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oldandslow
04-13-2006, 12:54 PM
We are so screwed...this also illustrates why calling the present adminstration as well as republican congress "conservative" is an oxymoron...



Red Ink Run Amok

By David S. Broder
Thursday, April 13, 2006; Page A21

The interview with Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee was scheduled for April 7, the final day that Congress would be in session before taking another vacation, this one a two-week break. It was expected to be a busy day in the House, with final floor debate on the budget resolution to set the nation's fiscal policy for the coming year.

But House Republican leaders pulled the bill, having failed to negotiate agreement on their side of the aisle between conservatives pressing for spending cuts and moderates trying to protect health and education programs.


So Cooper, a conservative Democrat, had plenty of time to talk about one of the most secretive documents in Washington -- the official Financial Report of the United States Government.

Cooper, a member of the Budget Committee, had referred to the document several times during that panel's truncated debate on the budget resolution. Like many of the others in the room -- including the legislators -- I had no idea what he was talking about. So I went to inquire.

Turns out there was an excuse for the widespread ignorance. The report had been completed in early December but was issued on Dec. 15. The Treasury Department, which compiled it, did not even put out a news release announcing its existence. Cooper said the total press run was 1,000 copies, and they have become such rarities that he suggested I could probably take the one he procured for me and put it up for auction on eBay.

You might think that the subject matter is as sensitive as the National Intelligence Estimate that President Bush declassified in order to discredit Joe Wilson.

And it is. The cover letter in the report from Treasury Secretary John Snow contains the bad news. Whereas the budget deficit for fiscal 2005 was officially given as $319 billion, "the government's accrual-based net operating cost . . . was $760 billion in 2005."

That $760 billion is the real difference between the money the government received and the obligations it added in the past year -- in other words, the unfunded costs being passed on to our children and grandchildren.

For years, the federal budget has been stated in cash terms, not the accrual accounting method, which Cooper said has been in use for five centuries and is now mandated for all private corporations. The difference, as he explained it, is this:

If you go to Target and buy an item for cash, it's felt in your wallet immediately. If you buy the same item on a credit card, unless you are using accrual accounting, it is disguised until the bill arrives.

The U.S. government has been running up bills -- notably the promises of pensions and health-care benefits for military veterans and millions of other retirees -- without putting the obligations on the books.

That is what is really scary about the financial report. It contains page after page of graphs showing the probable future course of income and expenditures for Social Security and Medicare. In each chart, the dotted line for spending climbs far faster than the solid line for revenue. Beginning a decade from now, the shortfalls explode in what Cooper calls "a perfect storm" of fiscal ruin.

Cooper is not alone in this worry. David Walker, the head of the Government Accountability Office, official bookkeeper for Congress, said at a briefing last week that the $760 billion accrual deficit "amounts to $156,000 of debt for every man, woman and child in America. For a family, it's like having a $750,000 mortgage -- and no house."

Walker, who has been traveling the country trying to spread the alarm, said flatly that if the tax cuts now in effect are made permanent, as President Bush is requesting, and spending continues to rise at the current rate, "the system blows up. More than half our debt is now financed by foreign countries, and they will exact a price."

Digging out of this mess "will take 20 years," Walker said, but the first step is simply to reassert the budget controls -- spending caps and a "pay-go" rule that requires offsets for any new tax cuts or spending increases.

The Republicans who let those lapse in 2002 refused once again this year to put them back in the budget resolution.

But Cooper and several Republicans on the House committee did succeed in adding a requirement to the pending bill that future budget resolutions at least show the accrual deficit numbers -- a small gesture toward fiscal responsibility.

The message is clear: Congress is balking at even minimal actions needed to get a grip on the budget. The long-term problem is far tougher and will require more leadership and courage than can be found today.

oldandslow
04-13-2006, 01:00 PM
sorry to reply to my own post, but I found a link for the original report noted in the article....

