FT Reveals Orszag Resigns Over Inability To Persuade Summers And Obama Keynesianism Leads To Suffering

Tyler Durden's picture

As we speculated previously, the sudden and unprecedented departure of Peter Orszag, the day prior to the US Budget's formalization (which incidentally never happened as now the US will likely not have a 2010 budget at all, for fear of disclosing to most Americans just how broke the country is ahead of mid-terms) was due to Orszag's disagreement with the administration's, and particularly Larry Summer's, inability to fathom that reckless spending is a recipe for bankruptcy. As the FT reports: "Peter Orszag, Barack Obama’s budget director, resigned this week partly in frustration over his lack of success in persuading the Obama administration to tackle the fiscal deficit more aggressively, according to sources inside and outside the White House." And so, as any remaining voices of reason realize they are dealing with a group of deranged Keynesians, soon there will be nobody left in the administration who dares to oppose the destructive course upon which this country has so resolutely embarked, which ends in one of two ways: debt repudiation, or war. And with the only remaining economic "advisers" being the trio of Summers, Romer and Geithner, you know America will somehow hit both of these mutually exclusive targets.

More from FT:

Mr Orszag, whose publicly stated reasons for leaving were that he was exhausted after years in high pressure jobs and also that he wanted to plan for his wedding in September, is seen as the guardian of fiscal conservatism within the White House.

Other members of Mr Obama’s economic team, notably Lawrence Summers, the head of the National Economic Council, have placed more emphasis on the need for continued short-term spending increases to counteract what increasingly looks like an anaemic economic recovery in the US.

Although Mr Orszag agrees with the need to push short-term spending, particularly in the Senate, which again this week failed to pass a measure extending insurance to the unemployed, the budget director has become increasingly frustrated with the administration’s caution on longer-term fiscal restraint.

Mr Orszag, whom Mr Obama has dubbed a “propeller-head” because of his brilliant facility with projections and spreadsheets, has tried but failed to convince his colleagues to “step up the action”, according to one insider.

In particular, he has collided with the political team, led by Rahm Emanuel, Mr Obama’s chief of staff, over Mr Obama’s 2008 election pledge not to raise taxes on any households earning less than $250,000 a year – a category that covers more than 98 per cent of Americans.

Economists say that would put all the fiscal emphasis on draconian – and highly unrealistic – spending cuts, or else pushing the marginal tax rates on the very rich to confiscatory levels. “Peter feels strongly that this is a pledge that has to be broken if the President is to take a lead on America’s fiscal crisis,” says an administration official not authorised to speak on the matter.

And after Barney Franks's disastrous appearance earlier on, where the market did a shot and an uptick for every lie uttered, we can safely say that this bankrupt country truly deserves all of its elected individuals.

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Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

No budget = pitchfork time.

Somehow, the 'event' will be scheduled, and I'll be there.

Pladizow's picture

The only way any American will get off their fat ass and do anything is if you threaten their food supply.

Until then, NOTHING will be done!

Xibalba's picture

At first I laughed....but the somber reality of your statement brought me down...quickly. 

Temporalist's picture

How do people on welfare get so fat?  I don't get it.  Even as a kid I remember reading an article about a family of 11 all on welfare and in the group picture they were all enormous but for one maybe.

I just saw a 10 year old kid with a belly hanging over his pants like he was a 40 year old man that had stopped excercising in his teens.

I literally was thinking almost the exact same thing as what you posted Plad.  When the poor stop stuffing their faces because they no longer can maybe things will change.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

You can easily get fat on 4 bucks a day at the dollar store.

Big bag of pork rinds

Big bag of chips or popcorn

Pack of mystery meat

Gallon sized off-brand soda.

All the fat, sugar and salt you could want.

Problem Is's picture

The Four Amerikan Food Groups
Sugar, Saturated Fat, Alcohol, Preservatives....

Ripped Chunk's picture

Excellent!  However, you left out the most favored delicacy: Propaganda, in massive dosages thank you.


Idiot sheep to the skull crushing slaughter.  Fun!

nuinut's picture

Propaganda is free, at least nominally.

Ragnar D's picture

Here in Crook County (Chitcago), where the dependent Entitlement class is about all that's left, as an individual you can get $500 in food stamps every month.

