Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Tuesday gloom and doom econo-blogging

The big names in econo-blogging have been weighing in on Obama's 2010 and 2011 budget proposals, and it is not pretty. I cannot find one of the real econo-bloggers (those with a record of being right with their predictions based on the numbers) who think this budget is anything other than an utter disaster. Some highlights they've mentioned about the disaster:

  1. The budgets continue the disastrous Bush tax cuts that gutted the Federal Government's ability to fund its operations out of cash flow, therefore guaranteeing long-term deficits ultimately funded by printing money (because in the end that's what is going to happen) for as many years as the eye can see. Short-term we have no problem -- total U.S. government debt is only half of GDP, or roughly 1/8th of what Japan's government debt is. Long term, we cannot basically exempt over 50% of Americans from paying taxes and have a solvent government. No nation can function when half the nation is a bunch of deadbeat freeloaders. That way lies Somalia territory. Indeed, the primary cause of the deficit is the Bush tax cuts combined with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- without those, the deficit would be eliminated by economic growth within five years. Yet Obama wants to continue both the Bush tax cuts AND the wars. Inexplicable.
  2. The budgets HALVE the amount of money available for unemployment payments and Medicaid. Basically, this means that a huge number of people currently drawing unemployment checks because there are six applicants for every job opening will end up on the streets. We are talking about scenes of utter misery in the next year that will rival anything that we saw during the Great Depression. And Medicaid rolls are going up because of families being unemployed, yet Obama is cutting Medicaid? The public hospital systems, which are dependent upon Medicaid money, are going to utterly collapse because the states are bankrupt and cannot finance Medicaid all by themselves. For large numbers of poor people, health care is going to go from being extremely inconvenient to obtain, to being absolutely impossible to obtain. The U.S. is already looking more like a second-world emerging nation insofar as healthcare stats are concerned. This is going to be an utter disaster, putting us down on the bottom of healthcare stats with nations like Nigeria, Somalia, and Haiti.
  3. The budget has no -- ZERO -- help for ordinary Americans. All it has is tax cuts and credits that predominantly go to the rich, tax cuts and credits that I've previously explained will do nothing -- nada, zilch, zero -- to create jobs because what's stopping job creation is a lack of demand, not taxes.
  4. The budget will, at a conservative estimate, cause a 1.5% rise in unemployment.
In short, President Obama is about to kick America in the balls and guarantee that he will go down in history with Jimmy Carter as a failed President. He has done nothing -- NOTHING -- for ordinary Americans during his Presidency, with the exception of a too-small stimulus program that has thus far spent less than $100 billion on real actual stimulus as vs. bullshit tax cuts to the rich or to people who already aren't paying taxes. And by basically adopting Republican policies that are "conventional wisdom" propagated by right-wing cretins who flunked elementary school math, he owns the disaster that is going to unfold during the next two years.

In short, President Obama has disappeared into an alternate universe -- the Washington Bubbleverse, where unicorns are real, cotton candy grows on trees, crowding-out is occurring despite the last Treasury auction being at 0% interest, and the printing press (for monetizing deficits in the face of a $6 TRILLION dollar asset value collapse and resulting deflation) has never been invented. Unfortunately, that alternate universe that he has disappeared into is not the REAL universe, where people are hurting and need help, need jobs, need hope. All Obama has given us is bullshit and a knife in the back.

I am with Brad DeLong: I am fucking scared. Because the Democrats are basically destroying any hope that the American people have... and when that happens, bad shit happens. BAD shit happens. As in, food riots and thousands dead because people simply will not voluntarily starve to death just because right-wing ideology says they're supposed to and Democrats seem to be embracing that same right-wing ideology. Bad shit as in blood in the streets bad shit, the sort of bad shit that happens in Iraq where people with no hope strap bombs to themselves and walk into the middle of crowds and blow themselves up bad shit. BAD BAD BAD shit. Like that housepainter with the funny mustache taking over in Germany back in the 1930's kind of bad shit. Right now, our government has basically ceased to exist as a useful entity, but we don't have a substitute for it, and things are going to crumble, and crumble badly, as public order collapses as unpaid civil servants in the bankrupt states walk off the jobs to try to find food for their families. I might sound apocalyptic as hell right now. But just tell that to President Sarah Palin when she takes office in 2012, which is practically guaranteed now.

I weep for the nation that could have been... but which shall not be. United States of America. It was a good 220 year run. Too bad it's over now.

-- Badtux the Apocalyptic Penguin


  1. What has happened since St. Ronnie dragged he country to the right is that Democrats are the new Republicans. We saw a lot of it with Clinton - NAFTA being a stellar example. Now with Barack Hoover Obama, the metamorphosis is complete.

    At least Clinton was able to increase GDP growth AND balance the budget. He did it by raising taxes. (Duh!) There is something to be said for genuine fiscal responsibility.

    Meanwhile, the Repugs have transmogrified into something genuinely monsterous.

    When a doofus like me can almost effortlessly rip to shreds the idiocy put forth by Bush's Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, it's pretty god-damned sad.

    Meanwhile, the KOS survey can certainly be criticized, but, holy shit, the insanity these people believe in is horrifying.

    Yep. We're fucked.

  2. I agree BT. Strong words and I find most do not like that because they do not want to face the reality. I thought that Bush was going for all the marbles in '06 but now I think they have enough in place to go for the whole shitterie this Nov particularly if the rules get changed in the states that limit contributions.

    This is bound to happen and it is going according to plan. Said for years threats of or else were being given to those in office. It's the only thing that makes sense to me. It appears the four thus in Landreau's office were CIA. If that's true look what they did to Acorn.

    We are truly fucked and when what I think is going to happen in Nov does I'm outta here and will head to the ranch and become a hermit because I won't be able to watch anymore.

  3. Like you, 'Tux, I'm not at all optimistic about the prospects for our nation's future. If the peasants do revolt, the wealthy will come to understand that not even the walls, bars, and fences of their gated communities can keep them safe.cousho

  4. I was there two years ago. I don't give crap any more.

  5. Wait a minute, make that 4 years ago when I spent 4 days in a cubicle at JP Morgan yanking parts of mortgage files to be scanned and posted online. I had never seen a mortgage file before but I knew we the people were getting screwed just like these people who signed on to these fucked up loans were getting screwed. I got canned. I'm not a very good hamster on a wheel. I squeak.

  6. barcalounger3/2/10 4:39 PM

    Hey, in that alternate universe, are we all riding ponies?

    Yes, I'm scared, too. Don't forget we're the most heavily armed nation on earth. People with no jobs, no homes, no future, and lots of firepower don't lead to a happy ending of our present situation.

  7. Yes. Sparkle ponies. With rainbow poop and cinnamon sprinkles.

    - Badtux the Snarkly Penguin

  8. This is something that has been trumped everywhere there is common sense. So those who are glued to the tv and whatever the media pushes on them isnt going to even realize the state that this Country is in.

    We have to go back to PRODUCING as a country and scale back on those wars. Even if they raised taxes, where is that tax money going to come from if NO ONE is WORKING?

    Every bit of stimulus TARP, or whatever should have gone to the common man instead of banks.

    I do agree with Obama with his "Yes We Can" nonsense.. Yes We Can live in a dream world and suffer for it.

  9. The level of expertise of you "econo-bloggers" is so high, such great responses, intelligent ideas, respect for statistics, wonderful reading!


Ground rules: Comments that consist solely of insults, fact-free talking points, are off-topic, or simply spam the same argument over and over will be deleted. The penguin is the only one allowed to be an ass here. All viewpoints, however, are welcomed, even if I disagree vehemently with you.

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