Skip to main content

Earlier I mocked Rep. Virginia Foxx for this tweet:

Enough with the budgetary "Washington Exceptionalism." Families balance their budgets. Washington should too. http://t.co/... #NC5
@virginiafoxx via web

Point was, Americans are heavily leveraged in debt—mortgages, credit cards, education loans, car loans, etc—so government already balances the budget the way Americans do. That thread generated some great comments, so here they are:

U.S. household consumer debt profile:

    Average credit card debt: $15,266
    Average mortgage debt: $149,667
    Average student loan debt: $32,559
    (Source)

vs Income:

    $44,389

So, if we balanced the budget the same way households do, the federal debt to income ratio would be:

    78/22 = 3.5/1

But it's currently approximately 1.7/1

So, if the Republicans actually meant what they said, we should be on a debt spending spree like never seen before in the history of the nation.

by radical simplicity

Do they know any families that would insist

on paying off their mortgage while letting their kids go without food, healthcare, and education?

by ahumbleopinion

And, families don't voluntarily take cuts to their

income and then wonder why in the world their budget doesn't "balance."

by briefer

Yep. I don't look at my credit card bill

and say, "Gee, I spent to much last month. I think I'm going to ask my boss to dock my pay 20%. That'll fix everything!"

by decembersue

When every family can issue its own...

...AAA rated bonds and paper denominated in the worldwide default reserve currency, and control the monetary policy of the worlds largest economy, then we can talk about how government needs to act more like the Smith family down on Chestnut Street in the cute little bungalow with the Chevy Malibu outside.  

by RerumCognoscereCausas

Someone please explain why the government

should model itself on families, in the first place

by eXtina

Not only do families incur debt ...

... but they raise revenues as well if they have to. We hear pundits and Republicans say that if a family is overdrawn, they cut back. But not necessarily. If a family is spending more on necessities than it takes in, or has a special expense they require, they can also increase revenue. How? By taking a second job, or by having another family member start to work. Or of course by borrowing. Someone who wants to get a promotion or change careers may borrow money to learn a  new skill or get a certificate in a higher level in his trade. They may work a second job to pay for those classes, or for a new car. So a family, like the government, may either cut spending, or increase revenues, or both. And often, the increase in revenues is a good investment in the future.

by bronxsteve

OK, I'll bite...

Borrowing for capital improvements when interest rates are low is smart;  borrowing when income is down to pay necessary expenses is smart;  blowing your money on a vacation in Iraq is dumb.

by Old Left Good Left

So if our budgets are like the government budget...

... then Republicans need to demand their employer pay them less because people can't control their spending. #busted analogy.

by bobinson

And yes, as several commenters pointed out, some Democrats (including the president) like to use that analogy as well. It's also dumb when they do it.

Originally posted to kos on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Those are some great responses... +4 n/t (24+ / 0-)

    I screwed up with a careless uprate so I'm a "No Rate" pariah. When I give a comment "+4 n/t", please consider that a recommend. (That's my workaround to participate here). DK haiku, one complete thought in a title field. Roar louder! NR since 3/7/12.

    by Josiah Bartlett on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:03:46 AM PDT

    •  Hey Kos... (0+ / 0-)

      If you see this, how about a review of my "No Rate" status?  

      It's been over a year and I even went to the Halocost Museum last summer.

      Haven't I been punished enough?

      I screwed up with a careless uprate so I'm a "No Rate" pariah. When I give a comment "+4 n/t", please consider that a recommend. (That's my workaround to participate here). DK haiku, one complete thought in a title field. Roar louder! NR since 3/7/12.

      by Josiah Bartlett on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:08:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Would be great to find out (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dewtx, Tool, MPociask

      How many Republican Congressman / Senators own their homes outright, and what they owe on their mortgages, credit cards, student loans, etc.! How much debt are the austerity bots actually carrying?!?!

      Any way we can get this info?

