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Monday, August 13, 2012



"Our economic growth is anemic. Labor force participation is at historic lows. Our yearly deficits have been running, for the last four years, at an average of 9% of the GDP, four times the historical average since WWII. Our major entitlement programs, Social Security and especially Medicare, are growing at a pace that is clearly unsustainable." President Obama said "we tried our plan and it worked". So if the previous quote is the result of Obama's plan, what does that say about his goals?

larry kurtz

South Dakota is a failed state yet Ken still chooses to believe that DC will save the chemical toilet from itself: priceless.

Federalize South Dakota.

Donald Pay

Huh? Ryan has never shown any responsibility in his public life. To carry on the story KB is trying to weave, Ryan is a greasy elixir salesman who calls himself "Doc." He's very good at lecturing and hectoring, and fooling some of the people, some of the time. He's got KB fooled because he says a few words KB wants to hear. He's never done squat, though, to solve any of these fiscal problems, and he's done a lot to explode the deficit.

Ryan has been very good at selling himself to the big rollers on Wall Street and the corporate world, providing them with tax loopholes and tax cuts which have exploded the deficit. As a result of this and insider trading, Ryan has enriched himself. The mansion he lives in in Janesville is not something he could afford on a Congressman's salary.

Meanwhile he's been pushing fiscal, tax, and trade policies that have his Congressional district in the biggest downturn in Wisconsin. So, his elixir has been very bad for his district, but he lives in a mansion, paid for by your tax dollars and the money he skims from being an insider. This is exactly the formula you would expect from an Ayn Rand acolyte. It's a formula that has put the middle class on the road to destruction.

For those of you who care about facts, just consider his performance during the Bush Administration, where he exhibited complete irresponsibility and gave us the resulting Great Recession. "Doc" Ryan won't solve any fiscal problem. He'll only make it worse.


Sorry. Disagree. By choosing Ryan, Romney hopes to draw the tea party back. The decision also pulls back any fence sitters who may have been content with Romney's defeat-ability, increasing the vote count on both sides.

"The biggest task for the Romney campaign is to avoid being bogged down in details and keep the focus on the big questions"

Yes... Keep the citizens confused with random, vague and fanciful dream explanations...

"They must keep insisting that the things that worry most Americans right now-anemic economic growth and no jobs-are connected to the deficits and fiscal insolvency"

Because the more often you repeat the lie... Even though the truth behind the lie can be laid at the feet of the GOPers and Ryan himself...

Donald Pay

I agree, Dave. The "big questions" are really b.s. Everyone pretty much agrees what the big questions are, but a large majority of the public doesn't support the details Ryan has fleshed out. They are more in line with the Democratic approach, which is more in line with nearly all economists advising each party. Even Romney has admitted this in one of his unscripted moments. Thus, KB doesn't want to address details, because doing so gets too close to addressing real problems in an effective way, rather than continuing with the failed through money at the rich economic fantasies of the right.


Dave, it seems to me we have a choice in this election. Romney had doubled down on conservative principles with the selection of Ryan. We have a choice between one person who wants to spend into eternity and another who wants to cut the spending to a more reasonable rate. We have one person who wants to give money to companies in industries that will still fail and one who wants industries to compete on their own merit. We have one person who had actually cut Medicare and another who wants to save it. BTW, Medicare is going to change drastically. One is taking money from Medicare to pay for his monstrosity of a health program and the other wants to put more money into Medicare. We have one person who wants to increase taxes on a select few not because it will solve the deficit problem and another who wants to cut everybody's taxes. We have one person who believes in government control of industry and wants to nationalize all industries and another who wants to encourage businesses to grow. We have one person who wants an equality of outcome and another who wants an equality of opportunity. We have one who believes we raise all people by stealing money from one group and giving it to another and another person who believes everybody can benefit from a good economy. In fact that good economy will get rid of the need for unemployment insurance, while the guy in the White House wants to keep as many people on unemployment insurance as possible, hoping to get a few more votes. If you are a person who has no problem being generous with other peoples' money, vote for Obama. If you are a person who has no problem being generous with your own money, vote for Romney. At least we have a choice. One believes in government control and the other believes in the people being in control. The choice is not hard to make.

