Free Markets, Free People

Using the race card to drive off independents

As the health care debate has raged over the last year, one of the side benefits has been to watch the left make absolute fools of themselves trying to make it all about race.  I mean to any impartial observer it is clear which side is obsessed with the issue – to the point of making statements like this:

“The conjunction of a black President and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play.”

That, of course, is Frank Rich.  And Mr. Rich has never met anyone who opposes what he supports that isn’t a racist, homophobe or, well, whatever it takes to dismiss them and ignore their arguments.

The proof of this, at least to Rich, is the fact that the majority of those who’ve turned out for Tea Party events are white. Therefore, it must be about race. Not about opposing ideas. Not about freedom. Not about liberty. Race obsessed leftists simply can’t see beyond the predominant color of the crowd. And Rich isn’t the only one, of course. Joan Walsh, infamous for her pronouncement that all who oppose Obama are traitors, has crawled out from under her rock again to add racist to her condemnation.  She sort of tiptoes around it, but her intent is more than clear:

The “I want my country back!” rhetoric does reflect a mind-set in which one’s country has been taken away by … others. But in thinking about race this weekend, I got more out of a column by Ron Brownstein, which examined poll data showing that white voters — wrongly — tend to believe healthcare reform helped “other people,” not themselves.

Note the premise – the “I want my country back” isn’t driven by the obvious power grab made by government this year in a myriad of areas.  Oh, no – it’s about race.  And it’s about whites not being happy with becoming a minority and with seeing “other people helped”.  Walsh is pretty sure “other people” is code for, well, you know. Their dissatisfaction couldn’t possibly be government, or politicians, or God forbid – Democrats – could it?  And they certainly couldn’t possibly conclude that any help their family might get would be vastly overshadowed by what it will eventually cost them to obtain it where that might not be the case for “others” (regardless of race)?

Oh, no.  It has to be about race.

By playing the race card, Walsh, Rich and Brownstein miss the point completely.  Health care is only the current reason for the demonstrated dissatisfaction.  Government expansion, cost and intrusion are the real issues driving these protests.  Protesters are mad at those who are doing the expansion, intruding and the spending.  And protesters really don’t care what their race might be.   It isn’t about race – its about redistribution, intrusion, more government and more regulation.  It’s about the increasingly bigger and more costly federal government and it’s attempt to build a dependent class while billing the rest of us.

One of the reasons the Democrats are losing independents in droves can be seen in statement’s like Rich’s and implications like Wash’s.  When independents see a policy they don’t like and they dissent, the first thing they’re accused of is being a racist.  It has to be true – the crowd is mostly white and the president is black.   The independent knows perfectly well, of course, that race has nothing to do with the reason they’re protesting, yet the Richs, Walshs and Sharptons of the world (and yes, Rich and Walsh belong in the same class as Sharpton – race hustlers) insist that’s their primary motivation.  It couldn’t possibly be anything any more noble.

Walsh notes:

Even though the Obama administration tried to stress the bill’s benefits to all families — insurance for folks with preexisting conditions, restrictions on companies dropping you when you get sick, letting kids stay on parents’ policies until they’re 26, as well as subsidies that will mainly go to middle- and working-class families (the poor are already covered by Medicaid) — a Gallup survey found that 57 percent of white respondents said that the bill would help the uninsured, and 52 percent said that it would improve conditions for low-income families. Only a third of whites thought it would benefit the country, and shockingly, only 20 percent thought it would benefit their family. (Nonwhites polled were more likely to say the bill would help their families.)

I hate to get into word parsing, but read that through carefully.  In fact, click on the Brownstein link and read it as well.  Note the final sentence above.  Nonwhites polled were “more likely” to say the bill would help their families.  That means a significant portion of nonwhites apparently said the opposite.  So what does that make them?

These are the sorts of convoluted arguments one is forced to make when they’re a professional race-baiter.  Well, if a majority of whites are racists if they oppose health care because  (pick your reason from those listed in Walsh’s quote), then what are the minority of nonwhites who feel the same way?  Or are they instead just ignorant?  Misinformed?  Stupid?  Or could they too be worried about the eventual cost to them of the monstrosity the Congress passed and called “health care reform?”

Anyone who didn’t fall off the turnip truck last night knows the purpose of playing the race card as Walsh and Rich are doing is to stifle debate and discredit dissent (when you can’t fight their ideas, call ‘em racists).  It doesn’t take long for such attempts to backfire on those making the groundless accusation.  That’s because the people they continue to accuse of racism know quite well they’re not racists and that race doesn’t factor into their dissatisfaction at all.  That allows them to reject the argument and those making it. And one by one, independents, many of whom were Obama voters, finally tire of the continued accusations thrown and the dismissal of their dissent and they desert the Democrats.

The funny thing?  I expect the Walshs, Richs and Sharptons of the world to characterize their defection as being racist as well.  I’ll be interested to see their explanation of how the racists managed, at one time, to overcome their inherent racism long enough to vote Obama into office. That should be quite a treat.

~McQ

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94 Responses to Using the race card to drive off independents

  • I’ll keep saying it– this kind of attitude will make November worse.  Hey, if it’s true that much of the anger is just some right-driven astro-turfing, then maligning it won’t have any negative effects for the Democrats.  But if the polls are accurate, and there is a growing dissatisfaction from independents, it’s incredibly dumb to further antagonize them this way.  Especially when it seems that many of them voted for Democrats in 2006/8.

  • You think the race card is being fully played now, wait till the election in ’12.  By that point anyone voting against Obama, no matter the reason, will be considered a racist. 

  • I think there maybe a simpler explanation. 

    Rich et al view the world through a race prism.  Therefore, they think everyone else does as well.

  • “Even though the Obama administration tried to stress the bill’s benefits to all families”
     
    Another recurring theme – that by stressing the benefits (over and over and over) people who understand basic economic principles and are against this, will suddenly see the moon ponies and unicorns that are hiding in the background who will negate economics of the whole thing.
     
    Fact is, a lot of adults really DO understand Santa is a nice myth, but he’s still a myth, and no matter how many times you stress what a wonderful thing Christmas is for the kiddies.

    • looker“Even though the Obama administration tried to stress the bill’s benefits to all families”

      Another recurring theme – that by stressing the benefits (over and over and over) people who understand basic economic principles and are against this, will suddenly see the moon ponies and unicorns that are hiding in the background who will negate economics of the whole thing.

      Add to it that Imeme and the dems will increasingly be exposed as incompetents and /or liars when all those lovely benefits not only fail to materialize, but instead are replaced by increased premiums, taxes, fines, directives, etc*.  Further, I’d say that many people are leery of being “oversold”: when something sounds too good to be true and the salesman tries too hard to make the sale, the deal starts to look very suspicious.

