Eric Cantor, Jon Kyl Drop Out Of Biden Deficit Talks

Talks about a deal to raise the debt ceiling seem pretty close to collapse now that there are no Republicans involved.

Earlier today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced that he had dropped out of the deficit talks being led by Vice-President Biden over a dispute involving taxes:

Republicans launched a concerted campaign Thursday to draw President Barack Obama more directly into deficit-reduction talks, with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor saying that he will no longer participate in White House talks until the president has personally resolved the divisive issue of taxes.

Cantor’s decision came as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delivered a broadside on the floor, also keyed to the tax issue and titled “Where’s the President?”

“For weeks lawmakers have worked around the clock to hammer out a plan that would help us to avert a crisis we all know is coming,” McConnell said. “So it’s worth asking: Where in the world has President Obama been for the last month.”

“What does he propose? What is he willing to do to reduce the debt and avoid the crisis that is building on his watch.”

Cantor had sent mixed signals earlier this week, first saying that he wanted greater involvement by the president and then confirming that he remained committed to the talks led by Vice President Joe Biden. His decision now, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, caught even some in the GOP leadership by surprise. And it comes just as Cantor himself has been on the defensive in the talks over Democratic demands for greater cuts from defense spending.

Asked if he supported Cantor’s decision to pull out of the talks, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said “I understand his frustration. I understand why he did what he did. But I think those talks could continue if they’re willing to take the tax hikes off the table.”

Shortly after Cantor made his announcement, Arizona Senator Jon Kyl announced that he too was dropping out of the talks:

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., will also drop out of the debt talks, a source within his office confirms today. The Arizona Republican’s office will issue a formal statement shortly.

After House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) dropped out of the talks this morning, Senator Kyl was the lone Republican in the group left. And with his withdrawal late this morning, the group does not have a Republican negotiator left in the room.

The group was set to meet for the 11th time this afternoon with Vice President Biden, their third meeting of the week.

On the surface this seems like bad news for the prospects of reaching a budget deal, especially given Boehner’s comments that seem to support Cantor’s position and the general idea that the GOP will not agree to any deal that results in higher taxes. Ezra Klein, however, suggests that Cantor’s move has much more to do with political calculations inside the House GOP Caucus than the budget deal itself:

Earlier this month, Major Garrett, the congressional correspondent for the National Journal, profiled John Boehner. “It is not by accident that Boehner put Cantor in the room with Vice President Joe Biden to negotiate a debt-ceiling increase and the budget cuts and process reforms necessary to win House passage,” he reported. “Boehner gave up some of his power to protect it. The debt deal must have Cantor’s fingerprints on it.”

But nor is it an accident that Cantor is fleeing the room now that the spending cuts have been chosen and the taxes have to be agreed to. For all the reasons that Boehner needs Cantor’s fingerprints on the deal, Cantor can’t put them there.

Cantor has the credibility with the Tea Party that Boehner lacks. But that’s why Cantor won’t cut the deal. The Tea Party-types support him because he’s the guy who won’t cut the deal. He can’t sign off on tax increases without losing his power base. But if he’s able to throw it back to Boehner, and Boehner cuts the deal, that’s all good for Cantor: Boehner becomes weaker and he becomes stronger. Which is why Boehner will also have trouble making this deal. It’ll mean he made the concessions that Cantor, the true conservative, didn’t. That’s not how he holds onto the gavel in this Republican Party.

The problem with this theory is that, at least for the moment, the twin withdrawal of Cantor and Kyl means that the Biden talks are effectively dead. There are no Republicans involved in the talks at this point and Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader McConnell are both saying they are 100% behind the “no new taxes, no tax increases” meme that the GOP has now adopted. In order for either one of them to return to the table, they’d have to go against that pledge, a move which would raise ire among the Tea Party and, most likely, the House GOP caucus. Without someone like Cantor, Kyl, or DeMint at the table to make the deal, it seems unlikely to me that a deal could be made that would pass Congress. Which means, this scenario becomes even more likely:

The pessimistic analysis is that if you had to write a plausible scenario for how America defaults on its debt, or at least seriously spooks the market, this is how it would start. After insisting on using the debt limit as leverage for a budget deal, the Republican leadership finds they can’t actually strike a deficit-reduction deal, but nor can they go back on their promise to vote against any increase in the debt limit that isn’t accompanied by a deficit-reduction deal. What follows is a lot of jockeying and fingerpointing, a short-term increase or two, and eventually, a market panic.

Cantor is putting personal power before country here, and in a very dangerous way. If Boehner actually does manage to cut a decent deal despite Cantor’s effort to throw him under the bus, he may not hold on as leader of his party, but unlike Cantor, he’ll deserve to. For better or worse, this is when we learn whether anyone on the Republican Party’s leadership team is actually prepared to lead.

This brings to min d what Boehner said back in November about the debt ceiling issue:

On Thursday, Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) said he’s been talking to the newly elected GOP lawmakers about the need to raise the federal debt ceiling when it comes up early next year.

“I’ve made it pretty clear to them that as we get into next year, it’s pretty clear that Congress is going to have to deal with this,” Mr. Boehner, who is slated to become House speaker in January, told reporters.

“We’re going to have to deal with it as adults,” he said, in what apparently are his most explicit comments to date. “Whether we like it or not, the federal government has obligations and we have obligations on our part.”

I’m pretty sure Boehner wants to make a deal, but he’s been backed into a corner by the Tea Party, the idiotic Grover Norquist tax pledge, and now his own No. 2 man. If he cuts a deal he’ll pay a political price but, as I said back in November, it’s a deal that has to be made:

Raising the debt ceiling is a crappy vote for any legislator to take. It demonstrates as plain as day the fiscal irresponsibility of the Federal Government, and the act of voting to push the debt limit even further into the fiscal stratosphere is one that looks bad on any representative’s resume. However, it’s also not a vote to be playing games with, as Boehner correctly points out. Unless Republicans intend to use the debt ceiling vote as a catalyst to force a national debate on making the kinds of spending cuts and tax changes that will be needed to seriously deal with the debt (and I would love it if they did), they need to just swallow their pride and cast the vote.

Reports have indicated recently that the Biden talks have been talking about budget cuts that would total as much as $ 1 or 2 trillion over ten years. That’s not a lot, but it’s something. Political intransigence over the idea that any increase in tax revenues — which can come about without even touching tax rates, of course — is off the table is simply absurd. At this point, I don’t know what happens. Either Boehner makes a deal, and possibly seals his fate, or we head off into the uncharted territory of a debt default. There’s one option that makes sense, and another that is totally nuts. Guess which is which.

And, one final thought, are there any adults left in Congress?

 

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Chad S says:

    If this is true, that Cantor dropped out so that Boehner could agree to tax increases, he’s a coward.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    And, one final thought, are there any adults left in Congress?

    Yes, on the Democratic side of the aisle.

    The GOP is unfit to govern.

