October 17, 2008

Media Near-Secret: Deficit Increase Almost Entirely Due to Spending

Story after story on the full-year results for the federal budget refers to the size of the full-year deficit for the fiscal year that just ended on September 30 ($455 billion), and how it compares to last year’s deficit ($162 billion).

Almost none of them talk about why the deficit ballooned.

I wonder why?

Could it be because the Democrat-controlled Congress of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid allowed spending to spiral out of control?

Yes it could:

UncleSamFY08and07and06

Sources: U.S. Monthly Treasury Statement, September, 2008; U.S. Daily Treasury Statement, September 30, 2008)

The upper area in the chart shows what happened during the last budget year of Republican Congressional responsibility. Though Republican-controlled Congresses allowed spending to increase way too much during most of the Bush Administration (unfortunately, with the President’s acquiescence), the final budget it passed actually ended up causing spending to increase at barely more than the 2.76% rate of inflation during the period (208.49 divided by 202.9 at the link). Meanwhile, receipts, still carrying nearly a full head of steam from the Bush tax cuts of 2003, went up nicely by 6.7%, and the deficit fell.

As you can see from the lower area of the chart, that isn’t what happened during the first fiscal year for which the Democratic Congress of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid had responsibility. Spending ballooned by over 9% (or almost 12.6% if you treat the stimulus checks as outlays), well in excess of the period’s inflation rate of 4.9%. (218.783 divided by 208.49 at the link). The $249.5 billion year-over year increase in spending is well over 80% of the reason why the deficit increased by $293.3 billion.

Hardly any media outlets have gone beyond reporting the overall size of the deficit. Examples of those who only reported the deficit, and little else relevant to the just-completed fiscal year, included the following:

  • Investment News, which said that the fourth fiscal quarter increase in the deficit vs. estimates occurred because of “Stimulus tax rebates, the $700 billion financial services industry bailout, and increased spending in the Middle East ….. according to the Department of the Treasury.” Someone needs to remind Treasury that the “bailout” didn’t pass until October.
  • CQ Politics focused on future deficits that could run as high as $1 trillion, but said nothing about this past year’s spending.
  • Martin Crutsinger of the Associated Press filed a 600-plus-word article, yet said nothing about fiscal 2008′s spending. He did, however, find space for the usual “the country will not be able to avoid a recession” verbiage for which he has become infamous, to misstate the current-year cost of the stimulus package as $168 billion, and to make it appear as if that $168 billion entirely consisted of stimulus checks to tax-return filers. As seen above, the stimulus checks amount to “just” $94 billion of the total package; much of the rest of the hit against receipts won’t take place until the fourth calendar quarter, as businesses take pre-year-end advantage of the increased deductions for equipment purchases that were part of the package.
  • Reuters? Not a word.
  • The LA Times’s Richard Simon also had nothing to say.

Two outlets that did catch the spending result include All Headline News, in its fifth paragraph, and Thomson Financial at Forbes.com, in its third.

Thomson also noted that the past year’s spending was “above the 40-year historical spending average of 20.6% (of GDP).” Yet, according to the Republican National Committee’s Obama Spend-o-meter, Barack Obama has additional spending plans amounting to almost $1.3 trillion. Even if you spread that over four years, the annual increases are larger than the past year’s ridiculous increase — even before considering the increased costs of existing programs.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Old Media is hush-hushing the wasteful ways of the current Congress in the interest of enhancing the re-election chances of its Democratic members. Actually, since similar reports in previous years routinely reported total receipts and outlays, I do know better. They are.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Obama’s Socialism Exposed by Joe the Plumber; Race Is McCain’s to Win

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:39 am

“Obviously,” Joe the Plumber’s daring to challenge “The One” I refer to as “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH, PUNK” (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein ObambiObama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters, Previously Unaccomplished Nonsupporter of Kin) means that a blue-collar guy’s tax liens are more important than the fact that an off-the-teleprompter Obama was goaded into saying unequivocally what he truly believes.

Not around here, because Joe’s not on the ballot, and all the character assassination in the world won’t erase this:

Obama: It’s not that I want to punish your success, I just want to make sure that everybody who gets behind you, that they’ve got the chance at success too. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.

I’m left wondering how anyone has ever succeeded in America without Obama’s “wealth-spreading.” But succeed they have, to an extent found nowhere else in the world. Obama’s “wealth-spreading” ideas, if fully enacted, will do more to ruin entrepreneurs’ chances of success, and the economy’s chances of sustained long-term growth, than anything previously passed under any administration.

