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Tom Watson: Capps’ Budget Musings Misleading

Congresswoman continues to champion the policies that led to our fiscal mess

By Tom Watson |

Rep. Lois Capps recently penned a letter (“Rep. Lois Capps: The Complexities of the Federal Budget”) that addressed her thoughts on the complexities of the federal budget. Coincidentally, I had previously submitted an op-ed addressing President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2012 budget proposal (“Tom Watson: Obama’s Budget Proposal Profoundly Irresponsible”). Unfortunately, her words leave one with the sense that Capps is merely parroting talking points and isn’t serious about truly dealing with our acute fiscal issues.

I was heartened to read that she at least acknowledges that our federal budget deficit is a big problem. Indeed it is. This begs the question, though: Where was she during the past several years when she dutifully voted for every major spending blowout pushed forward by her party that have given us these massive deficits? 

The Past

When the Democrats took control of Congress in January 2007, they immediately began working to spend more money. President George W. Bush and the Republicans certainly had their spending challenges, and the budget deficit in fiscal year 2007, which was produced by a GOP House and Senate, was about $160 billion. The first budget put together by the Democrat-controlled House and Senate for fiscal year 2008 had a deficit of about $460 billion, and it has been off to the spending races with staggering deficits ever since.

To reiterate our situation: In fiscal year 2009 through 2011, our country will amass new debt of about $4.5 trillion. This year will be the third year in a row with deficits exceeding $1 trillion. This amounts to about $15,000 per person of deficit spending during the past three years. Fiscal year 2011 alone will have a deficit of more than $1.5 trillion. Rep. Capps supported all of it.


But why dwell on the past when there is so much in the present and future to deal with? She claims that one-third of the current deficit is because of the recession. For the sake of argument, let’s accept that at face value. That still means we have more than a $1 trillion structural deficit this year. That is unacceptable by any measure. Her assertion that the deficit “isn’t just a spending problem” holds little water.

The problem is clearly spending. President Barack Obama and the previous Democrat Congress have driven our federal government spending to a level of 25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Since 1949, our historical overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP averages about 19 percent. The following chart shows something known as Hauser’s Law, which shows federal tax revenues as a percent of GDP and top marginal tax rates. It is remarkably constant and insensitive to tax rates.

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So, given that about 19 percent of GDP has proven to be the tax revenue that can be counted on, voting for budgets, as Capps has, with 25 percent of GDP for spending is guaranteed to run a massive deficit — recession or not. Revenues are indeed down during the recession, but that is no excuse for structural deficit spending at the level we have now.

For the remainder of fiscal year 2011, the Republicans want to cut $100 billion from spending; the Democrats, including Capps and President Obama, don’t. This “cut” represents a whopping 2 percent reduction in federal spending. To listen to Capps, this 2 percent spending cut borders on the apocalyptic. If we can’t cut 2 percent from our spending, what can we cut?


Note in the chart that raising taxes on “the rich” has literally no impact on the overall percentage of tax revenue captured by the government. The total revenue percentage is essentially constant whether the top rate was 90 percent or 28 percent. Capps’ bromide that the “wealthiest among us” need to pay more taxes would not change the dynamic we face, the evidence is quite clear.

Her call is tired old class warfare with no basis in economic reality. The government could confiscate every penny the “rich” have and it wouldn’t come close to solving our fiscal problems. She states we need private-sector job creation. That’s true enough, so I’d love the congresswoman to explain to us how taking money out of the private sector by increasing taxes on “the wealthiest among us” is going to improve the economy and create private sector jobs.

How does taking money out of the private economy help that private economy grow? We can all look forward to her illuminating thoughts on that subject.

Capps’ highly misleading assertion that extending the Bush tax rates to the wealthy would “cost” $1 trillion is so typical of creatures of government like she has become. That comment implies that it’s the government’s money in the first place. It’s not. Secondly, the extension was for two years only, and it won’t total anywhere near $1 trillion.

Growth, Economy and Jobs

Capps also seems to believe that government spending creates jobs, as she intimates that GOP proposed spending cuts are bad for California jobs and suggests that the GOP budget cuts would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. Nonsense. Unless, of course, you think a government job funded with borrowed money is equivalent to a self-sustaining private-sector job. 

Question: Why hasn’t all this government spending created all the promised jobs? Answer: There isn’t a giant pool of money the government has in a secret vault to draw upon to spend to “create jobs.” Every dollar the government puts into the economy as stimulus or other spending has to come from somewhere. It is either taxed or borrowed from the private economy. That is money that is no longer in the private economy creating economic activity.

