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Fox News and the Great Booga Booga Socialism Scare

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/uc/20090218/cm_uc_crrscx/op_179090;_ylt=AiWgZ1oHRJ35atGrZJAPUU79wxIF

Republicans Fiddle While America Burns

Robert Scheer Robert Scheer – Wed Feb 18, 3:00 am ET

Creators Syndicate – The Republican-engineered controversy around the stimulus is a phony.

 

The stimulus package that President Obama signed into law Tuesday is a modest effort, actually too modest, at arresting the free fall of the American economy. It's just not that expensive in light of the dimensions of the economic crisis, most of it is quite conservatively aimed at tax cuts for a suffering public and bailouts for beleaguered state programs, and it pales in comparison with the trillions wasted on the bloated military budget during the Bush years.

 

Furthermore, it is obscene that the Republicans who created this mess dare question the cost of a stimulus package directed at meeting a crisis that their radical deregulation of the financial markets created. While it is true that too many Democrats went along with the Republican deregulatory zealots, it is the prime legacy of the GOP going back to the Reagan Revolution that has been called into question.

 

The decisive deregulation that opened the door for the Wall Street swindlers was pushed through Congress by then-Sen. Phil Gramm, a Texas Republican. He was rabidly backed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., whose support of deregulation dates back to his interventions on behalf of the savings-and-loan hustlers whose shenanigans foreshadowed the current Wall Street scandals. Yet McCain now faults Obama for acting boldly to deal with a similar but far larger mess. It is a tribute to Obama's leadership that he was able to get a much-needed bill passed in record time, thereby giving the millions of Americans now hurting a shot at recovery.

 

Key Republican governors, from Florida to California, know this, which is why they and many other governors who actually must address the needs of constituents have rallied to the president's side. "It really is a matter of perspective," Florida's Republican Gov. Charlie Crist noted recently after appearing with Obama in support of the stimulus plan, because it "helps us meet the needs of the people in a very difficult economic time."

 

Congressional Republicans, with the exception of that embarrassingly shrunken contingent of three moderates, will rue their legacy of deep indifference at a time of true national emergency, one that makes George W. Bush's far more costly war on terror now seem an absurdly irrelevant exercise. The financial impact on Wall Street from al-Qaida's 9-11 attacks is small compared with the damage done by the bankers whom the Bush administration coddled and who laid waste to the entire financial system.

 

The Bush tax cuts for the wealthy combined with the trillions wasted on unnecessary military spending dwarf the costs of the Obama stimulus package. The money wasted in Iraq, a misguided nation-building effort that had nothing to do with the 9-11 terrorist attacks, was supported uncritically by the same Republicans who now heap such scorn on efforts to rebuild our own nation.

 

They draw the line at a stimulus bill that funnels $135 billion directly to the bankrupted state governments to help pay for Medicaid, education and infrastructure. Yet they cannot account for the far larger sums wasted in their support of the terminally corrupt governments of Iraq and Afghanistan. It was just peachy to run up immense deficits pursuing irrational foreign adventures, but efforts to create jobs at home are viewed through a lens of criticism.

 

Bill Clinton said in a CNN interview: "I find it amazing that the Republicans, who doubled the debt of the country in eight years and produced no new jobs doing it, (and) gave us an economic record that was totally bereft of any productive result, are now criticizing him (Obama) for spending money."

 

The irony is that the congressional Republicans, who at the end of the Bush presidency authored the much more expensive banking bailout that eventually will throw trillions at Wall Street, oppose a much smaller stimulus package that comes to the assistance of ordinary Americans. While approving of $125 billion in payouts to AIG and tens of billions more to each of the top banks, they question spending far smaller amounts to aid the victims of bankers' greed — $2 billion to redevelop abandoned and foreclosed homes, $2.1 billion for Head Start programs for poor kids, $1.2 billion to construct and repair veterans hospitals and cemeteries, and a miserly $555 million to help defense employees sell their homes.

 

The only valid criticism to be made of the stimulus bill that Obama signed Tuesday with deserved pride of authorship is that it is too small for the enormous problem at hand. But if it had been up to the Republicans, we wouldn't be doing anything at all.

