Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Difference Between Greece and US Debt Issues

What's the difference between the huge debt issues facing Greece and the United States? Greece is actually doing something to address the problem, and the United States is actually doing things that makes the problem worse. Its just a matter of time before there are riots in the streets here in the United States. The sooner tough choices are made, the better, but don't hold your breath.

The thing about defect and debt reduction, is that only actual results count. You can plan to do it, and talk about doing it, but unless it actually happens it simply does not count. If the Obamacare Bill actually lowers the deficit in year 10 than the president at that time can take the credit. It will be that presidents budget that lowered the deficit, not Obama's.

So lets look at Obama's track record and actual results to see if he really cares about the deficit and the debt. First off, we need a clarification about the numbers. In the old days when Social Security and Medicare were running surpluses, they would count those surpluses against the debt. That way Clinton could claim a surplus on the budget where none existed. Since Social Security and Medicare are entitlements, that money collected must be paid out. It is almost like a company taking out a loan, and calling the loan revenue in there financial statements. Anyway, now that there are no longer surpluses in Social Security, the government has decided to report the deficit differently than they did in they Clinton years and not include Social Security. So when you look at the chart above you can see that Obama's deficit was close to 2.5 Trillion in 2009, not the 1.7 Trillion that is reported. We are 2.4 trillion more in debt after one year of Obama, than before hand. The deficit for 2009 alone represents close to the entire debt accumulated by the U.S. through the year 1980. So Obama's deficit spending in one year exceeded the sum of all deficits through our countries first 200 years of existence.

The chart above shows 10 year periods before the year 2000 and 1 year periods after that. You can see how Clinton who was president for much of the 1990s was not really any better on the debt than Regan/Bush Sr. before him. in the 1980s. So now lets look at the most recent Bush. He racked up a ton of debt, but was making some progress on the deficit until 2008 when the economy collapsed. 2008 ended in an unheard of and unacceptable deficit of 1 trillion. Obama, has now got that number up to 2.5 trillion in just one year, and it is not a one off deficit to deal with the economy. The deficits will be massive as long as he is in office and keeps spending. So he can talk about deficit reduction all he wants, but his actions make him the most irresponsible president ever. He will have us in worse shape than Greece in a year or two. To get out of this mess, Greece is cutting union wages and benefits. Do you think that will happen on Obama's watch?

The last thing you need to know about the debt is debt servicing. Right now interest rates are at all time lows and it is not costing us nearly as much as it should to carry the debt. Since we have no plans or ability to pay it off, we are at the mercy of the credit markets to stay afloat. If interest rates go up (and they will) we will have no choice but to pay the higher rates. Lets say that we are paying 3% on average right now on our debt. A single point increase in interest rates increase our interest expense by 33%. A 3% rise in rates doubles our interest expense. A 6% rise triples our interest expense. We can't even afford the interest payments now, as we just borrow more money to pay it, so we really can't afford the interest rate increases that are bound to happen. So under our current leadership we are rapidly approaching a Greece level deficit/debt problem, and have no immediate plans to address the situation. Rather than cutting spending like the Greeks, we just continue to increase spending, relying on "rich people" to someday dig us out of this mess. What happens when we go to the rich people for help and the tell the government to fuck-off because they are moving to New Zealand, or anywhere else but here. Rich people will not stand for socialist level taxes without socialist level services, so they will simply stop working or move. When this happened the destruction of America will be complete, and we might as well just default on our loans.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rush Poker and BBT5 Rush Exit

I am a little out of the loop, but thanks to wawfuls comment I was able to jump into my first BBT5 event last night only to be the second player bounced out. I can't really fault my play, though I have to admit, I can never remember getting bounced so early before. I remember the hand something like this (a bit fuzzy I will admit). I pick up AKo early and open 3x to T150. I am reraised to a little north of T500 (stacks are about T3000), and I smooth call and my AA/KK alarm bells are going off. Flop comes down Kxx with two clubs, and I have the ace of clubs. I check/call T800. I am still pretty concerned about AA based on the preflop action for some reason. Turn drops a K of clubs giving me trips with top kicker and a draw to the top flush. I think I check/called again at this point, but was pretty committed. River is a blank, and I lead out for most of my remaining stack, and get reraised all-in. I call, fully expecting to see AA, but it is a low suited gapper for the made flush, and I am out. I think iIplayed it ok, and my opponent played it pretty bad preflop, getting over 1/6th in on a crap hand preflop early in a deepstacks MTT but oh well.

Logging in for the first time in a while, I noticed the rush poker games, and $5 offer so I tried it out. On the surface this looks to be a pretty cool idea, though I do not fully understand exactly how it works. I played some .25/.50 NL and was pacing close to 300 hands/hr on a single table. If you are used to multi-tabling, and making instant decisions there seems to be a huge advantage with rush poker. First off, there is no need to pay attention to the players you are against when you get a new table every hand. That is an advantage to the multi-tabler vs. the single-tabler. Also, it is just great to plow through your crap hands as you nit your way to gold. There is pretty much zero down time as a result. What is not clear to me are the required adjustments. With the fold now option, people will be abandoning their blinds and late position hands more than they should I would imagine. Blind defense and blind stealing are probably key to beating rush poker long term. The next thing is how your position at the next table is determined. It says that the BB is determined by the player who has played the most hands without posting a BB at that table. It is not clear if all other positions at the table are determined the same way. What you will notice if you play and are rapidly prefolding your junk hands is that table position at the next table appears to be somewhat random. You may be late for a few hands and then be early for a few. It is pretty much impossible to guess when you will hit a blind. It appears that the rapid folding types like me, may be posting the BB more often then normal, because they would be more likely to have a high number of hands since the last posted BB. To make it work right, they may have to make rapid folder post the BB more often, and then you better be able to defend well to win at rush poker. Any thoughts?

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poker Still Meh

A played a little online poker a few weeks ago at FullTilt. I am still pretty much in "meh" mode. Poker just does not do for me what it once did. I guess in the old days, there was the dream to go pro some day, and that was a strong reason to keep working on my game and improving. No such goal for me anymore, and as a result, no such motivation. I still love the game, and my skills have not diminished by too much yet. It is just really hard for me to commit to play, even though I do have the time. Are blogger tourneys still running? I have not played in one since the last blogger series. Those were always a blast. I do like the fact that they have non turbo token S&Gs now at FullTilt. I scored a $26 token in an 18 player S&G after about 90 minutes of work. Played a few tourneys as well, and took some horrific beats. Don't really miss flopping top set, and pricing out the draws only to see a flush hit on the river. I played the midnight madness MTT which is a pretty cool set-up for a west coaster. Doubled up on my first hand, then pissed most of it away when I overplayed TT preflop after an open and a smooth call. I jammed, and both called. Initial better had A5s, smooth caller had QQ (?), and A5 pulled a straight for the win, after getting it all in three way preflop. Still tons of donkeys out there that's for sure. I rallied back and was sitting pretty low as the cash bubble approached. I took a stand with A9 and got bounced by AT. Years ago I would have folded into the money, but the low end payouts are simply not worth it, so rather than cash in my first MTT in a long time, I took the stand hoping for more. I will see if I can force myself to play some more, and do some poker posts, but I will probably continue to post about the end of America as we no it, as a result of the Obamunism being shoved down our throats.