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Pierce writes: "That nice young Ryan boy dropped by the AARP convention on Friday to assure the various grannies that his zombie-eyes were not really planning to starve them. The grannies seemed to be less than convinced that zombie-eyed granny-starvers indeed do not intend to starve grannies."

Paul Ryan got a less-than-friendly response to his speech at the AARP convention. (photo: Bill Haber/AP)
Paul Ryan got a less-than-friendly response to his speech at the AARP convention. (photo: Bill Haber/AP)


Grannies Decline to Be Starved

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

25 September 12

 

 

hat nice young Ryan boy dropped by the AARP convention on Friday to assure the various grannies that his zombie-eyes were not really planning to starve them. The grannies seemed to be less than convinced that zombie-eyed granny-starvers indeed do not intend to starve grannies.

Another tough response from the crowd came as Ryan attacked Obama as a cynical failure for not negotiating changes to Social Security cuts with Republicans. "Time and again the president has ducked the tough issues," Ryan said. "He put his own job security over your retirement security. Of course he said he would be willing to work with Republicans, but he has not moved an inch closer to common ground. When it comes to bipartisanship, it's easy to talk the talk but there is only one man running for president this year who has actually walked the walk: that man is Mitt Romney."

(A brief pause here. Listen closely. That massive rumbling you hear is the Shade Of LBJ after hearing the likes of the zombie-eyed granny-starver's talking about the threat to "both sides of LBJ's pledge." If the earth splits and crows doth sit upon the capitol any time soon, you'll know why.)

The walk that Willard Romney has walked, of course, is his health-care plan in Massachusetts, which I guarantee you, Paul Ryan would not have voted for had he been in the state legislature here. So, no, the grannies were not convinced. He is a well-dressed young man, though, isn't he? And such lovely diction.

See Also: AARP Members Call Ryan a Liar

 

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+138 # Barbara K 2012-09-25 10:46
I saw that the other day, the people all got up and walked out. Good for them. He isn't going to fool Everyone. There is no need to mess with programs that work. But the Rs just can't wait to get in there and raid those 2 funds and bilk them of the money there. Don't think for a minute that they are broke, they are not broke, unless, of course, the Rs get their way.
 
 
+67 # Lolanne 2012-09-25 12:10
Quoting Barbara K:
I saw that the other day, the people all got up and walked out. Good for them. He isn't going to fool Everyone. There is no need to mess with programs that work. But the Rs just can't wait to get in there and raid those 2 funds and bilk them of the money there. Don't think for a minute that they are broke, they are not broke, unless, of course, the Rs get their way.


So the Twerp got roundly booed and walked out on, huh? GOOD! Couldn't happen to a more deserving person. The only thing that would have made this even better is if the Twit had been with him and the Grannies had run them both off the stage heaving rotten fruit at them. Maybe that would have hastened Twit and Twerp along to crawl back under their respective rocks. Whatever it takes, I so hope it happens SOON...I am sick to death of their fouling the airwaves and print media, and we still have a month+ to go...sigh.
 
 
+8 # doneasley 2012-09-25 20:29
Quoting Lolanne:
[quote name="Barbara K"]... The only thing that would have made this even better is if the Twit had been with him and the Grannies had run them both off the stage heaving rotten fruit at them. Maybe that would have hastened Twit and Twerp along to crawl back under their respective rocks. Whatever it takes, I so hope it happens SOON...I am sick to death of their fouling the airwaves and print media, and we still have a month+ to go...sigh.


It can't happen soon enough, Lolanne. What scares me about this whole business is that, even though the President is leading in the battleground states, the Twit and the Twerp have unleashed their stench across the GOP-controlled states to suppress the vote. Word tonite is that as many as 10 Million Latinos could be affected in addition to African-America ns, students, seniors, and the disadvantaged.

If they steal this one in plain sight, mind you, we're to blame for not reacting soon enough to what these vermin have cooked up as they always do. We still have time, so get your sprayer out and let's go after these zombie-eyed smiling roaches. SIX MORE WEEKS!
 
