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Contrary to your assertion, Republicans have been offering a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution on a regular basis since 1980 when Ronald Reagan became President, largely because of the deficit spending of the Carter Administration.

 

Ok, so you are saying that Republicans have such low self control that unless forced to balance the budget, they will spend like drunken sailors?

 

Oh boy, that's a ringing endorsement for the party... NOT!

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Why do you not go back to putting out signs and leave the rest up to people who know what they are doing. You are doing more harm than good to the people who you CLAIM to support. I bet you are really working for the other side.

 

 

Ok you have a point,I care more about the tunnels than politics. I enjoy sign art thank you,want to help one day?

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The problem with a Balanced Budget Amendment, other than being bad policy, is that it is empty rhetoric. No one proposing it really wants it or expects to get it. They want to impress voters who pay more attention to words than to actions.

 

Presidents don't need anything except the actual desire to be fiscally responsible. You know, pay for spending that is proposed, make valid economic decisions to promote growth, tax cuts or tax increases as appropriate, cutting or increasing spending appropriately, etc.

 

Our last 3 fake "conservative" presidents all failed miserably at making these decisions. Their words sounded good but their actions belied their empty rhetoric. I did not contradict myself regarding Keynesian policies and how it works or does not work depending on whether those policies are implemented competently. It was incompetent to blow the bank and spend deficit money on non-emergency projects that do not promote long term growth. It is incompetent to not begin paying debt down (particularly debt as a percentage of GDP aka Gross Debt) once the economy is humming. Those 3 fake conservatives screwed us long term really really bad.

 

Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon/Ford, Carter and Clinton all lowered the Gross Debt.

 

Reagan, Bush and Bush2 failed to. They are alone in that failure.

 

Bush2 left Obama such a crap storm of a situation that he likely will not be able to pay down the Gross Debt. BTW, his is the first presidency since WW2 where there is justification to not be able to.

 

The Great Depression, WW2 and the situation Obama inherited after the disastrous G.W. Bush presidency are the disasters that made paying down the Gross Debt impossible or at least extremely difficult.

 

BTW#2, in one term or 4 years there were probably at least 30 (50, 100?) times as many jobs created net (all gains - all losses) under the Carter administration than there were during GWB's disastrous 8 years. The no-hat rhetoric says Bush was a better president than Carter. History says otherwise and will say so more emphatically as more empty rhetoric falls away and facts sink in.

 

I vote for and campaign for good republicans and democrats in every election. If anyone even glances at the historical record, how could anyone believe either party is always going to have the best candidate? The kindest way to describe such a way of thinking is that it is ignorant.

Edited by Well Read

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Your post is self-contradictory. On the one hand, you allege what Keynesian economics supposedly stands for. You then claim that Reagan and Bush were actually Keynesians. And then conclude that Reagan and Bush weren't Keynesian at all, and, for that matter, incredulously state that Republicans weren't Keynesian even during the Roosevelt Administration.

 

You've also repeatedly banged your head against the wall about the Gross National Debt. But you then fail to mention that Jimmy Carter with a Democratic Congress proposed budget deficits every year he was in office, including 1980 when the deficit was approximately $80 billion.

 

I don't disagree with everything you have written, including criticism of certain spending in the lat 30 years, such as the presciption medication bill, which costs far more than what was projected. But Democrats have refused and failed to address the failed Social Security System and prefer to take the ostrich approach to governance, including failing to even present a budget yet for 2011, obvioulsy because they know what is coming in November.

 

The stimulus bill was somewhat Keynesian in its approach and, so far, has been an abysmal failure. Much of the pork, though, comprised of political paybacks rather than intending to be a jobs bill. Maybe you and I can agree as to a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution, so that we can minimize the political paybacks of budgets and avoid the inherent problems of even proposing a balanced budget without such a Constitutional requirement. Somehow I suspect, though, that most Dems aren't really interested in walking away from the "extreme dingbats", as you say, because they fail to recognize that they are the dingbats and sit comfortably in their congressional chairs praising themselves as progressive moderates or some other such nonsense.

 

Carter lowered the Gross Debt. Raw deficits during Carter are tiny compared to Reagan deficits.

 

Reagan, Bush and Bush2 more than TRIPLED the Gross Debt by themselves. When GDP is growing, doing that is way worse than just tripling the deficit. If Clinton had not succeeded where they failed, our long term structural Debt would be much worse than it is.

 

The 3 fake conservatives employed Keynesian stimulus except that they did not wisely use the deficit spending. And they failed to responsibly pay down the structural debt when the economy would have supported doing so. I didn't say they successfully or competently used Keynesian policy. I believe I was pretty plain in saying they botched it and screwed us big time. At least they SAID they were conservative!