No new wealth or spending power is generated; the money is merely transferred from one pocket to another — from the private sector to the government, where it is typically directed to politically favored activities such as “green energy” or “shovel-ready” jobs or the like, which generally have little long-term wealth-creating prospects.

We can’t create buying power by simply transferring money around. If it were only that easy. Even if the money is borrowed from overseas investors or governments, it merely adjusts the balance of payments, and that will cause net imports to increase. No matter where the government borrows or spends the money, it has no impact on overall demand or economic output. Printing more money and spending it just devalues the currency and creates inflationary pressures.

If deficit-driven stimulus spending worked, the Great Depression wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did, the Japanese wouldn’t continue to suffer stagnation despite running up massive debt on “stimulus” and “infrastructure” spending over more than a decade, and President Obama’s stimulus would have worked.

In each case these expensive programs didn’t achieve their stated goals and just created a lot of debt. If the government could just spend borrowed money and create growth and jobs, we would never have recessions. Clearly this isn’t so.

The Obama “stimulus” that Capps voted for mainly propped up state and local governments for a year or so and merely delayed the day of reckoning as we are seeing here in California. The Congressional Budget Office recently produced a report noting that the jobs “saved” or “created” by stimulus spending cost at least $228,000 each. Some were even much higher. Quite the bargain!

Keep in mind these jobs were almost all government jobs paid for with borrowed money — money borrowed from our children and their children. Government jobs create no product, no profit and no wealth, and are not self-sustaining like a private-sector job. They are overhead — pure and simple.

No business would ever increase its overhead costs when revenues are declining, yet this is what we did with the “stimulus.” The federal government has hired about 200,000 government workers in the past couple of years while we’ve lost about 8 million private-sector jobs in this recession.

Capps also claims the recent ObamaCare bill will cut costs and reduce deficits. Demonstrably untrue. Please see my piece “Tom Watson: Obamacare and You, and the Reasons to Repeal It” for more details. She told us last summer it was a “big gamble,” and on that count she was correct.

Going Forward

We are on track to literally ruin our country financially if we don’t cut our spending significantly and get our long-term budget on sound footing — and we need to do it soon. Our debt stands at $14 trillion, and our GDP is about $15 trillion. When a country’s debt approaches its GDP, it is historically on the down slope of prosperity. Our unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs are more than $100 trillion.

Government spending has exploded during the last several years, and we can no longer continue spending money we do not have. Government spending is crowding out private investment and is impeding private-sector growth, not helping it. We need private sector, not government growth. Growing the public sector at the expense of the private sector as we have been doing the last few years is a recipe for disaster.

Capps still seems wedded to the status quo of feel-good government-driven “investments” that clearly can’t continue and are generally ineffective and inefficient in any event. She claims the budget is complex, but there is nothing complex about understanding the magnitude of our budget problems, yet she doesn’t seem to get it. Like President Obama, she is apparently not serious about putting our fiscal house in order.

The congresswoman’s musings on the budget were little more than misleading and inaccurate talking points and platitudes that are rooted in the past. The government spending party is over, and the sooner politicians of all stripes get that into their heads, the better for all of us. The time has come to revisit our relationship with the federal government and re-examine all of the programs and agencies that exist. We simply cannot afford the government we have.

Tom Watson is a Santa Barbara businessman and was the 2010 Republican nominee for the 23rd Congressional District.

comments powered by Disqus

» on 03.11.11 @ 01:47 AM

The chart is very revealing. I noticed at the onset of the Great Depression, the marginal tax rate went from 25% to 65%. We now know that it did nothing to remedy the situation and, in all probability, prolonged the Depression for many more years. Most interestingly, as you pointed out, it didn’t even increase tax revenues to pay for all the govt programs that were suppose to rejuvenate the moribund economy of those years. Lois Capps should take a history course; she might learn something. On second thought, that probably wouldn’t do anything, inasmuch as she is incapable of absorbing information that contradicts her deeply-driven ideological beliefs.

» on 03.11.11 @ 03:20 AM

Actually Lou she is just incapable…the only thing that seems to keep her alive is a four foot swath of ground that expands her district.

» on 03.11.11 @ 12:00 PM

If you want more debt, fewer jobs, higher gas prices and more imported oil, bigger public sector unions, higher taxes and a politician that just parrots Nancy Pelosi- VOTE LOIS.

