The Debt Ceiling

Friday, I watched a fictional character waste a day on Twitter trying to answer debt ceiling questions with no success. I am not an economist and I found this simple Khan Academy video quite helpful. It was done in July 2011, but it’s still relevant.

The debt ceiling does not increase spending because the money is already spent.

Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit or the debt. Yes, the government has to pay it, but it was already paid for by us and our “representatives” used it for other things. You might wonder how such a thing could happen. Here’s an example (entirely fictional, with names that were borrowed for illustrative purposes).

For example, let’s say we all agree to have a pie party here at UW on Friday. Let’s say six of us agree to go in on a $12 pie. Let’s say imusthavepie says she knows a fabulous bakery and will order and pick up the pie for us. So, tomorrow, five of us each give imust $2 for our pie. She takes the money and puts in in her wallet, along with $22 of her own money. On Thursday, she goes to pick up her dry cleaning and the bill is $26 and she opens her wallet and gives the dry cleaners the money. Then she e-mails us to tell us that we can only have 1/2 a slice of pie each because she only had $6 left.

So who owns most of our debt? It’s not China—it’s us, as in US:



53 Responses

  1. Khan Academy absolutely rocks. Laker used it all through his teens and still does. It is hugely popular in the homeschool world. Free education online, available to the world. The guy who started it is a genius. 60 Minutes did a piece on him.

  2. Loved the pie illustration! I bet Karen would be in cahoots with her! 🙂

  3. Yup! He takes the bullshjt out of dems, repugs and media’s explainations and so called reports. I think we should all suggest that we urge out congress crappers to watch these Khan Academy vids and finally learn what they are bloveating about.

  4. I’m surprised this post didn’t have a PIE chart! Anyway, pie is an entitlement. But really, wemusthavedrycleaning, otherwise, the clothes win.

  5. Ah I see they stole $2.7 Trillion from social security and all along I thought it was $2.2. I’m glad someone else clarified this which I have been screaming about in posts for two years. And this is still why they dare to call it an Entitlement, because they stole the money and they do not want to pay it back. So they are trying to punish their victims, whereas if we did this to someone’s trust fund we woud be in jail with our assets seized.

    These thieves make Madoff look like a petty thief.

  6. Those of us who work our whole lives and are worried that the money we pay in will not be there for us when we finally stop working (at an age that is higher than the one we were promised when we started working for some of us) want to see this mess simplified and worked on.

    They keep kicking that can down the road and passing the buck.

  7. note to self: *buy pie today*

  8. The’re saying Hagel and Brennan are controversial but for the life of me I cannot recall anything about either one although their names are familiar as hell. If anybody can sum them up it would be appreciated. I have some med appts today (nothing serious) but will look them up later on tonight since I have two days off work. Hooray. Home, books, blankets, tea and food after running around doing chores and errands.

  9. You know I’m just convinced more and more every day that this country is riddled with completely crazy crackpots who have raised the stock value of Reynold’s Aluminum, due to the tin foil division sales.

    I am getting tons of hits to this post that was written in February 2009, I repeat, 2009, and people with reading comprehension problems, and there are TONS of them, and people who see what they want to see, are treating it like it’s happening today. You might recall that Rep. Serrano made a personal comment in our comment section of this post, which I also posted in update, pointing out that he has submitted this legislation at the beginning of EVERY legislative session since he’s been a Congressman.

    Yeah, he’s showing hobnobbing with Chavez, and that disturbs me enough to know I would never vote for a guy who thinks Chavez is worth spit. But that photo has nothing to do with the legislation to drop term limits for barack Obama. It’s just a typical far left idea which, if passed, could result in America’s new Chavez. However, the chances of this leglistion every making it out of committee based on previous repeated attempts is as close to ZERO as it can get. Yet, the Tin Foil people are pretending it has a chance in hell.

    This forced me to do the following update at the top of the post because one thing I cannot stand is misrepresentation of my work. Pleaes point it out wherever you see this link displayed as an indicator that we are about to become a nation with a lifetime president.

