Is the NSA going to stop spying on us?
Are they still printing money?
Are corporate subsidies still proceeding as normal?
Will they stop taxing us?
Will they stop giving out checks to the military industrial complex?
Will they stop military attacks? Will we still be felt up at airports?
Are they still going to throw people behind bars for illegal plants?
The reality is that all of the worst parts of the government are still running.
Taxes are not evil, bad, or wrong. Excessive taxes are something you can argue about, but the mere existence of them is not evidence of evil.
(Notice, for what it's worth, that I said "I think" and not "Actually, he was". The core meaning is the same, but the former phrasing makes it more clear that I am aware the statement was my opinion. Acknowledging that something you say is an opinion is an important part of having a healthy discussion, I think.)
* I mainly took objection with the implication of your use of the phrase "you can argue about". To me, that phrase either implies that you're saying that I'm not allowed to argue some alternative position, or that somehow my position is the logical equivalent of 1 + 1 = blue.
* I don't have a problem if you disagree with my political viewpoint. In fact, I welcome interesting objections because I usually learn more about peoples' motivations and that helps open up my mind and sharpens my own positions.
* I don't fear a debate about the ethics of taxation and would gladly engage in one with you if you wanted, but I think that would be a further derail from this thread. My main point in posting my original statement was to point out how inaccurate the media is in calling this a shut down when many of the biggest parts of the underlying system keep on trucking.
There was no such claim. Irony is not logic. Have the thought police out-lawed it on HN?
>But 1.4 million uniformed members of the military will stay on the job and will be paid, thanks to a last-minute bill unanimously passed by both houses and signed by Obama on Monday night.
Which goes to show that no matter how dysfunctional our government becomes it will go to any length to ensure that it's still capable of killing lots of people.
The DOD is a jobs program, with a side benefit of being a military. But mainly it's a jobs program that also does basic research and engineering.
It seems crazy to say, "yeah, those people we hired because we actually want them to work should go unpaid first, and the people we hired just as a jobs program should be kept hell or high water."
Edit: s/laid off/go unpaid
As for funding it, it's just because it was an easy vote, not because of priorities.
As you've now surmised, I was just complaining about the military's special status vis-a-vis the shutdown, for which "that's a lot of jobs!" is inapposite. But while we're on it, I guess I should say this: I'm for the government providing jobs, but I am against them being in the military, and strongly believe they should be employed more productively and less violently. I can think of a lot of things a make-work program could fix but I can't think of anyone I want to kill.
Most of the money goes toward hardware, which means engineers, construction, and the like. And toward eduction - of all sorts, from simply paying tuition to basic training to self discipline.
While the number of people actively shooting other people is in relative terms small, to the extent it does happen, it happens because we have a large enough force to occupy other countries and make the absolute numbers pretty high. For example, almost half the active military from 2002-2005 was at one point deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan . We just couldn't have had those wars without 1/10th the military without significantly changing how we wage war. At some level, it's possible that we could be equally violent with a tiny fraction of the military manpower and budget, and the same is true of, say, the Netherlands. But it would be wildly impractical, so in practice countries like the Netherlands don't do it. We're violent because our budget makes being violent easy for us.
> Most of the money goes toward hardware, which means engineers, construction, and the like
I need to be convinced of two things there. First, that it's actually true. The two largest categories (which together make up a solid majority) are "Operations and maintenance" and "Military personnel" . I don't understand what's in that first category, but since there are separate categories for procurement, R&D, and construction, it's not those (education does presumably fall under "military personnel"). (In general, I've always found good numbers on exactly how the military spends its money hard to come by.)
And second, I'm very skeptical that as far as job programs go, the military is a very good one compared to other ways of spending that money. To begin with, the military doesn't create nearly as many useful things. Designing and building bombers might have ancillary positive effects in terms of R&D and employment, but the bombers themselves are only useful for bombing, and mostly just sit around and being ready to bomb things. But what if we made really fancy civilian aircraft instead? It would have those effects and we'd end up with all these really useful planes! Similarly, a lot of the infrastructure the military builds is in far-away countries, or is of transient or at least limited use. Soldiers are getting paid and engineers are building, but they're not really adding much value. Compare that to building bridges or researching solar panel technology.
Next, the primary reason for having make-work programs is that the people receiving all the money are also consumers, meaning the money is fed back into the economy and stimulating further economic activity. The military is terrible at that because a lot of the money is actually spent overseas developing other country's economies.
