General discussion


Today is National Carrot Cake Day

By maxwell edison ·
To recognize this very important day - something created because some representative in some former session of the U.S Congress thought it was important enough to write and present a resolution for discussion, debate, and/or vote - here's what I did.

I was reminded that I bought a piece of carrot cake in Phoenix, Arizona 10 days ago, but had only consumed part of it, and what remained of that delightful pastry was still in my refrigerator.

To symbolize what the U.S. Congress does with its time - and our money - I retrieved that half-eaten treat and sent it on a one-way trip down the garbage disposal and into the sewer system.

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Though I perfectly understand why...

...I still must ask this one question: Why would you waste a perfectly good carrot cake?

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You replied in the manner I was hoping for

by maxwell edison In reply to Though I perfectly unders ...

Either humorous or sarcastic.

P.S. After 10 days in a cooler (in my car) or in the refrigerator (at my house), I thought it getting rather old - just like the over-spending by every session of Congress over the past forty years.

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From Gregg Easterbrook (TMQ ESPN--long post)

by NotSoChiGuy In reply to You replied in the manner ...

In 1781, George Washington Said Federal Borrowing Was Wrong -- It "Ungenerously Throw Upon Posterity the Burden Which We Ourselves Ought to Bear" Last week, in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama spoke of the need to restore fiscal discipline and end runaway borrowing. Members of Congress clapped and nodded approval. The following day -- the following day! -- the Senate voted to raise the national debt ceiling by $2 trillion, to $14.3 trillion. Resolve about reducing debt didn't even last 24 hours in the Senate. Then on Monday, President Obama released his next federal budget proposal, complete with a projected fiscal 2010 deficit of $1.6 trillion -- the worst-ever peacetime deficit -- and $100 billion in new deficit-based spending that Obama neglected to mention when speaking to Congress. The president's resolve about reducing the debt didn't even last a week.

Just five years ago, it was considered shocking when George W. Bush submitted a federal budget containing what was then the worst-ever peacetime deficit of $271 billion, stated in today's dollars. Now no one seems to shrug when the Congressional Budget Office projects mega-deficits for at least a decade to come. America has many problems, but no national emergency. If we are already borrowing to the hilt to subsidize today's interest groups at the expense of the young, what will we do if there is an emergency?

A decade ago, the total U.S. national debt, converted to today's dollars, was $7 trillion. This year the total debt will hit $14 trillion. That means that in the past 10 years alone, the United States has incurred as much debt as was accumulated by our republic in its entire previous 211 years of existence. And the plan is to borrow, borrow, borrow more without accountability or the slightest restraint.

In his address, Obama called for a "spending freeze" not now, but next year. I'll quit smoking next year! The freeze would apply only to the roughly 15 percent of the federal budget that is not Social Security (the largest federal spending item), Medicare and Medicaid (No. 2), defense, interest on the debt -- or anything Congress stamps the word "emergency" on, such as the "second stimulus" handout many interest groups are demanding. Actually, such legislation would be a third stimulus -- Congress enacted a $152 billion debt-based stimulus bill in 2008, and a $787 billion debt-based stimulus bill in 2009. Calling the new bag of candy being demanded the "second" stimulus makes the idea sound less reckless and less like the institution of an annual giveaway to whatever special-interest groups have bought the most access that year.

In the course of conceding that no spending discipline would even be attempted until 2011 -- I'll lose weight in 2011 for sure -- the president declared, "We've already identified $20 billion in savings for next year." That amount would represent barely more than 1 percent of the projected 2011 deficit. But if the White House has "already identified" $20 billion that can be cut from the federal budget, why doesn't the cut take effect immediately? Because we'll quit smoking next year! When interest groups wanted handouts in the form of the 2008 and 2009 stimulus bills, and banks and Wall Street wanted handouts, the money began flowing right away, no waiting. When the president proposes an extremely modest spending restriction, it's delayed until the following year -- in order to give interest groups time to demand that the money be restored.

Won't we be saved by Paygo? After listening to the presidential address, the Senate voted to impose the Paygo rule on itself -- that any new appropriations must be offset by equivalent spending cuts or tax increases. The House of Representatives imposed the Paygo rule on itself in January 2007, and the U.S. national debt has risen by $5.4 trillion since. How can debt skyrocket under a pay-as-you-go system? Paygo applies to all spending bills -- unless they are security, defense, entitlements or interest on the national debt (those categories are the lion's share of federal spending) or unless they are "emergency" legislation. Essentially, every spending bill that has passed through the House in the past three years has had the word "emergency" in it somewhere, generating a waiver from Paygo. The Paygo concept is a complete fraud -- it almost seems designed for the purpose of insulting the intelligence of voters. And now the Senate has joined the fraud.

During the run-up to the 2008 mortgage-market implosion, many individual Americans and many investment firms borrowed in an outlandish manner, living high briefly while acting as if tomorrow would never come. It came. For the past five years, the U.S. government, under Republican and Democratic control alike, has been borrowing in an outlandish manner as if tomorrow will never come. It will come.


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So I guess Gregg Easterbrook

by IC-IT In reply to From Gregg Easterbrook (T ...

Just declared peace and we are no longer involved in two wars.

This guy has so many incomplete facts in this piece.

A spending freeze is not enacted now because the budget hasn't passed, nor is the fisical year here.
I believe Obama's budget includes funding for the wars, Bush's "peacetime" budget didn't.
Other than rambling on with inaccurate or misleading facts, does he have a point that we are unaware of?

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Off-topic - What does this have to do with sports?

by CharlieSpencer In reply to From Gregg Easterbrook (T ...

While I follow his points, ESPN strikes me as an odd place to raise the topic.

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Did he actually have one

by IC-IT In reply to Off-topic - What does thi ...

Other than whining about spending and deficits; which he clearly doesn't comprehend?

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Even at that age

by drowningnotwaving In reply to You replied in the manner ...

You should still have been able to get the icing off the top.

Ther is always an upside.

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icing off the top today. . . . .

by maxwell edison In reply to Even at that age

..... equals filling around the middle tomorrow. (And I don't need any more filling!)

Yes, I know. I'd already eaten the whole half, so what would it matter?

The whole half? Sure it makes sense!

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10 days?

by .Martin. In reply to You replied in the manner ...

10 days is nothing

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You're probably right

by maxwell edison In reply to 10 days?

It was probably fine after 10 days, but it certainly wasn't fresh.

I'm pretty much a fresh kind of guy. I can't get through a loaf of bread before some of it gets too stale for my liking. Some people would still eat it, but I'll give it to the squirrels.

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