Irony Alert: Obama says US debt unsubstainable

Discussion in 'Politics' started by madanthonywayne, May 15, 2009.

  1. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    President Obama, the man with the honor of preciding over the largest deficit and level of debt in US history, the man whose budget projections show deficits continuing and debt continuing to pile up as far as the eye can see, the man proprosing expensive new government program after expensive new government program has now informed us that this level of debt is unsubstainable. Hmm. Maybe he was paying attention to all the tea parties, after all.
    So now Obama's talking sense, but will this be empty rhetoric? Like his earlier massive program to cut $100 million from the budget, an amount curiously similiar to the $90 million per day we're now paying on the money borrowed for his stimulus package. Even the usually boot licking press pretty much laughed in his face over that one. I also heard a $100 million cut in the federal budget would be the equivalent of the average family cutting out one latte per year from their budget.
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  3. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    He's always said that. It's not like we had a choice, it was an emergency. That doesn't mean we have to accept a high debt. Have your taxes increased? Because mine have not.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Proud patriots

    The typical Republican formula:

    (1) Lie, cheat, steal if you have to.
    (2) Make a huge mess.
    (3) Lose an election because lying and cheating caused such a huge mess.
    (4) Complain about the person whose job it is to clean up the mess.​

    You know, there were a lot of jokes and editorial cartoons after Obama won the election having to do with the American heritage of racism: A bunch of white people get a black man to clean up after them.

    It's worth a chuckle, sure. But now we see the Republicans showing their true colors.

    They won two elections. They got damn near everything they wanted. It blew up in their faces. And now they're crying because someone is cleaning up after them.

    Applause! Applause! Yes, this is exactly what America needs right now. Such patriotism! How many people could so love their country that they would flush it all away for the sake of petty politics?

    Congratulations, conservatives! We're so proud of you.
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  7. original sine Registered Senior Member

    Conservatives. Republicans.
  8. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, it seems that the Democratic party has historically been the party that cleans up after a Republican administration.

    First, all that spending was commited too by the Republicans. He is on the receiving end of all that spending (e.g. Medicare Prescription Drug Bill, repeated tax cuts but increased federal spending commitments in virtually every area). So what is he going to do with the economy in the dumps....put everyone on the street. No that is not the answer.

    These spending commitments made by the Republicans are long term and they require a long term solution. And I if you look at what he has been saying, Obama has always said federal spending is unstainable. So this is nothing new for him.
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    An "irony alert" is followed by this:
    That would make a good Onion article setup, as is, simply by being placed in a noted conservative pundit's mouth. It's quite good, as a comic sendup.

    But it has been apparent for years that the right wing of US politics has no - absolutely no, zero, nada, zip - comprehension of irony. And one source of that debility is perhaps illuminated by this amazing species of political rhetoric: they have the attention span and political memory of a fruit fly.
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    The irony is just unbeliveable. We have two political parties. One the Democrats have exercised fiscal conservatism...have moved the budget from deficit to surplus. And we have another party (Republicans) who claims to be for smaill government but never ever has done anything of the sort. But is very good at blamnig the other parties, the Democrats, for all kinds of fiscal iresponsible behaviors...kind of weird when you think about it.
  11. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    Of course this level of debt is unsustainable in the long haul. Obama is following a basic Keynesian strategy for alleviating the recession. That might not be a popular one with conservatives (in the sense that the South Pole "might not be hot"), but it is the same strategy the GOP embarked on at the end of Bush II's term. Mostly that is because it's Macroecon 101. There are arguments for and against that position, but I do not think it was fair to assume that the debt level Obama instituted represented a long term "target" on his part (or that the Tea Parties convinced him to change tack).

    When the financial crisis is over, there will be a lot of unsavory decisions to be made to reduce the debt, one hopes, but everyone understands that day is coming.

    In the short to medium term (say the next two years) I would expect no action on the debt, because the same Econ 101 says that that would be exactly the thing to make the recession worse, by causing aggregate demand to contract even more.

    Sadly, the macro econ was developed under the unspoken assumption that we would not be profligate during good economic times and that we would not face the debt crisis we have built up over the past 30 years; but it would not have mattered in that regard if our huge debt ballooned because of new rounds of stimulative tax cuts, as opposed to new rounds of stimulative spending. Moreover, if it had been tax cuts followed by spending cuts to keep the deficit down, there would have been no buttressing of aggregate demand (and so no real stimulus).
    Last edited: May 16, 2009
  12. Roman Banned Banned

    It's really hard to take you seriously after you voted for Bush twice.
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Coin toss

    While I understand your point, Original, where are those Republicans?

    Think of it this way: While I think Michael Steele is nuts, how is it that his tenure as RNC president may come to an end after only four months? One in five voters surveyed is willing to identify with the Republican Party right now in part because the hard right is trying to purge the moderates. The current mode of the Republican Party is defined by extremists.

