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The facts about the growth of spending under Obama

POSTED BY: GEEZER
UPDATED: Friday, June 8, 2012 05:44
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Monday, May 28, 2012 3:39 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Interesting take on Rex Nutting's "Obama spending binge never happened" article in MarketWatch.

Quote:

“I simply make the point, as an editor might say, to check it out; do not buy into the BS that you hear about spending and fiscal constraint with regard to this administration. I think doing so is a sign of sloth and laziness.”

— White House spokesman Jay Carney, remarks to the press gaggle, May 23, 2012



The spokesman’s words caught our attention because here at The Fact Checker we try to root out “BS” wherever it occurs.

Carney made his comments while berating reporters for not realizing that “the rate of spending — federal spending — increase is lower under President Obama than all of his predecessors since Dwight Eisenhower, including all of his Republican predecessors.” He cited as his source an article by Rex Nutting, of MarketWatch, titled, “Obama spending binge never happened,” which has been the subject of lots of buzz in the liberal blogosphere.

But we are talking about the federal budget here. That means lots of numbers — numbers that are easily manipulated. Let’s take a look.

The Facts

First of all, there are a few methodological problems with Nutting’s analysis — especially the beginning and the end point.

Nutting basically takes much of 2009 out of Obama’s column, saying it was the “the last [year] of George W. Bush’s presidency.” Of course, with the recession crashing down, that’s when federal spending ramped up. The federal fiscal year starts on Oct. 1, so the 2009 fiscal year accounts for about four months of Bush’s presidency and eight of Obama’s.

In theory, one could claim that the budget was already locked in when Obama took office, but that’s not really the case. Most of the appropriations bills had not been passed, and certainly the stimulus bill was only signed into law after Obama took office.

Bush had rescued Fannie and Freddie Mac and launched the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which depending on how you do the math, was a one-time expense of $250 billion to $400 billion in the final months of his presidency. (The federal government ultimately recouped most of the TARP money.) So if you really want to be fair, perhaps $250 billion of that money should be taken out of the equation — on the theory that it would have been spent no matter who was president.

Nutting acknowledges that Obama is responsible for some 2009 spending but only assigns $140 billion for reasons he does not fully explain. (Update: in an email Nutting says he attributed $120 billion to stimulus spending in 2009, $5 billion for an expansion of children’s health care and $16 billion to an increase in appropriations bills over 2008 levels.)

On the other end of his calculations, Nutting says that Obama plans to spend $3.58 trillion in 2013, citing the Congressional Budget Office budget outlook. But this figure is CBO’s baseline budget, which assumes no laws are changed, so this figure gives Obama credit for automatic spending cuts that he wants to halt.

The correct figure to use is the CBO’s analysis of the president’s 2013 budget, which clocks in at $3.72 trillion.

So this is what we end up with:

2008: $2.98 trillion

2009: $3.27 trillion

2010: $3.46 trillion

2011: $3.60 trillion

2012: $3.65 trillion

2013: $3.72 trillion

Under these figures, and using this calculator, with 2008 as the base year and ending with 2012, the compound annual growth rate for Obama’s spending starting in 2009 is 5.2 percent. Starting in 2010 — Nutting’s first year — and ending with 2013, the annual growth rate is 3.3 percent. (Nutting had calculated the result as 1.4 percent.)

Of course, it takes two to tangle — a president and a Congress. Obama’s numbers get even higher if you look at what he proposed to spend, using CBO’s estimates of his budgets:

2012: $3.71 trillion (versus $3.65 trillion enacted)

2011: $3.80 trillion (versus $3.60 trillion enacted)

2010: $3.67 trillion (versus $3.46 trillion enacted)

So in every case, the president wanted to spend more money than he ended up getting. Nutting suggests that federal spending flattened under Obama, but another way to look at it is that it flattened at a much higher, post-emergency level — thanks in part to the efforts of lawmakers, not Obama.

Another problem with Nutting’s analysis is that the figures are viewed in isolation. Even 5.5 percent growth would put Obama between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in terms of spending growth, but that does not take into account either inflation or the relative size of the U.S. economy. At 5.2 percent growth, Obama’s increase in spending would be nearly three times the rate of inflation. Meanwhile, Nutting pegs Ronald Reagan with 8.7 percent growth in his first term — we get 12.5 percent CAGR — but inflation then was running at 6.5 percent.

One common way to measure federal spending is to compare it to the size of the overall U.S. economy. That at least puts the level into context, helping account for population growth, inflation and other factors that affect spending. Here’s what the White House’s own budget documents show about spending as a percentage of the U.S. economy (gross domestic product):

2008: 20.8 percent

2009: 25.2 percent

2010: 24.1 percent

2011: 24.1 percent

2012: 24.3 percent

2013: 23.3 percent

In the post-war era, federal spending as a percentage of the U.S. economy has hovered around 20 percent, give or take a couple of percentage points. Under Obama, it has hit highs not seen since the end of World War II — completely the opposite of the point asserted by Carney. Part of this, of course, is a consequence of the recession, but it is also the result of a sustained higher level of spending.

We sent our analysis to Carney but did not get a response. (For another take, Daniel Mitchell of the Cato Institute has an interesting tour through the numbers, isolating various spending categories. For instance, he says debt payments should be excluded from the analysis because that is the result of earlier spending decisions by other presidents.)


The Pinocchio Test


Carney suggested the media were guilty of “sloth and laziness,” but he might do better next time than cite an article he plucked off the Web, no matter how much it might advance his political interests. The data in the article are flawed, and the analysis lacks context — context that could easily could be found in the budget documents released by the White House.

The White House might have a case that some of the rhetoric concerning Obama’s spending patterns has been overblown, but the spokesman should do a better job of checking his facts before accusing reporters of failing to do so. The picture is not as rosy as he portrayed it when accurate numbers, taken in context, are used.



Three Pinocchios






http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-facts-about-
the-growth-of-spending-under-obama/2012/05/24/gJQAIJh6nU_blog.html







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Monday, May 28, 2012 5:42 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


The author states "But we are talking about the federal budget here. That means lots of numbers — numbers that are easily manipulated," and then proceeds to manipulate them.

What a surprise.



"I supported Bush in 2000 and 2004 and intellegence [sic] had very little to do with that decision." - Hero


"I've not watched the video either, or am incapable of intellectually dealing with the substance of this thread, so I'll instead act like a juvenile and claim victory..." - Rappy

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Monday, May 28, 2012 7:58 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
The author states "But we are talking about the federal budget here. That means lots of numbers — numbers that are easily manipulated," and then proceeds to manipulate them.

What a surprise.




But Mr. Nutting, who used those numbers to 'prove' something you wanted to hear, did not?

What a surprise.

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Monday, May 28, 2012 3:16 PM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
Interesting take on Rex Nutting's "Obama spending binge never happened" article in MarketWatch.


Of course the fact that Bush kept his Afghanistan and Iraq adventures off the books (unlike Obama who includes them in his budgets) at a total cost of at least 3.7 trillion ( http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/29/us-usa-war-idUSTRE75S2532011
0629
), and the 16 or so trillion dollars shoveled over to banks when the Bush's housing bubble blew up ( http://www.forbes.com/sites/traceygreenstein/2011/09/20/the-feds-16-tr
illion-bailouts-under-reported
/) don't reflect well on Bush's spending. Too bad your source didn't discuss them.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 6:57 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Wow, what a dishonest fact-check.

