Friendly reminder from GAO: You’re about to hit the entitlement iceberg, people

posted at 8:31 pm on December 4, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

While we meddle on the margins and stay safely ballparks away from anything that might actually tackle our deficit and debt problems:

The Government Accountability Office warned in a report Monday that if cuts are not made to mandatory spending — including Social Security and Medicare — there will be a fundamental gap between spending and revenue as more baby boomers retire.

“Significant actions to change the long-term fiscal path must be taken,” the GAO warned.

Strangely, the Government Accountability Office does not headline this report with the $800 billion we can raise over 10 years from tax hikes on those making over $250K as a killer solution to our “unsustainable long-term fiscal path.” Odd, that. What it does headline is huge debts caused by entitlement spending— that’d be the spending Republicans have signaled a willingness to tackle while Democrats have insisted we stop up our ears and get to the tax hikin’. The whole paper is here.

As Jim Pethokoukis puts it, “Another day, another government agency, another scary US debt chart.”

Holy Schnikeys

The Alternative baseline — the non-magic unicorn baseline — is the one you should pay attention to. The real difference between Baseline Extended and Alternative is that the latter assumes an unreformed entitlement system.

And the longer we wait to deal with the entitlement debt problem, the bigger the problem becomes and the more dramatic action will be needed to wrangle it.

For example, to keep debt held by the public as a share of GDP in 2086 from exceeding its level at the beginning of 2012 (roughly 68% of GDP) in our Alternative simulation, the fiscal gap is 8.3% of GDP. This means that revenue would have to increase by 46% or noninterest spending would have to be reduced by about 32% (or some combination of the two) on average over the 75-year period. Even more significant changes would be needed to reduce debt to lower levels. …

However, the longer action is delayed the greater the risk that the eventual changes will be disruptive and destabilizing. Under our Alternative simulation, waiting 10 years would increase the fiscal gap to nearly 10% of GDP— meaning a revenue increase of more than 54% or a noninterest spending cut of about 37% or some combination of the two would be required to bring debt held by the public back to its level in 2012 by 2086.

He has plenty more on why even those forecasts are likely too rosey.

Meanwhile, we have one party in Washington utterly unwilling to touch entitlements (aside from this weird peep from Hoyer today), which rejects even Simpson-Bowles-inspired plans to address them out of hand, yet is lauded in the press as the reasonable and adult of the two parties. We have another party that put the guy who risked his entire political career on a good-faith effort to reform entitlements on its national ticket (and by the way, still won senior citizens) being scolded for offering too few details by the party that hasn’t passed a budget in three years. Any guess which party the naked protesters and hecklers belong to? Adult! I don’t claim that Republicans don’t play their share of smoke-and-mirrors games on cuts, but let’s not pretend Democrats are paragons of putting pen to paper when the most talked-about papers were coming from Paul Ryan, who of course was roundly punished in the press for his work.

Oh, but the White House proposal boasts $600 billion in entitlement program cuts, you say? No, not so much:

But a good chunk of this “mandatory” money is not what would be considered entitlement spending — or at least aimed at health-care entitlements. The most up-to-date summary is in the administration’s mid-session review, in which Table S-3 shows $326 billion in health-care savings and $254 billion in “other mandatory savings.” (We had explored how Democrats sometimes mistout the health-care savings in a previous column.)

The “mandatory” side of the budget means the changes are permanent and not subject to annual congressional appropriations. That’s why Geithner could call them “mandatory programs,” though at one point he also called them “entitlement programs.” But they are not “spending cuts” in the traditional sense.

What are some of these “mandatory savings?” The administration lists them in the original 2013 budget, and they include:

■$61.3 billion from “impose a financial crisis responsibility fee”
■$43.7 billion from “implement Internal Revenue Service program integrity cap”
■$27.4 billion from “increase employee contribution” to federal retirement programs.
■$44 billion from “adjust payment timing”

In fact, some $100 billion of these “cuts”come from Geithner’s department. But are these cuts in the Treasury Department? No, the numbers represent additional fees and better IRS enforcement — not what an ordinary person would consider a spending cut. (We realize that Republicans and Democrats may count these as cuts, looking through the prism of the federal budget, but it still not the same thing as an entitlement cut.)

