Social Question

ETpro's avatar

Do you know where the US National Debt came from?

Asked by ETpro (34208 points ) November 27th, 2012

Here’s how we went from surplus to deep deficit. Blame it on math. No matter how much we want reduced investment to produce increased yields, it just doesn’t add up. So what can we learn from this as the budget negotiations to avoid going over the fiscal cliff begin in earnest?

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100 Answers

Linda_Owl's avatar

Mostly it is the interest charged by the so-called “Federal Reserve Bank” (the fact that it is called ‘Federal’ causes many to think that it is some how related to the Federal government). But the ‘Federal Reserve Bank’ is a privately owned bank that LOANS money to the Federal Government & then adds enough interest so as to keep the United States permanently in debt to the Federal Reserve Bank.

bkcunningham's avatar

I don’t have to watch the video. We all know it was Bush’s fault. ~

jerv's avatar

I’ve always been of the opinion that attempting to implement Supply-side Economics led to a large portion of it. It’s one thing to borrow money; that can be done responsibly. However, borrowing money then hampering your ability to pay it back rarely ends well.

There really isn’t a single cause though. It’s a combination of factors, but if I had to pick one uber-cause, I would say that it’s the Conservatives thinking they know more than they do and refusing to veer from a provably non-optional course. It seems that historically, the economy has done better overall whenever something is done to counter them, so it’s not partisanship that leads me to that conclusion; it’s math and history.

bkcunningham's avatar

@jerv, this and also this show the opposite of your conclusion.

cazzie's avatar

Bush Era. Very simple. Clinton handed over a balanced budget and the Reps pissed all over it. They spent big on their buddies in defence contracts in a made up war on an ideal that can’t be won fighing on geographic targets.

jerv's avatar

@bkcunningham And what of real income? Or sustainability? Growing inequality may lead up short-term gains, but hurts in the long run. I guess it depends on how you measure success, and what your definition of “strong economy” is. Both sides have their weak points, and neither can get everything going good. I don’t consider creating a million part-time jobs to be “reducing unemployment” even if the numbers look better on paper, and I generally prefer to cut long-term costs even if the short-term numbers suffer as a result.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Given that most of the US deficit is actually held by US federal agencies I would guess that at least some of the deficit is due to accounting for it differently.

bkcunningham's avatar

I agree. It is hard to explain the part-time jobs things to people who are so bent on saying that Obama has created jobs and the bad times are behind us though, @jerv.

jerv's avatar

@bkcunningham It isn’t a real job unless it can cover rent and utilities while leaving enough in your pocket that you don’t have to eat at taxpayer expense (food stamps) :p

ucme's avatar

Paris Hilton ordered drinks?

DrBill's avatar

considering we have not had a balanced budget since 1957, Bush must have been president for a lot longer than I thought? but I do like the graft’s nose-dive that started in 2008-present.

jerv's avatar

@DrBill What I like is how the shit hit the fan the same year Obama was elected, yet people ignore the fact that it was heading downhill before November and Obama didn’t take office until Jan ‘09 in their fervor to blame him. Almost as funny are those that think that Democrats will save us.

Face it, there is plenty of blame to go around, and it belongs on both sides of the fence. The only difference is that there used to be a time when both parties were willing to compromise on failed policies that satisfied nobody; modern Conservatives see that as a sign of weakness, much to the chagrin of Liberals, Moderates, and the old-school Conservatives.

DrBill's avatar

@jerv we are actually in agreement, I also believe there is plenty of blame to go around to all of them.

ETpro's avatar

@Linda_Owl Actually, a bit is interest, but almost all of it came from deliberately budgeting to spend far more than we take in via taxes, For a time, voters love that. Free money. You never need to pay. It’s only when the bills come due they get all angry that what they voted for was done.

@bkcunningham No, it actually started with Reagan. He was an affable buffoon who was congenial enough to sell supply-side economics for a bunch of brilliant, pit-viper advisers who profited handsomely from the largess.

Those pit vipers advising Reagan were smart enough to know supply-side economics was utter BS—we didn’t have a supply-side problem to solve. So they advised Reagan to massively increase federal spending while implementing the voodoo economics of self financing tax cuts. The spending got us a short-term boom, and the tax cuts coupled with the spending led to Reagan tripling the national debt, something no other President has ever achieved in times of peace.

Bush wasn’t even bright enough to surround himself with brilliant pit vipers, He doubled the national debt, drove the economy over a cliff that would have resulted in a second Great Depression had we not thrown trillions at fixing it, and left Republicans to rationalize that this was all Obama’s fault. I guess he used the same time machine to do this he used to rig his Hawaiian birth certificate when he was really born in Kenya, or Indonesia, or some place that gave him an Anti-Colonialism world view.

Your sad attempt to blame Democrats for Reagan’s and Bush’s financial disasters assumes that both those presidents were too dim-witted to know what a veto pen was, and therefore were totally held hostage to Congressional Democrats. I know that since the Party of Personal Responsibility merged with the Party of No to yield the Party of No Personal Responsibility this “it’s the democrat [sic] congress’ fault” refrain has resonated with that segment of the population that avoids the reality-based Universe. If you want to prove this claim is legitimate, show me the Congressional Overrides where Democrats forced Reagan and the two Bushes to spend when they did not want to.