Quite stealthily, the author re-assigns the 2009 fiscal year (Bush's budget) to Obama. That accounts for most of his inflated figure for Obama's spending. However the Libertarian Cato Institute came up with this graph for the 2009 fiscal year:



Quote:

One common way to measure federal spending is to compare it to the size of the overall U.S. economy. That at least puts the level into context

Hmm. But such an index is sensitive to sudden changes in spending and GDP. The large economic contraction in '09 makes the spending/GDP % spike upwards all on its own. With a couple of manipulations the author has essentially blamed Obama for the financial crisis and the 2008/09 recession, which he inherited.

Quote:

Under Obama, it has hit highs not seen since the end of World War II — completely the opposite of the point asserted by Carney

That's not "completely the opposite" of what Carney said. This is a lazy and idiotic fact check. The Cato one is better (but still flawed in my book):

http://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/mirror-mirror-on-the-w
all-which-president-is-the-biggest-spender-of-all
/

It's not personal. It's just war.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 8:21 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


This is not a real hard concept. The facts are that government spending under Obama has gone down. At the same time deficit spending has gone up. The reason is that while overall spending is down it has not decreased as much as revenue has. Revenue is down because of the economy. There are four possible solutions for this.

1. Do nothing - Leave everything as it is and hope the econony will get stronger. Right now the indicators point to this happening, but at a very slow pace.

2. Decrease spending - Problem is that may cause the economy to contract and revenues to drop even more. Its a downward spiral just look at countries in the EU.

3. Increase revenue - If done right it may not hurt economy, done wrong it can. Tax increases have to tax money that would not otherwise be spent in ways that promote growth.

4. Drecease spending and increase revenue - depending on how and how much you do it most likely the best overall solution. It can't be done all at once.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012 1:45 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
Wow, what a dishonest fact-check.



Because it doesn't agree with your opinion?

Quote:

The Cato one is better (but still flawed in my book):




Because of this bit, I'd bet.

Quote:

In other words, Obama’s track record does show that he favors an expanding social welfare state. Outlays on those programs have jumped by 7.0 percent annually. And that’s after adjusting for inflation! Not as bad as Nixon, but that’s not saying much since he was one of America’s most statist presidents.

Allow me to conclude with some caveats. None of the tables perfectly captures what any president’s fiscal record. Even my first table may be wrong if you want to blame or credit presidents for the inflation that occurs on their watch. And there certainly are strong arguments that bailout spending and defense spending are affected by presidential policies rather than external events.

And keep in mind that presidents don’t have full power over fiscal policy. The folks on Capitol Hill are the ones who actually enact the bills and appropriate the money.

Moreover, the federal government is akin to a big rusty cargo ship that is traveling in a certain direction, and presidents are like tugboats trying to nudge the boat one way or the other.

But enough equivocating. The four different tables at least show more clearly which presidents presided over faster-growing government or slower-growing government. More importantly, the various tables provide a good idea of where most of the new spending was taking place.

We can presumably say Reagan and Clinton were comparatively frugal, and we can also say that Nixon, LBJ, and Bush 43 were relatively profligate. As for Obama, I think his tugboat is pushing in the wrong direction, but it’s only apparent when you strip out the distorting budgetary impact of TARP.



The battling interpretations of who spent most seems to me to verify the old saw about "Lies, damned lies, and statistics". Depending on what you include, exclude, emphasize, or soft-pedal, you can "prove" just about anything, especially with something as resistant to objective analysis as the Federal Budget.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012 4:53 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by kpo:
Wow, what a dishonest fact-check.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Because it doesn't agree with your opinion?


No, because of the reasons I outlined, lol.

Quote:

Because of this bit, I'd bet.

I thought it was reasonable to take defence spending out of the equation, up to a point - Cold War military spending was obviously higher, and then alleviated in the 90s; so Clinton's figures would be flattered otherwise. One could also argue that Reagan's military spending was also value for money as it hastened the fall of the evil empire, and bought a later era of peace and disarmament, etc, etc... It's less easy to make excuses for the spending of Bush II's Iraq invasion though - was that necessary, or beneficial in any way? So it has to be said that for everyone but the most die-hard Neocon, the final analysis flatters Bush.

Now we've made excuses for a couple of Republican presidents (to the point of flattering them), and penalised Clinton for reaping the benefit of post-war peace. That's fine, this is a right-wing think tank after all. But is it ok if we forgive Obama on one (obvious) point? Cato asserts:

Quote:

Obama’s track record does show that he favors an expanding social welfare state. Outlays on those programs have jumped by 7.0 percent annually.

And how much of that was the automatic expansion of welfare programs that have swollen because of the sharp recession and loss of employment, that Obama inherited? Adjust those spending figures to allow for the impact of recessions and then make conclusions about whether Obama favors large government expansion, or not. Or alternatively, very simply, list government programs that Obama has started, or by direct policy inflated, along with their total % of the federal budget. That should be easy to do, right? How come I've never seen that analysis criticising Obama's spending?

It's not personal. It's just war.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012 3:17 PM

DREAMTROVE


I'm with geezer, actually, it's worse than that, because of the nonsense at the discount window, and because of the absorption of toxic assets, most notably the fannie-freddie related mortgage backed bonds. The currency is headed for a massive collapse, but not yet. We're sinking fast, but we're being held up by every formerly third world currency we ever pegged or semi-pegged the dollar to. When they cut us loose, we're through.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012 4:18 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
Interesting take on Rex Nutting's "Obama spending binge never happened" article in MarketWatch.


Of course the fact that Bush kept his Afghanistan and Iraq adventures off the books (unlike Obama who includes them in his budgets) at a total cost of at least 3.7 trillion ( http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/29/us-usa-war-idUSTRE75S2532011
0629
), and the 16 or so trillion dollars shoveled over to banks when the Bush's housing bubble blew up ( http://www.forbes.com/sites/traceygreenstein/2011/09/20/the-feds-16-tr
illion-bailouts-under-reported
/) don't reflect well on Bush's spending. Too bad your source didn't discuss them.



Obama also puts the original TARP funds under the BJr Admin, while also not making a point to include the credits to paybacks under his watch, which has been many of them with interest, which have served to mitigate his deficit spending, believe it or not....

They all lie....

There is NO denying that Obama's spending over Bush Jr's irrational spending has increased insanely above any cost-of-living increases any of us have recieved in the last 3 years.... assuming we're even still employed.

The only true decision in my mind is to look at the yearly increase in the deficit and on the "iffy" years that two presidents control them, be completely unbiased and just give it a 50/50 split down the middle and just look at their remaining 3-7 years....

I made 55k back in 2009 and was laid off. I'm currently fighting tooth and nail today to get an 8 dollar an hour part time job.

Sorry guys.... I thought GWB was the worst administration we had. Obama's takes the cake.

I'm sure Romney will be even worse....

just keep voting for the lesser of two evils until we're all paddling the oars on slave ships.