The $44 billion from adjusting the timing in payments is especially dubious — a one-time savings that takes place in 2022, the last year of the budget window. Presumably, those dollars are just transferred to the next 10-year budget window.

Chris Cillizza and David Gergen finally noticed yesterday that Democrats and liberals seem pretty keen on slipping over the cliff, despite possible economic damage. Yes, that’s because they can be nearly 100 percent sure the press will never punish Democrats for not making a deal. They haven’t punished them for breaking the law by not passing budgets for three years, even though they admit they simply don’t want to put their ideas on paper because of political considerations. There was hardly a price to pay for any failure of Obama’s first four years in office because there was a Republican in office before him, so why wouldn’t they assume they can successfully pin the blame on Republicans still actually in office? The calculus has to change for them if anyone expects them to do anything that might avert debt disaster, ever. The press does us all a disservice by not dissecting President Obama’s current plan and four years of utter abdication on budget and debt issues with the same gusto and skepticism it reserves for Mitt Romney’s CostCo shopping cart contents.

All that being said, Republicans can’t ignore the fact that the public is placing blame on them, fairly or unfairly. Counting on the press to be fair enough to change the dynamic is a fool’s errand. It’s therefore the responsibility of Republican leadership to present its ideas with some kind of understanding of the unfriendly ground on which it’s playing. For instance, at least holding a press conference for what it hopes will be a game-changing counter-offer instead of sending a letter that’s quickly ignored in time to get back to Obama’s talking points. Oh, and doing this on the same day. When given a choice between Republican infighting and a letter about a Simpson-Bowles-like proposal by Republicans, which did Boehner think the press would choose? Guy Benson explains how that roll-out could have looked, here. Read the whole thing. We will all have our criticisms of what the team’s game plan should look like, but it’d be nice to have some assurance they’re at least gonna get off the bus.

And, again, as the GAO points out again today, we’re all playing a borderline criminal game of small ball when compared to the challenges ahead. No worries, though. This Dream Team is about to fix everything.

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What could go wrong?

RealMc on December 4, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Not a fair simile. Captain Smith was smugly sure of his invincibility that night. Captain Obama is DELIBERATELY AIMING for that iceberg, dead ahead. He WANTS to jump this nation off that fiscal cliff. He and his handlers are NOT honest negotiators in this deal, and every pundit treating him and democrats’ positions as if they were is a god-damned moron.

rayra on December 4, 2012 at 8:35 PM

That the entitlement disasters were looming large in the latter part of this decade have been known and discussed since the first year of Reagan’s presidency.

Show me a Democrat who has consistently voted for entitlement restraint at any point over the last three decades, and I’ll show you both Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster…

Wanderlust on December 4, 2012 at 8:38 PM

We’ve lost the Republic.

We’re about to lose Democracy and the country.

Skywise on December 4, 2012 at 8:40 PM

■$61.3 billion from “impose a financial crisis responsibility fee”
■$43.7 billion from “implement Internal Revenue Service program integrity cap”
■$27.4 billion from “increase employee contribution” to federal retirement programs.
■$44 billion from “adjust payment timing”

I like this game. :)

Item. “Backpack of holding.” 250 Rupees. -10 Stamina.
Item. “Leet pelt.” 5 Rupees. (Can convert to plasma.)
Item. “Alien dung.” 5 Rupees. (Can convert to explosive.)
Item. “Bubblegum wrapper left in the acid rain.” No-drop. Quest item.
Item. “S.asquatch foot casting.” No-drop. Quest item.
Item. “Tears of Boehner.” 25 Rupees. +2 Health.
Item. “Chakra of Gore.” 500 Rupees. +10 Melee, (30 seconds).