      Notice also Walsh’s exasperation that people just don’t believe everything Imeme tells them.  “He TOLD you proles that it would be good for you!  Why don’t you believe him???  Is it because you are all racists???  Or just plain stupid???”

      When do we start demanding that people who voted for Imeme and the rest of the dems start wearing a public badge of shame?  A dunce hat seems appropriate.  Or “SUCKER!” tatooed across the forehead.

      —–

      (*) al-AP is late to the game (surprise, surprise) with this little gem:

      Health premiums could rise 17 pct for young adults

      Under the health care overhaul, young adults who buy their own insurance will carry a heavier burden of the medical costs of older Americans — a shift expected to raise insurance premiums for young people when the plan takes full effect.
      Beginning in 2014, most Americans will be required to buy insurance or pay a tax penalty. That’s when premiums for young adults seeking coverage on the individual market would likely climb by 17 percent on average, or roughly $42 a month, according to an analysis of the plan conducted for The Associated Press. The analysis did not factor in tax credits to help offset the increase.
      The higher costs will pinch many people in their 20s and early 30s who are struggling to start or advance their careers with the highest unemployment rate in 26 years…

      (H/T Hot Air)

  • How many times have we heard this now? It appears to be a quarterly phenomenon since Obama began his campaign and has continued right into his presidency. Wasn’t Chris Matthews even implying back before the election that you were a racist if you didn’t vote for Obama?

    And this last weekend it seemed to be coordinated, with all the usual suspects singing and dancing away in the opening of the revival of the worn out musical “You’re All Racists!”

    What’s that old definition of “racist?” Someone who is winning an argument with a liberal?

    And one more time: The only major political figure in the United States with longstanding ties to an aggressively racist organization is Barak Obama, with his twenty years in the Marxist and black supremacist Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Jeremiah Wright, now pastor emeritus.

    The cowardly mainstream media could find its way to Alaska to examine the cuticles of Sarah Palin’s hairdresser, but feared a trip to the library to crack open any of the works of the lunatic racist James Cone, whose teaching lay behind Wright’s, and Obama’s, church. No one stays with that sort of thing for twenty years without loving it and wanting it.

  • What happens is that people start tuning out the MSM and ignoring this stuff. It also enrages people who are honestly NOT racist but keep getting insinuated that they are.  I mean, the angriest I ever get is when someone falsely accuses me of something. Imagine how an Obama independent feels when they tell him he’s racist for now supporting the Tea Party?

    • That’s one of the weirdest things about these now quarterly productions of “You’re All Racists!”

      They literally drive more people away from the mainstream media, away from Obama, and away from the Democrats. I couldn’t be happier about that. But the vileness of the accusations is still sickening.

      • I am concerned about the long-term damage to our society.  Blacks in America had a tough row to hoe for centuries.  Through their own courage and determination as well as the courage of quite a few white Americans (Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson leap to mind), they eventually got the legal equality due to them as Americans.  Americans of other ethnic heritages have also tasted the bitter draught of discrimination and hatred (the Indians are often overlooked in this regard).  The goal of men of vision from all races was that we would eventually get past our differences and come together as Americans.  We might not always agree with each other or even like each other, but our differences would be due to individual character and not the color of our skin.

        Unfortunately, there are other people who are more interested in prolonging and widening the differences between us along racial, ethnic, religious, economic, regional, and other lines for their own political gain.  MiniTru has been heavily involved in these efforts.  People may not listen to them so much anymore, but how much damage has been done?

        • “I am concerned about the long-term damage to our society.”

          That’s done. I don’t know that it’s irreversible. But the stuff taught in public schools and universities is designed to maintain long-term victim status with maximum grievance.

          I’m not exaggerating when I say that it basically comes down to “blacks can’t be racists; whites are always racists.” That’s not just what’s “in the air.” It’s what is taught and in some cases enforced.

          • I often wonder what people from other ethnic groups, especially recent immigrants, make of all of that.

          • This is for Doc Jim’s reply below:
            Immigrants to the USA don’t understand at all about that, especially since they themselves may be racist towards blacks.
            But, once their kids get through high school, and find out that minority status is awesome, then they get on that wagon. (some.)

  • I wrote about Rich’s column in my blog today too.  I think race is a factor, but what’s really happening is that the cultural and demographic change starting in the sixties is starting to mature.   What the tea partiers represent is nostalgia combined with fear.   They want the “America I grew up in,” and see the changes as representing a shift away from values they associate with “America.”  Race is indirectly a part of it because the new culture is shaped by demographic changes that will soon make whites less than 50% of the population.   But it’s really just a continuation of cultural development.
    In the sixties the radicals challenged “the establishment.”   Nixon built a new consensus by promising security and stability to the “silent majority,” yet undertaking major reforms — Nixon’s years brought us the social welfare system we have, and vastly increased the scope of government activity (moreso than the LBJ years).  Reagan brought the “right” into the new consensus, but he duped them a bit — he didn’t undo Nixon’s consensus, he expanded government spending and power, even had amnesty in his immigration reform, and he started us on a debt and deficit path.   His rhetoric and nationalism placated the right.   Clinton continued the consensus, but the current crises are shattering it and bringing a new politics to fruition.
    The right can’t stop this — it’s cultural change driven by demography and changing values — but the Democrats don’t know how to handle the challenges either, it’s new terrain.   That’s why partisan shouting matches and the “politics of rage” (or cries of “racism”) make things worse.

    • Ott Scerb, the usual cheese is ripening for you.

      • I wrote about Rich’s column in my blog today too, which I am not either pimping for, so stop saying that. And it’s a brilliant piece of analysis, if I do say so myself. Of course, with my advanced degrees, I’m clearly well above all the dense righties here on such analysis. And it’s not either true that I define “analysis” as “whatever random thoughts come into my head after reading leftist talking points” so stop saying that too. {chuckle} LOL. You doth protest too much.

        I think race is a factor, but what’s really happening is that the cultural and demographic change starting in the sixties is starting to mature. That’s not either meaningless blather, it’s serious analysis. I decree it. What the tea partiers represent is nostalgia combined with fear. Yep, they’re just old fuddy duddies who can’t get comfortable with wise leftists running things, which is obviously going to happen no matter what they want. They want the “America I grew up in,” and see the changes as representing a shift away from values they associate with “America.” And after all, who needs those values? They’re the same ones the thick righties keep harping on about, especially the ex-military basket cases. You know, “honor” and “freedom” and “individualism” and all that other obsolete claptrap. {eyes rolling} Why, you guys are so foolish you actually believe people who take on debt should pay it back. While we enlightened leftists understand, via the holy writ of postmodernism, that some special classes are privileged to get anything they want without working for it or following any rules. Sometimes that requires a pretense about “taking out a loan” or some such just so you suckers grunt engineer types that make too much money (certainly more than brilliant college professors with advanced degrees) will go along with the obviously needed transfer of wealth to those poor souls.

