1) President Obama tripled the deficit.
Reality: Bush’s last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama’s first budget reduced that to $1.29 trillion.
2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.
Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the “stimulus” was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.
3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
Reality: While many people conflate the “stimulus” with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be “non-reviewable by any court or any agency.”) The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.
4) The stimulus didn’t work.
Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.
5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.
Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.
6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.
Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.
7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is “going broke,” people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.
Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.
8) Government spending takes money out of the economy.
Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on “welfare” and “foreign aid” when that is only a small part of the government’s budget.
“The stars are beginning to suspect you think of relationships, dating, and in fact any romantic involvement whatsoever as nothing more than an excuse to make mixtapes.”— The Onion alleges I’m an Aries.
“The state government has refused to refund 68,000 motorists who were fined by malfunctioning speed cameras on the Hume Highway. Police Minister James Merlino today stood by the state’s speed-camera system despite revelations that nine motorists had been wrongly fined by the point-to-point cameras since 2007. The case bears similarities to wrongful infringements issued by speed cameras on the Western Ring Road, which resulted in the Bracks government refunding 90,000 motorists at a cost of about $26 million in 2004.”—
Among my somewhat unusual views is a fundamental opposition to automatic speed cameras. I believe that people should be fined if they break the speed limit, but I also believe that a millennium of common law has given us the right to confront our accusers in open court. I don’t believe that a fully automated system (in which no humans are involved in issuing an infringement notice) give us this fundamental right.
Beyond that, traffic camera operation is a fully outsourced business run by a company owned by shareholders. Citizens consent to be governed (and policed) by the state, not by private companies. The somewhat frightening fact is that if I am issued a speeding fine from an automated camera, not only are no human beings involved in making the accusation against me, but not even any police officers are involved.
I find it odd that I seem to be the only person troubled by this.
What if Jenn Sterger had worn something else that day? What if, back in September 2005, she’d decided to sweat it out in a pair of relaxed fit jeans and an FSU shirt she’d tie-dyed with Coors Light spills and KFC crumbs? Instead she went to a Florida State-Miami game in a bikini the size of a Walgreens receipt, aimed several ‘Whooooo!’ sounds toward a sideline camera, and — before that weekend was over — had become one of the most improbable celebrities this side of Susan Boyle’s unibrow.
Now, almost exactly five years later, Sterger is again collecting unexpected publicity after a pair of voicemails and several photographs she allegedly received from Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre were sold to Deadspin.com. The messages were from 2008, when Sterger and Favre were both with the New York Jets; in them he — again, allegedly — called to invite her to his hotel room before texting her some naked shots of his, uh, pocket passer.
In today’s NBC Sports column, we talk about the Jenn Sterger/Brett Favre situation, why I’ll never appear in Playboy and whose career path she’s (perhaps unintentionally) following. Click HERE for the rest.
Also, this idea was suggested by Billy Halloran. If you have an idea for a column, either shoot an email to jacastrodale [at] gmail [dotty dot] com or just ASK.
Once in a while, people reply to questions I leave in their ASK boxes.
Once in a great while, they post their answer as an opinion column on NBC Sports.
“You can almost see him as he sits at the head of the table in front of a steaming pile of flapjacks, finely calibrating his daughter’s sexuality: “Now Samantha, when he kisses you, tilt your head at a 45º angle and moan like you just saw a dress you want to buy with your sewing money. Then slap his hand away, pout for a bit, and come back and tell me all about it.”—