  3. hey norm says:

    the republicans ran up a huge credit card bill, and now they don’t want to pay the bill. yet they claim to be fiscally responsible. right…on the other side of the looking glass maybe.

  4. hey norm says:

    $1 – $2T in spending cuts over ten years, plus $1T in savings from the ACA (a conservative number that doesn’t account for many experimental programs). That makes $3T. Another $1T from revenue increases would make $4T in a reasonable, moderate, cautious manner. a 3:1 frothy mix of spending cuts and revenue increases. yet the so-called republicans walk away from the table stomping their feet and holding their breath. that’s all you need to know about them.

  5. Adults — plenty in Congress just overwhelmingly not located in the Republican Party or the conservative movement.

    If Democrats governed like Republicans, ACA would have been easy to pass in three weeks as there would never have been excise taxes, never been Medicare Advantage subsidy cuts, never had a tough choice as to how to pay for a major policy.

  6. PJ says:

    One would have to be seriously blind not to see the adults in Congress.

  7. An Interested Party says:

    I’m just curious…what delusional fantasyland do any conservatives, who believe that the budget mess can be fixed without any tax increases, live in…

  8. EddieInCA says:

    And, one final thought, are there any adults left in Congress the GOP?

    Fixed that for you, Doug.

  9. Moosebreath says:

    All that needs to be said on the subject has been said by Cantor himself:

    “I believe that we have identified trillions in spending cuts, and to date, we have established a blueprint that could institute the fiscal reforms needed to start getting our fiscal house in order. That said….Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases….Given this impasse, I will not be participating in today’s meeting and I believe it is time for the President to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue.”

    In other words, the Democrats have been flexible in meeting the issue, as adults should be, and the Republicans have just whine like little kids.

  10. David M says:

    I still can’t believe the business lobby will allow a default, the results would just be too severe.

  11. Drew says:

    “Where in the world has President Obama been for the last month.”

    Playing golf……..and politics. Leadership not in the skills portfolio. Probably asking advisors “When do I vote “present?”

  12. hey norm says:

    “…“Where in the world has President Obama been for the last month…”

    Noun 1. specious argument – an argument that appears good at first view but is really fallacious

  13. john personna says:

    Everything is geared on 2012 being a mandate vote, either voters will buy the logic that we cut taxes again, and this time get growth, or they will vote the moderate line … mostly spending cuts with some tax increase.

    It’s amazing that Republicans have abandoned the middle course, and are doubling down.

    It would kind of amazing if that flew, again, after so many tax cuts and long recessions, slow recoveries … but if it did, what would the Republicans really try to do? Well, they’d probably raise taxes themselves, and say it was less that it would have been. The budget doesn’t work any other way.

  14. hey norm says:

    @ drew…
    If you check Obama’s votes in the U.S. Senate you will find not a single “present” vote.
    If you check his record in the Ill. State Senate you will find that about 1 in every 31 votes was “present”…slightly below average for a member of his caucus.
    The facts don’t match your ideology. I suggest weaning yourself off Fox News, as you seem to be one of their consistently mis-informed viewers.

  15. ponce says:

    Be fair.

    The Republicans represent a large segment of the American public who believe they can get government services without having to pay for them.

  16. MarkedMan says:

    Doug, your “pox on both their houses” attitude is wearisome. You concede that the Democrats have been negotiating in good faith, and that the Republicans are simply refusing to compromise, then out of the blue you comment about how there are no adults in Congress. How do you define “adult”? “Going along with whatever Republicans want regardless of the consequences”? If not, please explain what the Dems could do to negotiate with an opposition that simply refuses to negotiate.

  17. hey norm says:

    malkovich..
    “…i know you are but what am i…” is not really an adult approach to discussion. but carry on if it satisfies your needs.

  18. Wayne says:

    The Democrats outrageous spending especially in the last four years, not putting forward a serious budget including not passing ones when they had a very large majority in Congress and the Presidency, calling people silly names, making stupid statements like ”put your big boy panties on” and insisting on having everything their way is acting like adults?

    Those who insist the republicans cave in on everything are acting like adults?

    It is pathetic if those are your ideas of acting like adult. How about living within your means? Making meaningful cuts instead of proposing spending increases? How about getting out of businesses way so they can grow? How about getting out of the way of energy exploration and production way so we can have cheap affordable energy that will help our economy grow?

    No it is much more mature to attack the Republicans and call them immature and such. If Democrats\ liberals want to see immaturity, viscous name callers, no leadership, idiots, political partisan who care more about making political points than solving problems then they just need to look into the mirror.

    Yes I know I’m crawling right down into the mud with them but that seem to be the only way to deal with them. You sure as hell can’t talk reasonably with them. They talk about the need to be civil and treat Obama all nice like. They sure as hell don’t act civil to others. When the next Palin hit piece coming out?

    :):):)

  19. Neil Hudelson says:

    Awww, Malkovich can’t be bothered to look up facts or present coherent arguments. Why would you bother with such wearisome work when you can just use the “I’m rubber, you’re glue” technique?

  20. David M says:

    You know, as depressing a thought as this is, John Malkovich could actually be serious and not a satiric caricature.

  21. john personna says:

    Good technique, Wayne. Lead with a totally oblivious history of “the last four years,” (which actually puts you back to a good point 2011 – 4 = 2007) , and then complain that no one treats you as an adult.

    What happened in 2007? And what strategies were shared by both Presidents since then? How did they contribute to the debt?

    [Rolls Eyes]

    I guess if the nation is populated by people who can’t remember, let alone grasp, the Great Recession, then the GOP is good.

  22. David M says:

    Wayne, so what if they didn’t pass a budget? Are you saying you wouldn’t have a problem with the actual spending levels if they were in a formal budget, or are you trolling and just repeating a common right wing talking point you don’t really understand?

    Also, what ratio of spending cuts to tax increases do you think is reasonable, and would not be “the republicans caving on everything”?

  23. john personna says:

    Pfft, it’s all a return of teh stupid party.

    “It’s the economy, stupid.”

    Especially if you believe the recession started on Jan 30, 2009, that we had a good budget up until that point, and then (oh forget about that recession for a second) the democrats went crazy with spending programs, running up the debt.

  24. PJ says:

    Know Nothings 2.0 – Know Nothinger

  25. Hey Norm says:

    Anderson….
    I always thought Malkovitz was over-rated.
    This 6th grade mimicry act seems about right to me.
    But John Ratzenberger…now there’s an actor.

  26. ponce says:

    Especially if you believe the recession started on Jan 30, 2009…

    Rush Limbaugh was calling it “Obama’s Recession” even before Obama won the election.

    And there are millions of Americans who believed him.

  27. Know Nothings 2.0 – Know Nothinger

    While I agree the nativist party is a great analogy for the current GOP, they weren’t called the Know Nothings because they were ignorant; they were called that because of the party’s reputation for secrecy. Their uniform response to anyone asking about the party was “I don’t know nothing”.

