Tag Archives: deficit

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Axe, Please

This article, originally posted in August, 2011, has taken on new significance in the shadow of the fiscal cliff.  It has been accessed over 1,500 times in the past 3 months and has had 307 Hits since last midnight.  To save our beloved readers the hassle of searching for it, I’m reposting it !  ~LTG

Doug Parris at The Reagan Wing has posted a  list of Government programs and entities for the Taxpayers’ chopping block.   What do you think? ~LTG

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Axe, Please.

  • National Endowment for the Arts (Can’t sell your art privately?)
  • National Wild Horse and Burro Program (Huh?)
  • Dept. of Education
  • Dept of Energy
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Dept. of Transportation
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • FEMA (a corrupt organization if there ever was one–leave it to charities)
  • FDIC (a sham program with only a fraction of funds needed to save banks)
  • Freddy Mac &
  • Fannie Mae (helped cause present economic conditions)
  • Administration on Aging (AoA)
  • Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
  • Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD)
  • Administration for Native Americans (ANA)
  • Children’s Bureau (CB)
  • Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB)
  • Head Start Bureau (HSB)
  • Healthy Marriage Initiative (HMI)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE)
  • Office of Community Services Block Grant (OCS)
  • Office of Family Assistance (OFA)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)
  • President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID)
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Indian Health Service (IHS)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
  • Office of Minority Health (OMH)
  • Program Support Center (PSC)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin.(SAMHSA)
  • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT)
  • Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (CFBCI)
  • Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB)
  • Employment Standards Administration (ESA)
  • The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
  • Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP)
  • Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
  • Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
  • Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
  • Women’s Bureau (WB)
  • Job Corps
  • Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
  • Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
  • Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
  • Internet Access and Training Program
  • Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
  • Bureau of Human Resources
  • Bureau of Information Resource Management
  • Bureau of Intelligence and Research
  • Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
  • Bureau of International Organization Affairs
  • Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
  • Bureau of Legislative Affairs
  • Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
  • Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
  • Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations
  • Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
  • Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
  • Bureau of Public Affairs
  • Bureau of Resource Management
  • Bureau of South Asian Affairs
  • Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation
  • Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

  • National Foreign Affairs Training Center (former Foreign Service Institute)
  • Office of International Information Programs
  • Office of the Legal Adviser
  • Office of Management Policy
  • Office of Protocol
  • Office of the Science and Technology Adviser
  • Office of War Crimes Issues
  • Car Allowance Rebate System (Cash for Clunkers)
  • Cash for Appliances Program
  • Bureau of the Public Debt
  • Community Development Financial Institution Fund (CDFI)
  • FHA
  • HUD
  • INDEPENDENT AGENCIES Of the U.S. GOVERNMENT;
  • National health and insurance system
  • African Development Foundation
  • Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)
  • Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC)
  • Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
  • U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC)
  • US Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR)
  • Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE)
  • Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)
  • Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA)
  • Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Export-Import Bank of the United States (ExIm)
  • Farm Credit Administration (FCA)
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Federal Maritime Commission
  • Federal Mine Safety & Health Review Commission (FMSHRC)
  • Federal Reserve System
  • Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States (FCSC)
  • General Services Administration (GSA)
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
  • Inter-American Foundation (IAF)
  • International Trade Commission (ITC)
  • Learn and Serve America (LSA)
  • National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC)
  • National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
  • National Ice Center (NIC)
  • National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
  • National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) (NRPC)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • National Transportation Research Center (NTRC)
  • Office of Government Ethics (OGE)(LOT OF GOOD THEY DO)
  • Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
  • Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)
  • Selective Service System (SSS)
  • Senior Corps
  • Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC)
  • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
  • United States Trade and Development Agency (TDA)

BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS;

  • Financial crisis inquiry commission
  • Administrative Committee of the Federal Register
  • American Battle Monuments Commission
  • Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board)
  • Arctic Research Commission
  • Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Interagency Coordinating Committee
  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation
  • Broadcasting Board of Governors
  • Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
  • Chief Acquisition Officers Council
  • Chief Financial Officers Council
  • Chief Human Capital Officers Council
  • Chief Information Officers Council
  • Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee

We’re taking food out of the mouths of children to subsidize worthless, indolent and illegal bureaucracies

