The Reagan/Bush Federal Debt Is Bankrupting Our Country

by Ben Hoffman

With the national debt now topping $12 trillion, the White House estimates that the government’s tab for servicing the debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically. Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher.

In concrete terms, an additional $500 billion a year in interest expense would total more than the combined federal budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The potential for rapidly escalating interest payouts is just one of the wrenching challenges facing the United States after decades of living beyond its means.

The surge in borrowing over the last year or two is widely judged to have been a necessary response to the financial crisis and the deep recession, and there is still a raging debate over how aggressively to bring down deficits over the next few years. But there is little doubt that the United States’ long-term budget crisis is becoming too big to postpone.

Source

Right-wingers have been trying to lay the blame for the debt on Obama, but the bulk of the debt was the result of Reagan’s and Bush’s massive tax cuts for the wealthy. Reagan tripled the federal debt and Bush doubled it.

The only way out of this mess is to raise taxes on the wealthy. There’s nothing wrong with working hard and becoming a millionaire, but many of the uber-wealthy haven’t acquired their wealth by creating anything of value; they’ve done it by gaming our system. People like Stephen J. Hemsley are paid over five million a year from health insurance premiums — or more specifically, by raising health insurance premiums and denying coverage.

And then we have the massive bonuses and salaries paid to Goldman Sachs executives — the very people who helped bring our country to the brink of another great depression. Again, these people made their fortunes by gaming our system, and when the system went belly-up, they got bailed out using borrowed money that is paid for with our tax dollars.

The biggest threat to our country is not terrorism; it’s the debt. Right-wingers defend the very people who have bankrupted our country and now are trying to blame Obama. That makes them complicit because they’re blocking any action or reform to fix the problem. It’s all political. They love their party more than they love their country, and their “love” of their country takes the form of extreme nationalism. Fascist dictators throughout history have used extreme nationalism to gain power. We were heading in that direction under the Bush administration with the rubber stamp Republican Congress and came dangerously close. The 2006 elections saved us this time. Next time we might not be so lucky.

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57 Comments to “The Reagan/Bush Federal Debt Is Bankrupting Our Country”

  1. Mr. Hoffman,

    If the wealthy earned their money, why should you confiscate it? Also, show me where over taxing the rich actually works. I suppose ear marks to buy votes is ok with you? An awful lot of pork is being used to buy Obama-care. The more money you give to a Congressman,,the more he will waste. Two and a half centuries have proven that.

    I know I am repeating myself, but maybe if I say it enough, some sense will find it’s way through you cranium.

    LOOK at the individual States. The one’s like California, which by the way should absolutely be the richest of all, have the biggest budget deficits and highest unemployment. WHY, WHY is California so screwed up? Because Sacramento politicians think like you do. Tax, tax, tax the rich. Spend, spend, spend.

    It’s like giving heroin to junkies. Unfortunately stupid people, and I know because I’m related to many, buy in to your class warfare BS.

    Again show me where it works. Show me one of you high tax States that is doing better than low tax States.

    You know it’s pretty damn bad when the Red Chinese lecture an American President on deficits, capitalism, and socialism.

    I can show you where the Reagan and Bush tax cuts increased revenue. But again the more money you give to Fwank, Reid, Pelosi, Byrd, and Dodd, the more they will spend. All because folks like you support them.

    • [If the wealthy earned their money, why should you confiscate it? Also, show me where over taxing the rich actually works.]

      Yes, if they earned it, they should be able to keep it. I fail to see how the CEOs of AIG, Goldmann Sachs, and United Health “earn” their multi-million dollar a year salaries.

      [I know I am repeating myself, but maybe if I say it enough, some sense will find it’s way through you cranium.]

      Alan, you only have a superficial understanding of the issues. I know you don’t value higher education, but if nothing else, it gives you a wider breath and depth of knowledge. It also shows an intellectual curiosity, of which you have none. You get your “facts” from biased sources, as well as your opinions. An intelligent person looks for unbiased facts and then forms his or her own opinion.

      [LOOK at the individual States. The one’s like California, which by the way should absolutely be the richest of all, have the biggest budget deficits and highest unemployment. WHY, WHY is California so screwed up? Because Sacramento politicians think like you do.]

      Moe already partially answered that one. Tax rates have little to do with unemployment rates. Hawaii has the highest tax rate but has the 12th lowest unemployment. S. Carolina has the same bad unemployment as California (third worst), but taxes are less than the national average.

