[FoRK] Fwd: Hey, big spender... - slight correction

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Wed Aug 27 09:32:39 PDT 2008

Stephen Williams wrote:
> Jeff Bone wrote:
>> Begin forwarded message:
>>> From: "Lucas Gonze" <lucas.gonze at gmail.com>
>>> Date: June 10, 2008 12:40:28 PM CDT
>>> To: "Friends of Rohit Khare" <fork at xent.com>
>>> Subject: Re: [FoRK] Hey, big spender...
>>> Reply-To: Friends of Rohit Khare <fork at xent.com>
>>> On Tue, Jun 10, 2008 at 10:15 AM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
>>>> Not true;  the total cost of the new spending proposals Obama's 
>>>> offered up
>>>> on the campaign trail, collectively, total something in the 
>>>> neighborhood of
>>>> $1T (rough est., but certainly in the ballpark.)
>>> $1T?  This is a fable.
>>>> Except the $1T in new spending he's proposing...  Except the fact 
>>>> that he
>>>> hasn't said anything concrete about spending REDUCTION.
>>> It's not a spreadsheet, it's a set of priorities.  The 1T number isn't
>>> even real, and the absence of cuts is what we call "campaign trail."
>>> You don't object to politicians playing good ball, do you?  Personally
>>> I think that's a quality.
>> This was your prior challenge.  It's like fucking Groundhog Day, 
>> Lucas.  Either read the answers to the questions you ask, or stop 
>> asking them.
>> Here were the answers, among others, in support of $1T.  That 
>> estimate's been increased with additional scrutiny of his specific 
>> proposals.
> Where please?  Young man, Faux News fiction and flaxen ur-witch spells 
> will not be accepted on this assignment.
>>>  http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080216202609AA1S3Qo
> Err, Dear Mr. Bone,
> I must pick the first of your sources to point out that the skeleton 
> of your argument seems to be broken, or at least severely cracked.  
> Perhaps the load you have been carrying has affected your posture?
> (Sorry buddy, my name is so boring, I have to have some fun with 
> others.  There is a couple, last name Sugar, who Mercury profiled as 
> having a very successful blog publishing business...  OK, enough lame 
> attempted humor.)
> So, man, WTF?  From the article:
>> $65 billion-a-year health plan
> A chunk, but could save money for Medicare, etc.  An investment, 
> perhaps, that might pay off.
>> $15 billion in green energy spending
> An obvious investment that almost surely would pay off in some way.  
> Are you arguing against this?  Should we wait for Exxon to figure out 
> how to corner the market on it first?
> If this site is correct, we spend $1.62B *per* *day* ($116 * 14M bbls) 
> to import oil.  ($2.058B at the peak of $147/bbl.)  That's 40,000 
> (50,000) times more than this investment in green energy.
Err, I plead sleep deprivation.  Make that 40-50x.
> http://zfacts.com/p/196.html
> This site seems to agree, although the price is worse since only 10M 
> are crude, the rest are refined:
> http://www.eia.doe.gov/basics/quickoil.html
> It's obvious we should have annexed Canada... ;-)
>> $85 billion in tax cuts and credits
> Um, hello?  Tax cut?  Not equal to "spending proposal" of "new social 
> program spending" as you said repeatedly.  In fact, you are advocating 
> for tax cuts, no???
> So, that's $85B * 4 = $340B in tax cut, not spending.
>> $25 billion-a-year increase in foreign aid
> Whatever.  I don't know if this is related to spending less in 
> Iraq/Af. or not.
> Could certainly pay off.  Would pay off much more if my 
> land/rights/services for cash proposal were enacted.
>> $18 billion a year in education spending
> Certainly an investment that could pay off in all kinds of ways.
>> $3.5 billion for a national service plan
> A pittance for something that could definitely benefit many, likely 
> many more than will participate directly.
>> Put it all together, and we are talking about a $200 billon plan, 
>> $800 billion over four years. And that does not even include fixing 
>> the alternative minimum tax, a $50 billion-a-year item that will 
>> assuredly get passed.
