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Friday, May 25, 2012


The real Obama budget deficit for 2011: 5 trillion dollars
Fri May 25, 2012 12:53AM GMT


If the U.S. government used the same accounting methods that most U.S. businesses use, the real federal budget deficit for last year would have been 5 trillion dollars instead of 1.3 trillion dollars. So where does the huge difference come from? I think a simple illustration would be helpful here. When you go shopping, do you only count the transactions where you use cash, or do you also count the transactions where you signed on the dotted line and promised to pay later? Of course you count both of them. Well, the U.S. government does not count promises to pay later when calculating budget deficits. The "official" Obama budget deficit for 2011 was 1.3 trillion dollars, but according to USA Today when you add in the rise in liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and other retirement programs that adds another 3.7 trillion dollars to the total. Those are future financial promises that we have made that future taxes are not expected to cover. This analysis by USA Today squares very well with what analysts such as John Williams of shadowstats.com have been saying for years. The truth is that our federal budget deficits have actually been far worse than we have been told.

If the U.S. government was a publicly traded stock, it would be forced to use GAAP - Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

Sadly, as USA Today explained, the real budget deficit for 2011 would have been almost four times as large as was officially reported if standard accounting practices had been used....

Under those accounting practices, the government ran red ink last year equal to $42,054 per household - nearly four times the official number reported under unique rules set by Congress. A U.S. household's median income is $49,445, the Census reports.

The big difference between the official deficit and standard accounting: Congress exempts itself from including the cost of promised retirement benefits. Yet companies, states and local governments must include retirement commitments in financial statements, as required by federal law and private boards that set accounting rules.

The amount of red ink the federal government ran up in 2011 alone was almost equal to median household income.

How much worse can things get?

Unfortunately, we have become a nation that is completely and totally addicted to debt.

We have no idea how to live within our means.

Right now, the mainstream media in the United States is freaking out about the "fiscal cliff" that we are approaching in 2013.

In essence, a bunch of tax cuts are scheduled to expire and a few spending cuts are scheduled to kick in.

Everybody is deeply concerned about what such "austerity" could do to the struggling U.S.economy. In fact, we could even enter another recession if something is not done according to the Congressional Budget Office....

Under those fiscal conditions, which will occur under current law, growth in real (inflation-adjusted) GDP in calendar year 2013 will be just 0.5 percent, CBO expects-with the economy projected to contract at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the first half of the year and expand at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the second half. Given the pattern of past recessions as identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research, such a contraction in output in the first half of 2013 would probably be judged to be a recession.

Well, yes, if taxes rise and government spending is cut it will probably trigger another recession.

That is what "austerity" does. It causes economic growth to slow down. Just look at Greece. They have had five years of austerity and now they are in a full-blown economic depression.

But can we really afford to continue stealing trillions of dollars from future generations just to make short-term economic conditions better?

This is what I wrote about the other day. The U.S. economy has not stabilized because Obama is an economic genius. It has stabilized because he has stolen trillions of dollars from future Americans in order to make the economy look better in the present.

This was explained further in a recent article by Peter Schiff ....

From 2008 to 2009 our national GDP (of around $14 trillion) contracted by $212 billion. To prevent any further dips, the government aggressively spent, borrowing heavily to do so. To the relief of just about everyone, these moves did stop the nominal contraction. From 2010 to 2011 the U.S. GDP expanded by $502 billion, and from 2011 to 2012 it added an additional $508 billion. All told, from the end of 2008 the U.S. economy added a cumulative $798 billion in GDP.

But those gains came at a very high price.

The combined federal deficits for the same time frame come in at a staggering $4.2 trillion! In 2009 alone the feds chalked up a chart breaking $1.4 trillion in debt (the deficit was a mere $161 billion in 2007). In other words, we borrowed five times more than we grew. This "strategy" for growth is no different from an individual who loses half his income, but continues to spend by running up credit card debt. Could this be described as economic growth? But that's just how we are describing our current economy, and for the large part, expert economists, politicians, investors, and academics all agree.

We don't have real economic growth in America today.

What we have is debt-fueled prosperity. Without unprecedented borrowing by the federal government we would be in a full-blown economic depression right now.

So where in the world is the U.S. government getting all of this money? Well, the truth is that most of it appears to be coming from the Federal Reserve. During 2011, the Federal Reserve bought up approximately 61 percent of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury Department.

