A belated Happy Federal Fiscal New Year to you!

Perhaps you missed the celebration back on October 1st when Uncle Sam officially put the 2014 fiscal year to bed and launched into 2015.  That’s because there was none, and why would there be?

The United States government’s record of maintaining its financial house over the previous 12 months makes Bernie Madoff look like the CEO of the Year.  The federal government continued to expand its Ponzi scheme, not only by spending more than it collected, but also by not even attempting to fix the problem.

Consider this information supplied by the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CFB):

–The Congress passed no appropriations bills for the 2015 fiscal year. Instead, lawmakers simply continued the trend of passing continuing resolutions.  The current CR runs until mid-December.

–Just one major tax reform plan was offered.  It came from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and included reductions, reforms and repeals of a variety of tax breaks that fill the tax code.   The CFB says it’s the most significant proposal in nearly 30 years, but it’s unclear if it will get any traction.

–The government suspended the debt ceiling twice during the 2014 fiscal year.  CFB says the government continues to use something called “extraordinary measures” to borrow money to run the government until the next deadline—March 15, 2015.

–CFB says that on three occasions, Congress used budget gimmicks to pay for major expenses. Those include the “doc fix” so doctors caring for Medicare patients would get full payment and something called “pension smoothing” that puts $6.4 billion in the Highway Trust Fund, but fails to account for the red ink in the future.

–The government shut down for 16 days during the last fiscal year because no funding bill had passed and we were 108 days into the fiscal year before lawmakers passed an appropriations bill for 2014.

–We added $800 billion to the national debt, which now stands at $17.8 trillion.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, says there won’t be much to miss about fiscal year 2014.  “Who longs for government shutdowns, debt ceiling fights, appropriations stasis and more debt?”

Will fiscal year 2015 be any better?  Is there any reason to think so?

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Comments

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  • mntnman

    While I'm an optimist by nature, I'm not sure that politics will improve in the coming year. Unfortunately I expect more of the zero sum politics that is afflicting our country. So the new fiscal year won't be much better. My observation is that government is not so much our problem as politics is our problem. A pox on the political parties and their houses.

  • FungoJoe

    Hoppy,
    Obama's economic policies are way out of whack. We have a very strong dollar now. Economics 101 will tell you that is not the best avenue to take.
    "A strong dollar—one that can purchase more foreign currency relative to a weak dollar—means that U.S. consumers pay less for imports. It also means that foreign consumers must pay more for U.S. exports.
    A weak dollar—one that can purchase less foreign currency relative to a strong dollar—means that U.S. consumers must pay more for imports from foreign nations. However, foreign consumers will pay less for U.S. goods and services, which will help increase production and employment in America.
    So the strong dollar and the weak dollar each have positive and negative effects. Think about it: A strong dollar helps U.S. consumers because it makes foreign goods, which American consumers clearly enjoy buying, cheaper. Yet it hurts U.S. exports and therefore U.S. production and employment. It also makes the United States a less affordable travel destination for foreign visitors.
    Meanwhile, a weak dollar makes U.S. exports and travel in the United States more affordable for foreigners. That helps U.S. production and employment. However, it also raises the price of imports for Americans. This, in a sense, limits U.S. consumers' choices (and can contribute to inflation), but it shifts buying behavior in favor of U.S. products, which also helps U.S. employment.
    The best “dollar policy” is, therefore, one that balances the pros and cons of a strong and weak dollar, and that takes the economies of our trading partners into account.
    Much of Europe and Asia correctly view the United States as the engine of growth for the global economy. The U.S. market is so large, strong, driven by consumption, and partial to imports that it can boost production in European and Asian nations. That's a large responsibility and one that Americans, by virtue of their free spending ways, unwittingly but willingly take on."

    • The bookman

      The strong dollar is here for a while. As we tighten monetary policy and allow rates to rise, while the ECB engages in its own Euro stimulus, we will continue to see it appreciate against world currencies. The most important effect in my view will be its check on inflation, as world commodities are largely priced in US Dollars. Oil, corn, coffee, commodities in general will cost less due to the dollar strength. It will be interesting to see how we handle it as oil falls below the price supports for domestic oil.

