StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between



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  • Nuclear Option Increases Chances Of Another Shutdown, Sequestration   18 weeks 21 hours ago

    You and other commentators write this stuff as if it's in a vacuum. Where have you been since 2009?

    Cons will not allow any budget that increases taxes. Dems are not going to do a budget that lowers spending w/o revenue. So a compromise is in order and dems would compromise but cons will not.

    Anyone watching politics in Washington that believes a con controlled white house, senate and/or house would not move to consolidate power has not watched the con movement over the last decade.

    This made it worse? Do you also believe in the tooth fairy. When will you guys quit giving the most radical folks in the world a false equivalency?

  • Why The Most Important Budget Event Of The Year Has Had No Impact   18 weeks 6 days ago

    Stan,
    I think the reason we didn't applaud the reduction in deficit is because the deficit is still $680 billion. To say that it's the lowest since the end of the last president's term isn't particularly newsworthy either. I think Americans are simply in a wait-and-see mode, especially as most forecasts show deficits and debt rising in the long term based on current policies.

    Also, if we are to congratulate the President on deficit reduction, some of the credit goes to the House Republicans who--like it or not--have clamped down on spending substantially.

  • Martin Feldstein Doesn't Get The Joke   19 weeks 22 hours ago

    And the joke is: Congress?

    Congress: a formal meeting or series of meetings for discussion between delegates

    Congress has the option to legislate, but this Congress only wants to "discuss" political posturing. Maybe he isn't getting the definition. There is no requirement that Congress do anything other than discuss.

  • Why The Most Important Budget Event Of The Year Has Had No Impact   19 weeks 2 days ago

    I will stand corrected if my blog ignorance is showing and I will offer apologies as needed.

    It's just so nice to converse with fellow budget weenies. My thanks to all of you for your concerns and comments about budget issues. Gozo, if I owe you an apology, I humbly beg your acceptance.

  • Why The Most Important Budget Event Of The Year Has Had No Impact   19 weeks 2 days ago

    Not really inappropriate. It's how blogs are supposed to work. TLDR version in the comments. Give a link to the blog to read more.

  • Why The Most Important Budget Event Of The Year Has Had No Impact   19 weeks 3 days ago

    Gozo, I can appreciate that you are sharp and I admire that you have a blog about these issues...I must opine, however, that "advertising" your blog via Stan's blog seems a bit inappropriate.

  • Why The Most Important Budget Event Of The Year Has Had No Impact   19 weeks 3 days ago

    I wonder if an additional reason for non-coverage is that many among the national elite use deficits to argue for entitlement cuts, as illustrated by the Washington Post in its frequent front-page discussions of the deficit. So, emphasizing falling deficits would undercut that argument.

    Although I might have missed something, my sense is that the only mention of the sharp deficit reduction by WaPo was by its Wonkblog.

    In addition, I found no mention of the deficit numbers on ABC, CBS, or NBC the day of or the day after the October 30 announcement.

    Given this non-coverage, it is no surprise that most Americans appear to believe that deficits have been increasing each year under President Obama.

  • Why The Most Important Budget Event Of The Year Has Had No Impact   19 weeks 3 days ago

    It was hard to read the purpose implied by listing sequestration as an element of reduced deficit-spending. The Wikipedia definition did not enlighten further. We would appreciate clarification of what you were trying to say.

    Regards,
    (($; -)}
    Gozo!

  • Why The Most Important Budget Event Of The Year Has Had No Impact   19 weeks 3 days ago

    This analysis of why two sides are keeping quiet about our shrinking levels of “deficit spending” prompted me to think about how we Americans either seem not to understand basic accounting terms (such as the difference between an “Income Statement” and a “Balance Sheet”) or else seem not to care.

    The analysis prompted a post on my own blog, which may be read here:

    Why “Deficits” Don’t Always Matter:
    ____________________

    Discussions about our national debt usually omit analysis of a debt-to-equity ratio. Conservatives in particular fail to differentiate between, say, buying an office building and taking a vacation to Tahiti.

