Sparrow's Belch in a Typhoon

Bruce Krasting's picture

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Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:50 | 940890 Pee Wee
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"...and has a very bad habit of saying things that color the debate."

Pot, meet kettle.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:55 | 940900 Orly
Orly's picture

Bruce writes an opinion piece...keyword: opinion.  Alan Simpson is supposed to be neutral and weigh everything into recommendations and leave those decisions to someone else.

Silly, PeeWee.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:30 | 940490 ZackAttack
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There's little or no point in screwing around at the margins. You have to make cuts in defense, Medicare, Medicaid and/or Social Security.

The Red Team members calling for a balanced budget amendment are out of their minds. You could cut every dollar of discretionary spending - including defense - and *still* have to cut mandatory spending by 35% to achieve it, every year from now on.


Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:22 | 940641 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

dod is untouchable. they lost millions during Bush, just vanished, well some of it was thrown out of pickup trucks to Iraqi contractors. pallets of money, pallets of money stolen and funneled into REPUBLICAN campaign funds by the The Hammer. So much corruption it makes me puke, and no one including the current puppet in chief have any desire to turn over that rock. Point is they will never cut defense, even if they say they are cutting defense they aren't cutting defense, they just move it over into the black column, label it classified and start up all over again.

look i hoped when Pelosi congress took over in 2006 that they could starve the beast, using Paygo. aha, put a cap on the budget and then force Congress to decide where the money that was available would go. at least that way you could stop the sucking sound from the Pentagon. you'll never do through committee, they're ironclad, and if you're on committee you're either being bribed or threatened. 

so starve the beast, the DOD beast by capping the budget, while we pay our obligations to the sick and poor and the retired who built this friggin country with their hard work.

SSN needs to classify their budget as top secret, just to make it a level playing field before we begin to discuss spending cuts. 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:22 | 940462 topcallingtroll
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Who cares about the budget? Cramer and Goldman Sucks both say gold is going higher. Gold 36000 booyah!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 10:56 | 940376 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

it's been fixed.  you get to work until you die.  they get the money.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:24 | 940645 nonclaim
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That has been the trend in most (all?) countries.

If the common man has to work past "retirement" (sometimes compulsory) to keep his standard of living why pay anything at all to the gov. retirement fund?

The younger generation is getting the message but a lot more is needed to enlighten the masses. An opt-out in needed: I don't want the gov to "help" me in my old age. But who is brave enough these days to say it?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 06:07 | 940096 Bruin4
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if we dont reign in military spending and take control of the military industrial complex there is no way to put a dent in the deficit. Sure there are your entitlement programs that every politician is always on about, but look through that smokescreen to see where our real tax dollars go. Starve the beast.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 09:23 | 940243 Bruce Krasting
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Of course you're right about this. But let me give you some perspective.

In 2011 Afghanistan is expected to cost $40b. A very big deal.

Social Security spends $60 billion EVERY MONTH.

The military is an issue. It is not the problem however.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:45 | 940529 LehmanRefugee
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Your $40bn number is not right. The FY 2011 request for war funding which in Fed budget land is called "overseas contingency operations" was $160 bn (more like $12bn a month). Add to that $550 bn of the DoD core budget and you are spending approx. $60bn a month about the same as social security. However, unlike social security there is no offsetting revenue associated with Defense spending.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:42 | 940866 Orly
Orly's picture

You guys are forgetting the fact that the Taliban had the poppy crop at ten percent of where it is now.  Now the Marines of Kandahar are actually operating at at net profit for the Outfit.  Too bad all that money is "off the books."

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 06:15 | 940094 Weisbrot
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what about evicting the illegals, ending medicaid fraud, and eliminating citizenship for jackpot babies? by correcting the previous 3 issues a serious dent can be made in spending at all levels of government. and that doesnt even begin to cover issues of efficiency and honesty.


Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:35 | 940687 unnamed enemy
unnamed enemy's picture

A serious dent - lol - Pedro took your jerb?

heres a different point of view - most of it is true i think.



Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:37 | 940845 Financial_Guard...
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Damned dup

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:32 | 940834 Financial_Guard...
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That article you reference is a bunch of left wing garbage. I could easily refute nearly every arguement puked up by that idiot.

We have a structural unemployment issue. There are fewer jobs and that is not going to change anytime soon. If the illegals were to give up those jobs, eventually the stigma for an unemployed American taking a busboy/dishwaher job would end and those jobs would be filled. Unemployment eventually runs out and your stomach eventually tells you to get a job, any job.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:39 | 940516 LehmanRefugee
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Can you show some math on that. How would this make a serious "dent" in the federal budget. My guess is that illegals are a net positive for the FEDERAL government (might not be true for local governments) as they are still subject to payroll deductions but will never collect on the benefit.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 22:39 | 942111 Bruce Krasting
Bruce Krasting's picture

You're probably right about those lost payroll deductions. BUT. The law is very clear on this. If an illegal alien works in the US with a favke SSN for sufficient years, then this person can get SS benenfits.

SS has a whole departmetn working on these cases. Billions are paid to people who wer never legal in this country.

The funny thing about the law that permits this? The person who gets the checks from SS must live outside of the US. Net result? SS send the money to Mexico.

Hell of a system.


Mon, 02/07/2011 - 22:35 | 942106 Bruce Krasting
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I think illegals are a net positive at the federal level as they pay (collectively) a ton of FICA taxes.

At the state level it is the other way around. They are losing on this....

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:42 | 941156 Blano
Blano's picture

Who gives a shit about the math??  Illegals shouldn't be here, period.  They need to GTFO.  Sheesh.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 05:17 | 940077 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Hmm, not headline numbers but maybe an eyrar of black swans:


"Thousands of protesters converged on Milan over the weekend to call for Silvio Berlusconi to resign as prime minister in the face of an escalating corruption and sex scandal."


"Former US President George W Bush has reportedly cancelled a visit to Switzerland amid concerns that he could be arrested for allegedly authorising the torture of prisoners"


"The Serbian capital Belgrade has seen its biggest anti-government protest in years as thousands of disenchanted Serbs demanded early elections."


"A protest against austerity measures in Turkish Cyprus has strained ties between Ankara and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC)"


"A Kuwaiti youth group called on Sunday for a mass rally outside parliament on Tuesday to protest the government’s “undemocratic practices” and to press for its ouster."


And if those weren't bad enough:

"Some Minnesota Girl Scouts say they will sit out an upcoming cookie sale to protest plans to sell off some of their camps.

Financial pressures and declining membership have led the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys council to sell four of its 12 camps."


Mon, 02/07/2011 - 04:24 | 940059 thegr8whorebabylon
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Hey, dup

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 04:21 | 940057 thegr8whorebabylon
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Hey, that elephant needs a bigger golden para-balloon.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 01:59 | 939985 sbenard
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I know COMPANIES that have cut more than Lew's proposed $750 million cut!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 01:57 | 939982 sbenard
sbenard's picture

We have "entitled" ourselves to a black hole of debt. It is THE Mother of All Bubbles, and since there still is NO poltiical will for significant cuts in Washington, we must all assume that one day, we will be swallowed by that black hole. It is a reasonable assumption!

Plan accordingly!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 01:36 | 939961 QQQBall
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I know this is stoopid, but sometimes I forget that $1B is $1,000MM.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 01:29 | 939950 ebworthen
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There will need to be lots of dead people, unfortunately.

It will be preceeded by lots of commercials, promises, bread and circuses, patriotism, nationalism, polarization, demonization, then World War (not regional conflicts).

We might not survive this one.

It is not just our debt that is unpayable, it is the world's.  The spike in food prices are the harbinger.

Same as it ever was...regular people sold out by the politicians, money-changers, the greedy and lustful...and sooner or later it collapses the society.


Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:57 | 940575 RockyRacoon
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Looks like I unwittingly front-ran you on the same sentiment.  I think we agree.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 00:57 | 939927 Shameful
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It's all just theatre, couldn't fix it even if there was a real desire to.  The vested interests are simply to strong.  So who is going to break it to the people that they got suckered into a multi generational ponzi scheme?  I can think of all of 1 (maybe 2) politicians who would be willing to say it, much less do anything about it.  Still in the loot and scoot phase of this game, and playing kick the can.  No one wants to take any pain, which is normal, and now we are at the point where the cancer is inoperable.  Come on what are the odds that the war machine is dismantled or someone has the political courage to tangle with SS and Medicare? They see the warfare state as "security" as well as a back door jobs/training program.  And as for cutting SS/Medicare, turns out old people who get that stuff vote, and cutting it for the younger is rough as they are the suckers paying and they might vote.  So we can't cut and we can't grow our way out without massively increasing debt in a system saturated by it. 

Think about it what would happen if we owned up to our insolvency, the dollar would crash and we would enter a nightmarish depression.  What happens if we ignore our insolvency, the dollar crashes and we enter a nightmarish depression, just happens further down the road.  It's a false choice at this point, got to love a faith based economy.  About the only good we could do from admitting it is to take down the TBTF with us.  As it stands they and the political classes will take the politically expedient route and simply loot till the ship finally sinks.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:56 | 940569 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture based economy...

I believe that's called fiat money based economy.  Thanks for your concise comment.

The pols who get it, and understand the situation, the "good guys", will leave the sinking ship and retire or not run again.  It's already happening.   What we'll end up with is half-wits who don't understand what's going on.  They will be the ones with some narrow agenda (abortion, fundamental religion, guns, "Constitutional reform", and the like) and we'll have a Legislative branch which will simply accelerate the decline and cause social division that will foment violence and unrest.  

I think we've seen this movie before.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 00:25 | 939881 RockyRacoon
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Alan Simpson -- too late to the party, but thanks anyhow.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 00:15 | 939855 marctmiller
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bruce, "green weenie" is marine corps' way of saying: getting it in the ass.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 00:09 | 939845 edwardo1
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That someone whould actually highlight a less than billion dollar "savings" in a NYT Op-Ed is nauseating since that amount is but a fart in a mild hurricane.  As for the third rail of D.C. budgetary business, the military, they will do next to no cutting there.  There are two reasons for this, A.) the military is all this nation has left by way of a mechanism to continue its international thuggery, and B.) what do you think will happen with all those hundreds of thousands of young men if they aren't taken off the reservation.  School is a way to get children out of the hair of their parents, thereby allowing them to work like dogs for someone else, and the military is a way to get jacked up young males, with few, if any, decent employment prospects, off (crumbling) the streets before they "go off."

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 01:40 | 939968 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

 Ccorrect. The fundamental problem is over-population; but this is politically incorrect. so here we are. and here is the world.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:54 | 940563 fredquimby
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I think actually, the fundamental problem is technological unemployment. i.e dem frikkin machines is takin all the jobs!


Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:31 | 940668 A Nanny Moose
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At ths point, someone has to build the machines, and the parts that comprise those machines. Some has to then install the machines, and the networks on which the operate (more machines). Someone needs to perform the maintenance, and make sense of the telemetry so they operate profitably.

I have other issues with the mechanization/automation, but creating unemployment is not really one of them...not yet anyway.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 00:00 | 939830 lunaticfringe
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Budget cuts a sparrow belch in a typhoon? That's one cliche' I have never heard of. I likened those miniscule cuts to pissing in the ocean. I just keep wondering when anybody in Congress is going to show any aptitude for basic math. Did the whole MSM-politicos...go fucking awol in 5th grade math class?

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:56 | 939816 Rogerwilco
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Hmm, the deficit will be $1.5T, Treasury needs to deal with $2.7T of maturing debt, and the interest and wars add another $300B or so to the mix. For the year, $4.5T total. Every month Bernanke's dynamic economy is generating $45B of "wealth" to cover $380B of debt.

What could go wrong?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 01:42 | 939970 QQQBall
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How did you arrive at the $45B figure? Not questioning its accuracy, just asking. TIA.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 10:22 | 940335 Rogerwilco
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GDP growth at 3% / 12 months + monthly interest (the SOBs count interest as "growth").

$45B a month +/-

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:48 | 939799 TJW
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"While the notion of another mega deficit in 2012 is not a surprise on Wall Street it is not going to over so well on Main street."

Mega deficit? Hell this isn't even a giga-deficit. This is another friggin tera-deficit.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:47 | 939796 ThirdCoastSurfer
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Didn't we go through all this during Bush '41 into Clinton when along comes and presto, budget surplus!?! All this doom-n-gloom budget prognostication has become the boy cries wolf and until the wolf actually eats the boy this time no ones really gonna wanna budge.  

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:46 | 939795 gwar5
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I like Alan Simpson but why did he wait 20 years to become a deficit hawk?

He was there when the spending was being carved in stone.  Little late.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:45 | 939793 DoChenRollingBearing
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Believe none of this crap from .gov.

If you believe me, join me in buying TBT...

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:37 | 939779 wkwillis
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They'll probably try to solve the problem by solemnly enacting a bill that ten years from now the new president and the new House and the new Senate will be elected by voters determined to cut their own benefits and raise their own taxes to pay for us.

Which will work precisely as long as the Chinese believe this will happen.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:21 | 939752 Orly
Orly's picture

Alan Simpson is not such a buffoon as you think.  He is actually well-respected in Washington as a former senator who could pull all the right levers and make things happen.  Don't regard his ranch-hand humor as a lack of intelligence.  He has a different way of making his point but that should not defer from the message.

He said unless we do something with social security and medicare, the budget problems will not be solved.  I think he's right.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:48 | 939801 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

that's because he is the other senator from Wyoming.( see Dick Cheney)  what he is implying is deep deep cuts to SSN and Medicare and iddy iddy biddy cuts to defense, or at least their continued off balance sheet expenditures, or black contracting license to print money. Simpson is a right wing nut from a state whose population wouldn't make a decent city. Why did we spend all that money on the bailouts, wheres' Simpson on that? And the continued disabuse of the middle class in America. What are Simpsons thoughts on employment? Gosh I think I have an idea that he doesn't give a shit. Go round up the doggies, America.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 01:35 | 939963 nevadan
nevadan's picture

Actually Cheney served in the House of Representatives.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 07:44 | 940160 nmewn
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LOL...good point, meanwhile AOL is buying Huffington Post.

Maybe they will hire some fact checkers now ;-)

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:21 | 940459 pemdas
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The average Hufpo reader still uses AOL.  Lots of synergy!!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:17 | 940628 A Nanny Moose
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A vertically integrated echo chamber. How nice.

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