Post 2000

2000 pictures on flickr!

2000 posts!  This is my 2000th post.  All of them are here on; however, all of them weren’t originally written here. I’ve used 2 other blog engines since I started.

However, I wanted to write about something serious and not simply have a YAY 2000 posts! post.

I think that in the future, people will look back on the years from 2011(ish) to 2015(ish) and be able to say that is when the US made a turn.  A turn to embrace all of the current problems of Europe and then reap all of the benefits–or in this case, experience all the same problems.

Up until now, the US has resisted making many of the same mistakes as Europe.  No more.  What do I mean?  Here are a few examples:

  1. Obama Care:  Remember the furor over Sarah Palin’s comment about death panels?  Remember how everyone said that wouldn’t happen?  Do you guys actually read news from Europe?  At least once per week, there are headline articles in UK papers about the NHS not offering this drug or that drug because of money, having a shortage of beds because they can’t hire staff, or flat out going broke.  Ummm… doesn’t work and if anyone would look at the facts and be honest, they’d see it.
  2. Taxes:  The fiscal cliff tax deal will only raise something like $60billion in revenue.  Holy Cow…the government wastes spends goes through that in what….2 seconds?  Oh, and that increase is only on people who have a large income (as the IRS thinks).  People like Warren Buffet who are “asset rich” will continue to pay lower taxes than their secretaries.  This tax raise does 2 things:  a) it will hurt many people’s bottom line and b) it will slow the economy.  The “rich” will still have their assets but other people will be taxed and unable to get ahead.
  3. Number 2 will cause the economy to continue to slow down.  Unemployment will remain at Europe levels.  it will become the new normal.
  4. As the economy slows down, taxes will rise and government will continue to grow.  I pay about a 40% income tax rate in the UK.  40%.  In several years, we’ll look back at this prediction and see it be true…if things continue as they are

How would I fix it?  First off, implement the Connie Mack penny plan. (Hey, I just noticed that was post 1776).  The debt ceiling should not be raised.  The US Government takes in 2 Trillion per year…they can make cuts and spend what they take in.  Will ti be hard?  Sure…but it MUST be done.  I loathe it when people ramble on and on about how family finances are not government finances:  ok..granted they are different but the principle is still the same.  Except in a dire emergency–only car breaks down, invaders come–you can’t spend more than you take in.  MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Anyway, I think the US economy will continue to shrink.  In 30-40 years, we’ll be in the economic mess that Europe is in now.  Normal people won’t be able to get ahead.  The government will be telling people how good they are because they’ve saved them £2/month.  Many people will be living off the government dole.  Most people will be “ok” but won’t be able to get ahead.  That is the American dream:  if you work hard, you’ll be able to get ahead.  That is now dead.  I don’t see any way to really get ahead if the US continues on this path.

This post….#2000…I hope it doesn’t happen this way; however, I fear it will.

Oh, before I quit, I want to say that this post isn’t just because I don’t like Obama or the Democrats or the liberals.  I didn’t like “W” either…many of the things he did stripped away valuable intrinsic rights we have (the Patriot Act…hello!).  This is a post based on my 5 years experience living in Europe and seeing where the US is headed.

[Update 2013-01-09 21:03:22] See and for more information.

[Update 2013-01-17 08:07:49I’m taking a short break from this topic.

Image from milknosugar via flickr

I heard the caller from the second link above call in.  He was great.  Here’s what he said…I don’t want to lose this:

Ken in Raleigh, North Carolina. Hello, Ken, welcome to the program.

CALLER: Thanks for having me on, Rush. It’s a real pleasure.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: We’ve got a debt ceiling coming up and they’re gonna shut down nonessential parts of government if we don’t have an agreement, and I think that’s definitely something we should do. Also if you look at the academic research —

RUSH: Wait, wait! Hold it. “We’ve got a debt ceiling coming up and they’re gonna shut down nonessential parts of if we…” You think we should have a shutdown?


RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: If it’s not essential, why is the government doing it? You know, we’ve got 200 years of the nation’s history on what works and what doesn’t work. If you are look at economic data, if you look at the 18 —

RUSH: Wait. That’s interesting. Hold it just a second. You say, “We’ve got 200 years of the nation’s history on what works and what doesn’t work,” and we do.