Robert Scheer's new book is "The *********** of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America." E-mail Robert Scheer at rscheer@truthdig.com. To find out more about Robert Scheer, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

 

JojoWazoo JojoWazoo 46-50, F 17 Responses Feb 20, 2009

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Great point Whuttup!

The democrats by that point had already caved to the point of making over 35% of the stimulus bill tax cuts, which aren't stimulative. So should 50% of the bill have been tax cuts? Good lord. When are the republicans ever going to find a different record to play, this song and dance has gotten more than a little stale.

I think you may see something evolve about tax cuts. Possibly another plan. It is ashamed that they even included a tax cut that is negligible. The real tax cut you are alluding to is lowering the indexed payroll rates. This way the lowest earners get the biggest bang for the buck! If the Republicans had gotten some leeway, you may have seen this happen. They proposed lowering the index rates quite a bit so that the 15% would be lowered down to 10% and start at a higher income level. That is quite a cut, but it didn't make the it into the plan. This was killed by the Democrats. Wish the facts were different, but they aren't!

But Max, my friend, people don't have money to spend on a tax holiday. The economy is retracting. Unemployment is rampant! I'm worried about my young adult children's future here. Will they have jobs next week, will they be able to pay their mortgages. Not because they bought too much house but because they're unemployed and can't make the payment!

I was in NY a few weeks ago. I saw how expensive it was.

Deep tax cuts don't pay the bills. We are still fighting two wars. We have a treasure cranking out money as fast as they can print it and as it comes off the press, interest is already levied against it! Stop the world and let me off for a bit. It's about the shrinking middle class.........

JoJo,



That tax cut is BS! You are right. But that is exactly what I am talking about. Deep tax cuts or a tax holiday would have made a very significant impact on the economy! Yes, $13 bucks barely buys two hot dogs and a Yoohoo in NY!

Jack!

Yeah, I read the middle class will get a net gain of about $13 a week, Max! With inflation, that's crap! Trickle down economics/tax cuts for the rich does not work. I repeat, does not work. It didn't work before and it certainly will not work this time. Especially in this economy! That's a fact!

Something to ponder:



Reducing payroll taxes puts money into your pocket and the economy immediately.

myth: tax cuts create jobs.
fact: only increased demand creates jobs

there is NO historical evidence whatsoever for the claim that tax cuts create jobs. Why would they? Buisineses are currently flushed with cash-they have too much of it. Jobs aren't being created? why? because the real cause of this economic crisis was that aggregate demand collapsed. Why would you hire workers if you couldn't expect to make more money as a result of hiring them? This is a no brainer. The only thing that will fix this economy is if demand goes back up. And right now the government is the ONLY PARTY with the MONEY to SPEND to increase demand. If we cut businesses taxes they'll put it in their private bank accounts and sit on it.

For months now, we have listened to the pathetic whingeing of the Tea Party and the GOP (and who knows which is which, and who is who) that if we don't get our deficit under control, doom is nigh. And yet, at the same time, if we don't extend the deficit-busting Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy, our economy will crash.

The problem with this is that the Bush Tax Cuts didn't create any jobs. At all. In fact, given the data it's arguable that tax cuts for the rich DEPRESS job creation, rather than ENCOURAGE it. Let's look at the facts (conservatives are instructed here to put on their special Limbaugh-o-vision glasses so that they don't accidentally understand what's really going on):

The Unmistakable Boom of the Clinton Years

During Clinton's presidency, there were roughly 21,000,000 jobs created. That is twenty-one with six zeroes after it, or twenty-one million. There were 96 months in Clinton's Presidency (12 months per year x 8 years), and if you divide 96 into 21,000,000 you get about 230,000. Thats 23 with five zeroes after it. Yes, I am being needlessly pedantic. It seems very difficult for people to assimilate these facts so I'm talking slow.

At any rate, the data points are in 1993, when Clinton took office, there were around 110,000,000 jobs in a population of about 260,000,00 Americans. When he left office in 2001, there were around 131,000,000 jobs in a population of around 280,000,000 Americans. If you do the math, you see that our population grew at a rate of about 2.5 million a year, or about 208,000 people a month. Now, all of these new folks aren't immediately in need of jobs, but still the effective rate of FLAT job growth is around 150,000 just to keep up with the population.

