Two Steps Forward, Four Back…

The federal government is patting itself on the back for the so called largest budget cuts in history and while Barack Obama is taking credit for the deal, the deal is not worth mentioning. Te Republicans were looking for 61 billion dollars in cuts and they got 38 billion. Democrats were looking for much less and were unwilling to waiver on cuts to the murder factory known as Planned Parenthood. While the government was busy haggling over a few billion dollars and ultimately cutting 38 billion, the debt jumped 54 billion dollars.

That is right, the entire deal was wiped out and 16 billion more in debt was added to the mix while they were busy debating the issue.

We absolutely need the largest cuts in history and they need to be a hell of a lot more than 38 billion or even 61 billion. Had republicans been successful in getting 61 billion they would have a net gain of 7 billion. This is no way to run a budget.

No entity can run deficits forever without failing and governments are no different. Our Founders realized this and preached the virtue of paying off the bills. They ran deficits but made paying them off a priority.

Now, of course, it is different. Our government is hell bent on providing everything to everyone and it has succeeded in creating a class of people who rely entirely on government to exist. These people cost us more and more because they contribute little or nothing to the equation. This is not the America our Founders envisioned.

People need to go out and work. They need to be productive members of society and realize that if they produce they will live better lives than by sitting around waiting for the government to deliver a check once a month.

Our government needs to recognize its limits, the limits placed on it by our Constitution, and it needs to live within those limits. That means providing the services for which we the people chartered it and nothing more.

Then, and only then, can we start to realize the prosperity our Founders dreamed of when they gave us the gift of freedom.

While freedom isn’t free, enslavement to the government costs a lot more than can be imagined in money, honor and dignity.

Cave Canem!
Never surrender, never submit.
Big Dog

Gunline

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49 Responses to “Two Steps Forward, Four Back…”

  1. Ogre says:

    Very sadly, there are millions who actually believe they are working, but instead are sucking the country dry. Those are the millions of government bureaucrats. They will claim they are doing an honest day’s work, but they are actually not producing anything and are only consuming tax dollars.

  2. Big Dog says:

    This is true. I know a lot of good government workers who provide necessary services (some are contractors) like the folks in the Dining Facility who prepare the meals, or those who ensure our troops get gear and those who test the gear. I know there are hard working folks who get out the passports and make sure someone who has a problem with Social Security gets it resolved.

    But I also know about a lot of people who are in very high bureaucratic positions that do nothing all day but twiddle their thumbs and bow down to the wishes of the puppet masters in the elected positions.

    Many of the poor performers are in upper management or appointed positions. The everyday grunts on the ground, for the most part, do a good job.

    And contrary to popular myth, they do not get paid more than their civilian counterparts (the average is skewed by the high salaries of appointees and other bureaucrats) and they pay handsomely for their health care plans (not including the Postal Service). The benefits folks call golden plans are not so (for the grunts).

    Trim the fat, eliminate duplication, eliminate waste and fraud and we could have a much better run system.

    • Ogre says:

      Actually, it’s more than that, Big Dog.

      The folks in the dining facility aren’t creating anything — they’re just providing services for those who consume tax dollars with tax dollars. For example, the postal worker — he’s not providing anything that can’t be provided without him. The DL bureau — they’re simply not needed. They are just consuming and not producing anything.

      Government, by it’s very nature, cannot create or produce, so any activity government engages in consumes.

      As for salary and benefits, maybe you just see some people. I’ve seen lots and lots and lots who get massive benefit programs that beat anything private companies could dream of — and that’s not even including the huge numbers of government workers who get the union benefits.

      Never mind trimming the fat — cut all government by about 90% and we’ll have a good start.

  3. Adam says:

    The GOP’s obsession with cutting debt at a time when we’re still recovering from a deep recession just baffles me. But maybe I just don’t see the big picture still?

    How is cutting NPR and Planned Parenthood going to create jobs? After all that’s what the public is most concerned about still. What about bigger cuts? How will that help?

