Don’t Be Fooled: Default Will Be Painful

May 19th, 2011 at 11:10 am | 68 Comments |

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Conservatives, whether they are think tank fellows or radio hosts, share the same talking point: paying off America’s debt’s without default will be a painless process. Veronique de Rugy made this case in National Review, arguing that there is more than enough coming in through tax revenue to both pay off debts and run the government:

There is absolutely no reason for the U.S. to default on its debt unless it would like to. The U.S. owns roughly $2 trillion in assets that it can use, in addition to $2.2 trillion in tax revenue.

While de Rugy’s point about selling off US assets is actually a fair one, there is no way selling off assets in a crisis moment makes sense, especially in the next few weeks or months.

She then links to a Mercatus Institute paper she co-authored which claims there is more than enough money to keep the system working:

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government is estimated to collect $2.2 trillion in tax revenue over FY11.

That alone would be enough to cover interest on the debt ($214 billion), thereby avoiding any technical default of the U.S. government; Social Security ($727 billion); Medicare ($572 billion); and Medicaid ($274 billion) and would leave approximately $400 billion for other priorities.

On his radio show on Wednesday May 18th, Sean Hannity gave a much less policy-savy version of this response to a caller who phoned in (near the end of the first third of the broadcast):

Roy [the caller on the show]: We have plenty of income to service our debt to pay our creditors but I think the [debt] ceiling is going to have to be raised because if we don’t raise the ceiling we can no longer deficit spend, and if we can’t deficit spent we have to cut the budget $1.6 trillion which is a cut of 44%. Try to find those cuts.

Hannity: Tim Geithner and the Administration is out there saying ‘the sky is about to fall. the markets are about to crash’ … The fact is, the debt ceiling has already been violated … It’s time to control Geithner (the tax chief) Obama, and their party…

Roy: But it can’t all be done at once.

Hannity: Sure it can.

Roy: If you try and cut 44% of the budget I don’t see how you can do that. You’re looking to ask Social Security recipients to take a 44% decrease to their…

Hannity: It’s not going to come to that. That’s not what I’m talking about there. All of this is hyperbole and fear-mongering…

Hannity and de Rugy are arguing this won’t be painless, but will it?

The Mercatus paper that de Rugy authored states that after paying off the debt, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, that there would be only $400 billion left over for “other priorities”

So how much does that leave for say, the Department of Defense? (A part of the government that maybe a libertarian like de Rugy has no special love for but which Hannity certainly does.) Well the Defense budget for FY 2010 was more than $660 billion, and the Heritage Foundation would like to see Congress provide the minimum of $548 billion to the defense budget in FY 2011. So $400 billion is certainly not going to cover that.

And that’s just the defense budget. We still have the rest of the government to pay for. Nearly $500 billion in non-defense discretionary spending was spent in FY 2010. There simply will not be enough tax revenue to keep funding all services.

So how do we put this square in the circle? Do we preserve entitlements but make radical cuts to the defense and non-defense budgets? Do we decide to completely cut Medicaid since that program’s recipients are not a powerful voting constituency? (Even though such a measure would certainly fail the Senate and not reach the White House.) Do we try and achieve across the board cuts and make deep dents into Medicare this year? (Instead of protecting people currently on Medicare with a firewall as Ryan and the GOP wants to do to keep older voters on their side.)

In any scenario, it’s absurd for Hannity to assert that Social Security and other entitlement payments won’t be affected, and disingenuous for de Rugy to act as if there really is enough money to keep the system working without any real consequences. At AEI, Pat Toomey argued “a disruptive series of events are not a catastrophe” but cuts on this scale and with this level of suddenness (in the middle of three wars) could be very catastrophic.

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68 Comments so far ↓

  • indy

    Legislator’s budgets should be first on the chopping block.

    Hey, a fella can dream, can’t he?

  • LFC

    Sean Hannity gave a much less policy-savy version…

    In other news, the sun rose this morning.

  • WillyP

    This guy Noah is about as much as a hack as can exist. Never has he come out against more spending or more printing, but only against not raising the debt limit.

    Furthermore, being that Noah does not make logical sense, he has some gumption to challenge Veronique de Rugy.

    We have a SPENDING problem, not a taxing problem. Revenues are at about 20% of GDP, which is where they’ve sat traditionally from WWII onwards. Obama has ramped up spending so irresponsibly that now PIMCO actually used the term “financial repression” to describe the likely future course of our government. Another forecast suggests that 70% of future treasury issues will be bought by the Fed.

    Spending problem. Not revenue problem. The solution isn’t to max out yet another credit card, but to begin paying down debt and curbing our spending. That’s gonna cost our destroyer-in-chief his beloved Obamacare. And good for that!

