Monday, January 23, 2012

I Ignore Facts, Therefore I Vote? ...huh?

I love signs like these!! You have to love seeing raw emotion having the potential to convince folks to bring an entire nation to it's knees! All the while throwing fact, history and logic to the wayside as if they hold no weight in fixing our country.
Such illustrations are best featured as examples of how an ignorant a rather sad minority (I hope) of the voting population, would rather find solace and identity and comfort in the name of party loyalty, rather than attempt to understand why our country has suffered it's most recent bumps and bruises.

Let's first use this brilliant sign to remind us all when unemployment peeked, on Oct. '09.  Moreover, we should then ask ourselves; (if we are "fiscally conservative" and logically minded folks;) did 18 months of a new administration effect the momentum of 360,000,000 (million) hard working folks; causing a fast-track, peek in unemployment?  Or are the previous 12+ years trend setting Federal spending deficits and enormous, high risk, housing bubble lending the actual culprits?

Folks are so desperately trying to get their minds around higher or lower taxes and government spending trends, and which party we can trust for either issue?  Well, I take that assumption back; they are actually just trying to redirect anger and broken pride.  And they tend to do it very VERY carelessly and without real pragmatic thought.

For instance, from 2000 to 2008, under President Bush, Federal spending rose by $1.3 trillion, from $1.9 trillion a year to $3.2 trillion a year. President Bush, you will recall, inherited a budget surplus (the first in decades). Then, hit with a recession, he took the budget into deficit. Then he cut taxes, growing the deficit to $400 billion a year.

From 2009 to 2011, meanwhile, under President Obama, federal spending has risen by $600 billion, from $3.2 trillion a year to $3.8 trillion a year.  It has also now begun to decline.

In other words, federal government spending under President Bush increased 2X as much as it has under President Obama.
(data from U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)

However, lets also keep in mind, "The Backfire Effect", which teaches us:
-> The Misconception: When your beliefs are challenged with facts, you alter your opinions and incorporate the new information into your thinking.
-> The Truth: When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.

Take into consideration the fact that 79,000,000 (million) Americans are "pre-diabetic", but this won't stop the majority of us from eating garbage, day-after-day. We are stubborn to the point of early deaths! As they say, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."

Regardless of this phenomenon, why would "fiscally conservative" folks, allow "party loyalty" to cause them to overlook cause and effect?  We simply can't afford such absent-minded antics at the polls any longer.  To keep enabling mindless, "loyalty based" voting, versus fiscally sound solutions are the exact mob mentalities and comfort foods which we owe generations of blunders to.  We can't allow these trends to be our own countries early death.

You are simply either part of the problem or part of the solution.  I would argue, if blind party loyalty and misplaced anger is all the reason you need to cast a vote, then you are more likely to be part of the problem.

Unemployment, is one of the most basic results of a completely battered, recessed, scared economy.  One which required 100's of billions of dollars in "infused", stimulus cash to even keep it afloat.

While that cash should have been used much more efficiently and was carelessly and hastily thrown at the problem in many cases, during the biggest, deepest, panicked, recession the U.S. has seen in over half a century.

President Bush cut taxes in 2001 and 2003. These tax cuts hit federal revenue, while federal spending growth continued apace. This combination ballooned the deficit in the early years of the Bush presidency.

By the middle years of the Bush presidency, however, on the strength of the housing boom and strong economic growth (much of which now looks like a debt-fueled mirage), federal revenues began to grow rapidly. By 2007, in fact, the gap had almost closed.

But then the bottom fell out. The housing bubble burst, the financial crisis hit, and the economy plunged into recession. And then President Bush handed President Obama the worst recession in more than 70 years and left Obama to clean up the mess.

Ignoring such facts shouldn't / can't allow us to remain ignorant to the originating causes of our lingering problems.  Rewriting history to serve our pride would simply be foolish! ...and would be a sad and costly way to prove a Democracy our size and age is simply incapable of learning and applying new and innovative enough solutions to overcome such unfortunate historic mistakes.

Charts like the following help folks see how catastrophic this separation in Spending versus receipts became think to the resulting recession:

Other great GDP data sources can be found at:

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