No, in the real world governed by actual facts, the later years of each profligate spender happened to be when Democrats won congressional majorities because the public finally saw what the free money promise was really leading to. Sadly, they all to often played the game of free money promises. So they are certainly not above blame. They just don’t deserve the lion’s share of the blame.

@jerv You’re right on that.

@Lightlyseared That definitely does make the problem sound much worse than it really is. If I take a C note out of my left pocket and put it in my right pocket, I haven’t magically lost $100.

@DrBill we were paying the debt as a percent of GDP down till Ronald Reagan came along. Both Republican and Democratic administrations were doing so. Reagan exploded the national debt.

bkcunningham's avatar

@ETpro, if you get a chance, please take a look at my second link above and tell me what you think. That link, along with my first, are both facts.

ETpro's avatar

@bkcunningham I already told you what I think above. Claiming the party controlling Congress determines spending doesn’t make it true. Showing a graph that seems to suggest that doesn’t make it true.

Presidents submit budget proposals to Congress. Congress can either approve them and submit them to the President for signature, amend them slightly, or write their own alternative. Presidents can veto any legislation Congress passes, Congress can override the veto with a ⅔rds super-majority vote in both houses. So if you can take your lovely graphs and match them up to a string of congressional overrides of presidential vetoes, then the graph is telling the truth. But you cannot do that, because it never happened,

The deficits that began to show in the last two years of the Bush Administration were due to two huge tax cuts aimed mostly at the wealthy, an unfunded prescription drug benefit Bush proposed and Republicans supported aimed at bankrupting Medicare so Republicans could dismantle it or outsource it to their corporate sponsors, and two unfunded and unfounded wars PLUS the fact that massive housing bubble popped and that further reduced revenues.

When conservative think tanks filled with Harvard and University of Chicago PhD’s are not busy demonizing PhD’s, they spend their time dreaming up graphs and charts that make it appear policies they know do not work actually do work. They do this to dupe enough average Joe voters into voting for their elitist policies so that Republicans, who are a wholy-owned subsidiary of Wall Street and multinational corporations now, can wield power and use it to enrich Wall Street and multinational corporations. Who pays for the think tanks? Wall Street and multinational corporations and a few billionaires who invest in them.

DrBill's avatar

as the question asked, where did it come from, I thought it was WW1 that got it started.

@ETpro
If you;re going to blame any president, you should blame them all, rather than pick on just the one’s of a specific party.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Personally I blame the US citizens….I mean you guys voted for the president, the senate and the house of representatives… you gotta take some of the blame.

jerv's avatar

@Lightlyseared I think we need to revamp our political system to even try to mitigate that. As it stands, most of the time there are only two choices, and usually neither is the best person for the job. More third-party and write-in candidates that could actually compete with the two existing major parties on an equal footing would be required.
But that is a while seperate (and long) story.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill First, let’s deal with debt/income ratio like businesses do instead of raw debt totals, which ignore inflation. IBM today carries a debt/earnings ratio of 2/1. With current sales of roughly $100 billion in 2011, that means they had debt of $200 billion and Wall Street thought that was just fine—in fact perhaps a bit too low. In 1915, before WWI, IBM had sales of $4 million. $200 billion in debt would have doomed the company to instant extinction with that relatively tiny income.

WWI, the cost of recovering from the Great Depression and WWII all added up to debt totaling 120% of GDP. That’s huge debt in my eyes. I carry no debt past what I owe a doctor after insurance is billed. But most American corporations carry considerably more debt to earnings.

After WWII, the debt to earnings ratio (debt/GDP) dropped steadily under Democratic and Republican administrations alike until till it leveled off in the early 1970s at about 25% of GDP. The debt/GDP started to sail up under Reagan. He tripled the raw debt while falling far short of tripling the GDP.

@Lightlyseared I could be deluding myself, believing my deepest desires somehow influence reality, but I actually believe that while you are right that voting for the biggest Santa Claus (Some Santas give programs and some give money.), many of us have now grown up and no longer believe in Santa Claus. Polling seems to indicate that’s a realistic hope.

Linda_Owl's avatar

A “bit” of the National Debt is Interest… however, in 2011 the interest charged by the FED amounted to 454 BILLION DOLLARS. This was money that came OUT of taxpayer’s pockets & went INTO the pockets of WEALTHY people in the US & around the world. And a lot of the National Debt ends up being money spent to fight the wars in which we are entangled.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro
...and the question is “where did it come from” NOT what happened in the 70’s. but I knew you would change it so you could blame a republican, because that’s just what you do.

ETpro's avatar

@Linda_Owl Why would wealthy people buy US debt if it did not provide interest? Would the poor somehow finance the government if the rich did not? What would the poor use for money when they have to spend everything they earn just to live?

