Your Random Debt Ceiling Analogies

For those of you who don’t know (or haven’t seen Wedding Crashers), “crab cakes and football” is what Maryland does … except not so much football. Case in point? The 63-0 beat down the Terrapins received at the hands of Heisman Trophy frontrunner Jameis Winston and the Florida State Seminoles…

For those of you who don’t know (or haven’t seen Wedding Crashers), “crab cakes and football” is what Maryland does … except not so much football.

Case in point? The 63-0 beat down the Terrapins received at the hands of Heisman Trophy frontrunner Jameis Winston and the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday. This ignominious defeat is instructive, however, because it provides context for a question we received recently about the federal government’s debt problem.

Specifically, we were asked over the weekend “how bad is the federal government’s debt problem, anyway?”

Well, with under two minutes left in Saturday’s game against Florida State, Maryland faced a fourth down and two against the Seminoles – who were enjoying a nine touchdown lead. The Terrapins chose to punt.

That’s basically equivalent of where the federal government was with the national debt two years ago. Today? The game is up.

Oh … for those of you who don’t get sports analogies, the government’s debt problem is equivalent to the Dodge Viper at the 33-second mark of this video clip …

(Click to play)

Yeah. Good luck with all that, ‘Merica …

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idcydm October 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm

So true.

SCBlues October 8, 2013 at 1:52 am

And this is what you get when you have a Tea Bagger siting around all day with nothing to do . . .
“The game is up” – Uh-huh. The “game was up” under W. Bush too but he was not Black . . .

Frank Pytel October 8, 2013 at 8:16 am

Yes it was. The game was up with Carter. The rest just follow suit.

El Kabong October 8, 2013 at 6:31 am

If the game is up why bother to continue posting?

Smirks October 8, 2013 at 8:42 am

No great nation or empire lasts forever, so eventually the doom-and-gloom crowd will be right. The real question is whether or not they’re right this time.

Normally I’d say they are full of it, but considering the complete lack of regulation preventing another financial collapse like the last one, the rising student loan bubble, and various other economic risks, I’m not certain the US can avoid another recession. If we hit one, all that QE and deficit spending was pretty much for naught, and we’ll likely go through yet another round of it to climb out of the next hole (and, just maybe, the next one after that).

The debt ceiling matters, but it isn’t the only thing that matters.

WAB October 8, 2013 at 3:49 pm

After 2008 lots of financial pundits and experts were taken to task for not speaking out as we were teetering to the edge (right before Lehman filed bankruptcy). Now plenty of them are speaking about the possible dire consequences of a debt ceiling default and a certain minority of politicians and general public think it’s all smoke. SMH. If you know jumping off the roof could lead to a broken ankle, leg or worse, neck – why would you jump if there was a ladder for you to use?

Frank Pytel October 8, 2013 at 8:14 am

Bye Bye. LOL

GaryJR October 8, 2013 at 8:51 am

Maryland football had a administration change. They are recruiting well and will rise again to beat your asses.

The Colonel October 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm

They’ll still have the ugliest uniforms in college football if they win the national championship (ain’t happening though…)

GaryJR October 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Then they would be really purdy, wouldn’t they? BTW those unis are by Under Armour a company started by a former Maryland player. If you owned shares of that stock you’d think they were mighty pretty too.

The Colonel October 9, 2013 at 2:53 am

If I was a grad of “Ol’ugly uniform U” and the owner of Under Armor they’d still be among the fugliest uniforms ever worn.

GaryJR October 9, 2013 at 7:40 am

Proving only that your taste is in your mouth, loser.

CNSYD October 8, 2013 at 9:56 am

“Heisman Trophy frontrunner Jameis Winston” Oh really? Mariota, Boyd et al have conceded?

Jan October 8, 2013 at 10:14 am

This is not an analogy of the debt ceiling it is an analogy of the debt. The only analogy applicable to the debt ceiling debate is the one where you go do the store, buy goods on your credit card, consume the goods and then refuse to pay the credit card bill. Only congress can authorize the government to buy goods and services. They did, and now some do not want to pay for what was purchased and consumed.

The debt is a big problem, but as a percentage of GDP it is not at record levels. So we are not doomed. We must both cut spending and increase revenue. That means in addition to cutting spending we are going to have to raise taxes from their 50 year lows.