        Race is indirectly a part of it because the new culture is shaped by demographic changes that will soon make whites less than 50% of the population. But it’s really just a continuation of cultural development, what ever that means. I see that phrase a lot in the writings of my friends over in black studies and gender studies and stuff like that, so it must mean something important. I think it has something to do with hip hop.

        In the sixties the radicals challenged “the establishment.” Nixon built a new consensus by promising security and stability to the “silent majority,” yet undertaking major reforms — Nixon’s years brought us the social welfare system we have, and vastly increased the scope of government activity. So it will be just like that again. You dense righties don’t have a chance of turning things back. Even when you elect somebody you think will make a difference, we wise leftists still triumph in the end. That way, we get to continue our march to glorious salvation in the form of a leftist utopia.

        Reagan brought the “right” into the new consensus, but he duped them a bit — he didn’t undo Nixon’s consensus, he expanded government spending and power, even had amnesty in his immigration reform, and he started us on a debt and deficit path. See, even your sainted Reagan really promoted leftism. Aren’t you guys ready to give up yet? LOL {chuckle} You’re just fooling yourselves, and there’s always a candidate like Reagan who will help you do it. His rhetoric and nationalism placated the right. Someone will come right along and placate the tea partiers, too. Because if things went a certain way in the past, they must inevitably go that way in the future. I decree it. You guys don’t have a chance of changing the course from inevitable progression of wise leftism. Give it up. {eyes rolling}

        Clinton continued the consensus, but the current crises are shattering it and bringing a new politics to fruition. A wise leftist politics, of course. And we’re not either playing a game where we cause the crises and then use them to increase our own power, so stop saying that. We’re wise and good and benevolent and so, so much smarter than you thick, thick righties. So we’re going to make the whole world into a glorious leftist paradise. The right can’t stop this — it’s cultural change driven by demography and changing values. And you certainly won’t be saved by Sarah Palin, even with her full lips, ample bosom, and naughty librarian glasses that you guys just salivate over, and I don’t keep bringing her up because I’m intimidated by that winking she does, so stop saying that.

        But now, after crowing about how inevitable our glorious victory really is, I have to insert something to placate you dense righties a bit. The Democrats don’t know how to handle the challenges either, it’s new terrain. See, that doesn’t mean a thing, does it, but it makes me sound like I see both sides. That’s why partisan shouting matches and the “politics of rage” (or cries of “racism”) make things worse. And, no, there are not any sentences left out of that whole thing. I didn’t just insert that to throw out my usual blather about sitting down and workign things out and all the other stuff I use to both sound wise and simultaneously try to induce dense righties to stop opposing us. No, that’s not true at all. It makes sense. Really it does. And I didn’t just string together random phrases to sound erudite and smart. I’m not a computer program either, and you dense righties should stop sayi

        *** Critical error at D724A228. Irrecoverable parsing error in routine RandomLeftistPhraseGenerator at Line 2883. Program restart initiated.

    • Scott,
       
      You’re an idiot.  Just like a Democrat.  Always reading waaaaay too much into things.  Whites are still 74% of the US population and that isn’t going to change quickly enough for anyone to notice much.  I don’t know anyone who longs for the good old days when “white was right and blacks knew their place”.
      There need be no underlying demographic and cultural changes happening to notice that this country is broke and the idiots that did the breaking are the one’s who continue to look down on the proletariat with little more than disdain.  This country has been steered off-track by our “leaders”, both Republican and Democrat who continue to ignore the will of the people.
      You may continue to believe that there is some big unspoken reason that people are pissed but you’d be wrong.  And an idiot.

      • Ah, yes, starting out a response with a personal insult.   Why do so many of you feel compelled to insult people?   It doesn’t strike me as especially mature.   Anyway, I agree with Time magazine’s claim that how we handle the demographic change will determine much about the future of America.  2055 — the year when whites will go below 50% — is still a long ways a way.   But the demographic changes are already having a real impact.   And I don’t see how you can deny cultural change — thirty years ago there would be no gay marriage, gays in the military, Barack Hussein Obama as President, and a host of other changes that are striking compared to the US of the past.
        You may think you reflect the will of the people.   But most people aren’t “pissed” and I think your view represents a rather small percentage of the country.   After all, while half the country disagrees with the health care bill, many don’t like it because it’s not liberal enough, and half the country thinks passing it was a good thing.   That’s pretty even, even leaning left.

        • “Ah, yes, starting out a response with a personal insult. ”

          As the prime defender of your inestimable worth, Scott, I must still inform you that he began, alas, with an established fact. After all, it is not for nothing that QandO is the only blog in the blogosphere that must retain a full-time parodist.

          Nonetheless, idiot that you are, I see no limit on your value. You are a window on the soul of the academentia-industrial complex.

        • h, yes, starting out a response with a personal insult.   Why do so many of you feel compelled to insult people?   It doesn’t strike me as especially mature.

          >>> LOL, as if you’ve never done it, right?

        • “But most people aren’t “pissed” and I think your view represents a rather small percentage of the country.”

          So this is from your own experience or can you back that up?  Oh and I see you have found a random poll that somewhat agrees with your own self-diagnosis.  Well, for once take a good look at all the polls Erb.  A good place to start is RealClearPolitic.com and look over their compilation of all the polls.  They do a pretty good job of averaging them all together – but each poll is provided for one to review.   And there is a definite undercurrent of anger in those polls.  In fact you may be right that “most” people aren’t pissed but enough of them are that someone should pay attention.  Why?

          Those people that are pissed VOTE!

          Notice there wasn’t a single personal insult in this reply.  None was necessary.  It is obvious to everybody here you are a putz!

          As Pogue would say – Cheers!

          • The polls don’t show that people are pissed.   Obama’s approval is steady, Congressional approval is low, but has been low before this.   The country is right now split on the health care bill, but many don’t like it because it’s not liberal enough.   Tea party “crowds” are small, and the country — outside of very partisan blogs/websites and talk radio — isn’t fixating on this.    I think you insult because I’ve been right about so many predictions (Iraq, Obama, the importance of Rev. Wright, the weakness of Sarah Palin to the McCain ticket, America’s economic decline, etc.) that I could make you question your assumptions — if you were willing to actually think critically rather than try to simply interpret reality into your current belief system.

          • “Obama’s approval is steady, Congressional approval is low, but has been low before this.”

            Obama’s approval received a small uptick upon signing the bill but has begun falling again – top what depths, who knows, you surely don’t.  As for Congress, you probably can’t get much lower than they are currently at for any reason.

            “The country is right now split on the health care bill, but many don’t like it because it’s not liberal enough.”

            You keep saying this but have yet to back it up beyond a single poll.

            “Teas Party “crowds” are small.”