Axe on December 4, 2012 at 8:43 PM

I’m not worried. I have every confidence in the President’s willingness and ability to rearrange deck chairs… if only those damned Republicans would stop trying to steer the ship.

Iceberg dead ahead? Forward!

malclave on December 4, 2012 at 8:44 PM

$43.7 billion from “implement Internal Revenue Service program integrity cap”

Who knew that the IRS had any integrity at all, much less $43.7 billion worth?

malclave on December 4, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Show me a Democrat who has consistently voted for entitlement restraint at any point over the last three decades, and I’ll show you both Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster…

Wanderlust on December 4, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Whoa. Same page. :)

Axe on December 4, 2012 at 8:47 PM

The iceberg is clearly racist, or it would move out of the way.

NapaConservative on December 4, 2012 at 8:51 PM

If Obama was at the helm of the Titanic he would have offered first class accommodations for those traveling steerage just as the bow was slipping beneath the waves. “Just vote me in for one more term as Captain, you morons!”

Deano1952 on December 4, 2012 at 8:51 PM

And the GOP is about to get 100% of the blame for the Democrats’ utter destructiveness, just as conservative after conservative throws up his hands in disgust and says “I’ve had it with the GOP. Let them drown in their own waste.”

And Boehner still wants to play by Queensbury rules with their colleagues across the aisle. (*shakes head*)

Aitch748 on December 4, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Another thought: If Barfy refuses to negotiate and thus pushes us over the fiscal cliff, he might have grounds to use the national emergency to declare martial law and suspend all future elections until the govt deems the emergency to be over.

King For Life. Fcuk the republican antagonists and the useful idiot dems.

NapaConservative on December 4, 2012 at 8:58 PM

All that being said, Republicans can’t ignore the fact that the public is placing blame on them, fairly or unfairly. Counting on the press to be fair enough to change the dynamic is a fool’s errand. It’s therefore the responsibility of Republican leadership to present its ideas with some kind of understanding of the unfriendly ground on which it’s playing.

In other words, the GOP is really, really hosed…

Bruno Strozek on December 4, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Friendly reminder from GAO: You’re about to hit the entitlement iceberg, people
===============

Maybe Hopey/Changey can sprinkle *MAGIC BEANS AND FAIRY DUST* on it,
and it will br Fair For Everyone……………(sarc)

Obama WH: GOP cliff plan is ‘magic beans & fairy dust’

Posted on December 4, 2012 at 2:58pm
*****************************************

The latest from Obama’s uber-mature White House press secretary:

VIDEO:(0:39)

Most conservatives are arguing that the GOP’s counter-offer to avoid the fiscal cliff already

goes too far.

Fiscal Cliff: House Republican Proposal Abandons Core Principles, Gains Little
December 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/12/03/fiscal-cliff-house-republican-proposal-abandons-core-principles-gains-little/

I’m getting the feeling these “fiscal cliff” talks aren’t going to end well…
===========

http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2012/12/04/obama-wh-gop-cliff-plan-is-magic-beans-fairy-dust/

canopfor on December 4, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Le crapola,thats be Fair,not (br).

canopfor on December 4, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Before the election, there was an analogy that re-electing Obama would be like backing up the Titanic and ramming the iceberg a second time. Sadly, Captain Barry is back on the bridge.

I’ll show you both Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster…

Wanderlust on December 4, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Did someone ask for Bigfoot? I’ve been commenting here for years. On the other hand, I haven’t seen Nessie yet.

Bigfoot on December 4, 2012 at 9:08 PM

The iceberg is clearly racist, or it would move out of the way.

NapaConservative on December 4, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Well, it is white after all.

predator on December 4, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Friendly reminder from GAO: You’re about to hit the entitlement iceberg, people
===============

Speaking of Banking/Financial..NIGHTMARES……….

