Guess the significance of this number:

5.1 trillion


18 Responses to Guess the number

  1. Jeff Simpson says:

    The size in yen of Japan’s stimulus that was not tax cuts and was spent only on infrastructure and not on foreign made goods?

  2. econ101 says:

    You guys remember the 90’s… right?

    You’ll notice that stimulus spending didn’t do anything to get their economy going again. On the bright side, they had the nicest roads in the middle of no where anyone has ever seen. As wonderful as it would be if it were true… repaving roads and reconstructing bridges seldom creates value added in an economy.

    Can anyone provide an example where a fiscal stimulus policy has worked? Anywhere?

  3. The amount of money we owe China? Communist China?

    Why did we borrow money from Commies? Doesn’t Wal-Mart sell a lot of Chinese made goods? Are these Commie goods? Is Wal-Mart a front for Communism? Am I confused?

    Can Wal-Mart Customer Service answer these questions?

  4. John Wayne says:

    The number of things the GOP supported then unsupported just because Obama liked the idea.

  5. Jeff Simpson says:

    YEs econ the obama stimulus worked fairly well except for all of the tax cuts he put in there trying to appease the republicans….so did the Japan one i referenced…the one in germany, the one in China, the New deal, should i keep going.

    • econ101 says:

      Yes, the New Deal was so wildly successful that the nation fell back into depression shortly after it was implemented. In fact, without WWII spurring factory production, it’s impossible to tell how long we may have remained in depression. Most credible economists now agree on this… even the ridiculous Mr. Paul Krugman.

      China’s “stimulus” (aka quasi-capitalist command economy) didn’t do much to increase the standard of living in the county until the past decade or so. Might I also add, that China spends money heavily on industry… not exclusively roads and bridges. In fact, one of the reasons why China decimated the US manufacturing sector is because they entered industries with the latest equipment and were subsequently able to maximize economies of scale and undercut domestic US prices. China’s ability to export products of similar quality and reduced price allowed for their economic output to explode. The basic macroeconomic factors of a massive labor force, extensive capital resources, and maximized technology is why they are growing so rapidly. Stimulus has nothing to do with it.

      Germany’s stimulus was about 3% to GDP… ours was 5% to GDP… the main reason they bounced back so quickly is because their auto industry didn’t die, and workers took pay cuts and reduced hours rather than pink slips. Since those latter factors are huge (allowing consumers to retain genuine pocket change… not welfare), its hard to argue that their puny stimulus did anything.

      You shouldn’t accept at face value that stimulus = better economy. It doesn’t work that way, there is always something else in play.

      Right now, until the US improves its tax system, no company is going to want to expand here. When France has a more competitive corporate tax rate than you… you’ve clearly got a problem…

      • Are you arguing for war as economic development? Sounds like it.

        It’s always hilarious when an anonymous ” economist” calls Paul Krugman ridiculous. At least he puts his name to his writing.

        • econ101 says:

          No. I’m not. WWII is a rare and specific event that has not been replicated since. Even if a massive war were to occur in our lifetimes, the effect on our economy of almost certainly be completely different.

          Don’t try putting words in my mouth, I’m intellectually honest. Are you?

      • Jeff Simpson says:

        Actually that is NOT noble prize winning Phd. economists Krugmans position at all. Nor is it “most credible economists” viewpoint. Outside of the Heritage Foundation it would be hard to find.

        What happened if you studied it was FDR inherited about 26% unemployment and brought it down to about 10% when the war started. I would argue that the war actually impeded our progress because we went from creating wealth to creating bombs.

        As for the little hiccup that you refer to, i am sure that you know this and are just being dishonest, but what happened was the recovery was doing so well that he was talked into “balancing the budget and cutting spending” by the righties of the time and the economy started to crash again and he had to resort yet again to progressive principles to fix the mess.

        • econ101 says:

          Here’s the problem with that version of the “hiccup”… its not true. The government spent the following from 1936-1940 in dollars and % of GDP:

          1934: $10.5 b – 15.9%
          1935: $10.9 b – 14.9%
          1936: $13.1 b – 15.6%
          1937: $12.8 b – 13.9%
          1938: $13.8 b – 16.0%
          1939: $14.8 b – 16.1%
          1940: $15.0 b – 14.8%

          You’ll notice, that while 1938 was the recession year, there was no trimming of government during that period that would have caused that.

  6. Zach says:

    No one guessed correctly. $5.1 trillion is the amount President George W. Bush and Republicans raised the national debt by during Bush’s two terms in office.

    • econ101 says:

      Well… at least that took 8 years. We’ll have added on how much… about $4.3 trillion after three years of Obama’s budgeting?

      • Ridiculous economist econ 101 strikes again.

        • econ101 says:

          You’ll notice I’m not championing it, I’m merely pointing out that President Obama has been far more reckless. You won’t find me praising many of Bush’s economic policies. Even his tax cuts were silly, he should have been cutting and simplifying the corporate tax code.

    • Jeff Simpson says:

      which I believe does NOT include either of the wars right zach?

    • forgotmyscreenname says:

      And is there a point? Sure we are going to have to raise the debt ceiling, but are we going to keep doing that without ever evaluating spending habits? Or because Reagan did it and Clinton did it and Bush did it, we should do it again and not question it. I don’t see anything wrong with forcing some spending cuts to correspond with the raising of the ceiling.

  7. Jeff,

    You mean the wars that are now projected to cost 3.7 trillion dollars, and counting?

    Remember when Rummy estimated roughly 50 billion? Looks like he underestimated by 3.65 trillion.

    Hell, anybody can make a mistake. It’s just one of those things.

  8. Jeff Simpson says:

    yes those wars….I believe Wolfie said that the iraq war would pay for itself and then was rewarded for such brilliance by being named head of the world bank.

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