Dear Comrade 7211,
We don’t have a bazillion dollar military. Defense spending only accounted for about 24% of budget outlays in the peak year of 2012. This year it will account for 4% of GDP.And just as a comparison, the United States spends 18% of its GDP --and growing -- on healthcare. Even if you were to cut military expenditures in half, the money allocated to other areas would be a drop in the bucket in comparison to the problem that we have with interest, pensions and healthcare coming due shortly.
Let’s look at interest on the national debt for example.
“In its annual Budget and Economic Outlook,” writes CBSNews, “the CBO said debt held by the public will be bigger by 2023 than in any year since 1951 and will be at 77 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2023, far above the 40-year average of 39 percent of GDP. As a result, the CBO report said, the federal government’s interest costs ‘will be very high’ and will be rising. Interest costs will more than double by the end of the ten-year forecasting period.”
The CBO projects that interest rates on the Ten-Year Treasury Note will rise from 2.9 percent currently, to 5.2 percent in 2017.
In December of last year, the Treasury Department reported that total interest bearing debt owed by the government carried an interest rate of 2.523 percent. Last year’s interest payments on that debt totaled $360 billion. If interest rates overall reflect the CBO’s forecast for the benchmark, interest rates payments alone will reach one trillion dollars by 2017.
And here’s the really bad news. In December of last year, when the treasury department made that report, interest rates on the 10 year treasury note stood at 1.71%. As a Friday’s close that interest-rate stands at 2.88%. That’s a 68% increase in one year. At this rate will get to the 5.2% interest rate by the middle of 2015.
Just current debt would then require interest payments of 2.5 times 2012 levels or $890 billion. You can add another $100 billion in interest costs for deficits accumulated between 2013 and 2017.
Federal Debt Held by the Public
If interest rates cooperate, interest on the national debt will be the third largest line item in the budget by 2017, after pensions and healthcare, topping defense spending, education, welfare and likely even Obama’s vacation budget.
You can say what you want about the Bush years adding to the deficit, but the deficit, by anybody’s measure, accelerated quite substantially under Obama. Pictures don’t lie and here’s that picture.
And here’s something else that you have wrong: it’s not our military might that makes us the most powerful country in the world. It’s our economic might that allows us to be the most powerful country in the world. And it’s not just because we can buy more tanks and airplanes and aircraft carriers.
The Soviets could send a man to the moon, and they could build a nuclear weapon. But they couldn’t do both things at the same time.
We can do those things at the same time and look for a cure for cancer and revolutionize the world through the invention of the desktop computer and the mobile phone and produce the number one reality TV show Survivor!
Okay, maybe not the last one.
Doctor Roy wrote: Oh I don't know I can recall shady business practices, poor customer service and downright rude employees pre-Obama.American Psychosis
Dear Comrade Doctor,
That’s because you are union member. For you guys in unions, poor customer service and rude employees are a way of life.
For the rest of us, we don’t actually get to act that way towards our clients. They get mad at us.
Michael_Hillinger (quiet reason) wrote: Mr Ransom points out how businesses seem to have forgotten the customer and basic courtesy in their search to maximize profits. In one of his Sunday columns a reader asked:
"It would seem a simple matter to add to the title, "This is a repeat of Ransom's column on xx/xx/xx." Basic courtesy to the readers would seem to dictate that, but Ransom does this all the time."
"Dear Comrade Wrong,
I have heard this suggestion several times and have ignored it because I run a business. You might notice that we have ads on the page...Yes, I know you find it difficult to understand but I choose business practices that maximize my profits here at Townhall Finance. I know you find it irksome, but I want the site to be more successful every day and I have to balance pageviews against individual readers’ desires." American Psychosis
Dear Comrade Mikey,
Again, you are not, nor will you ever be, editor for Townhall Finance. I know you find this incredible.
Hint: you might want to get that psychosis thing checked out if you have any doubts about what I tell you.
If you had all the information to make a decision, being a liberal, you’d likely come to the wrong conclusion anyway.
But here’s the information for everyone else: There are a number of ways that we measure success and customer satisfaction on the site. Two ways are by looking at: 1) the time on page, and 2) the rate at which readers go on to read the entire article.
By both of these measurements, readers enjoy the article much more without"This is a repeat of Ransom's column on xx/xx/xx.".
Imagine if you rented cars for a living and you put a sticker on your cars that told people about the last few people who rented from you.
Would you enjoy a rental car more or less if the car contained this disclaimer: “The car you are about to use was recently rented by a fat, sweaty, liberal man who had uncontrollable gas. Have Fun and Drive Safe!”
Believe it or not, there are a good number of readers who missed the column the first time out, or frankly enjoy it just as much the second time they read it.I imagine that people either know or they don’t know they read an article without being told in advance.
