The co-chairs of ... debt and deficit commission ... calling current budgetary trends a cancer "that will destroy the country from within"

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    Jul 11, 2010 4:53 PM GMT
    "... Bowles said that unlike the current economic crisis, which was largely unforeseen before it hit in the fall of 2008, the coming fiscal calamity is staring the country in the face. "This one is as clear as a bell," he said. "This debt is like a cancer."

    The commission leaders said that, at present, available federal revenues are fully consumed by just three programs: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. "The rest of the federal government, including fighting two wars, homeland security, education, art, culture, you name it, veterans, the whole rest of the discretionary budget is being financed by China and other countries," Simpson said.

    We can't grow our way out of this," Bowles said. "We could have decades of double digit growth and not grow our way out of this enormous debt problem. We can't tax our way out . . . The reality is we've got to do exactly what you all do every day as governors. We've got to cut spending or increase revenues or do some combination of that." "

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/11/AR2010071101956.html?hpid=topnews
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    Jul 11, 2010 6:29 PM GMT
    You can thank "PAID" politicians on BOTH sides for this..........
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    Jul 11, 2010 6:47 PM GMT
    Since we are quoting from that article, which is well written and balanced, please remember to note this:

    "...Bowles and Simpson said the commission would have had a stronger hand politically had it been created by Congress, rather than through an executive order. Simpson was pointed in his criticism of seven Republicans who once had co-sponsored such a measure but who helped block it the Senate.

    "As far as I can discern it was to stick it to the president," Simpson said. "That's where we are in Washington." He later added that all of seven "have now come to us to say we're ready to help."..."

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    Jul 11, 2010 7:03 PM GMT
    fastprof saidSimpson was pointed in his criticism of seven Republicans who once had co-sponsored such a measure but who helped block it the Senate.

    "As far as I can discern it was to stick it to the president," Simpson said. "That's where we are in Washington." He later added that all of seven "have now come to us to say we're ready to help."

    We shall see, but I wouldn't hold my breath, likely just another Republican ruse, to deflect criticism while continuing to delay and obstruct. "Make Obama fail" is their motto, not "what can we do for our country" as Kennedy once said. A negative cry that is unremittingly repeated by some here, whom I have no need to name. icon_wink.gif
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    Jul 11, 2010 8:34 PM GMT
    There will be no cooperation from either side until after the November elections. They are too busy trying to rally their own side for support by demonizing the opposition.

    I do have issue with the "largely unforseen" part. There were warning signs for quite some time that this was going to happen, who didn't see it coming?
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    Jul 11, 2010 8:44 PM GMT
    It's really a complicated and bi-partisan issue.

    It's easy to dismiss the philosophy behind Austrian economics. (Pay as you go!) As I pointed out on another thread, taken to its logical extreme, that would mean no mortgages, since by definition, a mortgage puts you in astronomical debt (for most people) hedged against your future income to pay it off, at large costs.

    I do view some of the drama from the right on this as posturing. As long as the country is productive, a reasonable mortgage can be paid off, and the money obtained from the mortgage (sort of like an equity loan or equity line of credit) can be used to increase the value of the property (the GNP), thus ensuring that you can pay off the debt eventually. But it's not all posturing, there are legitimate concerns we should all share there.

    That's the "gamble" that the Obama administration has made with the stimulus. His "gamble" should pay off because it is an investment into our infrastructure, so to speak. But it might not, if the deficit gets too large.

    In other words, if the monthly payment gets too large you'll default. So those of us who take measured tones on these issues need to be aware of that.

    We can't argue about why the debt was rung up so high up until January 2009. The facts are there. Most of that occurred in the two Bush presidencies, and most of that debt was related to the war machine (not in infrastructure, mostly). Even if they were "just" wars, that would be the case.

    For the Republicans to be posturing with what Obama is doing now is disingenuous, not all Republicans, but most mouth the disinformation like Jindal did recently.

    But we should all realize that this is a true crisis. Sort of what Roosevelt faced with the Depression.

