Tax the Rich – And Then What?

Oh that’s rich.  A lot has been made recently of the belief that the rich aren’t paying enough in taxes.  Most analyses are long on hyperbole but short on outcomes.  The general belief is that the government is denied funds by the Bush tax cuts.  While rarely stated, the implication is that taxing the rich would provide the nearly destitute government more funds for more excellent government programs like the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the War on Libya – things like that.  Somehow, we are led to believe that the government’s outstanding track record on solving problems would be extended if only the rich paid more taxes.

The problem with socialism.  Maggie Thatcher once famously quipped, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”  Well said, Madame.  But what of the argument that holds the government nearly penniless in the face of rich people’s greed.  Isn’t that valid?  Not really.  The government has found plenty of money to spend even with the Bush tax cuts and the growing income gap.  Total government spending as a percentage of GDP has increased from just over 20% in 1950 to just over 40% today.  Half of the increase has occurred in the last 10 – 12 years.  More government spending has not saved the middle class, it has not reduced the wealth gap and it has not made America more competitive on the world stage.

Money, money everywhere but not enough to spend.  The government has doubled its level of spending as a percent of GDP since 1950.  Yet, some want the government to have yet more money to spend.  What percentage of GDP is appropriate for the government to spend?  Marx, et al thought 100% was a good number.  Well, we’re on our way.

One is too many, another is never enough.  If it isn’t unfunded wars it’s insolvent entitlement programs.  If it isn’t insolvent entitlement plans it’s troops in Germany or Korea for the last 65 years.  The government’s track record on spending is less than stellar despite flushing 40% of the GDP largely down the drain.  Yet the government’s voracious appetite for ever more of the economic pie is unstoppable.  The government is drunk on spending and it wants an extension on its bar tab.

A plan, a plan, my kingdom for a plan.  I give up – what is the government going to do with the additional money it takes from “the rich”?  Spend yet more of the country’s GDP?  Why?  Because the increase from 1950 to now has been so successful?  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing while expecting different results.  As of today, we are insane.

Honesty is the best policy.  Let’s be honest – those who want to raise taxes on “the rich” want to penalize those who have succeeded.  It just irks them that others have made more money than they have.  They know that more government spending won’t make things any better.  If they would just admit that they want a pure and simple wealth redistribution it would be better than their current claims.  If you want to tax the rich then be honest.  Say, “We want the money you earned because we haven’t done all that well financially and that bothers us.” Then, take the money from the rich and divide it up among the non-rich.  But, for goodness sakes, don’t just give it to the government and wait for good things to happen.  That won’t help the rich, the poor or anyone else.  Except, of course, for the political elite – they do quite well as the government spends more and more of the nation’s GDP.  And speaking of honesty, look at the graph.  The last time government spending as a percentage of GDP fell Clinton was president.  In fact, it fell almost the whole time he was president.  Run Hillary, Run.

By Groveton, busy spending his money before the politicians can get it.

37 Responses to Tax the Rich – And Then What?

  1. My Dear Groveton,

    “Penalize those who succeed?”

    Let’s quote Joseph Stilitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist conservatives love to hate:

    “The top 1 percent of Americans now take in roughly one-fourth of America’s total income every year. In terms of wealth, rather than income. . . the top 1 percent controls 40 percent of the total.”

    Now let’s see. Does this mean that the top 1 percent were so incredibly successful in terms of productivity or wealth creation, especially since this is a relatively new phenomenon?

    Hell no. What it means is that CEOs with out-sized egos get out-sized pay packages just before they screw up their company and are forced out by their boards with out-sized golden parachutes. What it means is that for every high tech STeve Jobs or Bill Gates who has actually created something, you get a lot of screwball Ken Lewis types in finance who have made zillions mucking up their banks. Now that Lewis is gone, Bank of America is about to lay off 40,000. Great job! Did these CEOs create anything? Not unless you think credit default swaps are a great idea and crucial to the welfare of Americans.

    This is getting out of hand. Why apologize for them, Groveton?

