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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
So can someone explain the following:

-Non-defense discretionary income, adjusted for population and inflation, is the same as it was in 2001 when we had a surplus.

Hmmm, I'll take a stab at it. It looks like somebody told you something untrue and you didn't bother to actually check if it was true or not.

Non-defense discretionary spending
2001 $1,214B
2009 $2,280B

US Gov Printing Office Table 8.1

I'm using the 2009 figure, since the figure for 2010 is not in yet.


Inflation adjusted 2001 budget:
2001 $1,214B -> 2009 $1,471

(inflation factor: 1.212)

CPI Calculator

US Population growth:
2001 278 million
2009 297 million

297/278 = 1.068

Census Estimates

$1,471*1.068 = $1,572 Billion

So if the spending were at the same level adjusted for population growth and inflation the country would have spent:

$2,280 - 1,572 = $708 Billion less than what we did spend in 2009.

That would have saved a lot of money! I would stop relying whatever source for data you are using, because they aren't even in the ballpark.


quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
-Government revenue is down 20% in the same measure.

Well let's see.

2001 $1,991B
2009 $2,105B

Adjusted: 1,991*1.212*1.068 = $2,577

2,577/2105 = 1.22

So down 22%, I'd say down 20% is an accurate statement.

US Gov PO Table 2.1

So as to the why:
Slow economy do to recession
Obama Income Tax cuts (renewed the Bush era cuts)
Obama FICA tax cuts.

quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
-Republicans insist on holding the country hostage, not paying bills for things we already bought, unless we cut non-defense discrectionary spending, and refuse to increase revenue.

How is this not idiotic, or evil?

Your phrasing is very partisan and your question has no answer that will satisfy you.

The Republicans feel that if we:

a) Reduce spending
b) Constrain tax rate increases
c) Let income growth increase tax revenue
d) Constrain debt growth

It will better position the country for long term growth.

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DonaldD
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JWatts, you used the wrong column - or at least, not the column labelled 'non-defense discretionary'. You are actually using the total of non-discretionary spending.

I don't think the analysis changes that much and I don't think looking at just non-defense discretionary spending is quite correct either - the total of non-defense spending might be more pertinent, though one might quibble over this or that component.

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JWatts
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[DOH] Oops, my fault. You're right Donald I jumped over 1 column to the right.

Just to be accurate (the new numbers):

Non-defense discretionary spending
2001 $343B
2009 $581B

Inflation factor: 1.212
Population growth: 1.068

343*1.212*1.068 = $444B

581/444 = 1.31

So a 31% growth in non-discretionary spending over and above inflation and population growth, but only a mere $137 Billion in extra spending.

And I appreciate anyone who wants to double or triple check the numbers, etc. You won't get to the truth without effort.

[ July 27, 2011, 02:59 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
...I never meant it that way. I was more along the lines of people being more pragmatic once the decision has to actually be made and that they will choose what they believe to be the lesser of 2 evils. There is a certain moral calculus to that but I wasn't going for where you ended up.
All right, that's fair. I would defend my interpretation of your post, but if that wasn't what you were going for, I'll accept that.

After all, I'm not out to demonize you. [Wink]

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Whether you believe the MSM demonized Palin or not, saying that they will the next nominee, regardless of who he is, is demonizing. He has all ready decided that the MSM will treat the nominee unfairly--you don't even have to look.

I tend to believe that once you start going after autistic children that it's demonizing but maybe you have a looser standard than I. However, if you think they will back off after going that far then you're in denial. It worked, why would they not do it again?
I wouldn't call going after autistic children "demonizing." Tasteless, rude, crude, stupid, way-over-the-line, maybe. But it didn't make Palin look bad. [Smile]

Of course, if you define MSM as any media figure with a large audience, like major news organizations, comedians, commentators, etc., then you are right that someone, somewhere will "demonize" the Republican candidate. After all, someone, somewhere will demonize the Democratic candidate. Heck, they're demonizing Obama right now:

quote:
He [Obama] is a burglar. All liberals are burglars. All liberals are thieves. That’s what they do, it’s who they are.
But when you say that there was "a very nasty Palinesque smear campaign by the MSM," you make it sound like all the MSM was involved in a conspiracy. Rude jokes about Palin's child were not made by the major news organizations or most commentators, not even by most comics. Pointing out Palin's weaknesses and making fun of her gaffes did happen, but it happened to all candidates. It may have happened a bit more to Palin, but then, she did provide plenty of material. [Smile]

You can expect the Republican candidate to be demonized. I fully expect the Democratic candidate to be demonized, too. But you make it sound like it was some special conspiracy by the MSM. I think that is more than debatable, and declaring it will happen in the next election is demonizing the MSM.