    • Elvis Elvisberg

      The claim that the US has a spending problem is false.

      Also, the ACA will reduce the long-term deficit, according to the CBO– and probably more even than the CBO found: http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/86447/the-affordable-care-act-did-happen

      It’s false to say that Obama ramped up spending. Spending increased because of the worst recession in generations, not because of anything the President did.

      Here are the causes of the deficit:

      If we have a debt crisis– which we don’t, of course, as Andrew Pavelyev pointed out with reference to bond rates this morning, we instead have a long-term debt problem– there’s an obvious way to deal with it. Increase revenues to OECD levels.

      The long-term debt problem is Medicare and Medicaid; the long-term problem with Medicare and Medicaid is the US-centric problem of skyrocketing health care costs, which, as noted above, the ACA addressed.

      On long-term Medicare and Medicaid costs being mostly the consequence of rising health care costs, see here: http://www.frumforum.com/what-medicares-boss-can-learn-from-ryan#comment-281836

      Everyone who cares about the deficit left the Republican Party in the Bush years (Cheney: “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.”). People like Tom Coburn, who pretend to believe that the debt is the worstest thing ever since the Nazis, remain unserious by their indifference to the cause and long-term projections of the problem. If you genuinely care about the deficit, enough to learn how it happened and the causes for the long-term problems, then you’re probably a Democrat.

    • LFC

      Revenues are at about 20% of GDP…

      Do you mean the GDP that collapsed under Bush? BTW, if you look at the revenue picture under a “normal” economic situation (i.e. under Bush but before his recession hit), we were well below 20% and also below the historical norm.

      Anybody who believes that this entire deficit can be relieved by just the spending side or just the revenue side is kidding themselves. If you look at the deficits we ran under Bush, and be sure to include the “borrowed” trust fund surpluses, it’s obvious that we have a structural debt problem that the unpaid for Bush tax cuts exacerbated horribly. Add in the unfunded spending on two wars, general increased defense and security spending, Medicare Part D, etc., then pile on a massive recession created by bad policy, and you have where we are today.

      What has to happen is that we have to unwind the damage that Bush did. That means getting both the revenue and spending side of the balance sheet back where Bill Clinton got us.

      First, let the tax cuts expire. We can always reinstate them if we get back to a large surplus situation. Of course since we were never able to afford them, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      Next, pull Social Security and Medicare out of the general fund and figure out how to pay for them. That will most likely mean some combination of tax hikes, spending cuts, eligibility changes, means testing, etc. At somewhere around a half trillion per decade, Medicare Part D needs to be finally addressed in a sane fashion. The melding of the general structural deficit with our social insurance programs is one of the slimiest sleight of hand maneuvers that a politician can pull. Separate them so they can be spoken about clearly.

      Third, institute a fixed length tax increase to pay for our wars. They’re our wars (as in those of us alive today) and we should pay for them. And I mean EVERYBODY should pay for them, not just “the rich”. Maybe add 1% to every tax bracket. Maybe over a decade we can at least pay off some of the debt we created.

      Finally, we need to cut other spending. If Social Security and Medicare are dealt with outside the frame of the general budget, that leaves some discretionary fat (but it really doesn’t amount to all that much) and defense. Get defense back to some level of sanity (i.e. not half of the world’s total defense spending) and you can save some real money.

    • pnumi2

      willyp –

      “Obama has ramped up spending so irresponsibly that now PIMCO actually used the term “financial repression” to describe the likely future course of our government. Another forecast suggests that 70% of future treasury issues will be bought by the Fed.”

      There you go again.

      Why would anyone here want to discuss our economic problems with you you so long as your argument is that all was sweetness and light before Obama took office? That there was no deficit or debt before Obama? Or that what you call Obama’s ‘irresponsible spending’ wasn’t recommended to him by many economists, including the Republican Chairman of the Federal Reserve system?

      If it didn’t mean condemning so many innocent people to a life of squalor and fierce repression, I’d like to see Orwell’s prediction of the future chew you up and spit you out for endorsing your vile politics here.

      We don’t have a spending problem, we have a bullshit problem.

      • WillyP

        pnumi,
        Admit it, you love Karl Marx. How else can you explain such a ludicrous statement:

        “I’d like to see Orwell’s prediction of the future chew you up and spit you out for endorsing your vile politics here.”

        My vile politics? I essentially propose a return to basic American civic principles.

        You, in essence, 1) intentionally misrepresent my views. 2) argue for my liquidation.

        May I suggest coming out of the closet as an advocate of outright violence against those who would vocally oppose your party’s power grab? Oh, too late – you just did.

