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#402rdmcandie, Posted: Nov 14 2011 at 2:59 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I was just looking at something. I am pretty stoned though so I am probably just tripping out. I know the Economic as a % isn't worse than it was in the 30's. But looking hard numbers, way more people don't have work, things cost a sh*t ton more now than they did then. But to be fair 0 dollars is still 0 dollars, it just takes a lot longer to get back on ones feet financially now considering the minimum "legal" pay has not increased in proportion to the cost of living.
#403 Nov 14 2011 at 3:07 PM Rating: Decent
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rdmcandie wrote:
I was just looking at something. I am pretty stoned though so I am probably just tripping out. I know the Economic as a % isn't worse than it was in the 30's. But looking hard numbers, way more people don't have work, things cost a sh*t ton more now than they did then. But to be fair 0 dollars is still 0 dollars, it just takes a lot longer to get back on ones feet financially now considering the minimum "legal" pay has not increased in proportion to the cost of living.

I agree with Gbaji, they had it right in WW2, the US needs to drastically increase spending, and taxes. It worked the first time. My thought is, why not just mass produce military sh*t, even if you don't use it, you can sell it later to other countries, you can upgrade your entire military to new age sh*t. It created tons of jobs, it led to the end of the great depression, and created the "American Dream" era.

Spend more, and tax more. Its worked before decisively. good call Gbaji.

Ooh, we should promote an arms race with the country that owns most of our debt! (and is already ramping up their own military) Great idea!
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#404 Nov 14 2011 at 4:01 PM Rating: Decent
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You'll discover that the reason those funds were able to be "raided" was because for most of the last decade or so they have been running a surplus.

Not really a "surplus" since it was known that money would be required to pay future obligations. But I'll let you prove you already knew this and try to weasel out...


Huh? For the purpose of intergovernmental debt transfers, a "surplus" is anytime a government program takes in more money over the course of a year than it pays out. For the intergovernmental debt process to occur, there *must* be a surplus in a program. Saying it's not a surplus because the surplus was supposed to be left in place to provide extra money for future years doesn't change the fact that in that year at that time that money was in fact a "surplus".

You're really working hard to work around this one, aren't you?

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I'm not commenting on the wisdom of having taken money from those funds via intergovernmental transfer given that we know they wont continue to run surpluses in years to come

I wouldn't either if I were you. I'd hate for you to look stupider than you already do. Smiley: laugh


I'm speaking purely about the process Joph. Both parties have some blame for the decision to incorporate payroll tax revenue into the general fund and allow intergovernmental transfers to apply. Are we seriously going to run this back to the last 60s to place blame on the system that's in place? This is not new and it's not something you can blame on one party or the other. However, it is relevant to point out that the concept of social security and medicare payments being placed in some kind of trust for the payees to eventually get their money back hasn't been true for 40+ years. Neither your nor I have *ever* paid into a system in which that was true.

What we have done (which I've already explained a couple times before) is pay taxes each year which provide retirement benefits to those people who are retired that year. And the leftover money (if any) is used to help pay for other things the government does that year. It has been this way for our entire working lives Joph. To come in today at the tail end of this process and attempt to cry foul and place blame because "the debt" has magically appeared is absurd.

That debt is a constant factor that is known. While it's significant in its own right, it's still not a good number to use when comparing other government spending and revenue practices. That's why I (and every sane/fair economist) use "public debt" when measuring the relative health of a governments fiscal polices from year to year. Lumping in intergovernmental debt is still wrong in that context and for those purposes.
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#405 Nov 14 2011 at 4:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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rdmcandie wrote:
I was just looking at something. I am pretty stoned though so I am probably just tripping out. I know the Economic as a % isn't worse than it was in the 30's. But looking hard numbers, way more people don't have work, things cost a sh*t ton more now than they did then. But to be fair 0 dollars is still 0 dollars, it just takes a lot longer to get back on ones feet financially now considering the minimum "legal" pay has not increased in proportion to the cost of living.

I agree with Gbaji, they had it right in WW2, the US needs to drastically increase spending, and taxes. It worked the first time. My thought is, why not just mass produce military sh*t, even if you don't use it, you can sell it later to other countries, you can upgrade your entire military to new age sh*t. It created tons of jobs, it led to the end of the great depression, and created the "American Dream" era.

Spend more, and tax more. Its worked before decisively. good call Gbaji.


Yeah, no, this is not what we need.
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#406 Nov 14 2011 at 4:54 PM Rating: Default
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good then this is good sh*t.
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#407 Nov 14 2011 at 4:55 PM Rating: Decent
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What we have done (which I've already explained a couple times before) is pay taxes each year which provide retirement benefits to those people who are retired that year. And the leftover money (if any) is used to help pay for other things the government does that year. It has been this way for our entire working lives Joph. To come in today at the tail end of this process and attempt to cry foul and place blame because "the debt" has magically appeared is absurd.


and its still debt. Smiley: lol
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#408 Nov 14 2011 at 5:09 PM Rating: Decent
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rdmcandie wrote:
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What we have done (which I've already explained a couple times before) is pay taxes each year which provide retirement benefits to those people who are retired that year. And the leftover money (if any) is used to help pay for other things the government does that year. It has been this way for our entire working lives Joph. To come in today at the tail end of this process and attempt to cry foul and place blame because "the debt" has magically appeared is absurd.


and its still debt. Smiley: lol


Maybe you shouldn't smoke so much pot and you'd understand this. There's a huge difference between owing the bank money for a loan you took out, and owing money you borrowed from one of your own bank accounts. I already used an analogy for this. If your parents borrow money out of your college fund, they may be screwing you over for a college education you thought they'd provide for you, but they don't actually owe anyone any money. There isn't a bill collector who's going to come knocking on their door and demand that they pay that money back.