If you want an accomplished businessman and realistic, honest hardworking ex- Top Gun fighter pilot, ask Tom Watson to run to replace our embarrassment of a politician, Lois Capps.

» on 03.11.11 @ 12:34 PM

Unfortunately she stepped into a job she was not qualified for, then toed the party line at every instance showing “no” independence of thought or action.

Her abilities to survive are apparently the Skinner Box rule of survival.

The Democrats are not embarrassed by either her actions or the district joke.  Yet if this was a Republican the drum beat would never stop.  Go figure

» on 03.11.11 @ 12:46 PM

Capps is very nice, not very smart, totally uninformed on legislation (witness her hiding out on Obamacare), economically ignorant, a Pelosi puppet, and a liar (she is in her, what, 7th term?, after taking and keeping money from the term limits folks and pledging to serve only 2 terms).  But the majority of those voting (not to be confused with the majority of the voters) keep electing her.  Maybe most of the above description applies to them, too.  Actually, some of this applies across CA, the only state to (re)elect a far left government last year.

» on 03.11.11 @ 05:31 PM

No, Mr. Watson,

It was George Bush and his Wall Street cronies that got us into this mess, and now Republicans are trying to pit poor people without jobs against poor (or middle class) people (like teachers) with jobs, to divert attention from the billions ripped off by the super rich (who then plead patriotism and poverty). 


» on 03.11.11 @ 05:33 PM

When Republicans complain about their children’s future being jeopardized, they mean THEIR children (at their privat schools), and certainly not the children struggling to succeed now.

» on 03.11.11 @ 06:15 PM

hmmmm.  Only one typically mindless attack from a lefty “contributor” to the comments. 

Can’t you come up with some substance?  I know you believe everything is Bush’s fault and evil and greedy businesspeople secondarily, but the author has made some pretty specific arguments.  Try a little exercise in intellectual honesty and make your own reasoned case and spare us this nonsense.

» on 03.11.11 @ 06:38 PM

Ok, just an example: “Government spending is crowding out private spending”..

This is code for “Allow us to send out investment money and technology overseas at the expense of much needed infrastructure which will return tax money to local communities”. 

At least if money is spent by government in the US on US projects, education, infrastructure, the value is returned to the American people, which in turn makes it possible to invest in small businesses and contribute within their own communities, instead of paper money and fantasy wealth that provides value only to the wealthy.

» on 03.11.11 @ 07:13 PM

“At least if money is spent by government in the US on US projects, education, infrastructure, the value is returned to the American people, which in turn makes it possible to invest in small businesses”

This is a non-sequitur. Please provide factual evidence that shows how govt. spending leads to increased investment in small businesses. I would say the exact opposite usually occurs. The govt spending requires higher taxes, which leads to less retained earnings and less capital spending.

» on 03.11.11 @ 07:23 PM


Re-read the article’s section on Growth, Economy and Jobs, it actually explains pretty well what crowding out private spending means.  At any given time there is a fixed pot of resources (money) available.  The more the government takes and spends the less is available in the private sector to save, spend and invest.  Private sector economic activity is what creates growth and creates jobs.  Both of which have been sorely lacking. 

As Tom explained, government jobs create nothing.  They can’t sustain themselves, they require people in the private sector to pay for them.  They are an expense, not an asset.  It should be obvious to even a redistributionist progressive like yourself that what we have been doing the last couple of years is not working.  We’ve racked up trillions in new debt and have nothing to show for it but high unemployment and minimal growth.  Wake up.

Your assumption is fallacious that all money will go overseas.  That is flat out unsubstantiated nonsense.  On what basis are you making that claim?  I might suggest you try broadening your economics education because it is clearly lacking.  Try Free to Choose by Milton Friedman or any book by Thomas Sowell.  We’ll look forward to a book report.

» on 03.11.11 @ 09:28 PM

“Congresswoman continues to champion the policies that led to our fiscal mess”

I wasn’t aware that Capps agreed with President Bush’s fiscal policies.

» on 03.11.11 @ 11:23 PM

She doesn’t even know what year it is. As long as she has her tag on, that says; If found please return to Pelosi, then she will never get lost.

» on 03.12.11 @ 12:05 PM


I’m guessing you meant Bush spent too much money right?  If so, then Lois supports stomping her foot on the spending accelerator because that is what she has voted to do. 

If it something different you mean please edify us.  Get specific.  Tell us where the article is off base.