      Excessive literary production is a social offense. - George Eliot

      by pyramus on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:42:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  my point exactly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tool, stvnjon

        the reason why a lot of these Politicians speak a language other than what "average" Americans do, is because they've got too much money and dont know whats like to live like the rest of us. They dont know what's like to depend only on your social security check for your month to month survival....they dont know whats like NOT to have health insurance or a pile of student loan debt....I am at a point where any time I hear about someone running for office (on both sides), my first question is: how much is this fucker worth? If it's too much, then I know there's no way in hell they can effectively represent me!!!

        Can we stick to the issues? Please!

        by AnthonyMason2k6 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:52:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There was something floating around (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MPociask

        the internets last week - and if I recall correctly there were quite a few of them carrying mortgage debt for 3-5 properties.

        I can understand 2 - since most of them maintain homes in two places by the nature of their jobs - but 3, 4 and 5?

        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy... the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

        by lcbo on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 12:15:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You might take a look at ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, MPociask, juliesie

        OpenSecrets.org
        It appears you can look up Congress-people's debts, including mortgages, along with many assets (but not personal residences, as far as I can tell).
        I only did some spot-checks, not an in-depth look, but somebody wanting to do some research can get quite a bit of info.

      •  The metaphor is broken (0+ / 0-)

        but it refuses to die.  I think the reason is that our elected leaders believe we are too dim to understand federal finances, and need a down-home analogy.

        Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

        by Boundegar on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 02:25:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think that first comment is off... (19+ / 0-)

    ...in that it uses average debt vs. median income. Also in that it's the debt the average household that's in debt holds.  The same site has the average household, debt or no, holds about half as much debt as depicted, and that the median household holds about half that much debt.  Which would make sense, since not too many households making $50K a year are buying $200K houses.  So the actual household debt-to-income ratio is...well, it's actually right about the same rate as the federal government.  So even taking that into account, the best Virginia Foxx can say is that to balance our budget like a regular family's, we do nothing.

    Republican (n.) -- A person who tells you government is evil, then gets elected and proves himself right.

    by IlGreven on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:06:31 AM PDT

  •  I think the analogy could be useful (21+ / 0-)

    As the comments suggest, every way that this gets reframed into closer alignment to actual (not 1950's fantasy) family practice supports a more progressive budget and exposes the places where our current spending (and spending policies) are seriously distorted.

    Like, for example, "my bank mismanaged my mortgage and had to steal my 401k to stay in business; I should encourage them to take my savings account as well!"

    Or, "I spent $435 billion on a new security system that doesn't work. It's so messed up I had to shut it down. I'm thinking of expanding it to the garage and selling the same system to my neighbors."

    Or, "the bank is nearly paying me to borrow money, Uncle Joe is out of work and the roof has a hole in it, but I think we should wait to fix it until it falls in, besides, if Joe was that great a roofer he wouldn't be out of work."

    Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:21

    by Mickquinas on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:25:35 AM PDT

  •  Everyone would be better off with out debt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, MPociask, davelf2, Noodles

    But there is a difference in what kind of debt people have.  The worst kind is credit card debt, then new car loan debt followed by private education loan debt.

    If you avoid those three kinds of debt your family, you, and the nation will be better off.  

    Credit Card debt is bad because of the high interest on it and the habit of spending more than you earn.  Worse when you are using the card to pay for food, dinner, gas, an other short term things.  Unless you are going to cut future spending by that amount, spending today on credit makes no sense.

    New car loan debt is bad because as soon as you drive off the lot you're underwater on the loan  But if you buy a newer model used car you can show value for the money you borrowed.

    Private education debt can't be discharged, has high interest rates, and says you were spending too much for an education.

    Our nation would be better off if it only borrowed for things that will last, highways, schools, etc.  Not to cover pay checks, studies on X or Y or hand outs to those in need.  Those things should be paid for up front.  Any borrowing should also have a plan to pay it off.  (one of the big differences between the Fed Gov and a Family)

    Sure spending from your savings when times get ruff makes sense, putting it all on the credit card is dumb.  We keep hearing the gov needs to spend more now because the economy is weak, but never hear a plan to pay for this borrowing.  Just that when things get better we pay it off and cut spending...which neither party has ever done. (no not even Clinton.)

