Interest on national debt will eat up most of Federal budget by 2010

"Now might be a good time to crack open your neighbor's skull and feast upon the goo inside."

You heard it right folks! MSNBC has the story. Seems like that two trillion in new debt, on top of the eight or nine trillion already existing, comes at a hefty price:

But about 40 percent of the debt held by private investors will mature in a year or less, according to Treasury officials. When those loans come due, the Treasury will have to borrow more money to repay them, even as it launches perhaps the most aggressive expansion of U.S. debt in modern history.

Forty percent? FORTY PERCENT?!?!? Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ on a Pogo Stick! By my calculations, that's something akin to 25-33% of every tax dollar goes to simply repaying that interest. Good God, why didn't we just fund the bailout through American Express?

Someone remind me why it is we haven't risen up as one to smite these assholes?

Serious government spending on public works and infrastructure projects is what's required in times like this. Problem is, during the good times, the Republicans' guiding philosophy has been "CUT TAXES!" and "Kill brown people!" instead of "Direct the surplus towards repaying the debt!"

Thanks again, Gee Dubya. What would we ever have done with all that extra money anyway?

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Borrow-and-Spend Towards Oblivion

Associated Press is reporting today that the budget deficit for FY2009 is projected to reach $490 billion--marking an impressive third time in President Bush's eight-year watch that he has broken this record (the first was the $374 billion 2003 deficit, immediately bested by the $413 billion 2004 deficit).

A Bush administration official said Monday the next administration will inherit a record federal budget deficit for next year that approaches $490 billion.

The official said the deficit was being driven to record levels by the sagging economy and the stimulus payments being made to 130 million households in an effort to keep the country from falling into a deep recession. A deficit approaching $490 billion would easily surpass the record deficit of $413 billion set in 2004.

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MA Voter says: Thank you NH (and IA)

I am a Democrat.  That means I will vote for any Democrat over any Republican in November.  

I live in Massachusetts.  That meant, until tonight and according to the polls and pundits, that my vote would be irrelevant in selecting the Democratic nominee.

I am everlastingly grateful to NH for tonight's result.  That does not mean I am pro-Hillary or anti-Obama.  And I have not written Edwards off, either.  What it means is that I now have the chance (and the obligation!) to decide which Democrat I prefer.  I was always planning to do that anyway -- though to hear the pundits tell it, I was going to be swayed, if not stampeded, by the judgement of Iowans and New Hampshirites -- but now it will matter a little bit.

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When Will Republicans Get "THEIR" Backbone?

You know we keep hearing about Democrats not having the backbone to take on the Republicans and President Bush with respects to this war in Iraq.  

We keep hearing Democrats refuse to cut the funding for the war and they are unable to gather the votes to set a timetable for withdraw of our troops from Iraq.  

I think the real question should be, when will the Republican's get their BACKBONE to stand up against the Bush/Rove/Cheney Machine?

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Senate 2008 Guru's Week in the Senate Races

Things are not looking too good for Senate Republicans lately.  The GOP is just getting older and more conservative, which may contribute to Democrats beating Republicans 50-32 in a generic congressional ballot, the 18-point lead almost doubling last month's 10-point lead.  NRSC Chair John Ensign assures us that things aren't really that bad:

"If you scratch the surface, things don't look necessarily that good," he said. "But when you get below the surface, things aren't nearly as bad as what they could be."

Exactly how bad things are for Senate Republicans could be shaped heavily by events in September.  The following numerous decisions will (likely) come to pass before the end of this month:

  • Tomorrow, Nevada's Nebraska's (duh - long day) Chuck Hagel is expected to announce his retirement.  A decision from former Senator Bob Kerrey on a 2008 Senate bid could come soon after.  In fact, the Nebraska GOP has already started very lamely attacking Kerrey's record in preparation for a Senate bid.
  • Later this week, popular former Virginia Governor Mark Warner is expected to announce a decision about whether or not to succeed - er, campaign to succeed - retiring John Warner in the Senate.  Numerous Virginia political insiders expect that Mark Warner will run for Senate.
  • Over in Oregon, former NEA Chairman John Frohnmayer is expected to enter the 2008 OR-Sen race as an independent candidate.  It is unclear who his candidacy would harm more, Republican Gordon Smith or the eventual Democratic nominee, but accurately refering to Frohnmayer as a George Bush appointee and the brother of Republican former state Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer is a good start.
  • According to popular former New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen's de facto spokesman, her husband Bill, a decision on a Senate bid should come by the end of the month.
  • Glancing over at the circus in Idaho, should Larry Craig resign at the end of the month as expected, Governor Butch Otter will have to make an appointment to fill the remainder of the term.  Republican Rep. Mike Simpson says that he does not want the job, noting a personal distaste for Mitch McConnell.  While Lt. Gov. Jim Risch is considered the front-runner for the appointment, so many Idaho Republicans are interested in the seat that Gov. Butch Otter is open to appointing a place-holder who will serve until the end of the term but not run for the seat in his or her own right in 2008.  At this point, I'd put it at 50-50 between Otter appointing Risch vs. appointing a place-holder.  Almost comically, the NRSC web site's News page lacks any mention of or official comment on the Craig scandal.

