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bito On January - 16 - 2011


The place to post your comments without interrupting the single topic posts.  However, be mindful of the strict rules!!

If you find the rules here are too confining, try the Morning Blog.





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Every so often I intrude TO/OT with a personal pick of a site that I find important that I feel needs to be shared and not lost in the shuffle of the constant flow of thoughts on The Planet.

And yet with globalization, we seem to have developed a strange apprehension about the efficacy of our ability to apply the innovation and hard work necessary to successfully compete in a complex security and economic environment. Further, we have misunderstood interdependence as a weakness rather than recognizing it as a strength. The key to sustaining our competitive edge, at home or on the world stage, is credibility — and credibility is a difficult capital to foster. It cannot be won through intimidation and threat, it cannot be sustained through protectionism or exclusion. Credibility requires engagement, strength, and reliability — imaginatively applied through the national tools of development, diplomacy, and defense.

The Y Article

A National Security Narrative



kesmarn says:

Working in a hospital tends to teach people to keep their emotions pretty much under control — at least while they’re on the job. But tonight I came about as close to losing it as I ever have.

I was admitting a patient who needed in-patient attention because she was so sick from the side effects of chemo that she was getting dehydrated. She was down to about 88 pounds and was so weak that walking the short distance to the bathroom was almost too much for her. In the process of the admission interview, we are required to ask patients whether they have any concerns about paying for medications or their hospitalization.

Her answer was: “Oh yes! The state just threw me off of Medicaid. I ended up on Medicare, but I have no Part D, so I have to pay for all my own meds.” (This included her chemo.) “I’ve tried and tried to call my case worker but the phone just rings and rings most times. If I am able to get through, all I can do is leave a voice mail. And the case worker never calls back.”

I assured her that the Social Service people would get on the case and advised her to let them fight the battle for her while she got some rest.

Inside, I was boiling.

This is not “austerity.” This is murder.

How Kasich and his Tea Party cronies could expect this frail, very ill woman to navigate through the systematic and deliberately neglectful maze they had set up is beyond me. I’m sure the medicaid case workers have ridiculously unrealistic caseloads. I doubt that they are intentionally refusing to return her calls. No. The blame for this horror story doesn’t fall on the patient, the case worker, the hospital, or the Department of Job and Family Services.

The blame for this belongs squarely on the shoulders of John Kasich, the Koch brothers who own him, and the RW in the State of Ohio.

There should be an especially hot corner of the Great Eternal E-Z Bake reserved for that crew, comes the REAL rapture.




American Civic Knowledge Survey

Both the ancient Greeks and Romans valued wise and public-spirited citizens. Let’s see just how wise you really are? Are you a Barbarian, Philosopher King, or something in-between?


Mapping the Measure of America

Written by bito

Was once a handsome frog until kissed by an ugly corporate princess.----- Like a well honed knife, the internet can be a wonderful and useful tool. It can be used to prepare and serve a delicious meal or it can be used to cause harm. peace

22,139 Responses so far.

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  1. bito says:

    Did you miss Ms.Bachmann’s new history video? 😆

    ” />

  2. bito says:

    They just don’t get it do they? Most people don’t have corporate jets, farm subsidies, ethanol/oil subsidies, deductions on their second homes, offshore bank accounts nor do most people even have enough deductions to itemize.

    Republican Senators Defend Corporate Jet Tax Loophole

    While closing the loophole wouldn’t raise enough money to solve the deficit problem by any means, it points to the absurdity of much of the spending in the tax code and would surely be a step in the right direction. The conservative response to ending it, meanwhile, speaks to the priorities of their tax cut “theology” — fewer taxes for the wealthy above all else.


    According to Simpson-Bowles only 10%, the top 10%, of taxpayers use most of the tax deductions because they are the only ones making enough to deduct them and only pay an effective rate of 16%.

    As much as I get aggravated with Cenk, he did what may a first yesterday on the tube. A Republican said that the top 10% pay 40% of all income taxes and as Cenk pointed out “It’s because they make 40% of the income!” Duh?!

