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Myth-Busting Ahead For Congress

SEQUESTER WOULD SERVE AS REALITY CHECK

Posted: February 17, 2013 at 2:25 a.m.

One in fi ve Americans paying for his or her home owes more on that home than it’s worth.

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Opinion, Pages 14 on 02/17/2013

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Doug Thompson has really disappointed me.
He says (2nd to last paragraph "The bigger issue is the very things that drive federal deficits are the things sequester won’t touch: The great big entitlement programs of Social Security and Medicaid.
Social Security is not a driver of the deficit!!!
Why do you think working people pay a payroll tax every paycheck?

Posted by: Coralie

February 18, 2013 at 5:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Social Security is set up in such a way that it can't possibly be part of the deficit or the debt. It doesn't use money from the general fund.

Posted by: Coralie

February 18, 2013 at 5:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Not only is Soc Security NOT a driver of fed deficits
Soc Security made possible many of the income tax cuts in previous administrations.

When Soc Security contributions were increasing then income taxes could be cut with relatively small, negligible effects on the federal budget. Soc Secur Trust Fund is issued U.S. bonds after the excess SS funds are transferred to the General Budget of the U.S. Treasury.

Posted by: cdawg

February 18, 2013 at 5:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

When a car begins to slow down because it is running out of gas, the LAST thing we need to do is to siphon-off any gas remaining in the tank. Instead, we need to find a gas station - FAST, in order to add more to the tank so we can get to our destination...

Posted by: aimee

February 19, 2013 at 1:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Doug made a retraction of his Social Security claim in his column today.
Thank you.

Posted by: Coralie

February 24, 2013 at 3:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Well, here's something we don't often hear about the debt THE DEBT: "Guess what, the debt everyone is freaking out about does not exist?"
http://www.alternet.org/guess-what-de...

Posted by: Coralie

February 26, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Nobel economist Paul Krugman said in his ADG column today that there is no debt crisis.
But we've all heard them crying "The sky is falling," so it must be true.

Posted by: Coralie

February 26, 2013 at 4:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

BTW, when they pass a bill forcing the federal government to balance its budget, will they also outlaw war and cold wars?
Or perhaps any such military interventions will have to be accompanied by a war tax?

Posted by: Coralie

February 26, 2013 at 4:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Also, when the government is not allowed to go into debt, we should also ban debt for private parties.
No one is to buy a house, a car, or an education unless they can pay for it up-front.
Companies too must save up enough money to expand or retool.

Posted by: Coralie

February 26, 2013 at 4:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

When all you can pay on your debt is the interest, you have a debt problem.

Posted by: mycentworth

February 26, 2013 at 5:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I was pretty much in that situation with my house mortgage for years.

Posted by: Coralie

February 26, 2013 at 5:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Just about everyone who finances a home with less than 20% down payment is paying mostly interest during the first 5 years of a 20 year mortgage.

But, mycent makes the classic mistake of equating government finances to personal or business finance.
There's a world of difference as Krugman notes.

Posted by: cdawg

February 26, 2013 at 6:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

A serious look into how each and every governement entity spends its budget is in order.

Posted by: Tankersley101

February 26, 2013 at 9:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

mycent doesn't make many mistakes, when all you can pay on your credit card is the interest, how long does it take to pay it back? Answer---Never!

Tank, that is right, bring it back to simple.

Posted by: JailBird

February 26, 2013 at 10:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Comparing federal spending to the use of a credit-card account isn't bringing it back to simple; it's bringing it back to stupid. On the other hand, given the panoramic stupid of the Bush administration, where was this thinking when Bush maxed out the credit card?

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 26, 2013 at 11:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Bush had special exemptions. God told him all the moves to make:

"President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq ." And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"

Abu Mazen was at the same meeting and recounts how President Bush told him: "I have a moral and religious obligation. So I will get you a Palestinian state."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pres...

Posted by: cdawg

February 27, 2013 at 1:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

AlphaCat,

You want to see "panoramic stupid", just look at some items in the budgets of government agencies.

Coralie,

No debt, huh?

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Posted by: Tankersley101

February 27, 2013 at 1:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie,

Perhaps war taxes would compel legilslators to end wars sooner. I'm not opposed to that at all. Although I'm sure we probably disagree on how to end wars quicker.

Posted by: Tankersley101

February 27, 2013 at 2:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

I'll tell you what we really need is an audit of where the money went and where it is going? We'd probably be back in the black. That is what frustrates me the most. No one is watching the check book.

