Who has the best lights in town? Vote now for your favorite in our holiday lights contest.
There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true.
What’s on your mind today?
View our commenting policy and standards | Commenting FAQ | Report a problem
We all know messing with people is fun but I have to bow the masters.
I don’t think these kids were messing with people intentionally but some people have reacted poorly.
What happened? Some students in Colorado have recited the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic. And of course, the word for God in Arabic is Allah.
It’s fun because the ONLY people that can complain are bigots thereby outing themselves as such.
It’s also just fine to recite the Pledge without the words “Under God” which were added during the Cold War era. It’s a bit like flying one of the old flags with only 13 stars … the historical version is perfectly acceptable.
By the way that school principal has my unqualified respect.
From the link, I find it interesting the school can only be bothered on Mondays to recite the pledge of allegiance.
Odd how it is “indoctrination” when President Obama spoke to school kids and not when we find it interesting the school can only be bothered on Mondays to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
It’s much less indoctrinating to not recite the pledge at all.
#4 When you do something too often it can get stale.
Sandi…I don’t understand your point.
My point was it was only on Mondays that the pledge was recited, according to the Principal in the clip. To me that’s odd as I thought it was done daily it most all schools. On Mondays, we honor the nation..the rest of the week eeeehhhhhh not so much.
So what is your point?
NW#7 …not if you’re doing it right.
Did you know we cans still buy 1/2 gallon ice cream in either 1.5 or 1.75 quart sizes, 1/2 gallon of juice in 59 oz sizes, pound packages of bacon in 12 oz sizes, 25 pounds of charcoal in 16.6 pound sizes (don’t want the big bag then get the 5 # bag, which has 3.3 pounds instead) and a pound of coffee in the 11 oz containers? The good old days just don’t seem to go away. Also, ere long we will be getting gasoline at a much, much cheaper price (more money in our pockets) — life is good!
Well BUD, let me try to say it another way. I find it odd that when President Obama wanted to speak to school kids as they returned to school on just one day, the GOTP nation went nuts screaming “indoctrination”. Now here you claim to “find it interesting the school can only be bothered on Mondays” to recite the truly indoctrinating Pledge of Allegiance. Which IMO can only be taken as a complaint. If you do not find it the least bit odd, that is fine. I do.
Well yes it is a “complaint” that the pledge of allegiance is only recited once a week. You want to call that indoctrinating, fine. I’d call it a tradition also done I think at the beginning of days when congress is in session..municipal meetings- similar to the Star Spangled Banner being played before ballgames. It puts me in a place where I think of friends and relatives who have lost their lives while serving in different branches of the military and who are serving now. I think of my Dad who was a WWII vet and bronze star recipient. I think about the freedoms we have and lifestyle we enjoy as Americans and am thankful and proud. You want to call it indoctrination..be my guest.
So far as Obama speaking at a school and people b/m-ing about it? They do that about food that’s served in school cafeterias and its nutritional value. Your constructing another strawman and a fight/issue that’s just not there.
89hoo – I wrote you several years ago about the errors or austerity economics using England as the prime example of the foolishness of it. Since England, as well as all the Nations trying austerity, has remained in recession since then, have you seen the error of your ways?
BUD, if you see some “fight/issue” in my observance, that is on you. I would also point out that no one can “fight” alone. It merely strikes me as odd what is acceptable indoctrination to some folks and what is unacceptable.
I have no doubt that repeating the Pledge of Allegiance puts those school kids to thinking “of friends and relatives who have lost their lives while serving in different branches of the military and who are serving now…” too. Excellent point.
13 – Rich, I remember that discussion. I am puzzled at your question, though, because there has been no austerity (spending cuts, deficit reduction, tax cuts) no matter what the European politicians say (go figure…politicians lying and/or spinning).
In Ireland in 2011, government expenditures were 35% more than revenues. Greece spent 21% more, Spain 26% more, France 10% more, Italy 9% more and Portugal 10% more. For all countries (except Spain) that was an improvement over 2010′s numbers, but a much, much worse than in 2008.
That’s not austerity, not even close.
89hoo You certainly just cited why austerity does not work The spending cuts curtail revenue and growth greater than the cuts You create a downward spiral that cannot be controlled. You have defined austerity perfectly
16 – rich, follow me on this. .. THERE WERE NO SPENDING CUTS. THERE WAS NO AUSTERITY.
To claim otherwise is to deny reality.
Rich…how long, to what degree do we follow your fiscal philosphy?
To what degree of debt?
To what % of GDP?
To what extent of unsustainable programs?
To what extent of federal take-over?
To what degree of the (further) elimination of markets?