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AI Wessex
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Is G2 reading your posts? If not, you just wasted it if you wanted him to respond. I realize now that I can comment on G2's remarks freely. He won't see them [Smile] and I no longer should expect him to respond to questions. He rarely did in the past, but since last week I guess that's a persistent condition.
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Wayward Son
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Actually, I'm responding to his response to my response. So, yeah, he's reading them. [Smile]
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
But when you say that there was "a very nasty Palinesque smear campaign by the MSM," you make it sound like all the MSM was involved in a conspiracy.

Google JournoList.
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AI Wessex
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Taking G2's suggestion:

From Ezra Klein, the creator of the self-described left-leaning Google Journolism group:
quote:
"I want to be very clear about what I was suggesting: Adding [Tucker Carlson] to the list meant giving them access to the entirety of the archives. That didn't bother me very much. Sure, you could comb through tens of thousands of e-mails and pull intemperate moments and inartful wording out of context to embarrass people, but so long as you weren't there with an eye towards malice, you'd recognize it for what it was: A wonkish, fun, political yelling match. If it had been an international media conspiracy, I'd have never considered opening it up.
What do you expect from 400 left-leaning journalists, sentimental reminiscences of Reagan?
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Star Pilot 111
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I don't understand ?!?!
It took Gearge W. Bush 8(eight) years to screw up the country, and everbody is on Obama's case, because in two and a half years he hasn't fixed the country. People need to get real. Give the man some time, and look at the congress he has to work with. When he took office I saw some republican say "I'm going to do everything in my power to see that Obama fails" The man had a southern accent [Wink]

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velcro
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JWatts,

I should clarify - non-security, not non-defense. My fault for not being explicit. The former includes DOHS.

I used the CPI calculator and got 1.275, not 1.212. The 2011 population figure assumes 9.1% increase instead of 6.8% for 2009. So your numbers are low again.

I need to find the non-security numbers for 2011, and recalculate.

As far as what Republicans want -
quote:
The Republicans feel that if we:

a) Reduce spending
b) Constrain tax rate increases
c) Let income growth increase tax revenue
d) Constrain debt growth

It will better position the country for long term growth.

I agree completely, except I would add that in certain situations, like now, we can not wait for c) to happen. The top 1% earners got 80% of income growth over the last 20 years. I think it fair that they kick in a little extra now to get us out of the mess that they prospered from. And if you are honest, you will see that Obama agrees also, it is just a matter of degree.

And one other point - even if I didn't agree, I would debate it in calm, mature conversations. I would not threaten default unless you do it my way, which is exactly what the Republicans are doing.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
[QB] JWatts,

I should clarify - non-security, not non-defense. My fault for not being explicit. The former includes DOHS.

I used the CPI calculator and got 1.275, not 1.212. The 2011 population figure assumes 9.1% increase instead of 6.8% for 2009. So your numbers are low again.

I need to find the non-security numbers for 2011, and recalculate.

I'm not really inclined to trust any source claiming numbers for 2011. Since the year is only a little over half finished, it's at best an estimate.

My source for population was the US Census. My budget numbers were the official US Government Printing Office numbers.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
It took Gearge W. Bush 8(eight) years to screw up the country...
To be fair, I think the record will show that George Bush managed to screw up the country in just three years.
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AI Wessex
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The tipping point was March 2003, as we marched jauntily off to a grand unfunded war, followed that same year by another big tax cut, followed the next year by unfunded Medicare Part "D". We know when it crashed (2008), and we know who to blame for it: Obama?
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velcro
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The analysis is based on the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution of April 2011. I couldn't find a date for the link you gave for the budget numbers, so I am assuming the CR is the later document.

FY 2011 CR says total spending is 1050B, defense is 513B, and 42B for Homeland Security, which results in 495B non-security discretionary for 2011.

