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  • $10 Trillion and Counting

    Frontline is beginning to air their spring lineup, starting with '$10 Trillion and Counting," which aired this week.

    I have two simultaneous observations/reactions:

    1) I love Frontline documentaries

    2) We are all f__ked.

    And George W. Bush was a horrible, horrible president in so many disasterous ways. This is only one of them (the surplus he had, the tax cuts he gave and did not rescind in the face of two $50 billion wars, and Medicare Part D legislation). Is Obama doing much better? Only time will tell. I (and everyone else) should be hoping so, because that's about all we have left.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tentrillion/

    I also have a question - what the hell is John Bohner talking about? In part four (if you're watching on line) you see a clip of him saying that the government cannot solve this problem, that the American people have to solve this problem. How exactly are the American people supposed to solve this problem? By turning back to subsistence agriculture? Maybe by saving more money - he goes on to say that republicans have ideas to 'lower tax rates' and "allow people to spend that money, invest that money, or save it - all of which are good for the economy." Doesn't 60% of the stimulus bill grant (albeit temporary) tax breaks to 95% of the population? Weren't those breaks (such as the rolling payroll tax reduction) specifically designed not to get people to save the money, which is precisely what is bad for the economy right now? What is this guy smoking?

    Politics in this country are like a bizarro-world cartoon.

    So what say you - agree with Newt or not? Do we all need to focus on health care? A '21st Century personalized intelligent health care system?' Or is that going to get crushed under our foolish political ideals, all the while the emergining (or emerged, and rapidly growing) economies of India and China take over?
    Last edited by Mosely; 03-26-2009, 03:39 PM.

  • #2
    Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

    Yes. Watched again last night.

    Why didn't Bush raise taxes to at least cover the cost of HIS war? Why didn't the republicans cut government spending? Why didn't Bush put pressure on them to cut government spending? Why did he encourage them to increase government spending without paying for it (prescription drugs)?

    Thank goodness he didn't get his Social Security stuff through.

    At least with the democrats they will raise taxes to try and cover their spending sprees.
    Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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    • #3
      Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

      3) $10T = 10 Million Million dollars is a big twinkie.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

        In Washington, also known as "bizarro world", cutting spending doesn't actually mean reducing it. It just means raising it by less than someone else wanted to raise it. So Republicans get to claim they "cut" spending by only raising the Budget to $400 Billion more than revenues. What is that less than? Its less than the $1 Trillion more than Revenues that Obama has promised us for the next 8 years.

        Yes, I am inclined to agree with Mosely here. We are all f__ked.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

          Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
          In Washington, also known as "bizarro world", cutting spending doesn't actually mean reducing it. It just means raising it by less than someone else wanted to raise it. So Republicans get to claim they "cut" spending by only raising the Budget to $400 Billion more than revenues. What is that less than? Its less than the $1 Trillion more than Revenues that Obama has promised us for the next 8 years.

          Yes, I am inclined to agree with Mosely here. We are all f__ked.
          We are unless we, in the most unilateral way:

          - Get out of this recession, doing whatever (yes, spending) needs to be done to reverse it as soon as possible
          - Raise taxes on pretty much everyone (myself included. this is where we start making sacrifices)
          - Solve the healthcare (medicaid and medicare) problem with regard to spending and also coverage
          - End the wars as soon as possible - terrorism is never going away, there is no victory, only justice

          In that order. Democrats need to be more honest about this agenda (because at least Obama's administration seems to get it, but is playing political footsie with it, at least a little) and make a pledge to the public to be more fiscally responsible than they'd ever dreamed. Republicans need to shut up about tax cuts, because that is simply not going to happen in the near future. Tax cuts are not only fiscally irresponsible, they are are priviledge we all gave up when we went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan and let Wall Street go nuts with bad debts. Lost it. Gone. Won't get it back anytime soon. Let it go already.

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          • #6
            Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

            They could all give us a $million each - hardly a dent in that figure...
            Jex.

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            • #7
              Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

              $1 Million x 300 Million population of the US = $300 Trillion. So that would be a rather large dent actually, but nice try...

              (edit -- unless your thinking of it in UK numbers, dont they have a different system of counting really large numbers over there? Just remember this is an American English Trillion.)

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              • #8
                Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

                Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                $1 Million x 300 Million population of the US = $300 Trillion. So that would be a rather large dent actually, but nice try...

                (edit -- unless your thinking of it in UK numbers, dont they have a different system of counting really large numbers over there? Just remember this is an American English Trillion.)
                I think he meant every body in TG.
                Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

                  You know what $10T will buy?

                  It will pay off almost 90-95% of all mortgages in the US! Now that is the stimulus I can believe in. Now that is a 'shot in the arm' or a 'jolt' this economy needs. We'd probably even come out cheaper in the long run doing this. Remember politicians ALWAYS spend more than their 'budget', *cough* BOSTON'S BIG DIG *cough*

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                  • #10
                    Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

                    Originally posted by gringo
                    I think he meant every body in TG.
                    Now there's an idea!!
                    Dizlor


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                    • #11
                      Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

                      Come on, ten trillion? Let's see how big of a hole we can get in! (/sarcasm)




                      "Certainly, being bombarded with 105 millimeter shells is bad. But the knowledge that you've armed your enemy thus, with your sloth and your ineptitude, unfolds in the heart like a poison." Tycho from Penny Arcade in reference to the nuke in MW2

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                      • #12
                        Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

                        Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                        I think he meant every body in TG.
                        LOL I was just making a point that $million is nothing compared to that figure and yet is a massive amount of cash to you and me.