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill Right = wrong yet again. The debt we face today is 100% of GDP and in 1970, it was 25% or the 1970 GDP. Almost all of it came after 1985.

bkcunningham's avatar

You’re wasting your breath, @DrBill.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro

Interesting answer to a totally different question. as you asked the question, I would have thought you understood it, in that aspect, I was wrong.

so how do you explain 1918 Democratic president Woodrow Wilson jumping the national debt by over $9.2 Trillion in only one year? (this was before 1980’s)

DrBill's avatar

the federal (personal) income tax started in 1913, before that corporations paid ALL the taxes, I think we need to return to that policy.

ETpro's avatar

@bkcunningham Show me one thing I said immediately above that is not factual. If it is factual, then @DrBill‘s words are informed by ideology and only those facts that support it. And using flawed arguments driven by ideology is always a waste of breath, because the real world is driven by cause and effect, and doesn’t give a hoot what your or my ideology might be.

@DrBill Here’s a graph that shows debt/income ratios by president from 1929 to Sept. 2012.

The $9.2 trillion figure is in today’s dollars. What earthly sense besides supporting a ideologically driven false argument does it make to adjust for inflation backwards? The cost of WWI was a tiny blip in today’s debt. I won’t defend the Wilsonian worldview. I am really not sure whether we should have entered WWI or not, But today’s national debt has little to do with the cost of that move.

Regarding taxes, it costs more to finance the government needed in 2012 than it did in 1912. In 1912, we had no interstate highway system, no space program, a tiny, rather defenseless military, no nuclear energy to regulate, no serious problem with polluted groundwater or acid rain… We could go on and on with why the 1912 approach to government would be an unmitigated disaster today.

As to who pays, could pass all the cost to US businesses, but where do they get their money? The cost of everything they do would skyrocket, and that cost is borne by consumers. As much as I dislike paying more taxes, I’d rather we went the other way and moved more of the tax burden from corporations to individuals. We currently have the second highest corporate tax rate in the world, and that cost hampers our corporations in international competitive sales. Big corporations have bought themselves tons of deductions and even corporate welfare, letting them compete on an international stage while keeping at least some of their workforce here. Small corporations bear the full brunt of our high corporate tax rate and it’s killing us (I own a small business) when we compete with offshore suppliers. Small businesses are responsible for 2 out of every 3 new jobs in America today. So hiking taxes on them would only shrink our economy.

An ideal approach would be to match our corporate tax rate to that of our biggest trading partners, but take away all the unnecessary loopholes and all corporate welfare. We could raise more revenue and lighten the load on our entrepreneurs who really drive our future growth.

ETpro's avatar

@all I’ll get back to you all but duty calls. Gotta go get some more work done.

bkcunningham's avatar

Here’s what gets to me, @ETpro. With all due respect. I show a graph for discussion and you throw out all sorts of insults about it and say it is made and isn’t true. You throw out a graph from some website called efacts and it is Gospel. I have seriously come to the conclusion that you don’t want a discussion that in any way, shape or form doesn’t support your propaganda. Sad.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro
it is really sad that you seem to be blinded to the facts depending on the political party. The chart does not say anything about adjusting to today’s dollars.

The Simple answer is, the national debt came from Entitlement programs.

Q. Can we ever pay off the Debt completely?

A. No! Not unless we change the way we treat Currency. Currently, for every paper dollar (Federal Reserve Note) printed there is a dollar of Debt incurred. Most people think that Currency and Money are the same things. They are wrong! The explanation requires a college level discussion of “Money & Banking”. NOTE: Wealth is different yet! We don’t have to pay it off completely, but we should reduce it during “peace time” and only increase it during a period of national distress! Has the country really been under distress for over 40 years? I think not!

Q. Why is the Democrat Party only now concerned about the Debt?

A. They think that they can make it an election issue. The Democrats have not been interested in the rising National Debt for over 40 years! They have “insisted” on more and more entitlement programs that only serve to drive up the Debt. They think that you (US citizens) don’t understand what they have done to you and to the Country, and they are right! Most people don’t have a clue, and are looking for simple answers. If any Democrat Party politician says that they can reduce the Debt, then ask them “Which Entitlement programs will you cut or eliminate?”

jerv's avatar

@DrBill To be fair, Republicans have only really been concerned about the debt when it suits their purposes. A million dollars for something they dislike will be opposed as “running up the debt” while tens/hundreds of billions for stuff they like “won’t affect our debt at all”.
As far as which entitlement programs to cut, I would wager they answer would be, “The entitlements that allow billionaires to pay lower taxes than the middle class, and allow multi-national companies to pay zero taxes at the expense of small businesses.”. In other words, they see much of the Republican economic stance as “entitlement”, only to a different group that, lets be honest, would not starve in the streets if their entitlements were ended the way tens of millions would if the Republicans had their way.

DrBill's avatar

@jerv

To be fair, both parties make their share of bad decisions, the difference is Republicans want to lower taxes by cutting the entitlement programs for people who could work but won’t. The democrats want to promote entitlement programs for the same group because they are voters, and that is how they get re-elected.

jerv's avatar

@DrBill If the tax cuts led to the investor’s money being used to create jobs that actually paid a living wage, I would agree. They don’t, so I cannot.

