Video: Deficit problem? What deficit problem?

posted at 11:25 am on August 10, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Our colleague Greg Hengler captures AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka attempting to blame everyone — the press, Republicans, and even himself — for worries over the expanding deficits. There is “no deficit problem,” Trumka insists, while Greg adds the helpful graphic of initial deficit projections from March 2009 into the video. Trumka insists that the only crisis is a jobs crisis (along, weirdly, with an “education crisis”), but fails to acknowledge that they’re related:

First, it’s absurd to insist that the US doesn’t face a deficit crisis. In fact, we face both a short-term deficit crisis and a long-term debt crisis, and the former is feeding the latter. Anyone who thinks that doesn’t matter needs to cast their attention towards Greece and the near-collapse of Western finances in the spring that their debt collapse almost created. Having 40% of our annual federal spending come from bond sales is a big, big problem as we race towards the 110% debt-to-GDP ratio that nearly sank Greece.

Next, the jobs crisis is being aggravated and extended by the deficit crisis.  Investors know that the US has to eventually pay that money back to its lenders.  That will mean either rapid inflation to devalue the debt, higher taxes, or deep cuts in regulation and federal services.  Since the current leadership in the White House and Congress won’t even consider Option 3, the rational prediction is that either Option 1 or 2 will get tried, or perhaps both.  Plus, the explosion of regulation in this administration has made hiring much more expensive, as Michael Fleischer explained this week in the Wall Street Journal:

Every year, we negotiate a renewal to our health coverage. This year, our provider demanded a 28% increase in premiums—for a lesser plan. This is in part a tax increase that the federal government has co-opted insurance providers to collect. We had never faced an increase anywhere near this large; in each of the last two years, the increase was under 10%.

To offset tax increases and steepening rises in health-insurance premiums, my company needs sustainably higher profits and sales—something unlikely in this “summer of recovery.” We can’t pass the additional costs onto our customers, because the market is too tight and we’d lose sales. Only governments can raise prices repeatedly and pretend there will be no consequences.

And even if the economic outlook were more encouraging, increasing revenues is always uncertain and expensive. As much as I might want to hire new salespeople, engineers and marketing staff in an effort to grow, I would be increasing my company’s vulnerability to government decisions to raise taxes, to policies that make health insurance more expensive, and to the difficulties of this economic environment.

A life in business is filled with uncertainties, but I can be quite sure that every time I hire someone my obligations to the government go up. From where I sit, the government’s message is unmistakable: Creating a new job carries a punishing price.

What causes the deficit?  Expanded government authority and regulation, which requires massive expansion of the bureaucracy to implement and enforce.  Since Democrats took control of the budgeting process in 2007, the federal budget has increased 38%, from $2.77 trillion to over $3.8 trillion, all of it in deficit spending.

We do have a jobs crisis in the US.  It’s caused by an out of control federal government that is choking the private sector in red tape and scaring off investors with its wildly irresponsible level of spending.  Trumka wants to pretend that they’re not related, and he blames everyone else for not joining in his fantasy.

Update: Dustin Siggins has a related piece: The debt-paying generation has arrived.  Welcome to the party, folks!  Now clean up!


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Republicans should put this fat mug in every ad for November….just sayin’

SDarchitect on August 10, 2010 at 11:30 AM

..Echoooooo..Echoooooo..Echoooooo..Echoooooo..Echoooooo..

It’s easy to blame the press? More like giving credit where credit is due?

The War Planner on August 10, 2010 at 11:31 AM

This is the best political speech of 2010.

The deficit is a huge problem and we need more people who can communicate it to a broad audience in an effective way. Reagan was a great communicator, but we might need someone even better today.

dnlchisholm on August 10, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Trumka has knocked on thousands of doors? Yeah, and flying monkeys…well you know the rest.

If only we could all be unionized, the place would be a veritable Eden.

Bishop on August 10, 2010 at 11:34 AM

kneepads “Made in America”….

wear ‘em, bub. You earned ‘em.

ted c on August 10, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Tax cuts cause economic collapse just like hospitals cause disease. It’s obvious. Where are all the sickest people in town? Hospitals. There you go.

RBMN on August 10, 2010 at 11:37 AM

AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka = quintessential union thug.

BuckeyeSam on August 10, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Anything and everything to protect the unions and their corruption.

