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If economy is recovering, why do we need more spending?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:22 am - February 15, 2012.
Filed under: Economy,Random Thoughts

Normally, when I reference the third presidential debate, I quote then-candidate Barack Obama on the “net spending cut” he contended he had been proposing “throughout the campaign”.

I don’t include the contradictory aspect of his response to moderator Bob Schieffer’s question about the “astounding” federal deficit; the Democrat both touts his “$750 billion rescue package” and insists “Every dollar that I’ve proposed, I’ve proposed an additional cut so that it matches.”  Later, he insisted that increased spending is only temporary for, as I noted yesterday, he pledged, “once we get through this economic crisis and some of the specific proposals to get us out of this slump, that we’re not going to be able to go back to our profligate ways.”

In other words, just after pledging a pay-as-you-go approach to federal spending, he was hinting that he would favor a large increase in spending without compensating cut.  But, that’s okay because we need to spend our way out of the “economic crisis.”  (But, once we’re out of the crisis, we’re going to scale our spending back severely so we’ll avoid those profligate ways of the past.)

Now, Democrats are telling us we’re “in the midst of an economic recovery“, so, by the president’s on pledge, we shouldn’t be going back to the old profligate ways.  His most recent budget, however, is even more profligate than those of the Bush era when, Obama contended, we were “living beyond our means”.

Could it be that the Democrats were merely using “the economic crisis” as a pretext for a permanent increase in federal spending?  And that Keynesian economics just provides a theory to justify politicians who favor an ever-increasing public sector?

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20 Comments

  1. Could it also be that the Republicans are using “the economic crisis” as a pretext for a permanent reduction in spending? Actually, that shouldn’t be a question. Of course they are, everything’s a pretext for spending cuts, that’s what they’re about. Could it be the neoliberal economic just provides a theory to justify politicians who favour a government (in Grover Norquist’s words) small enough that you could drown it in a bathtub? Is either theory true? I have no idea, I hate economics.

    My point here is that you’re looking at a mirror image of yourself and seemingly acting quite shocked at the bleeding obvious (your acting is very bad, don’t quit the day job). The President broke a campaign promise, Democrats want to increase spending, Republicans want to cut spending, Democrats want more taxation, Republicans want less, the sky is blue, death is still constant, and partisan bickering continues. The amazing thing being some people think anything’s changed in the last four years.

    Also I think you already posted this yesterday, and the day before that as well. If you haven’t got anything else to add, maybe you should just try and find something else to talk about.

    Comment by Serenity — February 15, 2012 @ 3:59 am - February 15, 2012

  2. If the blog is boring you, Insipidity, please feel free to move on. You will not be missed.

    Comment by V the K — February 15, 2012 @ 6:19 am - February 15, 2012

  3. So, Greece is burning because it has run out of other people’s money and the treasury is empty and the people have no one to turn to because the government is dead in the water bankrupt and taking on water and the ship of state is sinking.

    All over the European Union, other countries are lining up to follow Greece.

    The United States has got an administration that is doing whatever it can to be part of the lemming race to the cliff.

    And Serenity tells us:

    Democrats want more taxation, Republicans want less, the sky is blue, death is still constant, and partisan bickering continues.

    Dan, it seems, is still in awe of Obama’s willingness to tell any tale that fits the moment. Serenity, it seems, says that is the way Democrats manipulate their way to power and it is naive to think otherwise. Dan, it seems, would like a little truth and principle from the Democrats. Serenity, it seems, believes Dan is playing the rube artlessly.

    Serenity, it appears, is so strapped to the receiving end of welfare, that the collapse of the state is of no consequence. Now that, it appears, is how bankrupt in plain old common sense being imprisoned by state entitlements makes one. It is as close to a suicide wish as you are likely to see.

    Meanwhile, the sky is blue, death soars, and the haves and the have nots are at civil war. Maybe not yet, but Greece will show the way.

    Comment by Heliotrope — February 15, 2012 @ 8:14 am - February 15, 2012

  4. Serenity, point is that Democrats increased spending under false pretexts. The principled Republicans don’t hint that they’ll hike up spending when the economy revs up again.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — February 15, 2012 @ 10:58 am - February 15, 2012

  5. Yes, Pomposity.

    Republicans don’t see why the government needs to fund private airliner flights, stocked with expensive foods and top-shelf liquor, for insider-trading multimillionaire Nancy Pelosi and her cronies to fly anywhere at a moment’s whim.

    Republicans don’t see why multimillionaire Michelle Obama needs the taxpayers to fund separate jets for her, her husband, and her dog, or lavish parties at which the junk food and candy she constantly rails against are served to children.