  28. But, but the ponies. Who will pay for the ponies?

    The obliviousness to just how much spending has spiralled out of control the last ten years is phenomenal in the “Democrat Good, Republican Bad” commenters here. Oh, and the fabled ACA savings are a goddamned lie.

    There are lots of adults in Congress, just check out the definition of adult. Responsible grownups? Not so much.

  29. PJ says:

    @Stormy:
    I’d say that their platform has quite a bit in common with the current GOP.

    (BTW, you added a don’t to their uniform response.)

  30. As I said, I agree with the comparison. I’m just trying to dispell the common misunderstanding of why they were called The Know Nothings.

  31. James says:

    And, one final thought, are there any adults left in Congress?

    I mean, why so glib, @Doug?

    It’s pretty obvious that the Republicans in Congress are acting in bad faith. Glib statements like yours, figuratively throwing up your hands and blaming both sides for being children, effectively give them cover for acting in bad faith. Yet you seem to disagree with some their actual positions, and with their obstructionism. What gives?

    Or, alternatively, please explain why you think that the Democrat side are not being “adults.” Maybe you don’t agree with their positions, but leave that aside. How are they not acting like “adults”?

  32. MBunge says:

    “I still can’t believe the business lobby will allow a default, the results would just be too severe.”

    There are two problems with that.

    1. Default is such an astonishingly stupid thing to do that the possibility of it may not be taken seriously soon enough to do anything about it.

    2. The business lobby, which used to not be all that political outside of its own self-interest, has for decades both been empowering some economically ignorant politicians and slowly been infected by Randian ideologies that have little to do with practical economic realities.

    Mike

  33. hey norm says:

    finally. fianlly Austin said something right…spending has spiralled out of control in the last ten years. imagine if we hadn’t invaded iraq on a fools mission and on a credit card. that’s about $2T, maybe 3, added back to GDP. imagine if we hadn’t passed medicare part d without paying for it. imagine if there hadn’t been the bush tax cuts – they are the biggest driver of the deficit in future years by far. eliminate all those things, and the related debt service, and gdp growth is way up over the anemic bush 43 levels. with more growth the effects of the downturn are eased…more people have jobs. probably no need for tarp or the stimulus — at the very least smaller tarp and stimulus.
    unfortunately that’s not what the republicans did to us.
    this is what they did to us.
    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3490
    and now they want us to think they are the ones with all the answers on how to fix it. they know the secret – more tax cuts. more de-regulation.
    ponies? unicorns.

  34. steve says:

    Some of us are intimately familiar with budgets over the last 30 years (fuurther back for that matter). The GOP has increased debt whenever they have held the presidency. The recent increase in debt is largely due to a lack of revenue due to the recession. The long term debt is largely entitlements, with Medicare part D playing a large part as it was the largest unfunded bill ever passed. The Dems really are the tax and spend policy. The GOP is the spend but do not tax party. One of those will always result in debt.

    Steve

  35. Wayne says:

    JP Democrats took control of both houses in Congress in 2007. That is when the overspending went into overdrive. The overspending only increased once Democrats took the Presidency as well. It gets tiresome of having to explain recent history so often.

    David M
    Yes they would still have problems with the actual spending levels but at least there would be a little more “transparency” with an actual budget. Although yes they they can just claim another emergency spending where they hide their non emergency spending.

    The point is, if the Democrats can’t even pass a budget then do you really expect them to control spending. The point is acting like an adult means you act responsible including controlling your spending which passing a budget is usually the first step someone does when doing so.

  36. ponce says:

    . The overspending only increased once Democrats took the Presidency as well.

    It only took a year for Republican George W. Bush to turn Democrat Bill Clinton’s budget surpluses into deficits, Wayne.

  37. Wayne says:

    One more thing, 2 trillion cuts over 10 years where most of those cuts are promises of cuts many years down the road and probably will never happen isn’t jack. We have over a trillion dollar of deficits per year now. We need cuts in spending next year not 5 to 10 years down the road promises .

  38. Wayne says:

    JM I’m not sure why you directing those comments at me unless you are just pointing out that you are agreeing with me.

  39. David M says:

    Wayne, you could not be more wrong if you tried. The largest single year reduction in the deficit occurred between Bush’s last year (2009) and Obama’s first year (2010). 2010 deficit approx $125 billion less than 2009.

    I don’t recall any new spending from 2007, although there were many reports of tax cuts, wars and medicare expansions that weren’t paid for before that.

  40. john personna says:

    So Wayne admits just a sliver more history, ignoring that recession and the responses supported by the GOP.

    Who are you playing to Wayne, the stupid party?

  41. ponce says:

    JM I’m not sure why you directing those comments at me unless you are just pointing out that you are agreeing with me.

    I think what the Glenn Beck acolyte is trying to say is that if you ignore all the times the Republicans have increased the federal debt then you can blame the Democrats for the debt.

  42. Jay Tea says:

    Just a few facts to give the liberals here serious conniptions:

    In 2007, the Democrats took over both Houses.

    In 2007, the debt ceiling was raised to 8.993 trillion — despite, I believe, the opposition of then-Senator Obama.

    While the Democrats held both Houses, the debt ceiling went up four more times (once under President Bush, three times under Obama), until its current level of 14.2 trillion.

    That looks like about 5.2 trillion, or about 58%, by the Democrats (with the tiniest bit of cooperation from Bush), in 4 years.

    Mighty impressive record, wouldn’t you say?

    J.

  43. ponce says:

    Mighty impressive record, wouldn’t you say?

    Almost as impressive as the $345,000,000,000 the federal debt has increased since the Republicans took over the House on January 7 of this year.

  44. john personna says:

    Jay, another zero recession history. Never mind the worst slump since the Great Depression, pretend it was just a crazy Dem idea to spend more.

    The stupid party doubles down.

  45. Jay Tea says:

    ponce, would that be under the current budget?

    Whoops, my bad. Would that be under what WOULD BE the current budget, if the Democrats who ran the House last year had ever bothered to pass one?

    Christ, one of the most fundamental aspects of their job, and they couldn’t even START that one…

    J.

  46. Wayne says:

    True the deficit went from 1.4 trillion in 2009 to 1.3 trillion in 2010. However 1.3 is still much higher than even Bush’s last year of 2008 and much higher than before Democrats took office. Generally the first year a President or Congress takes office they don’t have much to do with that year’s spending. However that was not the case with Obama. He and the Democratic controlled Congress increased spending before they passed their first budget and increase the size of the deficit.

    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_deficit_chart.html

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/11/US_Federal_Debt_as_Percent_of_GDP_Color_Coded_Congress_Control_and_Presidents_Highlighted.png

    And here is one for the Spending. Please notice how it shoots up after 2007 especially 2009 and 2010 after Obama took office.

