How Our Debt Rose to $14.3 Trillion: Blame Congress

One thing our politicians don't seem to take into account is that the average voter (and I include myself in this group) has no idea about the financial big picture because we don't understand it. We only understand when it gets personal....when they threaten to cut something we expected to get (like social security or Medicare), when our health insurance premiums become obscene or when the Government makes us pay for something we had no voice in and opposed (like a few wars, here and there.) The result may be that we take our frustrations out on incumbents in 2012. All of them. Too bad for them, but they all deserve it.

We may not understand the spin and fancy words that the Government and journalists use, but when the numbers are listed by themselves, all in one place, the picture is becoming clear: Our Government is robbing us blind.

In 2001, our debt was $5.3 trillion. It's now $14.3 trillion. What did we do with the $9 trillion we borrowed in the last ten years and who lent it to us? [More...]

  • 2001 and 2003 tax cuts under President George W. Bush: $1.6 trillion.
  • Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: $1.3 trillion.
  • Additional interest costs: $1.4 trillion.
  • Economic stimulus package under Obama: $800 billion.
  • 2010 tax cuts, a compromise by Obama and Republicans that extended jobless benefits and cut payroll taxes: $400 billion.
  • 2003 creation of Medicare's prescription drug benefit: $300 billion.
  • 2008 financial industry bailout: $200 billion.
  • Hundreds of billions less in revenue than expected since the Great Recession began in December 2007.
  • Other spending increases in domestic, farm and defense programs, adding lesser amounts.

And for the kicker, who lent us the $9 trillion? We lent ourselves $4.6 trillion, mostly taken from Social Security revenues.

So they took the money we paid in social security taxes to pay for wars and bailouts and now they want to cut our benefits instead of paying us back? Did they at least pay us interest on the loan? I bet not. That $1.4 trillion in interest likely went elsewhere.

Out of the $9 trillion, Medicare got a measly $300 billion, and they want to cut that too?

Why not pass a law that says the money everyone got from the Bush tax cuts will be added to their 2011 tax bill? At least it would be spread evenly among everyone. What was it, $200 or $400? I'll be glad to return that amount if everyone else does and it puts $1.4 trillion back in the coffers (Of course the people who died since getting it won't be able to return theirs, so it may be less than $1.4 trillion that's returned. But it's a start.)

What a stupid idea those cuts were. Send someone $200 or $400 as if that's enough to change someone's overall financial health. Plus, lots of people never got it to begin with because they didn't make enough to file a tax return, or on the other side, owed taxes from prior years so it got deducted from their interest and penalties and they got no check, just a notice they owe $200 or $400 less. Big deal. For that we went $1.6 trillion into debt?

What payroll tax cuts? I never paid any less. Stimulus? I never got anything for that. Financial Bailout? I didn't get anything. And now that the auto industry and Wall St have recovered from supposedly being at the brink of death, instead of telling these companies to pay back a little extra for us having saved them with our Social Security dollars, the Government wants to cut our Medicare and Social Security benefits? I don't think so.

We took a $1.3 billion loss on the bailout of Chrysler. No wonder it can now afford to air Jeep ads every five minutes on TV. Whose genius idea was that?

The Government has already taken too much from us. Stole, really. Maybe a shutdown is what we need. So we can start from scratch, with repaying the $4.6 trillion we borrowed from social security revenues. And scrapping budget plans for $26.2 billion on the war on drugs. We don't need DEA offices in 83 countries. I don't even want them at home and I'm hardly the only one who feels this way.

Let's halve $626 billion Defense Department budget and call the new austerity "Starve a War." And close Gitmo, we can't afford that either. And let's cut the fat from the 831 page $47 billion State Department budget, not to mention the 2012 Homeland Security budget:

The FY 2012 budget request for DHS is $57.0 billion in total funding, $47.4 billion in gross discretionary funding, and $43.2 billion in net discretionary funding

The first cut: $105.2 million for 275 advanced imaging machines at airports and 535 jobs for people to look at the pictures.

Really, this Congress needs to be fired so we can start over. They broke it, and don't know how to fix it, and now they expect us to bite the bullet while they try to clean up the mess they made. Which they'll never do. They all need to be sent home permanently as a lesson. There isn't a single one of them that can't be replaced. Congress: FAIL.