  • Commission of Fine Arts
  • Commission on International Religious Freedom
  • Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission)
  • Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States
  • Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled
  • Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements
  • Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States
  • Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • Delaware River Basin Commission
  • Denali Commission
  • Endangered Species Committee
  • Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board
  • Federal Advisory Committees
  • Federal Executive Boards
  • Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
  • Federal Financing Bank
  • Federal Geographic Data Committee
  • Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds (GOTTA LOVE THAT ONE!)
  • Federal Interagency Committee on Education
  • Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy
  • Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer
  • Federal Library and Information Center Committee
  • Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation
  • Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor Commission
  • Indian Arts and Crafts Board
  • Interagency Alternative Dispute Resolution Working Group
  • Interagency Council on Homelessness
  • Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
  • J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board
  • James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation
  • Japan-United States Friendship Commission
  • Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries
  • Joint Fire Science Program
  • Marine Mammal Commission
  • Migratory Bird Conservation Commission
  • Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • Mississippi River Commission
  • Morris K. Udall Foundation: Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy
  • National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare
  • National Indian Gaming Commission
  • National Park Foundation
  • Northwest Power Planning Council
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
  • Presidio Trust
  • Regulatory Information Service Center
  • Social Security Advisory Board
  • Susquehanna River Basin Commission
  • Taxpayer Advocacy Panel
  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Veterans Day National Committee
  • Vietnam Educational Foundation
  • White House Commission on Presidential Scholars – “Presidential Scholars Program”
  • White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance

Swarms of officers sent hither to harass our people, and eat out their substance. (No wonder we’re broke.)

Now what Presidential Candidate would do that??

a non-politician.

What’s at stake?

Prosperity or Poverty.

only that.

States to Public Unions-The Well is Dry

~LTG

Allen West – Who Is Leading America?

AS EVENTS UNRAVEL, WHO IS LEADING AMERICA?

By Allen West (Scribe) on March 22nd, 2011

Greetings constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans across our great land. It is again time for our weekly Congressional update. As I travel throughout the district, I certainly appreciate the feedback on these missives, and even the emails and support from those outside our district who are receiving these reports.

There are those who feel the issues facing America are not threatening, certainly not of immediate concern. As I did my regular Saturday morning run along Fort Lauderdale beach this weekend, I pondered a simple question: “Who is leading America?”

Continue reading

Wisconsin Teachers Show Kids How to March for Big Government

To see what $16 billion worth of education spending can get you in Wisconsin, check out this heartwarming video shot on the streets of Madison yesterday (via Weekly Standard):

Yes, those are public school students gleefully meandering toward a massive teachers’ union protest when they learned that all of their classes had essentially been canceled for the day. Parents who are busy working – or beating the streets in search of honest pay – got the luxury of seeing their unsupervised teenagers wander the streets during school hours.

Are the teachers protesting because of impending layoffs? Nope. A longer work schedule? No. Pay cuts? No.

They’re hysterically walking off their jobs because Governor Walker wants to set more limits on union influence to bargain over pay and other issues.

That’s it. In a state with 7 percent unemployment and a budget deficit in the billions, these teachers are putting their own jobs in jeopardy – and blatantly encouraging students to march with them – because their union will lose a little bit of power.

Do they feel bad about brainwashing clueless teenagers regarding politics? Do they fear parents might get annoyed at their own children pressuring the state to seize more wealth for a union?

Not so much:

As teachers beamed and offered thanks, student organizers in the hallways handed out signs identifying each as a “future worker, future voter,” proclaiming this was a “Walk out for Walker out,” and calling on the Legislature to “kill this bill.”

Students said teachers appeared torn by their support for what their students were doing, but also awareness that they weren’t supposed to encourage student political activity.

Yeah. Torn. That’s the word for it.

Remember this the next time a liberal tells you they really do care about America’s debt problem.

-Candance

How to Reduce America’s Humongous Deficit

You heard/read about it in the news — as sound bites.

I’m referring to that deficit-reduction report issued by the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

But do you know what the report actually says?

Over the weekend, I had e-mailed the report to fellow Anonymous and got this response from him:

“Uh-oh. Read it (sobering on the face of it, just by itself). With the track record of the current administration, I don’t know whether they’ll:

  1. Just say this and do the opposite; or
  2. Use an “interpretation” of this to eliminate defense spending, cut Medicare, etc. to the point where painkillers, euthanasia and abortions-on-demand will be all that “healthcare reform” will eventually allow, and jack-up entitlement spending for loyal Democratic voters.”

