Our Shrinking Debt

This is good news:

U.S. debt has shrunk to a six-year low relative to the size of the economy as homeowners, cities and companies cut borrowing, undermining rating companies’ downgrading of the nation’s credit rating.

Total indebtedness including that of federal and state governments and consumers has fallen to 3.29 times gross domestic product, the least since 2006, from a peak of 3.59 four years ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Private- sector borrowing is down by $4 trillion to $40.2 trillion.

So how can this be with trillion dollar deficits? Well, the private sector and non-federal public sectors are unravelling a tremendous debt bubble that built up in the last decade. Consumer debt is down by $1.3 trillion. Short term corporate debt is down by 55% as well. This isn’t as good as corporations need to borrow to grow. But for that much debt to be unravelled without a complete economic catastrofuck or massive inflation is remarkable.

It’s also helping with the national debt. Because consumer debt is so far down, the treasury has the loan market pretty much to itself. So all our borrowing is coming at low prices, despite the S&P downgrade.

I expect things to change soon. With debt down to much more manageable levels, people will start borrowing again. And if we can get control of federal finances, that will make borrowing even cheaper for private interests. Four years ago, I said that our economy would not move until we’d unravelled the tremendous debt we’d built up. We’re on our way to doing that, thankfully.

Comments are closed.

  1. davidst

    We’re on our way, but probably not even half-way there. Worse, we’ll likely have another recession long before the damage from the last one heals.

    Thumb up 1

  2. CM

    If lower and middle class incomes continue to decline, how does the economy recover other than through another growing-mountain of unsustainable debt?

    Thumb up 3

  3. Mississippi Yankee

    Four years ago, I said that our economy would not move until we’d unravelled the tremendous debt we’d built up. We’re on our way to doing that, thankfully.

    Well on that note why don’t we give that Obamer fella another four years.

    Thumb up 2

  4. CM

    Well on that note why don’t we give that Obamer fella another four years.

    Settle down, you’ll note Hal was careful to say “…private sector and non-federal public sectors are unravelling a tremendous debt bubble that built up in the last decade”.
    I.e. nothing that can be positively attributed to the Marxist Kenyan Worst President Ever Who Just Makes Everthing Worse All The Time Always.

    Thumb up 1

  5. Mississippi Yankee

    Hey CM, I coulda’ been in the middle of an epiphany but now you’ve spoiled that for me. Oh well back to clinging to my guns and bible (old testament).

    Thumb up 0

  6. CM

    You don’t have to be an Occupier to understand the two-speed nature of the recovery. While the one percent has rebounded strongly (thanks to stock markets), the 99% has fared less well due to weak jobs and housing.

    A new report, however, shows that the two recoveries may be even further apart than we thought. A study by Emmanuel Saez shows that in 2009 and 2010, the first year of the current “recovery” the one percent captured 93% of the income growth. That’s right, 93%.

    Forget two-speeds. It’s more like the one percent is in a fast lane and the rest are stalled in the parking lot.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2012/03/06/the-1-captures-most-growth-from-recovery/

    Same old then. There’s pretty much no recovery occuring below the 1%. But a superb recovery within the 1%.
    Why aren’t the 1%ers hiring thousands more people with all this recovery money flooding their way? Isn’t that what the theory insists will happen? Their stock portfolios have regained everything they lost and more, and they are now taking home a larger share of total income than at any time in the last eighty years and paying the lowest taxes than at any time since before World War II. But no, it’s the governments fault. When times are good, it’s because of private enterprise, when they’re not so good, it’s all gummits fault. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.

    Hey CM, I coulda’ been in the middle of an epiphany but now you’ve spoiled that for me. Oh well back to clinging to my guns and bible (old testament).

    Well Obama was wanting to bring the gun cleaners and bible clingers onto his side remember, that’s what he was saying (as opposed to Mitt, who was telling his funders that his equivalent non-voters can just go fuck themselves).

