It’s the Economy, Party of Stoopid!

Todd Akins is sacrificed on the alter of political correctness, but unfortunately for his addle-pated GOP executioners, he won’t hold still for the killing stroke.  OblameBush‘s fifth column in the fourth estate wields Tropical Storm Isaac like a chainsaw in a ‘B’ grade horror movie to threaten the RNC in Tampa.  The forecast calls for rain.

This morning, Chris Matthews goes ballistic at Reince Priebus, apologetic and otherwise ineffectual chairman of the RNC, over the Romney joke about his birth certificate.  Geico (my auto insurer – they have heard from me on this) cuts America’s favorite drill sergeant, R. Lee Ermey, loose for comments he allegedly made about the Demander-in-Chief.

Okay, I’ll bite – is the GOP playing a really esoteric long game here?  Have they not yet figured out that President Downgrade Hussein O’Foodstamp and his enablers will talk about anything other than the economy?  Or are they, once again, being played like first-time new car buyers?

This election will be lost by trying to compete toe-to-toe with what some surveys estimate is a main stream media contingent 90% of whom are Democrats.  While the GOP reacts ten times a day to the twisted, invented story-du-jour, the modern version of Rome continues to burn.

This election will be won by forcing voters to come to grips with a few essential, inescapable facts.  The first is that the fiscal policies of the incumbent are not intended to benefit Americans.  Despite having had an entire term with which to come to grips with the state of our economy, full-time employment under President Forward has not, in any single day, been greater that the number of full-time employed on the last day that the hated and villified George W. Bush was in office.  The national debt grows by entire developed-nation GDPs each year. Growth in enrollment in Social Security Disability Insurance outpaces employment.  There is no precedent for this in the modern era.  Malice or incompetence, it does not matter.  It must be addressed.

The second is that without leadership that is prepared to address our dire state of fiscal affairs, this nation is doomed to malaise, decline and depression.  We still are not having the correct conversations about this issue.  Let’s look at some historical facts:

In 1970, the federal government spent about $196 billion.  This was 19 percent of GDP.  In 2011, it spent $3.6 trillion, about 25% of GDP.  Lets look even closer:

Category % Spending 1970 % Spending 2011 % Change
Medicare 3.2% 13.0% 7905%
Health 3.0% 10.5% 6683%
Justice 0.5% 1.5% 5873%
Food stamps/income aid 8.0% 15.5% 3701%
Energy 0.5% 0.6% 2394%
Social Security 15.5% 19.2% 2332%
Total Govt Spending $196 billion $3.6 trillion 1837%

These are the fastest growing categories of spending in the federal budget over this period, showing each category that is growing faster than total federal government spending at 1837% over the period.  What about Defense, the liberal whipping boy that is always trotted out as the reason for our budget problems:

Category % Spending 1970 % Spending 2011 % Change
Defense 41.8% 19.6% 818%

Perhaps most telling of all is the fact that during this same period, inflation has been about 462%.  This means that while defense spending increased at a little less than twice the rate of inflation, overall government spending increased at more than four times the rate of inflation, with some of these categories increasing at up to 17 (!!1!) times the rate of inflation.  Worth noting also that of all of the categories listed, Defense is the only one expressly defined as a federal responsibility in the Constitution.

Due to similar trends at the state and local levels, we have reached a point where total government spending in our country accounts for 46% of our GDP.  This is a destructive, not creative influence on our economy, since the government only spends money it has either first taken from a productive individual or borrowed through the creation of debt.

Forget for now that our national debt has grown so large so rapidly that if interest rates were to return to historical averages, our interest payments on the national debt would grow to near the size of our current budget deficit just by itself.

This is the kind of historical perspective we need to have if we are going to save this nation from the real threat posed by Obama Debt Laden and from the dustbin of history.  Let us all remind Republicans each day to return the debate to the issue of our economy and the proper fiscal discipline required of our leadership.

Oh, and I have finally convinced the Emperor to let me have the microphone from time to time. Let me know what you think.

16 comments

  1. 1
    BrendaK growls and barks:

    OMGawd! That is so tiresome. Priebus should have said, “He told a joke, it fell flat. We’re all about the economy, which has tanked under the Obama administration.”

    Or words to that effect. I am so tired of all of the apologizing the Repubs do for things that do not need to be apologized for. I am weary of these talk shows that they should just refuse to go on. It’s not like that would be any worse for them than the pitiful performance we just saw in that clip.

    And they had better come up with a much better response on the new welfare work requirements that allow HHS to issue (unlawful) waivers dropping the requirement that recipients engage in actual, you know, work.