All of that is to say: assuming we want to spend a few billion dollars on construction, training, R&D, and personnel, why do we prefer to spend through the military instead through other stuff? My guess is that we do it that way because we've always done it that way, and not because it's optimal or even rational.
Compare that with what would happen if your local and state governments shut down: Trash would pile up. Criminals would run free in the streets. Fires wouldn't be put out. Water and electricity would stop. Sewage systems would back up. Schools would close. We're talking about services that are the very cornerstones of modern society.
It really gives you an appreciation for what the state and local governments accomplish.
When there is a shock to the economy, social safety nets dampen the pain significantly. Local and state governments would never be able to provide a reliable social safety net, because they have to operate on the same principles as every other user of a currency. The federal government can operate on the principles of an issuer of the currency. That is a big difference.
In fact, you can see this difference play out in slow motion in the Eurozone, which still has not recovered from the financial crisis. Things would have played out very different had their been a Eurozone federal government that provides at least the basic components of the social safety nets.
What if these "stabilizers" (i.e. money creation) are doing more harm than good, or even causing the business cycle? What if social safety hammocks decrease growth? What if welfare provided by prudent local governments through savings, or even private means, are sufficient? What if there are a ton of differences between the Europe and America other than the Federal Reserve?
One important point though is that welfare provided by local governments cannot be sufficient. Local governments are entirely dependent on tax revenue and the goodwill of creditors. If a local government is hit badly enough by an economic crisis, they will be unable to continue providing this welfare.
This is especially true if other local governments in the same currency zone are less badly hit by the crisis. In this case, creditors will "flee" towards those other local governments, which creates a vicious cycle.
The previous paragraph is exactly what happened in the Eurozone, except that national governments played the role of local governments.
Fact 2: State and municipal governments have subsidized borrowing costs via the federal tax exemption. I don't know where you live, but are your state and local governments borrowers? What about the road money from the Federal Government?
Fact 3: Private savings come from public deficits
What if, what if, what if...
Well, you will discover in due time what all of this nets out to and no one will enjoy it. The forces of deflation are far mightier than the forces of inflation for inflation requires persistent and exponentially increasing consumption, fueled by net-borrowing of the combined public and private worlds.
As it turns out, the zombie apocalypse isn't triggered by an infectious disease or rapidly mutating virus. Instead, it's capital destruction via chaining debt defaults.
I don't understand this argument. Are you claiming that there's no social safety nets in Europe? There are and have been and will still be without a federal government (although I like to argue we already have a defacto federal government).
Just because individual member states provide their own social security and finance it through borrowing money from the central bank(s), doesn't really seem that different from a federal government directly providing social safety nets. In fact, most member states have a way better social security net than United States. I could, in theory, just stop working today and get paid about $1200/month in addition to things like practically free health care and university education. Of course, there are poorer member states that have worse social security.
I would add the following: If there had been a federal government, then that government would not even have had to do anything that looked like "printing money" in public discourse.
This is because this federal government would not have had any trouble issuing new debt in the form of bonds. Why not? Because everybody would have known that the European Central Bank would effectively guarantee those bonds under any condition, and therefore there would not have been a panic about the debt in the first place. It's all a psychological game.
As evidence, consider that the fiscal policy part of the US federal government has not done anything that looks like "printing money" up to this point. All they have done is issue bonds, i.e. get loans from creditors.
Yes, the Fed has done things that look like "printing money", but that's monetary policy which has nothing to do with social safety nets.
You may not like the extent of their protection, or how they go about protecting, but it is childishly naive to suggest the country does not need protection.
But I know it is cool these days to pretend that the military is 100% evil and every dollar spent on it is a total waste.
With 46 million people dependent on food stamps, the only thing separating the US from great depression style bread lines right now is that single program. Especially with the huge plunge in the labor force participation rate and the U6 being at 14%.
The downside to that is program is, the Federal Government is masking just how bad the US economy really is, with a trillion dollars a year of stimulus help from the Fed. Many people believe the economy is healthier than it really is when they read the fake unemployment number of 7.3%.
School lunches and breakfasts would continue to be served, and food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, would continue to be distributed. But several smaller feeding programs would not have the money to operate.
The USDA said food stamps would not be affected in October.