Take it from somebody who spent over a year being turned away from many jobs (even shit jobs like McD’s) simply because they already had hundreds (if not thousands) of applicants in under three hours. The Republican answer is, “Jobs are everywhere, so only the lazy are unemployed!”, to which those of us who live in the really real world respond by voting Democrat.

Now, I oppose gaming the system as I feel that people should earn their fair share, but unlike current Republicans, I do not assume that 95% of the unemployed are merely lazy. So tell me, if there are 5 unemployed people and one job, would you kick the other 4 into the street and tell them to dumpster-dive for their dinner?

bkcunningham's avatar

@jerv, I agree that the minimum wage law has only hurt the poor. It is another failed progressive idea. Even the history of the process to arrive at the flawed minimum wage law we have now is an interesting read. I’m sure anything I post would be deemed lies because it puts the blame firmly in the laps of the party in charge at the time and the party who now supports the . Democrats.

Concerning your story about 5 unemployed people and one job. What would you do? Since I only make a certain amount of money and can only afford to employ so many people and provide them with insurance, there isn’t much I can do except offer to direct them to other people I may know who are hiring.

I could, at the risk of losing everything I have worked for, offer to let them work under the table and I could even offer them a place to sleep in the back of the business. But if the government found out about that I could lose my livelihood and the others who I legally employ would be the ones on the street begging for a minimum wage job.

I suppose I’d just have to direct them to the nearest food bank and wish them the best.

Silly isn’t it?

But, I’m curious to know what you would do, @jerv?

DrBill's avatar

@jerv I would not tell anyone to dumpster dive, and there are jobs, for people willing to work. The problem is there are too many people who have become accustom to living on the Democratic entitlement programs, some into the fourth generation with people teaching the kids how to live off the government tit so they won’t have to work.

In my town there are literately hundreds of jobs open. I had asked some of the employers why they had their “help wanted” sign up so long, as was told “no one will apply”. Meanwhile the county has 12,000 on public aid. We have had companies relocate because they could not get anyone to apply for the jobs they were offering.

We have people here who look for work (they are required to) that apply at one place a week, because that is the requirement to receive their public aid. The truth is, if they are available to work eight hours a day, they have time to spend eight hours looking for work. If they can only spend an hour a week looking, then they would only have an hour a week to work, and no one would hire someone who can only work an hour a week.

ETpro's avatar

Here’s how we went from surplus to deep deficit. Blame it on math. No matter how much we want reduced investment to produce increased yields, it just doesn’t add up. So what can we learn from this as the budget negotiations to avoid going over the fiscal cliff begin in earnest?
@bkcunningham I did not throw it out with insults, I threw it out due to clearly conflicting facts. If I’ve got my facts wrong, you can easily prevail by simply showing me where I’m off base. Instead, you come back with insults, “You’re wasting your breath, @DrBill.” I am rough with @DrBill because he’s been playing the “Here’s my insult for your fact” game long enough with me I’m tired of the attempted bullying. You, I expect better from.

@DrBill When you compare GDP to debt, there is no need to adjust for inflation, because it affects both at exactly the same time. I pointed that out, and so did the article the chart was in.

Can we ever pay off the debt completely? No, and we would be idiots to try, whatever the currency system might be. Find me one corporation that’s a darling of Wall Street with a debt/income ratio of 0/1. There are none. Being entirely debt free would mean the corporation is ignoring opportunities to invest and grow.

As to favoring social programs that only target those in true and not self-inflicted need, I’d support that if someone could articulate how that’s really going to work. But when you make the absurd claim that there are jobs awaiting every single able-bodied adult who is out of work, I have no faith you could develop such a plan. Perhaps you agree with Herman Cain’s when he claimed that the recession had nothing to do with Wall Street deregulated malfeasance; it happened because 15 million Americans suddenly just decided not to work anymore.

@jerv is quite right. Wasn’t it Dick Cheney who told his de-facto vice president, George W. Bush that, ’‘Deficits don’t matter.’’? I’m reasonably certain Cheney was a Republican.

bkcunningham's avatar

Let’s start at the beginning, @ETpro. Your original post ask, “Do you know where the national debt came from?” You said it started with Reagan. That is not true. Here and here disprove your first statement to me.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro
I am rough with @DrBill because he’s been playing the “Here’s my insult for your fact” game long enough with me I’m tired of the attempted bullying.

The real reason is you are trying to justify an undefinable point. You are not even addressing your own question. If you think the debt started in 1985, then you have a lot of history to catch up on.

The tripe you are spewing about GDP to debt has nothing to do with the question that YOU asked. I know you have to twist the facts so you can blame the “republican of the moment” and ignore the Democratic “spend it all, borrow and spend that also” mentality.

ETpro's avatar

@bkcunningham & @DrBill You are ignoring the question details. The full question asks where all of it came from. I do not think it all came from Wodrow Wilson and WWI, and I do not believe either of you two seriously think that either. As I have pointed out again and again, most of the US debt from WWII and earlier had been retired by 1980. Had we continued on the debt reduction path we had been on up till then, all of our debt would have been retired by 2000. Reagan is the President whose financial advisers told him debt didn’t matter, supply side economics would make borrowing a good thing. That decision influenced the next 30 years and took our debt from 25% of our GDP to 100%. That’s where 75% of it came from.

