General Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Is Osama Bin Laden achieving his main goal of bankrupting the US?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (9776points) January 28th, 2009

CNN:Bin Laden: Goal is to bankrupt U.S.

I will be the first person to admit that I like what Obama has done so far. After the swearing in of Geithner and this new stimulus, I lost all hope.

Is Bin Laden winning?
What are the advantages of Obama’s economic’s picks?
How will the government, pulling another trillion out of it’s ass, help the economy?

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26 Answers

asmonet's avatar

Um, no.
I’m sorry, but I just don’t think that particular man can bring a country to it’s knees, and it’s ridiculous to ignore all other factors contributing to the recession and attribute it to one fanatic in a desert halfway around the world.

dynamicduo's avatar

I wouldn’t say Bin Laden is winning exactly, but I would say that he’s more than accomplished his desired goals to inflict long term damage on America, and not being caught is a nice bonus. So in a sense, he won, if you define win to mean accomplish what he set out to do. But he’s stuck living a life in hiding (if he’s still alive even), so that’s not much of a win in my mind.

The government will likely let future generations figure out how exactly to pay for it. Like what was done with Social Security.

I can’t speak about Obama’s economic picks because I’m not American and I’m not an economist.

I’m not enjoying the stimulus packages either. Here in Canada they’re proposing a nice big one, hardly as big as the American one but then again we are hardly as big as America. I loathe it, I detest it, and it’s one reason why I won’t be retiring in Canada. One of the things this deficit spending seems to do is enslave the subsequent generations into finding a solution or paying for the previous generation’s problems. Not my cup of tea at all.

tonedef's avatar

This theory is asinine. It’s the equivalent of a wingnut claiming that god cause the hurricanes. Something bad happens to someone that the idiot despises, and then claims that it was the plan all along.

Also, unless Bin Laden gave up terrorism and entered the world of mortgage speculation, he is completely unrelated to the current economic climate.

Edit: The phrasing of your question leads me to believe that you were a Bushie. If you’re not happy with pulling 1 trillion dollars on infrastructure and social welfare projects, how do you feel about spending 3 trillion dollars on a half-baked and unnecessary war?

aprilsimnel's avatar

That guy has some ego on him, eh? What he said was presumptuous twaddle. He hasn’t the ability to dictate, much less influence, an entire nation’s economic system, any more than I can bend a spoon with my mind. And further, the decisions made by Wall Streeters to line their pockets at the expense of the common people had nothing to do with Bin Laden. The decision to go into Iraq and waste money and lives there had, ultimately, nothing to do with Bin Laden. So he can shove. it.

dalepetrie's avatar

Well, certainly Bin Laden would love to bankrupt the US. It’s no accident that his main target on 9/11 was the hub of Wall Street. And I do think to a degree Bush fell right into a trap by embarking on a war that could cost as much as 3 trillion dollars by the time it’s over. But most of the reason we’re so far in the hole now is that weve ignorned domestic spending for too long in favor of giving tax cuts to people who don’t need them, who do nothing to stimulate the economy with them.

Now the right wing wants to argue that we can’t spend another $800M we don’t have, but instead we should give tax cuts to people. Well, some very bright economists have demonstrated that when you have a tax cut, the ecomony gets back about 99 cents of every dollar spent. But, if you spend a dollar on infrastructure, the economy gets back about $3.50. Why? Well, because with a tax cut, some of that money is hoarded (or invested) in areas that do nothing but build that investor’s bottom line. What does go to the people who spend it gets spent on essentials, which are not that high margin to begin with. Some of the companies selling these essentials spend money on non-essentials, and some of the profits from that spending gets reinvested in the econommy and so on, but the net impact is less that what was put out there. Now, if you create jobs via infrastructure spending, that spreads money to the contractors, the subcontractors, the suppliers, and all the people who work for those contractors and subcontractors and suppliers. There are new jobs created (not the case with tax cuts…I know the argument is that the wealthy get tax cuts, they create jobs, but jobs doing what? If no one has money to spend on the fruits of the newly created labor, those jobs will go away…the wealthy folks aren’t stupid, and they are cutting jobs, not creating them at this time, even IF they got a tax cut). With new jobs, it’s not just people who have money (because they still have jobs) who benefit, it’s people who are out of work, who suddenly have money, and spend it on essentials AND to the extent they can, non-essentials. That creates more demand which creates MORE jobs.

So no, Bin Laden is not succeeding, if we will be bankrupted it is because for 28 years the right wingers have sold the American people a reeking pile of bullshit called trickle down economics, which was destined to fail, and which has now failed miserably and spectacularly, and what has been needed for a long time and is still needed, regardless of how big a hole trickle down economics has dug for us is domestic spending….an assload of it, if it needs to be on the credit card, so be it…it is the only investment SURE to pay off in the long run. My only regret is the stimulus package doesn’t contain MORE spending, and any right wing nut job telling you that it’s too much is espousing the same failed policies that got us in this mess.

tonedef's avatar

(@dalepetrie‘s contributions are so professional and insightful, I almost don’t read them anymore before GA’ing them. :) Thanks for the crash course on reekonomics.)