    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_spending_chart

  47. john personna says:

    Wayne, seriously, you have to process this as what spending was necessary in a Great Recession and what went too far. For instance, in the recession food stamp and welfare rolls grew with the loss of jobs. Would you have said, sorry no new poor people?

  48. Wayne says:

    @JP
    Re “Who are you playing to Wayne, the stupid party?”

    Yes I’m playing to the stupid party called the Democrats\liberals . However most of those on your side can’t even recall recent history. Chances of any of you actually understanding anything is pretty slim.

    I mean anyone who balloons the deficit to 1.4 trillion then are proud because they reduce it to 1.3 trillion. It’s a record. Wow. That is like saying someone who attempted 70 shots one game did a great job because he reduced attempts by a record 15 shots by only taking 55 shots.Wow.

    Only idiots think that way.

    P.S. just love the insults part of these post. No wonder liberals do it so often. It is so easy to do and one doesn’t actually have to think to do it. Fits liberals to a T.

  49. David M says:

    Wayne, 2009 budget you’re referring to is for the Fiscal Year 2009, which started in 2008 and was submitted by George W Bush.

  50. john personna says:

    I gave you a chance to engage with the serious question Wayne, how much spending is required in a Great Recession.

    Epic fail.

  51. MM says:

    So supposedly we’re banning trolls, and yet John Malkovitch is allowed to crap this thread into oblivion?

  52. ponce says:

    ponce, would that be under the current budget?

    Does it really matter, J?

    All the American people have to know is that the federal debt has increased $345 billion since the Republicans took over the branch of government in charge of taxing and spending.

  53. Jay Tea says:

    ponce, it would behoove you to read the Constitution. The House is NOT “the branch of government in charge of taxing and spending.” It’s not even a full branch, but half of one.

    They are the place where such matters must START, but still have to gain the approval of the Senate and the President. And while I haven’t checked recently, I believe the folks in charge of those two parts have a (D) after their names.

    And just to be clear… what are you setting as the starting date? November, 2010?

    J.

  54. ponce says:

    “And just to be clear… what are you setting as the starting date? November, 2010?”

    Nope, January 7. 2011.

    The day the Republicans took over responsibility for the American economy.

  55. Jay Tea says:

    Just making certain, Ponce. Thanks for clarifying.

    And you might have missed it, but Debbie Wasserman-Schultz disagrees — she says the Democrats have that responsibility now.

    And enlighten me, oh wise scholar — exactly how DOES the House “take over responsibility for the American economy” while the Democrats hold the Senate and the White House? As far as I can see, all they got was a seat at the bargaining table — hardly dominance.

    J.

  56. ponce says:

    As far as I can see, all they got was a seat at the bargaining table — hardly dominance.

    Congratulations, J.

    Admitting the Republicans share responsibility for the U.S. economy is a big step forward for you.

  57. DMan says:

    I love the cryfest in these comments. We get it, the party you support is the adult party, or if any of you prefer, “your party is worse.” And I think most can agree John Malkovich does not appear to be a child, as I’ve never met a child without growth capability.

    I do have a question for any Republican out there who claims to be serious about their positions on taxing and spending.

    Since Social Security, Medicare, and Defense account for most of the federal spending, which one of these do you propose we cut most to preserve the low level tax environment you relish?

  58. DMan says:

    Cut Social Security? In that case we’re definitely gonna need a new plan to help the growing number of these people…

    http://www.publicagenda.org/charts/growing-number-social-security-beneficiaries

    Here’s hoping the employment rate in the free market for aged 65+ is strong as ever…

  59. EddieInCA says:

    Jay Tea –

    Can you do a similar comparison from 2000 (Clinton’s last year in office) and 2008 (Bush’s last year in office)?

    Of course you can…

    But will you?

    I doubt it.

    I wonder why you wouldn’t do such a comparison?

    Hmmmmmm……

  60. DMan says:

    If we’re going to cut Medicare spending we need to be prepared by the following…

    http://mercatus.org/publication/medicare-costs-over-time

    With rising healthcare costs, the number of medicare enrollees increasing, and increased longevity leading to longer periods of collection for enrollees, how do we manage the cuts in Medicare?

  61. DMan says:

    With the scary futures of Medicare and Social Security, Defense could be our best area to cut spending and Republicans seem to be making some shifts on their previous stances of keeping Defense spending off the table…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-31/defense-spending-no-longer-sacred-cow-to-republicans-searching-for-cuts.html

    Huntsman appears to add some seriousness to the conversation as well…

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/jun/23/jon-huntsman/jon-huntsman-said-1-6-defense-dollars-are-spent-af/

    Of course, spending cuts in defense has its own causalities…

    http://www.leesburg2day.com/news/article_aa5c20e8-9dac-11e0-9961-001cc4c002e0.html

  62. DMan says:

    A final note for Republicans looking at our deficit issues…

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/taxes-at-an-all-time-low-deficits-at-an-all-time-high/

  63. Jay Tea says:

    Eddie, I’d be delighted to. But first, a few caveats:

    1) You’re talking about Bush’s 8 years vs. Obama’s 2.5, so I’ll take that into account.

    B) The math won’t be technically correct, as we’re talking percentages and they compound, not increase linearly. but I’ll be using the same flawed methodology (because it’s simpler) on both sets of data, so the comparative results should be accurate — while the actual numbers will be wrong.

    So, here goes, from the same link I gave above:
    2000: Debt 5.659 trillion, 57.6% GDP.
    2008: Debt 10.011 trillion, 69.6% GDP.
    2011: Debt 14.2 trillion, 96.8% GDP:

    Increase during Bush’s term: 43.4%.
    Increase during Obama’s term:42%.

    And here’s where the funny math kicks in: increase by year.

    Bush (8 years): 5.425%
    Obama (2.5 years): 16.8%.

    So Obama’s running up the debt roughly THREE TIMES faster than Bush. If Obama had simply kept going at Bush’s pace, the debt would be just under 11.2 trillion.

    Again, all numbers rough and some admittedly bad math, but applied evenly and consistently, so the comparatives work out.

    One final set of numbers.

    Total amount of debt increases signed by President Bush over 8 years: 3.334 trillion.
    Total amount of debt increases signed by President Obama over 2.5 years: 3.540 trillion.

    Thanks for the challenge, Eddie. Feel free to check my numbers. As I said, because of compounding, the percentages aren’t technically accurate, but since I applied the same, simpler technique to both, it comes out fairly. Kind of like measuring two people’s height with a short ruler — you won’t get the correct heights or their difference, but if you use the same defective ruler, you’ll get the comparative ratio accurate.

    J.

  64. Jay Tea says:

    Admitting the Republicans share responsibility for the U.S. economy is a big step forward for you.

    I don’t recall saying that they don’t since January. In fact, I think I’ve lauded their willingness to at least try to put some brakes on the runaway spending. I know I’ve praised them for doing one thing the previous Democratic House didn’t bother to do — pass a budget.

    Say, what is the official talking point on why the Dems in the House never passed a budget last year? I don’t recall ever seeing or hearing or reading it.

    J.

  65. ponce says:

    The math won’t be technically correc

    I agree your math is wrong, J.

    Here’s the real numbers:

    5,727,776,738,304.64 Debt on Bush’s first day in office
    10,626,877,048,913.08 Debt on Obama’s first day in office
    14,344,500,633,576.27 Debt today

    Increase in debt under Bush – 85%
    Increase in debt under Obama – 34%

  66. PJ says:

    I wonder why Jay Tea, Wayne, etc don’t want to talk about what is causing the debt.
    Actually I don’t.
    It’s pretty obvious why.

  67. David M says:

    Jay Tea, those numbers are worse than useless, as it ignores the starting place. It would be like comparing the average unemployment rates between Clinton and George W Bush, which would be similar over their presidencies. That average would be garbage though, as it was falling for most of the one and not falling for the other.

    The year to year change in the deficit is usually not very large, so anyone that was president after George W was going to be running similarly sized deficits. For Obama to match Bush’s pace, the deficit will have to grow by over $1 Trillion, something extremely unlikely. As a reminder to any who has conveniently forgotten, the deficit went from approx $100 billion to almost $1.5 Trillion while Bush was president, thanks to the GOP.

    Regarding the Debt Ceiling, I’m not sure why the GOP doesn’t take the offer and declare victory. They are getting something for nothing, as there is no reason the Democratic Party should even be negotiating over the debt ceiling vote.

  68. Jay Tea says:

    ponce, I gave my source for the numbers. You wanna do the same?

    And let’s take your percentages and run ’em through my divider, just for giggles:

    Oh, crap, I think I see where I did make a mistake — and it ain’t one you caught. The only credit you get is for making me look at ’em again, not for pointing me to my error.

    CORRECTED numbers:

    Bush percentage increase: 77%
    Annual average increase: 9.625%

    Debt if Obama had followed Bush’s numbers: roughly 13 trillion.

    Anyway, back to your numbers:

    Bush average increase, per year: 10.625%
    Obama average increase, per year: 13.6%

    You SURE you wanna play this game, ponce? Because between not citing sources and not doing your own math to prove your point, you’re really, really sucking at it. I mean, Oreck plus Roomba plus Linda Lovelace levels.

    J.

  69. ponce says:

    My source is the Treasury Department, J.

    http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

    Maybe now you can correct the erroneous numbers you cited for Obama and Bush (making Bush’s debt increase smaller than it was and Obama’s larger).

  70. Jay Tea says:

    PJ, here’s the simplest answer:

    THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS SPENDING TOO MUCH EFFING MONEY.

    David, the Wikipedia link I gave also shows it as a percentage of GDP. I hadn’t noticed it before, and I nearly soiled myself over it.

    And I’m not so much trying to fire up the blamethrower, but to point out that WE’RE IN TROUBLE AND HEADING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.

    J.

  71. Jay Tea says:

    (Psst, ponce? I kinda did “correct” the numbers — as in, I ran your figures through my magic calculator already. I even took your word for the percentages, instead of checking your math. And I also caught my mistake on Bush and fixed that. Know what? Even by your numbers, Obama’s making it worse faster than Bush did. Just thought you should know.)

    J.

  72. Jay Tea says:

    ponce, I used the first numbers I found on the debt, used them, and linked to the source. And they were perfectly responsive to the question asked.

    Then you got hissy and threw other numbers out there that you said were “fairer” or “more accurate.” I didn’t argue the point, I just treated them the same way I did my numbers.

    Annual debt increase, by my numbers:
    Bush, 9.625%
    Obama, 16.8%

    By your numbers:
    Bush, 10.625%
    Obama, 13.6%

    Tell you what, I’ll set aside my numbers and use just yours. By them, Bush is a bit worse than I said and Obama’s not as bad as I said. But the difference is still there, and still significant — just somewhat less dramatic.

    Now that we’re using the same numbers, you wanna agree that Obama’s got us heading in the wrong direction?

    J.

  73. wr says:

    Jay Tea — Because Obama has to try to keep massive numbers of unemployed people from dying in the streets while still spending on the Bush tax cuts — which he agreed to renew in exchange for a few extra pennies in unemployment for those who’ve been out of work for a long time.

  74. David M says:

    Jay Tea: the average over Bush’s presidency is useless in this discussion, as is the average Obama’s presidency. The deficit doesn’t reset to zero when we elect someone, they have to work with what is already there.

    The blamethrower is actually a useful tool in this situation, as the party that got us into this mess has less credibility. Just comparing the GOP/Dems on health care (Medicare Part D / PPACA) shows a vast difference in fiscal responsibility.

  75. ponce says:

    Now that we’re using the same numbers, you wanna agree that Obama’s got us heading in the wrong direction?

    I don’t think it’s fair to judge Obama’s performance on the debt until his terms are over.

    After all,

    The last four Republican President have increased the debt as a percentage of GDP.

    The last four Democratic Presidents have reduced the debt as a percentage of GDP.

    http://skepticedge.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/us_federal_debt_as_percent_of_gdp_by_president1.jpg

  76. PJ says:

    @Jay Tea:

    THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS SPENDING TOO MUCH EFFING MONEY.

    And you’re correct, that’s a simple answer. But I’m not surprised that you’re only giving a simple answer.

    You’re obviously not shy about talking about numbers, you are more than willing to talk about the size of the debt. But you really don’t want to talk numbers when it comes to what has caused the debt, do you?

  77. Jay Tea says:

    Ponce, odd thing about your rather arbitrary system there.

    “Last four Republican presidents” goes back to 1975.

    “Last four Democratic presidents” (excluding Obama, I guess) goes back to 1961.

    Is there any reason you want to keep changing the terms of the discussion? And why is it unfair to look at Obama’s performance so far? “I don’t think it’s fair to judge Obama’s performance on the debt until his terms are over.” That’s pretty convenient, meaning it shouldn’t be a factor in deciding if he gets a second term.

    Nah, I’ll judge him so far. And by your own numbers, it ain’t pretty.

    J.

  78. ponce says:

    Is there any reason you want to keep changing the terms of the discussion?

    What was the discussion again?

    The last four Republican Presidents have increased the debt as a percentage of GDP.

    The last four Democratic Presidents have reduced the debt as a percentage of GDP.

    That’s hardly arbitrary, that’s jus’ facts.

  79. Jay Tea says:

    PJ, it took the smartest people with the finest educations and most impeccable credentials to get us into this mess. So I suggest simple solutions. Such as, say, a 10% cut across the board for everything. Then let the geniuses find ways to implement it.

    J.

  80. PJ says:

    @Jay Tea:

    And you’re still unwilling to acknowledge what is causing the debt. Are you afraid to do so?

