Gregg blasts Orszag over TARP “piggy bank”

posted at 12:42 pm on February 4, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Senator Judd Gregg spent some time with Greta van Susteren explaining his confrontation with OMB director Peter Orszag, which comes in the first minute of this longish clip. Gregg does a good job of explaining why the budget that Barack Obama submitted to Congress is absolutely unsustainable, with deficits increasing in the latter half of the next ten years. Creditors will simply stop buying our debt after the next five to seven years, and perhaps even sooner than that. But the main takeaway is Gregg’s challenge to Orszag to read the law Gregg himself wrote before attempting to use TARP as a piggy bank:


Orszag has to get Congress to amend the law in order to use that TARP money for other purposes, but even the Democrats in Congress should be wary of allowing the executive branch that kind of slush fund — which is exactly what this is. The Constitution makes clear that the legislative branch controls appropriations, and for good reason. That is almost the only way Congress can hold the executive branch accountable for its spending and actions. Allowing any President to control tens of billions of dollars in blank-check funds strips the people’s branch of an important check on executive power.

Gregg had good reason to add that codicil to the TARP bill. Normally skeptical members of Congress only supported TARP with the assurance that it wouldn’t become an Oval Office slush fund and that receipts would go directly back to paying off debt. Congress had better recognize the danger of this path before they inadvertently fund a perpetual imperial Presidency.


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Petty cash drawer. It is too small to matter

seven on February 4, 2010 at 12:45 PM

hey bishop and badgerhawk!

daesleeper on February 4, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Saw it last night. Great stuff. Orszag is a weasel.

John the Libertarian on February 4, 2010 at 12:46 PM

It is a SHAME that he’s retiring.

I hope to see more of Gregg in the future, even in an unelected role.

Abby Adams on February 4, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Close the barn door, the horses just escaped!

Bishop on February 4, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Can’t we just let Barry eat his slush?

NoDonkey on February 4, 2010 at 12:47 PM

=[

on topic: How old is that Budget director? 23?

daesleeper on February 4, 2010 at 12:47 PM

daesleeper on February 4, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Lol. So close.

BadgerHawk on February 4, 2010 at 12:48 PM

PettyPeople’s cash drawer. It is too small to matter not theirs to spend.

seven on February 4, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Looked like you needed a little help.

RegularJoe on February 4, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Creditors will simply stop buying our debt after the next five to seven years, and perhaps even sooner than that.

Ed, I think you are being extremely optimistic. I suspect it will be less than 2 years. After all Moody’s had pretty much said the US is done the other day, and China has warned us over a dozen times in the last year to stop it.

Johnnyreb on February 4, 2010 at 12:48 PM

imperial Presidency

dear leader’s dream….

cmsinaz on February 4, 2010 at 12:49 PM

This is why I can’t be too hard on people who voted for TARP. It’s already been used for things that go beyond what we were told it would be used for. Now they want it to become a general purpose political slush fund that they can use to buy favors.

BadgerHawk on February 4, 2010 at 12:50 PM


Congress had better recognize the danger of this path before they inadvertently fund a perpetual imperial Presidency.

Indeed.

Weight of Glory on February 4, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Cloward-Piven ? Bankrupt the US.

rbj on February 4, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Judd Gregg’s awakening before he took over as commerce secretary was his conscience nagging him. This is why.

Good on ya Judd. I saw this clip, he hammered the Peter “Baby Daddy” Orszag. Rightfully, so.

ted c on February 4, 2010 at 12:51 PM

on topic: How old is that Budget director? 23?

daesleeper on February 4, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Old enough to be taking hair care tips from the likes of James Traficant & Joe Biden.

http://skew.dailyskew.com/uploaded_images/Peter-Orszag-wig-718568.jpg

Chicks dig it.

MNHawk on February 4, 2010 at 12:52 PM

daesleeper on February 4, 2010 at 12:47 PM

his voice sounds like he hasn’t even reached puberty yet…

cmsinaz on February 4, 2010 at 12:52 PM

The law…?

BBBWWWWWAAAAAAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!

That’s a good one, whew…. let me catch my breath.