    • Big Dog says:

      I find it amazing you are worried about jobs when the GOP is in charge of the House. For 2 years Obama and the Dems said they were focuused like laser beams on jobs and they screwed the pooch.

      Cutting spending and getting our fiscal house in order will create a more stable environment where PRIVATE companies feel safer to invest and hire. Government does not create jobs, private sector does and the private sector is spooked by the debt and deficit.

      Spending more and more when we have no money is not the answer. That philosophy has proven a failure time and again but the left still embraces it.

      If you want private sector jobs then put in place a reasonable tax policy that is long term (so there will be no uncertainty) and retire debt so that the country is not teetering on the brink every other day.

      We cannot sustain with a 14 trillion dollar deficit. If we do not pay it down we will default and collapse.

      How many business owners need to cite uncertainty over tax policies and the soundness of the government before you libs realize that is a major reason jobs are stifled?

    • Big Dog says:

      I am not surprised you are baffled. You think spending is the way out of a debt problem and a recession. You believe that government is the answer and you see no issue with the deficit.

      It is in your blood as a liberal so it would be hard for you to see it.

  4. Big Dog says:

    “The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to Spencer Roane, 1821

    • Adam says:

      I’m all for cutting waste and keeping the deficit low. We’re just recovering still from a deep recession. The quickest way for us to realize your predictions about double dips and massive economic meltdown is to pretend we can cut our way back to prosperity.

      We didn’t reach a balanced budget in the 90’s by cuts alone. It was economic growth that got us there not the pruning knife.

      • Blake says:

        Adam, if all you can do is pay the interest on your credit card, you will never be able to save money- this is the situation we are now in- the debt collectors have not YET come to your house, or my house to collect, but if we cannot begin SERIOUSLY paying down most of the principal, then jobs will be the least of our worries.
        The fact is that for “jobs” to be a growing thing, we will need to have housing spring back, and that is not gonna happen until this country, and by extension, our banks feel more secure, and that is not gonna happen until we pay down the debt.
        We need to cut anything unnecessary out of the budget for several years- and this includes Planned Parenthood, NPR, the Dept. of “Education”, HHS, the EPA, and several others.
        WE DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY.

      • Big Dog says:

        We never reacehed a balanced budget. What helped give the appearance of this is a huge increase in the amount of Social Security tax income as a result of the internet boom and increase in jobs. That money was used to pay the general debt.

        It is easy to balance a budget on paper but that does not mean it is balanced in reality. We did not have a real balanced budget and we did not have no deficit spending. Look at the numbers and you can see we still spent more than we took in. It was nice to say we balanced it because we said we would do so and so but since we did not do so and so we neve had a balanced budget.

        It is a myth.

      • Big Dog says:

        And cutting will not lead to double dip. Government does not create jobs, private sector does. Allowing our confiscated money to be used to pay our debt rather than increasing spending (and thus the burden on us) will allow those who really do create jobs to do so. You have this idea that all this spending is creating jobs. The unemployment rate has been about the same for a few years and is much higher when the discouraged are added in. You can’t say it would have been worse and you can’t call this success.

        But you all got a turtle tunnel. How stimulating that was to the economy.

  5. Adam says:

    “For 2 years Obama and the Dems said they were focused like laser beams on jobs and they screwed the pooch.”

    It’s not surprising that you think that since you have your head in the sand still pretending their biggest action on jobs was a failure. In fact the stimulus was successful and we’d be in much worse shape now without it.

    “How many business owners need to cite uncertainty over tax policies and the soundness of the government before you libs realize that is a major reason jobs are stifled?”

    I haven’t seen a single one. I’d like for you to point some out

    “I am not surprised you are baffled. You think spending is the way out of a debt problem and a recession.”

    It’s not hard to see until you start to think about the federal government as a household budget. Then it starts to be really confusing thinking about the reality that investing in economic growth during a recession instead simply of cutting spending and taxes is a good way to boost the economy and job growth.

