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Thursday, March 11, 2010

$221 Billion Deficit in one month? One Month?




US budget deficit hits record $221 Billion for one month, February. That is a record and what is the Obama Administration doing about it?


For the record the US deficit for all of 2008 was $459 Billion.

The US government recorded a budget deficit of $221 Billion in February. Since the beginning of the fiscal year in October we are now at a negative $651.6 Billion.

That puts it on track to beat last year's record annual budget deficit of $1.4 Trillion.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called the deficit "unsustainable".

However, he maintained that running the deficit was helping the US continue its recovery from the recession in the short-term.

Analysts called the figures "frightening".

Earlier this year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said it expected the budget deficit to fall this year as the recovery takes hold.

And the Obama Administration and the Democrats are continuing their dash over the cliff to create a massive new entitlement expansion of health care.

BBC



80 comments:

  1. Deuce, the Budget Deficit for Feb, 2008 was $175 Billion - Treas.Gov

    We're going to have a pretty large deficit this year, but by next year it will have gotten much better.

    April will tell the tale.

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  2. We always run a big Deficit in February. That's when most people get their Refunds.

    This one was bigger than most, of course; but tax collections are picking up a bit. Revenues were up YOY for the first time in 23 months, or so.

    BTW, 2300 Tea Partiers turned out in St. Louis to Protest Obama.

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  3. This is simply wonderful:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLVyRvp2Qbg

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  4. "April will tell the tale."

    I suspect April will be distorted this year as over a million are hired for the census.

    That million will start disappearing after a few months.


    .

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  5. I don't care how you right your links.

    It was beautiful and a great way to start the day. Thanks.

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  6. Trim well dressed handsome people.

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  7. I agree. I just wanted the day to start easier.

    I think I saw me at Coney Island.

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  8. The thing about April, Q, is that's when "mom and Pops" have to "settle up" with Uncle - as do the larger Corporations.

    Business didn't start improving much until the last q of the fiscal year, so it's unclear, to me, at least, how much "settlin up" there will be.

    We, normally, run a pretty good Surplus in April, but last year we actually ran a deficit that month. For the life of me I cant' figure out which it will be this year.

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  9. I guess we can count on that million be counted.

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  10. Deuce,

    A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money.

    Neither the Administration nor the CBO see a future decade where the deficit deaccelerates. Indeed, the gap between tax receipts and expenditures will grow more rapidly over that period. So, whether the shortfall grows to 18.5 trillion or 20 trillion is a quibble.

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  11. Also, I swear the administration is "low-balling" us. I know there's a considerable amount of "Repayments" sitting in an account, somewhere, that hasn't been turned back in to the Treasury. I figure they'll turn that back in in Sept.

    As for the CBO - They "predict" the Present.

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  12. Anyone care to guess as to the corporate tax-loss carry forward?

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  13. But, remember this: We start withdrawing more troops from Iraq in a few months. By next year we will have shed about $120+ Billion from the "expenditure" side of the ledger.

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  14. Good point, Rat. Look for an increase in Soc Sec taxes - probably 2%.

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  15. Which, of course, is really about 15% increase in SS taxes collected.

    Plus, Bush's tax cuts expire this year. There will be "extra" revenue off of that.

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  16. I see peace and serenity an essence you don't see much today. But that's just me.

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  17. I'm not talking cash flow, Rat. I'm talking jobs.

    This from the WaPo this morning,

    "Unemployment rates rose in the District, Maryland and Virginia in January, a shift that economists said could be a positive sign for the economy because it suggests that discouraged job-seekers are feeling more optimistic about their prospects and have resumed looking for work."

    You can "prove" anything depending on whether you see the glass as half full or half empty (or whether your a politician).

    The one that always gets me is the government, the economists, and the business types looking at losing 35K more jobs as a good thing because the number is less than last month or last year.

    Hell, there are just fewer jobs to lose. If we were shedding jobs at the rate we were at this time last year, there wouldn't be any jobs left in the US.

    And that could never happen because of all the government jobs that have been added.


    .

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  18. The Federals do not create jobs, Quirk.
    Never have.
    Never will.

    The economic conditions that could be set by the Federals have remained pretty much unchanged since 2001.