            You have been reading the same propaganda the MSM has been putting out.  CNN called the Tea Party Rally in Nevada as being attended by “dozens” when in fact, an aerial shot showed thousands of people there and a 20+ mile traffic jam of even more people on the highway to the event.  And for an even like this in a town with a popilation of 500, you can’t call it small – I take it back, you can and do.  Keep minimizing the Tea Party at your risk, Erb.

            “I think you insult because I’ve been right about so many . .”

            Yeah, like you were right that Malicki lost in Basra.  Like you were right when you parroted the DNC talking point by calling “The Surge” a failure before the first brigade even showed up.  Like you were right by saying Kerry was in Cambodia when even he has backed away from that lie.  Like you are right when you keep repeating the Left talking point by saying the “Science is settled” on Global Warming/Climate Change.  Like you are right when you continue to maintain the liberal narrative when pont after point shows you to be wrong.

            Yeah, I’ll keep my current belief system because, unlike your own, it is based upon some level of reality – not on your notion of assumptions.

            But keep swinging the bat there Erb.  Remember – Small steps there, Erb.  Small Steps!

          • You have no idea how pissed off people are, Scott.

            Just looking at Rasmussen’s approval index, what has held steady with Obama is the precarious difference between strong approval and strong disapproval.

            The Tea Party, as I’ve pointed out to you before, is a ten-to-one movement, where for every person immediately identifying with the Tea Parties there are ten who are listening.

            Again, Rasmussen shows that more people trust the Tea Party movement than trust the Congress. Do you get that?

            Obama has residual good will left at 14 months, but when that good will has been tested at the polls, it evaporates: Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts.

            And voters do not like the health care legislation. And that dislike is not going away. Rather, it will build, because there is nothing good to say about that garbage. Why? Because it is garbage, all the way through. It’s about the corruption of process, the commandeering of economic power over Americans, and government getting involved in the most intimate aspects of their lives.

            It stinks worse than a body left in a trunk in the LAX parking lot for three weeks in July, Scott.

            Even you might know that.

        • Erb, the irony is that you yourself have tended to attack people without providing arguments of real substance.

          Here in CA, Obama voters killed gay marriage. Because Obama brought lots of blacks and hispanics to the polls. Things like gay marriage fly better among white Americans than blacks or recent arrivals. The demogrphic changes may not be what you are hoping for.

          As far as the BFD goes, it was rejected by the people who elected Scott Brown, and earlier the people of VA and NJ. Boxer is going to be in a serious fight to save her seat. People hate the BFD, and Democrats are going to lose big time because of it.

        • “Why do so many of you feel compelled to insult people?   It doesn’t strike me as especially mature.”

          Mostly it’s just you. We do not suffer fools gladly.
          I guess that’s  just how scum behaves.

          “And I don’t see how you can deny cultural change”

          Who is denying that? 

    • he [Reagan] started us on a debt and deficit path

      When did they start stealing from Social Security ? Try LBJ.

      • Not even LBJ. The Social Security trust funds have been used in the same way since its inception. The beneficiaries have been paid, and any surplus has always then been spent. The only thing that has changed back and forth is if the surplus spent is accounted for ‘on budget’ or ‘off budget’.

      • Until Clinton, LBJ was the last President to have a surplus.   The deficits through Carter were relatively minor, and the US had a current account surplus.  The shift to current account deficits, public and private debt started to grow massively in the eighties.   Just look at deficit spending and debt.   The graphs at the right are telling.   After a steady decline in debt after the high WWII debt (120% of GDP) we reached about 30% of GDP in 1980.   Both total debt and as a percentage of GDP started rising again, rapidly, after 1980.  Only in the mid to late nineties did it start decreasing.    But the Reagan Administration started us on this path — borrow and spend.
         

        • Scott, you are a bit weak on history.  The Wikapedia charts are fine as far they go, but you need to look behind them.   LBJ, due to his policy  of the “guns and butter”, which ended up causing tremendous inflation, is the one who put social security into the unified budgets so he could count the SS surpluses as revenue.   That action was responsible for lowered deficits of 1965 – 1980′s.  During the 1980′s, the WWII generation began to retire.  That depleted the Social Security fund and resulted in legislation to increase Social Security taxes.  If you check chart 1 from this1998  reference:
          http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1654
          you will see the Clinton surplus was due solely to excess Social Security contributions.  We also know the dot com bubble produced an extra shot of tax revenues, but that clearly could not last.   Basically, Scott, I have just shown you the deficits are due to entitlements and that any temporary smaller deficits are due to excess tax collections that were soon exhausted.  The problem, dear Scott, is not in the stars, but in our entitlements.
           
          Gee, I wonder if the national health insurance is considered an entitlement, don’t you?  Don’t you just wonder what that will do to our finances?

          • Deficits are not solely due to entitlements, and you can’t explain away the callous disregard the Reagan Administration had for huge debts that they ran up even during an economic boom.   To try to deny that is to deny the words of Reagan’s own people.   Just look at the deficits and how they rose in Reagan’s term.   Debt went from about 30% of GDP in 1980 to 60% in 1990.   You want to claim that’s because of entitlements alone?  Really?   (BTW, I myself have often dismissed Clinton’s surpluses as being an effect of the bubble).

            Health care will be a challenge because of the boomers retiring.    My own view is that there will need to be major entitlement reform which will be a mix of cuts, means testing, and new taxes.   I hope Obama has the political courage to try to take on that issue — I suspect his own party will be hard to win over on that.   I also think that the health care reform is necessary to lead to a process to control costs, and get away from market rationing of health care which gives those with money the best care, and disadvantages tens of millions who lack funds.   I also think it is disgraceful the way insurance companies deny coverage and look for loopholes.   Insurance companies compete in Europe, even though they are not allowed to profit (except on supplemental insurances).   There is a basic standard all get, the wealthy can buy there way to even better care.   They do that for less money than we pay.   I think we have to have a similar system or else our economy cannot sustain health care cost increases.   Insurance costs are skyrocketing in the current system as it is — a family of four is expected to have to pay $25,000 by 2016, businesses are cutting coverage or massively increasing employee contributions.   The reform isn’t perfect, but at least it’s a start of trying to deal with a huge problem.

          • I see where Scott has gone off the rails.  In the Wikapedia reference he gave, he zeros in, like a laser, on gross debt and ignores public debt to get to his 60%.  However, gross debt includes the Social Security and Medicare surpluses while public debt does not.     Scott needs to reevaluate his claims about Reagan and debt.
            Scott also may remember that Reagan did cut a deal with the Democrats.  He would allow for increased taxes and they would reduce spending.  The Democrats lied about reducing spending.  So, never trust a Democrat.  Do we think Scott is a Democrat?

