You bet
Posted by aogTuesday, 07 July 2009 at 11:33 TrackBack Ping URL

Hey, can I claim this bet now?

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Harry Eagar Tuesday, 07 July 2009 at 13:29

On what grounds?

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 07 July 2009 at 15:15

GM and Chrysler. Keeping the stock warrants after the TARP money was repaid.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 08 July 2009 at 12:49

Obama had about $6T to go to catch up. That gets him a few hundred billion closer. Maybe the race will be to the tortoise, and he does have 3 1/2 years more, but he’s no sprinter like Bush.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 08 July 2009 at 13:36

We’re all still waiting for some actual substance to that claim.

Ali Choudhury Wednesday, 08 July 2009 at 16:32

Hopefully he’ll socialise healthcare and AOG will win his bet. :)

erp Wednesday, 08 July 2009 at 17:01

Ali, why on earth do you want Obama to socialize health care?

You can’t possibly believe the nonsense about people dying because they can’t feed their children and buy blood pressure pills. Lots of different kinds of BP medication are readily available at Wal-Marts and other stores for $5/month’s supply. We spend trillions on social welfare of all kinds. No one dies or even suffers from lack of medical attention, no one starves or eats cat food, no one lives on the streets either unless that’s their choice.

Not having health INSURANCE is not the same as not having health CARE.

This even goes beyond moral equivalency. Health Care legislation is a power grab pure and simple. It will do nothing for the poor, but will put lots more of our money into the pockets of the liberal elite and further destabilize the economy.

Ali Choudhury Wednesday, 08 July 2009 at 17:14

I used the smiley-face for a reason, erp. :)

erp Wednesday, 08 July 2009 at 17:44

Ali - a thousand pardons.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Thursday, 09 July 2009 at 19:28

Universal health care would in fact do quite a bit to aid the poor; having been poor, I can report that receiving charitable medical care is vastly better than getting no care at all, but it’s also often noticeably worse than the care that one receives if one can pay. The question is whether aiding the poor, who are often so due to their own dysfunction and/or mental laziness, is worth the price that the middle class would pay. Being currently middle class myself, that’s not a negligible question.

On the other hand, there are currently millions of families who are moving from “middle class with health insurance” to “poor without health insurance” through no great fault of their own - they’re no more guilty of dysfunction than most of the people who have stayed employed.

On the other other hand, the current crisis, (which, make no mistake, has YEARS left to run), was both PREDICTABLE and PREVENTABLE. After viewing the GOP malfeasance and the Dem misfeasance on this issue, I am sorely tempted to cry “a pox on both their houses !!”, but unfortunately I am not so well-heeled as to make opting-out a viable option. Then there’s the voting public, which has regularly demanded something-for-nothing from the various levels of gov’t, and which has remained supine and stuporous as first the Bush II and then the Obama administrations have literally looted,1 and set on a path to destruction, the Treasury of the United States - which is us, the taxpayers and citizens. (It is nearly impossible to overstate the damage that’s been done, and is continuing. The only parallels are epochal events like the American Civil War, WW II or possibly the fall of Rome. [And if things go really badly, this time will end in war as well.])

Given that the vast majority of the American public remains ignorant, BY CHOICE, of the inevitable effects of the Bush admin’s refusal to curb the excesses of the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) bubble, and of the Obama admin’s insane plan to borrow&spend America into prosperity by ignoring the TWO TRILLION dollars’ worth of American infrastructure needs, and to instead spend up to TWELVE TRILLION dollars attempting to re-inflate the bubble…

Well, why should I commit to being poorer, to benefit people who refuse to open their eyes?

But in the end I think: “Dese folk may be as dumb as a box of rocks,” (again, BY CHOICE - one of the unusual aspects of this period is that there’s no need to blame a secretive cabal of bankers, the Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission or any specific race, religion or ethnicity; everything necessary to understand what happened and where we’re going is being OPENLY PUBLISHED!!!), “but what the Hell, if the money’s going to be squandered or stolen anyhow, why not let the poor have their day?”

Thus, I’ll gore my own ox, based on the insight that it’s going to be gored anyway. Let the poor gorge.

Here is a short piece explicitly outlining why modestly-rich-guy Karl Denninger thinks that the entire medical establishment in the U.S. has become financially-abusive to the average person, along with some commonsense recommended changes.


1 No, that’s not hyperbole. As an interesting addition to my practical education, I am now, astoundingly and certainly astonished, living through the kind of era which I though belonged only to history, at least in America: a time of banana republic, robber baron, steal-in-broad-daylight-and-without-subterfuge politics.

Harry Eagar Friday, 10 July 2009 at 12:28

Well, we knew how to prevent a FIRE sale but the ideologues promised us free lunch and some of us (not me) bellied up to the bar. While we know how to prevent it, we have no reliable ideas about how to undo the mistake once it’s made.

erp Friday, 10 July 2009 at 14:35

The only reliable way is a repeat of the civil war. Long and bloody.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 25 July 2009 at 12:51

Hey, it’s up to 24 trillion dollars by President Obama. Do I win now?

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Sunday, 26 July 2009 at 07:18

Obama isn’t going to spend anything close to $24T, even if his admin committed to doing so under certain circumstances. It’s an empty promise. Special Inspector General for TARP Neil Barofsky reminds me a bit of David M. Walker, who resigned as Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office last year. As CBS News’s 60 Minutes staff writer Daniel Schorn puts it:

He’s totaled up our government’s income, liabilities, and future obligations and concluded that our current standard of living is unsustainable unless some drastic action is taken. And he’s not alone. It’s been called the “dirty little secret everyone in Washington knows” – a set of financial truths so inconvenient that most elected officials don’t even want to talk about them, which is exactly why David Walker does.

“I would argue that the most serious threat to the United States is not someone hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan but our own fiscal irresponsibility,” Walker tells [people].

David Walker is a prudent man and a highly respected public official. As comptroller general of the United States he runs he Government Accountability Office, the GAO, which audits the government’s books and serves as the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress. He has more than 3,000 employees, a budget of a half a billion dollars, and a message he considers urgent.

“I’m going to show you some numbers…they’re all big and they’re all bad,” he says.

So bad, that Walker has given up on elected officials and taken his message directly to taxpayers and opinion makers…

But what Walker is missing is that the numbers are SO big and SO bad that we aren’t going to honor the promise to pay, which makes his quest quixotic. (Or rather, we will pay, but in debased currency.)

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 26 July 2009 at 08:55

Ah, but it’s still better sourced as Eagar’s claim for former President Bush.

I am not sure Walker is missing that — you and he clearly agree that the current situation is unrealizable. It seems to me that Walker is simply trying to get the ruling class to handle it gracefully, rather than via far more painful defaulting or inflation.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Sunday, 26 July 2009 at 18:42

Agreed. There was a time when I too believed that it could be handled gracefully. However, I think that we’ve run out of room to maneuver - politically, demographically, economically - all at the same time.

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