    Thumb up 0

  7. richtaylor365

    Why aren’t the 1%ers hiring thousands more people with all this recovery money flooding their way?

    Asked and answered, about a million times. Sorry Mr. Ed but after awhile it just gets pointless to try and introduce you to water.

    Thumb up 3

  8. Mississippi Yankee

    Why aren’t the 1%ers hiring thousands more people with all this recovery money flooding their way? Isn’t that what the theory insists will happen?

    WHO IS JOHN GALT?
    “Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.” Atlas Shrugged| P2C2

    Mitt, who was telling his funders that his equivalent non-voters can just go fuck themselves

    In times of need I have gone and fucked myself… and the occasional fat girl too.

    Thumb up 1

  9. Dave D

    So, what this really says is that private companies, persons, and state/local govenments have been responsible enough to actually decrease their collective debt, which they are individually responsible for.

    The federal govenernment, OTOH, continues to rack up unprecendented debt, borrowing from China and essentially selling our kids future for political gain now. We are ALL equally responsible for this debt.

    Just wanted to make sure, because nothing is new……… Is this some sort of campaign year generalization to make the tax-n-spenders look better?

    Thumb up 3

  10. CM

    Asked and answered, about a million times. Sorry Mr. Ed but after awhile it just gets pointless to try and introduce you to water.

    Nope, it hasn’t been answered once yet. Not at all. It’s continually avoided. Almost as if it were a policy to do so.

    WHO IS JOHN GALT?
    “Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.” Atlas Shrugged| P2C2

    This is a perfect example of a non-answer.

    …borrowing from China …

    “It’s a pretty good deal for the United States,” says Donald Boudreaux, an economics professor at George Mason University and author of the bookHypocrites and Half-Wits, which calls out dozens of popular myths about how the economy works. “Borrowing from China keeps interest rates lower than they would otherwise be and lowers the tax burden on Americans.”

    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2012/08/31/yo-mitt-borrowing-money-from-china-is-good-for-america-not-bad

    Thumb up 0

  11. CM

    Deficit-worriers portray a future in which we’re impoverished by the need to pay back money we’ve been borrowing. They see America as being like a family that took out too large a mortgage, and will have a hard time making the monthly payments.

    This is, however, a really bad analogy in at least two ways.

    First, families have to pay back their debt. Governments don’t — all they need to do is ensure that debt grows more slowly than their tax base. The debt from World War II was never repaid; it just became increasingly irrelevant as the U.S. economy grew, and with it the income subject to taxation.

    Second — and this is the point almost nobody seems to get — an over-borrowed family owes money to someone else; U.S. debt is, to a large extent, money we owe to ourselves.

    This was clearly true of the debt incurred to win World War II. Taxpayers were on the hook for a debt that was significantly bigger, as a percentage of G.D.P., than debt today; but that debt was also owned by taxpayers, such as all the people who bought savings bonds. So the debt didn’t make postwar America poorer. In particular, the debt didn’t prevent the postwar generation from experiencing the biggest rise in incomes and living standards in our nation’s history.

    But isn’t this time different? Not as much as you think.

    It’s true that foreigners now hold large claims on the United States, including a fair amount of government debt. But every dollar’s worth of foreign claims on America is matched by 89 cents’ worth of U.S. claims on foreigners. And because foreigners tend to put their U.S. investments into safe, low-yield assets, America actually earns more from its assets abroad than it pays to foreign investors. If your image is of a nation that’s already deep in hock to the Chinese, you’ve been misinformed. Nor are we heading rapidly in that direction.

    Now, the fact that federal debt isn’t at all like a mortgage on America’s future doesn’t mean that the debt is harmless. Taxes must be levied to pay the interest, and you don’t have to be a right-wing ideologue to concede that taxes impose some cost on the economy, if nothing else by causing a diversion of resources away from productive activities into tax avoidance and evasion. But these costs are a lot less dramatic than the analogy with an overindebted family might suggest.