Once again (I hope), as seen in this post from June about his Social Security tax plan, Obama has shown that he doesn’t even understand the difference between “income” and “wealth” (or net worth). I say “I hope,” because the alternative is worse. If Obama does plan on taxing “wealth” too — beyond ramping up the death tax to pre-2001 levels — you’re going to see capital flee the country in a big way.

Joe the Plumber, who has been subjected to more scrutiny in the past 48 hours by Old Media than Obama has seen in 24 months, has also, I believe, virtually guaranteed that Obama will remain in a protective, public access-free cocoon for the next 2-1/2 weeks, lest another socialist utterance (yes, Jill – socialist) escape into public view.

People who follow football know that playing prevent defense all too often prevents winning the game, especially if the opponent’s offense doesn’t panic and patiently picks them apart.

Figuratively, there’s about 2:30 left in the fourth quarter. Even if you buy into the idea that McCain is behind (which I don’t), it’s by less than a touchdown.

Actually, Gallup’s latest indicates that it’s less than a field goal among those most likely to vote:

ObamaMcCain101608

Joe the Plumber just stopped Team Obama on third and short, forcing a punt to Team McCain, which now has the ball at about its own 40. The GOP candidate’s Wednesday debate performance indicates that the campaign might actually try to utilize all available weapons in its its final drive. It had better. There is no tomorrow.

Returning to Obama — From the Saul Alinsky playbook, here’s the ridicule (Rule 5; HT NixGuy):

Mocking Joe the Plumber? Wow, blue-collar folks across America will just loooooove that.

Yeah, Obama really cares about average people (/sarc). Let me spell it out for you, pal — E-L-I-T-I-S-T.

Positivity: Many marathoners running with a purpose

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Chicago:

Published: 10/12/2008 12:06 AM

Near the end of her freshman year at Wheeling High School in 1999, Colleen Clyder knew something wasn’t right.

Normally a good student, Clyder was having trouble concentrating in school. Her hand would shake when she wrote and her vision was a little fuzzy.

Clyder went to her doctor, who ordered a MRI that revealed she had a life-threatening brain tumor. She underwent emergency surgery to remove the tumor. While the tumor was benign, Clyder still faced a long recovery process from the surgery.

Nine years later, Clyder is a survivor, someone who has battled back from a serious setback to be able to live a normal life. She went on to get her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in school psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Today Clyder works as a school psychology intern at Wheeling High School and will complete her graduate studies next summer. But there are others with brain tumors who have not been so fortunate. Those people will be on her mind when she runs her first marathon today at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

The 24-year-old Clyder will run each mile for someone who has been affected by a brain tumor, including some who have died. She is running with her boyfriend, Jeremy Fischer, and his mom, Donna, who is a 10-year brain tumor survivor, to raise money for the American Brain Tumor Association. Her goal is $2,000 and she had raised about $1,300 at the start of last week.

“I think it is really important to give back and be a symbol of hope to others,” Clyder said. “I couldn’t take a back seat.”

A softball player and cheerleader at Wheeling, Clyder hopes to finish the 26.2-mile course in under five hours. Despite having run a couple of half marathons and trained properly, she admits to being nervous but knows how important it is to raise awareness for this cause.

Cause running, as it has come to be known, has grown at the Chicago Marathon over the years. According to marathon officials, 7,200 charity runners raised more than $10.5 million in 2007 to support a wide variety of causes. By comparison, the 2002 Chicago Marathon raised nearly $3 million.

For 2008, race officials expect to break the 2007 total now that even more charities are involved.

“Cause running continues to move forward and is an important facet of the marathon,” said Carey Pinkowski, Chicago Marathon executive race director. “We are hoping to pass last year’s goal.”

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Team In Training” program brought in the highest total last year – a whopping $2.5 million.

Vernon Hills resident Jeanne Lapp and her friend Scott Brown of Deerfield signed on to support that program a few years ago after they both were diagnosed with chronic forms of leukemia. They ran their first marathon together in San Francisco in 2004, a half marathon in May, and will be running their first Chicago Marathon today. Since 2004, they have raised more than $55,000 toward cancer research and patient aid.

Lapp’s recovery is a direct result of fundraising. A stem cell transplant from her identical twin sister didn’t work, but Gleevec, a drug developed with funding from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, was able target the cancerous cells and kill them, leaving Lapp’s healthy blood cells alone. The advancement saved her life.

“I would not be here today if it were not for the research that is being done,” Lapp said. “I run because I can; there are so many people who can’t because they are too sick. The research will help save other lives in the future.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.