Lefties Missed the Point of Tea Parties

Thursday, April 16, 2009

While the progressives and the media would rather distract and silence the message of the Tea Parties, the truth of their message is still evident. The left can’t understand the protests. In their minds, Obama’s going to lower taxes and Obama’s going to remake the country better. In their minds, they are off the hook. Well you’d need to have your head in the sand to believe that reckless government spending is going to bring all this about.

March 20th seems like ages ago, but let’s turn back the time and highlight some of the key quotes of the AP article “Obama budget could bring $9.3 trillion in deficits.” Keep in mind that this budget does not include the stimulus, the omnibus, TARP and proposed TARP2 bill.

“In his White House run, Obama assailed the economic policies of his predecessor, but the eye-popping deficit numbers threaten to swamp his ambitious agenda of overhauling health care, exploring new energy sources and enacting scores of domestic programs.”

I made the mistake once of saying, “Obama is doing what he said he would do.” I quickly amended that statement. Obama promised us fiscal responsibility. He promised to go line by line and remove wasteful spending. He said he would not sign legislation with earmarks. He blasted Bush’s spending only to more than triple down on that spending. Spending which all Americans (right and left) agree were irresponsible.

“The dismal deficit figures, if they prove to be accurate, inevitably raise the prospect that Obama and his Democratic allies controlling Congress would have to consider raising taxes after the recession ends or else pare back his agenda.”

What? Did Susan Roesgen not hear any of this at CNN before her meltdown in front of yesterday’s Chicago Tea Party? This was reported nearly a month ago. AP points out the biggest reason why the coveted Obama Tax cut (thanks for the $13 a week, Obama) is going to end in 2 years. Interesting how $13 bucks matters to Obama now, but it didn’t over the summer when gas tax relief was proposed.

"Deficits in the, let's say, 5 percent of GDP range would lead to rising debt-to-GDP ratios that would ultimately not be sustainable," Orszag told reporters.

Deficits so big put upward pressure on interest rates as the government offers more attractive interest rates to attract borrowers.”

What do I have to say? Obama’s own budget chief said it all, the numbers aren’t sustainable. I love the investment in the future argument, but how are we to get there if spending is not sustainable?

“Obama's $3.6 trillion budget for the 2010 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 contains ambitious programs to overhaul the U.S. health care system and initiate new "cap-and-trade" rules to combat global warming.

Both initiatives involve raising federal revenues sharply higher, but those dollars wouldn't be used to defray the burgeoning deficit and would instead help pay for Obama's health plan and implement Obama's $400 tax credit for most workers and $800 for couples.”

So the tax on the 5% has nothing to do with paying off Obama’s deficits? So who’s going to pay for it all? I know it’s hard to believe, but you cannot confiscate $9.3 trillion dollars from the rich, they don’t have it. Perhaps, trillion sounds like too small of a word, so here is what $9.3 trillion looks like, $9,300,000,000,000. Yes, I am getting $400 a year from Obama and in return he is giving me a bill for $67,971 (that’s $9.3 trillion divided by 138 million tax payers) and the progressives can’t understand why people are protesting. Who’s going to pay the bill? We all are and that means you too. Progressives! It will either be in the form of higher taxes or in the form of an economic calamity.

I’ve only covered Obama so far! I didn’t even get into Bush. I’ll leave the progressives to level the spending charges there. Even before Obama the US had the 2nd highest corporate tax rates, which are not too expensive to cut as some would say. Obama has proposed the 2nd highest capital gains taxes. The government has squandered our social security funds. I live in NY, which means I pay the highest state income taxes, the highest state sales taxes, the highest gas taxes, Patterson’s proposed the highest state energy taxes, and I live in an area that has the highest property tax rate in the country (mostly thanks to unfunded state and government programs).

I’m surprised the left’s surprised that this right wing crazy is upset. When Obama said he was going to bring back “spend as you go” and cut wasteful spending, he didn’t count on people holding him to it. I see he was right about the left giving him a pass, but there were some paying attention and those some got together in huge masses yesterday to remind him of his promises.