    Conservatives got their way. And this is the result. Over the last eight years they've gotten their way on everything but the Social Security scam that would have invested $800b of Chinese-loaned money in the stock market, for heaven's sake, and that ugly Schiavo affair.

    The cancer that is threatening the Republican Party, indeed the whole nation, is a purely conservative phenomenon. That's why moderates are washing their hands and walking away.

    Right now the so-called moderates have a chance to demonstrate their moderation. By conducting themselves reasonably, they can establish that they recognize the mistake they made in dealing with the Devil. And they can plead stupidity for not seeing this coming. And they can convince voters that they've learned a lesson.

    So it's almost a coin toss. There's no reason to alienate the moderates, but, to the other, the Republican Party is defined by the hard conservatives.
  14. Roman Banned Banned

    They aren't there because, well, they aren't Republicans. That was his point.
  15. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    I don't mean to speak for original, but I believe you've misunderstood his point. I think he was saying that the problem was not conservatives, but Republicans. Deficit spending, a new government entitlement program (prescription drug plan), government growing to heretofore unseen levels. These are not the policies any conservative would support, yet somehow they were the policies enacted by a Republican Congress and Whitehouse.

    Most Americans are conservative.
    Americans, overwhelmingly, are conservative. There were some differences between social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. Twenty-six percent of Americans call themselves "very conservative" on fiscal issues and forty-three percent consider themselves "somewhat conservative" on fiscal issues. One percent of America is moderate on fiscal issues -- that vital "center" of American politics! -- and three percent "don't know." Twenty-two percent of Americans are "somewhat liberal" on fiscal issues, and a piddling five percent of Americans are "very liberal" on fiscal issues. When the mushy "moderate" and "don't know" respondents are excluded, fiscal conservatives outnumber fiscal liberals by seventy-four percent to twenty-six percent.

    Social conservatives are the clear majority of America too, although the numbers are not quite as overwhelming. Thirty-four percent of America, more than one person in three, is "very conservative" on social issues and nineteen percent are "somewhat conservative" on social issues. One percent is moderate on social issues - again, that vital "center" of American politics! - and seven percent "don't know." Twenty percent are "somewhat liberal" on social issues and nineteen percent are "very liberal" on social issues. When the mushy "don't know" and moderates are taken out, social conservatives outnumber social liberals fifty-nine percent to forty-one percent.

    So fiscal conservatives outnumber fiscal liberals by 3 to 1, and social conservatives outnumber social liberals by 3 to 2. Unfortunately, Republicans governing like liberals have left many conservatives dispirited. Many feel betrayed by the Republican party which is why the number of Americans labeling themselves as Republicans is so low despite the fact that a majority of the country still considers itself conservative.
  16. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    Their are different kinds of conservatives besides fiscal.

    Yet in almost all polls the LIBERAL stance is the one held by more people.
  17. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    After noting that China had only a 13 billion trade surpluss last month (much too small to met the US's financing needs, even if 100% lent to the US) I made the following footnote at: ,which was posted the day before the OP here on same Obama statement.

    “***Obama is quite the "spin master." Here is his just released on Bloomberg spin of the fact China will not / cannot lend what the US now needs:

    "... President Barack Obama, calling current deficit spending “unsustainable,” warned of skyrocketing interest rates for consumers if the U.S. continues to finance government by borrowing from other countries. “We can’t keep on just borrowing from China,” Obama said ... “We have to pay interest on that debt, and that means we are mortgaging our children’s future with more and more debt.” Holders of U.S. debt will eventually “get tired” of buying it, causing interest rates on everything from auto loans to home mortgages to increase, Obama said. ..." From:

    No shit Sherlock! If more honestly stated that "will eventually" could be replaced with: "already are"
    Note he did not add:
    "No need to borrow: The FED and Treasury have a big fast printing press."

    I noted this a few months ago in the steepening of the yield curve and last week when it really steepened in one week, I posted data on it here: …”

    I am not being critical by calling Obama a "spin master" - That is what is needed now to cope with the mess GWB and "trickle down" Republicans left to Obama, but even with this and his other leadership talents and his ability to inspire many, I still think the hole GWB and "server the rich" thinkers dug is just too deep to get out of. I.e. US and EU are "depression bound."
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2009
  18. brokenpower Registered Senior Member

    and then?
  19. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Not only do the elected Republicans have a credibility problem. Those who brought us the Republicans who introduced Washington to a new era of fiscal irresponsibility have no credibility. Where were they when their Republicans who were ruling congress, the presidency and the supremes? I don't recall seeing their tea bags then.