Brace For Impact:

Elizabeth Warren selected to join Senate Banking Committee next year, Democratic source says – @politico
========================================

Bankers on Warren: What, us worry?
12/4/12 11:01 AM EST
Updated: 12/4/12 6:10 PM EST
****************************

Elizabeth Warren is ready to further cement her position

as a top Wall Street watchdog

having all but officially secured a seat on the Senate Banking Committee.(More………..)
===========================

http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/warren-senate-banking-committee-84561.html

canopfor on December 4, 2012 at 9:13 PM

The iceberg is clearly racist, or it would move out of the way.

NapaConservative on December 4, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Well, it is white after all.

predator on December 4, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Don’t think no one noticed the misogyny, you two. Why didn’t you both just come out and say it? “Get your big butt back in the kitchen and make me a sammich.”

Everyone knows you were thinking it.

Axe on December 4, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Obama, Barack Hussein
Deck Chair Re-arranger, Third Class
R.M.S. Titanic

Left Coast Right Mind on December 4, 2012 at 9:16 PM

The iceberg is clearly racist, or it would move out of the way.

NapaConservative on December 4, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Well, it is white after all.

predator on December 4, 2012 at 9:11 PM

predator:

*Sounds like a Stimulus Cash Call for Mapping
these evil ice sheets,and icebergs*(sarc)

canopfor on December 4, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Why does Boehner trot his plan into the WH anyway?

He’s the freakin Speaker of the House. Just put a bill before the house. Vote on it. Send it to the Senate.

Do it every day. Make the Dems in the Senate vote it down.

stenwin77 on December 4, 2012 at 9:17 PM

” For instance, at least holding a press conference for what it hopes will be a game-changing counter-offer instead of sending a letter that’s quickly ignored in time to get back to Obama’s talking points.”

You noticed that too…

… and we wonder why we are loosing the arguement.

Seven Percent Solution on December 4, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Everyone knows you were thinking it.

Axe on December 4, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Dang! Busted again!

predator on December 4, 2012 at 9:18 PM

canopfor on December 4, 2012 at 9:16 PM

:)

predator on December 4, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Breaking,Hopey is standing his ground in Stilletto’s (sarc)

Dec. 4, 2012, 3:08 p.m. EST
White House: GOP deal ‘magic beans and fairy dust’
Obama digs in his heels on higher taxes for wealthy
****************************************************

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/obama-holds-firm-on-tax-hike-for-wealthy-2012-12-04?link=MW_latest_news

canopfor on December 4, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Dang! Busted again!

predator on December 4, 2012 at 9:18 PM

NOTHING CAN HIDE from the progressive imagination! :)

Axe on December 4, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Progressively skrewed… by both sides…

L.i.B. :-)

War on the Rich commencing in 5…4…3…2…

Scrumpy on December 4, 2012 at 9:24 PM

The Democratic “plan” is to ignore it. Maybe the problem will just go away on it’s own.

GarandFan on December 4, 2012 at 9:25 PM

This is some sick s*it…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cwg4DB-EeEA

Courtesy the CA Teachers Union…

Scrumpy on December 4, 2012 at 9:26 PM

These entitlements are well hidden within our government , they don’t produce an item that can be taxed yet it’s our tax money that funds them. read down through them A – Z some titles are quite funny. Do you think for a moment that these agencies are not stuffed with friends and family of politicians. You’ll never hear that they are going to be unfunded but medicare, Veterans, and social security will be threatened, to stir up the public and get them screaming. There are thousands of millions listed here so give a look. ……..http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/index.shtml……..

mixplix on December 4, 2012 at 9:29 PM

nothing to see here, move along
-dems

cmsinaz on December 4, 2012 at 9:30 PM

social security is off the table
-dickie durbin

cmsinaz on December 4, 2012 at 9:30 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cwg4DB-EeEA

Courtesy the CA Teachers Union…

Scrumpy on December 4, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Is that actually Ed Asner’s voice in that agitprop?