The problem is that some people think that social security and medicare funds are kept in a separate magical vault with rainbow walls and guarded by unicorns and that when they retire the money they put in will be waiting for them to draw upon for their retirement. This was the original plan for those programs, but it hasn't actually been like that for over 40 years. Your payroll taxes do not pay for your retirement benefits. The money goes into those benefit programs budgets and is used pay to cover the costs of the retirement benefits for current retirees. And just like every other budgeted government program, if more money goes into a program than is spent in a given year, that money is lent to the treasury and used for other things.


The resulting intergovernmental debt is no more legally binding than any other intergovernmental debt (ie: not at all). The government's obligation is to provide for whatever social security and medicare benefits congress decides to provide at any given time. How much that costs is how much that costs. If the current payroll taxes cover that cost, then that's great. If there's extra, the extra can be used to pay for other things. If those taxes don't cover that cost then the difference has to be made up for with other taxes (and may have to come out of other programs). At the end of the day, it's the whole revenue generated and the whole amount spent which matters.


And that calculation is reflected in the "public debt". When total spending exceeds total revenue, we have a deficit. That deficit is made up by borrowing money from the public in the form of treasury bonds. That is "real debt" which must be paid back. The "debt" owed to social security and/or medicare will show up as increased spending in future years. Which, if it creates a deficit will show up in that public debt figure. In more or less exactly the same way that if years of raiding your kids college fund results in you having to take out larger loans to pay for your kids college when the time comes, this will create debt that you must pay back (ie: real debt). It is accounted for when you actually have to pay the bill down the line. But you're trying to effectively count the same debt twice.

Edited, Nov 14th 2011 3:14pm by gbaji
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#409 Nov 14 2011 at 5:24 PM Rating: Decent
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The "debt" owed to social security and/or medicare will show up as increased spending in future years.


Smiley: lol

you should smoke more weed.

Its not a debt, but we will pay it back later Smiley: lol

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#410 Nov 14 2011 at 5:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
You're really working hard to work around this one, aren't you?

...he wrote in the middle of his five paragraph spiel spinning his errors (or lies) so he looked less stupid...

Right. Workin' really hard here. Smiley: laugh
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#411 Nov 14 2011 at 5:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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Idiot.

It was four paragraphs.
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#412 Nov 14 2011 at 5:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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No, he broke out the quoted line as its own paragraph.

LRN2KOUNT!!!
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#413 Nov 14 2011 at 6:00 PM Rating: Decent
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rdmcandie wrote:

Its not a debt, but we will pay it back later Smiley: lol


No... We may have to pay for it later. A lack of savings for something is not the same as debt. It's just astounding to me how many people honestly can't seem to distinguish between those two types of things. It's like liberals assume what spending and taxes should be and then imagine that any variation from that is some kind of cost, or is taken from someone, or owed to someone, or some other completely absurd thing.


I just think you're failing to understand the math. Let's divide this into two periods of time. During the first period of time, SS/medicare generate a surplus of $2T. During the second period of time, they cost more (more people retiring) and that $2T of savings is consumed. That's the model you're assuming should happen, right?

Ok. Let's take two cases. In both cases, we assume that the government spends more on other programs than it takes in other revenue. Let's assume that this amount is *exactly* the same as the gain/loss figures for SS/medicare over each of the two periods of time: $2T). So during the first period of time, we generate $2T of debt from over spending, and in the second period of time we generate an additional $2T, for a total of $4T dollars of debt.

If we don't allow "raiding" of SS/medicare accounts, what happens? Well, in the first period, we end with $2T in the SS/medicare accounts saved up, and $2T in debt from overspending in other areas. After the second period of time, we consume the $2T of savings in the accounts, leaving that with a wash, but we have to borrow an extra $2T because we're still spending too much money (or, for the commie liberals out there, not taxing enough rich people!). End result: $4T of accumulated debt over that time period.

Second case: We do allow raiding of those accounts. So after the end of the first period, we've raided the $2T savings in the accounts to pay for the $2T we over spent in other areas, leaving us with zero debt and zero savings in the accounts. After the second period, we spend $2T more on SS/medicare than we take in, and have no savings, so we have to borrow $2T to pay for it. Additionally, we borrow another $2T to pay for the other stuff (cause we spend too much money in general). The result: wait for it... the same damn $4T of debt.


What you're trying to do is say that in the second case, we should count the $2T borrowed from SS/medicare as some kind of additional debt. But it's not. I know that this is hard to noodle out, but the long term effects of "paying it off" are exactly the same either way.


That's not to say there aren't other side effects (like maybe we wouldn't have overspent so much if we didn't have those surpluses in social security and medicare to cover the costs), but that's a completely different issue (and a far far more complex one). Where we are sitting right now, that amount is not a "debt" in any real sense. It should not be added into the existing debt with equal weight. You're trying to double count debt here. All that matters is how much we actually borrow each year, not how we shuffle around the money internally.

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#414 Nov 14 2011 at 6:07 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
No, he broke out the quoted line as its own paragraph.

LRN2KOUNT!!!