      [Unfortunately stupid people, and I know because I’m related to many]

      Yes, intelligence is hereditary. 😉

      [Again show me where it works. Show me one of you high tax States that is doing better than low tax States.]

      Even if your theory was correct, with a federal tax, there’s no moving somewhere else to get away from it.

      But the real question is: what’s the best thing for our country? I realize you care more about your simple minded right-wing ideology than your country, but just pretend for a moment and ask yourself, what’s the most pragmatic way to cut the deficit?

      • Ben: “Even if your theory was correct, with a federal tax, there’s no moving somewhere else to get away from it.”

        There is places to go, like other countries. This may be the best country in the world now, but if taxes go up the rich will go somewhere else and then who will you tax?

      • mcoville – Top income tax rates in the 50s and 60s was over 80%. The rich stayed right here and got richer.

  2. [LOOK at the individual States. The one’s like California, which by the way should absolutely be the richest of all, have the biggest budget deficits and highest unemployment. WHY, WHY is California so screwed up? Because Sacramento politicians think like you do. Tax, tax, tax the rich. Spend, spend, spend.]

    California has that most dreaded of public traditions – the referendum system. Back in the late 70’s those durn Californians amended their constitution to (Via the infamous Proposition 13) to severely constrain property taxes:

    “Section 1. (a) The maximum amount of any ad valorem tax on real property shall not exceed One percent (1%) of the full cash value of such property. The one percent (1%) tax to be collected by the counties and apportioned according to law to the districts within the counties.”

    And thus began a 30-year spree of direct democracy that has tied the hands of Sacramento. The state gov’t is just as greedy as all gov’t’s but this little baby cut off most of the funds to run the State’s business. And THAT is why California is sinking into banana republic status.

    [I can show you where the Reagan and Bush tax cuts increased revenue.]
    Please do.

    • [[I can show you where the Reagan and Bush tax cuts increased revenue.]
      Please do.]

      I think there’s some circular reasoning out there that shows an increase in revenues from tax cuts. Naturally, it begins with a logical fallacy.

    • Moe: “The state gov’t is just as greedy as all gov’t’s but this little baby cut off most of the funds to run the State’s business. And THAT is why California is sinking into banana republic status.”

      If the government spent less then maybe they would not have a deficient. I know, the government spending less, thats just silly talk.

      If you have a credit card bill you can’t afford to pay do you go out and buy a big screen tv to help pay it off? If it doesn’t work for you then why would it work for the government?

      • McO – I know you were speaking hypothetically, but to show my ‘creds’: I carry no credit card debt. I carry no debt period. My house is paid off. My car is paid off. I buy most everything second hand. And I beleive in paying taxes.

        As I said, governments will always abuse funds and always want more. But we kid ourselves if we think we can maintain a country of 300+million people and keep slashing revenues. (and lowering taxes incrementally does NOT produce revenue – I think taking it down from 80% to 30-40% did, but that kind of difference is never going ot happen again in our lifetimes.)

      • You are an example of what our country needs to do. You didn’t barrow more debt to pay off your car and house. You reduced wasteful spending and paid off your debt with the income you had.

        I would be more open to raising taxes if there was not so much wasteful spending. If the federal government would restrict spending to the programs they are responsible to fund under the constitution, then look at how much money is coming in under the current tax laws they could then determine where the tax rate needs to be.

        I know this is unrealistic with the current politicians we have, but is that really unreasonable? Lets settle the debt issue before we decide to spend more money that we do not have, lets be logical about this.

      • McO – The problem we can never get around is that the politicians we have are really the politicians we’ve always had. We can hope for a more evolved human species to emerge and be elected and then be reasonable and do what’s right for the country. But of course it will never happen, so we really have to accept that, as they say, making laws is like making sausage and you really don’t want to look. And we havve to work within these very unpleasant facts. No one is coming to make it right.

        That said though, I still believe in shared civic values and I believe in moving forward and looking for what we can be rather than what we once were. The world moves on, we move on and pretty soon our kids will move on and probably in directions we can barely comprehend. C’est la vie.

  3. Ms. Holland,

    “California has that most dreaded of public traditions – the referendum system. Back in the late 70’s those durn Californians amended their constitution to (Via the infamous Proposition 13) to severely constrain property taxes:”

    Pardon me for being rude, but this is an insane statement. If I lived in California, I would support even tougher referendums. You still don’t get it.

    Taxes kill the private sector. Over spending is the problem in California. Do you think everyone should work in Government????????????????????? It’s the only growing part of the California economy.