And it is not stupid theater. It is our government NOT at work. We may temporarily recover some of our debt. In fact, if they keep this going for an extended period of time, it might actually help- a lot. Our country has become much too dependent on our government, and now that the two political parties can't get along, there may actually be room for another socially moderate, somewhat fiscally-conservative, deficit hawk, constitutionalist, semi-libertarian party with common sense to come along and bring the country together. Unfortunately, it hasn't organized yet (and no, it isn't the Libertarian party- not with its current leaders- and even with better leadership, Libertarians are incapable of getting the debt under control because they won't allow raising taxes to cover for past debt).
And tell me, when was the nation not dependent on its government? When did this era of "rugged individualism" you speak of exist? Right from its very inception, the US government has been intervening in the economy and subsidizing things that the voters deemed desirable. If the US government has grown, it is because the US has grown. You need a larger government when there are 300 million people in the country than when there are 30 million.
there may actually be room for another socially moderate, somewhat fiscally-conservative, deficit hawk, constitutionalist, semi-libertarian party
So... you want a party of magic faerie unicorns to come along and set everything aright. Er, well, good luck with that.
It's no coincidence that the most rural, most Republican states are massive consumers of federal funds (via farm subsidies and transportation subsidies, mainly) and the most urban, most Democratic states are net producers of federal funds.
A transportation subsidy might be local (maybe - interstates are national, not local), but farm subsidies end up being distributed nationally since they basically just mean that certain types of food are cheaper than they otherwise might be. So you can't count farm subsidies as "consumers of federal funds".
(It's definitely an artificial distortion of the market, but that's a different argument.)
I'm not sure how the conclusion follows from the premises. Farm subsidies do consume federal funds. Where do you think the funding for the massive pork-barrel farm bills comes from? Moreover, those dollars aren't necessarily passed on to consumers. In theory, the market for farm products is a perfectly competitive market and any subsidy to the market would result in cheaper prices for everyone. In practice, well, Cargill exists. Large agribusinesses are quite capable of taking subsidy rents and stashing them away as profit rather than using them to compete on prices if their market is more like a cartel and less like a perfectly competitive free market.
What does this have to do with a subsidy? You can do this identically without a subsidy (assuming you can do it at all). The subsidy just lowers the starting price.
If we didn't have these unwanted government services (or wanted services provided very poorly or at excessive cost), then the taxpayers would spent their money on something else -- something that is wanted -- and it would generate just as many jobs or economic activity in some other way.
Besides, which services do you believe are "unwanted?" I agree there are many unnecessary "paper pushers" and managers, but the shutdown affects entire departments. One can't simply stop paying the redundant middle managers, and continue paying prison guards and air traffic controllers.
Some things that surprised me:
* Campers: People living (or vacationing) in national parks and forests will have 48 hours to relocate.
* People who make money off tourists: Shuttered national parks are bad news for the hotels, restaurants, and other attractions that feed off them.
* Employers: The Department of Homeland Security's e-Verify program will be offline for the duration of the shutdown.
* @CuriosityRover: 98 percent of NASA's staff will be furloughed, and the agency's website and live-streams will go dark.
and plenty of more serious things mentioned in the article like
* People on food assistance: The USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will stop making payments on October 1.
It's not as if they paid the firefighters, but the firefighters refused to act--if that were the case, there would be a serious civil lawsuit to recoup the cost of the lost home, its sentimental value, and punitive damages.
He didn't pay for fire-fighting. He didn't have enough insurance. And somehow, this is someone else's fault.
A city firefighting crew would not refuse to put out this fire so it is an example of a service that was provided at a lower quality in the private market due to market incentives.
Some addition fun facts you want to know before making up your mind about what happened in this "disaster":
* The structure that burned down was on unincorporated land outside the tiny town of South Fulton, which is about as far as you can get in Tennessee away from any major metro area (it's approximately equidistant from Memphis and Nashville, near the equally rural southern tip of Illinois and Indiana).
* The owner of the structure deliberately chose to live in an area that had no fire coverage, unlike people who live in incorporated South Fulton and thus contribute directly to the South Fulton FD.
* The owner had no fire coverage because they refused to pay a $75 annual fee to extend coverage to their property.