        • pnumi2

          willyp

          You’re right. It is a ludicrous statement. Because I do care about you and like you much more than Karl Marx and his smelly beard.

          “Argue for your liquidation.”

          On the contrary.

          That was before you said anything about coming out of the closet.

          (you don’t have a beard, do you?)

    • TerryF98

      WillyP wins another liar of the day award. Well done. Wear it with pride.

    • zachsteph

      …moron seems like a generous description

  • RLHotchkiss

    I imagine Republican’s will regret giving the minority this power. What happens when labor gets enough Senators to filibuster the raising of debt limit. They have essentially given up on the Democratic party defending their interest. What do they have to lose demanding card check and preventing states from having right to work laws. Labor at this point has nothing to lose.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    Elvis, don’t you know facts and reality are unimportant to a simpleminded little fool like WillyP? The knucklehead doesn’t realize that his calling Noah a hack is actually a compliment. Anyone who says “we have a spending problem” and nothing but is a moron. In a type of Randian society Willy wanks over he would be dead in a week.
    We live in a Democracy, we elect our officials to help construct the type of society that the majority want to live in. Unfortunately we have had Republicans promise that cutting taxes would produce budget surpluses and since people were happy to have government but not have to pay for it it worked for a few years. But no way in hell are people not going to want to have their government just so the rich can pay less and less in taxes. Fat, pampered trust fund babies like WillyP have no concept of the working mans life.
    As to actual proposals, the key is to do as LFC suggested and that is to work on a policy that has an actual chance of passing. Destroying the full faith and credit of the United States in a deranged belief that somehow anyone other than subverbal apes like WillyP and his ilk would love it is dangerous and insane.
    In the end I am sure the Republican party will collapse when they realize that Obama will not abolish the ACA and Medicare and will take a whatever he gives them. We all remember how they promised to cut 100 billion from the budget, at the end it actually ROSE more than if they had done nothing. And WillyP doubtless bought that as a great victory.

  • rbottoms

    And exactly why do you people vote Republican again?

    • Non-Contributor

      Because you have sheep like WillyP that drink the Kool-aid from the idiots at the von mises institute.

      They believe up is down.

      As a side from Goldman on the April 2011 Outlook.

      Biggest risks to the economy:

      1: Oil prices….

      2. Additional Budget Cuts
      The second major risk to our US economic outlook is the possibility of more severe budget cuts. The discussion in Washington has turned from fiscal easing to budget tightening. We’re assuming that federal, state, and local fiscal tightening will subtract about a percentage point from GDP growth over the next year or two. If anything, there could be additional downside risk starting in fiscal year 2012, which begins in the fourth quarter of this year. If Congress agrees on more stringent budget cuts than we expect, it could cause us to trim our growth forecast.

  • think4yourself

    WillyP, right where I would expect you to be. Noah has it right. There will be no Republican support for De Rugy’s plan when it will include massive cuts to defense, farm subsidies in red states and ending financial support for Isreal (watched any Glenn Beck lately? If you pulled support for Isreal, you must be the anti-christ). Mitch McConnell already said that ending corporate subsidies for oil companies would never happen on his watch.

    It’s a total problem, both revenue and spending. Willy says tax reciepts are about 20% of GDP, about where it’s always been, that’s not correct. It’s currently closer to 16% http://www.deptofnumbers.com/blog/2010/08/tax-revenue-as-a-fraction-of-gdp/. Interestingly enough personal income tax has fallen the most and dropped about 30% (from 10% – 7% as a percentage of gdp) and has been noted in many reports that personal income tax is near 50 year lows. I find it amazing that Conservatives and Libertarians complain about our level of tax (at the Federal Gov’t), when the numbers are down so much. Is there any level of support for Federal activities that they would agree to? Of course, what has happened is that as Federal tax reciepts have lowered, state and local tax revenues have increased cover services that may have previously been funded by the Feds. WillyP might want Federal and State gov’t to quit providing what are termed essential services, but you would be in the minority. Nobody wants to deal with building inspectors, but we’re glad we have strong building codes in the event of an earthquake or fire.

    Yes, we need to address spending. At 25% of GDP (with 16% of of Revenues per GDP) we are clearly out of balance. That imbalance had multiple causes (first Bush tax cuts, second 2 undfunded wars – btw I agree with LFC we should have had a war tax that everyone pays, but there is no chance of that happening) and unfunded Medicare Part D and then finally costs associated with the recession, both excess stimulus spending along with decreased revenues.