    Redistribution kills jobs, period. Green energy kills jobs, period. Oh, by the way,,,, where are the 5 million green jobs Lord Obama promised? I’m getting scared that my private sector job will soon disappear as so many of my friends jobs have. I’m tired of paying taxes and watching the money go to Pelosi’s friends. I want to sit back and be a green parasite or maybe a little acorn. Let someone else be a sucker for a change.

    “And thus began a 30-year spree of direct democracy that has tied the hands of Sacramento. The state gov’t is just as greedy as all gov’t’s but this little baby cut off most of the funds to run the State’s business. And THAT is why California is sinking into banana republic status.”

    I believe the exact opposite of all you believe. Your solution is more heroin to the government spending junkies. I can only conclude that YOU do not pay a lot of taxes. YOU believe in the old saying ” don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax the guy behind the tree.” It’s GREAT spending other people’s money isn’t it. That seems to be the way with Democrats. How many in Obamaland did not pay their taxes? I lost count.

    Oh, shoot. I left out that other paragon of stupidity, NY State. Last I heard, they were broke too. The rich who can leave are not letting any grass grow under their SUV tires. In Pa we see a lot of cars with NY plates. Come to think of it NJ is represented well too in my State. They are also over taxed and broke. Me thinks I see a pattern.

    Mr. Hoffman,

    “Alan, you only have a superficial understanding of the issues. I know you don’t value higher education, but if nothing else, it gives you a wider breath and depth of knowledge. It also shows an intellectual curiosity, of which you have none. You get your “facts” from biased sources, as well as your opinions. An intelligent person looks for unbiased facts and then forms his or her own opinion.”

    It’s amazing. We have almost identical opinions of one another. I read from a vast amount of sources, including real world ones. My ideas have been found to work in the real world. You keep failing to give me a track record of success for your dreams.

    I do not have a bias against higher education, except where it is Bull Shizter. There are a lot of quacks hiding out in universities who could not make it in the real world. They pollute the minds of the young with global warming lies, socialism, etc.

    All I have to do is look at the text books my kid brings home from college. They are supposed to be about Social Work, but they are pure Marxism.

    • Where’s the proof that tax cuts increased revenue?

      And where’s the answer to this question: what’s the most pragmatic way to cut the deficit?

    • [There are a lot of quacks hiding out in universities who could not make it in the real world. They pollute the minds of the young with global warming lies, socialism, etc.]

      Only those of the weak minded. Smart kids can think for themselves.

    • It’s amazing. We have almost identical opinions of one another. I read from a vast amount of sources, including real world ones. My ideas have been found to work in the real world.

      Because naturally the capitalist, right-wing, libertarian, anti-intellectual canards you spout here are closest to the truth. Repeating the perceived wisdom of elite is not a particularly hard or convincing stance to take.

      They pollute the minds of the young with global warming lies, socialism, etc.

      Damn facts, always getting in the way of dogma. :>

  4. I’ve recently done some research into this area, due to a paper I wrote on the national debt for my American Public Policy class. I read an article that explained the fiscal practices of the Republicans (at least those in power during the Bush administration) so simply: “Especially during the Bush administration, politicians have come to routinely ignore prudent budgeting by spending and cutting taxes at the same time.” Cutting taxes while drastically increasing spending on two wars the way Bush did is how he managed to double the national debt during his presidency, aside from the immense damage he did to our budget deficit.

    Obviously, I’m a Democrat, and a liberal one at that, which is why I believe in raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. I learned from my father, a man who grew up in a lower middle class family, who put himself through college and law school, and who has found success in his almost 30-year career as an attorney. He and my mom, who spent most of my childhood as a homemaker, raised three kids, put all through college, and gave us everything we could ever need. Although he and my mom complain about their tax burden every year (doing their annual taxes is NOT their favorite activity), my dad sees it as his duty. He understands what it means to go without, that some people, no matter how hard they work, can never break free of their poverty. My dad has a well-developed sense of fairness, of doing what’s right. He’s never voted for a Republican, even though he would keep more of his very hard-earned income if the Republicans were in power. He’s also anti-abortion, so it’s not as if he votes primarily on social issues, either.

    My dad is incredibly smart. He graduate from both college and law school with honors, represents huge insurance companies, drives a Lexus, and basically lives the American dream, one of his own making. He understands the issues better than any of my university professors. But it’s this understanding that has determined his political ideals. He’s a liberal Democrat, one who won’t even allow Fox News to be watched in his house. His intelligence and understanding of politics, economics, law, and his memories of his own humble childhood, have led him in that direction.