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Did anyone read the article or watch the video before posting?

“All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations,” bin Laden said.

We have ignored domestic spending too much, while giving tax cuts to the rich. I agree. We “needed” those tax cuts to run our empire. We have troops in over 100 countries. We spend over a trillion a year running this overseas empire, which makes us less safe, not more safe.

I agree with you about trickle-down economics. The people should get tax cuts. Shut down the IRS tomorrow. Leave me alone, let the corporations pay the taxes. This “infrastructure” spending(how much is it exactly), is going to end up benefiting corporations anyway.

Where is all of this money going to come from anyway?
Cant we save alot money by cutting military spending and shutting down bases throughout the world?
How can we be sure we don’t end up in another back breaking war against Pakistan, while Obama is shooting missiles into Pakistan?

Fieryspoon's avatar

The US is responsible for bankrupting itself.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I read that 1st article years ago. He still has no control on how our government and private businesses choose to conduct themselves. If we focused on where he was hiding in the Afghan/Pakistani border in the first place, and NOT IRAQ, he’d be running his big mouth in JAIL. We got entrenched in Iraq, and suddenly every other dude with a Molotov cocktail said they were al-Qaida. Pah! Bin Laden likes for us to be there, yes, but he didn’t make us go in to begin with.

I wish people would stop giving him more power than he deserves. Treating him like the scary bogey man allowed people with ulterior motives to use him as an excuse to do some nefarious power-mongering of their own.

As for domestic issues, nobody made people who couldn’t afford McMansions to go and get credit to buy them. Nobody made companies who knew these people were skint give them credit. Nobody forced financial institutions to swap losses and profits around like a shuffleboard game. Absolutely right, @Fieryspoon, the US is repsonsible for its own messes.

Response moderated
willbrawn's avatar

Stop worrying about Bin Laden and worry about your greed. That’s were America screwed up.

Jack79's avatar

Bankrupting the US? Nah, that was Dubyah’s dream. I think people are giving Osama (and Obama for that matter) more credit than they deserve.

The global financial relationships are far too complicated for any one man to affect. The US economy went through a crisis that was bound to happen sooner or later (I recently read an article written by a Brit more than a year ago predicting precicely what happened).

asmonet's avatar

@willbrawn: “worry about your greed”

Are you referring to the greed of Americans as people?

willbrawn's avatar

@asmonet yes. I’m not saying I’m not greedy but that’s were I think we are extremely flawed. I know a lot of people that will walk over toes to above someone else.

GAMBIT's avatar

I don’t think Bin Laden bankrupted the US. I think his main objective was to bring fear to the American people and to strengthen his own terrorist organization.

asmonet's avatar

I just don’t agree with broad generalizations.

Response moderated
asmonet's avatar

GTFO, troll.

Not that bright today, are we?

dalepetrie's avatar

I do think Obama has a goal of pay as you go government, but it’s just not possible. Where the money will come from, well here’s the theory.

We save or create 3 million jobs in the short term…that 3 million people drawing a paycheck and paying taxes into the system…the system wouldn’t have otherwise collected any taxes on these people. Let’s say 4 million people at 30 grand a year on average, that’s $120 billion a year in money that is taxed at say an average of 15%, that makes up 18 billion in taxes per year on that $825 million investment, which in and of itself is still a 46 year pay back, not even counting the time value of money.

But job creation is just part of that spending. Again, 825 billion injected in spending into the economy has the impact of 3.5 dollars added to the economy overall. The money gets spent the first time…the businesses pay taxes on additional revenues, they spend the money with their suppliers, the suppliers pay taxes on that money, their suppliers get a cut and they pay taxes on the money they get. The money that doesn’t get invested in the business is either payroll for a new employee or profit for the owner, but hey, you have more jobs, you need more capacity, to expand capacity you need more people, hence more jobs, more demand, more need for supply, more jobs to meet that supply need.

The problem has been that supply side economics states that if we have a supply of money in the hands of people who can use it to create jobs, they will do so. But it doesn’t specify where the demand is supposed to come from to purchase the fruits of that added supply created by the new jobs. You can create supply, but you can’t create demand by putting the money in a big funnel at the top.

