Open Thread On Debt Deal

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger 

To get the ball rolling, here’s Paul Krugman: “For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California):  “maybe none of us will be able to support it.”

Comment moderation is off, so have at it.


113 thoughts on “Open Thread On Debt Deal

  1. Hmmm…Krugman and Pelosi both hate it. It must be a lot better than I thought it was if those two domestic enemies of America are against it.

  2. From last December’s transcript of Obama’s presser on the tax cut deal:

    Marc Ambinder.

    Q Mr. President, thank you. How do these negotiations affect negotiations or talks with Republicans about raising the debt limit? Because it would seem that they have a significant amount of leverage over the White House now, going in. Was there ever any attempt by the White House to include raising the debt limit as a part of this package?

    THE PRESIDENT: When you say it would seem they’ll have a significant amount of leverage over the White House, what do you mean?

    Q Just in the sense that they’ll say essentially we’re not going to raise the — we’re not going to agree to it unless the White House is able to or willing to agree to significant spending cuts across the board that probably go deeper and further than what you’re willing to do. I mean, what leverage would you have —

    THE PRESIDENT: Look, here’s my expectation — and I’ll take John Boehner at his word — that nobody, Democrat or Republican, is willing to see the full faith and credit of the United States government collapse, that that would not be a good thing to happen. And so I think that there will be significant discussions about the debt limit vote. That’s something that nobody ever likes to vote on. But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower.

    And so my expectation is, is that we will have tough negotiations around the budget, but that ultimately we can arrive at a position that is keeping the government open, keeping Social Security checks going out, keeping veterans services being provided, but at the same time is prudent when it comes to taxpayer dollars.

    How’d those expectations work out?

  3. “For the vigilant apocalypse watchers, Robert Greenstein, a budget analyst at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, is warning that John Boehner’s proposed debt plan “could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history,” which he apparently believes is the terrifying likely consequence of cutting government so much that federal discretionary spending only  rises from $1.034 trillion to $1.234 trillion over the next decade. “

  4. Nal;

    I posted Krugman and this opinion piece on your Voter Disenfranchisement thread.I’ll just repost this one.

    1, August 1, 2011 at 6:47 am
    The Diminished President
    Published: July 31, 2011

    By rights, Barack Obama should be emerging as the big political winner in the debt ceiling debate. For months, he’s positioned himself near the center of public opinion, leaving Republicans to occupy the rightward flank. Poll after poll suggests that Americans prefer the president’s call for a mix of spending cuts and tax increases to the Republican Party’s anti-tax approach. Poll after poll shows that House Republicans, not Obama, would take most of the blame if the debt ceiling weren’t raised.

    Yet the president’s approval ratings have been sinking steadily for weeks, hitting a George W. Bush-esque low of 40 percent in a recent Gallup survey. The voters incline toward Obama on the issues, still like him personally and consider the Republican opposition too extreme. But they are increasingly judging his presidency a failure anyway.

    The administration would no doubt blame this judgment on the steady stream of miserable economic news. But it should save some of the blame for its own political approach. Ever since the midterms, the White House’s tactics have consistently maximized President Obama’s short-term advantage while diminishing his overall authority. Call it the “too clever by half” presidency: the administration’s maneuvering keeps working out as planned, but Obama’s position keeps eroding.

    Start with the first round of deficit debates this winter. After the Republican sweep, the White House seemed to have two options: double down on Keynesian stimulus or pivot to the center and champion deficit reduction. Instead, Obama chose to hover above the fray, passing on his own fiscal commission’s recommendations and letting the Republicans make the first move.

    The strategy worked, in a sense. Goaded by the president’s evasiveness, Paul Ryan and the House Republicans put forward a detailed long-term budget proposal of their own, whose Medicare cuts proved predictably unpopular. But while the subsequent policy debate favored Obama, the optics of the confrontation diminished him. The chairman of the House Budget Committee looked more like a leader than the president of the United States.

    Then came the spring’s great foreign policy dilemma, the civil war in Muammar el-Qaddafi’s Libya. The president (wisely) didn’t want to put America’s blood and treasure on the line for the rebels, but he also didn’t want to take responsibility for letting Qaddafi crush the revolt. So the White House opted for a kind of quasi war, throwing just enough military power at the problem to ensure a stalemate and then punting responsibility to our NATO allies. An Obama adviser told The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza that the president was pioneering a new American way of statecraft: “Leading from behind.”

    Again, the strategy worked, sort of. An immediate humanitarian crisis was averted, and Libya quickly fell out of the headlines. But it left Americans to contemplate a peculiar and unpresidential spectacle: The leader of the free world taking the country to war while pretending that he wasn’t, and then effectively washing his hands of the ultimate outcome — which, 135 days and counting later, is still very much in doubt.

    The same pattern has played out in the debt ceiling debate. Instead of drawing clear lines and putting forward detailed proposals, the president has played Mr. Compromise — ceding ground to Republicans here, sermonizing about Tea Party intransigence and Washington gridlock there, and fleshing out his preferred approach reluctantly, if at all.

    The White House no doubt figured that this negotiating strategy would either lead to a bipartisan grand bargain or else expose Republican extremism — or better still, do both. And again, the strategy is arguably working. Americans were given a glimpse of right-wing populism’s reckless side last week, and the final deal will probably let the president burnish his centrist credentials just in time for 2012.

    But winning a debate on points isn’t a substitute for looking like a leader. It’s one thing to bemoan politics-as-usual when you’re running for the White House. It’s quite another to publicly throw up your hands over our “dysfunctional government” when you’re the man the voters put in charge of it.

    In fairness, the president’s passive-aggressive approach is a bipartisan affliction. The ostensible front-runner for the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney, took a deliberately hazy position on last week’s crucial House debate, preferring to flunk a test of leadership rather than risk alienating either side. (The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney quipped that “if you took Obama’s plan and Romney’s plan, and just met in the middle, you’d be in the middle of nowhere.”)

    This leaves Americans to contemplate two possibilities more alarming than debt-ceiling brinkmanship. First, that we’re living through yet another failed presidency. And second, that there’s nobody waiting in the wings who’s up to the task either.

  5. Look klownderosa, you and the rest of your minions from Hell can quit now. You won. There is no longer a Democratic party worthy of the name and the Republican party is no longer conservative but batshit insane radicals. Fine, you win, welcome to America as a third world shit hole. Huge disparity in wealth, lousy healthcare, shorter life expectancy, slow to non-existent economic growth.