    Since the money supply is not controlled by the Federals, but by private bankers at the Federal Reserve, it is really neither Bush's or Obama's responsibility, since they have no authority on the matter of money.

    By a design incorporated into our country's economic fabric, in 1913.

    To "remove" monetary policy from politics. Giving it to the bankers.

    There have been both pluses and minuses to that program. But a fifty year history of the devaluation of our currency has been the steadfast hallmark of the Federal Reserves management.

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  19. You're most welcome, Melody.

    Beats the morning news - whatever it is - that's for sure.





    "Trim well dressed handsome people."

    Yes.

    PA and MD public television have been running various series on the histories of local urban enclaves. Really delightful. And striking in them all (from this "late" vantage) is that very same "trim, well dressed, handsome" aspect of everyday community life in even its most mundane pursuits.

    I live among the buttoned-down and even I realize that something probably has been irretrievably lost.

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  20. It's been a year and a half since the bubble burst. Has one significant thing been done to prevent the same thing happening again?

    "The federal government has spent the past half year seeking to roll back its emergency efforts at propping up the financial markets -- with the notable exception of its involvement in mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

    "As the government has pledged more and more money to cover the companies' losses, it has assured the public that planning was underway for overhauling the firms so the bailouts would end. As recently as December, the Obama administration said it expected to release a preliminary report on how to remake Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac around Feb. 1.
    But no plan was produced, and in response to questions from lawmakers, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner clarified last month that it would be another year before the government proposes how to restructure the firms..."


    Fannie and Freddie

    .

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  21. How does the government sell Yellowstone, for example? Who would want it? Would timber, grazing and mineral rights pass with the title? What would be the response of environmentalists and the courts? How long would it take to sell off a national asset?

    It might be about as easy to make money on the sale of a government asset as it is selling old jewelry.

    I believe that most of the states are also having "cash flow" problems, showing no sign of diminishing. Here in Georgia, the deficit is about $1 billion. Since the state constitution requires a balanced budget, cuts are being made far and wide; with education taking a big hit: tuition for land grant and state colleges, for instance, are expected to be raised by 50-75%. The societal dislocations caused by this "cash flow" problem have longterm implications. These will not be cured easily, if or when cash flow improves.

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  22. "The Federals do not create jobs, Quirk.
    Never have.
    Never will."


    Tell that to the quarter million they've hired.

    As far as I know, government (with the possibly exception of healthcare) is the only growth industry we have going right now.


    .

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  23. Which is sad but not altogether terrible if something has also been gained.

    I watch those old bits of film and just marvel, "My goodness. That's us."

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  24. Without government help/interference, the Great Depression would have lasted about 3 years, it is said.

    With the help/interference of government planners, it lasted about 10. WWII prevented relapse.

    The same folk who can't quite get a handle on the present crisis are probably planning HC as well...comforting thought...O, well, we all can be equally ill served.

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  25. As far as selling assets, you should have a first hand view of that Rat.

    I just saw on CNBC that Arizona is selling its state house and leasing it back.

    Hawaii is cutting out 17 school days.

    In the last recession (2002 - 2006), state deficits balooned to $260 billion. Now, at least according to CNBC, the state deficits (2007 - 2009) have grown to $350 billion.


    .

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  26. THIS is what doomed us to a Great Depression. Smoot - Hawley Tariff Act of 1930

    Then, as now, about 30% of our industry was "Export" driven. When the rest of the world retaliated, it was "Lights Out."

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  27. That's what Recessions do, Q. They tell you when you've gone "Too Far."

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  28. Except, as you pointed out, we haven't done anything about "Fannie, and Freddie." And, They Will stick it to us, again.

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  29. "ATHENS — Most international travel was halted, and public services thrown into disarray on Thursday as thousands of Greek workers protesting austerity measures staged a general strike.

    "A poster calling for public sector employees to participate in a 24-hour strike on Thursday. The poster reads, “We strike, Thursday 11 March, We should not pay for the crisis”.

    "All scheduled flights into and out of the country were canceled, international trains were not operating, bus and subway service was suspended, and ferries remained in their ports. Tax offices and courts shut down, and hospitals were operating with emergency staff. The streets, eerily empty early in the morning ahead of three scheduled protest rallies, were littered with mounds of trash as a strike at the city’s main landfill entered its sixth day.

