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Old 07-19-2011, 10:55 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Derwood View Post
I never said it couldn't be balanced because it's too complex. I'm saying that the various comparisons people throw out equating the federal budget to a personal credit card or family budget are vastly oversimplifying the thousands of complexities involved in the federal budget. It's not as simple as A+B=C
yes it is. the ONLY reason people make it sound like some astronomically complex economical issue is to blow smoke up the ass of the rest of the populace.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:05 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by samcol View Post
You know what's so sad about the left. The opportunity was ripe for the taking to get us out of the wars and slash a ton of the military budget. They had the presidency, the house, the senate, and they totally wasted their chance.

I was actually looking forward to these things happening when Obama won, but nope jokes on us stupid American's for trusting this guy.
You aren't alone in this disappointment. I was hoping Obama was going to do more to clean up the mess.

---------- Post added at 03:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:02 PM ----------

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Originally Posted by dksuddeth View Post
yes it is. the ONLY reason people make it sound like some astronomically complex economical issue is to blow smoke up the ass of the rest of the populace.
Lay it out for us then. Two points, one solution, 50 words or less.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:15 AM   #43 (permalink)
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1) know how much you have to spend

2) don't go over that.

3) if you're going to go over that, cut how much you need.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:20 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dksuddeth View Post
1) know how much you have to spend

2) don't go over that.

3) if you're going to go over that, cut how much you need.
This is unclear.

Does point 1 mean knowing how much is required to spend to fulfill desired services/programs?

Does point 2 simply mean set a budget that will cover these services/programs?

Does point 3 mean reallocating until you get the desired budget goal?

This could mean either a surplus or a deficit, right?
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:25 AM   #45 (permalink)
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I'm always kinda worried when I think about cutting the military budget. Will that create a lot of unemployed and pissed off people who're trained in weaponry?

Feel free to ignore me. This is sort of a hijack. (Now get your hands up! bang bang!)
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:26 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by samcol View Post
You know what's so sad about the left. The opportunity was ripe for the taking to get us out of the wars and slash a ton of the military budget. They had the presidency, the house, the senate, and they totally wasted their chance.

I was actually looking forward to these things happening when Obama won, but nope jokes on us stupid American's for trusting this guy.
Most liberals would agree with you
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:28 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
This is unclear.

Does point 1 mean knowing how much is required to spend to fulfill desired services/programs?

Does point 2 simply mean set a budget that will cover these services/programs?

Does point 3 mean reallocating until you get the desired budget goal?

This could mean either a surplus or a deficit, right?
right on track, you are. if there's a surplus afterwards, then you send out rebates. If there's a deficit, you cut spending next year by at least that much.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:31 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dksuddeth View Post
right on track, you are. if there's a surplus afterwards, then you send out rebates. If there's a deficit, you cut spending next year by at least that much.
This is unclear.

Point 1 suggests that you can set any goal for what is required to spend to acquire desired services/programs, regardless of previous surplus/deficit.

Points 2 and 3 follow after point 1, not previous budget performance.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:33 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KirStang View Post
I'm always kinda worried when I think about cutting the military budget. Will that create a lot of unemployed and pissed off people who're trained in weaponry?

Feel free to ignore me. This is sort of a hijack. (Now get your hands up! bang bang!)
you could cut 10 to 20% of the military budget and not affect the number of soldiers or armament. personal experience.

my squadron had us strip, sand, and repaint all the baseboards in our barracks 2 months before the new budget was to be submitted, for the sole purpose of making sure they didn't lose that money for next year. grand total spent was 250k. they had us move in to brand new barracks 6 months afterwards so they could demolish the ones we were living in.

---------- Post added at 02:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:31 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
This is unclear.

Point 1 suggests that you can set any goal for what is required to spend to acquire desired services/programs, regardless of previous surplus/deficit.
it's only unclear if you wish it to be. the government/you have a known set of programs and services you have to pay for. if you don't, then you already are in hot water and need to re-evaluate how you run your budget.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:35 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dksuddeth View Post
it's only unclear if you wish it to be.
I disagree. I see it as being objectively unclear. There is no mention in your three-step process of surpluses or deficits.