Seven Percent Solution on February 4, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Seven Percent Solution on February 4, 2010 at 12:53 PM

lol

cmsinaz on February 4, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Anyone here ever had their credit line frozen and/or capped out their credit cards? That’s when you realize that it’s time to change your spending habits vs. your income.

It’s like gravity…you can defy gravity for a while, but eventually, you’re going to hit the ground.

And frankly, it’s going to get really ugly when the US Govt. hits their credit line limit and finally comes to grips with the fact that they can’t spend a dollar for every 60 cents they bring in.

mctowler on February 4, 2010 at 12:55 PM

ORSZAG READING FAIL.

Good Lt on February 4, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Congress had better recognize the danger of this path

Well past congress’s have done well to recognize the danger of:
- SocSec
- Medicare
- Medicaid
- Great Society

So, no, I’m not worried. :-/

WashJeff on February 4, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Orzag should have read the law before the hearing. He is a product of failure in the education system.
Orzag is the chicago way.

seven on February 4, 2010 at 12:56 PM

This is why I can’t be too hard on people who voted for TARP.
BadgerHawk on February 4, 2010 at 12:50 PM

ON the other side, history shows government programs always expand beyond their original purpose. Why would TARP be any different?

WashJeff on February 4, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Creditors will simply stop buying our debt after the next five to seven years, and perhaps even sooner than that.

You’re being way too generous with your numbers, Ed. I give them 6 months to year to stop buying and 2 years to start calling in the debt.

BTW, maybe I’m the only one here, but Greta has been doing an outstanding job lately with her interviews and guests.

Knucklehead on February 4, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Does Baby Daddy Orzag spend his child support money on other chicks? To expand his babay daddy network?

seven on February 4, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Palin/Gregg 2012

promachus on February 4, 2010 at 12:58 PM


ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN
ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN
ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN
ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN
ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN

Like the democrats give a dam# about the rule of law!!!!


ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN
ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN
ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN
ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN
ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN…ACORN

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2010 at 12:59 PM

How on earth that guy scored two girls in one year is beyond me. He’s at least a 10 bagger.

txag92 on February 4, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Stop this, the man is mopping up.

jukin on February 4, 2010 at 1:00 PM

his voice sounds like he hasn’t even reached puberty yet…

cmsinaz on February 4, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Is anybody “sure” Orzag is a “he”…

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM

OT……..

The House is in the process of voting on raising our debt limit.

Knucklehead on February 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM

OT……..

The House is in the process of voting on raising our debt limit.

Knucklehead on February 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM

A limit that will already be reached by the end of February.

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2010 at 1:04 PM

A limit that will already be reached by the end of February.

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2010 at 1:04 PM

…according to what I saw on Drudge the other day….

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2010 at 1:05 PM

The House is in the process of voting on raising our debt limit.

Knucklehead on February 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM

That’s hardly news. They do that every week.

Lily on February 4, 2010 at 1:06 PM

A limit that will already be reached by the end of February.

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2010 at 1:04 PM

I thought I read something that said this vote will extend it past the November elections. The current debt limit will be reached this month. I could be wrong, but thats what I recall reading.

Johnnyreb on February 4, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Normally skeptical members of Congress only supported TARP with the assurance that it wouldn’t become an Oval Office slush fund and that receipts would go directly back to paying off debt

Boy that’s weak Ed.

How about, Republicans in the Senate made sure that the TARP legislation (known as TARP 1) authored by the Bush administration included language that would ensure the money was a loan that when paid back with interest would be applied to the debt. Furthermore, the legislation limits the use of the remaining approximate 1/3 of the original amount so that the legislation will have to be changed in Congress for that money to be used for any purpose other than banks.

You know there is a big difference between TARP 1 and the rest of the spending by the Obama administration and I really don’t see any advantage in not making that specific point.

Texas Gal on February 4, 2010 at 1:08 PM

OT: IL Gov Quinn has just asked Lt. Gov nominee Cohen to step aside.

WashJeff on February 4, 2010 at 1:09 PM

I thought I read something that said this vote will extend it past the November elections. The current debt limit will be reached this month. I could be wrong, but thats what I recall reading.

