Due to budgetary constraints, the Economic Indicators service (http://www.economicindicators.gov) will be discontinued effective March 1, 2008

First we heard the bullshit about the costs of reporting M3 — just before that aspect of money supply went sky high.

Now this.

This new development implies (by parallel comparison to M3) that the economy is actually far, far worse than previously believed.

~~~

The reason citizens should never let their government stop reporting ANY information is that the they get to liking it.

I need to think about what can be done about this . . .

Economicindicatorsgov

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Politics, Psychology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

117 Responses to “WTF? Feds Shutting Down Economic Data Site”

  1. James Bednar says:

    Due to budgetary constraints, the Economy will be discontinued effective March 1, 2008

  2. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Deflationary spirals are a real be-atch!

  3. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Barry, let me intro you to the Bank of Sealy where you always know where your money is. Can we really say the same thing about our money in the banking system?

    Looking more and more like cash will be king.

  4. John Reinan says:

    That’s outrageous! Any of you Wall Streeters who are still Republicans, you either need to take your party back from the wingnut lunatics, or join the Democrats — who, despite their flaws, at least remain reality-based.

  5. Paul in NYC says:

    Sign me up for reality based. I’ve been waiting for over 7 years now!

  6. sk says:

    It seems to be “just” a set of links to the actual releases. I’ve made a quick copy of the layout and contents of the page – so that I can replicate it for my own purposes. Anything else there I should be thinking of ?

    -K

  7. Scott Frew says:

    Two competing philosophies at war. The truth shall set you free vs Ignorance is bliss. I understand the SEC is working with FASB on new reporting requirements for public companies: unaudited financials on an annual basis, audited statements once a decade. Promotional shoutouts whenever management feels so inclined.

  8. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    That’s outrageous! Any of you Wall Streeters who are still Republicans, you either need to take your party back from the wingnut lunatics, or join the Democrats — who, despite their flaws, at least remain reality-based.

    Posted by: John Reinan | Feb 15, 2008 10:22:32 AM

    You still believe in the two party system I see. LOL!!!! Do you think the Democrats were asleep all these years? This is not a tale of Ripp Van Winkle concerning the Democrats. I heard Republicans and Democrats alike praise Greenspam like a God for frigging 20 years, and now that everything is imploding, the assbites in Washingdoom are pointing fingers. Should work out great. They are bought and paid for, and anyone who believes otherwise is a fool. We have unfunded liabilities in the neighborhood of 60 TRILLION DOLLARS. It didn’t happen in the last 7 years.

  9. x says:

    That’s scary. Are we headed for a true Orwellian society?

    It’s not like I have ever believed their bullsh*t numbers anyway. But if they just want to become like TASS, we are in deep sh*t.

  10. Bill says:

    i’m rooting for the dems so that i can get some of those “oil profits” hillary promised me.

    also, i like obama’s wisconsin speech to limit pharm profits etc …

    i’m short the market. so between the dems and the economy i’ve got smooth sailing to come for some profits of my own.

    every man for himself.

  11. Steve says:

    Is the actual data still going to be available at the BEA and Census Bureau websites? I always go to the direct sites. I’ve never seen the mentioned in the post. If so, what’s the big deal? If not, this sucks.

  12. Barley says:

    You are missing the point – You are NOT to be thinkin of economic indicators therefore the data has no value.

    Have no fear you will be told what you should be thinkin about so you can arrive at a socially responsible conclusion.

    Kinda like the Monty Python line: “We are all individuals”.

    The more I reflect on the open and democratic principles that ought to be embodied in the United States of America the more I realize that these are but threads in a great Red Curtian woven in a Stalinistic style.

  13. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    That’s outrageous! Any of you Wall Streeters who are still Republicans, you either need to take your party back from the wingnut lunatics, or join the Democrats — who, despite their flaws, at least remain reality-based.

    Posted by: John Reinan | Feb 15, 2008 10:22:32 AM

    You mean like little chucky schumer saying he’s looking at bailing out the theives of Wall Street. Reality based my arse.

  14. ithink-ithink says:

    somebody wants to violate their own ‘no fear act’

  15. Whoa ! slow down everyone ! This changes nothing, you are only losing a simple landing page. All the data will still be produced by the various agencies.

  16. Peter Davis says:

    Let’s get this straight: an organization which can print money at will (and has) is now claiming it does not have the money to maintain a website? Either their printing presses suddenly ran out of ink or these guys are about the biggest peckerwood jackasses this side of the Mississippi.

    For the record, I’m going with b.

  17. sdb says:

    By the way, budget cuts are in process at BLS for the folks who bring you the much-disparaged nonfarm employment series, so don’t look for any improvements soon. Data-production budgets keep getting snipped. Death by a thousand cuts.

  18. Republican voters do have to own this one. This is being done by the 100 percent Republican executive branch that claims the doctrine of “unitary executive” which cannot be questioned by Court or subpoenaed by Congress.

    As Jim Rome would say, Republicans, it’s yours … own it.

  19. karen says:

    Seriously, though, a lot of that information was worthless. Senseless paper shuffling. Humans filling out forms and surveys…

    Take the Advanced Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services, for example. Of the forms that were filled out, how many do you think were filled our accurately??? And for Residential Sales, the best info comes straight from Dataquick and actual county recordings…

  20. cinefoz says:

    The government is finally doing something to cut spending. Everybody had a pet spending project. People will just have to take an extra 30 seconds to locate the relevant information, instead of going to one site.