The Dreadful Collapse of the Bush Years

Bush entered his Presidency with around 131,000,000 jobs for those 280,000,000 Americans. For the next 8 years, his economic policies added around 10,000 jobs a month until their peak in 2006, after which those same policies subtracted 8 million jobs from the economy in a steep crash that took 18 painful months. Bush's peak job creation added a measly 6 million jobs, while the population boomed from 280,000,000 to around 305,000,000. All of those jobs were lost by the time Bush's term ended, giving the Bush Economic Miracle a net job growth rate of ZERO.

Unemployment RATE versus Job Creation

Obama's economic policies (namely, the much-maligned stimulus and GM bailout) have managed a truly dramatic turnaround in what was previously a moribund job market. Beginning almost immediately with the start of Obama's term, the job losses that had been steepening every month to a peak of 800,000 started tailing off, until we started to actually see job growth early in 2010. Remember, until then, no new jobs had been added to the economy since 2006.

But some people point to the unemployment rate during Bush's term, which averaged around 5%, as evidence that Obama has wrecked the economy. Of course, these same folks appear to have not been actually paying attention to anything else in the economy during that time, as anyone who works for a living knows that jobs were dreadfully difficult to find in the Bush years, and good jobs were almost impossible to find. That's because the unemployment rate is calculated based on HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR A JOB. It has NOTHING to do with how many jobs are being created, or how good they are.

To be counted as unemployed, one must be on the lookout for a job. If you have given up looking for a job, exhausted your benefits, and somehow found other means of support, you no longer count as unemployed. In theory I understand this because it keeps statistics focused on active job seekers and not people whose true situation is no longer answerable by a simple yes-no question, but in practice it is deceptive. The fact that the unemployment rate was 5% during the weak-*** Bush Years does not mean we were at true full employment. It meant that Bush had done as his corporate whoremasters wished, and depressed the job market in order to keep labor costs down. Many people simply LEFT the workforce during that period. The numbers do not lie. Absolute job creation and absolute employment under the Bush economy were pathetic. The WORST EVER since anyone has been keeping such statistics.

Tax Cuts Don't Create Jobs

What I'm leading up to is, if you're looking at job creation as a measure of success for tax cuts for big business, the data is unambiguous. Tax cuts for the wealthy didn't create jobs at all. If you measure job creation in the period BEFORE the tax cuts with job creation in the period AFTER the tax cuts, you can see that the meager 10,000/mo rate is for all intents and purposes invisible next to the 230,000/mo rate that Clinton manged with all those nasty taxes (and indeed, Clinton INCREASED taxes).

Bush's policies didn't even keep up with population growth, they were so weak and ineffective.

Corporations Don't Pay Taxes Anyway

As I have repeatedly and tiresomely stated and proven the painful reality of the whole tax cut debate is that Most US Corporations Do Not Pay Taxes anyway, so all of this talk of "cutting" their taxes is quite irrelevant. We already know, and have proven, and are done talking about, how tax cuts don't create jobs. But it's also true that the tax cuts that we are proposing to allow to expire aren't on corporations -- they're on people. Wealthy people, whose consumption is only a modest part of our national economy, and who by themselves do not create jobs. EVER. As the facts have also clearly and painfully shown.

It's Demand, Stupid

It's already also proven that the reason our economy is in a funk is not because US corporations or the wealthy are paying too much of anything to anyone. US companies are sitting on record cash reserves and posting record profits. If the supply-side logic was at all valid, we should be expecting a surge of hiring to have accompanied this news. But the fact is, job growth remains low. Because fundamentally the flawed economic policies of Bush have not been replaced. All of the screaming about "socialism" is pure bunk. The reason jobs aren't being created is because people aren't buying things. Because jobs have been eliminated, whether to automation or offshoring, it is irrelevant. And when the question of should we continue to give tax breaks to businesses who offshore our jobs was put before our intransigent GOP obstructionists, they made it clear that offshoring jobs is A-OK. That kind of attitude will NEVER fix our job market.

