America: We Can’t Afford It

Call me old-fashioned, an old coot, or what have you…but in my mid-thirties, I feel like I have more in common with the thrifty realists of the Great Depression than I do with any adults around these days. Like the stalwart savers of that terrible time, I don’t think we can afford it.

By we, I mean all of us, individually and collectively. And by it, I mean everything: our annual budget deficits (400+ billion in fiscal 2009), our yawning national debt (9.4 trillion and growing), our gaping trade imbalances (700+ billion in 2007), and our massive unfunded mandates (two words: Social Insecurity).

Like millions of the sub-prime borrowers you’ve been reading about, the American government is drowning in a sea of its own devising.

On one hand, you’ve got “tax-and-spend” Democrats promising to fund every problem away. They’ve been out of power for a while now, but be forewarned: nothing makes for greater profligacy than a floundering economy in an election year.

On the other hand, you’ve got the “borrow-and-spend” Republicans. They’re worse. Spendthrift doesn’t begin to describe their behavior. In just two administrations, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, they’ve added more than six trillion dollars to our national debt. These guys think the solution to debt…is more debt.

But the worst part of all of this fiscal mismanagement is the example it sets for the American people.

If the best and brightest of us (and I use the phrase advisedly) can’t manage our collective financial affairs, how can the rest of us lumpen bourgeoisie be expected to do it individually? We are up to our eyeballs in flat screen TVs, iPods, SUVs, vacations, and five dollar half-gallons of milk.

How do we manage?

On credit, of course. Just like Uncle Sam.

Oh, it’s been a great party, hasn’t it? The good times have rolled for three straight decades now because there’s always been another chump willing to lend. Most recently, the Federal Reserve — meaning, you, the taxpayer — stepped up to bailout Wall Street. But what happens when the global lending waltz finally stops and America is left without a chair?

It’s too terrible to consider. But the recent default experiences of Russia and Argentina are instructive. The only difference is that an American default will be worse. Much worse. For everyone.

And this is what makes me say we can’t afford it. Because, well, we can’t. At least not without putting our entire future at risk.

We need to hearken back to a time when debt was a four letter word. A time when people saved their pennies, lived within their means, and steered well clear of the temptations of a consumer economy.

Yes, you’re probably saying, but won’t cutting back make things worse?

Better that it gets worse now, when we still are capable of a soft-landing, and a gradual reduction in our outsized standard of living, than when a sharp and dangerous austerity is thrust upon us.

So, right here, I’m throwing down the gauntlet.

I challenge the Federal Government to cut 10% from every budget in the next fiscal year. That’s right, every budget (including defense and Social Security – it’s called means testing), without exception.

I challenge the Federal Government to pass an amendment to the Constitution instituting pay/go laws that include an annual balanced budget.

I challenge the Federal Government to never, ever again raise our debt ceiling. What is the point of this law if you simply raise it every time we need more money?

Lastly, I challenge the American people to implement the same rules in their own home. If you live above your means, doing so will help you get you back on track. If you already live within your means, save the difference. This will help our economy.

Okay, enough. I know I sound like an old crank, a moral scold. But it’s time for this country to reset our economy. If we do, we will be able to afford it.

And by it, I mean the future.

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36 Responses to America: We Can’t Afford It

  1. Mike S says:

    It is a cop-out to blame both parties for our fiscal mess. As you pointed out, Reagan and Bush alone account for more than 2/3 of our National Debt. The last Democrat, Bill Clinton, managed a SURPLUS–trying to clean up the fiscal mess Reagan left. Bush, as we know, promptly turned the surplus into the largest deficit ever. To see how cynical the Repubs are, remember what Dick Cheney had to say on the subject: “Reagan showed us that deficits don’t matter.”
    So you can summarize modern conservative Repubs with this motto: “Borrow and Spend on War without End.” It sums up John McCain also–make Bush tax cuts permanent and spend MORE in Iraq.