Posted by: mycentworth

February 27, 2013 at 8:24 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tank, when you indicate that you read my link, I'll read yours.
"Guess what, the debt everyone is freaking out about does not exist?"
http://www.alternet.org/guess-what-de...

Posted by: Coralie

February 27, 2013 at 11:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

OK, I looked at your link, Tank.
Lots of information but very little context.
For instance, to whom is the debt owed? In many cases it is to ourselves.
Social Security is listed as a budget item as if it were contributing to the deficit/debt. But it isn't. It has its own funding source and is still in the black.
The military sector does not include everything it should, such as health care and pension costs and interest from past wars.

Posted by: Coralie

February 27, 2013 at noon ( | suggest removal )

Tank says "Perhaps war taxes would compel legilslators to end wars sooner."
My idea is that they wouldn't start a war in the first place without a realistic plan of how to pay for it.
A war tax would necessarily be pretty steep, and would discourage a lot of jingoism and war-mongering..

Posted by: Coralie

February 27, 2013 at 12:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Some people can't see a debt problem even when the numbers are put right in front of them. Oh, and Coralie, we didn't start the war we are in right now just like we didn't start any other war we have been in.

Posted by: Tankersley101

February 27, 2013 at 12:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

War taxes could be proposed and voted on like local bond elections-- as a millage and term. Another approach to deficit control would be to remove the "requirement"-- however implicit it is-- that an agency spend its entire budget each year in order to maintain its funding. A lot of government waste occurs as a result of end-of-fiscal-year spending.

RE "You want to see "'panoramic stupid', just look at some items in the budgets of government agencies."
I don't dispute that one bit (though we might disagree on the details of what constitutes stupid spending). However, that is an entirely different matter from comparing federal spending to using a credit card, and the sudden interest in responsible spending after Bush was given a pass on building the debt.

RE "Some people can't see a debt problem even when the numbers are put right in front of them."
And some people can't see the difference between debt due to profligate spending beyond revenue and debt due to reinvestment of incoming revenue (which is what the Social Security Trust Fund is). The biggest problem with the SSTF is not that it exists; it's that Congress keeps raiding it instead of taxing and spending honestly.

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 27, 2013 at 1:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

AlphaCat,

It is interesting how spending is a Congress problem now and it was a Bush problem then in the eyes of some.

Posted by: Tankersley101

February 27, 2013 at 1:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "It is interesting how spending is a Congress problem now and it was a Bush problem then in the eyes of some."

It is interesting, but it is a fact that the President drives policy, including the scale of the budget. Bush started with a budget surplus, cut taxes, then got us into two wars, then didn't lead in developing the revenue to pay for them. (At least Reagan had sense enough to raise taxes.) Bush's party had virtual (through filibuster and cloture, four years) or actual (four years) control of the Senate for the entirety of his two terms, and control of the House from 2001 until 2007.

Obama started with the worst recession since the Great Depression, was saddled with Bush's 2009 budget, and spent on getting us out of wars and out of recession. He has raised taxes, and his budgets are getting smaller, not bigger. His party has never had actual control of the Senate, due to filibuster and cloture, and had control of the House only from 2009 until 2011.

It is also interesting to note that the Senate has not had a Democratic supermajority since 2001, the Republican use of filibuster and cloture jumped dramatically after Obama was elected, and the House has been controlled by Republicans for eight of the last twelve years.

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 27, 2013 at 2:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Money - The left has even spinned good old common sense - pay off your debt, even our country. If it doesn't, we cannot pay ours off.

Posted by: mycentworth

February 27, 2013 at 4:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

That's all well and good AlphaCat, but are you failing to consider Cdawg's point that Bush was in fact, as he clearly informed us, on a mission from God?

You know, like the Blues Brothers.

How likely is it that a good godly person like Bush would lie about something as important that?

Posted by: fayfreethinker

February 27, 2013 at 5:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "...Bush was in fact, as he clearly informed us, on a mission from God?"
I took it to be an allegorical claim rather than a literal claim.

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 27, 2013 at 10:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tank says " we didn't start the war we are in right now just like we didn't start any other war we have been in."
That is such an amazing statement that it takes my breath away..
Denial is not only a river in Egypt.
===
"The United States has been engaged in what the great historian Charles A. Beard called "perpetual war for perpetual peace." The Federation of American Scientists has cataloged nearly 200 military incursions since 1945 in which the United States has been the aggressor."
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/87...