* The structure that burned down was a doublewide trailer whose value might not have been that much higher than the assessable cost of firefighting service (when this discussion last came up I found numbers ranging from 20k to 50k). You can find estimates on the internet of fire department costs for one incident hovering in the mid-thousands, assuming no complications, and that's the FD's cost basis, not the chargeable cost.
Ultimately I don't think there's much to learn from what happened in Obion County. It will always be possible to situate your home far from the reasonable service area of a fire department, and it seems unreasonable to suggest that merely by doing so, the nearest municipality should be on the hook for providing coverage.
2. Markets that state and local governments dominate are large. Do you really think Waste Management would hesitate to take new markets that were previously controlled via government contract? Or that private prisons wouldn't purchase and run ones that were previously state-controlled? Or that power and water companies wouldn't realize the incredible opportunity to expand into new areas that were previously monopolized through government interference?
Your example of waste, power, and water are a few cases where people, I think, support the government granted monopoly status. These industries have huge fixed costs and generate large externalities. Reliable waste management is a communal concern with clear risks to public health. I'd rather not have the trash company decide my neighborhood is too far to service weekly and switches to monthly pickup.
Government exists as a function of the people to balance externalities. Does it go to far sometimes? Sure. But when people are actively engaged though government can be a force for good.
This is what captures my frustration as well.
It's infuriating that a faction of Tea Partiers is causing such instability. Having campaigned on a promise of doing anything to stop ObamaCare, they've already played their (reckless) hand.
This is bringing a hatchet where you need a scalpel; "ObamaCare" will still go into effect no matter what, and this does nothing more than score political points at the expense of the nation's health.
This is precisely why people hate and subsequently tune out to politics - an unfortunate and dangerous reality.
I also see it as a failure of our president not getting the 2 sides to play nicely. Obama should be working with both parties to get the government working. From the media quotes I see from him, Obama is playing the blame game, and not actually working to resolve the issues.
The entire federal legislative branch is at fault for the shutdown, not just a select group that you call out. There has always been divide within congress, but the current congress can't figure out how to play nicely together.
Or, alternatively, there is a small fraction of the country willing to do whatever it takes to overrule the wishes of the majority, even if it means shutting down the government. It's childish. President Obama was re-elected in 2012. Rather than acknowledge the fact that they lost this battle, the Republicans are willing to do whatever it takes to re-fight (and re-lose).
What? Obama had a majority in the senate and the house and still tried to get both parties to work together on obama care. The republicans rejected even the plans that had most of their ideas in them, just because they didn't want obama to get credit. Why would you think he would be able to convince them now?
Why is growth not considered a form of instability? Just curious, last time I looked risk and volatility were agnostic to direction.
> Risk is the potential of loss (an undesirable outcome, however not necessarily so) resulting from a given action, activity and/or inaction
When was the last time you checked?
In fact, the government shut down almost every year from 1976 to 1987 (only missing 1980 and 1985).
The most interesting thing about the shut down, is that it represents a total government failure of competency. All parties, the Congress, and the President; and not just now, but the last 20 years, leading up to this mess. From George W's hyper spending, to Clinton continuing the grand tradition of stealing from SS inflows to fake balance the budget, to Obama's hyper spending increases while the Democrats had super majority control of the House + Senate while they had the Presidency. Everybody is to blame in DC; the partisans claiming their side is right are to blame as well.
But it would be bad, yes. Though I don't hink the US would 'take down' Asia or Europe.
Didn't the last US crisis lead to multiple countries defaulting on their debt and having to be bailed out and economic malaise that continues to this day?
The Fed made emergency loans totaling trillions to banks throughout Europe (including Germany). It took down the economies of Spain, Portugal, Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, France, Greece and others. It forced China to implement trillions in unnatural and extreme stimulus, that has unbalanced their economy. It crashed the commodity markets, destabilizing all sorts of poor countries (and so did the prior Fed driven inflation of commodities, helping to cause food based chaos in the third world).
Just take a look at the stimulus measures, interest rate policies, and growth rate of Britain since the crisis. Ditto France and Italy on growth and EU stimulus (two of the largest world economies obviously) - both are just a small slip away from a Greece style disaster on their debt, with zero growth to help it out and a rather stern (rightfully or wrongfully) Germany unwilling to be as loose as the Fed.
Something all hackers should be paying attention to, certainly. Many implications for how we write our software, the future of networked communication and more.
