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View Diary: President Obama news conference (151 comments)

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  •  Yup. Deficits Are Good (8+ / 0-)

    it means the fed. government is investing in the future. Lowering federal spending will increase unemployment. I really wish we could have an honest debate about the federal debt. The fed. government debt ratio is about 1:1. Many vaunted private corporations like J.P. Morgan carry debt ratios way higher than that. The debt is actually a lower than than the 16 trillion dollars that the MSM frequently quotes. About 7 trillion is intra-governmental debt, i.e. what the federal government owes to Social Security.

    "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

    by Aspe4 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:37:28 AM PST

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    •  The greatest lie Satan ever told (20+ / 0-)

      Was that the federal debt was the same as personal debt. People don't understand how federal spending works, so they'll accept simple explanations like that because they somewhat understand how a credit card works. But the federal budget is not the same as a household budget, and the national debt is the not the same as maxing out your AMEX on iPads and Rolexes.  

    •  Democratic economist James Galbraith (15+ / 0-)

      had interesting things to say in Nov about the debt.

      The coming debt battle
      In the tense run-up to Hurricane Sandy, I clicked on one of those headlines that appears on the right side of the screen: “Civilization May Not Survive This, Economist Says.”

      Once there, I knew I’d been had.  It was about … the public debt. It cited one Lawrence Kotlikoff of Boston University, one of America’s most talented artificers, who “estimates the true fiscal gap is $211 trillion when unfunded entitlements like Social Security and Medicare are included.” Compared to that, what’s a thousand mile-wide hurricane?

      That the looming debt and deficit crisis is fake is something that, by now, even the most dim member of Congress must know.  The combination of hysterical rhetoric, small armies of lobbyists and pundits, and the proliferation of billionaire-backed front groups with names like the “Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget” is not a novelty in Washington. It happens whenever Big Money wants something badly enough.

      Big Money has been gunning for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for decades – since the beginning of Social Security in 1935. The motives are partly financial: As one scholar once put it to me, the payroll tax is the “Mississippi of cash flows.” Anything that diverts part of it into private funds and insurance premiums is a meal ticket for the elite of the predator state.

      And the campaign is also partly political. The fact is, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the main way ordinary Americans connect to their federal government, except in wars and disasters.  They have made a vast change in family life, unburdening the young of their parents and ensuring that every working person contributes whether they have parents, dependents, survivors or disabled of their own to look after. These programs do this work seamlessly, for next to nothing; their managers earn civil service salaries and the checks arrive on time. For the private competition, this is intolerable; the model is a threat to free markets and must be destroyed.

      This attitude is reflected in the nonsense of media discourse, nicely illustrated in October’s vice-presidential debate, moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC News:

      SNIP

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:45:53 AM PST

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