  10. karen for Clinton, on January 7, 2013 at 9:34 AM said:

    note to self: *buy pie today*

    I,m getting two. 🙂

  11. OMG Obama is nominating John Brennan as CIA Chief. This can’t be happening. Do you remember when there was a break-in of candidate passport files that smacked suspiciously of a smoke screen to get to Obama’s file? They hacked into Hillary and McCain’s files and then a day or so later they said Obama’s was broken into and he was the one who made the big stink? And then the two contract guys who did it turned out to be John Brennan’s employees? So who was John Brennan? Why he was Obama’s security advisor during his candidacy. Obama had to know it was happening, and it looked a lot more like the McCain, Hillary break ins were a smokescreen, and that maybe, just maybe, something was removed from Obama’s file. Nothing to see here. Carry on. The press dropped this story like bubonic plague.

    Your clarification posts:

  12. Uppity I am becoming more then convinced Obama plans on being America’s first dictator. I am not big into conspiracy theories but have to say that things are sure leaning that way when you have two parties that pretend to fight each other but in the end both agree on the same thing. With the erosion of the Constitution and our rights I am really starting to see a connection between the dots. Do I believe that Obama has orchestrated all this ? NO. He is not smart enough he is just a pawn.
    I am thankful I lived through some great times in this nations history but fear it is changing and all for the worse.
    Question is will Americans awaken and fight this or will they sleep until it is too late.
    I wonder if any of you who are still out there working and making a paycheck got your first one this month. I did and so much for Obama not raising taxes on the middle class. Well according to what they took out I must be in that 1% everyone is yelling about. $ 87.00 so that is an extra $ 4524 .00 a year up and above all the taxes I pay now. Gee it is so nice that folks who do not pay get to vote and vote for idiots that have me pay boat loads more. I love it.
    On top of that are newly adopted ” affordable health care is already pricing us out of any chance of having health care insurance that actually pays for things and will keep you healthy.
    Listen they robbed the SS pot and have no intention of ever replacing it and the only way to make them look good is for us boomers to hurry the heck up and die once we get out of the job market and no longer contribute to them.

  13. Uppity,
    One addition to your pie story.
    You forgot about the folks who had to pay $2.00 to imusthavepie,but who will never ever try to collect their share of pie.
    Millions of illegals are gainfully employed and paying into SS. They have SS#’s but their papers are bogus and they are unable to access that money, so all their money and the equal contribution of their employers is a huge source of $$ to the pie fund that no one acknowledges.

    Not only did imusthavepie use pie money for dry-cleaning, imusthavepie collected $2 from folks who ain’t ever gonna get any pie, and she spent that too!
    Lord knows what imusthavepie did with that money.

  14. Utah, my own health insurance premium went up 11%. Just before Obamacare came to fruition, it was raised close to 40% in two chunks over a period of 14 months. I am so glad I am paying for someone to get insurance and continue to be priced out of the market for myself.

    That tax increase is not an increase at all, it is the tax rate you had before Obama irresponsibly did his phony “tax holiday” The “holiday” is over and that is the tax rate you were at before that. So he didn’t raise your taxes, he just put them back where they were before he declared a temporary holiday.

    As I mentioned, Serrano has been submitting the same legislation for repeal of term limits for president for decades, at each initial new congressional session. It goes into committee and stays there. It is never going to see the light of a vote day, it’s all ceremonial So if Obama or anyone else has plans to become dictator, they are going to have to do it in another country.

  15. Waving to insanely, good to see ya!

    Sophie wrote this post so I can’t take any credit.

  16. Yes the tax holiday lol. I knew they would nail us in the end figuratively speaking. Happy to know they would like my old sorry ass to take another job so they can get a bigger piece of the pie while I get the same piece I had but pay more for it through the use of my body.
    Does anyone not fear the rising costs and taxes or do they think all they have or will have will see them through ?
    Affordable health care my worn out ass. I used to be able to afford it now it is something I no longer can unless I cut the hell out of my power bill and eating and or heat so ultimately I will get sick. Great to know if I do all of the above I will upset the insurance company by having to use their insurance. Yes it is so nice to know that prior to Obama care I had good insurance now I have shit but those poor poor uninsured can have some on me.