Quote:
the government/you have a known set of programs and services you have to pay for. if you don't, then you already are in hot water and need to re-evaluate how you run your budget.
If you don't what?
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:35 PM   #51 (permalink)
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[quote=Baraka_Guru;2915940]I disagree. I see it as being objectively unclear. There is no mention in your three-step process of surpluses or deficits. [QUOTE]because there shouldn't be.

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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
If you don't what?
know what you need to spend
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:38 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dksuddeth View Post
because there shouldn't be.
But it wasn't even implied. That's why it's unclear. You're leaving much to guesswork or open options, like a blank cheque.

Quote:
know what you need to spend
But if you know what you need to spend, is that fine?

Are we still cool with either deficits or surpluses based on need?
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:41 PM   #53 (permalink)
 
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the drain on social resources that is the military budget--particularly if you put aside the charlatanry and count the (republican) wars is enormous. so is the entirely unnecessary surveillance system that had metastized since 2001, largely unco-ordinated and unaccountable to anyone which was detailed in the washington post over the winter. what makes these areas difficult to cut is basically that they are the conservative patronage system par excellence. military spending was the backbone of reagan's military keynesianism, which was the reality behind all that supply-side bullshit.

until the right is willing to stop protecting the grotesque levels of expenditure on the military and put it on the table, there is nothing whatsoever serious about anything said about fiscal responsibility or debt or anything else.

all it's about is republicans trying to focus cuts on systems that they assume will damage the democrats and not themselves.

plutocratic faction fighting as usual.


btw dk doesn't understand that a state is not a giant human being. that says nothing about the nature of the state. at all. the only contact that position has with the empirical world is by way of dk himself, who i assume exists empirically and empirically cannot get his head around the fact that the state is not a giant human being.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:58 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
But it wasn't even implied. That's why it's unclear. You're leaving much to guesswork or open options, like a blank cheque.

But if you know what you need to spend, is that fine?

Are we still cool with either deficits or surpluses based on need?
i left nothing open. you see that because you operate on the premise of 'if it's not specifically prohibited, then it's available'. I don't and you should know this. I operate on the premise of 'if its not specifically approved, then it's not available'. this limits the government the way it's supposed to be like the founders intended.

this eliminates deficits and any surplus can be dealt back to the people like it should be.

---------- Post added at 03:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:57 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy View Post
btw dk doesn't understand that a state is not a giant human being. that says nothing about the nature of the state. at all. the only contact that position has with the empirical world is by way of dk himself, who i assume exists empirically and empirically cannot get his head around the fact that the state is not a giant human being.
what the hell are you talking about?
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:27 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dksuddeth View Post
'if its not specifically approved, then it's not available'
Quote:
Originally Posted by dksuddeth
1) know how much you have to spend

2) don't go over that.

3) if you're going to go over that, cut how much you need.
Here is my proposal, which should easily be confirmed/approved by you:

1) Set the 2012 budget at $3.729 trillion.

2) Set outlays to total $3.729 trillion.

3) N/A.

Any questions?

---------- Post added at 05:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:03 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by dksuddeth View Post
I operate on the premise of 'if its not specifically approved, then it's not available'. this limits the government the way it's supposed to be like the founders intended.

this eliminates deficits and any surplus can be dealt back to the people like it should be.
This was not even implied, and, besides, it's a non-sequitur.

---------- Post added at 05:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:10 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy View Post
until the right is willing to stop protecting the grotesque levels of expenditure on the military and put it on the table, there is nothing whatsoever serious about anything said about fiscal responsibility or debt or anything else.
The Republicans don't seem very interested in balancing budgets or posting surpluses. No Republican president has posted a surplus since Eisenhower.

Over the last 50 years, the Republicans have added astoundingly more debt than the Democrats have, so I guess you can look at these Obama years as playing a bit of catch-up. I think he still has a little way to go though.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:10 AM   #56 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ralphie250 View Post
can someone please explain to me what the debt ceiliong is and what the problem is? seems like we have enough debt as it is
The Federal Reserve Bank holds about 10% of the US national debt. The Federal Reserve Bank is separate from the US Treasury. But they are closely linked. the Federal Reserve bank is free to buy and sell US debt in the open market. If a holder of US debt wanted cash, the Federal Reserve could buy this debt. Normally when they do this US dollars or equivalents increase in circulation and it is often inflationary. The odds of a real default in US debt is zero. All current outstanding debt could be paid in US dollars.

