“Does this ass make our government look big?”

After posting the picture of a truck in Ft. Worth, I’ve seen a few new visitors dropping by my site, especially a lot of people searching for the picture.

One of the variations in the searches was “Does this ass make our government look big?”

Which leads to an interesting point.

Government spending didn’t suddenly explode under Obama. The size of government hasn’t ballooned under the current administration.

The right-wing “asses”, however, have been working overtime to make our government look like it has gotten suddenly bigger.

What has happened, actually, is that the amount of money our government has been spending has gone up in relation to the income the government has been able to collect. There are three elements to this change: first, taxes on the top earners have decreased by two-thirds. Second, the economy crashed, and everyone not in the top income bracket is earning less, resulting in lower income from taxes. Third, and the only part where government expenditures have actually grown, the money used (rightly or wrongly) to rescue a number of industries from further collapse, most of which has been paid back, and unemployment insurance assistance to the states.

Military expenditures are down, having extricated ourselves from the mess in Iraq. Most other government expenses are also down, what with laying off government employees and cutting services.

So, yes, these right-wing asses do make your government look big – not because it is, but because it benefits them to do so.

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3 Responses to ““Does this ass make our government look big?””

  1. Bill Wink Says:

    or you could look at the facts.

    • politicallyme Says:

      Interesting points in the video, but it misses the point (and may be totaly inaccurate, in addition to being misleading and not taking all the variables into account).

      Let’s start at the beginning:

      1. MISSING THE POINT: The video is about the debt, not about government spending. My post was about government spending, not the debt. Apples, meet oranges. Of course the debt is HUGE now, we have no income coming in and we still have expenses to pay, expenses that we can’t (and shouldn’t be able to) avoid. The actual expenses, though, are at worst unchanged, but seem to actually be down quite a bit.
      2. TOTALY INACURATE: In the Road Trip, Ronald Reagan gets responsibility for 8 years of debt spending, George the First gets four years, Bill Clinton gets 8, George the Second gets 8 too. Which actually makes a lot of sense, seeing as how that was how long they spent in office. Obama gets credit for a whopping 12 years of debt. ‘Cause, you know, he’s been president for 12 years.

        Actually, it just seems that way to Republicans. The video is crediting Obama with debt that hasn’t been created yet. Haven’t done the long division yet, but it looks slightly like that 12 years of debt is being divided by the four years (almost) of his presidency to arrive at that startling figure of 174 miles per hour. Oops.

      3. MISLEADING: During the whiole time near Richmond, the video neglects to mention the Democratic Congress. But it sure makes a point of mentioning the Democratic Congress when Reagan began cutting taxes for the wealthy. Yeah, the Dems went along with it (who doesn’t like to bring home a tax cut during an election year?), but it was Reagan’s slashing of the federal income that drove the debt more than spending increases. But a burgeoning debt sure looks a lot like out of contol spending, doesn’t it? At least to the uninformed. But I digress. My point is, though the Democratic Congress is not given credit for hanging around Richmond, it is given full credit for heading to Atlanta and parts beyond.
      4. NOT TAKING ALL OF THE VARIABLES INTO ACCOUNT: Let’s see, World War 2 gets a namecheck, but the idea that the next president isn’t FDR is given much more weight to the reduction of the debt than the fact that the war (and consequently the war spending) was over, or that the top tax rate for the wealthiest individuals was over 90%.

        Hmm, while inflation is taken into account, population growth isn’t mentioned at all. Is per capita domestic spending up or down? Who can tell from the video? (I’ll break the suspense, though, it’s down.) The simple fact is, if it takes X dollars per person to run a country – provide roads, schools, a safety net, fire service, public health protection, etc etc etc, then more people means more total dollars spent. (Feel free to disagree with me on exactly what services a government needs to provide in order to serve its citizenry, but that discussion is immaterial to the historical overview you provided, and should be left to another thread.)

        Most of the real growth in spending has been in the military sector (including the famous thousand-dollar hammers and toilet seats). This is especially true of the last decade, where we have been fighting two or three wars simultaneously, and paying for it over and above the largest defense budget on the planet, larger than all the other defense budgets combined. But that is not mentioned either. A significant chunk (second only to the reduction of income left by the Bush economic collapse) of the added debt during the Obama years is leftover war spending.

        The Republican Congress in the ’90s is, by implication, credited with the reduction in deficit spending. Me, I prefer the more historically accurate increase in the tax rates accompanied by the increase in revenue brought by a booming economy. So-called “welfare to work” programs only worked because they laws came at the same time as an incredibly sharp increase in demand for workers.

      In short, the video you provided falls far short of the accurate truth (besides being irrelevant to the discussion at hand). But thanks for trying!

      Finally, I apoloigize for letting your response sit in my queue for so long, WordPress failed to send me the usual e-mail letting me know that there was a comment awaiting moderation. I strive to be responsive to my readers no matter which side of the discussion they fall on. As you have had a moderated comment approved, future comments will get approved automatically. Of course, if I don’t get an e-mail notifying me of your post, reply may be delayed until I notice it.

      Feel free to e-mail me at politicallyme@yahoo.com to let me know you posted a reply for a faster response!

    • politicallyme Says:

      Darn, I forgot to mention that real wages are down too (at least for the vast majority)! Was that taken into account in the video? (No.) If more people are relying on being caught by the safety net (instead of being able to take care of themselves), what does that do to the amount needed to be spent on the services the government provides?

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