Our job market will not recover until there is demand, and we can't stimulate demand by giving the wealthy ********. Period. 10 years of empirical data prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I have no doubt, however, with a milquetoast Democratic party barely giving a shrug of acknowledgement to the failure of supply-side policies, and an arrogant and out-of-touch GOP continuing to grind away at every progressive advance made since the New Deal was enacted, that things will continue to get worse, or only marginally better, until another crisis envelops us and a true populist movement arises in this nation with a goal of ******* the wheel of power out of the hands of the self-centered, incompetent ninnies who have been bilking our nation's system to their own personal benefit for the last 30 years.

It's a depressing conclusion. But after the 2010 elections and the inexplicable caving of the Democratic Party over the last 4 years to the loud mandate of the population to fix the job situation, I think the wake-up call has yet to be answered. Supply-Side economics is nothing more than class warfare and an excuse for the massive, ongoing theft of our nation's wealth by a few reckless individuals. Those folks won't stop until we literally take to the streets to stop them.

I guess it has to get worse before it can get better.

Just the facts:



When taxes were reduced, revenues increased. Just the facts Jack!

Myth: Tax cuts increase tax collections.

Fact: Tax cuts decrease tax collections.


Summary

There is no evidence whatsoever that tax cuts increase tax collections. Almost always, tax cuts have seen tax collections fall in the following years; tax hikes have seen tax collections rise in the following years. Which is about what you would expect!

Argument

Before reviewing the statistics revealing the relationship between tax cuts and tax collections, we should review a few important concepts.

First, the economy grows in the long run, as both our population expands and productive technology improves. Our tax base, of course, grows along with the economy, so if the tax rate remains the same -- say, 18 percent -- then absolute tax collections grow as the economy grows.

Second, when comparing tax collections across the years, it is important to distinguish between current and constant dollars. Comparing tax collections in current dollars is deceptive, because inflation gives a false picture of tax growth. Economists use constant dollars instead, which account for inflation.

Third, tax collections generally fall during a recession, and rise during a recovery. That is because during a recession, there are more unemployed people who do not pay taxes. During a recovery, tax collections increase as more people go to work. Since World War II, we've had only seven years in which the economy shrank, so growth is the norm for both our economy and our tax base.

However, there is an opposite effect at work here also. During a recession, the government spends more because of the greater need for unemployment and welfare benefits, as well as counter-cyclical Keynesian spending. During a recovery, the government doesn't need to spend as much on these things, and as a result it can afford to lower its tax rates.

With these things in mind, we can now review the historical evidence.

Tax cuts in recent history

Since World War II, federal tax receipts have fluctuated within a few points of 18 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Because they have been so stable, tax collections have regularly grown with the economy. Almost always, the only drops in tax collections have been during recession years; otherwise, tax collections have expanded in the years that the rest of the economy expanded.

There are a few notable exceptions to the above rule: those periods following large tax cuts. After Reagan's income tax cuts took effect in 1982, real income tax collections took a long fall, despite the fact our economy continued to grow. For the moment, let's ignore the fact that tax collections could have been expected to grow after 1981. Let's simply use 1981 as a baseline, multiplying it 8 times, and compare that to what was really collected over the next 8 years.

Individual Income Tax Collections (millions) (1)

Year Current Constant (87 dollars)
-------------------------------------------
1981 $285,917 $367,692

1982 297,744 356,366
1983 288,938 332,033
1984 298,415 328,470
1985 334,531 354,677
1986 348,959 359,307
1987 392,557 392,557
1988 401,181 387,128
1989 445,690 411,533
-----------------------------
82-89 total: 2,922,691
1981 (times 8) -2,941,536
-----------------------------
Net 8-year loss -18,845


Corporate Income Taxes (millions)

Year Current Constant (87 dollars)
-------------------------------------------
1981 $61,137 $78,623

1982 49,207 58,991
1983 37,022 42,544
1984 56,893 62,623
1985 61,331 65,024
1986 63,143 65,015
1987 83,926 83,926
1988 94,508 91,224
1989 103,291 98,092
------------------------------
82-89 total: 567,439
1981 (times 8) -628,984
------------------------------
Net 8-year loss -69,545

Combined individual and corporate income tax loss: $88 billion.

Keep in mind that this does not count the lost revenues that could be expected from a growing economy.