In addition to the Fed holding debt, the Social Security Trust Fund holds about 20% of the US debt. Current social security payments to individuals are normally (currently with unemployment at 9%+ not the case) paid from current payroll taxes. The day of reckoning will come, but it won;t be 8/2/11.

The US Civil Service Retirement funds owns about 6% of the US debt. The US Military Retirement funds owns about 3%. The day of reckoning is not 8/2/11.

Other US citizens and institutions own about 33% of the national debt. In total Americans own about 72% of the US national debt. What does this mean - there will not be any type of catastrophic event occurring on 8/3/11.

The issue is not the debt. The issue is spending. The issue of an arbitrary debt ceiling is being used to force the discussion on controlling spending. Me personally and most Tea Party people do not believe increasing tax rates will have anything to do with fixing the real problem which is spending. In addition we believe that some are using the "debt crisis" as a strategy to increase tax rates without any intent on any spending cuts or controls.

Given the above from my point of view there is absolutely no reason to compromise on the question. I will not support any politician who does.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:30 AM   #57 (permalink)
 
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why is the problem spending?
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:35 AM   #58 (permalink)
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ok... now im really confused.

how can you cut spending without cutting jobs? isnt that the problem? how do you know wich jobs to cut?
if you cut 10-20% of the military funding then what part are you cutting out?

if you cut 10 positions in one company then arent you really hurting roughly 35 people??
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:45 AM   #59 (permalink)
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why is the problem spending?
You know what, you're right. The problem is that pesky debt ceiling. Debt isn't bad because it shows government is spending to their maximum capacity plus some. The ceiling just gets in the way of government doing it's job.

Maybe we should just get rid of budgets too. Just give the government a blank check to spend borrow and inflate the currency as much as they what. Then we can have all the wars and social programs we all love and deserve. We should just surrendered all our income and assets to government so they can spend it the way it's supposed to be spent.

Clearly we aren't spending enough money and the ceiling is just getting in the way of this.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:48 AM   #60 (permalink)
 
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why is spending a problem is isolation from all other problems? we are talking here about that special world particular to tea party ideology. i'd just like an answer.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:50 AM   #61 (permalink)
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We can just as easily say the problem is low taxes. Is that any more useful?
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:57 AM   #62 (permalink)
 
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that violates the boundaries of the special world inhabited by the special people who support the tea party, so it's unlikely that will register as a statement, bg. experience tells me that only questions pitched toward the special world of tea party-ness register with the special people who support the tea party.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:03 PM   #63 (permalink)
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The Tea Party is still a thing? I haven't heard much about it in a while. I thought maybe their anger petered out and they crawled back to their suburban manors.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:09 PM   #64 (permalink)
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In 1979, Congressional Democrats and Republicans got into a pissing match and the debt ceiling ended up being the political football de jour. Then, as now, economic experts warned of serious consequences for not increasing the debt limit. Only a few hours from default Congress finally agreed to raise the debt limit to $830 billion.

The result of this childish game was thousands of late payments for Treasury bill holders, resulting in approximately $120 million worth being paid out weeks, even months late, and the whole ordeal undermined confidence and likely cost quite a bit in investments. Worse still, according to experts of the time, the United States would have defaulted resulting in a lowered rating from AAA to B+.

Consider that instead of looking at an $830 billion debt, we're currently looking at a $14.3 trillion debt, a severely unbalanced budget, conservative groups screaming bloody murder for more tax cuts (that is, revenue cuts in a time of severe financial need for revenue), and the tax cuts and wars that are in large part responsible for the level of financial distress we're in have no end in sight. If you were responsible for the United States' credit rating, what would you be thinking now that political posturing is leading the country on a collision course toward default?

If the debt ceiling isn't raised, it will be the fault of conservative and neconservative policy, but that won't matter because the country will collapse. It will be a major historical footnote, perhaps a pitiful moment in human history reflected back on to talk about how stupid politics can lead to the end of great civilizations. We'll be spoken of the way people now speak of Rome or Greece, lamenting the loss of a great society that destroyed itself.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:13 PM   #65 (permalink)
 
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o no, those heroic individuals of the tea party carry on in their reality-independent space. but they're losing traction. the washington post feels their pain:

The GOP’s fuzzy math - The Washington Post
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:31 PM   #66 (permalink)
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At least the right feigns interest in reducing the deficit, but I'm beginning to wonder if the the left even considers the deficit a problem at all.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:34 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by samcol View Post
At least the right feigns interest in reducing the deficit
The left actually has reduced it in the recent past.