The Fed is doing all of this buying in a desperate attempt to keep interest rates low.

It is a Ponzi scheme that cannot last too much longer.

But most Americans have no idea how close to the edge we really are.

Most Americans just assume that we will have prosperity forever because that is what always happens in America.

They don't bother to look at the man behind the curtain.

They don't bother to notice that Barack Obama is stealing 150 million dollars an hour from our children and our grandchildren so that we can continue to enjoy our inflated standard of living.

Please wake up America.

SM

80 comments:

  1. Obama gets his daily briefing today at 11:00 AM. I guess Obama is not a morning person.

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  2. The good thing is it leaves him less time to tell his lies. It would be amusing if it wasn't so deeply disturbing. There is no truth. There is only political power. The minions have now been told what to say and it will be repeated over and over again that Obama restrained spending rather than put us in an unsustainable slide. They will be deaf when you try to dispute it with the actual facts.

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  3. Real federal deficit dwarfs official tally

    USA TODAY:

    ...The typical American household would have paid nearly all of its income in taxes last year to balance the budget if the government used standard accounting rules to compute the deficit, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

    Congress exempts itself from including the cost of promised retirement benefits.

    Under those accounting practices, the government ran red ink last year equal to $42,054 per household — nearly four times the official number reported under unique rules set by Congress.

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  4. "By law, the federal government can't tell the truth," says accountant Sheila Weinberg of the Chicago-based Institute for Truth in Accounting.

    Jim Horney, a former Senate budget staff expert now at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says retirement programs should not count as part of the deficit because, unlike a business, Congress can change what it owes by cutting benefits or lifting taxes.

    "It's not easy, but it can be done. Retirement programs are not legal obligations," he says.

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  5. That's exactly right. The President, 60 Senators, and a simple majority in the house can "put paid" to any debt, or obligation, the government has (at least, until someone with a bigger Army comes along.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All to remind everyone the importance of restraining government.

      Delete
  6. Obama, after he gets out of bed in the morning, is running around the country criticizing Romney and venture capitalists for putting profits in first place. The premise, according to Obama, is that a man has higher obligations to society; they should put the greater good over their personal greed.

    This coming from a man that is craven with personal greed to stay in office. He will say and do anything, regardless of consequences to anyone for him to further his greedy personal ambitions.

    Please do not notice and if you do, keep it quiet.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Obama offered a no-holds-barred thumping of Romney on Thursday night, ridiculing his GOP rival’s profit-maximizing philosophy as inadequate for the White House, blasting Romney’s plan for big tax cuts for almost every millionaire in the country, and poking fun at the Republican’s speech in Des Moines 10 days ago.

    “You know, he left out some facts. His speech was more like a cowpie of distortion,” Obama said to hoots of laughter from a crowd of 2,500 inside the Knapp Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

    Obama said Romney wants a budget-busting tax cut skewed to the wealthiest Americans that only will compound the debt.

    “Five trillion in new tax cuts? That is like trying to put out a prairie fire with some gasoline,” the president said.


    A Steaming Cowpie of Distortion

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  8. The "Production Tax Credit," that ends Dec 31 is a big deal for Iowa, and wind (Iowa gets 20% of its electricity from wind,) and the Republicans are blocking its renewal.

    The Republicans are lucky that Wind hasn't gotten enough of a toehold in Ohio, yet, for it to be a big thing there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who is always bitching about 'tax credits' for Big Oil?

      You should be happy Rufus.

      b

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    2. I (for one) watched the two wind videos Rufus posted a few threads back. They were very good.

      I (for one) am perfectly comfortable with the qualitative argument - that theory (and history) support the idea of public subsidy for emerging technologies (of which O&G are not.) For those who are not, it is but a short skip and hop-step into the quantitative argument that compares relative support levels - say, as a function of profit margin, or say, as a function of USA tax revenues.

      Delete
  9. RE Security of Person

    In 1996 the government of South Africa adopted a constitutional Bill of Rights which recognized a right to security of the person in section 12. Here, it was combined with a "right to freedom." Section 12 went on to define security of the person and the right to freedom more thoroughly,including within it bodily control and reproductive control, freedom from torture and cruel and unusual punishment and a right to trial.