  81. steve says:

    “Tell you what, I’ll set aside my numbers and use just yours. By them, Bush is a bit worse than I said and Obama’s not as bad as I said. But the difference is still there, and still significant — just somewhat less dramatic.

    Now that we’re using the same numbers, you wanna agree that Obama’s got us heading in the wrong direction?”

    1) Obama’s debt comes during and immediately after a recession. Most of Bush’s year were not in recession.

    2) The cause of the debt matters a lot. When I balance the books for my corporation, revenue and spending both matter. If you look at revenues since the recession began, they are way down. The actual amount of spending that occurred directly as a result of Obama’s policies has been fairly small. 1/3 of the stimulus was tax cuts. TARP was passed under Bush.

    3) Nearly all past presidents (post WWII), including Reagan, have run deficits in response to a recession.

    4) If you really want to look at increase in debt, Obama and Bush are pikers. Reagan almost tripled the debt, if you want to use the kinds of raw numbers you are tossing around.

    Steve

  82. Jay Tea says:

    PJ, I’m tired and I’m going to bed. I gotta get up early in the morning for a hell of a long day. If you wanna play your cutesy little game, it’s now solitaire. Put out your little theory. Then others can bat you around.

    I’m betting you don’t want to take your turn in the center ring.

    J.

  83. PJ says:

    @Jay Tea:
    If you have some time tomorrow, I’d advise you to learn about what’s causing the debt.
    I doubt you will though, it’s much easier for you to either stay ignorant or refuse to acknowledge the truth.

    Here’s a thought, if the debt is increasing, then maybe one should take a look at what’s causing it instead of just cutting everything. Maybe there is a reason why the debt decreased under Clinton but increased during Bush?

    But you would rather stay ignorant and simple…

  84. EddieInCA says:

    Jay Tea –

    You’re also ignoring, completely, that the Bush administration kept both wars off the books. Obama made them part of the budget immediately, which is responsible for a large part of the “increase”.

    Fact. Not opinion.

    You choose to ignore it.

  85. Jay Tea says:

    Shorter PJ: I prefer to keep my sense of superiority instead of engaging in honest discussion.

    PJ: Screw you. I have no life, but even I got better things to do than watch you engage in intellectual masturbation.

    Eddie, you’re utterly missing the point. My intent in comparing Bush v. Obama is not in trying to fix who’s worse, or who’s more to blame. When in a crisis, I don’t care about blame — I care about fixing the problem. And my point is purely to show that we’re going in the wrong direction.

    You’re acting like Obama did during the BP spill — he was looking for “whose butt to kick” and how to “keep his foot on the throat” of the responsible parties while the oil was still spewing. That was NOT the time to keep kicking BP around — that was after the leak was stopped.

    For a dramatic metaphor, the house is on fire and you’re screaming about how it wasn’t you or your guy, must’ve been arson, and we ought to call the cops. I’m saying call the fire department, grab a hose yourself, and we’ll worry about how it started once it’s under control.

    Actually, back to PJ: I’ve reconsidered my earlier answer. The biggest cause of the deficit is self-important, arrogant, wretched political pricks like you who are far more interested in playing their little dominance games than actually address the problem, and the best solution would be to tell them how awesomely brilliant they are until their already overswollen egos force their heads to explode. Once they’re taken out of the picture, we can have serious discussions.

    J.

  86. wr says:

    Ah, the typical arc of a Jay Tea argument:

    “It’s all Obama’s fault!”

    [Proof that it isn’t.]

    “It is so all Obama’s fault!”

    [Indisputable proof that it isn’t.]

    “This isn’t about blame. I never said anyone is to blame. I’m the adult here, and I don’t understand why all you children talk about blame. All I care about is solutions, and it’s Obama’s fault we don’t have one.”

    Repeat, repeat, repeat.

  87. wr says:

    And my favorite Jay Tea argument of all time (posted above): “Smart people were in charge when we got into trouble, so now we should turn to stupid people and stupid solutions to fix it. I’m available.”

  88. hey norm says:

    “…And my point is purely to show that we’re going in the wrong direction…”Well actually you are wrong…again…as usual…still.
    If we do nothing – simply remain on the path we are currently on – and that includes not repealing the ACA and letting the bush tax cuts expire as intended and no more Doc fixes, then the deficit disapears by the end of Obama’s second term.
    See Figure 1-1, page #6
    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/122xx/doc12212/06-21-Long-Term_Budget_Outlook.pdf
    It’s only the radical republican ideas like repealing health care reform and tax cuts for the rich that are creating the problem. so they should just stfu about the economy and focus on gay bashing and controling womens reproductive systems…you know…what they are good at.

  89. jukeboxgrad says:

    jay tea:

    I’m saying call the fire department, grab a hose yourself, and we’ll worry about how it started once it’s under control.

    Except that your concept of “call the fire department” is ‘elect the GOP,’ and you’re conveniently ignoring what all non-amnesiacs know: the GOP is a bunch of arsonists.

    Roughly 3/4 of our national debt that Obama inherited was accumulated under Reagan, Bush and Bush. Reagan tripled the debt, and GWB nearly doubled it. Obama inherited a lot of debt, mostly created by GOP presidents. High debt mean high interest payments. Those payments are going to be much larger than they were in the past, because the debt is much larger than it was in the past. Reagan and Bush took out lots of loans, and now Obama is being blamed for the fact that we have to pay interest on those loans. Likewise for the way GWB created large new obligations in Medicare Part D, and in taking care of veterans of his wars.

    I’ll be slightly more impressed with Paul Ryan when he says that he regrets voting for Medicare Part D, which “added $15.5 trillion (in present value terms) to our nation’s indebtedness.” Has the GOP announced their plans to repeal that? I haven’t heard.

    The GOP strategy for 30 years has been to run up the debt when they’re in office, and then when they’re out of office they suddenly make a big deal about the debt. This is based on the Two Santa Claus Theory (http://bit.ly/hAUF22). The GOP figured out 30 years ago that if raising spending is a great way to buy votes, then an even better way to buy votes is to raise spending while cutting taxes. So that’s exactly what they’ve done, and the rubes are still falling for it.

    The GOP strategy is to put the government in a financial box, and then blame Democrats for the fact that the government is in a financial box. And they are still selling the discredited voodoo that tax cuts will magically cure the problem. But the rubes love to hear about tax cuts because they think they can have their cake and also eat it.

  90. Wayne says:

    Dave M
    I already address that. “President or Congress takes office they don’t have much to do with that year’s spending. However that was not the case with Obama. He and the Democratic controlled Congress increased spending before they passed their first budget and increase the size of the deficit. “

    The fiscal year of 2009 started in October of 2008. Obama spent $787 billion dollar in his stimulus plan alone which was pass in May 2009. That was not the only spending he increased he did for that year.

    JP
    First people slam me for making the claim that spending went up. I prove it did. Now they ignore the fact they were wrong and try to distract by coming up with excuses for that spending.

