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Andrei in the office


Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness

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politics, voting, Obama

Know important terms...

Such as "Fiscal Conservative" and "Tax and Spend Liberal"

Click the image for more works by Steve Greenberg.

You can always donate directly to the Barack Obama's campain through my fundraising page.

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It is. Very nice.

Too bad it's a lie. But God knows we cannot allow truth to get in the way of a good cartoon...

(To be clear where I stand, I believe total government debt (= intergovernmental debt + public debt) should be allowed to grow at the same rate as the GDP, so I think the whole boogy man of debt is beyond absurd. And frankly, I believe both parties get it wrong: if you reduce government (as the GOP wants), what projects or programs could you have gotten that would make our lives better? And if you increase taxes (as the DNC wants), what private investments are you defunding in order to throw it at a number in some ledger somewhere? So long as the economy continues in the long term to grow, who cares if the debt grows at the same rate?)

Intergovernmental holdings

I don't see in the article you point to where he gets his numbers for the intergovernmental holdings from.

There is a factcheck.org article on the same topic that mentions intergovernmental holdings (in a sidewise manner unfortunately) at the bottom in reference to the USA Today story the author in your link uses to show it really is not appropriate accounting to not take this into account. Even taking it into account there is a surplus - which is why I am curious as to where the numbers the author in the link you provided come from.

Re: Intergovernmental holdings

The Web Wins (ok so it is FTP)

This has a breakdown of intergovernmental holdings for what looks like the last 50 years. Some by month.
Now I just need some time to go through it, perhaps I can sell some 'time bonds'!

Re: Intergovernmental holdings

The numbers in the link are the same as the numbers from the public debt report.
I wonder what factcheck.org was thinking, I assume they are smarter than I am, but I am going to have to doubt them on this one.

2001 (end of sept - gov fiscal year ends Oct).
Down on page 7 you can find a breakout of the intergovernmental debt holdings.
I am still going to disagree with the link author that most of this comes from social security - it does mostly come from various pension funds however, so it is a small point.

Re: Intergovernmental holdings

Learning more - apparently these are social security trust funds, they just aren't called that.
I think I am done with this for now.

Re: Intergovernmental holdings

In January 2001 when Bill Clinton left office, the total debt was $5.636 trillion. In January 1993 when Bill Clinton assumed office, the total debt was $4.076 trillion. During Bill Clinton's time in office, the debt increased $1.56 trillion.

What makes all this hard to sort out is the fact that the way we handled and accounted for debt has changed over the years which makes it hard to find a line-to-line comparison from 1993 to 2001.

The primary reason why Clinton "brought down the public debt" was an acceleration, taking place as his administration took office, of social security rates in order to prepare social security for the coming baby boomers. The public debt (that is, the component held by the public) did decline while he was in office--but as I noted before I don't think of this as a good thing. The only thing, in my opinion, which saved Clinton's bacon from withdrawing treasury bonds from public circulation (which is what happens when the debt declines, thus effectively taking M3 out of circulation) was the dot com explosion in the late 90's.

We'd like to think Presidents have an influence on the economy. This is complete fiction. The best any President can do is help establish a regulatory environment with congress that may or may not have negative impact on the economy years later: for example, one could blame today's financial crisis on Franklin Roosevelt who established Fannie Mae, and on Richard Nixon who established Freddie Mac. But except for Al Gore (who invented the Internet) the Clinton Administration had nothing to do with the dot com explosion: we could have had a trained monkey in the White House and the 1990's tech expansion would have happened anyway. And it was that tech explosion that pulled us out of a "sluggish" 2.7% growth rate in 1993 to a much better growth rate of 4.5% in 1999. (By 2001 we started down the road towards a recession caused by the dot-bomb bust, which made 9/11 especially tragic to our economy.)

I don't give to politicians, even the ones I like. However, McCain scared me when he said he wants to deregulate the health insurance industry, like the banking industry was deregulated. Obama has my vote.

Obama ad twists McCain's words on health care "deregulation."
An Obama-Biden ad falsely claims McCain says he wants to "do the same to our health care" that "Wall Street deregulation" has done to the banking industry.

The ad relies on a single phrase from a journal article under McCain's byline, in which he said he would reduce regulation of health insurance "as we have done over the last decade in banking." But the full context reveals that McCain was referring narrowly to his proposal to allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines.

I remember when you had to use Travelers Cheques in the 1980's when traveling from California to Georgia: no stores would accept "out of state" checks, and your ATM card wouldn't initially work out of state. Today you can travel anywhere in this country and use your ATM card and cash your checks.

It's no wonder why this line works: if you're younger than about 25 or 30, the idea that you can't just write a check or use your ATM card anywhere in the world would sound absolutely absurd. But that's the way things were back in the 70's and 80's.

Today I buy my health care insurance from Aetna of California, a corporation incorporated within the state boundaries of California. If I move to another state, I have to repurchase my health care under different state regulations. Do you think it would be a disaster to be able to buy insurance across state lines?

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