    Finally, it’s only racism if it involves minorities and is pejorative in nature. Specifically, since all races are represented in the welfare rolls, no general comments about welfare can be racist.

    How about a conversation like this:

    (Yipping Head) Talking about welfare is racist!
    (Reince Pribus) How is that racist? All races are represented in the welfare system.
    (YH) But you know that (xxx) are overrepresented on the welfare rolls, you racist.
    (RP) My heavens, are you suggesting that (xxx) just want to be supported by the rest of us?
    (YH) No! They would prefer to have jobs!
    (RP) But they can’t get a job, because Obama destroyed the economy.

    ***I think you’re doing really well, by the way. Excellent research.***

  2. 2
    DJ Allyn growls and barks:

    A couple of quibbles here.

    1. Social Security and Medicare are not “spending” programs, they are completely separate from the budget. As far as it’s increase in spending between 1970 and 2011 — there are more people retiring now and living longer than there were in 1970.

    2. Defense spending. In 1970, we were in the middle of the Cold War. Today we are not. Much of the Cold War weapons and equipment became outdated and useless. It was replaced by better equipment and weaponry that did the job more efficiently and yes, with less manpower.

    Want to lower the debt, which is the REAL problem here? Restore the tax levels to at least the Clinton era. Frankly, I would raise the top tax bracket to at least 50 percent for every dollar over $1 million. If you make over $20 million per year I would raise that to 76 percent for every dollar over $20 million. As an individual, you will never miss it. As a business, it would encourage you to churn that money back into it. This is what kept us strong back in the 1970s. The reason why we’ve slipped the way we have is BECAUSE of the Top-Down or “Trickle-down” economic model that even its architect has denounced.

    As far as Akins, what exactly did he say that isn’t part of the Republican agenda? Was his “sin” publicly pointing it out? Or is it because nobody wanted anyone to notice that Paul Ryan and Akins co-sponsored legislation that actually used the words, “legitimate rape” that would have forced a woman to prove that she was raped before she could get an abortion?

    Of course now we have Paul Ryan saying that “Rape is just another form of conception.”

    Perhaps the Republican Party realizes that it REALLY has a problem with the largest voting bloc — women. A candidate really needs the women’s vote, and the Romney team seems to be lacking in that demographic.
    DJ Allyn recently posted..The Raven ~ Alan Parsons ProjectMy Profile

  3. 3
    LC SecondMouse growls and barks:

    DJ Allyn @ #2:

    DJ, under the theory that a dollar is a dollar and the lockbox is and always will be a myth, these figures belong here as spending programs of the federal government, without regard for revenue source (remember, either taxed or borrowed). Until Americans require true transparency of their government, we will continue to allow ourselves to be fooled by the accounting gimmicks (some of which are illegal in the private sector) and labeling sleights-of-hand used to persuade us that everything is just fine, nothing to see here, move along.

    When I was born, 1958, defense spending was 60% of the budget. In the decades previous to that, during and after the Second World War, the defense spending levels were higher. The point I intended to make with these data was that defense spending is no longer the driver of the federal budget (if we had one). Entitlements have overwhelmed it, and us.

    The rest of your comment? Just more of what I was pointing out in the first three paragraphs of my remarks.

  4. 4

    DJ Allyn says:

    Social Security and Medicare are not “spending” programs, they are completely separate from the budget. As far as it’s increase in spending between 1970 and 2011 — there are more people retiring now and living longer than there were in 1970.

    There is no lockbox. These programs are part of the budget and will be, because they constantly “loan” money to the government for other programs.

    DJ Allyn says:

    Defense spending. In 1970, we were in the middle of the Cold War. Today we are not. Much of the Cold War weapons and equipment became outdated and useless. It was replaced by better equipment and weaponry that did the job more efficiently and yes, with less manpower.

    We are involved in a two-theater war with a lot more personnel deployed than we had during the Cold War. Personnel expenses generally make up the largest part of the defense budget, and those expenses are also what drive spending increases. It’s not just about the equipment, which by the way, is in dire need of repair and replacement thanks to more than 10 years of military action. Ergo, procurement and O&M expenses are on the rise as well. And yet, we’re spending less than 4 percent of GDP on defense – while fighting two wars, being involved in stupid peacekeeping actions all over the damn globe and trying to repair overused and abused equipment.
    LC Nicki the Resident Misanthropic Bitch recently posted..Akin is like a bad case of the herpMy Profile

  5. 5
    LC Jackboot IC/A growls and barks:

    Outstanding piece and welcome aboard !!!!! We can use some extra help around here occasionally, since some of us tend to lose the muse from time to time. She can be a real bitch yanno.