    Stupid question hour starts now and ends in five minutes.

    by DrillSgtK on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:30:38 AM PDT

    •  Some spending pays for itself. (11+ / 0-)
      We keep hearing the gov needs to spend more now because the economy is weak, but never hear a plan to pay for this borrowing.
      What is the rate of return on reducing energy bills by installing better insulation?  If that rate is higher than the Treasury Bond rate, we should be doing it.

      I see very little evidence that the national fiscal debate is truly concerned with actual finance.  It's a lot of Red Team/Blue Team bullshit.

      The single largest component of ARRA was tax cuts.  Not spending.  Doing nothing new whatsoever, just keep doing what you were doing.  No vision, no proposal, no process.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:50:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the story on that... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sethtriggs, catwho

        (talking about ARRA) is that the President really wanted to do a moonshot type program - a clean energy grid, for example.  But then his advisers came back and said it'd be very difficult and wouldn't put money into the economy right away - like a tax cut would, for example.  And that was that.  

        The other thing going on was that the administration SEVERELY miscalculated the length and depth of the recession (they get a little forgiveness, because at the time there weren't good numbers on how much the economy had shrunk; not total forgiveness, though, because even at the time ARRA was criticized for being too small to fully stimulate the economy).  So, doing a clean energy grid as a long term project didn't make sense, when they thought we just needed a one year, short term bump to the economy.  

      •  Yup... (11+ / 0-)

        America, as a nation, can borrow money at LESS than inflation.  We should be building high speed rail, high speed internet, building schools, repairing roads and bridges and investing in sustainable energy and education.  Big time.  Instead, we insist upon stuffing the fattest pig with seed corn in a wishful attempt that it will poop jobs.

        'Guns don't kill people, video games do - paraphrased from Lamar Alexander (Sen-R-TN)'

        by RichM on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:52:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Some of us don't have a choice (10+ / 0-)

      I ran up a credit card because I couldn't make ends meet without it. Luckily I didn't have that much to run it up. I also didn't have a choice on getting student loans. The cost of tuition has skyrocketed so much that I had no choice.

      Telling people to be frugal isn't going to solve these problems. That's exactly the problem with what the government is trying to do.

      •  Student loans specifically (11+ / 0-)

        It's a common sentiment whenever you talk about student loan debt to hear people say, "Back in my day, I worked part time and in the summers and paid for college myself!"  Well, good for you.  Since you went to school decades ago, though, tuition has FAR outpaced inflation. So, even though I ALSO worked part time through school and in the summer, I couldn't possibly afford the cost of tuition.  And that was just for undergrad!  Forget law school, when a) you're not supposed to work part time on the side, because you have no time for it, and b) it costs EVEN MORE.

        •  The worst of it is that the politicians (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MPociask, peptabysmal, orlbucfan

          who are cutting funding to public universities went to school when it was either free or heavily subsidized. I can't tell you how much some of these people piss me off. We have a funding problem with schools, that's why tuition is so high. Well, that and the fact that they've added a whole new class of corporate style administrators so they can be "competitive" in the "market". Ugh. If I had started school when I graduated my student loans would be abut 3 times what they are now. It's absurd.

        •  Ugh.... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MPociask, AoT, howarddream

          for years I heard this from my dad: "Don't get student loans...I don't want you to have to pay them off for years like I did!"

          Thing is, students loans can be an excellent investment depending on what you plan to do.

          In my case, I didn't take a dime in student loan money (that was over 20 years ago, when I got scholarships, lived at home, and worked through an in-state school that cost about $4K in tuition) for my undergrad.  I took it all for grad work (both MA and JD), but I knew I could afford it, even working as a government attorney.  Graduated from law school a little over ten years ago, and again, did the same thing as undergrad: got scholarships, went in-state for best possible deal I could, and worked.  But I also took the loans.