  • Aaron

    Where can I read about the alleged argument of reduced corporate profits being responsible for stagnant wages and more importantly how does that factor into our government's inability to control spending?

  • Ole Sasquatch

    This govt. spending buys votes. What's more important having security in the future are winning the next election. That's what it all comes down to and which party by far would rather win the next election instead of securing the future. Be honest now - we all know which party that is. That's right, the one that didn't deem it necessary to produce a budget for about 4 yrs.

  • Hop'sHip

    After-tax profits as a percentage of GDP are at all time high is a fact and presented as such. I know some here have a problem with facts because they live In some ideological fantasy land but it was presented as a fact with no judgment as to whether that is good or bad. But as a fact it is difficult to reconcile that with the argument that the reason wages are down is because the business climate is not conducive to making profits and thus discouraging investment.

    • The bookman

      Profits don't encourage investment. They only provide the necessary capital when the environment is conducive for investment. We are lucky that the capital is available, and I simply would like us to focus on improving the environment that provides the temptation to invest and put those profits in search of greater returns in our economy.

      It's not fantasy. It's economic reality. Smart money always seeks the highest financial return measured by risk. Smart money also recognizes real economic strength against the fantasy land perpetuated by QE in our markets.

      • Hop'sHip

        So the pursuit of profit is not a reason for investing? Maybe you are the Marxist to whom someone else was referring.

        • The bookman

          The profits we currently see on the balance sheets of these large corporations are not from capital investment in their business, but from inflated stock prices due to the injection of easy money from the Fed. Real economic growth requires capital investment. We are just waiting on the bubble to burst.

          Seeking a return on investment is a noble goal, and smart investors weigh many variables prior to putting their money in play. Having it available is only one variable. Your ORIGINAL point was that because they were setting on loads of cash, there need not be any additional incentive to invest. The point I make is if the risk of loss, or uncertainty of economic climate, is greater than the anticipated return, no amount of profit would coerce the intelligent investor to play his/her hand.

          • The bookman

            HH:

            Here is a great synopsis of what we were talking about on Friday.

            http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/05/investing/stock-market-lookahead-wall-street-beer-goggles/index.html

          • The bookman

            HH,

            Again, I agree with your assessment of Bernanke and Yellen, and I don't think the intention is to enrich the top tier, but you can't argue that the monetary policy at the Fed isn't doing just that. Anyone given $1T a year can stave off a Depression. The trick was to permit a soft landing, find a realistic bottom, and right the ship. We chose a different path, one that led to record high markets based on inflated paper. Another balloon market.

            I will hold my opinion of Yellen for a few more quarters as she fully asserts herself, but so far I like her better than Bernanke.

            I don't covet a depression. I covet a recovery.

          • Hop'sHip

            I think what is going on is the Fed is being led by officials like Bernanke and Yellon who actually have studied the Great Depression and who, in the absence of action on the fiscal side, have wisely used monetary policy to prevent another depression that you seem to covet. And I use the Reagan example to demonstrate that you can interpret an economic era to suit your economic purpose. Nothing I said about the Reagan era was wrong, by the way. It was incomplete and superficial, but not wrong.

          • The bookman

            HH:

            Was Nancy your HS girl or something. You harbor such resentment for Reagan. Mischaracterize his presidency all you want, but that recovery speaks for itself. Sadly, the absence of this one does as well.

            Greg at least is consistent in that I don't think I've heard him support handing out free money to Wall Street like you have, and then criticize Wall Street and Big Business for having a lot of cash. So if you are going to pick a consistent theme, Greg might be your choice.

          • Hop'sHip

            Now I think I'm getting it. So during the Reagan years when we were not only running up public debt but also private debt, both corporate and individual, and we were all being encouraged to spend beyond our means, that was REAL economic growth. No, I think if I'm going to be cynical, I'll go with GregG's analysis - they continue to make profit-creating investments, they are just making them outside this country, where they can better dictate the terms of their investments. And if we want them to return to investing here, we need to allow them to dictate the terms here.