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Thursday, May 31, 2012 2:10 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


And just for fun, another take, from Politifact.

Quote:


Cory Booker claims Obama has overseen nation’s “lowest discretionary spending we’ve had in decades”

Newark Mayor Cory Booker drew national attention last week for criticizing a campaign ad from President Barack Obama, but even praising the president was problematic for the Brick City leader.

Before weighing in on the campaign ad, Booker argued May 20 in a roundtable discussion on NBC’s "Meet The Press" that Obama needs to remind Americans of his accomplishments, such as overseeing the lowest level of discretionary spending in decades.

"First of all, I think it’s a race for President Obama to remind the American public (of) the kind of things he’s been doing and stop letting the other side steal his narrative," said Booker, a Democrat and a representative for the Obama campaign. "He’s a guy that’s cut taxes on small business, the lowest discretionary spending we’ve had in decades in the United States."

It’s actually the other way around, PolitiFact New Jersey found.

As a percentage of gross domestic product -- which is a measure of the nation’s economy -- discretionary spending under Obama reached its highest level in about two decades, according to figures released by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

Discretionary spending is projected to drop to a level not seen at any point in the last several decades, but that would not occur for a few more years.

Booker spokeswoman Anne Torres acknowledged that the mayor’s statement was wrong.

"You’re correct," Torres told us. "He misspoke."

First, let’s explain discretionary spending.

There are two main categories of federal spending: discretionary and mandatory. Discretionary spending is controlled by lawmakers through annual appropriation acts. Mandatory spending is generally based on program parameters, such as those for Social Security and Medicare, without specific amounts being appropriated each year.

Discretionary spending represents nearly 40 percent of all federal outlays, and is comprised of defense and non-defense items.

Over the last decade, military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have largely contributed to the growth in defense spending, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Non-defense spending has increased during Obama’s tenure, in part, because of the stimulus bill he approved in February 2009, the budget office said.

Since Booker’s claim refers to discretionary spending in general, we’ll look at the total amount.

In fiscal year 2010 -- Obama’s first complete fiscal year as president -- discretionary spending hit 9.4 percent of GDP, marking the highest amount since fiscal year 1987. In fiscal year 2011, which ended last September, discretionary spending dropped to 9 percent.

Before fiscal years 2010 and 2011, discretionary spending had not reached 9 percent since fiscal year 1991.

In a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, Obama and Congress agreed last summer to set caps on certain types of future discretionary spending. Due in large part to those caps, discretionary spending is projected to reach historic lows in the years ahead.

According to the White House, discretionary spending would fall to 5.9 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2016, marking the lowest level since at least the early 1960s. The Congressional Budget Office has offered slightly different estimates, placing discretionary spending at 6.5 percent in fiscal year 2016 and 5.9 percent in fiscal year 2019.

Our ruling

In his May 20 appearance on NBC’s "Meet The Press," Booker cited a couple of Obama’s accomplishments, including "the lowest discretionary spending we’ve had in decades in the United States."

But during Obama’s tenure, discretionary spending hit 9 percent of GDP for the first time in about two decades. Discretionary spending is projected to drop significantly in the years ahead, but Booker made it sound like that had already occurred.

We rate the statement False.

To comment on this ruling, go to NJ.com.




http://www.politifact.com/new-jersey/statements/2012/may/28/cory-booke
r/cory-booker-claims-obama-has-overseen-nations-lowe
/

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Thursday, May 31, 2012 4:32 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
And just for fun, another take, from Politifact.

Quote:


Cory Booker claims Obama has overseen nation’s “lowest discretionary spending we’ve had in decades”

Newark Mayor Cory Booker drew national attention last week for criticizing a campaign ad from President Barack Obama, but even praising the president was problematic for the Brick City leader.

Before weighing in on the campaign ad, Booker argued May 20 in a roundtable discussion on NBC’s "Meet The Press" that Obama needs to remind Americans of his accomplishments, such as overseeing the lowest level of discretionary spending in decades.

"First of all, I think it’s a race for President Obama to remind the American public (of) the kind of things he’s been doing and stop letting the other side steal his narrative," said Booker, a Democrat and a representative for the Obama campaign. "He’s a guy that’s cut taxes on small business, the lowest discretionary spending we’ve had in decades in the United States."

It’s actually the other way around, PolitiFact New Jersey found.

As a percentage of gross domestic product -- which is a measure of the nation’s economy -- discretionary spending under Obama reached its highest level in about two decades, according to figures released by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

Discretionary spending is projected to drop to a level not seen at any point in the last several decades, but that would not occur for a few more years.

Booker spokeswoman Anne Torres acknowledged that the mayor’s statement was wrong.

"You’re correct," Torres told us. "He misspoke."

First, let’s explain discretionary spending.

There are two main categories of federal spending: discretionary and mandatory. Discretionary spending is controlled by lawmakers through annual appropriation acts. Mandatory spending is generally based on program parameters, such as those for Social Security and Medicare, without specific amounts being appropriated each year.

Discretionary spending represents nearly 40 percent of all federal outlays, and is comprised of defense and non-defense items.

Over the last decade, military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have largely contributed to the growth in defense spending, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Non-defense spending has increased during Obama’s tenure, in part, because of the stimulus bill he approved in February 2009, the budget office said.

Since Booker’s claim refers to discretionary spending in general, we’ll look at the total amount.

In fiscal year 2010 -- Obama’s first complete fiscal year as president -- discretionary spending hit 9.4 percent of GDP, marking the highest amount since fiscal year 1987. In fiscal year 2011, which ended last September, discretionary spending dropped to 9 percent.

Before fiscal years 2010 and 2011, discretionary spending had not reached 9 percent since fiscal year 1991.

In a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, Obama and Congress agreed last summer to set caps on certain types of future discretionary spending. Due in large part to those caps, discretionary spending is projected to reach historic lows in the years ahead.

According to the White House, discretionary spending would fall to 5.9 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2016, marking the lowest level since at least the early 1960s. The Congressional Budget Office has offered slightly different estimates, placing discretionary spending at 6.5 percent in fiscal year 2016 and 5.9 percent in fiscal year 2019.

Our ruling

In his May 20 appearance on NBC’s "Meet The Press," Booker cited a couple of Obama’s accomplishments, including "the lowest discretionary spending we’ve had in decades in the United States."

But during Obama’s tenure, discretionary spending hit 9 percent of GDP for the first time in about two decades. Discretionary spending is projected to drop significantly in the years ahead, but Booker made it sound like that had already occurred.

We rate the statement False.

To comment on this ruling, go to NJ.com.




http://www.politifact.com/new-jersey/statements/2012/may/28/cory-booke
r/cory-booker-claims-obama-has-overseen-nations-lowe/
]

Well that statement is clearly factually wrong (even his spokesperson admitted it); quite an easy one for the fact checker.

There is a worthwhile point to be made about discretionary spending under Obama though, if you look at the graph (you can find it here, page 5: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34424.pdf ) one sees a big spike in discretionary spending that began before Obama, and then a sharp recent fall, easing into a Clinton-esque decline.