    Peter Galuszka

  2. Liberals justify ever-growing government on the grounds that they’re so smart, they can spend peoples’ money to better effect than the people can spend the money themselves. What they overlook is that economic resources commandeered by the political process almost invariably generate a lower return on investment than those resources would have generated if left in the hands of their owners. It is important to understand that Groveton’s graph *understates* the intrusion of government on the economy. Not only does government spend more money than ever, it plays a greater role in the allocation (or mis-allocation) of capital.

    In theory, government can steer capital into areas that generate high rates of return, such as infrastructure. The problem is, at least with Interstate highways, we generated the high rate of ROI on investment back in the 1950s, and that ROI has declined steadily ever since. Now in many cases — for example, building bridges or heavy rail lines to nowhere – government is generating *negative* returns on investment. But the politicians don’t want to give up their power to hand out boodle.

    For the most part, government spends blindly. Calling spending on everything from solar panel subsidies to pre-school care an “investment” does not change that fact. Unlike the private sector, which carefully tracks ROI on its investments and adjusts future investments accordingly, government rarely bothers to calculate its ROI. Thus, if Groveton’s new company is a hit and generates the anticipated growth and profits, it will get more capital; if it fails, investors will shut off the spigot. By contrast, government plows money into all sorts of activities, creating constituencies for continued spending on those activities. With no will or means to measure ROI, it will continue pouring money down ratholes forever. The bigger government grows, the more wealth it destroys and the slower the U.S. economy grows.

  3. The fact remains that the rich have nearly all the money: who else has any money to pay taxes with? Latest iformation shows that the top 10% of earners now earn more than half of all income. The top 1% now earn 24% of all income.

    Meanwhile, workes pay has stagnated since the 1970′s during a period when computers and other advancements made worker ever more productive, with nearly all the gain going to top managers.

    Nor is this a US phenmenon. While one might expect more income inequality in undeveloped countries, the reverse is true: New Zealand, Australia, The USA, UK, Italy, all have worse income inequality than notorious plutocracies susch as Venezueala, Guyana, and Egypt.

    So, if increasing wealth and technology is supposed to lift all boats, what is happening in the developed world?

    Ah, socialism, you say, but if so it is mainly socialism that favors business: corporatism, as revealed by the recent rules making the paper construct of a corporation legally equal to a person with a mortal life, as if corporations don’t have enough advantage, in resources, power and longevity. Consider the companies that are making big money on what were originally government funded inventions: the internet, face recognition, frequency hopping,and other communicaiton advances.

    Conservatives only seem to believe the government has an oustanding track record on defense and capital punishment, where it can apparently do no wrong, ignoring all the other good work that government accomplishes in spite of itself and all the special interests that try to prevent it.

    More government spending has not saved the middle class, it has not reduced the wealth gap and it has not made America more competitive on the world stage, and neither has it damaged the rich in any way or prevented them from becoming still richer and at an inreasing rate. At the present rate of increase, in another 20 years the bottom HALF of the economy will have virtually no income: we will have reached the end of work.

    We may already have reached the point where demand is curtailed because most people have no maney to spend, and conversely, investment is curtailed because there is no porspect for profits, there being no customers. Most of the profit has been taken, especially since the 1970s, and there is simply no more to be had. How many TVs does a household need, after all?

    Lets be hones, by all means. I heard some politician sying recently that every dollar spent on unemployment added two dollars or more to the economy. The unemployed immediately spend that money on groceries, and the grocer spends the money again on something else, hiring someone to do maintenance on the parking lot, or whatever.

    So, OK you spend a dollar of tax oney and it multiplies three times in the economy. You tax it 25% each time it becomes income, and voila, for the dollar in taxes you spent, you get $0.75 back. Clearly this is no way to run an economy, but neither is letting 1% accumulate 95% of the total wealth. Even my uneducated friend Jesus is smart enought to know, “What good all that money, it no go round and round?”.

    That is a sentiment Groveton previously approved of.

    So, if business and the rich are sitting on hoards of cash, how do you get them to move it, if they won’t do so willingly? We generally accept (wrongly in my opinion) that the unpriced environmental assets belongs to all of us equally, and must be protected. But the tax to make that happen naturally falls unequally on those that have the most property: the protection is equal but the payment is not.