As one of the suckers still working for a living, I don't spend half that on myself.


I remember reading an article about the discount food stamps traded at--they were being sold at 50 or so cents on the dollar in Aldi parking lots, etc.  Here, apparently the market is so flooded they go at more like .25-.30 cents on the dollar.

Nothing like going to the store at the right time of the month, and while you're looking at sale tags, watch people walking by with shopping cards absolutely loaded with steaks and nothing else.  Just like gov't budgets--gotta burn through the excess before the deadline.

nedwardkelly's picture

Are you for real?

"Here in Crook County (Chitcago), where the dependent Entitlement class is about all that's left, as an individual you can get $500 in food stamps every month."

I nearly choked on my drink (not purchased with food stamps) when I read that. Seems crazy high. I did some googling and found this:


Which told me a couple with no money, no income etc could get about $360 a month. Even that seems high... Call me cold hearted, but food stamps should be enough for you to no frills feed yourself, especially when the program is called "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program". $360 would buy a lot of rice and beans...


Mad Max's picture

This is incredible... we spend only about $500/mo for our family of four, and we eat very, very well (in my opinion)...  I lived in Chicago about a decade ago, and with any modest effort you could buy good groceries at prices only slightly higher than in the burbs.  $360 would go a very, very long way for two people.


Popo's picture

It's already a no-brainer to stop paying your mortgage. 

The next no-brainer will be to quit your job too...

Gully Foyle's picture

The reality is people get fat because of leisure time. You have increased leisure time because we are a successful species which does not require burning calories for physical survival. No hunting, no gathering.

Stop blaming welfare for every goddamned social woe in the country.

That is merely ignorant class phobia.

It is like saying all day traders and business types are little dicked faggy bitches who get in slap fights because of too many appletini's.

tmosley's picture

Everyone is fat, but the poor are especially fat.  You can't deny that the poor suffer from a much greater rate of obesity than the middle class.  Welfare is a major contributor to that problem.

ColonelCooper's picture

I junked you for your rant.  I give you +1 for the little dicked appletini part.  It's a wash.

Ripped Chunk's picture

Gully, you are continuously disrespected here. Move on.

I here that the demand for cabana boys in the Hamptons is phenominal this summer.

This will complete your destiny

What a mess_man's picture

I used to question this as well.  But then I came to realize its expensive to eat healthy - fresh ingredients cost more, and then you have the work of cooking it up on your kitchen with all associated costs to stock a kitchen.  This versus 'fast food' - fast, easily and quickly accessible but with very little redeeming nutritional value.

Apostate's picture

Bullshit. Little is cheaper than fresh vegetables. Prepped food is much more expensive.

You can buy fresh stuff and even hire a domestic to prepare it for you for less than you'd pay for prepped and processed food. 

tmosley's picture

Yeah, I don't think you actually ran the numbers on that.

I cut my food bill in half by going from 100% fresh, hand-prepared food to 90% prepackaged meals (Hormel Compleats, if you must know), with 10% being fruit, nuts, yogurt, and the occasional salad.  My monthly food expenditure was cut in half.

Ragnarok's picture

I'm with Apostate, If you don't buy bell peppers vegetables are extremely cheap.  Cucumbers, celery, mushroom, onions, garlic, lettuce, potatoes are all cheap.  Meat can be expensive, but just stick to dark chicken and pork to save money.  Bread, pennies.

ColonelCooper's picture

Maybe I get sticker shock because I only buy produce when I'm shopping something specialty, or short on something (usually fresh greens) till the garden comes in.  Produce IMO is asininely expensive.

BUT, anybody who says they can eat pre-prepared foods more cheaply, really isn't running the numbers on how far a whole roasting chicken and a pound of rice can go.

Crummy's picture

I find this really depends on location. Most low cost prepared food is loaded with the cheaper high-fructose corn syrups and high sodium. Low cost staple foods like potatoes and corn aren't exactly diet food.

Also, I think we can all agree that if there's one thing that the government ever did right, it was cheese.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

I think it is slightly more expensive to eat healthy than to eat-to-obesity, but still very cheap.  Ten bucks a day gets you fresh, self-prepared, healthy, delicious full dietary needs.    For example, at my local budget-priced, Korean run Hispanic grocery, fresh whole skinless chicken breast is $2 somthin, $1.59 for big head o broccoli, $1.99 for a huge pineapple, $1.99 for a box of cereal, etc. - you're stuffed.