    The USA is not bound by international law. We are bound by our Constitution and the legal code. It is worth noting that other societies are doing their own thinking. Some of it isn't half bad. Unqualified reverence for the uncompromising authority of the past is inconsistent with the objectives of he Founders, if one is allowed to extrapolate their insight and understanding of human nature into a practical conclusion. One can imagine a certain degree of derisive laughter should they be listening to any of the "modern debate."

    [On random occasions I cannot post under my chosen identity which seems of importance to some. My rule is to make two attempts and then go anon.]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the current rulers of South Africa reveal our founders to be the dolts modern liberals see in everyone other than themselves.

      Obama trumps Washington in this new, improved, reality.

      Delete
  10. The chief of the secretive Vatican bank has been given the boot for allegedly letting standards slip at the institution. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was forced to resign after the bank's board of directors unanimously passed a no-confidence vote against him for failing "to carry out duties of primary importance," the BBC reports. Italian police investigated Gotti Tedeschi as part of a money-laundering probe in 2010, but that's not believed to have been a factor in his ouster.

    The Italian economist was appointed in 2009 as part of a drive for greater transparency, and he says he was forced out because of his honest way of doing things. "I have paid for my transparency, " he tells Reuters. Memos leaked earlier this year hinted at clashes between senior Vatican officials over how open the bank should be about its dealings. In March, the US State Department placed the Vatican on its list of countries considered vulnerable to money laundering.

    Jesus Fucking H Christ.

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  11. At their shareholder meeting today in Seattle, Amazon announced that they are dropping their affiliation with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Michelle Malkin discusses it here, along with a brief response she received from Amazon. A petition had been going, started by a small group calling itself “Working Washington”, as well as a protest they organized. But this was not the work of a little, grassroots protest group. It was a massive effort that has been going on for some time.

    Michelle Malkin warned that this was coming in her previous piece here. PJ Media discussed it in depth back in February, outlining the Left’s united effort to shut down ALEC, including Van Jones, Joel Rogers, Starhawk, & Soros funded groups. Van Jones’ Color of Change had called Amazon out directly and waged a boycott unless they dropped their ALEC affiliation.

    LINK


    I was trying to personalize the post with a bite of satirical amusement but, really, words just fail me. This election may very well be decided at the very lowest cognitive level by those who remember Sept/Oct 2008, two months before a pivotal election, and roughly a decade after the very different but equally historic events of 9/11. Those linkages are going to be hard to break - not even possible using the old themes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Concluding paragraph:

      This isn’t just about ALEC. A dangerous precedent is being set, as unions and leftist radicals continue to intimidate or manipulate one corporation after another, from Target to Amazon, in a very organized effort to remake this nation.

      That paragraph is worth a book or ten - on politics, marketing, cognitive psychology, ... ignorance, hubris.

      Delete
    2. This election may very well be decided at the very lowest cognitive level

      What's this mean?

      And what was the full middle names of Jesus?

      b

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    3. Fucking Hebrew?

      b

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    4. "This election may very well be decided at the very lowest cognitive level"

      "What's this mean?"

      ---

      The writer expects everyone else to be as stupid and inscrutable as it is.

      Delete
  12. "By law, the federal government can't tell the truth"

    Well that's good to know. It's legal. IT'S THE LAW

    This should satisfy Rufus.

    :)

    b

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  13. Traffic jam atop Everest.

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20120525/D9UVKBH82.html

    Both the quick and the dead are piling up fast.

    Say, you did know, did you not, that Hillary Clinton was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, even though he was a total unknown at the time of the glorious birth, and had not climbed Everest yet.

    How do I know?

    Hillary said so.

    b

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  14. Assad may be finished.

    May 25, 2012
    Grain crisis in Syria?
    Rick Moran

    It's brought down governments from the Czar, to Chang Kai Shek, to Somalia. When food runs out, the leader has got to go.

    Now, the turn of Syria.

    Reuters:

    Trade sources said a reluctance among foreign banks, shipowners and grain traders to sell to import-dependent Syria - even though food is not itself subject to sanctions - has forced Damascus into an array of unusually small deals, many arranged by shadowy middlemen around the Middle East and Asia.

    On Friday, in what might prove to be a turning point on a path toward a politically corrosive food crisis, government data showed the domestic grain harvest falling well short of target and the state grains agency failing to find a single acceptable offer to fulfill a major import tender it issued last month to buy animal feed for its livestock farmers.