I don't mean this sarcastically -- are you serious? It's been plastered over my news and social feeds for the past 48 hours, but I recognize I have a disproportionately large amount of friends/acquaintances in DC.
A majority of the Republicans is hardly a small fraction in the grand scheme of ways things can get blocked in Congress. Committee chairs block things essentially on their own all the time.
The only Constitutional mechanisms available for breaking a deadlock are Congressional elections every 2 years (entire house and 1/3rd of Senate), Presidential elections every 4 years, and the theoretical ability of 2/3rds of the states to force a Constitutional Convention to propose amendments (this has never actually happened; all Constitutional amendments have been first proposed by Congress; in either case, any amendments must be ratified by 3/4ths of states, which will never happen in the current environment where half the states would be happier destroying the country than seeing the scary black man in office for one more day).
OK, I'm not thrilled that this article isn't [dead] already, but regardless: This is not reddit and absurdities like that comment do not contribute to the discussion.
In contrast, you did ascribe vile racist motives to more or less half the country. Indeed, so racist they'd be willing to destroy the country to fulfill their base aims. All their professed arguments (about, say, the negative effect on hiring triggered by the ACA) are simply a smokescreen. We're lucky our international readership has you to fill them in on this fundamental truth of American politics.
Is this article [dead] yet?
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart bumps 35,000 to full-time, and another 35,000 temps to permanent part-time. This besides the 55k seasonal they're about to add. So much negative effect on hiring!
And it was always racism? I don't think you're being consistent.
By the way, you also don't get to accuse me of being inconsistent when you're the one engaging in debates on HN that you argue shouldn't be here. You're a hypocrite, the most disgusting, loathsome of sub-humans.
I'm sorry it bothers you I'm having a little fun while hn slides into Eternal September. But I'm old enough to remember these same arguments 17 years ago, and believe you me, Republicans were still obstructionist jerks when the whitest white guy who ever played a saxophone was president.
It's somewhat amusing. Presumably you were not a fan of the last president's Manichean streak. Yet here you are, describing the folks your neighbors vote for in stark, black-and-white terms.
These are peoples lives, you incredible jackass. Including the lives of my family. How much more inhuman can you possibly get?
> I'm old enough to remember these same arguments 17 years ago
So am I. I also know that the current law was their counterproposal 17 years ago. But now it's the end of the world.
> describing the folks your neighbors vote for in stark, black-and-white terms
I live in rural Washington. My neighbors are every bit the insane bigots they vote for.
Similar problems happen all around the world where there is a minority government or an upper house blocking supply bills. The unusual thing with the US is the lack of constitutional mechanisms to resolve the problem before the government has to shut down. It seems odd that the writers of the constitution didn't recognise the problem.
There had only been a couple of similar republics before - there wasn't a lot of [codified] experience in the area. The Holy Roman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had some similar power structures, for example, but I imagine that their process of obtaining and distributing funds was fairly different.
Not being able to pass bills required to finance the government would be seen as equivalent to the government having lost the confidence of parliament and I think under a Westminster system they would have to resign or face being dismissed by the head of state as they have clearly lost the ability to govern.
Angry constituents, generally.
The actual hyperbolic conspiracy-theory angle on redistricting is that the long-term plan, funded by the Kochs and others, was to ensure that only the most extreme Republicans are safe, and that moderate Republicans will be in danger of primary challenges from extremists.
And maybe I'm getting too cynical, but the extreme Republican line for years has been that government is the problem, not the solution. So I don't think the members chasing the base have the same interest in a functioning state that the rest of them do.
I'm reminded of the dog that finally caught a car and then didn't know what to do with it.
The Democrat narrative has at least three elements:
(1) The House Republicans are unwilling to compromise and will shutdown the government if they can't get rid of Obamacare. (2) This will ruin the economy. (3) America should pay its bills.
So much of the media has ignored the Republican narrative:
(1) Senate Democrats and the President are unwilling to compromise and will shutdown the government if they can't keep all of Obamacare. (2) Excessive government spending hurts the economy. (3) Going deeper into debt is not paying ones bills.
Like I said, surprisingly the latest blurbs about the shutdown actually focus on Congress as a whole not being able to compromise and come to an agreement instead of focusing only on the GOP or Tea Party.
Maybe because it's bullshit.