It's not personal. It's just war.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012 4:41 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Or alternatively, very simply, list government programs that Obama has started, or by direct policy inflated, along with their total % of the federal budget. That should be easy to do, right? How come I've never seen that analysis...?

I forgot, I have seen that analysis...


Ezra Klein's whole article, 'The reality behind Obama's spending binge': http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-reality-behind
-obama-and-bushs-spending-binge/2012/05/25/gJQAK8ItpU_blog.html


It's not personal. It's just war.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012 4:54 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Quote:

The battling interpretations of who spent most seems to me to verify the old saw about "Lies, damned lies, and statistics". Depending on what you include, exclude, emphasize, or soft-pedal, you can "prove" just about anything, especially with something as resistant to objective analysis as the Federal Budget.
I think that about nails it, as far as I'm concerned.


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Thursday, May 31, 2012 5:06 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
I forgot, I have seen that analysis...





Interesting chart. Apparently our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ended in 2009, since there's no costs for it past then. The "two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts" is likely to get extended, in whole or part, since each party doesn't want significant portions of those tax cuts to expire. Also wonder if defense spending will actually be reduced by almost 2/3.

Seems to be another example of what I've been saying. You can spin these numbers any way you want, just by picking and choosing what you leave in and what you leave out.

ETA:

Also interesting how Obama's $874 billion "American Reinvestment and Recovery Act" box is sorta flattened so it looks smaller than Bush's $853 billion "Iraq and Afghanistan" box.

More spin?

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Thursday, May 31, 2012 8:03 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Interesting chart. Apparently our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ended in 2009, since there's no costs for it past then

There are, as I understand it, they're just counted as ongoing costs of Bush policies. I don't think that's unfair to Bush, as he started the wars and didn't finish them; and I think it would be unfair to Obama to count the Iraq war as an 'Obama policy' since he was opposed to it from the start and couldn't well bring the troops home instantly... These things (including the others you mentioned) are definitely contestable though.

Quote:

Also interesting how Obama's $874 billion "American Reinvestment and Recovery Act" box is sorta flattened so it looks smaller than Bush's $853 billion "Iraq and Afghanistan" box.

More spin?


I'll grant you that it does look smaller - an optical illusion? Surely Obama's red boxes have all been flattened to make room for the extra green boxes on the top though?

Quote:

Seems to be another example of what I've been saying. You can spin these numbers any way you want, just by picking and choosing what you leave in and what you leave out.

Spin is one way to describe it... I think of it metaphorically as looking at a 3D object like a sculpture from different angles, and then taking a 2D snapshot. Republicans are desperate for the object to be ugly, and Dems are desperate for the object to be beautiful, and take their snapshots accordingly. You can get flattering or damning pictures of the same object depending on how you (want to) look at it. But it's not all dishonest 'spin'; it's truth, just viewed selectively/myopicly. Since it's a 3D object you have to be willing to look at it from all sides, and have caveats such as 'the light was quite dark in that picture' and 'that's a very flattering angle' (context).


It's not personal. It's just war.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012 9:53 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


If you go by %of GDP yes discretionary spending has gone up. Thing is percentages are not real numbers.

Discretionary spending has been as follows...

2008 - $1,179,650,000
2009 - $1,492,032,000
2010 - $1,264,264,000
2011 - $1,220,716,000
2012 - $1,195,457,000(estimate)

So since 2009 discretionary spending has gone down. No spin, just pure real numbers.

Source Table 5.6—Budget Authority for Discretionary Programs: 1976–2017 here http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012 3:07 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


What does discretionary spending even mean?

I'm talking about deficit spending.

EVERY year Obama has been in office, his DEFICIT spending has been triple GWB's rediculous rates.

That's even including laying ALL blame on GWB for TARP and giving ALL credit for repaid TARP funds to Obama.


Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:
If you go by %of GDP yes discretionary spending has gone up. Thing is percentages are not real numbers.

Discretionary spending has been as follows...

2008 - $1,179,650,000
2009 - $1,492,032,000
2010 - $1,264,264,000
2011 - $1,220,716,000
2012 - $1,195,457,000(estimate)

So since 2009 discretionary spending has gone down. No spin, just pure real numbers.

Source Table 5.6—Budget Authority for Discretionary Programs: 1976–2017 here http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.


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Thursday, May 31, 2012 3:26 PM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
What does discretionary spending even mean?



If you do not know what discretionary spending means in terms of the federal budget you are ill equipped to have a discussion about the federal budget.

Discretionary spending is the government spending on all items which funding is not mandated by federal law. The entitlement programs such as medicare, medicaid and social security are non-discretionary spending.

Discretionary spending is just about everything else.

Now you also have to realize that discretionary spending and non-discretionary spending can go down and we still see and increase in deficit spending. Why? Simply because the government is taking in less taxes.

The single biggest reason that deficit spending has increased so much has noting to do with what Obama or Congress has done during the last few years. It has everything to do with the recession which happened before Obama took office.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012 3:59 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


I meant to say, what does discretionary spending mean in your definition...... Sorry for the mix up.

Definition:

The amount or portion of a person's or group's expenditures which is used for non-essential or voluntary disbursements; the amount or portion of one's expenditures which one may make as one sees fit.

As far as your definition, that may be the case, but by the dictionary, it seems to be almost the opposite when they say "non-essential".

My own discretionary spending would be when I saw my last movie in the Theature, Snakes on a Plane.... .

Yeah... that was over 5 years ago, right?

Of course, you could claim my smokes and beer too, but at the same time, I roll my own for 1/8th the cost without the taxes using pipe tobacco and I drink 30 packs of Icehouse for less than 50 cents a can rather than pay 4 bucks with tip for an MGD in a bar that I can't even smoke in today.


Discretionary spending for you and I, as opposed to the Government as a whole, is a VERY different story.






All that being said, there has been ZERO decrease in taxes since 2009 till now.

Z!
E!
R!
O!

If that's your only argument for the deficit as it is today, you're in for a very rude awakening.

Property taxes have gone up every year nearly everywhere, even though house prices have continued to decline. Crook County, IL and the state raised the Income tax from 3% to 5%, Cigarette taxes on average have increased yet another dollar per pack on Obama's watch nationwide. Tolls in Illinois have increased from 50-120% since Janurary 1st of this year. It used to cost me 60 cents round trip in tolls last year to visit my family across the boarder. It now costs me 1.50 to do the same trip, regardless of gas prices.

If you want to prove there are less taxes under Obama.....

Then I assign the IMPOSSIBLE task to you to prove this statement to be a fact.

Good luck.....

You'll NEED IT!!!!!






Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
What does discretionary spending even mean?



If you do not know what discretionary spending means in terms of the federal budget you are ill equipped to have a discussion about the federal budget.

Discretionary spending is the government spending on all items which funding is not mandated by federal law. The entitlement programs such as medicare, medicaid and social security are non-discretionary spending.

Discretionary spending is just about everything else.

Now you also have to realize that discretionary spending and non-discretionary spending can go down and we still see and increase in deficit spending. Why? Simply because the government is taking in less taxes.

The single biggest reason that deficit spending has increased so much has noting to do with what Obama or Congress has done during the last few years. It has everything to do with the recession which happened before Obama took office.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.