          • “the Reagan Administration had for huge debts that they ran up even during an economic boom”

            I guess the Constitution has changed a bit since I was in high school, where we learned that although the President can propose whatever he wants but the Congress gets to say how much gets spent and on what. I also seem to recall Tip O’Neill et al. calling every Reagan budget ‘dead on arrival’.
            Funny how everything bad that happens during a Republican administration is the President’s fault, but bad things that happen during a Democratic administration are also the Republican Presidents faults.  So much for intellectual honesty.

        • Actually, Scott, you tell only half the story. When Ronald Reagan arrived on the scene the American economy was radically adrift from the machinations of that little peanut farmer and the lunatics who had taken over Congress in the 70s. Inflation was out of control, interest rates were insane, and the economy wasn’t growing.

          Reagan re-established, with Paul Volker, a strong steady dollar, and he cut taxes which spurred investment which began a boom that lasted app. 20 years with a couple of interruptions. The deficits were more or less the difference between the tax cuts needed to get the investment and the economy in gear and the uncontrollable or at least uncontrolled growth of entitlements. Reagan came on the scene too late, twenty years too late, to convert SS and hopefully never even propose Medicare. But, he did well in letting economic engine turn over.

          He also finished put the final push on your  friends in the Soviet Union, Scott. He won the Cold War.

          • Volker, who is an advisor to President Obama, I might add.   Reagan did a lot right.  Many of his tax cuts were necessary, but the boom was driven by debt and falling oil prices.   The oil price decline started a boom in 1982-3, and then Reagan enhanced it by borrow and spend tactics — like an individual who lives beyond his means with a Visa card.  It seems good at the time, but that kind of thinking — continued by Democrats and Republicans alike — set up this mess.
            To say Reagan won the cold war is laughable.    The Soviet Union was an immoral, corrupt system that was going to collapse no matter what.   He not only bankrupted the country but the horrific Communist rule inflicted spiritual wounds on the public.  Reagan deserves real credit for STOPPING the defense build up in 1986 because he recognized Gorbachev really wanted reform.  The right wing was angry, saying that Baker and Shultz weren’t letting Reagan be Reagan, and pushing him to be soft on the USSR.   But that “softness” allowed Gorbachev to make changes and last long enough to make sure the inevitable Soviet collapse was not violent.  For that, I give Reagan a lot of credit.

          • For an advocate of Marxism, Scott, you speak with such cavalier disdain for the Soviets. Surely you can’t forget how often you defended them in the past, you know, like your claims that the U.S. was really responsible for starting the Cold War.

            And, yes, Reagan did win the Cold War. He gave the Soviets that final shove that they needed. Had U.S. foreign policy been in the hands of your Soviet-friendly friends in the Democratic Party, the USSR might have been deemed “too big to fail,” and effectively bailed out by the West instead of pushed right over.

            I’ll remind you again of Arthur Schlesinger Jr.’s rebuke to Reagan circa 1985 in Foreign Affairs in which he declared, “The Soviet Union is here to stay.”

            That was the final move of liberalism in the anti-anti-Communism affect that it had acquired over the decades.

            Reagan ignored that and proceeded to shove the Soviet monster off the board.

          • Scott, Volcker may be a nominal adviser to Obama, but he is conspicuously being ignored.  Do you think Volcker, for even a nanosecond, approved a $1.5 trillion deficit.  If you do, you need a Volcker briefing.
            Your comment that Russia would have collapsed without Reagan is equally as laughable.  No intelligence agency expected that and if Reagan had not pushed Russia with a US military buildup, Russia could have soldiered on for who knows how long.

        • The last time there was a surplus was in the 50′s (which was the last time the debt decreased).
          http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo4.htm

          The debt has gone up every year since FY 57.

          • You have a different way of determining budget surplus than the US government and almost all accountants.  You can have your idiosyncratic approach, but don’t expect others to buy it.    You can increase debt and have a budget surplus — that’s true for governments, households, and businesses, and it happens often.

        • Until Clinton, LBJ was the last President to have a surplus.

          As anonymous pointed out, Clinton never had a surplus.  He only appeared to have a surplus because of the dishonest (and, by its own laws, criminal) way in which government reports its finances.  The deficit under Clinton shrunk to near zero (the lowest being $19 billion) thanks to two large tax increases followed by a speculative boom that was driven by private dollars, which provided a very large revenue boost until that bubble burst.
           
          But it’s true that deficits shrank significantly in the latter half of his presidency, and then began to rise again under W.  Now they’re so large that they dwarf even the large deficits that Bush irresponsibly drew up.  I think it’s time we stopped blaming Reagan for Obama’s runaway deficit spending.

        • “Until Clinton, LBJ was the last President to have a surplus.”

          He was the only President since before WWII to run a surplus, and that surplus was a small one year surplus. 

    • Well, it doesn’t much matter what you think about why they keep playing the race card (though you made  your little nod to doing so as well, GOOD WORK!!!!!).   IF it is indeed nostalgia for the ‘good old days’ (and you keep proving you were too young, or weren’t paying attention if you REALLY think the 60′s and early 70′s were ‘the good old days’) then it has little to do with ‘race’, other than your own projection.
       
      Too be nostalgia for the ‘good old days’ it has to be a controlling body of people who remember the 50′s and early 60′s well, since that was BEFORE the sweep in of the turmoil that I recall from 1966 – 1973 (and even THAT nostalgia isn’t exactly ‘the good old days’ if my memory and history for the period serves me correctly….).
      So I guess you think all the people in the tea party anti-health care movement were born before, say, 1955?
       
       

      • Well, listen to the rhetoric from talk radio and those who say America is not the America they grew up in.  Glenn Beck even had an old fashioned TV on his show to harken back to what he considered better times.  I think you might be underestimating the number of people who think that somehow the US is losing an essential aspect of what it was, forgetting a lot of the bad stuff that went along with that “old America.”  I think people can romanticize eras before they were born too — especially if proded that way by talk radio types who are very good an appealing to emotion.    But I agree on one point: America of the past was not some kind of great utopia of freedom and liberty now being lost because health care reform passed.   I think a lot of people do think that though.

        • You are, perhaps purposefully, perhaps merely out of your notorious shallowness, Scott, conflating two distinct elements of America.

          People do not miss the bad old days of racial segregation. They miss the good old days when people were free from the constant fondling of government. They are happy that there is no more segregation. They are not happy that there is a shortage of virtue and dynamic liberty.

          This gets a little complicated for you, I know, so I’ll go short: They’re glad that a black man can become president, but they don’t want his goddamn finger up their ass.

          • Finger? try hand and forearm… Hell, he’s headed towards turning us all into Charlie McCarthy (Not Joe McCarthy Scott, just in case you’re confused, they were contemporaries in the ‘good old days’ that I don’t remember personally).

        • Hey, Erb,
          Krugman says the same thing about “the America he grew up in” which was in the golden age of the 50′s. That’s why he’s always wants to help Labor Unions and on about “equality.”

