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Daily Archives: July 6, 2011

Notes


Eugene Mirabelli, who writes the posts on Critical Pages, has been busy completing another novel and, he says, "Doing all the things the publisher keeps asking me to do." So the frequency of new posts had fallen off. However, he's back writing posts again, despite his age.

Please feel free to wander back through what's here or click on one of the subjects in the tag cloud over there. We think you'll find something of interest. Information about Gene Mirabelli's distinguished novel, Renato, the Painter, is available at www.mirabelli.net


Stamp Out Starving Writers! Buy their books! Start by patronizing your local independent bookstore. Bookstores have lots of books and they'll be glad to help you find whatever you want. We mean books. They'll match you with a book. Or just wander amid the stacks of books and you're sure to find something interesting.
Bookstore kissing 210
Sadly, the couple pictured here aren't taking advantage of the amazing number and variety of books at hand. But we hope you will.

Senator Inouye’s Astonishing Numbers

Think you know how the US government dug itself into such a dept hole? Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii has come up with some astonishing numbers that shine a bright new light on our country’s national debt.

Senator Inouye

Senator Daniel Inouye

It turns out that the level of discretionary spending by the US government is unchanged compared to what it spent back in 2001. Yep, if you figure in inflation and population growth, we spend the same in that area as we did a decade ago. And, remember, back then the government had a surplus of 128 billion.

On the other hand, as you might expect, the cost of security programs is up  a boisterous 74 percent from 2001 and the cost of mandatory programs such as Social Security and Medicare is up 32.2 percent.

Hand points to text But here’s the truly surprising part. Revenues — which is to say, the amount brought in primarily from taxes — those revenues are down 18.2 percent. This is astounding: as a percent of GDP, revenues have dropped to their lowest level since 1950.

“Are we really spending too much on non-defense programs?” Senator Inouye asked “The answer is clearly no,” he said. “Non-defense discretionary spending levels are essentially unchanged from 2001. There is no reason we shouldn’t be able to afford them today.” Inouye went on to say, “The focus of our deficit talks should not be on domestic discretionary spending, but on the real reason why we are not running a surplus: historically low revenues, soaring mandatory spending, and the cost of war.”

A Change of Scene


If you've been here before you'll notice that we've made a few changes. Or maybe we should avoid responsibility and say that changes have occurred. We're not experts in HTML code and as we "improve" this website odd things happen, and if we begin to improve things at 8:00 in the evening we find ourselves still working and trying to undo our
improvements at 3:00 AM.