    Go and be happy, there will always be jobs as house boy for clowns like you.

  6. To appreciate the scope of the Tea Party’s victory, consider: When Barack Obama came into office, he went on a bender of government spending. He signed an unprecedented $821 billion stimulus spending bill. His first budget increased federal spending to 27 percent of gross domestic product — the highest level as a share of the economy since World War II.  He then proceeded to ram through Congress Obamacare, a massive government intervention that adds $1.4 trillion in new spending over the next decade alone. Democrats openly talked about passing a “second stimulus.” And five months ago Obama submitted a budget to Congress that tripled the national debt, raising it by $10 trillion over the next 10 years.

    Today, no one is talking about tripling the national debt or passing a “second stimulus.”  Congress is about to cut spending by about $2 trillion and put us on a trajectory to balance the budget within a decade. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid complained Saturday evening that Congress has raised the debt limit 74 times since 1962 without conditions.  He is right. This is happening for the first time in history, thanks to the Tea Party.


  7. Stank, no one has “won” anything yet. Moody’s is still threatening to lower our credit rating within 4 months unless we make 4 trillion in real cuts, unlike the imaginary cuts in this bill.

  8. BTW,refused to watch any network talking heads on this subject this morning and decided to watch Washington Journal to hear the Peoples opinion.They took calls had a good back and forth and then had two reporters on.As the time started winding down they said their next guest was going to be Lawrence Kudlow.That did it for me, CLICK!!!

  9. Debt crisis: Boehner, Reid & McConnell make ‘Jersey Shore’ cast seem smart by comparison


    Monday, August 1st 2011, 4:00 AM

    “So it seems this is how the whole thing will end in Washington, where the politicians make the cast of “Jersey Shore” look enlightened in comparison:

    There will be new rules about borrowing for our government, spending will be cut, President Obama won’t be able to raise taxes, and another debt ceiling crisis won’t be something the Republicans can send crashing down on him in an election year.

    And maybe the rest of the world won’t be able to foreclose on us Tuesday.

    Fingers crossed.

    There’s your tax dollars – what’s left of them, anyway – at work right there.

    “Is this the deal I would have preferred?” Obama said Sunday night. “No.”

    This is a big deal made by amazing small-timers and second-raters like Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid and John Boehner, the ones who say they are speaking for average Americans and are completely out of touch with them.”

    Read more:

  10. Obama stepped into the stalled talks in recent weeks. He never offered his own new debt reduction plan, but used several public statements and closed White House meetings to show executive leadership and criticize other plans.

    He used his poll-tested “balanced approach” demand numerous times (meaning more taxes as well as spending cuts) and sent aides like David Plouffe out to repeat how Republicans were demanding “my way or the highway.”

    As one result, not only did Obama’s overall job approval sink to 40%, lowest of his 923 days in office.

    But a new Rasmussen Reports national survey of likely voters out Sunday night revealed a sharp jump in the number of Americans who find this Democratic chief executive to be “too confrontational” in his national leadership approach.

    Nearly one in three (30%) now say that about the man who was going to change Washington’s harsh partisan atmosphere. That’s the highest percentage in 16 months and up nine points in just four weeks.

    On his first day in office more than a trillion dollars ago in 2009, 64% called Obama a good or excellent leader. That number has since slid to 42%. Those who consider him a poor leader have increased to 41%.


  11. SM, how so? There are no real spending cuts, just cuts to the baseline spending which will only cut the growth in spending. How else could Boehner’s bill promise “spending cuts” to discretionary spending and still permit the budget to grow S200 billion over the next ten years? This is Washington style accounting at its finest.

  12. kderosa

    At least get your facts straight. The $800+ billion stimulus package was supposed to be to for job creation through public works, but the GOP wouldn’t allow a vote on a package that brought jobs. They demanded more tax breaks businesses perperating the lie that tax breaks create jobs. They didn’t. The package also included money for states to prevent police, fire and education cuts that would have raised the unemployment rate even hire–the GOP goal.

    Your use of spending as a percentage of GDP is quite telling as it reflects you are simply ignoring reality. The lowered GDP was the result of the failed conservative policies which brought us to the lowest point since the Great Depression. Obama’s spending wasn’t high, the GOP so damaged the US economy that any spending looks like a lot.

    Do you think we’ve forgotten how we got into this mess? Did you forget that the top end tax rates were lowered because of a projected surplus. See any surplus out there? Did you forget the costs of Bush’s wars were hidden from the budget and funded by Continuing Resolutions instead of through the budget process and that this practice continued from 2002-2008? Did you forget the unfunded Medicare Part D? Then, of course, there was TARP.

    Don’t you DARE lecture Preogressive about taxes, funding, budgets and debt. Progressive have nothing to learn from conservatives on fiscal matters because they have nothing to teach. The only adults in the room have been (are) Democrats and as much as Progressives don’t like this deal, I believe it helps insure Obama a second term and that matters.

  13. @rcampbell

    “The lowered GDP was the result of the failed conservative policies which brought us to the lowest point since the Great Depression.”

    Wrong, the recession was primarily caused by bipartisan. mostly Democrat by the way, tinkering with the financial markets to increase home ownership among the poor, a worthy though severely misguided foray into social policy tinkering.

    “Obama’s spending wasn’t high, the GOP so damaged the US economy that any spending looks like a lot.”

    The fact is that both as a percentage of GDP and in constant dollars, Obama’s spending was some of the highest ever, even greater than the high spending ways of the Bush Admin.

    “Did you forget that the top end tax rates were lowered because of a projected surplus.”

    Source? All rates were lowered.

    “Did you forget the costs of Bush’s wars were hidden from the budget and funded by Continuing Resolutions instead of through the budget process and that this practice continued from 2002-2008?”

    You mean like SS and Medicare? And the current wars?

    “Did you forget the unfunded Medicare Part D? Then, of course, there was TARP.”

    Both passed with strong Democrat support. And at least in the ase of TARP with a majority of Republican’s votes in the House. (I’m too lazy to look up the Part D bill.)

    “Don’t you DARE lecture Preogressive about taxes, funding, budgets and debt. Progressive have nothing to learn from conservatives REPUBLICANon fiscal matters because they have nothing to teach.”

    There I fixed it for you.

    “The only adults in the room have been (are) Democrats and as much as Progressives don’t like this deal, I believe it helps insure Obama a second term and that matters.”

    That sounds very adult-like.