  17. Insanely, now don’t yell at me the messenger, but there is way more to that story that many do not realize. The illegals who are paying taxes or in some cases, avoiding them, are doing so using the social security numbers of dead people, and in many cases, social security numbers of living people, some of whom have had heart attacks when the IRS knocks on their door about the income they incurred using another name and didn’t report, and the money they now owe. The answer here is in the word, “Illegal”. It is illegal to use someone else’s social security number, AKA ID theft. Using that social security number, loans can and have been taken and unpaid and guess who owns that loan in the end? Over 100000 homes with unpaid mortgages were seized, abandoned by illegals who were able to get these homes without any social security numbers due to the new FHA housing laws that made it a literal snap for anyone to get a home regardless of actual ability to pay. Guess where that loss is passed, it’s passed onto other consumers in the form of higher interest rates and fees. There is also the expense of illegals using hosptal emergency rooms as doctor’s offices for free, our laws make it illegal for us to question their citizenship. There is a hospital in, I think, NY that went belly up because the huge preponderance of their maternity ward as inhabited by people who are never going to pay a bill. That bill in most cases is paid by people who do have to pay their bills, in the form of charges between 3 and 5 times higher than they would be if they weren’t paying the difference left behind on illegals’ bills. Good working class people have gone bankrupt due to their inability to pay medical bills. There is also the issue of anchor babies that are automatically entitled to all of America’s social benefits, and their parents are automatically trustees of these benefits even if they are illegal. Even if they aren’t working. The point is, the cost of this burden is huge and passed on to others like you and me. And if a person is using another person’s ID to work, you can see why many people would have a difficult time feeling sorry for them because they can’t collect benefits one day off of someone else’s social security number they are illegally using, particularly knowing that you are impacting and ruining the credit of the person who really owns that number. It’s really kind of easy to pay very little taxes, for example, claim a boatload of exemptions on your W-4, and then leave the rest of the problem to the owner of that social security number when it’s discovered that he actually has two exemptions. Stuff like this is happening daily to innocent people and it is not only no laughing matter, but it’s a felony. And the burden of proof is left to the victim, as usual. In this case, the real victim is the actual owner of that social security number. And I will say also, that if somebody used the social security number of one of my dead family members, I would be loaded for bear.

    I got a small taste of this when a shitbag provided creditors with a random address and phone number. The phone number was mine. I can’t tell you how many times I had to take the landline off the hook for entire weekends because some rude freak in India put my number on auto re-call demanding i pay every 15 minutes. I can’t you how many calls I got from banks. mortgage lenders and employers. It took me a long time to trace the origin of the calls from the POS from India who harassed me mercilessly even after I told him I never heard of this guy (He laughed at me). It was only then that I could write a Cease and Desist letter to the owner of the collection agency someplace in Arizona. his agents then had to stop by law. But by the time I put an end to this I wanted the son of a bitch who used my phone number to be shot at dawn and hung at dusk. He was slime and he affected my life. In fact I was so mad I actually found him where he REALLY was and gave his location to several of his creditors AND the FBI.. Fuck that shit. If my life was impacted just through my phone number, can you imagine people who get door knocks from the FBI or worse, the IRS, harassing calls at work and bills-in-collection that they never created? THESE are the people I feel sorry for. I don’t think people realize how many lives these thieves (and that is what they are) who do this ID thing ruin. As with everything else, nobody cares about the REAL victims.

    P.S. It is against the law now for the IRS to notify you that someone else is using your social security number if they know about it. Now tell me the law is on the side of the innocent. If they do know it is not you doing this, the tax money goes into a “suspense fund”. So this answers the question of where does the money go. As for whatever else the THIEF is doing with your social security number, well that’s your problem. The suspense fund has $500 billion in it, which shows you just how RAMPANT ID theft is.

    Here’s some interesting info on this whole mess.

  18. Well said ^^^^

  19. See the problem we have is the number of people left pulling the wagon (which I regard as the middle and working class) and the number of people sitting in the wagon is disproportionate and growing more that way every day. There are people who cannot carry that load and they deserve all the help they can get without guilt. Such as the disabled. A country that ignores the disabled has no moral compass. But when able-bodied people start sitting in the wagon, it’s just too heavy to pull. The horses drop dead. lol. Seriously though, anyone who lives in a city in NY will tell you that less than half of the people are carrying the burden for the rest and it’s not only tiring, they can’t afford it. It makes them wonder if they shouldn’t just hitch a ride in the wagon themselves. It gets kind of hard to feel sorry for others when you are barely treading water yourself because of others.