    So, he may mumble about paying extra taxes, but when he sees that I’m able to get state-subsidized health insurance because of it, he’s incredibly happy and proud to do it.

    And I apologize profusely for this being so long!! Jeez!

    • Your Dad sounds wonderful and in fact he sounds a lot like mine. My grandparents were immigrants so he was first generation and did all the same stuff – worked his way thru law school, raised a big family – kids, grandkids and great grandkids who all honor him. He did it on his own and he has never voted for a Republican either. He taught all of us about civic responsibilities by example, serving on endless committees and Representative Town Meeting and town boards. A lot of time and commitment on his part. And like him, I’m a liberal. As are we all (well, except for one . . . ).

      I hope your Dad gets to read your lovely words.

    • Allow me to tell my story. 🙂

      Neither of my parents went to college. My father never even graduated high school. We never had much money when I was growing up and there was always a lot of yelling and screaming in the house.

      I had several middle class friends when I was a kid and saw what a person could do with an education. It took me a while before I was finally able to go to college but I finally completed my degree when I was 38. It’s the best thing I ever did for myself, but I never would have made it through without government grants, scholarships, and loans. Clinton was responsible for some of the financial aid I received.

      Since earning my degree in computer science, I’ve been able to earn a good living. My wife and I are considered upper class, economically. And it doesn’t bother me one bit to help others achieve the American dream. What bothers me is, because of the policies of the past 15 or so years, that dream is now much tougher to achieve.

      • Wow, Ben, you definitely have my respect! I’m also going through school on student loans and grants (my parents help out a bit, but hey, I’m 29). Your upbringing sounds like my boyfriend’s. He grew up in a very dysfunctional, conservative, and abusive home, and education was never emphasized. In fact, he was pulled out of school in the 4th grade and “home schooled”. His mother would prefer that everyone be as poor as she is, and resents anyone who is successful. My boyfriend has overcome all these obstacles and is putting himself through school, but it has been anything but easy. Without student loans, grants, and even a stint on welfare, he wouldn’t be doing as well as he is. I’m constantly amazed by his determination, and he is what inspires me to constantly try to better myself.

        Great, now I’m all teary-eyed.

        He also overcame the stifling conservatism of his parents. His mother and stepfather forced him to participate in anti-abortion rallies, and they told him that the government was only out to take away his freedom. Needless to say, when he became an adult, he made up his own mind about the world and has since only voted Democrat. He’s more moderate than me, but being an analytical and politically aware person (and having experienced the other side), he’s able to see through the lies of the Republicans. He’s a history and political science major in college, and has studied the history of our political and economic system and understands that the “fiscal conservativism” of the Republican party isn’t sustainable and is full of bad logic. In fact, he loves to lecture me about the economic recession and how it was caused, and how conservatives don’t understand how capitalism really works….yada, yada, yada. It gets really boring, honestly! 😉

    • Ben and Sleepygirl (and your boyfriend): These personal histories give me hope. Really. People like your boyfriend are not the ones out there screaming and complaining (I think the GOP used to call that whining) because they aren’t getting their way.

      As for fiscal responsibility, that’s really a joke. Reagan doubled the debt, Cinton balanced the budget, W doubled the debt again and sent us into an economic spiral the likes of which I’ve never seen in my life. Clinton created 22million jobs in 8 years. W lost (actually I don’t have the number), but W lost a shitload of jobs. And we’re at 10.8% unemployment and it’s Obama’s fault????? I must say, the guy managed to do a hell of a lot in ten months if it’s his fault.

  5. Mr. Hoffman,

    “Yes, if they earned it, they should be able to keep it. I fail to see how the CEOs of AIG, Goldmann Sachs, and United Health “earn” their multi-million dollar a year salaries.”

    I actually pretty much agree with you for a change. The problem is that this is not what the government is doing. I know, I know it started under Bush, but Geithner as head of the NY Fed was involved. After allowing it’s competitors to fall, the Gov. saved Goldman Sachs and allowed it to make millions. Now they were under the gun and had to make fast decisions, but Goldman Sachs came out far too well.

    My dispute with you involves the way you just lump all rich and wall st. types together. Now as far as AIG, most of the fault lies with the guy who ran their London operation. Joseph J. Cassano. Cassano made $280 million over 8 years. The guy running AIG, who might have stopped Cassano from ruining AIG, Hank Greenberg was forced out by Elliot Spitzer, a couple years before. Read,

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/business/28melt.html?ref=business

    Sorry for the long story but, not all Wall Streeters deserve Obama’s wrath. The case I have in mind is Andrew J. Hall who ran the Phibro trading division of Citigroup.