» on 03.13.11 @ 03:17 PM

Strangely silent on this thread!  I would have expected the “progressives” to be in full defense and insult mode with this piece.  It is probably difficult for them to deal with the facts here so they’ll continue sticking their heads in the sand and pretending life is wonderful.

Radio check you lefties, anyone home?

» on 03.13.11 @ 07:34 PM

No one out here but the sensible right now, but be patient wireless, they’ll emerge. Besides, you and Lou did the smack down on BuleriaChk, which had most of the mamma’s boy’s running to their basement hide aways. Oh, don’t expect much reading from these intellectual narcissists. They all believe themselves way to smart for that.

As for the article the chart says it all, taxing the wealthy does NOT increase revenue to the government, but dropping that top rate does. Hmmm, ok Michael Moore you big fat idiot why is that? Oh Empty, rambler, Bloggy, Truthy, and all the rest of you lefty geniuses out there care to offer your brilliant deductions? Right, didn’t think you had it and everyone knows why, but you.

» on 03.13.11 @ 11:23 PM

Wow. It looks like Danny P. and his entourage have taken over the internet PCs at the public library, once again.

Tom Watson has a job thanks to Lois Capps. His little “company” has been writing Tom’s paychecks from earmarked government grant money for some 10 years now. He begged and lobbied Lois to get it, telling great stories about how their product would be so important. Some day. Not in our lifetimes.

There’s a whiff of hypocricy in everything he does, which explains why right-wing wankers hang-abouts love him so.

Can anybody explain why the Bush tax cuts did not save the economy?

» on 03.13.11 @ 11:48 PM

What’s interesting about the chart Watson throws up is his narrative that accompanies it. In that, he says,“Since 1949, our historical overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP averages about 19 percent.”

Actually, tax revenues were about 22% of GDP before the Bush tax cuts, and dropped to about 17% by 2005. That’s a drop of almost 25% in the net contribution from tax revenue. The effect is an immediate growth in the deficit - and it happened BEFORE the Dems won seats in 2006.

The effect of the financial collapse was to shrink growth in the GDP, which is the denominator in this ratio. Thus, tax revenue compared to GDP starts to edge up again toward 20% by 2010.

It’s similar to the way bleeding slows when you’re close to bleeding to death.

This is either an insincere effort on Watson’s part, or he is genuinely unable to interpret data. Neither case speaks well for the man.

» on 03.14.11 @ 12:07 AM

Ok. We get it. You don’t like the man or his politics. Its good to see that your political stand is not supported by the majority of Americans. I’m enjoying the systematic dismantling of numerous of your bedrock beliefs.

» on 03.14.11 @ 12:15 AM

Rambler, good try but your interpretation of the chart is faulty. Yes, tax revenues in the late 1990’s climbed to around 22% of GDP. Much of this revenue was directly attributable to the massive capital gains people were making from the boom in prices of high technology/internet stocks during that era. The Republican Congress in 1998 actually cut the capital gains tax, and revenues shortly thereafter skyrocketed. Bill Clinton actually had the good sense to go along with that legislation.

Unfortunately, in 2000, before the end of Clinton’s Presidency, the high tech bubble collapsed and Bush inherited a recession. Tax revenues plunged and Bush in 2000-2004 cut marginal rates and slashed taxes for poor and lower income taxpayers. Guess what - tax revenues increased significantly (back to 19% of GDP) and the unemployment rate fell significantly. Bush presided over a full employment and high growth economy until the credit crisis. Now we could argue over who is responsible for the credit crisis, but I will leave this for another discussion.

» on 03.14.11 @ 12:26 AM


You might want to get your facts straight before you go hurling charges.  According to Nick Welsh and the Independent, hardly a right wing rag and searching the DoD database, Watson’s company received a total of $1.6M in earmark funds from Capps over two years.  Not ten years as you suggest and $1.6M ain’t going to keep a company in business.  Secondly, these are competitively awarded contracts with multiple bidders and multiple awardees.  So what’s the problem with this again?

Why is it you libs can’t deal with content directly and always descend into personal attacks?  Resorting to personal attacks is a sure sign you’ve lost the debate.  Its also the sign of a small mind.

» on 03.14.11 @ 01:14 AM


If there is anyone that can’t read a chart it is you.  What part of “average” revenues of 19% and current spending of 25% of GDP aren’t we getting?  What part of “average” GDP revenues of 19% through good times and bad regardless of tax rates aren’t we getting here?  This isn’t that complicated to understand if you have any intellectual honesty and can read.  That was the point of the chart:  that over time we can only count on having about 19% of GDP for revenues so spending 25% of GDP is a guaranteed huge deficit.  Get it?