  2. Jess says:

    I’ve always been curious as to the consequences of amassing this debt. Some people tell me it doesn’t make a difference.
    Anyone know more about this?

  3. nahnopenotquite says:

    Mike S. my point was that everyone is at fault. Bill Clinton did nothing to solve the long term problem of Social Security (which is an FDR program). It’s true that Repubs have been particularly egregious in adding new debt, but that projected Clinton surplus was based on false assumptions (we were already heading into a recession at that time). That said, Iraq is a failed money pit and you’re right, Bush and McCain should be held morally responsible. This wasteful borrowing will destroy our country.

    To Jess: Some economists will argue that our national debt as a percentage of GDP is reasonable, but it’s not just the current debt, it’s the whole culture of borrowing and the unfunded mandates looming on the horizon. America is getting scarily close to serious fiscal irresponsibility – and that, like a sub-prime borrower – can lead to losing your home.

  4. Steve Couper says:

    Well Excuuuuse me. Means testing for Social Security?
    Spoken like a true socialist. I’m now dipping my beak in that underfunded trough. I’ve donated faithfully for 45 years to that ponzi scheme.
    I’ve also carefully managed my money – saving and denying myself the pleasures that you referred to in your modest proposal. And I’ve got very large chunk of savings that I’m not willing to share it with any thirty year old. Save your own nest egg.
    How about eliminating the cap on Social Security contributions for a start, That would seem to provide plenty of income to that sagging fund.
    The problem is NOT Social Security.
    How about that whopping 300 Billion bail out for the investment banks? How about getting back the $10 million dollar Christmas bonuses from young snotty-nosed brokers that sold Trillions $ of CDO, CMO, SIV of nothing more than toxic waste.
    Don’t even think about touching my Social Security. I come from the activist 60’s Boomer crowd and we have nothing better to do when we are retired than march in the streets again if you even think about it. Don’t screw with the AARP sonny boy.

  5. ConcernedAmerican says:

    REALITY CHECK!

    Don’t buy the nonsense marketing of the “Republican” brand whether it’s weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or that Democrats are fiscally irresponsible.

    When Jimmy Carter left the White House the national debt was $700 billion. By the time Reagan left office it was much higher. When George H W Bush left office it was higher. When Clinton left office it was higher BUT there were surpluses and the debt in the last yerars of his administration was GOING LOWER. Goerge Bush, in the White House today, will come very close to oubling our national debt to close to $10 trillion — much of this debt was accumulated when the Republicans controlled the presidency, the Congress and the courts.

    Use FACT-based arguments instead of swallowing the Kool-Aid of the “Republican” brand that the DC lobbyists are behind.

  6. ConcernedAmerican says:

    A balanced budget amendment would be a great thing. The problem is lobbyists would oppose it because they want as much as they can get and really don’t care about the welfare of the country as a whole.

    Vote against lobbyists as much as possible. Obama is probably the best choice.

  7. nahnopenotquite says:

    CA: I refer you to my comment on May 23.

  8. Missionpeak says:

    Headline news on March 7:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve said Friday it is taking bigger steps to ease the nation’s credit crisis, including increasing the amount of money it will auction to banks this month to $100 billion.
    Fed officials said in a statement they planned to continue the auctions for at least six months, and would move to even larger auction amounts if needed.
    The Fed also said that starting Friday it will enlarge another series of transactions, called repurchase agreements, so that they will pump a net total of $100 billion into the financial system at any one time.

    Headline news on March 11:

    Wall Street appeared poised to rebound sharply Tuesday, March 11, 2008, after the Federal Reserve and other central banks said they will pump $200 billion into the financial markets to help ease strain from the credit crisis.

    Almost every week, Fed is pumping billions after billions, hundreds of billions, to the financial institutions/market.

    Last week, Fed is bailing out Bear Stern with 30 billion.

    I did not know Fed is making profit from selling something or manufacturing anything to make profit, other than printing money and set interest rate, etc.

    If Fed is printing all these money, with more paper money chasing the same amount of goods, isn’t that making U.S. dollar weak?