    Over 5 years Hall made Citigroup more than $2 billion. Hall was owed $100 million. I don’t know how much of that he finally got, but because of the crap the gov. was giving Citi, because they took bailout, Phibro was sold.

    My question to you. Since you said if they earned it, they can keep it, do you think if a guy makes you $2 billion, he deserves his $100 million? If he made me $2 billion I’d be more than willing to pay him, especially in Citi’s case where they desperately need talent like this to survive against their competitors.

    • I guess if you think any salaried person should earn $100 million, even in bonuses, there’s no middle ground between you and me.

      Commissions based on actual sales that are paid for are one thing and I say the sky’s the limit for the salesman. He’s earned his commissions. But salaried people are different and bonuses are subjective. And no one, absolutely no one ‘earns’ $100 million.

      What about a general who wins a war? What about an FBI agent who brings down a crime syndicate? Their contributions are incalculable. They make maybe, what, $100K? Come on.

      • That’s a hard argument to make. What about a teacher, or a scientist? Shouldn’t they earn more? From a certain point of view, sure.

        And besides, no idiot should make $100m while tanking a company, but they wouldn’t be able to if a board of directors and the shareholders didn’t approve the contract first. CEOs are easy targets, but its mainstreet greed and naivety that is really to blame at the end of the day.

        As for actually ‘earning’ $100m, I would have to disagree with your statement. The salesman wouldn’t have a product to sell if it wasn’t FIRST for the business owner investing in and/or creating a market. Instead of putting his money in T-bills, he takes more risk for a POTENTIALLY greater rate of return which in turn directly creates jobs.

        The salesperson also has no real skin in the game, the business owner does. The salesperson sells to a market, the business owner CREATES a market like Jobs, Gates, and Branson have.

        Steve Jobs earns his money because he’s a visionary and an innovator. So was Gates, so is Branson. These are people worth billions and rightly so – they create (and maintain) wealth that generates billions of dollars and thousands of real jobs, based on their skills which are rare.

      • Vern – I agree with you. Business owners, entrepreneurs and others who create something and take the risks – let ’em at it. They’re important in a million ways and should reap the rewards. Their successes often benefit us all.

        A salesman is being rewarded for actual performance that can be measured by sales figures, signed contracts. If he doesn’t bring in the bacon, he doesn’t get the commissions.

        The ones I”m objecting to are ‘salaried’ CEOs of public companies, owned by shareholders. That person is not the entrepreneur, not the business owner, and is not risking his own money. Taht person is an employee and is charged with being captain of that ship. And in no way is he worth $100 million. No way.

      • Steven Hemsley, CEO of United Health group, was paid 13.2 million dollars in 2007. Now what has he done to “earn” that kind of money, other than screwing the general public.

    • [Over 5 years Hall made Citigroup more than $2 billion. Hall was owed $100 million. I don’t know how much of that he finally got, but because of the crap the gov. was giving Citi, because they took bailout, Phibro was sold.

      My question to you. Since you said if they earned it, they can keep it, do you think if a guy makes you $2 billion, he deserves his $100 million?]

      Well, it’s kind of like saying, if you pay someone to gamble with other people’s money, and he wins, he deserves a large compensation.

      The root of the problem is deregulation, or specifically: the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. It legalized the trading of commodities by speculators, which led to record high fuel prices a few years ago.

      So, while what Hall did may have been perfectly legal, it was catastrophic for our economy.

  6. Why is it you liberals can’t make a decision? I asked Mr. Hoffman whether Mr. Hall should be paid his $100 million and none of you who chimed in can give me a straight answer.

    For your information the $2 billion was real money. You can argue whether or not you like how it was made, but this was lawful trading. The issue is whether a guy who actually made his company $2 billion should be punished for all of the guys who ran their companies in to bankruptcy.

    Since none of you seem to have the ability to use Google to independently research this issue, I offer the following educational moment.

    http://www.davemanuel.com/2009/10/10/citigroup-dumps-phibro-and-andrew-j-hall/

    • Alan – I read the story at your link and it tells me Mr. Hall got his bonus from Occidental after they bought Philbro from Citi. So what the hell is the problem. Am I supposed to feel sorry for this guy?

      Are you angry that the US bailed out Citi and therefore put Citi in a corner re how to handle the Hall bonus??

      What, to save Hall’s contract we should have stayed away and let Citi go under? And then there would be no one to give him the bonus?

      My head reels.