Johnnyreb on February 4, 2010 at 1:06 PM

From Drudge:

US debt to hit proposed ceiling by end-February: Treasury

(AFP) – 1 day ago
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hEkfx_bpGC-zVoeKNR38gWLcjXdw

WASHINGTON — The US debt is on track to hit a congressionally proposed debt ceiling of 14.3 trillion dollars by the end of February, the Treasury said Wednesday, a day ahead of a key vote to raise it to that level.

The US House of Representatives will vote Thursday on whether to raise the US debt limit to a historic 14.3 trillion dollars, allowing the United States to borrow another 1.9 trillion dollars.

The government is out of control and we are the ones that are going to have to pay for it.

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Let’s see, borrow money – then don’t repay that borrowed money, instead – use it for anything else you want to spend it on.

What could possibly go wrong with your credit and default rate?

Odie1941 on February 4, 2010 at 1:13 PM

It is a SHAME that he’s retiring.

I hope to see more of Gregg in the future, even in an unelected role.

Abby Adams on February 4, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Judd has served our State well, but he may be burned out on politics-he’s already been our Governor and Representative.

But still…I would love to see him on a national ticket.

Del Dolemonte on February 4, 2010 at 1:14 PM

I sure with Gregg would stay in his seat. He’s been great with financial items and blasting the admin (since he had a box sear for a while).

PLEASE don’t retire.

stenwin77 on February 4, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Does anyone else think we need to start a letter writing campaign to encourage Sen. Gregg to reconsider his retirement?

Cindy Munford on February 4, 2010 at 1:16 PM

More “Expiration dates” from Obama:

“Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren,” Obama said in a 2006 floor speech that preceded a Senate vote to extend the debt limit. “America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.”


Obama later joined his Democratic colleagues in voting en bloc against raising the debt increase.

Obama,2006

…..reality of today…

on raising the debt limit.

Now Obama is asking Congress to raise the debt ceiling(12.5 trillion), something lawmakers are almost certain to do despite misgivings about the federal debt. The ceiling already has been hiked three times in the past two years, and the House took action earlier this year to raise the ceiling to $12.5 trillion.


Congress raised the debt limit just a few months ago when it passed the $787 billion stimulus package.

Obama ,2009
on raising the debt limit for
the third time in one year



Now Obama is putting it at 14.3 Trillion

Do you think Obama still thinks this shows a failure of leadership?????????????

Of course Orzag is just great with all of this:


White House Budget Director Orszag: “Elevated Deficits Are Beneficial”

White House Budget Director
Peter Orszag, Feb. 26, 2009


“Yes We Can!!!”

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2010 at 1:16 PM

In times like these I sorely wish Gregg would reconsider his upcoming retirement.

I have a keen and growing fear of abandonment.

Senator Gregg, please STAY!

marybel on February 4, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Thank goodness Gregg had the good sense to think twice about working for the devious Obama Administration. His smackdown of Orszag is priceless. My only regret is that this exchange wasn’t with the Lawyer-In-Chief. I would have loved to see him squirm when confronted with such simple truths.

Buy Danish on February 4, 2010 at 1:18 PM

OT: IL Gov Quinn has just asked Lt. Gov nominee Cohen to step aside.

WashJeff on February 4, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Wow! Quinn finally got Hynes to concede and now this?

LMAO!!!!!

Knucklehead on February 4, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Congress had better recognize the danger of this path before they inadvertently fund a perpetual imperial Presidency.

You make it sound like they don’t know what they’re doing. I think that you’re mistaken.

Physics Geek on February 4, 2010 at 1:22 PM

GOP Career Politician with cajones?

Pausing while I notice pigs flying outside our window.

PappyD61 on February 4, 2010 at 1:24 PM

This is the same boob that admitted we can’t sustain deficits of (then) 14% while Obama was lobbying for stimulus funds in January 2009. What are they proposing now? something like 25%?

DanMan on February 4, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Congress had better recognize the danger of this path before they inadvertently fund a perpetual imperial Presidency.