    Why would we think that the unpriced economic assets, like liquidity, be treated any differently?

    We want the money you erned becsause the last forty years prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are taking adequate care of it: you are letting it molder and stagnate, and hence the economy we have.

    If your Your cows are unfed, we are going to take them away from you, as a matter of humanitarian concern, public health, etc. Those cows represent an investment to you, but if they are not worth feeding them, you don’t. You put your money someplace else

    Why would we expect you to treat workers any differently? And isn’t that exactly what we have seen with stagnating wages since the 1970′s?

    OK, so tax the rich won’t work, except there is amost no one else with money to tax. And your proposed alternative, let the rich keep their money, hasn’t been working so well either. Not here, and not in any advanced country with increasing income disparity and declining economic prospects.

  4. Liberals justify ever-growing government on the grounds that they’re so smart, they can spend peoples’ money to better effect than the people can spend the money themselves.


    No, they justify it on the fact that other people are not spending it at all. At that point, almost any use becomes better than letting it sit in bonds paying half a percent because there is no money making place to spend or invest it.

  5. What they overlook is that economic resources commandeered by the political process almost invariably generate a lower return on investment than those resources would have generated if left in the hands of their owners.

    Not if the owners are doing nothing with it. And not if the businesses they run are dependent on government spending, like the company that runs giant scanners that can scan entire railcars for contraband. Such businesses don;t exis without government demand for it.

  6. For the most part, government spends blindly.


    Right. We hae no rtional way to set priorities. And why is that? Because WE in the form of big business and special interests each think that OUR prirority is number one. We can’t very well blame goverment because we cannot agree on a procedure for establishing priorities, based on carefully examining those programs that work and those that don’t.

    Conservatives simply claim that all government spending is bad, and nothing can be gained by trying to make it better. They believe in the power of organization and economy of scale for business, but not for government, and especially not for labor.

  7. The bigger government grows, the more wealth it destroys and the slower the U.S. economy grows.


    Whose wealth is being destroyed? The ten percent who now get half the income, a percentage that is growing every year?

    You are calling for a fact based analysis of ROI, ant then you wind up with a fact like that? The real fact is that The people whose wealth is being destroyed are the people who have practically none to begin with. And as conservatives point out, these people are not paying taxes, mostly, so we can’t very well blame government for destroying their wealth, and therefore someone else must be doing it.

    Like maybe the people who are continuasously increasing their wealth and the RATE at which they accumulate it.

  8. Peter – I don’t apologize for the over-paid CEOs. Or the overpaid athletes, actors and newscasters. I just want the people who think that taxes should be raised to say they want to redistribute wealth. They can’t really want to give the government more money to spend, can they? Isn’t 40+% of GDP enough?

    When Obama was accused of being a wealth re-distributor he and his allies got very upset. But that’s what he is. Maybe it’s OK, I don’t know. One thing I can say – I’d feel a lot better about paying higher taxes if the money went straight into the hands of the poor rather than being so much as touched by government.

    “So, if business and the rich are sitting on hoards of cash…”. What are you talking about? Do you think wealthy people have their cash buried in the backyard or hidden under their mattresses? Really?

    The money no go round and round? We’ll 40%+ of the GDP go round and round. Straight through the government’s hands. Why did America work so well when the government spent a much lower percentage of GDP?

  9. Some rich person (Vanderbilt?) once pointed out that if you distributed all the money of the rich evenly on Friday afternoon, by Monday morning all the same people would be rich again.

    That being the case, why are the wealthy so exercised over redistribution?

  10. Why did America work so well when the government spent a much lower percentage of GDP?


    Because the money was spent here, instead of Afghanistan?

    Or maybe places like Afghanistan are actually proof that America was not working so well.

    The Brits tried, The Russians tried, and now the US is trying, but no one has fixed Afghanistan yet. But who is to say that if it is eventually fixed, the rally long term ROI won’t be worth it, if there is a stable place that isn’t continually sucking blood and treasure?

    I don’t have any answers here, Im only saying that the argument that government is sucking blood out of the wealthy appears to be nonsense, considering the rate at which the wealthy is are getting wealthier, while not increasing the GDP.