"Congress as a whole not being able to compromise"
There's no compromise being offered, this is hostage taking. As Kevin Drum said earlier today:
If my neighbor threatens to steal my car, and then comes back and says he'll settle for just stealing my TV set, what kind of compromise is that? What am I getting out of the deal?
Shutting down the government is a pretty ridiculous ploy to whine about elections they have lost.
If one group defects to block voting and no compromise the other side has to also defect or be run over. This is the prisoner's dilemma writ large, only we citizens are the ones paying the penalty for dual defection.
Also, the threats to force a debt default along with the shutdown are dumbfounding. That would, as The Economist writes, "unleash global financial chaos". Poorly handled, it could be worse than the 2008 crisis, especially given what poor shape Europe is in right now.
National parks, EPA, WIC, and Housing and Urban Dev.
99% of the federal government (by spending) will remain open, including:
US Military, Food stamps, Unemployment benefits, Social Security benefits, TSA, air traffic control, border patrol, Federal Reserve, and the Post Office.
No "pork" or pet projects (you'd have to vote separately on each). You could add ACA provisions to this government spending bill since they are unrelated, so there would be no shutdown.
Since it's hard to define "unrelated" make it so that if 1/3 of the members vote that it's unrelated, then it's unrelated and has to voted on separately.
This brinkmanship is a travesty.
On a more specific note, you have absolutly no idea what's actually happening here. I mean, I don't even know where to begin with how uninformed you are. For what it's worth, this isn't about budgeting for future expenses. This is about whether we honor the bills for expenses that were properly budgeted and legally made. The idea is that defaulting on those expenses will cause the US serious financial pain (which it will). The threat of that pain is being used to extort concessions that failed to win support in the last election. In essence, a distinct minority is using terrorist tactics to accomplish goals both opposed and formally rejected by the majority.
The problem, by the way, isn't that you're totally tuned out. It's that you don't see the problem with being totally tuned out and still having an opinion anyway. There's nothing wrong with saying "I don't know what's going on so I don't know what to think." But knowing not, and knowing not that you know not is the mark of an idiot. Please, spare us.
Anyway, Congress isn't supposed to get along. If everyone agreed all the time we would be able to reduce the system to a single person who made all the decisions. The point to a representative democracy is that the representatives represent different interests. Even the idea of having a vote presupposes conflict.
Thus the Republican party has committed to stopping implementation at all costs.
All of these are basically part of the nature of insurance - pooling risk.
Obamacare is a complete disaster. Don't take my word for it, go research what unions are saying, what businesses are doing an go figure out what you will have to pay and what you'll get for it.
This horrible law needs to be repealed.
We need a budget. Apparently we have not had one since 2008 or thereabouts. I guess when you have a president who isn't even qualified to run a cookie baking operation this is what we get. It is an absolute disgrace that we are plunging this country deeper and deeper into debt.
Finally, Congress has failed to provide our country with responsible governance for decades. Party affiliation does not matter here. It has devolved it into nothing less than a circus. Given that we are locked into this system of government the only conclusion one can reach is that we are doomed.
This govenrment shutdown isn't a problem, no matter how much of an economic impact it might make. Over the next 25 to 50 years this economic impact will be absolutlely dwarfed by the devastation that will be caused by the layers of irresponsible actions we will have to live with.
I say: Go for it! I hope people understand why it is important to take the pain now in order to right the ship for generations to come.
<a bunch of ideological bullshit>"
Take your astroturf back to Fox News.
Please, do it. Fox News is irrelevant.
As if shooting the messenger is going to refute the argument.
You don't need to watch CSPAN to know exactly what is happening here: one half of one branch of the government decided they wanted to take the US economy hostage and run it back into recession if their demands weren't met.
Please launch your favorite spreadsheet and do a little work to understand the financial mess we are in. It really doesn't take that much work to speak from a very different reference frame, one armed with facts.
Go to Monster.com or the appropriate job board.
Find a job description for a CEO of a non-trivial business. Say, a manufacturing operation with thousands of employees, international reach, a complex supply chain and a well developed channel of distribution.
Now go back and find Obama's resume from 2008.
Objectively look at it and compare it to the resume of seasoned C-level executives who might apply for such a position. You can use LinkedIn for this purpose, find people who you think might be qualified for the job and, therefore, could be interested in applying.
