Flashback video: The Deficit Trials, 2017

posted at 12:53 pm on April 5, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Hot Air reader Diane R sends us this blast from the past — from 1986, in fact. WR Grace exec J. Peter Grace paid director Ridley Scott $300,000 to produce this 60-second commercial scolding America for its deficit spending during the Reagan administration:

The best way to describe this is, well, quaint.  A $2 trillion national debt?  Horrors!  In actuality, using the Barack Obama budget plan, we’ll be looking at a national debt ten times larger than that by 2017.  Do you think Ridley Scott will want to update this commercial with Obama in the dock instead?  Naaaaaaaaaah.

Addendum: WR Grace is, at the moment, defending itself in court against allegations of conspiracy to cover up the dangers of asbestos exposure in its Montana mining operations.

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Truth is always stranger than fiction.

the_nile on April 5, 2009 at 12:57 PM

It won’t be long before the annual budget deficit exceeds $2 trillion.

zmdavid on April 5, 2009 at 1:04 PM

What comes around, goes around, eh?

MarkABinVA on April 5, 2009 at 1:05 PM

$2 trillion deficit. Aah, those were the days.

Tuning Spork on April 5, 2009 at 1:08 PM

and people talk about Glenn Beck being hysterical.

rob verdi on April 5, 2009 at 1:10 PM

I remember this………

……… great video for a TEA party.

Seven Percent Solution on April 5, 2009 at 1:11 PM

The RNC should run this on every station…. but alas…..

katy on April 5, 2009 at 1:16 PM

$2 trillion? Amateurs.

flipflop on April 5, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Boy Ridley Scott is a good director.

KillerKane on April 5, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Next thing you know…….

…….. they will be taxing tobacco, beer, and wine.

What a horrific future!

Seven Percent Solution on April 5, 2009 at 1:31 PM

The theme could be used by others… The point is well taken.

petunia on April 5, 2009 at 2:48 PM

So *that’s* what it was. I saw this briefly when I was very, very young – it must have been on a news programme here in the UK – and I assumed it was part of that miniseries, “Amerika”, that was on at the time. But no.

Apeking on April 5, 2009 at 3:22 PM

While we’re at it, let’s have a post about this, assuming there isn’t one already:

Apeking on April 5, 2009 at 3:24 PM

Obama burns down your house and reminds you that Bush once lit a match.

Jim Treacher on April 5, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Kids in That Commercial

1986: helping grownups score political points over the deficit.
2009: cashing in on the “stimulus”.
2017: finding their 1986 fears really did come true, but not how they originally thought.

Tzetzes on April 5, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Obama burns down your house and reminds you that Bush once lit a match.

Jim Treacher on April 5, 2009 at 3:26 PM

I’d love to see that on billboards across America.

Saltysam on April 5, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Stuart Varney, WSJ

The government wants to control the banks, just as it now controls GM and Chrysler, and will surely control the health industry in the not-too-distant future. Keeping them TARP-stuffed is the key to control. And for this intensely political president, mere influence is not enough. The White House wants to tell ’em what to do. Control. Direct. Command.

Think about it: If Rick Wagoner can be fired and compact cars can be mandated, why can’t a bank with a vault full of TARP money be told where to lend? And since politics drives this administration, why can’t special loans and terms be offered to favored constituents, favored industries, or even favored regions? Our prosperity has never been based on the political allocation of credit — until now.

Which brings me to the Pay for Performance Act, just passed by the House. This is an outstanding example of class warfare. I’m an Englishman. We invented class warfare, and I know it when I see it. This legislation allows the administration to dictate pay for anyone working in any company that takes a dime of TARP money. This is a whip with which to thrash the unpopular bankers, a tool to advance the Obama administration’s goal of controlling the financial system.

The Dictator Obama has no allegiance to our Constitutional Government and no sense for “legality”.

IMPEACH sooner than later.

maverick muse on April 5, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Of course we have surpassed the 1986 deficit already, and we’re only three months in.

Deficit History

I say Weimar by 2012.

PattyJ on April 5, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Sorry in advance for the length of this post. I received this from my Liberal brother in Ca…. Wow, maybe he’s finally starting to catch on.

The U. S. Geological Service issued a report in April (’08) that only scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a revised report (hadn’t been updated since ’95) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota ; western South Dakota ; and extreme eastern Montana ….. check THIS out:

The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska ‘s Prudhoe Bay , and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion barrels.. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable… at $107 a barrel, we’re looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion.

‘When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea.’ says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature’s financial analyst.

‘This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years.’ reports, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. It’s a formation known as the Williston Basin , but is more commonly referred to as the ‘Bakken.’ And it stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada . For years, U. S. oil exploration has been considered a dead end. Even the ‘Big Oil’ companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken’s massive reserves…. and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL!

That’s enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 41 years straight.