          • The bookman

            The facts are you pretty much have it right. Those with the deepest pockets have made enormous sums of money in this Fed ensured market. Many CEO's shelter much of their earnings in stock and as a result, they have benefitted as well. Yes, the small investor has been able to recoup their losses from 2008, but the crime has been the real effect on our economy, by creating a preferred investment vehicle that has impeded capital investment. The stated purpose of QE was to ease credit for investment into capital improvements. That didn't happen.

            So the result is that the policy I have railed against, and you supported, and still defend, has given us the result of which you complain. You blame guys like me for supporting big business and Wall Street blindly.

            I support free market economies.

            You supported the policies that have stifled growth and enriched those that you ridicule.

            Isn't that ironic?

          • Hop'sHip

            OK Bookie. Let me see if I am following you. If I accept your premise, which I don't completely, that corporate stock prices are grossly inflated due to what you call the Fed's "easy money" policy, how does that again get translated into faux reported profits on their p&l statement? If that is true then why wouldn't they just use that cash they have sitting around to buy their own stock which would further inflate their stock value which would further inflate their reported profit which would increase their stock price and on and on.

  • Aaron

    Below I read a comment below that baffles me.

    "After tax corporate profits are at record highs."

    My first response is "so" given that 1) profits are the goal of industry and B) The profits are AFTER tax meaning the corporations have ALREADY paid taxes on that income.

    Do we live in a society where we propose to tax individuals or corporations at a high-level because they are profitable? And here I thought the tax code was intended to produce revenue for our needs, not punish businesses and individuals for doing well.

    And to think, this individual says he does not follow Marxist philosophies yet he champions the very "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" mentality espoused by Marxist worldwide.

    Yeesh!!!

  • Aaron

    In 2001, the U.S. government took in roughly $1.9 trillion and ALMOST balanced the budget as spending exceeded revenue by $18 billion.

    Since then revenues have increased by over 50% as the U.S took in $3 billion in recenue but we Managed to spend close to $600 billion more than we took in, not counting interest spending.

    I'm all for returning to the Clinton era tax rates if we can return to that level of spending as well.

  • Silas Lynch

    Why keep rehashing this economic dead horse--- let's talk about something with some real importance to the Metro News gang ---

    Did you noticed Coach Rich Rod is beating #2 ranked teams in the country while WVU is happy with not losing by 30 to them...

    Wonder how Jim Justice would fix our economic problems?

    • Bill Hill

      The horse isn't dead and one of these days it is going to kick, hard.

  • Medman

    The national debt and the deficit are grossly misunderstood by a huge majority of voters. The best analogy I have heard is that our national debt is similar to having all of your grandparents and parents borrowing money for homes, cars, vacations and never paying anything to reduce the principle on those loans. They just paid the interest for the past 100 years. When you inherit the property, you find that all of it is titled to the banks where the loans were made, but you still owe the principle on every loan. The U.S. government has not paid off the principle for money it has borrowed since WWI. When we fight a war, build a road or increase payouts for entitlement programs, we simply borrow the money by issuing bonds or incurring debt with other countries like China. When those bonds or loans become due, we borrow more money to pay off the old loans, but the principle portion of that old debt is still there. In terms of the annual deficit which is the difference between the amount of money the government collects in taxes and the amount of money it spends, we are now paying approximately 45 cents in interest for every dollar we spend to run the government. This level of debt cannot be sustained and it will eventually result in a crisis that will end this government as we now know it.

    • Mac

      Oh come on now Medman; or, is it Madman? This government will NEVER end. We just print more $$$$. And besides, with China taking on our bonds, we'll never go under! Because if WE do, then so does China! So lets have a good ole' time, keep borrowing the dough and enjoy the financial freedom (and gains in the stock market) while we waltz through life. Who cares what our kids inherit, it may just be the wind!