Posted by: Coralie

February 28, 2013 at 12:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

More sources:
William Blum, A Brief History of U.S. Interventions:
1945 to the Present
This includes CIA operations as well as overt military interventions.
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blu...
===
The Banana Wars: "Between the time of the war with Spain [1898] and 1934, the United States conducted military operations and occupations in Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. The series of conflicts ended with the withdrawal of troops from Haiti and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy in 1934."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_Wars

Posted by: Coralie

February 28, 2013 at 12:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Taliban didn't start it, Osama Bin Laden did--with a crew mainly from Saudi Arabia.
"The Taliban, however, played no role in the 9/11 attacks, had no prior knowledge of the attacks, publicly condemned the attacks, and provided many different options to the US to try Osama Bin Laden for his crimes. The two organizations are distinct and have very different goals, ideologies, and sources of recruits."
http://www.e-ir.info/2012/11/17/the-d...
By now, after all these years of fighting against Americans, they may have allied.
Bin Laden is now dead.
After the longest war in American history, the Afghan infant mortality rate is still the highest in the world.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publicati...

Posted by: Coralie

February 28, 2013 at 1:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie,

The "Banana Wars" you seem to love always bringing up were started by European politics and the balancing of power.

Also, are you really defending the Taliban? These were the people harboring al Qaeda. Let me be the first to tell you that any theory of the Taliban allying with the US or ever not being the enemy since 2001 is crazy bullcrap.Then of course, you think the Soviet Union wasn't that bad either.

You don't have to always pick the side of the bad guys just to show your disapproval for America.

Posted by: Tankersley101

February 28, 2013 at 9:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

You know, grown-ups don't think in terms of good guys and bad guys.
That's for little kids watching cowboy movies. And the way they know who's who is by the color of their hats.

Posted by: Coralie

March 1, 2013 at 12:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie,

RE-

"You know, grown-ups don't think in terms of good guys and bad guys."

That is idiotic.

Taliban = bad guys

US = good guys

Posted by: Tankersley101

March 1, 2013 at 6:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

That Tank - master of the nuance, ain't he?

Of course, I guess it's much easier to see things as black and white when one's only vision of the world is the one seen by means of FLIR.

Hey, video gamers - thanks for your service.

Posted by: CaptainQuint

March 1, 2013 at 8:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

PVT Buck,

I guess it all depends on the platform. You know what CAS is? The primary sensor used when directing it from the ground is the good ole' Mark 1 eyeball. So you can hate on the video game generation all you want, but many of us have paid our dues in the mud doing things the old fashioned way. I prefer working with piloted aircraft, specifically ones built for CAS. You continue to talk out of your backside when it comes to this subject.

Do you even know what FLIR is?

Posted by: Tankersley101

March 2, 2013 at 12:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

There are two moonbats on this thread that try to turn a fart into the sweet aroma of delicate and rare roses, Freeby and PVT Buck.

Posted by: JailBird

March 2, 2013 at 9:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"2000-2001: US gives Taliban-ruled Afghanistan $245 million in "aid."
http://www.bowlingforcolumbine.com/li...
I am not defending either the Taliban or the USSR. Nor Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Franco, the Duvaliers, Pinochet, Rios Montt, Saddam, Marcos, etc. Very dark grey hats all of them..
But there are no white hats in international politics.

Posted by: Coralie

March 3, 2013 at 3:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Use whatever acronym is currently popular - it's all pretty much the same.

And, video gamer boy - FLIR means "forward looking infrared". Just because you developed newer and better ways of not having to dirty your hands makes "CAS" no better or worse a technology. It's the difference between Xbox and PlayStation.

Neither are more than means for a society scared to actually sacrifice blood and meat on the battlefield to kill, or pretend to.

It's unfortunate that we've raised a generation of gamers who don't know the difference between real life and make believe.

Posted by: CaptainQuint

March 3, 2013 at 4:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Was "Enola Gay" real life or make believe, Buckeroot and spoot? Those guys learned on a video game called a "Flight Simulator." Losen that tie, PVT, its cutting blood flow off to your brain cell.

Posted by: JailBird

March 3, 2013 at 5:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Buck,

First the 3rd or 4th time, I am not a UAV operator. I am a JTAC... and yes I have been in firefights with real weapons. I have more time in the combat zone than you can imagine. I have called in airstrikes from UAVs, yes. But that doesn't make me a UAV operator.

I generally don't use wikipedia as personal rule. But here you go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_te...

I question the sincerity and credentials of anybody that talks about the "glory and honor of war." If you ever wanna talk it over in a more permissive environment, we can talk in more detail. I can fill you in on sacrafice on the battlefield.