                        10 trillion is a ridiculous amount - 50 years ago I wonder if the worlds economies could get even close to that?
                        Jex.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

                          Originally posted by AMosely View Post
                          Doesn't 60% of the stimulus bill grant (albeit temporary) tax breaks to 95% of the population? Weren't those breaks (such as the rolling payroll tax reduction) specifically designed not to get people to save the money, which is precisely what is bad for the economy right now? What is this guy smoking?
                          Check out Milton Friedman's Permanent Income Hypothesis.

                          A temporary tax break isn't going to do anything, because people know it will be taken away next year, and spending is based on future income, not a short-term burst of money like what the stimulus package gives them.

                          My stimulus check (if I get one) will go to pay for next year's guaranteed-higher tax bill.
                          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                          • #14
                            Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

                            I am not a avid reader of Entertainment Weekly, for a number of reasons, and I only find myself peering through it when I am at the doctors office, but I found this article quite interesting and found myself youtubing Gordon Gekko's "Greed is Good" Speech afterwards.

                            It is also quite dissapointing that only a station like PBS would create something like this, and why Fox, MSNBC, CNBC, and the like wouldn't take time out from reading the scrolling ticker to actually do something like this as well.....but then again that's why PBS separates itself from the rest

                            Here's the article:
                            http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2009...k-back-at.html

                            'Wall Street': What it still has to tell us

                            Mar 28, 2009, 02:12 PM | by Owen Gleiberman



                            It's got to be one of the dozen most famous, iconic, carved-into-Hollywood-history catch phrases the movies have ever given us, a line to quote right along with "I coulda been a contender," "You talkin' to me?" and "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!" Yet back in 1987, just after the stock market had toppled, when Gordon Gekko announced to the world that "Greed…is good," it had the super-intense, camera-flash zing of topicality: a cheerleader mantra for a go-go decade that would also serve as its epitaph. So when I went back, recently, to watch Oliver Stone's Wall Street again, wondering if the movie, with its addictive celebration of money fever built right into its hurtling information-age rhythms, would have anything to say to us as we try to recover from our own age of go-go delusion, I was curious as to whether Gekko's mythic words would now sound trapped in the bubblewrap of time.

                            Actually, his words are still timely as hell -- though not in the way you expect. Standing before the shareholders of the Teldar paper corporation, trying to explain why he'd be the perfect guy to take over their company, Gekko, played by Michael Douglas as the world's most handsome, gleamy-skinned cobra, makes a speech sensible enough to sound like it was written by Barack Obama, with an assist from Donald Trump in his tough-love Apprentice mode. Gekko starts off with a stern warning about the growing national debt, and then -- wait for it -- he excoriates the Teldar vice presidents who are seated behind him for taking so much wasteful executive pay. (He gives them the kind of face-to-face slapping down that the A.I.G. bonus crew haven't yet had to endure.) By the time he gets to "Greed is good," it's offered not merely as the self-justification of a reptile in suspenders but as badly needed medicine -- the hunger for revenue, for profit-as-lifeblood, that will get the company surging again. You almost wish he could make the speech on Wall Street today. Except for one thing: The speech is a big, fat lie.

                            The moment when Gekko finally tells the truth comes later in the movie -- and it's this speech, delivered to Charlie Sheen's Bud Fox as the two stand in Gekko's high-ceilinged, black-tower office lair, that now seems to reach across the decades to diagnose, with visionary flair, the poison that infected America: not just greed, but the toxic greed of wanting money so much that we could start to see it piling up even when it wasn't there.

                            Bud, who has begun to glimpse the rot inside the devil he made a deal with, wonders, "So where does it all end, Gordon?" And then he asks: "How much is enough?"

                            "It's not a question of enough, pal," replies Gekko. And then he lets the kid in on his real philosophy, the metaphysics of liquidity that his empire is built on: "Money itself isn't lost or made, it's simply…uh, transferred, from one perception to another. Like magic." With a glass of Scotch in hand, Gekko gestures toward the looming green-and-black abstract monstrosity on his wall. "This painting here," he says, "I bought it 10 years ago for sixty thousand dollars. I could sell it today for six hundred. The illusion has become real. And the more real it becomes, the more desperate they want it." Then, with a rare confessional twinkle, he says: "What I do, stocks and real estate speculation" -- he smiles slightly and offers a disbelieving shake of the head -- "It's bull---!” Then he hits us with the dirty secret, the real Greed Is Good: "I create nothing!"

                            And there you have it, 22 years ago, from the cinematic hand of Oliver Stone -- a prophecy for our era, when leverage would be stretched to insane degrees because perception became reality, and such pesky inconveniences as debt and loss were transferred from one perception to another, all within the flow of creating nothing. As a movie, Wall Street still gives off an electrifying hum, even when it's dated (the primitive glowing-green computer screens, the hideous sponge-painting-by-Salvador Dali decor that Daryl Hannah's vamp designer inflicts on Bud's new apartment). But it also reveals something now which it couldn't back then: that the Gordon Gekkos of the world weren't just getting rich -- they were creating an alternate reality that was going to crash down on all of us.
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                            • #15
                              Re: $10 Trillion and Counting

                              Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                              Check out Milton Friedman's Permanent Income Hypothesis.

                              A temporary tax break isn't going to do anything
                              And to the contrary you have the Keynesian consumption function, with regard to induced consumption. This is what the temporary tax break is based on.

                              One can never say which is 'right' for a downed economy. Just as you can claim that a temporary tax break isn't going to do anything, one can make the reverse claim (that it will increase consumptive spending) with equal confidence.

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