          Frankly? I'm not sure students can do that as much anymore, as the costs have gone nutty.  I'm scared to death about my 1 year old's college costs 17 years for now...I'm praying she'll want to go to a good state school like I did, and her mother did.

          Cake or DEATH? Oh, I'll have cake, please.

          by wmtriallawyer on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:13:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  ever try doing without unecessary things (0+ / 0-)
  •  Debt is Biblical (8+ / 0-)

    Joseph had Pharaoh spend during the 7 lean years.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:56:14 AM PDT

  •  I posted this almost 2 years ago: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, a2nite, paradox

    The refrain hasn't changed a bit.

    GOP family finances

    Wealth doesn't trickle down -- it rises up.

    by elsaf on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:57:35 AM PDT

  •  Republican should avoid this analogy (10+ / 0-)

    It leads straight into the revelation that austerity is a terrible policy if the goal is to promote growth and prosperity.

    Consider how austerity (reduced income, constraining spending and investment) impacts low income households.  Families struggling to get by on low wage jobs lack the means to invest in educating, job training, buying a car, or technology that can lead directly to income growth and wealth creation.  Very often it takes spending in order to generate growth.  

    We can see this in the post WWII growth of prosperity. Vets returned from the war and used their GI bill money to invest in education, housing or businesses and the result was a huge boom in prosperity and an expansion of the middle class.  

    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

    by Triscula on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:18:38 AM PDT

  •  At this point (14+ / 0-)

    anyone who still  repeatedly conflates macro economics with micro economics is intentionally doing a disservice to the American people. It leads to these Facebook posts & wingnut emails where you should just chop off the 0's at the end of a budget and treat the list like house hold bills. It is idiotic to assume that a government body with the ability to print currency and has a system that operates in the billions & trillions should be treated like a family making poverty wages. Argh. Kos is right. It is expected that Republicans would lie and try and confuse people- it is nerve wracking to hear this garbage from Dems.  

    President Obama would have been a republican in the 1980's & 1990's. Go figure.

    by Tool on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:19:40 AM PDT

    •  Talking Points Push Back (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, Tool, MPociask
      Families balance their budgets. Washington should too.
      At this point anyone who still  repeatedly conflates macro economics with micro economics is intentionally doing a disservice to the American people. [Tool]
      When I read Rep. Foxx's tweet, it just hit me in some seam in my consciousness that screamed loudly that these Republicans who just repeat their 'talking points,' like the above, must truly believe in the Big Lie concept: repeat something often enough and a certain number of people will believe it. Then, another thought hit me.

      The problem for the ConservaPubs like Virginia Foxx is that, IMO, due to their near endless repetition of these empty points, fewer and fewer people are believing them. And they just don't know when to stop! I speculate that's because they begin to believe their own points. With so many of them seemingly incapable of actual analytical thought, the talking points are in many cases at about at the limit of their depth of analysis.

      It's as if so many have internalized the workings of the minds of the conservative base, and found it far easier to actually believe that talking points are a form of in-depth analysis, rather than than actual thought and debate.

      You meet them halfway with love, peace and persuasion, and expect them to rise for the occasion ~ Van Morrison

      by paz3 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:56:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of course they don't; that's why they lie to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, JML9999, MPociask

    Get elected. They don't know how to do math or do actual work.

  •  Excellent points. More people need to see. (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you.

    Mix the blood and make new people!

    by Yonkers Boy on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:37:03 AM PDT

  •  Debt and dumber (7+ / 0-)

    Financial debt is essentially a social construct. No matter how large, it can be made to disappear in an instant, for example by creating new money, by legislating new revenues, or by mutual agreement among the parties concerned.

    On the other hand, investing in our society (or the failure to do so) is a matter of physical reality. Education, healthcare, infrastructure, and R&D are principle pillars of our economy. If we fall behind on these things, we create a real hole from which there can be no quick escape.