There are two big areas we can cut, besides those that effect the stability of the population. We do not need to spend twice on our defense what the next nearest nation pays; and we need to solve the problem that Americans pay twice as much for health care as any other nation on earth and yet we are less healthy than almost all of the industrialized nations on earth. In short our health care system sucks.
Without changing much of anything, we have reduced the annual deficit to almost nothing over the last five years. Reducing defense spending, fixing our health care problems, and a small increase in taxes will put is in the black on a year to year basis. We need to use that money to pay down the debt.

idcydm October 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm

“Without changing much of anything, we have reduced the annual deficit to almost nothing over the last five years.” ????? How did the debt increase by $7 trillion over the last five years?

Jan October 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I did not say there was no annual deficit, and we did not reduce it to all at one time. But look at the numbers. The annual deficit has gone down every year since 2008. The projected deficit for 2013 is down to $739 billion. As s percentage of a growing GDP that is pretty good, given our recent history. And the annual deficit is projected to fall even more for 2014.
Of course the government shut down could result in a loss of GDP or a ramping up of our borrowing costs. In that even, the projections may not hold.
I never said we had solved the problem. I never said the solution was easy. I said the problem was solvable. We need to cut more spending and increase revenue.

idcydm October 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Obviously “reduced the annual deficit to almost nothing” means something entirely different to you than it does to me.

Jan October 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Look we can debate semantics, I agree the annual debt is not “almost nothing,” but if the projections hold, for the year 2013, this year will be within historical post depression norms.

That aside, we have been moving in the right direction every year since 2008, and if projections hold for 2014, as a percentage of GDP, the annual deficit will be below where it was under Reagan, and Bush 1. They obviously did not consider that to be a crisis; and remember, the annual deficit includes our interest payments on outstanding debt. If we cut spending and increase revenue, we can begin to pay down the debt, just as we were doing in the last years of the Clinton administration.

Finally, if we had not become involved in two disastrous wars, and had not enacted the Bush tax cuts our debt would be half of what it is today, putting us right at the post depression average debt/GDP.

idcydm October 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm

If you agree the annual “debt” deficit is not “almost nothing” why did you say it?

Do you mean the Clinton administration and the Republican congress? You see it takes two to make it work or not make it work.

Keep blaming Bush you might influence low information voters.

Jan October 8, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I’m not blaming Bush. He did not pass the Bush tax cuts alone or get us into the wars alone (perhaps the war part is debatable). I am saying the Bush tax cuts and the wars, are a large part of why we have such high debt. Without those things we would be near the average level of debt/gdp since the Great Depression. We would still be a little higher than average because of the recession.
Nonetheless, we are not doomed. We can handle the debt if we will make reasonable reductions in spending and some increases in revenue. I would like to see taxes return to where they were under Clinton. I would like to see the military returned to where it was under Clinton, plus the rate of inflation. I would like to see the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare increased to 68 for those 50 to 55, 69 for 45 to 50 year olds and 70 for those under age 45.

idcydm October 8, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Thanks for the reply.

I don’t think we are doomed either but it will take both parties to bring us out of the mess we’ve gotten our self into.

I tend to agree with you on SS but we also must eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in the system and throughout government especially the Military. I know first hand about the Military, over 30 years service.

I have a simple solution for more revenue that you probably won’t like. Everyone pays the same percentage of income tax and remove all deductions for everyone. If we have to tax corporations the same thing, after all it is we the consumer that pay corporate taxes. That in it self would cut the IRS to bare bones and eliminate cronyism.

Bill October 9, 2013 at 12:09 am

“WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who helped set off the government shutdown in his bid to defund Obamacare, found himself on Tuesday passionately defending not just government-regulated health care, but government-owned and operated health care.

He was championing one of the piecemeal government-funding bills passed by the House that would re-open services for veterans, specifically their medical care.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is not only a government agency, its doctors work directly for the federal government, as Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) pointed out to Cruz on the Senate floor.

Under the president’s health care reform law, the government oversees private health insurance plans, a system Republicans like Cruz regularly deride as a government takeover of health care.

Cruz simply responded that the VA has nothing to do with Obamacare.”
You have to love Teapublicans, there inability to see their own conflicting positions is astounding. Of course they could just be political opportunist opposed to anything Obama is for.


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