Quote:
but I'm beginning to wonder if the the left even considers the deficit a problem at all.
Have you read anything about it?
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:03 PM   #68 (permalink)
 
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depends on what you see as the role of the state in modern capitalism, really. for the neo-liberal set, which has been persuaded (against all historical reality) that the state is somehow The Problem, the question of debt looks one way because their political assumptions prevent them from seeing any productive uses---resource reallocation becomes a form of punishing the john galts for their individual gumption and all that. in reality that other people know about, the state can operate as a steering mechanism that directs resources to help enable goals that are understood as politically desirable. in that general framework, debt is not the same kind of problem. in some situations---like that of crisis---it can be necessary to accumulate a quite considerable amount in order to provide resources for capitalist activity to use in order to address basic problems. or to expend considerable resources in addressing system-level problems. but the neo-liberal set can't get their minds around that because their theory of the state is both incoherent, historically false and not amenable to argument because it's an a priori.

so things grind to a halt around surreal differends. that's what we're seeing.

this is a pretty basic divergence between neo-liberalism and more sane conceptions of what capitalism is and how it operates.

where conservatives like to squander their money is on weapons systems, a massive and useless surveillance apparatus, on the expansion of prison systems and the accompanying concentration camp model fobbed off as ok because of some dickensian notion that exploitation has a moral uplift to it.

where conservatives don't like to spend money is on political objectives that involve job creation or wage increases or creating a more humane society.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:04 PM   #69 (permalink)
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So it's the wars and this police state grid that's being set up. It's a shame the left didn't stop this military industrial complex in it's tracks, but their inaction shows me that they are in full support of it. Baraka, their lack of action to end the wars shows me they have no concern for the wars or the deficit. It's painfully obvious. They didn't even strike out, they never even stepped up to the plate when it was their turn. So when they tell me I need to pay more taxes to fund their programs and fix the deficit, it's just falling on deaf ears.

I wish we could just end these debacles so we can get back to real debate about what the role of government should be in our lives. Until then it seems there's no point really, and rightfully so, as I would much rather see the war money be spent on infrastructure and even the welfare state than slaughtering brown skinned people across the middle east.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:27 PM   #70 (permalink)
 
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i agree that it is kind of hard to have what should be the sort of debates that happen all the time in a democracy---even one like the american---because there are these horrific systems like the military patronage system/national security state in place. and i think the american political system genuinely suffers for them.

as for this left you keep mentioning--who are they? you can't possible mean the democratic party of the past 70-odd years, can you? there are a couple people in congress who are close to social democrats--sanders in particular--but that's it. fear of the left, fear of communism, has long driven american politics to the right. at the moment, there are extreme and moderate conservatives. obama is a clinton style centrist without the same feel for communications strategy. there isn't even an organized left at the national level in the states. nothing like it. the closest there's been since vietnam is the anti-war movement that was organized using email trees by move on against the iraq war. when move on decided to play ball with the democratic party, the movement disappeared. it was a classic anti-war movement too---people were mobilized because of what they opposed--but there was no discussion, and no mechanism for discussion, about what people were for.

the national security state system is difficult to revolt against---witness what's happening in egypt. there too you have a movement that was largely held together by what they were against---what's remarkable about egypt now is that there is a process--diffuse and largely off-camera---of working out what people who opposed mubarak might be for. they are way way ahead of the united state in that. not even on the same map.

and you're right---in the main the democrats have supported the national security state. but they haven't done so in the way the republicans have. and that is what distinguishes them. the democrats represent a different faction of the dominant class order---there are actual disagreements about what constitutes a coherent approach to government and what coherent relations there can be between state and private sector. but they are, in the main, not even social democrats.

i know some of the main people who have tried to organize and finance a left opposition within the democratic party. where are they? they haven't been able to move from the grassroots level to the national political level. why is that? there's a host of reasons, one of which is they know what's happened to the democratic party and are trying to figure out ways to organize that do not entail a separation between base and party structure like happened with the democrats, for which the people are essentially only important to the extent they turn out at the polls. same as the republicans.