    The argument is ridiculous on its face. Besides, conservationists argue we don’t need more GDP: we need fewer people consuming less, in order that all can live more richly.

    As we transition from an ever increasing GDP ponzi scheme to a steady state ponzi scheme, why should we not expect some changes in the ratio of GDP to government activity?

  11. What are you talking about? Do you think wealthy people have their cash buried in the backyard or hidden under their mattresses? Really?


    Pretty much. Why are bond yields so low? Because there is a lot of money doing nothing right now. Look at BAC, they can’t do anything with the money they have until all the lawsuits are settled.

  12. Why did America work better then?

    Because we did not spend millions on fear, searching each others shoes and underwear?

  13. When someone ordinary starts as small business, where do they get the capital?

    They take it out fo the equity in their home. Who has equity in their home any more?

    If you want to get really small business investing, first you have to fix the housing situation.

    I don’t see private enterprise stepping up on that front.

  14. The Reagan genius was that he pushed the soviets into spending themselves into oblivion on Defense.

    The Bush idiocy was that they (and others) did not reduce spending to meet the credible threats. 911 was shocking precisesly because it was inredible. But because it happened and became real, we made the mistake of thinking it was a credible threat.

    In the end, it turned out to be a tired old man, with several wives and a stash of porn, dyeing his beard to appear more vigourous, hiding in a rather shabby spider hole, for years on end, holding himself prisoner.

  15. if people agree that we taxed “enough” to produce a balanced budget during the Clinton years then my question would be what “share” did the rich have of taxes in that time verses now?

    would that be a reasonable approach?

    methinks the current thinking among Conservatives is that EVEN UNDER CLINTON they were paying TOO MUCH.

    which.. in that case – we have no reasonable path to balancing the budget and paying down the debt.

    used to be… Conservatives had an ethic of balanced budgets – and the backbone to make it happen through cuts and adequate revenues.

    no more.

    the GOP is basically about blame and fiscal irresponsibility.

    they say we spend too much…we have a spending problem.. and I’ll take them at their word if just one of them would tell us what kinds of cuts they would make to achieve a balanced budget.

    Paul Ryans “plan” does not “balance” the budget until 2030… what kind of a plan is that? by that time – we’ll have 30 trillion in debt…

    like I said.. Groveton has NO PLAN for balancing the budget – so the same old conservative blather about taxing the rich.

    WHERE IS YOUR PLAN? the whole “taxing the rich” narrative is just more irresponsible blame mongering.. while evading the real issue…

    this is why the country is in trouble. The very people we used to depend on for fiscal responsibility have run away from their own roots.

  16. Here’s what you are NOT hearing about the “tax the rich” narrative. “The rich should not pay any more than they were paying under Clinton”

    Nope. We basically have a new argument which asserts that rich ALREADY pay too much REGARDLESS of how much they used to pay – and OH.. BY THE WAY, the whole idea of a progressive tax system is WRONG… and we pick this time and place to make that argument …and it’s just a coincidence that we have a 1.5 trillion deficit and a 14 trillion debt.

    I could buy the assertion if it came with a plan for balancing the budget.. at least then we’d have a starting place for debate.

    but the “we won’t pay no matter what” seeks to essentially shut off debate and leaves no plan or suggestion on how we would approach trying to balance the budget.

    Let’s make the starting point what the tax policy and spending percentage was under Clinton – since that was when we actually did balance the budget.

    I would point out that since that time – the DOD budget has MORE THAN DOUBLED and is MORE than the next 10 countries combined including Britain, France, Russia and China and when combined with homeland security spending is MORE than we take in – in income taxes from everyone – rich, poor and middle.

    that’s clearly unsustainable before you ever start talking about entitlements which like Medicare Part B which is about 1/5 of what we spend on DOD and Homeland Security.

  17. Groveton,
    I never wrote anything about hordes of cash. Maybe you are confusing me with someone else. Or, perhaps I immediately come to mind when you have an unhappy thought.

    Peter G.

  18. so my response here is “Tax the poor or middle class, then what?

    If we all pay the same percentage that we did when Clinton was in office – then we could start working back towards a balanced budget+ (the + means what is needed to start paying the 14Trillion debt down).