The Law said...

Conservatives do not seem to have the desire to look beyond today for tomorrow's answer's. When you make an investment, the hope is that you gain the money back you invested and turn in a profit. You have a degree in economy so I know you understand this.

Progressives are not giving Obama a pass... I think the majority of us know that there are certain things we need in this country... namely a new energy policy, completely overhauled education system, and universal healthcare. In order to do that, we have to spend the money to create the infrastructure to make these things happen. After the foundation is laid, the power to make these plans grow and flourish is the responsibility of the private sector. That's how we make the money back we
invested. The deficit will be super high if NOTHING changes, but I find it hard to believe that if the next gerneration of Americans are smarter and more productive, if we are leading the world in the technology and manufacturing sector, and if we offload the burden of healthcare off the private sector so that money can be used for more investment, then yes we can cut the deficit in half in 2012, and possibilly eliminate it in 2016.

So no, we did not miss the point of the tea parties. We just know tax cuts will not solve the problem, and we know that 95% of Americans geta tax cut, and we know that in order to compete in tomorrow's global economy, we need to invest in our nation. I'm a technology buff, and I can tell you right now, America has in my opinion 2 generations left if we continue at this rate, before we are overtaken by Asia as the leader in the technology sector. Who ever controls that WILL be the superpower of tomorrow.

Furthermore, it is the consensus by everyone in the left, and manyu in the right that the GOP has NOT offered any other viable solution, and seem to refuse to waiver from their no tax policy.

And BTW, where was the tea parties when we blew $700 billion on a fruitless war? Why is wasteful spending the cry of the conservative now and not anytime these past 8 years? How does the GOP reconcile the squandering of the largest national surplus in our history?

April 16, 2009 at 8:21 PM


Cutting a deficit in half is not going to solve the debt already accumulated. Since you think that this is an investment, let's put it into perspective. Maxing out my credit card to invest in two areas (health care and energy) is irresponsible. If I saw any one I knew thinking about this, I would sit them down and talk about at least diversifying your risk. Then I'd tell them not to gamble money with what they don't have. You yourself have complained about those just spending on credit cards. I don't understand how it's suddenly, not a problem if it's the government.

Second, when has the government ever "invested money" in a sector and got a better return on their investment and more efficient? It's never happened. Never! Education is great example. We spend more per student than anywhere, but we don't have a better education system. Why do you think more money is going to solve the education problem? You know very well, that it has to do with how parents are involved with their child's education. That not something you get from spending more money. Additionally, I see few who want to go to college and don't already go. I'd love for someone to pay my student loans, but I fail to see how that's going to make education any better.

Third, you are very wrong about tax cuts. In fact, at some point you are going to need to explain to me how tax cuts don't work? We've seen the greatest expansion of the economy over the last 30 years. The correct answer to this economic problem is tax cuts. Let's unleash the private sector instead of shackle it. Let's have the lowest corporate tax in the world and businesses would flock to be in the US. That'll bring jobs! The CBO estimated that it would cost $3oo billion to cut the corporate tax rate. That's cheaper than anything Obama wants.

Fourth, you still haven't answered, who's going to pay for all of this spending? As I pointed out, you couldn't even confiscate from the rich enough money. Who's going to pay? Already more than 95% of the country are paying more taxes. In fact, the cigarette tax hits poorer people more than any other demographic. You are leaving out the state and local tax increases as well. Not to mention the coming increases to pay the mandated changes in the stimulus that are not funded for the state.

Finally, as I pointed out. It is about Bush as well. The reason why Obama and not Bush is $9,300,000,000,000. Bush was slowly boiling the water under us and Obama's cranked it on high. I think it's likely if he continued the slow boil, people would have remained complacent. The republican party has not offered a full viable solution, but some of their ideas were solid and should be considered. The republicans are also to blame and that's why they have a 30% approval rating. However, it's not like they are running the show right now. It would be silly to protest the few in the government to make changes. Right? I think one politician is just as indictable as the next.