  14. Unless Republicans nominate a Tea Party candidate, Pres. Obama has just kissed his re-election goodbye.

  15. I see that Grover Norquist is on board with Boehner and likes the “deal.” That, to me, is the biggest warning flag of all. Grab your wallet and run, cause economic predators are about to be loosed on the nation.

    Well, it was a good run while it lasted. I don’t know what this country will look like when we come out on the other side, but I have a feeling I will not like it.

  16. rcampbell

    At least get your facts straight. The $800+ billion stimulus package was supposed to be to for job creation through public works, but the GOP wouldn’t allow a vote on a package that brought jobs. They demanded more tax breaks businesses perperating the lie that tax breaks create jobs. They didn’t. The package also included money for states to prevent police, fire and education cuts that would have raised the unemployment rate even hire–the GOP goal.
    At least you got the “suppose to be for” right

    New Mexico Watchdog broke what became a national news story, and fodder for Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert. The website launched by the Obama Administration to track the destinations of billions of dollars of stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act showed billions going to nonexistent Congressional districts. The website,, reported $26.5 million going to ten New Mexico Congressional districts that do not exist. Those millions were credited with creating 61.5 jobs. Spadework by our Watchdog counterparts in other states showed a total of $6.4 billion reported as being allocated to 440 nonexistent, or “phantom,” Congressional districts.

    Morning Bell: The Fake Jobs of Obama’s Failed Stimulus

    Forget everything bad you’ve ever heard about President Barack Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus. Combing through the data on the $18 million website, you’ll find tons of Obama stimulus success stories from across the country. In Minnesota’s 57th Congressional District, 35 jobs have been saved or created using $404,340 in stimulus funds. In New Mexico’s 22nd Congressional District, 25 jobs have been saved or created using $61,000 in stimulus cash. And in Arizona’s fighting 15th Congressional District, 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending.

    The it-would-be-funny-if-it-weren’t-our-tax-dollars-at-stake punch line here is that none of the above Congressional Districts actually exist. Yet those jobs “created or saved” claims still sit on the Obama administration’s official “transparency and accountability” website As the Washington Examiner’s David Freddoso points out, it would have been nearly costless for the site designers to limit the input fields so that non-existent Congressional Districts never made it into the public domain, but for whatever reason the Obama administration chose otherwise. Defending the fake data on his website, Communications Director Ed Pound told ABC News: “We report what the recipients submit to us. Some recipients clearly don’t know what congressional district they live in, so they appear to be just throwing in any number. We expected all along that recipients would make mistakes on their congressional districts, on job numbers, on award amounts, and so on. Human beings make mistakes.”

    Pound is dead wrong. The problem with is not human reporting error, but an error of human design. Highly trained professional economists don’t agree on how to tell when a job has been “saved or created,” yet the Obama administration expects a Kentucky shoe-store owner to accurately create such data? “Just throwing in any number.” That just about sums up the accuracy of And the usually compliant mainstream press is beginning to notice.

  17. @rcampbell

    Here’s a pretty chart for you to contemplate. It clearly shows that spending is the problem under Bush and Obama, especially under Obama.

    Spending under Obama (as % of GDP): 23.2%
    Spending under Bush (as % of GDP): 20.5%

    Revenue under Obama (as % of GDP): 17.0%
    Revenus under Bush (as % of GDP): 17.3%

    Do you want to go back to the Clintonian levels of Tax:

    The Clinton tax increases took revenue from about 17.5% to 20.6% over 7 years. Those are significant fluctuations in tax revenue, but the simple fact remains: no tax policy has ever increased tax revenue to 21% of GDP. The CBO did project that tax revenue would reach 21% of GDP absent tax cuts, but that occurrence required an abnormally severe recession coupled with a tax “increase” caused by the expiring Bush tax cuts.

    So, while one could project that tax rates CAN reach 21%, it hasn’t ever occurred and it isn’t easy (or desirable) to create the necessary conditions to get the nation to 21%. (Source)

    And, you’re still mired in deficits even under a favorable static analysis.

    I have a better idea, let’s go back to Clintonian levels of spending: about 18% in 2000.

  18. Here’s the way I see it getting played out over the longer term. Obama wins.

    This deal could have been gotten two weeks ago. The teabagger GOP got nothing from the deal except a reputation for needless brinksmanship that may still downgrade America’s credit rating. They will bear sole responsibility for that. In the end, all they did was delay the inevitable tax increases that will, because they must, come as part of any substative budget deal. And now, they can’t hold the country’s future hostage. So they wll be forced to toss Griover Norquist to the curb before the 2012 election.

    Democrats appear to the ones willing to do the heavy lifting while the GOP will be saddled with their blatant protection of the wealthy and expectation that only the middle class needs to particpate in reducing the debt. That train has left the station and the Dems will hammer it until 11/12.

    The President will appear to have represented the middle ground (even though he’s Bob Dole with a deep tan) and the voice of reason. No Republican will be able to stand against him without spewing the teabagger anti-tax nonsense and appearing too far to the right for the independent voters in the center. Obama wins.


    Your continued efforts to revise history have been ignored.

  19. @culheath

    “Name a president other than Clinton that left the country with a surplus or a deficit lower than when he entered office? ”

    Culheath, name a president other than Clinton that got the benefit of an unprecedented, irrational, tulip-craze-like tech boom.

    Also, as I just indicated above, spending under Clinton was at about 18% of GDP in 2000 and at no time greater than 19%. While tax receipts were temporarily at boom induced 20.6% and tanked as soon as the boom was over and before Bush’s tax cuts took effect.

  20. @rcampbell,

    I know the facts hurt whn they are against you, but ignoring them means you’ll never learn and just keep repeating the same nonsense you ‘ve been spouting over and over and merely looking foolish in theh process. The choice, as always, is yours.

  21. kdresoa,

    Skip the Clinton part and answer the question, which you didn’t.

    Name a president that left the country with r a deficit lower than when he entered office?

    And you completely skipped:

    Now name a single economic benefit that GW Bush’s terms produced.

  22. Oh,

    and I’m not sure how many jobs were saved or created with the $10 million from the stimulus package to fund Operation Gunrunner but it eliminated at least two with the murder of two agents.

    Oh wait two agents needed to be hired to fill their position so I guess that qualifies for saved or created.

    Senators Kerry and Luger were told that ‘Gunwalking’ was part of Operation Fast and Furious in March 2009

    Furthermore in the testimony on page 11, operation Gunrunner is mentioned specifically and on page 12 it mentions the fact the $15 million in funding was recently allocated to the congress. This is not part of the additional $10 million that was allocated in the Stimulus package[p16] to a program directed specifically for Operation Gunrunner.