    "Syrian purchase interest has fallen off in the last 10 days or so," one trade source familiar with exports to Syria of wheat and other grains for human consumption and animal feed told Reuters. "Banks are becoming tougher in checking compliance with sanctions. It is becoming more difficult to get finance from any banks."

    State currency reserves have been depleted and the Syrian pound has lost nearly half its value, adding to import problems.

    Data for stocks in Syrian granaries is kept secret but there has so far been little widespread disruption evident in subsidized supplies of bread - a staple of a diet in which every Syrian consumes on average half a kilo (a pound) of wheat a day.

    But international aid agencies, which are already helping up to a million Syrians stave off hunger, report patchy but spreading food shortages and sharply rising prices. Grain traders cite anecdotal evidence that stocks, concentrated in the restive countryside, are being run down or looted. That may mean the government needs to import more for the big cities it controls.

    Syria's elites are not going to starve, and President Assad is going to make sure the army is fed before anyone else - except he and his gang of Alawite thugs. But hungry people in the streets is the last thing Assad needs.

    Demonstrations for food coupled with demonstrations for political change is a winning combination.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/05/grain_crisis_in_syria.html#ixzz1vtc3mPiY


    b

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  15. I'm for the qualia argument. If it feels good, do it, it is the right thing to do. (in the good sense, of course)

    Therefore I may blow up the wind turbines above the Tucannon River.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucannon_River

    pictures of wind turbines included

    “Best of all he loved the fall
    The leaves yellow on the cottonwoods
    Leaves floating on the trout streams
    And above the hills
    The high blue windless skies
    Now he will be a part of them forever”


    Ernest

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Feds - was joking about the blowing up.

      Was making an argument about qualia.

      b

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    2. Qualia
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


      Qualia (play /ˈkwɑːliə/ or /ˈkweɪliə/), singular "quale" (Latin pronunciation: [ˈkwaːle]), from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to refer to subjective conscious experiences as 'raw feels'. Daniel Dennett writes that qualia is "an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways things seem to us."[1] Erwin Schrödinger had this counter-materialist take: "The sensation of colour cannot be accounted for by the physicist's objective picture of light-waves. Could the physiologist account for it, if he had fuller knowledge than he has of the processes in the retina and the nervous processes set up by them in the optical nerve bundles and in the brain? I do not think so."[2]

      b

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    3. "If it feels good, do it"

      Is the Universal Truth that trumps

      "It's the law."

      Delete
  16. I think there are two ways to pronounce the name Tuccanon River, the Native American way, and whitey's way.

    Native American way = Tuk-a-non

    Whitey's way = Two Cannon

    The Native American way is far superior.

    b

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  17. Wall Street has responded — predictably, I suppose — by whining and throwing temper tantrums. And it has, in a way, been funny to see how childish and thin-skinned the Masters of the Universe turn out to be. Remember when Stephen Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group compared a proposal to limit his tax breaks to Hitler’s invasion of Poland? Remember when Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase characterized any discussion of income inequality as an attack on the very notion of success?

    But here’s the thing: If Wall Streeters are spoiled brats, they are spoiled brats with immense power and wealth at their disposal. And what they’re trying to do with that power and wealth right now is buy themselves not just policies that serve their interests, but immunity from criticism.

    LINK

    It just gets better from there.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Treyvon Martin Day declared at D.C school.

    So if Zimmerman is found not guilty will they have a Zimmerman Day there?

    Stand Your Ground Day?

    b

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    Replies
    1. Just seems a little premature before a jury has even been selected.

      b

      Delete
  19. Why Are Greek and Italian Politicians So Bad? [LINK]


    "The problem is they've never had a real job — they've never had to earn a living so they haven't got a clue about society. They have no values and all they care about is collecting their little salary. They're rotten to the bone. That's our misfortune," said Greek taxi driver Nikos Kremidas, 60.

    .....

    Some, too, have a system of clientelism or patronage that has its roots in the 19th century and beyond and the more recent "death of ideologies" following the end of the Cold War, robbing parties of the basic beliefs that drove them for decades.

    .....

    In both Italy and Greece, these historical factors have been perpetuated by more modern developments.

    .....

    Rigid party structures in Italy and Greece have also favored the rise of machine politicians rather than charismatic leaders and blocked off more talented newcomers.

    "Party hacks have rarely come to the top in the United States, whereas here with the exception of Berlusconi and a few others, you have always had party hacks," said Professor James Walston of the American University of Rome. "You have so much power in the parties that it allows much less flexibility for individual leaders."