To what degree of creeping (for now) inflation?
To what degree of artificially low interest rates?
To what degree of devaluation of the dollar?
To what degree of (unsustainable) government dependency?
17 – 89hoo – Interesting you feel that way. In looking at the budgets of all the Nations you mention, there were indeed severe cuts in spending. England alone over 19%.
Spending 125 per cent of your income is NOT austerity, Rich, even if it was twenty per cent less than last year. Austerity means living within your means, not exceeding it. It’s a sad testimony to the lack of understanding and willingness to simply parrot the party line on the part of reporters today.
89hoo – You seem to ignore the fact that reducing your spending reduces your income faster than the drop in spending. The one reason austerity never works.
18. Jim – you balance the spending and income but you do so over a period of time, not during and as yo come out of a recession. Obama and Bernanke did just what was needed yet you guys pounded him with foolishness. Yet as shown by Ireland, England, and the rest of Europe, your ideas of cutting simply did not, has not, and will not work. Bernanke and Obama are heroes for saving our economy and you cannot accept it. Yet all the countries that had half the problems we had, tried austerity and remain in recession with unemployment around 15% and getting worse.
21 – that’s ridiculous, rich. Spending can be easily reduced, independent of income. That’s austerity. It calls for real spending cuts, not gimmicks.
Whatever the implemented in Europe was not austerity, no matter how much lipstick they tried to put on that put on that pig. There is not enough political courage to do what truly needs to be done, but more than enough venality to call it what it isn’t.
23 hoo – only you could believe that lol
24 – only I could believe what, rich? Please be precise in your antecedents.
89 hoo only you could believe that expenses could be cut without affecting income at this point in recent history. The Europeans certainly tried to cut without affecting income. They found it impossible But maybe you know the answer and should let then know
26 – actually, a component of what the called “austerity” was tax hikes on the middle and upper classes. So much for that.
But let me get this straight… are you advocating increases in, say, the defense budget because it would also increase tax revenues? That we spend trillions more than we have so that we can increase tax revenue? That after we have extracted all that we can from the people, we borrow, inflate or both, so we can justify extracting more?
That is the most bass-ackward thinking I’ve ever heard.
27. – 89Hoo During a recovery from a recession, yes. Remember that was the period of time we have been talking about. As the recovery improves, then government spending should be slowed to control inflation. You are seeing this along with other actions by the President and the Fed to do just that, i.e. a small tax increase on the wealthiest Americanns, the Fed reviewing its interest rates and purchasing of US Debt, Obama’s proposed reductions in certain areas of spending.
As for you debt concerns, you have failed to understand that inflation and interest rates are a product of many items. You continue to try to have an ideal austerity that is not possible in reality (you note as to the tax hikes in Europe). Austerity simply does not work and the GOP cronies who have pushed suuch (Ron Paul, etc.) have done more to damage the economy and slow the recovery than anyone. The attacks on the stimulus and Bernanke were ridiculous. Thankfully the GOP is starting to realize their fallacy.
28 – so you’re saying that austerity as I describe it is not only impossible from the standpoint of effectiveness (according to accepted mainstream economic theory), it is also something only someone as economically backward as myself could ever advocate, right? That no mainstream economist today – here, Europe, wherever – would ever implement such a hare-brained scheme as to try to live within means.
Did I correctly summarize your point?
89hoo – No, I am saying that too many have tried it (in the 1930s and now) and that it has failed them each time. A recession and its recovery are not the times for austerity economics. Austerity measures are appropriate for an economy that is overheating and has rising inflation. It would work much like raising the interest rates as the Fed did in the 1980s. However, Reagan avoided austerity and instead sought to direct growth through military spending while the Fed slowed the economy through higher interest rates. That method worked because productivity inthe US was very low. Raising interest rates forced companies to increase productivity while reducing labor costs. Painful for sure, but a needed outcome for US businesses to grow.
Your version of austerity would slow the heated economy, but, it also has the effect of killing businesses at the same time. It not only causes higher unemployment, but it reduces productivity and stops growth.
So yes, I am saying it has been extremely foolish to try austerity in the economy of the last five years and the statistics support me on such. Not only that, other methods of cooling an economy such as raising interest rates while pursuing growth has been much more productive in the last 40 years. As the US economy picks up steam, some austerity is needed to curtail inflation after the Fed first stops buying US Bonds, secondly adjusts interest rates to a more normal level, and third a more equitable tax system is established. Then would be an appropriate time to begin austerity economics on a balanced approach.
“Did I correctly summarize your point?”
Yes, you did. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows you don’t curtail spending in a recession. Austerity is ruining Europe. WWII was the biggest stimulus package ever known to man. Look how that turned out.