    I’m OK with this, hand wringers.

    And if it means that the statistics will no longer be compiled, then that is proof they are crap and unnecessary.

    Does anyone remember the Washington Monument strategy for increased spending? The story goes that the Park Service says it will have to shut down the Washington Monument if it doesn’t get a budget increase.

    I’m OK with that, too. I just want spending cut.

  21. Ross says:

    What I find somewhat amusing is the little link on the top of the page that says ‘site en espanol.’

    I say banana you say baanaanaa.

  22. jm says:

    The site that’s being shut down is only a convenient centralized access point. All the data is still available. An enterprising person could probably nearly duplicate the site privately.

  23. Jeff says:

    So cutting back on how data are made available shows that the economy is much worse than believed?

    Before drawing such a conclusion I suggest that you read and apply the process described in a recent excellent article on causation by … Barry Ritholtz…

  24. donv says:

    How many websites like this does the government need?

    I don’t think there is any shortage of government statistics websites.

    Also, Barry, there’s this amazing new technology called “Google.” Check into it. You should be able to find most any of those links pretty easily, at their original sources.

  25. jon says:

    Barry – In terms of doing something, the Senate and House have appropriations committtees that authorize funding for the Commerce Dept and its agencies. Chair of the Senate Appropriations for Commerce is Robert Byrd (D-WV), with Dan Inouye (D – Hawaii) as chair of Commerce subcommittee. In the House, the David Obey (D – Wisc) is the Chair and Allan Mollohan (D – WV) chairs the subcommittee. I suspect the Secretary of Commerce Carlos Guttierez is under great pressure to cut his budget so may not be too helpful, but he should be copied on letters, emails, etc

  26. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Republican voters do have to own this one. This is being done by the 100 percent Republican executive branch that claims the doctrine of “unitary executive” which cannot be questioned by Court or subpoenaed by Congress.

    As Jim Rome would say, Republicans, it’s yours … own it.

    Posted by: Douglas Watts | Feb 15, 2008 11:02:20 AM

    Nonsense! 60 TRILLION DOLLARS in unfunded liabilities is not a Republican problem. It took many decades to get us to this point, and there is plenty of blame for all concerned. Republicans and Democrats are sheeple who are being fleeced all the way to the poor house, but by all means continue to cheerlead one over the other.

    Meanwhile they work together to steal from us. Look no further than the Dems taking control of both houses of congress in 2006. What exactly have those jackarses done concerning their campaign promises? Jack Shite’!

  27. Marcus Aurelius says:

    It’s not “the Feds”.

    It’s the Executive Branch.

    Never let a proven con artist run your country.

    You were expecting full disclosure? Transparency?

    Bush Administration: You won’t be safe if we release economic data, willy-nilly. Do you understand what one handful of that stuff could do if a our enemies got their hands on it? Anyone who wants to see our financial data hates America.

    Plus, we can’t publish it ’cause we’re broke.

  28. Estragon says:

    Wouldn’t it be worth knowing how well used (unique visits etc.) the site is before drawing any dire conclusions?

  29. Strasser says:

    Barry,

    My husband just said, “They just want to turn out the lights so the mushrooms will thrive!”

  30. Josh says:

    At least they offered to give me a free quarterly subscription to another site. But it’s not like you can’t find the info elsewhere. Go to NBER.

  31. Ben says:

    O o…..

    @_@

  32. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Oh those American loving Democrats. Open your eyes for God’s sake folks. Neither Party can give one rat’s arse about us.

    Obama’s International Socialist Connections

    Campaign workers for Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama are under fire for displaying a flag featuring communist hero Che Guevara. But Obama has his own controversial socialist connections. He is, in fact, an associate of a Chicago-based Marxist group with access to millions of labor union dollars and connections to expert political consultants, including a convicted swindler.

    Obama’s socialist backing goes back at least to 1996, when he received the endorsement of the Chicago branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for an Illinois state senate seat. Later, the Chicago DSA newsletter reported that Obama, as a state senator, showed up to eulogize Saul Mendelson, one of the “champions” of “Chicago’s democratic left” and a long-time socialist activist. Obama’s stint as a “community organizer” in Chicago has gotten some attention, but his relationship with the DSA socialists, who groomed and backed him, has been generally ignored.

    Blogger Steve Bartin, who has been following Obama’s career and involvement with the Chicago socialists, has uncovered a fascinating video showing Obama campaigning for openly socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Interestingly, Sanders, who won his seat in 2006, called Obama “one of the great leaders of the United States Senate,” even though Obama had only been in the body for about two years. In 2007, the National Journal said that Obama had established himself as “the most liberal Senator.” More liberal than Sanders? That is quite a feat. Does this make Obama a socialist, too?

    DSA describes itself as the largest socialist organization in the United States and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. The Socialist International (SI) has what is called “consultative status” with the United Nations. In other words, it works hand-in-glove with the world body.