    And that’s why nations with stable, responsible governments — that is, governments that are willing to impose modestly higher taxes when the situation warrants it — have historically been able to live with much higher levels of debt than today’s conventional wisdom would lead you to believe. Britain, in particular, has had debt exceeding 100 percent of G.D.P. for 81 of the last 170 years. When Keynes was writing about the need to spend your way out of a depression, Britain was deeper in debt than any advanced nation today, with the exception of Japan.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/02/opinion/krugman-nobody-understands-debt.html?_r=0

    Queue ignoring the the substance and attacking the writer and the messenger.

    Thumb up 0

  12. richtaylor365

    “Borrowing from China keeps interest rates lower than they would otherwise be and lowers the tax burden on Americans.”

    Brilliant, how about we do this, we eliminate income taxes period, no one has to pay a dime but we borrow all the money we need from China? Wow, unlimited credit cards, never have to pay it back and never have to pony up any of our money to run our government, I think I just solved the debt problem.

    Nope, it hasn’t been answered once yet. Not at all. It’s continually avoided. Almost as if it were a policy to do so.

    Thanks for providing my morning chuckle (as if that first about borrowing from China is good was not chuckle worthy enough). You are right, it has not been once, we have had at least half a dozen go rounds on this topic, each time I provide boatloads of links from real job creators, folks that actually do the hiring, these job creators all say the same thing, that they need A,B, and C to spur the economy and get them hiring again. And each time you counter with some nonsense written by a pointy headed academician who could not create a job from a manual, garbage like , “Rich folks don’t hire people”, and ,”There is no demand for goods and services so the corporate tax rate is irrelevant to job creation”.

    Did you see what Steve Wynn said yesterday about your hero? Every single day I could provide you with a brand new link, penned by someone who is a doer, not a book reader theorist, someone in the business world who lives by his profits (not some professor type who lives on the public dime) who understands the real problems and the real solutions. But it would all be wasted on you because you would retort ,”Nope, nobody has ever explained it to me once”.

    OK, you win, borrowing all your money to pay your bills is just great (although you would not run your individual family fiances that way), and the lofty college/government types know way more about the real world and business then say those actually in business. No wonder you like Obama so much, he fits your model of a swell guy (a theorist, who has everything given to him, either through a royal blood connection, white guilt, or living on the public dole).

    Thumb up 6

  13. Hal_10000 *

    The liberal commentators are right that borrowing from China is not bad right now because of the low interest rates. Where they err, however, is assuming people will want to loan us money forever and that interest rates will stay low forever. It will not take a big rise in interest rates for this to blow up into a fiscal nightmare.

    We have $16 trillion in debt. Every 1% rise in interest rates is $160 billion in annual spending. No, it’s not a nightmare … yet.

    Thumb up 1

  14. richtaylor365

    Borrowing will always be a bad solution, a bad compromise to the preferable pay as you go because no matter how low the interest rate goes you still have to pay interest on that debt. This is stuff a 10 year old knows. Monies that could be used for other things now need to be set aside to pay interest on an ever increasing debt obligation.

    The liberal academicians are all high fiving themselves because the interest paid on the debt (now) is low, wahoo, we are only paying $360 billion to service the current debt. No thought at all is wasted on what we could do with that money if we would just stop borrowing in the first place. It is stupefying to me that this has to be explained to anyone, that getting a letter from your credit card company saying that they are lowering the interest on your debt is not a victory, not a good thing, you still owe that money and you will still have to pay interest on that debt.

    Even Big Bird knows this, any encumbrance, any debt, any obligation is bad because it constrains your ability and your freedom, others have power and influence over you, they own you essentially until that obligation is removed.

    Thumb up 4

  15. Xetrov

    To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. .I place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.