Rich and Art – I say this again. . THERE HAS BEEN NO AUSTERITY IN EUROPE.
Their spending is still well in excess of their revenue. They are still running a huge deficit, still building debt, still inflating their currency to meet their obligations. The did some meaningless slips and announced that the and announced their austerity. .. but there is no austerity.
No, whatever they are doing in Europe is not working (except in Germany which actually is better at keeping its spending somewhat in line… and how do you explain that?)…you claim it’s because of austerity, but even you admit that they haven’t really implemented real austerity measures (because they fly in the face of modern economic teaching). I reiterate that they haven’t implemented real austerity measures because they lack the political courage to do so. In any event the austerity cannot be blamed for the woes of the PIIGS, because, again, they haven’t been tested.
Instead, as in the 1930s, they have inflated the currency, raised taxes, and make only cosmetic budget cuts.
That’s not austerity. .. it wasn’t eighty years ago and it’s not now.
Art please explain to me – in small words, please, so my single brain cells can comprehend – how a situation caused by excessive spending and a debased currency can be improved by more spending and by debasing the currency even more.
I’ve NOT followed this whole train of arguments so forgive me for jumping in. But the bits I’ve picked up from skimming force me to remind everyone when arguing about austerity, spending, etc. you need to remember what is important is WHO has the money. It’s that money that allows the transfer of commodities. You can put money into the system willy-nilly but unless that money gets to the people who need it, you won’t help the situation.
That deficit spending has been done to meet the needs of people by directing money to those in need. This happens because it’s not being taken in adequate amounts from those who have more than they need.
Jack Buck called a memorable homerun off the bat of the Dodger’s Kirk Gibson in the 1988 World Series..”I don’t believe what I just saw!”
I have the same reaction to Scott M’s last paragraph.
34 – Scott your first paragraph is right on (except that you ignore the insidious effects of inflation), your second is incredibly naive.
When Uncle Sam and the Fed hand out money, it flows first to the banksters and corporate crones (those deemed too big (but apparently not incompetent enough) to fail). The artificially low interest rates create malinvestment by the same too-big, not-incompetent-enough folks, which further destroys the value of the dollar.
What’s left may trickle down to you and me, but by that time it is practically worthless. The solution, then, is NOT to keep throwing good money after bad, but to get the bad out of circulation.
89hoo – You keep saying that they need to cut spending to equal revenue. That is not possible when cutting spending lowers revenue greater than the spending cuts. You ignore the exponential effect of government spending that has been proven time and again.
You can claim Europe never met your definition of austerity economics all you want, but the fact is, they tried and have been proven that it simply cannot be done in the economic situation they are in. It was trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Foolish political fodder that conservatives bring up every downturn to gain votes. Now the GOP is reversing course, dumping the Tea Party they sold this fodder to, and moving on/ It is about time. You may have noticed how the economy and the stock market have jumped since they abandoned such nonsense.
35. BUD – Scott M is partially correct in that it does make a difference where the money is spent. For instance, spending the money to hire Iraquis to reconstruct their country did not do much for the US economy. Spending the money to build warplanes in the US does.
The exponential effect of government spending is wrong, rich, because government cannot spend a dime without first extracting it from the taxpayers. It’s a negative multiplier right off the net.
#39 ‘Hoo, I’m sure you know by know that the Obama economic & especially tax policies (rhetoric)….have little to do with sound economic policy & almost everything to do with perceived (opportunistic/populist) politics.
In extreme irony, most such populist agents promise no increase in taxes, but break such promises post election….this president promised increased taxes on the rich…..for class warfare rhetoric….but is backing off now because he knows continuing such would (further) harm a still weak economy.
It’s not just Obama, Jim, it’s pretty much every administration since Nixon.
There have been no real cuts in federal budget since 1974 when Congress enacted baseline budgeting.
Every budget item is set to increase automatically every year according to a formula based on inflation, what was spent the previous year, and other parameters.
If a budget item is set to increase by 10% using this accounting trick, and Congress reduces the increase to 5%, this is called a “5% spending cut” in Washington speak.
“Those numbers [spending cuts] have no real meaning because they are conjured in the wilderness of mirrors that is the federal budget process. Since 1974, Capitol Hill’s “baseline” has automatically increased spending every year according to Congressional Budget Office projections…”
The first step toward a real balanced budget would be to repeal baseline budgeting!
42 – in order to do that, we need real currency. That’s one of the dangers of fiat currency; there is no check on spending.