    The international connection is important and significant because an Obama bill, “The Global Poverty Act,” has just been rushed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with the assistance of Democratic Senator Joe Biden, the chairman, and Republican Senator Richard Lugar. The legislation (S.2433) commits the U.S. to spending hundreds of billions of dollars more in foreign aid on the rest of the world, in order to comply with the “Millennium Goals” established by the United Nations. Conservative members of the committee were largely caught off-guard by the move to pass the Obama bill but are putting a “hold” on it, in order to try to prevent the legislation, which also quickly passed the House, from being quickly brought up for a full Senate vote. But observers think that Senate Democrats may try to pass it quickly anyway, in order to give Obama a precious legislative “victory” that he could run on.

    EXCERPT

  33. Jens Söderberg says:

    The site that’s being shut down is only a convenient centralized access point. All the data is still available. An enterprising person could probably nearly duplicate the site privately.

    Nope… They are hard at work saving the taxpayers money on this one…

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ximpim.toc.htm
    - Due to budget constraints, beginning with the January 2008 release, the price series for export postsecondary education services, export travel and tourism ervices, inbound ocean liner freight, and inbound tanker freight will no longer be published.

  34. scorpio says:

    enjoy the dictatorship

  35. John Badalian says:

    I’ll do a little “scissors & paste” from thinkprogress.org which featured this story on Wednesday:

    “…This might not seem like a big deal, but doing it yourself…trying to find the retail sales data on the Census Bureau’s site-is such an exercise in futility that it will convince you why this portal is necessary.
    Economic Indicators is paticularly useful because people can sign up to receive emails as soon as new economic data across goverment agencies becomes available. While the data will still be available at various Federal websites, it will be less readily accessible to memebers of the public.
    In its email announcement on the closing of Economic Indicators, the Department of Commerce acknowleged the “inconvenince” and offered free quarterly subscriptions to STAT-USA/Internet instead. Once this temporary subscription runs out, however, the public will be forced to pay a fee. So not only will the economic data be more hidden, it will also cost money.

    It’s ironic that the Economic and Statistics Admainistration is facing “budgetary constraints”, considering that Bush recently submitted a record $3.1 Trillion Dollar budget to Congress for FY ’09.”

  36. fafhrd says:

    Hilarious. So many comments suggesting how easy it is to reconstruct the data, and yet we’re to believe that removing the aggregator is a cost savings?

  37. Steve Craven says:

    No need to over-react, folks. Budget times are tough for civilian agencies, and there are plenty of USG sites for economic data. We might argue about priorities, but when your budget gets crunched two things happen: first, political appointees tell the professional civil servants to “do more with less”; second, the professionals do this until they get to the point that it is impossible. Then you cut the program for which there seems to be the least demand.

    For those of you who like this site and want to keep it, send your cards and letters. That includes cards and letters to the Congress, who likely are unaware the site is being closed.

  38. Pool Shark says:

    Democrats => “Tax and Spend”
    Republicans => “Borrow and Spend”

    Montagues and Capulets

    “A plague on both your houses!”

  39. drey says:

    What a relief to know the Administration is finally going after wasteful govt spending…

  40. Middyfeek says:

    Bush will be gone next year folks. Who are you going to blame then. Or do you actually think things will be better next year?

    Neither party gives the remotest rat’s ass about the average middle class American. Get over it.

  41. OK says:

    Now that the Repubs have failed miserably and the country is in debt upto and including the eyeballs, they want to blame it on the Democrats.

    Remember the surplus…we were on our way to a sound reality based economy. Enter the reupbs the somehting for nothing party, the war party.

    Cut taxes, start a war and what do you expect.

    You own it.

  42. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Bush will be gone next year folks. Who are you going to blame then. Or do you actually think things will be better next year?

    Neither party gives the remotest rat’s ass about the average middle class American. Get over it.

    Posted by: Middyfeek | Feb 15, 2008 12:31:56 PM

    It’s truly unbelievable on the number of people, including this site, who think it’s one Party or the other doing all the damage while in fact they both must laugh in private at the stupid sheeple, and never doubt that we are a nation of sheeple.

  43. TKL says:

    Poor choice of words. Instead of “budgetary constraints”, they should have said “common sense”. Who needs the government to maintain duplicative pages of links to data that are available at the various agencies’ home pages? It’s actually encouraging that the government might stop paying for something that’s unnecessary.

  44. Lars says:

    Ditto Middy, if things are better next year it won’t be a credit to Bush or the next Administration.

  45. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Now that the Repubs have failed miserably and the country is in debt upto and including the eyeballs, they want to blame it on the Democrats.

    Remember the surplus…we were on our way to a sound reality based economy. Enter the reupbs the somehting for nothing party, the war party.

    Cut taxes, start a war and what do you expect.

    You own it.

    Posted by: OK | Feb 15, 2008 12:47:31 PM

    What I remember was Bill Clinton fighting the Republican’s Contract With America that promised a balanced budget. In fact, Clinton at first said it couldn’t be done.
    You are making a stupid argument. 60 TRILLION DOLLARS in unfunded liabilities didn’t happen in 7 years. You fall into the sheeple category. What exactly has a Democratic House and Senate done over the last two years for you and yours except throw us into more debt. The President proposes while the Congress actually controls the purse strings. Learn something about how govt. really works.

  46. ThatGuy says:

    Brillant! If the data that tells us when we are in a recession is no longer produced, we’ll never be in a recession! At least until January 21, 2009, whereupon it all becomes the next guy’s fault.

