Trade Deficit, Budget Deficit, Truth Deficit

Every time I start thinking the press may finally be doing its job, I run across another example of media laziness and gullibility.  

For instance, the record shattering August U.S. trade deficit received minimal coverage, almost as if it were a non-event.

Yet many “journalists” seemed all too eager to report, unchallenged, Bush’s “halving the budget deficit” claim, though this assertion is patently false.

But perhaps I’m not being fair. Cause let’s face it,  Bush style accounting could improve just about anybody’s budget. Think how rosy yours would look if, with the flick of a black pen, you moved major expenses (housing? energy?) off budget.

And now it’s time for a limerick duo:

Trading On Fiction
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The trade gap is higher than ever.
Will Republicans fix it? No, never!
Yet the GOP yells:
“The economy’s swell.”
Don’t forget to click “Dem” with that lever.

Budget Reality Gap
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The deficit’s halved, claims George Dub.
But it’s gone way, way up. There’s the rub.
Yet the press prints and buys
Georgie Dubya’s big lies.
Once again, hard reality’s scrubbed.

For your reading (and viewing) pleasure:
* Norm at OneGood Move brings us the always hilarious Lewis Black.
* Skippy brings us a Kerry cahones video. (Now he grows a pair?)
* From Kevin Hayden, GOP’s Top Bloggers Abandon Ship, While Remaining in Denial.
* From Don Davis, Top Ten Things The Bushies Are Saying Behind The Evangelicals’ Backs.
* From The Talking Dog, an interview with Dr. Steven Miles, medical professor at the U. of Minnesota, and author of “Oath Betrayed” discussing medical complicity in torture, prisoner abuse, et al, in the war on terror.
[tags]Deficit Spending, Budget Deficit, Trade Deficit, Trade Gap, Press Humor, Gullible Journalists, Budget Lies, Off Budget Items[/tags]

16 Responses to “Trade Deficit, Budget Deficit, Truth Deficit”

  1. the skwib says:

    The Carnival of Satire (#51)…

    Welcome to The Carnival of Satire, one week away from our first anniversary. For next week, we’d like to try something a little different — we’d like you to find some satire (and it doesn’t have to be from a blog) that is writ…

  2. […] While thinking political thoughts, you should check out Madeleine Begun Kane’s latest limericks: Trade Deficit, Budget Deficit, Truth Deficit. […]

  3. […] Trade Deficit, Budget Deficit, Truth Deficit at Mad Kane’s Political Madness Commentary and a pair of limericks about the U.S. trade gap, the budget deficit, and press gullibility in covering these issues.   […]

  4. Economics and Social Policy XVIII…

    Welcome to the October 23, 2006 edition of Economics and Social Policy. Sorry for the delay, as well as the minimal commentary this week. Too much real life intruded over the weekend. Chief among which was the birthday celebration for Mrs. BMD. O ……..

  5. Claus Koenig says:

    Welcome to reality. I went and hunted down accounting numbers for the US budget deficit. The General Accounting Office is a good source and stated that our deficit was more like $3.5 Trillion. That’s Trillion with a “T”. Overall the estimate of the deficit overall is more like $40 Trillion. Don’t promise what you can’t keep, but the politician promised more than our economy can produce over time. National credit card debt is 4 Trillion and than add all the mortgages, car loans etc. to it. But I have a solution: Mega inflation! Like in Germany in the 1920’s. That wipes all the debt clean, when a bread costs 25 Million then the government can pay off the debt. They only people screwed are the bottom 90% that cannot move to other countries and move their riches. There are two questions left though: Who owns the debt and who has the trade deficit dollars. I can tell you that I am not surprised that the Dollar is falling so much. That is a form of inflation at least when I went to school. I guess I have to go country shopping!

  6. Ames Tiedeman says:

    The dollar, as predicted is being crushed. We are now at Par with the Canadian Dollar, the Loonie as it is called. This was all so predictable. You cannot run an 800 bilion dollar trade deficit and have your currency in demand. We have a lot farther to fall. Within 5 years from 2008 we should see the Canadian Dollar worth 25 % more than the U.S. dollar. The Euro at 1.40 now, should move to near 2.50, as China buys more and more of the Euro.
    The pound at 2.04 as I write this will be near 3.00. Be ready for CHINA. When they finally let their currency float it will appreciate 70% over a 36 month period. The US trade deficit will be cut in half and then some by 2020.