this is what plutocracy looks like. it's all around you. it's rigid and stupid and ugly. it doesnt have to be this way but people in positions of power lack the imagination to make this system any different and the people themselves are not engaged politically. so the plutocracy does as it likes and takes polls in order to fob themselves off as reflecting the will of some largely imaginary polity. it's a soft authoritarian system afflicted with an ideological crisis of quite significant proportions and there's no way out of it that's obvious from here. no way out until the shit really hits the fan and in order to prevent the far right lunatics from taking power something will get floated as an alternative.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:16 AM   #71 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dksuddeth View Post
thinking that the concepts of home budgets and goverment budgets aren't pretty close to the same is pants-on-head retarded.
People die. Governments don't. People experience huge fluctuations in their incomes, governments don't. Finally, and most importantly, the government is big enough to have a huge impact on the economy, people aren't.


Which is to say that:
As long as interest payments don't become too much of a burden, governments can infinitely refinance their debt, while people pay their's down to avoid leaving debt to their kids. Governments, or at least the US government, doesn't have to fear a massive reduction in revenues the same way people, and, to some extent, poorer countries, have to, which leads the latter to defaults. Finally, sudden spending cuts hurt the economy in the short term, in turn affecting the revenues again. People can treat spending and revenue as separate. Whatever the government does with spending affects their revenues.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:19 AM   #72 (permalink)
 
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this is the case.

Quote:
GOP leaders must free themselves from the Tea Party’s grip
By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: July 20

Media reports are touting the Senate’s Gang of Six and its new budget outline. But the news that explains why the nation is caught in this debt-ceiling fiasco is the gang warfare inside the Republican Party. We are witnessing the disintegration of Tea Party Republicanism.

The Tea Party’s followers have endangered the nation’s credit rating and the GOP by pushing both House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor away from their own best instincts.

Cantor worked amicably with the negotiating group organized by Vice President Joe Biden and won praise for his focus even from liberal staffers who have no use for his politics.

Yet when the Biden group seemed close to a deal, it was shot down by the Tea Party’s champions. Boehner left Cantor exposed as the frontman in the Biden talks and did little to rescue him.

Then it was Boehner’s turn on the firing line. He came near a bigger budget deal with President Obama, but the same right-wing rejectionists blew this up, too. Cantor evened the score by serving as a spokesman for Republicans opposed to any tax increase of any kind.

Think about the underlying dynamic here. The evidence suggests that both Boehner and Cantor understand the peril of the game their Republican colleagues are playing. They know we are closer than we think to having the credit rating of the United States downgraded. This may happen before Aug. 2, the date everyone is using as the deadline for action.

Unfortunately, neither of the two House leaders seems in a position to tell the obstreperous right that it is flatly and dangerously wrong when it claims that default is of little consequence. Rarely has a congressional leadership seemed so powerless.

Compare the impasse Boehner and Cantor are in with the aggressive maneuvering of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. He knows how damaging default would be and is working with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to concoct a way out.

McConnell can do this because he doesn’t confront the Tea Party problem that so bedevils Boehner and Cantor. Many of the Tea Party’s Senate candidates — Sharron Angle in Nevada, Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Joe Miller in Alaska — lost in 2010. Boehner and Cantor, by contrast, owe their majority in part to Tea Party supporters. McConnell has a certain freedom to govern that his House leadership colleagues do not.

And this is why Republicans are going to have to shake themselves loose from the Tea Party. Quite simply, the Tea Party’s legions are not interested in governing, at least as governing is normally understood in a democracy with separated powers. They believe that because the Republicans won one house of Congress in one election, they have a mandate to do whatever the right wing wants. A Democratic president and Senate are dismissed as irrelevant nuisances, although they were elected, too.

The Tea Party lives in an intellectual bubble where the answers to every problem lie in books by F.A. Hayek, Glenn Beck or Ayn Rand. Rand’s anti-government writings, regarded by her followers as modern-day scripture — Rand, an atheist, would have bridled at that comparison — are particularly instructive.

When the hero of Rand’s breakthrough novel, “The Fountainhead,” doesn’t get what he wants, he blows up a building. Rand’s followers see that as gallant. So perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us that blowing up our government doesn’t seem to be a big deal to some of the new radical individualists in our House of Representatives.

Our country is on the edge. Our capital looks like a lunatic asylum to many of our own citizens and much of the world. We need to act now to restore certainty by extending the debt ceiling through the end of this Congress.