 

Hell, Republican and Democratic presidents were able to reduce the Gross Debt even during the Viet Nam War!

 

It is ding-batty to continue calling fake conservatives conservative. They were not. Reagan Zombies apparently can't discern what happened. They can regurgitate falsehoods about fiscal responsibility. They never met a deficit they didn't love as long as that spending was wasted by a fake conservative republican.

 

If there was any time since WW2 that deficit funded infrastructure spending jobs bills are justified, now is that time.

 

So now, the unjustified deficit champions are suddenly against deficits. Is it because these deficits might actually jump start our economy and help our country? If they can sabotage the recovery long enough, they can help what is really important to them: the Party.

 

hint: we can't possibly save our way out of the hole that was being dug before Obama was a senator - we need jobs and to catch up on repairing neglected infrastructure, improve and build new infrastructure, and intelligently move as quickly as possible away from funding both sides of the war on terror

 

(ie: energy policy to promote efficiencies, renewables and better use/exploit our fossil fuel sources)

 

All these things would move us toward jobs that are not make-work jobs. WE need to promote job creation and long term prosperity that could reverse our descent in manufacturing and technology. We need to reassert the innovative and resourceful parts of our nature.

 

If we don't, we are in much worse trouble than most folks realize.

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The problem with a Balanced Budget Amendment, other than being bad policy, is that it is empty rhetoric. No one proposing it really wants it or expects to get it. They want to impress voters who pay more attention to words than to actions.

 

Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon/Ford, Carter and Clinton all lowered the Gross Debt.

 

Bush2 left Obama such a crap storm of a situation that he likely will not be able to pay down the Gross Debt. BTW, his is the first presidency since WW2 where there is justification to not be able to.

 

BTW#2, in one term or 4 years there were probably at least 30 (50, 100?) times as many jobs created net (all gains - all losses) under the Carter administration than there were during GWB's disastrous 8 years. The no-hat rhetoric says Bush was a better president than Carter. History says otherwise and will say so more emphatically as more empty rhetoric falls away and facts sink in.

 

 

Well Read:

 

You've repeatedly stated that all Presidents other than Reagan, Bush, Sr. and Bush, Jr. reduced the Gross National Debt. However, your assertion is factually incorrect.

 

In June 1945 around when Truman became President, the gross national debt was $258 billion. By the end of his Presidency, the gross national debt, was approximately $259 billion.

 

By the time Eisenhower completed his terms, the gross national debt was approximately $268 billion.

 

During the Kennedy/Johnson's Administations, the gross national debt grew from around $268 billion in 1960 to $311 billion in 1964 to $347 billion in 1968.

 

From June 1968 to June 1976, the gross national debt increased from $347 billion to $427 billion in June 1972 to $620 billion in June 1976.

 

Under the Carter Administration, the gross national debt grew from $620 billion in June 1976 to almost $908 billion in June 1980. By the way, Carter ran budget deficits each year of his Administration, including $80 billion in 1979 and $136 billion in 1980.

 

Finally, under the Clinton Administation, the gross national debt grew from approx. $4 trillion in 1992 to $5.7 trillion in June 2000.

 

As for your contention as to the wonderful Carter years (although I would concede they were not as dreadful as some have said), there were approximately 10 million jobs created during his Administration, although many of the jobs were government jobs, the inflation rate ended at around 13%, high unemployment and a 20% prime rate. Under the Bush Administration, approximately 5.5 million jobs were created, most of which occurred during the first 4 years of his Presidency even after inheriting a recession from the Clinton Administration, inflation was low, the unemployment rate was low through 2006, and interest rates were low. Of course, the economy began falling apart around 2007.

 

As for the supposed success of the stimulus enacted by the Democratic Congress and President Obama with a conservative price tag of $787 billion, assuming Biden is correct that 1.5 million jobs have been created or saved (which is dubious but even assuming the number is correct), the average cost to create or save each one of those jobs exceeded $500,000.00! Not exactly as great return on a Keynesian investment. And now, he wants to spend $50 billion more???

 

Since Obama took office, he and the Democratic-controlled Congress have added almost $2 trillion dollars to the gross national debt in 2 years. Where is the progressive indignation? This isn't empty rhetoric, which is why many incumbents, mostly Democrat, will join the ranks of the unemployed after the November election.

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Ok, so you are saying that Republicans have such low self control that unless forced to balance the budget, they will spend like drunken sailors?

 

Oh boy, that's a ringing endorsement for the party... NOT!

 

 

Sound Guy:

 

That's exactly what I am saying about Congress, which is comprised of Democrats and Republicans. Most states have already enacted balanced budget amendments to their Constitutions because of the political difficulties in negotiating a balanced budget without such a restriction.

