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Old 07-14-2009, 08:36 AM   #1
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Default Budget Deficit Tops 1 Trillion for First Time.

Change we can believe in.

For some reason the article fails to mention that the deficit will likely top TWO trillion by years end.

http://www.ohio.com/news/politics/50647102.html

WASHINGTON: Nine months into the fiscal year, the federal deficit has topped $1 trillion for the first time ever. The imbalance is intensifying fears about higher interest rates and inflation, and already pressuring the value of the dollar.
The Treasury Department says the deficit in June totaled $94.3 billion, pushing the total since the budget year started in October to nearly $1.1 trillion.
The deficit has been propelled by the huge sum the government has spent to combat the recession and financial crisis, combined with a sharp decline in tax revenues. Paying for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is also a major factor.
The country's soaring deficits are making some foreign buyers of U.S. debt nervous, and this could make them reluctant lenders down the road.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Budget Deficit Tops 1 Trillion for First Time.

And some commentary from Samuelson...

http://www.ohio.com/editorial/commentary/50698372.html

WASHINGTON: The question that President Obama ought to be asking — that we all should be asking — is this: How big a government do we want?

Without anyone much noticing, our national government is on the verge of a permanent expansion that would endure long after the present economic crisis has (presumably) passed and that would exceed anything ever experienced in peacetime. This expansion may not be good for us, but we are not contemplating the adverse consequences or how we might minimize them.

We face an unprecedented collision between Americans' desire for more government services and their almost equal unwillingness to be taxed. The conflict is obscured and deferred by today's depressed economy, which has given license to all manner of emergency programs, but its dimensions cannot be doubted.

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (''The Long-Term Budget Outlook'') makes that crystal clear. The easiest way to measure the size of government is to compare the federal budget to the overall economy, or gross domestic product. The CBO's estimates are daunting.

For the past half-century, federal spending has averaged about 20 percent of GDP, federal taxes about 18 percent of GDP and the budget deficit 2 percent of GDP. The CBO's projection for 2020 — which assumes the economy has returned to ''full employment'' — puts spending at 26 percent of GDP, taxes at a bit less than 19 percent of GDP and a deficit above 7 percent of GDP. Future spending and deficit figures continue to grow.

What this means is that balancing the budget in 2020 would require a tax increase of almost 50 percent from the last half-century's average. Remember, that average was 18 percent of GDP. To get from there to 26 percent of GDP (spending in 2020) would require an additional 8 percentage points. In today's dollars, that would be about $1.1 trillion, a 44 percent annual tax increase.

Even these figures may be optimistic, because CBO's projections for defense and ''nondefense discretionary'' spending may be unrealistically low. This last category covers much of what government does: environmental regulation, aid to education, highway construction, law enforcement, homeland security.

Whatever the case, the major causes of the budget blowout are well-known: an aging population and rapid increases in health spending. In 2000, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — the main programs providing income and health care for those 65 and over — totaled nearly 8 percent of GDP. In 2020, CBO projects that will reach almost 12 percent of GDP. But the deeper source of our predicament is a self-indulgent political culture that avoids a rigorous discussion of government's role.

Everyone favors benefits and opposes burdens (taxes). Republicans want to cut taxes without cutting spending. Democrats want to increase spending without increasing taxes, except on the rich. The differences between the parties are shades of gray. Hardly anyone asks the hard questions of who doesn't need benefits, which programs are expendable and what taxes might cover remaining deficits.

What long sustained this system was falling defense spending and routine, though usually modest, deficits. As defense spending declined — from 9 percent of GDP in the late 1960s to 3 percent in 2000 — social spending could rise without big tax increases.

Deficits provided extra leeway. But these expedients have exhausted themselves. Deficits have risen to alarming proportions; in a risky world, defense cannot drop indefinitely.

President Obama would make matters worse. He talks about controlling ''entitlement'' spending (mainly Social Security and Medicare) but hasn't done so. He's proposing just the opposite. His health-care proposal would increase federal spending. He says he will ''pay for'' the added outlays with tax increases or other spending cuts, but what people forget is that every penny of this ''payment'' could be used (and should be) to close the long-term deficit — not raise future spending and taxes.

The latest excuse for avoidance is the economic crisis. True, deep spending cuts or big tax increases would be undesirable now; they would further depress an already depressed economy. But that doesn't preclude action. Changes could be legislated now that would begin later and be phased in — a gradual increase in eligibility ages for Social Security and Medicare; gradual increases in energy taxes; gradual elimination of some programs. Such steps might improve confidence by reducing uncertainty about huge budget deficits.

There is little appetite for any of this, and so we face the consequences of much bigger government. Certainly higher taxes for future Americans. Probably a less robust economy. The CBO notes that elevated deficits would penalize saving, investment and income, while unprecedented tax burdens could ''slow the growth of the economy, making the [government's] spending burden harder to bear.''