  23. @culheath

    Since 1940: Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson

    Also, with respect to Clinton’s surplus: it didn’t happen until the Republican’s took control of COngress and Clinton triangulated to the center to win the ’96 election.

    “Now name a single economic benefit that GW Bush’s terms produced.”

    How is that relevant? Also, define economic benefit.

  24. rcampbell has kept his cool and can thus judge the situation with rational thought and make predictions based on same. He has been proven right in many instances because of this approach and because his knowledge base is sound.

    These are the only times that I find the troll traffic useful as thoughtful posters, in their answers to troll ignorance and emotionalism, educate all of us and provide us with rational springboards for further discussion.

  25. Politicians last night announced the framework of a deal to increase the debt limit. In addition to authorizing about $900 billion more red ink right away, it would require immediate budget cuts of more than $900 billion, though “immediate” means over 10 years and “budget cuts” means spending still goes up (but not as fast as previously planned).

    But that’s the relatively uncontroversial part. The fighting we’re seeing today revolves around a “super-committee” that’s been created to find $1.5 trillion of additional “deficit reduction” over the next 10 years (based on Washington math, of course).

    And much of the squabbling is about whether the super-committee is a vehicle for higher taxes. As with all kiss-your-sister budget deals, both sides can point to something they like.

    Here’s what Republicans like:

    The super-committee must use the “current law” baseline, which assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire at the end of 2012. But why are GOPers happy about this, considering they want those tax cuts extended? For the simple reason that Democrats on the super-committee therefore can’t use repeal of the “Bush tax cuts for the rich” as a revenue raiser.

    Here’s what Democrats like:

    There appears to be nothing in the agreement to preclude the super-committee from meeting its $1.5 trillion target with tax revenue. The 2001 and 2003 tax legislation is not an option, but everything else is on the table (notwithstanding GOP claims that it is “impossible for Joint Committee to increase taxes”).

    But you don’t have to believe me. Just read the fact sheet distributed by the White House, which is filled with class warfare rhetoric about “shared sacrifice.”


  26. @Blousie

    “rcampbell has kept his cool and can thus judge the situation with rational thought and make predictions based on same. He has been proven right in many instances because of this approach and because his knowledge base is sound.”

    That’s what’s called an appeal to authority — a logical fallacy.

  27. SwM,

    From the TPM link you posted: ” beleaguered Boehner”.

    I told you that guy was a complete and total fool … he’s a front room guy … a meeter and greeter … the guy who drives clients to the red light district … the republicans, being such sticklers for their seniority system, have given him one of the most powerful positions in D.C.

  28. @culheath,

    Before I forget, why do you think I like Bush. His brand of compassionate convervativism is just big government progressivism in disguise. he was a big spending fool, just not as follish as Obama. His tax cuts merely got revenues back down to historic levels where they belong. Do you understand what bracket creep is?

  29. So how’s the history teaching the in USofA?

    What would the general population know of the French or Russian Revolutions and how to get one started?

    What’s the matter with you wimps; take the stolen wealth of your nation back.

  30. A Pyrrhic victory was had by all. For Teabaggers, those stupid Dick Armey shills, there is the frisson of a temporary victory that only further harms the country and ensures their resounding defeat in 2012. For the President there is the guarantee of a victory in 2012, but loss of the support of his base and a terrible undermining of his ability to use the bully pulpit. For the faux conservatives, in corporate Pockets, it is a victory driven by the insane which pushes them closer to the brink of radical catastrophe. For the Liberals and Progressives it is the sad, grim satisfaction that a crisis has been avoided by their President’s having undermined his credibility with them and gone against basic principles.

    The election of 2012 is over and done with at this disappointing point. By playing chicken with the country’s fiscal stability the Teabaggers have scared the hell out of a majority of the electorate. You see it’s not just old timers like me who depend on Social Security and Medicaire, but it is a grave concern of our children, who through it are relieved of the burden of how to get us the support and care we need. To wit, a majority of the American people. They have taken their ridiculous movement, a paper tiger bolstered by the monied backers of Dick Armey and won a victory that they will take credit for, but in the process scared the hell out of the people. Good luck with their reelection rhetoric.

    President Obama will win in 2012 with the reluctant support of a majority of Americans, who personally find him likable, but also believe that he is a weak leader domestically. They will hold their noses and vote for him simply because there is no one in Republican ranks to galvanize their faith. Any who might have a chance, have to veer too far left of center to gain the confidence of the majority. The only currently Republican viable candidate is Mitt Romney, who must abandon his more moderate (only in context of today’s politics) beliefs to get teabagger support. The rest are far too crazy to be viable or electable. Romney, curiously considering his All American good looks, is a highly non-charismatic figure that ultimately bores.

    To say that I am extremely disappointed in the President would be a massive understatement. In his rush towards the non-existent concept of bi-partisanship he has failed to make the case for essential core beliefs. This allows those who oppose them to further continue their regimen of lies and deflections away from our nation’s true problem which is the stifling of entrepreneurial innovations by a complacent corporate oligarchy. My choice will be to work for either a viable third party, or for a primary challenge to Mr. Obama. Should that fail I would have to vote for him, because the opposition is either authoritarian, greedy, stupid and/or insane. A terrible time for this country.

  31. Attention All Trolls:

    Please assume these ID’s…..It would make it easier to know who is who………

    Monsters in Greek Mythology


    Argus may have had as many as one hundred eyes, which were located all over his body. Hera employed him as a guard. He was killed by Hermes. Afterward, Hera put Argus’s eyes in the tail of the peacock, her favorite bird.


    Cerberus was a huge and powerful three-headed dog. He was owned by Hades, god of the dead, who used the fearsome hound to guard the entrance to the underworld. In his final labor, Hercules went to the underworld and kidnapped Cerberus.


    Each of the Cyclopes was gigantic and had a single eye in the middle of its forehead. The Cyclopes made lightning and thunderbolts for Zeus to use. The brutal Polyphemus, a Cyclops and a son of Poseidon, lived on an island, where he was blinded by Odysseus.


    The Gorgons were horrifyingly ugly monsters who lived at the edge of the world. Their hair was made of serpents, and one look from a Gorgon’s eyes would turn a man to stone. Perseus killed the Gorgon Medusa by beheading her while looking only at her reflection.


    The Hydra was a massive and poisonous serpent with nine heads. Every time one head was injured, another two grew in its place. Hercules sought out the monster in its dark marsh and succeeded in destroying it.