Axe on December 4, 2012 at 9:32 PM

@MK — You seen this thing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cwg4DB-EeEA

Axe on December 4, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Axe on December 4, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Why Yes! Yes it is!

Scrumpy on December 4, 2012 at 9:34 PM

The REAL war on the rich in 5…4…3…

Scrumpy on December 4, 2012 at 9:34 PM

At three minutes in, the cartoon rich man is urinating on the middle class as a graphic explanation of “trickle down economics.”

All stop.

Making a camp here for a bit. Thanks for this link Scrump. :)

Axe on December 4, 2012 at 9:39 PM

NOT if we print more money and hump it right into circulation.

Bishop on December 4, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Left Coast Right Mind on December 4, 2012 at 9:16 PM

+1

cmsinaz on December 4, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Axe on December 4, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Yeah we need to know what we are up against cuz the thing is against the ‘rich’ and repubs without making much mention of the party…

Disgusting…

Hannity showed a clip and I had to find it, The Blaze had a story on their website, which is where I got the youtube link from…

Scrumpy on December 4, 2012 at 9:41 PM

“Significant actions to change the long-term fiscal path must be taken,” the GAO warned.

Um… Weren’t we just told that is the talk of magic beans and fairy dust?

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Dems all have friends in the media so they know how to handle the PR for rolling ourt their stupid ideas. I can’t for the life of me figure out why with so much money the Rs haven’t done a better job of at least trying to understand how to communicate to American people.

earlgrey133 on December 4, 2012 at 9:54 PM

earlgrey133 on December 4, 2012 at 9:54 PM

The American people don’t like the message of having to curb entitlements. They love the Dems “what can we give you” message.

Deano1952 on December 4, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Axe on December 4, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Here I was thinking this was your Bug Out Bag contents:)

MarshFox on December 4, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Scrumpy on December 4, 2012 at 9:41 PM

There is so much hypocrisy in that, I am not sure where to start and they are using the same format as my beloved School House Rock, man these people have no decency at all! My question to Mr Narrator( Ed Asner) would be, so when is Timmy Geitner getting fired since he is part of the one percent and helped cause the crash. Oh wait that’s right, he is buds with the President, who also took lots of Money from those sleazy 1%s.

I am not sure Scrumpy, but I am going with the self licking ice cream cone on this for an anology, what say you?

MarshFox on December 4, 2012 at 10:41 PM

$43.7 billion from “implement Internal Revenue Service program integrity cap”

Who knew that the IRS had any integrity at all, much less $43.7 billion worth?

malclave on December 4, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Its called “Liberals finely pay the taxes they owe.” Including members of Congress.

riddick on December 4, 2012 at 10:44 PM

Here I was thinking this was your Bug Out Bag contents:)

MarshFox on December 4, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Add popcorn, a Zippo, and a tube of triple-antibiotic — and we’re good. :)

Axe on December 4, 2012 at 10:50 PM

If only the GOP had got out of the way of the Democrats Big Government Spending plans, we’d have hit the Entitlement Berg a couple decades ago and that would all be behind us now. So it’s the GOP’s fault…

drfredc on December 4, 2012 at 10:51 PM

I got my unicorn last week. I’m fine.
That cartoon is spooky. Reminds me of Soviet propaganda films. Produced by the teachers union so what goes on in the classroom. Think I know.

BullShooterAsInElk on December 4, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Axe on December 4, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Agreed! You get my message on your site, Mr. Code Writer:)

MarshFox on December 4, 2012 at 10:54 PM

The American people don’t like the message of having to curb entitlements. They love the Dems “what can we give you” message.

Deano1952 on December 4, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Santa Claus always wins out over fiscal responsibility. The future generations that will have to pay the bills may not agree. But they don’t vote now.

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2012 at 11:04 PM

No lifeboats, might as well jump off now so I don’t have to hear all the screaming…..

redguy on December 4, 2012 at 11:40 PM

Yes, the Dems want to go over the cliff. They think that is the strategy to eternal power for them. The press is secretly cheerleading for this.