    'You Must Be Corrupt to Survive'

    Greece's problems have many similarities with Italy, right down to strong party structures and inbuilt graft.

    "The problem is that the people who enter politics in Greece have to become corrupt in order to survive," said political commentator Nikos Dimou. "A person who is honest and forthright and does not play these kind of games hasn't got much chance to survive in the Greek political arena."

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Multiply by 100 gets you to the ME.

    Multiply by 1,000,000 gets you into Africa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Multiply by 100,000 gets you to the ME.

      b

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  20. Just to be clear (and refresh memories as required):

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    From Politico:

    In a Wednesday meeting described by one source as “extremely direct”

    and by another as “very blunt,” Cantor (R-Va.) ripped into Bachus, explaining in no uncertain terms that it was unacceptable for Bachus to mark up the bill without having run it by GOP leaders and other chairmen with jurisdiction over its provisions. ...

    Bachus, clearly anxious to create a good-government portfolio in the wake of a “60 Minutes” piece on his stock trades — some of which netted five-figure gains in a single day — put the STOCK Act on the fast track. ... Cantor delivered the cease-and-desist order on behalf of GOP leaders, other chairmen and rank-and-file lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who were concerned that Bachus could help give the bill life by having the committee approve it. ...

    Cantor apparently prefers to whack Bachus behind closed doors, as his office offered up a rather understated version of events when asked about the exchange.

    “A large group of bipartisan members of the committee felt the legislation was flawed and being recklessly moved solely in response to media pressure,” Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring said. “Members of both sides of the aisle wanted more time to gather information and develop appropriate alternatives.”

    Cantor's move to block the markup is stirring outrage. Professor Stephen Bainbridge, of the UCLA School of Law, has been a vocal supporter of banning insider trading by lawmakers. He recently wrote:

    Why is Congressman Eric Cantor blocking this basic good-government reform? Does Cantor believe that congressmen should be allowed to inside trade with impunity? Does Cantor not realize that congressional insider trading raises serious issues of ethics, corruption, and even the potential for bribery? Does Cantor not see that the current de facto exemption of Congress from the draconian penalties for insider trading it has imposed on everybody else is fundamentally unfair?

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    Just to be clear about loyalties inside The Beltway.

    LINK

    ReplyDelete
  21. Quirk wrote:

    "Likewise, I do not consider 'reproductive services' to be a "right" just as I do not consider insurance to be a "right". I consider them to be benefits granted under Obamacare by a particular Congress, benefits that can just as easily be taken away by a subsequent Congress. Under your definition of a right, social security and Medicare are rights.

    However, under your definition of a "right", there isn't much that can't be considered a right. Bring on the i-Pads. Some poor, black gay kid in Kalamazoo doesn't have one."

    Are you trying to be obtuse Quirk, or maybe you just are?

    The concept should not be that hard to grasp: If a law proscibes a "benefit" (to use your formulation) i.e. medicare, then that benefit should be available to everyone. That is the right. If the government, god forbid, should proclaim that all should have free ipads yet black kids are excluded from getting them because they are black, their rights have been violated.

    The anon poster who pointed out that using Catholic legal interpretations folks who work for Christian Science foundations, whether Christian Scientists or not, should not receive any medical insurance at all because modern medicine interferes with the will of God and that violates the tenets of Christian Science.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If a law proscibes a "benefit" (to use your formulation) i.e. medicare, then that benefit should be available to everyone.

      It strikes me that the righteous rhetoric (god knows it's a fools game to impose resolution on righteous rhetoric but here I'm referring to the Catholic Church) is really an objection to the shifting of decision-making from the institutional authority (the Church) to the individual.

      It is unfortunate, not to mention confusing, that birth control is the subject used to test the "separation of church and state "issue." Unfortunate because the Catholic Church is stubbornly digging in with an issue that was long ago decided by women, largely. Done deal.

      Consider a different issue to test the logic of the preposition that the State is not allowed to impose [this is the critical word - behavior? insurance 'benefits?] that conflicts with Church strictures/teaching/belief. Aside from birth control, what might the State impose on any Church that challenges the domain and content of Church doctrine ... aside from birth control, which has served as the 'stand-in' issue for separation of authority since Roe v Wade?

      Can not one argue that, far from being a (deeper) theological issue of separation, this is, indeed, a (mere) 'war on women's reproductive rights'?

