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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tom Blanton's insults are a handy gauge of his impotence

Brian Holtz // Oct 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm

The thing to quibble about in Root’s piece is his loose use of “Ponzi scheme”. In a true Ponzi scheme, early investments or investors actually do receive a positive real return, but those returns are funded largely by diverting funds from later investments or investors. When Root labels redistributionism and inflation as “Ponzi schemes”, he’s stretching the definition.

I would prefer that he use “Ponzi scheme” to describe only Social Security. Every libertarian needs to memorize the facts about Social Security’s returns to its very first beneficiary: The story would make Bernie Madoff blush.

Brian Holtz // Oct 29, 2009 at 1:49 am

Tom Blanton is sputtering even more insults than usual; savvy readers can figure out for themselves what that says about the accuracy of my characterizations of his statements.

Blanton asks “would you rather I say ‘conservative’ instead of ‘Republican’?”  Duh. You can call a butterfly “beautiful” or “colorful” or “gaudy” according to your taste, but if you call it a “caterpillar”, you’re just being deceptive — or implausibly obtuse.

Blanton “stands by” his comment that “Root acts like all of America’s problems started on the day Obama was inaugurated”.  Of course, in Blanton-speak, “stand by” just means “repeat it, offer no evidence in response to the evidence demolishing it, and then vaguely vouch for the ‘tone’ I perceived”.

Let’s review Blanton’s assertions @2 again:

  1. Root is a “Republican”.  Lie.
  2. “Root acts like all of America’s problems started on the day Obama was inaugurated.”  Already demonstrated to be false, by me quoting Root’s discussion of government programs (like Medicare and the postal service) that obviously predated Obama by decades or even centuries.
  3. Root suggested that “the $100 trillion dollar national debt” was accumulated entirely under Obama.  Now admitted by Blanton to be “out of context”.
Now Blanton claims that Root issued an untruth by claiming there exists a “$100 trillion dollar national debt”.  Blanton is wrong yet again.  Libertarians know that the national debt is not merely the sum of all the outstanding T-bills, but also includes the unfunded liabilities that current law already imposes on American taxpayers.  If you compute the present value of this sum out to a 75-year horizon, as I do at, you get $67.7 trillion.  If you compute present value using an unlimited horizon — another calculation offered by the trustees of the government’s Social Security and Medicare trust funds — then you get $106 trillion for just those two programs alone.   See

Those are the facts.  We now return you to Blanton’s content-free insults, already in progress.