    "Thursday’s strike was called by the country’s two main labor unions, which represent some 2.5 million workers and have led resistance to the new austerity measures raising taxes and slashing civil servants’ vacation pay by 30 percent..."


    Greece Torn by Strikes


    .

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  30. Re: Great Depression

    Again, given government help/interference, the Great Depression was far deeper and lasted far longer than necessary.

    I was not clear on a point: the education deficit in Georgia will be about $1 bil. The overall deficit may be closer to $5 bil (It could also be twice or X times larger, depending on whose numbers are used.)

    In any case, tax cuts will have to be trimmed or eliminated (That's a tax increase) and taxes will have to be raised (That is also a tax increase.)

    Georgia faces $4.6 billion deficit

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  31. trish said:

    "I don't mean to appear unsophisticated but, really, what is it with the French?"


    Aaaah...They are French.

    You are "sophisticated" only when a Frenchman says you are. Take Jerry Lewis, for example.

    Despite their flaws, nobody does it better - sophisticated that is.

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  32. Govt. workers feel no economic pain

    "Benefits for state and local workers averaged $13.49 per hour, nearly 70 percent higher than the $8 per hour in benefits paid by private businesses."

    "The defined-benefit pension plans for state and local workers and their post-retirement health care costs do not include the extent to which those benefits are underfunded or overpromised,"

    "The cost of today's benefits for government employees ($13.49 per hour) assumes that these retirement benefits are fully funded. However, Mr. Edwards estimated that the benefits are underfunded by $3 trillion."


    This is great news! All that is needed to bring the US out of its malaise is the employment of everyone by government. Karl Marx rides again!

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  33. The Obama Moratorium: No offshore drilling while he’s in office

    This is the man who will bring about HC "reform"...Right...

    I'll give it to the President: He is a man of principles - granted, Marxian, but principles nonetheless.

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  34. Melody: I see peace and serenity an essence you don't see much today. But that's just me.

    When Tao is cultivated, trade increases and the economy generates prosperity for all. When Tao is lost, trade ceases and the economy is tooled up for war production. Losses incurred during floods or storms are preferable to the condition of never being content. Having nothing is better than never having enough. Peace and serenity come from within.

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  35. They gave us the coffee, croissant, and cigarette breakfast, as well as the baguette and the popularization of sidewalk dining.

    For these things, I suppose, much else can be overlooked.

    It's a society that long ago struck a deal between its elites and everybody else.

    Not quite like us.

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  36. The "Great" Depression was given to us by a Republican President, and a Republican Congress.

    The Republicans, and Democrats have two, equally effective, ways of destroying an economy.

    The Republicans will eventually get all the money "locked up" in a few hands, and bring on Depression, whereas the Dems will spread the money around to the point inflation renders it worthless.

    They both suck.

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  37. "They both suck."

    The Tao of Ruf.


    .

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  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  39. The Tao of Ruf.

    :)

    :)


    Be a great name for a blog.


    They Both Suck

    The Tao of Rufus

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  40. Blogger desert rat said...

    "You guys are talking cash flow like it was a balance sheet."


    I hate to get technical on you but they are talking cash flow like an income statement, a P&L. You then talk of undervalued assets which is balance sheet stuff.

    I've always been puzzled by the urge to sell off assets to balance a budget. Sure, it'll work in the short term but it won't solve the cash flow problems over the long term (unless you were incurring a loss on maintaining the assets). Naw, selling off assets will primarily serve the interests of the incumbent politician who can then parade about crowing about the balanced budget.



    What I'm finding interesting these days is actions of 'the people' in Greece and Iceland and all over the place. Deuce maintained the Icelanders reaction was a "no-brainer". F*ck them, default. Similarly, in Greece, we have many of the people rejecting the elites solution - austerity; better to default on the 'capitalists'. How big would the tea party grow if the US government abandoned the 'no sacrifice' policies of Bush/Obama? I think we'd see pitchforks and shovels (with a large helping of side arms) marching along yelling "Fuck the bankers - get government out of my pocket".

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  41. France

    I've been lucky enough to have spent a couple months in the spring in a small town on the coast of southern France the past few years.