    Inflation, super inflation, is just around the corner…..

  9. Alex J says:

    I agree with lifting the cap on social security withholding. As it is, the tax law changes favor capital gains and those in a position to benefit the most from leverage, compounding, and the best financial management. Even raising the cap but making the rate a bit lower above 100K of income might help.

  10. George P. says:

    The problem isn’t so much the debt but what it is spent on. I’m so tired of hearing people tell me they cannot afford health insurance as we’re playing on their XBox 360 in front of their large plasma TV. Then we go on a ride in their fancy SUV (which they complain is expensive to fill) and each of them has an iPhone. Lifting the cap on social security isn’t really the answer either. The best thing to do is to implement a large gas/fossil fuel/carbon tax. This would have the triple benefit of addressing national debt, energy issues and global warming (if it exists). Only two problems: first, we elect a bunch of cowards (Obama included — as much as McCain might be a political coward, I cannot call him a coward in general) that aren’t willing to push for what this country really needs. Second, congress would just go spend it all resulting in even higher deficits.

    Time to suck it up America.

  11. Spydo says:

    Finally, someone NAILED it. I’m sick & tired of hearing my GOP associates try to scare everyone about the TAX-AND-SPEND Democrats. They even have the nerve to blame the Dems for this mess we’re in now, saying the Democratic Congress is preventing Bush from *fixing things*.

    Newsflash GOP-ers, you had 6 YEARS after Clinton of Whitehouse AND Congresional control, and things got worse every year.

    Clinton was ON-Course to have ZERO federal debt in 2006. Instead we have record debt. Cheney once said DEFICITS DON’T MATTER. If we stay on this spending course, in the 2020’s, we’ll be paying more on DEBT INTEREST than all entitlement programs combined. A forgiving view- Cheney’s opinion is ill-informed, and on the critical view, he knows as much about economics as W knows about foreign policy.

    Four years wasn’t enough failed policy evidence for you? How’s about you pony up th4e 30% dollar devaluation you’ve cost the rest of us who knew who to vote for?

  12. Bucho Gomez says:

    “When Clinton left office it was higher BUT there were surpluses and the debt in the last years of his administration was GOING LOWER.”

    From what I understand, Clinton used some sort of weird way of balancing the budget by taking money from the social security surplus. Sure he could say the Budget was “balanced,” but that left Social Security with a bunch of IOU’s, leading us to the whole lock-box arguement.

  13. Howard Klevan says:

    I’ve been saying for the last 2 years that this country needs a good enima and now we are starting to get one. Maybe people will wake up and realize that we are all getting raped by ALL the politicans, who are out for themselves only. I am waiting for the day when gas hits $10/gallon and property taxes go through the roof so that people will finally get off their fat *sses and either protest or armed insurection!!

  14. An Economist says:

    If you do extensive study in the area of national debts, you would see that developed nations on average experience more growth when they have a reasonable national debt level. It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true (look at European countries as an example). The folks on this site are right in worrying, but if you study the history and relevant information you will realize exactly where to focus the concern. The growing debt is a problem, but as a % of GDP the US debt is very low now (historically speaking). The projection of debt growth is a huge problem, but can be simply (albeit painfully) fixed by raising taxes and cutting benefits. The individual spending patterns in this country are a bigger problem and there is no easy fix. People are spoiled and entitlement reigns. Rich blame the poor for not making more and relying on the rich funding. The poor blame the rich while all parties involved are in debt. That is a tough house of cards. The largest problem is not the devaluation of the dollar, but our inability to fix the trade deficits. At our present pace, foreign countries will continue to buy our assets until we have nothing left. Our currency is supposed to devalue to stabilize that deficit. Then our goods become cheaper and we export more. When our dollar drops enough, corporations will bring manufacturing jobs back to the US where it’s cheaper to produce goods. This will boost our exports even more and our country will stop losing assets to foreigners. All this being said, the US will have to raise taxes soon, but we aren’t about to default on any debts and we aren’t close to bankruptcy. My disclaimer is that I don’t put it past any politician to screw us up even more. Lastly, the Bear Stearns bailout was brilliant when you consider the rapid timeline of execution. There was a good chance of the economy getting slightly hurt and a small chance of all hell breaking loose. The Fed was cautious, which was right. The Fed has F’d up other stuff, but that move was the equivalent of pulling an exploding bullet out of somebody right before it went off. I just wish no one had gotten shot in the first place. There are too many people to blame then I can list here, so I won’t beat a dead horse.
    Oh, Bucho’s right. Clinton did a horrible job; just not so people could see. He got some other things right, but he wasn’t as good fiscally as people on here claim.