 

A balanced budget amendment has been part of the Republican platform for the past 30 years and nearly received sufficent votes in 1995 (one vote shy in the US Senate) but for Democratic opposition. If it had passed, 3/4 of the states would then vote as to whether such an amendment is necessary or not.

 

Having such an amendment is no different, IMO, than having other constitutional restrictions on the potential overreaching of the federal government. The English think that Americans do not need a Constitution whatsoever, but as a country we have decided not to take chances with certain things like the freedom of speach or religion. A written Constitution places important restrictions on the role of the federal government and states. Sitting politicians often oppose such restrictions arguing such an amendment is political rhetoric and unnecessary. However, most states have rejected this reasoning in favor of balanced budget amendments, including Georgia.

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Well Read:

 

You've repeatedly stated that all Presidents other than Reagan, Bush, Sr. and Bush, Jr. reduced the Gross National Debt. However, your assertion is factually incorrect.

 

In June 1945 around when Truman became President, the gross national debt was $258 billion. By the end of his Presidency, the gross national debt, was approximately $259 billion.

 

By the time Eisenhower completed his terms, the gross national debt was approximately $268 billion.

 

During the Kennedy/Johnson's Administations, the gross national debt grew from around $268 billion in 1960 to $311 billion in 1964 to $347 billion in 1968.

 

From June 1968 to June 1976, the gross national debt increased from $347 billion to $427 billion in June 1972 to $620 billion in June 1976.

 

Under the Carter Administration, the gross national debt grew from $620 billion in June 1976 to almost $908 billion in June 1980. By the way, Carter ran budget deficits each year of his Administration, including $80 billion in 1979 and $136 billion in 1980.

 

Finally, under the Clinton Administation, the gross national debt grew from approx. $4 trillion in 1992 to $5.7 trillion in June 2000.

 

As for your contention as to the wonderful Carter years (although I would concede they were not as dreadful as some have said), there were approximately 10 million jobs created during his Administration, although many of the jobs were government jobs, the inflation rate ended at around 13%, high unemployment and a 20% prime rate. Under the Bush Administration, approximately 5.5 million jobs were created, most of which occurred during the first 4 years of his Presidency even after inheriting a recession from the Clinton Administration, inflation was low, the unemployment rate was low through 2006, and interest rates were low. Of course, the economy began falling apart around 2007.

 

As for the supposed success of the stimulus enacted by the Democratic Congress and President Obama with a conservative price tag of $787 billion, assuming Biden is correct that 1.5 million jobs have been created or saved (which is dubious but even assuming the number is correct), the average cost to create or save each one of those jobs exceeded $500,000.00! Not exactly as great return on a Keynesian investment. And now, he wants to spend $50 billion more???

 

Since Obama took office, he and the Democratic-controlled Congress have added almost $2 trillion dollars to the gross national debt in 2 years. Where is the progressive indignation? This isn't empty rhetoric, which is why many incumbents, mostly Democrat, will join the ranks of the unemployed after the November election.

 

This is about the time when you you realize that you missed what the Gross Debt is and do a Roseanne Roseannadanna, give yourself a dope slap and say "oh, well... never mind."

 

The Gross Debt is the total debt as a percentage of GDP and this number has gone up (since WW2) only under Reagan, Bush and Bush2.

 

The Gross Debt is a much more meaningful and correct measure of long term debt than raw deficit numbers. It in and of itself accounts for several factors that distort what is being considered if you only cite raw deficits.

 

If GDP is $10 and you owe $6, then Gross Debt is 60% of GDP. If GDP increases to $12 and debt rises to $7, the Gross Debt is now down by 1-2/3% even though the deficit increased.

 

The sad reality is that I am right.

 

If you build something that cost $1 million and it took the equivalent of 3 workers working exactly one year, did each job cost 1/3 of the total spent? What about the materials? What about the structure that is left for years of use? What about the basis for future growth that Hoover Dam has been and the Interstate Highway System has been? What about the schools and libraries and bridges?

 

BTW, when you cite jobs created during the Bush2 years, you left out how many jobs were lost to get net job creation. Net job creation under Bush2 was precious close to zero. The total for the 8 Bush2 years did not measure up to the AVERAGE MONTH during Carter's 4 years.

Edited by Well Read

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This is about the time when you you realize that you missed what the Gross Debt is and do a Roseanne Roseannadanna, give yourself a dope slap and say "oh, well... never mind."

 

The Gross Debt is the total debt as a percentage of GDP and this number has gone up (since WW2) only under Reagan, Bush and Bush2.

 

 

The sad reality is that I am right.

 

 

 

Once again, you are wrong about the definition of "gross debt". Gross debt is actually defined as "the sum of all previously incurred federal deficits...national debt is equal to all government debt outstanding." It is a whole number, not a percentage of some other number; otherwise, it would be called a percentage.