And don’t blame the welfare state. Welfare recipients as a percent of total population have been shrinking over most of the last 30 years, as you will see here and here. The welfare rolls have grown over the last 4 years thanks to the recession, not some sinister plot hatched by President Obama to buy votes.

bkcunningham's avatar

You are ignoring facts and history, @ETpro, and then you throw in an offhanded remark – don’t blame the welfare state – as more of your propagandized approach to dealing with anything that doesn’t jive with your opinion. Maybe it isn’t on purpose. But that is the way it appears to me. I think we speak two different languages. It may stem from the differences in how some people are left-brained and some people are right-brained. I’m not referring to political parties with that reference either. I just get very frustrated trying to discuss something with you sometimes.

jerv's avatar

@bkcunningham Now you know why I feel government programs and paying taxes are necessary. Maybe I read the UDHR wrong when it said, ” Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.” and “Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection, and consider those “entitlement programs” to be necessary to prevent us from having a worse record on human rights than China.

@DrBill Given what their jobs pay, there is no state in the US where 40 hours a week would even cover rent, and many where even two such jobs would not allow luxuries like utilities or food. Maybe you live where people are lazy, but I see too many people spending 40+ hrs/wk just looking.

jerv's avatar

Just curious, @DrBill; if you have no car and the as says, “Must have reliable transportation”, would you apply? How about a minimum education/experience requirement that you do not meet? I know I lost a few opportunities when I lacked a car, and many more because 3 years is less than 5.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro In 1980? ..... 2,788,100,000 is a long way from the debt be retired.

The thirty years you claim, includes both republican and democrat presidents, so are you saying Reagan’s plan was continued by the democrats also? After all we already know spending $5 trillion year over budget won’t work.

If you really believe paying off the debt would be a bad idea, you should explain your theories to China.

@jerv I am aware that not everyone qualifies for every job, but I am also aware there are lots of jobs that don’t require those things. I personally know some people who are full time employed, have no car, and don’t even have a GED, but they are motivated and willing to work.

jerv's avatar

@DrBill As do I, but I know many more who are just as motivated and willing, yet unable to merely because every position they apply for has other qualified applicants. If motivation were all it took, then there would be millions more millionaires. It takes more than just good intentions and drive though. And until the delusion that clicking your heels together will transport you back to Kansas gets dispelled, I have no choice but to consider the financial position of many Conservatives to be based on ignorance and fairy farts. Maybe I’m too jaded, or maybe I just see a part of reality that they never have, but it’s hard for me to agree with those who think that the things I have seen are fictitious while their theories are fact.

bkcunningham's avatar

So what would you do, @jerv? You didn’t answer your own question. What would you do if you were hiring one person and five showed up? Would you let them salvage for food from a dumpster? As the business owner, what would you do?

DrBill's avatar

@jerv I do teach a class on how to get hired. The class is voluntary so I only get the motivated to attend. We have a 100% placement rate over the last two years. But they do apply for the available jobs, even some they don’t qualify for, and sometimes they get them.

What you don’t see is that if the ad says, five years experience, and no one has that much, they will look at the one with three years. If they want a B.S., they will sometimes settle for an A.S. etc.

I had a student last year apply for a job that required a M.S. degree, and they hired him with only an A.S. degree.

jerv's avatar

@bkcunningham Not the business owners responsibility, beyond paying their taxes. That is, unless the executives are drawing such big salaries that the company has no money left for growth, but basically that is part of the reason government even exists. More to say, but break is short.

@DrBill My wife did Account Receivable for two years, but got dozens of rejections due to lack of a degree. Maybe Seattle is less flexible, maybe times have changed. I know what you say was true 5–10 years ago, but if the last four years have taught me anything, it’s that you cannot assume that it still is, our that it is true everywhere.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill Take a moment to actually look at the chart then we can discuss it. Take another moment to realize I said that the debt in 1970 was down to 25% of GDP. I most certainly NEVER said is was totally gone. What I did say is that if we had continued the fiscal policies of both Republican and Democratic administrations from 1949 to 1980, we would have completely retired the federal debt by 2000.

cazzie's avatar

I never heard the term ‘Entitlement Program’ before it was thrown around by Faux this past year. I guess money used on the wars on terror is an entitlement program too, then.

(if it is anyone’s business at all, I have never collected unemployment, even when unemployed for short periods and was ‘entitled’ to it.

This damn aging population and the way they are sucking social security and medicaid. I think we should just do what the Vikings did. Oldies living far too long and using up all that money on the very expensive health care system, when all they are going to do is get sick and die soon anyway, because they are so old. (why aren’t we having that discussion instead of the unemployed??)

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro

Then how do you explain your hero Obama running the GDP over 100% every year he has been in office, and it is still climbing? A feat that has only happened twice before back in 1947–1948, but Obama has kept it over 100% and growing since 2009

jerv's avatar

Much of Europe did what Republicans want to do (austerity).
Much of Europe is in the double-dip that g the US had been trying to avoid.
Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Our situation is that a group that has things wrong is fighting a group that wants to watch the world burn if they don’t get their way, and us normal citizens are casualties in their war. I think one solution would be to just revamp our political system such that we had a government that actually cared more about their country than their party.