Donald Pay

duggersd, You are not being honest, because your side, in KB's words, wants to restrict the debate to "the big questions" and forget about the details. But the details matter. If you knew anything about the details, rather than the lies you get from the echo-chamber

(1) Obama put out a plan that would have drastically cut the deficit, but Republicans refused the deal.

(2) Medicare can't be saved by Ryan's plan to privatize it. IHe wants to take money out of Medicare and put it in the health insurance industry. It becomes a far different program. It's not Medicare.

(3) The money Obama "took" from Medicare was actually put back into closing the donut hole, and make other efficiencies in the program.

(4) The deficit can is addressed by ending the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy. If fiscal issues matter, this is the best way to do it in the economy that Republicans have left us. Ending Bush's wars would also help. Ending all tax loopholes to corporations would also help.

(5) Romney's tax returns prove he could care less about equal opportunity. He takes full advantage of the government's coddling of the wealthy.

(6) Romney can't relate to people who don't have tax sheltered money in foreign countries. The only "group" that exists for him are the corporate and financial elite.

(7) Now you want to get rid of unemployment insurance? You are crazy, but keep talking because I want you to fully flesh this out, so the voters can understand what sort of Dickensian world you Republicans want to create.

When I was on the school board in Rapid City the biggest waste of money came from Republican programs like putting computers in kindergarten classrooms. What a waste of money. It was a big payoff to some crony capitalist supporters of Republicans in the tech industry. Both parties are guilty as hell of this sort of bullshit, duggersd. Generally, Republicans are more guilty because they are a much easier touch for crony capitalists, because they get far more money from the corporate elite than Democrats.


Long-time reader. I don't always post when I want to. Today I shall. I apologize for making more than one argument at a time.

We don't have a doctor versus a pastry chef. We have more like an ice cream maker versus a cake maker. Both Ryan and Romney have budget fat they refuse to cut. Obama has high calorie junk. Ryan has his tax cuts for the wealthy and military spending. Obama has entitlements he wants to increase. Pick your poison. Neither is healthy.

Ryan's high fat budget is arguably worse. Consider the military spending. It doesn't seem sustainable to me to continue to spend nearly 800 billion in defense on programs like the F35 when our enemies are non-state terrorists with no air force. Intelligence and resolving the Palestinian issue would make us more safe. F35s look amazing but are nothing more than really fantastic toys to stroke our egos. The Pentagon are the welfare queens. The wasteful spending is out of control. Ryan would reverse Obama's plan to reign in military spending. Currently, military spending is roughly 4.7% of GDP for the military. Our NATO allies and other close allies are in essence piggy backing off of our military spending. Canada, with whom we're obligated by treaty to defend pay only 1.4% of GDP. Our friends in Germany, whom we are also obligated by treaty to defend, pay even less. Our non-NATO friends in Japan pay 1.0% of their budget for defense. They can afford to do this because we represent their interests. Actually, it's worse. They can claim the pacifist high ground while we keep them safe and keep global conditions safe enough for them to churn out the Audis and Toyotas. This puts are allies in positions I find enviable. The Canadians, if you've noticed, have a far healthier budget. The Germans have the autobahn and nearly tuition free universities. This can't be sustained. We should be asking our allies to contribute more so that we can cut our military spending in half. We can meet our NATO allies in the middle at 2.0% GDP per country. The over 400 billion saved can go to deficit reduction.

Not only would Ryan undue Obama's plans to cut military spending, but Romney would outsource US defense policy to Israel. His words to Israel sounded very much like permission to drag the US into war against Iran. Israel is obviously our ally and their security and right to exist are paramount, but we cannot afford to let ourselves get involved in a preemptive war with a country the size of Iran, especially considering all it would do is guarantee Iran goes down the path of weaponizing their nuclear program, drive them even further underground, and give their mullahs even more propaganda to decry America is the Great Satan bent on their destruction. The answer is to remain calm, not bomb them, and wait out the demographics already at play. Iran is old but her people are very young. They want change and they'll eventually revive their Green Revolution, so long as we don't make their mullahs more popular by bombing their streets. Oh yeah, another preemptive war would be illegal under international law, upsetting our friends and enemies alike and giving our true enemies like Al-Qaida the greatest recruitment tool imaginable.

