We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

These are the facts. George W Bush left behind a set of books that were not so much unbalanced as vertiginous. At the end of 2008, US debt was $9.9 trillion, or 69.7 per cent of GDP, and the ballooning deficit was $683 billion. Since then, all the key indicators have worsened markedly. By the end of this year, gross debt is forecast to reach $16.3 trillion (the number to which Letterman was alluding), more than 100 per cent of GDP, or a rise of two thirds under Obama. The annual deficit is close to $1.5 trillion, 10 per cent of GDP. Worse still, according to official forecasts, US debt is on course to hit $20 trillion by 2016.

- Jeff Randall

4 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • RRS

    It is fascinating how the “pundits” all avoid the underlying issue in all the Western economies:

    Through what expenditures for what objectives has all this debt accrued?

    With 4% of global population, the U S produces 20% of global “GDP;” has carried over 40% of the global military expenditures.

    The era of Pax Americana (such as it was) is ending. Whatever constraints of violence provided are in accelerating decline.

    The Executive Office may affect, but it can not determine Fiscal Policy.

    The U S electorate (and populations elsewhere) have been rewarding those who have continually extended the “trough” to create more places for participation. The “real” contents of the “trough” have not increased at the rate of those extensions. The electorate will begin to turn away – to what remains to be seen.

  • Brad

    I find it amusing how just 6-8 short years ago, as Bush was stoking the economy with tax rebates funded with borrowing, the average Democrat, in office and the electorate, was crying bloody murder over all this deficit spending and the ballooning debt. And now it’s going on at double the rate and it’s perfectly sound public policy.

    The saddest thing is it took the US over 200 years to run up the first trillion, and only 28 years to run up 19 trillion more, and this doesn’t even include the tens of trillions in “accrued” unfunded entitlements (i.e. the amount that would have to be sunk now to pay for the future defined welfare benefits, which doesn’t even include any adjustments to healthcare mandates). And after 2016, what then? Suddenly budgets will not only balance, but debts will be paid?

    And the Repubs are talking a good game, in this election cycle, about reducing this or that, but it certain that if they do get elected it will suddenly be a few billion here or a few billion there making not the slightest practical difference.

  • veryretired

    The political elites in the US have been collapsing into a chronic state of frustrated incompetence for decades.

    Since the reasonably successful administration of Eisenhower when I was a child, there has followed a truncated presidency due to assassination, a truncated presidency due to intense internal party opposition which caused LBJ to effectively resign, the bizarre Nixon fiasco, the truncated partial term of Ford,and the disaster of one term jimmy.

    The Reagan terms were turbulent but at least went forward in some areas, followed by one term bush, and then another full 2 terms marked by some good news but endless scandal and near impeachment.

    Then came the still disputed, at least by some fanatics, 2000 election, and the utterly gruesome spectacle of Bush 2 being slandered beyond anything seen since Lincoln’s time for eight miserable, expensive years.

    Now we have the totally incompetent, totally collectivist mess of the current regime. Both internally and externally, it will take a decade of hard, corrective work to repair the damage—maybe.

    Is Romney any kind of answer? I doubt it.

    I just can’t imagine the condition the country might be in if the current regime remains in power. They embody every mistaken policy and corrupt practice of the 20th century combined into one huge ongoing disaster.

    I wish I could imagine that someone on the political scene has the skill and courage to turn the ship back into the wind, but I just don’t see anyone capable of the needed correctives on the horizon.

    Patience and hope, combined with an inexhaustible dedication to the work that needs to be done, are the only values that will enable us to withstand the coming storm.

  • Paul Marks

    One thing should be rememberd – tax revenue (especially from “the rich”) went UP under George Walker Bush.

    There were no “tax cuts funded by borrowing”.

    The problem is one of government SPENDING.

    Government SPENDING.

    Government SPENDING.

    George Walker Bush was indeed a failure, but not because of tax cuts – but because of his failure to control government SPENDING.

    I hope I have made this simple point enough times.

    As for Barack Obama – he has increased government spending even further (vastly more).

    There is a difference – George Walker Bush was an estabishment educated idiot.

    Barack Obama is trying to destroy the United States ON PURPOSE.

    That is obvious – even for those people who have not bothered to research the background of Barack Obama.

    I am not going to speak about Mitt Romney – his faults are well known. I can quite understand someone being unable to support for Governor Romney and staying home or supporting a third party candidate.

    But any active support for Barack Obama is unforgiveable.

    After all this time any individual person or organisation (media or otherwise) that supports Barack Obama is doing a terrible thing.

    Ignorance is no longer (after all this) an acceptable excuse.