    If someone wants to tell me that the Rich are already paying the same percentage that they did under Clinton – and the poor and middle class are not.. then I’d agree before we increase taxes on the rich – the poor and middle class need to get back to where they were under Clinton.

    However if the argument is that the rich were paying too much under Clinton and now we need to up the taxes on the poor and middle class then you’re all wet…. and more interested in arguing ideology rather than fiscal responsibility.

    we can have a debate on who should pay how much and why – AFTER we balance the budget… but for right now – we all need to be paying what we paid (rate wise) under Clinton…. OR suggest something different but don’t dump a dead horse in the middle of the room and walk away….

  19. Clinton inherited a government which spent about 35% of the nation’s GDP. He reduced that to about 32% by the time he left office.

    He caught one very lucky break in the technology bubble but that’s life. Sometimes a president gets lucky.

    Now, we spend about 41% of GDP on government programs.

    Does anybody believe that increasing the amount spent by government from 31% to 41% has helped? Is America better off now than it was at the end of the Clinton Administration?

    Frankly, I think it’s idiotic to have a bunch of part time pundits jiggering spreadsheets. That never works. Instead, there should be statutory spending limits just like there were under Bush 41 and Clinton. Those laws expired in 2002 and were never renewed.

    Congress needs to be hand-cuffed. Any increase in taxes should be accompanied by a statutory restriction on federal spending. Otherwise, more taxes will be taken and more money will be spent with no impact to the deficit.

    Bush 41 and Clinton had to live with limits. So should Obama and his successors.

    In addition, taxes are already set to rise with Obamacare. The investment tax on dividends and capital gains is currently 15% (federal). That tax was 20% under Clinton (as I recall). It will be 23% in 2013 under Obamacare.

    Obama also needs to focus on special interests. The $487B he needs for Stimulus III will only have $61B coming from corporate loopholes. You know, loopholes that allow Obama crony Jeffrey Immelt’s GE to pay no corporate income taxes. Instead, Obama wants to tax individuals. Most of Obama’s tax proposals have already been resented to Congress and rejected.

    Bottom line – he is still currying favor with corporate special interests and playing politics by rehashing ideas that have been rejected.

    The guy’s a schemer, plain and simple.

  20. The more I think about this, the more frustrated I am getting.

    LarryG lives in a fantasy land where he and other bloggers are going to revamp a $3T federal budget instead of giving Congress parameters and telling them to do their damn job.

    Let’s talk about one parameter – the percentage of GDP that should be consued by government spending. What should that number be? It was 10% 100 years ago. 20% in 1950. 32% in 2000 and 41% now.

    Is the trend hard to see?

    What number should it be?

    I like 25%. Not 0% but not 41% either.

    LarryG wants to get back to the Clinton era tax rates. Let’s answer a simple question – should we also get back to the Clinton era spending rate? Let me guess – of course not. Liberals are tax and spend addicts. They want Clinton’s tax rates but not his spending discipline.

    What a croc.

  21. LarryG – France has high income taxes. And, in the most recent year, overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 44.6 percent.

    So, we’re at 41% and France is at 44.6%. Does that seem good to you LarryG.

  22. Even here in uber liberal California, this article is getting a lot of play …

    Of course, unlike “low tax” Virginia, people here in “high tax” Palo Alto actually do create jobs.

  23. “Does anybody believe that increasing the amount spent by government from 31% to 41% has helped? Is America better off now than it was at the end of the Clinton Administration?”

    If you think the answer is that the govt is spending too much, then stop weaseling and name the 1.5 trillion in cuts instead of yakking about stimulus, or gdp or taxing the rich.

    See the narrative here is NOT to actually deal with THE issue but to wield as many anti-Obama proxy arguments as you can ….while ignoring the simple concept of what to cut if the govt is spending 1.5 trillion more than it should be.

    I PERSONALLY do not think we can get there with cuts alone (and I’m not alone in that assessment as both deficit commissions say the same thing as does Ron Paul and David Stockman) – but I’ll allow Groveton his assertion if he will return the favor and name the cuts …or identify the person and/or organization that has specified the cuts.

    to not do so is in my view – more hypocrisy… from those who want to decry the deficit and debt but want no truck with specifying the cuts necessary to achieve balance.

    so my view here is that if all you want to do is talk about who shot John are you truly serious at all?