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    This should be re-published everywhere (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by klassicheart on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 05:03:54 AM EST
    And would be if there were such a thing as progressives...But I don't think most of the folk out there determining what the public should know, progressive, conservative or otherwise, want us to have this knowledge. It's only for those elite who are capable of understanding these things...(and ripping us off)...it's so complicated, after all.  Anyway, I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment.

    A point of reference (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by BTAL on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 07:32:35 AM EST
    "After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: Pay as you go, no new deficit spending. Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt."

    Nancy Pelosi in her first speech as Speaker of the House on Jan 4, 2007.

    Debit on that date:  $8.67 trillion
    Debit on Oct 22, 2010:  $13.67 trillion
    $5 trillion of the $9 trillion referenced - three of the last 10 years resulted in over 50% of the increase.

    rome wasn't built in a day (none / 0) (#29)
    by CST on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:08:10 PM EST
    and neither was massive economic collapse.

    I wonder what happened in that timespan that necessitated massive spending...

    Anyway you look at this, whether it's the wars, the bailouts, the stimulus, the tax cuts, whatever...  Bush&co. got us into this giant stinking heap, and then he left right in time to not bother with getting us out of any of it.  That's not to say Dems are doing a bang up job on the recovery.  But I am not gonna sit back and read nonsense that tries to deflect how this actually happened.


    The congress controls the purse (none / 0) (#31)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:40:37 PM EST

    Nancy Pelosi in her first speech as Speaker of the House on Jan 4, 2007.

    Debit on that date:  $8.67 trillion
    Debit on Oct 22, 2010:  $13.67 trillion

    Bush can be faulted for failing to veto much of Pelosi and company's spending binge.  Obama's record is worse, in that he encourage the dismantling of the flood gates.


    who started those wars? (none / 0) (#34)
    by CST on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 01:07:13 PM EST
    who sent the economy off the cliff?  why did the money need spending in the first place? Yes the Dems spent it on bailouts.  But why were the bailouts needed?

    Because the economy went off a cliff.  And Republicans left just in time to hand off their steaming pile of cr@p to someone else to clean up.  I realize who spent the money.  I also know why they spent it.

    I have no doubt that a Republican congress would have been happy to fiddle while Rome burned and not spend any of that money, except on wars of course.  I for one am grateful for the Stimulus package that helped me keep my job. I'm not grateful for the steaming economic pile of cr@p that made the Stimulus package necessary.

    That clear enough?


    The war started (1.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 02:02:23 PM EST

    It seems that the war started when the planes hit the twin towers.

    The bailouts happened because it was the government's Affordable Housing policy (under both Dem and Rep) that highly risky no money down loans should be made to people with sketchy credit history and bundled into mortgage backed securities that bank regulators gave preferential risk ratings.   The Fed played its part by supplying cheap credit to fund the housing bubble.  



    oh really? (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by CST on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 02:08:36 PM EST
    so we invaded Iraq, essentially withdrawing from, and causing a quagmire in Afghanistan, because of 9/11.  Good to know.

    The rest of your comment is nonsense that has been debunked so many times I'm not gonna waste any more bandwidth.  But my guess is you already know that.


    Well, a year and a half later, but (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 05:02:34 PM EST
    don't let the details bog you down.

    (Your better argument would be that 9/11 began an economic downturn that, combined with the politics of fear and patriotic fervor, gave Bush, Cheney, and Co. carte blanche to push through all sorts of measures that padded the pockets of them and the rich while only worsening matters for the middle class, etc.)


    The math is still the math (none / 0) (#35)
    by BTAL on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 01:22:02 PM EST
    $5T in 3 years vs the other $4T over 6 years.

    Also check the vote counts.
    House - 420 Ayes, 1 Nay and 10 Not Voting
    Senate - 98 Ayes, 0 Nays, 2 Present/Not Voting

    House: 297 Ayes, 133 Nay and 3 Not Voting
    Senate: 77 Ayes, 23 Nays  

    House: 246 Ayes, 183 Nayes (only 178 Rs in seats)
    Senate: 61 Ayes, 37 Nayes


    and common sense (none / 0) (#36)
    by CST on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 01:31:40 PM EST
    is still common sense.  You go off an economic cliff, you may have to spend your way out of it.

    Plus, you mistake me for someone who cares about the deficit for the sake of the deficit.  I'm someone who cares about the economy and the state of the world.  Those are two very different things.  But thanks for playing.


    Then why respond to a comment (none / 0) (#37)
    by BTAL on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 01:43:32 PM EST
    dealing strictly with the deficit?  Thanks for the drive-by but factless contribution.

    because (none / 0) (#38)
    by CST on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 01:49:06 PM EST
    I was pointing out that everything happens for a reason.  Spending doesn't happen in a vaccuum.  It's called cause and effect.

    There is no such thing as "dealing strictly with the deficit" unless you don't believe in context.

    I'm putting the context back in.

    But you can have fun going back to your game of lies, d@mn lies, and statistics.


    lies, d@mn lies, and statistics. (none / 0) (#40)
    by BTAL on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 02:03:02 PM EST
    I'll refer you back to the speech/quotes in my first comment.

    I'm reminded here of a Colbert bit (none / 0) (#42)
    by CST on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 02:21:20 PM EST
    during the greatest moment ever in his career.

    Paraphrasing here because I don't remember the exact quote:

    This president has true conviction.  He'll do the same thing on Wednesday that he decided on Monday.  No matter what happens on Tuesday.

    Obviously that's not the case for Nancy and co.  I'll take that alternative over the other.


    When a Campaign Costs... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:05:01 PM EST
    ... an estimate billion dollars, we are going to get elected officials looking out for the people who funded their campaign.

    They own the media, which is enabling them to buy elections/candidates.

    I used to think it was just cyclical, and soon our Democratic hero, a Teddy Roosevelt type, would come in and bust up the money machines that are sucking us dry and nearly took us to the edge of disaster, but now...

    Just trying to figure out the path I need to take professionally that will end with me retiring in a country where my 401k will let me lead the comfortable retirement I was planning here.

    When my own party is down with dismantling its own and IMO the best legislation ever passed in this country, all hope is gone.

    We Need The Stimulus (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by john horse on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 07:02:13 PM EST
    Great post.
    My only disagreement with your post is with the idea that the economic stimulus is wasteful spending.  That is not to say that there were problems with the Bush/Obama stimulus.  First of all, it was not strong enough to do the job.  Secondly, more of the stimulus should have been spend on creating jobs (think infrastructure) than on bailouts for the wealthy.  Obama's abandonment of the economic stimus and belt tightening by states will result in the continuation of this recession.

    Outside of that, yes lets end the war and end tax breaks for the rich and for corporations.  We have better things to spend our resources on.

    I hope everyone realizes that (4.80 / 5) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:18:53 AM EST
    the money realized from cutting safety net and domestic programs is going to be used to finance additional tax cuts for corporations and the uber=rich and to fund two ongoing wars and at least 3 kinetic military actions.


    Well, we all have to sacrifice. (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:25:27 AM EST
    The NYT reports that for their children to reach summer camp in remote towns in Maine, NH and upstate NY, more of the uber-rich are foregoing the arduous travel and long distances to attend parents' visiting day or to pick up the children. Apparently, in the interest of efficiency, the article states that more of the nation's wealthiest families are cutting out the car ride and chartering private planes to fly to the summer camps.  Besides helping out the parents, no doubt little Dakota and Madysen find it less of an inconvenience.

    OMG (none / 0) (#26)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:33:49 AM EST
    The rest of us should sacrifice what we need to survive so that Obama, the Dems and the Republicans can funnel the money that we need to them.



    And when we send them home (4.75 / 4) (#1)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 02:32:51 AM EST
    can we make sure they get no severance, medical, etc, on our dime please.

    The financial bailout was actually closer (4.75 / 4) (#12)
    by BDB on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 07:24:12 AM EST
    to at least 16 trillion and possible 28 trillion, it was just hidden and remains hidden to a large extent.  Given that, for example, GE is one of the bailout beneficiaries, you're not going to see a lot of this covered in the establishment media.  We're still on the hook for a lot of it, having taken the crappy collateral the banks were holding onto the Feds books and onto Fannie and Freddie's books.

    And the deficit/debt number is not inherently a problem, the problem is that we've invested that money in all the wrong things.  Or rather we haven't invested it at all, we've blown it bailing out banks, waging wars and making sure the rich and corporations pay as little tax as possible.  If we'd spent it building infrastructure, creating jobs and moving us off of fossil fuels, we'd be building for a future and expanding revenue and making the lives of American citizens better.  

    All of those things, btw, are things the public supports.  The bank bailout, the wars, and tax cuts on the rich, the public does not support.  But notice we got them anyway.  That's because, IMO, our elected representatives no longer represent us.  We live in a kleptocracy/oligarchy.  This is what happens in a kleptocracy/oligarchy.  The majority of people are robbed to give money to the very wealthy. This is what The Deal and now this Debt Ceiling Kabuki are all about.  Giving money to the rich and taking it from the poor/working class/middle class/upper middle class. This will continue regardless of the results in 2012 because an election alone cannot change this dynamic.  We've seen that repeatedly.  The Rs do this and the public votes them out of office (e.g., 2006 & 2008).  The Ds do this and the public votes them out of office (e.g., 2010).  And yet there is no change in the underlying policies.

    As Matt Stoller recently said, we've come to the point where elections don't matter.  The economic battle is over.  We lost.  The oligarchs are merely engaged in mop up operations.  What we have to figure out is what do we do now.  I wish I knew.  All I really know is that it's going to get much worse before it gets better.

    Krugman getting shriller on Medicare cuts (4.75 / 4) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:25:32 AM EST
    Specifically, according to many reports, the president offered both means-testing of Medicare benefits and a rise in the age of Medicare eligibility. The first would be bad policy; the second would be terrible policy. And it would almost surely be terrible politics, too.
    So why is the president embracing these bad policy ideas? In a forthcoming article in The New York Review of Books, the veteran journalist Elizabeth Drew suggests that members of the White House political team saw the 2010 election as a referendum on government spending and that they believe that cutting spending is the way to win next year.

    If so, I would respectfully suggest that they are out of their minds. Remember death panels? The G.O.P.'s most potent political weapon last year -- the weapon that caused a large swing in the votes of older Americans -- was the claim that Mr. Obama was cutting Medicare. Why give Republicans a chance to do it all over again?

    Of course, it's possible that the reason the president is offering to undermine Medicare is that he genuinely believes that this would be a good idea. And that possibility, I have to say, is what really scares me. link

    The best of Dr. Krugman's (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:44:23 AM EST
    article is the part your cited.  The reasons for "means-testing" with larger premiums/co-pays could have been strengthened beyond being, in effect, an increase in taxes that could be achieved with less bureaucracy by raising taxes on higher incomes.  And, his explanation for not expanding Medicare (which he points out the merits above and beyond private insurance) during the health insurance reform was "political realism".   Yet, "reforming" Medicare by moving the eligibility age, changing its concept by introducing the vulnerabilities of  a welfare program and wringing about half of the costs of the entire ACA out of Medicare--a seemingly daunting task given the political popularity of the program--is, apparently,  politically feasible.

    I agree Krugman's take on (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:07:01 AM EST
    "political realism" is using "pretzel" logic to explain away the failures in Obama's health insurance legislation.

    With all due respect, Jeralyn, what (4.75 / 4) (#16)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:51:29 AM EST
    your post does is feed into this "crisis" over the debt and the deficit that has been manufactured out of whole cloth by those whose end game is to shrink those areas of government that actually have the power to help people.

    What you're saying is what they're saying: we need to cut, we need to spend less.  They get you to buy into that by threatening things you care about.  Once you do, it's more or less over, since while they want your agreement - "okay, we spend too much" - they really aren't interested in your input about what should be cut, and will just proceed to do what they want to do.

    Notice that the argument from the get-go has never been about whether we need to cut, but what should be cut, so that's why they are now only arguing over the details.  In my mind, the Democratic argument should have been chapter and verse on why cutting at a time of recession/jobless recovery is not how one keeps the economy moving upward - but we don't have a Democratic president who believes in that argument, rejecting the lessons of history.  And, he also either doesn't understand what it means that we are sovereign in our own currency, and the tremendous flexibility that gives us, or he is choosing to ignore it, preferring to politicize the issue and advance policies he's been behind since before the 2008 campaign.

    At this stage of the game - and it has become a game, albeit a dangerous one - in a down economy, with high unemployment, cutting spending is just going to mean the loss of more jobs in the public sector, which will translate to job losses in the private sector - and the downward spiral will continue.  Do I want to keep spending so much money on war?  No.  But I refuse to be co-opted into their we-have-to-get-our-fiscal-house-in-order strategy, because I'm not going to have any control over what gets cut - and neither are you.  And because we essentially have no voice, we are the easiest target to go after, which is exactly what they want to do, exactly what is happening.

    Don't let them hook you, Jeralyn; don't play their game.

    Deseret News uses a false right-wing (4.67 / 3) (#27)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:39:42 AM EST
    meme on SS-- namely, that the U.S. Treasury "borrowed" money from the SS Trust Fund.  That's such a huge distortion that it comes very close to a flat-out lie.

    The reality is that the SS Trust Fund buys U.S. Treasuries with its surplus (it is still running a surplus and will for some years yet) because it's the safest investment that exists on the planet.

    In other words, the US government only "borrows" money from SS in the way that, say, Cisco "borrows" money from you when you buy its stock.

    The only way the Treasury bonds will not be redeemed by SS is if the government defaults on those bonds, something that isn't going to happen because, as we know, the consquences of a U.S. bond default would be economically catastrophic worldwide.

    Here's the point.  Obama's proposed cuts to SS have NOTHING to do with the current deficit situation.  Nothing.  Zip. Nada.  He's proposing cutting SS benefits as an alternative to raising the current $106K cap on income subject to SS taxes.

    That's it.  That's all.

    Two sides of the same coin (none / 0) (#33)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:56:28 PM EST

    ...the U.S. Treasury "borrowed" money from the SS Trust Fund.  That's such a huge distortion that it comes very close to a flat-out lie.

    The reality is that the SS Trust Fund buys U.S. Treasuries with its surplus (it is still running a surplus and will for some years yet) because it's the safest investment that exists on the planet.

    1.  The SS trust fund is required to purchase those bonds, thereby becoming the lender/creditor while the Treasury sold the bonds becoming the borrower/debtor.  Your calling this a lie is just a word game.

    2. Unlike a real investment where funds are used to create new wealth producing assets, these bonds merely represent a promise to divert future taxation to the bondholders.  You may have noticed that Obama has other plans for that revenue.  We can't call ourselves a great nation unless we have money losing (wealth destroying) high speed passenger trains.

    Please (none / 0) (#43)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 02:59:48 PM EST
    You know darn well the government is not going to default on its bonds short of the coming of the Apocalypse, high-speed rail or no high-speed rail.

    Default is probably not the issue (none / 0) (#47)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 07:34:35 PM EST

    The issue may well be paying off those bonds with inflated currency.  The more wealth that government spending destroys, the less there is to meet human needs.



    jeralyn, you're obviously (4.50 / 2) (#2)
    by cpinva on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 02:48:40 AM EST
    a very smart person, in your area of expertise. just as obviously, economics is not that area.

    there isn't enough space, nor am i inclined to take it up, to disect all that's ill-informed about your post, so i'll just hit a couple of highlights:

    1. last i checked, we are the government. it isn't some monolithic beast, untouched by human hands. unless you haven't voted since 1996, you've had a hand in running it, via your elected officials. that whole "representative democracy" thing. as pogo famously uttered: "we have met the enemy, and he is us."

    2. the 1.3 billion lose sustained, on the sale of the last shares of chrysler stock, was a cheap price to pay, for the 1,000's of jobs kept that it resulted in. allowing chrysler to go bankrupt would have had a devastating effect on the economy, and cost hundreds of billions. 1.3 billion v hundreds of billions, and additional 1,000's unemployed. hmmmmmmmmmmmm, tough call there.

    again, you ultimately approved of this, by virtue of being represented by those who directly voted for it.

    the same goes for afghanistan/iraq/libya, etc. someone re-elected g. bush in 2004, he didn't just write a 500 word essay. presumptively, the majority of voters were happy with his destruction of our country.

    I was asked tonight to help (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by suzieg on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 03:03:59 AM EST
    in the re-election campaign of a democrat - told them, I'm not lifting one finger to help any democrat unless they get Obama to back down in destroying SS. Medicare and Medicaid and even then, I don't know if I want to!

    If you have different numbers (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 03:25:47 AM EST
    than the news article, feel free to give us a link (in html format.) If the news article is wrong about where the money came from ($4.6 million mostly from social security) give us a link.

    Economics is definitely not my field, nor is it the field of most voters. Democrats didn't vote for GW Bush who took us to war. Nor do we get to vote on budgets and bailouts. They are passed after our already elected officials vote on them. Our only recourse when we don't like what our elected officials signed us up for is to vote them out.