One could make a similar case for keeping the Bush tax cuts. It'd be great, but it's not responsible given the deficit we're facing. The Laffer curve has truth to it, but it depends on where you start on the curve and where you are moving to. Further, tax rates effect the productivity of the middle classes and very wealth differently. Same thing is at play on the margins. A 10% tax increase on those earning more than $2 million isn't going to have the same effect as a 10% increase on income over $250,000. A 10% tax increase on a small business man affects his productivity differently than a 10% tax increase on Will Smith. The businessman, under higher taxes, might very well conclude spending more time with his family and working less is the better choice given that he'll reap less reward for his work. Will Smith is likely to make the exact same films regardless of what happens regarding his taxable income above 2 million dollars. (Related problem: current corporate rates discourage him from incorporating and allowing us to more clearly distinguish between his business productivity, which we'd all love to encourage, and his personal wealth.)

A budget doctor would say: raise taxes on all to broaden the tax base, but also increase on those with the means to pay. Close loopholes and chase down off-shore tax shelters. Tax relief can come for all when the budget is back in shape. Cut military spending. Reform pensions. When the budget is back in shape, we can discuss where our money should be going. I'll vote for government spending on things I feel the markets won't provide: infrastructure, education, research and development, and other necessities that require long-term investment, high capital costs, and are unlikely to lead to short-term profits.

Jon S.


"Obama put out a plan that would have drastically cut the deficit, but Republicans refused the deal." Can you link to this plan? As I understand it, all of Obama's budget's have essentially had at least $900 billion per year deficits for the next decade. If Obama's plans are so awesome, why hasn't he gotten a single vote in Congress for his bugets over the last two years?

"Medicare can't be saved by Ryan's plan to privatize it." Ryan's plan says that if you want to stay in traditional Medicare, you can. How is that privitization? Why is progresive Ron Wyden a co-author? Why is Alice Rivlin a supporter? What do you know that they don't?

"The deficit can is addressed by ending the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy." As the Wall Street Journal reported a couple years ago, you would have to confiscate the annual income of everyone making over $75,000 to pay for Obama's spending. Do you call those making over $75,000 "rich"? Do you think the government should confiscate their wealth? You can't even get near to balancing the budget by eliminating the Bush tax cuts on the rich. By the way, are you in favor of getting rid of the Bush taxes for everyone else?

Donald Pay


Why no vote? Republicans wanted to protect the tax cuts to the wealthy elite.

What the Wall Street Journal editorial board says and reality are too completely different things.


So, let me get this straight. The 150th ranked conservative in the House is a "right wing extremist" and proposing to balance the federal budget in 40 years is "Randian".

Oh, and the federal government spending $11 trillion dollars more than it takes in over the the next 12 years instead of $15 trillion is awesome!

Yeah, OK.


Donald, the only thing President Obama has proposed is a tax INCREASE on people making over $250k. The Republicans are not voting to protect a tax cut, they are voting to prevent a tax increase. President Obama has done nothing more than increase spending at historic levels. Here is an example of Ryan actually using real numbers to dismantle Obamacare http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPxMZ1WdINs.
Regardless of who wins the White House and regardless of whether anything is done about Medicare, Medicare is not going to be as we know it. It will either disappear due to bankruptcy or it will evolve into something more likely to survive, which could be rationing or a voucher system. Whether there are vouchers or an independent payment advisory board, Medicare is not going to be as we know it. That IPAD will eventually be rationing health care, and from what I understand, anything that is squeezed from Medicare goes to pay for Obamacare. So who is trying to throw granny over the cliff?