    But you can’t help but think cutting spending and cutting taxes is the answer to all our problems. You think the magical free market will usher us into prosperity somehow…

    • Blake says:

      We have no money to invest, Adam- that’s the problem with liberals, they have no idea of where money really comes from, so like Bernanke, they think that we can print our way out of theis mess. Can’t happen.

    • Big Dog says:

      I completely understand how it works and I know that the free market has worked every time it has been tried. You can say that what we saw was a afialure of the free market but that would not be the case. The market is so heavily regulated and has government involved so deeply that it is a quasi free market. The stuimulus failed and no Adam, you cannot say it would have been worse unless you have some magical way to prove that. How can you possibly know it would have been worse?

      I do not think of the federal government as a household budget, I just believe the same principles apply. Our Founders felt that way as well.

      I understand you think you are smarter than they but until you found your own nation…

      And all the liberal run cities are falling apart. Detroit anyone? It is not because we spent too little money there…

      • Adam says:

        “How can you possibly know it would have been worse?”

        That’s like asking how can we possibly know what the sun is made of or what the age of the Earth is. Experts make their best guess. For instance the most recent analysis of the cost and impact of the ARRA is that 1.4 million and 3.6 million people had jobs they would not have had except for the stimulus. That sounds pretty great to me.

        “I do not think of the federal government as a household budget, I just believe the same principles apply.”

        Some, yes. Just not the simplistic view that it is invalid to think we can spend our way to prosperity. From a business standpoint we see companies spend tons of money and go into debt on the assumption of future gains.

        “I understand you think you are smarter than they but until you found your own nation…”

        No. Smart off all you want but I do respect the founders for their accomplishments and their intelligence. They weren’t right about everything though of course.

        • Big Dog says:

          It is obvious that we c annot spend our way to prosperity. If that were the case we would not have had a Great Depression and we would have no problems now because we have been spending forever. Companies spend money and take risks to gain a reward. The problem is, the government is does not produce anything. It takes and it consumes. Any business that ran deficits like the government would not be in business long and any one that practiced the same fiscal policies as government would feel the wrath of government coming down on it. Our government has accounting practices and fiscal policies that would land private company CEOs in jail.

          So while government cannot equate totally to a household budget it certainly cannot equate to a company budget. Private companies produce products and make money or they go out of business. Government does none of that and will be bankrupt if it does not get its house in order.

          There are plenty of estimates and you can get anyone to interpret data any way you would like. History shows us that we cannot spend our way out of debt and you know full well that it is wrong to say that we would have been worse without the stimulus. There are as many people who say doing nothing would have been better. The only way to know would been to have done nothing. Countries that did far less than we were in better shape during the Great Depression (they only had a Depression) and some are better off than we are now. Germany is not in as bad a shape and it did far less.

          Government DOES NOT create jobs.

          • Adam says:

            “There are plenty of estimates and you can get anyone to interpret data any way you would like.”

            I guess if you can’t counter what the CBO believes then pretend their evidence is just arbitrary and meaningless. The millions of Americans working now because of the stimulus might disagree.

            “Germany is not in as bad a shape and it did far less.”

            You know why Germany is in better shape too. We’ve been over this. They had no housing bubble.

            “Government DOES NOT create jobs.”

            However you want to explain it away: the stimulus created or saved between 1.4 million and 3.6 million jobs. That’s good.

            • Big Dog says:

              We have been over this before. The CBO can only give estimates based on the information it receives. This is why its estimates of the cost of a bil are always wrong and way low. If it used information provided by the administration then it will provide information based on that information because it can only score what it was given.

              Germany did not have a housing bubble because its government did not force banks to lend money to people who could not afford to pay it back, ours did and that caused the collapse of the housing market.

              The net jobs number is a LOSS. Npo matter how you look at it, that is failure. We have lost more jobs than we have gained and that makes it a failure.