I have read some of it, and yes, we are screwed...

http://www.fms.treas.gov/fr/05frusg/05frusg.pdf

Amnorix
04-13-2006, 01:11 PM
Digging out of this mess "will take 20 years," Walker said, but the first step is simply to reassert the budget controls -- spending caps and a "pay-go" rule that requires offsets for any new tax cuts or spending increases.

The Republicans who let those lapse in 2002 refused once again this year to put them back in the budget resolution.

Right, the ones Democrats helped put in place, and kept in place during the Democratic presidency. And the ones the Republicans got rid of to finance a bad tax cut that was sold as a recession-killer, but really was minimally designed to address the recession and really "fixed" systemic problems with the tax code that Republicans just didn't like.

With no related cut in spending.

Which, combined with BushCo's adventure in Iraq, has spiraled the deficit wildly out of control.

But, meanwhile, some moronic people on this board (you know who you are) continue to insist that Republicans are still as good ro better than Democrats on controlling spending, the deficit, and the debt.

Bulls**t.

Stuff like this makes me so frigging mad I could spit. The sheer fiscal irresponsibility of the last 30 years, primarily (not exclusively, but primarily) by Republicans, is utterly maddening.

Amnorix
04-13-2006, 01:11 PM
sorry to reply to my own post, but I found a link for the original report noted in the article....

I have read some of it, and yes, we are screwed...

http://www.fms.treas.gov/fr/05frusg/05frusg.pdf


Yes and no. We can still fund our ridiculous debt, which is ultimately what really matters. But the country we live in 25 years from now will be dramatically affected by our revenue/spending choices of the next 10-20 years.

Amnorix
04-13-2006, 01:12 PM
my favorite graph.

http://zfacts.com/metaPage/lib/National-Debt-GDP.gif

Amnorix
04-13-2006, 01:14 PM
Another favorite.

http://www.cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt_files/image006.gif

Amnorix
04-13-2006, 01:18 PM
This one helps, sort of, to show why we're not completely screwed. Our total debt to GDP percentage is still only 35th in t he world. We're behind Japan, Germany, France, Italy, and several other major countries.

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2186rank.html

Chief Henry
04-13-2006, 01:47 PM
Go sell your "Genereal Electric" Stock then if you think we are sunk.

patteeu
04-13-2006, 02:54 PM
Anyone who thinks democrats, left to their own devices, would be more fiscally responsible than Republicans is fooling themselves. There isn't an iota of evidence for that contention.

banyon
04-13-2006, 02:58 PM
Anyone who thinks democrats, left to their own devices, would be more fiscally responsible than Republicans is fooling themselves. There isn't an iota of evidence for that contention.

not an iota? Damn, I'm sure you looked everywhere for it too.

These neo-Republicans have inverted the traditional economic understanding of the two parties IMO.

I would think it's pretty hard to be less fiscally responsible than this administration. So unless the Dems nominate Nero (reconstructed from scientists from his DNA), then I think by definition they are going to be more responsible.

mlyonsd
04-13-2006, 03:11 PM
not an iota? Damn, I'm sure you looked everywhere for it too.

These neo-Republicans have inverted the traditional economic understanding of the two parties IMO.

I would think it's pretty hard to be less fiscally responsible than this administration. So unless the Dems nominate Nero (reconstructed from scientists from his DNA), then I think by definition they are going to be more responsible.

I think you're a little confused as to who holds the purse strings.

Congress is the one spending so much. Meaning the Republicans are to blame for the most part.

But I do agree with pat, thinking the dems would be anymore responsible is laughable. The republicans learned it from them....spend money on your constituents to get re-elected.

Amnorix
04-13-2006, 03:11 PM
Anyone who thinks democrats, left to their own devices, would be more fiscally responsible than Republicans is fooling themselves. There isn't an iota of evidence for that contention.


Really. May I introduce you to the graphs that I provided in this very thread.

Let me put it this way -- AT WORST the jury is out on what Democrats might do. The jury is IN on what Republicans do, and it's a complete and total ****ing disaster. The Democrats COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE ANY WORSE than what the Republicans have consistently shown while running this country, from a budget balance, fiscal responsibility point of view.

banyon
04-13-2006, 03:17 PM
I think you're a little confused as to who holds the purse strings.