    Thumb up 3

  16. Dave D

    I am SO sick of people telling me that the debt is no big deal. This couldn’t be more short sighted.
    We STILL have to pay back over $80K to lenders PER AMERICAN during the repayment period for just the current debt alone at 0% interest. The principal payhment comes out of future taxes (at higher rates, if we ever get serious about this mess), no?

    Thumb up 1

  17. CM

    Brilliant, how about we do this, we eliminate income taxes period, no one has to pay a dime but we borrow all the money we need from China? Wow, unlimited credit cards, never have to pay it back and never have to pony up any of our money to run our government, I think I just solved the debt problem.

    Why is apparently always compulsory to take something entirely reasonable to an extreme, and then pretend that it’s stupid because it’s so extreme that it’s ludicrous? Honestly, what is the point?

    Thanks for providing my morning chuckle (as if that first about borrowing from China is good was not chuckle worthy enough).

    No problem, happy to assist.
    Hey, I know, why don’t you just keep reading and re-reading everything I post all day, so you can keep chuckling your entire life from this point on? Who doesn’t want to chuckle all day, every day??! I think I just solved the depression problem!

    You are right, it has not been once, we have had at least half a dozen go rounds on this topic, each time I provide boatloads of links from real job creators, folks that actually do the hiring, these job creators all say the same thing, that they need A,B, and C to spur the economy and get them hiring again.

    You provide stock vague ideological mantra, and then ‘support it’ with the equivalent of turkeys saying why they don’t like Christmas.
    If the top 1% are doing really well (and they are, and have been for some time), it clearly isn’t an issue of money. If it’s regulations, which ones? What are the regulations that Obama has introduced that make it impossible to hire? Obamacare is one obviously, but I’m not sure that account for it all.
    Where are the specifics?
    Last time I looked at such information, the specifics said that demand didn’t justify hiring more people. That was by far and away the No. 1 reason.
    Rich, can we at least agree that if demand for a companies products or services doesn’t increase, they’re simply not going to hire anyone, no matter what the regulatory situation is like? I gave the example of the very company I work for. And there’s nothing special about us.

    And each time you counter with some nonsense written by a pointy headed academician who could not create a job from a manual, garbage like , “Rich folks don’t hire people”, and ,”There is no demand for goods and services so the corporate tax rate is irrelevant to job creation”.

    Which academics said those things?
    Nice anti-intellectualism on show there though.

    Did you see what Steve Wynn said yesterday about your hero?

    Nope. I had to google Steve Wynn to even see who “my hero” was supposed to me.
    Obama? Lame. Why would you feel the need to try and pretend he’s my ‘hero’?
    I”m sorry Armstrong is a drugs cheat and you feel like a hero was stolen from you. Is that what prompted that?

    Every single day I could provide you with a brand new link, penned by someone who is a doer,

    Ah right, a maker and not a taker. One of the 53%, not of a 47%!

    not a book reader theorist, someone in the business world who lives by his profits (not some professor type who lives on the public dime) who understands the real problems and the real solutions. But it would all be wasted on you because you would retort ,”Nope, nobody has ever explained it to me once”.

    I didn’t realise that you were this far into anti-intellectualism. Weird.
    People in the business world are protecting their patch. We shouldn’t pretend they’re a disinterested party providing objectivity on these issues. Sure, they’re important, vital even. But to just refer back to them and only them is only looking at one piece of a large puzzle.
    It also doesn’t even come close to explaining how to lift the average incomes of low and middle class workers. How to get some sense of proportionality back that will make the whole system a lot stronger and more sustainable and less prone to the hugh peaks and troughs.

    OK, you win, borrowing all your money to pay your bills is just great (although you would not run your individual family fiances that way),

    Borrowing all your money to pay your bills isn’t great at all. But there is a substantial diffference between a government and a household. They are not even remotely similar when it comes to debt, or roles.

    and the lofty college/government types

    Wow.

    know way more about the real world and business then say those actually in business.

    Who says that?

    No wonder you like Obama so much, he fits your model of a swell guy (a theorist, who has everything given to him, either through a royal blood connection, white guilt, or living on the public dole).