The GOP can only avoid the cliff by giving them Dems exactly what they want. So do it. There is no way to take blame for something that wasn’t your idea.

As everything starts to tank, the press will have to acknowledge that the President got the deal he wanted and the circumstances aren’t so rosy for the economy. Oh yes, they will try to pretend everything is wonderful, but eventually the cracks will show through. If the GOP stays out of the way, there is nothing about the situation they can own.

Let. It. Burn.

I’m teaching my kids how to build and make things, as well as how to write software and how to find discounted necessities to flip in the marketplace. They will have the skills to make a living even when our government collapses. They know how to load and fire weapons, so when the govt dependents come looking to take their stuff because the govt has gone AWOL, my kids won’t be victims.

It’s time to hunker down and let this thing crash.

goflyers on December 4, 2012 at 11:41 PM

The American people don’t like the message of having to curb entitlements. They love the Dems “what can we give you” message.

Deano1952 on December 4, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Santa Claus always wins out over fiscal responsibility. The future generations that will have to pay the bills may not agree. But they don’t vote now.

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2012 at 11:04 PM

That is why the democrats want to give women the right to “choose” –
get rid of those pesky voters before the demo rats have to promise them stuff…..

redguy on December 4, 2012 at 11:42 PM

I’m teaching my kids how to build and make things, as well as how to write software and how to find discounted necessities to flip in the marketplace. They will have the skills to make a living even when our government collapses. They know how to load and fire weapons, so when the govt dependents come looking to take their stuff because the govt has gone AWOL, my kids won’t be victims.

It’s time to hunker down and let this thing crash.

goflyers on December 4, 2012 at 11:41 PM

Watch the “Book of Eli” the part where the old people capture their “dinner”…..
I guess it will all taste like chicken?

redguy on December 4, 2012 at 11:44 PM

Why does Boehner trot his plan into the WH anyway?

He’s the freakin Speaker of the House. Just put a bill before the house. Vote on it. Send it to the Senate.

Do it every day. Make the Dems in the Senate vote it down.

stenwin77 on December 4, 2012 at 9:17 PM

The GOP think they are going to ‘strategerize’ their way through this, not realizing that Zero wants to go over the cliff.

ghostwalker1 on December 5, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Last year, I paid more as a percentage of my income in federal income tax than Barry(20%)or Slow Joe (23%). And because MediCare imposes a tax to the last dollar, I have paid more into the system than most people. Yet when I qualify for Medicare, I shall be paying substantially higher premium because I have saved and invested. How much more depends on the “reforms” the politicians will be bringing in.

So spare me the attacks that I am not paying my fair share.

galtani on December 5, 2012 at 12:20 AM

The iceberg is clearly racist, or it would move out of the way.

NapaConservative on December 4, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Well, it is white after all.

predator on December 4, 2012 at 9:11 PM

….MSM:…”it’s ok!…it’s melting!”

KOOLAID2 on December 5, 2012 at 1:14 AM

galtani on December 5, 2012 at 12:20 AM

You were lucky to have a lot of money, so give it up, sucker!

Wanderlust on December 5, 2012 at 1:19 AM

(Democrats refuse to acknowledge that most people have to work hard to make a lot of money; to them, every rich person is either a supermodel or an A-list actor who, feeling the properly prescribed liberal guilt, considers themselves “lucky” to be fabulously rich – and because they are liberals, the Left gives them a pass…so long as they contribute heavily to Democrat politicians and Leftist political causes)

Wanderlust on December 5, 2012 at 1:22 AM

So spare me the attacks that I am not paying my fair share.

galtani on December 5, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Some teacher taught you to read and write. Probably at a public school or parochial one.

Do you know how many people don’t have computers like you do?

Do you know how many are without electricity?

How about the number of folks without fingers?

I think we all need to give something.

How about a finger for the Democrats?