Mirimichi on August 10, 2010 at 11:39 AM

I’m starting to wonder if the left really is this deranged. Just recently we’ve had Paul Krugman saying we need to spend trillions more in stimulus, Eleanor Clift insisting that deficits don’t matter because we can always print the money, Van Jones claiming that we don’t have a deficit but rather a surplus, and now this AFL-CIO tool also denying there are any deficits. I always thought they were just trying to BS everyone, but it’s sounding like they really do believe what they’re saying.

Doughboy on August 10, 2010 at 11:40 AM

What a sweet faced, kindly spoken THUG….

lol

Talk about lipstick on a pig!!

golfmann on August 10, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Lose the mustache, seriously.

Bishop on August 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM

What do you expect from someone who lives off of union dues?

ButterflyDragon on August 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Federal workers earning double their private counterparts

At a time when workers’ pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees’ average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

petefrt on August 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Why aren’t people who tell such outrageous lies simply laughed off the set and forever disgraced?

James on August 10, 2010 at 11:44 AM

If he’s knock n on 20 or 30 thousand doors a week. How does he find time to lallygag and lie on TV? Shouldn’t he get it fat butt outside.

roflmao

donabernathy on August 10, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Does anyone service the truth any longer? How can you sit there, with a straight face and not acknowledge the deficit and spending problems we have? Maybe he’s referring to the “union” deficits, which they probably don’t have any these days because they’re getting all fat and happy making sh!t cars that can’t get from A to B without a new Energizer battery recharge and that no one will buy unless they’re a self-righteous liberal that 2 years ago would’ve never sniffed twice at an American car because they’re driven by rednecks and NASCAR drivers. American cars weren’t cool to the left until a socialist put his blessed hand upon them and deemed them so.

These guys are living a fairy tale. At some point, there’ll be a situation with an open window, a threat to jump, and someone screaming about how all that they thought they knew was a lie….Mr. Trumka, reality is calling….

ted c on August 10, 2010 at 11:48 AM

The unions don’t have a deficit problem.

They are swimming in [our] money.

Unions don’t live in our world.

fogw on August 10, 2010 at 11:48 AM

There is no deficit problem just like there is no terrorist threat…

crazy_legs on August 10, 2010 at 11:49 AM

and we were never at war with Eastasia….

continue your reeducation, citizen.

ted c on August 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM

In the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), protagonist Winston Smith is a civil servant responsible for perpetuating the Party’s propaganda by revising historical records to render the Party omniscient and always correct, yet his meagre existence disillusions him to the point of seeking rebellion against Big Brother, eventually leading to his arrest, torture, and conversion.

one wonders if this union facade will one day crack and that we will see some “Winston Smiths” emerge….

ted c on August 10, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Van Jones claiming that we don’t have a deficit but rather a surplus…

We have a deficit surplus!

Mike Honcho on August 10, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Definately not the NO SPIN ZONE!!

reshas1 on August 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM

dnlchisholm on August 10, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Thanks Mitt for directing us to your site on every thread and for reminding us how annoying and late to the party you are. By the way hows that MassatoochitsCare workin out for your state?
And your the guy to stop Obamacare?

I wouldn’t post somethin so negative if you weren’t so annoying Mitt.

dhunter on August 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM

So, is this guy saying that all those complaints about George W. Bushs’ budget deficits were hogwash?

parke on August 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Hispanic version of Gary Coleman???

reshas1 on August 10, 2010 at 12:01 PM

The deficit and debt isn’t a problem and anyway, it’s all Bush’s fault (that’s Krugman’s argument among others.

I’m not buying either one of those.

SteveMG on August 10, 2010 at 12:01 PM

fogw on August 10, 2010 at 11:48 AM

amen

cmsinaz on August 10, 2010 at 12:02 PM

My God… She barely could ask the question… Spit it out… Just ask the damn question… ’Are the Dems spending too much, and is that damaging the economy?’

RalphyBoy on August 10, 2010 at 12:04 PM

I guess you don’t have to be very smart to head the AFL-CIO?

d1carter on August 10, 2010 at 12:05 PM

“It’s easy to blame the press…”
.
“What’s your union local, little lady?”
.
“I’m not in a union! Ha Ha HA!”
.
“Then I suggest you get involved as soon as possible since unions make it possible for people in your profession trade to work… for fair wages and especially, hospitalization coverage. We’re clear on this, right?”

ExpressoBold on August 10, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Why don’t these fools look to China when it actually make sense to do so? The Chinese try to run a current account surplus because that’s how you maintain high employment. There will be more jobs if we start paying back our debt–or at least slow down its growth. Economics isn’t that hard. Money is just a stand-in for goods and services. If we borrow $500 billion from abroad, that means $500 billion worth of additional import must flow into our economy, displacing domestic production.