    Solution? Start with Erskine/Bowles. This is 70% cuts and 30% revenue increases. Willy wants spending cuts only. We live in a nation that requires compromise. If the Ryan’s, Paul’s, and Bachmann’s of the world think they can have it their way or the highway, they are likely to find themselves out on their kiester.

    • ottovbvs

      Solution? Start with Erskine/Bowles. This is 70% cuts and 30% revenue increases.

      Why? That was largely fraudulent. A mass of magic asterisks.

  • WillyP

    Matter of fact, we live in a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy. Did you know that?

    Our elected officials are in the position of trustees. We elect them to make certain, limited decisions on our behalf, as specified in the Constitution. The Constitution limits their authority. That’s the whole reason we have the Constitution we do – to limit the power of government. It’s not like we waged a war of independence to establish a constantly evolving tyranny of the majority. Did you know that?

    While snooty, petty remarks are your forte, they only serve to highlight the small and thin-skinned person you are. Obviously you don’t have the foggiest idea of the history of governing institutions, or why delegates from 13 colonies met to structure the Constitution as they did. Those checks and balances weren’t put there so a 5th grade student had another curriculum item; they were put there so as to avoid the centralization and entrenchment of power. The 5th grader understands this, but you don’t.

    What do you do anyway? You must realize, of course, that you’ll never meet me (God willing) and that I have virtually no influence on the Republican party. You’re arguing ideas with an anonymous stranger over the internet. For this to be remotely interesting, I require somebody who is at least minimally versed in political and economic theory. If you want to debate a technocrat, call Strauss-Kahn, or maybe Mitt Romney. We see how well your theory of “our officials to help construct the type of society that the majority want to live in” works in the real world… a socialist a-hole now charged with attempted rape, and a former governor who is arguing the merits of his program based on the fact that it wasn’t illegal because of Federalism (he can’t argue that it was successful, because frankly it sucks).

    I’m not a “Randian.” The fact that you suggest such a thing further points to your extremely superficial understanding of conservatism. If one day the Obama depression gets the best of me and I’m unemployed, I’ll take the time and write a book. In this book I would very thoroughly lay out the reasons why were have government, and what its proper scope is. I would carefully list the scenarios under which governments can legitimately expand their size. I would explain the process by which a government goes from serving the people to lording over them. I would dedicate an entire section describing the headsickness that is modern day liberalism, and why in fact it’s not liberalism at all, but socialism dressed up in the language of small-minded technocrats.

    While Europe and the Euro implode and America takes her final steps off the cliff, following in exactly the same pattern as all other socialist schemes throughout history,the best you offer is to call me a “moron.” Yep, well I’ll give you that – I bothered responding to your post, which is a demerit towards my character. Yet at the end of the day I maintain my integrity and dignity, and succeed in only convincing the other 14 readers of FF that you’re a classless ignoramus.

    • Non-Contributor

      *Slurp*

      Drink the kool-aid… yes my dear.

      • indy

        Yet at the end of the day I maintain my integrity and dignity, and succeed in only convincing the other 14 readers of FF that you’re a classless ignoramus.

        That will be what, 10 or 11 more readers than your book? I’m being generous and assuming you have 4 family members that don’t roll their eyes when you enter the room.

  • WillyP

    Ah yes, the Kool-aide of James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, and John Adams. All those deranged, myopic, racist, selfish, minority-hating American revolutionaries. The sick and horrible nation they created for all those generations of politically oppressed Americans.

    I’m so glad we’ve been freed by the new-age Democrat party, founded by FDR and brought new life by BHO.

    That American Kool-Aide is a lot healthier than the snake oil that Obama serves, taken from the cook book of Karl Marx.

    • Non-Contributor

      You can see the effects; delusional paranoia.

      And the manic need to babble.

  • LFC

    Obama has ramped up spending so irresponsibly that now PIMCO actually used the term “financial repression” to describe the likely future course of our government.

    WillyP, please enlighten me with a list of the supposed “ramped up” spending by Obama. TARP is over. Stimulus is over. So tell me, specifically, what constitutes all this additional spending you claim has occurred. Whenever I’ve asked a Republican apologist about this, they immediately fall into generalities.

    They might also point out that social aid is up, but that’s not Obama’s doing, that’s Bush’s doing by ramming through Medicare D as a vote buying scheme and by driving our economy into the dirt. What I want to hear is what Obama spending programs have been implemented that supposedly caused $1T+ in annual deficit. I await your detailed reply.

    And PIMCO? Really? Aren’t they one of the dirtbags who got busted for allowing premier clients to make illegal market timed trades, effectively screwing their littler clients? No wonder they hate Obama. He wants to regulate them and the rest of the financial industry rather than allow them to commit fraud with impunity as Bush did.

