I was fascinated to read U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's comments to the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board. His latest stop on a post-election media tour demonstrates an alarming inability to read national vital signs.

Given the vast amount of financial resources from both super-PACS and wealthy individuals, one must believe that the Romney-Ryan ticket had the requisite monetary support. Why were the hired election organizers and pollsters unable to accurately predict and help win the election?

If he was surprised at losing his vice presidential bid, I would venture to guess that his predictions regarding the nation's debt might also be suspect.

He says: "Republican polling was all wrong." A dose of humility in acknowledging that his party's platform was rejected by a majority of voters would go a long way in humanizing his auto-responses.

— Karen Kaminsky, McFarland


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(8) comments


jon boy

You seem to be quite intelligent in simple math and the previous poster seems to understand credit debt. Maybe the two of you could educate the rest of us on a few things.

It also seems that the two of you are very dissatisfied with the progress that Obama is making while trying to get us out of all of our debt. Some of us would be very interested to see your opinion on how long you think it should be taking.

As you address the credit card issue, could you explain first how much credit card debt did we actually pile up from the years we were at war. If it's not too difficult, could you break that down into veteran and survivor benefits, equipment costs, defense contractor costs, private contractors (Blackwater, Halliburton, etc.), lost cash containers, and anything else that you may be aware of that I missed.

And then, if you could let us all know how much the interest has compounded on that debt so we can all come together and lean on that worthless president of ours and let him know how fast we expect him to get her paid off all by his bad self.


AdiosScott, on the off chance you are really interested. The second number is inflation adjusted.
2002 $157.8 Billion Deficit $201.02 Billion
2003 $377.6 Billion Deficit $470.82 Billion
2004 $413 Billion Deficit $501.21 Billion
2005 $318 Billion Deficit $373.24 Billion
2006 $248 Billion Deficit $282.14 Billion
2007 $161 Billion Deficit $178.1 Billion
2008 $459 Billion Deficit $488.82 Billion
2009 $1413 Billion Deficit $1509.62 Billion
2010 $1294 Billion Deficit $1360.67 Billion
2011 $1299 Billion Deficit $1324.16 Billion
2012 $1100 Billion Deficit $1100 Billion
The 2013 deficit was supposed to be lower than 2012 due to the "recovery" but the first two months of the fiscal year which started in October were higher than the deficits in 2012. Probably back around 1.3 Trillion deficit.

The wars. I remember reading that the cost was approximately 100 billion per year, I think that is low. Even if it is 200 billion/year it represents a small fraction of our deficit spending. It was bipartisan, Hillary, Joe, Kerry, all voted for them. Should have been budgeted or a special tax implemented but that wasn't done.

Forget the debt, how about the deficit? How long do we run 1+ Trillion dollar annual deficits? Jobs would help, what's the plan? This is the slowest recovery from a recession ever. Last quarter the GDP was -0.1 growth, another quarter of negative growth and we are back in recession without ever really coming out of the last one. This is the lowest worker participation rate since 1980. Real U6 unemployment is still over 10%.

What should be done? Lower corporate tax rate. Enact Win America, allow corporations to bring home overseas profits and invest in the US. Streamline permitting processes for expanding and new manufacturing and more. No more distractions, jobs first.


Lowering published corporate rates has some promise. The problem is many corporations already pay a zero rate. What kind of effective or "actual" corporate rate would you suggest?

The whole repatriation thing only works if there is a sufficient tax on the repatriated earnings and if repatriation generates enough demand to to actually spur economic growth. One way to accomplish this would be to tax capital gains and carried interest at regular income tax rates. Would you support this?


15% for 5 years, 20% for years 6-10 and then a re-evaluation. Your right some already pay nothing, GE is the poster child for that, however these custom tax breaks stifle competition and limit small business competition.

Companies that have made profit from overseas sales don't have to bring that money back to the US. They can and do invest that money back into the countries where they made the money. We need to give them a reason to bring it back home and invest it here.

Repatriation will give those companies additional income to invest in either manufacturing or R&D. We generate demand through the creation of wealth, something we are currently lacking.