  7. Ms Holland,

    Thank you for being more polite in your answer than Mr. Hoffman was. I am merely trying to see how deep class envy runs on this board. Andrew J. Hall had a legal contract with Citi. He made them money at a time when a lot of their other stars were bleeding them dry.

    I also wanted to point out consequences of the mindless rich bashing that your side always does. But your right Mr. Hall came out all right. What if Citi had decided to keep Phibro and pay him what they owed him BY LAW. I suppose an ACORN rentamob would have showed up at his house.

    You remember the law? That thing that Obama broke at Chrysler when he shafted the bond holders in favor of the union. Bond holders who in good faith gave Chrysler money, when it was in trouble. When a company can’t pay it’s bills everyone has a place in line to get their money. The bond holders were told by Obama to shut up and get out of line.

    • [I am merely trying to see how deep class envy runs on this board.]

      No, it’s more resentment of those who helped destroy our economy.

      Part of what caused the deepest recession since the Great Depression was the spike in oil prices a few years ago. To a great extent, that was the result of commodities trading deregulation (see the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000). With deregulation, people like Andrew Hall were able to drive up oil prices to earn huge profits for Citygroup, Goldman Sachs, and a few others.

      The record high oil prices affected nearly every aspect of our economy. Shipping costs increased, which caused the price of food to shoot up, as well as causing massive government budget deficits around the country due to increased operating costs for mass transportation, police, fire departments, schools, road maintenance… It hurt the airlines, independent truckers, and many small businesses that relied on fuel for their operations. It also hurt the unemployed since it cost a lot just to drive to job interviews.

      Now, while what Hall may have been legal, it was bad for our country and that’s why I have a problem defending him.

    • Alan, Ben can’t see past the immediate and local causes of any price increase for oil. The international demand for diesel fuel, etc. (China for example) all go hand in hand in the price for oil. There’s alot more, much more involved in regulating oil prices than Andrew Hall’s antics. You are absolutely correct in your statement about class envy indicative of the left. The posts on this blog (bless his heart) are all filled with obvious animosity towards the wealthy. The rich haven’t destroyed the economy (you ever work for a poor person?) … yea, most provide jobs for regular folks.

      • Why is it you right-wingers always argue with emotions rather than facts? Could it be, the facts don’t support your arguments?

        Most jobs are created by small to medium size businesses — not the uber-wealthy.

      • And who owns the small to medium size businesses? Not some guy making $50,000 a year Ben. Anyway, Sandy and I got some stuff to do. Have a great weekend!

      • Guys – I grew up rich among very rich people. They are my family and friends. And pretty much they’re Democrats with a few Republicans scattered in. No class envy here Steve. I like folks who get rich by their own devices.

        Whether Mr Hall acted legally or not really doesn’t matter – the economy in which he fished dried up. People all up and down Wall Street are paying the price, so why not him and his ilk. They make nothing, and improve nothing – their only product is profit and that my friends, is pure Ferengi.

      • My dearest Moe. I didn’t state that ALL left-leaning folks have the ‘class envy’ syndrome. Just the ones that make it completely obvious by their statements accordingly. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh”. I just find it suspect when folks malign the ‘weathy’ simply for their wealth, and in reality it matters not how they acquired it. I’m not always the happiest guy in the world and I make a decent living, but I don’t begrudge those that have alot of money, or expect them to pay for my medical care, etc. I can tell you that I believe there aren’t very many folks in Congress that don’t have investments in the very ‘abominable’ businesses that cause every economic problem in America, past, present, and future.

      • [I didn’t state that ALL left-leaning folks have the ‘class envy’ syndrome.]

        No, you right-wingers just use that as your straw-man argument.

    • Alan
      You forgot to mention that Bush just about had that economy-tanking thing all wrapped up when the stupid Americans elected Obama and then he screwed it up all over again. Shucks.

  8. Mr. Hoffman,

    “Hey Alan, go f*ck yourself.”

    🙂 Happy Thanksgiving.

    “Part of what caused the deepest recession since the Great Depression was the spike in oil prices a few years ago. To a great extent, that was the result of commodities trading deregulation (see the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000). With deregulation, people like Andrew Hall were able to drive up oil prices to earn huge profits for Citygroup, Goldman Sachs, and a few others.”

    Sometimes by accident you come so close to the truth, but then your anti business, anti capitalist ideology makes you veer off in to a ditch.

    You are absolutely right about oil prices causing the recession. You are absolutely right that commodities traders bid the price up on oil. However, the traders were the tail wagging the dog.