      Then give me another issue that raises the Church to this level of moral outrage. I submit only the vagina has that power.

      (100:1, no make it 100,000:1 that the subject cannot be examined without liberal application of ad hominem stirrups.)

      Delete
    2. Yes Max I too am perturbed by the concentration of effort on women's reproductive abilities. Heck, the right in general, is often real keen on keeping the State out of individuals lives yet women do not seem to qualify for the same treatment.

      Delete
  22. I have yet to see any kid worth his/her spunk that doesn't have an ipads, or iphones, or ipods or whatever.

    Your argument fails here, Ash, stumbling over reality.

    However, the question about Christian Science has some merit.

    IMHO

    If a law proscibes a "benefit" (to use your formulation) i.e. medicare, then that benefit should be available to everyone.

    The law is unlikely to do this. However, it might prescribe a benefit.

    b

    b

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    Replies
    1. Um, actually, it was I that misused the word "proscribe."



      p.s. please don't tell Doug; I'll be hearing about it into the next decade. :)

      Delete
    2. I won't Rufus, I WON'T TELL DOUG THAT YOU MISUSED THE WORD PROSCRIBE.

      :)

      b

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    3. He is a bit of a pit bull.

      Agreed.


      He called WiO a Yid Viscious.

      Which brought a smiley face out from WiO.

      b

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    4. Yah, I have misused that word more than once. On top of that I am flying without a net and not using spell check. I cannot for the life of me figure out why Firefox has it built in so nicely yet IE requires a combersome to use add-on. If anyone reigns like God on the PC it is Microsoft.

      Delete
    5. Did he misspell "vicious?" :)

      Delete
    6. Shit, I mispeled vicious.

      Go back 8 grades.

      :)

      Start over.

      b

      Delete
  23. "I don't want to have us go into a recession in order to balance the budget," he said. "I'd like to have us have high rates of growth at the same time we bring down federal spending, on, if you will, a ramp that’s affordable, but that does not cause us to enter into a economic decline."

    Romney's reasoning accepts the basic premise that government spending adds to GDP and leads to economic growth, at least during times when consumer spending and private-sector demand is down.

    .....

    While rival schools of economic thought have never agreed on each other's fundamental principles, over the past several decades, the notion that more government spending helps during a recession had gained broad acceptance. But it has been rejected by Tea Party members of Congress and conservative interest groups like the Club for Growth, who have bemoaned Obama's stimulus package and other efforts to boost the economy as job-killing government spending. Club for Growth declined to comment for this article.

    LINK


    Good for Romney.

    Less good for Obama.

    ReplyDelete
  24. We will stay out of recession to the extent that we can offset increasing energy costs (initially, gasoline and diesel) with increasing productivity.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Unfortunately, Ahmed Shafiq is going to lose.

    http://news.yahoo.com/military-man-run-off-egypt-presidency-091545536.html

    Runoff in Egypt pits Muslim Brotherhood against military man.

    b

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  26. I wonder, if there had been a 'reset', if the constitutional slate were wiped clean, would the current US populace embed Christianity in a new Constitution?

    ReplyDelete
  27. It wasn’t embedded the first time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes Ash confuses all the moral intrusions of modern progressivism into our daily lives with "Christianity."

      Delete
    2. naw, I was just pondering the Egyptian situation where they had a reset, or Iraq, and they start writing a constitution. If the US were in a similar situation where it didn't take a supermajority and they had to create a new constitution how big a factor would the "christian history" be in writing the document.

      We will never know that answer.

      Delete
  28. "If anyone reigns like God on the PC it is Microsoft."

    ---

    Google Chrome has passed IE in popularity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We shall all be one, soon, in The Google!

      Delete
    2. "Why would Google bring the cream of Chrome to IE? Because IE9 is set to become the world’s most popular browser, and Chrome or not, Google Search needs to reign supreme on it. That means that even if Google has to give up some Chrome features by letting IE9 users have them as well, it is worth it to their bottom line down the road."

      Delete
    3. Right!

      Don't have a clue what that means, but it sounds lear'ned.

      b

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    4. I would imagine that installing Chrome toolbar requires signing the privacy agreement with Google which gives them all kinds of your data to mine and sell.

      Delete
    5. There was The Borg and now there is The Google.

      Delete
    6. You will be assimilated.

      Delete
    7. Bob doesn't have a clue what that means.