  20. More Islamic crackpots on parade. Indonesia bans women straddling motor bikes.

  21. I am drinking a most excellent Manhattan. I used the excuse of this slight toothache I have. Whatever. Such a warming drink.

  22. FTR, I didn’t take anyone’s $2….or pie…..And while I’m at it, the pengy’s ice either!!!!

  23. But really, wemusthavedrycleaning, otherwise, the clothes win.


  24. P.S. It is against the law now for the IRS to notify you that someone else is using your social security number if they know about it.

    You’ve got to be kidding me! WTF is the rationale?

  25. Yeah, right imust. I think in the future, we will give you dry cleaning money so that you come back with pie.

  26. Right now I’ll take Uppity’s Manhattan! Hey did everyone see this at Still4Hill? Hillary’s first day back at the office!

  27. You’ve got to be kidding me! WTF is the rationale?

    My guess? It’s probably a violation of the privacy of the Effing SOB who is using your SS number.

  28. “imust is a lying ice thief, signed Pengy”

  29. “Mommy! Daddy! imust almost killed me!”

  30. Manhattan is lonnnnnnnnng gone, imust.

  31. Obviously photoshopped photos.

  32. Aww….how cute. Hi name is Penguin and he looks like MKBill too!

  33. Speaking of cute pets, here’s an interesting story about a dog that seemed to sniff out his owner’s cancer.

  34. Looks like the people at State were real happy to have their boss back 🙂

  35. Yeah she’s a nice looking cat, good warm expression too. She’s sheltered. Hope she finds a home.

  36. Sophie, hell I don’t even work for state and I’m glad to have her back!

  37. She looks great!

  38. She does! She looks fabulous! I too am glad to have her back. (Hmmm–accidental double entendre there.)

  39. Yup we got her back.
    And we got her back too.

  40. I wonder why it is that a person who gets laid off and goes on unemployment insurance is forced to show they looked for work by supplying 5 employers they contacted and phone numbers proving they did and we can not do this to welfare recipients. Seems a bit prejudicial to me really.
    Thing is you will not suck off unemployment insurance like you can welfare either.
    Hey gang I thought this was cute and you would enjoy it.

  41. This conversation is fascinating to me, I feel as if I have dropped into For Real Land..I worked with Medicaid recipients and the undocumented for over 20 years..Our parking lot was ridiculous, all the new cars belonged to the patients, the clunkers ? why the employees of course…
    Many of the immigrants are expert scammers, no one should be surprised if it could be proven that tens of thousands of them voted.
    The least surprised person is probably Axelrod.

  42. Utah, there was some kind of work requirement for welfare, but Obama recently cancelled it.

    I’m not quite at the tin foil stage, but it’s very curious that instead of focusing on getting jobs going for the last 4 years, instead he’s putting more and more people onto benefits, extending those benefits, and making it easier to keep them (killing work requirement). It’s like he won’t be happy until the producers are a tiny minority trying to support everyone else.

  43. Oh dear me. This is funny. The last thread I posted in I mentioned Sen. Begich and now he is going to be at some meeting of muckety mucks across the street tomorrow. I know this because our neighbor called and asked to use our driveway for parking overflow, which she does once in a while. The kitties stake out her bird feeder all the time, maybe they will meet some muckety mucks, lol.

  44. Lorac, while that statement was in political ads during the election, it was roundly debunked.

    These states [Utah, Nevada, California, Connecticut and Minnesota], some with Republican governors, asked the federal government for more flexibility in how they hand out welfare dollars. Their purpose was to spend less time on federal paperwork and more time experimenting with ways to connect welfare recipients with jobs.

    The Obama administration cooperated, granting waivers to some states from some of the existing rules.

  45. Yup we have arguments and we do with without calling one another assholes, calling people stupid, accusing them of being paid trolls, threatening to Out each other or bullying somebody off the forum. Imagine.

    Sophie, not enough waivers were handed out to enough states. Before he removed the work requirement, all states had to utilize this law in order to get funding. Now most of the states, including mine, are exeriencing a huge increase in people on the rolls not looking for work, having babies and deciding to stay home with their child and collect for doing so. I can see the difference. I have a friend who works for our county with them and she says the increase is HUGE. And guess who got a nice big fat county property tax increase this year? This already reached the tipping point and now all that is left is the toppling over. There just aren’t enough people to pay for the rest, which is another reason why there has been such an exodus. People are forced to flee to where THEY can survive instead of having to go poor being forced to help everybody else survive. This is not just about federal taxes, it’s about state and county taxes, property taxes of people who are just barely hanging onto their own homes. At this rate, the suspicion that a welfare state is the idea is starting to look very real. This is all becoming very unhealthy.