    PJ
    What is causing the debt is overspending by the Government and Government regulations and policies crushing growth.

    JM
    Government should only spend what is absolutely necessary in a depression and not a penny more. Welfare needs to be address across the board. No more paying people to set on their butts. Have dormitories style living arrangements with soap kitchens if they are down on their luck. Giving them housing and standards of living higher than some that work is B.S.
    Nice distraction though to get away from the fact that the one you called clueless was right and you were wrong on the increase in spending.

  91. Wayne says:

    My bad, Obama stimulus act was enacted in February 2009 not May.

  92. An Interested Party says:

    Ahh, someone else who writes as if welfare reform never happened in the 1990s…as if there are just loads of people out there sitting around collecting massive welfare checks…

    What is causing the debt is overspending by the Government and Government regulations and policies crushing growth.

    Perhaps you could provide some proof of these supposed government regulations and policies “crushing” growth? As for overspending, most of the budget goes to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Defense…care to tell us what in these programs you would cut?

  93. Eric Florack says:

    Perhaps you could provide some proof of these supposed government regulations and policies “crushing” growth? As for overspending, most of the budget goes to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Defense…care to tell us what in these programs you would cut?

    That’s a question you’d better ask yourself. You leftists never seem to have a problem understanding the word “unsustainable” when it comes to shutting down industry because of half-baked concerns about the ‘environment’… but you hit a mental block trying to et your arms around the use of that word when it comes to the ever increasing size of government programs of whatever stripe.

  94. Rob in CT says:

    This comment thread is just sad. You know why? Despite the fact that the arguments advanced by Jay Tea and Wayne have been thoroughly shredded, those arguments will be back in the very next deficit discussion. Like zombies.

    Also, is Malkovich a bot?

  95. Eric Florack says:

    Look if this is really that important to the democrats to get the ceiling lifted yet again, maybe they should consddier getting tax increases off the taAhh, someone else who writes as if welfare reform never happened in the 1990s…as if there are just loads of people out there sitting around collecting massive welfare checks…ble.

    Here’s something for you to investigate. How much, what percentage, of the federal budget, is going out in the form of direct payments to individuals? I know the answer but it’s clear to me you don’t. Get back to us with the actual figure, OK?

  96. wr says:

    Dormitories and soup kitchens? Why not bring back debtors’ prisons, too? I mean, as long as we’re punishing people for being poor — excuse me, punishing people for having been cast into poverty by billionaire bankers who tanked the economy and got even richer from it — we might as well go all the way.

  97. PJ says:

    @JayTea:

    The best way to address the debt problem is to understand what has caused it. It is as simple as that. Not as simple as just crying about overspending though.

    Tax cuts without actually cutting something from the budget is a bad idea.
    Future generations shouldn’t have to pay for current wars.
    Maybe Medicare D should have been funded too?

    Things like that.

  98. Duracomm says:

    When asked “are there any adults left in Congress?” michael reynolds said,

    Yes, on the Democratic side of the aisle.

    The GOP is unfit to govern.

    Excellent use of sarcastic humor to emphasize the reckless failure of the senate democrats to deal with their fiscal responsibilities.

    It’s been over two years since the Democrat-led Senate last passed a budget

    the refusal of Democrats in Congress to pass a budget or take meaningful steps to head off our looming fiscal disaster is nothing short of a national disgrace.

    This hasn’t happened since the budget rules were changed in 1974. Though required by law to pass a budget, Democrats have just said no

  99. An Interested Party says:

    That’s a question you’d better ask yourself.

    Not really…it is people like you that want to take an ax to the federal budget, yet you offer little to no real cuts that would actually be politically feasible not to mention actually balancing the budget…

    How much, what percentage, of the federal budget, is going out in the form of direct payments to individuals?

    Hmm, I would imagine most of that goes out in the form of Social Security and Medicare payments…in other words, programs that people who use them have paid into their whole working lives…you are certainly free to write all you want about your conservative utopia, but, really, your dreams have no chance of ever becoming reality as there isn’t even a bare majority in this country that agrees with you, but do keep dreaming, OK?

    Why not bring back debtors’ prisons, too?

    I seem to remember that there was a pretty regular commenter who used to hang around here a few years ago who did write favorably about debtors’ prisons…I wonder how many of his fellow travelers would agree that such things are a fabulous idea…

  100. Duracomm says:

    An Interested Party said,

    Hmm, I would imagine most of that goes out in the form of Social Security and Medicare payments…in other words, programs that people who use them have paid into their whole working lives…

    First problem: The courts have already ruled that the people who paid those funds have no individual claim to them.

    Second problem: The politicians promptly spent all the money people where paying into the programs. People did not get the money they paid into the program back they got the money someone younger than paid into the program. This cemented the programs into an inter-generational ponzi scheme.

    Third problem: Demographic changes (hello retiring baby boomers) are making the inter-generational ponzi scheme nature of these programs unsustainable.

    This all could have been avoided if the program had been changed over to individual retirement accounts that people had title to.

    A smaller sustainable welfare program would be sufficient to sustain those retirees who did not have sufficient savings or family resources to avoid poverty.

    Of course the democrats / liberals opposed any effort to actually give people individual accounts that they held title to. They merrily accused anyone who proposed giving people title to the money they put into these programs as fiends who wanted to push grandma off a cliff to save money.

    Too bad about the young people that are going to lose the money the democrats forced them to put into these ponzi scheme programs.

  101. jukeboxgrad says:

    The politicians promptly spent all the money people where paying into the programs. People did not get the money they paid into the program back they got the money someone younger than paid into the program. This cemented the programs into an inter-generational ponzi scheme.

    How ironic. You are undoubtedly too ignorant to understand that FDR was in favor of a fully funded system, and that it was his opponents (conservatives/Republicans) who are the primary reason we ended up with something else. See here:

    The financial structure of the Social Security program has resulted in a redistribution of resources between generations: each generation of workers pays taxes that are largely used to make payments to the people already eligible for benefits. From Social Security’s earliest days, a contentious issue was whether the benefits that workers and their families received should be prefunded using the taxes that those workers paid, rather than the taxes paid by current workers. As the program was enacted in 1935, revenues dedicated to Social Security would have exceeded outlays by enough to build up very large surpluses. In effect, those excess revenues would have helped fund, in advance, the benefits that the same workers would receive later. Opponents of prefunding argued that such an arrangement would result either in pressure to increase spending or in federal government ownership of private assets. Later expansions to the program, along with postponement of increases in the payroll tax rate that were originally scheduled to occur during the 1940s, essentially moved Social Security to a pay-as-you-go basis.

    Those “opponents of prefunding” were Republicans who didn’t want the government holding huge sums (“very large surpluses”), because they were concerned that those sums would be invested in equities, with the result that the government would be a huge owner of corporations (“federal government ownership of private assets”). So if you have a problem with the “inter-generational” system that resulted instead, you should complain to those Republicans.