The blip in tax revenues over 20% was from one-time capital gains taxes due to the dot com boom in the stock market and then we had the market collapse, 9/11 and a recession right after that if you’ll recall.  If you note our tax revenues at the moment are actually about 15% of GDP due to the severity of the recession and increased government spending and its contribution to GDP.  I guess that is all Bush’s fault as well, along with the earthquake and tsunami as well. 

More government spending of borrowed money will increase GDP, as government spending is a component of GDP, but tax revenues are not keeping up because of the poor economy giving us a 15% rate currently.  If you look at the chart you will see that the percentage of tax revenue is not edging up as you assert, it is still declining.  Where is this mystical “edging up to 20% by 2010” you seem to see in the data?

That’s your best shot at the article?  Personally attacking the author and making a nonsensical and incoherent argument?  I’ve gone back and read your comments four times and they make less sense each time.

Get your facts straight before you pop off next time so you don’t make such a fool of yourself.  Speaking of not speaking well of one’s self.  Stop shooting the messenger and trying to change the subject and instead try to deal with the content directly.

» on 03.14.11 @ 01:42 AM

Cindy, I’m enjoying your posts tremendously. You can’t read, you can hardly write, and you confirm my suspicion that most tea baggers are ignorant fools.

Lou, look again, old buddy. The Bush tax cuts didn’t “bring us back up to 19%” they shrank us down to it from 22%, and it all happened between 2000 and 2005. It’s clear to see on the chart. If it was attributable to the tech bubble, there would be no 25% drop in the ratio - the GDP and the tax revenue would fall in lock step.

That’s during the period when Dick Cheney brought us all his carefully picked “data” regarding WMD in Iraq. Then, ingeniously said deficits don’t matter as we financed an unjustified war by selling Treasuries to China. Very wise.

Wireless, there’s no competitive bidding, since Watson’s company does not deliver anything. If it’s $1.6M in earmarks, it’s way more than that in government grants. They have not sold item one, I hear. Now, that $1.6 was won for Watson by Lois, and he did a sales job on her to get it.

Face it, Watson’s gig is on the drip feed and will die the death it should have died 10 years ago. His “Top Gun” stuff is ancient history, and he does not know how to read a chart or interpret data. His plan is to regurgitate Fox News talking points and Top Gun stories until the baggers carry him on their shoulders to glory.

Unfortunately, his political aspirations will go the way of his business ambitions.

» on 03.14.11 @ 03:06 AM


Once again you immediately descend into personal attacks making my point about small-minded people.  Do a little more homework and stop shooting from the hip.  The contracts in question were indeed competitively bid and awarded.  If you are such a smart guy I’m sure you Google and find the appropriation, the PE number and how the funding was distributed.  Being a liberal, you’re probably too lazy and expect someone else to do it for you so I’ll save the you effort; the appropriation was competitively bid and the award split between two companies, Teledyne and Watson’s company.  Nice try.

You really don’t know what you are talking about on a number of levels and you are making a total fool of yourself.  If you are so in the know, why don’t you educate us knuckle-dragging Neanderthals about what Watson’s company does and what their prospects are?  What is the technology, what are the applications, who are the customers?  How do you know what their sales are?  You have some inside insight into the company?  Let’s see some evidence of what you assert.  Otherwise shut up and stick to the topic.  What does any of this has to do with the content of the article?

Insulting the author doesn’t deal with the substance of what is argued.  You have yet to offer a cogent argument about anything.  What does Dick Cheney have to do with this?  You sound like Michael Moore.  Bush derangement syndrome in full regalia. 

I’ll reiterate:  you are the one who can’t read a chart, you completely misrepresented what the data clearly show and you keep trying to zero in on a one time event when it shows many decades of data.  Grow up and deal with the arguments made in the article we are supposed to be discussing.

I know it’s hard for you to be confronted with arguments that you can’t intellectually defeat.  You have yet to address the core topic of Watson’s article or refute any of his arguments.  Not a one.  Do a little homework and give us a reasoned argument.  You’re boring me.