    These are all part of the government spending that you, your Obama Party, and your fellow “progressives” insist have to be maintained at all costs — even as you scream and bleat about “the poor” and demand that those who work and are productive pay you even more.

    If you care so damn much about the poor, give them the money instead of blowing it on liquor, jet jaunts, and theme parties — especially when your Pelosi and your Obama can damn well afford to buy their own liquor, jet trips, and Hollywood friends.

    But you won’t. Because you DON’T care about “the poor”; you only care about making other people pay your bills.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — February 15, 2012 @ 11:21 am - February 15, 2012

  6. That is why I have pledged that I will not sign health insurance reform that adds even one dime to our deficit over the next decade. And I mean it. We have estimated that two-thirds of the cost of reform to bring health care security to every American can be paid for by reallocating money that is simply being wasted in federal health care programs.

    Well, first of all, I think it’s important for the American public to understand that the $750 billion rescue package, if it’s structured properly, and, as president, I will make sure it’s structured properly, means that ultimately taxpayers get their money back, and that’s important to understand.

    But there is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.

    Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.

    Absolutely. So let me get to that. What I want to emphasize, though, is that I have been a strong proponent of pay-as- you-go. Every dollar that I’ve proposed, I’ve proposed an additional cut so that it matches. (…..)

    But what is absolutely true is that, once we get through this economic crisis and some of the specific proposals to get us out of this slump, that we’re not going to be able to go back to our profligate ways.

    And we’re going to have to embrace a culture and an ethic of responsibility, all of us, corporations, the federal government, and individuals out there who may be living beyond their means.

    So I want to be clear about this: We cannot tolerate business as usual — not in Washington, not in our state capitols, not in America’s cities and towns. We will use the new tools that the recovery act gives us to watch the taxpayers’ money with more rigor and transparency than ever.

    If a federal agency proposes a project that will waste that money, I will not hesitate to call them out on it and put a stop to it.

    And I want everybody here to be on notice that if a local government does the same, I will call them out on it and use the full power of my office and our administration to stop it. We have asked for the unprecedented trust of the American people to deal boldly with the greatest economic crisis we’ve seen in decades and the privilege of investing unprecedented amounts of their hard-earned money to address this crisis. And with that comes unprecedented obligations to spend that money wisely — free from politics and free from personal agendas.

    On this, I will not compromise or tolerate any shortcuts. The American people are looking to us, each of you, as well as myself and Joe and others in our administration, for leadership, and it’s up to us to reward their faith.

    Meanwhile, “Democrats want more taxation, Republicans want less, the sky is blue, death is still constant, and partisan bickering continues.”

    Translation: Don’t pay any attention to the words the President uses. He is a charlatan, a cheat, a con artist, a defrauder, a fake, a fraud, a grifter, a hoaxer, a humbug, an impostor, a mountebank, a phony, a pretender, a poseur, a quack, a rip-off artist, a scammer, a sham, a swindler. And in the Cas world such a person does not stir Cas beyond “half a crap.”

    Comment by Heliotrope — February 15, 2012 @ 11:24 am - February 15, 2012

  7. This is why it sucks to be a conservative. Progressive Democrats are out promising candy and treats at someone else’s expense. (“Free Health Care! Free Contraceptives! Free breakfast lunch and dinner at the public schools! Free Diapers!” – All of these have been promised by Obama and Democrats.)

    Then, we sourpuss conservatives have to spoil the party by pointing out that A. All this candy is bad for you and B. It’s not really free.

    Comment by V the K — February 15, 2012 @ 4:47 pm - February 15, 2012

  8. Serenity, it seems, says that is the way Democrats manipulate their way to power and it is naive to think otherwise.

    No, I’m saying politicians manipulate their way to power and it’s naive to think any of the Republican candidates will be more principled.

    Serenity, point is that Democrats increased spending under false pretexts. The principled Republicans don’t hint that they’ll hike up spending when the economy revs up again.

    Principled + Politician

    Does not compute.

    Yes, Pomposity.

    Blah blah blah, none of this is relevant please ignore everything I spent time linking to and make fun of me instead.

    Fudge muffins.

    Translation: Don’t pay any attention to the words the President uses. He is a charlatan, a cheat, a con artist, a defrauder, a fake, a fraud, a grifter, a hoaxer, a humbug, an impostor, a mountebank, a phony, a pretender, a poseur, a quack, a rip-off artist, a scammer, a sham, a swindler.

    Yeah, pretty much. Still the lesser of two evils in my opinion, but I can’t exactly recommend that anyone vote for him.