 

The numbers I posted constitute the gross national debt. You have now apparently decided to change your definition to the gross debt as a percentage of the GDP. A much more meaningful figure would actually be the annual budget deficit as a percentage of GDP.

 

Since you now apparently want to use percentages, you are still incorrect as a percentage of the annual budget deficit:

 

For example, in 1964, the percentage was .89% which increased to 2.77% by 1968. At the end of the Reagan Administration in 1988, the percentage was 3.04% compared with 4.04% at the beginning of the Carter Administration (which ended with a 2.65%). This is about the same percentage as 3.18% under Bush in 2008. These figures have increased dramatically since Obama was elected; in 2009, the percentage was 9.91% while it has climbed to 10.64% this year.

 

If we use gross national debt as a percentage of GDP, your contention is not as deceptive. For instance, in 1976, the percentage was 34% in 1976 and 32.5% in 1980, which increased to 51% in 1988. In 1992, the percentage started at 64% in 1992 and increased to 66.66% in 1996. By 2004, that percentage was 62%.

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Once again, you are wrong about the definition of "gross debt". Gross debt is actually defined as "the sum of all previously incurred federal deficits...national debt is equal to all government debt outstanding." It is a whole number, not a percentage of some other number; otherwise, it would be called a percentage.

 

The numbers I posted constitute the gross national debt. You have now apparently decided to change your definition to the gross debt as a percentage of the GDP. A much more meaningful figure would actually be the annual budget deficit as a percentage of GDP.

 

Since you now apparently want to use percentages, you are still incorrect as a percentage of the annual budget deficit:

 

For example, in 1964, the percentage was .89% which increased to 2.77% by 1968. At the end of the Reagan Administration in 1988, the percentage was 3.04% compared with 4.04% at the beginning of the Carter Administration (which ended with a 2.65%). This is about the same percentage as 3.18% under Bush in 2008. These figures have increased dramatically since Obama was elected; in 2009, the percentage was 9.91% while it has climbed to 10.64% this year.

 

If we use gross national debt as a percentage of GDP, your contention is not as deceptive. For instance, in 1976, the percentage was 34% in 1976 and 32.5% in 1980, which increased to 51% in 1988. In 1992, the percentage started at 64% in 1992 and increased to 66.66% in 1996. By 2004, that percentage was 62%.

 

Gross can mean a dozen dozen or all of something as in the gross amount. It can mean all of something but would usually be spelled lower case for that usage.

 

When economists use the term, they are referring (usually) to total or gross (as in all lower case) debt as a percentage of GDP and shorten it to Gross Debt with both words capitalized. It is a shortening of the full description, not really an idiom, but a shortening.

 

If I say I need to get some gas for my truck, it is technically incorrect to say gas but you know what I mean. Gas means vapor. Gasoline (liquid at Standard Temp/Pressure) is what we put in our vehicles.

 

What I said about Gross Debt (or total debt as a percentage of GDP) and what presidents increased it are not contentions. They are historical facts. And if I'd called it something else entirely, it still proves who hurt this country by expanding debt without justification.

 

Gross Debt has been substantially higher than it is right now. If all those presidents that succeeded in lowering the Gross Debt had not done so, in other words if they had been fiscally more like Reagan, Bush1 and Bush2, our Gross Debt would be much much higher AND the Gross Domestic Product would likely have been lower for several years. In other words, doing what the 3 fake conservatives does more harm than just raising our Gross Debt as % of GDP. It also hurts the economy in the long term.

Edited by Well Read

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Gross can mean a dozen dozen or all of something as in the gross amount. It can mean all of something but would usually be spelled lower case for that usage.

 

When economists use the term, they are referring (usually) to total or gross (as in all lower case) debt as a percentage of GDP and shorten it to Gross Debt with both words capitalized. It is a shortening of the full description, not really an idiom, but a shortening.

 

Gross Debt has been substantially higher than it is right now. If all those presidents that succeeded in lowering the Gross Debt had not done so, in other words if they had been fiscally more like Reagan, Bush1 and Bush2, our Gross Debt would be much much higher AND the Gross Domestic Product would likely have been lower for several years. In other words, doing what the 3 fake conservatives does more harm than just raising our Gross Debt as % of GDP. It also hurts the economy in the long term.

 

I don't hold myself out to be an economist, although I can say that your novel definition of Gross Debt was never taught in the four years I took to obtain my economics degree. I stand behind what is generally accepted to be the definition of the Gross Debt, not as a percentage but as a whole number accumulated over time by annual budget deficits.