Congress is the one spending so much. Meaning the Republicans are to blame for the most part.

But I do agree with pat, thinking the dems would be anymore responsible is laughable. The republicans learned it from them....spend money on your constituents to get re-elected.

A convenient excuse.

But you have to blame Congress and President for budgetary policy.

Usually the bill submits their budget to Congress in the first place. They make their changes and then if good the president signs them into law.

If they are fiscally irresponsible, then the president has the Constitutional duty and the moral responsibility to veto them.

Are you really going to say that presidents like FDR or Reagan did not have tremendous impacts on their respective budgets?

It was all Bush's idea to ram tax cuts down our throats, the Repub Stooges in Congress were just willing accomplices.

banyon
04-13-2006, 03:18 PM
Another favorite.



Damn Am, resize that thing.

mlyonsd
04-13-2006, 03:27 PM
A convenient excuse.

But you have to blame Congress and President for budgetary policy.

Usually the bill submits their budget to Congress in the first place. They make their changes and then if good the president signs them into law.

If they are fiscally irresponsible, then the president has the Constitutional duty and the moral responsibility to veto them.

Are you really going to say that presidents like FDR or Reagan did not have tremendous impacts on their respective budgets?

It was all Bush's idea to ram tax cuts down our throats, the Repub Stooges in Congress were just willing accomplices.
Excuse? I'm not saying the administration is not at fault for anything. Although I will give them some benefit of the doubt for the events of the last 5 years.

You're just missing the point on who was supposed to be keeping him in line.

banyon
04-13-2006, 03:35 PM
Excuse? I'm not saying the administration is not at fault for anything. Although I will give them some benefit of the doubt for the events of the last 5 years.

You're just missing the point on who was supposed to be keeping him in line.
What's wrong with saying that they are jointly responsible (or jointly irresponsible, I guess)?

jiveturkey
04-13-2006, 04:09 PM
I don't care who's the blame for it, I just want it fixed.

But only after I get a highway built from my house to the liquor store 6 blocks away.

After that I want this shit taken care of!

Radar Chief
04-13-2006, 04:26 PM
I don't care who's the blame for it, I just want it fixed.

But only after I get a highway built from my house to the liquor store 6 blocks away.

After that I want this shit taken care of!

Fug that, there should be a constitutional amendment requiring the liquor store to be moved closer to your house.
Gas ainít free and the beer ainít just gonna just osmosis into your fridge, ya know. ;)

jiveturkey
04-13-2006, 04:29 PM
Fug that, there should be a constitutional amendment requiring the liquor store to be moved closer to your house.
Gas ainít free and the beer ainít just gonna just osmosis into your fridge, ya know. ;)
Good point.

And once that's passed we'll get down to business on this "budget" issue.

recxjake
04-13-2006, 05:42 PM
I don't care if its Repubs or Dems...

Please fix the following problems...

1. Social Security

2. Illegal Immigration

3. Tax Code

4. Wasteful Spending

5. Cut Military Budget

Hydrae
04-13-2006, 05:43 PM
FAIR TAX :)

patteeu
04-14-2006, 08:38 AM
not an iota? Damn, I'm sure you looked everywhere for it too.

These neo-Republicans have inverted the traditional economic understanding of the two parties IMO.

I would think it's pretty hard to be less fiscally responsible than this administration. So unless the Dems nominate Nero (reconstructed from scientists from his DNA), then I think by definition they are going to be more responsible.

I note that you don't provide that iota in your post.

If there has been an inversion in the traditional understanding of the two parties, it's a mistaken one. It's reasonable for people to have come away from the last few years disillusioned with the Republicans. They've earned a reputation as big spenders. But there has been no change in the democrats. They still want to tax and spend. The only demonstrated difference between the current efforts of the two parties is that the democrats are tax-and-spenders and the Republicans are just spenders.

Amnorix
04-14-2006, 08:40 AM
Excuse? I'm not saying the administration is not at fault for anything. Although I will give them some benefit of the doubt for the events of the last 5 years.