  15. George says:

    You can give Clinton credit for surplus and whatever else you want. If you go back and look at the facts, it was Robert Ruben who should get credit for any budget surplus. Clinton was smart enough to listen to Ruben.

    A large part of the problem is a lot people do not understand the function of government. Congress approves the federal budget and passes all of the appropriations bills. As far as the federal budget, the President has less power than a lot of governors. They have the line item veto, the President does not. He get the budget Congress passes into law and he gets the credit or blame. Have you ever heard “The President’s budget is dead on arrival.”

    No President will fix social security, medicare, or the federal deficit. The separation of powers will not allow it. George P – you are right on when you say Congress would spend …

    A major problem is Rep and Dem in Congress are working to solve this nations monetary problems because they are not held accountable by voters. We just keep electing the same people year after year.

    They think we’re a bunch of idiots. Recession – give the voters an economic stimulus check so they can go blow it and help the economy. Apparently they don’t have any real solutions.

  16. George says:

    Meant to say Congress is not working to solve this nations monetary problems. Bad proof reading.

  17. Leslie says:

    I challenge the federal government to stop invading other countries and occupying them indefinitely.

  18. brimpton fopp says:

    Well…we are at the crossroads. $5/gal gas heading for $6 and NO PROTESTS! Nobody starting to ride their bikes. I see nothing but denial and a little grumbling from my fellow Americans. No SUV or Motor homes en masse for sale…yet. Mostly because Americans just don’t believe it.

    Yet, the citizens of the world are up in arms protesting the rape of their economies and lowering of basic human needs and rights. How long will you let the current crowd in power foist their ideas upon yourselves?

    We have effectively been lied to and drugged (SRRI) Our drinking water refiltered from sewers without filtering out the very drugs, antibiotics, steroids in most major cities without a word of protest. We’ve let Monsanto decimate our independent farmers by letting them have carte blanche over the GMO’s they introduce into our basic food groups(starlight as just one example) They have single handedly tied the hands of our fishermen and our lumber people, picking off each group one by one. Not one of us as Americans has come to their aid.

    Wall Street gutted our 401K nest eggs back in the dot com bubble. But good ole Jim Cramer (busted for short selling)is still having us believe in The System on CNBC.

    They bankrupted our social security long ago. Those who believe they are still entitled… shame on you for believing. You are ill informed.

    They have taken just about every right we ever had away after 9/11, overpowered us with an abundance of law enforcement agencies, built more prisons than educational institutions, have given the DEA freedom to intimidate our doctors over the prescriptions they write, blame the NSA for monitoring our personal phone calls in the name of national security, make little old ladies take off their shoes at the airport, stop us on our hiways using checkpoints to see if we “belong” here and then detain us if we ask any questions.

    Background check, drug test and fingerprint everyone when applying for BASIC jobs.

    Built a wall.

    Run scores of employment schemes and “job” search boards to make us believe their is hope out there somewhere when all hope has vanished…especially those with advanced degrees.Report inaccurate unemployment numbers. Cut welfare roles. Include McDonalds in the manufacturing base so the numbers look stronger.

    Cut funding for all the arts when oil companies show record profits leaving Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera house (our MECCA for the arts) IN SHAMBLES.