DrBill's avatar

@jerv that would solve a lot of problems.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill Your numbers are off. The debt as a percent of GDO is just slightly over 100% of GPD now in 2012, and it’s been growing rapidly each year since 2007, so it couldn’t have jumped to 100% in 2009. In fact, it began it’s steep climb in late 2007 under Bush, and Obama has slowly been decelerating that climb, as this chart shows.

Could the President have slammed the brakes on spending when inaugurated in 2009? You bet. But that would have ensured we would have gone into a Great Depression similar to 1929, and dragged the rest of the world down with us.

DrBill's avatar

Even if Reagan had not reversed the debt growth, this shows Obama would have plummeted us into debt all over again with his waist-full spending. Obama likes to blame Bush for the reckless spending HE has done, even though the fact show he is responsible for less than 10% making Obama responsible for 90%.

Even the chart you refereed to has a steep climb starting the moment Obama took office and began his highly accelerated spending plan, which continues today. Of course Obama would never admit to any error on his part.

Bottom line THIS is where the national debt came from without all the fluff, just the facts.

cazzie's avatar

@jerv Europe isn’t a country. (you know that, I know, but I do get tired of people referring to ‘over here’ as if it is just one in the same.) Case in point:

Greece and Spain is getting all the attention an no one is paying attention to the success in Iceland. Perhaps because they bailed out their PEOPLE, and threw their BANKERS in jail and actually put their Prime Minister on trial as a way of getting every detail of what everyone knew out in the public arena. They feel it went a long way to healing the feelings as well as learn lessons from mistakes made.

Greece is a completely different kettle of fish. From the article below: ‘In Iceland, good economic governance and general lack of corruption helped pull the country through. In Greece, corruption and tax evasion are rife. ’

I didn’t read all of these yet, but here is something (In English) from the Metro http://www.metro.co.uk/news/902371-what-can-greece-learn-from-icelands-recovery-after-banking-collapse

cazzie's avatar

@DrBill how do you feel about Nobel Prize winning economists?

I think Paul Krugman has it right.

DrBill's avatar

@cazzie He has some good ideas, but the question here is “where did the debt come from?

cazzie's avatar

In an interview with Rolling Stone Krugman was asked: Don’t you worry about the impact on the deficit?
His Answer:
The deficit is way overstated as an immediate action-forcing issue. It’s something to worry about over the next decade, but not something that should be dictating your policies right now. And the fact of the matter is that austerity, when you’re in depression economics, doesn’t even work from a fiscal point of view. Slash government spending and the economy contracts and it cuts into the economy’s long-run prospects.

And article he wrote about debt and what it is and where it comes from: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/02/opinion/krugman-nobody-understands-debt.html

bkcunningham's avatar

Krugman is a partican Democratic party hack.

cazzie's avatar

@bkcunningham with a Nobel Prize.

bkcunningham's avatar

@cazzie, you asked, “how do you feel about Nobel Prize winning economists?” I should have added that I love the work of the late, great Milton Friedman. I think he has it right.

jerv's avatar

@cazzie “Europe” is quicker to type than “Greece and Spain” :p

cazzie's avatar

@bkcunningham I don’t think much of Milton Friedman’s work and it is now the way of the dinosaur. People should stop clinging to the ‘greed is good and the best way’ model. (not only that, but he was a very interested party to the Pinochet government and I will never respect anyone who could turn a blind eye to what was going on there and carry on defending himself and his involvement is sickening.

jerv's avatar

@bkcunningham In that case, you might be interested in this quote:“Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.”. While Milt had some wise words (like those), the truth is that noble intentions do not excuse being an asshole or an idiot. In other words, there is no excuse for the Republican’s economic strategy over the last couple of decades.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill As I have pointed out on numerous posts now, and as the CBO charts show, the debt you bemoan began its stratospheric rise under George W. Bush, not Obama. With the current President not being a necromancer, and not constitutionally allowed to renege on spending obligations like Iraq, Afghanistan and the prescription drug benefit, that Bush debt curve carried over into the Obama Administration. Obama also has had to throw considerable money at keeping the miserable economic failure of Bush form dragging the US and the world into a depression. Even so, the debt to GDP curve has been trending back off its steep ramp in the last year of the Bush Presidency. So given that, it’s not realistic to claim that is is Obama who has caused all the debt by going on a wild spending spree. You keep claiming you are non-partisan, but you cling to falsehoods and pooh-pooh any facts that conflict with your ideology, while grasping at the most tenuous ones that do. Your attacks are as “fair and balanced” as those from partisna hack, Fox News.

DrBill's avatar

if Bush was stratospheric, then Obama spending 2½ times as much must have been Pluto-sphecric.

you can throw whatever insults you want, but only a mental defect would make a person think 2 billion in debt is worse than 5¼ billion id debt

bkcunningham's avatar

@DrBill, Bush made Obama spend more. Obama is fixing Bush’s mess. Don’t you understand anything? ~

DrBill's avatar

I guess I am too logical to think their way.

jerv's avatar

@DrBill Think in terms of percentages, not dollar amounts. To do otherwise is to ignore actual value, inflation, and math for the sake of hyperbole. Compare a 2012 dollar to a 2004 dollar and you need to adjust the numbers by ~22% to do so.