To anyone still wailing about the horrible austere spending cuts in Europe:
“Following years of large spending expansion, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, and Greece—countries widely cited for adopting austerity measures—haven’t significantly reduced spending since “austerity” supposedly started in 2008.
First, France and the U.K. have not cut spending. Second, when spending was actually reduced—between 2009-2011 in Greece, Italy, and Spain—the cuts were relatively small compared to the size of their bloated European budgets. While Italy reduced spending between 2009-2010, it also increased spending in the following year by an amount larger than the previous reduction. Most importantly, meaningful structural reforms were seldom implemented. Whenever cuts took place, they were always overwhelmed with large counterproductive tax increases.”
First, and again…one can’t blame ‘austerity’ – or even spending cuts – for Europe’s woes because there was no ‘austerity’, or even spending cuts.
One can claim real austerity wasn’t implemented because modern mainstream economic thinking says it can’t work and that the key is to increase spending and raise taxes (despite all the evidence to the contrary)…that only enforces point number one, unless one is an advocate of circular reasoning.
Second, Europe actually followed a path recommended by all modern mainstream economic thinking – in spite of what they called it – by increasing spending and taxes.
Perhaps the culprit is in the modern mainstream economic thinking?
Wow John R likes Jimmy Carter budgeting.
45 – personal attacks, Rich? Come on, you’re better than that.
Please respond to the content of my post. Any comment on the link?
A point that needs to be made regarding “austerity” is that it was not tried as a policy to grow an economy but as a way for governments to keep borrowing on as good as terms(low rates) as possible.
45. 89hoo – Not a personal attack at all, simply an observation that you were not taught or perhaps did not learn that there are no absolutes in this world. Different situations call for differnt ideas and solutions and no one fits all situations. The Great Recession of 2008 is different than that of 1930 and different from those in betweeen. Governement debt and spending today may be good or it may be bad depending on the needs of the economy. Or simply your premise that a dollar of government debt spent takes equally out of the economy what it puts in. There are many who see that differently. For instance, I can leverage my business and exponentially increase my growth. A concept employed each and everyday. If I over leverage beyond my ability to grow then I begin to lose and possible become bankrupt. The governemnt works the same way except the US government also controls and is subject to many more complex vairables than a simple business. You want to simplify the government economics to fit your economic theory, but in reality, no one theory works in all situations and the basic tenants of a theory move with the change in variables.
That in no way attacks you, it simply means that UVA obviously taught absolutism rather than reality.
46.BUD – austerity has been tried as a policy many times, and each time it has faleverage iled simply because it does not recognise that leverage is a crucial tool for growth, whether in a business or in a government. You certianly have used leverage to acquire properties, whether by using others people money for free (accounts payable) or through finance with an interest cost. It allows you to grow exonentially faster than you could do on your own capital. Government works the same. Austerity wants 89hoos one dollar in and one dollar out. It limits the capital supply to any enterprise.
Certainly too much debt means the entity must either increase its ability to cover its debt costs or to reduce the debt load. In business, they are limited ways to do that, in US governemnt, there are many more. Using debt to grow is a good thing within parameters.
That is not to say we do not have changes and cuts to be made, that will always be true. It is a matter of objectively looking at those and rationally making those decisions. Congress has not yet done either.
43 – 89hoo – The US (Bernanke and Obama) increased spending (a little over whay was already committed) and decreased taxes during the last four years to turn around the recession. REDUCED TAXES and increased spending is the basic theory of stopping recesion and increasing growth. Europe tried austerity whether it meets your definition or not. Some were forced to increase taxes as well as cut spending because the Euro agreement did not allow them to adjsut their moneysupply and they could not borrow. That has proven a disaster. As for England, since it was not on the Euro, it has had the opportunity to adjsut its monney supply, yet it also chose to cut spending and to cut tax breaks. That form of austerity has also proven a disaster.
The only reasonabl affective policy has been that taken by the US and it not only stopped the recession it has brought steady growth. Had the US not been limited by the crazies in the GOP, growtth would have been greater at much less risk fom the monetary supply manipulation. However, Bernanke has managed to make it work in spite of the GOP.
The market agrees with me, even if you do not.
Europe enacted austerity measures too late. Several European economies were in a state of collapse already. As societies move more and more into a runaway entitlement structure they end up having to pay the piper sooner or later. Austerity measures were too little too late.
47 – we agree, then, that since there were no austerity measures in Europe, austerity measures could not be the cause of Europe’s woes. You’re talking in circles.
For Q4 ’12 the US GDP fell to a surprising -0.1%. This compares to 3.1% growth in Q3 ’12 and is the first decline in US GDP since the so called
recovery started in mid 2009, well before the so called stimulus had kicked in.
