Monday, April 27, 2009

2,000 Words

To answer copithorne in the last thread.
Please note that these are based on the president's own numbers.

The dot-com bust, laid at least partly at Clinton's door, put us back into deficit. The credit collapse, laid at least partly at Congress's door (though Bush is not exonerated), dropped up back a second time.


copithorne said...

These charts are bogus. 2009 is, after all, still George Bush's budget.

I mean really, George Bush spent 400 billion in TARP funds alone. Even that isn't counted in 2008? The whole $700 billion was passed under his budget.

There is another $200 billion that George Bush put off books with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that Obama has put on the books.

This is going to be central to why Republican have created such catastrophic deficits. They are unable to orient themselves to taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions. There is a piece missing in the ability to do that.

Bill Clinton left with $250 billions surpluses. George Bush and the Republicans destroyed that all on their own. Until you can describe why that failure took place and how things will be different, it is hard to make any sense out of this new found 'concern' for deficit spending.

Be assured, though, things will get better now. We welcome responsibility. You trashed the house and we do need to take out a loan to repair it. But we are going to get things back on track.

Gringo said...

Apparently Copithorne never learned to read graphs, else he would have commented on the future predictions.

Is innumeracy a characteristic of liberals?

copithorne said...

Future predictions?

The chart shows that from George Bush's 2009 deficit, Barack Obama consistently brings the deficit down throughout his first term.

Beyond that, hard to say what will happen. I'm optimistic we will get things on track as we have in the past.

With Republicans, the deficit gets worse. With Democrats it gets better. It's been that way for my entire life.

If you were truly interested in the subject of deficits as a matter of public policy, these real life consequences would be of interest to you. Instead, I see just the use of rhetoric for supporting a tribal identification.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

copithorne, that is simply an amazing triumph of narrative over the facts right in front of you.

copithorne said...

This is all projection, AVI. But again, if your reality is working for you, it works for me as well. If you attend to your own experience you will find that your reality will be quite stressful and depressing to uphold.

I did appreciate that Barack Obama asked Eric Cantor and the Republican caucus for a list of cuts. It seemed like a teachable moment where Republican could be coached into expressing their stated principles into actual policies.

It will be interesting to see what comes of that. They had six years without proposing any cuts, so I'm not sure what would change now. But it's a new day and this would be a good beginning for Republicans if they can seize the opportunity.

GraniteDad said...

You mean the Eric Cantor who said
"The Bush administration’s first proposal was for an unfettered $700 billion dollar bailout of the financial industry. I found this unprecedented government expansion with no oversight and 100% of the burden placed on the taxpayers to be unacceptable and began working on an alternative"

Or should I project another quote?

copithorne said...

Sure, Jonathan, line them up if you got them.

It's hard to understand if you think Eric Cantor meant there should be no TARP program or whether he wanted changes to it. For myself, I have to accept the Paulson/Bernanke/Bush/Obama/McCain consensus that such a bailout was needed.

I understand you guys would have opposed the stimulus package. As far as I can tell, that's Obama's only contribution to that 2009 deficit figure in your chart. If you think no action was warranted you should definitely make the case. I'm pretty confident there is a strong and growing political consensus supporting the stimulus package.

But if you've think the Republican Party has alternate proposals to close the deficit, it would certainly be wholesome and constructive to share them.

Donna B. said...

There are no good "political" solutions to our fiscal problems as it's "political" solution to former problems (fiscal, social, and imagined) that caused the problem in the first place.

I'm a nothing, a nobody and do not feel that I'm represented in Washington at all.

Der Hahn said...

At least copithorne is willing to admit $787 billion of the deficit is Obama's.

copithorne said...

Over two years, Der Hahn, over two years.

$787 billion of the debt is Obama's. Half that is the deficit.

ELC said...

AVI, It's almost as if you really thought facts would actually mean something in the discussion. Fascinating. ;)

copithorne said...

I’ve presented facts and they stand, uncontradicted. If anybody wants to present other evidence, please do.

For thirty years Republicans voted for people who said in word and deed “deficits don’t matter.” On January 20, 2009 they had some kind of conversion experience in which all of a sudden they say deficits do matter. However, they are unaware of what caused this transformation or even that a transformation took place.