            • Adam says:

              “The CBO can only give estimates based on the information it receives.”

              This is not true of course but you roll that out anytime the CBO numbers conflicts with your view of things. The stimulus worked.

              “Germany did not have a housing bubble…”

              Glad you agree with me and now hopefully you’ll relay to your friends out on the Internet that Germany’s less severe recession and quick recovery is not at all an argument against Obama and the ARRA.

              “We have lost more jobs than we have gained and that makes it a failure.”

              You’re still wanting to just make up imaginary goals for the stimulus and then when it fails at those goals you call the stimulus a failure. It was never designed to create more than were lost. It was designed to slow losses and hasten job growth. It did that. It wasn’t a 100% success but it was far from a failure.

              But luckily the cost of ARRA was only about 545 billion, right? The rest was just tax cuts and those things pay for themselves…

            • Big Dog says:

              I guess the people who work at and have worked at the CBO who tell us that they can only score what they get know less about it than you do. I guess those in Congress who say that it can only score what it gets are not in the know like you. So keep telling yourself that the CBO is accurate and you will feel better. remember, historically, the CBO has been off by BILLIONS of dollars in its estimates. So if it is not (as you claim) because they only score what they are given then they are woefully inept.

              I do not make up imaginary goals for the stimulus. I went by what your messiah said and he was wrong. YOU are the one who keeps reinterpreting what they said. They kept changing the goals. First it was immediate and would not go over a certain amount and then it was long term, blah, blah.

              Germany had a less sever recession because it did not spend its treasure trying to fix problems that will eventually correct themselves. Like the Great Depression, most countries only had a Depression and not a great one because they did not meddle like our government did. Members of the government from that time said they spent lost of money and had nothing to show for it.

              As far as imaginary goes, I told you not to trust job numbers. You can do it but those with a brain know better. The government makes them up.

              No, there were no tax cuts in the stimulus. They claimed that but there were none. It is easy to say there was a tax cut but it is not shown and since we spent trillions we do not have the end result is a tax increase. The stimulus cost about a trillion dollars and that could rise since we had to borrow the money we will have to pay interest on it.

        • Blake says:

          The Founders were right about much, much more than Bari, that’s for damn certain- he is the Anti-Founder in his socialist philosophy, and he and his entire cabinet are a Clear And Present Danger to the US.
          It’s a pity you can’t see this-

  6. Adam says:

    Lost in the other talk is the fact that you still have no provided me examples of businesses citing uncertainty over tax policies and the soundness of the government. There’s apparently a lot of them, right?

    Don’t get me wrong. I believe that uncertainty is a factor. I just haven’t been convinced by anyone on the right yet that uncertainty is anything more significant than an excuse to blame Obama for high unemployment.

  7. Adam says:

    “I guess the people who work at and have worked at the CBO who tell us that they can only score what they get know less about it than you do.”

    I don’t deny your point that when scoring the cost of legislation before the legislation exists (and even after when interest rates change and such) is prone to error and revisions due to estimates. I’ve never denied that. What you do though is then turn that into the notion that everything the CBO does is therefore inaccurate. Measuring the cost of future legislation and measuring the economic impact of legislation passed years ago are two completely different ball games and your argument isn’t valid in this case.

    “No, there were no tax cuts in the stimulus.”

    I guess it depends on how you define tax cuts. If you don’t consider tax credits a form of tax cut then you are correct.

    “As far as imaginary goes, I told you not to trust job numbers.”

    Job numbers get revised and updated, sure. You can’t hide the fact that even after revisions we’ve had 13 straight months of private sector job growth worth +1.8 million jobs.

    “Clearly, these businesses are speaking with people in the FED, Obama, Bernanke and are voicing concerns in a survey.”