I hope your conclusion will be that Obama was, in no way, qualified for such a job. Not even close. He had been on the job as Senator for two years and was a law professor before that. There seems to be nothing whatsoever in his life experience that could even remotely paint him as qualified to take on such responsibility.
His resume would go in the trash bin instantly and a polite email dispatched to inform him that he is not being considered. I could see HR going "Why is a law professor applying to run a business when he knows absolutely nothing about running any kind of a business and has no relevant experience?".
My statement is, without a doubt, factually correct. Perhaps it offends you. However, that does nothing towards altering it's veracity. In fact, it can easily expanded to declare that it would have been unlikely for him to have been qualified for C-level leadership positions at any non-trivial business. He simply wasn't qualified.
Yet, we gave him the largest economy in the world to run. During the first two years he could have done whatever he wanted. He had the House and the Senate. Any half-way-decent business person would have had a laser-like focus on the economy, jobs, reducing spending and facilitating economic activity. Not him. He didn't have a clue. He focused on anything but the many elephants in the room. That's a matter of record (and the lack of results). And here we are.
Want more proof? Remember what he said about the National Debt as a Senator? Don't remember? Here, I'll help you:
And now we are at $17 trillion and he wants MORE!
And we have no budget.
And every bill being passed is chock-full of earmarks and back-end deals that would sicken most.
On top of what I said regarding his qualifications, he also happens to be a hypocrite and a liar. I'll leave it up to you to go back and review video records of the things he promised and compare them to what he's actually done.
When every union in the country is screaming bloody murder about Obamacare you know you have problems.
That said, this isn't about Obama and Obamacare. This is about the branches of our government having plunged us into a very dangerous position over the last, say, fifty years. Again, party affiliation isn't relevant here. These people are making bad decisions on both sides of the isle.
Regardless of whether you agree with me or not the fact remains that our kids are going to inherit a disaster of nearly unimaginable proportions. Perhaps you are OK with that and choose to look the other way due to party or other loyalties. Thou shalt not speak ill of our tribe! Or some such thing. Well, that's cool. I admire your loyalty. However, the one important detail is: This does not change where we are headed.
What's your limit for the national debt?
When do you say "enough!"?
We are at $17 trillion right now  (well, just shy). That means each tax payer would have to pay nearly $150,000  in order to pay off our debt today. You and I are not paying it off any time soon. And, if we continue along this path even our children will not be able to pay it off.
How much is enough?
Senator Obama said adding $4 trillion to the national debt was "irresponsible" and "unpatriotic", his words, not mine. He was right. What, then, is adding another ELEVEN TRILLION  by the time he leaves office? He is on track to more than double the national debt with respect to what it was when he took office.
At what point are you willing to proclaim that our government is fiscally inept, irresponsible and, yes, unpatriotic?
Do you understand how important it is to bring things back to a more reasonable state? Surely you do. I can't imagine anyone not researching this at least to an extent where he or she can understand the numbers and their consequences. A couple of hours of Excel work and your jaw should be on the floor. And you should be angry too.
I don't mean "I won't take you at your word". Being a polarizing political subject, I would take the word of not even myself - I can and have been wrong on such matters. Personal interest in reasonable arguments from both sides may lead me to entertain various arguments, especially if they're well conveyed, including on subjects which I do not feel personally affect me, but which do affect the rest of society.
In losing that interest, I've lost my only reason to entertain your suggestions as for what to look into, and so I shall not. Why would I be interested when you so willfully distract from the subject at hand -- that distraction being polarizing hyperbole about irrelevant fictional cookie baking, and arguments about how this is factual and relevant? This is not time well spent!
I will note presidential budget vetos can and have been overridden by congress. This budget hasn't even gotten to his desk, correct? If you wish to blame the presidency in this, you must also blame congress as a whole for failing to be able to build and reach the consensus necessary to override him, and you must also blame the electorate for voting for that congress. Your interest in hanging this albatross from his neck does not inform, entertain, or otherwise interest me -- discouraging me from informing, entertaining, or otherwise trying to interest you.
You mean since Bush slashed taxes to create massive debt?
Obama's at 811,417,118.8 Cps in Cookie Clicker - what have you done that's so great?
As to what I have done vs. Obama. Well, first of all, neither you or I should be the scale by which a President is measured. A President ought to be better than most of us in areas relevant to running a country, an economy.