    My most compelling memories are of the mornings on the high street watching the women shopkeepers in their dresses cleaning the sidewalk and street in front of their establishments using that ubiquitous gray rag and a broom.

    And in the afternoon at the elementary school observing the young moms in skirts walking their well behaved children home for lunch...

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  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  44. ahhh, I remember spring in France and girl watching :)

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  45. More fodder for populist revolution (the derivative stuff is kinda like selling assets to balance the current account)

    "Why Italy faces a derivatives time bomb

    Many local governments eager to cut financing costs for years rushed to sign up for complex derivatives contracts, even when the terms were in English. But some cities, facing big losses when interest rates go up, are now trying to pull out of derivatives and suing the international and local banks that arranged the deals.

    snip

    he Italian deals differ somewhat from the Greek case since the instruments were usually for switching rates on loans, but Italy stands out because of the vast number of cities, regions and public entities – even a theatre association – that turned to them from 2001 to 2008.

    The Bank of Italy put the notional value of derivatives contracts at €24.1-billion in June 2009. However, Il Sole 24 Ore business newspaper on Thursday cited Treasury data to put the overall figure at €35.5-billion – a third of local governments' debt – when wider criteria were used.

    snip

    “Greece did nothing more than get itself money right away and then pay it back slowly. Local administrations in Italy did the same thing,” said Massimiliano Palumbaro with CFI Advisors in Pescara.

    Pescara, a southern Italian city, itself took out a total of €108-million in interest rate swaps and is suing UniCredit SpA and BNL, a unit of France's BNP Paribas, over them. UniCredit had no comment, while BNL had no immediate comment.

    When rates are low, as they were when many contracts were agreed to, local authorities using a variable rate could find their costs shrinking. However, when rates rose, officials would find themselves owing more money."

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/why-italy-faces-a-derivatives-time-bomb/article1497312/

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  46. My most vivid memory of many trips to France is the one involving my desperate search, with perfectly useless directions, for the Saint Denis train station and subsequent miserable expedition with two young children to the Louvre.

    Whatever possessed me, I don't know.

    We got used to the fact that whatever route we carefully mapped out to whatever destination, construction ongoing since 1972 or any of a million local festivals closing off main thoroughfares on the weekends - not to mention poorly-signed traffic circles meant to baffle invading armies - ensured every outing was a crap shoot.

    Belgium was far easier. And that's saying something.

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  47. The Icelandic debt owed by Banks set up for Holland and England is EUR3.9 billion . There are 300,000 Icelanders. That debt is $13,000 per person.

    The bank, Icebank, was established in 1986 by the savings banks in Iceland. It was wholly owned by the savings banks until October 2007 when ownership was opened up to the Bank's top management and several local investors.

    These investors and later shareholders were the ones who were responsible. Why should the taxpayers and citizens of Iceland bailout depositors in England and Holland who made a bad risk in a fragile overleveraged bank?

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  48. Icelanders also had their money in those banks as well didn't they?

    In any case, that is a similar argument all will/can make. The Greeks - why bail out those fat cat bankers...Americans are none to pleased about bailing out Citi, AIG/Goldman Sachs ect. Fuck 'em seems to be the growing chorus of the populous. We shall see how loud the rabble get.

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  49. everyone loves a greek tragedy!!


    "Patchwork Pension Plan Adds to Greek Debt Woes

    ATHENS — Vasia Veremi may be only 28, but as a hairdresser in Athens, she is keenly aware that, under a current law that treats her job as hazardous to her health, she has the right to retire with a full pension at age 50.

    I use a hundred different chemicals every day — dyes, ammonia, you name it,” she said. “You think there’s no risk in that?”

    “People should be able to retire at a decent age,” Ms. Veremi added. “We are not made to live 150 years.”

    snip

    Of course, Greece is not alone. Bigger countries like Germany, France, Spain and Italy have relied for decades on a munificent state financed by a range of stiff taxes to keep the political peace. Now, governments across Europe are being pressed to re-examine their commitments to providing generous pensions over extended retirements because the downturn has suddenly pushed at least part of these hidden costs to the surface.