    As for Chrysler, I just bought a new jeep five days ago (my 6th one over the years.) I'm glad they're still in business. Was it necessary for us to sell our stock in them to Fiat, an Italian automaker that now owns 53% of Chrysler, rather than hold on to it and recoup our investment? And Chrysler did go bankrupt.

    Fiat paid the Treasury a total of $560 million for the remaining shares, as well as rights to shares held by the United Auto Workers retiree trust. Fiat now owns a 53.5% stake in the company.

    Originally, the government committed a total of $12.5 billion to the struggling automaker, Old Chrysler, and the company's newly formed Chrysler Group. Of those funds, $11.2 billion have been returned through principal repayments, interest and cancelled commitments, the Treasury said. The new Chrysler Group paid back $5.1 billion in loans in May.

    As part of the loan agreement, Chrysler was given until 2017 to return the bailout funds. If it had taken the full term, the interest accrued on the loans could have significantly reduced the government's losses.

    Overall, $1.3 billion will not be recovered from the bankrupt Old Chrysler,

    If I don't get it, and I said I don't, you can bet millions of others don't either. The point being that our politicians need to realize we don't get it and are likely to vote them out because of how they are handling this -- especially blaming Medicare and Social Security. If they spent our money more wisely and didn't raid social security to pay for their follies, we wouldn't be in this pickle.


    Several points. (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by observed on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 05:55:58 AM EST
    First of all, candidates are introduced to candidates by a slick, expensive sales process which is designed to  deceive, not to inform. The long Presidential campaigns  are the worst. Second, Congress  is NOT following the will of the  voters  on issues  like tax cuts for the rich  or medical  care.  Last, critically, the TV media coverage of economic issues is incredibly right wing. CNN  is just shocking in this  regard. How  can the average voter get the facts?

    oops, i meant voters (none / 0) (#10)
    by observed on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:12:05 AM EST
    are  introduced to  candidates.

    loss to taxpayers (none / 0) (#11)
    by Madeline on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:48:11 AM EST
    with sale to Fiat; 1.3 billion


    Imported from Detroit
    can now be changed to Imported from France.


    Fabulous post (4.00 / 1) (#7)
    by klassicheart on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 04:59:25 AM EST
    Just outstanding!!!!

    Get Ready for More Republicans (none / 0) (#17)
    by robrecht on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:03:59 AM EST
    The politicians who propose the simplest solutions to this mess will get elected.  Dems need to articulate a clear and convincing position.

    They had the perfect (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:48:47 AM EST
    "clear and convincing position" after the Republicans voted in lock step for Ryan's plan.

    Obama and some the Dems chose not to use it but to jump on the cut safety net programs train instead.


    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by klassicheart on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:30:35 PM EST
    Obama and his administration are knowingly colluding with Republican messaging.  Something is very wrong.  

    Wow, that statement is almost a word for word (none / 0) (#19)
    by BTAL on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:38:09 AM EST
    take from the TP position:

    The Government has already taken too much from us. Stole, really. Maybe a shutdown is what we need. So we can start from scratch, with repaying the $4.6 trillion we borrowed from social security revenues.

    Just a matter of goring a couple different oxen.

    it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world (none / 0) (#32)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:41:26 PM EST
    for the "creative class" to wake up & smell the tea & discover where common cause can be made

    politics & strange bedfellows & all that

    another useful tactic: divide & conquer

    that one is working quite well for both wings of the Plutocratic Party, the conservative wing (Dems) & the batsh!t-crazy reactionary wing (GOP)


    What Democracy? (none / 0) (#20)
    by roger on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:41:19 AM EST
    We need to throw out the constitution and adopt a parlimentary system. That might give us representation. We caused all this because we voted????? We only get a choice between terrible and horrific at the voting booth. After Obama, I'm not sure that I will ever vote again, it's the only thing that seems to bother them

    Sign the log book (none / 0) (#22)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:54:59 AM EST

    Donald and I are in agreement.

    2010 Budget (none / 0) (#45)
    by ding7777 on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:31:33 PM EST
    19.63%  - Social Security

    18.74% -  Department of Defense

    16.13% -  Unemployment/Welfare/OMS

    12.79% -  Medicare

    8.19%  -  Medicaid and State Children's HIP

    4.63%  -  Interest on National Debt

    Wiki Pie Chart

    Why not reduce unemployment? The government would save on benefits and increase revenues - a win-win