    I say if you are a man of your words – you need to step up here and name the cuts or name the guy/gal organization that names the cuts that you support.

  24. I like 25%. We cut out two wars, a third of Homeland security, 10% on defence, and put 20 million back to work and we can live on Clinton spending, with money left over.

  25. “If you think the answer is that the govt is spending too much, then stop weaseling and name the 1.5 trillion in cuts instead of yakking about stimulus, or gdp or taxing the rich.”.

    You would have to be the most arrogant person in the world to post on blogs and think you can write the federal budget in your spare time. That’s the job of Congress. 25% of GDP is the target. The president and Congress need to make it work. It worked just fine under Clinton.

  26. We are not really giving govt 40% of gdp to spend and taxing rich people to get it.

    40% of that spending is borrowed money we will tax the rich peoples heirs to get.

  27. “I like 25%. We cut out two wars, a third of Homeland security, 10% on defence, and put 20 million back to work and we can live on Clinton spending, with money left over.”
    I agree with hydra on this one. But to add my own flair, tax reform. Figure out a flat percentage and collect National sales tax…for everything.

  28. ” You would have to be the most arrogant person in the world to post on blogs and think you can write the federal budget in your spare time. ”

    I don’ think I can nor do I say that we can balance the budget with cuts only. For those who make that claim – if they won’t back it up then what are we to believe about their “arrogance”?

    I say if you take that position then you owe the goods. And no you, don’t have to do it yourself but you can point to think tanks, leaders, commissions, etc that have done the homework and have a plan.

    Instead – you talk about everything under the moon from taxes to stimulus to jobs… etc, etc, etc and how all of it proves how miserable the current leadership is – without ever once backing up your assertion that we can balance the budget with cuts only.

    I call that hypocrisy and I’m not shy about who I apply the label to and if one disagrees with it – produce the goods to prove otherwise.

    we have way too many people claiming we can make it with cuts alone who then run off the playing field and hide.

    when they say “game on” – step up or step out.. and be man enough to admit which path you choose.

    game on Groveton – produce the goods or admit you don’t have a clue and you don’t have anyone you can point to that has a clue.

    this is exactly how we got into trouble under Bush… fight two wars and refuse to pay for them…. and instead cut taxes even more.

    these folks are still around… must be in their DNA…

  29. oops. forget to sign…

    your “weepy eyed liberal” friend…


  30. Each and every time taxes have been raised as a part of a grand compromise, the tax increases held and the spending cuts did not. We need a constitutional amendment that requires a super-majority in Congress (say 55%) to pass spending bills. This would give liberals a check on conservatives’ favorite spending and conservatives a check on liberals’ favorite spending. The super-majority could be waived only with a declaration of war and not whatever the U.S. has done since WWII. The bottom line is checks and balances are what made the U.S. successful. We need another one.

  31. my position is that we could not fight the two ways without a tax increase.

    my position is that when we agreed to fight two ways without paying for them we entered the Alice-in-Wonderland world of budgeting.

    we now have the deficit and the debt – and the argument should not be about what we won’t pay for….

    we can argue about what we won’t pay for that is ADDITIONAL to what we owe but to argue that we won’t pay for what we already spent is bizarre… from anyone but especially so from those who claim they are fiscal conservatives.

    I do not think we can balance the budget with cuts alone. Neither did the two budget deficit commissions.

    I support the approach advocated by the two deficit commissions OR SOMETHING ALONG the same lines .. but acknowledging that we already have a deficit/debt and we owe the money and need to pay it.

    what we have now is like telling your mortgage or car loan company that you’re not going to make payments but you want to stay in your house or keep your car.

    it’s bizarre …

    we can argue about what we want to do about future tax policy AFTER WE PAY OUR CURRENT DEBTS…. but to argue that we’re not going to pay our current debts until after we agree on tax changes is totally disconnected form the real world in my view.

    anyone who thinks we can get the there with cuts alone but won’t name the cuts is in LA LA LAND…. which describes 99.9% of the Republicans now days.

    and these are the folks who originally said we fight two wars and don’t pay for them – i.e. “deficits don’t matter” ..until NOW of course when we have a Dem Prez … and they are a big problem but STILL these SAME folks don’t have a plan for cuts… and run away and hide when asked to produce them.