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There are FOUR PARAGRAPHS!!!
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#415 Nov 14 2011 at 6:07 PM Rating: Decent
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The result: wait for it... the same damn $4T of debt.


I know I told you that a page ago, the total US debt is 102% of GDP, heck it could be 103% on this page. But I am glad to see that 2+2 = 4 still and that a debt is still a debt.
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#416 Nov 14 2011 at 6:23 PM Rating: Decent
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rdmcandie wrote:
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The result: wait for it... the same damn $4T of debt.


I know I told you that a page ago, the total US debt is 102% of GDP, heck it could be 103% on this page. But I am glad to see that 2+2 = 4 still and that a debt is still a debt.


Once you actually borrow money, yes. But you're trying to count money that the US government didn't borrow as debt. I don't know how much I can dumb this down for you to understand. You're parroting a figure that isn't correct. And the absurd thing is that if my motives were partisan, I'd be the first one to want to inflate the debt figure. But whether it's convenient for my "side" or not, intergovernmental debt is not "real debt" for purposes of comparing relative revenue/spending changes over time. It's subject to far too many variations which have *nothing* to do with fiscal policies to include it.
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#417 Nov 14 2011 at 6:36 PM Rating: Decent
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Your idiocy is pissing me off.

Using your 2T dollar example you still owe 2T on it if you borrow it, that either comes from a direct 2T in spending, or 2T in cuts from somewhere else. It is still part of your overall debt. It is something that you manage through cutting and spending. But 4T (the amount of inter government debt atm) is still debt that must be managed, it has to be accounted for. So you need to cut 4T from other programs to break even to begin making a dent in your public debt, or you need to increase taxes to pay for the programs.

Or you know you could do a little from comlumn A and B

It is a debt, and you are an absolute moron if you think it is not a debt. It is 35% of your overall debt, the government owes itself 1/3 of the debt, and it has to pay for it just like the other 65%. Through cuts, or taxes, or both.

Edited, Nov 14th 2011 7:56pm by rdmcandie
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#418 Nov 14 2011 at 7:44 PM Rating: Decent
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rdmcandie wrote:
Your idiocy is pissing me off.


Projection is a bitch.

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Using your 2T dollar example you still owe 2T on it if you borrow it, that either comes from a direct 2T in spending, or 2T in cuts from somewhere else.


Yes, but by borrowing that $2T today, you borrowed less from somewhere else. The net effect in terms of total revenue versus total spending for that year is completely unchanged. Do you understand that in terms of the entire federal government, you can add up all the surpluses you have then subtract all the debts, and the result is how much you actually have saved or owe. It's the same principle as with your own finances. Lets say that you have an investment portfolio (or even just a 401k or equivalent), that is worth $200k. Let's also say that you have a mortgage you owe $100k on. We could correctly say that you are carrying $100k of debt. However, if we're trying to assess the solvency of your whole economic picture, we'd include the $200k of assets and subtract the $100k of debt and say that your "net worth" is $100k.

Same deal here. Even if the government borrows that $2T from the public, and holds $2T in the SS/medicare accounts for some reason, the net result is zero dollars. Now, if the accounts were actually separate (like say the individual retirement account system that Republicans have been trying to get our government to use instead of the current system), then the two would be calculated differently. But that is not the case in the US, and it hasn't been the case in the US for over 40 years.

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It is still part of your overall debt.


And again, surplus money sitting in an account is *also* part of the calculation for "overall debt". Your argument only holds water to the extent that we assume that the ability to take money from the payroll tax revenue and spend it on things other than SS/medicare resulted in increased spending on things other than SS/medicare. Which I agree with btw. However, that has no bearing on the assessment of the amount of actual debt the nation owes (which is what we were talking about).

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It is something that you manage through cutting and spending. But 4T (the amount of inter government debt atm) is still debt that must be managed, it has to be accounted for. So you need to cut 4T from other programs to break even to begin making a dent in your public debt, or you need to increase taxes to pay for the programs.


Again, the problem is that government programs are budgeted year to year. If a program had a surplus in a year, we're not going to go back in time and spend more money in that past year. It's done. What matters in terms of deficit/debt calculation is the total amount of revenue the government took in minus the total amount of spending the government actually did. The idea of saying that because we thought we'd spend X dollars on something, but spent less somehow equates to an increase in debt is absurd.


The intergovernmental debt system is an accounting measure. Nothing more. You're effectively arguing that if you transfer money from one bank account to another, you've somehow accrued debt. You didn't. You just changed where the money went.

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It is a debt, and you are an absolute moron if you think it is not a debt.



Then apparently, me and pretty much every economist in the world are all morons then. And you, and the folks on fringe sites, quoting half understood numbers, you're all the geniuses who know the truth that no one else wants to talk about! Lol. You're kidding right?

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It is 35% of your overall debt, the government owes itself 1/3 of the debt, and it has to pay for it just like the other 65%. Through cuts, or taxes, or both.


Except it's not that "debt" that has to be paid off. This is where I think you're going off the rails. The problem is that SS/medicare yearly costs are going to increase over time. What that means is that every year those programs will cost us more money. Money which will have to be raised in some way to pay for those programs. Whether some account was "raided" in the past has no bearing on this. It's a year to year cost, and a year to year revenue equation. As I illustrated in my earlier example, the total costs compared to total revenues over the whole time period in question remain the same no matter how we manage the money.