 
+7 # Jorge 2012-09-25 21:11
The easily manipulated voting machines in swing states are the key. These traitorous RW crooks should have been stopped after Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. But now they are back and plotting evil for the election (I'll bet Rove has much of his energy/money invested in rigging the voting machines). Ironic that Willard the Rat Romney made his 47% speech in Boca Raton (translated as Mouth of the Rat).
 
 
+112 # NanFan 2012-09-25 10:57
If the R/R team do get into office and successfully work to repeal the AHA, I cannot wait till this lying sack of junk gets old...oh wait...HE won't have to worry either way. HE'S got it made, unlike the rest of us working our way to an early grave, poorer than we should be, and without the safety net we paid into our whole working lives.

Scum! I'm sick to death of these people, and have NO idea how to stop them. Even voting them OUT may not be possible with all the shenanigans they're pulling.

Where, oh where, has our Democracy gone? It left the minute W. was put into office in 2000. And these two are right behind him, pulling all the dirty tricks and lying about so much, hiding SO much of the truth...enough. ..GO AWAY pasty-face and take that arrogant fake-tan-man with you!

N.
 
 
+14 # doneasley 2012-09-25 20:52
Quoting NanFan:
... Where, oh where, has our Democracy gone? It left the minute W. was put into office in 2000. And these two are right behind him, pulling all the dirty tricks and lying about so much, hiding SO much of the truth...enough...GO AWAY pasty-face and take that arrogant fake-tan-man with you!

N.


NanFan, this stuff started in earnest when the Great God Reagan first said, "Government IS the problem!" Since then the dumbasses have followed the Trickle Down misfits like guinea pigs off a cliff. And now these idiots are the worst that I've seen in my lifetime. How many times do we have to listen to this Voodoo Economics (Daddy Bush's words) crap?

The sad part of it is that those who vote for these SCUM believe they're gonna be on the inside. But they'll be on the outside looking in naked in the cold like the rest of us. That I will NEVER understand.
 
 
0 # lexy677 2012-09-26 00:03
No it started the minute that "colossal dunce and corporate stooge" Ronald Reagan was elected and finally disappeared with the election of George W Bush.
 
 
+83 # pernsey 2012-09-25 11:25
It just shows you how clueless Ryan is, to tell seniors he wants to take away social security...good luck pal. Im glad the seniors booed him and walked out.

I hope the Florida seniors vote Obama/Biden 2012!!
 
 
+44 # Robert B 2012-09-25 12:17
There are a lot of retirees in Arizona, too. Is it possible that AZ might go for Obama? Clinton won the state in 1996.
 
 
+2 # kelly 2012-09-26 07:03
In 1996, they hadn't gone so nuts that they elected some idiot like Jan Brewer as governor, either.
 
 
+67 # ahaywood 2012-09-25 11:28
NanFan hit the nail on the head!! You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the time. It's time to throw the bums out of office. If you have bridges that are caving in and roads with holes and you are constantly putting those politican back into office, shame..shame on YOU! Let's not be part of the problem folks!! Democrary can't be bought!! The only way Romney and Ryan can win is by stealing the election like Bush did.... What a joke on the American people. GO AWAY and take your arrogant rich friends with you.
 
 
+3 # doneasley 2012-09-25 21:09
Quoting ahaywood:
... The only way Romney and Ryan can win is by stealing the election like Bush did.... What a joke on the American people. GO AWAY and take your arrogant rich friends with you.


That's what I fear, ahaywood, another stolen election, because the SCUM are busy. They never stop with their crooked schemes. It's a thing the Dems don't understand. These are EVIL people... EVIL! They won't stop until they grind us into the dust. They call that smart politics. I call it a CULTURE OF CORRUPTION - the dark cloud that has hung over the Regressives since Nixon.
 