    That’s insane.
    1. I don’t like him THAT much. I certainly like him more than his opponent.
    2. Obama has had everything given to him? WTF? On which planet was this? If Obama has everything given to him, what does that say about Romney or Ryan?

    Just bizarre. Seriously, I’d lay off FOX News for a day or two.

    Thumb up 0

  18. Poosh

    Well done Americans!

    LMAO @ quoting Krugman.

    I read an article the other day saying Krugman’s articles were so badly full of BS and outright lies that one has to wonder if he actually give’s a shit, and is, rather, just spending 30 minutes a pop, writing them for the pay cheque.

    Thumb up 0

  19. CM

    To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. .I place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.

    Jefferson would have a fair few tough old questions for Romney then.

    Thumb up 0

  20. CM

    Queue ignoring the the substance and attacking the writer and the messenger.

    How unsurprisingly accurate.

    I read an article the other day saying Krugman’s articles were so badly full of BS and outright lies that one has to wonder if he actually give’s a shit, and is, rather, just spending 30 minutes a pop, writing them for the pay cheque.

    I read an article the other day that said the moon was made of tomato sauce, not cheese.

    Thumb up 0

  21. Xetrov

    Jefferson would have a fair few tough old questions for Romney then.

    Tougher for Obama would be my guess. Considering Romney’s got $0 added to the national debt while he’s (not) been President, but Obama’s going on $6,000,000,000,000.00 on his watch. May need to explain that large of a number to Jefferson though.

    The quote still stands as reasonable to the discussion, your attempt at partisanship notwithstanding.

    Thumb up 2

  22. CM

    On Steve Wynn:

    Wynn Resorts Ltd. CEO Steve Wynn says he’d like to partner with some friends to develop another megaresort on the Las Vegas Strip, but he hasn’t done so because of what he calls President Barack Obama’s anti-business attitude.

    So it’s Obama’s attitude, rather than any actual policies?
    Wow, nice trick to get what you want – undermine confidence by suggesting he gives you no confidence. Repeat and rince. The confidence fairy is your special friend.

    On the megaresort issue, the billionaire casino executive Wynn told Ralston he’s friends with the owners of the land across from Wynn Las Vegas and Encore that once was occupied by the New Frontier and had been planned for the Plaza resort before the project was halted during the recession.

    The land had been planned for development by investors including the owner of the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

    “They overpaid for a piece of property” during the economic boom, Wynn said. “They got a hold of 34 acres. They ended up being in for more than $1 billion for an empty piece of property on the Strip.”

    Wynn said the investors came to him and said, “We made a miscalculation; we realize we’ll have to invest our way out.”

    “How about going in with us? You run it, you design it, we’ll call it the ‘Wynn Plaza,’” Wynn recalled of the conversation, adding it would be a convention-type resort with a connection across the Strip to Wynn and Encore.

    “That would have been an investment of $2 billion and created at least another 10,000 regular jobs. I could do that and we could get the money,” he said.

    “What happened?” Ralston asked.

    “I’m afraid of the president. I have no idea what goofy idea, what crazy, anti-business program this administration will come up with,” Wynn said. “Every business guy I know in the country is frightened of Barack Obama and the way he thinks.”

    Must be why all the business people are struggling so hard, what with only capturing 93% of the income growth in 2009/2010. Of course income growth is for them, it doesn’t go into the ‘hiring’ budget or the ‘wage increases for existing employees’ budget. Obama is responsible for those.

    By his own admission those investors took a risk and paid too much for the land. And now they’re looking for a way to dig themselves out of the hole. What policies of Obama’s make this too risky? When would it have been ok? When the economy was sailing on an unsustainable debt-fuelled boom? I wonder what policy settings would make Wynn pull the trigger on this? Hard to say, because all he states are the usual vague ideological lines.

    Wynn said Obama, upon taking office in 2009, should have focused on job creation as the nation was mired in recession.