The 2001 numbers from your link are 343B non defense. Assume 15B for the equivalent of Homeland Security, and the number is 323B non-security discretionary. Multiply by 1.091 and 1.275, and you get 498B in 2011 dollars.

2011 is 495B, and 2001 is 498B. Hmm.

Even if you assume 2001 Homeland Security spending is only 5B, the numbers are 484 to 495.

The argument stands - DOE, EPA, roads, NASA, NPR, etc. are not the problem. Military, DOHS, and entitlements are the problem.

Any questions?

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velcro
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2011 is at best an estimate - based on exactly what Congress authorized. The debate is about what Congress will authorize, so it seems like a reasonable source of data.

Your census numbers only go up to 2009. Mine go to eleven [Smile]

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JWatts
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No questions, but I'll point out that you sited a Continuing Resolution for a partial year. It's not the full year. From the CR you sighted it's dated April 12th, 2011 and is good through September 30th.

So you might want to try again with data from a full 12 months. The figures will probably look a little different.

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velcro
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I'll check. Care to address my response to what Republicans want vs. what I want?
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Star Pilot 111
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quote
the record will show that George Bush managed to screw up the country in just three years.
___________________________________________________________________________

Is that what you call "a no brainer" ? [LOL]

quote
We know when it crashed (2008), and we know who to blame for it: Obama?
_______________________________________________________________________

Obama had not taken office yet, so I guess it is his fault. [Eek!]

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DonaldD
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That was kinda the point...
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
It took Gearge W. Bush 8(eight) years to screw up the country...
To be fair, I think the record will show that George Bush managed to screw up the country in just three years.
Country was in recession by the end of 2000, and GWB didn't cause 9/11. Not sure what Bush did in the 1st 3 years to screw it up, relative to those two items.
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velcro
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JWatts,

I'm pretty sure the CR is for the whole year. Since we don't have a budget yet for 2011, that resolution has to cover the whole year up to now, and extending to a specific date, in this case the end of FY2011. Given that the defense portion of the CR is $500B, I don't think it is an April to October only deal.

Here's a blurb on the previous CR from OBPI
quote:
On April 9, 2011, President Obama signed a seventh Continuing Resolution to fund the Federal government for FY 2011 through April 15, 2011. Under a Continuing Resolution, programs are not to start new projects.
So unless that CR only covered spending from April 9 to April 15, CRs cover FY2011 up until the end date, which in the case of the CR I cited is the end of FY2011. If you read the link I provided, it talks about reductions from FY2010 without prorating anything, which just reinforces the point.

So my point of non-security discretionary funding being flat is correct, assuming you use the proper years for population, the proper CPI index, and the CR instead of the outdated budget numbers as your analysis did.

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Pyrtolin
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The Federal fiscal year runs October-September, so the 2011 budget will close as of Oct 1.
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Star Pilot 111
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quote
GWB didn't cause 9/11. Not sure what Bush did in the 1st 3 years to screw it up..
______________________________________________________________________________

He was so bent on trying to exact revenge on Sadam for aledgedly trying "kill my daddy" that he invaded Iraq, wasting millions, while Osama was in Afganistan.

He pushed for financial institution self-regulation, and we know where that got us.

Bragged that his life style was more important than oil or gasoline consevation.

He was an oil man, so oil companies made the biggest profits in history, because of his tax relief for them. TAX RELIEF ! you gotta be kidding. [Mad]

He sure put things in motion from the moment he took office.

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Pyrtolin
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The ball had already been rolling for about 20 years when he got there. He just gave it a enough of a push to reach its target.
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JWatts
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Velcro, from your link:
quote:

The negotiated agreement between the House, Senate, and White House on a final Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution will prevent a government shutdown, fund the entire federal government until September 30, 2011

You realize if those numbers were for the full year that the Defense Department must have had a (656 -> 513) a 28% budget cut in the last two years?
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DonaldD
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JWatts, did you notice Pyrtolin's post about the fiscal year at 12:48?
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
JWatts, did you notice Pyrtolin's post about the fiscal year at 12:48?

Yes, the fiscal year does end on Sept. 31st 2011. However, the CR bill was not passed on Oct 1st 2010.

Look at the header. It's from April of 2011. So it didn't cover the start of the fiscal year. That's actually why it's a CR vs a normal budget.