      Delete
  29. If John Deere came out with a computer,
    well that would be a different matter.

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    Replies
    1. You asked --

      John Deere Computer -

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1E0qrRY-D4

      You wouldn't believe what this little puppy can do around the farm!

      b

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  30. .

    Are you trying to be obtuse Quirk, or maybe you just are?

    Nonsense, Ash, it is you who play at being obtuse in that you ignore the reason for the lawsuits. You offer the typical liberal line that this is an issue of equality involving offering reproductive services. It is not. It is a first amendment issue over religious freedom. That you deny that or can't see it is not surprising. Yet, it is the issue that was raised in the lawsuits. It will be the issue the Supreme Court will be deciding if these lawsuits ever make it to SCOTUS.

    If the government deemed reproductive services a fundamental need and wanted to grant all women those services (for free) there are numerous ways they could have done it. The simplest way is just give it to them. Or pay for it through a benefit offered through HHS, similar to food stamps. They could also support free clinics or support organizations that provide those services. It’s not like anyone is suffering from the lack of availability of condoms, birth control, or the providers of these or other reproductive services. The US, through a program similar to Medicare or SS, could tax everyone to pay for these benefits if they wanted thus avoiding the whole religious freedom issue. And don’t say the suggestions are impractical or something new since Obamacare already has a number individual insurance plans included that are designed for specific groups, such as catastrophic insurance for the young.

    [As I've pointed out before, one reason they couldn’t do it is because they would never get the votes to do it. Government payments for abortion for instance have been off the grid for decades. It is the difference between defining a right to something, such as abortion under Roe v Wade, and saying oh, and by the way, we will pay for your abortions. If you fail to see the difference…well…as I say it’s not surprising.]

    I’m sure there are other ways they could have paid for the benefit directly besides those mentioned above. But they didn’t.

    No, instead of taking on direct responsibility for the benefit, what the Obama administration did was mandate that all private employers provide insurance that covered reproductive services. This is as troubling in its overreach as the individual mandate that is now before the Supreme Court, for it establishes a principle where government power is unlimited. They could just as easily mandate that every employer insurance policy pay for cosmetic surgery or every employee be given the previously mentioned i-pad.

    But even that is not the issue at hand with the lawsuits and it will not be the basis on which the lawsuits will be judged. It will not be judged on your silly x’s and y’s, it will be judged on the issue of whether the government can force religiously affiliated institutions to pay for services that are against the tenets of their religion, a simple concept.

    As with the ‘ministerial exception’ case I mentioned yesterday, the decision will probably have narrow immediate application but could have a major impact on fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

    I believe the Church will win on 1st Amendment grounds but I could be wrong.

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    1. Which brings up the thorny issue of the court writing exceptions to the constitution.

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    2. .

      Yes.

      Such as 'Citizens United' and 'Roe v Wade'.

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  31. .

    To touch on more of your points.

    “If a law proscibes a "benefit" (to use your formulation) i.e. medicare, then that benefit should be available to everyone. That is the right.

    You put the cart before the horse. Of course, all people have to be covered equally under the law. However, you ignore the fact that the law has to be first of all constitutional. In order to provide a person or group a specific benefit, you can’t just arbitrarily ignore fundamental rights granted in the Constitution. The constitutionality of the employer mandate is what is being questioned in the lawsuits.

    The anon poster who pointed out that using Catholic legal interpretations folks who work for Christian Science foundations, whether Christian Scientists or not, should not receive any medical insurance at all because modern medicine interferes with the will of God and that violates the tenets of Christian Science.

    In my opinion, choosing to work for someone forms a contract and one of the prime principles of contract law is that contracts must be entered into voluntarily by all parties. If someone chooses to take a job where insurance is not offered that is their business.

    This gets back to my point that paying for ‘reproductive services’ is a benefit not a right, just as insurance is a benefit not a right.

    Your argument about ‘equality before the law’ as applied to private employers falls apart on this issue [as well as on others which we can discuss if you wish]. Today, there are numerous companies that do not offer insurance or which offer insurance well below the government mandate (not to mention companies like McDonalds, Walmarts, and big unions that have received waivers). Under Obamacare, these companies will have to provide the government mandated levels of benefits or face fines administered through the IRS. This is tied to the issue of the individual mandate currently being reviewed by SCOTUS. Even if the principle is upheld, there is speculation that it will end up being more cost effective for some companies to pay the fines, or to pay the fines and actually drop their insurance than to comply. It will then be up to the government to arrange for services for those people not covered.