    • kesmarn says:

      To Cenk I say: “Well played, sir!” Thanks for passing that one on, b’ito.

      I also get frustrated when I hear the RW pouting about the fact that the bottom wage earners “pay no taxes.” For starters, they certainly do pay sales taxes, gas taxes and many others. And the fact that the working poor labor hard for unjustly, cruelly low wages is really a form of subsidy of the wealthy.

      If the rich want to take a look at a class of parasites, they need go no further than the nearest mirror.

      • bito says:

        Yes k’es, the complaint about not paying taxes and the complaint about corporate taxes being double taxes gets to me. When you get your check your income taxes and payroll taxes are already taken out and with your net you pay sales tax, property tax, gas tax, fees, and it’s doubtful that you have enough for deductions (66% do not deduct anything). Percentage-wise the average wage earner pay way more taxes (well except for RN’s, because they make max out on SS taxes, once they hit 100,000, they are scot free 😉 ) but they still have to pay sales tax on all the Ben-Gay to sooth their aching bones-daily.

  3. SueInCa says:

    Has everyone heard about this? I am posting it for information.


    I am going to see what it is all about. I hope it is not like the meetings they started after the election which they dropped in mid-stream without any warning.

  4. bito says:

    Finally the R’s have a strong contender for their primary!

    Rep. Thaddeus McCotter to announce run for president

    During the stop, he told the Des Moines Register that he thought there was room for more conservative candidates like him in the race. […]

    The avid Beatles fan and guitar player served in House Republican leadership as the policy chairman from 2006 until 2010.

    H/T GottaLaff

    He should really split the votes now that he is in the race--with Gary Johnson. 😉

    • I used to call them REO Stationwagon.

    • kesmarn says:

      McCotter is extremely odd, b’ito. I saw a bit of an interview with him on “Huckabee” (why in the world was I watching that?). And he acts as though he is cooly disengaged in a mocking sort of way all the time. Like everything is a huge joke to him. (That mysterious, smirky smile at the end of the Maddow segment seems very typical.)

      I have to give him credit, though. He is a pretty good guitar player. He played with Huckabee’s band on a red/white/blue electric and held up better than the Huckster did.

      • Ted Nuggent is also a good guitar player. A right wing fanatic, but a good guitar player.

        • kesmarn says:

          Yes, KT, I hate it when I have to be fair and admit that people I really don’t admire have talent! 😆

          • Yeah, same here kes. Like Bachman taking care of so many foster children. A very noble thing to do, but her political fanaticism outweighs the good. Some of her policies would actually harm children and force mothers to bear unwanted children.

            • Not cynical at all kes. They clearly had vested interests in raising those kids.

            • kesmarn says:

              I know this sounds really cynical, KT, but I knew a conservative family who also had a lot of fosters, but for a couple of the wrong reasons.

              One was that they got a monthly stipend for each child from the county, and the other was that they chose older foster girls who were able to babysit their own kids and do housework.

              Icky… :-(

        • Khirad says:

          I loved the Colbert bit on Nugent’s op-ed complaining to the youth of today.

          Colbert got a college student and told her about it.

          Her response: Ted who?

          Perfect! 😆

          And where does he get off pretending he was part of the counterculture to begin with? He was never liberal. His bandmates were, but not him. He was too busy banging (er, raping) underage girls, anyway.

          • When he was with the Amboy Dukes, they came to my hometown and played in an old Wonder Bread factory, on a stage that was only a few feet high. I and some friends were sitting in the front row. At one point, Nugent had his hands free because the bass player was doing a solo. So I offered Nugent a lit joint, and he acted like I was trying to poison him. What a douche.

            • Khirad says:

              Yup, he only has one vice: little girls.

              Otherwise, he’s straightedge without all the veganism.

              I think Ted Nugent is the perfect pro-drug posterboy.

      • SueInCa says:

        I seem to remember him right after the 08 election bringing up some ridiculous bill against Obama. I am going to see if I can find it.