Also remember that, because the economy grows in the long run, tax collections will inevitably start rising again sooner or later as the tax base continues to grow. Therefore, supply-siders do not have the argument that there was a delay in increased tax collections, or that we can't expect tax policy to have immediate effects. The simple fact is that there was a 5 year drop in tax collections, which was extremely uncharacteristic of a growing economy. And during that time we incurred a trillion and a half dollars in debt, so the alleged value of such a tax policy is refuted outright.

The above figures are for income tax collections. However, general tax revenues also took a drop in the 80s:

Total Federal Tax Collections (billions) (2)

Year Nominal Constant (87 dollars)
---------------------------------------
1980 $517.1 $728.1
1981 599.3 766.6 < tax cut passed
1982 617.8 738.2 < drop
1983 600.6 684.3 < drop
1984 666.6 730.4
1985 734.1 776.6 < 81 level recovered
1986 769.1 790.0
1987 854.1 854.1
1988 909.0 877.3
1989 990.7 916.2
1990 1031.3 914.1
1991 1054.3 894.7
1992 1090.5 895.1

The Kennedy tax cuts are another favorite supply-side myth; many claim that once the tax cuts went into effect in 1964, income tax collections grew. But as you can see from the chart below, growth in income tax collections sharply dropped off:

Federal Income Tax Collections (Constant dollars, CPI-U) (3)

Year Receipts Percent change from previous year
--------------------------------------------------
1961 $138,069 ---
1962 150,567 + 9.0%
1963 155,375 + 3.2
1964 156,804 + 0.9 < tax cut takes effect
1965 154,475 - 1.5

In 1965, the economy was in the fifth year of a nine-year expansion, and for income tax collections to see negative growth was, again, most uncharacteristic. Income tax collections did rise in 1966, but by this time President Johnson was accelerating the economy with Keynesian deficit spending on the Vietnam War. (These deficits he hid by unifying the federal budget with Social Security.) The greater economic activity resulted in more tax collections, and to disentangle any alleged supply-side benefits from the Keynesian benefits is all but impossible.

Another era of tax cuts was the Roaring Twenties. At first glance, supply-side theory seems to have worked here: taxes were cut, and revenues climbed. But that's because only the very richest Americans paid taxes in the 1920s, a decade which saw their incomes skyrocket. The vast majority of Americans saw their incomes decline -- but because they paid no taxes, this did not hurt tax collections. Of course, ordinary Americans had no reason to celebrate increased revenues under these deteriorating conditions. Indeed, they had every reason to oppose a tax policy that worsened income inequality.

Specifically, between 1920 and 1925, the top rate was reduced from 73 to 25 percent. But even during the high taxes of World War I, 95 percent of all Americans paid no income taxes. (4) By the end of the 1920s, about 80 percent of all Americans were still off the tax rolls. (5) Only the wealthiest were taxed, but their numbers grew as inequality grew over the decade. In fact, their ranks grew at a phenomenal pace only once equaled this century (the Reagan years). The following chart shows by how much:

Growth in ranks of rich, 1920-1928 (6)

Number, Number,
Income 1920 1928 Percent growth
---------------------------------------------------------
Over $1 million 33 511 1,448%
$100,000 - 1 million 3,616 15,466 328

To put this in perspective, the number of people making over $100,000 in 1928 still represented only 0.01 percent of the American population. Their expanding numbers hardly helped out the middle class. But between 1923 and 1929, the lower 93 percent of the nonfarm population actually experienced a 4 percent drop in real disposable per capita income. (7) Farmers suffered an even worse decline. In one year alone -- 1927 -- the number of Americans making a middle class income (between $2,000 and $5,000) declined from 2.17 million to 2.09 million -- almost all of the loss to the lower class. (8)

Against this backdrop, you can understand why a rich-only tax saw increasing tax collections, and why the rich paid a higher share of those taxes. Between 1921 and 1928, total tax collections grew from $719 million to $1,160 million, in a period of virtually no inflation. The share of the total tax burden paid by the rich (those making over $50,000) rose from 44.2 percent to 78.4 percent.

But what would have happened if the poor had been paying taxes as well? Obviously, with declining incomes, they would have paid less than before. Because the middle class is larger than the rich, this probably would have resulted in an overall drop in tax collections. And indeed, this is precisely what we saw happen during the Reagan years.