    Indeed it seems the Party of Stoopid will never learn to stop walking into that same old booby-trap of defend, defend, defend, and especially the guaranteed to lose, ‘We’re better than them’ strategy.

    thanks for the linky love to Chris Tingle coming unglued. You are such a racist for even putting that up there and SHUT UP !!! :em05:
    LC Jackboot IC/A recently posted..It’s the Economy, Party of Stoopid!My Profile

  6. 6

    Oh, and I was remiss in saying, “Bloody glad to see you writing!” I love reading your eloquent prose!
    LC Nicki the Resident Misanthropic Bitch recently posted..Akin is like a bad case of the herpMy Profile

  7. 7
    DJ Allyn growls and barks:

    LC SecondMouse says:

    DJ, under the theory that a dollar is a dollar and the lockbox is and always will be a myth, these figures belong here as spending programs of the federal government, without regard for revenue source (remember, either taxed or borrowed).

    Actually, Social Security was designed to be “borrowed”, in the sense that it would take a percentage of its deposits and “invest” in US Treasury Bonds that yielded a guaranteed return on that investment with interest. It wasn’t a case where the government went in and “raided” Social Security with no intention of paying it back.

    The problem is, that is EXACTLY what some people want to do. They want to simply want to stop paying on that debt and turn whatever is left over to Wall Street for the Banksters to gamble it all away.

    As far as Social Security remaining “solvent” goes, the easy fix is the one that was designed into the program — raise the income cap from $106k to $200k and the fund remains solvent for the next 75 years. It isn’t rocket science.

    But like everything else the modern-day Republican does, they go into a perfectly-running program and create a problem so that they have something they can point to and say “it isn’t working”. Look what they did to the Post Office.

    The Post Office is a quasi-government entity that is self-supported by selling postage. It takes no federal dollars to operate. But what have the Republicans done? They have forced the Post Office to do something that no other business in the history of the planet has ever been forced to do: fund its retirement and benefits program up front for seventy five years. In other words, it is being required to set aside retirement funds for future workers who haven’t even been born yet.

    Why? Because of the greed of the privateers who want to turn the entire postal service over to a private company. Never mind that currently, UPS and FedEx use the Post Office to deliver its packages to two-thirds of the geographical country because neither company has operations in rural areas.

    So if you think 50 cents is too much to mail a letter, if it were privatized you could expect to pay $5. And talk about a burden to small businesses that rely on the postal service for shipping and deliveries….

    I keep saying this: Conservatives seem to have a problem thinking things all the way through.
    DJ Allyn recently posted..The Raven ~ Alan Parsons ProjectMy Profile

  8. 8
    FrankOK growls and barks:

    I’m willing to do my part – give me back (plus interest) every penny I’ve paid into Social Security and Medicare since the first day I was at work and I’ll not trouble the goverment to provide any of what I’ve prepaid for.

    It just doesn’t get any fairer than that.

  9. 9
    Igor, Imperial Booby growls and barks:

    Deej,

    The Post Office is a quasi-government entity that is self-supported by selling postage. It takes no federal dollars to operate

    .
    I don’t think so, Tim. :em05:

    Until adoption of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, the U.S. Postal Service functioned as a regular, tax-supported, agency of the federal government.

    (Source:
    http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/consumerawareness/a/uspsabout.htm
    )
    They were hemmoraging money then, they are hemmoraging money now. The Unions and their retirement are killing the USPS, not to even mention all the regulations that Congresscritters have imposed on them!
    Congress sets the rates, when post offices can close, etc. Don’t go blaming the ‘Pubs for the mess that it’s in, Dumbocrats had more to do with it than the ‘Pubs did. The RINOs get some blame, yes – but the clear winner for “can’t keep your fingers outta my operations” clearly goes to the Dems. Wanting the USPS to keep its commitments to the USPS retirement system isn’t the problem – the Unions are.
    See: Amtrak.

    Bad choice of example, bud. :em07:

    Conservatives seem to have a problem thinking things all the way through.

    Liberals have problems thinking, PERIOD.

  10. 10
    LC FX Phillips growls and barks:

    The social security “lock box” is not just myth but retail fraud and is confirmed in the case (Helvering) that upheld the “constitutionality” of the thing. Helvering, in a foreshadowing of the Dread Pirate Roberts ruling, also re-wrote a statute(Hughes) to make it conform to the congressional taxing power. It was every bit as egregious as NFIB et al vs Sebelius.