How would taxing capital gains and carried interest at regular rates increase demand?


I would be willing to look at some form of repatriation holiday if there were a serious attempt to close corporate tax loopholes, create some kind of Reaganesque minimum tax on profitable corporations, and the exclusion future tax havens (ie the shifting of taxes to low cost nations even though nothing happens there).

You mentioned something that I agree in part with. You said that "demand is created through the creation of wealth, something we are currently lacking." On its surface that isn't incorrect. The problem is we have been creating wealth. It just hasn't flowed throughout the economy. While it's cliche, the rich are in fact getting richer, but the poor aren't getting wealthier.

The idea of taxing capital gains (I would exclude home ownership from this) and carried interest at the same rates as regular income is multi-fold. I would hope that doing so would encourage firms to start distributing some of this new found wealth back into salaries; though I will admit my position on this is not particularly well thought out or fleshed out. I am open to suggestions.

Personally I think we need a leader like Teddy Roosevelt right now. Capitalism has lost it's way. We need the least intrusive federal regulations available that will prevent today's capitalists from imploding the system.

FTR: without some kind a repatriation holiday that money will come home on its own someday. Either through the ebbs and flows of the normal business cycle or through threats to the security of the money held overseas. The latter would cause potentially catastrophic consequences for all of us and the former might just take too long. Bring on Teddy.


I appreciate the time you spent, but your gut feeling about where I was coming from, was right. I get pretty sick of all the distractions from those who constantly bash the current administration while steering any blame away from and defending those who have been proven to many of us to be the conniving, untrustworthy, greedy, elitists, that got us into this mess. I know that I will never trust any of the type that I feel put us here, and then on top of that, attempt to convince a population that it is all the other guys fault for our failing economy.

Anyway, I base my position from reading and agreeing with articles similar to this excerpt from one such article:

[ Whatever the cost, some experts say that it wasn't what was financed in the Iraq War but how it was financed that is problematic.

"The problem is not the impact on the GDP. It basically was financed through debt, which is a completely different issue," says Anthony Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"It's really the decision of how to pay for it that has had such a negative effect on the U.S. economy. Because unlike any previous war in U.S. history, this was paid for entirely by debt at the same time that we cut taxes," says Bilmes. While entitlements and other mandatory spending make up a majority of annual federal budgets and contribute heavily to deficits and debt, the Iraq War also contributed significantly. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has estimated that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, together with the Bush tax cuts, will account for almost half of the projected $20 trillion debt in 2019. ]

jon boy
jon boy

Humility? Not from you Kathy. What is your debt reduction plan? I am "alarmed" that you can draw comparisons between pollsters and an actual budget/debt reduction plan. Yes, truly “alarmed!” So let's start with simple math. The national debt is currently the equivalent just over $52,000 for each man, woman and child in the US, give or take. Think of it as every family of four in the US owing $108,000 in credit card debt. So what is your plan? Anyone? Really, anyone? It's not a plan when you ridicule other people who have actually proposed a plan, even if it is imperfect.

@ Karen, I think everyone knows that a slight majority voted for Obama.....he was just sworn in a few weeks ao. Needless to say it was a few percentage points difference, so that means tens of millions voted for the GOP platform as well. As for your comment regarding your speculation that his debt predictions are worng. Perhaps your pres should consider the same, as so far he's done absolutely nothing to stop the debt growth. Could he even just slow the rate at which he's piling up debt? Even if Paul Ryan is off by a lot our Debt is still way out of line. If we took the most optomistic outlook possible we're still screwed. Hello? Are you in there? You sound like someone who has a large balance on their credit card/s and considers it OK. As for the dose of humility we'd all be better off if B.O the Ego had a little. Currently he's pushing his OWN personal agenda without regard to voters on either side. Much of the stuff he's pursuing was never discussed in the election, so don't try to say the dems are all in favor of it all. They were never even given a chance to weigh in on it. Barack just said what he thought was needed to get votes, and now he's doing what He wants.

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