Here’s the link to the 66-page report, The Moment of Truth. It’s worth your read. Remember Thomas Jefferson’s warning:

“If once they [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.”

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Carrington, 1787.

~Eowyn

I Want Your Money!

To find out more about this movie, GO HERE.

~Eowyn

Fed Chief Ben Bernanke Calls US Economy “Unsustainable”

Ben Bernanke, head of the Federal Reserve Bank, is America’s central banker. So when Bernanke makes a speech in which he paints a dire picture of the U.S. economy and calls the Obama administration’s fiscal policy “unsustainable,” Americans should listen. But did you hear or see this in the mainstream media?

~Eowyn

Bernanke Tells the Truth: The United States is on the Brink of Financial Disaster

By Robert Wenzel – Economic Policy Journal - October 5, 2010

Yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered a speech before the the Annual Meeting of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council in Providence, Rhode Island. In the speech, he warned about the current state of the government finances. His conclusion, the situation is dire and “unsustainable”.

It is remarkable that mainstream media has given this speech no coverage. I repeat, the central banker of the United States says in his own words:

Let me return to the issue of longer-term fiscal sustainability. As I have discussed, projections by the CBO and others show future budget deficits and debts rising indefinitely, and at increasing rates. To be sure, projections are to some degree only hypothetical exercises. Almost by definition, unsustainable trajectories of deficits and debts will never actually transpire, because creditors would never be willing to lend to a country in which the fiscal debt relative to the national income is rising without limit. Herbert Stein, a wise economist, once said, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”9 One way or the other, fiscal adjustments sufficient to stabilize the federal budget will certainly occur at some point. The only real question is whether these adjustments will take place through a careful and deliberative process that weighs priorities and gives people plenty of time to adjust to changes in government programs or tax policies, or whether the needed fiscal adjustments will be a rapid and painful response to a looming or actual fiscal crisis.

This is as close as you are ever going to see a central banker admit that his country’s financial situation is so dire that it could breakup at any time.

Here’s more from Bernanke’s remarkable speech:

The recent deep recession and the subsequent slow recovery have created severe budgetary pressures not only for many households and businesses, but for governments as well. Indeed, in the United States, governments at all levels are grappling not only with the near-term effects of economic weakness, but also with the longer-run pressures that will be generated by the need to provide health care and retirement security to an aging population. There is no way around it–meeting these challenges will require policymakers and the public to make some very difficult decisions and to accept some sacrifices. But history makes clear that countries that continually spend beyond their means suffer slower growth in incomes and living standards and are prone to greater economic and financial instability.

Now, get this, he warns that it is not only the Federal government that has financial problems, but also states and local governments:

Although state and local governments face significant fiscal challenges, my primary focus today will be the federal budget situation and its economic implications.

Does Bernanke see the tsunami hitting or what?

Then, he put things in historical perspective:

The budgetary position of the federal government has deteriorated substantially during the past two fiscal years, with the budget deficit averaging 9-1/2 percent of national income during that time. For comparison, the deficit averaged 2 percent of national income for the fiscal years 2005 to 2007, prior to the onset of the recession and financial crisis. The recent deterioration was largely the result of a sharp decline in tax revenues brought about by the recession and the subsequent slow recovery, as well as by increases in federal spending needed to alleviate the recession and stabilize the financial system. As a result of these deficits, the accumulated federal debt measured relative to national income has increased to a level not seen since the aftermath of World War II.

Then, he explains the deterioration and the problems it will create for the entire economy:

For now, the budget deficit has stabilized and, so long as the economy and financial markets continue to recover, it should narrow relative to national income over the next few years. Economic conditions provide little scope for reducing deficits significantly further over the next year or two; indeed, premature fiscal tightening could put the recovery at risk. Over the medium- and long-term, however, the story is quite different. If current policy settings are maintained, and under reasonable assumptions about economic growth, the federal budget will be on an unsustainable path in coming years, with the ratio of federal debt held by the public to national income rising at an increasing pace.2 Moreover, as the national debt grows, so will the associated interest payments, which in turn will lead to further increases in projected deficits. Expectations of large and increasing deficits in the future could inhibit current household and business spending–for example, by reducing confidence in the longer-term prospects for the economy or by increasing uncertainty about future tax burdens and government spending–and thus restrain the recovery. Concerns about the government’s long-run fiscal position may also constrain the flexibility of fiscal policy to respond to current economic conditions.