  46. The kitties stake out her bird feeder all the time, maybe they will meet some muckety mucks, lol.

    Now if we could only get them to report back to us!

  47. Birds are intelligent. They would rather hang out with the murderous cats than the politicians. They have ancient instincts for survival, you know and their chances are better with the felines.

    What Bush and bo did to the economy is killing me. Upps, yep, I am one of those who are set to flee the North East in favor of the retirement and cost efficient South East.

    After all the double-shift overtime I have put in lately, I allowed myself a day off yesterday. I fell sound asleep with a book and a hot cup of tea on my nighttable at 7 pm and woke up at 7 am. That is what this economy is doing to me. I work and I sleep and I run errands. No time for anything but work and sleep and thankfully eating for survival.

    HMMMMMM, maybe THAT’S why I am so fond of food!? I substitute food for having a life outside of sleep and constant work and errands.

    My life wasn’t like this before. I didn’t have to do overtime to be able to live and put something away for my retirement and pay off a house. I had a life! Now I collapse from all the OT. No joke. Thanks DC, you are killing me. I need that tax holiday. I need a holiday period!

  48. I am responding to the statement that BO cancelled the work requirement for welfare. He didn’t. In July 2012, he gave some states a waiver which also included other requirements. Also, according to that linked fact check article:

    The waivers gave “those states some flexibility in how they manage their welfare rolls as long as it produced 20% increases in the number of people getting work.”

    In some small way, the waivers might change precisely how work is calculated but the essential goal of pushing welfare recipients to work — something both Democrats and Republicans agreed to in the 1990s — remains the same.

    As far as I can find, NY did not get a waiver, so the increase in welfare roles could be due to something else. (of course, if you can find otherwise, please let me know.)

    P.S. These comments do not represent an endorsement of PBO. I also do not believe he is a socialist.

  49. Well one of the reasons here is that NY is one of the most liberal states for welfare requirements. Residency waiting times are very low, etc. If it weren’t for the horrible winter, I’d bet this state would be a total welfare state.

    You don’t have to convince anyone that anything you say is or is not an endorsement of Obama. This is America and we don’t bully people here. But I already know you aren’t an Obama fan, it’s just that nobody has offered an alternative that is an improvement. So we deal until something changes. I relate. If anybody passing thru doesn’t relate, well that’s really too bad.

    I think he’s a European ‘democrat’. When he’s not being a Republican. He’s one really Effed up guy philosophically.I don’t think he has a core set of values, politically or otherwise. Unless you can call “Whatever is the least amount of stress for me” a value.

    Karen, lots of people flee (and i use the word “flee” deliberately) to states where there are no state taxes and sales tax. It’s an instant increase in disposible income. This falls into the category of Enough Is Enough. And since some states offer the added benefit of warmth, many flee to places like Florida. Who can blame them.

    Warning though. I have known an unsettling number of NY retirees to Florida who get heart attacks fairly quickly. Being a non medical bimbo, I have declared it’s due to blood viscosity. I mean, you spend your life in winter and it’s kind of like motor oil. You need it thicker. Then you go down to Florida and you’ve got the wrong oil viscosity. lol

  50. Well, at the rate this country is going, Upps, I am never going to retire so therefore I will not have a heart attack. They happen a few months after collecting SS and sitting on your laurels. I am not allowed to rest.

    Just like when you get a few days vacation and your body says “no work today, commence sickness” and you don’t get rid of the illness until the day before you are due back to work.

    It is a rule of the universe. Never retire or take vacation if you want to stay healthy. 🙂

    I am hopefully young enough, (not quite old as dirt just yet) to adapt to the new viscosity in my veins. Right now, after running around outside everything is very frozen and in the process of defrosting as I type.

  51. Sophie, nobody is ever going to mistake you for “obama girl” around here! No fear. lol

  52. Sophie, nobody is ever going to mistake you for “obama girl” around here!

    And the Obama girl forgot to vote. She was perfect. Big boobs, no brains and no vote.

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