    Further, possible-to-likely Senate candidates are emerging in traditionally red states:

  • In North Carolina, State Representative and Afghanistan War veteran Grier Martin is closing in on a decision regarding a Senate bid.  Says The Independent Weekly's Bob Geary, "There was no mistaking the new bounce in his tone: He wants to run. And he's much closer to doing it." Last Tuesday, I offered an analysis of the potential of a Martin-Dole match-up.
  • In Tennessee, businessman and gubernatorial son Mike McWherter is making the rounds and sounding like he is ready to take on Lamar Alexander.  If/when McWherter officially enters, other Democrats considering a bid have already said that they would defer to McWherter and support his candidacy.
  • In Kansas, six-term former Congressman Jim Slattery has announced that he is considering a challenge to Pat Roberts.  I have long thought that Kansas could be the sleeper competitive Senate race of the 2008 cycle, for reasons ranging from Roberts' unintimidating approval ratings to Roberts' failures and scandals while Chairing the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
  • In South Carolina, former State Senator Tom Turnipseed is considering a Senate run, as well.

    Indeed, September could prove a very decisive month in terms of shaping the 2008 Senate races.  This week also saw a plethora of interesting news around the country:

    South Dakota: Senator Tim Johnson returned to the Senate floor and made his first roll call vote in almost nine months.  Badlands Blue has the video of his return, including a nearly-minute-long standing ovation before Johnson spoke and another minute of standing ovation after Senator Johnson's comments.  Truly uplifting.
    Delaware: Senator Joe Biden is definitely moving forward with Senate re-election plans amid his Presidential campaign.
    Texas: Though a majority of Democratic primary voters are still undecided, State Representative and Lieutenant Colonel Rick Noriega currently has about double the support of attorney Mikal Watts, 27-14.  Attorney Emil Reichstadt, who may soon exit the race, clocks in at 6%.  Noriega also recently scored the support of Texas' firefighters.
    New Hampshire and Minnesota: In case anyone thought otherwise, both Sprintin' John Sununu and Smilin' Norm Coleman are still George W. Bush's lapdogs on Iraq.
    Alaska: Ted Stevens appears to be both a climatologist and a sociopath.  All of that insane behavior may just be to deflect attention from his latest earmark scandal.
    Colorado: Backwards Bob Schaffer's own poll numbers see him losing to Democratic Congressman Mark Udall by more than the margin of error.  Schaffer's camp is trying to spin this as a good thing!  I can't wait for the non-partisan numbers to come out.
    Louisiana: The candidate filing period for 2007 passed this week in Louisiana, and Republican state Treasurer John N. Kennedy is running unopposed for re-election while looking ahead to a possible 2008 Senate challenge to Senator Mary Landrieu.  Given Treasurer Kennedy's chronically mercurial career goals, hopefully someone in the Louisiana media can get him to answer questions like "If re-elected to the Treasurer's office, do you pledge to serve out your full term?" and "Why should the voters of Louisiana re-elect you if you're just going to run for another office in a few months?" So far, all that has gone on the record is:

    Kennedy declined to speculate on his political future, and would not commit to serving out his entire four-year term.

    "I've never made promises about things in the future that I can't control," Kennedy said, adding that he wanted to savor re-election before looking ahead.

    Hey, John, running for Senate isn't an involuntary action like sneezing or yawning - you do actually have control over whether or not you run for Senate. Totally disingenuous.
    Virginia: A VA-GOP Senate primary between Tom Davis and Jim Gilmore could get very ugly.  The Club for Growth is already attacking Tom Davis' economic record.  Meanwhile, Davis' campaign has apparently hired adviser Chris LaCivita, whose claims to fame include advising and producing commercials for the notorious Swift Boat Veterans and serving as direct supervisor to the man responsible for the infamous New Hampshire phone jamming scandal.  This could be a historically ugly primary.
    Kentucky: The Public Campaign Action Fund released an ad highlighting Mitch McConnell's record supporting the use of taxpayer dollars to fund iPod-like music players for Afghani tribesman but opposing body armor for our troops.  (Yes, you read that right; Ditch Mitch KY explains.  It of course involves a former McConnell staffer becoming a lobbyist, and McConnell securing an earmark for the clients of his former staffer while the lobbyist/former staffer raises thousands of dollars for McConnell.)  So what does McConnell do?  He uses his contacts and clout to get the ad pulled from cable stations!  In a completely unrelated note, Dictionary.com defines "fascism" as "forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism."
    Arizona: Looking ahead to 2010, popular-but-term-limited Governor Janet Napolitano has established a federal political action committee, seen as an early step toward a 2010 Senate bid.  Meanwhile, early polling sees Governor Napolitano handily defeating John McCain by double digits in a hypothetical 2010 Senate match-up, 47-36.

    Some parting notes:

  • The DSCC announced a winner in its bumper sticker slogan contest.  I really like it - check it out.
  • When George W. Bush took office, the National Debt stood at less than $5.75 trillion.  Last week, the National Debt crossed the $9 trillion mark.  In other words, the National Debt has gone up $3.25 trillion, more than 56%, on George W. Bush's watch of just over six-and-a-half years. Just another indicator of the failure of Bush's policies.
  • Some enterprising soul turned my catalog of the Republican Culture of Corruption: 2007 So Far into a YouTube video.  I truthfully have no idea who did it, but it really is the Citizen Kane of YouTube videos:

    For daily news and updates on the U.S. Senate races around the country in 2008, check out Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.

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