Tax Hikes

By contrast, almost all tax hikes have seen dramatic and indisputable growth in tax collections. During World War I, only the richest 5 percent of the income earners paid taxes, and the top tax rate was hiked from 15 to 73 percent. Increases in revenues were so extraordinary that they funded an entire war. (The war did incur a debt, but this was paid off by continuing high taxes for a few years after the war.)

After the massive tax cuts of the 1920s, President Roosevelt raised taxes on the rich from 25 percent to 91 percent. Even the bottom rate climbed from 4 to 19 percent by the end of his presidency. (9) And tax collections under Roosevelt shot up 121 percent a year, the most of any president in U.S. history. By contrast, all subsequent presidents have seen tax collections rise in the single digits. (10)

The one exception to this correlation is George Bush's 1990 tax hikes, whose potential revenue increases were lost in the following recession. For those who would like to think a cause-and-effect relationship exists here, they should know that the recession of 1990 began in July, 1990, four months before Bush broke his "no new taxes" pledge. Bush signed his tax increases into law the following November. Many will recall that this recession was also labeled the "lingering recession" or the "jobless recovery" because it took so long for the unemployment rate to start falling afterwards. That's because businesses were automating instead of rehiring laid-off workers -- causing productivity to jump but tax collections to remain flat for 1992 as well.

However, Clinton's tax increases in 1993 occurred after the recession had passed, and the increase in tax collections is clearly visible:

Individual Income Taxes (millions) (11)

Year Current Constant (87 dollars)
-------------------------------------------
1990 $466,884 $413,355
1991 467,827 397,677 < recession year
1992 475,964 392,969
1993 509,680 411,032 < Clinton tax passes
1994 543,055 429,496 < takes effect
1995 590,244 458,300

Corporate Income Taxes (millions)

Year Current Constant (87 dollars)
--------------------------------------------
1990 $93,507 $82,786
1991 98,086 83,378 < recession year
1992 100,270 82,786
1993 117,520 94,774 < Clinton tax passes
1994 140,385 111,029 < takes effect
1995 157,004 121,907

This is in marked contrast to the Reagan tax cuts, which saw tax collections fall, despite also occurring in a similar position in the business cycle, namely, the start of a recovery.

In sum, supply-siders have no obvious success stories to point to. Indeed, almost all the historical evidence runs against them.

Return to Overview

Endnotes:

1. Original data from U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Budget of the U.S. Government, FY 1996. Dollar conversions made from tables located there.

2. Internal Revenue Service.

3. Original data from U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Budget of the US Government, FY 1996. Dollar conversions made from CPI-U.

4. Internal Revenue Service Figures cited in Barlett and Steele, America: Who Really Pays the Taxes (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994) pp. 61-62.

5. Kevin Phillips, Politics of Rich and Poor (New York: Random House, 1990), pp. 76-77.

6. Barlett and Steele, pp. 66-67.

7. Charles F. Holt, "Who Benefited from the Prosperity of the Twenties?" Explorations in Economic History, 14, July 1977, pp. 277-89.

8. Geoffrey Perritt, America in the Twenties (New York: Touchstone Books, 1982), pp. 321-22.

9. Barlett and Steele, p. 68.

10. Here is the growth in tax collections for all presidents since Roosevelt:

President Years # Prev yr Last yr Increase Inflation Adjusted
Revenue Revenue average
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Roosevelt 34-46 13 $ 2.0 $ 39.3 1865.0% 50.8% 121.3%
Truman 47-53 7 39.3 69.6 77.1% 36.9% 3.7%
Eisenhower 54-61 8 69.6 94.4 35.6% 11.9% 2.4%
Kennedy 62-64 3 94.4 112.6 19.3% 3.7% 4.8%
L Johnson 65-69 5 112.6 186.9 66.0% 18.4% 6.9%
Nixon 70-75 6 186.9 279.1 49.3% 46.6% 0.3%
Ford 76-77 2 279.1 355.6 27.4% 12.6% 6.4%
Carter 78-81 4 355.6 599.3 68.5% 50.0% 3.0%
Reagan 82-89 8 599.3 990.7 65.3% 36.4% 2.4%
Bush 90-93 4 990.7 1153.5 16.4% 16.5% -0.0%

U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Historical Table 2.1, Budget for FY 1997. Chart derived by Steve Casburn.