Then, he tells us how powerful the negative trends are and how the aging population and Obamacare are going to make things worse:

Our fiscal challenges are especially daunting because they are mostly the product of powerful underlying trends, not short-term or temporary factors. Two of the most important driving forces are the aging of the U.S. population, the pace of which will intensify over the next couple of decades as the baby-boom generation retires, and rapidly rising health-care costs. As the health-care needs of the aging population increase, federal health-care programs are on track to be by far the biggest single source of fiscal imbalances over the longer term. Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the ratio of federal spending for health-care programs (principally Medicare and Medicaid) to national income will double over the next 25 years, and continue to rise significantly further after thatthe aging of the U.S. population will also strain Social Security, as the number of workers paying taxes into the system rises more slowly than the number of people receiving benefits. This year, there are about five individuals between the ages of 20 and 64 for each person aged 65 and older. By 2030, when most of the baby boomers will have retired, this ratio is projected to decline to around 3, and it may subsequently fall yet further as life expectancies continue to increase. Overall, the projected fiscal pressures associated with Social Security are considerably smaller than the pressures associated with federal health programs, but they still present a significant challenge to policymakers.

Then he goes back to warn that the financial mess also exists at the state and local level:

The same underlying trends affecting federal finances will also put substantial pressures on state and local budgets, as organizations like yours have helped to highlight. In Rhode Island, as in other states, the retirement of state employees, together with continuing increases in health-care costs, will cause public pension and retiree health-care obligations to become increasingly difficult to meet. Estimates of unfunded pension liabilities for the states as whole span a wide range, but some researchers put the figure as high as $2 trillion at the end of 2009.5 Estimates of states’ liabilities for retiree health benefits are even more uncertain because of the difficulty of projecting medical costs decades into the future. However, one recent estimate suggests that state governments have a collective liability of almost $600 billion for retiree health benefits. These health benefits have usually been handled on a pay-as-you-go basis and therefore could impose a substantial fiscal burden in coming years as large numbers of state workers retire.

Bernanke then breaks the news that the problem is global:

It may be scant comfort, but the United States is not alone in facing fiscal challenges. The global recession has dealt a blow to the fiscal positions of most other advanced economies, and, as in the United States, their expenditures for public health care and pensions are expected to rise substantially in the coming decades as their populations age. Indeed, the population of the United States overall is younger than those of a number of European countries as well as Japan.

Bernanke then re-emphasises, the damage this will do to the overall economy:

Failing to address our unsustainable fiscal situation exposes our country to serious economic costs and risks. In the short run, as I have noted, concerns and uncertainty about exploding future deficits could make households, businesses, and investors more cautious about spending, capital investment, and hiring. In the longer term, a rising level of government debt relative to national income is likely to put upward pressure on interest rates and thus inhibit capital formation, productivity, and economic growth. Larger government deficits increase our reliance on foreign lenders, all else being equal, implying that the share of U.S. national income devoted to paying interest to foreign investors will increase over time. Income paid to foreign investors is not available for domestic consumption or investment. And an increasingly large cost of servicing a growing national debt means that the adjustments, when they come, could be sharp and disruptive. For example, large tax increases that might be imposed to cover the rising interest on the debt would slow potential growth by reducing incentives to work, save, hire, and invest.

He then states that we do not know how much time is left before all hell breaks loose:

It would be difficult to identify a specific threshold at which federal debt begins to pose more substantial costs and risks to the nation’s economy. Perhaps no bright line exists; the costs and risks may grow more or less continuously as the federal debt rises. What we do know, however, is that the threat to our economy is real and growing, which should be sufficient reason for fiscal policymakers to put in place a credible plan for bringing deficits down to sustainable levels over the medium term.

From there,Bernanke goes into a bit of wishful thinking by identifying ways Congress can rein in spending and make the tax system more efficient. Good luck with all of that.

The real important part of Bernanke’s speech is the first half where he warns of the financial crisis just ahead.

What China Really Thinks About the U.S.

Human beings are prone to self-deception. Often, other people see us more clearly than we do ourselves. 

Below are excerpts of an internal document of the Chinese government which pertain to how the Chinese see the United States — which confirms the Conservative analysis of the Obama administration. The American Left are dangerously deluded: They are blind and cannot see, but they are in charge.

Save America! Vote all Democrats and RINOs out on November 2!