 
+1 # chrisconnolly 2012-09-26 09:11
I think its not so much that the Dems don't understand, its that they don't have all that money to pay crews to do all the dirty work of fabricating lies and making films promoting these lies.
 
 
+50 # Buddha 2012-09-25 11:45
I think seniors are finally getting it. From recent polling, the only demographic Robme was winning, the over 65's, support of Robme over Obama has gone from 20 points to down to 4 points.
 
 
+14 # soularddave 2012-09-25 18:42
Quoting Buddha:
I think seniors are finally getting it.


I get it. It's MY money, and they don't want me to have it. Since I love my job, and will love to work another five years to get maximum Social Security and more pension while fully health insured (union, doncha know).

The plutocrats want to change the rules of the game. I see it more as a CONTRACT than a mere promise. Contracts don't mean any more to them than the CONSTITUTION does. They must be from another planet, because they don't give a damn about this one.
 
 
+4 # doneasley 2012-09-25 21:30
Quoting soularddave:
[quote name="Buddha"]... Contracts don't mean any more to them than the CONSTITUTION does...


You hit the nail on the head, soularddave. Bush on the Constitution: "It's just a goddamned piece of paper." That little piece of paper kept getting in his way. That's why "W" issued more Presidential Signing Statements than any other president - just to cover his vulnerable ASS.
 
 
+27 # hillwright 2012-09-25 12:10
As they said in the 60's, "don't trust anyone over 40($ million)".
 
 
+45 # Art947 2012-09-25 12:15
What seems to have been forgotten by this snake oil salesman, is that he would not be in the place that he is if it weren't for the survivor benefits that he and his family received upon the early death of his father. While I certainly wouldn't begrudge him the benefits, isn't it interesting that his family received thousands of dollars per month when he was younger? This permitted PAul and his siblings to attend college and lead a "normal" life during a difficult time in the family's financial history. Now he and that other "welfare" recipient, Mitt Romney, want to deny the benefits to others. Isn't it just like a Republican, I got mine, but the heck with you!

NOTE: Romney's family and other Mormons who returned from Mexico during the revolts were granted benefits by a special act of Congress at the time.

NOTE 2: It is interesting to realize that Romney's ancestors left the U.S. to settle in MExico when polygamy was being "outlawed." So much for "traditional" marriage!
 
 
+42 # Corvette-Bob 2012-09-25 12:32
If anyone wishes to understand what Paul Ryan believes, all you need to do is to read and understand the following two things: 1) Ayn Rand; 2) his proposed budget. If you understand these two items, virtually no person, Democrat or Republican would vote for the ticket.
 
 
+5 # doneasley 2012-09-25 21:46
Quoting Corvette-Bob:
If anyone wishes to understand what Paul Ryan believes, all you need to do is to read and understand the following two things: 1) Ayn Rand; 2) his proposed budget. If you understand these two items, virtually no person, Democrat or Republican would vote for the ticket.


Beautifully said, Corvette-Bob. Every night and every Sunday there are these big discussions ad nauseum on what does Rmoney believe. He has already absolutely endorsed the Ryan budget, which takes an axe to the Social Safety Net. Now... what else is there to know?
 
 
-94 # Robt Eagle 2012-09-25 12:36
Ryan tells it like it REALLY is, and the truth is that the Dems promise and provide what is not possible to afford. At some time, and if Obama is re-eleted, sooner than later, the Soc Second, Medicare, ObamaCare, unemployment, food stamps, and all other entitlements will END, as they will all be unfunded and insufficient income to keep those promises. Taxing the wealthy more will not cover even a tiny fraction. THINK rationally, we can not spend what doesn't come in!
 
 
+47 # LisaH 2012-09-25 13:25
um, where were you 11 years ago when W & co. was asking for blank checks to run two wars following 9/11? Which of those Congresspeople who voted for both wars, and for raising the debt ceiling to cover the blank checks they were giving the war effort, said word one about spending money we didn't have?
 