    The Minotaur was a man-eating monster with the head of a bull. King Minos kept it hidden in a labyrinth (a maze) in Knossos, on the island of Crete, where he used it to frighten his enemies. Theseus killed the Minotaur.

    Scylla and Charybdis

    The powerful monsters Scylla and Charybdis lived together in a sea cave. Scylla had many fierce dog heads and ate sailors alive; Charybdis created whirlpools by sucking in and spitting out seawater. Both Jason and Odysseus safely traveled by these monsters.


    The Sirens were giant, winged creatures with the heads of women. They lived on rocks on the sea, where their beautiful singing lured sailors to shipwreck. Odysseus filled his sailors’ ears with wax so that they might sail safely past the Sirens.

  32. As a liberal, I think this deal falls far short of what I had hoped we would get.
    For starters, the Tea Party was succsseful in tying the defecit to the debt
    crisis. This should never have happened, they are two separate issues.
    And to have revenue not be a part of the final deal means ordinary citizens are stiil paying a higher percentage of their income on taxes then are
    corporations and the rich. The income gap will continue to grow. There
    are some bright spots however, if the super comission can accomplish tax
    reform and coupled with the exparation of the Bush tax cuts – this deal
    might turn out to be not as bad as what it looks right now. One other thing,
    I’m glad we won’t be debating the debt ceiling again next year.

  33. Mike,

    If you want to make your comment into a new thread, I’ll close the comments on this thread.

    If any of the GBs want to create a new thread regarding the debt ceiling, I’ll close the comments here.

    I didn’t mean to preempt any new threads on this topic.

  34. The message for 2012: TAKE BACK THE HOUSE, and in the Senate, KILL THE FILIBUSTER. If Obama is going to lead from behind, we want him negotiating with Democrats only. There have been times in the nation’s history when leadership came from Congress and I think that’s needed now.

    We have no choice but to back the President for re-election in 2012; the Republican alternative will be far worse. But if a strong Progressive Democrat Congressman/woman were to lead a successful campaign to TAKE BACK THE HOUSE, and thereby earn the right to the Speakership, she/he could become a leader able to push policy and Obama in the right (left) direction. Someone get the message to Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

  35. Nal,

    If you mean me rather than Mike A., I’ve had my say. Thanks Culheath. AY
    I like your idea it could then make for debates of mythic proportions.

  36. This deal reduces nothing! The republicans again caved in and gave the American public a red haring. This deal increases our Debt to 17 trillion without adding in Unemployment and food stamps cost coming up in the next 3 months. Which will add 800 Billion more to the debt! We only bring in 14 trillion in GDP, So how the hell do you pay it off. I’ll tell you, we don’t! They gave us triggers, more committees down the road. Which the next Congress does not have to follow or even implement. These people need to be hung for treason for letting it get this far to start with!

    We have gone from 8 trillion in debt, to 17 trillion in 4 years! We need to get lawyers out of Government cause they can’t stop passing bill’s that cost trillions to pay for. I think 10% can actually understand financial Statements in Congress. The rest are ignorant or just plan stupid and need to find a new profession. Cause the one they have now is putting the burden on the public to pay for! I have had enough of these political pundits that can’t even control them self and its time they leave now. Before the public finds out what they did to us over the last 20 years!

  37. The mark of the truly confused is to win an improbable victory and declare defeat. This is the Teabagger problem, they follow a leadership, but don’t really understand what their leadership stands for.

  38. The hallmark of True Believer Authoritarian types is a conga line follow the leader mentality…ask Jim Jones, ask Pol Pot, Dick Army or the Grover grovelers.

  39. This has all been a Reality Show in the worst possible taste (as, in my opinion, are all Reality Shows). There was never going to be a winner or a loser for the financial plague that rose to the surface and engulfed the nation rages beyond the control of any human effort to stem its progress.

    Perhaps it is the Absurdist in me, though I left Camus behind a long time ago, that views solving this financial mess as logically possible, but humanly impossible given the quality of our leadership in both parties.

  40. I’m really tired of getting screwed out of everything under the guise of argument ‘for our future generations’. We all know that this is nothing but a thin veil that keeps us from seeing the CURRENT pigs at the RIGHT NOW trough.

  41. Woosty encore un chat en France ou à Woosty est Catfood aux USA. Bye bye et ça a été agréable de vous connaître!

  42. Oui, Culheath, je suis américain, donc je vais être plus à l’aise dans un pays qui ne supporte pas les fascistes et terroristes économiques!

    Lottakatz…most excellent! I’ve never heard that before I love it!

    do they sing that in France too? :)

  43. Mike Spindell1, August 1, 2011 at 11:21 am
    yes, except I am not so hard on the President….he tried damn hard to talk reason with turds. If he pushed harder he would be acting as recalcitrant and pre-pubescant as the repuublicans and as vague,clueless and nasty as the teabaggers…..I give him credit and much respect and share the nasty gall he had to swallow in order to end the domestic terrorism….

  44. wosty=^..^, Internationale, do they sing it in France?

    It was written (from Wikipedia) “in June 1871 by Eugène Pottier (1816–1887, previously a member of the Paris Commune)[1] and were originally intended to be sung to the tune of La Marseillaise.[2] Pierre De Geyter (1848–1932) set the poem to music in 1888.[3] His melody was first publicly performed in July 1888[4] and became widely used soon after.

    The Internationale became the anthem of international socialism, and gained particular notoriety under the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1944, when it was that communist state’s de facto national anthem. Its original French refrain is C’est la lutte finale / Groupons-nous et demain / L’Internationale / Sera le genre humain. (Freely translated: “This is the final struggle / Let us group together and tomorrow / The Internationale / Will be the human race.”)

    The Internationale has been translated into many languages. It is sung traditionally with the hand raised in a clenched fist salute. The Internationale has been celebrated not only by socialists but also by communists and social democrats, as well as anarchists.”

  45. The Budget Control Act of 2011 just passed the House 269-161. In the end, Republicans provided about two-thirds (about 173) of the yes votes, along with 66 of the nays, while the Democratic caucus split right down the middle, 95-95. The Senate will vote tomorrow.