        A July 24, 2009, press release from McCotter’s House website states that McCotter will introduce a House Resolution on July 27, 2009, calling on President Obama to apologize to Sgt. James Crowley for his remarks about the latter’s arresting Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for disorderly conduct on July 16, 2009, if President Obama doesn’t first issue an apology on his own.[2]

        I have a pretty good memory

      • SueInCa says:

        I seem to remember him right after the 08 election bringing up some ridiculous bill against Obama. I am going to see if I can find it.

  5. bito says:

    Looks like the situation in Kansas, on abortion clinics has been in flux all day. This from the twitter widget:

    MotherJones Lots of updates to the Kansas Abortion Clinic story: http://mojo.ly/msdPGl


    UPDATE 6:08 PM EST THURSDAY: Planned Parenthood just announced that the health department has, in fact, decided to grant it a license to continue operating. The PP clinic in Overland Park will remain open. “Notwithstanding that the regulations are burdensome and unnecessary, the findings of the inspection indicate what we have known and said throughout this process: Planned Parenthood operates with the highest standards of patient care and has rigorous safety procedures in place,” Brownlie said.

  6. bito says:

    Reid cancels Senate recess for holiday

    The Senate will cancel its July 4 recess to remain in session next week during debt-limit talks, Majority Leader Harry Reid said today.

    Reid, a Nevada Democrat, announced his decision a day after President Barack Obama said Congress shouldn’t be taking vacations while the debt-limit issue remains unresolved. The House is on vacation this week and is scheduled to return to Washington July 6.

    Read more: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/topstory/7633761.html#ixzz1QntrD2sl

    Of course Mr.Speaker is busy tweeting about the House will be voting on a “Balanced Budget Amendment” which will never pass and helps the create jobs and about as much as a dog scratching or a cat napping.

    Does it even enter the brains that them not raising the debt limit that millions of people on SS/SSI need those checks to pay rent? Or that SSI people need the Medicaid to stay alive? Soldiers and their families without their pay? No food inspections? No student loans/grants paid?

    The list goes on and we have Rommney and Bachmann saying “don’t raise the limit! Just pay the bond holders!”? Screw the people and pay Wall Street?

    • SueInCa says:

      I, for one, am glad the angry man came out, I would actually describe it as perturbed. I am not sure Obama has “angry” in him.

      • bito says:

        Sue, I have been rereading his books and some of his speeches and as much as I would like the “angry” side of him to come out, it has seems to have never been a part of him. He really is what he is. He is a centrist pragmatic problem solver with a progressive bent. Even as mild as he was in his presser the other day, the R’s have called him a demagogue and that he should apologize for the presser.

        He may have the better plan/idea for the U.S. but the R’s have way better spin and corporate media on their side.

        • SueInCa says:

          I would agree with you. I know he is not the angry man, now Cain is probably more likely to react like that. I am sick of the Dems not having better spin. I want Howard Dean back

    • kesmarn says:

      I’m glad Harry’s forcing them to stay on the job, b’ito. They’ve been disconnected from reality too long already. Rather than running back to their constituents over the recess and spewing T-Bag rhetoric, they need to get down to business and deal with real issues.

      If they’re even capable of it.

      (And I wouldn’t bet the rent money that they are.)

      • bito says:

        k’es, whenever McCain comes to the area for a “town hall” (rare) they are usually held in a a resort in the foothills well out of town, same as his fund raisers and I can’t even remember the last time Kyl was even in town. But then Tucson does have a bunch of “those Brown People” and why would they want to be close to the great unwashed?
        They used to go on local talk radio, spew their talking points, take one/two questions-no follow up (I once got cut off with Kyl because “if you want to have a discussion, call his office) and then say “Well, I have to go” after 5-15 minutes.
        Talk about living in a bubble!

        • kesmarn says:

          b’ito, I can already imagine what the security must be like at those “town halls.” I would bet that you have to have CIA top security rating, a full background check and a 100 year personal history with the Republican Party to even get to the parking lot. Funny, when you think of what the term “town hall meeting” used to mean.

          Isn’t the Republican reaction to (basically) being called slackers interesting? This has made them mad in a way that I haven’t seen in a while.
          They don’t seem to flinch when anyone calls them heartless or greedy, but lazy gets under their skin. Weird, huh?

          • bito says:

            Good one k’es,

            They don’t seem to flinch when anyone calls them heartless or greedy, but lazy gets under their skin. Weird, huh?

            I have read a few comments, from R’s, complaining about the Prez telling them to get to work and him bringing up his children not actually about the tax loopholes and their effect on the economy just that he told them to get off their duffs. I read one statement from a Senator complaining that “most Senators weren’t really involved in the budget/debt ceiling talks.” Well get involved! Quit sitting at the back of the classroom making paper airplanes and throwing spitballs.
            I read an article the other day showing that M. Bachmann has not had a single bill introduced and passed in all her years in in the house. Talk about your spitballs!

            • kesmarn says:

              Literally “all talk, no action,” b’ito.

              Wouldn’t a lot of us love to have jobs like that? “Professional Spitball Manufacturer and Launcher.”

  7. ADONAI says:

    So, wait. Someone called Obama a dick? HA!

    I would just ask that person, “what do you expect?”. You sit in a room day after day listening to dicks being dicks to you, eventually you’re gonna say something.

    • Khirad says:

      I always thought sourpuss Halperin was a bit of a dick, but it was done in jest -- he was goaded to do it tongue-in-cheek. I completely disagree with Halperin’s suggestion that Obama’s tact was disrespectful in calling out the Repubs, but this and the pained apologies were even more cringeworthy to me. They’re acting as if he dropped the f-bomb. I happened to have seen this go down and the solemn mea culpas were bewildering to me. Considering all the disrespect towards the president, this was a tempest in a teapot IMHO.

      I’m not defending the show in general, or Mark Halperin, but really, it wasn’t as bad as it’s being made out to be. I even dropped them an e-mail saying to stop with the pained on-air apologies. It almost made it worse and lent a gravity to the original comment that was never there to begin with -- it was a blip, a bad schtick at worst. That being said, Halperin is a dick, as was the whole characterization that Obama stepped over some line and was unfair to the Republicans. But they do that all the time, and no one gets suspended for that. I see this more a consequence of silly puritanism, thereby missing the whole point.

  8. bito says:

    Maybe Haleprin needs a spinner,er, press secretary like this Senator.

    GOP Sen. Pat Roberts: Obama should “take a valium”

    Roberts’ suggestion that Mr. Obama take Valium, a drug often proscribed to relieve anxiety, then followed.

    “Maybe if he would just take a Valium and calm down and come on down and talk to us it might be helpful,” said Roberts, who added that Mr. Obama’s last meeting with Republicans was simply a “lecture.”

    And the spin:

    Asked about the comment, Roberts’ press secretary, Andrea Candrian, said the senator was just making a joke, as is his nature.

    “That’s the kind of guy he is,” she said. “I think he was just trying to say ‘let’s just all take a breather and work this thing out.'”


    And when Senator Cronyn (R-TX) called President Obama a demagogue (speaking about O’s presser) was that just a joke too.
    These guys wanting to cut everything to do with the social safety net and cutting taxes for the rich are just regular comedians, aren’t they?

  9. Sabreen60 says:

    Every time some assh0le like Halperin says something like this I go to Obama 2012 and donate. Now Sen. Pat Roberts says the President needs to take a valium. You know the “angry black guy needs to cool it”. So I’ve got to donate, AGAIN. At this rate I won’t have enough money to buy anymore mugs and tee-shirts.

    • kesmarn says:

      I don’t want to bust both of our budgets, Sabreen, but Rep. Joe Walsh just referred to the President in that press conference as “a 10 year old who doesn’t want to get serious” on CNN’s “In the Arena.”