        • “those who say America is not the America they grew up in”

          Well, gee, they are just agreeing with you–

          ” And I don’t see how you can deny cultural change — thirty years ago there would be no gay marriage, gays in the military, Barack Hussein Obama as President, and a host of other changes that are striking compared to the US of the past.”

    • “Race is indirectly a part of it because the new culture is shaped by demographic changes that will soon make whites less than 50% of the population.   But it’s really just a continuation of cultural development.”

      Wrong, as usual. Since the population of the US is 75% white as of 2008, it is doubtful that the percentage will plunge to 50% anytime soon. Also, since the increasing minority population share is largely hispanic and asian ( blacks have been about 13% for quite a few years), why is this alledged increase in white racism directed towards blacks, who have more in common with whites than the other new immigrants? Furthermore, the percentage of whites who are old enough to be nostalgic for the good old days when the colored knew their place is steadily declining.  This would imply that if whites are becoming more racist it is the younger generations who are doing so. This is provably false.

      • No, the ‘minority’, ‘majority’ reversal meme is the latest excuse from the MSM and the White House for explaining how the people who were largely responsible for electing a President who didn’t look ‘like them’ can suddenly turn on a dime and show signs of disliking the arrogant little twerp (oh, sorry, he’s not little, but I mean in the sense he acts like a 14 year old, not his height) in such a short time.
         
        It’s empowering it seems to be convinced soon the ‘brown people’ will overtake the ‘white people’.  I can only assume there’s an underlying racism going on there since the traditional attitude is being on top means you’re in control, and you get what you want (and screw those bastards who don’t look like you!) and the ‘white people’ who are about to loose ‘control’ are scared; but when the balance tips in favor of the ‘brown peoples’ those ‘white people’ can just lump it.
         
        Forgive the mental desecration, but Martin Luther King, I firmly believe, at this point could be used to generate a significant percentage of power on the electrical grid if we could put copper coils on him and surround him with magnets.  His RPM rate has to be that high in his grave.  Somehow I don’t think this was the dream he was talking about that day.

    • “Reagan brought the “right” into the new consensus, but he duped them a bit — he didn’t undo Nixon’s consensus, he expanded government spending and power, even had amnesty in his immigration reform, and he started us on a debt and deficit path.  ”
       
      Wow.  What crap.  Reagan didn’t have the luxury of a Republican House.  The budget needed to be worked out with them.  Their spending outstripped the increased tax revenue developed under Reagan even less the military spending done for catchup with the Russians because we were in a cold war.
       
      His amnesty was suppose to be coupled with enforcement and had to be something that would get the buy in with Congress again.  In other words he made comprises to get what he believed was a solution.  His deal created stronger enforcement tools.  Not weaker ones.  He likely didn’t count on subsequent administrations choosing not to use them.

      • I worked in DC — for a GOP Senator — during some of the Reagan years, and I can guarantee you, he had a majority in the House.   Southern Democrats were Reagan Democrats (many ultimately turned Republican).   Moreover, I was there as Reagan officials were quoted as saying the “budget deficit is irrelevant” and making up reasons not to worry about all the debt they were amassing.  They didn’t try to stop the spending.   Also, the Russians were never ahead of us in Cold War spending.   Reagan’s spending increases were SMALLER than what Carter was projecting, and he stopped the build up in real terms in 1986 after Gorbachev came to power.
        But it’s clear that Reagan’s policies allowed a shift towards a current account deficit and much higher debt and deficits.   Democrats cooperated, but Reagan didn’t do anything to try to stop it, and he had a working majority for much of his tenure, thanks to southern Democrats.

        • Do you never learn? Ronald Reagan had his eye on ending the Soviet Union for decades. He built a huge navy, deployed big missiles in Europe, started the development of a missile defense shield, and contested Soviet aggression in Afghanistan and Soviet-backed Communist revolutions all over the place. He put them on the defensive, so much so that liberals were squealing about how dangerous he was.

          And the year he left office, the Berlin Wall came down. Two years later the Soviet Union itself fell apart.

          I’ll thank you to stop peddling your lying horseshit to your students, too.

  • So if the white support of tea parties = racist, then Obama’s overwhelming black support = racist, correct?

  • The boy has cried wolf too often, so this meme has run out of effectiveness.
    I suggest they find a dog that can hunt.

    • They are preaching to the base, which includes the public school and university indoctrination programs.

      One of the bots (the ERB-5000) has already weighed in, above.

  • Projection, so pervasive within the left, is so evident in the latest Rich whining.  Think it is not projection?  Consider this passage:   <blockquote>How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn’t recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht.</blockquote>
    The right allegedly uses Hitlerian comparisons so much, not because those comparisons are found everywhere on the right, but because it is so easy for Rich to deploy.  It has to be all about race not because racism is endemic on the right, but because (mostly misguided) race consciousness so consumes the left.
    Projection plain and simple.

  • I think black voter support for Obama was tailing off, so they are winding up the racism machine to attack Republicans. If it works, I feel really bad for blacks in America that they’re this easily manipulated – it worked after Katrina, sadly.

    • I suspect as the percentage of Americans that are “white” decline, we will find something out:
      Mixed marriages automatically produce non-white children, however, they may be “culturally” white, i.e. not much different than the average white person. See Obama for example – yeah, he’s “black” but he had to consciously learn the cultural aspect of that. I bet more people in his situation would just be themselves, so to speak.
      I would wonder how much of the decline of the “white” population is merely due to this.

  • Erb writes:
    “You have a different way of determining budget surplus than the US government and almost all accountants.  You can have your idiosyncratic approach, but don’t expect others to buy it.    You can increase debt and have a budget surplus — that’s true for governments, households, and businesses, and it happens often.”

    Why does the Treasury department show that the debt has increased every year since FY 57, while you prattle on about a budget surplus under Clinton?
    http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo4.htm
    (Last time I checked the Treasury was part of the US Government.)

    • We’ve been over this with him before, and we’ve provided him with similar links to tables.
       
      At this point, if he responds at all to it, he’ll cherry pick the data referring to the deficit/debt increases in the Reagan Bush Bush administrations and completely ignore the fact that we have been continually incurring greater and greater debt since 1957.
       
      In his world if he has bills of $10,000 a month on an income of $4000 a month, and manages on one month to reduce the bills down to $6000 instead of the normal $10,000 that he actually has a viable form of ‘surplus’.  Somehow to him he magically didn’t go deeper into debt by $2000 that month because the bills were lower.  So that month he’ll tell you he had a $2000 surplus which he promptly used to finance a brand new pony.
       
       

      • Yes, I know we have done this with Erb. However, I want to see if he can be intellectually honest for even a moment (such as the time when I forced him into admitting the Swift Boat Vets had not been ‘completely debunked’).