  47. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    For you people that love the Democrats or Republicans, you don’t understand that both groups are stealing us blind while we argue about which thief is better. You are either very young, or you wake up everyday having learned nothing from prior experiences. What a bunch of saps!

  48. jpl says:

    Barry, You definitely made the big time. You have your very own TROLL. Personally I was hoping that you provide all the necessary graphs for your loyal fans.

  49. dgoverde says:

    WTF?!? What’s with the political banter today? Please, everyone, pull your heads out of your . . .

  50. donna says:

    More work for Shadow Stats….

  51. michael schumacher says:

    Spectre-

    Please espouse to the assembled masses here how well the congress did while it was under G.O.P control for how long???

    “the last two years”

    It’s been 1.5 years, but don’t let anything like a calender get in your way.

    I can’t disagree with what you are saying about both parties however using the democrats as a reason for inaction when the GOP had control for many years is just so weak.

    And in 2010 will you espouse the same mentality?? There is an old saying that when you start with shit…….
    Shit that was put there by both parties

    Ciao
    MS

  52. hal says:

    I am 62 an have heard about social security funding issues since I started working-thus–the funding problem has covered 39 years of executive and legislative branches, and both parties. That says something

    On the data–its bogus anyway–but how are they gonna lite a fire under markets wiothout the bogus info?

    At dinner last nite-I look at the wife and say: none of the 4 remaining leading candidates and I share any similar values-foreign policy, economics, pro choice–constitutional.

    Its getting worse, at least in the past there was some common ground.

    Why can’t someone say there is a time and place for incursions like Iraq–But Iraq is not the time and place.

    Why can’t politicians avoid pandering? Sure, they will promise everything to the masses cause thats where the votes are.

    Come to the US–forget opportunity-we will support you in every way possible.

  53. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Spectre-

    Please espouse to the assembled masses here how well the congress did while it was under G.O.P control for how long???

    “the last two years”

    It’s been 1.5 years, but don’t let anything like a calender get in your way.

    I can’t disagree with what you are saying about both parties however using the democrats as a reason for inaction when the GOP had control for many years is just so weak.

    And in 2010 will you espouse the same mentality?? There is an old saying that when you start with shit…….
    Shit that was put there by both parties

    Ciao
    MS

    Posted by: michael schumacher | Feb 15, 2008 1:38:25 PM

    M.S., My point was that they have done jack shit, but if you want to nitpick on the length of time they have done jack shit, then be my guest. I don’t trust either Party. They are both corrupt, and pad their own pockets with no thought for the general welfare of America or it’s citizens. They both suck the big one. Can I be any clearer?

    We both know 60 TRILLION DOLLARS of unfunded liabilities didn’t happen overnight. It took many many decades to get to such a large number. [Each TRILLION is one million millions]. I say again, if you place any faith in either group, you are a lemming!

  54. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    I am 62 an have heard about social security funding issues since I started working-thus–the funding problem has covered 39 years of executive and legislative branches, and both parties. That says something

    On the data–its bogus anyway–but how are they gonna lite a fire under markets wiothout the bogus info?

    At dinner last nite-I look at the wife and say: none of the 4 remaining leading candidates and I share any similar values-foreign policy, economics, pro choice–constitutional.

    Its getting worse, at least in the past there was some common ground.

    Why can’t someone say there is a time and place for incursions like Iraq–But Iraq is not the time and place.

    Why can’t politicians avoid pandering? Sure, they will promise everything to the masses cause thats where the votes are.

    Come to the US–forget opportunity-we will support you in every way possible.

    Posted by: hal | Feb 15, 2008 1:53:12 PM

    Thank you for posting with the knowledge you have gained during your 62 years. I think we lost the “we” in America during the “me” generation. It allows us to dehumanize our fellow man and neighbor. It makes it much easier to screw everyone left and right in the name of, “if it feels good, do it”. Sad really.

  55. Barley says:

    SPECTRE of Deflation – Ever tried to type 60 TRILLION DOLLARS? Looks funny.

  56. Steve says:

    You’re officially a conspiracy theory lunatic.

    That site is just an aggregator. It links to the various government departments that release the statistics.

    Here’s one that does the same thing:
    http://www.briefing.com/Investor/Public/Calendars/EconomicCalendar.htm

  57. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    SPECTRE of Deflation – Ever tried to type 60 TRILLION DOLLARS? Looks funny.

    Posted by: Barley | Feb 15, 2008 2:17:16 PM

    How about 60 MILLION MILLIONS. As opposed to your thought, it reminds me an artist’s rendition of a black hole. It’s funny right up until the time your arse gets sucked in. Then it’s not so funny.

  58. michael schumacher says:

    “2 years or 1.5 years…what’s six months.”

    Nit pick??? Ok here is Nit pick: Is it coincidental that you decide to not worry about six months on the demo’s clock but could not bring yourself to be aware just how long the GOP did NOTHING with a lock on power? How much got accomplished on their clock?

    See it takes a special skill to have both the POTUS and the Congress controlled by one party and yet they still found ways to pontificate about Clinton* and blame him for everything they could…..the end result is that we still have the same shit going on and it’s now truly fucked by two parties. That was not always the case…………

    *Clinton is/was no Angel however what he did pales in comparison to what is going on across D.C. now.