      This is beginning to look like a concerted effort to “Howard Dean-ize” the President. (“Oooooh…he showed emotion. He’s out of control. He’s lost it.)

      I hope people are smart enough not to fall for that stupid Rep trick again.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Sabreen--you ROCK!

      • Sabreen60 says:

        Thanks Cher. But when I grow up I want to be like you!

        I see Senator Cornyn just upped the ante…wait…please wait a moment….honey, can I get $100…these guys have caused me to go a little over budget this week. Ok, thanks.

  10. Kalima says:

    Personally I’m glad, this guy has grated on my last nerve for a long time. I hope they don’t let him back in. I’m so sick and tired of the disrespect I hear in your media.

    MSNBC’s Halperin Suspended for Comment
    Time columnist apologizes for dickish description of Obama as the White House calls comments “inappropriate.”


    • bito says:

      Morning Kalima,
      I don’t watch Morning Joe, I can’t stand to watch it but I have seen clips and and other MSNBC shows with Halleprin on and I’m with you, good riddance.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      I could not agree more! I’d prefer that Joke and Halperin were suspended indefinitely from the human race. I just read a couple of commentaries about the incident which I think really nailed the much more important issue:

      I care less about Halperin’s use of the word “dick” than I do about the argument he and Joe Scarborough were making — that Obama somehow stepped over some kind of line in aggressively calling out the GOP for refusing to allow any revenues in a debt ceiling deal. This notion that Obama’s tone was somehow over the top — when politics is supposed to be a rough clash of visions — is rooted in a deeply ingrained set of unwritten rules about what does and doesn’t constitute acceptable political discourse that really deserve more scrutiny. This set of rules has it that it should be treated as a matter of polite, legitimate disagreement when Michele Bachmann says deeply insane things about us not needing to raise the debt limit, but it should be seen as an enormously newsworthy gaffe when she commits a relatively minor error about regional trivia. This set of rules has it that it should be treated as a matter of polite, legitimate disagreement when Republicans continually claim that Dems cut $500 billion in Medicare in a way that will directly impact seniors, even though fact checkers have pronounced it misleading, but it should be seen as “demagoguery” when Dems argue that the Paul Ryan plan would end Medicare as we know it.

      And this:

      This really is nonsense. It’s not the word “dick” that’s the problem, fergawdsake. It’s not pictures of dicks either. It’s that these people have contrived this absurd set of shallow manners in which saying dick or taking a picture of a dick is wrong while lying, manipulating and cavalierly risking the country’s future (which is what Obama was allegedly being a dick about!) is considered perfectly acceptable.

      It’s the perfect manifestation of the Village. A bunch of decadent aristocrats pretending to be virgins and nuns, moralizing over trivia as a “lesson” for the rubes, all the while indulging in a debauched orgy of power and privilege.


      Again, yes, calling the President a dick is revolting. But seriously, the reason they think Obama was “being a dick” is the true obscenity! And no one really focuses on that--on the obscenity of the policies of the Right! Bachmann gets ridiculed for her idiocy about history, but NOT for her much more evil ideas. Same with Halperin and his other assholes. What I wish the entire uproar was about was not that Halperin was rude and disrespectful--but about WHAT he thought was dickworthy. In any sane world, Halperin’s criticism would have caused the uproar--not the word “dick.”

      • Khirad says:

        Exactly my takeaway. The word ‘dick’ was not my issue at all. It was the whole assertion that I found offensive.

        But of course, you can’t get suspended for the assertion, even though it is far more damaging than a word I think is about as offensive as butt. Is dick really still beyond the pale in this day and age? Golly gee Beaver.

      • Kalima says:

        Thanks for including the comments Cher, I linked to what the President said down below yesterday and saw nothing wrong with it. If the GOP want to act like rowdy infantile school kids, the they should be made to stay after class.

      • bito says:

        Exactly Cher, it wasn’t the word but the sentiment behind the why he felt he needed to use it.