    This is why it sucks to be a conservative. Progressive Democrats are out promising candy and treats at someone else’s expense. (“Free Health Care! Free Contraceptives! Free breakfast lunch and dinner at the public schools! Free Diapers!” – All of these have been promised by Obama and Democrats.)

    Then, we sourpuss conservatives have to spoil the party by pointing out that A. All this candy is bad for you and B. It’s not really free.

    What was all the spending increases under Bush about then? Call the President a liar if you like, but even you have to admit that the rhetoric about “living beyond our means” was right, the deficit was still climbing steadily with a Republican President and both houses of Congress. So what was going on there?

    More importantly, what reason is there to think that the Republicans won’t just forget all this deficit talk and start spending again if a Republican gets in a White House like they did with Bush? I seem to recall holding the line on government spending was very important under Clinton, but was suddenly forgotten when Bush got into office. The reason? I think it’s clear. Candy and treats at someone else’s expense. It’s very important that only the side you’re on gets to do it. Hence the Republicans say Clinton can’t do it, the Democrats say Bush can’t do it, and then the Republicans say Obama can’t do it. It’s always immoral when it’s not you doing it.

    Comment by Serenity — February 15, 2012 @ 9:09 pm - February 15, 2012

  9. When conservatives complained about Bush’s deficits, they were running $200 Billion a year. Is Insipidity saying we’re now supposed to shut up when Obama runs deficits that are multiples of the deficits we complained of under Bush? Does that fact that Bush gave us $200 Billion deficits make it OK for the SCOAMF to run $Trillion+ deficits?

    SRSLY, the stupid crap the left expects us to accept as an argument.

    Comment by V the K — February 15, 2012 @ 9:16 pm - February 15, 2012

  10. When conservatives complained about Bush’s deficits, they were running $200 Billion a year. Is Insipidity saying we’re now supposed to shut up when Obama runs deficits that are multiples of the deficits we complained of under Bush? Does that fact that Bush gave us $200 Billion deficits make it OK for the SCOAMF to run $Trillion+ deficits?

    You never answered my main question (predictably, you just tried to turn the conversation back to Obama). You complained about Bush’s deficits, you complained louder about Obama’s larger deficits, now you’re campaigning for the Republicans again. Would going back to a $200 billion/year deficit be fine now? Of course not. Would it happen anyway? I don’t see why not. Why are you campaigning for them? Could it be that you see them as the lesser of two evils? Could it be that the candidates you support are lying SOBs but you still support them because the alternative is even worse? Could it be that I could list off everything Romney, Santorum, et al have done wrong and yet you’d still not become a supporter of Barack Obama? I wonder why.

    Comment by Serenity — February 15, 2012 @ 9:57 pm - February 15, 2012

  11. (predictably, you just tried to turn the conversation back to Obama)

    Because Obama is in power and Bush is not.

    Idiot.

    Comment by V the K — February 16, 2012 @ 6:00 am - February 16, 2012

  12. Also…

    Obama voted for those budget increases, when he wasn’t grandstanding of course.

    Comment by The Livewire — February 16, 2012 @ 7:49 am - February 16, 2012

  13. You complained about Bush’s deficits, you complained louder about Obama’s larger deficits

    Yup.

    And what did you do, Pomposity?

    You screamed about Bush’s lower deficit, insisting that it was too large and would cripple the economy.

    Now you praised and endorsed Obama’s larger ones.

    V the K has been perfectly consistent. You, on the other hand, have not.

    The answer why is simple. You are a racist who holds people to different standards and makes value judgments based on the color of their skin.

    V the K is holding Obama to the same standards to which he held Bush. You are demonstrating that you refuse to hold Obama to the same standards to which you hold Bush because of Obama’s skin color.

    You are a racist because you judge and hold people to different standards based on their skin color.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — February 16, 2012 @ 11:21 am - February 16, 2012

  14. Why are you campaigning for them? Could it be that you see them as the lesser of two evils? Could it be that the candidates you support are lying SOBs but you still support them because the alternative is even worse? Could it be that I could list off everything Romney, Santorum, et al have done wrong and yet you’d still not become a supporter of Barack Obama? I wonder why.

    Why are you campaigning for them? I prefer to fight a cold than full-blown pneumonia.

    Could it be that you see them as the lesser of two evils? ABSOLUTELY. Dandruff is far preferable to acute lymphocytic (lymphoblastic) leukemia. It is far more efficacious to reverse the direction of an air craft carrier if you greatly lessen the forward motion.

    Could it be that the candidates you support are lying SOBs but you still support them because the alternative is even worse? (Keep your characterization for your team.) Republicans commit the lie of omission by not being frank, open and consistent about the fiscal crisis the country is in and the type of chaos and the bitter medicine we face.

