WE BORROWED ANOTHER $2 BILLION OR SO TODAY

Warren S: ‘While you are noting that we are borrowing an additional $2 billion each day (not a good thing), I suggest you show good balance by re-referencing this site you noted some time ago about our National Debt. By my VERY rough calculations, during the Clinton administration we borrowed roughly $681 million per day. Less than Bush II, but no great shakes (especially when we were supposedly running surpluses during several years).’

☞ Huge differences (to my mind) are, first, that Clinton inherited deficits and left surpluses, while Bush inherited huge surpluses and has plunged us into huge deficits. Second, deficits are not terrible when they are modest. If the National Debt grows at 3% a year ($240 billion or so) while the economy is growing at 6% (3% real, 3% inflation), the National Debt shrinks significantly in proportion to the overall economy. But when the National Debt is growing by 9% or so a year – as now – it becomes larger relative to the economy. That weakens the country, saddling us with an ever larger interest burden. And wo unto the day interest rates rise, if they ever do. (Did I say that right? Wo unto the day? Well, you know what I mean. Wo, wo, wo.)

A LITTLE MORE ON THE M WORD

From columnist Doug Ireland: ‘I just watched on C-SPAN a tape of the vote in the Cortes, the Spanish parliament, on the gay marriage and adoption bill, including Zapatero’s speech and the approval of the bill by a 40-vote majority. Just before the vote, the chamber’s president asked the gallery – crammed with gays and lesbians – to refrain from cheering or hissing when the vote was announced (depending on which way it went, although the result was not in doubt). Naturally, when the bill passed, the queers in the gallery couldn’t restrain their joy at this extraordinary event, and the chamber’s president, as he’d warned he’d do, ordered them out of the gallery. Then, a remarkable thing happened — Zapatero and the Socialist deputies rose and gave a sustained standing ovation to the gays and lesbians as they left. It was a stunning tribute to the homosexuals’ sacrifice, courage, and refusal to accept less than full equality before the law – a recognition that this was their victory. I’ve seen many parliaments in operation in many parts of the world at times of crucial debate – but I’ve never, ever seen the parliamentarians applaud the gallery. I’m a tough-minded old cynic, but to see the Spanish parliamentarians give lesbians and gays the standing ovation we so richly deserved actually made my eyes rather moist.’

ANDY STEPHENSON

This story takes a twist you would not expect. It starts out about potential voter fraud, and becomes something very different.

AND NOW – IN LIGHT OF THAT TWIST

Click here. Yes, it’s maudlin. Sometimes, maudlin is really nice. (Be sure your sound is on.)

 

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