    Speculators and investors were merely reacting to the environment created by an idiotic policy that discouraged oil production, and refinery building, all in the name of helping out inefficient green technologies and green companies like “GE” filling the coffers of Democrats.

    Did any of this brain dead green do anything to reduce oil and gasoline imports? NOOOOO! Domestic oil and gasoline production increases would have. Every domestically produced drop of oil and gasoline is one less foreign drop imported. Why is this so hard to grasp?

    This would also have kept more petro dollars in the US and AMERICAN oil and refinery workers would have collected bigger paychecks from REAL jobs, not imaginary green jobs.

    The other leg of the beast which crashed the economy was the massive fraud which YOUR folks, at the GSEs ( Fannie and Freddie ) perpetrated. And of course YOUR folks in the House and Senate ( Maxine, Barney, Gregory, Lacy, Artur,) who beat up this poor guy from OFHEO who was the canary in the coal mine saying there was trouble.

    Watch this video and then spin your way out of the lies which the Democrats have committed.

    Now you made a big deal out of the bonuses that “rich” Wall Streeters got while ruining their businesses and causing the taxpayers to bail them out.

    Ok. Where do you stand on the bonuses ( $90 million ) that Franklin Raines EARNED while accounting fraud allowed him to increase earnings at Fannie Mae? He ended up giving some back.

    Then there was Jamie Gorelic Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae. I think she made about $ 26 million over 5 or 6 years while Fannie Mae had a $10 billion scandal.

    You also got Richard Syron of Freddie Mac getting $ 19.8 million in 07 while Freddie was going down the tubes.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25740405/

    In fairness Syron was greasing Republicans as well as Democrats.

    Dan Mudd got $ 9.3 million in severance for his role in running Fannie Mae in to the ground and sticking the taxpayers with $trillions in bad loans.

    Most of these “Rich” who got rich by destroying the GSEs are tied to the party of the hungry and the poor, the Democrats.

    • Alan, you’re just spouting off right-wing talking points like a robot. Where’s your ACORN reference?

      The topic was Hall’s bonus. Hall was involved in commodities trading. It has nothing to do with Fannie and Freddie. That was the housing bubble.

    • [Ok. Where do you stand on the bonuses ( $90 million ) that Franklin Raines EARNED while accounting fraud allowed him to increase earnings at Fannie Mae? He ended up giving some back.
      Then there was Jamie Gorelic Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae. I think she made about $ 26 million over 5 or 6 years while Fannie Mae had a $10 billion scandal.
      You also got Richard Syron of Freddie Mac getting $ 19.8 million in 07 while Freddie was going down the tubes.In fairness Syron was greasing Republicans as well as Democrats.
      Dan Mudd got $ 9.3 million in severance for his role in running Fannie Mae in to the ground and sticking the taxpayers with $trillions in bad loans.]

      I’m not sure what your point is Alan. That these I assume are Democrats?

      Crooks are crooks and vulgar pay levels are vulgar pay levels.

      Is Mr. Hall a Democrat or a Republican? And, should I somehow care?

  9. Mr. Hoffman,

    “Alan, you’re just spouting off right-wing talking points like a robot.”

    If they are just talking points then you will have no trouble disproving them, will you?

    “The topic was Hall’s bonus. Hall was involved in commodities trading. It has nothing to do with Fannie and Freddie. That was the housing bubble.”

    Soooo,I take it you do not see my point. The point is even beyond Hall’s bonus. You continually bash wall street over bonuses, which you say just go to people who destroy their companies, which the taxpayers get the bill for. I point out Mr. Hall who made money for his employer. I also point out these people, mostly Democrats who presided over accounting fraud at the GSEs and were paid wall st caliber bonuses. These people and their protectors in Congress were as much to blame for the financial meltdown as anybody at AIG, Bear Stearns, and Goldman Sachs.

    Samuel Johnson 18th Century Author “Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding.”

    Ms. Holland,

    “Crooks are crooks and vulgar pay levels are vulgar pay levels.

    Is Mr. Hall a Democrat or a Republican? And, should I somehow care?”

    Wall St. gets all of the blame for the housing dilemma. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac actually started the boulder rolling down the hill that flattened the economy. I am merely pointing out that a lot of Democrats walked away with big money for destroying our country. Where was Senator Obama when these shenanigans were going on? Where was Cris Dodd, Barney Frank, and Nancy Pelosi when these accounting scandals broke? Why hasn’t President Obama demanded that these bonuses be returned? Why hasn’t President Obama demanded jail time for these people?

    • [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac actually started the boulder rolling down the hill that flattened the economy. I am merely pointing out that a lot of Democrats walked away with big money for destroying our country.]