    Cutting back on necessary social investment due to manufactured alarm over financial debt is just plain dumb.

    •  Not quite true... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DBunn

      Yes, we could theoretically print enough currency to cover the debt, but the inflation associated with that print run would devastate our economy.

      "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level, and beat you with experience every time." --Unknown

      by Subwoofer of the House on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:27:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Printing money (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MPociask

        ... might be one of the dumber ways to make debt disappear, I agree. But the point is, we could do it, and if we did, the debt would be gone overnight. One can imagine drastic circumstances under which it would be unwise not to do it.  But we can't just "print" overnight a whole generation's worth or more of poor education, lack of health care, built infrastructure, and R&D. These are real things that take their own time to come into being. Along with a healthy natural environment, they are also the actual sources of our nation's wealth, and failure to invest in them will definitely devastate our economy.

        •  Oh, I'm sorry (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DBunn

          Now I see your point.  My apologies.  While my argument is still valid, it is entirely irrelevant to your point.

          I concede.  Want to grab a cup of coffee?  I need some.  Stupid Lent ;p

          "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level, and beat you with experience every time." --Unknown

          by Subwoofer of the House on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:48:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Average is one thing. What are the median values? (0+ / 0-)

    I'd love to see the median values/ratios...

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:43:04 AM PDT

  •  Crunching the numbers further (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan

    Virginia Foxx, as a member of Congress, is, I believe, obliged to issue financial disclosure statements from time to time. I'm guessing, but don't know for sure, that these disclosure statements are part of the public record, that they're in the public domain.

    Let's see how much debt good old Ginny Foxx has. I'll bet she has some. Then let's mock her for her personal financial irresponsibility, and ask why she herself refuses to live by her own stated ideals. Why should Uncle Sam balance his books if members of Congress walk around with thousands of dollars in personal debt?

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:44:12 AM PDT

  •  WE'VE GOT THE BOMB (0+ / 0-)

    We don't have to balance $%(t. China doesn't like it we'll defrost Reagan and he'll restart the cold war.

    And we owe most of our debt to ourselves.

    Nowhere near as good as the above quoted comments.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:49:41 AM PDT

  •  It's right there in the Constitution... (8+ / 0-)

    "Congress shall run the nation's budget like a family's household budget"...

    Right before "Photo ID shall be required to cast a vote"...

    Baby, where I come from...

    by ThatSinger on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:53:17 AM PDT

  •  She isn't misinformed ... she's lying n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  You might want to make a small correction... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, HCKAD, PhilW, MPociask, ssgbryan

    It's not "also dumb" when Democrats do it, it's "even dumber" when they do it.  Because every time they do it, they play right into the Republican frame and weaken their own brand.  And the effect is cumulative.

    It's always been a stupid sound-bite meme, but unfortunately, like most emotion-tugging sound bite memes it has staying power.  It all comes down to "My times are hard, why shouldn't everyone else's be too?"

    That's what the Republicans are really saying.  And it works -- all too well -- for people who don't think about it much.

  •  You have to exclude mortgage debt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:02:47 AM PDT

  •  Families can't spend their way out of debt. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sneakers563

    A family that continues to spend more than it takes in in income is not "stimulating" anything except the bottom line of the credit card company (say "Chinese Express") that is servicing their debt.  For that family, the day will ultimately come when that family cannot make the "minimum payment" and service its debt, and that family will have to declare bankruptcy.   So no, a family budget is nothing like a Federal budget.  

    Or is it?  

    Not everyone is part of a Gestalt - Owsley Stanley

    by SpamNunn on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:06:11 AM PDT

    •  When American families get too deep in debt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      howarddream, MPociask

      the Government prints up new money and hands it to them.

      American families are too big to fail.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:11:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, they do stimulate the economy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask, YellerDog

      One way to think about the huge credit debts Americans have been running up over the last 20 years is that they were compensating for the fact that real wages have been largely stagnant for the last 40 years.  Yes, it was a problem, but it was in response to a prior problem.