    Fair enough. I still don’t see solid evidence this is the primary source of trouble but as I said before I don’t discount uncertainty entirely. Bernanke himself says it’s hard to quantify the impact of uncertainty. Lockhart definitely agrees with your view though so I’ll drop my complaints against your argument.

    • Big Dog says:

      Don’t forget that politicians of all stripes send the CBO only the information that will give it a good score or desired outcome.

      Adam, you can’t make up the numbers. Estimating is one thing but fabricating the numbers is another all together.

      I know there are many things that contribute to the problem. The tax issue as well as other uncertainties are a part of that and prevent businesses from expanding. They are worried that short term (rather than long term) tax and business policy will hurt them because they might be screwed in the near future after making business decisions.

      The small job growth is not what we were told by Obama, Biden and the others. We might well have had better growth without the stimulus and the short term tax and business policies that stifle job creation.

      • Adam says:

        “Estimating is one thing but fabricating the numbers is another all together.”

        Who fabricated though? The NY Post writer pretends BLS just added an imaginary 117,000 to the count as if there was no methodology or reason behind the calculation other than to boost the number. Crudele is simply lying. In fact BLS has reworked the Birth/Death methodology this year in order to be more accurate than they were in the past. If anything the numbers are more accurate now.

        “We might well have had better growth without the stimulus and the short term tax and business policies that stifle job creation.”

        Make no mistake about one part: Without the stimulus unemployment would have topped out at 12% or 13% instead of 10% and job losses would have been as high as 10 million or 11 million instead of 8 million. Some might argue we could have recovered quicker but I haven’t seen that backed up with any actual analysis.

        • Big Dog says:

          We do not know unemployment would have been that high. We do know we were told it would be at 11% without and not go above 8% with. Those numbers were blown to hell when the UE with stimulus hit 10%.

          We have no idea but spending money that has to be borrowed and repaid by taxpayers is not the correct solution.

          We just have no way of knowing these numbers whether you say make no mistake or not…

          And the numbers are artificially inflated in the spring. They pull numbers out of their rears.

  8. Adam says:

    “We do know we were told it would be at 11% without and not go above 8% with.”

    Actually 8% was predicated on it being 9% without it. They stated clearly that 8% did not apply if in fact the impact was so bad as to be 11% without it. The 11% turned out to be closer to reality. It was 8.2% when the stimulus was signed into law.

    “And the numbers are artificially inflated in the spring. They pull numbers out of their rears.”

    Nonsense. Crudele fails to note that the new methodology for birth/death of companies applies the calculation quarterly now instead of annually. This includes the 117,000 value. When BLS ran their new methodology back over the old numbers then they got a much more accurate prediction compared to the actual values they know now and they are pretty hopeful that these numbers will turn out better. It’s still an estimate of course though, just a lot better estimate that rear end numbers.

    “We just have no way of knowing these numbers whether you say make no mistake or no…”

    We have very well built models that can be used to predict these things to the degree that we know that the stimulus was necessary and things would be worse without it. It’s not magic and I’m not simply making this stuff up to spin the stimulus.

    • Adam says:

      Again I can’t help but note the success of the stimulus in that it was designed to have shaved off 2% from unemployment by now. If we consider that an 11% high point was a more accurate number then the 8.8% employment now is exactly where the report wanted us to be. There was no 8% promise.

  9. Big Dog says:

    What do birth rates have to do with the number of people hired?

    The report said that it would not top 8% with and would go to 11% without. It is clearly written there.

    There are plenty of suppositions but those were the claims.

    If you are saying there was too much variability to pin it down then I make that claim with regard to what it would be if we had done little or nothing.

    A lot of money was spent on things that did not produce jobs but allowed states to continue paying public union employees and put money on state debt. A lot more went to Democrat pet projects.

  10. Big Dog says:

    2% from the 8 laid out in the plan would be 6. It went to 10% and eased off which would have happened anyway.

    It has not been successful. I hope you hold the Dodgers to a higher standard of success.

  11. Adam says:

    “What do birth rates have to do with the number of people hired?”