 
+7 # doneasley 2012-09-25 21:49
Quoting LisaH:
... Which of those Congresspeople who voted for both wars, and for raising the debt ceiling to cover the blank checks they were giving the war effort, said word one about spending money we didn't have?


Ryan sure didn't Lisa. Now he's a deficit hawk? Please spare me!
 
 
+42 # Doll 2012-09-25 14:04
Boy, that is really dumb. Social Security has a 2.7 trillion balance. All of those other "entitlements" are far less, by orders of magnitute, than the welfare for the wealthy (eg tax credits when none are paid by big corporations).

Robt Eagle, I suppose you belive in your heart of hearts that you, too, could one day be among those multi-billionai res. Not
 
 
+7 # doneasley 2012-09-25 21:53
Quoting Doll:
... Robt Eagle, I suppose you belive in your heart of hearts that you, too, could one day be among those multi-billionaires. Not


You're SO right, Doll. The Eagle will be on the outside looking in - with the rest of us.
 
 
+7 # lexy677 2012-09-26 00:09
No he is just an "out and out" cowardly insecure white male who's ego is tickled by all the racist dog-whistles Republican's have been spewing for 40 years to win elections. That's all it is; no one can be that stupid.
 
 
+35 # Eliza D 2012-09-25 14:40
Actually,Robt Eagle, taxing corporations, such as GE and Verizon and dozens of others who have paid no federal taxes in years, would cover most of what you call entitlements. I wish you would get out of the trap that convinces people that their tax dollars are going too lazy welfare queens. All of these programs are a drop in the bucket compared to the 15 trillion that our government gave to Wall Street to bail out the banks, while allowing their CEOs to collect billions in bonuses. Social Security and Medicare are not truly entitlements-ci tizens like you and I pay into them. Please let me know where I can pick up the Social Security check that you will be foregoing because you are too" unentitled" to take it.
 
 
+26 # coach777b 2012-09-25 15:23
Quoting Robt Eagle:
Ryan tells it like it REALLY is, and the truth is that the Dems promise and provide what is not possible to afford. At some time, and if Obama is re-eleted, sooner than later, the Soc Second, Medicare, ObamaCare, unemployment, food stamps, and all other entitlements will END, as they will all be unfunded and insufficient income to keep those promises. Taxing the wealthy more will not cover even a tiny fraction. THINK rationally, we can not spend what doesn't come in!

If the greedy, unAmerican 1% refuse to pay more to the country that allowed them to accumulate such riches, you're correct. And who receives more ENTITLEMENTS than the Dept. of Defense?
 
 
+18 # Art947 2012-09-25 15:24
Quoting Robt Eagle:
if Obama is re-eleted, sooner than later, the Soc Second, Medicare, ObamaCare, unemployment, food stamps, and all other entitlements will END, as they will all be unfunded and insufficient income to keep those promises.


Ryan and Romney are snake oil salesman who wouldn't know the truth if they fell over it! Social Security is a program which can only be destroyed by evil men (and women). The program is designed so that one generation supports the previous generation. Much like societal principles in days of yore, when people had very large families with many, many children to provide a means of supporting parents in their old age (if they lived so long!) When we grew up as a society and realized that this type of population growth caused additional problems -- and was unsustainable -- intelligent men and women discovered that a system could be implemented to provide this partial security. The "problems" of an underfunded system can be easily rectified in a similar manner as it has been improved in the past, i.e. increase the base on which FICA is taxed.

Medicare is a similar program. One in which greater efficiencies will permit the program to be sustainable for a long period of time. Examples include: removing the incentives for unnecessary medical tests; letting the system negotiate drug costs; reducing waste in the use of products that are NOT needed; etc.

to be continued
 
 
+24 # Art947 2012-09-25 15:27
Unemployment can be reduced if the workers who are in the middle and lower economic classes were paid a wage commensurate with the added productivity that they have provided; cost of living increases; and a minimum wage that kept pace with inflation. This would result in increased consumer spending and the growth of small businesses. The large corporations aren't the job creators! The super rich are absolutely NOT the job creators -- unless we are talking about their spending in foreign countries!

