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February 16, 2007

Our Welfare State

Anna has been bashing the Blog Princess about the head and shoulders with the apparently alarming factoid that The Twig, when he is not shredding and feeding the Bill of Rights to Barney the White House Terrier or offing obnoxious pundits like Keith Olbermann for shreiking truth to power (admit it -- you wondered why those roses in the White House Rose Garden were so lovely this time of year, dincha??? Dead pundits make excellent fertylizer) hasn't pencilled in any money for The Illegal and Immoral War Against Irak in 2009 - a year when, let's not ferget, he will no longer be Prez.

*sigh*

Drat the man. Even when he's acting like a Fascist Dicktator, the Chimp is embarrassingly incompetent.

The hell of it is, as Robert Samuelson so astutely points out, the federal budget at this point in time is pretty much fixed in concrete anyway, isn't it?

welfare_state.gif

Spend a moment studying the adjacent table. It illuminates why another of our annual budget battles -- begun last week, when President Bush submitted his fiscal 2008 proposal -- seems so fruitless and (yes) repetitious. Every year we hear complaints about accounting gimmicks and unrealistic assumptions. There's a ferocious crossfire of charges and countercharges. Hardly anything ever gets resolved. Budgets almost always remain in deficit (41 out of 47 years since 1960).

The table shows the rise of the American welfare state. In 1956, defense dominated the budget; the Cold War buildup was in full swing. The welfare state, which is what "payments to individuals" signifies, was modest. Now everything is reversed. Despite the war in Iraq, defense spending is only a fifth of the budget; so-called entitlement payments to individuals are almost 60 percent -- and rising. In fiscal 2006, the federal government spent almost $2.7 trillion. Social Security ($544 billion), Medicare ($374 billion) and Medicaid ($181 billion) dominated. There was $199 billion more for payments to the poor, including the earned-income tax credit and food stamps.

Let's face it: how much "thought" had to go into so-called "discretionary spending" in the federal watering trough? The Shrub could pretty much have phoned it in...

But Anna seems to believe that the White House pulls war and defense spending numbers out of its tuckus, sort of like David Copperfield on TV. And somehow, without knowing what their mission will be in 2009, or even if we'll still BE in Iraq, the United States Marine Corps and Army are already supposed to have issued the White House a DETAILED accounting of exactly what they will need to accomplish a mission that is still a good two years off and that they are still not sure they will be embarked upon.

Yep. We hear old Pete Pace knows who the father of Anna Nicole Smith's child is too, but he ain't tellin'. Sucka.

Damn the man. Not only is the Shrub trying to eviscerate the Bill of Rights and steal our mojo, but he's an idjut.

Oh. And he lies like a big dog. Creep.

Yessir... it will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.

Because you can no more win a war
Than you can win an earthquake.

Posted by Cassandra at February 16, 2007 08:55 AM

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Comments

If by 'fixed in concrete' you mean 'can be changed by a majority of both houses and a presidential signature.' Then certainly. The entire budget is that way.

Right now they're planning to spend 50 billion in Iraq in 09, and no more after that. Do you think thats rosy? Think it sets a timeline? Do you think we should plan to spend more? Even without details? I think if we follow along with what bush wants, we should be planning to spend probably a decade in Iraq. And just like we plan for future social security and other expenditures, this is another one.

Of course, we could just be irresponsible, and let someone else deal with it. Without any advance planning. That could always be what bush means -- rather than cut funding, he could always be just meaning to not leave any planning or preparation for the guy that comes after.

I'll buy that. That bush doens't mean to leave in 09. He just means that he'll leave then, and someone else will deal. Live in the present!

Posted by: annak at February 16, 2007 09:31 AM

annak,
we do live in the present. It is YOU who is projecting to 09 for some sorry sort of point
that I have yet to see you make.

Posted by: Cricket at February 16, 2007 10:14 AM

I'll buy that. That bush doens't mean to leave in 09. He just means that he'll leave then, and someone else will deal. Live in the present!

Well, that clears it all up. Huh? What? Heh! What the hell do you put in your coffee in the morning Anna? Geez!

Hmmmm, Bush will be gone so he's leaving a war in progress to someone else but he's not funding it yet it's all his fault because he won't be there because he can't be reelected for a third term because that is the law and budgets for war are made as a yearly ongoing expenditure? Uh.... check!.... got it! He-he-he! Were you dropped on your head as a small child or what?

Faced with irrefutable evidence that today's deficit is based mostly on social spending it's better to rant that it's Da War and the BushReich that are destroying the financial fabric of society. Huh?..... check!...... got it!

Man, I need some of what you are smoking! :-o

It's always good to get a smile on a Friday morning. Thanx!

Posted by: JHD at February 16, 2007 10:17 AM

No, in early 2007, they are working on the 2008 budget in Congress, right? So, that means that Congress will be working on the 2009 budget in early 2008. We hold another election in 2008, in which we will elect a new President, and there will also be changes in who the American people send to Congress. So, by the time Congress is working on the 2010 budget, Congress will look different and we will have sworn in a new President. I'm sure that after the primaries, and nominees for both parties are decided, THOSE potential Presidents will be putting together their own ideas about what future budgets should be, and that is going to influence what that 111th Congress is going to see, I think.

Also, if the anti-war Dems and the White Flag Republicans get their way, we won't even BE in Iraq in 2010. The truth is, we can't make judgements about funding needs for Iraq at this point in time - the situation on the ground over there is too subject to change. Will the President's reinforcements (of which our Dem Congress doesn't approve) succeed? How much might the Iraqi economy itself improve, resulting in Iraq's ability to put more of their own money into Iraq's security and reconstruction. And what's to say the President won't put in his own two cents on the 2010 budget in 2008?

