Month-End Miscellany

On this day when a huge economic stimulus bill has been passed, it is only appropriate to reference what I said in 2004 about the National Debt. Let me add Brad DeLong on how the government spending on infrastructure can actually benefit the economy 3-fold over just passing out money. And John Cole asks a great question: “If Republicans plan to deliver exactly zero votes for Obama’s stimulus bill, then why does the bill still have compromises in it? Screw them. Put the family planning stuff back in, take the tax cuts out. If we know for sure that passing a crappy bill won’t win any more votes then just pass a better bill. They won’t scream any louder. The political cost won’t be any greater. Also, and pay attention because this is the important part, a better bill is more likely to succeed.”

I also talked about education “reform” back in 2004. Interesting, the bill passed today has a lot of money for making sure that physical school buildings are safe and in good condition.  Elsewhere, other people are talking about teaching “green” at school. And on a local note, one Nevada school district wants to expand random drug testing at exactly the same time that the state wants school districts and everybody else to cut their budgets.  Somehow, that doesn’t seem right to me.

In 2005 I laid out some of the lies told about Social Security to manipulate us into thinking running our own private retirement accounts was a good idea.  Anybody look at their IRA or 401k statement lately? Anybody still think this is a good idea?  Anybody?

In 2006 I argued that I was a centrist because, in fact, my ideals were in line with “most Americans.” Today, one of Ezra Klein’s guest bloggers calls out the media on not being very centrist in their choice of interviews. Liberal Media?  Where??

It’s a shame the comic is no longer available online, because in 2007 I wrote yet more about universal health care (as opposed to mandatory health care). Just today, we have “COBRA expansion won’t benefit most low income workers” (hello, recently somebody actually did a study that proved what many of us already knew, COBRA is a sick, expensive joke on the newly unemployed). Oh, and Mahablog has a great BBC documentary on the American health care system.  Rather damning that Auntie Beeb had to do that for us.

In 2008 I rounded up some of the ways that the government has manipulated economic “data”. Now, the phenomenon has a technical name:  Pollyanna Creep. Kinda sounds like the sort of guy who hangs out just outside the Junior High School, doesn’t it.

I also asked why we ask if America is ready for a woman President. Sure, we are. We just aren’t ready for President Hillary Clinton, or worse yet, Vice President Sarah Palin. Gee Sarah, thanks to you and that Ferraro woman for setting women back politically a couple decades each!

In Closing: Google wants to help you figure out if your ISP is throttling your bandwidth; the Abramoff scandal continues to spawn indictments (and public trial records that may yet be used against members of the Bush Administration); and Carrie asks all the hard questions about being the parents of octuplets.  How easily we forget that a) the Bradys were fictional and b) Carol didn’t have to potty train them all at the same time.

2 thoughts on “Month-End Miscellany”

  1. $23,000.00 per person in ’04. Your latest link to the National Debt “clock” says we owe $34,000.00 each to date….

    Almost half again in the last four years…

    Yikes! They may well beat that (’04) estimation of doubling the debt in ten years.

    Shorty, what’s it take for Corporation U.S. to go into default? And what do you think that would look like?

  2. The 2008 Financial Report of the United States Government is interesting reading too (although one must tussle with the formal concepts of accounting to really utilize)

    George Will (like him or not) cites this document to support an argument that the Social Security Admin is really operating in the black (with a surplus) were it’s funds not co-mingled with the general funds. The balance sheet posts a surplus when analyzed as “closed group” and a deficit when using “open group” data. My eyes blurred and I was forced to take a break before I could establish what makes for inclusion in either group…

Comments are closed.