      • Charleston

        And therein lies the problem Mac, or as you'd probably like, MacDaddy: the general public could care two flips about our debt situation, yet there too stupid to realize that the current management (or rather mismanagement in my opinion) of our treasury is reducing our purchasing power. Oh well, life goes on, right?

        • hillbilly

          And with such a huge part of American population on some form of government financial aid, do you think any of those are going to vote for anyone who wishes to cut back on their dole???

          • Charleston

            If they are taught to put money aside and be prepared for the future then some, yes. But for the majority the answer is "no", unfortunately, imo. We have been engrained as society to be dependent on entitlements.

          • Hop'sHip

            Most of those getting "aid" don't even vote. The exception is those on Social Security and Medicare, and they vote Republican.

  • Bill Hill

    You all put them in office and then you worshipped at their feet and you continue to do so. You treated Robert Byrd like a god because he brought the "bacon" home to West Virginia. Well that "bacon" Happens to came in the form of debt that future generations will have to suffer the consequences of. It isn't only Mr. Byrd that bears responsibility, the vast majority of politicians that go to DC have done exactly the same thing. We the people have allowed it. We treat these people like gods or royalty, instead of holding them responsible for their actions.

    While Natalie Tennant of Shelley Moore Capito argue about whether or not Mrs. Moore's husband benefited from insider information, the nation continues to sink in debt. What do either of these two, or the other three running for congress plan to do if anything about the continuing spending problem in Washington? We'll never know because no one will ask the hard questions and even if they do some campaign guru has taught them how to give non answers.

    The whole situation makes me sick to my stomach. We were once a great nation and did great things. Now we are little more than a nation of parasites, stealing the future from our future generations. We should be ashamed each and every one of us for ever allowing this to happen.

    • Hop'sHip

      So Bill. Since you are concerned about future generations, are you ready to take leading action on climate change? That is what a great nation would do.

      • Bill Hill

        Global Warming, ie. what you call climate change, will mean little to future generations if your generation destroys their liberty and economic future.

      • The bookman

        Aren't we leading? As the only signatory country of the Kyoto Accord to meet the reductions called for by 2012, while those countries who actually ratified it fell short, I'd say the US is leading.

        I would also add that the science behind our fiscal shortcomings is settled, as that is simple arithmetic. 1+1=2. 1Trillion-2Trillion=-1Trillion

        Repeated years of coming up short a Trillion dollars digs a deep hole.

        That is certainly a little more concrete than the Global Warming predictions given we haven't warmed a single fraction of a degree since 1996 despite all of the reports of record high temperatures.

    • Dodie

      With all due respect, Mr. Hill, what exactly should this country be doing? Also, what's your definition of a "great nation"?

      Thanks in advance for your reply.

      • Bill Hill

        You might take a moment and watch the opening of the movie "The Newsroom". While I know it is just a movie there is a speech at the beginning of that movie that speaks volumes.

        I went back on Monday and looked up the stats quoted in the speech and found they were on the money. In many ways when we compare ourselves to the rest of the world, it becomes obvious we are lacking. For example we are 55th in infant mortality, we are 45nd in life expectancy, 4th in median income, 3rd in exports, 24th in literacy, 3rd in Global Competitiveness, and 46th in freedom of the press. The only things we are No. 1 at is the number of people per 100,000 incarcerated, Number of gold metals won by US Women Figure Skaters, and Defense Spending.

        As was said in the speech, we at one time stood up for what was right and moral. We enacted and removed laws that were immoral. We fought for moral reasons, we dreamed large and built larger. We set our sight on the heavens instead of others wallets. We weren't dependent on politicians for so much. We respected achievement and intelligences. We lived independent lives and were more self reliant. We were responsible for ourselves and our families. We cared about our neighbors.

        Today we are dependent and apathetic. We care for ourselves and are unwilling to take responsibility for much of anything. We want with out regard for the consequences of our wants. We ignore law and elect people who are willing to disregard the law and constitution.