    You’re political slant is just too obvious. We know who you voted for last time.

    Ciao
    MS

  59. ma says:

    $60,000,000,000,000

    Not so funny.

  60. Bill Anderson says:

    Regarding the discontinuence of “economicindicators” on March 1st, 2008….the data will be available on http://www.stat-usa.gov for a personal subscription of $200 annually and is offered through the Dept. Of Commerce. Their phone # is 202-482-3727 which is the number for Cynthia Glassman’s office, Undersecretary to the Dept. of Commerce. Thank you American Government…NOT!

  61. Bill Anderson says:

    Regarding the discontinuence of “economicindicators” on March 1st, 2008….the data will be available on http://www.stat-usa.gov for a personal subscription of $200 annually and is offered through the Dept. Of Commerce. Their phone # is 202-482-3727 which is the number for Cynthia Glassman’s office, Undersecretary to the Dept. of Commerce. Thank you American Government…NOT!

  62. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    “2 years or 1.5 years…what’s six months.”

    Nit pick??? Ok here is Nit pick: Is it coincidental that you decide to not worry about six months on the demo’s clock but could not bring yourself to be aware just how long the GOP did NOTHING with a lock on power? How much got accomplished on their clock?

    See it takes a special skill to have both the POTUS and the Congress controlled by one party and yet they still found ways to pontificate about Clinton* and blame him for everything they could…..the end result is that we still have the same shit going on and it’s now truly fucked by two parties. That was not always the case…………

    *Clinton is/was no Angel however what he did pales in comparison to what is going on across D.C. now.

    You’re political slant is just too obvious. We know who you voted for last time.

    Ciao
    MS

    Honestly, I’m done talking politics. I think it’s time to move along as they say. I can’t be any plainer than, ” I think each Party is corrupt”. Period.

  63. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Getting back to the storyline, I’m outraged that a Govt. Body would discontinue the current format. The information is out there, but you must spend more time which is at a premium for all of us.

    After watching the clowns in congress, both corrupt politico groups, this week regarding a baseball player being poked in the arse with a needle, you would think they could continue to fund a document that makes it easier for it’s citizens to see what’s going on with their own damn money.

  64. The Dirty Mac says:

    I admit that I only skimmed these comments, but it appears that nobody addressed the potential cost of the website. I can’t imagine that the web site costs much more than a few thousand dollars a year to operate, if that much.

  65. Jim M says:

    Barry and gang, the BLS has some sad news of the same kind: http://www.bls.gov/bls/budgetimpact.htm

  66. Emmi says:

    So, I didn’t get whether they are going to cease assembling the data, or just cease to put it on their website? There is lots of data the gov creates that it doesn’t want to bother publishing, so private companies pick up the raw data at some office somewhere, repackage it and sell it at a profit. The usgs data comes to mind, partly because the raw form isn’t useful to anyone and the private firm’s value-add really is valuable. So, it is possible that the data could be published by someone else?

  67. Bob A says:

    Because all you need is faith. And if you don’t have faith, you don’t deserve to know. And you’re probably just a terrorist anyhow.

  68. The Dirty Mac says:

    Speaking of budget cutting, here is the opening of a recent OpEd in the LA Times:

    “If President Bush’s budget for fiscal 2009 is approved in its current form, U.S. government spending will have increased by more than $1.2 trillion since President Clinton left office; adjusted for inflation, that’s a 35% increase. Bush has increased spending at three times the rate Clinton did when he was president, and also has given us the biggest defense budget since World War II — and that’s regularly budgeted defense spending, not counting funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    http://www.mercatus.org/Publications/pubID.4466,cfilter.0/pub_detail.asp

  69. cathompson says:

    spectre – Oh a red scare, thats fresh. Must be greeting crowded and smelly up on that little soapbox with ms and cinefoz.

  70. Sam Jacob says:

    Barry, Do you still trust that made-up data from the government.
    You could create one using ur Mrs.Big Picture indicator. It’s that simple.

  71. alexd says:

    Ok . There are several issues being brought up. Lets take a look at them as if we were looking at the actions of a child. First I do not have any children (which was not by choice, so don’t give me any crap about it. Yes I am married to a woman, so don’t try to blindside me on this. OK?) I am choosing this approach because children’s motivations tend to be pretty close to the surface. Also as the line in the movie Philadelphia goes “ Explain it to me as if I was a six year old.” NOT a six year old economist.

    Why do children hide things? Well to me it is so other people will not find them and take it, or to cover their tracks when they have done something wrong, or when they want to surprise someone on their birthday.

    Treating the government as the child why would the gov. take away an organized source of economic information? Does anyone really buy the cost aspect? Let us not forget that George the second flew back to the white house to sign in on the Terry Shivo matter. Which was not about running the country. What does it cost to fly Airforce one and any fighters that might accompany the thing? So it is not about wasting money. How much money do members of congress (both parties) waste on junkets to investigate situations? I think it is reasonable to assume that despite all the talk, two of three of the branches of gov. piss away money without much restraint. If the Judicial also pisses into the wind feel free to let me know. To me piss away means NOT PRODUCTIVE OR REALLY USEFULL. Ok? Lets go to one issue for any bill the president might sign. No earmarks no pork unless it is presented by itself in one bill. At least that would slow things down.