    The situation in the United States is different but equally dire. The United States government will face its own fiscal reckoning, analysts say, as 78 million baby boomers begin drawing on underfinanced Social Security and Medicare programs to support them in retirement. Without some combination of raising taxes, reducing benefits or pushing back the retirement age, both programs will run out of money within the next few decades. And many American states are woefully short of meeting their pension obligations for public employees.

    snip

    According to research by Jagadeesh Gokhale, an economist at the Cato Institute in Washington, bringing Greece’s pension obligations onto its balance sheet would show that the government’s debt is in reality equal to 875 percent of its gross domestic product, the highest level in the 16-nation euro zone, and far above its official debt level of 113 percent.

    snip

    Mr. Gokhale has done a similar calculation for the United States and estimates that the truest measure of federal government debt, incorporating Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other obligations, is $ 79 trillion, or about 500 percent of the nation’s output. Currently, United States debt owed to the public is equal to about 60 percent of it domestic output.

    snip

    Still, the millions who have come to rely on these payouts see their pensions as an acquired right, one they will not give up easily. “Nobody thinks they have to be the one to sacrifice,” Mr. Matsaganis said.

    That’s certainly true of Christos Bourdakis, a retired government accountant. Sitting in a dusty union hall in Athens, he who is in no mood to offer any concession on his pension, regardless of the severity of the crisis.

    He is a full-throated proponent of a system that pays him a yearly pension of 30,000 euros, or $41,000, more than he was making when he retired 13 years ago at the age of 60. He has even written a book in defense of it, “The Guide to Granting Civil Service Pensions in Greece.”

    “We have to protect our standard of living,” Mr. Bourdakis said. “The pensioners should not have to pay for the crisis created by the bankers.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/business/global/12pension.html?pagewanted=2&ref=business

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  50. Unemployment tops 20% in eight California counties - The state's jobless rate of 12.5% in January was its worst on record and fifth-highest in the nation.

    "Moreover, revised numbers for last year show that fewer people were employed than was previously believed."

    (That's govspeak for "unemployment was higher than reported.")


    "'The impact on the labor market was much more severe than what we had estimated,'..."

    (Ya think!?)


    "'The real mystery now is why we aren't getting job growth when the GDP has been positive,'..."


    (Ah, what mystery? Misunderestimationagitprop)

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  51. Watching the "Promise of Living" video of America bygone, I thought, "That's China now. Full of hope and promise, confident." But then, I realized that China can never be America, the egalitarian melting pot. Most likely, there will never be another place like the United States.

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  52. You can make excuses and discount a $221 billion one month deficit all you want to but that's an enormous amount of funny money...

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  53. Wow, if things get bad enough in California perhaps ordinary people will be able to once again move there. Same with Florida.

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  54. Why the U.S. can't inflate its way out of debt

    "...the Treasury will have to refinance $5 trillion worth of short-term debt between now and 2015..."

    (That's $5,000,000,000,000.00, or about $14,000.00 per legal man, woman and child in the US.)


    "Just last week, the CBO noted that interest paid on U.S. debt had risen 39% during the first five months of this fiscal year relative to the same period a year ago."



    "Economic growth will play a key role as well -- since a strong economy produces more tax revenue. But the country cannot grow its way out of its problems.

    To do that, the economy would have to expand at Herculean rates annually from here on out."

    ("Herculean rates"...Like, may we have a number, please...O, it's really, really, no kidding big.)

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  55. whit,

    When was the entire US budget last in the $221 bil. range?

    You may recall the battles of the 80s and 90s to balance the budget. You may also recall that a $221 bil. deficit for an entire year would have been scandalous.

    While the government worries itself with the woes of Toyota's faulty accelerator engineering, the Federal train is barreling down the mountain with no breaks at all. Some will argue that the mountain is sufficiently high to give planners the time to find a switch and turn the train onto a slower track. Maybe, but barring a miracle the laws of physics show a catastrophic eventual impact.

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  56. well I am not going to move my warehouse...

    Landlord just agreed to a 25% gross rate reduction

    i will sign a 12 month lease..

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  57. whit,

    The Federal budget was within the $221 bil. range during the 1972-1973 fiscal years. The deficit at the time was about $19 bil.