        As the man says in the speech the first item is recognizing there is a problem. The problem is we have become so apathetic, irresponsible, and unwise. The result is we are no longer a great nation. Powerful maybe, but none the less no great.

        • Dodie

          Mr. Hill,
          I do appreciate your reply and I must say I agree with 95% of it. However,
          the US of A is certainly not perfect. But it never was. Why did we engage in the Civil War? Why did we HAVE to enact legislation to "allow" our black brother's and sister's to drink from the same water fountain white folks did? Why did we enact the Social Security law? Why did we have monopoly law?...........on and on and on, through our history which, as you know, dates back hundred's of years. Why did we enact these laws? Because injustice was rampant.... and much needed. I contend that the US of A is no more irresponsible and unwise today than it has ever been. However, I will give you the apathetic part.........altho' I'm not too sure apathy hasn't been around since right after Adam and Eve showed up. And, as Mark Twain said, "History has taught us that we can't have a good government under politician's." Or something like that.

        • The bookman

          Both of your posts.....incredible truth.

  • CaptainQ

    Well Hoppy, to answer your two last questions with simple, one word answers: "No," and "No."

    So the latest budget extension will last until mid December? Very smart thinking to 'schedule' a budget showdown/shutdown AFTER the November elections! Have to believe that was somehow done on purpose. Same reason why our own WV state legislature didn't pass any tax hikes or NEW taxes in 2014. But just wait till next year!

    One thing that needs to be made clear here, the current ballooned budget deficit is NOT entirely the fault of the Democrats. BOTH major political parties have been playing 'fast and loose' with our taxpayer funds for DECADES. Neither the GOP nor the Dems want to lead in making real, deep, meaningful budget cuts or reforms to curb this trend or get this debt paid down. They know that to do so would be 'political suicide' for them, facing the wrath of the voters.

    Sadly, America's budget crisis is unsolvable under present circumstances. The national debt will only continue to grow as the two major political parties keep 'kicking the can' down the road rather than dealing with it. America seems to be destined to go through what Greece just went through, government fiscal failure causing the economy to crater so fast it'll be forced into drastic budget cuts that will cause rioting and chaos. Those who fail to learn the lessons of history shall be doomed to repeat them. Get ready for it, America!

  • rich r

    Term limits!

    • CaptainQ

      Sadly, rich r, 'term limits' were declared unconstitutional by the SCOTUS over a decade ago. So was the 'Line item veto', another great idea lost to judicial purgatory.

  • Hop'sHip

    Hoppy: I almost stopped reading when i encountered the words "Ponzi scheme" but continued on. My question is where the 800 billion dollar figure came from? The deficit for the fiscal year was 506 billion.

    • Silas Lynch

      deficit-debt-deficit-debt-deficit-debt

      Deficit: .an excess of expenditure or liabilities over income or assets in a given period:

      Debt: An obligation or liability to pay or render something to someone else

    • Shadow

      So a 500 billion dollar deficit doesn't bother you?

    • The bookman

      Hoppy is talking debt not deficit. The actual debt number is closer to $1T due to the actual budget deficit from 2014 plus over $400B in interest due for the year on the total debt accrued by this country's obligations.

      So when you hear fiscal nuts like myself call for spending cuts, the reason is even if we balance the budget with a zero deficit, we still incur annually nearly a half trillion charge to the debt. To just stay even, no debt reduction, no principal payment, we need to reduce spending and/or raise revenue by nearly $1T/year from current levels.

      Making interest only payments on a mortgage you can't afford is not sustainable. See the parallel? did we not learn that lesson in 2008?

      • Hop'sHip

        Bookie: You are going to have to cut spending even more than that if Republicans gain control. If you look at Ryan's budget it includes huge tax cuts to the wealth accumulators and substantial defense spending increases. You can't get all that from anti-poverty programs. I understand that they want to move more of the tax burden to the middle class and go after programs benefitting seniors, but they have to ask themselves how far they are wiling to antagonize those who put them in power. And of course, if they are serious about austerity budgeting, they will have to deal with what Europe is currently dealing, a further softening of the economy and consequent erosion of revenue.