(Don’t make it the index finger as that is like accusing and it is impolite to point. The ring finger can’t be held high without help. The little finger lacks theatrical presence. And thunmb look like your are approving or hitching a ride.) So use the large middle digit to express emotion for the Dems and the folks who helped you build it!

Hold the chosen one up every time you see them!

IlikedAUH2O on December 5, 2012 at 1:49 AM

Not a fair simile. Captain Smith was smugly sure of his invincibility that night. Captain Obama is DELIBERATELY AIMING for that iceberg, dead ahead. He WANTS to jump this nation off that fiscal cliff. He and his handlers are NOT honest negotiators in this deal, and every pundit treating him and democrats’ positions as if they were is a god-damned moron.

rayra on December 4, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Yes.

davidk on December 5, 2012 at 5:32 AM

On the SS Barack Obama women, children and minorities would be evacuated first. Problem is, no lifeboats were purchased in order to save the trees.

Oh well!

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 5, 2012 at 6:11 AM

What is really needed is a projection from 10 or 20 years ago to overlay on these new projections and see just how capable these forecasters actually are.

That would be the ‘have you paid any attention to this topic’ comparison… plus the ‘are these bozos actually capable of making a graph that represents the real world’ comparison.

ajacksonian on December 5, 2012 at 7:17 AM

Ramming speed, hortator.

Steve Eggleston on December 5, 2012 at 8:08 AM

This means that revenue would have to increase by 46% or noninterest spending would have to be reduced by about 32% (or some combination of the two) on average over the 75-year period.

Been saying: until we start talking about cutting fed spending by FIFTY PERCENT, we will not rein this in and start making progress on the debt.

50% immediate cuts in spending (targeted spending cut at 100%, mandatory and drastic federal workforce reductions, etc.) *and* tax *cuts* damnit, will fix this problem, both with spending too much and getting revenues increasing so we can pay off some damned debt when the economy ROARS back to life once the tax and regulation strangulation is put to an end.

Midas on December 5, 2012 at 8:30 AM

The American people don’t like the message of having to curb entitlements. They love the Dems “what can we give you” message.

Deano1952 on December 4, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Most people I have known and presently know are cowards when it comes to sailing on their own volition.
I will admit to some cowardice on my part, but I will still take the plunge to take responsibility for my own self and not howl & b!tch & whine when I can’t get my piece of gubmint pie.

What is really needed is a projection from 10 or 20 years ago to overlay on these new projections and see just how capable these forecasters actually are.

That would be the ‘have you paid any attention to this topic’ comparison… plus the ‘are these bozos actually capable of making a graph that represents the real world’ comparison.

ajacksonian on December 5, 2012 at 7:17 AM

Looks like a job for someone like Peter Schiff.

Badger40 on December 5, 2012 at 8:32 AM

For example, to keep debt held by the public as a share of GDP in 2086 from exceeding its level at the beginning of 2012 (roughly 68% of GDP) in our Alternative simulation, the fiscal gap is 8.3% of GDP. This means that revenue would have to increase by 46% or noninterest spending would have to be reduced by about 32% (or some combination of the two) on average over the 75-year period. Even more significant changes would be needed to reduce debt to lower levels.

The math is painfully-simple – get government out of the business of welfare and you’ll get the debt under control. Conversely, get the government out of every other business and you still have an out-of-control debt.

Of course, the Free Schidt Gorons don’t give a flying <expletive deleted> about that.

Steve Eggleston on December 5, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Why does Boehner trot his plan into the WH anyway?

He’s the freakin Speaker of the House. Just put a bill before the house. Vote on it. Send it to the Senate.

Do it every day. Make the Dems in the Senate vote it down.

stenwin77 on December 4, 2012 at 9:17 PM

That would never work. How many people do you know who are aware of the fact that the House passed THIRTEEN budget and jobs bills which were never voted on?

The Dems in the Senate wouldn’t vote it down because it would never come to a vote. The media wouldn’t report it. The public wouldn’t know about it.