> And, you counted another tax cut for $200 billion of that Obama 
> "spending proposal" that you fear so much.
> So, let's recap, you state that Obama has proposed a $1T spending 
> proposal.  And you would rather that there were tax cuts.
> Your link to back it up validates that it would indeed increase the 
> deficit $1T over not spending a little and not renewing tax cuts that 
> are to expire.  Clearly, no one is going to simply let those tax cuts 
> expire completely, so right away the $1T number is way off.
> However, in terms of what you referred to as "new social program 
> spending",
>> On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 6:42 PM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
>> "Russell, it's not just about tax increases.  There's the small 
>> matter of an
>> additional $1.5T in new social program spending, and all that entails 
>> (in
>> terms of opportunity costs had that money and manpower been deployed
>> elsewhere in the economy.)" 
> there is: ($65B+$15B+$25B+$18B+$3.5B = $126.5B)*4 = $506B in new 
> spending with $540B tax cut / tax cut continuance, *over 4 years*.
> And this doesn't subtract out possible, sometimes probable benefits from:
> Medicare, better productivity, or other health related savings.
> Payback from investment in green energy, ideally a whole new industry 
> where winning even a fraction of the amount we spend on oil would 
> produce massive tax income and reinvestment.
> Benefit of, or replacement of current spending, foreign aid.
> Better jobs, competitiveness, less immigration due to better education.
> Lower unemployment / welfare benefits, training, rehabilitation, and 
> direct benefit from national service.
> All in all, I don't find much to complain about with those choices.  I 
> would add more spending for science and technology.
> According to this great chart:
> http://www.elunah.com/US%20Budget%202007.jpg
> We spend $632B on military and $350B on Non-Military.  Obama is 
> suggesting $126.5B in new spending per year, with the likelihood of 
> cuts elsewhere.  Not exactly earth shattering.
> This gives a better view for 2009:
> http://www.kowaldesign.com/cgi/Budget.pl?estimates=111111
> The President currently spends $17.4B directly.  Does the VP remember 
> how many undisclosed locations he has?  (For his money?)
> DoD: $711B
> Health and Human Services ($919B for Medicare minus receipts) $739B
> Homeland Security $44B
> HUD $46B
> DOJ $27B
> DOL (unemployment) $54B
> DOT (Highways, etc.) $71B
> Treasury (EIC / Child Credit payments, i.e. negative tax) $73.5
> Interest on Public Debt $487B
> VA $92B
> EPA $8B
> NASA $18B
> OPM (Civil Servant Retirement) $67B
> Social Security $693B
> For a total budget outlay of about $3327B against $2697 receipts.  
> Note that the outlay is more, but 200-500B of receipts are in the 
> outlay section.
> So, we spend about $3T/yr. for the budget.  And we spend $593-752B as 
> a country to import oil.  Note that, in 2007 dollars, crude was about 
> $19/bbl before 1973 and briefly in 1998.  In fact, it is generally 
> around $19/bbl when not at war.  If true, that greatly increases the 
> effective cost of wars.  Reference:
> http://www.wtrg.com/prices.htm
> BTW, look at the deficit as adjusted for wealth (i.e. % GDP), very 
> interesting: Nearly flat for decades.
> http://www.kowaldesign.com/budget/
>>>  http://www.usnews.com/blogs/capital-commerce/2008/2/14/obamas-trillion-dollar-spending-plan.html 
> More of the same.
>>> In fact, don't take it from me --- take it from Obama himself:
>>>  http://www.usnews.com/blogs/capital-commerce/2008/2/12/is-obama-really-the-liberal-reagan.html 
> "surrounded himself with centrist economic advisers" ... "cut smart 
> trade deals and help displaced workers" ... "healthcare plan is more 
> cautious" ... "resisted interventionist ... favors tax credits" ... 
> [mostly debunked and out of context tax hyperbole] ...
> So, what flavor of coolaid are you drinking?  You're not winning me 
> over with what you have presented so far as proof.
> sdw

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