      If you want to see what the US economy looks like without the ability of people to artificially boost their spending power above their wages, you only need to look around.  The housing and loan crises are largely over.  What we're dealing with now is 40 years of productivity gains coupled to wage stagnation.

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:39:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had to get anothr car. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, orlbucfan, MPociask, ssgbryan

    I didn't want to. I have been YEARS without a car payment.

    So what if my truck is 18 years old and has 245000 on it?

    My example is of INFRASTRUCTURE spending.

    I didn't buy a car to show off or because I was just tired of the old truck.

    Nope. I had to be 'mature' and get a new vehicle before the old one elected to cease proper functioning, interfering in the process of going to work daily.

    I tried to think of ways to get out of it. Sequestering my funds did not make my old truck any more reliable.

    As much as I hated to, I had to go into debt, again, in order to keep revenue flowing and because I researched my purchase, I got a very good deal on a vehicle which actually meets my needs.

    Clearly I know more about life than any republicans.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:07:53 AM PDT

  •  Literally Orwellian "Doublethink" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NM Ray, YellerDog

    Basically citizens have to spout nonsense like 2+2=5 and believe it with all their hearts or face liquidation.

    ....orthodoxy in the full sense demands a control over one's ownn mental processes as complete as that of a contortionist over his body.Oceanic society rests ultimately on the belief that Big Brother is omnipotent and that the Party is infallible. But since in reality Big Brother is not omnipotent and the party is not infallible, there is need for an unwearying, moment-to-moment flexibility in the treatment of facts. The keyword here is BLACKWHITE. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to BELIEVE that black is white, and more, to KNOW thatblack is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as DOUBLETHINK.
    -1984

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:08:18 AM PDT

  •  I don't buy fancy house alarms to protect my (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howarddream, MPociask

    home.  I lock the door, install lighting, or buy a dog, I don't need the latest fancy shamcy home protection system that buys me significantly more security than i need.  

    I don't buy extremely expensive cars that sit in the driveway, like the F-35 fighter plane, or invade my neighbors house on a rumor he may have vandalized my front lawn, or pay to have my relatives stay at a friends house to protect their home because they were robbed or attacked once 50 years ago . . . . you get the idea.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:12:25 AM PDT

  •  This is why we need more electeds who (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NM Ray, chmood

    actually understand what ordinary people are dealing with.

    That means we - that's right, we ordinary folks - need to consider running for office.

  •  Those are awesome! (0+ / 0-)

    To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

    by ban48 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:13:12 AM PDT

  •  ther is too much pesoanl debt. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paz3

    When I was a young female there were not major  credit cards available so easily. We did not buy stuff until we had the cash. My parents paid off their  local credit every month. They did not buy a new car until they could pay cash for it. They were middle class and sacrificed to save for our college, ans we were expected to finish college in 4 years, not 5 or 6, by taking an average of 15- 18  credits per semester or quarter.

    We did not have perfectly designed dorm rooms, or apartments. We had bricks and boards for shelves, & no TV. WE did not buy houses until we aha a good down payment, even after we were married and had children. We lived within our income.

    People in the U.S. buy to much STUFF. The middle class here now tries to live like the rich.

  •  GOP - 2013 (0+ / 0-)

    Todaay's Republican Party - Appealing to non-thinking people everywhere!

    "Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers offering advice to the Republican Party.

    by NM Ray on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:15:24 AM PDT

  •  It's not even spending. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orlbucfan

    Republicans like spending, when it's for wars and Republican wish list stuff like subsidies and protectionism for large corporations.

    They don't like spending on the basic necessities. Like for the actual running of the country and service to the majority of the citizens.

    Republicans like spending when they buy stuff and services from their own little circles......like the MIC.