    “If you had a Top 10 list, No. 10 would have been health care,” Wynn said.

    “The only thing that was screaming toward the sky was jobs,” he said. “He turned his back on the No. 1 priority.”

    This seems to be a common talking-point from the right now. Even though they’ve spent so much time and energy complaining endlessly about the stimulus. The stimuli, there was more than one. What were they for if not to save and create as many jobs as possible? What was the auto-bailout about? What does Wynn think about Romney’s ‘attitude’ to whether those auto jobs mattered?
    Really, have people no personal standards anymore?

    The casino executive said he voted for Obama but was later disappointed because he believes Obama violated pledges to reduce the federal deficit and to develop a comprehensive immigration policy.

    Immigration is an issue for him now? McCain would have dealt with immigration? Romney is going to develop a comprehensive immigration policy?
    Pledges to reduce the deficit were made before it was known how deep the hole was the how close to disaster the country was. The deficit wasn’t as much of a priority once it was known. Sure, criticise that, but at least do it in some sort of reasonable context.

    “The living standard of Americans is being destroyed by this government in Washington that will not stop spending money that we don’t have,” Wynn said. “I’m watching my employees’ living standard go through the floor.”

    So pay them more. Nobody is forcing you to keep wages low. Share some of that 93%. Don’t take all the credit when times are good and then simply blame the Govt when times are (apparently, but not really) bad.

    As for Romney, Wynn said, the Republican has a track record of getting things done in business…

    I believe Herbert Hoover had a good record of ‘getting things done’ in business too.

    “He is absolutely going to be a fabulous president,” Wynn said. “He’s never been unsuccessful in anything he tried.”

    Ah ok, that must explain why he beat McCain and then Obama to become President in 2008.

    “He went into politics in a Democratic state (Massachusetts) and reached across the aisle,” Wynn said. “As he mentioned during the debate, you don’t go into a meeting saying, ‘It’s my way or the highway.’”

    Were those Dems as obstructive (and from the get-go, as a policy) as the Republicans Obama has had to deal with?

    Thumb up 0

  23. CM

    Tougher for Obama would be my guess. Considering Romney’s got $0 added to the national debt while he’s (not) been President, but Obama’s going on $6,000,000,000,000.00 on his watch.

    Romney hasn’t added to the debt while he’s not been President? You sure got me there! LOL
    What are the unanswered questions about Obama’s plans?
    How does Romney plan to pay for his desires?

    The quote still stands as reasonable to the discussion, your attempt at partisanship notwithstanding.

    Sure it’s reasonable (although it appears the two sentences are from two entirely different places, which is a little odd). However it’s unreasonable to suggest I’m being partisan when you’re suggesting debt incurred on someone’s ‘watch’ means they’re responsible for it. Particularly when the Republicans opposed some measures (such as higher taxes on the wealthy) that would have reduced the deficit.
    A large part of the deficit problem under Obama was falling government revenues. But that started under Bush, a year before Obama, because of the massive reccession. Nothing Obama did made that worse. And much of the additional spending was via automatic stabilisers.

    May need to explain that large of a number to Jefferson though.

    True!
    And also the concept of pretty much all governments operating with constant debt (as Krugman notes), and the different ideas and philosophies around debt in a far more complex world.

    Thumb up 0

  24. samsgran1948

    Were those Dems as obstructive (and from the get-go, as a policy) as the Republicans Obama has had to deal with?

    He didn’t have to deal with them the first 20 months of his reign. He enjoyed a fillibuster-proof Democrat dominated Senate, a majority in the House and himself in the White House. The Dems controlled all three of those. Nancy Pelosi specifically and deliberately shut all Republicans out of any discussion of legislation, as did Whore House Harry Reid. He could have gotten anything passed that he wanted. The fact that he didn’t get stuff done during those 20 months is due to his laziness and total disconnect from reality. The Republicans couldn’t do a single damn thing to stop the Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

    Thumb up 4

  25. CM

    He didn’t have to deal with them the first 20 months of his reign. He enjoyed a fillibuster-proof Democrat dominated Senate, a majority in the House and himself in the White House. The Dems controlled all three of those.