11. Original data from U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Budget of the U.S. Government, FY 1996. Dollar conversions made from tables located there.

Jeepers and then there's an ad at the top of Ann Coulters Column. Scares the **** out of me, the woman with the bobbing adams apple! I really need to upgrade to premium before I have to look at Rush's puss.

Oh good, Max is back. Hopefully he'll comment some more on the "I was anti-Bush before it was cool" story.



I, too, grow tired of playing the blame game. There's plenty of blame to go around. However, I'm still waiting for the Republicans, any republicans, to unveil any sort of plan or even idea. You can reduce anything any of them have to say down to 3 things: Cut taxes (like we've done for the past decade, duh) reduce spending, and Obama's plan sucks.



Running around saying these 3 things isn't going to help anything, but that's all that Rush's dittoheads know how to do.

You are right to a certain extent Max. Obama was against the war. What? He voted to fund it? How patriotic would it have been to vote against funding? Just a thought

A fact that should not be ignored:



Our President, then Presidential Candidate Sen Obama supported the bank bailouts. He along with Presidential Candidate Sen McCain and the rest of the senate voted for the bailout.



Just the facts Jack!



This way when we are pointing fingers, we know where to point them, at all of our politicians! This isn't a Democratic or Republican mess, this is a collection of gradual erosion of our economy where both parties had their hands in the pie. Let's all pray we can put aside all the finger pointing and fix what's broken!

Absolutely Outercalm. The irony is the people who are hollering the loudest about the new stimulus package are the ones who had no problem throwing trillions of dollars and thousands of innocent lives (our national treasures, BTW) away on a pointless war, and bailing out the capitalist banks and Wall Street. And the Big Three automakers who like the banks are standing there with their hands out again! All on our dime. We need to invest in our country and the middle class. The middle class are the ones who pay the bills!

Mine would be the paragraph quoting Clinton but then the debt is one of my pet peeves.



I would sure like to see some fiscal responsibility.

I'd like to know if the detractors of the Stimulus Package had problems with the $700 billion last year to purchase distressed assets, mortgage-backed securities, and make capital injections into banks and bail out Wall Street while the CEO's all made deposits into their personal accounts in the form of "bonuses? How about the $3 trillion (that's right, I said TRILLION) on a failed war in Iraq? I seem to remember our Soldiers and Marines didn't have the proper equipment, armor and such to protect themselves?


Or how about the $12 billion in US currency (That was actual CASH, bundled and piled on pallets, my friends) that was sent to Iraq, which at least $9 billion had gone missing, totally unaccounted for due to absolute mismanagement and greed? Where's the outrage for these expenditures? HUH?


Now, about SOCIALISM! What is socialism? Socialism is


"A social system in which the means of producing and distributing goods are owned collectively and political power is exercised by the whole community." As my friend said the other day, anyone who can't understand that definition can probably find a copy of "Socialism for Dummies" at Books-a-Million.


Oh, I see you found it by the group avitar!


So you're scared for the future of our country with a $700 billion bail out package to help make jobs for people to work, help small businesses, help middle class working people and rebuild our nations infrastructure??? Now, I'm not saying $700 billion is not a lot of money but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the numbers above to include the Big 3 bailout, not counting the money the Military Industrial Complex has made off the US Government (Yes, the Pentagon's and Uncle Sam's teat!) these past 8 years.

I see where you're coming from. When it's a bailout for capitalistic corporations, its aid and stimulus. When it's for the middle class working class its socialism. What a bunch of hypocrites!

"The Bush tax cuts for the wealthy combined with the trillions wasted on unnecessary military spending dwarf the costs of the Obama stimulus package. The money wasted in Iraq, a misguided nation-building effort that had nothing to do with the 9-11 terrorist attacks, was supported uncritically by the same Republicans who now heap such scorn on efforts to rebuild our own nation."



My personal favorite paragraph of the article. Will the boorish patriotic conservatives please come forward to explain it to me?