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Thursday, May 31, 2012 4:23 PM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Property taxes and the others you spoke of are local taxes and have nothing to do with the federal government.

As for Obama lowing taxes, your impossible task was competed with a single Google search...

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/feb/07/barack-
obama/barack-obama-said-he-lowered-taxes-over-past-two-y
/

Now I was talking about government revenue being down. You can leave the tax rate exactly where they are and still see less money coning into the government. When people are out of work they do not pay taxes. That means less money coming in.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012 4:40 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Part of the large cigarette taxes were federal, although I agree that some states have taken a LARGE grasp on them. Even alcohol taxes....

Don't make me get into taxes inflicted upon businesses, especially all of the businesses like my parents that have to sell everything they own just to keep them going.

It's not just them, but it's the property taxes that are raised because as the FED government goes bankrupt, the local municipialities are forced to reach into the ma and pa business coffers before they raise more property taxes to make the fiscal year....

10 years ago, my Parents 3,300 warehouse with barely any "perks" cost under 700 bucks a month. Today, it costs over 1,800 bucks a month, at the VERY worst time when NOBODY, even most of the "rich" are wanting their high-end and antique furniture refinished. They've lost EVERYTHING in the last 4 years.... Their boat and the peir they rented on Lake Michigan for it, their nice cars, they've taken a loan out against the summer home that is worth more than what they could sell it for today and they've also taken out a loan against their home that nearly puts them back to where they were with thier initial investment 19 years ago....

Fuck GWB....

Fuck Obama....

My parents were NEVER rich. They did alright for a while, although they'd be doing a lot better if they spent their money like I do.

Money on credit is NOT discretionary spending.....

UNLESS, OF COURSE YOU ARE THE US GOVERNMENT AND EVERYTHING IS ON CREDIT EVERY YEAR AND IDIOTS LIKE US AND OUR KIDS AND GRAND CHILDREN ARE ON THE HOOK FOR THE INTEREST PAYMENTS!!!!!!

Get off your high horse asshole.

I'm on your side.

I've been fighting this BS fight through over 9 years now, and over 7 years on this site.

Romney will fuck us all just as bad....

Stop fighting me and let's work together to find a solution.



As cold as it might sound, the solution that finds future President Romney in a position where his daughter develops diabetes and suddenly his insurance isn't sufficient to care for her, is the ideal situation for me.



All I've watched for the last 8 years is people around me fall.... and if they made over 40k or more a year, just barely weather it....

Everyone else I knew was fucked...

I want to see them fucked as bad

No anarchy......

how can we legally bring all of them down?


Frem can dig up dirt on anyone......

Theoretically speaking, Let's make all of these closet cocksuckers suck the wrong cock!



Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:
Property taxes and the others you spoke of are local taxes and have nothing to do with the federal government.

As for Obama lowing taxes, your impossible task was competed with a single Google search...

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/feb/07/barack-
obama/barack-obama-said-he-lowered-taxes-over-past-two-y
/

Now I was talking about government revenue being down. You can leave the tax rate exactly where they are and still see less money coning into the government. When people are out of work they do not pay taxes. That means less money coming in.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.


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Friday, June 1, 2012 1:37 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


For one the Us government is not going bankrupt. The US debt compared to the size of our economy is lower than a lot of other countries and now where near the level of the troubled EU nations.

Second any increase in taxes on the state level is most likely from decreases in that states own revinues. Property tax levels may stay the same but state income taxes and building impact fees took a hit. Any pull back in government funds to the states is because of this believe we need to cut spending right now.

The long and the short of it is you can't have it both ways. You can't call for less taxes and reduce the size of the debt.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Friday, June 1, 2012 2:36 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:
If you go by %of GDP yes discretionary spending has gone up. Thing is percentages are not real numbers.

Discretionary spending has been as follows...

2008 - $1,179,650,000
2009 - $1,492,032,000
2010 - $1,264,264,000
2011 - $1,220,716,000
2012 - $1,195,457,000(estimate)

So since 2009 discretionary spending has gone down. No spin, just pure real numbers.



Then again, you could note that discretionary spending has been higher every year of the Obama Administration than the last full year (2008) of the Bush administration, or ever before in history. No spin. Just pure real numbers.

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Friday, June 1, 2012 8:45 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
Then again, you could note that discretionary spending has been higher every year of the Obama Administration than the last full year (2008) of the Bush administration, or ever before in history. No spin. Just pure real numbers.



You're right, they have been. I think everyone can agree that 2009 was a pretty fucked up year and not a good starting point to argue from. Obama's spending since than has been higher. It has not been this massive increase that some people yell about.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Friday, June 1, 2012 10:32 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:
Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
Then again, you could note that discretionary spending has been higher every year of the Obama Administration than the last full year (2008) of the Bush administration, or ever before in history. No spin. Just pure real numbers.



You're right, they have been. I think everyone can agree that 2009 was a pretty fucked up year and not a good starting point to argue from.



Which is why I noted "or ever before in history". Obama's discretionary spending in 2010-12 is still higher than ever before.

Quote:

Obama's spending since than has been higher. It has not been this massive increase that some people yell about.



As I've noted, that depends on how you parse the numbers. You apparently want to parse them so Obama hasn't made a "massive increase" in spending. Republicans want to parse them so he has. I can parse them either way with little trouble. I figure both ways are equally (in)valid.

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Friday, June 1, 2012 10:45 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
Which is why I noted "or ever before in history". Obama's discretionary spending in 2010-12 is still higher than ever before.



Okay

Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
As I've noted, that depends on how you parse the numbers. You apparently want to parse them so Obama hasn't made a "massive increase" in spending. Republicans want to parse them so he has. I can parse them either way with little trouble. I figure both ways are equally (in)valid.



I'm not parsing anything. Those are the raw numbers. You want to add non-discretionary spending in as well we can do that. It will make the increase bigger. That's true for every year because the cost of non-discretionary programs goes up every year.

I'm curious what you think is a valid way of expressing the numbers if not just as they are?


I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Friday, June 1, 2012 4:27 PM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:
I'm not parsing anything. Those are the raw numbers. You want to add non-discretionary spending in as well we can do that. It will make the increase bigger. That's true for every year because the cost of non-discretionary programs goes up every year.

I'm curious what you think is a valid way of expressing the numbers if not just as they are?



Okay. Here are the numbers you provided for discretionary spending. Rather than list all the numbers back to 1976, let's stipulate that the 2008 figure is (if I recall the tables correctly) the highest amount of discretionary spending up to that year.

2008 - $1,179,650,000
2009 - $1,492,032,000
2010 - $1,264,264,000
2011 - $1,220,716,000
2012 - $1,195,457,000(estimate)

By these figures, I can show that under President Obama, discretionary spending has been higher, every year, than in any year prior to him taking office. That's a true fact using these numbers just as they are. All the Republicans cheer his expected Democratic tax-and-spend.

I can also prove that under President Obama, discretionary spending has been reduced every full year he has been in office, one of the few times this has happened. That's also a true fact using these numbers just as they are. All the Democrats cheer his restraint.

Without breaking a sweat, I can prove that for the years President Obama has been in office, he has averaged more discretionary spending to waste the taxpayers dollars per year than any president in history. Numbers don't lie. All the small government folks cheer his waste.