~Eowyn

Internal Document Shows What China REALLY Thinks About The Rest Of The World

By Gonzalo Lira – Business Insider - Oct. 4, 2010

We all have a sense of what the Chinese are thinking about the rest of the world — but we don’t really know. Of course, they tell us what they’re thinking — but that’s as polite and meaningless as when you ask your dinner guests how’s the food: They might look green around the gills, but they’ll invariably say, “Why, it’s wonderful — thank you!”

So getting an actual document which spells out in black-and-white what the Chinese are really thinking is an eye-opener: Not so much for what it sas — which on the whole is predictable — but for the emphasis it has.

Recently, I got handed a copy of the Chinese economic evaluation of Japan, the European Union and the United States. The document was written for and by Chinese government officials who will be attending the G-20 summit in Seoul next November. This document will be the basis for their discussions with their trading partners, and outlines China’s concerns about those countries.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the document was deliberately leaked—in fact, I am treating it as such. The material does not contain any sensitive or actionable information…. The document shows what the Chinese economic leadership is thinking, vis-à-vis the current economic situation of their major trading partners.

[...] Regarding the United States, the Big Kahuna: The Chinese are very worried—but they also view America with a bit of contempt.

In their very first sentence, the Chinese state that U.S. fiscal deficit reduction is based on “over-optimistic and unrealistic growth assumptions”—that’s diplomat-speak for “Are you outta your fucking mind?” The second sentence tears apart U.S. GDP growth projections for 2010 and 2011, both the U.S. government’s, and that of leading U.S. economists.

U.S. debt reduction is the big bugaboo of the Chinese—it permeates everything they write about America. They see it as an “imbalance” that will eventually affect all of the world’s economies. They think that American government claims that the deficit will be reduced by 50 percent by 2012 are “not entirely realistic”—again, diplomatic politesse that masks a real contempt for American self-deception.

The Chinese are really exasperated that the U.S. does not seem to have the political will to tackle the enormous deficit. They do not think that the U.S. can achieve fiscal deficit reduction by spending cuts alone—they see the need to increase fiscal revenues. They worry that the U.S. fiscal deficit—which they believe will deteriorate in the medium term—will lead to increase interest rates.

Most crucial of all, they see the U.S. failure to take concrete policy steps to curb the deficit as having a greater impact on the world’s economies than any trade issues American officials might be bitching about. It’s hard for a third-party observer to disagree with this assessment.

Furthermore, the Chinese point out—sensibly—that the U.S. talks about increasing exports and reducing dependence on consumption—but the U.S. makes no mention of concrete steps as to how to achieve this, besides talk of “reducing foreign barriers to trade”. The most striking point here is, the Chinese view as “misdirected” the U.S.’s blaming foreign trade barriers for America’s failure to export. Again, third-party observer says? Score for China.

Though they superficially laud the financial reform package the Obama administration recently passed, the Chinese are very worried about the TBTF banks, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. They think that the U.S. government has no exit strategy for its meddling in the financial system, or a clear directive as to the role of the intervened institutions in the financial system, or how they will be regulated. (Yes, I can see the irony: The Chinese genuinely worried about America’s meddling in its financial institutions. WTF?)

Finally, they characterize both the U.S. government’s fiscal policy and the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy as “doubly-slack”. They wonder how the U.S. will ever fix its trade deficits and fiscal deficits, if both the government and the Fed are—to their eyes—asleep at the wheel.

In other words, they don’t see the Fed’s and the government’s bailouts and stimuli (TARP, QE, and all the rest of it) as heroic measures that saved the system—they view the bailouts as policy weakness: Gymnastics that kicked the can down the road, but didn’t solve anything. Which, again, seems accurate: It was easier to save Fannie and Freddie and the Too Big To Fail banks, rather than letting them fail and going through the painful process of cleaning and purging the system.

Bottom line: They don’t see either the Federal government or the Federal Reserve actually implementing concrete steps to achieve medium- to long-term solutions to the problems at hand, especially deficit reduction. And this makes them really nervous.

[...] the Chinese think America is a basket case—and they’re worried about a spike in interest rates crashing the American house of cards. Furthermore, they have a palpable contempt for American policy slovenliness—they don’t like the American self-deception, or their habit of blaming everyone but themselves, or their habit of outlining broad policy goals yet doing absolutely nothing to achieve them.