    I find it ironic that it was Obama who directed the commission be formed that is liable to be, at least partially, critical of his budget. This is something Bush would never have done.
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    Jul 12, 2010 1:04 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    fastprof said
    For the Republicans to be posturing with what Obama is doing now is disingenuous, not all Republicans, but most mouth the disinformation like Jindal did recently.

    You mean when Jindal spoke out against federal funding of volcano research? Who knew the gays were so pro-volcano research!


    It was for volcano monitoring and, shortly after his blathering one erupted in Alaska. icon_rolleyes.gif

    He probably didn't want the oil rigs monitored either.
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    Jul 12, 2010 3:25 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 said
    It was for volcano monitoring and, shortly after his blathering one erupted in Alaska. icon_rolleyes.gif

    As if spending money on volcano research would have stopped that.


    Christian73 said
    He probably didn't want the oil rigs monitored either.

    Actually, he's furious that the federal government did not adhere to its scheduled inspections regarding the Deepwater Horizon rig.

    If you can work it into your weekday schedule, listen to WWL-AM out of New Orleans every weekday from 2p-5p New York time... They have a great talk show on there that's local and non-partisan. You can listen online at: www.wwl.com


    Really? Shouldn't he been screeching against the intrusion of the Federal government on private enterprise?

    Why should New Orleans get inspected and monitored by federal dollars but not Alaska or Hawaii's volcanoes?

    If Jindal (or you) want to eliminate oversight, defund regulatory agencies and cut spending, this is the result.

    What we are seeing in finance, energy, and every other industry is the result of the deregulation orgy started under Regan (and, yes, enabled by Clinton). Some of us don't want big government or small government. What we want is responsible government.

    And Jindal is a fucking hack who has no business in such a government.
  • rnch

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    Jul 12, 2010 3:34 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 said
    ...Jindal is a fucking hack who has no business in such a government.


    on THIS we can agree.
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    Jul 12, 2010 3:47 AM GMT
    The volcano research issue is a frustrating one for me:
    "Does the governor have a volcano in his backyard?" Royce Pollard, the mayor of Vancouver, Washington, said on Wednesday. "We have one that's very active, and it still rumbles and spits and coughs very frequently."

    Jindal singled out a $140 million appropriation for the U.S. Geological Survey as an example of questionable government spending during the GOP response to President Obama's address to Congress Tuesday night."

    You Republicans. LIsten to southbeach ridiculing this. It is legitimate research, and it's implication could be adequate forecasting of eruptions that might effect major population centers.

    Some active but dormant volancoes include:

    Mt. Shasta (Redding, Red Bluff, Mt Shasta)
    Crater Lake (Medford)
    Mt Hood (Portland)
    Mt. St. Helens (Portland, Vancouver, Yakima)
    Mt. Rainier (Seattle, Yakima, Spokane)

    Why do we bother? I tell you, these guys are idiots. They are anti-intellectual to such a degree that they'd ignore risks to major cities. Forget just the scientific knowledge understanding the mechanics of eruptions leading to forecasting.
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    Jul 12, 2010 12:19 PM GMT
    fastprof saidSome active but dormant volancoes include:

    Mt. Shasta (Redding, Red Bluff, Mt Shasta)
    Crater Lake (Medford)
    Mt Hood (Portland)
    Mt. St. Helens (Portland, Vancouver, Yakima)
    Mt. Rainier (Seattle, Yakima, Spokane)

    Why do we bother? I tell you, these guys are idiots. They are anti-intellectual to such a degree that they'd ignore risks to major cities. Forget just the scientific knowledge understanding the mechanics of eruptions leading to forecasting.


    On the part of the politicians and tea baggers, I agree that they're are willingly ignorant and anti-intellectual. But their corporate sugar daddies love the idea of uncontrolled natural disasters because it means Blackwater will get big fat contracts!
  • mustangd

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    Jul 12, 2010 3:19 PM GMT
    how could a financial crisis looming be unforeseen in 2008, when we had been fighting 2 wars and had tax breaks simulataneously for 5 years or more? obviously there is a huge problem with spending, it goes back long before 2008 though.
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    Jul 12, 2010 3:50 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 said
    Really? Shouldn't he been screeching against the intrusion of the Federal government on private enterprise? If Jindal (or you) want to eliminate oversight, defund regulatory agencies and cut spending, this is the result.