You're just missing the point on who was supposed to be keeping him in line.

Who is supposed to be keeping him in line?! He's the LEADER of the freaking party that rules Congress.

He also, if I recall correctly, campaigned on a platform that included deficit reduction, not deficit-spiraling-wildly-out-of-control.

But yes, if you want to discuss joint responsibility, I'm glad to assign blame jointly to the Republican-led Congress and the Republican White House.

And oh yes, here are the final votes on the 2003 tax cut bill that is partly to blame for this.

Final House vote:

Republicans
224 Yes
1 No

Democrats & Independents
7 Yes
199 No


Final Senate vote:

Republicans
48 Yes
3 No

Democrats and Independents
2 Yes
47 No

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobs_and_Growth_Tax_Relief_Reconciliation_Act_of_2003
Vice President (R): Yea
Total 51 50

Amnorix
04-14-2006, 08:43 AM
I note that you don't provide that iota in your post.

If there has been an inversion in the traditional understanding of the two parties, it's a mistaken one. It's reasonable for people to have come away from the last few years disillusioned with the Republicans. They've earned a reputation as big spenders. But there has been no change in the democrats. They still want to tax and spend. The only demonstrated difference between the current efforts of the two parties is that the democrats are tax-and-spenders and the Republicans are just spenders.


So both will spend, but one - the Republicans - will spend irresponsibly?

There's a great defense of the Republican...

patteeu
04-14-2006, 08:49 AM
Really. May I introduce you to the graphs that I provided in this very thread.

Let me put it this way -- AT WORST the jury is out on what Democrats might do. The jury is IN on what Republicans do, and it's a complete and total ****ing disaster. The Democrats COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE ANY WORSE than what the Republicans have consistently shown while running this country, from a budget balance, fiscal responsibility point of view.

Your graphs don't address my claim. I agree that the jury is out on what the democrats might do in the future, but then the jury is out on what the Republicans might do in the future too. The Republican's history of a lack of spending restraint is more recent, but the democrat's history is just as clear, more firmly established, and IMO more profound. Afterall, we have over a half century of evidence showing not only that the democrats are committed to the tax-and-spend philosophy, but we can also thank the democrats (primarily) for the very source of our biggest looming fiscal problems, the entitlements. If the democrats had had their way, we'd be France now.

patteeu
04-14-2006, 08:51 AM
I don't care if its Repubs or Dems...

Please fix the following problems...

1. Social Security

2. Illegal Immigration

3. Tax Code

4. Wasteful Spending

Excellent post...

5. Cut Military Budget

...until that one. :spock:

patteeu
04-14-2006, 08:56 AM
So both will spend, but one - the Republicans - will spend irresponsibly?

There's a great defense of the Republican...

It's not a defense of the current Republicans. They've failed those of us who expected them to put the brakes on spending. But that's different than saying the democrats are better...

BTW, I didn't say, nor do I believe, that the democrats will spend responsibly.

banyon
04-14-2006, 11:17 AM
I note that you don't provide that iota in your post.

If there has been an inversion in the traditional understanding of the two parties, it's a mistaken one. It's reasonable for people to have come away from the last few years disillusioned with the Republicans. They've earned a reputation as big spenders. But there has been no change in the democrats. They still want to tax and spend. The only demonstrated difference between the current efforts of the two parties is that the democrats are tax-and-spenders and the Republicans are just spenders.

I think that's fair. I just wanted you to acknowledge at least the Republicans have been flipped in the public mind on this issue.

The Democrats have been talking about fiscal responsibility but, besides Clinton's deficit turnaround with the help of the 94' Contract/America Congressmen, they really have only words and little in the way of actions.

Both parties' complicity in this problem gave Perot the momentum that could've won him the presidency.

If...he hadn't pulled out twice...and picked the worst VP in the history of American elections.