If you scroll down to the 7th pic down, you will see Obama’s prophecy. I don’t know how accurate this site is, but it’s very interesting. Especially that 7th pic.

http://www.theobamafile.com/ObamaEducation.htm

capejasmine on February 4, 2010 at 1:26 PM

his voice sounds like he hasn’t even reached puberty yet…

cmsinaz on February 4, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Remember the movie Grease? Eugene, the nerd? That HAS to be Orzag. LOL

capejasmine on February 4, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Judd Gregg/Paul Ryan 2012!

ctmom on February 4, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Judd Gregg has never been better than he has been since returning from his brief flirtation with the Obama Admin. A year ago, I couldn’t care less that he was planning to retire. Now, his retirement looks like a real loss for fiscal conservatives in the Senate.

james23 on February 4, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Wow! Quinn finally got Hynes to concede and now this?

LMAO!!!!!

Knucklehead on February 4, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Here is the story. I have sent it to tips@HA

WashJeff on February 4, 2010 at 1:30 PM

A limit that will already be reached by the end of February.

…according to what I saw on Drudge the other day….

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2010 at 1:05 PM

I’ve heard this too. And didn’t they just raise the debt ceiling by $2 trillion over Christmas weekend?

UltimateBob on February 4, 2010 at 1:31 PM

I’ve heard this too. And didn’t they just raise the debt ceiling by $2 trillion over Christmas weekend?

UltimateBob on February 4, 2010 at 1:31 PM

I am not absolutely sure but I think this is about the 4th or 5th raise in the limit since Mr. 57 states was elected.

From the quote above it stated Obama was on the third go around when he was pushing it for the stimulus.

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Congress raised the debt limit just a few months ago when it passed the $787 billion stimulus package.

Obama ,2009
on raising the debt limit for
the third time in one year

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2010 at 1:43 PM

capejasmine on February 4, 2010 at 1:28 PM

yeah!!

:-)

cmsinaz on February 4, 2010 at 1:45 PM

I could be wrong, but thats what I recall reading.

Johnnyreb on February 4, 2010 at 1:06 PM

We’ll be lucky if it holds out till the end of February. How much do all Pelosi’s family trips cost? How much to O-bow-ma’s town halls and other political campaigning events cost? And then there’s the census advertisement budget and on and on and on.

And we have no real accurate count of all the unemployed taxpayers. The economy appears near complete collapse and Bozo is running around telling everyone things are just fine. He “saved or created” two million jobs! The GDP is just wonderful.

I saw the action with Gregg and the vacuous look on Orszag’s face. Our current administration is chock full of dysfunctional idiots.

dogsoldier on February 4, 2010 at 1:46 PM

OT: IL Gov Quinn has just asked Lt. Gov nominee Cohen to step aside.

WashJeff on February 4, 2010 at 1:09 PM

I hope Cohen tells Quinn to pound salt. He’s a godsend for the Republican candidate.

Extrafishy on February 4, 2010 at 1:48 PM

I had just turned on Rush, and he was talking about the Prayer meeting that was held this morning. He said he can’t confirm, but he heard something about Obama was speaking and said corpmen….but pronounced it, corpse men? hmmmmm

capejasmine on February 4, 2010 at 1:48 PM

DJIA
10,036.95 -233.60
-2.27%
NASDAQ
2,137.01 -53.90
-2.46%
S&P 500
1,071.31 -25.97
-2.

….Something is up and it’s certainly not the stock market…
…….this is not looking good.

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2010 at 1:48 PM

capejasmine on February 4, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Holy crap, he said it twice! I just heard the soundbyte. LMAO!!!

Great job Champ. Here’s your gold star! ROFL!!!

capejasmine on February 4, 2010 at 1:50 PM

capejasmine on February 4, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Nooooo. You’ve got to be kidding. If he did, get the Obamaturism post ready STAT.

Abby Adams on February 4, 2010 at 1:57 PM

But… But… But… you don’t understand…… I have the Obama card…….I don’t leave home without it!!

grapeknutz on February 4, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Nooooo. You’ve got to be kidding. If he did, get the Obamaturism post ready STAT.

Abby Adams on February 4, 2010 at 1:57 PM

I can’t believe it, he actually did:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7u540znO78

Listen around 3:40-4:15.

Least knowledgable Commander-In-Chief ever?

