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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 19, 2009 3:11 AM. The previous post in this blog was Outrageous prices, upstairs and down. The next post in this blog is Inaugural speech preview. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Federal debt: $194,400 a head

These folks wreck the holiday weekend by talking reality.

Comments (14)

I wonder if their arithmetic is any better than their spelling and grammar. It's hard to credit sources that are so careless with details.

Wow, good thing we gave all those bank & mortgage lender CEOs their bonuses. They could be hurting if this gets any worse.

What are we, as a country, going to do? Seriously, how are we going to ever get out of this mess? Even if we all generally agreed on a plan, would it ever get done? There's enough moneyed interest in the status quo to ever let it happen...

I wouldn't worry about the status quo. That can't go on much longer.
One number I always used to think about was when the deficit passed over 365 billion a year. I'm not an economist but the idea that everyday we lived in America, we were 1 billion dollars more in debt, seemed alarming. Of course, that was back before we began running up a trillion dollars of new debt by lunchtime.
That was several years ago when right-wing conservatives were writing my blog to brag about how great W. was at the economy.

Well, Allan, I wouldn't shoot the messenger over apostrophe abuse. The Medicare HI fund (Part A ) is expected to be depleted in 2019, and the suppmental insurance fund is growing way faster than general inflation. This report is generated annually, and it ain't good news:

http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ReportsTrustFunds/downloads/tr2008.pdf

seems like yesterday that Bubba was leaving office and the national debt was on track to be paid off in 15 yrs...

PMG, let's all hope we can think clearly about these problems. I'm not shooting any messengers, a metaphor that I think does not involve skepticism but rather blame shifting. Projected social fund deficits include a lot of assumptions about the future, almost none of which are likely to prove accurate. But the Medicare report (which I'm betting doesn't have a lot of careless mistakes in it) underscores, if anything, the urgency of fundamental health care reform in the United States. Parts C and D of Medicare are a carefully crafted time bomb intended to bankrupt the system and procure its failure, once and for all. This "reform" of Medicare should have been named for Ron Wyden, whose favorable vote single-handedly brought it about. You might guess that I don't think this is the best time in the world to be screaming about the national debt and prospective deficits. What I do think is that efforts now to address these problems directly (through higher taxes, or lower spending, or both) will just make them worse.

It's only money

I've noticed a huge uptick in right-wingers bleating that "The New Deal didn't work." But right now, we need to put people back to work and put a secure-enough floor under them that they'll begin participating in the consumer-driven economy.

Obama, however, is already turning away from campaign promises to get out of Iraq in 16 months and abolish the Bush tax cuts.

So it doesn't look as if we're going to try solutions that would work.

"The New Deal didn't work."

I had one of them in my face with "The New Deal caused the Depression." Exact quote.

With the federal, state, county, city debt combined we're looking at over $215,000 per person.

Combining that with the average debt people have in bank cards, mortgages, etc., a family of four would be over $1 Million dollars in debt. That means in one's lifetime with national averages that debt will never be paid off from income expected.

Where's Momma?

I think we're missing the point here. Saying we owe 200 thousand dollars or whatever, implies a level of stability that's rapidly eroding. What we may be seeing is the beginning of the end of the dollar as our entire system unravels, then crashes down in a heap.
It's like in "No Country for Old Men" when the bad guy is talking to the widow he's about to kill, and she says she still owes a bunch of money for her mother's funeral. He says, "I wouldn't worry about it."

"... how are we going to ever get out of this mess?"

Easy answer. It has all been set out as burden, and onus, for our grandkids and their kids to get out from under.

Government expenditures and appropriations used to be (before Raygun) 'costed' in the current year's budget. Somehow that got shifted in ratchet increments, until now we see government spending, and revenue, stated in terms of projected total amounts cumulative for the projected total years of the legislated take-in and pay-out. We have come "unstuck in Time," like Billy Pilgrim. ("Somehow got shifted" is not to mean there is a mystery of 'how.' Rather, that 'how' is a tedious 30-year narrative -- and totally known, which is more details than a Comment can fit, except to say there is 'some.') But the 'solution' is to re-establish only Current Year revenues and spending in legislative debate and news reports. After all, what one session of Congress can give, the next session of Congress can take away.

Income and expenses in terms of cash on hand can be applied in personal finance, too. For instance, we hear that Social Security is 'broken' about 50 years in the future. Well, all right then, there seems to be almost nothing we can do today to fix the government program, in 2060, and there is very much we can do to fix our personal 'program.' This: Forget Soc.Sec. checks when we retire; plan and act to take that future into personal account and our own hands -- personally save ahead for retirement. Opt out of our own Soc.Sec.

If everyone who can do that, would do that, then Soc.Sec. is NOT 'broken' 50 years in the future.

Whatsa matter, you can't do that? You can't foresee how it's going to go, and where you're going to be, for 'retirement?' If you can't, then how can we rationally expect government can?

Earn earnings this year. Spend some this year. Save some this year. Stay current. Then there'll be no burden on grandkids, and the rest ....

Some comic relief in contrast: There are those who wreck the party by talking reality, as said in the headline; and then there are those LIARS who distort reality by misstating a fun and ceremonial party.

MSNBC's Tamron Hall asserted Bush's 2005 inauguration "cost roughly $40 million," ignored reported $100 million in additional costs, Media Matters, Jan 18, 2009.
.

Summary: MSNBC's Tamron Hall stated that "the inauguration festivities" for President-elect Barack Obama are "estimated to reach as high as $150 million," while "[i]n 2004, to note, the inauguration of George W. Bush cost roughly $40 million." But the $40 million figure that Hall cited for Bush's second inauguration reportedly does not include security and transportation costs incurred by the federal government and the District of Columbia; these costs are included in the $150 million estimate that the media are reporting for the Obama inauguration.

Perhaps it is odd -- NOT! -- that LIARS Larson broadcast those same EXACT NUMBERS from Drudge, on Friday. "Obama's party is costing $150 million, Bush's party cost only $40 million," said LIARS.

But that's not reality, in fact.

Some of his listeners reading this here should call-in LIARS radio program today, (his screener hangs up on me -- LIARS has not got the guts to face true facts and me), to tell him why his reputation is he is LIARS.


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