The GDP performance in Q4 2012 was weaker than expected, and was forecast for a rise of 1.1%. The negative GDP was a big surprise to the Obmanistas. No one expected the GDP to decline in the fourth quarter, least of all Bernanke!
For 2012 as a whole the US grew by just 2.2% and is forecast to grow by about 2.0% in 2013. The average GDP since the so called “recovery” began in July ’09 has been an anemic 2%!
If the GDP goes negative again for Q 1 ’13, that would mean a recession and spell the end of the Obama non-recovery. Seems like the economy is going in reverse!
There obviously are those on this blog that are satisfied with 2% annual growth and 8% unemployment. Any real signs of economic recovery are in spite of and not because of Obama.
50 – JimW, Europe never enacted any austerity measures.
John R…the GDP did not grow 2.2% for the 4 qtrs. of 2012..it was just short of 1.6%.
They sure seem to “think” it is austerity:
“In Spain, the recession is taking an incredible toll on the population. We have an intolerably high unemployment rate (more than 25%), the welfare state has been rapidly dismantled and public services and labour relations are deteriorating.
With this strike we want to change European policies, which only pay attention to the voices of the powerful. We also want to fight against employment reforms and a policy of dogmatic deficit reduction, which has brought us close to having 6 million unemployed.
Unemployment benefits are being cut. The unemployment rate among young people in Spain is over 50%, condemning our youth to social exclusion or emigration. The education cuts pushed through by the government are depriving many of any possibility of accessing higher education and force a classist, sexist and conservative education on them. The cuts in the health budget and the introduction of prescription charges mean that the most disadvantaged could be left outside the national health system, and the lack of budget provision for the dependent care law leaves thousands of people without appropriate care. As a result, thousands of families are pushed towards social exclusion.”
What then do you call these measures if not “austerity”?
51 hoo – no, we do not agree on that at all.
42. John R – Perhaps it is time for “Zero Based Budgeting” to be considered again. It failed in Carter’s time because it was simply too big a burden, too time consuming, and thereby not something that could be pursued to any extent. Today, we have a lot more information at our fingertips than in 1974. However, don’t think that departments merely add 3% to the prior year numbers and turn in their budget. Each department still has to justify their budget in detail. They use the prior year numbers as the best information available as to what to expect the costs to be for the upcoming year based on what they are expected to do differently in the new year. There is nothing wrong with that approach.
Something I’m not quite clear on yet … did Europe have any austerity measures?
58 – well, they CLAIMED they did. They made a big to-do about drastic spending cuts, dire budget cuts government layoffs, misery galore. This was announced with much fanfare and wailing and sobbing in the media and liberal intelligentsia.
The reality is that budgets were cut microscopically, if at all, layoffs were minimal, if at all. Overall spending, and hence budget deficits, rose at pretty much the same rates as before (in spite of simultaneous massive tax hikes).
And the economy continues to plummet.
And the media and liberal intelligentsia continued to wail and sob about the drastic budget cuts that never happened, ignoring the fact that they never happened (“austerity” was announced with great fanfare, after all, and no government officials announced that they didn’t happen, so how would the media know better?). Apparently, since the budget cuts and austerity that never happened had no positive impact on the economy, the budget cuts and austerity that never happened are to blame for the economy being in the toilet.
Now, there is discussion that true austerity measures would have worked at all; Rich claims they wouldn’t have, I claim they would…that’s an entirely different discussion than claiming that measures that never happened did not work.
There was no austerity. So austerity is not to blame.
55 – of course they think it’s austerity. No one has told them otherwise, and they lack the wherewithal to think beyond the next presser.
The point of baseline budgeting is that each item increases automatically every year. There are never any real spending cuts, only cuts in the rate of growth. This has been the fact since 1974, the budget has increased every year.
Even the coming sequestration only cuts the rate of growth. If it should take place, the government will continue to grow.
What is wrong with baseline budgeting is that there is never a reduction in the size of government, spending will increase ad infinitum.
The only way to reduce the size of government is to “starve the beast” thru reduction in revenue, i.e. tax cuts.
Washington will claim “spending cuts” when in reality only the rate of growth is very modestly reduced and then they will project the “savings” over the next ten years claiming “trillions have been saved” knowing full well a future Congress is not bound by this Congress and will put back the “spending cuts”, that is the larger rate of growth.
Again, even with sequestration, government grows and spending increases.
Read more: Myths From D.C. “Sequestration is a drastic spending cut.”
Name is required
A valid email is required (email@example.com)
Comment is required
Your email address will not be published.All fields are required to comment.
Wed, 18 Dec 2013 14:06:31 +0000