Friday, September 7, 2012

Whack-a-Mole Accounting

By Bill Maher

No one seems to be talking about how “putting our financial house in order” and “slashing the federal budget,” while sounding good on the surface, simply transfers responsibility to provide critical entitlements to the states.

Go ahead, cut education, federal funding for municipal projects, Medicaid, food stamps and unemployment benefits. That may make you feel like you’re striking a blow for “ending the culture of dependency,” but kids still have to learn, aging classrooms still need to be renovated, books still need to be bought, teachers still need to be paid, bridges and roads still need to be built and repaired, and poor and out-of-work people will still get sick and hungry and need diapers. Having the feds stop paying to solve these problems doesn’t make the problems go away; it just transfers the onus of solving these problems to the states. The good news: Paul Ryan has reduced your federal income tax responsibility to 10%. The bad news: your state government now needs 55%.

Or do they? Maybe the federal government can stop paying for these things and states run by Republican governors and legislatures can finally start governing based on the cherished conservative principle of “Fuck you, every man for himself.”

Writing for the AP, Carla K. Johnson and Kelli Kennedy point out that many Republican-run states are refusing to abide by the part of Obamacare that shifts Medicaid responsibility to the states. Out of one side of their mouths, they demand federal cuts and out of the other they refuse to pick up the slack.

The national health law calls for individuals to be covered at an income under $15,400 and a family of four at an income under $30,650 – but that’s too generous for a few southern states. According to the AP, “In South Carolina, a yearly income of $16,900 is too much for Medicaid for a family of three. In Florida, $11,000 a year is too much. In Mississippi, $8,200 a year is too much. In Louisiana and Texas, earning more than just $5,000 a year makes you ineligible for Medicaid.”

More from the AP story: “Medicaid now covers an estimated 70 million Americans and would cover an estimated 7 million more in 2014 under the Obama health law's expansion. In contrast, Ryan's plan could mean 14 million to 27 million Americans would ultimately lose coverage, even beyond the effect of a repeal of the health law, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation of Ryan's 2011 budget plan.”

And it’s hardly premium coverage. Medicaid sucks and most doctors refuse to even treat patients on it. It’s so shitty you’d be better off with an actual safety net. Should poor people just go fuck themselves?


Anonymous said...

None of these traitors dares to discuss the huge expenditures to the war machine and their bank cronies. The safety net and civil programs are a bucket of piss in the ocean of graft, slashing them will only result in one less program for the crooks to loot.

Ron Paul has a plan to cut military spending by 1 trillion dollars in his first year, by closing some of the bases we still maintain ...from WW2. He also wants to curtail excess spending across the board, including allowing bad investors to eat their own losses, not put them over on to the citizens who had nothing to do with it. Mittard's plan is to help his pals loot the country and probably engage us in WW3 to cover it up. Obama's plan is to regulate business out of existence and raise taxes, slowly bankrupting the country to create a 'post-industrial' graveyard, and probably engage us in WW3 to placate the middle of the road clowns and the republicans.

The international bankster solution? Blackball Ron Paul, send in Chucky & Archer with no viable solutions, and militarize the police.

"That which is is not sustainable will not be sustained." Dr. Joseph Stiglitz Phd economist, Nobel laureate in economics, and Bill Maher's guest.

Will our allies help us out? Not a chance. Our allies and our enemies have always told their citizens that we are to blame for their troubles and we have not done enough to correct this. Besides, they are all (coincidentally) beset with the same financial treasons at home. Our enemies are licking this up & stirring it up.

Unknown said...

Number of “Red” States (based upon 2008 election) in the top 10 education scores by state (2012) is 1. Number of “Red” States in top 25 is 3. Number of “Blue” States in the bottom 10 is 1. Number of “Blue” States in the bottom 25 is 7. Is it no wonder that Republicans are against funding education properly or intelligent education reform? Do not let them steal your education, or the education of generations to come.

Unknown said...

Number of “Red” States (based upon 2008 election) in the top 10 education scores by state (2012) is 1. Number of “Red” States in top 25 is 3. Number of “Blue” States in the bottom 10 is 1. Number of “Blue” States in the bottom 25 is 7. Is it no wonder that Republicans are against funding education properly or intelligent education reform? Do not let them steal your education, or the education of generations to come.

Charlieopera said...

Off topic but ...

Sometimes (you) Bill Maher needs to shut his pie hole. This was the 2nd time he either cut short what David Simon was about to discuss and/or Maher went off on a pontification for the sake of a joke. I wanted to hear what Simon was about to go into the last time I saw him on Maher; when he mentioned the problems with capitalism (that it no longer works--I happen to agree), and tonight wherever he (Simon) was about to go (or try to go), Maher jumped in and took the conversation into the cheap seats. Simon looked as frustrated as I was getting watching. Damn shame ...

Anonymous said...