    Strip workers of rights, cut benefits, cut overtime pay scales and more importantly squash UNIONS in all fields. Pay below a living wage. Import Chinese labor in DROVES displacing American Workers while keeping the Chinese in absolute servitude.

    Remind us continuously about the war on terror and our heightened state of alert which will NEVER go to GREEN again through FOX CNN CBS NBC ABC NPR and Clear Channel. Let Ascent Media (ATT-Malone) take over every post production house in Hollywood,NYC and England and fire all sound crews, allow Lake Capital “to invest in and control” TV Guide and all related media print, infiltrate the big studios in Hollywood (NBC/Universal) with the likes of General Electric to promote their “message” or agenda.

    We have personally allowed each and every single American newborn, child and adult citizen to be saddled with insurmountable debt;BAILING OUT WALL STREET.

    Make it nearly impossible to get a decent education without going into debt for the first 10 years or more upon graduation since they privatized the lending practices of student loans at 8%.

    Our corporate heads left the American people holding the bag after they have given their all to make them a success (FORD).

    They have ponzie schemed us to death with mounting energy bills that crippled entire town economies while Vice President Cheney and Co. watched (So Cal deregulation and Enron)

    The Terminator has threatened us with water rationing while allowing an ever expanding development scheme to flourish unabated(scores of tract homes and golf courses in the desert) pissing out water in the streets, taxing the ABILITY TO SUSTAIN OUR NATURAL RESOURCES, then over-taxing Americans with HOA’s and Mello Roos.

    Each one of us has a MORAL OBLIGATION to conserve our resources, protect our National and States Parks and pass on a better life for future generations…not just this generation but the next 4 or 5.

    Our politicians have let the banks and credit agencies deregulate; preying upon the very people in the military who stand up and protect this country of OURS with 200%+ rates of borrowing, leaving them on welfare roles and food stamps. Veterans have been essentially left out in the COLD at the VA with no medical help in a health care system that is in ABSOLUTE shambles.

    Is their anything I missed? Lots. But when as Americans will we all stand up and at least BOYCOTT something for a SINGLE DAY? Are we so complacent and disengaged? When is the last time ANYBODY ran a BOYCOTT here in the states????It was the 70’s I believe. We can challenge the people we have elected only so much.

    If we ask each American to boycott JUST ONE company like EXXON, (who, by the way has yet to pay out to all the people they harmed in Alaska Valdez)…one time a week en masse…that will be a start. Don’t buy their gas tomorrow. Go somewhere else, because it will really screw them up. Then, the next week, get Chevron, then get Shell… since they are foriegners.

    And then lets all stop buying that CRAP they are shoving down our throats from China at every Wal Wart, Target, Home Depot, Macy’s, Crate n Barrell, JC Penny et. al…where ever you go, making a BIG premium on YOU. No more $130 Nikes that cost them $2.50 to make!Remember that these same corporations who screwed over the American people and left us holding the bag are putting other world citizens in servitude also. That needs to be put in check.

    DEMAND OUR STORES STOCK AMERICAN PRODUCTS.

    Don’t pay a PREMIUM for Chinese products ANY LONGER.

    If they can’t supply it… do without. THAT WILL BE YOUR PERSONAL SACRIFICE. And THAT is OUR start. YOU ALONE are society Do it today.

  19. Devin says:

    As a twenty-something-still-clinging-to-my-twenty-somethingness-for-a-few-more-months, I agree with your sentiments about feeling like an old coot in my spending/saving habits. My wife and I make about the national median household income, and we manage to save close to 20% of it. And we still manage to live pretty well, thank you. Heck, I just returned from two weeks touring eastern Europe with my wife. As I look around at people my age and the ridiculous crap they blow their money on without managing to save a dime, I’m astounded.

    On the flip-side of that sentiment, though, is the concern at what would happen to the economy if people started living within their means. Obviously, the entire economic growth of the last six years was a complete illusion built on borrowed money (often by people who really had no business borrowing money). If Americans were to start not just living within our means, but, my god, actually saving 10-20% of our income, what would that mean for our economy? For the global economy, for that matter?

