Online poll results

Have you been impacted by the federal government shutdown?
Oct 14, 2013

Absolutely no: 36% (159 votes)
Not that I know of: 28% (126 votes)
Yes: 17% (75 votes)
Yes, but not directly: 15% (66 votes)
Uncertain: 5% (21 votes)

Total votes: 447

New question: What do you think of the county's proposed Grand River Greenway Trail? Vote now at


Barry Soetoro

The mail seems to be running a little later than usual.


Trains too....


30 years of cancer research is about to be lost due to the shutdown. I read an article about cancer, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's researchers who have been kept from their labs, unable to track & monitor studies and proceed forth. In many cases, the accumulation of a careers worth of work will be lost, setting back the progress made possibly to square one. The politicians own that. Imbeciles.


Research should be privately funded, not funded by the Gov't. The Gov't spending is out of control. It's all ridiculous.


Boater... Yes, government spending IS out of control, but research funding limited solely to the private sector would be vulnerable to bias. Imagine if oil and tobacco companies controlled the research purse strings.

Tri-cities realist

And govt has no bias? Please. Their bias is to perpetuate the funding to keep themselves employed. And if you don't think there is incentive by private equity to find cures or effective treatments, sorry I can't help you, you've swallowed the socialist agenda, hook, line, and sinker.


I haven't swallowed anything. As I am quite conservative and definitely opposed to big government, it's kind of weird being on the "liberal" end of an exchange like this. Surely you don't think ALL research (medical, scientific, social science, environmental, humanities, etc.) should be privately Boater espouses. You can't be that short sighted.


FYI - those of you who feel government spending is out of control, this might be of interest to you.

Federal spending has gone up slightly under Obama — much slower than under Bush in his first four years — but overall government spending has actually gone down — something that hasn’t happened in four decades.

And the private economy has grown at a faster rate under Obama than under Bush. In fact, if you look at the following chart from the New York Times you will see a clear difference between the last two Democratic presidents and the last two Republican presidents — under the Democrats, government grew slower and the private economy grew faster, and by a significant margin.

Tri-cities realist

Nice try Lanny. According to the article "Spending by the federal government, adjusted for inflation, has risen at a slow rate under President Obama. But that increase has been more than offset by a fall in spending by state and local governments, which have been squeezed by weak tax receipts."

So while state and local govts have adjusted their spending based on revenues, fed govt continues to grow, regardless of revenue. No thanks to Obama there. And to compare Bush's and Obama's first 3 years is interesting. Regardless how you feel about the decision, we were funding a war during Bush's first years, so obviously govt spending will increase. And during Obama's first years, the economy was near rock bottom, so private sector growth really only should have one way to go - up, which it has, albeit slowly.

So if you really are looking to give credit to executives in govt for the reduced govt spending, you should thank the governors. But since spending originates in Congress and the state's legislatures, that is who you should really blame, or credit.

One other curiosity about the graph is the "investment" portion of "local and state spending". Govts don't "invest" money, they tax and spend it. So what does this "investment" represent?

Barry Soetoro

But the chart was in the New York Times so it must be true!

Barry Soetoro

Imagine how much farther ahead he would be if not for the 600+ million spent on his insurance website.

Tri-cities realist

You mean "your" website Barry. Haha

Barry Soetoro

It's surprising (or alarming) how that is lost on a lot of people.


Choom - Choom - Choom!


For those of you who believe Obama is not a big spender, and who choose to use government sources rather than a former standup comedian from Georgia, this might be of interest to you:

During the Bush Administration, total outlays increased every year from $1.8 trillion in 2001 to $2.9 trillion in 2008. The average deficit during the Bush years was $250 billion. As a percentage of GDP, the average deficit was two percent. President Bush’s largest deficit was $458 billion in 2008 when the financial crisis led to the creation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program and several corporate bailouts.

During President Obama’s first term, federal outlays increased from $3.5 trillion in 2009 to $3.6 trillion in 2011. The estimated total outlays for 2012 are estimated to be $3.8 trillion. In Obama’s first year, the deficit increased by almost a trillion dollars from 2008. Obama has not had a single year in which the deficit was less than a trillion dollars. Obama’s average deficit was $1.3 trillion during his first three years. This translates into an average deficit that is 9.2 percent of GDP.

Under President Obama, spending dramatically increased at the same time that tax revenues dropped sharply due to the Great Recession. By 2012, revenues were almost recovered to pre-2008 levels, but spending had risen even faster. Even three years in to the recovery, deficit levels remain above eight percent of GDP.

Both presidents increased the national debt according to statistical data from the U.S. Treasury. On January 20, 2001 when President Bush took office, the total national debt stood at $5.7 trillion. Eight years later on January 20, 2009 the debt had risen to $10.6 trillion.

During President Obama’s first term the debt increased to $16.4 trillion on January 20, 2013. This means that under Obama, the debt had increased by $5.8 trillion in four years as opposed to President Bush’s increase of $4.9 trillion over eight years.

Besides, how could federal spending have gone up under Obama in view of all those horrible "cuts" in government by those dastardly Republicans?

Cue the Amen Choir: But, But, Obama was saddled with the worst economy since the Great Depression (or the parting of the Red Sea) by Bush-Cheney and it's unfair to our wonderful first black president to use government statistics in this way.


Oh, lighten up, Vlad! Obama does make a shrewd wager. Obama wan a $700.00 bet with John Boehner that the Denver Broncos would defeat world champion Baltimore Ravens in the seasons opener, and they did - 49-27!

You go, Obama!

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