To such warnings, Americans' collective response is: Go away.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: Budget Deficit Tops 1 Trillion for First Time.

But, but, but Bush.

I had a bit of an argument with my partner the other day about Obaaaaaama and his comment to me was "he's done a lot since he's been in office". I point blank asked him what he meant by that and he said "well, ummm, he's reached out to the Muslim world and he's done more to help the country than Bush". I told him to go out and buy a case of Prep H because the corn-holin' he and the rest of us are going to get is going to HURT. I think that was the first time since I've known him that he was speechless.

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Old 07-14-2009, 09:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Budget Deficit Tops 1 Trillion for First Time.

He has done a lot....a lot of bad.

The wars are still churning, and Afghanistan has been escalated. So much for ending those...he's getting ready to double down on a shitty hand with a third spending/stimulus bill, and then, as a nice cherry on top, he'll strap us with even more debt with a new and (cough cough) "improved" health care system that will probably be so convoluted and watered down that nobody new will even be covered and we'll just end up spending a couple trillion more that we don't have on it...I'd not be surprised if he ends of nationalizing some or all of the national newspapers (to go along with the health care industry, auto makers, banks, etc...). What better way to control the news than to get into the actual business of creating the news?

Bush's teeny tiny deficit will be laughably small before too long, and we can all look back with a sense of nostalgia to the good old days when the government only cranked out debt that numbered in the hundreds of billions...
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Budget Deficit Tops 1 Trillion for First Time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
He has done a lot....a lot of bad.

The wars are still churning, and Afghanistan has been escalated. So much for ending those...he's getting ready to double down on a shitty hand with a third spending/stimulus bill, and then, as a nice cherry on top, he'll strap us with even more debt with a new and (cough cough) "improved" health care system that will probably be so convoluted and watered down that nobody new will even be covered and we'll just end up spending a couple trillion more that we don't have on it...I'd not be surprised if he ends of nationalizing some or all of the national newspapers (to go along with the health care industry, auto makers, banks, etc...). What better way to control the news than to get into the actual business of creating the news?

Bush's teeny tiny deficit will be laughably small before too long, and we can all look back with a sense of nostalgia to the good old days when the government only cranked out debt that numbered in the hundreds of billions...
Agree with most of what you said, but the troop surge in Afghanistan is the right thing to do and it's what he said during the campaign.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Budget Deficit Tops 1 Trillion for First Time.

No problem with the surge either, BUT it also costs money to fight wars. He's trying to have it both ways on this issue and I take great umbrage with that...
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Budget Deficit Tops 1 Trillion for First Time.

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Agree with most of what you said, but the troop surge in Afghanistan is the right thing to do and it's what he said during the campaign.
Yeah, but once the Bush Policy of a Surge in Iraq (endorsed by McCain) was proven a success it only made sense that whoever won the next election would use the same type of surge in Afghanistan. I mean, that's pretty much a no brainer.
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Budget Deficit Tops 1 Trillion for First Time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
What this means is that balancing the budget in 2020 would require a tax increase of almost 50 percent from the last half-century's average. Remember, that average was 18 percent of GDP. To get from there to 26 percent of GDP (spending in 2020) would require an additional 8 percentage points. In today's dollars, that would be about $1.1 trillion, a 44 percent annual tax increase.
Hmm ... in California, the people in the highest tax bracket already pay 60% or more of their income between state/federal/property taxes. 44 percent of 60 is 26.4, so add the two together and that translate into a roughly 86.4% tax rate. Probably call it an even 90% because they'll inevitably tack on a few extra percent to make the rich "pay their fair share."

What this tells me is that, man, the next time it's time for me to make a career move, I'd seriously better get out of this state.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Budget Deficit Tops 1 Trillion for First Time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
He has done a lot....a lot of bad.

The wars are still churning, and Afghanistan has been escalated. So much for ending those...he's getting ready to double down on a shitty hand with a third spending/stimulus bill, and then, as a nice cherry on top, he'll strap us with even more debt with a new and (cough cough) "improved" health care system that will probably be so convoluted and watered down that nobody new will even be covered and we'll just end up spending a couple trillion more that we don't have on it...I'd not be surprised if he ends of nationalizing some or all of the national newspapers (to go along with the health care industry, auto makers, banks, etc...). What better way to control the news than to get into the actual business of creating the news?

Bush's teeny tiny deficit will be laughably small before too long, and we can all look back with a sense of nostalgia to the good old days when the government only cranked out debt that numbered in the hundreds of billions...
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Budget Deficit Tops 1 Trillion for First Time.

Almost as planned...except this time the Democrats spent (and spent and spent and spent and spent), then taxed.
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