Abby Adams on February 4, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Hey, if the script says, “corpse-men” then the professional actor says “corpse-men” with all apparent sincerity.
`
`

You’re being way too generous with your numbers, Ed. I give them 6 months to year to stop buying and 2 years to start calling in the debt.
`
Knucklehead on February 4, 2010 at 12:58 PM
`

`
`
`
They won’t stop buying the debt, they will just demand a higher interest rate to reflect the greater risk. Which means all those deficit projections will have to be revised upward, of course.
`
And no one can “call in the debt” – these are bonds which pay a set rate of interest and mature at a date certain. Investors know this when they buy them. They can sell them early on the secondary market but if rates are rising the instruments with lower returns lose value in direct proportion, and none of that directly affects the Treasury – we will pay out what we promised, when we promised to pay it, and not one day sooner, no matter what.

Adjoran on February 4, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Least knowledgable Commander-In-Chief ever?

Abby Adams on February 4, 2010 at 2:09 PM

ROFL!!! I’m guessing he was reading from the TOTUS, and either didn’t know how to prounounce it, or didn’t recognize the word? I don’t know, but that seems like a pretty bad mistake to make. Especially for a president.

capejasmine on February 4, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Orszag reminds me of the Reagan “amnesty”. We were PROMISED that the borders would be secured and that there would be NO MORE AMNESTY. Yeah that’s worked out real well. Now we have Orszag and Obama wanting a slush fund from the TARP repayments. NEVER MIND THIS WAS SOLD TO THE PUBLIC AS BEING REPAID WITH INTEREST AND APPLIED TO THE DEBT. Just goes to prove that you can TRUST the government as far as you can throw them.

GarandFan on February 4, 2010 at 2:19 PM

Gregg had good reason to add that codicil to the TARP bill. Normally skeptical members of Congress only supported TARP with the assurance that it wouldn’t become an Oval Office slush fund and that receipts would go directly back to paying off debt. Congress had better recognize the danger of this path before they inadvertently fund a perpetual imperial Presidency.

Some people supported TARP because they honestly felt it was an emergency situation..and the truth is a lot of the money has been paid back with interest. If the Obama administration had put that money back in the Treasury instead of using it for other things it was never intended for the deficit would be smaller today…after all it was supposed to be a loan, not a permanent spending appropriation. Imagine the TARP money paid back or returned unused to the Treasury and no $787 billion stimulus plan..that would cut the deficit by more than a trillion right there.

Terrye on February 4, 2010 at 2:20 PM

I hope Cohen tells Quinn to pound salt. He’s a godsend for the Republican candidate.

Extrafishy on February 4, 2010 at 1:48 PM

He already did. LMAO again!!!!

Knucklehead on February 4, 2010 at 2:21 PM

He already did. LMAO again!!!!

Knucklehead on February 4, 2010 at 2:21 PM

This is just great! Now if Brady can hold on, maybe, just maybe, IL can start fixing itself.

WashJeff on February 4, 2010 at 2:24 PM

And no one can “call in the debt” (etc.)

Adjoran on February 4, 2010 at 2:14 PM

True, of course. But the truth is, now that we’re addicted to Chinese investment, they have as much control over us as any drug dealer has over his customers. “We’ll buy U.S. bonds; but only if you give us unlimited access to your markets, with no restrictions, no product safety regs, no truth-in-advertising. We’ll take Taiwan, and you’ll stand there and smile.”

To me, that’s scant difference from calling in our debts. It is, arguably, worse.

————————

BTW, could one of you who REALLY understands these things tell me: how is it any better to BORROW money from another country than to just print up more dollars? It seems to me that either dilutes the value of existing dollars; the difference is that borrowing is worse, because we have to return the money with interest. I’m prepared to learn that my thinking is all wrong, but only if someone can tell me WHY I’m wrong.

RegularJoe on February 4, 2010 at 2:29 PM

GarandFan on February 4, 2010 at 2:19 PM

I heard Charles Krauthammer say that if they had done this, there really would have been a collapse of the financial system. I don’t know for sure if that is true, I don’t feel as if I have enough understanding of the situation to make that determination. However, I don’t think Krauthammer is a fool. Now a lot of that money has been paid back with interest..the fact that the Obama administration has spent like drunken sailors is not the fault of men like Gregg. After all when the Democrats took control of the Congress from the Republicans the deficit was $162 billion, look at it now.