 

One other point: a significant reason we have a debt problem today is the failed Social Security system, which has been deteriorating for the past 30 years. For decades after the system was created, we had a massive surplus from the payroll taxes received to support the system, because the number of workers far exceeded the number of those receiving benefits. Today, we run an annual deficit as we now have roughly two workers for each SS recipient. During the surplus years, the SS trust fund "loaned" the money to the federal government, which was used to reduce the appearance of the annual budget deficit (and, accordingly, the gross national debt). We have known for years that this system was self-imploding, but politicians refused to address the problems. George W. Bush attempted following his re-election in 2004 to address it but was soundly defeated in his efforts (by mostly Democrats and many Republicans). Had we preserved that money in the trust fund dating to the 1940's rather than artificially using it to make the annual budget deficit appear smaller than it actually was, we would not be facing the substantial debt we are today. Instead, we now have an annual deficit in the amount of payroll taxes received to pay for the system and have to pay back the billions and billions in IOU's to the trust fund.

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I don't hold myself out to be an economist, although I can say that your novel definition of Gross Debt was never taught in the four years I took to obtain my economics degree. I stand behind what is generally accepted to be the definition of the Gross Debt, not as a percentage but as a whole number accumulated over time by annual budget deficits.

 

One other point: a significant reason we have a debt problem today is the failed Social Security system, which has been deteriorating for the past 30 years. For decades after the system was created, we had a massive surplus from the payroll taxes received to support the system, because the number of workers far exceeded the number of those receiving benefits. Today, we run an annual deficit as we now have roughly two workers for each SS recipient. During the surplus years, the SS trust fund "loaned" the money to the federal government, which was used to reduce the appearance of the annual budget deficit (and, accordingly, the gross national debt). We have known for years that this system was self-imploding, but politicians refused to address the problems. George W. Bush attempted following his re-election in 2004 to address it but was soundly defeated in his efforts (by mostly Democrats and many Republicans). Had we preserved that money in the trust fund dating to the 1940's rather than artificially using it to make the annual budget deficit appear smaller than it actually was, we would not be facing the substantial debt we are today. Instead, we now have an annual deficit in the amount of payroll taxes received to pay for the system and have to pay back the billions and billions in IOU's to the trust fund.

 

 

Well, I stated if you want to call it xyzzzz or even anything else that I was referring to a relatively common shortened usage that is not exactly precisely correct (ie : like going to buy gasoline and saying gas; also I was pretty clear that I was referring to the percentage of total debt to GDP and stated so at various times.)

 

I also stated clearly that I was referring to the more meaningful measure of debt of an on-going concern over long periods of time as a percentage of GDP than the comparatively useless raw deficit on a year by year basis. For instance, a billion dollars is significantly smaller during Clinton's term than under Reagan's term as a percentage of GDP. The difference is primarily because of the substantially larger GDPs of the Clinton years and mostly not because of inflation. This measure does however takes those and several other variables into account.

 

So the percentage of accumulated debt as a percentage of present GDP went down under every president except the 3 fake conservatives. Again, some folks less than perfectly refer to this as the Gross Debt. I'll concede the minor technical issue that we don't buy gas, we buy gasoline. Of course, it's not minor if you are working as a Fire Protection Engineer and sizing fans for the purge cycle of a gas furnace or oven. Such a distinction would be more relevant then.

 

I only completed 7 undergraduate course in Economics and do not have a degree in Econ.

 

So the more meaningful measure of fiscal responsibility we can call xyzzzz, Gross Debt, etc is the accumulated gross debt of an ongoing concern as a percentage of its present or past GDP (at the times when said accumulated debt is compared as a percentage of GDP.)

 

Said number got worse under Reagan, Bush1 and Bush2 and ONLY those presidents since WW2. It got better under all other presidents since WW2. All bull crap aside, those are not contentions. They are facts. Attempts to smoke screen or divert away from that reality won't change it.

 

As to Social Security, if we do nothing in the next several years, Social Security benefits will eventually be in some trouble. We are drawing it down faster than we are paying into it now. It's a damn good thing that Reagan got those Social Security Tax increases (I know, I have blasphemed) through so we could build the rather large surplus fund we have now. It would take only minor tweaks to prevent trouble for a long time into the future.

 

For grins, consider what the Congressional Budget Office computed (under conservative, more conservative and even more conservative scenarios) what it would take to fund Social Security in perpetuity. The numbers they came up with (again they always go with assumptions being way worse than they ever have been as a safety factor) concluded that Medicare will need about 6 (yes, six) times as much money as Social Security to be funded in perpetuity. They computed the Present Value of monies required to fund each program in perpetuity. Just say thank you to Bush2 and the 2003 Congress for the Medicare Drug Benefit. They made sure that it would be illegal for Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

 

That is the reason that when the VA purchases a one year supply of a drug for $110-$120, Medicare will (in some instances) pay over $1000-$1200 for the same amount of the same medicine. Again, thank you Bush2 and the "conservative" 2003 Congress.