Keynes v. Hayek Round 2

Anonymous said...

This would be a great prologue to RealTime: I Want To Be A Crony

Anonymous said...

The assertion that America is “out of money” has become an all-purpose crutch through which reason can push an ideological agenda of skepticism about programs without actually making the case in its particulars. But it’s simply not true that we’re out of money. Many states and municipalities are up against hard budget constraints, but the US government has the ability to create US currency in unlimited quantities. It hasn’t run out of money and won’t ever run out of money. It would be nice for people to understand this point separately from controversies over whether public sector programs are wise or just. In principle, the US government could print up or borrow a ton of money, hand it to state governments, and then have all the money used to cut taxes rather than to finance programs. This would not be possible in a world where the US government faced a hard budget constraint but, fortunately, we don’t face any such constraint.
Households and firms, as well as state and local governments unlike the US government, can’t run a perpetual budget deficit. People and companies, state or local municipalities are mortal and can’t issue currency. We can borrow money and sometimes should borrow money, but over the long term income and spending need to add up in a way that isn’t true for currency issuing sovereigns. Yet when the federal government runs a budget surplus, this has to be matched by extra borrowing elsewhere. That sets the broader economy up for a debt crisis over time, as borrowing is pushed away from the entity with the greatest capacity for borrowing (the federal government) and onto firms and households who eventually do face hard budget constraints. Think Clinton budget surpluses 1998-2001 and the predictable outcome of the recession of 2001!
So let’s stop worrying about deficits and start worrying about real problems. Unemployment, underemployment, and stagnating wages, along with a decaying infrastructure, that’s what we should be worrying about, not federal deficits denominated in currency the U.S. government controls.

●The more budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.
●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor, which leads to civil disorder.
●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
●To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government (such as your state or local government) must have a positive balance of payments.
●Those who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty (the federal government) and monetary non-sovereignty (everybody else), do not understand economics.

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.

Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.

Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous (1/7)
It’s the federal deficit spending for "the war machine" that stimulates the economy. The federal purchase of all those bullets, tanks and bombs, plus the massive salary total for all the soldiers, pumps huge numbers of dollars into the economy, and those additional dollars stimulate the economy. This same principle can be applied to INCREASES in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, infrastructure and a never ending list of other things.

There are many ways to measure economic growth, but Gross Domestic Product (GDP) may be the most popular, and here is how GDP is calculated.

Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending – Net Imports

If you have even a smidgeon of algebraic knowledge, you will recognize that increasing GDP without increasing Federal Spending would be quite difficult, and in a practical sense, well nigh impossible (because Federal Spending also boosts Non-federal Spending). This is why the “small government” preachers like yourself and Ron Paul either are ignorant, intentionally trying to sabotage the economy or merely are kissing up to rich people. There are no other alternatives.

The wealthiest among us are only too happy to see the economy tank, because during recessions and depressions, the gap between the rich and the others, WIDENS.

Unknown said...

Why the fuck do all you people get so sensitive when bill says something about literally ANYTHING? Get the "fell bad for myself" dick out of your asses. Maybe hes right maybe hes wrong, hes a man of opinion. I'm the same way. He wants to express his beliefs and call stupid people out on their stupid fucking ways. Let him say his fucking words.

Anonymous said...

Bill, next time some moron like Christine O'Donnell appears on the show and rattles off nonsense about the "debt", just remember the following:

The debt of the government ($16 trillion, whatever) represents a debt or promise that the government has absolutely NO PROBLEM satisfying or keeping since it ISSUES ITS OWN CURRENCY. Remember, for every debt (liability) there is a credit (asset). Then who holds the asset side? That’s us, the people. The government’s debt equals the private sector’s asset. The $16 trillion of dollars spent in excess of taxes collected reside with the public and the public holds these dollars, mostly, in the form of Treasury securities that are like government savings accounts or CD’s (Certificates of Deposit). If the government were to “balance” its books or eliminate its debt, it would have to take back, probably through taxation or some other confiscatory measure, those $16 trillion that the public holds. That would reduce the public’s wealth by $16 trillion. That is the ONLY way that the government can eliminate its debt. Would that be a good thing? Hard to see how it would, yet that’s what people are calling for.

So that’s it, an explanation of government “debt.” And the next time someone tries to scare you about this or point to that Debt Clock in Times Square, you ask them where the Asset Clock is. There is none, but there should be, because for every liability there is an asset. It’s just basic accounting. The fact that there is never a discussion of the asset side of the balance sheet is proof that the fear mongers who talk about the debt are either ignorant or intentionally trying to manipulate you into believing something that is NOT TRUE.

#6 said...

to Bambi

Socialism is slavery. The State doesn't produce anything, so everything it spends it has to steal from someone. Deficit spending = stealing from children.

The Handbook of Human Ownership - A Manual for New Tax Farmers

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