The problem isn't the money "owed" to social security and medicare, but the forward looking cost estimates of those programs themselves. And no, that's not a "debt" either. It's a projection. The simple fact is that given current structuring of those programs, the current retirement age when they take effect, and the current revenue streams used to pay for them, they are not solvent. And even if we'd not transferred money out of the accounts, they would still not be solvent when we extend the cost/revenue calculations forward.


We don't calculate those programs as though they hold a "fund". At least, we aren't being honest when we do that. To be fair, politicians on both sides of the aisle have done this and have maintained the illusion that we have some kind of bank account with the SS/medicare money sitting in it. But as I've been explaining over and over, that hasn't been true for over 40 years. Those programs have been funded year to year, just like every other government program. And what matters is that right now we're hitting the point where the costs for each years operation exceeds the payroll taxes designed to pay for them.


Which means one of two things: We increase taxes to pay for them, or we find ways to cut the costs of the programs themselves. I suppose a third option is some sort of significant restructuring (which could include a whole range of changes far beyond the scope of this discussion). That reality is true regardless of how we calculate the "debt" from those programs. As I've illustrated by using some really basic math, in that long term calculation the "raiding" of those programs doesn't actually affect the resulting debt at all.
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#419 Nov 14 2011 at 10:15 PM Rating: Decent
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when it is 35% of your national debt (more than it was even during WW2 and has being rising since the 1980's), it is kind of a big deal. Let me guess you have 2 credit cards and use 1 to pay off the other and think you are cheating the man.

Quit trying to skirt, you know its a debt, I know its a debt, everyone knows its a debt. I don't know who you are trying to convince myself our yourself. Point is your government is pathetic, all of it, every single person in it is useless. Nothing has been accomplished since 2004. It is an absolute joke, and the only reason I follow it is because its like a soap opera of sh*t i like.

Your government is a soap opera.
and internal debt is still part of your overall national debt.


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#420 Nov 15 2011 at 5:45 PM Rating: Decent
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rdmcandie wrote:
when it is 35% of your national debt (more than it was even during WW2 and has being rising since the 1980's), it is kind of a big deal.


Wait. You're talking about what percentage of the total national debt is made up of intergovernmental debt? During the Bush administration (like 2002/2003 time frame), there was a period of time when that percentage was closer to 65% btw. I remember clearly a whole bunch of folks making a huge deal because our national debt was about to hit $10T, complete with chicken little the-sky-is-falling hysteria. I pointed out that at the time, only about $3.5T of that debt was "debt held by public" and the other $6.5T was just intergovernmental debt. And sure enough, Congress passed a bill to cancel out the t-bills held in a bunch of programs and the debt magically dropped down to like $7T or so.

That's why you can't compare national debt figures over time. While we can debate the effects of intergovernmental debt transfer for social security and medicare, it's just plain wrong to use the whole figures the way you're trying to use it.

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Let me guess you have 2 credit cards and use 1 to pay off the other and think you are cheating the man.


Boy are you 100% wrong. I own a couple credit cards just because you have to do things like rent a car or get a hotel room when you travel. I carry no balance at all. I don't juggle money. I don't borrow money to buy things (except a house). My assets far exceed my current debt (and that includes the mortgage btw). Good job being completely wrong though.

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Quit trying to skirt, you know its a debt, I know its a debt, everyone knows its a debt.


You're too caught up on the word and failing to see that it doesn't mean the same thing in all cases.

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I don't know who you are trying to convince myself our yourself.


I'm trying to convince you of the truth. Failing at it miserably, but I keep hoping.

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and internal debt is still part of your overall national debt.


Sure. By definition, the US "national debt" is the total dollar value of all outstanding treasury bills. I thought I explained this to you when we started with this little argument. But what you still seem to fail to grasp is that not all treasury bills are held in ways which require repayment. Therefore, the total amount of the "national debt" is always higher than the amount of money we actually need to pay back to anyone. And since how much of that debt doesn't need to be paid back varies randomly based on how accurately congress has written their budgets and how recently it's been since congress passed a bill to erase a bunch of the administration intergovernmental debt from the books, it makes tracking national debt a really incredibly stupid way to compare how much "in debt" the country is today versus any particular point in the past.
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#421 Nov 15 2011 at 5:54 PM Rating: Decent
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Im talking about your total debt which is why i said numerous times total debt. You don't need to reply in a novel, you are wrong. It is part of your total debt, which is 102% of your GDP. You have been off on a tangent about how they are different, not me. It doesn't matter if they are different, it is part of your total debt, and it has to be accounted for in one way or another. Thus it is a debt, and I am done with you.

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incredibly stupid way to compare how much "in debt" the country is today versus any particular point in the past.


says the guy who was so adamantly toasting the success of cuts and tax reductions (that didn't take place) during WW2. You are really channeling Alma this last week aren't you.
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#422 Nov 15 2011 at 6:14 PM Rating: Decent
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rdmcandie wrote:
Im talking about your total debt which is why i said numerous times total debt.


What was the 35% number about then? The point is that right now, that total debt consists of about 65% public debt and 35% intergovernmental debt. But back in the early 2000s, the total debt consisted of about 35% public debt and 65% intergovernmental debt. The difference in the makeup is important. And the fact that large portions of the intergovernmental debt could be legislatively erased tomorrow is also important.

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You don't need to reply in a novel, you are wrong. It is part of your total debt, which is 102% of your GDP.


Yes. But some percentage of that debt isn't "real". It's important to know how much we actually have to pay back to someone, and what percentage we don't.