Also, you ignore what @ETpro said about Obama having to deal with things signed by his predecessor. All Presidents and Congresses have that for at least the first year of their terms. While @bkcunningham was sarcastic, at least the point was addressed.

You claim you are too logical, yet you seem to give in to emotion in your quest to be correct. That is a trait that I personally am quite horrid at, yet you are outdoing me, a person who makes no pretensions of being logical.

Take a deep breath, study history and trend analysis, and maybe you will be able to see things the way @ETpro and I do, even if you do not agree. Lets start here; I think we can agree that “sustainable and stable” beats “unsustainable and erratic”, and that slow growth beats bubbles though, can we not? And that sometimes you have to sacrifice the present for a better future?

cazzie's avatar

So, Dr. Bill is completely refuting what was shown in the video in the OP. Clearly, not only does @DrBill dislike President Obama, but he hates math.

ETpro's avatar

@cazzie Math is the mortal enemy of today’s supply-side Republicans.

cazzie's avatar

Well, @ETpro I am an Emperical Girl, living in an Emperical World. Now I want that on a t-shirt.

DrBill's avatar

@cazzie
I am happy to ignore the tripe on any and all slanted sites. It is no secret I think Obama cannot spend 5trillion over budget every year AND reduce the budget, only a fool would think he could. I dislike the people who have to change the numbers so they appear right, when they are not.

jerv's avatar

@DrBill I think i can speak for everyone here when I say that you are not the only one who dislikes fudging numbers.

However, I have yet to see a Republican plan that even matches the numbers claimed; they ignore hidden costs, misjudge others, and seek cuts based on ideological rather than economic grounds. So go ahead and hate the Liberals, but save an even larger helping of contempt for the current crop of Conservatives, many of whom I would not trust with my household finances, let alone a Federal Budget.

Personally, I think that making efforts to curb long-term costs is a good thing, and would rather do that than bill the grandchildren for the excesses of today. Of course, that may mean sacrifices from those that currently pay a rather small proportion of the costs, but illustrating that point would require talking in percentage rather than absolute amounts (and more typing than I feel inclined to do at present). Suffice it to say that I’m unhappy with the direction we are headed, and I would rather change course to avert disaster rather than aim directly for it and floor the pedal.

DrBill's avatar

@jerv

If it matters, I don’t like the republican plan either. I also support the idea of changing course, but not the course we are on now either.

jerv's avatar

@DrBill Good to know. Sadly, just like anything that involves politics, our choices are limited to the lesser of two evils, with neither alternative particularly palatable.

Is it safe to assume that, like me, you would prefer a plan motivated by promoting economic stability and granting all citizens a better quality of life than the ghettos of a Third World nation rather than one motivated by a combination of greed, fallacious thinking, and mostly partisan spite?

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill If we are wise, we won’t approach deficits by only reducing spending. We are living in the 21st century in a world far more complex than the one before the Great Depression, yet we have voted to tax ourselves at levels lower than any in the past 80 years. If we cut spending to 1929 levels (inflation adjusted) we will get anther 1929 result.

As far as your “non biased” numbers, here is the deficit by year chart from the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation. Even their projection is 80% less than your bogus claim of a $5 trillion per year shortfall.

DrBill's avatar

@jerv
yes we would be agreed on that point

@ETpro
but I was referring to his first 4 years, not projections. No one knew he was going to spend so much till after he did.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill You’re conflating deficit and debt. The National Debt has gone from around $10 trillion at the end of Bush’s years to over $15 trillion today. Deficit is the budget shortfall in a single year. But if you look at what happened to deficit spending in the last years of the Bush administration, you see that Obama has actually begun to reign in the climb of that curve. If he had flattened it completely on day one, the Great Recession would have come the second Great Depression.

cazzie's avatar

@jerv calls it the ‘lesser of two evils’. My mother used to call it ‘the evil of two lessers’. But either way, slant is slant and squinting your eyes like @DrBill is doing doesn’t help.

DrBill's avatar

A person has to squint when you guys won’t use real numbers, you have to adjust for this and that, or convert for some BS reason because you know the real numbers show how wrong you are.

jerv's avatar

@DrBill Hence why we cannot agree with your view on certain things either; there seems to be a lot of disagreement between us on what “real numbers” are. There is also a bit of an issue over inflation distorting the numbers; not all of us adjust for that, which is why some people think $15k/yr is more than enough to live on even though that hasn’t been true for decades.
Again, think in percentages unless you are willing to adjust historical numbers to 2012 dollars.

DrBill's avatar

@jerv
The problem is not the adjustment, or referring to things like today’s dollars. It it the translating different ways, according to what you want the numbers to say. There is no consistency, if inconsistency will slant the apparent numbers the way you want.

jerv's avatar

@DrBill Inflation adjustment is used enough in hyperbole to make things sound worse than they are that I felt it relevant enough to be worth mentioning. It’s easier to get numbers to say what you want them to say when you exaggerate.
I think that, on this point, you and I are saying effectively the same thing, only differently.