    And by the way, Good analysis Bill T.
  20. John T. Galt marxism is legalized hatred!! Registered Senior Member

    Ignorance is Bliss for far too many people here.

    Because the sytem is not completely free, government is the problem; not democrat/republican, they all lack credibility.

    Propaganda requires a shift in blame; truth requires independent thinking.

    Where do you stand, honestly?
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It has long been my point that the Democrats are more deserving of the appellation "conservative" than the Republicans, as a Party characteristic. But you and the rest of this "we was robbed" crowd have objected loudly when I (and many, many others) pointed out that Clinton, for example, was a right wing authoritarian politician with a political position more or less similar to Dwight Eisenhower's. As is Obama.

    So are you claiming that these "conservatives" you claim were betrayed somehow did not vote for W, including in the Republican primaries, twice?

    Are you claiming that the Reagan voters and the Reagan administration - basically identical to W&Co's - were not "conservatives" either?

    Are you claiming that during the years of the 90s, with Limbaugh and Gingrich riding high, the "conservatives" were leading the loyal opposition and fighting against those perfidious betrayers of conservative principle?

    Are you ready to point to the conservative media and conservative grassroots political movement (a majority of the American people, you say) and conservative political faction in Congress, all organized against the Reagan administration hog-trough betrayal of the 80s, the Republican Congressional boodle and scam betrayal of the 90s, and the W&Co outright assault and piracy of the 00s, before it all blew up in their faces?

    Because everyone I know of who was trying to prevent that rolling disaster from picking up speed and size, everyone I know of who was pointing out that you can't have a small government and a planetary military hegemony at the same time; everyone I know of who was pointing out that a deregulated banking and financial industry is a really stupid idea; everyone I know of who was trying to get a word edgewise in the major media about how consumer-paid health care in the real world would be delivered to the poor, young, old, sick, and injured;

    all of these people found that their major opposition was calling itself "conservative", describing itself as "conservative", and taking up all the media time with framings of issues as "conservative" vs "liberal" with "liberal" equivalent to "bad". And supporting, by vote and by money and by loud public voice, the policies enacted and the people elected as "conservative".

    If you "real" conservatives didn't want these policies enacted and these people in power, you should have said something different and voted for someone other.
  22. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Once in a while, you make a good point.
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Convenient conservative myopia

    One way to look at the situation is like an athletic competition. Say, a footrace or a football game. In amateur track and field, there are often runners in distance races called "rabbits". Their purpose is to run hard, and bait other runners into trying to keep up with them. Their pace is unsustainable, but if someone bites, and the rabbit's teammate ends up winning the race, the approach has worked.

    In American football, many fans are repeatedly mystified when their favorite bunch of incompetents comes out in the last two minutes of a game and plays astounding ball. "Why didn't they do that earlier?" is the standard question, and the answer is the same: It's unsustainable. If you play that way through the whole game, one of two things will happen: the defense will catch on, or your players will become fatigued. The end result is the same—percentages drop, mistakes increase.

    Over the long run, our debt level is unsustainable. That's why we need good faith right now. Instead of being obstructionists, Republicans need to help dig the country out of the hole we find ourselves in. And then they can try to do what they did with Clinton: claim responsibility, get elected, fuck everything up again, lose an election, watch a Democrat fix as much as possible, and then complain that the economy didn't fly at hyperspeed while it was healing from the crippling assault of Republican fiscal policy.

    That's the thing that really confuses me here. What the hell is wrong with Republicans? Shit, after going out of their way to be complete twats under Clinton, they still got elected because the American people were happy enough with where they were at to look past the fact that they were happy enough with where they were at.

    This is nothing more than childish impatience. They just need to hold on and keep cool heads. If everything goes according to plan, Obama will do an admirable job of fixing everything the prior administration and Republican Congress inflicted against the nation, and Republicans will pick up a ball that necessarily had to be set aside and convince everyone that the Democrats abandoned them.

    The problem is that Rush Limbaugh tipped their hand. That's why the GOP is coming apart right now. They want Obama to fail, but nobody was supposed to admit it publicly. Remember that the two primary aspects of the Republican Party, capitalists and redemptionists, are both as greedy as can be. We should not be surprised that their approach to politics so unyieldingly worships market share. For the economic conservatives, it's a matter of accruing political and financial capital. For the redemptionists, it's a subversive appeal to a "higher law" than the U.S. Constitution. Neither really understands how to play the longer game for the benefit of the people, the very nation that sustains their ability to fulfill capitalist and redemptionist greed.

    For them, it doesn't really matter if the nation goes to hell, as long as they find the profit they seek.

    What? Why else do they keep appealing to patriotism, accusing opponents of being "un-American", and trying to split the nation into "American" and "anti-American" regions? They're fixated on exactly what they lack, which is an abiding and sustainable relationship between individual and society.

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