» on 03.14.11 @ 03:12 AM

Disagree Rambler. Bush inherited a recession, and there is always a lag between the onset of a recession and a decline in tax revenues. Revenues fell from 22% of revenue (1998-2000) to 17% by 2004. The opposite is true as well. It took a few years before tax revenues started to increase again as a result of the Bush tax cuts of 2002-2004. By 2006-7, taxes were at 19-20% of GDP. Because GDP had also begun to accelerate by 2004, tax revenues increased significantly in those years. Deficits, as a consequence, dropped every year from 2004 to 2007, despite an enormous increase in govt spending. The reason why Bush won the 2004 election is because the tax cuts were successfully reviving the economy.

» on 03.14.11 @ 03:28 AM

Lou, Wireless, Cindy…what do you think? Kind of like watching a ping pong ball someone who has a lot of anger.  Nov 2 has sent a number of these poor people over the edge.

» on 03.14.11 @ 03:36 AM

One last point - yes, tax revenues declined faster than GDP after the 1990’s, but that was because the enormous capital gains people were making from tech stocks dried up completely after 2000. Trust me that wasn’t Bush’s fault.

» on 03.14.11 @ 12:28 PM

You people certainly have energy, I have to say that. You’re nearly as tireless as the monkeys at the zoo.

Wireless: look up the “PE number” for AgileRF. Look up any sales announcement that you can find. Good luck! Watson is a hangar queen looking for a new profession.

Lou: Bush inherited a recession? No, sorry, Clinton inherited a recession from Bush I; Bush II inherited a budget surplus from Clinton. The 90’s were bracketed by two disasterous presidencies, both sprung from the loins of the Bush Clan. I’m sure you can think up some convoluted re-interpretation of fact, or Fox News can supply one, but thems the facts.

(And BTW, there were no “austerity measures” enacted during the Depression.)

Capital gains tax revenues went down under Bush, though there were huge cap gains during the housing bubble? Do you recall that the cap gains tax was cut, too? Brilliant, Lou. Tell Alice I said “Hi.” You are toast.

Petry: This whole tea bagger thing started in Nov. 2008, when your ideology lost in every way possible. It’s a national reaction akin to a rash. Yes, we could have had McCain and Palin, but the American public largely gagged on that idea. The African-American man was superior to ANYTHING the GOP could find in its swollen, itchy ranks. He still is, and that just rankles the heck out of every PWT hick out there.

Hey! You and Cindy should get together with her “peeps” and trade eBay store strategies. And stop posting under your real names before you end up like Watson.

» on 03.14.11 @ 12:52 PM

That’s ok Empty. Remember your nickname is Maxine. Go toke another doobie bro. Boring circlular conversation here. Ciao.

» on 03.14.11 @ 01:05 PM

Yes, of course, Cindy.

» on 03.14.11 @ 03:38 PM


Here is your PE number, took about 15 secs to find it: PE 0603720S.  Here is the budget doc that includes a description which took another 15 seconds to find:
Project involves developing a new technology for RF filters.  Actually sounds like a significant new technology that can make very small switchable filters.  Being in wireless myself, that is a big deal. 

As I said last night, you don’t know what you are talking about.  So do us a favor and stop hurling insults and stick to the subject.  None of this has anything to do with the topic.

Please tell us, rationally and without insulting the author or anyone else, what specifically is off base with the article we are supposed to be discussing.

You keep descending into the personal attack and matters that have nothing to do with the topic or arguments made in the piece.  We are trying to have a substantive argument here and you seem incapable of it.

So genius, please explain why Lois’ support of massive deficit spending is a good thing.  Deal with the points made about why stimulus spending hasn’t created the promised jobs.  Tell us how continuing to blow money like we have over the last 3 years is good for our country. 

We look forward to your reasoned response.

» on 03.14.11 @ 05:07 PM

Wow, this is hopeless. It’s hard to have a rational discussion with a guy who makes things up. I don’t mind arguing with someone who has a different perspective, however, it isn’t productive if he just disregards or distorts historical facts to support an ideology that has been entirely discredited. Obviously, he doesn’t like our system of limited government and free markets. I can only imagine which system he would substitute for ours. Is it Venezuela or Cuba?

» on 03.14.11 @ 05:11 PM

Thanks Dan, wireless and Lou for attempting to keep on topic despite the rain of gibberish.

People we keep arguing about the effect of the problem. We even look at contributing factors to the problem. But what we don’t do is talk about the problem. Unfortunately all this does is water our partisan differences and heap plenty of fertilizer on them (rambler).

