Thursday, August 4, 2011

Things I Do Not Understand: The Debt Ceiling 'Deal'

"Let me be clear, there are things in life which I simply do not understand.  Perhaps I do not understand certain concepts because they defy logic, or perhaps, more likely, other people who understand them less than I do - keep trying to explain them to me 'incorrectly'..."   --  Mike Kane 08/03/2011

I've been listening to the TV and radio for the past several days trying to get a handle on the whole 'Debt Ceiling Deal' thing.  After 72 hours of almost constant-exposure to the 'Smartest People' in the room pontificating about the deal, I have questions.  Some go back to BEFORE the deal, some DURING the deal, and a few AFTER the deal.  

Not wanting to over-burden my already-pounding head, let me ask my questions in no particular order - if you have answers to any of the following, please chime in, if these you leave you scratching your head too, well, I'm sorry...

Question 1:  How does increasing Congress's ability to borrow money by $2.4 TRILLION reduce spending?  Would you give a bottle of Jack Daniel's to an alcoholic to get him to stop drinking?

Question 2:  Moody's and the folks at the S&P told us that the US Government would need to SLASH spending by about $4 TRILLION to keep its AAA Rating.  I wasn't GREAT at Math, but isn't 2.4 LESS THAN 4.00 TRILLION?

Question 3:  The Bill, as written, creates a 'SuperCongress' provision.  Will the members of this SuperCongress be compelled to wear tights, boots, and capes?  And if they are - will the proceedings be televised on CSPAN?  And if they are televised, will Guantanamo detainees be forced to watch them? 

Question 4:  How can President Obama continue to blame our current economic 'Malaise'* on President Bush's policies?  He HAS been President for almost three years - correct? 

I know it SEEMS longer than three years, but President Obama blaming our current economic conditions on GW Bush is like my wife blaming me for a bad dream SHE had in which I did something wrong. 

When she wakes up, she's mad at ME and all I did was wake up...  (Am I the only one this happens too?) 

Question 5:  If someone presented the following chart to you, would you think that there is 'might be a slight spending problem' within the US Congress (since spending is proposed by Congress and 'approved' by the President)? 

To more completely understand the above chart, please note a couple of things:

FIRST:  GW Bush, between 2000 and 2006, between the two solid red lines, increased our National Debt from $5 TRILLION to over $6 TRILLION with a 'divided government' (Republicans held White House and Presidency - Democrats controlled the Senate) 

[An increase of $1 TRILLION in new debt while recovering from 9/11 and spending for two wars.]

SECOND:  GW Bush between 2006 and 2008 (dashed white line to second red line) increased our National Debt from over $6 TRILLION to over $8 TRILLION with a Republican in the Presidency and Democrats controlling the House, the Senate. 

[An increase of $2  TRILLION in debt in 2 years]

THIRD:  President Obama, a Democratically-controlled House (2 Years) and Democratically-controlled Senate (3 Years) between 2008 and 2011 increased the National Debt from $8 TRILLION to over $14 TRILLION in LESS THAN THREE YEARS. 

[A $6 TRILLION increase in debt in less than three years]

FOURTH:  The prior item, of course, was the fault of GW Bush.  

FIFTH:  The chart above was found on a Korean Investment website.  My sincere thanks to "Korean Investment's Yoo". 

You?  No, not YOU, the OTHER Yoo...  Ah, never mind.

SUMMING UP:  Democrats never met a borrowed dollar of yours that they didn't like to spend.  40 Cents of EVERY dollar being spent today is borrowed from other nations or being printed at the Treasury.  It's backed by?

Hope and Change.

There are MORE questions, of course, but I am out of time and valuing my JOB as I do, I must be off. 

More questions to come.  If you have any answers, toss them in the Comments section below. 

If you, too, have questions, please don't give them to me as I have enough for all of us...  And my wife told me that she had a bad dream about ME last night so I'm sure I'm going to get questions of my own later today... 


*NOTE: President Carter NEVER used the 'M' word, but it became synonymous with his 'Malaise Speech' which as mentioned above, never included the word itself. 


  1. Moos - Great analogy on the Jack Daniels. Glad you chose it instead of Gentleman Jack which is more expensive. Also thanks for the TN plug. We still distil locally, and have not yet considered moving the distillery off shore.

  2. Geez Marine.. you know what it would cost ship those empty barrels.. without them Jack would never be the same... then too, by the time Obama's finished he might never be the same anyway..

  3. Grumpy - The Jack Daniels Distillery is in a dry county. Go Figure..... :)

  4. Winder what the back door sales are like

  5. Moos - Kinda recall Gramm-Rudman being ruled Unconstitutional for those automatic cuts. Would expect the same thing with any auto kick in on this one as well.

  6. Moos, I'll go along part way. But remember Bush signed all the Demo bills when they had the house (except l ag bill, they over rode him). Bush's most outstanding accomplishment and hardest to do was force TARP through. He realized what great doo doo we were in. But it was even worse than he thought. The only way we have come out of recessions since 1929 was to increase spending (put more money in the pockets of consumers, even govt. employees). Before this week, once and only once was cutting spending tried, in 1937. It was a disaster, causing a crash within the depression. That was only cured by the massive debit spending for armament in WWII.
    Actually the "stimulus" and auto bailout were the right thing to do, but there was not enough of it and the stimulus was not wisely spent-mostly pork, instead of real shovel ready projects. Wall street has as usual been correct and began a new crash because of the TP victory, cutting spending. Cutting spending is necessary, but it isn't the proper time.


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