        • The bookman

          European economics are not applicable to capitalism, as they went the socialist route long ago. This country has what Europe does not....vast resources. I agree we can't cut our way to a surplus. We can't tax our way out either. We have to grow our way out, through private sector growth, not government stimulus.

          Instead of focussing on our strength, we continue to set unachievable regulatory limits that place real obstacles to the growth we would otherwise achieve. Look no further than the ozone article from last night.

          • The bookman

            I agree the article was brief. I read other articles from the net, the background information on ground level ozone production, and the history of NOx and VOC reduction through regulation. Most recently during the Bush administration, ozone levels were reduced by regulation from 84 to 75ppm. Industry claims that this reduction into the 60-70ppm is not currently achievable, thus the claim of it being saddled with finding 74% of the reduction from somewhere other than current capability.

            The EPA suggests a trade from attainable areas to unattainable areas can bring compliance, much like carbon trading. The problem is that at 60ppm, nearly the entire country is in an unattainable zone.

            Google ground level ozone and EPA regulation. There is a wealth of information from sources on both sides of the issue. Of course my concern is that there is a significant negative impact on the oil and gas industry as a result of these proposed regulations.

          • Hillboy

            "Instead of focussing on our strength, we continue to set unachievable regulatory limits that place real obstacles to the growth we would otherwise achieve. Look no further than the ozone article from last night."

            I'm not sure what you were able to take away from that article. I thought it was amazingly uninformative. There was no mention at all of how the rules were going to affect businesses.

          • Hop'sHip

            " corporate profits are high because money is easy to come by, and not being reinvested into this economy because it is too risky"

            That makes no sense. I understand your argument that Fed policies have inflated equity prices, although p-e ratios are not grossly out of historical norms. And Fed policies are probably the only thing that has kept us from plunging into an economic depression that you seem to covet. I am thankful hat we have Fed policy makers who have studied the last great economic depression and are trying not to repeat mistakes made then. But after-tax profits have flourished and returns on non-executive labor has stagnated because of tax, trade and labor policies we have pursued during the last 30 years. All productivity gains have been rewarding capital.

          • The bookman

            Greg and HH:

            You both want to blame rich CEOs instead of fix what is broken and continue down the same path that gets us here to this argument.

            Everyone wants a thriving middle class that results from an economy with high wage, consumer driven participants. Manufacturing is and always has been the vehicle to achieve that target. Fixing our economy in a real and substantive way requires that we solve the deficit in our manufacturing/industrial sector, and that should be the focus. But we are too busy saving ourselves from ourselves.

            As I've stated before, corporate profits are high because money is easy to come by, and not being reinvested into this economy because it is too risky. The Fed pumped Trillions into the markets, and that money was taken off the table each quarter. The market is top heavy, and the correction is coming. You can only play with Monopoly money for so long, and at some point, reality takes hold.

            If you want those profits to come back down, you have to convince those CEOs to invest those profits into the economy, and the risk of loss is diminished from where we are currently. If the risk stays high, that capital will stay on the sideline, or seek better returns elsewhere.

          • GregG

            "We have to grow our way out through private sector growth".....and how might we go about doing that bookman? Giving tax breaks to companies to relocate outside the US? Continually allow all that "trickle down" money to be hidden in some foreign bank? The only thing I have seen "growing" since the Reign of Reagan is the mountains of wealth held by the elite few and big business. Granted I'm not a physical nut, but this old hick from the sticks knows damn good and well we can not "grow" our economy without a strong, well compensated working middle class.

          • Hop'sHip

            I repeat. After-tax corporate profits are at record highs. I guess to you just pointing that out serves to divide us. I would hope it would serve to inform us.

