Latest Posts

  • Someone Please Tell John McCain What the Word "Deficit" Means

    Last night at 10:35 p.m., just as Bob McDonnell was uttering the word "Twitter," I received an email from John McCain. Subject line: "Did you watch the State of the Union?" (Yep, I did. Dennis did too.)

    Anyway, John McCain's email went on to say that he has recorded a "special video message on the issues facing America," and everyone should donate to his re-election campaign so he can keep using his superpowers ("conservative values") to battle the country's enemies (Barack Obama). How bad is Barack Obama, in terms of ruining everything?

    During his first year in office, President Obama and Congressional Democrats have amassed a $12.4 trillion deficit that is growing each day. While the President advocates increased federal spending, I have actively advocated tax cuts, reduced spending and earmark reform to get our economy back on track. (Emphasis mine; sorry I can't provide a link to the contents of my inbox.)

    Good lord, John McCain thinks Barack Obama's administration has borrowed $12.4 trillion during the course of one year. No wonder he's so angry!

    Your job now is to condense the following into 140 characters, so John McCain will understand: the deficit is the annual budget shortfall, ie money out vs. money in, with any difference covered by borrowing. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the 2010 fiscal year deficit is expected to be $1.35 trillion, a slight decline from 2009. The national debt, which is all those annual deficits accumulated after years and years of unfunded wars and tax cuts for the wealthy (or whatever), is $12.3 trillion. Since 1917 there has been a law limiting how much government debt can exist; a few weeks ago this debt ceiling was raised to — aha, here's where he got his number — $12.4 trillion (ish). But screw "facts," let's all just get as angry as possible so we can cockblock any budget proposal the president makes.

    Hey, remember when John McCain single-handedly saved our economy by suspending his campaign? Maybe it's time to try that again.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Debt, Deficit, Economy, John McCain
  • Colbert: Turn the Uninsured into Weapons and Corn

    On last night's Colbert Report, Stephen solved the health care problem by suggesting we simply repackage sick people as things Congress actually wants to pay for like defense programs and farm subsidies. Better yet, let's just have all the uninsured get together and start a failing bank.

    The Colbert Report airs Monday through Thursday at 11:30pm / 10:30c.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Deficit, Food, Health Care, Military, Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report
  • There's Really No Need to Worry About This $1.3 Trillion Deficit

    Barack ObamaToday President Obama is set to reassure an anxious nation that despite all appearances to the contrary, America's fiscal situation is not as dire as it seems.

    Oh, wait. My mistake

    President Barack Obama is set to deliver the worst fiscal news since the Great Depression.

    On Monday, he’ll outline a deficit of $1.3 trillion, the largest as a share of the nation’s economy since World War II. He’ll blame years of runaway budgets, two costly wars, exploding health care costs – and even the massive stimulus package he signed last week, accounting for fully one-quarter of it.

    [...] "The budget news is very bad in the short, and the long run," said Alice Rivlin, Bill Clinton’s budget director.

    Okay, okay, don't panic. Let's look at this rationally.

    "A trillion is not a 'bleak' number, per se. It's just a number. We might need two trillion," said the University of Texas’s James Galbraith in an email. "Deficits have to grow. They will grow. Please get used to it."

    That's very sensible. A trillion is just a number, and numbers can't hurt you. No one has ever died from an eight attack or been jumped in an alley by a roving gang of 493s.

    So, short-run solution: simply decide that numbers don't count. Maybe even replace them with letters, colors or emoticons! How does a deficit of Orange ;) sound? Pretty festive, right? And once we get through the short run problems, all that's left is the long run. At which point we'll all be dead.

    I don't know about you, but I'm feeling better already.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Deficit, Economy, Stimulus