wars with anyone? Wow, I am so freaking relieved.

  • Founding Fathers

    Where was Lars in 2001, 2002, and 2003 when we went from nearly having a balanced budget to having large deficits?

    Oh, yeah, he was SUPPORTING the tax cuts and wars that led to the deficits.

  • John in Oregon

    Drawn from Charlie the Tuna, Sorry Charlie is a phrase that means an impostor has been detected and rejected. Lets examine closely that which pose as fact. Within the link VP provides as proof of his no Medicare cut fact is this string *org/2010/03/a* . This string imbeds the creation date of the item. In this case, 19 March, 2010 to be precise.

    On this date the item references the utterances of the TOTUS as no actual statute existed. As Speaker Pelosi reminded us it was necessary to ram it down our throats so that we could know what was in it. Thankfully she didn’t choose to ram it in the other end.

    The data I provided is based on the latest examination of the actual statute. Based on that data:

    Sorry Charlie, the number is STILL $5 TRILLION.

    One caveat exists. The statute creates some 150 boards, commissions, committees, delegations, panels, and councils. Many of these also have the authority to create additional boards, commissions, committees, delegations, panels, and councils, as they feel necessary. They each will write directions, codes, guidelines, criterion, rules, formulas, commands, rulings, dictums, orders, regulations, models, regimens, and precedents.

    Although having not yet been written, the number of pages is expected to total at least 100,000 to 300,000 pages. Analysts believe the actual cost and impact of the legislation can never accurately be known.

    VP while you seem to get that the government is bankrupt, in other things not so much. Then you come up with > *There is no plan amongst Republican-Tea Partiers to balance the federal budget. None…nada…zero.*

    There are no “Republican” tea parties. There are only people. There are black people in the 912 / tea party, red people, yellow people, brown and white people in the 912 / tea party. There are no green tea people.

    There are old people in the 912 / tea party. Young people, middle aged people, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters in the 912 / tea party. There are no dead tea people.

    There are Democrats in the 912 / tea party. Republicans, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, independents in the 912 / tea party. There are no progressive socialist tea people.

    The 912 / tea party sees government that does too much, spends too much, controls too much, demands too much, and intrudes in peoples personal decisions, countermanding the choices they wish to make.

    The 912 / tea party sees government unresponsive, aloof, arrogant, hating the American dream.

    We the people watch the Democrat party do a mad blind rush to the left to perform a perfect lemming leap. The smoking wreckage unsalvageable but still able to do great damage upon the people.

    We the people turn to the once great party Republican. Beset with dead wood and progressive rot the people begin to prune the Specter, Crist, Bennett, Murkowski, and storm and sack the Castle. The priority is rebuilding and repairing the damage. A talking point budget is not the goal of the people. Taking our country back is.

    About the people in Washington DC on 9-12 > *2 million people in DC on 9-12? You believe that? …. And anyway, I thought Beck said it was not a political rally?*

    One would think you can keep your dates straight. One would be wrong. The Beck rally was 8-28. But I suppose you could be right there weren’t 1 to 2 million in DC on 9-12.

    The mall was jammed from the capital at 1st street back to 14th street. But I suppose you are right there weren’t more than 100 to 200 hundred thousand in DC on 9-12.

    The crowd continued past 14th street, around the Washington memorial and on toward the Lincoln memorial. So your probably right there weren’t more than 10 or 20- thousand in DC on 9-12.

    The overflow crowd moved to Pennsylvania Av. which was jammed from 1st at the capital to 15th street near the White House. So of course there weren’t more than 1 or 2 thousand in DC.

    4th, 5th, 6th to 14th were jammed. 14th and E was jammed. So there weren’t more 1 or 2 hundred people.

    Finally > *The wrecking ball was George W Bush, and yes the people had enough of him. The repair crew is the Democratic party, and it would be nice if someone on your side, anyone, picked up a broom or shovel and helped just a little.*

    George W Bush did propose the TARP bailouts. The statute included a provision that all returned loans be used to pay down the debt. IE returned.

    Now, here is a partial list of the things Bush did not do.

    Bush did not overturn 250 years of Bankruptcy law.
    Bush did not nationalize American manufacturing companies.
    Bush did not retain repaid TARP loans to use for other purposes
    Bush did not bypass advise and consent
    Bush did not fire Inspectors General for reporting wrong doing.
    Bush did not take over health care
    Bush did not issue a drilling ban without statutory authority
    Bush did not cancel voter intimidation cases
    Bush did not reissue a ban when overturned in court
    Bush did not use taxpayer money to provide loans to Mexico to drill in the same place banned to US companies.
    A more comprehensive list may be obtained from David Limbaugh

    • valley p

      “Sorry Charlie, the number is STILL $5 TRILLION.”

      You are still using the same broken calculator. The entire cost of Medicare in 2008 was $600 Billion. So you are trying to convince us, or yourself, that Over the 10 year CBO projection of Obamacare, Medicare was cut by an amount almost equal to its total expenditure. That would be quite a feat of budget cutting. I think we would have heard about that.

      I think you need to go back and try this with a different calculator, once again.

      “VP while you seem to get that the government is bankrupt..”

      You misread me. The federal government is not and cannot be bankrupt. It can simply print the money necessary to pay the bills. Republicans figured this out during the Reagan era and have been hooked ever since. At some point this becomes inflationary, but it has not happened yet and there are no signs it will happen soon. I’m pointing out your party’s record on the issue.

      “There are no “Republican” tea parties. There are only people.”

      Come on now John. they must have let you in on this. The “tea party” is the right wing of the Republican party, which is to say that it IS the Republican party. There is no daylight between them. Not a single democrat was ousted in a primary due to tea party votes, yet multiple Republicans were. How can this be? Because no tea party member, if there is such a thing, votes in Democratic primaries.

      Bush did not overturn 250 years of Bankruptcy law.
      *No but he was the 1st prez to sanction torture*
      Bush did not nationalize American manufacturing companies.
      *He loaned billions to those companies. when they did not pay back Obama took stock. What should he have done, told them never mind the loans* ?
      Bush did not retain repaid TARP loans to use for other purposes
      *Bush did not have any repaid TARP loans. We don;t know what he would have done with the money, but we do know his record on the deficit*
      Bush did not bypass advise and consent
      *I’m laughing here*
      Bush did not fire Inspectors General for reporting wrong doing.
      *He didn’t fire anyone. He thought brownie did a great job*
      Bush did not take over health care
      *True enough, though he did pass Medicare Part D with no funds provided to pay for the benefits*
      Bush did not issue a drilling ban without statutory authority
      *No, Bush would never ban drilling from anywhere no matter what. He was an oil man*

      You stick with Bush John. All the way.

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