RUSH: But the interpretation of what “works” and what “doesn’t work” is really the battleground. The Obama view is that those first 200 years have been unjust, immoral, and ill-gotten; that this country has been founded and was founded on flawed premises by flawed people. He doesn’t think that the lessons of the past 200 years are what need to be built on. They need to be corrected.

CALLER: Well, we’ve got data that shows us when we have economic growth and when we don’t. He can even go back and just look at the Clinton administration. Now, I won’t give Clinton credit for this, but the size of the federal government shrank from 22% to 18%. And if you only look at Democrats, the Democrats that shrank the federal government as a percentage of GDP and had more rapid economic growth — 3.6% versus 2.2% — for those that grew. The same is true of the Whigs; the same is true of the Democrat-Republicans; the same is true of the Republicans.

RUSH: Wait a minute.

CALLER: The same thing happened with John Adams, the Federalist. George Washington cut federal spending by 46% from his first year to his last.

RUSH: Wait a minute! None of this matters. You’re looking at growth rates of the economy.


RUSH: Four years ago and prior, that mattered. It doesn’t now. We’re not interested in private sector economic growth right now. That’s not what Obama’s about. What Obama is about is steering people away from that. Obama’s theory is that that private sector economic growth was immoral. It happened on the backs of slaves. It happened on the backs of women and gays and discrimination and all sorts of horrible social ills. So that economic growth was illegitimate!

CALLER: Well, we could go to recent history and compare JFK and Bill Clinton, who cut the size of government as a percentage of GDP, against Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter, who increased the size of government as a percentage of GDP. Whether you go back 200 years ago to… You know, four of the five smallest government people were Democrats. They spent less than 2% of GDP. Eighteen of the 20 presidents with rapid economic growth rates spent less than 4% of GDP. We’ve got 200 years of data. Even recent history tells us that shrinking government works.

RUSH: Okay, what is your point?

CALLER: My point is that we have all the data; it’s not out there. People aren’t educated and don’t realize that this issue is settled. The academic research shows us that smaller government produces more rapid economic growth. And we need to educate people and get the word out.

RUSH: You’re a dinosaur. Do you think TMZ and E! Online care about any of this?

CALLER: That’s a good point, although I do think we have some cards here with the debt ceiling issue where we don’t raise the debt ceiling and we spend what we bring in.

RUSH: We don’t have any cards.

CALLER: Well, we’ve got the House.

RUSH: Uh, we don’t have any cards.

CALLER: Well, as long as we still have the House, we can refuse to raise the debt ceiling and spend what we bring in in revenue. Revenue’s up $108 billion over the last four years. So it’s not a revenue problem. It’s the spending that’s up $800 billion over the last four years. It’s a spending problem.

RUSH: To who?

CALLER: If we don’t raise the debt ceiling and spend as we go, nonessential services of the government shut down, and why should the government be providing “nonessential” services in the first place?

RUSH: I agree, but that’s not even relevant. They’re not gonna refuse to raise the debt ceiling!

CALLER: (sigh)

RUSH: The Republicans in the House are not gonna refuse to raise the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling’s going up. Our indebtedness is going up. Everything you said about economic growth, be it Democrats or Republicans, and how we got data? You’re right. That doesn’t matter anymore, is the point! This is not about economic growth. This is about shrinking the economy. That’s the objective here. This is about growing government. This is about changing people’s minds about the fact that it’s a big government we want, not a growing economy. A big government’s what takes care of people fairly and equitably. A growing economy is where all the unfairness and all the illegitimacy is!

CALLER: Well, then we’re gonna end up with Europe.

RUSH: Exactly!

CALLER: If you look at economic growth… You know, Europe’s size of government went from 10% of GDP to 50% of GDP from 1870 to now. And Europe is in economic stagnation. While the rest of the world has grown 31% over the last five years in economic growth, Europe is stagnating.

RUSH: Look, the last time —

CALLER: Europe’s a warning to the rest of the world what not to do.