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You have been off on a tangent about how they are different, not me. It doesn't matter if they are different, it is part of your total debt, and it has to be accounted for in one way or another. Thus it is a debt, and I am done with you.


Ok. But when one part of that total debt can be accounted for by congress going through the books, identifying a bunch of T-bills sitting in programs that are funded year to year, and then legislatively erase the debt, and the other part of the debt actually must be paid back or the country will default, it's incredibly stupid to just add the whole number together and treat it all the same.

If someone told you that there were 500 wild animals running loose in his house, it might be useful to know how many of them are ants and how many are bears. Just saying "they're all wild animals" isn't particularly helpful.

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incredibly stupid way to compare how much "in debt" the country is today versus any particular point in the past.


says the guy who was so adamantly toasting the success of cuts and tax reductions (that didn't take place) during WW2.


I never said they took place "during WW2". Now you're just flailing around for something to grab on to.


You're trying to make hay out of a number which can be arbitrarily changed via legislative action at any time, with no other economic changes having occurred. Common sense should tell you that this makes it a poor indicator of general economic trends within an economy. Certainly, attempting to compare "national debt" from one year to another is a waste of time. Public Debt is 100% debt we must pay off. It's the actual measure of the result of accumulated deficits over time. That's why it's the best number to use. I know you want to use a bigger number because it's bigger, but it's really not the correct number to use.


I just don't know how many ways I can explain this to you.
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#423 Nov 15 2011 at 6:20 PM Rating: Decent
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You're trying to make hay out of a number which can be arbitrarily changed via legislative action at any time, with no other economic changes having occurred.


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The point is that right now, that total debt consists of about 65% public debt and 35% intergovernmental debt. But back in the early 2000s, the total debt consisted of about 35% public debt and 65% intergovernmental debt.


Seems like legislation spoke, your 30% difference is now "real" debt.

Im done, you make my head hurt. But one last question. 65+35 = what.
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#424 Nov 15 2011 at 6:23 PM Rating: Decent
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rdmcandie wrote:
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You're trying to make hay out of a number which can be arbitrarily changed via legislative action at any time, with no other economic changes having occurred.


Quote:
The point is that right now, that total debt consists of about 65% public debt and 35% intergovernmental debt. But back in the early 2000s, the total debt consisted of about 35% public debt and 65% intergovernmental debt.


Seems like legislation spoke, your 30% difference is now "real" debt.

Im done, you make my head hurt. But one last question. 65+35 = what.


You can't honestly be this stupid.
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#425 Nov 15 2011 at 6:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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rdm, in the immortal words of Thurgood Jenkins, dude, you have smoked yourself retarded.
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#426 Nov 15 2011 at 6:56 PM Rating: Decent
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Debalic wrote:
rdm, in the immortal words of Thurgood Jenkins, dude, you have smoked yourself retarded.



I guess if you didn't learn how to add. If 35% of your debt is internal, and 65% is external that still represents 100% total debt. I guess I am sorry that my Canadian Education taught me how to add when I was 4.


If Gbaji's wall of texts actually were fact, then that 65% of debt would say 100% he wouldn't have to split it up to make his argument if the 35% didn't actually exist at all. But it does, and he can't and he didn't. It is a debt, and it is part of your national debt.

current national debt is 14.9 trillion with 10.6 trillion representing Public Debt, the remainder is your inter governmental debt.

You can split it as many ways as you want, but when it comes down to it, 100% is 100% and currently 100% of your debt is 102% of your GDP.

Edited, Nov 15th 2011 8:00pm by rdmcandie
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#427 Nov 15 2011 at 7:15 PM Rating: Good
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I'm not questioning your argument per se, I'm just questioning your rationale in trying to argue gbaji.
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#428 Nov 15 2011 at 7:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Oh im not arguing with him, he knows it is part of the debt, I know its part of the debt, you know its part of the debt. Im not really sure what he is arguing about. I mean he has used a lot of words to say the same thing I have, and that is the USA debt adds up to 100% and that currently that 100% is 102% of the US GDP.

Im not arguing, why argue when you are right, I am just trolling Gbaji at this point, A page ago I made my argument he tried some half ass rationalization attempt, and divided the debt into to numbers, both of which are reflected in the link i provided, which when added together represent 100% of the american national debt.

What Gbaji is trying to argue i think is that paying one debt with another cancels it out, but since the US public debt has climber 30% since about 2003, and the Inter Gov debt has declined 30% and the US made not a single debt payment in that time, I think he agrees, but his polarization with idiocy won't allow him to say it.
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#429 Nov 15 2011 at 10:05 PM Rating: Decent
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rdmcandie wrote:
Im not really sure what he is arguing about.


That has become apparent.

Quote:
I mean he has used a lot of words to say the same thing I have, and that is the USA debt adds up to 100% and that currently that 100% is 102% of the US GDP.


Ok. I'm going to try one more time, just in case it sinks in. That 100%, meaning the entire national debt, is made up of two components. One of those we have to pay back. The other we don't. Not only do we not have to, but the other part varies based on arbitrary legislative actions which have nothing to do with how much money we owe to anyone.

Because of this, if your objective is to measure how much "in debt" we are (meaning money we have to pay back to people), then you want to only use the part of the debt called "public debt". Yes. They're both called "debt". Stop getting caught up on the label. What matters is that one part we have to pay back, and the other we don't. If we care about how much we have to pay people back, then we shouldn't look at the full 100% of the "national debt", but instead look only at the part that we have to pay back.