Donald Pay

Ryan-Bush not exploded the deficit with unwise tax cuts and two wars and created an unpaid for pay-off to the drug industry. Ryan went along with the Republican's ending pay as you go. As a result the budget surplus Clinton left Bush was made into a gaping deficit by the Republicans. Then dumb policies pushed by the financial elite with support from both parties led to the Bush Great Recession, which caused both Bush and the Republicans and Obama to have to spend to turn the economy around.

Duggersd, stop lying. I've provided the link above to Obama's plan, which included much more than a tax increase on the wealthy.

Cliff Hadley

The Romney-Ryan message is the heart of clarity: We as a nation for too long have ignored the numbers. But the numbers won't ignore us. Our financial day of reckoning is upon us, and we must change or face ruin.

The Obama administration's biggest failure is that it treats the numbers -- dollars, budgets -- as distractions to be finagled, rather than clear-eyed assessments of priorities and reality. So in the Dems' fantasy happy-land, where unicorn poop powers every Chevy Volt, there's no need for stinkin' budgets, and none are passed.


Donald, I was only responding to this quote: "Why no vote? Republicans wanted to protect the tax cuts to the wealthy elite." I am only stating Republicans want to keep tax rates where they are, President Obama wants to raise them. I don't have to lie.

Donald Pay

Clarity? Funny. You guys have no idea about your VP candidate. Ryan has admitted he never ran the numbers on his "budget." It was a political document, not a real attempt at budgeting.

During the Bush years Ryan voted for everyone of the budget busting ideas that came along. Ryan's policies gave us trillions in deficits and debt. He mortgaged our future to China so his Wall Street buddies and his own family could profit. It's important that real fiscal conservatives take a good look at his record, rather than swallow the spin you are getting from the Wall Street controlled media outlets and Fox News.

Ryan is a fake fiscal conservative, just like the astroturf Tea Party outfits. Ryan has no problem taxing and taking from the middle class to give more and more of our money to the wealthy. In fact, that's in Ryan's budget, which includes tax increases for the middle class. When are real conservatives going to stop being controlled by the astroturf Wall Street-controlledTea Party outfits?

Donald Pay

I meant to say they haven't run the numbers on Romney's budget. They have run the numbers on Ryan's budget and his budget has deficits continuing for a decade.

Jon S.


Glad to see you are commenting. I guess you got your memo from the DNC and now you know what to think.

It is difficult to find a non-partisan analysis of taxes under Ryan's plan, but this one looks close:

This article is quite critical of the Ryan budget, but does say that even for middle class folks, there are tax CUTS involved, not increases. As I understand it, both Ryan and Romney favor simplifiying the tax code into fewer rates, and make up for the lower rate on the wealthy by reducing deductions for them. It is not as though this is fantasy. This is exactly what happened in the famous 1986 tax reform, which was supported by many Democrats.

Yes, Ryan's budget continues deficits. But those deficits are smaller than Obama's by a long shot.

As far as budget's as "political documents" remember last year when Obama proposed a budget and then everyone laughed at it as unserious? But then he pulled that back and gave a speech laying out new buget priorities. The the head of the CBO said that couldn't score that because "we don't score speeches." That's a budget that is a political document from someone who is actually legally required to submit a budget. By the way, Donald, tell me what you think of the last three budgets passed by the Democrats in the United States Senate?

Ken Blanchard

To all: whatever you may think of previous administrations, Barack Obama has been President for four years. During that time we have seem the federal deficits balloon to unprecedented levels and we have seen the weakest economic recovery since WWII. Whoever is President next year won't be able to blame Bush or any Republican; he will have to blame Barack Obama.

President Obama has introduced budgets, none of which address the long term fiscal problems. They show, by CBO numbers, deficits rising precipitously. He has acknowledged the need for, but not provided or even identified, any reforms of our insolvent entitlement programs. The Democratic Senate has stopped producing budgets at all. This is the party of no ideas.

larry kurtz

I think President Obama should have let the earth collapse under the W rubric rather than spend money to mend it, boys: nothing like a steady diet of jim crow to build civilization anew, innit?

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