    Could it be that I could list off everything Romney, Santorum, et al have done wrong and yet you’d still not become a supporter of Barack Obama? ABSOLUTELY. Obama is on the cusp of fundamentally transforming America into a European-style statist socialist system that is on course to speed into the rocks of national, Greek style bankruptcy. What is there on the negative side of any Republican candidate that makes Obama look preferable?

    I wonder why. I wonder why your wonder why. You must have brain damage not to understand the concept of opposition. I would rather have an empty chair in the Oval Office for the next four years than anything Obama represents.

    Comment by Heliotrope — February 16, 2012 @ 12:50 pm - February 16, 2012

  15. NDT, it is possible that Insipidity is unaware of my brutal criticisms of the Bush Administrations’ spending policies made in this very forum. Although, we all know that leftists almost never make accusations based on complete ignorance of facts. (/sarc)

    Comment by V the K — February 16, 2012 @ 4:35 pm - February 16, 2012

  16. Could it be that I could list off everything Romney, Santorum, et al have done wrong and yet you’d still not become a supporter of Barack Obama? ABSOLUTELY. Obama is on the cusp of fundamentally transforming America into a European-style statist socialist system that is on course to speed into the rocks of national, Greek style bankruptcy. What is there on the negative side of any Republican candidate that makes Obama look preferable?

    Choo-choo! Here comes the clue train! Next stop, you!

    Why would calling the President a “a charlatan, a cheat, a con artist, a defrauder, a fake, a fraud, a grifter, a hoaxer, a humbug, an impostor, a mountebank, a phony, a pretender, a poseur, a quack, a rip-off artist, a scammer, a sham, a swindler”, as you did earlier, do anything to make any Republican candidate look preferable then? Talk negative all you like, making Obama look worse will not make Romney or Santorum look better to me, he’s still the common cold to your full-blown pneumonia.

    NDT, it is possible that Insipidity is unaware of my brutal criticisms of the Bush Administrations’ spending policies made in this very forum.

    Just one last question on this. Did that ‘brutal criticism’ actually do anything? Did it stop even one dollar of profligate government spending? If not, then what was the bloody point?

    Comment by Serenity — February 17, 2012 @ 2:32 am - February 17, 2012

  17. Just one last question on this. Did that ‘brutal criticism’ actually do anything?

    Yes, it established that *I* am intellectually honest and consistent, and don’t change my criticisms depending on who is in power; unlike others who comment in this forum.

    Comment by V the K — February 17, 2012 @ 6:30 am - February 17, 2012

  18. Pomposity: Here is your question as you phrased it and asked it:

    Could it be that I could list off everything Romney, Santorum, et al have done wrong and yet you’d still not become a supporter of Barack Obama?

    Here is your response to my answer:

    Why would calling the President a “a charlatan, a cheat, a con artist, a defrauder, a fake, a fraud, a grifter, a hoaxer, a humbug, an impostor, a mountebank, a phony, a pretender, a poseur, a quack, a rip-off artist, a scammer, a sham, a swindler”, as you did earlier, do anything to make any Republican candidate look preferable then? Talk negative all you like, making Obama look worse will not make Romney or Santorum look better to me, he’s still the common cold to your full-blown pneumonia.

    You now tell me that I have failed to convince you.

    When and where did you throw down the gauntlet and challenge me to convince you? You are a socialist, nanny state entitlement bottom feeder. There is no earthly way you are going to be convinced to trade welfare dependency for personal responsibility and productivity. That is a given.

    But because I call (and will continue to call) Obama “a charlatan, a cheat, a con artist, a defrauder, a fake, a fraud, a grifter, a hoaxer, a humbug, an impostor, a mountebank, a phony, a pretender, a poseur, a quack, a rip-off artist, a scammer, a sham, a swindler” you tell me that such language will not make Romney look better to you?

    It is to laugh. Lets try this angle: you convince me that Obama is not any or all of those things I have called him and you convince me that Romney deserves any or all of the same labels.

    I can drag you down the same stupid blind alleys you have chosen to spring on me. So pony up.

    Comment by Heliotrope — February 17, 2012 @ 8:46 am - February 17, 2012

  19. Well said, Heliotrope. Obama’s supporters cannot make the case that Obama has been a better steward of the economy and the budget than Romney or Santorum would potentially be, and so they are reduced to arguing that if we don’t vote for Obama, they and their friends will make fun of us and call us rude names.

    A persuasive argument for schoolchildren and leftists; not so much for responsible adults.

    Comment by V the K — February 17, 2012 @ 10:28 am - February 17, 2012

  20. *Crickets*

    Comment by Heliotrope — February 18, 2012 @ 9:49 am - February 18, 2012

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