  • ottovbvs

    Willy lies all the time as everyone here knows. Current revenues are around 15% of GDP. The numbers are here if anyone is interested in accuracy. Not that Willy is of course.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

  • rbottoms

    Remember, if you just put everyone in ACORN in jail and stop all welfare to The Blacks tm, all this would go away.

  • WillyP

    How about starting with that $800 billion ARRA non-stimulus crap that’s in the budget baseline now?

    • LFC

      OH! Swing and a big miss.

      ARRA is practically done. First, nearly 40% was tax cuts (supported by Republicans BEFORE Obama proposed them, opposed afterwards of course) so unless you’ve got some figure other than the total cost of the stimulus plan in mind, you’re $800B figure is 40% bulls*** right out of the gate. Second, the vast majority of the spending increases has already been spent. There’s very little left. So I’ll be generous and allow you maybe $50B for future fiscal budgets. The rest has been spent and is not in any way, shape, or form baseline.

      And “ARRA non-stimulus crap that’s in the budget baseline” is hardly very specific. Of course, I was pretty confident you’d be unable to rise to my simple request and would revert to a (false) talking point fed to you by Faux News.

  • WillyP

    From the great Thomas Sowell:

    “For more than 80 years, the political left has opposed what they call “tax cuts for the rich.” But big cuts in very high tax rates ended up bringing in more revenue to the government in the Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan and Bush 43 administrations. This included more– repeat, more– tax revenue from people in the highest income brackets than before.

    That was because high-income people took their money out of tax shelters like municipal bonds and invested where they could get a higher rate of return, after these returns were not being taxed as much. This has happened repeatedly, over so many decades, in administrations of both parties, that you might think this would put an end to the “tax cuts for the rich” demagoguery.”

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/04/12/taxes_and_politics_109516.html

    • LFC

      “I’ve never said all tax cuts pay for themselves. I never even said Reagan’s tax cuts would pay for themselves.” — Art Laffer

      “Virtually every economics Ph.D. who has worked in a prominent role in the Bush Administration acknowledges that the tax cuts enacted during the past six years have not paid for themselves–and were never intended to. Harvard professor Greg Mankiw, chairman of Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2003 to 2005, even devotes a section of his best-selling economics textbook to debunking the claim that tax cuts increase revenues.”

      And because words that don’t support his preconceived notions seem to confuse WillyP, here’s a graph showing no rise in real tax receipts from 2000 to 2009 (and this is the better of the two for Bush). It clearly shows a collapse, a tiny bump from an unsustainable bubble that everybody with an IQ over 50 recognizes, and a subsequent collapse:

      Even worse is the view of non-Social Security revenues under Bush as a % of GDP.

      • Elvis Elvisberg

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/16/AR2006101601121.html

        “Federal revenue is lower today than it would have been without the tax cuts. There’s really no dispute among economists about that,” said Alan D. Viard, a former Bush White House economist now at the nonpartisan American Enterprise Institute. “It’s logically possible” that a tax cut could spur sufficient economic growth to pay for itself, Viard said. “But there’s no evidence that these tax cuts would come anywhere close to that.”

        Economists at the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and in the Treasury Department have reached the same conclusion. An analysis of Treasury data prepared last month by the Congressional Research Service estimates that economic growth fueled by the cuts is likely to generate revenue worth about 7 percent of the total cost of the cuts, a broad package of rate reductions and tax credits that has returned an estimated $1.1 trillion to taxpayers since 2001.

        Robert Carroll, deputy assistant Treasury secretary for tax analysis, said neither the president nor anyone else in the administration is claiming that tax cuts alone produced the unexpected surge in revenue. “As a matter of principle, we do not think tax cuts pay for themselves,” Carroll said.

        – — –
        Income tax receipts:

        – — –

        But against the word of experience, numbers, the CBO, and Bush’s budget directors, we have… a Thomas Sowell op-ed.

  • WillyP

    Source: OMB
    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

    Spending in Billions:

    Act.
    2008 – 2983
    2009 – 3517
    2010 – 3456

    Est.
    2011 – 3818
    2012 – 3728
    2013 – 3770
    2014 – 3977
    2015 – 4189
    2016 – 4467

    OK, so now again, how on earth do you possibly suggest that Obama is not a reckless spendthrift?

    And moreover, who do you think would ever in their right mind would agree with you?

    If the economy doesn’t markedly improve – 6% unemployment, let’s say – then Obama is TOAST. He’ll lose 40+ states.

    And with his disastrous policies, so he shall.

  • TerryF98

    Why is it that everyone except WillyP brings actual data and facts to these discussions, Willy brings bile and lies.