Of course, for the purposes of this comparison YOU are the fat, sweaty, liberal man who had uncontrollable gas while reading this column for the first time.
For me it’s a compromise between writing every day of the week, or running nothing at all. Generally speaking the feedback I get from readers is that they’d rather read a repeat than not.
If the numbers told me something different, I’d do that. But the numbers don’t lie. Bounce rates—the rate at which readers dump the article—and time on page are significantly better when we don’t use the disclaimer.
That amounts to pageviews, which are very profitable.
The fact that it annoys you, I look on as a bonus.
Ericynot1 wrote: So now Ransom is blaming the bad behavior of airlines and car rental companies on Obama? What's next -- Obama causes acne? We've only had one largely honest president in the last 50 years and that was Carter, but the Republicans hated him anyway. Politics and honesty are frequently mutually exclusive, and that has nothing to do with party or political philosophy. It's sad, but it's true. American Psychosis
Dear Comrade Y,
Yes, yes, I am.
You guys try to blame everything on Bush, so turn about is fair play.
Actually in the article I was pondering how it was that someone caught lying to a customer could try to persist in the lie, when the easiest way was just to admit a mistake and start from scratch.
Given the fact that Obama lies about everything when caught in bad behavior, one can legitimately suppose that perhaps the behavior is becoming more accepted socially.
You may have missed it, but even the “fact checker” at PolitiFact was forced to give Obama the Liar of the Year award for his whooper about being able to keep your insurance plan, doctor, etc. if you liked it.
While it’s probably “psychosis” is a strong word to apply to everyone in America, narcissism certainly applies to Obama.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standingpattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration,and usually a complete lack of empathytoward others.People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life orto anyone they meet. While this pattern of behavior may be appropriate for a king in 16th Century England, it is generally considered inappropriate for most ordinary people today.
People with narcissistic personality disorder often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes. For example, an individual with this disorder may complain about a clumsy waiter’s “rudeness” or “stupidity” or conclude a medical evaluation with a condescending evaluation of the physician.
In laypeople terms, someone with this disorder may be described simply as a“narcissist” or as someone with “narcissism.” Both of these terms generally refer to someone with narcissistic personality disorder.
In my own experience I have found a narcissist to be skilled in deceiving others. These talents may not always be hostile or malicious in intent, but may come instead from a feeling of omnipotence and the arrogant assumption that the rules of social responsibility may not apply to them. When others become irritated or alienated, a narcissist is likely to react with surprise and dismay, then later with contempt.
Isn’t this the pattern with Obama?
Unlike you, I don’t find honesty and competency mutually exclusive. Carter may have been honest, but so what?
He was a terrible president.
Obama may be dishonest. But, he’s also incompetent.
I know liberals like to pretend that having no values to hold someone to is the same as having high values and occasionally failing.
I’d prefer honest and competent in my president.
Salcatore wrote: And what would be the alternative theories to the Obamas?
Dear Comrade Sal,
Yes, you fashioned on the key here: What Obama preaches is just a theory, not a fact.
Let’s have Abraham Lincoln explain the facts:
The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land, for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This, say its advocates, is free labor -- the just and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way for all -- gives hope to all, and energy, and progress, and improvement of condition to all. If any continue through life in the condition of the hired laborer, it is not the fault of the system, but because of either a dependent nature which prefers it, or improvidence, folly, or singular misfortune.
Great Facebook profile picture, there Sal!
You're a virgin, right? Loved your work as Karlsson på Taket below. Do the Swedes know you've defected? And traded in a propeller for a sailboat?
David296 wrote: "The Economy Really is the Republican's Fault " Finally got it right !! From Ronnie star wars ray gun forward republican presidents have destroyed America. tinkle down doesn't work !!! The Economy Is The Fault Of The Republicans
Dear Comrade 296,
It’s called “Tingle Down” under Obama. And yes, you’re right, it doesn’t work.
The “Tingle Down” theory of economics is one in which half-cocked professors from the 1960s, still brain addled from acid flashbacks, concoct radical theories of social justice and equality which were already rejected by America a generation previously; then to implement these Tingle Down theories, half-assed politicians like president Obama—or maybe whole-assed in his case—who’s biggest responsibility prior to running for president was getting rainbow T-shirts printed for a rally of about 36 people outside City Hall, are enabled by two years of single party rule to reward cronies and buy votes.
In the process, economic indicators that used to be a way to measure the economy, like unemployment, GDP, inflation, become so useless that liberal mouthpieces like Chris Matthews on MSNBC I left with only one thing to talk about: that tingle down their leg.
That's it for this week,