And with nothing up my sleeve, I can show that he has averaged more discretionary spending to help people in need than any president in history. It's right there in the figures. All the social welfare folks cheer his progressiveness.

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Saturday, June 2, 2012 6:28 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Without breaking a sweat, I can prove that for the years President Obama has been in office, he has averaged more discretionary spending to waste the taxpayers dollars per year than any president in history.

Can we lose this 'any president in history' crap? Since we're talking about total dollars spent now it's foolish to compare with 1976 or whenever, when GDP and revenue were several times smaller. By all means spin, but don't be disingenuous.

Quote:

And with nothing up my sleeve, I can show that he has averaged more discretionary spending to help people in need than any president in history. It's right there in the figures. All the social welfare folks cheer his progressiveness.

I'd like to see those figures.

All in all your point seems to be that people should be cynical about statistics, and what they purportedly show. My own personal view is that statistics (even in politics) can be used to further truth, as well as to obscure it, and each set of statistics should be taken on their merits. Cynically dismissing all statistics is a poor second best to actually taking the time to understand all statistics (provided one is able). And I wonder if cynics are consistent in dismissing all statistics, rather than just the ones they disagree with...

But that's a side debate. What's your personal overall view of Obama's spending, compared to past presidents Geezer? How would you have acted different in this regard, if you could take Obama's place?

It's not personal. It's just war.

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Saturday, June 2, 2012 8:27 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
Quote:

Without breaking a sweat, I can prove that for the years President Obama has been in office, he has averaged more discretionary spending to waste the taxpayers dollars per year than any president in history.

Can we lose this 'any president in history' crap? Since we're talking about total dollars spent now it's foolish to compare with 1976 or whenever, when GDP and revenue were several times smaller. By all means spin, but don't be disingenuous.

Quote:

And with nothing up my sleeve, I can show that he has averaged more discretionary spending to help people in need than any president in history. It's right there in the figures. All the social welfare folks cheer his progressiveness.

I'd like to see those figures.

All in all your point seems to be that people should be cynical about statistics, and what they purportedly show. My own personal view is that statistics (even in politics) can be used to further truth, as well as to obscure it, and each set of statistics should be taken on their merits. Cynically dismissing all statistics is a poor second best to actually taking the time to understand all statistics (provided one is able). And I wonder if cynics are consistent in dismissing all statistics, rather than just the ones they disagree with...




Certainly Geezer tends to accept as gospel any statistics which show Hugo Chavez in a bad light. He would never try to discount any such statistics, because the agree with what he already "knows".

Also, if you show statistics which show that the U.S. has markedly more gun murders than some other country, he'll jump to insist that it's not the guns that are making things so fucked up in the U.S., it's just that the American people are really, really horrible awful people who would gleefully kill each other with anything that fell to hand.





"I supported Bush in 2000 and 2004 and intellegence [sic] had very little to do with that decision." - Hero


"I've not watched the video either, or am incapable of intellectually dealing with the substance of this thread, so I'll instead act like a juvenile and claim victory..." - Rappy

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Saturday, June 2, 2012 11:43 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
Can we lose this 'any president in history' crap? Since we're talking about total dollars spent now it's foolish to compare with 1976 or whenever, when GDP and revenue were several times smaller. By all means spin, but don't be disingenuous.



I'm trying to show that exactly the same numbers can be spun to show whatever folks from any sides want, depending on how it's done.

You seem to be resisting this concept.

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Saturday, June 2, 2012 11:45 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
Certainly Geezer tends to accept as gospel any statistics which show Hugo Chavez in a bad light. He would never try to discount any such statistics, because the agree with what he already "knows".

Also, if you show statistics which show that the U.S. has markedly more gun murders than some other country, he'll jump to insist that it's not the guns that are making things so fucked up in the U.S., it's just that the American people are really, really horrible awful people who would gleefully kill each other with anything that fell to hand.



C'mon, Mike. You're not even TRYING to make your trolling look like it belongs in the discussion any more.

Sad, really.

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Saturday, June 2, 2012 12:44 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
Certainly Geezer tends to accept as gospel any statistics which show Hugo Chavez in a bad light. He would never try to discount any such statistics, because the agree with what he already "knows".

Also, if you show statistics which show that the U.S. has markedly more gun murders than some other country, he'll jump to insist that it's not the guns that are making things so fucked up in the U.S., it's just that the American people are really, really horrible awful people who would gleefully kill each other with anything that fell to hand.



C'mon, Mike. You're not even TRYING to make your trolling look like it belongs in the discussion any more.

Sad, really.





C'mon, Geeze. You're not even TRYING to make your trolling look like it belongs in the discussion any more.

Normal, really.




"I supported Bush in 2000 and 2004 and intellegence [sic] had very little to do with that decision." - Hero


"I've not watched the video either, or am incapable of intellectually dealing with the substance of this thread, so I'll instead act like a juvenile and claim victory..." - Rappy

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Saturday, June 2, 2012 3:01 PM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
Without breaking a sweat, I can prove that for the years President Obama has been in office, he has averaged more discretionary spending to waste the taxpayers dollars per year than any president in history. Numbers don't lie. All the small government folks cheer his waste.

And with nothing up my sleeve, I can show that he has averaged more discretionary spending to help people in need than any president in history. It's right there in the figures. All the social welfare folks cheer his progressiveness.



No you can't. You may thing you can but that would mean that you don't understand what subjective means.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Saturday, June 2, 2012 4:38 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:
The long and the short of it is you can't have it both ways. You can't call for less taxes and reduce the size of the debt.



Can you agree, for a moment that something needs to be done though?

What we're seeing now is politicians who on either side, no matter what they promise, is that they tax us more and they spend more, all the while the interest on our deficit grows and grows.



My suggestion is to do one or the other at first for a year or so, and then whittle away the other way. One year, we make don't decrease taxes, but we take existing taxes and find a way to make enough of a surplus to keep them from being raised the next year and start paying the deficit....

After that, maybe we just keep that up for a few years and pay it down more, while also continuing to find ways to Six Sigma our own Government and make it WORK.

After there have been some meaningful decreases in the deficit, we can then give a "dividend" to taxpayers by actually decreasing taxes overall to the point of that first year where our spending was bridaled to the point of solvency.....

Then the cycle would continue.



It took a LONG time for us to get this bad, and it will take 4 times as long for us to get out of it without riots or bloodshed.

But if we're going to do it, taxes need to be distributed in a fair manner and the hundreds of billions of wasted dollars every year need to be reigned in.


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Sunday, June 3, 2012 2:56 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:
No you can't. You may thing you can but that would mean that you don't understand what subjective means.
/b]



Everyone's viewpoint on politics is subjective.

Liberals can, and will, tout increased discretionary spending as proof that Obama is looking out for the 99%. Conservatives can, will, damn increased discretionary spending as proof that Obama is running the country deeper into debt.

You keep trying to make it all about the numbers, but once people do more than simply list the numbers by trying to interpret them, their subjective biases take over.


