Quantifiably sleazy

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The third presidential debate was depressing. The whole election season is.
Not the candidates, not the mud slinging, not the lack of real options, not the lack of sensible policies, not the woefully bad ideas from both sides, but how the whole mess is handled by the media, the political class and the public at large.
How the real questions and concerns did not even make it into the debates, let alone being discussed in any reasonable way. How hopelessly partisan everyone involved became. How even ‘facts’ became partisan.

There was one particular moment in the debate, one particular claim, one particular miss that may illustrate the problem best:

Hillary Clinton made the claim that the Obama administration reduced the deficit by two thirds.
The claim went completely unchallenged. Nobody asked how is it possible then that the national debt doubled during the same time? Where did the debt come from? Where did it go?

It must be said that Hillary did not come up with the idea. The claim was first made in the 2015 State of the Union address by Barak Obama himself.
The statement is obviously fishy. Well, OK, it stinks to high heaven.

Politifact rated it mostly true, and so did factcheck.org.
Steve Benen of MSNBC was outright mocking those retarded tea partiers who said that ‘Obama is turning us into Greece’ and closing the article with the following statement:

“Every conservative complaint about fiscal recklessness and irresponsibility in the Obama era is quantifiably ridiculous.”


Not that the information is not available. Here are the deficit numbers:

George Walker Bush (in billions)

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
-$128.23 $157.75 $377.59 $412.73 $318.35 $248.18 $160.71 $458.55

Barak Hussein Obama (in billions)

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
$1,412.69 $1,294.37 $1,299.59 $1,086.96 $679.55 $484.62 $438.40 $587.41
 Bush total  Bush average / year  Obama total  Obama average /year
$1,769.39 $196.60 $7,283.59 $910.45

Obama doubled the debt. You should also notice that he only slowed down after losing majority first in the house, then in the senate.
Still, the average yearly deficit under Obama is 4.63 times the average under Bush.


But this is a sleight of hand the left could say, because Obama inherited in a way the 2008 market collapse and TARP, which shows up in the 2009 deficit figure.
The sleight of hand in the Obama claim is that it took the peak of the spending and compared it to the lowest in the period of his administration. That indeed shows a 70% drop.

But here is the real sleight of hand:
If you look at that big bump representing TARP, that is not really deficit. It was just a bunch of loans and investments!

The government borrowed money to help out various private entities. It was not spending. Under sane accounting rules it should have been written off as deficit spending if and only when the entities that it was loaned to defaulted on their payments, which was not the case. The money was all recovered by the end of 2014 with a small profit. With a 0.7% return per year it wasn’t a stellar investment, but it was no loss and definitely not an expenditure. The Obama claim is based on a fictional deficit figure for 2009.

Shouldn’t somebody ask what happened to that money that was recovered from TARP? My guess is that it just went into a general revenue account and was blown by the administration. That is nearly half a trillion dollars that should be accounted for as additional spending over the years of the Obama presidency.
His administration is responsible for spending every last penny that was recovered from the bailout.
Let me say this again:
This makes Barak Obama responsible for every single penny of deficit spending and the dubious honor of being the biggest deficit spender in US history.

The results are scary. Here are some numbers from the Debt clock time machine:

All numbers are as of 2016/10/26 2008 2016 change
US national debt $10.81 trillion $19.76 trillion 82.79%
US Federal budget deficit $481  billion $590 billion 22.66%
US federal spending $3.00 trillion $3.876 trillion 29.20%
Total unfunded liabilities n/a $103.943 trillion n/a
Monetary base $1.518 trillion $3.714 trillion 144..66%
Debt per citizen n/a $381,349 n/a
Liability per taxpayer n/a $870,469 n/a

The numbers are staggering. They may be ‘quantifiably ridiculous’ to MSNBC, but I fail to see the funny part.
The Obama claim about his heroic fight against the deficit which was repeated by Hillary without flinching is a colossal, manipulative and sleazy lie. Looking at the numbers above, we could call it ‘quantifiably sleazy’.

Questioning whether Hillary was under fire in Bosnia or whether the Clintons were really broke when they left the white house are irrelevant distractions. What was depressing in the debate is to see how NOBODY called her out on the really dangerous, the really important lies. What was depressing is to see that not even the conservative media challenged her on them.

What would happen to a private corporation if it performed the kind of accounting wizardry exposed above? If a bank would report loans and investments it made as operational losses?
Would MSNBC find the criminal charges ‘quantifiably ridiculous’?

Should taxpayers feel the same way about their $870,469 liability that is increasing by the minute? Is that liability ‘quantifiably ridiculous’?

Does Obama believe his own BS? Does Hillary? Does MSNBC?

Will the American electorate?


TARP links:

Bailout Scorecard – Eye on the Bailout – ProPublica
U.S. ends TARP with $15.3 billion profit – Dec. 19, 2014
The Big Bank Bailout
Troubled Asset Relief Program – Wikipedia – this page have a list of most TARP loans and their repayment dates.

US debt
$18 trillion US Debt – no need to worry – YouTube
$17 Trillion U.S. DEBT – A Visual Perspective – YouTube
US Economics Explained- How Big is the U.S. Debt- – Learn Liberty – YouTube
How Big Is the U.S. Debt- – YouTube

U.S. National Debt Clock – Real Time
Barack Obama claims deficit has decreased by two-thirds since taking office – PolitiFact
2015 United States federal budget – Wikipedia
US Federal Deficit by Year – plus charts and analysis

Jerry, just remember. It’s not a lie… if you believe it… – YouTube

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