          • The bookman

            HH:

            This economy isn't producing the type of jobs that produce disposable income. Mandating that business pay such wages for jobs that don't justify it isn't the answer. But to hear the President, he and his party have delivered this burgeoning economy, and his policies have us on the right path as it continues to produce minimum wage, service related jobs.

            That plan provides fodder to divide us, as evidenced by your argument. As a businessman, nothing makes me happier than hiring more people at better wages because the marketplace demands it. To think that business owners, at any level, only wish to enrich themselves at the expense of those who work for them frustrates those of us who know otherwise.

            Understand that my interest isn't to improve my bottom line. It is to improve our economy. My bottom line will improve as a result.

          • Hop'sHip

            Other than in your favorite Ayn Rand novel, where is that pure capitalism model working today? Granted it is working for some. After-tax corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are at record highs. But you argue we have to increase them even more by reducing labor, environmental and consumer protections to achieve what? Domestic consumption has driven our economy and the world economy for years. Now that we are putting disposable income in fewer hands, what is going to replace that?

  • Jeff

    Hoppy,

    There is never going to be any real budget reductions until partisan politics stops! Both parties are so worried about catering to their biggest donors that they no longer represent their constituents that elected them in the first place!
    I'm a registered democrat, but this isn't just a problem caused by republicans, it's both parties fault! The Republicans have no problem screwing over the poor to give to their billionaires donors more tax breaks, and claim it's "job creation", when it's been proven that the trickle down economics theory has never actually worked because the rich don't share their big tax savings by creating jobs like they promise they will to get them. Democrats are willing to raise taxes (which nobody wants to consider, but realistically it's the only thing that's going to have any effect on our national debt) but refuse to even talk about making major changes in some of the entitlement programs in this country that everyone knows we can't afford to keep subsidizing at their current levels!
    Whether you liked President Clinton or not you have to respect what he was able to accomplish. He raised taxes on the rich and still created more jobs than the last 14 years of Bush and Obama combined! How did he do it? He worked collectively with a Republican controlled Congress to determine what was best for the country and both sides made compromises.
    In his final year in office he produced a budget with a $500 billion dollar surplus, that Bush turned into a $500 Billion dollar deficit in less than a year after taking office!
    Bush and Obama both have continued to spend billions of dollars that we don't have, have no idea how were ever going to pay back, and the idiots from both parties in Congress refuse to even constructively talk to each other which has produced the fewest laws being past in the last term than anytime in the last century!
    Until we start electing people for their ability to run this country like you would a successful business, not worry about what party they're from, and cut out all corporate monies out from buying elections, were never going to be able to look at our children or grandchildren in the face because we destroyed their future before it even had a chance to begin!

    • Aaron

      There never was an actual surplus, only a projected surplus. Clinton's last year in office was close as there was only an $18 billion deficit but we still spent more money and we took in. Look it up if you don't believe me. Also look up when the economy exploded and why. Just don't be surprised when you see fiscal responsibility as the primary reason.

      During the 1980s we saw a major recession thwarted, elimination of interest rates that approached 20% and an economy that grew by 30% over seven years resulting in job growth that exceeded 20 million new jobs.

      The 1920's saw the same results. People can state that policies leading to those types of fiscal results does not work all they want but none have been able to contradict those facts. That is the simple truth.

      Whether bi-partisanship Will work or not is debatable. What is not are the policies that have worked in the past. I do agree that both parties are responsible for our current financial mess though.

      • Ole Sasquatch

        As much and as many people that will make fun of the term " Trickle Down Economics" laying all biases aside and looking at the facts in a scientific way, comes nearest to a solution and the reason is because it settles in so well with Capitalism which has always, despite its faults has been and done the most to advance civilization. In the 1980s' the success was apparent, you can knit pick if you like, but what Aaron says about the '80s' cannot be denied.

      • ViennaGuy

        Exactly right. The "surplus" at the end of Clinton's second term never actually existed. The government's own numbers even prove it. Both parties are at fault for claiming that the budget was balanced, when it really was not.

    • GregG

      GREAT POST JEFF!!!!!!

    • rich r

      Amen!