Exploding Debt

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Joshua Gordon policy director at The Concord Coalition and Bob Kuttner co-founder of The American Prospect magazine discuss the ballooning national debt and its impact on stimulus efforts.


Joshua Gordon and Bob Kuttner

Comments [20]

USA Patriot

Cut Spending/13 --

Have you seen that scared old man, "Calls Em as Rush Sees Em, from Langley, VA"? Thought so. Were you spewing your wisdom when Bush was busy sniffing his belly button and spending our surplus? Thought not. There's a way of conversing and there's a way of being a d*uche. Do you realize which you are? Thought so.

Nov. 24 2009 06:57 PM
Ed Helmrich from Larchmont, NY

Maybe he got an inkling from his grandfather and his father who were evolutionists? I celebrate evolution, but not Darwinism.

Nov. 24 2009 11:19 AM
Jon P. from The Garden State

Cut Spending,

Oh no, gold is up and it will keep going up forever just like the US housing market!!!... Sure it will…. Remember, the overwhelming majority of China is beyound piss poor and won’t be middle class in our lifetime. US, 320+ million united consumers ready to spend that China can’t do without. US is their biggest best customer hands down. Who are they going to send all those container ships full of cheap plastic crap to that they are not already sending to? The Middle East?

Nov. 24 2009 11:17 AM
Ed Helmrich from Larchmont, NY

Please ask Dr. Dawkins one question: Is there ever a case where a snake developed arms or legs and was able to walk? That's the quetion. By the way, Wallace criticized Darwin's view of evolution in that he felt it couldn't explain all that he claimed.

Nov. 24 2009 11:12 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

Cutting spending isn't enough. In the mid-term there will be a basket of currencies, led by the dollar, that will become the de facto reserve currency; Not one, but many. That's not going to happen for a number of years, well after we pass through this recession, created by living above our means. We are now FORCED to deal with it whether people like it or not.

In the meantime, the Chinese economy needs US debt or at least the stability of the US dollar above all else. If the dollar collapses, so does the overheated Chinese economy. The Chinese economy is not diversified enough to withstand it yet, plus they are EXTREMELY limited by space, pollution, and environmental degradation (e.g., desertification).

This is when the US has to be strategic and figure out what industries it does well and remain innovative in them: high tech, clean tech, creative arts and design, management, higher ed., health care techniques and technologies, etc.

Maybe some don't know what these are.

By the way, we can pay for anything if we choose to, except many are opposed to any help to others.

Sounds like some people would rather live in the fiscally sound Chinese society. good luck.

Nov. 24 2009 11:09 AM
Cut Spending

@F from 10075

Uh, yeah, all of those "unpatriotic right" in India and China and UAE...

Copper, zinc, lead, and heat-treated steel is up a lot too...

It has got to be hard to maintain that beclothed emperor image firmly in mind.

Nov. 24 2009 11:04 AM
F from 10075

"gold is up " because the unpatriotic right keeps telling everyone who will listen to buy gold. (murdoch must have had a ton of gold to unload)

Nov. 24 2009 10:54 AM
Cut Spending

Uh, by the way, superf88 is wrong.

- We will not be the world's reserve currency for ever -- the relevant question is, "How much longer?" is up; everyone wants out of our worthless dollars.

- There are limits to borrowing -- we have hit ours takes more and more borrowing to sustain ever smaller US GDP growth can't go asymptotic now, can it?!

- If you do your homework, you will find there is no "engine" for job growth in the US (green jobs...Oh, those are in China... they have the markets, the tech, the factories, and the rare earth minerals) How are we going to pay back this debt; we can't all become delivery truck drivers, nurses, and prison guards?!

- China is breaking their dependence on the broke, US consumer by stimulating domestic demand; we borrow their (peasants') surplus savings to give yet another ENTITLEMENT to our tatted, obese, kidults/adultolescents.

- We can always sell our china (and our linens and our homes and our land) to China!

Google the excellent Buffet parable about "Squanderville versus Thriftville"

Take the crack pipe out of your hand.

Nov. 24 2009 10:47 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

By the way, superf88 is correct:

The US and China will continue to work things out so that the US will borrow from China while the latter will continue to be the workshop-exporter to the world (and to some extent, it's global dump).

We are in a global economy and don't soon forget it.

Nov. 24 2009 10:32 AM
Joanna from NY

Everyone brings up the debt of WWII. But that was held by Americans mostly was it not? Buy war bonds and all that. Now no one asks us to buy bonds. We sell the bonds to China and other countries. When the WWII debt came due it was paid back to Americans and went into our economy but not this time! It will go out of the country to China and to the other countries we borrowed from.

Nov. 24 2009 10:28 AM

great comments so far, would love another segment to hear them discussed...

Nov. 24 2009 10:25 AM
G from NYC

Actually taxing the rich might help and yes less bombs. How many schools, or how many new teachers could we have for the price of one bomber or battleship.

Nov. 24 2009 10:25 AM
Cut Spending

"The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

Nov. 24 2009 10:24 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

Many of the most formerly nationalistic (and jingoistic) American "patriots" have for many years been stating that the USA is the greatest country in the world, the "City on the Hill."

So, why are many of these same people terrified of the debt? If we as a people (not just the government) were foolish enough to live above our means and pay for it on credit, then we will need to pay our way out of it. We can certainly afford to do it through smart planning and some discipline even with state programs. We've done it before.

The stimulus was eminently necessary, but not perfect, as with anything, and we need the government to continue to stimulate both the public and private sectors so that innovation will lead to job employment.

Sustainability folks.

Nov. 24 2009 10:23 AM
Billy Gray from Greenpoint

"Americans are not used to paying taxes"?? Perhaps Mr. Gordon is not used to doing so, or maybe I need his accountant.

Nov. 24 2009 10:23 AM
paul from nyc

won' they solve the debt with inflation?

Nov. 24 2009 10:20 AM
Billy Gray from Greenpoint

I love how the first target for cuts is "entitlement programs" and not, oh I dunno, Freedom Bombs.

The very term "entitlement programs" betrays a total misunderstanding of the important, necessary, and humane role that programs like Social Security and Medicare provide.

Nov. 24 2009 10:20 AM

"Government's tab for servicing the debt (skyrocketing)"...

THAT'S one place where the US govt. DOES have clout. If I had the USAF behind me my interest rates on borrowed capital would remain quite low, I assure you.

Nov. 24 2009 10:13 AM

Hogwash that America is now China's debt slave. Our democracy -- which enables millions of Chinese to own American properties, build their dream homes and open bank accounts for their grandkids (well, grandkid, anyway) -- is far more valuable to Chinese politicians and millionaires than anything in the world, even their own constituents' powered milk. In fact, Insofar as money continues to be the main currency of this planet our relationship with China, if nothing else, guarantees that America may forever be in debt yet will never, ever go broke. At least, so long as we continue to be a democracy and China continues to require a political, economic and environmental safe zone.

While in nearly every economic situation we can find ourselves in, the same exact common sense one applies to a household economy can be applied to almost any scale, including a national economy. Massive US debt is the exception. So long as we print the world's safety currency the federal government can dig us as deep as they wish and we want.

Managing US debt demands an open, creative mind, and recognition of the omnipotence such a manager actually has.

Nov. 24 2009 09:28 AM
hjs from 11211

yes, it's a shame we are borrowing to pay for that darn iraq war. poor economic planning for the last 8 years and no planning for the threatened boomer retirement, while zero investment in infrastructure don't help

Nov. 24 2009 09:24 AM

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