Now if I were looking at numbers to help decide Obama's record, instead of looking at how much he spent, I'd look at where he spent, at a pretty granular level. Then I'd have a better idea of his priorities and how they matched with mine.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012 4:42 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Can you agree, for a moment that something needs to be done though?

What we're seeing now is politicians who on either side, no matter what they promise, is that they tax us more and they spend more, all the while the interest on our deficit grows and grows.



My suggestion is to do one or the other at first for a year or so, and then whittle away the other way. One year, we make don't decrease taxes, but we take existing taxes and find a way to make enough of a surplus to keep them from being raised the next year and start paying the deficit....

After that, maybe we just keep that up for a few years and pay it down more, while also continuing to find ways to Six Sigma our own Government and make it WORK.

After there have been some meaningful decreases in the deficit, we can then give a "dividend" to taxpayers by actually decreasing taxes overall to the point of that first year where our spending was bridaled to the point of solvency.....

Then the cycle would continue.



It took a LONG time for us to get this bad, and it will take 4 times as long for us to get out of it without riots or bloodshed.

But if we're going to do it, taxes need to be distributed in a fair manner and the hundreds of billions of wasted dollars every year need to be reigned in.




Something does need to be done. We can agree on this all day. Right now with a slow economy it is not the time to reduce spending and take money out of the economy. The time to cut spending is when the economy is doing well. That might even mean running a surplus to pay down the debt.

Taxes, I agree the tax code needs to be changed. I think the problem is more on the state level than the federal level. Taxing things like tobacco and alcohol is easy for politicians and that is a problem. Personally I don't agree with property taxes. So I can agree taxes need to be changed.



I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012 4:42 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
Can we lose this 'any president in history' crap? Since we're talking about total dollars spent now it's foolish to compare with 1976 or whenever, when GDP and revenue were several times smaller. By all means spin, but don't be disingenuous.



I'm trying to show that exactly the same numbers can be spun to show whatever folks from any sides want, depending on how it's done.

You seem to be resisting this concept.



You are not only making the point that the same set of numbers can be interpreted different ways, you are also seemingly suggesting that different interpretations are 'equally (in)valid'. But while some of your interpretations are merely 'spun', others are critically flawed.

What I'm 'resisting' is your false equivalence.

It's not personal. It's just war.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012 4:45 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
Everyone's viewpoint on politics is subjective.

Liberals can, and will, tout increased discretionary spending as proof that Obama is looking out for the 99%. Conservatives can, will, damn increased discretionary spending as proof that Obama is running the country deeper into debt.

You keep trying to make it all about the numbers, but once people do more than simply list the numbers by trying to interpret them, their subjective biases take over.


Now if I were looking at numbers to help decide Obama's record, instead of looking at how much he spent, I'd look at where he spent, at a pretty granular level. Then I'd have a better idea of his priorities and how they matched with mine.



Everyone's view is subjective, but when someone claims that President Obama's spending is outrageous, or driving the country to bankruptcy looking at the numbers can determine if that is true or not.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012 7:19 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
You are not only making the point that the same set of numbers can be interpreted different ways, you are also seemingly suggesting that different interpretations are 'equally (in)valid'. But while some of your interpretations are merely 'spun', others are critically flawed.

What I'm 'resisting' is your false equivalence.



False equivalence based on what? The numbers are the numbers. Your interpretation of them, or an arch-conservative's interpretation of them, are informed by your points of view.

There are probably folks out there who belive that while their interpretations are merely "spun" - or even absolutely correct - yours are the ones that are critically flawed.

I'm not trying to defend any particuilar point of view...just saying that folks should be aware that interpretations - even of something as apparently neutral as budget figures - are subject to the preconceptions and bias of the person doing the interpreting.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012 7:51 AM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson




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Sunday, June 3, 2012 9:52 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

I'm not trying to defend any particuilar point of view...just saying that folks should be aware that interpretations - even of something as apparently neutral as budget figures - are subject to the preconceptions and bias of the person doing the interpreting.

Well obviously.

Quote:

False equivalence based on what? The numbers are the numbers. Your interpretation of them, or an arch-conservative's interpretation of them, are informed by your points of view.

What I'm trying to add to that is that there are not just 'biased' ways of looking at data, there are also simply WRONG ways of looking at data. If you're going to look far back in history it is WRONG to compare total $$$s spending levels - even if they're adjusted for inflation. You have to compare it as a proportion of GDP, because US GDP is roughly 5 times bigger than it was in 1976. If you do that then you see that Obama's discretionary spending has not been historically high however you look at it - even at its PEAK it was less than almost all of Reagan's years (see page 5 or 9: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34424.pdf).

To be clear:

Valid right-wing interpretation of Obama's spending: "His discretionary spending has been higher than Bush's (so far)."

Invalid right-wing interpretation of Obama's spending: "His discretionary spending has been historically high."

It's not personal. It's just war.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012 3:37 PM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:




Wow!!! A chart from BIGBRASSBLOG.COM. How could anyone possibly doubt that this is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH.

Jesus, Kiki. You're a perfect example of what I'm saying.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012 3:42 PM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Geezer how is that chart wrong or bias?

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012 3:43 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


So, since Geezer is unable to refute the info in Kiki's graph, he resorts to attacking the messenger.

Jesus, Geezer. You're a perfect example of a worthless troll.



"I supported Bush in 2000 and 2004 and intellegence [sic] had very little to do with that decision." - Hero


"I've not watched the video either, or am incapable of intellectually dealing with the substance of this thread, so I'll instead act like a juvenile and claim victory..." - Rappy

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Sunday, June 3, 2012 3:56 PM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson


If Geezer had taken 30 seconds to check - which of course he didn't - he would have seen many google image pages of this exact same image from many different sources. The only reason I picked this source is b/c it was the first one that displayed the image rather than the url. But Geezer, being Geezer, just couldn't extend his mind or stop his trolling. This mindless knee-jerk is one reason why I write him off just as completely as I do little Rappy and Wulfie.

And of course, despite his snit-fit, he hasn't refuted the graph.


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Sunday, June 3, 2012 4:53 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


I'm glad we at least agree that something needs to be done Nick (if you don't mind me calling you Nick)

At the same time, we've had a slow economy since about 2003 and WELL before anyone even heard of Obama outside of Illinois, GWB was already greasing those gears.



I really believe we're just fighting over each other's heads here.... and that's really the only problem.


Where I see a Government (Democrat or Republican run... it doesn't matter) that rapes businesses, I see my parents who have lost any frills of living they ever had, and they've now got a larger mortgage on their personal house than they did when they originally bought it back in 1993, just to keep the business going.

When you see our Government (Republican or Democrat run... it doesn't matter) raping businesses, you only see the CEO bastards of the huge corps, and I think we can agree that they're way overpaid and that most of them probably belong behind bars rather than living it up with their golden parachutes.



Government spending is not the answer Nick, simply because they're only spending money in the supposed budget, year after year, that all of the combined labor of every single tax paying American cannot foot the bill for. THIS is the real reason that since 2000 Gas has become 4 times as expensive and a gallon of Milk has become 3 times as expensive... and everything else in between.

GOVERNMENT SPENDING, at the very least, haphazardly, is just exaserbating the problem.