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  58. ObamaCare and the downfall of the Democratic Party.


    "The combined unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security--the federal health care and the pension programs for the elderly--are $107 trillion, seven times the current GDP."

    (I take some small exception to "unfunded"...Now, ultimately, grossly "underfunded", that is something else again.)


    "Meanwhile, Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance program, is consuming on average 21% of state budgets, their single biggest ticket item even before ObamaCare dumps another 16 million people into the program, expanding the Medicaid population by 25%."



    "There are not enough taxpayers in the country or creditors in China capable of financing all these promises."

    "The prize for the most bizzaro accusation, however, goes to Katha Pollitt of The Nation who blamed ObamaCare's woes on the two-senators-per-state rule..."

    (Ms Pollitt was paid for this analysis, supporting the proposition that there are way too many student loans and grants.)

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  59. Yep, AZ is going to sell and lease back some office buildings, down on the government strip.

    Be best if they do not, as they are discussing now, buy them back at the end of the leases. They'll all be functionally obsolete, by then.

    The Federals have large tracts of land, in Alaska and offshore that could be sold. Yes, the mineral rights could transfer.

    We, as a country, could sell whatever we want. The I-35 Corridor project stands in example, road construction funded and tolls collected by a Spanish firm, if I recall the details, correctly.

    Sell off, or extended lease portions of the Inter State Highway System.

    Turn those miles of pavement into privatized toll roads.

    There are no "special" monies. There is no Social Security "Trust".

    All the money goes to the General Fund. Then is divided up.

    Now there are guidelines for what monies go where, but the Supremes have made it clear FICA is just another tax, one of many and all Federal funds are fungible.

    So while the taxes dedicated to a program may not carry the program, it does not matter, as to "bankruptcy" of that Program.

    The train wreck that allen speaks of, it has been long in coming, ever since Mr Reagan used our collective credit card, to provide a Keynesian boost to the US economy.

    No one from DC has looked back, since.

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  60. A young healthy person in New York may not want to pay $300 a month for coverage when he doesn't even see his family doctor. Of course, we could try and entice him into the market, with more flexible and better- priced options.

    ...

    Who gains control under the president's proposal? The people in Washington, who will oversee what services are covered by your insurance and at what price, who will "guide" clinical decisions through a Medicare panel for your doctor and who will regulate countless other aspects of health care with, literally, dozens of new committees and agencies.

    Is it any wonder that, after 37 speeches, the Obama hasn't managed to close the deal, despite all the talk about Americans getting more control over their own health care?


    President's Plan

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  61. Gird your lions, Barmates.

    Just as you grow weary of it all, escalation with HB and Hamas is coming over the horizon.






    And I've got a bone to pick with the person responsible for scheduling these things.

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  62. Is it not our loins that we should be girding?

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  63. 'France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country. France has usually been governed by prostitutes.'

    Mark Twain

    ------------------------------

    'I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me.'

    General George S. Patton

    ------------------------------

    'Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion.'

    Norman Schwartzkopf

    ------------------------------

    'We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it.'

    Marge Simpson

    ------------------------------

    'As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure.'

    Jacques Chirac, President of France

    ------------------------------

    'The only time France wants us to go to war is when the German Army is sitting in Paris sipping coffee.'

    Regis Philbin

    ------------------------------

    'You know, the French remind me a little bit of an aging actress of the 1940s who was still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn't have the face for it.'

    John McCain , U.S. Senator from Arizona

    ------------------------------

    'The last time the French asked for 'more proof' it came marching into Paris under a German flag.'

    David Letterman


    'Somebody was telling me about the French Army rifle that was being advertised on eBay the other day --the description was, 'Never shot. Dropped once.''

    Rep. Roy Blunt, MO

    -----------------------------

    'The French will only agree to go to war when we've proven we've found truffles in Iraq '

    Dennis Miller

    ------------------------------

    Q. What did the mayor of Paris say to the German Army as they entered the city in WWII?

    A. Table for 100,000 m'sieur?

    -----------------------------

    'Do you know how many Frenchmen it takes to defend Paris ? It's not known, it's never been tried.'

    Rep. R. Blount, MO

    ------------------------------

    'Do you know it only took Germany three days to conquer France in WWII? And that's because it was raining.'