    What is America’s “debt-to-equity ratio”? Are we truly “spending” our way to an economic downfall?

    Or might we actually be investing enough—whether in education or in preventative healthcare, or in roads for moving commerce and in rocket ships to eventually carry us to commerce in outer space, or in pharmaceutical cures for cancer, or in solar energy that will eventually free us from fossil fuels and global warming and energy shortfalls—to grow a country wealthy enough for our children and grandchildren to enjoy?

    The above list comprises some examples of “capital investment.” Any or all might make up “deficit-spending,” if one confuses basic accounting terms and does not really understand capitalism. But if our shared, national “investments” are mostly sound ones, America’s future should continue to be strong.

    Regards,
    (($; -)}
    Gozo!

  • Why The Most Important Budget Event Of The Year Has Had No Impact   19 weeks 3 days ago

    Sequestration - one word missing from your analysis.

    The budget sequestration in 2013 refers to the automatic spending cuts to United States federal government spending in particular categories of outlays[note 1] that were initially set to begin on January 1, 2013, as an austerity fiscal policy as a result of Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), and were postponed by two months by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 until March 1 when this law went into effect.[1]

    The reductions in spending authority are approximately $85.4 billion (versus $42 billion in actual cash outlays[note 2]) during fiscal year 2013,[2](p14) with similar cuts for years 2014 through 2021. However, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the total federal outlays will continue to increase even with the sequester by an average of $238.6 billion per year[2](p3) during the next decade, although at a somewhat lesser rate.

    The cuts are split evenly (by dollar amounts, not by percentages) between the defense and non-defense categories.

    Wikipedia

  • Forget the Conference: A Sequester Is Still Likely   20 weeks 1 hour ago

    it is excellent, all previous with success over budget deals are supported a minimum of a implied up front agreement concerning what the 2 sides try to get done

  • Forget the Conference: A Sequester Is Still Likely   21 weeks 1 day ago

    Is your #6 too limiting? Since we should be able to stipulate that Republicans don't actually care about the deficit, is a deal in which they get tax cuts and Democrats get some kind of [more efficient] stimulus wholly impossible?

  • Great Minds Dressing Alike   21 weeks 2 days ago

    That's pretty damn funny. A nice break from the rolling budget disaster.

    thanks for the laugh.

  • Forget the Conference: A Sequester Is Still Likely   21 weeks 2 days ago

    Actually, what unplugged the CA budget process was the removal of the 2/3 vote requirement for budgets, which essentially removed the GOP obstructionists from the budget process. Until then, a small but determined minority was able to hold the entire process hostage.(sound familiar?)

  • Forget the Conference: A Sequester Is Still Likely   21 weeks 2 days ago

    Short story shorter, the Democrats made the fatal mistake back in 2011 of assuming that the sequester cuts would be something the GOP wouldn't like - fundamentally, they assumed the GOP was attempting to govern.

    This assumption has clearly proven false - the GOP is in Congress solely to wreck, sabotage, and lie. They're even willing to allow military budget cuts (while asserting that such cuts "weaken our security") because they sincerely HOPE that something terrible happens before 2014.

    The plan is simple: demand unreasonable and terrible cuts to "replace" the sequester, then spend the rest of the time until next Election Day blaming Obama for not shooting the hostage for them.

  • Forget the Conference: A Sequester Is Still Likely   21 weeks 3 days ago

    May I humbly suggest that we follow California's lead and amend the Constitution so that Congress cannot get paid if there's no budget?

    This approach has worked wonders in California. What is missing in many places in the U.S. Federal system is an adequate "or else". Honor used to require that Congress complete it's constitutional duties, but the world has changed. A sample amendment might be: "If Congress fails to pass at least a full-year Federal budget prior to the start of each fiscal year, the members and their staff are not to be paid until they do."