$4/day at the dollar store, you're swine

$10/day or less at the immigrant grocery, you're healthy

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Wrong!  Wrong wrong wrong!  Here, ok...hear this.....

Organic foods have twice the amount of vitamins and minerals.  Ok we are going to do some easy math, get your children, gather around.....organic food does cost twice as much (nominally), so what's cheaper?

Ahem......ok here, a problem.  I go to an organic market, I buy an apple for one doelarr.  You go to SAFEway and buy an apple that had gasoline poured on it (we will get to that in a minute).  Your apple is fifty cents.  Ok, but it costs you twice as much to get the nutrition I do!  And your body must work harder to metabolize it because there is more food (never mind the gasoline).  Ok, so you buy two apples to get at my nutrition level.  So how much was it?

Why is the un organic apple cheaper anyway?  Because it uses petro chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides) to do the work, and oil is still cheap.  But when oil comes onto its backside of production, which it will soon, not only will the petro-chemicals become more expensive, it will cost more to ship them.  Apples from Soth America?  Good luck! 

So, there are the points, questions?

Fred Hayek's picture

Um, do you have any independent source to corroborate anything approaching your claim that organic food has "twice as much" nutritional value as regular supermarket food?

And, one of the things that most people don't realize is that pesticides are used on farms that grow "organic" food.  They're just not the modern ones. 

Oh, and organic food is much much more likely to be rife with E Coli bacteria.  And it requires more land area to get the same yield.

Penn and Teller did a great takedown of organic foods and the near religious devotion to them of certain people.  Here's a link to part 1 of 3:




faustian bargain's picture

You can read Steve Solomon's Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times which contains many pointers to sources attesting to the superior quality of well-fertilized home-grown produce. I won't say 'organic' per se, since he doesn't preach a strictly organic method, but indeed supermarket produce is generally much less nutritious than food used to be before the ground was depleted of nutrients and expeditious methods of growing mass quantities of food (at the expense of quality) were developed.

Vegetables only contain the nutrients available from the soil, water, and amendments given to it. Small farms that pay attention to this will produce more nutritious vegetables, generally for higher cost because the higher quality fertilizer is more expensive.

ColonelCooper's picture

Well, you're sorta right.  In principle anyway.  FWIW from a country boy who still lives in farm country and grows basically all his vegetables (because I know they're better for me, and they taste better):

The originally well intentioned "organic" food industry has turned into the most crooked, corrupt, skirt the rules, BS scam you can imagine.  For the most part the food is handled better than your Walmart produce, but the average wool sock, Birkenstock wearing NYC dreadlock wearer is not buying what he/she/it thinks he/she/it is.

If you don't know exactly where your "organic" food is coming from... Don't spend any extra money on it.  Might as well buy GLD. 


P.S. When it comes to your meat, might wanna read the fine print in the definition of "free range", and what qualifies as "organic feed".   Enjoy your poultry/beef plated tungsten.



Popo's picture

Organic?  LOLz at your rich, clueless, whiteboy ideas.  Totally unsustainable bullshit that will cause mass starvation around the world if implemented on a policy level.  The fact that you honestly believe that organic food has on average "twice the nutritional value" just shows how deeply indoctrinated into the cult you are.  Organic is basically the apparel equivalent of "premium denim".  Twice the nutrition? No, of course not.  Twice the price? Yes.

You're probably one of those people who thinks tinkering by man is somehow inherently evil (as if every single animal and vegetable we eat hasn't been tinkered with for centuries), and that "natural" somehow equals "good".   As if the natural world isn't filled with carcinogens, toxins and foods that are fundamentally unhealthy.   (The Gulf of Mexico is currently being destroyed by an "organic product", and Katla is spewing untold amounts of "100% natural" carcinogens into the air above Europe.)

The modern version of "Let them eat cake" is "Buy organic".   

The goal of food production is to feed the world, not to promote quasi-religious ideals like the inherent evil of that which is created by man.





i.knoknot's picture

minus the insults, i'm with you on this one.

i do wash my non-organic usuals twice tho'

faustian bargain's picture

Organic is a marketing gimmick.