Are you aware of GE's "Six Sigma" program Nick????

I was very well educated on it through online courses at my prior employer, and because I didn't "play ball" like they wanted to after the merger, they probably (rightfully so) used that training against me. When I'm friends with all of my co-workers, I'm the last guy you want to send in to fire everyone to make a tighter ship.



Why don't we "Six Sigma" the Government?

Relieve them of their 3 personal assistants?

Make them enjoy the same health care benefits in retirement that Obama was trying to push through for the rest of us (which will be publically known it's shot down in several weeks).

Make them enjoy the same meager pay raises, or even pay reductions the rest of us in the real world need to endure.....



BOTTOM LINE.....

Let's go back to our roots....

Let's make every Public Offical Post become so unattractive and lucrative for anyone who has it that only the people truly selfless of heart would ever seek it out because they truly love their country and, more importantly, their own circle of family and friends.




In that world, in Another Earth, GWB.... Obama.... Pelosi.... Rush....

They'd all be two-bit ambulance chasers, awash in a world that already is over-saturated with unscrupulous lawyers.




This world could happen man.....

I'm struggling just to get a job that would support my meager, single existance in this shit-hole economy. I'm settling next week for a 24 hour a week position at near minimum wage that will allow me to live the next 5 or so years without taking on credit I can't afford.

If the White House offered me meager health benefits and paid me over 20k a year, on top of the free room and board, I'd jump on that plane.



Think about it....

3 years of my salary and room and board wouldn't have cost what Obama's date with his wife on Broadway via helicopter and all the security that entailed on one single night......

Six Sigma baby.....

Six Sigma

Google it....

Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:

Something does need to be done. We can agree on this all day. Right now with a slow economy it is not the time to reduce spending and take money out of the economy. The time to cut spending is when the economy is doing well. That might even mean running a surplus to pay down the debt.

Taxes, I agree the tax code needs to be changed. I think the problem is more on the state level than the federal level. Taxing things like tobacco and alcohol is easy for politicians and that is a problem. Personally I don't agree with property taxes. So I can agree taxes need to be changed.



I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.


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Sunday, June 3, 2012 6:08 PM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


You can call me Nick, I don't mind at all.

Okay you are going to have to explain to me how government spending has increased the price of gas. To my knowledge oil, from which we get gasoline, is bought and sold on an open market around the world and has nothing to do with government spending.

Now about your parent's business I don't know enough about it to comment past this. If it was a long term business and went under after the economy went to hell you really can't blame business taxes on that. You can blame a lot of factors that lean to the tanking economy, but the taxes have stayed pretty much the same. Unless you are talking about state taxes.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Monday, June 4, 2012 11:15 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:




Wow!!! A chart from BIGBRASSBLOG.COM. How could anyone possibly doubt that this is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH.



Well Geezer you've given your best lesson yet of how a biased mind reacts to presented data. I sense your mind did the same thing when I showed you the graphical representation of Bush's and Obama's spending earlier: rushed to find one small point you could disapprove of, and dismissed the whole thing on that basis. Don't worry we all do it, but this goes to prove my point that more often than not, lazy cynicism = a way of keeping one's head comfortably in the sand.

By the way the graph gives its source, and more importantly its source data (CBO).

It's not personal. It's just war.

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Monday, June 4, 2012 1:10 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
I'm glad we at least agree that something needs to be done Nick (if you don't mind me calling you Nick)

At the same time, we've had a slow economy since about 2003 and WELL before anyone even heard of Obama outside of Illinois, GWB was already greasing those gears.



I really believe we're just fighting over each other's heads here.... and that's really the only problem.


Where I see a Government (Democrat or Republican run... it doesn't matter) that rapes businesses, I see my parents who have lost any frills of living they ever had, and they've now got a larger mortgage on their personal house than they did when they originally bought it back in 1993, just to keep the business going.

When you see our Government (Republican or Democrat run... it doesn't matter) raping businesses, you only see the CEO bastards of the huge corps, and I think we can agree that they're way overpaid and that most of them probably belong behind bars rather than living it up with their golden parachutes.



Government spending is not the answer Nick, simply because they're only spending money in the supposed budget, year after year, that all of the combined labor of every single tax paying American cannot foot the bill for. THIS is the real reason that since 2000 Gas has become 4 times as expensive and a gallon of Milk has become 3 times as expensive... and everything else in between.

GOVERNMENT SPENDING, at the very least, haphazardly, is just exaserbating the problem.



Are you aware of GE's "Six Sigma" program Nick????

I was very well educated on it through online courses at my prior employer, and because I didn't "play ball" like they wanted to after the merger, they probably (rightfully so) used that training against me. When I'm friends with all of my co-workers, I'm the last guy you want to send in to fire everyone to make a tighter ship.



Why don't we "Six Sigma" the Government?

Relieve them of their 3 personal assistants?

Make them enjoy the same health care benefits in retirement that Obama was trying to push through for the rest of us (which will be publically known it's shot down in several weeks).

Make them enjoy the same meager pay raises, or even pay reductions the rest of us in the real world need to endure.....



BOTTOM LINE.....

Let's go back to our roots....

Let's make every Public Offical Post become so unattractive and lucrative for anyone who has it that only the people truly selfless of heart would ever seek it out because they truly love their country and, more importantly, their own circle of family and friends.




In that world, in Another Earth, GWB.... Obama.... Pelosi.... Rush....

They'd all be two-bit ambulance chasers, awash in a world that already is over-saturated with unscrupulous lawyers.




This world could happen man.....

I'm struggling just to get a job that would support my meager, single existance in this shit-hole economy. I'm settling next week for a 24 hour a week position at near minimum wage that will allow me to live the next 5 or so years without taking on credit I can't afford.

If the White House offered me meager health benefits and paid me over 20k a year, on top of the free room and board, I'd jump on that plane.



Think about it....

3 years of my salary and room and board wouldn't have cost what Obama's date with his wife on Broadway via helicopter and all the security that entailed on one single night......

Six Sigma baby.....

Six Sigma

Google it....

Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:

Something does need to be done. We can agree on this all day. Right now with a slow economy it is not the time to reduce spending and take money out of the economy. The time to cut spending is when the economy is doing well. That might even mean running a surplus to pay down the debt.

Taxes, I agree the tax code needs to be changed. I think the problem is more on the state level than the federal level. Taxing things like tobacco and alcohol is easy for politicians and that is a problem. Personally I don't agree with property taxes. So I can agree taxes need to be changed.



I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.





Jack, you're a fool if you fall for that whole six-sigma line of bolus. I worked for a guy who got really into that bullshit, and he was out of business inside a year. I bailed pretty soon after he started trying to pass that kool-aid around, because it's just more of the same old multi-level marketing/Amway/pseudo-science scam bullshit.

And the funny thing is, you're about a decade late to the party - it's been discounted by everybody except you, it seems. Just more crap like "trickle down" that sounded great at the sales pitch, but just never did work in practice.



"I supported Bush in 2000 and 2004 and intellegence [sic] had very little to do with that decision." - Hero


"I've not watched the video either, or am incapable of intellectually dealing with the substance of this thread, so I'll instead act like a juvenile and claim victory..." - Rappy

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