    I’m not overly concerned by a lot of the debt problems mentioned in this article. The national debt is growing at a terrifying pace, but on a global level it’s clear we haven’t reached any dangerous levels – yet. The trade deficit is huge, but as another commenter already mentioned, the trade deficit winds up devaluing the dollar, and the declining dollar will ultimately solve the trade deficit problem (though probably put an end to my trips to Europe…). Social Security is maybe the biggest concern. Our country faces a serious demographic problem right now, and people like Steve Couper above make it clear that the older generation (the ones who vote the most, btw) would rather leave a bankrupted nation for their children and grand-children than give up one dime that they feel they’re entitled to. Of course, I think economic necessity will force us to implement the two obvious (and politically unpopular) solutions to this problem. Eliminate the caps on SS contributions and open up the flood gates for young, hard-working immigrants whose SS contributions will keep the system solvent for many decades to come.

    But the big problem is that the vast majority of people in the US simply don’t have any more to spend. Yeah, it’s because they blow it on stupid crap that they don’t need, but that stupid crap is what has built many of our economy’s leading companies. Uh, Apple, anybody? Would Apple be a major player, or even exist, without millions of young, spoiled brats buying up their toys even when they can’t afford them? I work around a bunch of entry-level service workers making $8/hr, and just about every one of them has an iPhone or similarly tricked-out cell phone. How many major US companies would fail, or at least be seriously hurt, if these kids actually spent responsibly. How many people would lose their jobs, have less money to spend, and drag down more companies in a vicious cycle. This is the bind we’ve gotten ourselves into that I don’t see a way out of. This is what caused the Great Depression. It was only when WWII gave us an excuse to implement a MASSIVE wealth redistribution program (94% tax rate for the wealthiest) that we were finally able to get out of that mess. Will it take another world war this time?

  20. James says:

    Democrats and Republicans…. both are the problem! Vote for McCain and to maintain a Democratic congress in 2008.

    I hate how everyone stands by their party no matter what. (If you need an example, just look at previous posts.) Ultimately, we get the government we vote into power. If everyone donated $5 to the political candidates they wanted for Congress and President, it would significantly decrease the special interests and prevent some of the ‘puppets’ from getting into power. (One of the reasons I like Obama!)

    The beauty of democracy is that everything has a counteracting force. If neither party controls both the executive and legislative, both parties are forced to compromise. This in turn ensures that only the most important laws are passed, and sometimes, we actually balance the budget. (Ex. Clinton and Gingrich’s Congress, Reagan and O’Neil’s congress.)

    However, when either party gets into power and controls all the levers of government, they will inevitably spend the taxpayer into oblivion. 2001-2006 was a perfect example of that! (The ‘Great Society’ and the New Deal are other examples.)

    Therefore, vote to balance the powers of government. Although I like Obama, in this next election McCain is the best choice to balance the democratically controlled congress. God help us if we have another 4 years of uber-spending in 2009!

  21. Karl says:

    James is right. Things are better when power is divided. If under Clinton things were good then I say credit the GOP controled congress. Likewise under Reagan, I credit a Dem controlled congress for keeeping things in balance. I used to consider myself a Republican, still do I guess, but GW and the GOP controlled congress from 2001-2006 sorely disappointed me, and shame on me for believing they would do something good. Two things to remember; 1) Absolute powers corrupts absolutely and 2) Governments will always have an insatiable appetite for your tax dollars. As for tax-and-spend scare tactics, go ahead and elect Obama and give him a Pelosi controlled congress and all I can say is hang on to your wallets. I would love to see Ron Paul win, but without enough like minded congressmen and senators, it probably wouldn’t matter either.

    As long as we have a large percentage of the population who continue to look to government for answers to their problems and a government constantly willing to fund another program to “solve” those problems to buy their votes, then if you are a hard working, responsible person then you best be watchful. Is it any coincidence that when you put the IRS together you get “theIRS”. Never forget the IRS motto “We’ve got what it takes, to take what you got!”

