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

At this point it might be useful to clarify precisely what the dispute concerns. The question is not whether the federal government should grow. As Reason’s Nick Gillespie pointed out a few days ago, nearly nobody in Washington has actually proposed shrinking the leviathan. To the contrary, the dispute is whether to raise federal spending from the current $3.8 trillion to $4.7 trillion over the next decade (the Paul Ryan plan) – or to $5.7 trillion (the Obama plan). Bear in mind that those increases would come on top of one of the fastest expansions of federal spending in U.S. history. When President Obama took office, the budget stood at $2.9 trillion. Two. Point. Nine.

A. Barton Hinkle

So the USA is screwed… and does this remind you of something?

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Antoine Clarke

    Default would at least take borrowing of the table. The Fed would have to print money to pretend there were people buying bonds. A bit like writing out million pound cheques to oneself and depositing then in one’s bank account.

    Which is a largely harmless activity, so long as one does not confuse this with wealth creation.

  • Roue le Jour

    Forgive me for going off topic but I would like to draw Samizdatanistas attention to this recent piece by Theodore Dalrymple. One of his better ones I think.

  • Antoine: ‘harmless’? What about inflation?

  • persiflage

    My Spidey sense tingles with the approach of a “Ceausescu moment.” One that will sweep away the pathetic, self-serving wretches who infest the government ofices of our once-beautiful Republic.

  • Surellin

    I’ve been watching this budget psychodrama pretty closely, and it seems to me that the terms of the discussion have changed. Shrinking Leviathan is now a serious option, and I believe it will become a dominant one. It’s just that it will be the work of many years, not one session of Congress. According to polls, a WHOLE lot of people want saner government spending, but they also don’t want their entitlements changed. It will take time to convince them that they can’t have both. Heck, they may have to die off first. This is a long-term project, my friends.

  • Laird

    I hope you’re right, Surellin, but I’m not holding my breath. A good first step would be to eliminate the fraud of “baseline” budgeting, where spending anything less than the projected amount is considered a “cut”. When we get to real spending cuts, as in spending fewer actual dollars than last year, please let me know.

    Incidentally, I’ve just become a billionaire. I took my ten-year budget forecast and lopped off $100 million of projected spending out of each year. (Actually, I lopped off $200 million in the last year and none next year, but it’s the same thing, right?) Voila! I just saved one billion dollars, which obviously goes straight into my net worth! My banker will be very pleased.

    And they say the first billion is the hardest.

  • …and the first cut is the deepest?

  • Paul Marks

    American government spending will be higher in 2011 than it was in 2010.

    Government spending will be higher in 2012 than it was in 2011 – much higher, whether

    The above is all that matters – everything else is p…. and wind.

    The deal is one great big shining lie.

  • Paul Marks

    It should be remembered that, only a century ago, several individuals had in wealth more money than the United States government spent in a year.

    The left (at least the low level left) still think in these terms – that they can just grab John D. R. (senior) and take all his ill gotten gains (which were not, in fact, ill gotten) to pay the bills.

    They have no understanding that the Federal government now spends thousands of times more money (just in a year) than even the richest people have in their entire wealth.

    It is the scale of things (the huge size of spending) that defeats the minds of the Hollywood morons (and so on) with their fantasy that “the rich should be forced to pay”.

    Pay bills – that are, in a single year, thousands of times greater than their entire life’s wealth.