Fine. For most people in Western Civilization the lack of awareness of this transformation will make it hard to take your concerns seriously. But I’ll take the concern at face value. The next step will be learning to express that new found concern in terms of public policies. You would propose cutting this program or raising that tax. Because this concern is so new, evidently you haven’t arrived at the point where people are able to do that or even conceptualize how that would happen.

Look for that opportunity over the next few years. That’s the muscle you’ll need to exercise to begin to participate constructively in our nation’s civic life.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

You have been frequently contradicted, with facts. You respond with insult each time, as here. If you wish to be the knight from Monty Python who refuses to acknowledge he is beaten, though his arms and legs are cut off, we will continue to be amused.

copithorne said...

It doesn't seem like you and I have the same understanding of what a "fact" is. I guess I can try to ask directly.

In your chart, where is the $700 billion in TARP funds signed by George Bush appear? Did you not falsely ascribe those funds to Barack Obama?

Why does your chart not include the funds for Iraq and Afghanistan for the years 2000-2008 but it does include them for subsequent years? Isn't that several hundred billions of dollars a year that you are fudging?

Are you aware that fiscal year 2009 begins in October 2008? So that the first year in your chart reflects spending decisions that are George Bush's responsibility? Is it not accurate when I say that starting with that deficit, Barack Obama intends to bring the decifit down?

Finally, are you aware of any proposals for reducing the deficit that have been made here? What proposals do you have for reducing the deficit?

I have read through the entire thread. You are flatly mistaken that any facts have been presented that contradict the assertions I made in my inital post. Can you point to anything that you perceived to be a 'fact' so that I could understand what you mean by the term?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Oh sure. Even if all you stated were entirely true (there are some important qualifiers you leave out), it would still remain that the subsequent deficits are enormously larger than what has gone before. You may think this is necessary and a good thing, to spend our way out of difficulties. Though I think that terribly unwise, I don't enter that discussion here. I do point out that we are spending enormously more than we did.

As to surpluses under Clinton, one might as easily say that we had surpluses because of the Republican congress. That would also be an oversimplification, but is at least as valid. You leave the control of congress pieces out of your consideration - as, admittedly, many people do, on both sides of the issue.

copithorne said...

Barack Obama inherited a deficit of $1.3 trillion. He added the stimulus package of about $350 billion. That's what your chart shows.

You have not told me that you oppose the stimulus package or what alternatives you would have preferred that would not have raised the deficit. You do not seem to be taking responsibility for advocating doing nothing in the face of economic meltdown. If you preferred doing nothing, make the case. Otherwise, your complaints are empty.

Following that, we intend to reduce the deficit we inherited. That sounds like a goal you share. Yet your approach leaves you an outside critic rather than a responsible participant.

I gather it is tacitly acknowledged that your statement that I have been 'frequently contradicted by facts' was a false statement. Or the use of 'facts' within your tribe has no meaning to people outside of your tribe. If I am misunderstanding, I count on you to point to the facts presented here that should have contradicted or modified my views.

The surplus of 2000 was due to the trajectory established by the budget of 1994 which passed without a Republican vote. You could throw in the budget decision of 1990 which knocked it in half too if you want to share the credit. Nothing else really changed the math. All that is too old to debate, but that's the way it was.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I do not tacitly acknowledge that my statement that you have been "frequently contradicted by the facts is false." I am simply tired of repeating things and having you ignore them, so that you can make your own points instead. If you had wished to discuss how much responsibility President Bush has for the recent deficit (a fair bit) versus how much President Obama is responsible for (as a majority Senator, a designer of the bailout, a stimulus adder, and increaser of the Bush budget, a fair bit as well) you would have found that discussion. Your use of the tribal "we" to describe what is happening is terribly revealing of your inability to discuss. When you are ready to discuss, or even debate, others are willing.

copithorne said...

Saying that writing one sentence pointing to a fact is harder than writing ten sentences making excuses will not be at all persuasive to members outside your tribe.

Works for me. Keep on doing what you're doing.