    How much does it really cost to keep the website up? How much does it cost BR to keep the big picture available? Now despite his big heart BR is a lot smaller than the gov. Right? You guys have already said that the info is out there. The sorting and presentation of information can be priceless. Anyone ever see a textbook or an encyclopedia / dictionary? I think the cost aspect is a smokescreen or perhaps just a lie. It is a form of subterfuge.

    Certainly they are not scared of the average person, who is not (but should be) educated enough on basic economics. They are scared of people who can look at numbers and then tell lots of other people which way the wind blows. Does anyone here think they would remove the website if they were running a surplus and popular?

    I do not think they are hiding the information to give us a surprise on the 4th of July. Happy Bday America! They are not hiding information that is in the public domain as if it might be stolen. So what is it?

    That leaves hiding the something you broke in the hopes that someone who might punish you will not notice.

    What did they break?

    Next on a more personal level. Feel free to attack my opinions on this. What is wrong with socialism? The answer is nothing if it works and it is what the people want. Israel is both capitalistic and in many ways has elements of socialism in it’s society. They are perpetually at war ( and yes we send them a lot of $ which goes to weapons that we sell them). But in many ways they thrive. There are other examples, other counties. It is simply not an all or nothing, socialism versus capitalism argument. It is like BR wanting an BMW M3. It is dammed fast but you can throw the kids in it too. Same thing.

    We have to ask ourselves what do we value and what will be valuable for America? Is the idea of an educated and healthy populace bad? We need to make sure that real opportunities for the pursuit of life liberty and happiness are available for all. That way the accident of birth will not hold anyone back. Anyone wants to deny that it is financially easier to get things done if you are born into a situation where these things are there than not?

    There is a lot of divisive crap going on with pro or anti choice, gay marriage, and similar. It is like prayer in the schools. For better or worse we got rid of that and I have not noticed a loss of faith (s) in our country. Just ask me how many houses of worship are within 30 miles of here. The number is staggering. For that matter ask me within 5 mles and the number is still substantial.

    The problem is that we no longer talk about what kind of society we want to live in, and whether what we are doing is working. Also we do not ask the people we ask pollsters to find out.

    One problem is our form of gov. we are not always well represented. People feel powerless because we are not asked about things we are asked who we want to vote for.

    Then we throw a huge wrench in the works. We make it expensive to run for and stay in office. The reason we should have our elections totally funded by the people is to have no politician beholden to anyone. That way if they are lobbied the force of the ideas presented might hold sway.

    We can also add that a politician caught taking a bribe should be a capital crime. That should hold them back. (We can fund the best lawyers to duke out the trials so an innocent person is properly represented.) No one gets a job in the area that they have extra influence in for 6 years. Equal to the length of a senate term. Okay despite this being a great idea I know it is not going to happen. If any of you are against the death sentence we can have them eat my wife’s cooking. That should restrain them!

    Does anyone want to present the argument that as a nation, we are financially better off than we were than when this administration took the reins? Are the majority of the people? Do a head count.

    Does anyone here think that they would make better financial decisions without information that they presently find valuable?
    As taxpayers are we getting value? Do we have the mechanisms in place to create effective change? What do we value? Where do we want the country to be in 50 or one hundred years?

    Enough.

    Also you guys take a look at SEB. They are into commodities, trading, and shipping. Look at the ag area. Yes I own some SEB but at $1500.00 a share any you buy is not gonna make me rich. Look at the ETF’s that reflect the commodity indexes if Jim Rogers. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows! (B Dylan not the SDS).

  72. Emmi says:

    >Then you cut the program for which there seems to be the least demand.

    Yeah, and five minutes in Iraq would pay for that site for a decade. That would be, let’s see, 2 billion per week… calculator here… $992,063. Yes, five minutes in Iraq = nearly a million dollars. I think the demand for blowing things up has dropped below the level of demand for government transparency, but that’s just a guess.

    Yes, both parties are owned by wall street, the builder’s association (until 2 days ago) big oil, on and on. The question now is, given that you’ve decided you’re a real American who never backs down and are going to kick some government arse and take back the democracy, which party do you have the best chance of working through? Given the denial just on the part of republicans about what laws are too inconvenient to follow, when THEY are in power. Uh, I think its the dems, hands down. Now, we just need better dems, with spines, who don’t owe anybody but their constituents, and then constant vigilance to ride their heinies until they fix things. It’s going to be painful, the people proved in 2004 that they don’t want hear the truth and they will punish anyone who tried to scream it in their ear.

    Just look at the current animosity around refuses-earmarks-and-berates-others-for-taking-them McCain. The republicans are hopeless. Just look at how they hatefully punish anyone who breaks from the morning neocon memo. There is no room for revolutionary ideas like democracy over on that side.

    Sorry, probably OT. I’ll go away now.
    But, honestly, I’ll vote for anyone willing to tell the people the truth and actually take the political hit to propose a real fix. Without The People wringing their necks, it ain’t gonna happen.

  73. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    But, honestly, I’ll vote for anyone willing to tell the people the truth and actually take the political hit to propose a real fix. Without The People wringing their necks, it ain’t gonna happen.

    Me too. Let me know when you find one.

  74. jj says:

    What’s the point of publishing any data if no one believes it anyway ?

    The conspiracy theorists will have more ammo

  75. Jmay says:

    Hal, I’m sorry, but did you miss this speech by Obama?