2. And if THAT didn’t throw you on the floor, then this next one should – because it’s from TWO YEARS AGO!

U. S. Oil Discovery- Largest Reserve in the World!
Stansberry Report Online – 4/20/2006

Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It is more than 2 TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. In three and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted. With this motherload of oil why are we still fighting over off-shore drilling?

They reported this stunning news: We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates:

– 8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia
– 18-times as much oil as Iraq
– 21-times as much oil as Kuwait
– 22-times as much oil as Iran
– 500-times as much oil as Yemen
– and it’s all right here in the Western United States .

HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this? Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America become independent of foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small group of people dictate our lives and our economy….WHY?

James Bart is, lead researcher with the study says we’ve got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East -more than 2 TRILLION barrels untapped. That’s more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today, reports The Denver Post.

Don’t think ‘OPEC’ will drop its price – even with this find? Think again! It’s all about the competitive marketplace, – it has to. Think OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists?
Got your attention/ire up yet? Hope so! Now, while you’re thinking about it …. and hopefully P.O’d, do this:

By the way…this is all true. Check it out at the link below!!!

GOOGLE it or follow this link. It will blow your mind.


Keemo on April 5, 2009 at 5:25 PM

Dude–I can’t WAIT to dress like that in eight years! WOOHOO! Apparently the deficit didn’t affect the advanced technology of cool blue, light-sabre-like prison apparatus.

1986 totally rocked. Those were the days…sigh.

robblefarian on April 5, 2009 at 5:34 PM

The part Democrats always forget, what goes around comes around.

tarpon on April 5, 2009 at 6:32 PM

Don’t worry… they are continuing to devalue the dollar at a faster and faster pace. In real terms, there is probably not much difference between $2 trillion in 1986 and $11 trillion today.

Laurence on April 5, 2009 at 6:44 PM

I had the opportunity to meet Peter Grace at the Union League Club of Philadelphia back in the 80’s. He is a brilliant man who is both blunt-spoken and funny. He appeared to me to be a guy who does not suffer fools gladly.
I wish like hell he was running our country instead of the tyrannical assklown we’re stuck with for the next 3.75 years.

CatchAll on April 5, 2009 at 6:49 PM

The Dems have the memories of a Jack Ass that’s for sure, also the kings and queens (or kings and kings and vice a versa)of selective rage and values.

chicagoray on April 5, 2009 at 6:59 PM

I beleive The Bakken field is being put of limits by the state and federal governments. Change we can believe in.

davod on April 5, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Drficit spending is only bad when it’s military related targeted to bring it down the Evil Empire. Otherwise the Left couldn’t care less.

And that commercial is pretty cool looking, I liked his work on Bladerunner as well. George Lucas didn’t have to wait all that time to make the Star Wars prequels, the technology was plenty capable of producing a film full of eye candy. He could have just hired Scott back then.

Daemonocracy on April 5, 2009 at 7:28 PM

I beleive The Bakken field is being put of limits by the state and federal governments. Change we can believe in.

davod on April 5, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Deliberate impoverishment and foreign dependency that only Leftists believe in.

Maquis on April 5, 2009 at 7:43 PM

It won’t be long before the annual budget deficit exceeds $2 trillion.

zmdavid on April 5, 2009 at 1:04 PM

It won’t be long — It is happening this year!!!

Dasher on April 5, 2009 at 8:06 PM

Deliberate impoverishment and foreign dependency that only Leftists believe in.

Maquis on April 5, 2009 at 7:43 PM

But…but…we gots LOTS more National Parks!!!


Wanderlust on April 5, 2009 at 9:18 PM

Truth is always stranger than fiction.

the_nile on April 5, 2009 at 12:57 PM


Yakko77 on April 5, 2009 at 9:22 PM

Those are all the kids that grew up to vote for the Obamination, so I don’t feel sorry for them

Grafted on April 5, 2009 at 11:15 PM

You got me confused for a second there…I thought that was Malfoy!

ProudPalinFan on April 6, 2009 at 9:21 AM

You are WAY, WAY, WAY off base taking cheap shots at Peter Grace. He was a true conservative democrat (his grandfather had been Mayor of NYC and he was in the Kennedy admin, so he actually had credibility among dems) who took out an ad in the NY Times supporting Reagan’s tax cuts. I love the Gipper but I can’t get insensed at someone who complains about over-spending by any president.

And this “asbestos conspiracy” stuff is nothing but plaintiffs’ lawyer’s bullshit. The companies who where actually responsible for asbestos have long since been bankrupted, so the legal parasites are scrambling for ways to extract money from ongoing enterprises. The conspiracy story is nothing but a way to extort even more money from the Grace company than they have been in the past.

You should be ashamed of this post.

BuzzCrutcher on April 6, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Life imitates “art” once again. Just like this.

stoutcat on April 6, 2009 at 5:17 PM