 

It's the reason many Americans break the law and buy American made drugs in Canada for substantially less than they pay here.

 

BTW, I incorrectly stated that net job creation in the eight years of Bush2 was smaller than it actually was. The actual net job creation during 8 years of Bush2 was about 1.08 million jobs or an average of 11,250 jobs per month for his whole presidency.

 

Under Carter, there was a net 10.3 million jobs created in 4 years for an average of 214,583 jobs per month. (actually only a little more than 19 times as much jobs created per month under Carter and not 30 or 50 times as many as I guesstimated in the earlier post. What can I say? I did some quick math in my head and missed it.

 

Still, with a smaller population and the resulting smaller economy, jobs were created under Carter more than 19 times as fast. To put this into perspective, it took less than 1.6 days under Carter to create the same number of jobs created under Bush2 during his monthly average!

Edited by Well Read

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well if xyzzz does not add up to obama being a saint try (a2+b2=c2) that is what he'll need to know when he helps constructing the mosque>

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So the percentage of accumulated debt as a percentage of present GDP went down under every president except the 3 fake conservatives.

Said number got worse under Reagan, Bush1 and Bush2 and ONLY those presidents since WW2. It got better under all other presidents since WW2. All bull crap aside, those are not contentions. They are facts. Attempts to smoke screen or divert away from that reality won't change it.

 

As to Social Security, if we do nothing in the next several years, Social Security benefits will eventually be in some trouble. We are drawing it down faster than we are paying into it now. It's a damn good thing that Reagan got those Social Security Tax increases (I know, I have blasphemed) through so we could build the rather large surplus fund we have now. It would take only minor tweaks to prevent trouble for a long time into the future.

 

 

Even accepting your definition of Gross Debt, your contention is wrong. The gross debt as a percentage of GDP under Reagan averaged 42.19% over the term of his office. Under George Bush I, that percentage was 58.28% and under George Bush II, that percentage was 62.18%. However, under Clinton, the average was 63.93%. Only the Obama Administration has had a higher percentage, which is around 90% today.

 

Comparing the Clinton average to the last three Republican Presidents, Clinton's average gross debt as a percentage of GDP was 51.5% higher than under the Reagan Administation, 9.7% higher than under the Bush I Administration, and 3% higher than under the Bush II Administration. These, too, are historical facts but ones you have chosen to ignore. As for the Obama Administration, the current budget deficit for 2010 alone is over $1.5 trillion. Under your analysis, if Obama's percentage started at 90% in 2009 and ends at 89% in 2012, he has somehow reduced the "Gross Debt" as you define it, even though the percentages under the last 3 Republican presidents were substantially smaller. That is a serious misinterpretation of the data.

 

As for the long-term viability of Social Security, there is no surplus waiting to be tapped. That's the gimmick Congress has employed for years. The money is gone. There is no trust fund. The government issued IOU's to the trust fund by borrowing money from it to reduce the amoutn of the annual budget deficit on paper and now must pay it back. It obviously can't do that this year as the surplus on paper is gone now, too. The system is not just in "some trouble" as you suggest. It is insolvent and those who deny it sound like Enron accountants.

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Even accepting your definition of Gross Debt, your contention is wrong. The gross debt as a percentage of GDP under Reagan averaged 42.19% over the term of his office. Under George Bush I, that percentage was 58.28% and under George Bush II, that percentage was 62.18%. However, under Clinton, the average was 63.93%. Only the Obama Administration has had a higher percentage, which is around 90% today.

 

Comparing the Clinton average to the last three Republican Presidents, Clinton's average gross debt as a percentage of GDP was 51.5% higher than under the Reagan Administation, 9.7% higher than under the Bush I Administration, and 3% higher than under the Bush II Administration. These, too, are historical facts but ones you have chosen to ignore. As for the Obama Administration, the current budget deficit for 2010 alone is over $1.5 trillion. Under your analysis, if Obama's percentage started at 90% in 2009 and ends at 89% in 2012, he has somehow reduced the "Gross Debt" as you define it, even though the percentages under the last 3 Republican presidents were substantially smaller. That is a serious misinterpretation of the data.

 

As for the long-term viability of Social Security, there is no surplus waiting to be tapped. That's the gimmick Congress has employed for years. The money is gone. There is no trust fund. The government issued IOU's to the trust fund by borrowing money from it to reduce the amoutn of the annual budget deficit on paper and now must pay it back. It obviously can't do that this year as the surplus on paper is gone now, too. The system is not just in "some trouble" as you suggest. It is insolvent and those who deny it sound like Enron accountants.

 

Why would you mention averages? The whole point is that it went down from begin term to end term when a fiscally responsible and competent president was in office. Averages is like saying how much corn did your tomatoe plants make. It's a non-sensical smokescreen.