RUSH: Wait a second. The last time people saw Europe on TV, the Olympics were taking place and everything was fine. Nobody is starving in Europe. Nobody is being thrown out of work. Nobody’s being thrown out of their houses. Nobody’s living on the streets. All of this talk about Greece? There’s no evidence that any of this stuff is true. You can talk about GDP.

CALLER: They have 25% unemployment in Spain and Greece! They were rioting in Greece.

RUSH: Nobody saw it, so didn’t happen.

CALLER: People are leaving, and the population of Greece has declined over the last ten years.

RUSH: Nobody saw it. It didn’t happen. Nobody saw it. It wasn’t on TV. It didn’t happen.

CALLER: Well, I think it’s all about education, getting the word out, and the Republicans still have the House. We can do the good fight in the House and not cave. We’ve got a lot of cards in our hands. The president says we need to pay our bills? Well, let’s just pass a budget in the House that only spends what we bring in in revenue. We’ve got plenty of revenue. We’ve got more than enough revenue.

RUSH: Uh, no, we don’t. We’re $16 trillion in debt.

CALLER: But we’re spending… The $2.5 trillion a year we’re getting in revenue is more than twice the optimal size of government. It’s more than twice what we should be spending to maximize economic growth. And if you look at our nation’s history, it’s six times what we traditionally have spent.

RUSH: There’s nobody interested in what “should be.”

CALLER: Well, that’s our role: To educate them.

RUSH: You are a dinosaur. You’re old-fashioned and you’re out of touch if you’re talking about what should be.

CALLER: But we’ve got data!

RUSH: We’re talking about transforming America.

CALLER: We’ve got 200 years of data! We know what works, and we know what doesn’t. The thing is, I don’t hear the data being discussed too often, because the data is on our side. The academic research is on our side. These are facts.

RUSH: What is being taught in this country is that 200 years of this country have been flawed; 200 years of this country have been the result of unfairness, unequality, exploitation.

CALLER: Let me get to that one. The Gini coefficients. If you look at disparity between wealth, countries with the highest Gini coefficients — the ten highest disparities in income — have grown 8.5% over the last ten years. The ten countries with the lowest disparity in income have grown 1.6% over the last ten years. So Gini coefficient disparities in income are correlated with high rates of economic growth. When you have flat rates of income inequality — like Japan, which has the slowest growth rate of any developed nation, or Ethiopia — you have low rates of economic growth. So we don’t want to have a fair society, a communist society, a socialist society, with flat levels of income.

RUSH: Well —

CALLER: Those societies have low rates of economic growth.

RUSH: That’s exactly right, and you better get used to it. That’s where we’re headed.

CALLER: I know that’s where we’re headed; we gotta change it. We still have the House. And we can still educate people on your program, which is getting to millions of people right now.

RUSH: Well, all I know is that TMZ doesn’t care about any of this. You’re from another time and place. You’re talking about things and an economics that used to be in this country, but that’s been shown to be illegitimate. It was flawed from the get-go. Your data is worthless.

CALLER: Even the Democrats want to return to the Clinton administration. So let’s go back to Clinton administration spending. We cut spending to 4% of GDP.

RUSH: No, they want to return to the Clinton administration tax rates. That’s all they want to return to. They don’t want to go to Clinton era spending levels.

CALLER: I know they don’t, but we should insist on that in the House. Don’t raise the debt ceiling unless we incorporate the part that works in the Clinton administration, which is cutting spending to 4% of GDP.

RUSH: Where have you been? We’ve been insisting on manhood and manliness in the House for I don’t know how many years, and we’re not getting it.

CALLER: Well, shut the government down like we did under Gingrich! Shut it down. Get rid of these nonessential services. If they’re not essential, why is government providing them? We can’t afford it. It’s a luxury.

RUSH: What year do you think this is?

CALLER: (laughing) I understand the general population doesn’t know these facts, but we need to get them out there.

RUSH: I tell you, you better be careful, or under cover of darkness the authorities are gonna come with a straitjacket for you —

CALLER: That’s fine.

RUSH: — if you don’t get your mind right very fast. 

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