  46. There are a number of possibilities and theories about this debt ceiling bill that I am hearing now via TV and have been reading. It boils down to this: The majority of cuts don’t cut in until 2013, in 2013 the Bush tax cuts expire and if the Congress messes with that Obama (who will be re-elected) can just keep vetoing the bill (budget) because he’s politically bulletproof. In the meanwhile, the Teabaggers have scared the crap out of many people and at the state level, downright hurt people so they are going to get their ass’s handed to them in 2012 if the Democrat’s know and practice basic election politics. Come 2012 the Republicans won’t have job 1 to point to as having been created by their programs but will have pissed a whole lot of people off with their incessant culture war. So, it’s all good. Considering the political landscape just waiting, treading water and giving the Republicans enough rope to hang themselves is the very best that could have been done.

    Actually, that sounds like the kind of multi generational planning that characterized the brilliance of Don Vito Corleone. I would never have cast the Prez in that mold or role but I did help elect him because he was the smart one, the really smart one. Like it or not there’s not much to do at this point but wait and see. There are 3rd party candidates I’d vote for; if they don’t run it will tel me something.

  47. Rafflaw: “Lotta, If anarchists sing this song, shouldn’t the Tea Party establish it as their anthem?”

    But it would be a waste of a perfectly good song of the revolution. The Teabaggers prefer a strong, intrusive government on a state level so the purity of the label would be compromised IMO. It’s tough to call yourself an anarchist if you want a morality cop in the room with every woman and her doctor or standing between every 2 workers that want to discuss their community of interest.

  48. Vice President Joe Biden, with a big smile on his face, walked to the House floor and said, “I came to see Gabby, that’s why I’m here.”

    …When Biden was asked about what he spoke with Giffords about, he joked, “She’s now a member of the cracked head club like me.”

    The debt ceiling bill passed the House 269-161. The Senate will vote on the measure on Tuesday.

  49. Debt deal set to pass but what were the costs?
    By Tim Reid and Emily Kaiser


    WASHINGTON/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – While the immediate crisis over a threatened default seems to have been averted by the eleventh-hour deal between the White House and Congress, the debt-limit drama has left behind crucial questions about the American political process, the viability of economic policy options and implications for the rest of the world.

    The long, tortured debate exposed toxic partisanship and legislative dysfunction in Washington just when judicious efforts at reform were most needed, shaking the faith of international investors and ordinary Americans alike.

    The most palpable concern was that gridlock had deprived policymakers of the monetary and fiscal tools they needed to shore up one of the world’s bedrock economies, which some feared was already close to stalling.

    “Because of the very public and intense squabbles in D.C., already-anemic economic growth will be weaker, the unemployment crisis will worsen, income and wealth inequality will deteriorate further and, ironically, the fiscal dynamics will be more challenging,” said Mohamed El-Erian, co-chief investment officer of the international bond fund giant Pacific Investment Management Co., or PIMCO.

    China, Washington’s largest foreign creditor, has been particularly blunt about other countries’ exposure to Washington’s partisan warfare. “The ugliest part of the saga is that the well-being of many other countries is also in the impact zone when the donkey and the elephant fight,” China’s state-run news agency Xinhua wrote in a commentary, referring to the symbols of the Democratic and Republican parties.

    Reuters posed several key questions to dozens of investors, policymakers, strategists and economists to gauge the implications of what the debt ceiling fight means for America and the world. While their judgment was almost uniformly dismissive to dire, their collective judgment was not entirely bleak: Republicans and Democrats were at least united on the fact that America must get its fiscal house in order.


    Virtually everyone agreed that America’s fiscal path is unsustainable: With a national debt of more than $14.3 trillion, the U.S. borrows forty cents of every dollar it spends.

    Yet there is intense, fundamental disagreement on how to solve the problem, with Tea Party Republicans as passionately opposed to increasing taxes as progressive Democrats are to making deep cuts in the Social Security pension system and other so-called entitlement programs.

    In the marginalization of the political center and dismal prospect for expedient reform, experts saw a threat to America’s geopolitical strength.
    “It’s hard to maintain your influence globally when you can’t manage your own country,” said Barry Bosworth, a veteran fiscal and monetary policy expert at the Brookings Institution.

    The former chair of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers tacitly agreed. “There is no way we can have persistent deficits of the size the Congressional Budget Office is predicting over the next 25 years and hope to remain the world’s preeminent economic superpower,” said Christina Romer, who left the CEA in September 2010. “If we don’t deal with these deficits there is no way we won’t eventually default and become a much weaker country.”

  50. Debt Ceiling Deal: The Democrats Take a Dive
    By Matt Taibbi

    So the debt deal has finally been reached. As expected, the agreement arrives in a form that right-thinking people everywhere can feel terrible about with great confidence.

    The general consensus is that for the second time in three years, a gang of financial terrorists has successfully extorted the congress and the White House, threatening to blow up the planet if they didn’t get what they wanted.

    Back in 2008, the congress and George Bush rewarded Hank Paulson and Wall Street for pulling the Cleavon-Little-“the-next-man-makes-a-move-the-n—er-gets-it” routine by tossing trillions of bailout dollars at the same people who had wrecked the economy.

    Now, Barack Obama has surrendered control of the budget to the Tea Party, whose operatives in congress used the same suicide-bomber tactic, threatening a catastrophic default unless the Democrats committed to a regime of steep spending cuts without any tax increases on the wealthy.

    Commentators everywhere are killing the president for his seemingly astonishing level of ball-less-ness. Both the New York Times house editorial and the Nobel prizewinning liberal columnist Paul Krugman are insisting the president should have invoked extreme measures to counter the radicals on the other side, using emergency legal tactics to unilaterally raise the debt limit. Or, at least, he should have threatened to do this, according to Krugman:

    And even now, the Obama administration could have resorted to legal maneuvering to sidestep the debt ceiling, using any of several options…

    At the very least, Mr. Obama could have used the possibility of a legal end run to strengthen his bargaining position. Instead, however, he ruled all such options out from the beginning.

    Is Krugman right? Probably. In a perfect world, where the president was what he is supposed to be, i.e. a representative of that majority of American voters who elected him, that is what a good president would probably have done. No matter what the situation was with the deficit, or what cuts were or were not justified, a real leader would have invoked such powers at the very least to set a precedent that the government is not to be held hostage by irresponsible lunatics bent on invoking a catastrophe for purely political reasons.

    But that isn’t what happened. What did happen? The popular take is that Obama is a weak leader of a weak party who was pushed around by canny right-wing extremists. Observers like pollster Sydney Greenberg portray Obama and the Democrats as a group of politically tone-deaf bureaucrats who fail because the public associates them with a corrupt government that benefits the rich and connected.