        So again:
        Erb why does the Treasury Department show that debt owed by the US has increased every year for a good half century, despite your assertions of ‘budget surpus’ under Clinton and Johnson?  

        • Because, ye of little economic knowledge, budget surpluses can exist when debt increases.  The two are different things.   But hey — you’re an anonymous internet poster, and you only have the CBO, government agencies, and virtually all economists disagreeing with you!

          • You are not answer the question, Erb. What is included in the calculations of the Treasury Department (a government agency), which shows that the debt has increased every year since FY 57 (the last time there was a real surplus), that is not included in the calculations you use to claim a surplus under WJC and LBJ?

      • And yet, you can’t deny that officially there was a surplus — government agencies agree on that, as do economists.  And you can’t deny that debt can increase even if you have a budget surplus.  That’s true for businesses,  households and governments.   That’s how these terms are used.  If instead of trying to deny the budget surplus you made a different argument, if you said “yes, there was a budget surplus, but the impact of the surplus was minor because debt went slightly up,” then you’d have a point.  But to argue there wasn’t a surplus is to argue against how these terms are defined.

        • Government agencies such as the Treasury Department, Erb? Which shows the debt has gone up every year since 1957? What is being left out of the calculations you rely on to show a surplus, Erb?

          • “What is being left out of the calculations you rely on to show a surplus, Erb?”
            Reality?
             
            All political word games by economist, politicians, and Erb.  Much the same as a request to raise spending by 40% and only raising it by 20% is considered to be a ‘spending cut’.
             
            Budget surplus is his little loop hole.  As I said in my example, if his bills only came to $4000 that month, instead of the usual $6000, he thinks he has surplus revenue that he can spend on something else, rather than a failure to increase his over all debt by $2000.  In his world (and the world of Washington, and Economists!) that money, which he’s borrowing in the first place, can now be pissed away on something new instead of NOT BEING SPENT.  Given a choice between spending money they borrowed in the first place, and NOT BORROWING IT, he’ll find a new use for it, claim he had a ‘budget surplus’ and pretend for the world that saying ‘budget surplus’ a lot will negate the words ‘incurring huge ongoing debt’.    And we won’t even begin to discuss how the tiny surplus is like spitting into a hurricane to counteract it.  He probably in real life frequently uses the word “always’ when in fact he means ‘once’.
             
             

          • And just to note, Erb has replied to another poster in this thread @ 7 hours after I asked him what was being left out of the calculations, so that the budget could be shown in ‘surplus’. He did not answer. Thus showing yet again what passes for intellecutual honesty for Erb.

            For those who do not know, the reason a ‘budget surplus’ is shown by certain governmental entities under Clinton, is because surplus trust fund monies were spent by the government, but not accounted for as owed. The Treasury Dept. accounts for both ends of that equation, thus showing the real situation, that there has been no real surplus since the 50′s.

  • Rick, you are simply wrong.   To try to deny the massive increases in budget deficits and debt under Reagan is absurd.   When you go to such vague contortions to try to avoid admitting the obvious, it appears your pride is preventing you from acknowledging I’m right on this.    The US continually paid down debt as a percentage of GDP from after WWII to 1980, to a point that it was 30% of GDP.   Then Reagan came and budget deficits ballooned to unprecedented levels, and debt rapidly escalated.  Moreover, we did the ‘borrow and spend’ thing while the economy was booming.   That was the start of the ‘something for nothing’ mentality.
    Also, I fairly criticized both Reagan and the Democrats.  You seem to want to pretend that the “deal” they made was solely the fault of the Democrats.  It takes two to make such a deal.   I noted that Democrats shared the blame.   But if Reagan had been a deficit hawk, he could have stopped spending, avoided increasing the debt, and we probably wouldn’t be in the dire straights we are in today.   His policies also helped spur on the current account deficit and mass private debt.   The Democrats were no better.   Thirty years of bi-partisan failure to address these issues are to blame.
    Now, do you really want to pretend Reagan did preside over a record increase in debt and deficits, and didn’t preside when our current account went from surplus into deficit?   Yes, Obama’s debt increases are huge too — and if he does like Reagan and continues to borrow and spend after the economy starts to recover, I’ll be very critical of Obama on that.    But if you want to deny the Reagan Administration’s lack of concern about debt and deficits, you’re the one off the rails.

    • “and didn’t preside when our current account went from surplus into deficit?  ”   Ah, I knew you’d slip that pony in there somewhere.  “Current account from surplus to deficit” – debt is debt, just because a collection of slick politicians AND YOU consider it differently doesn’t change it for the average adult who accumulates and pays bills using their own money instead of someone elses.  If the average household or business tried to run their finances the way the government does they’d have no house, or business, and possibly be serving time in prison.  Massive, ongoing, legal, Ponzi scheme.
       
      “spend after the economy starts to recover” riiiiiight…. last year you were ‘going to be very critical’ if Imeme didn’t curtail his spending.  You were all bubbly when he imperiously commanded budget cuts from various departments (and got them, much later than he demanded them, and then did NOTHING with them) in what, May, June of ’09?. 
      Where’s the budget cuts?   When can we expect this recovery. Jobless rate up, housing starts down, and a new bill to pay for health care we’ll get in 2014.  Every month you tell the same story.  Are you sure you’re a teacher and not a used car salesman?
       
      Talk about someone being off the rails….off the rails, down the embankment, and across a mile of lonesome prairie is where you are.

      • The current account is not the same as the budget.  A current account surplus usually reflects a trade surplus, a current account deficit usually reflects a trade deficit.   If you have a current account deficit, you have to have a capital account surplus — other countries have to be buying your currency, investing in your markets, buying up property, or something.    Looker, you seem to be wishing the economy stays bad.  The Economist magazine says things are starting to look better for the US, and they have a good track record.  New jobless claims matched a 19 month low.   We’re already growing.  Jobs are a lagging indicator, and they may be set to start bouncing back — now, maybe a few months from now.   Then the national mood will change completely.

    • “The US continually paid down debt as a percentage of GDP from after WWII to 1980, to a point that it was 30% of GDP.”

      LOL.
      Somebody needs to take an accounting course. “Paid down’ doesn’t mean what you think it means in this context.

    • “Now, do you really want to pretend Reagan did preside over a record increase in debt and deficits, and didn’t preside when our current account went from surplus into deficit?”

      Nice try, but your little tricks don’t work here. Save them for your freshmen.

      Noone here denies that Reagan was President during all that, but we do deny he was solely responsible for the record increase …etc. 

      And nobody is really impressed that you once worked in DC. That is a pretty silly argument, even for you. As we all know, lots of fools, morons, and idjits wored (and work) in DC. 

      • ‘wored’ should be ‘worked, but it could also legitimately be ‘whored’.