That part is called "public debt" (or more completely "debt held by public"). It's the figure the CBO uses when collating budget data. It's the figure every reputable economist uses when looking at the US economy. They do this because they know what I've been trying to explain to you for like 8 posts now. The other part of what is called "national debt" is variable, unpredictable, doesn't represent money we have to pay back, and it utterly unusable as an economic indicator.


Quote:
What Gbaji is trying to argue i think is that paying one debt with another cancels it out, but since the US public debt has climber 30% since about 2003, and the Inter Gov debt has declined 30% and the US made not a single debt payment in that time, I think he agrees, but his polarization with idiocy won't allow him to say it.



Sigh. The public debt has grown, not because of anything at all having to do with intergovernmental debt, but because we borrowed more money. It had nothing to do with the other type of debt at all. If congress had not passed a series of bills erasing that debt, we'd be sitting at like $20T of "national debt". But guess what? We wouldn't actually owe anyone any more money. That's why looking at the full national debt figure is pointless. If we'd never erased any intergovernmental debt ever, we'd probably have a $100T national debt. But we'd also still only owe anyone about $9T.


That's why national debt is a meaningless figure. It has nothing to do with how much money we actually owe. It's just amazing to me that no matter how many times I explain this to you in clear English, you keep on failing. I get that you claim to be trolling, but that's a cop out. It looks a hell of a lot more like you just don't want to admit you were dead wrong.
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#430 Nov 16 2011 at 7:34 AM Rating: Excellent
If we take money from Social Security, and then later say that Social Security won't be solvent in 30 years, then I'd say the debt to Social Security is pretty fucking real.
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#431 Nov 16 2011 at 8:04 AM Rating: Excellent
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That's pretty much it. That "money we don't have to pay back" is largely from Social Security and retirement benefits. Barring some massive sea change in the next decade, that money will have to be paid back. Congress won't "zero it out" and leave Social Security in a hole where payments aren't being made. Hell, even Rick "SS is a Ponzi Scheme!" Perry is promising retirees and near-future retirees that Social Security will be secure for them -- with what money?

Gbaji really, really wants us all to think it "doesn't count" because, frankly, he just doesn't like the numbers and has some bizarre need to lecture people at length about stuff he knows little about. Does anyone here see massive cuts to Social Security coming from Congress on the near horizon? Anyone? Then can we grow up and admit that this isn't "pretend debt" that'll go away with a wave of a pen? Either the money is actually replaced or else we fund SS (and Medicare and the retirement benefits) with public debt; it's the same end result either way.
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#432 Nov 16 2011 at 8:27 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
has some bizarre need to lecture people at length about stuff he knows little about.
The best are when he's lecturing people who are actually experienced with whatever the topic is.

Edited, Nov 16th 2011 3:42pm by lolgaxe
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Lemme have him tell you about building permits and zoning some time Smiley: laugh
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#434 Nov 16 2011 at 2:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sorry to put this back on topic but I think this is the best paragraph I've read on OWS so far:

Matt Taibbi wrote:
There's no better symbol of the gloom and psychological repression of modern America than the banking system, a huge heartless machine that attaches itself to you at an early age, and from which there is no escape. You fail to receive a few past-due notices about a $19 payment you missed on that TV you bought at Circuit City, and next thing you know a collector has filed a judgment against you for $3,000 in fees and interest. Or maybe you wake up one morning and your car is gone, legally repossessed by Vulture Inc., the debt-buying firm that bought your loan on the Internet from Chase for two cents on the dollar. This is why people hate Wall Street. They hate it because the banks have made life for ordinary people a vicious tightrope act; you slip anywhere along the way, it's 10,000 feet down into a vat of razor blades that you can never climb out of.

That, to me, is what Occupy Wall Street is addressing. People don't know exactly what they want, but as one friend of mine put it, they know one thing: F*CK THIS SH*T! We want something different: a different life, with different values, or at least a chance at different values.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-i-stopped-worrying-and-learned-to-love-the-ows-protests-20111110#ixzz1du2tKNEP





Edited, Nov 16th 2011 12:41pm by Olorinus
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#435 Nov 16 2011 at 3:05 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Lemme have him tell you about building permits and zoning some time Smiley: laugh


I am more curious as to why Gbaji opposes tax cuts/rebates in favor of increased debt.


Edited, Nov 16th 2011 4:05pm by rdmcandie
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#436 Nov 16 2011 at 3:28 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
That's pretty much it. That "money we don't have to pay back" is largely from Social Security and retirement benefits.


But not all. If someone wants to make a separate argument about SS and Medicare, I'm fine with that. But simply adding up the total national debt and using it as an economic indicator is wrong.

Quote:
Barring some massive sea change in the next decade, that money will have to be paid back. Congress won't "zero it out" and leave Social Security in a hole where payments aren't being made.


Um... Joph? You get that that's the yearly surplus/deficit of payroll taxes compared to the cost of the programs, right? It has nothing to do with whether we left some cash in the account from past years. The problem, which that chart clearly illustrates, isn't that we spent the money from past surpluses, but that SS (and Medicare) are projected to cost more than payroll taxes are paying for and will continue to cost more as far as we can project into the future. Unless that is changed, it wont matter in the long run whether we'd taken that money via intergovernmental transfer or not.