    Jindal isn't advocating for no Federal government regulations. How can you even say such a thing when you know you won't be able to directly prove it?

    Christian73 said
    Why should New Orleans get inspected and monitored by federal dollars but not Alaska or Hawaii's volcanoes?

    New Orleans isn't getting inspected. The offshore drilling rigs are subject to Federal inspections on a set schedule, and the Federal agency responsible for carrying out those inspections did not conduct those inspections.

    Christian73 saidWhat we are seeing in finance, energy, and every other industry is the result of the deregulation orgy started under Regan (and, yes, enabled by Clinton). Some of us don't want big government or small government. What we want is responsible government.

    There were a ton of Federal regulations that weren't enforced by the Federal agencies charged with enforcing them. That's the failure here. Not that there is any lack of regulations. In fact, there are thousands of them and the most basic one, the scheduled inspections by Federal inspectors, was ignored by the Feds. Calling for even more regulations, when the Feds can't even get around to enforcing the ones already on the books, is just silly.

    Christian73 said
    And Jindal is a fucking hack who has no business in such a government.


    Calm down, please!


    In order, Jindal has a long history of opposing federal regulation, as do most of the governors in the areas effected by the BP spill. I don't need to PROVE something that is right out there in the public record. Jeez.

    Re: inspections. MMS was filled with Bush-era hacks who would rather screw those they're supposed to be regulating than, well, regulate them. Look at the outcry (from you and others) on just the idea that we would suspend exploratory drilling for 1% of rigs in the Gulf, until information could be collected on THIS spill and safety measures could be enhanced. Jindal was right out there defending BP and arguing against the moratorium. So, he's for inspections after something has blown up, but not stopping something so it can be inspected to figure out how to prevent the blowing up? That's some logic. But what do you expect from a man who performed an exorcism on his college girlfriend.

    Re: enforcement. Bush had no interest in enforcing rules on his oil buddies. And for those of you who want smaller government, who is doing these inspections? Should we contract them to Blackwater? You and Jindal have made it perfectly clear that you don't want tax dollars to pay for inspections.

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    Jul 12, 2010 5:25 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 saidJindal has a long history of opposing federal regulation, as do most of the governors in the areas effected by the BP spill. I don't need to PROVE something that is right out there in the public record. Jeez.

    Jindal is against Federal regulation of what, specifically? I can't seem to find anything from Jindal where he says he is against Federal regulation of drilling rigs in the Gulf.

    Christian73 saidRe: inspections. MMS was filled with Bush-era hacks who would rather screw those they're supposed to be regulating than, well, regulate them.

    Ah, the old blame Bush mantra.



    Christian73 saidRe: enforcement. Bush had no interest in enforcing rules on his oil buddies.

    And... once again, the blame Bush card is played.



    Christian73 saidYou and Jindal have made it perfectly clear that you don't want tax dollars to pay for inspections.

    1) Show me where I have written that I don't want tax dollars to pay for drilling rig inspections.

    2) Show me where Jindal has advocated that tax dollars should not pay for drilling rig inspections.


    SB -

    I'm NOT doing your homework for you. You almost exclusively post and appear to research from hard right-wing sources, so I'm not surprised that you can't find this information.

    And your cherry picking some parts of my post to challenge them out of context demonstrates your lack of intellectual heft.

    Also, I think it's fair to blame Bush (or more accurately Cheney and Rove) for the outcomes of their appointments. It was Bush that stacked MMS with oil industry sycophants. Given that Obama is blamed for things that haven't even happened, this seems fair to me.

    Re: inspections. Again, you and Jindal want to cut government spending and deregulate everything you can see. This is the outcome of those policies.