>Need to raise revenue for the government?
That’s easy, simply tax the rich.
The United States, like the majority of Western nations, is spending itself into oblivion at worst and massive civil strife at best.
There is some good economic news. The red ink the US is swimming in is not as bad as projected in February. Yes, at $1.471 trillion, it’s still huge – 10 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product – but an improvement of $84 billion from earlier estimates.
But bad news still looms large. In the next fiscal year, according to the mid-season review released by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Friday, the US deficit will be $150 billion more than earlier projections. It is expected to come in at $1.416 trillion, or 9.2 percent of GDP.
The White House, which released the change in budget estimates, was careful not to overplay the changing numbers.
“These are not substantial changes and nothing we want to make too big a deal about,” said Peter Orszag, director of the OMB in a press call with reporters. “The economy remains weaker than we would like and the unemployment rate higher than we would like.”
So, how the heck much is 1.4 trillion dollars?
Is it actually possible to increase taxes on the rich and deal with the debt (assuming that there’s no impact on employment or investment)?
I thought, why not simply confiscate all of the wealth that the rich have? That ought to solve all of the problems. Right?
I looked up the Forbes list of world’s billionaires that are domiciled in the United States and are doing business and paying taxes there.
The richest person on the 395 name list is Bill Gates with $53B, followed by Warren Buffett with $47B and a gap back to Larry Ellinson at $28B.
Now, here’s the kicker – and the sobering reality check for the soak-the-rich left – if you confiscated ALL of the wealth of these 395 people in order to fund the debt (which means it would need to be sold to overseas interests, of course, as there’d be nobody rich enough in the US to buy it anymore) then how much would you raise?
1.328 trillion dollars.
You’d still need to find another $143B to break even for the year! And your wealth creators have now got nothing! Good luck with that…
Here’s another way of looking at that $1.471 trillion deficit.
Consider the following: there are 113,146,000 households in the US, which means that in just one year each household now has an extra $13,000 added to its debt. No wonder the Congressional Budget Office describes the debt situation as unsustainable.
Competition from emerging economies in China, India and Brazil, coupled with declining birth rates, undermine the modern Western (immoral) indulgence of giving people money who haven’t earned it while putting the bill onto the next generation…and the one after that…in a gigantic, populate or perish, Ponzi scheme.
2010 is a momentous year in world history, I believe, as history will mark it down as the year that the welfare state, in its current form, ended.
>This really is an awesome dissection of the Obama administration’s continually pinning the blame for their actions on George W Bush.
Chuck Green is a lifelong lefty and registered Democrat.
>If this graph is accurate, and there’s no reason to assume otherwise given it came from research done by JP Morgan, then it explains a lot about why the Obama administration seems to be such a bunch of incompetents.
How can President Obama give more than 90% of his cabinet appointments to people who have no real world experience?
These people will naturally choose ideological positions rather than those born of the experience gained in the real world of hard knocks.
No wonder the Obama administration can choose to abandon Honduras to the Chavista wolves or the pro-democracy movement in Iran to the Ahmadinejad thugocracy. They have no idea.
>I cannot believe this. I simply cannot.
What can one say?
Unlike George W Bush when he first got news that a plane had hit the World Trade Centre and that the situation was being assessed (people initially thought that it was a small, private plane), Barack Obama had all of the facts of the Fort Hood attack and yet still chose to dribble on about the organisation of the event he was at and how he looked forward to next year’s event et blah.
US soldiers are lying dead and he has the temerity to smile and crack a joke???
Unbelievable. He should call George W and get a lesson in respecting the military.
Words fail me in the same way as Obama failed to respect the dead and wounded at Fort Hood.
>Thomas Friedman is the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde of US political commentators. He takes an almost European approach to domestic matters while being a traditional Kennedy Liberal on international affairs.
To read Friedman on domestic affairs is almost as cringeworthy as reading Maureen Dowd; he is in lock step with the Democrat left on health care, global warming, social security and taxes. His articles lack depth, intellectual rigour and, most disturbingly, the support of hard evidence, relying more on emotion than logic.