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at February 16, 2007 10:23 AM

...and let someone else deal with it.

Don't want the job and all that it entails? Then don't frikking campaign for it. How hard is that? Poor little Hillary, all upset because a job she MIGHT get, and she's wanted for all of her adult life, might be difficult. She can either put up or shut up.

Cry me RIVER, mil-spec SHEEZUH-LOOZER, one each.

Posted by: daveg at February 16, 2007 10:29 AM

Oh yah. that bush line was unclear: I'll buy that bush doens't mean that the US will leave iraq in 09. Just that he'll leave office. And he's not planning for spending that that person will have to make over 50 billion. Thats that. It'll be someone else's job to deal with that, without the foresight of planning. Apparently we should plan for when social security will dip into the trust fund, but not for wether we'll still be fighting and dying in Iraq in 09.

Posted by: annak at February 16, 2007 10:31 AM

Anna, pleeaassee when you cite budget numbers provide the source. How can we have a reasonable argument/discussion without using the same numbers. Without the cite you appear to be pulling numbers from...?

When we start pulling from the SS Trust Fund we will be doing so by paying it from taxes and borrowing. The trust fund is made up of nontradable Treasury Securities. They are backed up by.....wait for it.... taxes and borrowing.

Posted by: CoRev at February 16, 2007 11:06 AM

It's quite clear that Anna simply doesn't, "get it."

"Apparently we should plan for when social security will dip into the trust fund, but not for wether we'll still be fighting and dying in Iraq in 09."

Anna, dear, there are predictors for the former that can be used...you know, mathematical equations?

The latter is much more uncertain. Can you see that?

Posted by: JannyMae at February 16, 2007 11:07 AM

annak

...and let someone else deal with it.

Oh, you're talking about BillyJeff's leaving a tanking economy in 2000? Not that the Left cult even recognizes that we've more than recovered

And everytime President Bush has stated that SocSec needs to be revamped before it goes bellyup he is greeted with a chorus of cynical catcalls from Leftists saying "it's alright, nothing to worry about, WE question your motives!"

Trying to argue with people who emote, not think, is like trying to debate with a pile of goo... it just squishes out in another direction no matter what point one makes.

Posted by: Darleen at February 16, 2007 11:22 AM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 02/16/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

Posted by: David M at February 16, 2007 11:25 AM

I'm not so sure. I'm quite certain if we follow the bush policy we'll still have thousands in Iraq in 09. But even if uncertain, we can't plan? It's uncertain when (or if) i'll get sick, but I plan for it by having health insurance.

Posted by: annak at February 16, 2007 11:39 AM

How far in advance do you want to plan for a war that could look vastly different, even in the next 6-12 months? It's not like Bush is leaving office next week, you know.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at February 16, 2007 12:04 PM

But even if uncertain, we can't plan? -- AnnaK

And your insistence that we are NOT planning is based on what, exactly? Are you tryint to say that if we don't plan to allocate funds for the Iraq war in 2009, now, that there won't be any money for it, then?

I guess I just am having a great deal of trouble grasping what your point is in harping on this...

Posted by: JannyMae at February 16, 2007 12:44 PM

I'm saying that if we don't plan to allocate funds now, some other funding will be displaced, or we'll add to teh deficit. Thats fine. live in the now man.

Its not that big of a point. but our host wants to post on it.

Posted by: annak at February 16, 2007 12:59 PM

I'm saying that if we don't plan to allocate funds now, some other funding will be displaced, or we'll add to teh deficit. Thats fine. live in the now man.
-- AnnaK

"Live in the now?" Excuse me? Maybe we should be allocating funds for the next war, before we even know what it's going to be?

Then again, how about the logical case to be made that we might displace some other funding now, by allocating funds we may NOT NEED for the war, by 2009?

You're right. It's not that big of a point. Indeed, it's not really a point at all. This is nothing but a silly little game you're playing, Anna, in order to take a jab at the POTUS.

You may continue to harp on this. I'm bored, and I'm moving on.

Posted by: JannyMae at February 16, 2007 01:32 PM

yes. we should be having the discussion of how to pay for our needs in 09. If you want to just take care of it then, thats fine. We seem to be able to discuss future expenditures in other parts of policy, and I'm sure that people project military acquisitions beyond 2 years, the constitution notwithstanding.

It certainly is a jab. Either he doesn't think we'll need the money in 09, or he doesnt' think he's responsible for planning past 09.

Posted by: annak at February 16, 2007 02:54 PM

Forget 2009, we need to be budgeting for the war in 2020. WE NEED A PLAN, PEOPLE!!!!!! WAKE UP!!!!

Posted by: Masked Menace© at February 16, 2007 03:22 PM

Seriously...

There's a third option, Anna. Maybe we don't have reliable estimates for the war that we do have for the other policy issues.

When your data is 3,4,5,5,4,5,6,5,2,3,5,4... it's a whole lot easier to forecast than when it's 50,2,78,65,15...

Posted by: Masked Menace© at February 16, 2007 03:27 PM

oh for god's sake..
Anna,
you just remind me of the song that never ends...

Posted by: Carrie at February 16, 2007 04:58 PM

Well, Anna has y'all in a tizzy by pulling numbers out of a body orifice. She does not know Federal budgeting, nor planning. Leave her alone. She is fixated on some piece of data stuck in her memory. She is so far off of reality it does not matter what she thinks.

Posted by: CoRev at February 16, 2007 08:06 PM

She is so far off of reality it does not matter what she thinks.

Posted by: CoRev at February 16, 2007 08:06 PM

Yes it does Corev,IMHO she is infected with BDS like most Terrorist apologists and simpering DefeatOcrat, which seem to make up a significant portion of the population... She gets to VOTE.

Posted by: unkawill at February 16, 2007 09:43 PM

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