Amnorix
04-14-2006, 12:33 PM
Your graphs don't address my claim. I agree that the jury is out on what the democrats might do in the future, but then the jury is out on what the Republicans might do in the future too. The Republican's history of a lack of spending restraint is more recent, but the democrat's history is just as clear, more firmly established, and IMO more profound. Afterall, we have over a half century of evidence showing not only that the democrats are committed to the tax-and-spend philosophy, but we can also thank the democrats (primarily) for the very source of our biggest looming fiscal problems, the entitlements. If the democrats had had their way, we'd be France now.

First off, Democrats aren't socialists, who hold considerable power in France, so you're overstating your case.

Second, most of the entitlements were passed generations ago, with broad bipartisan support. By and large, they have also been good programs. Unfortunately, modern demographics prevent them from *continuing* to be good programs. I agree they need to be drastically revamped, which Democrats are certainly not pushing to say the least.

The history of the two parties over the last 40 years can be summed up thus, IMHO:

1. Democrats -- spend alot for social programs, but within budgetary constraints.

2. Republicans -- spend on whatever you want. Don't try to cut social programs because it's too unpopular. Ignore budgetary constraints.

IMHO, you can argue with the Democrats' underlying philosphies, but at least they are RESPONSIBLE. Republicans are past irresponsible and into reckless, at this point. Only Bush 1 showed ANY deviation from what otherwise appears to be Republican dedication to a path of financial ruin.

Amnorix
04-14-2006, 12:38 PM
Excellent post...



...until that one. :spock:

I actually agree on all 5 items.

My favorite military spending stat:

WORLD MILITARY SPENDING:

US: $466 Billion
Rest of World combined: $500 Billion

THAT is just totally absurd.

I also learned recently that we're designing a new generation of submarines. Can I ask the simple question -- why? Not why do this EVER, but why do this now? Why wouldn't we put this on the slowest possible development track?

You know why -- the navy, the companies that pay for the engineers, the jobs they provide, and the waterboys for the foregoing groups in Congress. Well you know what -- none of that is nearly enough to justify it. Not even close.

Amnorix
04-14-2006, 12:40 PM
The Democrats have been talking about fiscal responsibility but, besides Clinton's deficit turnaround with the help of the 94' Contract/America Congressmen, they really have only words and little in the way of actions.


What other opportunities have they had, really?

The ONE time they had the Congerss and WH in their hands, they did a great job putting our fiscal house back on track.

Unfortunately, that was part of what got them discharged in the great '94 Republican sweep to power, which has put us so far into the frigging red it's disgusting.

Pitt Gorilla
04-14-2006, 01:42 PM
I just love the "yeah but" excuse.

patteeu
04-14-2006, 04:58 PM
First off, Democrats aren't socialists, who hold considerable power in France, so you're overstating your case.

Second, most of the entitlements were passed generations ago, with broad bipartisan support. By and large, they have also been good programs. Unfortunately, modern demographics prevent them from *continuing* to be good programs. I agree they need to be drastically revamped, which Democrats are certainly not pushing to say the least.

The history of the two parties over the last 40 years can be summed up thus, IMHO:

1. Democrats -- spend alot for social programs, but within budgetary constraints.

2. Republicans -- spend on whatever you want. Don't try to cut social programs because it's too unpopular. Ignore budgetary constraints.

IMHO, you can argue with the Democrats' underlying philosphies, but at least they are RESPONSIBLE. Republicans are past irresponsible and into reckless, at this point. Only Bush 1 showed ANY deviation from what otherwise appears to be Republican dedication to a path of financial ruin.

I don't agree that the democrats are responsible. I agree with banyon that the complicity of both parties in fiscally irresponsible policies is what put Ross Perot on the map.

patteeu
04-14-2006, 05:01 PM
What other opportunities have they had, really?

The ONE time they had the Congerss and WH in their hands, they did a great job putting our fiscal house back on track.

Are you talking about the Carter administration?

Unfortunately, that was part of what got them discharged in the great '94 Republican sweep to power, which has put us so far into the frigging red it's disgusting.

Oh, you mean the first two years of the Clinton administration. Look back at your charts in posts #5 and #6 and see if you can figure out where the elbow in the curve takes place.