You are an educated man. I presume you studied logic and know full well that shooting the messenger does not refute what the messenger might be claiming. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and suggest you might want to run through the exercise I suggested in an early post in response to similar criticism . I would be very interested in your reasoning showing how 2008 Obama was qualified to become CEO of a non-trivial enterprise, particularly when compared to seasoned and tested C-level executives.
I am not going to engage in a "what have you done?" conversation. I'll simply say that I have been an entrepreneur my entire life. I have started businesses, employed people from varied disciplines and backgrounds --including software engineers like you. I have succeeded and failed. I have been bankrupt. More than once. And I have pulled myself up and out of such circumstances through hard work, dedication and a healthy dose of risk taking. My life, for better or worst, has given me a unique perspective. And, while I freely admit that I am far from infallible I really don't think I am wrong on this one. There's nothing in Barack Obama's 2008 history that even approaches the development of an understanding of how a non-trivial business operates, much less an entire economy of this scale.
A sailing analogy is apt here. As a long time sailor I can tell you that anyone can sail under typical benign Sunday-Sailor conditions. There are two conditions that separate the hobby sailor from those who really know what they are doing: the extremes. It takes a lot more work to sail a boat when there's very little wind and you need to waste nothing in order to move. It also takes a lot of experience and knowledge to sail a boat under heavy winds and dangerous swells. Neither of those conditions are suitable for someone who has no experience whatsoever at the helm. One does not give you enough feedback. The other could kill you and your passengers if you need to learn on the job. You want to hire an experienced skipper, particularly for the second scenario. A Sunday-Sailor is likely to get you killed. That's as close as I can get to explaining who we gave our country to in 2008 (and, arguably, in 2012).
Our government has been steadily and systematically destroying our country from the inside for the last fifty years. It is hard for me to imagine a way to refute this. Shoot the messenger if you must, but he message stands on it's own. Regardless of who I am.
Yet I am nobody. I'm just a bunch of words you read on this screen. Read them. Decide for yourself. The irony of all of this is that regardless what you or I say we will both have to live with the reality our government is creating. I can't possibly imagine anyone with a reasonable degree of intelligence and education thinking that this reality is one headed towards anything other than a disaster.
In essence, America has told the world that as long as the business of this country is functioning, your wealth, as represented in Marks, Yen, Pesos, etc. is backed with performing US debt. It's like saying, "as long as your neighbor, next door, does not loses his job, you will not lose all your money!
Imagine how many people that money could help, how much health care it could buy.
Also, all these short term extensions prevents each part of the government from buying what it needs to operate in bulk, they now have to pay top dollar for small amounts.
So super-dooper expensive. But that might be the plan to jack up the cost and say "look how expensive!"
The red ink is from everything that is still running right now, ie. the military industrial complex.
And worse, this is all happening without the true cost of the US debt being taken into account. We're temporarily getting a free stimulus from hyper cheap interest rates on about $12 trillion of debt. That debt at a mere 5% to 6%, wipes out Social Security or the entire military.
Social chaos begins where the violation of the so called social contracts begin. That time isn't far into the future now. The American people are just as responsible for this mess as the politicians, if not more so. That middle class voted this mess into being over the course of many decades, either directly or by negligence and willful ignorance. If the American people aren't careful, they're going to get exactly what they deserve.
However, I think both parties may be surprised in the next elections to find just how much in disgust the U.S. public holds them.
That is, if the voters that put them there can finally remove their heads from their asses.
A primary responsibility of government is a certain degree of stability and predictability. We haven't had that in years.
As for the yahoos in D.C. I'm very tired of their self-serving "tantrums". Fuck them all.
For animal lovers out there, contrary to reports, the National Zoo's PandaCam is still operational (as I type), so enjoy while you can!
Without going into the details... you know that the Federal Reserve doesn't pay the bills, right? The Treasury does. And when the Treasury pays the bills, it doesn't really have much to do with the Fed buying bonds on the open market. The Treasury pays bills based on interest on national debt, stuff like social security and spending approved by congress. For some reason, congress implemented laws which mean that they have to give permission to the Treasury to pay the bills that congress itself voted into the budget.
My point is that this whole debacle doesn't really have to do much with the Fed, and the Treasury is just following the orders of congress.
Ah, I see from stalking your profile that you are not American. Well I can see why you'd be confused - shit's confusing. I don't think even most US citizens understand how it works.
There, fixed that for you.