      • Chernynkaya says:


        New details on Mark Halperin’s suspension: An MSNBC source tells me that MSNBC preident Phil Griffin’s initial response to Halperin’s “dick” crack was that he should be suspended for two weeks, in keeping with Ed Schultz’s recent limited suspension. But the volume of emails flooding in demanding Halperin’s firing persuaded him the suspension should be indefinite, the source says. That’s what MSNBC announced this morning.

        But the White House has been privately sending MSNBC a similar message to what David Axelrod said earlier today, the source says: That they view Halperin’s move as stupid and distasteful, but ultimately a mistake that should not be a defining one. That, plus the commentary today saying it was an overreaction, likely means that Halperin will be ultimately allowed back on the air at some point, the source says.

    • kesmarn says:

      It might have taken him 10 years of being a sycophantic hanger-on and douche to get his career to that point, Kalima, but he blew it all up in 10 seconds, didn’t he?

      You could see the panicky flop-sweats he was going through as he issued that apology.

      What a stupid, insulting, juvenile thing to say. I think he needs to find another job — well out of the public eye. Just because the President is a cool guy with a sense of humor, is no reason to think that it’s okay to show disrespect like this.

      • Kalima says:

        I used to hear people talk about “Morning Joe” so when it became available, I downloaded it from iTunes. Now I can’t watch it because of guys that this, and of course the obvious reasons too. I hope that they can him, he hasn’t had a single good word to say about the President or this administration, and that miserable know-it-all face and attitude induced bile every time he came on. Good riddance. As you say, HS locker room snark doesn’t belong on a political opinion program. He and those like him disgust me.

        • kesmarn says:

          I can’t watch “Morning Joe” either, Kalima. Too giddy/snarky too early in the morning. (And I’m not a morning person to start with!)

          They and people like Robin Meade are not much different/better than FOX’s Megyn Kelly or Sean Hannity.

          If we based our judgments only on these programs, we could only conclude that 35 is the new 15.

          I know absolutely that there are people in their 30s and 40s out there who are brilliant and have sparkling personalities. Why aren’t they on cable?

          I guess that’s why so few of us watch it!

          • Kalima says:

            I have no time for the host or his jumpy sidekick Mika, they all look as if they are on speed, and Joe constantly boasting about his term in Washington makes me want to say. “Wow, weren’t you the lucky guy”.

            I just went to iTunes and unsubscribed it from my podcast list, don’t watch more than 3 minutes of it before screaming anyway.

            • Kalima says:

              Ah yes bito, I had forgotten about the dead staffer and have forgotten the details too, but there is no excuse for the things he says on his show sometimes. He sounds as if he is living in another universe when he talks about the President and the GOP being able to work together to accomplish things and I have to wonder if he’s sober when he’s on the air.

            • bito says:

              Kalima, I lived in Florida when Joe was in office, and was active in the Dem. Party, and when Joe “decided not to run for reelection to spend more time with his family”, his chances for reelection was was questionable. Might have have something to do with the young female staffer found in his office. 😉


    • whatsthatsound says:

      unbelievable. Lower a bar, and some jerk tries to wiggle underneath it. Fortunately, this guy got nailed, and I would hope there is very little enthusiasm among viewers for his return to the airwaves.

  11. kesmarn says:

    How nauseating…

    Glenn Beck is rambling on and on, in the most patronizing way, about how so many of his “great ideas” come from his support people (camera and sound guys), a number of whom are minority folks. (Limbaugh does the same thing.) The staff people are standing there, looking uncomfortable, just trying to do their jobs and stay under the radar.

    It’s such a relief that this is his last show. I’m sure they just want to get the hell out of there.

  12. bito says:

    Since 2009, 88 Percent Of Income Growth Went To Corporate Profits, Just One Percent Went To Wages

    “Between the second quarter of 2009 and the fourth quarter of 2010, real national income in the U.S. increased by $528 billion. Pre-tax corporate profits by themselves had increased by $464 billion while aggregate real wages and salaries rose by only $7 billion or only .1%. Over this six quarter period, corporate profits captured 88% of the growth in real national income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for only slightly more than 1% of the growth in real national income. …The absence of any positive share of national income growth due to wages and salaries received by American workers during the current economic recovery is historically unprecedented.”