    All social security taxes are general operating fund taxes. The idea there is any borrowing between two separate entities is patent fiction as it is the US government that controls the so called Social Security Trust Fund and if it were a corporation would have to consolidate the entity in it’s books. The same would be true of the Post Office and any other entity the Fed controls and bears the ultimate risk of loss.This is probably why this “private” corporation is required to pre-fund it ‘s pension. Under accounting rules the so called loans cancel out and leave a big unfunded liability as the Federal government spends this money on what ever strikes their fancy.

    Private companies with defined benefit programs have target requirements as well as the PBGC would be on the hook in case of bankruptcy. The target according to this article was 100% in 2011

    All payments are out of general tax revenues of which FICA is definitely a part. If they don’t have tax revenue to pay for cash outlays they must borrow which eventually has to be paid by taxes from the general fund. There is no magic. The money flows to the general fund it is expended from the general fund.

    The whole program was cynicism wrapped up as altruism as you might derive from this anecdote from Luther Gullick a frequent appointee to various New Deal advisory groups:

    In the course of this discussion I raised the question of the ultimate abandonment the pay roll taxes in connection with old age security and unemployment relief in the event of another period of depression. I suggested that it had been a mistake to levy these taxes in the 1930’s when the social security program was orgiginally [sic]adopted. FDR said, “I guess you’re right on the economics. They are politics all the way through. We put those pay roll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits. With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program. Those taxes aren’t a matter of economics, they’re straight politics.”

    The notion that you had any “right” to Social Security was eviscerated in Fleming v Nestor in 1960.

    BTW great post LC SecondMouse. Keep up the good work.

  11. 11
    Fa Cube Itches growls and barks:

    Geico (my auto insurer – they have heard from me on this) cuts America’s favorite drill sergeant, R. Lee Ermey, loose for comments he allegedly made about the Demander-in-Chief.

    As much as I like the Gunny, GEICO was well within its rights to drop him. They are trying to sell insurance to everyone, regardless of political affiliation. If one of their spokesmen says something that might piss off 40-50% of the market, it makes sense for them to let him go.

    *shrug*

    Free market and all that.

  12. 12
    LC TerribleTroy growls and barks:

    I’m betting a lot more people buy auto insurance than vote.

    Well done Igor @ 9

    Good start SecondMouse. Let’s see some more

  13. 13
    Emperor Misha I growls and barks:

    Well by the cod piece of Jove, that sure was one heck of a debut!

    Thanks, LC SecondMouse (we’ll have to think up a Staff Title to add to it now), for joining our dysfunctional family of grouchy browncoats aiming to misbehave.

    :em01:

    Fa Cube Itches says:

    As much as I like the Gunny, GEICO was well within its rights to drop him. They are trying to sell insurance to everyone, regardless of political affiliation. If one of their spokesmen says something that might piss off 40-50% of the market, it makes sense for them to let him go.

    *shrug*

    Free market and all that.

    Very true.

    And if a large part of their target demographic decides to spend their money elsewhere because they don’t desire to be contributing to an organization in lust with principles they don’t share and the individuals that espouse them, then that too is part of the free market.

    But to make an informed decision on issues like that, said demographic needs to be, for lack of a better word, informed.

    Which is where people like us come in.
    Emperor Misha I recently posted..While Subversive, Counterrevolutionary, Doubleplusungood Thinking is Still AllowedMy Profile

  14. 14
    LC SecondMouse growls and barks:

    While it is true that they were within their rights to drop him, and I am a big supporter of private property rights and the principle of at-will employment, I am also disgusted with companies that cave to political pressure. Just like the Carbonite CEO that recently admitted that pulling his sponsorship of Rush hurt his company, I think these firms make a big mistake when they react, instead of sticking to first principles and staying the course.

    Thanks to all for riding along on my first contribution.

  15. 15

    LC SecondMouse. I have enjoyed your responses to every post I’ve read you in. To have the Royal Court appoint you as a member is fantastic praise indeed, and is well agreed with by myself. :em01:
    LC cmblake6, Imperial Black Ops Technician recently posted..GEICO fired “Gunny” for speaking out about ObamaMy Profile

  16. 16
    LC Xystus growls and barks:

    DJA, Imperial Contradictor, reflexively alleged:

    The Post Office is a quasi-government entity that is self-supported by selling postage. It takes no federal dollars to operate. But what have the Republicans done? They have forced the Post Office to do something that no other business in the history of the planet has ever been forced to do: fund its retirement and benefits program up front for seventy five years. In other words, it is being required to set aside retirement funds for future workers who haven’t even been born yet.

    Why? Because of the greed of the privateers who want to turn the entire postal service over to a private company. Never mind that currently, UPS and FedEx use the Post Office to deliver its packages to two-thirds of the geographical country because neither company has operations in rural areas.

    You have evidence for these conspiracy allegation?