    ??

  • Forget the Conference: A Sequester Is Still Likely   21 weeks 3 days ago

    11) There simply isn't that much difference between a $986 billion spending level and a $967 billion spending level, particularly with the continuing economic recovery both reducing automatic stabilization spending and generating higher revenues through growth. The deficit is "fixing" itself automatically through the turn in the business cycle without the politicians doing anything.

  • Only Way New Budget Talks Will Succeed Is By Redefining Success   22 weeks 2 days ago

    Grand bargain...not going to happen. Really the best that seems possible is limping through a series of CRs. It is a picture of just how broken our political system is that this might look like "success."

  • Only Way New Budget Talks Will Succeed Is By Redefining Success   22 weeks 3 days ago

    The Dems need to do something other than Grand Bargain: Entitlement cuts for increased taxes. We are still in a jobs crisis and can't expect the budget to balance until we return to full employment. Dems need to pivot away from deficit reduction and explore a budget that includes neither increased taxes nor entitlement cuts.

  • Still No Better Than 50% That Debt Ceiling Is Raised By 10/17...And A Few Other Things   23 weeks 34 min ago

    The Tea Party may have done enough damage to itself to make moderates less afraid of a primary challenge. At least it puts the issue of shutdown before the voters.

    McConnell is smart enough to know that TeaParty can win primaries, yet lose general elections to credible opponents. Default might make McConnell toxic in 2014. The incentives were in favor of the Senate making a deal, Boehner got the cover he needed so default avoided.

    It would be a good idea to end the debt ceiling, but this Congress will not do it.

  • Must-Read: Bruce Bartlett On The Debt Limit   23 weeks 3 days ago

    The validity of the public debt of the US shall not be questioned? This is ridiculous, we are human being we must question if there is any wrong.

  • Still No Better Than 50% That Debt Ceiling Is Raised By 10/17...And A Few Other Things   23 weeks 3 days ago

    I was working at a client all day, got back to the hotel, and am trying to parse exactly what went down in the House today. It's making my head hurt, because it is all so illogical.

    As I said in my first post, it's going to take a market meltdown to motivate action. It looks like that meltdown will come tomorrow unless a deal is announced before the bell.

    Boehner needs to step down as speaker. He is an utter failure as a leader.

  • Still No Better Than 50% That Debt Ceiling Is Raised By 10/17...And A Few Other Things   23 weeks 3 days ago

    and definitely will not pass the Senate. This is truly getting bizarre.

    http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/flooraction/jan2013/gopoct15.pdf

  • Still No Better Than 50% That Debt Ceiling Is Raised By 10/17...And A Few Other Things   23 weeks 3 days ago

    Senate negotiations have "paused" so that the House can try to put something together. I think it's a screen bet this makes overall passage "by" October 17 all but impossible.

  • Still No Better Than 50% That Debt Ceiling Is Raised By 10/17...And A Few Other Things   23 weeks 4 days ago

    Evidently McConnell and Reid are really close to an agreement. Time-wise, I don't think they can make October 17, but October 18 might be possible. One big question is whether the Senate will give unanimous consent to take up the bill that is agreed upon with limited debate. If they can (I would be surprised), then a bill could be introduced on Tuesday, October 15 and likely voted on the following day after limited debate; that sends the bill to the house on October 16 and it is just possible they could ram it through by the morning of October 17.

    If they cannot get unanimous consent, then we're left with introducing the bill tomorrow, doing the cloture vote on on Wednesday October 16, finishing debate and voting on October 18 and forcing the House to act with alacrity to get something in place by October 21, when we are told there is a really likelihood of Treasury not being able to make payments.

    Can anybody think of a way this could get done by October 17?

    And, of course, all bets are off if the House does anything but rubber-stamp the Senate version. I note that combining the reopening and the debt ceiling bills into one means a single "violation" of the Hastert rule is all that is needed.



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