Tag Archives: National Deficit

A BIG Lie found floating around the internet – National Debt from George Washington to Barack Obama

Disclaimer: Was not an Obama voter in 2008 and don’t expect to be an Obama voter in 2012. Stretching the truth is occasionally OK but I strongly dislike BIG lies. I’m on the side of the red, white and blue. BIG LIES only destroy us all as Americans.

The following graphic was busy floating around the internet during late December 2011.

National Debt over time from George Washington to President Obama

Alleged National Debt from George Washington to Barack Obama

I hate to be Mr. Grinch Fact Checker but this chart is VERY wrong.

This chart is not even close to being just misleading. This chart is so wrong that it wins my award of The BIG Lie.

The actual national debt in January 2009 when President Obama took office was $11,909,829,003,511.75 (Jan 30, 2009) per the U.S. Treasury.

This chart is also wrong on several other levels.

For this chart to be accurate, actual national debt over time should be expressed as a cumulative. These numbers do not even begin to show total cumulative national debt.

For example, the total cumulative national debt racked up just under President George W. Bush (Jan 2001-Jan 2009) was $6.1 trillion dollars. Keeping that number in mind, according to this chart all presidents before George W. Bush created a total national debt of just $200 billion. This chart is obviously nowhere near reality.

Note: For comparison, after eight years of President Clinton debt increased $1.5 trillion vs $6.1 trillion under eight years of President Bush.

What this chart really portrays is that reality doesn’t matter … and as for fact checking: that’s for losers. It is all about winning. Politics is a contact sport don’t you know?!

Source for all numbers: U.S. Treasury http://tinyurl.com/3xjc7y — the Treasury provides a history of all national debt numbers so don’t trust me – go do a fact check yourself.


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Ronald Reagan and dodgy quotes

Each day a variety of Quotes of the Day arrive in my emailbox.

Am not so sure that much thought is given to some of these quotes. Or perhaps what seemed like a great quote once upon a time has now become tarnished with written history.

Today’s Quote of the Day:

To those who say we can’t cut spending, lower taxes and, yes, rebuild the defenses we need in this dangerous world, I have a six-word answer: “Yes we can, and yes we must.”

— Ronald Reagan, June 25th, 1981

No, no he didn’t and no we didn’t.

Yes, we did rebuild our defenses. Yes, ‘lower taxes’ happened. However it is most unfortunate that the ‘cut spending’  part never came about.

Yes, we cut social spending. And it was the Reagan Administration that proposed declaring ketchup a vegetable in school lunches long before the Obama Administration tried to declare pizza a vegetable — personally I think pizza as a vegetable is my kind of vegetable.

Defense spending of the 1980s knew no limits. And we did nothing to pay for it. By 1984 and early 1985 so many Republicans were alarmed that they tried to box Reagan in on the 1985 and 1986 budgets. Instead they bought the promise of trust me, it will all work out. (Reagan later said that he regretted all the red ink in his authorized biography by Lou Cannon).

The theory was that if we cut taxes and the economy grew then magic would happen: so much money would come in via taxes on the new economic growth that balance would be achieved. George H. Bush called this voodoo economics back in 1980 when campaigning against Reagan.  Yet, Bush, when faced with his own balancing act, chose to raise taxes — and paid for it because in a moment of insanity had declared ‘Read my lips: no new taxes’ which he was punished for.

Anway, the grand Reagan/Laffer curve didn’t work out as predicted and Reagan gave us the basis for our national debt today, leaving office with $2.7 trillion in red ink — even though he blasted Carter for leaving us barely $300 billion in debt, which Reagan claimed he will pay off completely by 1983. Oh, well.

It was not my intent to get off on a tangent about Reagan. I like Reagan. I was a 1980 Reagan campaign staffer and he will always be Saint Ronnie to me. I love the Gipper. It is just that Reagan was human and whomever is editor of these Quotes of the Day should either read them before posting or … anyway, oh, well. Whatever.

BTW – Many conservatives hate Reagan’s biography. Seems that having warts and being human is not what we want to know about Reagan. Reagan himself, and his wife Nancy Reagan, however seem to have had no problem with the biography. One of Reagan’s strengths was pragmatism and being a realist about most things.


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Gang of Six Proposal – Please read for yourself

Here are two links so that you can read the Gang of Six proposal for yourself.

They are essentially the same but the Huffington Post collection includes the charts that go with the presentation, while the National Journal version is much easier to read:

From the perspective of the Gang’s proposals making it into any form of legislation that can be voted upon by August 2nd, forget the Gang’s plan from making a near-term difference.

From the perspective of the proposal offering a framework for bipartisan cooperation then there is hope — but only if there is a short-term fix by August 2nd and some resolution voted upon that gives the Gang of Six proposal a chance to be turned into legislation.

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National Debt / Deficit Meltdown — Maybe kicking the can down the road is the better path + an idea

The smell of financial meltdown is in the air.

We stand at the threshold of maxing out our national credit card and there is absolutely no plan that has been presented to the public that seems to really make economic sense — mostly because no one wants their sacred cows touched.

>> A tax deduction for the interest on your home is not much different than helping someone that lives in subsidized housing. Welfare is welfare.

I almost agree at this point that kicking the can down the road could be a desirable outcome.

My logic is that it really is too late now for there to be any comprehensive plan. A short term bandaid plan that drops the need for decision prior to the 2012 elections only serves political purposes, it doesn’t matter what party you support.