    We can't have more people on foodstamps but we can tear down other countries and then assert the pottery barn rule to benefit Halliburton and KBR etc., meanwhile back at home, citizens are hungry, being foreclosed, no jobs........

    It's obvious they love spending for their stuff.

  •  Wasn't Wall Street unhappy when in the late 90's (0+ / 0-)

    30 year Treasury Bonds were no longer being offered for sale because the US gov't debt was falling and at the time it made more sense to just issue 10yr bonds and shorter?

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:19:56 AM PDT

  •  Those are great comments from your earlier diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howarddream

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:22:13 AM PDT

  •  NerdWallet - Thanks! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howarddream

    http://www.nerdwallet.com/...

    Average credit card debt: $15,266
     Average mortgage debt: $149,667
     Average student loan debt: $32,559
     (Source)

    vs Income:

     $44,389

    So, if we balanced the budget the same way households do, the federal debt to income ratio would be:

     78/22 = 3.5/1

    But it's currently approximately 1.7/1

    When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:25:05 AM PDT

  •  In the Republican Family budget, Mom and Dad (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, howarddream, schnecke21

    take voluntary pay cuts, refuse to pay for Junior's school tuition and Grandma's medical bills, and then go buy themselves new cars and an expensive vacation. "Don't worry," they say, "the wealth will trickle down, and we're making sure that you don't become dependent."

  •  My family would ask, "how can we increase our (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howarddream, schnecke21

    income"?

  •  If I want to pay off my credit card (0+ / 0-)

    and tell the credit card company that I intend to do that by NOT buying any more stuff and at the same time NOT send any more money because I don't have any to send, what effect would that have on my balance?

    When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:34:17 AM PDT

  •  From a letter last summer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, Paul1a

    Signed by seven leading economists, including five Nobel laureates:

    Unlike many state constitutions, which permit borrowing to finance capital expenditures, the federal budget makes no distinction between capital investments and current outlays. Private businesses and households borrow all the time to finance capital spending. A balanced budget amendment would prevent federal borrowing to finance expenditures for infrastructure, education, research and development, environmental protection, and other investment vital to the nation's future well being.
    http://w3.epi-data.org/...
  •  If there is one thing I'm really good at... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howarddream

    it's deficit spending. Every time I try to decrease my spending, an emergency or semi-emergency comes up and I have to add to my credit card debt. Just this month I had an unexpected expense of about $1500 to keep my 16-year-old car in good running order. It is unlikely it will last another 16 years.

    Came for the politics, stayed for the pooties.

    by DreamyAJ on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:35:40 AM PDT

  •  I Hate the Family Budget Analogies. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catwho

    They are so dishonest.

    For starters, each American family does not have a small army to finance.

    I miss Speaker Pelosi :^(

    by howarddream on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:43:24 AM PDT

  •  How I see the analogy (0+ / 0-)

    ...there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. - Ratty

    by John Q on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:52:05 AM PDT

  •  Gee whiz! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT

    If government is so much like a family, can I get a divorce from my teabagger congressman?

  •  No one is talking about our public assets... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, stagemom, MPociask, schnecke21

    We all tend to forget that the government uses a simple cash flow accounting system that treats all "investments" like schools, post offices, roads, and other infrastructure spending as simple expenditures.

    I'd like to see someone's balance sheet accounting for the government, one that shows assets as well as liabilities, equity as well as debt. I know it's been done at least hypothetically in the past, but I don't know where to find the data. I'm reasonably confident it would show a totally different picture.

    We refinanced last year; if you just looked at our cash flow you'd be convinced that our "spending" was out of control. Not so!

    Can someone dig out that kind of analysis and hit the public in the face with it?

    Think. It's not illegal - yet.

    by jpw on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 12:58:49 PM PDT

  •  Household budget vs. the economy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask

    What's best for households is not what is best for the government or the economy as a whole.  What a household should do in the face of a job loss or reduction in income is not necessarily what the government should do when it's income decreases.