Terrye on February 4, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Wake up everybody! This is the Chicago way. Or more to the point, the Mayor Daley way. Growing up in Chicago in the 60s and 70s it was common during an election year to see new construction of baseball fields, parks, roads, bus stops, even schools in the months prior to the actual election. All of these projects were accompanied by huge billboards and signs “THIS NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT PROVIDED BY THE HONORABLE RICHARD DALEY, MAYOR CHICAGO, ILLINOIS” Basically it was Daley using tax dollars as a campaign slush fund. So watch Obama use the stimulus money the same way this summer in congressional elections and even into his campaign for 2012. I have no doubt this is his intention. a 512 billion dollar campaign slush fund! Didn’t anyone see this coming?

msplitt on February 4, 2010 at 2:32 PM

BTW, maybe I’m the only one here, but Greta has been doing an outstanding job lately with her interviews and guests.

Knucklehead on February 4, 2010 at 12:58 PM

You’re not the only one to notice that Greta has “drifted rightward” over the last year and a half. She has frequently had economist Steve Moore criticizing Obama’s spend-happy ways, as well as interviews with Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santorum, and hasn’t hesitated to call some of Obama’s antics as “stupid”. Her show used to concentrate on long-winded whodunits about kidnapped and murdered women–now she focuses mostly on politics.

This “rightward drift” seems to have started when Greta interviewed Sarah Palin, and seemed to admire her. While Greta may have been pulled rightward by hanging around with other Fox News journalists, it seems that Sarah Palin’s ideas might have gotten under Greta’s skin…

Steve Z on February 4, 2010 at 2:50 PM

This is not new. Geithner had made claims of having TARP as a nearly permanent slush fund for Treasury’s amusement back during the Chrysler/GM/Federal government/Union gang rape of America. There was a lot of outrage, here, but the issue faded into the backgrouns as the administration did something else so jaw-droppingly stupid as to occupy the headlines. They come out with a new low, of some sort, on an almost daily basis. It’s tough to keep up, really.

neurosculptor on February 4, 2010 at 2:50 PM

It’s obvious the Dumbocrats are trying to save this cash for their campaign piggy with intend to stir up some dust around campaign time so they can sneak this money into their coffers for their supporters.

Cybergeezer on February 4, 2010 at 2:59 PM

I wrote here that Sen. Gregg eviscerated Director Orszag. I’ve never seen Sen. Gregg that animated.

LFRGary on February 4, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Gregg was on fire with Orzag. The Won also proposed using tarp repayment money to pay for something else, so ignoring the laws must be a demoncrat proclivity.

Kissmygrits on February 4, 2010 at 3:07 PM

I think Judd is my favorite Senator.

therightwinger on February 4, 2010 at 4:54 PM

It’s pretty clear we don’t have 10 years of wiggle room. And as the USG debt and interest payments increase, we will soon be faced with a greater problem, the severe decline of non-U.S. buyers for the mounting bond supply.

First, a story is circulating now from Jim Chanos, China expert, that Chinese government figures show 30 billion sq ft of commercial real estate space is being constructed in China. Great. Run the numbers and you will find that that means every man, woman and child (and, lets face it, there are a lot of them) will soon be represented by a 5 ft sq cubicle of office space! Either the numbers are lies or an enormous residential and CRE bubble is being blown in China.

Then Japan, another big buyer of U.S. bonds, is undergoing a structural population decline. The savings rate there is fast approaching zero as an aging population begins to drawn down its savings. Thus, the enormously indebted Japanese government will have to compete with the USG on the international bond market. Where will interest rates go?

And finally of course there is Greece and the other PIIGS sovereign debt crisis and the future stability of the EU monetary system. Greece now is showing signs of being the canary in the coal mine in terms of what happens when a country’s sovereign debt begins to look risky to global bond investors. Many other countries, including the U.S., are standing in line to receive a whack on the hand by the bond market very shortly.

The alternatives are (1) collapse and a forced, chaotic recovery (or not) or (2) a measured program of fundamental structural top to bottom reform of the bloated government we now suffer under. Likely? Remember Alexander Fraser Tytler’s 1770 statement concerning the long term prospects of democracy. “A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.”

boqueronman on February 5, 2010 at 12:48 PM