Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 3, 2010
POLITICS: Stark Raving Chairman

So, with the ethically-challenged tax-evading Charles Rangel temporarily stepping down from running the House's tax-writing committee (Ways and Means; this as opposed to the tax-evading Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, who's in charge of enforcing the tax code, and the head of the Senate's tax-writing commitee, Max Baucus, who for variety's sake had a sex scandal involving a staffer/girlfriend he tried to get appointed US Attorney), the Democrats have turned to the next in line by seniority, 79-year-old San Francisco paleoliberal Fortney "Pete" Stark. What could possibly go wrong? Brian Faughnan collects some of the greatest hits of the craziest man in Congress here; I've looked previousy at Stark's lunacy here; Moe Lane asks whether Stark's memory problems are the result of lack of integrity, generalized confusion or something genuinely wrong with him here.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 2:03 PM | Politics 2010 | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Crank,

When are we going to see a post about your boy "Ricky" rubio, the thief?

If we want a discussion of hypocrisy/ foxes guarding the chicken coop, etc., how about all the GOP "born again" deficit hawks who said not one word as Bush took a budget surplus and spent us into staggering debt and a brush with a second Great Depression?

You write these posts as if the problems are all caused by Dems, personified by Dems, etc. and blithely excuse all manner of GOP sins.

Posted by: Magrooder at March 3, 2010 9:38 PM

1. I appreciate you dropping the pretense of responding to the substance of the post.

2. Tell me with a straight face that Obama's spending and deficits are not materially larger by orders of magnitude than Bush's. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Posted by: Crank at March 3, 2010 11:42 PM

Magoober doesn't want to remember that the deficit in 2006 was under $200 billion.

Then the Democrats took over Congress...

Posted by: Fletch at March 4, 2010 1:06 AM

Crank,
Your skewed claim about the deficits is easier to rebut than most of your posts.

George Bush enacted a bunch of tax cuts, and did nothing to implement the spending control those tax cuts demanded. The other major contribution that Bush made was Medicare Part D, which sucks about 75% of its revenue from the general fund. Because the Bush tax cuts (remember, the DEATH TAX baloney?) theoretically expire, the simple-minded (if the shoe fits, . . . ) can claim less of a structural deficit, though you and the rest of the wing nuts would squeal like stuck pigs if that happened. In fact, I'm sure that just letting the laws proceed would instantly be called "Obama's tax increase."

When Bush took offcie, the CBO estimated that the government would run an average annual surplus of more than $800 billion a year from 2009 to 2012. Today, the government is expected to run a $1.2 trillion annual deficit in those years. That $2 trillion swing primarily results from four categories: the business cycle, Bush’s policies, policies from the Bush years scheduled to expire President Obama chose to extend, and new Obama policies.

The first category — the business cycle — accounts for 37 percent of the $2 trillion swing. It’s a reflection of the fact that both the 2001 recession (that Bush blamed on Clinton) and the current Bush recession reduced tax revenue, required more spending on safety-net programs and changed assumptions about how much in taxes the government would collect in future years.

Another 33 percent of the swing stems from Bush policies, like his tax cuts and Medicare Part D, that not only continue to cost the government, but also increased interest payments on the national debt.

President Obama’s main contribution to the deficit is his extension of several Bush policies, like the Iraq war and tax cuts for households making less than $250,000. Such policies — together with the Wall Street bailout, which was signed by Mr. Bush and supported by Mr. Obama — account for 20 percent of the swing.

Finally, only about 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill and only 3 percent comes from the President’s agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas.

Facts are a bitch, huh?

Posted by: Magrooder at March 4, 2010 10:56 AM

1. Amazing how you invariably assume that discussions of spending are really about taxes. As I've said before, the deficits are just the symptom, the problem is spending, and you're not addressing the growth of spending, which has to be paid for one way or another out of the hides of the citizens. As noted above, you also ignore the fact that spending jumped the last two years of Bush's presidency when the Democrats took over Congress, just as the largest spending years under Clinton were his first two, when Democrats controlled Congress. This is not a coincidence, nor would any sane person contend that it is.

2. I agree with you that Medicare Part D was a bad idea, which I and a lot of other conservatives opposed, but probably should have opposed more loudly at the time if our attention hadn't been so focused on the war. That said, recall that Bush was following through on something both Clinton and Gore had promised to do; it's not as if the Democrats objected to creating a new entitlement. Instead, they fought tooth and nail to hobble entitlement reform during the Social Security fight, by loudly insisting that "there is no crisis."

The conservative view of Bush was and is that he was good on some things, and spending wasn't one of them - if you'll recall, one of my arguments for McCain was the idea that Bush should be followed by somebody with different strengths. And yes, I think Bush went astray on the scope of TARP and on the auto bailouts, but Obama has only expanded those.

3. I'm not much interested in your citation to financial projections from a decade ago that, like all such projections, turned out to be inaccurate.

4. You're glossing over here the expansion of the TARP and bailouts under Obama.

Posted by: Crank at March 4, 2010 11:20 AM

At least with Part D somebody actually benefits. Some people who could use some help and may not necessarily vote for Democrats.