    • WillyP

      Lie (n) – the favorite rhetorical device of President Barack Hussein Obama
      Bile (n) – produced by the liver and used to break down lipids in the small intestine

      Matter of fact, every healthy human being brings a certain amount of bile to the discussion. It’s required for digestion.

      Lies, on the other hand, are endemic only to Democrats.

      • zachsteph

        …supplemented by a bucket of drivel….you have to remember the “willyp” from high shcool or college – always believed that if you said it louder and with great authority it made you right. What can you say when one’s is a world where arguments supported by data, education and knowledge are dismissed as “techonocratic”.

      • TerryF98

        WillyP I see your Obama Derangement Syndrome remains un treated liar.

  • WillyP

    I have a first rate education. I attended one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the world. I conduct business among top tier institutions and extremely well respected companies daily. That’s my business though, not yours.

    Data points are meaningless if you lack the intellectual capacity to interpret them. That’s the difference between thinking, which is a process undertaken to eliminate as many internal contradictions as humanly possible (also known as theorizing), and merely spewing one datum after the next, in an attempt to connect them with a strictly ideological (that is, dogmatic) belief (e.g., Bush is evil).

    Obama said we spent too much under Bush. Obama now makes Bush look like a piker. How is this congruent with his campaigning on fiscal discipline? Obviously, it’s not, which presents a problem for Obama – thus his lies – and an opportunity for Republicans to call out his naked hypocrisy.

    • Elvis Elvisberg

      I have a first rate education. I attended one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the world. I conduct business among top tier institutions and extremely well respected companies daily.

      “I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.”

  • Non-Contributor

    Just remember; If they do nothing (which is highly likely) and the debt ceiling limits the treasury’s ability to make payments…

    1) Just remember that the contracts for debt holders will be honored and China, Japan, UK, and Wall Street will get paid.

    2) While the contracts with US citizens will be broken and payments not made.

    So who wins in this situation? Not you.

  • LFC

    Sigh, you really are a simple creature. I ask for specifics and you throw up general numbers. So since you are incapable of listing Obama’s specific vast new expenditures (mainly because they don’t exist), let’s tear the numbers you do supply to shreds.

    First, you dishonestly use real dollars and not constant dollars. For a person who says that they “require somebody who is at least minimally versed in political and economic theory” and has “a first rate education” from “one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the world”, this is a whopper.

    Second, you use the inclusion of more quickly increasing trust fund outlays over which Obama has no control to attempt to bolster your case. Again since you have crowed about your economic acumen, I can only assume this was intentional dishonesty.

    So let’s looks at the properly compared numbers from your source. We’ll view outlays in constant dollars as well as trust fund outlays in constant dollars. Then we’ll look at the change and see how much is due to trust fund outlays that Obama can’t control.

    Act.
    2008 – 2702 / 1234
    2009 – 3172 / 1404
    2010 – 3067 / 1488

    Est.
    2011 – 3341 / 1557
    2012 – 3209 / 1560
    2013 – 3191 / 1630 (Hey, Obama’s spending is actually going down!)
    2014 – 3304 / 1707
    2015 – 3415 / 1783
    2016 – 3573 / 1897

    So subtract 2010s numbers (Bush’s last full year and before Obama’s stimulus spending) from 2016 and you get 506 total outlay increase and 409 trust fund outlay increase.

    Soooooo, Obama’s mad, wild, crazy spending comes out to a massive increase of 97 billion annually. And that also includes the additional debt payments caused by the Bush recession. Plus increased defense spending due to the wars he inherited.

    BTW, his receipt figures also go up in real dollars. The result is that his deficit numbers are predicted to drop below those for 2009 and 2010, making for a better showing than GW’s final act.

    Of course I feel Obama will need to do more as the economy begins to recover, but that’s then. Right now we’re just dealing with your transparently false statements.

  • LFC

    Data points are meaningless if you lack the intellectual capacity to interpret them.

    And WillyP obviously proves his own point.

  • WillyP

    “Then we’ll look at the change and see how much is due to trust fund outlays that Obama can’t control.”

    What exactly could Obama and his party not control when he was president and had a veto proof majority in Congress?

    His priority was a massive new entitlement program (Obamacare) and not deficit reduction. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

  • indy

    Whenever willy enters a thread, the ensuing discussion becomes a monty python skit with willy hopping around on one leg trying to bleed on everybody while claiming to be invincible.

  • WillyP

    That’s quite a statement, when my opponents are the ones trying to defend a president and party who have turned a recession into a depression.