However, we are debating apples to oranges here. I showed all of the relevant documentation that covers the time period.

Trying to mirror up the seventh CR bill in a year with previous years is pointless.

quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
Here's a blurb on the previous CR from OBPI
quote:
On April 9, 2011, President Obama signed a seventh Continuing Resolution to fund the Federal government for FY 2011 through April 15, 2011. Under a Continuing Resolution, programs are not to start new projects.

Indeed, it generally takes the Federal government a year just to figure out what they actually spent the year before. That's why the document that I linked to showed an ESTIMATE beside the 2010 Fiscal year.
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JWatts
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Here's a site where you can do some direct comparisons between the numbers:
Link

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velcro
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The estimate was before the billions in cuts laid out in the CR. Since this continuing resolution continued until the end of the FY, it IS the budget, until something else overrides it.

Sorry, the CR is the definitive budget right now, for the full year. And if you read it, you would see that
quote:
The Department of Defense is funded at $513 billion in the CR – approximately $5 billion above last year – providing the necessary resources for the safety of our troops and the success of our nation’s military actions. The bill also includes an additional $157.8 billion for overseas contingency operations (emergency funding) to advance our missions abroad.
Add the 513 and the 157 (off budget!) and you get about what was spent last year.

Please don't pretend an outdated budget estimate (can you even provide a date for the estimate?) is a better number than the actual funding legislation, which changed drastically since the estimate.

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JWatts
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Velcro none of the other sites I've linked to support your interpretation of the budget.

You haven't even addressed the fact that your own quote says the is the seventh Continuing Resolution to fund the Federal government for FY 2011?

But what really is the whole point of your argument? That with the cuts enacted so far this year we have managed to get about 20% of the current budget in line with what it was in 2001?

And the evidence doesn't really even support that assumption, but let's just assume that it is? It doesn't really change the fact that entitlement spending is a train wreck in progress?

Oh and here is the link to Fiscal Year 2011 budget from the GPO:
US GPO Table S-3

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
You haven't even addressed the fact that your own quote says the is the seventh Continuing Resolution to fund the Federal government for FY 2011?
Budgets aren't additive. The continuing resolutions, aside from explicit changes continued funding at the same levels as the year before. They didn't calculate 2-3 weeks worth of funding in each one, they just said "operate within the same budget limitations as you did last year" In theory, a department could have managed to find a way to spend a years worth of funding in a week in any given period during the resolution.

The final budget resolution set the spending limits for each department for the entire year. It didn't add any new finding except where it explicitly increased the budget for a given department, and even then the spending allocation was for the entire year.

So if the NSF was allocated, say $5 billion in 2010, each resolution would have listed its budget at $5 billion. That doesn't mean that it got $5 billion each time, that means it could only spend $5 billion all year. If it spent it all in February, a resolution in March say it's budget was $5 billion wouldn't let it spend a penny more. (On the other hand, if the resolution said that its budget as now $4 billion, it would suddenly be in trouble for going over budget, which is why the multiple short extensions severely disrupted functioning- every department had to bet on whether or not it would get a budget cut at any point down the line and stay within what the anticipated level would be.)

So if the final resolution says that a certain amount is budgeted as of that resolution, that is the amount budgeted for the entire year, not just from the point of the resolution.

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velcro
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JWatts, none of the other sites you've linked to contradict my interpretation.

You have a problem with "seventh"? OK, how about "last", as in the one that is still in force until we get a real budget?

And this from left field:

quote:
And the evidence doesn't really even support that assumption, but let's just assume that it is? It doesn't really change the fact that entitlement spending is a train wreck in progress?
You know, I thought you might be able to gracefully back away from your multiple blunders, but I see that is not going to happen.

"Well, you are wrong about non-security discretionary income being flat. But even if you are right, what about the situation in Libya? or Donald Trump's hair? or entitlement spending?"

I have said, consistently, that entitlement spending needs to be addressed. Your bizarre attempt to deflect the fact that you are wrong won't accomplish much.

You are clearly confused about the budget process, so here it is:

The President puts out a budget in January or early February. It is the first cut, the President's proposal to start negotiations. It is never voted on in that form. That is the document you linked to recently. Your original 2011 numbers came from Historical Tables released on February 1, 2011, so they must have come from the President's budget. (Since you never bothered to find out the date, I did) The link to do comparisons point to the same, now outdated, documents.