  22. Karthik says:

    Well said. We should ammend the constitution so that:

    * No congressman or President gets a pay if the budget is not balanced and the debt is greater than $1 trillion.
    * Mandate very strict regulations to allow people access to credit to finance big ticket items like houses.

  23. Nice Tooth says:

    Personal responsibility.

  24. Enrique says:

    I can’t afford it. I am having escape fantasies of leaving the U.S.A. to a country where the corruption burden is less than the tax burden.

  25. Mark in NJ says:

    Well written blog/article. Too bad the majority of people don’t care. When they wake up and DO decide to care, they will just want to blame someone for their ills. There have been hundreds of people in the last 30 years stating the obvious….America has been spending the capitol it built during the industrial revolution. I am not anti-American, I only want the country to act before it is too late. The ONLY answer is to develop industry in products that we can export again. A ‘+’ trade deficit brings money into the country to help solve problems. Borrowing money from China, midEast and India to let us ‘spend’ our way to prosperity is mathmatically impossible.

  26. thirtysomething says:

    To STEVE COUPER:

    We don’t have to mess with the AARP. We can just leave the U.S.

    I’m not paying for your retirement and medical bills for the next thirty years.

    Good luck finding thirty year old chumps who will!

  27. Ian says:

    This recession is the best thing that has happened to America in my 37 years. We have a political process which is in danger of not actually being cynical. We have a population that is starting to think about consuming responsibly. We are at very slight risk of actually developing evidence-based public policy. I don’t know if I dare speak of it, but a few more years of this, and smart might even become fashionable!

    This article is dead on. My wife and I put away something over half of what we make every year. Failing to consume is about the easiest, laziest thing you can do.

  28. Gunny says:

    My comments were professional and well written.
    Is it because I am in the military?
    I see,
    You pick and choose what to publish.
    This website is censorship at it’s best!

  29. nahnopenotquite says:

    Gunny – I’m sorry. I accidentally deleted your comments when I was deleting some spam. I’m glad you wrote back. I publish all comments unless they are profane or deeply offensive. Pls repost if you can remember what you wrote. Again, I apologize and welcome your comments.

  30. Alan in RTP says:

    I’m actually seeing a few people get it, but most still see it as a bump in the road. Folks are carpooling to work, not everyone drives as fast as they possibly can all the time, although I’m still the slowest on the highway, always. Our 401k guy came in with the same BS we’ve heard for the last 30 years. CNBC is not quite as arrogant as they used to be. The supply-sider’s still thing the problem is too much regualtion–given the change people will always do the right thing. Incredible that someone still holds this belief, but many do.

    The problem is not subprime, that was just the canary in the coal mine. The problem is systemic–globally. And we better start working on it soon. The guys that built the pyramids and most other civilizations collapsed for reasons rooted in the human-nature subroutine. Civilizations are not perpetual-motion machines. They need input and maintenance along the way. And not just a stimulus package…

  31. Dave says:

    Legalize marijuana and tax it like crazy. It will still be cheaper for the addicts to buy because it won’t be passed from dealer to dealer with markups for each to profit. Treat is just like alcohol, don’t drive under the influence.

  32. […] Desperation Sets In Paulson is flailing around now, looking for an answer. What could possibly halt the perfect economic storm? (A storm that is solely our own fault.) […]

  33. […] Home prices will revert to mean. And with that, an explosion of mortgage equity withdrawals dry up. And after that, there is no where else for the American consumer to turn. Everyone is up to their eyeballs in debt. Here’s a post from May called America: We Can’t Afford It. […]

  34. […] I am completely in favor of a cheaper, immediate, short-term burst of stimulus in the form of unemployment aid, state aid, and the like. But this bill is crap and we’re borrowing or printing money to pay for every cent of it. Eventually, we are going to have to cut costs, live within our means, stop borrowing to consume. […]

  35. Ellinwood says:

    Hi.
    Very good post.

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