  51. The Debt Ceiling Deal: ‘A Sugar-Coated Satan Sandwich’
    By Julian Brookes
    Rolling Stone, 8/1/2011

    “This deal is a sugar-coated satan sandwich,” Democratic congressman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver tweeted this morning. “If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see.” I’m not so sure about “sugar-coated”; he deal looks pretty awful even this side of the bun: to oversimplify, the agreement reached on Sunday by the White House and congressional leaders – and headed for a vote in Congress – heads off economy-crashing default by raising the debt ceiling in two steps while making $1 trillion in cuts now and $1.5 trillion later. It contains new revenues – that is, no tax hikes, not even on corporate jets. Which is to say, it shrinks government. Republicans got much of what they wanted; Democrats got … well, they successfully fended off cuts to Medicare and Social Security, for now.

    Here, some early reactions:

    The deal is a “disaster … that will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status,” says Paul Krugman in his Times column today. The worst thing about it: by cutting government spending – extensions to unemployment insurance and the payroll tax credit were among the chips the White House bargained away – it deprives the weak economy of a key booster (consumers and businesses aren’t spending), making slow growth more likely and the long-run deficit problem worse, not better.

    The spending cuts, even if they reduce some waste, will undermine vital government services, notes TNR’s Jonathan Cohn, inflicting “pain” on middle-class Americans. And just to be clear, “Pain means more people eating tainted food, more people breathing polluted air, more people pulling their kids out of college, and more people losing their homes — in other words, the hardships people suffer when government can’t do an adequate job of looking out for their interests.”

    The deal is a good thing, writes former Obama administration economist Jared Bernstein, “in the same way that ceasing to bang yourself on the head with a hammer would be a good thing.” But he points out that talk of reductions to “discretionary spending” mask the reality that “these cuts will hurt our ability to pursue … most positive aspects of the President’s economic agenda—investment in infrastructure, clean energy, research, education. They will pinch programs that are already budget constrained…programs that help low income people with child care, housing, and community services.”

    Kevin Drum at Mother Jones says the agreement is “a shit sandwich no matter how you look at it,” and in two specific ways: “(1) It means we’ll continue to live in a fantasyland that says we don’t need any tax increases even though our population is aging and we’re plainly going to need higher revenues to support this demographic reality. (2) We’ll continue to live in a fantasyland that says our problems are primarily caused by discretionary spending. This is, of course, exactly the opposite of reality, which means we’re going to screw the poor and do nothing serious about the long-term deficit. Nice work, adults.”

  52. From our local paper this headline:

    Moran: President Obama needs a dose of Chris Christie
    Published: Tuesday, August 02, 2011, 6:23 AM Updated: Tuesday, August 02, 2011, 9:41 AM
    By Tom Moran/ The Star-Ledger

    My comment:

    “eniobob August 02, 2011 at 9:27AM
    Governor Christie has yet to be put under pressure,so therefore because he seems to get his way he’s no way dealing with what the President is dealing with.I totally agree he got rolled once again and if the Repubs come up with a credible candidate he may also have to find a new residence for he and his family come 2012.What really ticks me off about this whole situation with the President when he was elected he was held up as a beacon to minority youth in particular and all youth in general that no matter your circumstance you to could become President.

    He has shown no spine,he should be conforntational with the opposition,lose your cool once in awhile to let people know you are not playing games.Let the “hood” out once in awhile.But being that he hasn’t done it,he will continue to be a”cave man”.

  53. Feel free to jump all over this, but it occurs to me that President Obama might take charge by using his veto power, and then invoking the 14th Amendment to simply raise debt ceiling with no strings attached…


    “So, when the president says that thanks to the debt ceiling “there may simply not be the money in the coffers” to send out the $20 billion in August Social Security checks, he either does not understand the way the system works, or the administration intends to spend the money on something else.”

    Mr. Saving is director of the Private Enterprise Research Center at Texas A&M University and served two terms as a public trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds. He is also a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

  55. More about Thomas R. Saving:

    Thomas R. Saving is a professor of Economics at Texas A&M University. He is simultaneously a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis – a central institution of the conservative/Republican movement – and a “Distinguished” professor of Economics at Texas A&M.

    He is now (July 2001) a member of George W. Bush’s “commission” on the privatization of Social Security. Saving is already a Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds.


    National Center for Policy Analysis

    A right wing think tank with programs devoted to privatization in the following issue areas: taxes, Social Security and Medicare, health care, criminal justice, environment, education, and welfare.

    Right-wing foundations funding includes: Bradley, Scaife, Koch, Olin, Earhart, Castle Rock, and JM Foundations

  56. Elaine:

    so a good idea is a bad idea because it is supported by republicans?

    Do you know that if you put the same amount of money into a private account [your share and the employer share] you would have far more money at retirement than you do now? Any one with a job would have more money and more importantly it would be theirs. They could leave it to their children or grandchildren or go and buy house or whatever.

    Privatization of SS, tax cuts, deregulation and other free market solutions are not just beneficial to the poor. Do you see what is going on right now? It is because of economic policies antithetical to wealth creation. Most rich people were poor at one point, they want other people to have the same opportunities they had.

    I hope your teachers pension doesnt go broke. If it does you might wish you had put that money away in a private account. Or maybe your state has a private pension fund?

  57. should read not just beneficial to the rich.

    But either way it doesnt matter. Rich and poor are individuals and in my mind what is good for one individual, if it is a sound idea, is good for all individuals.

  58. More on Thomas R. Saving:

    Additional Economists On New Boehner List Signed 2003 Letter Calling 2003 Bush Tax Cuts “Fiscally Responsible.” The following economists signed both John Boehner’s letter and a letter to George W. Bush calling the Bush tax cuts “fiscally responsible.” Note that Economists who also signed Boehner’s first list of 150 economists are not included:

    Todd G. Buchholz
    Samantha Carrington
    Joel Hay
    Coldwell Daniel, III
    Stephen J. Dempsey
    John B. Egger
    David Malpass
    George R. Neumann
    Seth W. Norton
    Larry Lindsey
    Thomas R. Saving
    Clifford F. Thies
    Leo Troy
    Michael E. Williams
    Gary J. Santoni
    Robert Haney Scott
    Michael Wohlgenant
    Gene C. Wunder

    [Speaker Boehner letter, 6/1/11; The White House, 2/12/03]

  59. Roco,

    What’s the good idea? Privatization?