The food stamp program not only helps make sure that the poor are not undernourished, it also provides a market for the goods produced by the farmers of America. Or should we just permit the small farmer to "go under" and create more unemployment?
 
 
+4 # doneasley 2012-09-25 21:58
Well said, Art947, well said.
 
 
+13 # ABen 2012-09-25 18:34
Eagle; just continue swilling that koolade, sooner or later you will float.
 
 
+9 # soularddave 2012-09-25 18:56
Quoting Robt Eagle:
Taxing the wealthy more will not cover even a tiny fraction.


I beg to differ. Taxing the illegally off-shored profits and bringing the tax rates in line with everybody else will have a huge effect. Eliminating irresponsible wars and superfluous military spending will further bolster the reserves with which to pay down the incurred debt.

Further, putting people back to work will remove them from the unemployment roles. Rebuilding infrastructure (like combined sewers, and bridges) will have the additional benefit of being "durable" expenditures. CCC-type projects will provide last chance and first chance employment for marginal and young workers to be part of America's great labor force.
 
 
+12 # Mannstein 2012-09-25 19:05
Even if the programs are extended for just one extra day by taxing the Plutocrats it will be well worth it. If such an extension saves even a single life the money would be well spent.

Bush lied to us about WMD and Saddam now Mittens and the Turd is lying about Medicare and SS and we should believe them. No way Jose.
 
 
+5 # dkonstruction 2012-09-26 05:19
In fact, we can spend what doesn't come in....that's the whole difference between a money system based on gold reserves and the current "fiat money" system. The federal gov't budget is not like a household budget or even that of state and local gov'ts. The idea that the gov't is going broke or can't afford something is simply wrong on the face of it...look at Japan whose debt to GDP ration has been and continues to be far greater than ours and has been for more than a decade and yet even with all of their money printing to cover the deficit spending it has not caused inflation at all and neither has the more that $16 trillion "lent" to the banks (on top of the official "bailout" monies). Money at this point is created via bookkeeping/com puter entries on a spreadsheet...t he question is simply is there enough money in the current supply to employ everyone and produce the goods and services we all need and the gov't essentially determines that amount...if we have to run a deficit in order to be able to do this who cares? The idea that the deficit and our national debt is such a problem is simply wrong and shows a total lack of understanding about the nature of money in a fiat money system and how both "the left" and "the right" have bought into the same false paradigm which is now being used to justify massive cuts to programs to cover basic human needs. We're not "going broke;" the whole idea of it is absurd on its face.
 
 
+4 # chrisconnolly 2012-09-26 09:22
If you are talking welfare cuts why aren't you viewing corporate welfare as the hole in the bottom of our treasury boat? Romney and his wealthy fat cat ilk are the ones mooching off our system and wanting to cut away our social safety nets. Think rationally? If the fat cats don't pay taxes and continue to stand in the subsidy lines for their $10 million, $100 million, $billion welfare checks why are you blaming the people standing in food lines?
 
 
-36 # John Somebody 2012-09-25 12:44
I really wish people would not use the word, "guarantee", when they mean no such thing.

I suspect that Charles Pierce means something different, when he says,

"health-care plan in Massachusetts, which I guarantee you, Paul Ryan would not have voted for"

What is that Charles Pierce is offering to replace ?
 
 
+37 # Doll 2012-09-25 12:55
You folks have nailed it.

The only observation I can add is that Eddy Munster complained that Obama will not work with Republicans. NOT.

It's the party of NO who won't budge an inch from their extreme positions.
 
 
+9 # JohnMayer 2012-09-25 18:23
By “work with” he means “capitulate to.”
 