    John Xereas, Manager, DC Improv

    ------------------------------

    The AP and UPI reported that the French Government announced after the London bombings that it has raised its terror alert level from Run to Hide. The only two higher levels in France are Surrender and Collaborate. The rise in the alert level was precipitated by a recent fire which destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively disabling their military.

    ------------------------------

    French Ban Fireworks at Euro Disney

    (AP), Paris , March 5, 2003

    The French Government announced today that it is imposing a ban on the use of fireworks at Euro Disney. The decision comes the day after a nightly fireworks display at the park, located just 30 miles outside of Paris , caused the soldiers at a nearby French Army garrison to surrender to a group of Czech tourists.

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  64. ------------------------------

    'Only thing worse than a Frenchman is a Frenchman who lives in Canada .'

    Ted Nugent

    ------------------------------

    'War without France would be like . World War II.'

    Unknown

    ------------------------------

    'The favorite bumper sticker in Washington D.C. right now is one that says 'First Iraq , then France ''

    Tom Brokaw

    ------------------------------

    'What do you expect from a culture and a nation that exerted more of its national will fighting against Disney World and Big Macs than the Nazis?'

    Dennis Miller

    ------------------------------

    'It is important to remember that the French have always been there when they needed us.'

    Alan Kent

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    'They've taken their own precautions against al-Qa'ida. To prepare for an attack, each Frenchman is urged to keep duct tape, a white flag, and a three-day supply of mistresses in the house.'

    Argus Hamilton

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  65. For the record, Reagan didn't provide the Keynesian stimulus, he enlarged and restored, yes restored, the military while a Democratic Congress kept up the domestic spending.

    Sorry, I wasn't ignoring you Allen, I was taking a three hour nap.

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  66. In the words of Tethel, Georgia newspaper editor and educator whose students (now grown) will never forget it, it most certainly is "Gird your lions."

    : )

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  67. "France has usually been governed by prostitutes."

    LOL

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  68. Let me bring your attention to Table 9 of the Treas Statement.

    Interest in Feb was $16 B. About $200 B/Yr. In a $14 T economy. About 1.5%

    NOW, let me mention that the banking system HASN'T FAILED, and we're NOT in a World-wide Depression.

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  69. I suppose under the standards of "No Young'n Left Behind" there has not been a banking failure...

    Amazing!

    We are going to have a $1,800,000,000,000.00 DEFICIT in fiscal 2010 because of what?

    If you had one of the, what, 8,000,000 jobs lost since the NON-BANKING FAILURE, you probably think you are in a depression. On the other hand, if Uncle is taking care of you, you probably are only in a verrrrrry long recession.

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  70. "...he enlarged and restored, yes restored, the military..."

    I believe it was Carter who got the ball rolling again, spending-wise.

    Like airline deregulation, it's a part of counter-intuitive Carter trivia.

    Not that I've ever actually met anyone in the defense industry or intelligence community who remembers him fondly. Just sayin'.

    And though he dicked over our athletes for the Moscow Olympics in response to Afghanistan, the Miracle on Ice that we all know eventually toppled an evil empire, happened on Carter's watch.

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  71. According to some EXPERTS (that would be those allegedly having been trained for the task), Social Security and Medicare eventually are going to be in the hole by about $107,000,000,000,000.00 (That's about $305,714.29 for each and every legal American...Why that's about $100,000.00 more than today's median priced house. (On an editorial note, the median used to be about $125,000.00 more prior to the NON-BANKING FAILURE.)

    Looked at another way, $305,714.29, under, prudent government supervision, would buy a used Pinto, a tank of gas and a small frozen yogurt for every, single American.

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  72. whit,

    Re: being ignored

    Not to worry. Although not ethnically French, a former spouse behaved like the French, i.e. with equal parts contempt and compassion for a moron. As we say in the South, "G-d love'er".

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  73. Anyone who thinks we'll have a $1.8 Trillion budget deficit in 2010 ain't no expert.

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  74. re: French experiance

    "And in the afternoon at the elementary school observing the young moms in skirts walking their well behaved children home for lunch..."

    You do realize this idyll would probably now be considered illegal in most states, gnos.


    :)


    .

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