Congress then does anything they want with that proposal, so as soon as it hits their desk, it is meaningless. Whatever budget they pass, and the President signs, that is The Budget. Until the books are closed at the end of the FY, or maybe some intermediate estimates are made, that document is the best source of data. Except when it doesn't exist. Congress has still not passed a budget. As an interim, the have passed CRs, which are kind of like placeholder budgets, until they pass a real one. The 7th one I linked to is the last one, so until they pass a "real budget", it is The Budget.

So AGAIN, non-security discretionary spending, as specified in the CR that was passed by Congress and signed by the President, is the same as 2001, when we had a surplus.

Any questions?

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DonaldD
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So, how long until Boehner will be forced to resign?
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AI Wessex
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I don't think he will, but I do think he just handed game, set and match to Obama.
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
So, how long until Boehner will be forced to resign?

[Roll Eyes]
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
You have a problem with "seventh"? OK, how about "last", as in the one that is still in force until we get a real budget?

And I thought you might actually look at some of the multiple links I provided that are the official budget documentation from the US Government Printing Office vs trying to interpolate some numbers based on 1 House Resolution from April.

By the way, I'm curious, I can't find any direct link to the file you linked to on the House Site:

http://appropriations.house.gov

And the file you linked to doesn't seem to even be in the right directory. Every other linked file on the site is in the directory:
'http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/'

Oddly enough the file you linked to is in the directory:
'http://appropriations.house.gov/_files'

I'm beginning to think I've been snookered. That you linked to a document that was a working copy from the House and was never actually signed into legislation.

quote:
President Signs Continuing Resolution for Remainder of FY11
On 4/15/11, President Obama signed into law a continuing resolution (CR), H.R. 1473, to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2011. The legislation, which includes cuts of approximately $40 billion from current spending levels, passed the U.S. House of Representatives 260-167. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Senate passed the bill 81-19. This spending measure, which is the eighth CR passed in the current FY to continue federal funding

Notice that the last CR was actually the eighth?

FY 2011 Appropriations


OK, then what does H.R. 1473 say - Congressional Budget Office - HR1473

FY 2011
Defense Outlays - $660B
Homeland Security - $45B
Mil Construction - $81B
Subtotal - $786B

(I'm going to give you the point of lumping Homeland security with Defense, but it's a stretch)

Total Outlays
$1,365B
- $786B
=======
$579

So your $485B figure is bunk. The real figure is
579/485 = 19% higher

(DonaldD, if you get a chance please double check my math).

Velcro, you almost had me there. Linking to a CR that was never actually passed into law, but was hosted on the actual HR site was a particularly sneaky trick.

If I hadn't noticed the actual file location, it never would have occurred to me to actually find out which bill the President actually signed into law. Then backtrack to the real figures.

quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
You know, I thought you might be able to gracefully back away from your multiple blunders, but I see that is not going to happen.

Your bizarre attempt to deflect the fact that you are wrong won't accomplish much.

You are clearly confused about the budget process,..

If it was an honest mistake, I understand it, but in the future I'd prefer for you not to question my integrity. (Feel free to double check my math and sources, of course [Wink] )

[ July 29, 2011, 12:12 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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Star Pilot 111
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quote
The ball had already been rolling for about 20 years when he got there.
________________________________________________________________________

So then, it started with Reagan and GHW Bush ?

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Star Pilot 111:
quote
The ball had already been rolling for about 20 years when he got there.
________________________________________________________________________

So then, it started with Reagan and GHW Bush ?

Yes, before that actually, when returns from financial investments (confusingly misnames as Capital Gains) we decoupled from normal income tax policy. Reagan's policies cemented the deal by gutting pensions in favor of 401Ks and otherwise doubling down on making sure that financial investments returned much better on their risk level than capital investments. We got the SnL crisis as warning shot, and then took another decade or so until the pressure of those financial investments looking for more loans to make manages to get the wall between consumer and investment banking torn down completely, leading to the mess we're in.

Clinton's balanced budget (by draining the economy of money) and Bush's policies after that only help amplify the process (and Clinton's damages to the welfare system helped soften up the bottom that much more so we crashed harder after we went through it)

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velcro
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JWatts,

After questioning my motives (a real no-no on Ornery), I acknowledge that you backed off and said it might be an innocent mistake.

I did not question your integrity, I pointed out that after being proven wrong, you completely changed the subject instead of acknowledging it.

Let's move on to your latest post-

quote:
And I thought you might actually look at some of the multiple links I provided that are the official budget documentation from the US Government Printing Office vs trying to interpolate some numbers based on 1 House Resolution from April.
As I pointed out, the multiple links all pointed to the President's proposed budget. I admit, I made a mistake when I said it was never voted on. I think it may have been voted on in the Senate, and was voted down 97-0. That, sir, is the document you have hung your hat on. The "one House Resolution from April" was passed by the House and the Senate and signed into law on April 15th. It is in fact, HR 1473, or Public Law 112-10, the law of the land on budgets right now.

IMPORTANT POINT #1 - The relevant document is the last Continuing Resolution, not the President's budget. That is a hard fact. I will not attempt to convince you of this again. If you don't get it, I give up.

Please don't accuse me of "snookering". I linked to a press release that says "the negotiated agreement" had the following characteristics. That agreement became HR 1473. That is in fact the 8th CR. I just checked my original reference to the 7th CR, and I only mentioned it as proof that CRs went back to the beginning of the FY, I did not say then the 7th was the latest. You said it was the latest, and I said 7th or 8th doesn't matter, latest matters. Regardless, I hope we can agree that HR1473 is the latest.

So please take back your accusations. It was indeed passed into law, it was not a sneaky trick, and I the only person who snookered you was yourself. Someday maybe you can explain how a link to appropriations.house.gov is not a direct link, but not right now.

I will acknowledge that I referred to the press release, rather than the final bill, assuming there was no difference. My bad for trusting a Republican press release.

Assuming you agree to Important Point #1, let us look at the actual bill. In fact, we can look at the CBO document you provided.

Please direct your attention to the first column- Budget Authority. That is what the bill includes. 1050T total, 513T for Defense, 42T for Homeland Security, resulting in 495T for non-security discretionary spending. Exactly as I said. (not the 485T you claimed, that was 2001, I forgive your mistake)

After all your accusations, your denials, and your mistakes, your own link provides the sources for my numbers.

So it comes down to this - I look at the first column and you look at the last column. Number one, the last column includes emergency funding which is not in budgets, but since most of the emergencies are in military anyway, we can ignore that.

I say BA, you say outlay, so I need to find out the difference. I'll take a look and get back to you tomorrow.

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velcro
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Quick answer - BA is what it is supposed to cost, outlay is what it really costs. So it appears that the CBO thinks for example that Transportation, HUD will cost 132T when the BA is only 55T.

So let's go back to the original statement. I said non-defense discretionary income was the same as 2011. What I MEANT was non-security discretionary spending was the same as 2011.

The reason I said it is that Republicans are trying to cut budgets that do not need to be cut. And the 2011 Budget, or BA, by your own figures, and the correct math, are, in fact just about the same as the 2001 spending.

If you choose to use the Outlays, then you are saying Budget is irrelevant, spending is what matters. I will grant you that spending is higher than 2001. Yup, spending is higher than the budget calls for, and undeniably should match the budget. No argument there. It may be that with all the CRs and cuts, agencies spent ahead of their allowance. That would be corrected next year if there is an actual budget on schedule.

But here's the important concepts -

- The non-security discretionary budget for 2011, as described in HR 1473/Public Law 112-10, is the same as that for 2001, accounting for inflation and population growth Since we had a surplus in 2001, that segment is really not the best place to cut.

-If you assume the spending will match the budget, then there is no need to change the budget.

-If you assume the spending will NOT match the budget, even next year if we have a budget on time, then there is no point in changing the budget to get spending down, since it is disconnected from spending. Make herculean efforts to get spending to match the budget, but don't waste your time cutting the budget. At best you might get the spending down, but in a completely unpredictable way. At worst, people will actually follow the cut budget, which would drastically underfund the intended programs.

The data provide a good reason for cutting spending, but not for cutting budgets, since the budgets are the same as 2001 spending.

I await your apology for the accusations.

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