    Some of us can see the forest through the trees. Debt, inflation, and high unemployment mean decline. As Obama whines on and on about Israel, America’s private sector (that is, its citizens) suffocate under his overbearing government.

    What’s unemployment among the youth now? Why are 47 million people on food stamps? Why is it that the trustees of S.S. and Medicare routinely tell us they’re bankrupt? How come we can’t make do with $14.3 trillion and $100 billion of monetization?

    The majority of Americans can see through the fog. Obama wants to transform our society – that’s what he’s said, and that’s what he’s working to do. Do you not take him at his word?

    • Elvis Elvisberg

      WillyP: a president and party who have turned a recession into a depression.

      Real life:

      Which to trust?

  • Watusie

    WillyP – Says he “requires somebody who is at least minimally versed in political and economic theory” and claims he has “a first rate education” from “one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the world”; backs Sarah Palin to be our next president. Nothing more needs to be said.

    Elvis, LFC – nice charts!!!

  • Non-Contributor

    Ok, I was bored.

    If you extrapolate the debt under George H. Bush to 2010 and extrapolate George W. Bush to 2010 and leaving out 2009 (2001-2008 only) Their over all debt is almost equal.

    If you then take Reagan and Clinton and extrapolate the debt during their administrations to 2010 Clinton is much lower.

    BTW: both of these were not adjusted for inflation.

  • sparty

    WillyP:

    “Lie (n) – the favorite rhetorical device of President Barack Hussein Obama.”

    You mean to tell me that Obama’s middle name is Hussein???!?!?!?

    Go away.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    WillyP: I conduct business among top tier institutions and extremely well respected companies daily.

    Playing monopoly with other members of the mental institution you are in is not what you think it is.
    But hey, I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Hell, I conduct such big business myself, I negotiated with Toyota 2 years ago in purchasing a big ticket item. I often go into many well respected companies and do business. You know, just this morning I bought a piece of a well know beverage company and consumed their product.

    You are such a putz you crack me up. Seriously, are you a masochist or something, do you enjoy being ridiculed and laughed at?

  • ottovbvs

    Guys, great charts and an overwhelming body of evidence, but a cost/benefit question relating to Willy. Where’s the added value in refuting the falsifications of a pathological liar with the maturity of a 14 year old? Viz:

    “I have a first rate education. I attended one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the world. I conduct business among top tier institutions and extremely well respected companies daily. That’s my business though, not yours.”

    • indy

      Well, to be fair you can see why he feels the need to state it since all the evidence is to the contrary.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    otto, 14? No, he has the emotional maturity of an 11 year old. If he weren’t such a putz I would feel sorry for him. When he is an old man he is going to look back at his ridiculous life and wonder how he could have been so incredibly stupid (that is if he doesn’t die from auto-erotic asphyxiation long before then)
    I shudder to think of just how miserable he is in real life. I have never seen him once write anything wherein he wasn’t whining. Even when OBL was killed he was more pissed that Obama got credit then exhibiting the slightest bit of happiness a mass murdering psychopath was brought down.
    I must admit, it is fun to bust on him, his bizarrely inflated view of himself and I imagine his own bafflement as to why everyone does not hold him in the high regard he holds himself.
    Yet he keeps coming back for it. I am glad he does because he is so unintentionally hilarious.

    • ottovbvs

      I must admit, it is fun to bust on him, his bizarrely inflated view of himself

      I see the appeal, I’ve done it myself but I’ve come to the conclusion the guy’s a mental case. He obviously gets his kicks from these arguments and we’re doing no favors to ourselves or him by feeding his habit.

      • Elvis Elvisberg

        But we and he are not the only people reading, Otto. I read some stat somewhere about how 60% of message board readers never contribute; 30% contribute occasionally, and 80% of the postings come from the remaining 10% of readers.

        I am making these numbers up from memory: I guarantee you they’re not accurate. But it’s something along those lines.

        Yes, WillyP loves lies, and is beyond reason. He’s demonstrated that in this thread alone, by his complete inability to process and respond to, much less rebut, the torrent of facts demolishing his talking points. But others are reading too. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

        • WillyP

          If 60% of the readers never contribute, that would mean that Frum has an audience of about what, 27 people? Impressive.

      • WillyP

        Otto is correct. I do this to bother you libs. Writing exegesis after exegesis to prove the obvious – that Obama is a failure and is dismantling our institutions – is a pure waste of time. The blind can see this. More importantly, voters see this.

        My writing here is strictly to annoy the libs. My gauge of success is the number of hate posts I generate from the resident FF statists.