You have a problem with squandering a budget surplus, but not the highest spending level of any country ever? If you are going to rail on the budget surplus, then be consistent. Bush took a cookie, Obama's taking the whole cookie jar and you have a problem with Bush's spending and not Obama's?

April 17, 2009 at 6:16 AM

* I meant more than 5% are paying more taxes.

April 17, 2009 at 6:18 AM
Devrim said...

The Law said : I think the majority of us know that there are certain things we need in this country... namely a new energy policy, completely overhauled education system, and universal healthcare. In order to do that, we have to spend the money to create the infrastructure to make these things happen. Today, the cost of one student to the state of MA is around 10 large ones (http://www.bostonindicators.org/IndicatorsProject/Education/Indicator.aspx?id=3198&sc=580&sct=Fiscal%20Health). Don't you think an investment of $10 K /a year/ per student is enough of an investment ? K1 to K12 that makes $120,000. 2.1 kids is the magic number to keep an economy flowing, so 120*2.1 = 252 large ones per family.

Do you think if the government kept their hands off my 252 large ones, I could provide equal or better education to my kids with that money?

Government is a bad way to spend money, just look at the security of the country, last count we had 29 agencies DEA, BATF, FBI, CIA, DHS etc that are supposed to keep us safe, but gang crimes have not gone down a single digit, drugs keep flowing in... I am quite sure, if every community had their own Sheriff like back in the 1800's, and held that Sheriff responsible for every crime that occured we would be at a much better place at a lower cost.

April 17, 2009 at 6:44 AM
The Law said...

haha 2 on 1... bring it on baby I'm ready!! =)

Devrim: "Do you think if the government kept their hands off my 252 large ones, I could provide equal or better education to my kids with that money?

Short answer no. Unless you or your spouse is a teacher, or you use your money to put your kid in private school, which is already an option. I was a elementary and high school teacher, so I'm very passionate about this subject. Bush invested at its highest point, 60 Billion in education. This was NOT enough money for No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to be effective. Furthermore I think NCLB is an outdated philiosophy incommensurate with the way children learn today. In essence in practices sequential, step by step learning. Computers and technology render many of these skills irrelevant now, it's like using an abacus to do modern math. Furthermore, it promotes "teaching to the test" where in 2nd, 4th, 8th, and 11th grades, kids have to take this big test that literally decide the fate of their school budgets. Schools that fail lose are supposed to have time to correct their system, but if not they can lost funding or get shut down. Passing schools get more money. It is supposed to incentivize higher performance. What ended up happening is over time, none of the school, passing or failing got any money, and had to make up the costs by raising the budget, or cutting the budget if the vote fails. All in all this was a HORRIBLE system, n matter how you look at it. There will be an in depth discussion about this on my blog in episode 53.

What Obama wants to do is exactly what needs to be done -- foster "conceptual learning." This is essentially a ground up approach, learning the big idea first, and breaking it down into smaller more recognizable parts. This style is more in line with how we learning when using technology and computers, thus the skills are more transferable. Tests are benchmarks rather than the measure of knowledge.

I say all of this because I need to illustrate an important point. Obama has done his homework when it comes to education. He surrounded himself with all the right people to make this plan happen. As a teacher, I am fully confident that this approach to learning will show a dramatic decrease in drop out rates, more student going to college, and more industry professionals, which in turn makes us more competitive.

No matter how you cut it, at least with education the government has to spend money on it... if it were privatized, then there would be many people who couldn't go to school.

Also, look at New York City's numbers... if there was one thing Mayor Guiliani did right, he put a S&!* load of cops on the streets. From the 90's to now, crime in NYC has dramatically decreased. Same is true in recent years in Los Angeles.

April 17, 2009 at 7:30 AM
The Law said...


Re point 1 - I left the education field to earn a degree in communications so that I can have the tools I needed to launch the business I've dreamed of running since I was a kid. An in most every book I've read or bought on the subject of starting a company, there is many a story of the ambitious entrepreneur who maxed out his credit cards to raise his startup capital. And they will all say "it probably wasn't the best idea, but I did what I needed
to do. Now, if there was a cheap way to lay down the infrastructure necessary to prepare for the new generation of technology, energy development, education, and healthcare, I'm all for it.