It's like realizing that you're spending $500/month more on your household budget than you earn, but instead of identifying that as the problem, you blame your bleak financial outlook on that $5000 you spent on a vacation 5 years ago. If only you hadn't spent that money, you'd be fine! Um... No. You wouldn't. You'd just be broke a little bit later is all.

The problem is with the cost/revenue ratio, not with what we did or didn't do with the funds themselves.

Quote:
Hell, even Rick "SS is a Ponzi Scheme!" Perry is promising retirees and near-future retirees that Social Security will be secure for them -- with what money?


Not with the couple trillion we'd have had if we hadn't "raided" social security and medicare. He's talking about actually reforming the system to fix that cost/revenue ratio. Which is the right thing to do.

Quote:
Gbaji really, really wants us all to think it "doesn't count" because, frankly, he just doesn't like the numbers and has some bizarre need to lecture people at length about stuff he knows little about.


Huh? I'd love to blame Obama for a higher debt number Joph. I don't use it because I'm honest and consistent. For 8 years, I made the exact same argument about public debt versus national debt when Bush was president. And I'm still making the same argument now that Obama is in office even though it would certainly benefit my "side" to make the debt seem bigger. WTF? I'm now being blamed for *not* being partisan?


Quote:
Does anyone here see massive cuts to Social Security coming from Congress on the near horizon? Anyone? Then can we grow up and admit that this isn't "pretend debt" that'll go away with a wave of a pen? Either the money is actually replaced or else we fund SS (and Medicare and the retirement benefits) with public debt; it's the same end result either way.


And it's the same result if we'd not used that money along the way as well. I already explained this. It is pretend debt because we aren't actually borrowing money until we actually don't have sufficient revenue to pay for the cost of the program(s) and actually... wait for it... borrow money. If you want to complain about this, go complain about the decision made back in 1969 to change how we managed the funds for those programs. I'm looking at the actual reality of the situation, and you're fantasizing about what might have been if we'd done things differently over the last 40+ years.


Your approach seems somewhat pointless. I'm not even sure what you think we should do about it, or who you think we should blame, or how you think it affects us. We don't have that money. We haven't had that money for 40 years. As I stated earlier, you and I have spent our entire working lives under a system in which the payroll taxes we paid for those retirement benefits were *not* held in any sort of trust for us to receive later, but rather a system where we paid this year for the benefits of retirees this year, and when we retire, we'll be paid for by the people working at that time. And we've known our entire lives that when we retire, the existing payroll tax rates will not be sufficient to pay for our benefits. This is not new. It's not something that just magically appeared in the last few years. You can't blame this on any president sitting now, or that either of us have ever voted for.


I guess I'm not sure what you think we should do? Do you honestly think that counting the money taken from those programs as "debt" actually changes anything going forward? Unless we change that cost/revenue ratio, it really doesn't. It's just political wrangling for the sake of wrangling. It does not change the long term cost reality one penny. It never did. I don't understand what you think you're trying to accomplish here.
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#437 Nov 16 2011 at 3:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Um... Joph? You get that that's the yearly surplus/deficit of payroll taxes compared to the cost of the programs, right? It has nothing to do with whether we left some cash in the account from past years. The problem, which that chart clearly illustrates, isn't that we spent the money from past surpluses, but that SS (and Medicare) are projected to cost more than payroll taxes are paying for and will continue to cost more as far as we can project into the future. Unless that is changed, it wont matter in the long run whether we'd taken that money via intergovernmental transfer or not.


Sounds like a good reason for why the increasing wealth disparity in this nation is a serious problem.
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#438 Nov 16 2011 at 3:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
But not all. If someone wants to make a separate argument about SS and Medicare, I'm fine with that

I posted the breakdown earlier. You seem stuck on saying the 35% number doesn't count but if you want to revise that to 5% doesn't count or something, go for it. Which numbers from that chart do you want to say don't count?

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#439 Nov 16 2011 at 3:39 PM Rating: Excellent
Or remove the cap on Payroll taxes, so the wealthiest earners are actually paying "their fair share" into the system.
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#440 Nov 16 2011 at 3:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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The federal debt just rolled past $15T.
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#441 Nov 16 2011 at 3:44 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
But not all. If someone wants to make a separate argument about SS and Medicare, I'm fine with that

I posted the breakdown earlier. You seem stuck on saying the 35% number doesn't count but if you want to revise that to 5% doesn't count or something, go for it. Which numbers from that chart do you want to say don't count?


No. I'm saying that it's wrong to use national debt as an economic indicator. You jumped on the "But we do have to pay for the SS and Medicare money!" bit. We legislatively erased more intergovernmental debt just in the mid 2000s than the totaled "owed" to SS and Medicare. If we use national debt as an economic indicator, we'll get false results when comparing to past years.

If someone wishes to make a separate comparison of SS/Medicare, that's a whole different ball of wax. But that's not what I was responding to. I was responding to someone presenting a chart showing relative levels of national debt over time and attempting to use that number, all by itself, as some sort of economic proof of something. Can we agree that the total figure should not be used that way?

Edited, Nov 16th 2011 1:48pm by gbaji
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#442 Nov 16 2011 at 3:46 PM Rating: Decent
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Technogeek wrote:
Or remove the cap on Payroll taxes, so the wealthiest earners are actually paying "their fair share" into the system.