    Dems only had 60 votes in the Senate for 4 months (September 24, 2009 when Paul G Kirk was appointed to replace Ted Kennedy, through to February 4, 2010 when Republican Brown was elected to the seat). Within that 4 month period, Congress didn’t sit for an entire month. Apparently of a possible 94 remaining legislative days during the remaining period, the Senate was only in session for 67 days, while the House only labored for 54.

    The healthcare bill was passed using “reconciliation”, because there were not 60 Democrats in the Senate. Immigration, gay rights reform could not be passed with the same process because it is reserved for budgetary matters. The stimulus – job-creating measures were traded for tax cuts because there were not 60 Democratic votes to pass it.

    http://www.thepragmaticpundit.com/2011/12/obama-did-not-control-congress-for-two.html

    Thumb up 0

  26. Mississippi Yankee

    The healthcare bill was passed using “reconciliation”, because there were not 60 Democrats in the Senate. Immigration, gay rights reform could not be passed with the same process because it is reserved for budgetary matters. The stimulus – job-creating measures were traded for tax cuts because there were not 60 Democratic votes to pass it.

    So what you’re saying is that these issues could not possibility be be negotiated in conference or on the floor. And that NO bills can ever be passed in the Senate without a 60 person majority. How did that idiot/evil genius Boosh ever get anything done when he had a 50/50 split?

    How has America ever gotten this far?

    Thumb up 1

  27. richtaylor365

    CM, your link is just rubbish.

    In the 111th Congress the dems had majorities in both the House and Senate, with most of that term a bullet proof majority. The first time Obamacare passed they got 60 votes (59 dem with 1 independent, Sanders, who ALWAYS votes democrat). look at the section on Yae’s, not one single republican vote and they got 60, I’d say that is rather bullet proof. Through out the entire term of this congress the number of dems fluctuated between 56 and 59, but with Collins, Snowe and Specter always going to the other side (Lilly Ledbetter is a perfect example), Obama basically had the ability to write his own ticket the first two years,

    Thumb up 2

  28. CM

    4. Paul Ryan on partisanship: In 2009-10 “they had the ability to do anything of their choosing.” That’s nuts. In the real world, a minority of 41 senators can block almost any legislative measure. What’s more, even smaller numbers of senators can create massive delays in the legislative process. The Republican caucus in 2009-10 was unusually aggressive in deploying these tools and it had a major impact on the course of legislation. GOP filibusters blocked the DREAM Act, kept Federal Reserve and Federal Housing Finance Agency offices vacant, killed hope for climate change legislation, blocked a number of fiscal stimulus measures, and so forth.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/11/footnoting-the-vice-presidential-debate/

    If “Obama basically had the ability to write his own ticket the first two years”, then why didn’t it happen?

    Thumb up 0

  29. richtaylor365

    That’s nuts. In the real world, a minority of 41 senators can block almost any legislative measure.

    That would be true if somehow you could get that block to vote in unison, it rarely happens. The example I provided, the PPAC Act, was a rare occasion where not one single Republican voted for it, yet it still passed with 60 yea votes (59 dem and 1 I). But usally what happened was that they were able to peel off one or more of the RINO’s (Snowe, Collins, Specter, and later on Brown) to participate in their duplicity, like the other example, the Lily Lebetter Act.

    But what is just high-larious to me and how oh so typical is that your lib author is bellyaching because you guys had 59 on your side and 41 on ours, yet you still couldn’t get much done. Gee, lesser mortals (in your eyes) like Clinton, Reagan, and Bush got much more done with nothing like the majorities Obama had. Kinda speaks to how ineffective and influential he really was, doesn’t it?

    Thumb up 2