    Again lets cut taxes on the “job creators”, lets see if we cut them some more if we can get unemployment up to 20%! Would that then be a victory for the R’s?

    The Job Creators?


    • kesmarn says:

      If we could cut taxes for the wealthy to 0%, b’ito, and get rid of the unions and minimum wage laws, everything would be perfect. According to their “logic.”

      I’m watching Dick Durbin on C-SPAN2 at the moment, trying to talk/act like an adult regarding the budget. He might as well be speaking Martian, I’m afraid.


      • bito says:

        k’es thanks for the heads up on Dick Durbin. “tax subsidies for owners of thoroughbred horses wile cutting Medicare/Medicaid? Is that what this country is about?”

        Big WOW on the happenings in Ohio yesterday! Over 3 times the number of signatures needed and quite the parade. I hope it got some major coverage. Too bad you guys are just being “misled” according to Kasich not that he misled anyone during his campaign.

        • kesmarn says:

          Yes, b’ito, 1.3 million signatures. That was great.

          On the other hand: the Budget of Horrors was passed too.

          Prisons privatized. No abortions in public hospitals after there is a detectable heartbeat. Severe cuts in Medicaid. And that’s just the beginning. As Kasich said: ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet.’

          Nevertheless, getting rid of SB5 can only be a good thing.

  13. bito says:

    Causes of change in debt

    According to the CBO, the U.S. last had a surplus during fiscal year (FY) 2001. From FY2001 to FY2009, spending increased by 6.5% of GDP (from 18.2% of GDP to 24.7%) while taxes declined by 4.7% of GDP (from 19.5% of GDP to 14.8%). The drivers of the expense increases (expressed as % of GDP) are Medicare & Medicaid (1.7%), Defense (1.6%), Income Security such as unemployment benefits and food stamps (1.4%), Social Security (0.6%) and all other categories (1.2%). The drivers of tax reductions are individual income taxes (−3.3%), payroll taxes (−0.5%), corporate income taxes (−0.5%) and other (−0.4%). The 2009 spending level is the highest relative to GDP in 40 years, while the tax receipts are the lowest relative to GDP in 40 years. The next highest spending year was 1985 (22.8%) while the next lowest tax year was 2004 (16.1%).


    Interesting that when watching the floor speeches by the R’s none of these facts are ever mentioned or the fact in in the latest poll that 52% blame the bad economy on either President Bush or wall street and only 8% blame it on President Obama.

    would someone on one of these talkers ask a Republican why when the tax rates were still low during the Bush administration very few jobs were created (the lowest since WWII) and brought down the economy how will lower taxes now help job creation?

    ” width=”500″ alt=”jobs-taxes” />


    • ADONAI says:

      I like Obama but I’ll never forget that he said this was a “necessary war”. I hope he’s in office in 2104. Once the troops are all out(which isn’t happening), we can ask him what was so goddamn necessary.

      • choicelady says:

        Because of what Bush had started and the long time haven Afghanistan had become for terrorists. That is no longer true. What has changed is that we have shifted policy (in Afghanistan and elsewhere) to trying to rebuild that nation. I have heard a number of people familiar with the character of Afghani political organization say that is impossible, that it is and always has been a compilation of regions not a nation state. I think that is true, and I think the goal, while laudable, is probably untenable. But morally I believe Obama is right -- we have to try to give stability to those regions because of the great damage done by Bush’s decision first to go in, then to ignore it all in favor of Iran while still having us lob munitions at Afghani people. Obama is trying his best to clean up the mess.I’m not sure anyone can do that.

        • Afghanistan was in tatters before we went in. The Soviets really messed up that country. I am all for helping other nations, but every time I hear it said that we are nation building in foreign countries, I can’t help feeling that we have plenty of nation building to do right here at home. Just think of what 4 TRILLION dollars could do here at home.

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