You continue to display your ignorance about who and what you are talking about.

Posted by: Tankersley101

March 3, 2013 at 9:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tank says "The "Banana Wars" you seem to love always bringing up were started by European politics and the balancing of power. "
What is that supposed to mean?
from Wikipedia: "The United Fruit Company had significant financial stakes in production of bananas, tobacco, sugar cane, and various other products throughout the Caribbean, Central America and Northern South America. The U.S. was also advancing its political interests, maintaining a sphere of influence and controlling the Panama Canal which it had recently built, critically important to global trade and naval power." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_Wars
I know you don't like Wikipedia for some reason, but here's a book about it: http://www.amazon.com/The-Banana-Wars...
and of course Marine General Smedley Butler's book WAR IS A RACKET--which I believe you once said you'd read.

Posted by: Coralie

March 5, 2013 at 2:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

PVT Buck is as ignorant as Kitty, no matter how many times you tell either of them that I have not been arrested for a Federal crime and you do not fly UAV's, stupid wins out and both still make false claims in order to discredit.

As for war: "There never was a good war or a bad revolution."---Edward Abbey

"As War and government prove, insanity is the most contagious of all diseases."---Edward Abbey

Posted by: JailBird

March 5, 2013 at 5:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Cor: "Marine General Smedley Butler's book WAR IS A RACKET...">>

Excerpt:

"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active service in the country's most agile military force, the Marines. I served in all ranks from second Lieutenant to major general. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an original thought until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

Thus I helped make Mexico, and especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the raping of half-a-dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers and Co. in 1909- 1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras "right" for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. I was rewarded with honors, medal, and promotion. Looking back on it, I feel that I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate a racket in three city districts. The Marines operated on three continents."
--General Smedley Butler, Common Sense, November 1935

The US has never started any doggone wars!

Posted by: fayfreethinker

March 5, 2013 at 6:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

We all remember. How well, some better than others. It was Christmas 2007. Work on the Madison Lane Transactions had started. The Feds numbers flashed warning signs. Banks were wobbling with toxic debt. From Jan till April things got worst. And The Madison Lane transactions were put in place. Consumer Credit remained frozen. And finally a surplus of housing, loss of jobs and high gas prices busted.
In August the president gave a public fiscal policy speech and said the state of the economy is strong and stable. On 9/15/2008 the US Economy collapsed. It had finally happened. Just like a movie. The TV showing Bank after Bank failing. And across american millions were jobless, homeless, in foreclosure, bankrupcy. Having to apply for entitlements to survive. Second only to the Great Depression.
The US standing as #1 had hit rock bottom. Wall street had lost 60% of it's value. Unemployment had doubled and was raising at 650-850,000 job losses a month. . The national debt had doubled.
Having been on track to be Zero by late 2008, Fiscal policy reversed the downward spiral and send the debt and deficit raising fast. From a CBO Projected ZERO National Debt in Late 2008, instead it stood at 11 Trillion.
The Great Recession. A Historic Mega-Economic failure, meltdown. At the time experts on all sides agreed it was a crisis. And On October 3rd 2008. The country watched as 1 Trillion dollars went up in smoke when the president and Sec Treasury Paulson signed the 'Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008'. Putting a stamp on the worst financial results of a Party, a president and fiscal policy in 80 years. Foreclosures, Long term portfolio's cut in half, job loss, debt, deficit. all set records.
The country had gone from flying at the top of it's game in 2000. To rock bottom by 2008.
This would lead to the solid defeat of the President and Vice President in November of 2008.

Posted by: tkt07709190938

March 5, 2013 at 11:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

What a great piece of writing tk. To bad there is no fact to back it up.

Posted by: JailBird

March 5, 2013 at 11:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tank (and them what purport to be like him):

My question to your sort remains only this: have any of you ever, in your careers as trained killers, actually held the bad and dirty end of a knife, gun, or other deadly weapon, up against an adversary's head and decided, on your own and with out having to clear it through management, whether or not to kill another human?

Airmen, I question neither your loyalty, nor your mastery of the nomenclature necessary to blog as though you've killed more men than the plague. I only wonder whether any other human being has actually expired within your arm's reach (irrespective of who pulled the trigger.)

Come on boys! Tell us a war story! (And, as always, thanks for yer service.)

Posted by: CaptainQuint

March 6, 2013 at 4:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

What a great piece of writing tk.
Too bad Money is suffering from amnesia and can't appreciate it.

Posted by: Coralie

March 7, 2013 at 5:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal )