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Sunday, May 27, 2012



The lengths you will go to just to call someone a liar are frigging incredible. What about a small increase in actual dollars spent per year compared to 2009 is so hard to understand? That is what the CBO says and that is what Carney said. It has nothing to do with spending as a percentage of the overall economy.

Kessler's critique contains a key passage: "Of course, with the recession crashing down, that's when federal spending ramped up." Whether 2009 was Bush's budget or Obama's is moot. Neither man could have lowered spending in that year by very much without kicking the economy into total free-fall.

If maintaining that level of spending since is a "reckless spending spree", you might remember that the economy is still struggling to recover. The vast majority of economists agree continued federal spending (and deficits) are what stands between growth and a return to recession. In other words, Obama's budgets are, in one sense, a continuation of Bush's budgets in that they are what is necessary to revive the dying economy Obama inherited. For the administration to say so is not a sign of political weakness, it's simply a statement of fact.

larry kurtz

With Gary Johnson running in the chemical toilet red state apparatchiks like Professor Blanchard have instructed by his handlers to go into crisis management mode in the hopes of slowing the mass exodus from the hapless Romney campaign.

Shaka, when the walls fell.

larry kurtz

were instructed, rather: Obama in a landslide.

Donald Pay

So, Obama inherits the Republican's tanking economy, pretty much holds spending on Bush's glide path with a little increase to try to jump start the economy out of the Republican Near Depression, and he's accused of lack of leadership because he didn't immediately drive the economy into a Depression that KB's austerity programs would have caused. And you wonder, KB, why no one is taking you seriously?

Ken Blanchard

A.I.: Obama became responsible for all federal spending the moment he took, the oath.

Donald has it right. Obama "pretty much holds spending on Bush's glide path." Yes, which is to say that the emergency spending at the beginning of the recession (good or bad policy) has become the new normal. As Kessler points out, Obama would have spent a lot more than he did if he had been allowed to. At any rate, I did not have to go to any trouble at all to make a case for the Administration's mendacity. All I had to do was cite Kessler. He's no right wing stooge, whatever, he is, and three Pinocchios is a lot of Pinocchios.

Stan Gibilisco

When our Lord returns from his long intergalactic sojourn to save us all from ourselves, the first thing we will hear, as the sky turns the color of Pink Slime and hundred-pound balls of ice rain down upon our shingled roofs, is "It's all George W. Bush's fault."

Whereupon the collective human sigh of relief will shake the atmosphere up to the very edge of space, the sky will become green once again, and the prophesied hail storm will cease.

Jay Carney looks like his mouth was screwed on. I do not trust anybody who looks like their mouth was screwed on.

Donald Pay

No, KB. The Bush years should not be "the new normal." The entire Bush Presidency was a huge mistake from fiscal, domestic and foreign policy perspectives. Unfortunately, the Republicans have fought hard to maintain Bush-era mistakes, so there could be no shift to a different glide path once we emerge more strongly from the Republican Great Recession. Romney has pleged to continue nearly all of the Bush insanity.

Ken Blanchard

Again Donald has it right: there is nothing to be said in defense of Obama's policy except "it's all Bush's fault."

Donald Pay

In fact Romney/Ryan wants to double down on Bush insanity with massive tax cuts for the wealthy to be paid for by cuts to middle class programs, air and water quality, etc, ....except, if you believe on of Mr. Etch-a-Sketch's recent pronouncements, he wouldn't cut spending in the face of slow growth in the first year he was president.


What we have is Obama suggesting balanced spending reduction and tax increases on the wealthy, and Romney who doesn't have a clue.



Where in the world do you get the impression that Obama is suggesting "balanced spending reduction"? He certainly hasn't put it on paper anywhere.

Ken Blanchard

I'm with DDC.


If you look at Nutting's bar chart showing year-by-year spending under the Bush administration and project those increases out over the Obama years, it appears federal spending would be far greater than it is. And, that does not appear to include the fact that war spending under Bush was "off budget" while it has been included in Obama's budgets. There is no indication Nutting or the CBO adjusted for that fact.

Ken Blanchard

A.I.: Bush hasn't been President for most of the last four years. Obama is responsible for every dollar spent since he took the oath of office. It is fair to hold Bush 43 responsible for the dramatic increase of spending at the end of his term. One should mention that your hero Krugman thinks we should have spent a humongous bunch more. If the question is what the trend in federal outlays has been since Obama became responsible, it has continued the spending at unprecedentedly high levels.

According to the CBO, federal outlays in 2001 were 18.2% of GDP. Sorry, but that includes everything including the wars. In 2011 the figure is 24.1.%. I repeat Kessler's conclusion:

"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."

To suggest that the Obama administration is somehow less of a big spender than his predecessors is a howler.


How convenient: "Obama is responsible for every dollar spent since he took the oath of office." At the same time: "According to the CBO, federal outlays in 2001 were 18.2% of GDP. Sorry, but that includes everything including the wars."

So Obama gets blamed for spending initiated by his predecessor and
Bush gets credit for the relatively good spending to GDP ratio he inherited. And you might note there was no war in 2001.


You are right about one thing KB, Krugman is my hero. Here's an example of why: http://crooksandliars.com/blue-texan/paul-krugman-demolishes-couple-pro-aust


Reacting to your notify e-mail: You have a quncie tree? That's marvelous! When I was young we had a neighbor who had a quncie tree and they would give my mother the fruit (in exchange for jelly) and she would make homemade quncie jelly. (And we would pour freshly made quncie jelly still liquid and warm on to pancakes.) It is fairly difficult to find quncie jelly on the shelves in ordinary supermarkets these days.

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