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Barack_Obama's_Iraq_Speech

    Just because no one listened to him in 2002 doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Now that we’re in it, we can’t just complain, we have to deal with it, and that is what Barack will try to do as President instead of constantly making it worse.

    As for all this Ralph Nader “Republicrat” stuff… Republicans are happy to crow about how amazing they are when the country is living high on borrowed money, but when it all comes crashing down suddenly both parties are the same. I call B.S. Republicans are about personal responsibility, right up until they’re to blame for something. Then they point fingers in every direction but themselves.

  76. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    alexd,

    Our system works, but every so often the little pigs decide they must be hogs which always get slaughtered. The last generation to face really hard times as adults has come and mostly gone. They were up to the challenge of a Depression and a WW. I’m afraid it’s our turn on the fiscal front. If you take away the incentive to earn based on your God given ability, then we have no freedom at all.

  77. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Hal, I’m sorry, but did you miss this speech by Obama?

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Barack_Obama's_Iraq_Speech

    Just because no one listened to him in 2002 doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Now that we’re in it, we can’t just complain, we have to deal with it, and that is what Barack will try to do as President instead of constantly making it worse.

    As for all this Ralph Nader “Republicrat” stuff… Republicans are happy to crow about how amazing they are when the country is living high on borrowed money, but when it all comes crashing down suddenly both parties are the same. I call B.S. Republicans are about personal responsibility, right up until they’re to blame for something. Then they point fingers in every direction but themselves.

    Posted by: Jmay | Feb 15, 2008 5:30:58 PM

    You sheeple are always good for a laugh.

  78. alexd says:

    Spectre,

    Actually there are plenty of pigs who get away with it. Didn’t Neil Bush have something to do with the savings and loan crisis? Can you say 50 billion dollars? But we were buying his educational software at least during Bush’s first term in office.

    If you run a hedge fund and take inordinate highly leveraged risks to increase your returns and the bet works,they call you a genius. If you fail the next year and shut the fund down you know what they call you?

    Rich. Thats called gaming the system.

    You do have a valid point, but if our system was set up to stop the extreme waste of our tax dollars you know what they would call America?

    Rich. Thats called trying to be productive with the money

  79. alexd says:

    Spectre,

    Actually there are plenty of pigs who get away with it. Didn’t Neil Bush have something to do with the savings and loan crisis? Can you say 50 billion dollars? But we were buying his educational software at least during Bush’s first term in office.

    If you run a hedge fund and take inordinate highly leveraged risks to increase your returns and the bet works,they call you a genius. If you fail the next year and shut the fund down you know what they call you?

    Rich. Thats called gaming the system.

    You do have a valid point, but if our system was set up to stop the extreme waste of our tax dollars you know what they would call America?

    Rich. Thats called trying to be productive with the money

  80. Ritchie says:

    alexd: “Didn’t Neil Bush have something to do with the savings and loan crisis? Can you say 50 billion dollars?”

    Hey, hey, enough with the exaggerating already! It was only $1.6b.

    http://tinyurl.com/yor9cz

    Whitewater, on the other hand, was $60 MILLION DOLLARS!! And efforts are still underway to find out just how the Clintons were involved.

    Clearly, 60 is a lot more than 1.6 ever will be.

  81. wiseguy says:

    this is merely the thin edge of the wedge.
    You day traders are going to be milked for everything you’ll ever make and then some. pump and dump will strip you bare. If they claim inability to run a simple front end then the back end will be shut to the public in April. Why the hell should the tax payers get anything from the Govt. for free when they can buy the same stuff for 500 a month?

  82. Winston Munn says:

    “When we want your opinion we will give it to you.” Unnamed White House Source

  83. Street Creds says:

    Dear alexrd,

    Whats wrong with socialism?

    Go cut some sugar cane in Cuba for six months for $12.50/month.

    I hear its the workers paradise about now.

  84. PFT says:

    Its just a matter of time before stuff like GDP and CPI become classified information due to national security concerns.

    A nasty though just popped into my mind, perhaps Al Qaeda has infiltrated the derivatives trading desks of leading financial institutions. Of course.
    Our economy is being attacked by terrorists!
    No wonder we can not find OBL, he is soaking up the rays in the Cayman Islands.

    Nothing to do with Basel, Basel II, and repeal of the Glass Steagall Act.

  85. Chris Noyes says:

    It’ not like the CPI number take in account anything worth talking about .. Like Food and energy . If we lealize pot (tax it) caps lawsuits , get rid of ethanol , invest the pot/ tax money in new fuels and speed up the foreclosure process. In a matter of time the economy will be better and the budget will be balance . Free up the jails and get more tax payers back to work. product.

  86. alexd says:

    Street creds

    The last time I checked Castro / Cuba was a communist dictatorship. I think you missed my point due to a knee jerk syndrome prevalent when anyone says a republican buzz word such as abortion, taxes, gay marriage and socialism etc. If you would have read what I wrote you would have possibly picked up on my statement that involved the concept of “as long as it works”. Going further you would have seen the analogy I made to a mixed approach that allows both aspects of capitalism and socialism to coexist. There was that little analogy to Barry R lusting for a super hot rod BMW, in which I pointed out that despite it being an incredble handling overpowered hot rod with a carbon footprint larger than sasquatch’s,( can I borrow it for the weekend?) it had utility, allowing it to be driven as a family car with children in it. I did not bring up Cuba, I brought up Israel and mentioned there were other countries that had aspects of capatilism and socialism coexisting.