There are ways, however, of improving the nutritional content of vegetables by improving the quality of the soil, and these ways are not economical on a mass scale.

I think the goal of food production is to sell food, not to feed the world. Just like the goal of a currency is to preserve spending power, not to fund exponential growth by inflation-stealth.

snakeboat's picture

Corn (the high fructosy, syrup-y kind)

tip e. canoe's picture

+ 1 dead zone in the gulf (pre-oil spill)

Arkadaba's picture

Read with interest all the comments here but I don't think it is just a food issue. I grew up in a neighbourhood that was a mix of working class families and families on social assistance. I remember eating a lot of white bread, kraft dinner, junky cereals and my fav - toasted banana sandwich with brown sugar (it really is good!). I think the difference is that we played outside each and every day - tag, hide and seek, british bulldog, street hockey, tobaggoning, softball - after school during the week and all day long on weekends and in the summer. We were incredibly active. And there were very few children who were overweight. 

That being said, diet of course plays a role. Soda pop, candy, chips etc were a treat - not something we got every day.

Alcoholic Native American's picture

Have mercy Allah, the degradation!

This poster's avatar has porno in it, and it should be removed!



What a mess_man's picture

you mean Plaz? his avatar rocks.  and it's not porn

Problem Is's picture

I thought it was a finger and thumb holding an onyx ring?

Lux Fiat's picture


Pladizow’s avatar does not offend me, but it doesn’t do anything for me either.

Don’t see a need for it to change, but I might respectfully suggest a few name changes for Pladizow:

 - “Leave it to beaver” – offset picture with name that conjures thoughts of a more, ahem, wholesome time

 - “Mexican Hairless” – ok, honestly can’t tell from the teeny, tiny picture if it’s hairless or not, but what the hay

 - “For God and Cuntry” – because instead of promoting prurient interests, perhaps Pladizow is instead trying to visually and explicitly convey a message oft repeated on ZH - that ordinary folks all over the country (and world) have been bending over and taking misguided fiscal policies up the rear orifices, so to speak.  Sort of like Mikla’s avatar, but without the…ah…subtlety.

i.knoknot's picture

who junked you? lol

i like the "for god and c-ntry" ... tie the offensive (to some) to some dogma. the mixed message just confuses the hell out of 'em

Xibalba's picture

What?  Bill O'Reilly doesn't bother you? 

Ragnarok's picture

Just out of respect for those who may view Zero Hedge at work (on break of course) selecting a different avatar would be very much appreciated.

Xibalba's picture

I see where you're going, but I have a 32" monitor and the avatars are about 1 square centimeter....if that.  

Ragnarok's picture

Fair enough, but my piece of shit linux with KDE freezes up all the time and I'm sure with my luck his avatar will be front and center when I ask IT to help fix it.  I guess I'll just restart my machine.


Believe me just writing my above post felt wrong, as I hate censorship.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

If you are worried about people at your work being offended by a 40x40 avatar with a pussie that is maybe 5 pixels by 2 pixels then something is definitely wrong with your situation.

If Plad changes his/her avatar, I very much promise to make mine 10x more offensive than his/hers.  Maybe an unretouched close-up of all three of Christine Romer's bearded chins?

Ragnarok's picture

You'd be amazed what people get offended by. LOL.


Suggestion: Perhaps one of those motion avatars with Al Gore attempting to sexually assault me in a bath robe.

ColonelCooper's picture

I have a photoshp of Barney Frank's head on a big fat naked guy, and the angle makes it look like you're staring between his legs from the toilet bowl while he shits on you...Or you're looking up while blowing him.

You could have it if you want.

pan-the-ist's picture

Don't take it away, that's the only porn I get to see at work :(

I don't work for the SEC.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

It won't be losing their food supply that will make them move. It will be loss of their i-pad and SUV supply.

svendthrift's picture

If a bunch of people, most of whom will be white, "get off their fat asses" the immediate reaction by the defenders of Wall Street will be that they are racist and hate Obama. Abe Foxman and that vile cocksucker from the $LPC will be on every channel calling them every name in the book. The NYT and WaPo will go bonkers.

The hostile elite of the country are raping us. At the same time they are displacing us, so that there is no us left. It is perfect, effecitve and unstopable.

Deal with it.