For conservatives the problem is production versus consumption. Our commitment to the idea of a free market clouds our judgment on what parts of the free market are good and which are bad. Gambling (speculation), short term profits and skimming are all bad. Enterprises built along these lines are a net consumer of wealth (banking, finance, law services, etc…) and just redistribute wealth to a few hands. Propping up such enterprises in the name of economic freedom makes us look like selfish, short sighted, greedy AH’s. It gives socialists all the fuel they need. Our economy was not built by Wall Street traders, banks, financial advisors, lawyers, traders, middlemen or speculators gentlemen, these are parasitic organizations that, like their socialist cousins need wealth generation to survive or they kill the host as they are doing now. No, our economy was built by industrialists and builders, people who create things and not people who look to attach themselves to the creators. Though I deplore efforts to penalize any profit taking, that doesn’t mean individuals can’t make moral choices about how those profits are made.

For liberals, the problem is production versus consumption. Your commitment to the failed idea of redistribution of wealth clouds your judgment on where that wealth is generated. It does not come from taxes or paychecks. The rich are not sitting on piles of cash for you to pillage. Wealth as I describe it here is not what is in your pocket or your bank account it is the value of your assets and contributions to the overall economy. If you consume more value than you produce you are a net drain and if you provide a greater value than you consume then you are a producer. Unionized workers moved themselves from the producer to the parasite class by not paying attention to the store. They bought the stupid classist lie of the left that as long as the company could afford to pay execs big salaries it could afford anything. Once the private unions bargained their way out of jobs and thus killed our wealth generation here they moved to more secure ground to feed, the government.

To dial out the partisan crap so prevalent in these discussions let’s look at two liberal/progressive wealthy guys and compare them.

First we have Michael Moore, millionaire entertainer. He made his personal wealth selling entertainment. Whether it is political or not it is of little or no added value to the economy and when you balance what Moore consumes his net worth is a net drain on the economy. He has a lot of company among fellow liberals and conservatives alike.

Contrast that with what Bill gates has done with Microsoft Corp. He built a company whose products not only enriched Bill but added a tremendous amount of wealth to our economy, way more than anyone could have imagined. Like Microsoft or not it is an expression of the good side of free market capitalism (manufacturing) and its ability to not only enrich individuals but everyone else as well.

Both of these individuals are liberal/progressives yet I admire Bill and despise Michael for their contributions. Bill is building wealth for the economy and raising all boats as a result. Michael preaches parasitism where you take from others what you have not earned yourself and he struggles mightily from the guilt of having acquired wealth at the expense of others. I will say this though, Michael for all his faults at least feels guilty, contrast that with George “the currency killer” Soros who takes delight in the devastation he causes worldwide.

We can go back to arguing the merits of different economies, we can argue at a personal level the attributes of our political ideologies, but until we start making more than we consume it won’t make a hill-o-beans difference in the end because we will be broke.

Conservatives need to start distancing themselves from the speculator/gambler class and start supporting the producer/industrialist class, while liberals need to stop harping on redistribution of wealth as though that can happen independent of wealth generation. It cannot and the proof is in the failure of EVERY socialist/communist state on the planet. Even Europe who is very keen on wealth generation and does everything possible to covet and protect that segment of its economy is going broke under the heavy weight of socialist policies. You can have all the feel good stuff you want libs, but you still have to pay for them and unless your goal is to destroy freedom in that quest, you will go broke.

Ok people, I said my stupid, boring, long winded piece again for the umpteenth time now go back to squabbling while Rome burns.

» on 03.14.11 @ 06:50 PM

AN50, To paraphrase Churchill, capitalism is the worst economic system except for all the others that have been tried.

» on 03.14.11 @ 08:05 PM

Amen Lou. The odd thing is that most progressives think socialism or publically owned economies are something new. They would be very wrong in that assumption. The oldest and most abused economies are the ones that are either owned by the public (representative government) or tyrants and monarchies.

Private ownership in a relatively free market as we know it is relatively new and uncharted (even at 200 plus years old) on the scale of a nation. It has been the most progressive form of economy to date and has done more to raise the standard of living of the poorest among us than anything else and by a huge margin. But then I am preaching to the choir. If only we could get the left to release its clenched fist and see the light.

» on 03.14.11 @ 11:46 PM

Like many of you, I struggle with trying to have rational arguments with many of the posters.  This might explain it: Noun.
“the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, esp. as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.”

Our friends on the far left have an apparent genetic inability to logically process information that conflicts with their beliefs.  That’s why they lash out personally, dissemble, change the subject and go into the intellectual fetal position and start sucking their thumbs when they can’t beat you down with insults or nonsensical arguments.