        OK now back to my very important work.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    Hey WillyP went to DeVry Institute of Upper Learning, located under the Walmart supercenter next to the boiler room.
    And I love how he “attended one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the world.” Not just the US mind you, but the world. And notice how he says he attended, nothing about graduating. I can be honest myself and state not only did I attend one of the finest Universities in the world I also taught there. Granted it was at an adjunct branch of Jiaotong University as an extension course (essentially a non credit night course helping the students master the Tefl exam) where I was basically an adjunct…but hey, it sure sounds impressive, right?

  • SteveT

    WillyP: There is no way for any of us to know who anyone else is. Please stop making non-verifiable claims unless you want to host a meetup where we can compare diplomas and tax returns.

    By the way, I am actually God. Despite being omnipotent and all knowing, I have never been able to figure out how to post on the internet before. How maddening! I’ve been having problems with my ISP as well.

    I still can’t post links or smiley faces so any advice on how y’all mere mortals do it will be greatly appreciated and rewarded (wink, wink)

    Peace out.

  • WillyP

    Ironically, I am the one who has my self-image squarely in check… I don’t go around shilling for master plans to re-organize society down to the most minute detail (lightbulbs, toilets, washing machines, emissions, food, exercise, smoking, etc.), and I actually respect the intelligence of others enough to let them make their own decisions.

    As for where I attended (and yes, graduated… my how you’ve all become mini-birthers) university, since the crowd here is mildly obsessed with me, I encourage you to do some digging. Think of it like investigative reporting. I know that most of you are unemployed and unproductive during the day. This activity can serve as a distraction from your boring lives for a few hours.

    Thank me later.

  • Watusie

    Willy, who cares where you went to college? It left you with the Sarah Palin/Newt Gingrich mindset – reality is what you say it is. Despite all the evidence to the contrary. So you go sit in your cubicle in your public-sector job today, nursing your irrational hatred of Obama and libruls, and working on the house of cards that is your self esteem. In the meantime, to quote Andrew Sullivan: meep meep, mf.

  • indy

    I don’t go around shilling for master plans to re-organize society down to the most minute detail

    That’s true, you shill for entirely different things. But my objection is not that you shill, just that you don’t do it very well. That is evidenced by the number of times your clock is cleaned. It’s true you are outnumbered, but that’s not a valid reason for a poor performance.

    It’s fine you decided to come to the gunfight at the OK corral all by yourself. But at least bring a gun. And some bullets.

  • WillyP

    there’s no fun in arguing with hardened ideologues. you seem to think obama is doing a spectacular job. this is the consensus of precisely nobody, with the possible exception of hollywood (most tellingly, he’s even been abandoned by peter fonda, and before that, matt damon). obama is facing an almost certain avalanche of a loss – 40+ states. unemployment is high and lingering, and the debt is getting to be a tangible problem. he has done nothing but lie and obfuscate and so he shall lose, and big. like his win, his loss will be “historic.”

    if arguing with semi-delusional, unemployed, hacks was the sort of thing i found entertaining, i’d go talk to the man in the padded room who goes by napoleon. (that’d be otto’s neighbor in cell block B)

    in addition to high unemployment, inflation, and debt, now market indicators all trending down…
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-open-lower-after-two-day-rise-2011-05-20

    my “guns” are provided by the totality of news reporting, which confirm my view that our president sucks at his job and has failed to lead.

    • Watusie

      Like I said, Willy, you think reality is what you say it is. You are complaining that the Dow has dropped to 12,563. What was it when Obama took office?

      • indy

        Yes, I see willy eschewed the whole ‘gun and bullets’ metaphor in favor of going back to setting up the pins for his opponents. Oh well.

  • Blue Grit

    Why do people give these Faux News pseudo-journalists the time of day. The only good thing about them is that Fox Noise is a privately owned company as opposed to a state run department like Nazi Germany’s Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.

    • WillyP

      “a state run department like Nazi Germany’s Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.”

      you mean NBC?

  • Attorney Debt » Republican Debt-Ceiling Denialism

    [...] Noah Kristula-Green points out some math problems here: The Mercatus paper that de Rugy authored states that after paying off the debt, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, that there would be only $400 billion left over for “other priorities” So how much does that leave for say, the Department of Defense? (A part of the government that maybe a libertarian like de Rugy has no special love for but which Hannity certainly does.) Well the Defense budget for FY 2010 was more than $660 billion, and the Heritage Foundation would like to see Congress provide the minimum of $548 billion to the defense budget in FY 2011. So $400 billion is certainly not going to cover that. And that’s just the defense budget. We still have the rest of the government to pay for. Nearly $500 billion in non-defense discretionary spending was spent in FY 2010. There simply will not be enough tax revenue to keep funding all services. [...]