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  • delucks345 delucks345 Mar 11, 2013 8:58 AM Flag

    gop nonsense on debt (the US government is actually rich...$128 trillion in oil and gas alone)

    ( the government has a huge amount of assets that it could sell at any time and thereby reduce its debt).

    Debt-To-GDP Nonsense

    The latest fad in Washington economic policy debates is arguing over the level at which the government should stabilise the debt-to-GDP ratio. The doves are okay with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 73 percent or even 76 percent. The hawks want 60 percent or even less. This is the most fun since the same crew was debating over the year when we would pay off the national debt back in 2000. The good times just keep coming.

    If you think that this is an incredibly silly debate and that our leading policymakers don't have a clue about how the economy works, you've got the picture right. Remember, these are people who could not see the $8 trillion housing bubble whose collapse wrecked the economy. They haven't learned much economics in the last five years.

    The argument over the debt-to-GDP ratio is especially annoying because it shows that these people don't have the faintest clue what they are talking about. There are all sorts of obvious reasons why debt is not a good measure of the burden that we are placing on future taxpayers.

    For example, the government has a huge amount of assets that it could sell at any time and thereby reduce its debt. The Institute for Energy Research, an industry-funded research outfit, claims the government owns more than $120 trillion in energy resources. Let's say they exaggerated by a factor of 10, leaving us $12 trillion in assets.

    If we sold off half of these resources, it would net the government $6 trillion. This would reduce our debt by almost 40 percentage points of GDP. That should make even the most ardent deficit hawk happy........

    Dean Baker

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    • The Institute for Energy Research, an industry-funded research outfit, claims the government owns more than $128 trillion in energy resources................................ this is a rightwing, energy industry group so listen to them limbots!

    • Dozens of WH senior staffers making six-figure salaries amid sequester woes

      Published March 11, 2013

      After closing the doors to public tours in an effort to save money, White House officials haven't yet said if sequester cuts will result in furloughs or layoffs for its senior staffers -- as is happening with rank-and-file in other executive branch agencies.

      But there are dozens of senior employees and other presidential "assistants" to choose from if the administration were to look at cutting the six-figure salaries from its payroll.

      In the field of energy and climate change alone, President Obama in 2012 employed three advisers making at least $100,000 -- though one has since left.

      The president kept on staff a "deputy assistant" for energy and climate change, Heather Zichal, making $140,000; a "special assistant" for energy and environment, Nathaniel Keohane; and a "deputy director" for energy and climate change, Dan Utech.

      Together, their salaries totaled over $370,000 last year, according to White House records.

      Climate blogger Steven Goddard said it's unlikely the administration will scale back its circle of advisers, at least on this issue.

      "It's a very important point to his political base," Goddard said. "Whether he believes it or not himself, he has to make the effort to appear that he's working on controlling the climate."

      Zichal, who previously worked in the 2008 Obama campaign, during the president's first term helped craft administration policy on fuel economy standards and mercury pollution regulations. Keohane worked via his post on the White House Domestic Policy Council. Keohane left the White House last year to join the Environmental Defense Fund.

      The White House is being scrutinized after a decision -- driven in large part by Secret Service staffing considerations -- to end public tours of the "people's house." That decision took effect this past weekend, outraging lawmakers and spurned tourists alike.

    • "Thus, the federal government’s mineral estate land holdings surpass the total surface land area of the nation of Canada. These holdings, as we will see, are vastly underutilized."

      "IER estimated the worth of the government’s oil and gas technically recoverable resources to the economy to be $128 trillion, about 8 times our national debt."

      Federal Assets Above and Below GroundOil

      The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets.
      IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of
      individuals and society.

      • 1 Reply to delucks345
      • bottom line, USA could easily pay down it's debt, and as per the rightwing, simply by selling some of its energy resources and also by getting more in the way of royalties an fees same as Alaska does. Alaska has no income or property tax AND they redistrubute oil money to all its citizens......

        IER estimated the worth of the government’s oil and gas technically recoverable resources to the economy to be $128 trillion, about 8 times our national debt. Further, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that state and national coffers would generate almost $150 billion over a 10 year period from royalties, rents, and bonuses under the current leasing program and another $7 billion if certain additional resources that are either statutorily or administratively withheld were immediately opened to oil and gas leasing

        Federal Assets Above and Below GroundOil

        The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets.
        IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.

 
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