 
+23 # giraffee2012 2012-09-25 12:55
Robme - (ha) - If Florida Seniors wake up - it is surely over for R/R - but many have $$ and .... u know the story
 
 
+20 # Corvette-Bob 2012-09-25 13:16
When I ask Republicans who say they want to repeal Health Care I ask what how they wish to provide medical care to those who need care. Their answer is well people can go to an Emergency Room at a hospital. My answer is that is the most expensive health care program in the world. Wait until a person is critical ill due to no health care insuranc and then treat them when they become critically ill and then tack the patients bill onto your bill. Makes no sense, but that is their solution to the problem.
 
 
+14 # LisaH 2012-09-25 13:21
Thank you for using Rmoney's real first name - Willard. That should be enough to send people running for the exits...
 
 
+20 # Smokey 2012-09-25 13:24
God bless the AARP and all of its members.... It's a strange organization with a strange history and it may be the political force that saves America... The Occupy people may be finally waking up to the fact that it's the senior citizens - not the college kids - who may determine the outcome of the next round of elections. The seniors may move to the left or they may move to the right. In states like Ohio, Florida, Colorado, and New Hampshire it's the senior vote that matters in a tight contest... The journalists keep talking about the "young voters" and their "new ideas." In an aging society, the journalists should be giving more attention to Grandma and her political interests and needs.... Note to progressives: If you're past the age of 55, get active in groups like the AARP. Organize, organize, organize.
 
 
+11 # charlemaign 2012-09-25 14:49
I kind of put medicare, social security and medicaid in the same boat. I remember when in the 80's they raided the excess funds from them and then afterwards laughed about it and said the money is gone. The trick is when/if the money runs out, we put more in. Tax the rich more, lay siege to the banks in offshore tax havens and/or get rid of free trade. Call for a draft and have them increase agriculture to feed and house everyone in the world along with helping the elderly, fixing our bridges and getting rid of invasive harmful species.
 
 
-12 # davidh7426 2012-09-25 15:04
I live in the UK, but I'd like the answer to this question ::

Q: If Mittens Romney where to pull out as candidate for the job of POTUS, does Ryan become the candidate instead, or does Obama win automatically ??

If Ryan does become the candidate, that may well explain why the Republicans are leaving Mittens in place, rather like a shield, to deflect attention from their preferred choice of Ryan, who does appear to be more stable than Mittens. Remove Mittens & I'm sure the republican voters will be a lot happier as will a lot of the undecided
 
 
+12 # soularddave 2012-09-25 19:11
Not sure why you're getting all the thumbs down, but it's an awful idea that bears working out. Sleight of hand tricks are not something that ReThuglicans are above.

Analysing BOTH candidates on the ballot is worthwhile, and I'm sure you'll agree that Obama/Biden is a more dependable option, even with some of the disappointments we've encountered.

Thanks, mate, for bringing this up
 
 
+1 # davidh7426 2012-10-07 17:10
Your welcome soularddave...

I suspect I'm getting the 'thumbs down', because they think that I support the idea of Ryan being POTUS...

Just for the record I DON'T, I happen to think that both Mittens & Ryan are particularly poor excuses for human beings, but everybody is entitled to their opinion, so the 'thumb downs' don't particularly bother me
 
 
+1 # davidh7426 2012-10-07 17:15
...perhaps they just disagree with me asking the question in the first place. After all, I'm sure that there are questions that political parties HOPE never get asked, maybe this was one of them ;)
 
 
+18 # the all seeing eye 2012-09-25 15:20
What a clown! All that's missing are the fake nose, and, the large shoes. We've paid into social security for all our working lives, it's not enough that they have STOLEN from SS all along, now, they want all of the money we paid into it. Let's storm the Bastille!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!
 
 
+10 # soularddave 2012-09-25 19:14
Quoting the all seeing eye:
Let's storm the Bastille!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Let's FILL the Bastille with the criminals in Congress, on Wall Street, and the unelected "officials" that are stealing Michigan.
 
 
+5 # Skyelav 2012-09-25 15:40
Scum! I'm sick to death of these people, and have NO idea how to stop them. Even voting them OUT may not be possible with all the shenanigans they're pulling.