    How can anyone with half a brain claim to be a fiscal conservative yet not provide a real plan for a budget?

    so I call them out on this.. and will continue to do so..

    produce a plan or admit that you’re not really a fiscal conservative – or for than matter a person connected to the real world…

  32. …signed… once again.. your “weepy eyed liberal”…..


  33. Krauthammer writes that the cause of our huge budget deficit is not the Iraq and Afghan wars. “The total cost of ‘the two wars’ is $1.3 trillion. That’s less than 1/11th of the national debt, less than one year of Obama deficit spending. During the golden Eisenhower 1950s of robust economic growth averaging 5 percent annually, defense spending was 11 percent of GDP and 60 percent of the federal budget. Today, defense spending is 5 percent of GDP and 20 percent of the budget. So much for imperial overstretch.”

  34. the DOD budget has DOUBLED since 2000 and DOD/Homeland Security now consume MORE than we take in in income taxes.

    Krauthammer is technically correct if you restrict his comment to direct war expenses but those expenses are IN ADDITION to the doubling of the DOD base budget.

    I see this as more obfuscation of the actual deficit and more diversion tactics to talk about about Obama rather than admitting that Obama did inherit a 1.5 trillion ANNUAL deficit before he did anything at all

    and instead of actually addressing the deficit and the core reasons for it and what to do about it – Krauthammer and company and folks like him want to play a blame game rather than deal with the deficit.

    Two deficit commissions dealt HONESTLY with the deficit – why can’t folks like Krauthammer and company do that also?

    what can you say about people who want to argue over who shot John rather than fix what is broken?

    not much in my view.

  35. we can fix Medicare Part B which has about 50 million people in it and is currently consuming about 210 billion in taxes.

    basically – it will cost each recipient about $300 more a month – in direct cost increases or benefit reductions…..

    but how do you fix the 500 billion additional than DOD is now spending?

    and how do you fix the 500 billion that MedicAid is consuming?

    these two expenditures are 2/3 of the deficit.

    but the chances of cutting DOD in half and zero-funding MedicAid are virtually ZERO ….

    I see NO WAY to balance the budget on cuts along although one lone Republican (not Paul Ryan) – Ron Paul has proposed a 5-year balanced budget by draconian cuts across the board including DOD – and keep in mind it takes 5 years just to reach balance while the deficit continues to add to the debt ..

    ALL the folks who claim to be fiscal conservatives have become nothing more than propaganda-spewing blather butts whose primary behavior to is to blame others .. while refusing to take responsibility for naming the cuts necessary to balance the budget – save Ron Paul.

    in other words, they are total hypocrites… NOT working to actually get to a balanced budget at all but rather playing toxic blame games…instead.

    I have nothing but contempt and derision for these folks who claim to wear fiscal conservative principles but are really nothing of the kind…

  36. Everything Obama has touched has turned to crap. He had a big opening at the start of his administration to make improvements. But he let the left fringes of congressional leadership write the Stimulus Bill, which only saved government jobs. The entire idea of pump priming is to take a little water and use it to create much more. Here we used a lake full to get a few buckets. Instead of making some reasonable reforms on health care, he created an income redistribution system and has given business an excuse to drop coverage for employees. Everyone anticipates even higher costs. Financial services, which was screaming for reform, have not had their excesses addressed. We still have a trading economy instead of an investing one. Now he wants Stimulus Two. Obama makes Carter look like FDR.

  37. ” But he let the left fringes of congressional leadership write the Stimulus Bill, which only saved government jobs”

    construction jobs also… for highways…

    but my question is this – what would have happened to the economy if he had not saved the jobs that he did?

    would we have fallen into a depression?

    are you so sure that he did wrong?

    what would you have done instead?

    how many leaders have been confronted with the situation that Obama has?

    are you so sure that there were better answers not pursued?

    I don’t see them… so help me out..

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