But what always happens is a candidate will campaign on the platform of healthcare reform, education reform and green tech. Then they get into office and realize it costs money. Or you're Bill Clinton and you're booed for even the mere suggestion of universal healthcare.

Then what happens? Ted Kenned was a younger dapper man when he began his fight for universal healthcare, and 3 decades later, there is STILL no significant change, save an outdated and wasteful medicaid/medicare. Bush did make an attempt to o something about education but we wound up with an way underfunded and ineffective NCLB. And green energy?? ha! the electric car was invented 2 decades ago and its development was scrapped. And if the GOP got its way, then its drill baby drill. So yes, it is hella expensive, but it is not wasteful spending... it is a very necessary and fruitful spending.

Re point#2 - I'll refer you to my commentary to Devrim regardign education. But I'll add, there is no substitute for parental involvement. But I taught students whose parents could barely speak english. Students still have to learn, and teachers need to be better trained to make their lessons more effective notwithstanding parental involvement.

Re: point #3 - I'll post my ideas on taxes on my blog in episode 54. I was kinda planning on that anyway =)

Re: Point #4 - well the tax payer has to take on the bulk of the share. I read soem reports that indicate some of the bailed out banks will be in a position to pay back the money they got from TARP and plans like it. If we get it back, I imagine some o it goes back to the tax payer, and the rest is redirected to other programs.

April 17, 2009 at 7:57 AM
Devrim said...

The Law said :

Unless you or your spouse is a teacher, or you use your money to put your kid in private school, which is already an option. Nope, it ain't an option as the government already taxes me and takes that money out of my pocket. It would however be an option, if I had kept those taxes in my pocket. Today my only option; if I want my kids to have a private education; is to pay $ 10 K /year per kid in taxes PLUS cost of private school.

No Child Left Behind is the biggest crock of chit, and socialist agenda I have ever seen. This is an extreme extreme example, but, let's take 2 kids of the same generation, kid #1 Bill Gates , kid #2 Ted Kaczynski , or how about that kid #3 without a name that is begging for change under the highway pass whose name we never will know ?

Let's face it, the US Constitution have been a document to bring out the best in people. When it was implemented, it cost the US taxpayers a mere 3% of their income.

Now please, please do give me ONE reason, why I should be at my best; say 1% of top taxpayers, while I pay upwards of 30% tax bracket

April 17, 2009 at 10:42 AM


1# Your analogy isn't quite right here. The US isn't a start up, it already is the strongest economy in the world. It would be silly for Walmart to start funding it's operations solely on a credit card funding. I believe the better way to spend the money for what you want is being efficient and responsible with the more than $2 trillion in tax revenues that the government already gets and actually has. Please remember, Federal taxes aren't the only tax in the country. Every single taxing agency is digging into the average American's wallet. My state is in even worse shape than the federal government and our school had funding cut. I can't afford to fund all the increases in spending from all levels of government. It would be nice if one government agency out there would get their spending under control. I agree we need reform in many areas, but reform does not necessarily need to mean dramatic new spending.

2# I'll defer for a more education specific post or discussion. However, my area spends between $15k to $25k per student. Almost enough for one teacher per student and yet the teacher/student ratio is 25-30. Like I said above, reform yes, but dramatic spending increase? I'd like to see them use the money they already have more efficiently.

3# You have 4 posts planned ahead of time? I had trouble planning this one on the spur. Everything's been happening so quickly, I can't keep up. I'll be looking forward for your post.

4# Almost right on TARP. First, the Treasury needs to let the banks give the money back. They've been refusing it to many institutions. Irregardless, we are either paying interest on the debt (about $80 billion a year give or take) or they will print the money and we will pay via loss in purchasing power through inflation. This will need to be paid by the tax payers.

Since tax payers will be paying for this year's budget in some way, protesting doesn't seem all that unusual to me.

April 17, 2009 at 10:07 PM

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