That stimulus was a joke and ought to be shoved right up the wazoo of every politician that voted for it. What a sorry excuse for stimulus--handouts to special interests, projects that won't even break ground for 2 friggin' years. Pathetic.

And what did it get us? Double-digit unemployment without a break in sight--it just goes on and on and we're still out nearly a trillion dollars on that garbage.

And let's not forget FNMA, that get-rich-quick charity for unemployed, unqualified Democrat powerbrokers. They ran it right into the ground, took out millions and millions and we're pumping billions and billions into it with no end in sight. FNMA and FHLMC drove the housing market right off a cliff, the Donks raided it for their friends to get rich, and yet no one's going to jail and the media barely covers what happened there.

What a charmed life liberals lead. They can wander through life destroying everything they touch and still find the nerve to preach to us about Part D.

Posted by: spongeworthy at March 4, 2010 1:08 PM

Crank,

Your challenge to me specifically identified "spending and deficits."

One half of the deficit equation requires analysis of revenue, which for the most part is taxes. What amazes me is that the right ignores the extent to which the Bush recession led to the staggering losses of income and, as night follows day, revenue from taxes. Moreover, Bush purposely mislead the public about the "cost" of his tax cuts by pretending that they would expire in 2010. Having based his projections on that falsehood -- which he knew to be false -- he cannot escape the fiscal consequences of his policy choices.

Even if you leave out the projected budget surpluses, Bush's policies and the continuation of them by Obama continue to dwarf the relative contributions of Obama's policies to the structural deficit. of the $1.2 Billion deficit, only $200 Miilion is attributable to the stimulus and other Obama programs.

Posted by: Magrooder at March 4, 2010 1:26 PM

I can't believe Lefties are still blaming Bush for a recession that technically began six weeks after he took office. I'd love to hear the "logic" behind that.

Posted by: andrew at March 4, 2010 2:27 PM

Um, Andrew, perhaps you should have someone explain to you what the economic state of the country for the past 18 months or so. That's the Bush recession to which I was referring.

Posted by: Magrooder at March 4, 2010 4:34 PM

Magrooder,

So how is any of your ranting relevent to the topic of this thread? Do you use any thread as a chance to spout your ideas out?

Posted by: Lee at March 4, 2010 5:08 PM

obama has now been President for going on 14 months, dems were in charge of budget matters, by controlling Congress, since 2006, the dem Congress put together the "stimulus" and Obama is the person that has put budget request after budget request to increase numerous federal department budgets by over 100% and they are still talking about Bush-priceless.

Posted by: dch at March 4, 2010 5:09 PM

of the $1.2 Billion deficit, only $200 Miilion is attributable to the stimulus and other Obama programs.

Magrooder's not only friggin' nuts, he's a liar and a very poor one. Obama and his Democrat partners in crime blow more than that on FNMA every week.

He's just pulling numbers out of his butt now.

Posted by: spongeworthy at March 4, 2010 5:13 PM

Magrooder maybe pulling numbers out of his yakubowski, but he seems to be able to press all of your buttons every single time!

He has successfully jacked this thread like he has done so many times before. You have got to give him credit, he knows how to do it!

Anyway, last I read Stark was out.

Posted by: Lee at March 4, 2010 6:29 PM

Magrooder, I assume you have a source for all those the exact percentages you quote? As I've said over and over, it's nearly impossible to accurate tease out the relative percentages of macroeconomic outcomes, and yet you can somehow come up with numbers like 37%?? Not to mention trying to tie those outcomes to specific administrations, which is another fruitless task.

Fact: the stimulus was extraordinarily expensive and significantly added to the deficit. There's no point in trying to fight that fact. You can credibly argue that it was necessary, as I have on several occasions, but trying to downplay it won't get you anywhere.

Posted by: MVH at March 4, 2010 6:45 PM

Too bad Cynthia McKinney wasn't available.

Crank, you are way too polite. Trolls such as this Magrooder person live on the attention. I suggest you deny him that attention.

Really, I see no good reason in responding with an arguement that isn't being noticed. In responding at all, you've given him his fix. If attention is what he craves, let him launch his own site and preen to an empty web.

Posted by: DD at March 4, 2010 8:34 PM

Priceless. No debate attempts necessary here. Just bob your empty noggin north and south to Crank's slanted selected facts. Shout down any dissent. Obama's attempts to fix the slaughtered economy Bush handed him must be savaged by everybody who would do a better job than Obama. Because like some other dope suggested here, maybe all of you could become president and do a better job, like making your own website. Dolts.

Posted by: splinter at March 4, 2010 9:40 PM

Magrooder,
Crank and the rest of them are full of crap. They aren't for small government, they're for not helping citizens in need (some of them might not be white males).
Mention cutting the most bloated defense budget in the history of mankind, and watch the deficit hawks fly far, far away.

Posted by: Berto at March 5, 2010 12:47 AM

Hmm, or watch the Chinese assert themselves. Funny that, how the world works. Academics, liberals and children respect reasoned theoretical position, the rest of the world respects might.
Stop the crying Splinter, your boy asked for the job. That he cannot handled it is not something you can lay off on his predecessor.

Posted by: dave at March 14, 2010 2:05 PM
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