Comments: The 11 Most Expensive Catastrophes in History

9/11 (WTC & Pentagon) should be in there around #7

Posted by Neo at February 20, 2009 12:43 PM

Funny, and sad.

9/11 and Spendulus are deliberate, malicious acts. Kind of a special category of catastrophe.

Posted by Suburban Scarecrow at February 20, 2009 02:20 PM

I think the most expensive catastrophy is the war LBJ declared on poverty in the 60's.

Posted by Rick at February 20, 2009 04:27 PM

Yea .. the "War on Poverty" has been the ultimate quagmire .. with no exit strategy in sight.

Posted by Neo at February 21, 2009 11:07 AM

Let's be realistic here. The first 10 Catastrophes that you cite from that email were accidents. President Obama was democratically elected by the American People. He inherited this mess that was created by both major political parties.

If you were the Head Potentate in Charge, what would you do or recommend be done to deal with this crisis?

Posted by Dude at February 21, 2009 08:13 PM

I can tell you what I wouldn't do.

I wouldn't try to solve the national debt by doubling it.

I wouldn't eliminate millions of jobs by taxing business out of existence.

I wouldn't instill fear in consumers by falsely claiming this is the worst crisis in the nation's history.

I wouldn't promise one thing and then do the opposite.

I agree the presidency is a tough job. And it takes a tough person to handle it. Time will tell just how tough our new president really is.

Posted by Just Askin' at February 22, 2009 01:35 AM

Just Askin'

Thanks for your response. I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

As I research the national debt issue I find it very difficult to find accurate information. At least that's a little easier than trying to find accurate info in regards to annual deficit spending, which generally seems to be calculated as a percentage of the yearly GDP instead of rather than in real dollars spent versus real dollars taken in by the treasury. To me, that seems to be shady accounting practices.

On October 4, 2008, Congress raised the national debt ceiling to $11.3 trillion. I'm not sure if that's what it really means or if that's calculated as a percentage of the GDP. Either way, are you suggesting that Obama has doubled that amount already?

Can you give me some examples of Obama "eliminating millions of jobs by taxing businesses out of existence", or any credible evidence that he intends to do so? I can't find any. I'll grant you that millions of jobs have been eliminated but there's no evidence that Obama's policies have contributed to that situation.

Many successful investors and respected economists the wold over with good track records for accurately predicting economic forecasts are indeed saying that our current crisis will in fact come to be known as worse than the "Great Depression". The collective wisdom and knowledge of these people suggests that this crisis will be known as the Greater Depression.

I don't claim to have enough sense to know if that's true or not. But I certainly wouldn't say that Obama's claim that we are in the midst of the worst crisis in our nation's history is false, if we're talking economic crisis.

As for promises not kept by ANY politician, well, we all know how that works. Even Senator McCain, for whom I have a lot of respect, commented on the campaign trail something to the effect of: "I think we all understand that no political candidate can keep all of the promises made during a presidential campaign". I think he nailed that correctly. Does that justify not keeping promises? No. But, I do think that's the reality of politics. That's certainly the historical track record of both major parties. Sad but true.

Posted by Dude at February 22, 2009 09:30 AM

"I think we all understand that no political candidate can keep all of the promises made during a presidential campaign"

If you can't deliver something, don't promise it. Period.

Over promising and under delivering is the surest way to be considered a shit heel that exists. You can deliver the exact same thing, but by under promising and over delivering, you're now a hero rather than a bum.

The really good salesmen understand this intuitively and always shape customer expectations so they're more often in a position to deliver good news rather than bad.

Posted by PA at February 24, 2009 04:02 PM

In the real world, you're correct. Politics isn't the real world. I'm not saying that it's right, just the reality of a political campaign. All campaign promises should be taken with a grain of salt. I figure if a candidate can deliver on 50% of their promises, they're doing great!

Posted by Dude at February 24, 2009 05:59 PM

Don't forget the Iraq War.

Posted by Adam Stanhope at February 24, 2009 08:50 PM

I started a small business in 1991. over the years we have contributed to the health and welfare of dozens of employees and their families. Our customers are safer because of the services we offer. We have consistently discounted our prices for the elderly, widows and handicapped. 18 months ago, we totally restored a badly deteriorated chimney for a handicapped woman with no money down, and to date we have recovered about 30% of the cost. Our reputation has spread throughout N.E. PA and four additional states. HOWEVER, if I took money from a customer without delivering as promised, or stole money from their house while working there... "they" would throw MY ass in jail! Let's get real!!! These executives are taking ALL they can get because there is no one to stop them. The vacation homes, luxury cars, exotic cruises and private jets have been purchased with stolen money. Now the government has become a global "Fence" rewarding the criminals by paying for all this AND at the same time Allowing them to keep the goods they have stolen from the poor and working classes. What kind of government is THAT??? Oh, by the way, My mortgage is now 70 days past due! Dumfounded in PA.

Posted by Ernest Houdeshell at February 25, 2009 10:23 AM

I took out a 5 year fixed rate mortgage on my property 5 years ago as I belevived after the re election of the last cornel in chief this Credit crunch would happen 2 years ago.I though at the time the greed,creative accounting and lies must end soon.World com Ennron some one must wake up.but as with all meer mortals My influence is zero.
The questions I ask read like a Homer or Shakespear Tradegedy in sevral acts.
Act one
How much Toxic debt is there a realistic total?
why is the debt still rising when the value of everything else is in freefall.
Act two
Who is this money owed to and what cost of not paying can it get worse? write it off.
Act 3.
Who will have the nerve to realise that without effective regulation this will not end.
remember national debt gives bankers something to panic about. but it is fortune in the bank to a few individuals,and a huge burden to everyone.
they benifit you pay and pay.
Williewasp UK

Posted by williewasp at February 27, 2009 03:01 PM