    Yet another instance of the GOP creating a problem and then trying to blame the problem on someone else.

    Of course the democrats / liberals opposed any effort to actually give people individual accounts that they held title to.

    Of course the other ironic thing about a government program “to actually give people individual accounts that they held title to” is that it embodies an ostensibly unconstitutional universal mandate. Requiring people to buy retirement insurance is essentially the same (from a constitutional perspective) as requiring them to buy health insurance.

  102. An Interested Party says:

    They merrily accused anyone who proposed giving people title to the money they put into these programs as fiends who wanted to push grandma off a cliff to save money.

    Well actually, in the case of the Ryan Plan, the fiends want to push grandma off the cliff to give rich people more tax cuts…

    Too bad about the young people that are going to lose the money the democrats forced them to put into these ponzi scheme programs.

    Funny you should write that, as the Ryan Plan wants to take away something from those young people that their parents and grandparents now get…

  103. Eric Florack says:

    Not really…it is people like you that want to take an ax to the federal budget, yet you offer little to no real cuts that would actually be politically feasible not to mention actually balancing the budget…

    No, I tend to look beyond political feasibility, and to reality.
    The reality of the situation is that our current largess cannot be supported. I don’t care how high you increase taxes . That’s the problem with governmental largess; or as Margaret Thatcher put it that’s the problem with socialism….eventually you run out of other people’s money .

    Hmm, I would imagine most of that goes out in the form of Social Security and Medicare payments…in other words, programs that people who use them have paid into their whole working lives…

    but they are in lies the fallacy; we’re passing out such monies to people who have never paid I’m one into the system. Firther, as has already been pointed up, this is a socialist system wheren the people who paid those funds have no individual claim to them. further, as has and an already been pointed out, the monies already gone. It was already spent on other socialist programs. In short, politicians attempting to buy votes with our money.

    really, your dreams have no chance of ever becoming reality as there isn’t even a bare majority in this country that agrees with you, but do keep dreaming, OK?

    that remains to be seen, since there hasn’t been a real conservative in a position that the electoratet could vote on, since Reagan.

  104. jukeboxgrad says:

    there hasn’t been a real conservative in a position that the electoratet could vote on, since Reagan

    Assuming this is true, then the logical explanation is that Americans are not particularly interested in supporting “a real conservative ” (whatever you think that means). Because if they were, then such people would rise to power.

  105. WR says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have another winning! Now Bithead joins the parage of wingnuts who trot out that old Thatcher quote instead of actually making a point. I think that’s about thirty cites in the last week from five righties… and not an original thought among them.

  106. An Interested Party says:

    No, I tend to look beyond political feasibility, and to reality.

    You really are a silly person…reality is what is actually politically feasible, not some conservative utopia you like but will never get…

    …that remains to be seen, since there hasn’t been a real conservative in a position that the electoratet could vote on, since Reagan.

    Sorry to break it to you, but Reagan raised taxes many times after lowering them…he was much more pragmatic than many of his hagiographers would like to believe…also, not so sorry to break it to you, but you’re not going to get another Calvin Coolidge…

  107. Duracomm says:

    Juke said,

    How ironic. You are undoubtedly too ignorant to understand that FDR was in favor of a fully funded system, and that it was his opponents (conservatives/Republicans) who are the primary reason we ended up with something else.

    The program was enacted around 75 tears ago.

    If the democrats had spent half as much effort giving individuals ownership of their funds as they did attacking those who supported individual ownership social security would be much more solvent.

    Predictably democrat partisans blame republicans for the decades long failure of democrats to fix the problem democrats caused.

  108. Duracomm says:

    These threads show that most people do not understand the root cause of our fiscal problems and what will be required to fix it.

    Cutting waste fraud and abuse in programs will not fix the problem and neither will raising taxes.

    The US has a spending problem, and additional taxes are not going to fix the problem.

    Put another way entitlement spending is driving us off a fiscal cliff.

    Congress has less and less leeway for closing the budget deficit as outlays for entitlement programs grow.

    But with the first of the baby boomers eligible to retire this year, the matter is taking on greater urgency.

    If current policy does not change, rising retiree health costs and claims on Social Security will propel mandatory spending to levels never seen before, squeezing out room for future discretionary spending.

    Here’s the glide path the US is on:

    •By 2025, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and interest on the federal debt would claim all federal revenues.

    Once again for emphasis.

    By 2025, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and interest on the federal debt would claim all federal revenues.

  109. jukeboxgrad says:

    duracomm:

    Predictably democrat partisans blame republicans for the decades long failure of democrats to fix the problem democrats caused.

    One more time: FDR tried to create a fully-funded system. The GOP insisted that the system not be fully funded. I can’t find the part of your comment where you explain how this is fairly described as “the problem democrats caused.”

    entitlement spending is driving us off a fiscal cliff

    I guess you mean like Medicare Part D. Hopefully you can explain why Paul Ryan and the GOP should be considered to have any fiscal credibility, given that they supported that debacle and have expressed no regret for doing so, and have expressed no intention of repealing it.

    The GOP is against entitlement spending, except for when it isn’t.

  110. Eric Florack says:

    OK, now that the mudslinging is over for the moment, let’s consider something. Let’s see if the leftists in the room are adult enough to get their mental arms around this:

    And, one final thought, are there any adults left in Congress?

    Yes, on the Democratic side of the aisle.

    The GOP is unfit to govern.

    See, most adults I know have what’s called a MEMORY. They recall very clearly when and on what topic they’ve been lied to by the kids in the past.

    Let’s recall, then, using that memory that 41 only compromised on his no new taxes pledge because the Democrats claimed they’ve give him 2 dollars of spending cuts for every dollar of increased taxes. The Dems got their way…. not oly did taxes go up, and not only did they get a baseball bat to beat down 41 with, but they got away without holding up their end of the bargain. We’re still waiting on the promised spending cuts.

    Who can now blame the GOP for sticking to heir guns? Not I.

  111. Duracomm says:

    juke said,

    One more time: FDR tried to create a fully-funded system.

    One more time have democrats done anything to fix the problem? No.

    Juke said,

    guess you mean like Medicare Part D.

    Thanks for bringing that up, it effectively destroys the democrats talking point that bush was a fiscal conservative who wanted to starve seniors.

    Bush was big spender, the problem is obama and the democrats spending blowout made bush look like a paragon of fiscal responsibility.

    And you continue to dodge the important point. Entitlements as they currently exist are going to fail.

    All ponzi schemes eventually end and these will too.

    By 2025, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and interest on the federal debt would claim all federal revenues.

  112. jukeboxgrad says:

    have democrats done anything to fix the problem? No.

    Boosting the income cap is a quite simple way of fixing the problem. Who is standing in the way of that solution?

    it effectively destroys the democrats talking point that bush was a fiscal conservative who wanted to starve seniors

    Which Democrat said that?