    The only way you can compare government budgets to household budgets is if you image that there is one huge house with dozens of people living in it.  They work for each other and buy things from each other.  Some lend money to others, some invest in others' businesses.  There is one guy named Government who has a LOT of people working for him and who buys a LOT of goods and services from the others in the house.  There are some other houses in the neighborhood and some business is done with them, but it's a relatively small amount.  About 80% of all business happens within the walls of the house.  Once you have that image in your mind, you can see that your spending is other people's income.  And their spending is your income.  If too many people are thrown out of work and people stop lending you can see that things start to freeze up.  Job losses mean less business for everyone.  The last thing you want to do is have that Government guy fire people and buy less stuff.  It can't help but make things worse.  And when you realize that Government can actually print his own money AND has people inside the house AND in other houses with cash that they'd like to give Government in exchange for bonds because they know he's good for it, having Government cut spending makes even less sense.  There are people and equipment in the house that sits there doing nothing.  The solution is obvious: Government should borrow money from the people who want bonds and use the money to hire the idle people  to use the idle equipment.  To do what?  TO IMPROVE THE HOUSE.  Make it bigger, give it more modern amenities, boost its energy efficiency, improve room-to-room communications, improve the system that moves people and material between floors, replace the roof, repair the staircase with the bad railing, etc.  Having people and equipment sitting idle is a waste, and if interest rates are equal to or lower than the inflation rate using idle capacity to do almost ANYTHING is better.

  •  Vote to cut (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilW

    The Republicans in The Senate and House should set examples if they think cutting things for us is justified, then how about setting examples by cutting their taxpayer paid health care, retirement and salary?

Thumb, Mark Noel, Odysseus, Joan McCarter, Gooserock, Powered Grace, simaramis, eeff, TX Unmuzzled, mpearl, hubcap, davelf2, opinionated, roses, fumie, Alna Dem, Georgia Logothetis, figbash, Noodles, papercut, lcrp, hayden, Albanius, Josiah Bartlett, pontechango, oortdust, Gowrie Gal, vcmvo2, ExStr8, NoMoreLies, democracy inaction, sc kitty, basquebob, dewtx, stagemom, Brooke In Seattle, Beetwasher, lcbo, Tool, Tunk, Thaddaeus Toad, Blu Gal in DE, coolbreeze, Land of Enchantment, Jim R, Philpm, BlueInARedState, SciFiGuy, cardboardurinal, dopper0189, AoT, Wary, NBBooks, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, kurt, DBunn, pgm 01, Cronesense, Loudoun County Dem, offgrid, puakev, yoduuuh do or do not, bearian, mbh1023, HCKAD, jhop7, GeorgeXVIII, JML9999, TomP, gizmo59, fb, 123man, thankgodforairamerica, GAS, elwior, Greasy Grant, Calamity Jean, tofumagoo, Cassandra Waites, Gentle Giant, Blue Collar, statsone, bluebelle7, LinSea, mkor7, followyourbliss, bfitzinAR, johnosahon, kevinpdx, Dark UltraValia, IreGyre, mdmslle, Larsstephens, Just Bob, Observerinvancouver, sunny skies, NM Ray, batchick, DiegoUK, ban48, Texnance, Betty Pinson, Misterpuff, kenwards, cocinero, Oh Mary Oh, allisoneisall, Mr MadAsHell, cooper888, Susipsych, kevin k, lillyspad, sethtriggs, merrily1000, TRPChicago, VTCC73, disconnect the dots, SoCalSal, blackjackal, allergywoman, Azazello, KansasNancy, anodnhajo, sow hat, Williston Barrett, molecularlevel, pimutant, a2nite, Yonkers Boy, TexDemAtty, BusyinCA, rat racer, stvnjon, Ephitall, peptabysmal, WheninRome, Silvia Nightshade, Blue Dream, califgrrrl, leeleedee, Icicle68, LilithGardener, ChristineM, Fulgour, central oregon progressive, Stephen Wolf, Paul1a

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site