Once he’s taken his medicine, however, and turns his attention to matters beyond the US mainland then he becomes a serious, deep and impressive thinker. I might disagree with him on some of his foreign policy solutions but I can’t fault him on his thought process.
Every man and his dog has had a crack at the Nobel Peace Prize Committee for not only making an ass of itself for awarding the prize to President Obama but also for diminishing the meaning of the award, yet again, so that it is now even more meaningless than it was after being given to Al Gore.
Friedman weighs in with the speech that the president should give at the acceptance ceremony. It is one of the great pieces of (speech)writing of modern times.
“Let me begin by thanking the Nobel committee for awarding me this prize, the highest award to which any statesman can aspire. As I said on the day it was announced, ‘I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize.’ Therefore, upon reflection, I cannot accept this award on my behalf at all.
“But I will accept it on behalf of the most important peacekeepers in the world for the last century — the men and women of the U.S. Army,Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
“I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers who landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, to liberate Europe from the grip of Nazi fascism. I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers and sailors who fought on the high seas and forlorn islands in the Pacific to free East Asia from Japanese tyranny in the Second World War.
“I will accept this award on behalf of the American airmen who in June 1948 broke the Soviet blockade of Berlin with an airlift of food and fuel so that West Berliners could continue to live free. I will accept this award on behalf of the tens of thousands of American soldiers who protected Europe from Communist dictatorship throughout the 50 years of the cold war.
“I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers who stand guard today at outposts in the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan to give that country, and particularly its women and girls, a chance to live a decent life free from the Taliban’s religious totalitarianism.
“I will accept this award on behalf of the American men and women who are still on patrol today in Iraq, helping to protect Baghdad’s fledgling government as it tries to organize the rarest of things in that country and that region — another free and fair election.
“I will accept this award on behalf of the thousands of American soldiers who today help protect a free and Democratic South Korea from an unfree and Communist North Korea.
“I will accept this award on behalf of all the American men and women soldiers who have gone on repeated humanitarian rescue missions after earthquakes and floods from the mountains of Pakistan to the coasts of Indonesia. I will accept this award on behalf of American soldiers who serve in the peacekeeping force in the Sinai desert that has kept relations between Egypt and Israel stable ever since the Camp David treaty was signed.
“I will accept this award on behalf of all the American airmen and sailors today who keep the sea lanes open and free in the Pacific and Atlantic so world trade can flow unhindered between nations.
“Finally, I will accept this award on behalf of my grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who arrived at Normandy six weeks after D-Day, and on behalf of my great-uncle, Charlie Payne, who was among those soldiers who liberated part of the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald.
“Members of the Nobel committee, I accept this award on behalf of all these American men and women soldiers, past and present, because I know — and I want you to know — that there is no peace without peacekeepers.
“Until the words of Isaiah are made true and lasting — and nations never again lift up swords against nations and never learn war anymore — we will need peacekeepers. Lord knows, ours are not perfect, and I have already moved to remedy inexcusable excesses we’ve perpetrated in the war on terrorism.
“But have no doubt, those are the exception. If you want to see the true essence of America, visit any U.S. military outpost in Iraq or Afghanistan. You will meet young men and women of every race and religion who work together as one, far from their families, motivated chiefly by their mission to keep the peace and expand the borders of freedom.
“So for all these reasons — and so you understand that I will never hesitate to call on American soldiers where necessary to take the field against the enemies of peace, tolerance and liberty — I accept this peace prize on behalf of the men and women of the U.S. military: the world’s most important peacekeepers.”
Give the man his credit. That is one terrific piece of writing. It is even suited to the president’s style of speech.
There has been no greater force for peace than the US military. If you disagree then you need to name what group has done more to achieve peace, not talk about it or simply wish it were so.
I hope that by December President Obama has made the tough decisions he needs to in order to succeed in Afghanistan, which would then make giving this speech even more effective.
>Thought I’d try my hand at making one of those now wildly popular Hitler parodies and use the Chicago Olympics debacle as a subject.
Haven’t made anything like this before but it turned out OK, even allowing for embarrassing spelling mistakes.
In the tradition of all of the Hitler parodies a bad language warning applies (in spades).