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Showing posts from August 8, 2011

A National Debt Of $14 Trillion? Try $211 Trillion : NPR

A National Debt Of $14 Trillion? Try $211 Trillion : NPR
"If you add up all the promises that have been made for spending obligations, including defense expenditures, and you subtract all the taxes that we expect to collect, the difference is $211 trillion. That's the fiscal gap," he says. "That's our true indebtedness."We don't hear more about this enormous number, Kotlikoff says, because politicians have chosen their language carefully to keep most of the problem off the books."Why are these guys thinking about balancing the budget?" he says. "They should try and think about our long-term fiscal problems."According to Kotlikoff, one of the biggest fiscal problems Congress should focus on is America's obligation to make Social Security payments to future generations of the elderly."We've got 78 million baby boomers who are poised to collect, in about 15 to 20 years, about $40,000 per person. Multiply 78 mill…

A Skeptical Eye: Saudi King Condemns Syrian Crackdown -- News from Antiwar.com

A Skeptical Eye: Saudi King Condemns Syrian Crackdown -- News from Antiwar.com
Taken at face value the comments seem fairly uncontroversial, a simple rehash of what most other nations are saying now. Saudi Arabia, however, is not just any nation but is a regional power which has acted with upmost cynicism with regard to the Arab Spring revolts. Having eagerly taken in the first dictator ousted by protests, Zine el-Abidine bin Ali of Tunisia, the Saudi government followed up with an invasion of Bahrain to violently put down pro-democracy rallies there, while taking a very Syrian tack in their own crackdown on protesters in Qatf. Mass arrests and accusations of “sedition” were and are the order of the day for reformists within the Saudi Kingdom, and it eagerly facilitates crackdowns by neighboring regimes.The difference, then, lies in Syria’s precarious position in Middle East power struggles. The Assad regime is Shi’ite, albeit in a largely Sunni country. This would put it in t…