Why is that a fair share? Fair compared to what? Does someone making $200k/year get a larger social security check when he retires than someone earning $100k? Does he get more medical care provided for by medicare? If not, then how is that "fair"? Paying more for the same thing would seem to be unfair.
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#443 Nov 16 2011 at 3:51 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
No. I'm saying that it's wrong to use national debt as an economic indicator. You jumped on the "But we do have to pay for the SS and Medicare money!" bit.

In particular, I was calling you out on your (probably intentionally) disingenuous answer regarding intergovernmental debt.
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#444 Nov 16 2011 at 4:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
No. I'm saying that it's wrong to use national debt as an economic indicator. You jumped on the "But we do have to pay for the SS and Medicare money!" bit.

In particular, I was calling you out on your (probably intentionally) disingenuous answer regarding intergovernmental debt.


And I clearly explained that I was aware of the potential issues with intergovernmental debt as it relates to Social Security and Medicare, but that this doesn't change the broader point that it's incorrect to use the total national debt as an economic measuring stick. Then you proceeded to insist that we argue about SS/Medicare. Once again, you zero in on the least significant and most irrelevant part of an argument and cling to it like a freaking bulldog.


What point are you trying to make? That the part of intergovernmental debt consisting of SS/Medicare may have some deficit generating economic effects down the line and maybe should be counted in some way? Great! Does that change my statement that it's wrong to use the total figure of "national debt" the way it was being used? Not one bit. As I've explained (several freaking times now), it's a bad measurement to use because we can't know how much intergovernmental debt is in the total at any given time, much less how much of that is SS/Medicare or other things. We also can't know by looking at a chart over time how recently congress has administratively adjusted the total intergovernmental debt.


You have a valid point about the future effect of SS/Medicare on our economic outlook, especially as it relates to future debt levels. However, that does not mean that national debt is a legitimate figure to use by itself as a measurement of economic trends over time. You seem to (once again) be under the mistaken assumption that we must apply that classic all-or-nothing approach to debt. It's either all debt, or I'm arguing that none of it counts at all. But that's not the case. I'm arguing that since we can't know from just the full national debt value what kinds of debt make up that total, that it's a bad measurement to use. Always.


Can we look in detail at other things (like SS and Medicare)? Absolutely. But I was specifically responding to a link to a page which charted national debt over time. Which is the wrong way to measure debt over time. I correctly stated that public debt is the proper figure to use for that sort of comparison. Was I wrong? And if not, then wtf are you arguing with me about?
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#445 Nov 16 2011 at 4:43 PM Rating: Decent
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And I clearly explained that I was aware of the potential issues with intergovernmental debt as it relates to Social Security and Medicare, but that this doesn't change the broader point that it's incorrect to use the total national debt as an economic measuring stick.



LOL you keep changing your tune on what you are arguing.

Its not debt
Well its not really debt
Ya we have to pay it back but it isn't debt.
Oh no I only meant that a small fraction of that debt isn't actually debt the rest is debt obviously.

Who you trying to convince champ?
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#446 Nov 16 2011 at 4:53 PM Rating: Decent
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rdmcandie wrote:
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And I clearly explained that I was aware of the potential issues with intergovernmental debt as it relates to Social Security and Medicare, but that this doesn't change the broader point that it's incorrect to use the total national debt as an economic measuring stick.



LOL you keep changing your tune on what you are arguing.

Its not debt
Well its not really debt
Ya we have to pay it back but it isn't debt.
Oh no I only meant that a small fraction of that debt isn't actually debt the rest is debt obviously.

Who you trying to convince champ?


All of public debt is debt that has to be paid back.

None of intergovernmental debt is debt that has to be paid back, however some intergovernmental debt may have a deficit impact on some future point in time and therefore might ultimately have an effect on future debt (depending on possible changes to our tax code in the future).

The "national debt" figure is calculated by simply adding those two numbers together. If we want to know how much money we actually have to pay back, it's the wrong figure to use.


How much more clearly do I need to say this? You've got two tanks at your cabin in the woods. One of them stores water captured from rainfall, the other stores sewage. Now, there might be some water in the sewage, and depending on conditions you might even want to know how much water there is in the sewage tank. But if you are tracking how much drinking water you have available over the course of a hot summer, you'd take measurements of the water in the first tank, right? You *could* just add up the total volume in both tanks, but that would be stupid and wouldn't tell you at all if you're losing or gaining drinking water over time.


That's what you're doing when you simply track national debt over time and try to use it to measure relative debt. It really honestly is the wrong figure to use. You're being incredibly stubborn about remaining ignorant about this.
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#447 Nov 16 2011 at 6:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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I love it when Gbaji starts screaming that stuff is irrelevant. It's the quickest way to know you caught him in a lie Smiley: laugh
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#448 Nov 16 2011 at 7:51 PM Rating: Decent
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#449 Nov 17 2011 at 7:28 AM Rating: Good
I almost feel sorry for Gbaji. Apparently his whole world revolves around the profit motive. There's no room in his life for a social conscious. You live in a small and petty place there Gbaji.
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#450 Nov 17 2011 at 7:39 AM Rating: Good
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I almost feel sorry for Gbaji. Apparently his whole world revolves around the profit motive. There's no room in his life for a social conscious. You live in a small and petty place there Gbaji.

That's the problem with a capitalist economy - everyone gets thrown under the bus for the almighty dollar.
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#451 Nov 17 2011 at 10:00 AM Rating: Excellent
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I am always baffled by Gbaji's commitment to argue hardest about things which he knows the least.
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