      • Silly boy, you conveniently leave out that I also noted the Democrats were also to blame.  Since I was very clear in that, you are resorting to dishonesty here.  Shame on you.

  • Typo, it should read:
    Now, do you really want to pretend Reagan did not preside over a record increase in debt and deficits, and didn’t preside when our current account went from surplus into deficit?

    • To blame the deficits on Reagan is just more bull crap. I remember the 1980′s very well. I remember the deal he cut with the Democrats who controlled the house. There was supposed to be two dollars of spending cuts for every one dollar of tax cuts.
       
      And I also remember how the Gotterdammercrats did what they always do, they lied and went back on their promise.
      The only thing on this thread you have been right about is to ascribe to Nixon a horrible record on promoting big government, that much is true, he was the worst big government president we ever had (up to the present).
       
      And as such it is no accident that he is not well remembered by either fiscal conservatives or libertarians. Although it makes me wonder why lefties hated him so much.

      • Come on, who could be against the “Economic Stabilization Act of 1970 and Phase One”?   Talk about your government control of the economy…
         
        How soon those of us who were there forget.

      • No fiscal conservative should like Reagan.  His own administration officials said that budget deficits weren’t important, and they made no effort to reign in spending.  You really need a history lesson, Kyle.  Note also that the Democrats controlled the House, but Reagan had a working majority thanks to the southern conservative Democrats.  And if Reagan cut a deal, then both sides share blame, right?

        • And who passed the Economic Stabilization Act of 1970 in the House (ohhh SNAP, AND the Senate 1968-1972) well that’s right kids, it was the Democrats (wage and price controls yahooo!!! we’ll fix things that way!  We were YEARS ahead of Zimbabwe and Venezuela).
           
          And WHO drafts spending legislation and puts all the dollars for the various areas to be spent in there?  That’s right kids – Congress, NOT the President.
           
          Take a course on how the government works will ya Erb?

  • Anonymous, your question makes no sense.   I’m just pointing out that officially the US ran a surplus.  That’s what the economists say, the accountants, and the government.   I also note that debt can grow even if there is a surplus.  You don’t deny these.  If you want to say that everyone else is wrong and some “anonymous” poster is right, then you have the burden of proof.   I don’t have to show you anything “left out.”  You can’t prove your point because you rely on a false premise – that total debt can’t rise when a budget is in surplus.   But go on with your attempt to deny reality — don’t be surprised if people smile, roll their eyes, and walk away.
    Now, let me help you out.   Here would be a stronger counter:  “Yes, the government ran a budget at the end of the dot com bubble phase, driven in part by tax revenues that were higher than they would be without the bubble, and very low costs for social services due to the boom.  That couldn’t last.  Meanwhile the surplus was not enough to start actually paying down the debt (though for awhile we were, even if it wasn’t in the year end figures), so all things considered it wasn’t a great accomplishment — it was a bubble phenomenon, not a true accomplishment. ”
    OK, that’s a better argument, you’re not just resting on a false premise.  I’d respond that Bush should have been able to cut deficits since he also had a bubble economy and low social costs, and you could respond that there were wars, etc.   That is real discussion.  What you do is scream a false premise, and when challenged, throw insults or make inane demands (“show me what’s left out”  — utterly meaningless).

    • Id the Treasury Department part of the government, Erb? Does the Treasury Department show an increase in debt or a decrease in debt for the periods you claim a surplus, Erb?
      http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo4.htm

      Why does the Treasury Department show an increase in debt, Erb? What do they include in their accounting of total debt that is not included in the figures you use to claim a budget surplus, Erb?

  • The treasury department shows an increase in debt because debt increased.  Duh.  You can have a budget surplus and still increase debt.   Why do you think all the text books, the economists, and the official statements say there is a surplus.   What is more likely, that the rest of the world has got it wrong, or that you simply are mixing up two different things — total debt, and annual budget numbers?   Again: debt can increase when a budget is in surplus.   The two are different measures, they are not connected.

    • You are dodging the question Erb.
      What is included in the Treasury Department’s accounting which shows that there has been an increase in debt every year since 57, that is not included in the accounting which shows a budget surplus?

  • The question makes no sense.   The two are different measures, one is of debt, one is a budget.
    But hey, if you want to reject economists, texts, official government statistics, openly stated by both Republicans and Democrats and say everyone is wrong but you, then you are free to do so.    But this thread is now rather old, so I’ll let you have the last word.   But when everyone says X and you say Y, it might want to have the humility to think that perhaps you might be mistaken.

    • Erb still dodging the question, though I gave the answer above (what is left out of the accounting  is that surplus trust fund monies were spent by the government, but not accounted for as owed.)

      But then everyone here recognizes how intellectually dishonest Erb is.

  • I did check back.  You are also calling every Republican, economist, and government publication that notes a surplus dishonest.   I also have no reason to believe the answer you give.
    Here’s an example:  I have $10,000 in credit card debt at 17% interest.  I make a budget to pay for every expense I have during a year.  I pay all purchases on my credit card bill every month.  But in so doing, I don’t pay down my principle going into the year.  I may have a balanced budget (I’ve paid all my costs), but because I didn’t pay down my principle I owe $11,700 at the end of the year.  Or another example:  when we bought our house in 2007 we decided to put in rain gutters.  That cost $2000, but we had an interest free loan for 18 months.  So for 2007 we could have our budget in balance, even as our debt went up $2000.  It wasn’t due until 2008.   There are many ways you can have a balanced budget, but still have debt increase.  Again, if you would not argue something clearly false — saying there was no budget surplus — and instead argue something defensible — there was a surplus, but it didn’t match growing debt levels — you’d have a good point.  You’re fighting a losing battle.  You can mock me, but when all the texts, politicians (including Republicans) and economists say we had a surplus, you’re claim otherwise is easily laughed off.  Especially when you post anonymously, without the intestinal fortitude to admit who you are!

    • Answer the question Erb.
      What does the Treasury Department account for that shows an increase in debt, that is not accounted for to show a budget surplus? 

      For more of Erb’s intellectual dishonesty note his claim in the prior post:
      ” Again, if you would not argue something clearly false — saying there was no budget surplus”
      To his earlier claim:
      “I’m just pointing out that officially the US ran a surplus.  That’s what the economists say, the accountants, and the government.   I also note that debt can grow even if there is a surplus.  You don’t deny these.”

      (of course what I say is that the budget surplus was attained through borrowing (trust fund) money and not accounting for it as owed (in the reports showing a budget surplus (usually CBO or OMB is cited the Erb prefers wikipedia)) while the Treasury gives the full accounting thus show no real surplus but an actual increase in debt (see my previous links to the Treasury Departments historical debt tables).

      Also note his continued use of  ‘argumentum ad populum’.

      But Erb still will not simply answer the question.