Nan Fan, it's the 100th monkey principle, it will take 100 monkeys to decide we need complete change before these two shams of parties stop distracting us and start solving problems instead of making the Elite who run the world quadzillionaire s. That's all, we stop voting at all and hang on for the revolution.
 
 
+5 # JohnMayer 2012-09-25 18:22
With age comes wisdom.
 
 
+9 # spercepolnes 2012-09-25 18:24
"He is a well-dressed young man, though, isn't he? And such lovely diction."

but such a lying scumbag......
 
 
+11 # pernsey 2012-09-25 18:35
I saw on The Last Word with Lawrence ODonnell, politico reported that Paul Ryan is calling Mitt Romney the "Stench"! How fitting!

I havent laughed this hard in a very long time, his own VP pick thinks hes a stench LOL!!
 
 
+3 # dkonstruction 2012-09-26 05:29
The whole idea that we don't have the money to pay for "entitlements" is just absurd though it is being pushed by virtually all on the left and the right (including the ron paul libertarians). In a "fiat money" system money is created out of nothing; it is a bookkeeping/com puter entry on a spreadsheet. Japan has been running huge deficts (far greater than ours in terms of debt to GDP) for more than a decade and it hasn't hurt them one bit i.e., hasn't effected the value of their currency nor inflation. The question is whether or not there is enough (or too little or too much) money in circulation at any given time to employ everyone and produce all of the goods and services we need in order to do this. If this can only be accomplished by running a federal budget deficit the who cares? When debt payments have to be made it is again no more than a bookkeeping/acc ounting entry. It doesn't affect the "real economy" the way we have been brainwashed (by both parties) to believe that it does...the idea that we are going broke and can't pay for this stuff is just wrong and has to be completely rejected or else you lock yourself into an "austerity" paradigm from which there is no escape. Do we need to make budget cuts...sure there is alot of waste and "unproductive" spending such as military spending but that is a different question (it is about productive allocation of resources not whether we can afford the spending in the first place).
 
 
+2 # dkonstruction 2012-09-26 09:43
I have no problem with thumbs downs (there is currently one for the post above) but if you don't tell me why then i have no idea what you are objecting to and we can't have a discussion which is, i thought, the purpose of such a discussion board.

Basically, i was trying to generate some discussion around the idea that the whole notion of our deficit/debt problem is simply wrong as is the idea that the country is broke (or going broke) and thus can't afford things like social programs, "entitlements" etc. If this view is correct then we should be building a movement (at least in part) around rejecting this whole notion and therefore all proposals that talk about the need to cut social programs and "entitlements." If you disagree with this position then at least say why so that a discussion/deba te can take place which ultimately speaks to real solutions for our current economic woes that don't depend on false premises and then ultimately false solutions (i.e., the US national debt/deficit is a problem and thus we have to balance the budget and cut programs in order to pay off the debt.
 
 
+2 # Eliza D 2012-09-26 14:35
I can't speak for others, and I did not give you a thumbs down, but here's my take. This comment is just too abstruse for most of us. Furthermore, most of us don't have the insider perspective to know to what extent the US is broke or flush, so we can't really engage in a productive discussion. But we have plenty of ideas about how our tax dollars should be spent.
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-09-27 05:19
Eliza D, thanks for the comment. A fair response. But, since virtually everyone on the left and the right (including the libertarians) are saying that we are broke and can't afford social programs and "entitlements" (which I believe is simply not true) one of the main tasks for progressives needs to be to become much better educated as to how money works in the modern "fiat" money system and why the claim that the deficits are bad and we are broke simply isn't true (for if it isn't doesn't that change the nature of the political conversation we should be having and the demands we should be making? I agree, we also need to put forth a progressive tax agenda but what if we don't get it? do we just accept the cuts because we accept the idea that the country is broke and we can't afford it? This simply is not true which is why i try and raise such issues here and elsewhere. It is not about having an "insider perspective" but rather educating ourselves (with the help of people like Ellen Brown and her book Web of Debt, or Fred Moseley's 7 Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy -- free online http://moslereconomics.com/2009/12/10/7-deadly-innocent-frauds/

for example, which talk about how our money creation/supply work, why the system is broken, how it can be fixed and what we can do to take control of it. without this, i'm afraid we are locked into the very austerity paradigm we are trying so desparately to get out from under.
 