  7. Ames Tiedeman says:

    Bernanke has a big job ahead of him.
    We cannot sustain 800 bilion a year trade deficits. We cannot export our way out of this mess. The only answer is a sharply lower dollar to drive manufactruing home and to lower the trade deficit. The dollar has much farther to fall. What you are seeing is a long term effort (it will take 20 years) to get the trade deficit back under 1% of GDP. We are currently running a trade imbalance of nearly 6% of GDP. No nation can do this. The IMF would be stepping in to help any nation if its trade imbalance went to 6% of GDP becuase its currency would collapse! The U.S. is different, but still, we cannot sustain a trade deficit of this magnitude. People must understand that when we buy an item from say China, we pay in dollars. The Chinese company we just bought from them goes to an Exchange Bank in China and converts those dollars to Yuan. The Chinese banking system (Chinese Government) is now sitting on those dollars. They can either 1, buy oil, 2, buy Treasuries, 3. buy U.S goods, 4. buy U.S. Corporations, 5. other. Over time if we (the U.S. ) continue to run a trade deficit we could simply be completely bought and controlled by foreigners. Warren Buffet has explained the situation as being like a rich Texas farmer who loses a small piece of his land year after year and never notices for a while. When he then notices, tragedy sets in because he no longer controls his land. So in sum, we need to get the trade deficit way down. This is why the Fed has abandoned the dollar. It wil be going down for the next 20 years. That is how long it is going to take to correct this imbalance mess.

  8. madkane says:

    Thanks for your insightful comments, Ames!

  9. madkane says:

    Thanks for your insightful comments, Ames!

  10. dr Jay Veeoh says:

    Read Bernanke’s speech in Berlin ! It looks like sheer non sense :”hey,you foreigners , stop saving so much ! ” I think however it was a ,very well masked ,CRY FOR HELP !! Uncle Sam is toast.

  11. Ames Tiedeman says:

    The U.S. Trade Deficit is a huge problem. We will either end up being owned by foreigners or we will simply fade away. Both prospects are quite un-
    American. Some basic facts: The U.S. has not had a trade surplus with the world since 1974. We have not had a trade surplus with Japan since April of 1976. We stopped having trade surpluses with Eurpoe in 1983. Fifteen years ago we did not have a trade deficit with China. Now we have a 250 Billion a year deficit with the People’s Republic. A nation that does not make anything is a worthless nation. Worse, the longer we go without making the needed investments in our manufacturing infrastructure, the more knowledge we lose. We will either forget how to manufacture or we will simply not be good at it. Our creative energy fades away if we do not use it. Also, it is innate to want to make things. Kids play in sand boxes, youg men build tree forts. This is human nature. All of this is being taken away from the American people by idiots in Washington who do not know how to make trade deals. I may write a book on this topic.

  12. The trade deficit is at a 24 month low. Big deal. Does anyone actually think we can live with a trade deficit that is 5 % of GDP?

    The dollar may have stabilized. Not for long, however.

  13. Look, facts are facts. In 1980 we had a trade deficit of 19 billion and a total national debt of about 832 billion. We now have yearly trade deficits of 700-800 billion and budget deficits of 400 billion. Put the dollar back to where it was in 1980 and our trade deficit would be nearing 2 trillion in 2006. It did not work folks. Do you get it yet? It did not work. Wake up!

  14. I have seen it all now. 3.1 Trillion from Bush for 2009. The is just nuts. 400 billion dollar deficits for as far as they eye can see. I am disgusted.

  15. Ames Tiedeman says:

    The United States of America has not had a trade surplus since 1975. We have not had a trade surplus with Japan since April, 1976. Every year since 1983 we have been in deficit with Europe. The last time America had a trade surplus with both Russia and China was a very brief period during the Cold War. We have been running ever increasing trade deficits with South Korea since 1998. Our 1993 trade surplus with Mexico is now a 100 billion a year trade deficit. In the 1970’s, 80’s, and much of the 1990’s our trade deficit was never more than one half of 1% of GDP. We now find ourselves with a trade deficit of between 5% and 7% of GDP depending on how you count. From 2002 to 2007 the trade deficit exploded. The only reason unemployment stayed well under 6% is because of the credit bubble. 63% of all jobs created from 2000 to 2006 were housing or credit bubble related. We did not feel the destructive affects of the trade deficit because of this credit bubble. I have concluded from work I have been doing that America will never get unemployment even under 7% with a trade deficit of over 3% of GDP, without a major credit bubble. The U.S. Economy has actually stopped functioning like a real economy. We literally need a credit bubble to function. America must move from the ideology of free trade to the economic policy of balanced trade. Until this structural shift takes place you can bank on the American economy being the laughing stock of the world economy.

    Ames F. Tiedeman
    Dripping Springs, Texas

  16. madkane says:

    Hi Ames. Thanks for all your thoughtful posts on this topic.