But, if you spread the money at the bottom among people who don’t have jobs, or who have jobs but aren’t making ends meed, or who own businesses that aren’t able to pay the bills (and their suppliers who aren’t able to pay their bills because their best customers have stopped buying), what happens is suddenly the vast majority of that money is NOT thrown directly at creating jobs which the economy can’t support, instead it’s allowing people to satisfy their needs and wants, which in turn FORCES businesses to up their production, which means hiring new people, which means more people paying taxes and spending money to meet their needs and wants, which means even MORE businesses upping staff to meet demands, and their suppliers upping staff to meet the demands of their customers and so on and so forth, and until you reach a point where everyone’s every need and want is met, there’s absolutely no limit to how much money you can inject via way of spending. When a new job is created, the job holder pays taxes on his income, and everyone he gives money to for any good or service pays taxes on their additional profit, and any money that is reinvested in the business and used to buy anything is taxed via the profits of the company from which the first company bought things, and for every additional dollar paid in salary, that’s another dollar someone has to spend with a business that will eventually be taxed on it.

THAT is how you eventually get to the point where it doesn’t matter if we’re $3 trillion in debt now and going to $5 or $8 trillion before it gets better. Just look at the late 1990s, almost everyone who had a job wanted one, the service industry couldn’t even keep warm bodies, the government had a surplus, because tax receipts were higher than ever before, because more people were working and spending money than before.

THAT is what we need to get back to. So abolishing taxes altogether, and not spending any money…tell me how THAT is supposed to work? I don’t agree with the extent to which we’ve extended our military empire either, but I do have faith that Obama will put people where they are actually needed to ensure the safety and stablity of the US and the World and not strategically in places where our presence might pay off in oil riches. The only way I can see to abolish the IRS (and as such the military) would be first for the government to declare manifest destiny on the entire land holdings of every American citizen on US soil, then redistribute a parcel of farmable land to every family, declare bankruptcy and shut down. And how quickly would a military force from a hostile nation come in and take those parcels of land one by one? That’s a naiive, dangerous idea and as much as I hate taxes, I think the problem isn’t that we HAVE taxes, it’s that our tax structure unfairly benefits those who can most afford to pay the taxes and unfairly crushes those who can least afford to foot the bill. Make the tax structure more fair, tax prosperity, then invest in creating the prosperity that will be taxed, that is how you get out of debt and make sure everyone gets a fair shake, and has a government working to make their lives better in ways they could never do on their own.

cak's avatar

I think I am close to maxing out on GAing Dale.

mij's avatar

Osama is a bit like ” Where’s Wally? ”
If you let this guy play on your mind then maybe he will…
Last I heard he was living in a suburb of Perth, Western Australia?
And how come all our modern technology can’t catch an old bearded guy on a donkey trotting round the Afghan hillsides?
Where’s Rambo when we need him!

dynamicduo's avatar

Wait a second here, why don’t we have a television game called “Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?” yet! It’s the same number of syllables as Carmen Santiago, and we all know how much that show contributed to her being caught! :D

TaoSan's avatar

There you have it. Bin Laden simply suffers from delusions of grandeur. If any “mujahedeen” bankrupt the US it’s those on Wall Street. And make no mistake, they are indeed at Jihad with small investors.

As for the workings of tax breaks and the likes, DalePetrie’s post really sums it up.

The biggest flaw in American thinking pertaining to wealth distribution is the false belief that if the few get rich they will create jobs/opportunity/pay taxes, when in fact they spend that wealth on nifty consultants that show them how to get around with employing less and less people at lower wages, and how to invest that wealth in manners protecting it from paying taxes.

In other words, Republicans have for the longest time understood very well to make “Joe Plumber/Sixpack” croak about preserving an “American dream” that he simply never was part of.

galileogirl's avatar

A person can plan whatever he likes, including world domination. That doesn’t mean we have to worry about it. How serious a threat is he when has imprisoned himself in one of the most gawdawful places on the planet. He is completely delusional if he thinks that knocking down a couple of skyscrapers is going to bankrupt the US. Any other financial crisis we have dealt with in the last decade has been our own doing, he was just the phony excuse dreamed up by Cheyney.

How sad is that, to just be a figment of Cheyney’s fevered imagination?

Madoff caused more financial damage than Bin Ladin did and he’s living in the lap of luxury. That’s the difference between a psycopath and a sociopath-better living conditions. I have very pleasant dreams that bin Laden’s money was in one of those banks that Madoff screwed. lol

Seriously, bin Laden has turned into a publicity whore and will say anything for attention. His audience in the Arab states don’t want the financial destruction of the US because that would lead to the fall of the industrialized countries. No industry=no oil. That means back to camel caravans and selling slaves for a living for them. He might like living in a cave but do you think anyone else does?

TaoSan's avatar


I have very pleasant dreams that bin Laden’s money was in one of those banks that Madoff screwed. lol


Crashsequence2012's avatar


Our Federal government has done a fine job of it themselves.

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