DrBill's avatar

@jerv
I believe we are.

cazzie's avatar

Unless your PhD is in Accounting, I will not defer to your assertions, but still consider them opinions. Dates in time are easily checked and referred to, as in, what bills passed when who was signing them. Who OK’d what spending because there are undebatable dates (and signatures, even) on documents. Twisting history only serves to ensure that the furture will not be safe from the same mistakes.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv Thank you. Opinions are not automatically as accurate as facts. No amount of rhetoric makes them so. And ignorance of the facts means not learning the lessons of history, which indeed condemns the guilty to repeat them. There are no dropouts allowed in the school of hard knocks.

cazzie's avatar

Thank you, @jerv , That was exactly what I meant.

cazzie's avatar

(wow…. all editorials from an unbalanced source… hmmmm) You should see a doctor about that squint.

bkcunningham's avatar

Using raw dollars and if you account for inflation it is mostly true. Oh, and they forgot to mention that most of Obama’s restraint in spending was because of Republicans, but it is mostly true. LOL Talk about squinting.

DrBill's avatar

WOW the standard leftist view to anything not also not falling to the left.

jerv's avatar

@DrBill That cuts both ways. Granted, it’s hard to find sources without bias, but it’s harder when those that spread views that disagree with Fox News are considered biased. Your links are less biased then many I have seen, but lack diversity to the point where they are a bit suspect if for no reason other than they are but a single source. A truly unbiased opinion is based on multiple sources, and often conflicting ones that require one to calculate where the middle is as Truth often lies in the unspoken middle.

@bkcunningham A trillion now, or 100 billion a year that will probably increase for more than a decade…. sometimes one has to spend money to save money. Then again, I think that given that a huge chunk of the current crisis is due to Conservative philosophy (assuming one can call the Republicans of the last few years actual Conservatives; given that even Reagan disagrees with them, I think it is a stretch) , it really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how they could offer the best solution now and not be trusted.
That said, I think the Democrats do need something to restrain them as they won’t restrain themselves, but turning our nation into a Third World nation for the benefit of a small elite class really isn’t the best way to avoid their excesses. They need rational people who recognize reality, who do not blame the poor, who consider women and homosexuals human beings instead of slaves and abominations, and basically are not batshit fucking lunatics.
So if you all feel that the Democrats/Liberals are on the wrong path, present a VIABLE alternative. One that won’t lead to worse wealth distribution than serfdom. One that isn’t based on bubbles that ensure poverty for future generations. One that respects human rights. One that recognizes and respects the boundaries between Church and State.

DrBill's avatar

just more of the liberal left criticizing anything not to their liking, while supporting tripe that supports leftist, with no proof needed. They have to find these tripe sites because they are unable to state their case without them.

This question was answered a long time ago, but because Obama is responsible for part of the debt, along with a lot of others, the leftist have to attack it.

jerv's avatar

@DrBill Unless and until you bitch about the Conservative Right doing the same thing, you are going to be seen as hypocritical, and thus hard to take seriously. You cannot claim their sources are tripe when you yourself eat tripe. As for needing sources, trust me, if proof and corroboration were not needed to establish credibility, our legal system would be very interesting indeed.

I cannot speak for the others here, but I personally tend to trust sources that makes it their living to debunk bullshit from both sides a bit more than those who serve as mouth-pieces for partisanship. And my views often lead me towards the Liberal/Democrat side simply because enough of the Conservative/Republican side is so provably false that I cannot help but lend them less credibility; tell enough blatant lies, and I won’t trust you no matter how many truths you speak.

DrBill's avatar

@jerv I have openly said I don’t like their plan either, and it cannot be hypocritical, as I do not say one thing and do another. Thee only ones who do not take me seriously are the ones who have their set beliefs, and are so intrenched that they refuse to consider anything except their narrow point of view.

99.9% of sources are tripe, they are published by people who slant things the way they want and get these drones to follow them. I did not show the links because I would endorse them, but rather to show for every far left source you quote, there is an equally wrong far right source.

One thing that is overly apparent is there are lots of jellies ready to point a finger and say “you’re wrong”, but I have yet to find one that will say, “This is why I disagree with you…”

jerv's avatar

@DrBill I don’t remember calling you hypocritical; merely advising you that you may appear to be so. In a world where perception is reality to many people, the actual truth is often irrelevant.
Personally, I enjoy discussions where opposing viewpoints are presented eloquently with supporting evidence. Beliefs that are never challenged are weak beliefs, and weak opposition is more insulting than logical, fact-based debate.
As for our economy, there is enough ambiguity that all sides have enough ammo to slung mud at each other ad nauseum even without making stuff up :/

DrBill's avatar

@jerv I did not think you were calling me anything. Yes, I agree, but there are a few (they know who they are) that jump into the “everyone but me is wrong” attitude while refusing to open their mind to opposing ideas.

I do think the two of us have some similar thoughts, and even when we disagree, at least we can agree to disagree without getting childish about it.

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