Kicking the can down the road has the beneficial effect of guaranteeing that bad things will happen to good people. Hopefully it will sober them up enough that they will empty their heads of all the partisan crap. Then perhaps they will try to think a bit more critically about the situation and to think a bit more objectively.

Whether Left or Right, reality is that neither side is anywhere near agreement — not even among themselves — as to what should be done.

Politics are just economics draped over other issues. It is always about power.

All or nothing works no better at one end of the fringe than the other.

If we respected the average taxpayer we would ask them to choose the plan that they believe we should pursue. Let’s hold six months of public debate, critiqued by both citizens and academics, and then let’s hold a referendum.

Let’s let Americans choose by line item vote in a referendum what goes and what stays or what changes.

If we truly believe in ‘We the People’ then let’s let Americans decide their future and their fate.

What say ye?


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Taxes — The Bigger Picture

The following was provided to me by Bill Case, a fellow traveller that insists upon researching and digging deeper into the data … the rest of the story that is seldom ever discussed in the public.

Source for the info below:

If you are calling Federal Income Tax “taxes” then they only make up 27.6% of government revenue. The other 72% is already spread fairly evenly amongst everybody. As for the Federal Income Tax portion of the tax bill:

Total Tax Revenue for all levels of government in 2009: $4,353 Billion

Federal Income tax:

At or Below the Poverty Line (Individual Annual Income less than $16,000)
Number of Returns 11,592,357 10.4%
Taxable Income $37 Billion 0.7%
Tax Generated $3.6 Billion 0.34%

Middle Income (Individual Annual Income more than $16,000 but less than $200,000)
Number of Returns 92,026,036 85.2%
Taxable Income $3,555 Billion 62.9%
Tax Generated $546 Billion 50.5%

Wealthy (Individual Annual Income more than $200,000)
Number of Returns 4,359,936 4%
Taxable Income $2,061 Billion 36.5%
Tax Generated $531 Billion 49.1%

Effective Tax Rate:
Poverty Line: 10%
Middle income: 15%
Wealthy: 26%

Total Federal Income Tax Generated: $1,081 Billion (2010)

Tax Generated by Wealthiest: $531 Billion or 49.1% of Total Federal Taxes and 24% to 27% of total tax revenue.

Total Number of returns for 2010: 108 million.

$4,353 Billion Total Taxes
$1,081 Billion Federal Income Taxes

$3,272 Billion generated by Other taxes (non-Fed Income Tax)
$30,296 of non-Fed Income Tax paid per return.

Effective Taxes per return
Poverty Line: ($30,296+/-)+ 310 = $30,606
Middle income: ($30,296+/-) + 5,934 = $36,230
Wealthy: ($30,296+/-)13,000 + 12,349 = $42,645


Notes by Bill4DogCatcher:

A tax return filing is only required for those that exceed:

Self-employed, any age: $400
Children and Teens classified as a dependent: $5,700
Single, under 65: $9,350
Single, over 65: $10,750
Married, filing jointly, both spouses under 65: $18,700
Married, filing jointly, one spouse over 65: $19,850
Married, filing jointly, both spouses over 65: $20,900
Married, filing separately, any age: $3,650

The current wrapped-around-the-axle argument by both sides:

Left: The rich aren’t paying their fair share. Doesn’t exactly seem to be the case, or anywhere close to it.

Right: The few are carrying the many and all taxes are robbery of the efforts that a person puts into their work. Hardly.

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Zen – Politics 24/7 and the Debt Ceiling Debate

Back in 2006 when the last major debt ceiling vote was being held:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure” … “Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. . . . Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.”
Sen. Barrack Obama, March 16, 2006

Almost every Democrat voted AGAINST raising the debt ceiling in 2006.

Almost every Republican voted FOR raising the debt ceiling in 2006.

Almost every Republican AGAINST raising the debt ceiling now voted FOR raising it when a Republican was in the White House in 2006.

With a Democrat in the White House guess who is FOR and who is AGAINST raising the debt ceiling in 2011?

Same story, and mostly the same faces. Musical chairs 24/7. Some sit in red chairs. Some sit in blue chairs. All the chairs are probably made in China.

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Reaching national default – the bankrupting of America

Default is default. Debt is debt.

No, President Obama doesn’t have a plan. Not a real one.

While the Republicans do have a plan, their plan effectively pushes the U.S. into financial default while claiming that it does the exact opposite. The claim is that $300B will flow into the government via taxes so therefore it has money. It just needs to prioritize.


It is fail because once you fund defense, security and other favorite sacred cows then there is little left to run the country on.

Without some better projected outcome than that the U.S. must immediately curtail approximately 44% of spending just in August.

We should cut. We should adjust. We should do many things — would be glad to give you my list.

Do we need major cuts and spending realignments? Yes!

Yet, cuts must be accompanied by some tax increases for it all to balance. We need to eliminate loopholes. We need to say that deductions on your tax computation still means that you will pay a minimal amount — no matter how many deductions you have. (You can carry unused deductions forward. Use or lose.)

The president needs to stand firm on insisting on some revenue increases but he needs a real plan of his own. Show us the math. So far, President Obama and the Democrats are seriously malfeasant in being leaders.

As for the Republicans: shame, shame, shame.  Constantly wrapping yourself in the flag while pushing the U.S. into default is not a plan. Your plan to ‘starve the beast’ has now reached its zenith. You might have my support if you weren’t so busy worshiping at the alter of profit and being hard hearted about the effects and the empty promises of your policies. What are you really going to do for the average American other than empty their pockets and kill minimum wage given the chance?


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