    The USA is the only industrialized country that does not have universal health care. When I was a child the US was amongst the top countries for healthcare. Now we are way down on the longetivity list and we pay more than any country for healthcare and 44 million citizens don’t have health insurance. That means it is not working. More $ less insured, means not working.

    I hope in the future you learn to ask yourself what is the point of what I am reading before typing. I have no problem with you disagreeing with what I wrote as long as you think about what was written and compare it with your own ideas. Then present your point of view with inteligent argument. That is the spirit of this site.

    Be well.

    alexd

  87. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    You can’t undo how we are wired. We swing between greed and fear as individuals, so why should society not do the same with many decades swinging from one end of the pendulum to the other. We had the 21st century version of the Roaring 20s. Time to pay the bill for all the fun.

    The malinvestment will be vaporized, and PE Ratios will fall to the single digits. Everyone ready for our version of the 1966 -1982 Bear Market only worse? We are about to take a ride down the “mean” train, and then we can crank her back up.

    Then again, maybe Benny and the Feds find the Ruby Slippers, and we all live happily ever after just like in the stories Uncle Larry used to tell me..

  88. Movie Guy says:

    Shades of Germany…1937-38.

    What’s next from the Fedless?

  89. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Shades of Germany…1937-38.

    What’s next from the Fedless?

    Posted by: Movie Guy | Feb 15, 2008 9:56:20 PM

    It’s on a need to know basis, and they don’t think we mere citizens need to know, at least easily. How about they come up with the lamest excuse possible like budgetary constraints. How laughable is that?

  90. Movie Guy says:

    More specifically, what happened to the FY 08 funding for this outfit:

    Economic Indicators.gov is brought to you by the Economics and Statistics Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Our mission is to provide timely access to the daily releases of key economic indicators from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Anyone know?

  91. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    As I say ado for the evening, I wanted to leave all you true believers in one candidate or another with the real truth of the matter. Night all.

    “I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the Empire, … The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire. And I control the money supply.”

    – Baron Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836) London financier, one of the founders of the international Rothschild banking dynasty http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Nathan.Mayer.Rothschild.Quote.4F94

  92. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    More specifically, what happened to the FY 08 funding for this outfit:

    Economic Indicators.gov is brought to you by the Economics and Statistics Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Our mission is to provide timely access to the daily releases of key economic indicators from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Anyone know?

    Posted by: Movie Guy | Feb 15, 2008 10:12:45 PM

    That money went to the Virtual Fence Project along the border, but no one can find nor see it. I like to call it the Super Duper Secret Fence Project much like the equally impressive Super Duper Senior Notes that are better than Treasuries…I swear.

    Next week we may get the big one. A Triple Dog Dare Super Duper Senior Note. How much safer can they get?

  93. Chubbs says:

    All of you should be reading Scott Horton. http://harpers.org/subjects/NoComment
    Every day. It’s time for alert people to face the facts of how the Bush Administration operates.

  94. Brian Topping says:

    Maybe send this to someone at BoingBoing.net? They have a huge readership, but I suspect they don’t care much about economics.

  95. Ritchie says:

    michael schumacher: “2 years or 1.5 years…what’s six months.”

    Nancy Pelosi became Speaker on January 4, 2007. Would everyone agree that the rules mean she could do none of the things the Speaker does until that date? If so, she’s been Speaker something around 400 days. If you look at it in just the right way, with your eyes closed, your head up your ass, and in the sand, at the same time, and use Bush administration acccounting… 400 is a WAY bigger number than 2 or 1.5. So clearly she’s been Speaker 200 times as long as SPECTRE of Deflation claims.

    Republicans, on the other hand, have engaged in Herculean, historical even, levels of work in the Senate. You can see how hard they’ve been working here:

    http://tinyurl.com/2377kk

  96. Ritchie says:

    SPECTRE of Delusion: “What I remember was Bill Clinton fighting the Republican’s Contract With America that promised a balanced budget. In fact, Clinton at first said it couldn’t be done.”

    You aren’t remembering everything. Read the Contract On America again:

    http://tinyurl.com/4b2av

    Then remember how every Republican in Congress voted on the budget in August 1993:

    http://tinyurl.com/ou4rl

    So the Republicans wanted a balanced budget but then voted against a balanced budget. First they were for it and then they were against it.

    Republican Presidents create more debt than Democratic Presidents:

    http://tinyurl.com/zb3x2

  97. Ritchie says:

    alexd: “Now we are way down on the longetivity list…”

    And if you look at longevity stats by state, you see that Red States, run by Republicans, have shorter life spans, on average:

    http://sotns.blogspot.com

  98. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Concerning the last several posts by rabid Democrats…LOL! You can’t discuss issues because your respective heads are collectively up each others arses. If you would like to believe that one Party did this, please be my guest, but damn I really didn’t think that one eyebrow folks visited financial sites. It’s the weekend, and no govt. agencies are handing anything out, so I guess you need something to do until the beer store opens up. Tell Nancy we all said hi.

  99. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    To everyone else with a thinking brain, have a great long weekend. Watch out for the onebrowers this weekend because they bite. LOL!