 
0 # tref 2012-09-27 13:29
I don’t have the education to address your contention that we're not going broke, but I do have a small understanding of some of the mechanics of our debt. Every month, on different days, various bond auctions are held at which old debt instruments that are due are retired with newly created bonds so there is constant roll-over of the maturities of bonds that fund our debt. It is also my understanding that our Fed purchases about 3/4 of these new bonds in the Secondary Market and that banks and brokers purchase in the Primary Market. About $5 trillion is owned by the US gov't and $11 trillion by the "public" of which about $5 trillion is owned by foreign govs.

Continued…
 
 
0 # tref 2012-09-27 13:31
What if one or a few hostile governments decided to break us? What if they start acquiring controlling interest in some of our larger financial institutions? China already owns about $2 trillion of our debt. What if they were to start quietly trading their long-term maturities for ones with nearer term maturities. Imagine they continue to acquire same and then one fine day, at one of the monthly auctions, they instruct "their" banks not to participate in the auction and put the screws on the bond brokers so hardly anybody buys the new bonds? The old ones come due and guess who holds them? The US has to buy them back. That happens at various auctions throughout the month and then the next month and then the next. Given the size of our debt, I doubt we could scrounge up the funds to cover all that debt. We would have to default. Fiat system or no, businesses don’t survive by selling goods and services THAT HAVE REAL VALUE for debt that has none and nothing is about what our bonds would be worth if we default. Very quickly, we'd be able to stop worrying about our balance of trade because, no one would sell to us. With all the out-sourcing of jobs and consequent closing of factories, we'd be in no position to take up the slack of dried up imports domestically. All those TV shows about some sort of mysterious apocalypse would become painfully real.

Continued…
 
 
0 # tref 2012-09-27 13:32
So while the MONEY system may be "fiat", food, clothes, gas, oil, all of the real goods that real people consume daily are not. Therefore, I cannot buy your saying that the debt doesn't matter.

The debt auctions work and work well, in an atmosphere of trust and goodwill. But undermine either and they probably won't work at all. The Republican solution is a joke: cut billions in social services but increase military spending which is trillions while reducing taxes on the uber rich and large corporations (billions) and increasing taxes on the middle class and small-medium business (millions). But saying our debt doesn’t matter? I disagree.
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-09-28 09:05
tref, thanks for the thoughtful comments; i just saw them.

countries such as china that are buying our debt do it because they want a place to park their reserves and to start dumping it as you suggest would ultimately affect the value of their own holdings so why would they ever do it?

a more likely scenario would be that the oil producing countries decide (as Saddam and others have threatened) to start trading oil in euros instead of dollars in which case i would agree that we would have a serious problem as the "petro dollars" are one of the ways we have kept the US economy afloat.

My main point, so perhaps i was not clear, is that under a fiat money system there is no reason for a nation to have to borrow from another nation in that countries currency. So, for example, the overwhelming majority of the Italian debt is owed to the Italian people and so they are not concerned about this (rather they are concerned about the rates they are being charged by foreign lenders). The US does not have to borrow from anyone other than ourselves and this is the debt i am saying is not important as long as the money is invested "productively" in the real economy that puts people back to work rebuilding infrastructure for example. My other point was really that deficits in and of themselves (i.e., spending more than you take in in any given year) also doesn't matter and i think the experience of Japan makes this point.
 
 
+2 # pernsey 2012-09-26 09:03
Mitt Romney "The Stench"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45755883/vp/49173345#49173345

This is the link of Lawerence ODonnell's report.
 

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