They also seem to be unable to separate the cause from the effect.  Always dealing with the symptom and never the disease.  Lois is a great example:  college is getting expensive, so the answer is to give away more money in Pell grants instead of examining why college is getting more expensive.  Hmmm, maybe all this “free” government money flowing into colleges in tuition grants has allowed them to raise their tuitions?  The data seems to indicate that, but no matter, it feels better to give away other people’s money and take credit for it. 

Too many people don’t have health insurance, so let’s make them buy it instead of working on lowering the cost so it’s more affordable.  Tax revenue is down so let’s raise taxes, instead of considering maybe we are spending too much and hurting the economy which is depressing tax revenues.  And on and on and on.  Mindless.

They seem to have an alternate reality, a happy place, where they exist in complete and utter denial of obvious evidence that indicates they are likely wrong.  But it doesn’t matter.  Because they care so much they are superior to us mere mortals who toil and exist in the real world.  Because of their self-annointed moral superiority they feel justified in attacking people personally and questioning their motives.  If we don’t think like them we must be evil, greedy, uncaring, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic or otherwise morally defective in their distorted view of the world.

We are supposed to talking about the above article but note there has not been one cogent opposition to what was written and argued.  Not one.  What is presented here pretty much devastates their whole worldview on taxing, spending and how the economy works, but they can’t offer any valid defense or deal with any of the points in a rational or substantive way.

Bottom line, they have proven, over and over on these threads that they are intellectually bankrupt.  Sad to watch.

So that’s my take on what we witness on these threads.  Make sense?

Really like to hear what all you “Progressives” think.  Not feel, but think.

» on 03.15.11 @ 01:29 AM

I think it has to do with liberals seeing themselves as victims. All their problems are caused by take your pick: racism, homophobia, gender inequality and their favorite - wealthy, bourgeois, capitalists who take delight in stepping on their necks.

Maybe it is their upbringing. I know I was raised not to make excuses and that it was up to me if I wanted to succeed in life. I was always told that life could be unfair and definitely hard, but if I gave it maximum effort I would never have any regrets. Maybe liberals only heard that everything was going to be too hard, because everyone is conspiring against you. Bill Crosby tried to convey that you are responsible for your life, and scapegoating white people for your problems would never ameliorate your situation.

It must be an awful way to live your life, constantly feeling victimized and unable to feel that you control your destiny. One other thing liberals need to know: successful people, working hard building businesses or doing whatever to acquire wealth, are not plotting or spending any time thinking of ways to suppress liberals from enjoying life. I know that may be hard for liberals to believe, but people are doing the best they can to succeed in life, not wasting any time conspiring among themselves to think of ways to hold back the masses. Keep your paranoia in check, no one hates you or wishes you any harm.

» on 03.15.11 @ 02:29 AM

Wish I knew Lou.  All I know is it is emotionally based and not fact based.  They seem to pick and chose their “facts” to fit their beliefs as Rambler amply demonstrated.

It’s interesting they call themselves “Progressives” because their behaviors and beliefs are decidedly regressive.  They want to force us to comply with their views on the environment and pretty much everything else that matters as near as I can tell.  The only thing they seem to favor “choice” on is abortion.  Everything else you have to toe their radical line and don’t dare say anything they think is politically incorrect. 

My question is when did “Progressives” stop believing in progress?  They live in the past of a clearly failed economic philosophy and they want us to surrender our economic and personal freedoms to their agenda because they think they know best.  Take your pick, health care, energy, financial matters, industrial and trade policy, favored industries, etc.  We even seem to have food police emerging. 

I just wish they would leave us the hell alone….  If you “Progressives” want to use low flush toilets, drive an electric car, use curly lightbulbs, eat tofu, have the government set your credit card terms and have the government administer your health care go ahead.  But for those of us that are still free Americans we want our freedom to opt out and take our tax money with us.

» on 03.15.11 @ 02:15 PM

Shoot guys, they aren’t all bad now. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have any fun at all. Look at the miles of invective and sarcasm we get to throw around at them, that’s got to be worth something. Anyway wireless, don’t despair, there is a new generation out there that is decidedly more rational and reasonable than these aging hippies. Just last night my son said to me, “Well pops when is all the liberal hysteria over the nuke explosions going to erupt here?” I told him soon. GeeWillie did not disappoint and was right on schedule this morning.
Michael Savage said liberalism was a mental disorder. He is right. Liberals are at best suicidal and at worst they want everyone else to die with them.

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