      That’s what you’d like to believe so that’s why you believe it. Simply put, the financial crisis would have occurred without the failure of Fannie and Freddie. The failure of Fannie and Freddie would not have occurred without the financial crisis.

      But, we realize you have no intellectual curiosity and only want talking points that make Democrats look bad.

    • Alan
      So, this rolling planetary economic collapse was caused by Frannie and Freddie. And you left out Barney Frank. Imagine, a gay congressman from Boston sent planet earth off its orbit.

      Mr. Hall doesn’t matter to anyone in this world except Mr. Hall and, apprently, you.

      Alan, you didn’t answer my question.

      I ask is Hall a Dem or Rep and you say “Wall St gets all the blame . . .” Huh?

  10. [This post was deleted because Steve’s idea of debate is calling the other person stupid.]

  11. Mr. Hoffman,

    “That’s what you’d like to believe so that’s why you believe it. Simply put, the financial crisis would have occurred without the failure of Fannie and Freddie. The failure of Fannie and Freddie would not have occurred without the financial crisis.”

    Look it up. Your statement simply denies the facts.

    “But, we realize you have no intellectual curiosity and only want talking points that make Democrats look bad.”

    Nice, the way you project your faults on to me.

    Ms. Holland,

    “So, this rolling planetary economic collapse was caused by Frannie and Freddie. And you left out Barney Frank. Imagine, a gay congressman from Boston sent planet earth off its orbit.”

    Look it up. I know that you and Mr. Hoffman do not trust my sources, so again look it up. You know what, look it up and find evidence that I am wrong.

    You two look at yellow and see purple, fine. Look up the facts and show me where I got it wrong. As far as Bahney Fwank, that gay Congressman has had a tremendous amount of power. Congressman Frank has used his power since 1992 to stop reform of the GSEs.

    Look up the trillions, that is $trillions that the GSEs have in liabilities and then show me where I am wrong. You will not be able to do it.

    Mr. Hoffman,

    Show me how trillions in liabilities are irrelevant. That is what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have stuck us with. Try posting some facts to disprove my facts, instead of just saying it is all ideology.

    I realize that you do not get these points of view on MSNBC or whatever other propaganda feeds you use.

    • [Show me how trillions in liabilities are irrelevant. That is what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have stuck us with. Try posting some facts to disprove my facts, instead of just saying it is all ideology.]

      They haven’t “stuck” us with trillions in liabilities. For that to occur, all of the mortgages would have to have had been defaulted on. So far, the government has infused 200 billion dollars into the two GSEs and 16 billion to cover the loans that have been defaulted on, but that’s the extent of the bailout.

      The problem with Fannie and Freddie is they were privatized back in the 60s, but with government sponsorship. The government should not be guaranteeing the liabilities of private enterprises. That’s socialism for the wealthy, as we’ve had with the bank bailouts.

      The government has taken over Fannie and Freddie and that’s how it should stay, minus the huge salaries of CEOs.

    • [ . . .that gay Congressman has had a tremendous amount of power.]

      Yup. He’s a Chairman. That’s how it works.

  12. Ms.Holland,

    “I ask is Hall a Dem or Rep and you say “Wall St gets all the blame . . .” Huh?”

    I don’t know if Hall is Republican or Democrat, but from your point of view he is far lower than a GOPer. He is a Capitalist. He risked his firm’s capital ( money ) and won. What could be worse from a Socialist’s viewpoint than that?

    Mr. Hoffman,

    “They haven’t “stuck” us with trillions in liabilities.”

    Wow you actually looked up facts and stated them. Mom, our kids our finally growing up, I will concede “POTENTIAL “liabilities.

    Ms Holland,

    “that gay Congressman has had a tremendous amount of power.]

    Yup. He’s a Chairman. That’s how it works.”

    YOU were the one who has used “GAY” as a cover so you do not have to defend Barney Frank”s actions. To me “gay” may be offensive, but all I really care about is what the man did.

    Mr. Hoffman,

    “Alan is living his worst nightmare. Gays with power. A black man in the White House. No wonder he’s so angry! :)”

    As Ms Holland did, and really as all liberals do, you use race as a shield and sexuality to hide from what your guys have done. Defend their actions instead of trying to label us as bigots.

    As Joe Friday used to say, “Just the facts Mam”.

  13. [Wow you actually looked up facts and stated them. Mom, our kids our finally growing up, I will concede “POTENTIAL “liabilities.]

    I will concede you’re a moron.

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