    It’s the CES net birth/death model which is pretty interesting to read about.

    “The report said that it would not top 8% with and would go to 11% without. It is clearly written there”

    Here is the report. It talks about 8.8% being the high mark and staying less than 8 if that were the case. In the case that 11% was a more accurate high mark then of course 8% was out of the question.

    “2% from the 8 laid out in the plan would be 6. It went to 10% and eased off which would have happened anyway.”

    If you consider 11% to be the real high mark then the chart still lines up with the impact but the whole thing slides up 3%. It was still a finite amount of money spent. The two options are that 11% was a better mark or the stimulus actually caused it to go above the 8.8% high mark.

    • Big Dog says:

      The footnote indicates that one number is with and one is without. The highmark was supposed to happen without and we got close to it with…

    • Big Dog says:

      “1 Forecasts of the unemployment rate without the recovery plan vary substantially. Some private forecasters anticipate unemployment rates as high as 11% in the absence of action.”

      This clearly indicates that it could be as high as 11% without. There is no mention in the footnotes of variability if we pass it.

    • Big Dog says:

      I see, birth and death of business. Got it, I misinterpreted.

      However, this guy (an Obama supporter) has a better grasp on the unemployment picture and his work shows how the stimulus was a failure. We lost jobs, not gained them and like I said, government games the numbers (and it is not unique to this regime).

  12. Adam says:

    Something seems up. When I posted my comment again it takes me to #comment-166649 on the page but that comment doesn’t exist as far as we can see. Strange.

  13. Adam says:

    “We lost jobs, not gained them…”

    Again, this was not a goal of the stimulus. It was never going to create a net increase in jobs. Creating or saving 2 million to 4 million jobs was the goal, not creating a net increase of 2 million to 4 million. There’s a clear difference there. You can’t make up new goals the stimulus was never supposed to meet and then call it a failure for not meeting them. The goals were clearly outlined in the document we’ve discussed many times now. Not one was to create a net increase in jobs.

    “However, this guy (an Obama supporter) has a better grasp on the unemployment picture…”

    I understand the argument for the most part. It’s true that the media report only on job creation numbers and U3 generally but that doesn’t paint the real picture of the conditions. Yet, BLS has a full range of underutilization figures they publish every month as we both know: U1-U6.

    I tried to find the source for that letter to get more information on the calculations. All I found were bunches of people online citing the idea that “real” unemployment is 17.7% but none of them understanding how it was calculated or why. For some reason simply saying unemployment numbers are a scam and it’s really 17.7% is really appealing to folks and I’m not sure why. I wish I knew more but from what I can tell it’s hogwash.

    • Big Dog says:

      So we spent a trillion dollars to lose fewer jobs than some eggheads said we would without it. We did not do it to create jobs (a net loss is not job creation) but to lose fewer? And then ended up losing much more than is being reported because losses are being reported as gains.

      I read the article and it clearly tells what numbers he used and why the ones the gubmint uses are not accurate.

      Go to the BLS and look at the numbers he used.

      • Adam says:

        “So we spent a trillion dollars to lose fewer jobs than some eggheads said we would without it.”

        Exactly. It doesn’t sound great when you phrase it that way but that was exactly the goal. It’s a bad situation. It’s one of those times when every little bit helps and sped up the beginning of recovery.

        “Go to the BLS and look at the numbers he used.”

        I play with these stats every month when they come out and I can assure you they don’t line up with the BLS numbers.

        BLS reports discouraged workers. It’s not 3.8 million. Where does the 3.8 million he uses come from?

        U6 under employment is 15.7% and includes basically everybody that is not working that wants to work including the unemployed (by technical definition), the part time for economic reasons people, and the marginally attached (which includes discouraged and an “other” category).

        I really have no idea how he gets to 17.7% unless he’s got values for the self-employed (Blake mentioned it the other day) which was mentioned early in the letter.