    I DID put money aside in a private account and lost a good portion of it when we had the meltdown of many of our financial institutions a few years ago. My husband lost money too. Our tax dollars had to pay to bail out those same private institutions. BTW, many pension funds lost money BECAUSE of some the unethical and incompetent people who worked for those private financial institutions.

  60. The Road to a Downgrade
    A short history of the entitlement state..

    “According to the most recent government data, today some 50.5 million Americans are on Medicaid, 46.5 million are on Medicare, 52 million on Social Security, five million on SSI, 7.5 million on unemployment insurance, and 44.6 million on food stamps and other nutrition programs. Some 24 million get the earned-income tax credit, a cash income supplement.

    By 2010 such payments to individuals were 66% of the federal budget, up from 28% in 1965. (See the second chart.) We now spend $2.1 trillion a year on these redistribution programs, and the 75 million baby boomers are only starting to retire.

    We suspect that in the 1960s as now—with ObamaCare—liberals knew they had created fiscal time-bombs. They simply assumed that taxes would keep rising to pay for it all, as they have in Europe.”

  61. Elaine:

    My portfolio went down in 2008 as well. But when you buy Caterpillar at $35 and it is now selling for around $100 you dont cry to much about your temporary loss of wealth.

    Maybe the problem is not with the market but with your financial adviser. Many of them do not know shit about markets. You probably ought to go find a free market financial advisor. They usually understand trends and markets [how they actually work not how liberals think they work].

    I bought precious metals in 2006 because I knew this was coming I also sold most of my portfolio in 2008 prior to the down turn. You can always park the money in a money market account for a few years and then get back in or not.

    If you read a few books and know which people to take advice from, you can do well in the market(s).

    Over the long haul the stock market has done well. And could do very well if people would just leave the economy alone and quit trying to control something that does not do well with controls.

    There could be much wealth created and enjoyed by individuals.

  62. Roco,

    Where would Wall Street be now if the government–that is, we the tax payers–had not bailed Wall Street out? Maybe the government should have left the millionaire and billionaire bankers alone and let them crash and burn.

  63. @Elaine

    “Where would Wall Street be now if the government–that is, we the tax payers–had not bailed Wall Street out?”

    Perhaps we the taxpayers should not have compelled them, thorough our elected representatives, to make a bunch of risky loans to people who were uncreditworthy.

    “Maybe the government should have left the millionaire and billionaire bankers alone and let them crash and burn.”

    Maybe they should have. Altough, do you know whether the financial system would be in better or worse shape today?

    “There is no such thing as a temporary loss. What’s gone is gone.”

    Only if you sold at an inopportune time or the company went bankrupt.

  64. “This story is simply mind-numbing in its scale of waste and fraud-by-incompetence of the American taxpayers. Here we have proof that the govt. thru poorly written and executed contracts, coupled with a severe lack of leadership and accountability has somehow produced 2 nearly completed US Navy ships (one 95% and the other 84% completed) that will be heading to the scrapyard. These ships started as a minimum estimated $300 million dollar investment, took 25 years, have NEVER seen a day of duty and are off to be dismantled so we can recoup a paltry $17 million in sunk costs. Is anyone resigning? Is anyone getting fired? Is anyone even talking about this incredible waste of money and resources? Of course not. How many Social Security checks would this cover? How many Medicare and Medicaid payments could this money have fulfilled?

    So to those who are up in arms because the Tea Party GOP are unwilling to accept ‘shared sacrifices’ (e.g. higher taxes), let’s starve the ever wasteful beast just a bit until we can clean up some of the rampant cronyism, fraud and abuse before we put anyone, rich or poor, on the hook for giving Uncle Sam a little more Monopoly money to play with.”

  65. Oh my. How did i miss this piece of cheery news.

    “The first audit of the privately owned and foreign owned Federal Reserve by the GAO,has turned up $16 Trillion dollars of loans all over the world to prop up the global fiat empire. This massive money creation is over and above Hank Paulson’s $700 billion dollar heist of the American public. It is also in addition to QE1 and QE2 that resulted in an illusionary recovery of the economy.

    Read more:

    Do realize that 16 trillion is greater than our entire annual gdp. We are good and truly fucked.

  66. KD,

    (“There is no such thing as a temporary loss. What’s gone is gone.”

    Only if you sold at an inopportune time or the company went bankrupt )

    Actually kd, Elaine is absolutely right. Regardless of any monetary or psychological gains or losses, there is always a cost for any action taken no matter how trivial. If Elaine invests 3,000 dollars, regardless of whether she makes a ton of money or loses her shirt, she cannot spend that 3,000 dollars on anything else until the end of whatever time period the investment is for. That is a very real cost, not the money itself, but the forgoing of anything she could have bought immediately with the money she chose to invest.

    To put it in more relatable terms, I have an hour before work. I could relax and go swimming or I could mow my lawn. I can choose to use my time doing one or the other, but, with exceptions to future technological advances, there is no way i can do BOTH in the same hour. Obviously none of this is in monetary terms but you could say pretty certainly that if i chose to mow my lawn, then I must have considered that course of action more beneficial than swimming. In conclusion, whichever action I take has cost me the hour of free time I had to complete it.

  67. ekeyra,

    Thanks for the “Business Insider” link.

    An excerpt from that article:

    “As a result of this audit,we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world. This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged,you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.” Senator Bernie Sanders VT

    While Americans have been getting hammered,in this winter of our Empire,the Elite have been securing their bets gone wrong. Too Big To Fail should be Too Rich To Fail. As Americans continue to get crucified for speculating on the housing and stock bubble,the Elite get you to pay for their losses. This kleptocracy is a way of life and if the American people understood the enormity of this perverse crime,there would be revolution in the morning. And not just here in America,this money went all over the world to prop up the local Elite in foreign fiefdoms. The world is enslaved by debt and the wars they fund. We deserve better than this.

  68. E, you are talking about opportunity costs. I get that. But if we are talking about retirement investment, we’re talking long term anyway with the expectation that you’d have to ride the ups and downs from the get go.

  69. KD,

    I understand your perspective on retirment, but funding it is no different than funding anything else. There is no reason that funding your retirement must entail stock speculation and the “ups and downs” that you refer to. Unless of course you mean the ups and down of fiat currency manipulation that anyone holding dollar assests is subject to. If that is the case however, we are all on that rollercoaster ride no matter what we do.

  70. Lotta,

    Im torn on how i feel about those ships. Yes it was a ton of money wasted, but I guess i have to feel better about spending 300 million to murder foreigners and failing than spending 300 million dollars to do so and succeeding.

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