In other words, status quo.

Washington Nearsider on December 5, 2012 at 9:31 AM

If you care about this subject, you should read the latest blog by Walter Williams.

http://www.creators.com/opinion/walter-williams.html

burt on December 5, 2012 at 9:57 AM

■$61.3 billion from “impose a financial crisis responsibility fee”

Is it me, or does this sounds straight out of “Atlas Shrugged”?

I would actually support a National Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee if it were imposed on those responsible for getting us into the crisis… the politicians. Impose the fee on any politician who voted yes for any passed budget bill in a year in which spending exceeded revenues, and the fee would be the amont of the spending deficit for that year divided by the number of “yes” votes.

gravityman on December 5, 2012 at 10:52 AM

And to complete my prior thought…

F***ing politicians spent it, let them f***ing pay for it!

gravityman on December 5, 2012 at 10:53 AM

I absolutely see no upside at this point for Republicans trying to do anything about this. None.

America has decided it wants Champagne government at Beer prices. The people simply do not want to hear the bad news about what’s going to happen at some undetermined day in the future. They’ve seen virtuially no consequence that they can underatand from a runup of $10 trillion in debt since 2001, and they blame the big banks and Bush for the recession.

The only thing I can see for Republicans to do is just ride it out and hope there is a Democrat in the White House when it we hit the wall.

rockmom on December 5, 2012 at 10:56 AM

[It’s therefore the responsibility of Republican leadership to present its ideas with some kind of understanding of the unfriendly ground on which it’s playing.]

Wrong. What the GOP should do is to try something new – that is, tell the truth and do the right thing.

“We Republicans are willing to keep tax rates where they are or to cut them across the board for everyone. Democrats want tax increases on anyone making over two hundred thousand dollars a year – people like your family doctor…or your favorite plumber or car repair shop. What will this tax increase accomplish? It may result in $80 billion a year in new revenue…enough to run the federal govt from Jan. 1st to Jan. 9th. It’s nonsense. Therefore, we will not vote to raise taxes on anyone because to do so would be fiscally, economically and morally wrong. However, elections have consequences. The American people decided to re-elect Barack Obama; therefore, taxes are going up, and you will have four long years to experience the effects of those tax increases. Luckily, at the end of those four long years, there will be another national election. At that time, you will have a choice to make: elect Democrats and continue to watch them take your hard-earned money or elect Republicans and keep that money in your bank account. The choice – and the responsibility for the consequences of that choice – is yours. Good luck over the next 4 years.”

If they actually had the courage to do something like that, I’d actually think about voting Republican again. But since we know what cowards they are, neither will be happening.

The collapse is coming, sooner or later. Way I see it, better sooner…that way I’ll still be relatively young enough to have a fighting chance of enduring it and making it through to the other side.

rvastar on December 5, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Who cares. Let’s party like it’s 1999 and sing of Obama Claus – he’s coming to town doncha know? Actually he’ll be in “Asia” vacaying at his new home purchased with crony $$$

h/t to Dean Hilgeman

you better not work.
you better not try.
you better not earn.
I’m telling you why.
Obama Claus is coming to town.

He sees you when you’re building.
he wants what you all make.
he’ll tell the 47 per cent.
that being rich is a mistake.

oh you better not work.
you better not try.
you better not earn.
I’m telling you why.
…Obama Claus is coming to town.

he’ll tell you to be thankful.
to bow down and give thanks.
or he’ll send you to a FEMA camp.
to get your thinking “straight”.

oh you better not work.
you better not try.
you better not earn.
I’m telling you why.
Obama Claus is coming to town.

he’ll give you a free cell phone.
say Obamacare is great.
he’ll tell you being a success.
is something you should hate.

oh you better not work.
you better not try.
you better not earn.
I’m telling you why.
Obama Claus is coooming tooo tooown!

AH_C on December 5, 2012 at 2:34 PM