Another way to look at it is American T-bills are competing against American products abroad for the US dollars in foreign hands.

year_of_the_dingo on August 10, 2010 at 12:12 PM

My God… She barely could ask the question… Spit it out… Just ask the damn question… ’Are the Dems spending too much, and is that damaging the economy?’

RalphyBoy on August 10, 2010 at 12:04 PM

That’s because she and her colleagues are intimidated by these gangsters. All of them have the same arrogant, threatening demeanor. They look like they are just daring you to ask a question that just might bring physical harm to you and your family.

Did you notice the little Saddam Hussein mustache? Same personality.

Vince on August 10, 2010 at 12:16 PM

I guess you don’t have to be very smart to head the AFL-CIO?

d1carter on August 10, 2010 at 12:05 PM

When the bar is set infinitesimally low by the Idiot-in-Chief…..

dmh0667 on August 10, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Lose the mustache, seriously.

Bishop on August 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Hey, don’t mock the Polish mustache.

year_of_the_dingo on August 10, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Unions should not get the time of day until they fully fund their pensions.As bo would say “not one dime”.

tim c on August 10, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Good lord, what the hell does Richard Trumka know about anything other than extortion, pinky rings and canolis?

He probably can’t even read.

Sounds like your average Democrat Congressman, come to think of it.

NoDonkey on August 10, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Bueller Bob

Oy

pambi on August 10, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Yikes! We’re ALL to blame? Are you kidding me? What planet is this guy from?

Yes, the government leeches and labor leaders are about 100% of the problem.

Mojave Mark on August 10, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Union = Criminal.

It’s that simple.

tetriskid on August 10, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Ignoramus.

rrpjr on August 10, 2010 at 1:12 PM

This chump lives lavishly off the dues of people he “represents” by joining forces with those in D.C. that want to ruin industry….which employs union workers.

My own take is that if you are in a union and don’t look beyond your own Local for information, you deserve what you get. Sadly I think that most of them don’t. What’s going to be a real kick in the arse for them is when they realize that gubmint now only cares about public employee unions.

TugboatPhil on August 10, 2010 at 1:15 PM

We do have a jobs crisis in the US. It’s caused by an out of control federal government that is choking the private sector in red tape and scaring off investors with its wildly irresponsible level of spending.

You’re 1000% correct and with all the new taxes and regulations coming, we are looking at an economic earthquake.

Yes, the government leeches and labor leaders are about 100% of the problem.

Mojave Mark on August 10, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Public sector paychecks and retirements are now way higher than private sector. With few layoffs. Remember, they always threaten to fire Cops, Firemen and teachers first to protect that middle tier political hack BLOAT.

dogsoldier on August 10, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Will ya just look at that mug! Tell me thats not a classic example of a union thug.

royzer on August 10, 2010 at 1:44 PM

We don’t have a defict problem? At what point does it become a problem?

tgillian on August 10, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Maybe he should knock on the doors of taxpayers instead of welfare recipients and illegal aliens.

ctmom on August 10, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Unions should not get the time of day until they fully fund their pensions.As bo would say “not one dime”.

tim c on August 10, 2010 at 12:30 PM

I would suggest that unions not be allowed to make political contributions unless their pensions funds are 100% funded. Otherwise it looks too much like a political payoff for a union bailout. It worked very well for the UAW.

slickwillie2001 on August 10, 2010 at 2:19 PM

Whether they stayed home election day, voted for the Regime, or only put out the effort to vote against the Regime, This IS What America Voted For!

American’s always get the goBernment it deserves. If you don’t like it then get off of your big FAT ASSetts and go do something about it as I am … Again! :P

DannoJyd on August 10, 2010 at 3:09 PM

I wish the lard ass creep would knock on my door!

Gang-of-One on August 10, 2010 at 3:22 PM

There no problem with my checking account. I still have checks!

roflmao

donabernathy on August 10, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Deficit problem? Of course not. The deficit is well-fed and growing by leaps and bounds!

oakland on August 10, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Trumka looks like Porky Pig. But Porky at least had some class.

GarandFan on August 10, 2010 at 5:58 PM

None of the interviewers thought to ask him to define “problem”? Did the interviewers have charts? Facts? Anything? Did they pin him down later in the interview, or let the creep filibuster and knock down strawmen? That clip was just sad.

nottakingsides on August 10, 2010 at 6:59 PM