 

With the mess Bush2 left Obama, I'm not sure any one could lower the Gross Debt (as % of GDP) under these conditions. It's sort of like cleaning up a hotel suite after Hunter S. Thompson and Led Zeppelin occupied it for a month. Much much bigger inherited disaster takes longer to fix.

 

Your numbers are very different than the ones I got off whitehouse.gov in 2006 (data thru 2005) that matched numbers I found in several other places that I went to later for recent data. Of course Bush2 is the latest president data can possibly be available for.

 

Better check your info. Check old data from Bush's years. Anytime you mention "average" percentage of accumulated debt to GDP it can only be a smokescreen. Fact is, accumulated debt as a percentage of GDP went down under every president since WW2 except the 3 fake conservatives.

 

That means, with presidents that were actual conservatives, or moderates and even liberals, it was a lower percentage of GDP when they left office than it was when their term started. Average during their term got nuttin' to do with it. Going down from start to end is the only real deal.

 

We are all entitled to our own opinions but not to our own facts.

 

Also, either the IOUs are good (might want to note that the US govt has never defaulted) and the SS system is actually still in signifcant surplus or our "never has defaulted" government is about to fall. Are you sure you can say SS is out of money when there has never been a default by the US govt?

 

Can't have it both ways.

Edited by Well Read

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Why would you mention averages? The whole point is that it went down from begin term to end term when a fiscally responsible and competent president was in office. Averages is like saying how much corn did your tomatoe plants make. It's a non-sensical smokescreen.

 

With the mess Bush2 left Obama, I'm not sure any one could lower the Gross Debt (as % of GDP) under these conditions. It's sort of like cleaning up a hotel suite after Hunter S. Thompson and Led Zeppelin occupied it for a month. Much much bigger inherited disaster takes longer to fix.

 

Your numbers are very different than the ones I got off whitehouse.gov in 2006 (data thru 2005) that matched numbers I found in several other places that I went to later for recent data. Of course Bush2 is the latest president data can possibly be available for.

 

Better check your info. Check old data from Bush's years. Anytime you mention "average" percentage of accumulated debt to GDP it can only be a smokescreen. Fact is, accumulated debt as a percentage of GDP went down under every president since WW2 except the 3 fake conservatives.

 

That means, with presidents that were actual conservatives, or moderates and even liberals, it was a lower percentage of GDP when they left office than it was when their term started. Average during their term got nuttin' to do with it. Going down from start to end is the only real deal.

 

We are all entitled to our own opinions but not to our own facts.

 

Also, either the IOUs are good (might want to note that the US govt has never defaulted) and the SS system is actually still in signifcant surplus or our "never has defaulted" government is about to fall. Are you sure you can say SS is out of money when there has never been a default by the US govt?

 

Can't have it both ways.

 

 

The numbers speak for themselves and came from usgovernmentspending.com The fallacy in your argument is that you say the % per year must be analyzed on a year to year basis by comparing the first year in office to the last year, such that if the number is 90% in the first year of a presidential term, 100% in the second year, 100% in the third year, and 89% in the last year, then you would claim that somehow the "gross debt" as you defined it declined, even though the gross debt as you define it increased substantially over the four year term. What happened in the fourth year, in and of itself, does not mean that the gross debt as I define it declined.

 

For your numbers to make any sense in support of your argument, it is only reasonable to average the years together to get an accurate picture over the four year period, not in a particular year. As indicated in my prior post, of all the Presidents prior to Obama, Clinton had the highest average gross debt (as you define it) over the course of his Presidency at around 62%, which was more than 50% higher than under Reagan, 9% higher than under Bush I, and 3% higher than under Bush II. Of course, Obama is now the highest with an average of 90% during the first two years of his term. The website provided does, in fact, provide the info for Obama and even projects an average for the next 2 years, as I recall.

 

Frankly, as I indicated in a prior post, gross debt as you define it is not the best indicator. IMO, the best indicator is to look at the annual budget deficit as a percentage of GDP on yearly basis and, if interested, average that number over the term of the presidency in question, or look at a trend from the percentages generated. These numbers can also be found at usgovernmentspending.com

 

On social security, every one including Dems acknowledge that the system is broken. The politicians, though, lack the backbone to fix it. I seriously doubt the federal government would default on its obligation, but it will require siphoning resources from elsewhere to keep the system afloat. Currently, the federal government owes $2.5 trillion to the SS trust fund. This year alone the system will fall $30 billion short comparing the amount of receipts minus payments to recipients, which the federal government paid in satisfaction of some of the IOU. By all accounts, it is projected that the system will be broke by 2037 when the IOU's will be exhausted. Some project that the timing will be much earlier than that. At that time, the taxpayers have paid $2.5 trillion in IOU's to keep the system from defaulting plus whatever the future deficits in the SS system will be at that time. Not a pretty picture.