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  32. .



    And then you have Max.

    Can not one argue that, far from being a (deeper) theological issue of separation, this is, indeed, a (mere) 'war on women's reproductive rights'?

    Of course, one can argue that, the left does it all the time. And I’m sure Ash and possible Rufus nod their heads in agreement. The fact that it is a specious argument similar the ‘theocracy’ meme you are fixated on…well…


    It strikes me that the righteous rhetoric (god knows it's a fools game to impose resolution on righteous rhetoric but here I'm referring to the Catholic Church) is really an objection to the shifting of decision-making from the institutional authority (the Church) to the individual.

    Delusional. This is not the 17th century. In the U.S. today, the only power a religion has is that of persuasion something that as far as I know is not yet ruled out in a democracy. On the other hand, it is the federal government that is the institutional authority that has been stripping individuals of their rights in this country. Anyone who hasn’t tracked that progression of that trend over the last decade or so is blind.

    The left applauds that progression because of their faith in the state rather than the individual. Comments to the contrary are mere ‘Newspeak’ or as I said before self-delusion.

    Consider a different issue to test the logic of the preposition that the State is not allowed to impose [this is the critical word - behavior? insurance 'benefits?] that conflicts with Church strictures/teaching/belief. Aside from birth control, what might the State impose on any Church that challenges the domain and content of Church doctrine ... aside from birth control, which has served as the 'stand-in' issue for separation of authority since Roe v Wade?

    Well, let’s see, there is the issue of the ministerial exception, the Hosanna-Tabor case just recently decided by SCOTUS. Of course if all you have is a hammer, every issue begins to look like the nail. Lord, when you have to bring the issue of “security of person’ into this particular debate you are really stretching.

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  33. .

    It is unfortunate, not to mention confusing, that birth control is the subject used to test the "separation of church and state "issue." Unfortunate because the Catholic Church is stubbornly digging in with an issue that was long ago decided by women, largely. Done deal.

    Confusing? Then it appears you are easily confused. This was not an issue when the Obama administration, in order to win the support of the Catholics on Obamacare, assured the Church that their beliefs would not be compromised by the new law. It was only after the Church supported Obamacare and it passed that things changed and Sabelius dictated that religious institutions would fall under the Obamacare mandates regardless of their beliefs.

    Your constant complaints on the abortion issue misconstrue the position of the Church. It is true the Church lobbied against the Roe v Wade ruling before it was handed down, as was their prerogative in a democracy. It is also true that the Church continues to argue against Roe v Wade on moral grounds, which is again their prerogative. [It should also be noted that many constitutional scholars continue to argue against it on constitutional grounds.]

    However, what the Church in the U.S. does not do is argue about its legality. They accept it is the law of the land and that those who want an abortion are legally able to get one. What they argue in the lawsuit we are discussing is their believe that it is morally wrong and for that reason they don’t want to be forced to pay for it. Again, if you are unable to grasp that distinction, there is little point in arguing further.

    As for ‘stubbornly digging in’, good heavens. The Church has been preaching the same message on the sanctity of life for 2000 years. There are 60 million Catholics in the U.S. There are about 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide. Why should the Church change its basic beliefs to accommodate the 5% of its membership living in the U.S.?

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  34. similar the ‘theocracy’ meme you are fixated on…well…

    With that little thrust of idiocracy, you establish a level of engagement that is nonexistent.

    You know the rest of the drill.

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  35. .

    Sure you did.

    You couldn't help yourself.

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  36. No I didn't.

    You go from claiming you're not a mind reader to telling people what they think.

    Maybe you're a magician.

    The Church needs to exorcise its high dudgeon over matters of sex. I am beginning to think there is a There there.

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    1. .

      A minor correction. In my comment, I didn't say what you thought, I merely pointed out what you did.

      And as far as knowing the 'rest of the drill', of course I do. I have seen it before.

      When you lack an argument, go pout.

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    2. Heh :)

      Maybe you're a magician.

      No maybe about it, guy can pull rabbits out of a hat.

      Can call the spirits from the vasty deep.

      You simply have seen the fathoms yet of the things that go on over there at SoulsRUs.

      It is almost scary, what I have seen.

      Blood runs cold, teeth chatter, like at the howling of a Canadian grey.

      b

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