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The numbers speak for themselves and came from usgovernmentspending.com The fallacy in your argument is that you say the % per year must be analyzed on a year to year basis by comparing the first year in office to the last year, such that if the number is 90% in the first year of a presidential term, 100% in the second year, 100% in the third year, and 89% in the last year, then you would claim that somehow the "gross debt" as you defined it declined, even though the gross debt as you define it increased substantially over the four year term. What happened in the fourth year, in and of itself, does not mean that the gross debt as I define it declined.

 

For your numbers to make any sense in support of your argument, it is only reasonable to average the years together to get an accurate picture over the four year period, not in a particular year. As indicated in my prior post, of all the Presidents prior to Obama, Clinton had the highest average gross debt (as you define it) over the course of his Presidency at around 62%, which was more than 50% higher than under Reagan, 9% higher than under Bush I, and 3% higher than under Bush II. Of course, Obama is now the highest with an average of 90% during the first two years of his term. The website provided does, in fact, provide the info for Obama and even projects an average for the next 2 years, as I recall.

 

Frankly, as I indicated in a prior post, gross debt as you define it is not the best indicator. IMO, the best indicator is to look at the annual budget deficit as a percentage of GDP on yearly basis and, if interested, average that number over the term of the presidency in question, or look at a trend from the percentages generated. These numbers can also be found at usgovernmentspending.com

 

On social security, every one including Dems acknowledge that the system is broken. The politicians, though, lack the backbone to fix it. I seriously doubt the federal government would default on its obligation, but it will require siphoning resources from elsewhere to keep the system afloat. Currently, the federal government owes $2.5 trillion to the SS trust fund. This year alone the system will fall $30 billion short comparing the amount of receipts minus payments to recipients, which the federal government paid in satisfaction of some of the IOU. By all accounts, it is projected that the system will be broke by 2037 when the IOU's will be exhausted. Some project that the timing will be much earlier than that. At that time, the taxpayers have paid $2.5 trillion in IOU's to keep the system from defaulting plus whatever the future deficits in the SS system will be at that time. Not a pretty picture.

 

 

I meant that if you look at the accumulated debt as a percentage of GDP at the time a president took office and then check what that percentage is at the end of their term. If the percentage went up, then debt grew proportionally faster than GDP. If it went down, even though the deficit increased, then the size of the economy grew faster than debt did proportionally. This measure takes into account so many factors that it is a much better measure of what happened during an administration in terms of fiscal responsibility. Raw deficit numbers aren't terribly out of whack with one another for 2 adjacent years but can be drastically different for years spread a few years apart.

 

Even if you look at only raw numbers though, the 3 fake conservatives look pretty irresponsible compared to any other president in history. (that is if honesty allows for the reality of the Great Depression and this horrendous catastrophe of an economy that Obama inherited)

 

It might take something similar to what Reagan did (tax increase) to make SS more secure. I think it will probably come from minor revenue tweaks (change upper limit on SS wages to $200k maybe) along with a rather large influx of younger workers (Reagan also did that with what some called amnesty of illegal aliens.) Bush wanted to get an immigration bill through but that is going to take some political honesty. I'm not sure that Obama can succeed where Bush failed. Reagan did it but it was a much smaller issue then.

 

But yes, the borrowing from SS will be paid (and should be) like the other equivalent obligations that the US govt has never defaulted on.

 

The debt as a % of GDP certainly shows whether a pres is at least trying not to make the folks look silly who voted for them as conservatives. Those 3 guys are far from being fiscally conservative in any meaningful way.

 

And I still have to wonder at how Carter is considered by uninformed or misinformed people to be a worse president than Bush. I mean, come on. Carter's average job creation per less than 1.6 day beat Bush's average job creation per MONTH.

 

(10.3 million (Carter) jobs in 4 years versus 1.08 million (Bush2) jobs in 8 years) Carter was not a very bubbly cheerleader like Reagan was, though.

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I made a mistake. Debt as a percentage of GDP actually increased under Nixon/Ford but only very slightly. The increase was only 0.2% for their combined terms.

 

Ironically, this means that among republican presidents since WW2, only Eisenhower actually lowered the Gross Debt as % of GDP while EVERY democrat president did so. This is only one reason why I'm a little confused what conservative seems to mean today.

 

Seemingly voting automatically for a republican because they are always more conservative than democrats is as sensible as going outside at night because you like the bright sunlight.

 

Being honest though, I believe Nixon actually had a surplus one year. He was the last non-democrat to do so. And the increase in debt as % of GDP during the 3 fake conservatives increase was monstrous compared to the increase under Nixon/Ford.

 

You still have to contrast all that with the undeniable reality that it went down during every democrat administration.

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