Boehner and Cantor don’t have time to stretch things out to appease their unappeasable members, and they should settle their issues with each other later. Nor do we have time to work through the ideas from the Gang of Six. The Gang has come forward too late with too little detail. Their suggestions should be debated seriously, not rushed through.

Republicans need to decide whether they want to be responsible conservatives or whether they will let the Tea Party destroy the House That Lincoln Built in a glorious explosion. Such pyrotechnics may look great to some people on the pages of a novel or in a movie, but they’re rather unpleasant when experienced in real life.
GOP leaders must free themselves from the Tea Party’s grip - The Washington Post
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:23 AM   #73 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by roachboy View Post
why is the problem spending?
When spending is greater than the money coming in the result is negative. Spending is directly controlled. The money coming in is indirectly controlled. The most direct way to avoid a negative result is to properly manage spending.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:25 AM   #74 (permalink)
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I think that a failure in cutting the Tea Party loose will only outline the level of desperation among the GOP.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:03 AM   #75 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ralphie250 View Post
ok... now im really confused.

how can you cut spending without cutting jobs?
The most inefficient jobs should be cut. Money should be directed to jobs that have the greatest benefit. Those jobs are normally going to be private sector jobs, not 100% of the time but most of the time.

Quote:
isnt that the problem? how do you know wich jobs to cut?
When a job becomes obsolete it should be cut.
If there is a less expensive way to get the same result the job should be cut.
If there is not enough money to pay for all existing jobs, rank the jobs and cut the lowest ranking jobs first (ranking does not mean cutting teachers and keeping administrators - it is very possible to rank a teaching job higher than an administrative job)
Etc.
Etc.

Quote:
if you cut 10-20% of the military funding then what part are you cutting out?
Perhaps nothing. Perhaps the military can improve efficiency by 10-20%. For example perhaps the Air Force could utilize flight simulators more in training, get better results, and lower training costs.

Every day in every sector of government people should be asking the question, what can we do better at lower cost? I am not satisfied that people in government, including the military do that, are you?

Quote:
if you cut 10 positions in one company then arent you really hurting roughly 35 people??
No. It depends on what happens with the savings from the cuts. If the government cuts 10 positions and the private sectors is then able to hire 20, seems like a win to me.

---------- Post added at 03:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:37 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
We can just as easily say the problem is low taxes. Is that any more useful?
As I stated tax policy indirectly affects revenue collected by the government.

The above statement is critical, if you don't agree anything that follows is pointless. And we need clarify why you either disagree or what the impact is.

Just food for thought before responding if you choose to - tax policy has consequences. People will change their behavior based on tax policy. I think you said you owned a cat - what if...we impose a $10,000 tax on cat ownership and then imposed excessive regulatory reporting on cat owners regarding their cat(s). Before the tax and increased regulation cat ownerships is X. What is X after the tax and increased regulation. Obviously it will be less than X. Also what will some people do to avoid the tax, like perhaps not honestly reporting ownership? Etc. Etc. Etc. Then you start to get special interests, perhaps farmers who say they need cats to control rodents get an exception to the tax. Or perhaps Wickens claim a religious exception. Then the actual taxes collected are less than what was budgeted, so what do they do, raise the tax per cat on those who actually pay - the cycle continues...

---------- Post added at 03:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:49 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by samcol View Post
I'm beginning to wonder if the the left even considers the deficit a problem at all.
I don't. Deficit spending is not inherently bad. Occasionally it is just a cash-flow issue. If properly managed deficit spending and debt can actually be beneficial. The problem in Washington is the inability of politicians to control spending. They have no discipline, therefore discipline has to be imposed on them through debt caps and ultimately a balanced budget amendment.

---------- Post added at 04:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:53 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
I think that a failure in cutting the Tea Party loose will only outline the level of desperation among the GOP.
I remember some posts where people held the position that the Tea Party was done after the 2010 elections and would have no future impact, did you hold that view?

Regardless of the Tea Party, people should act according to their own beliefs. Everyone in the Tea Party was clear on their views that we believe that we are T axed E nough A lready. It should not be a surprise that the TEA Party people are against tax increases. The ones that got elected won because they all said that they would go to Washington and work to control spending. I only have one vote, and my one vote will go to those who are true to Tea Party principles on taxes and spending. If the mainstream GOP, liberals, or whoever doesn't like it, so be it.

If there is any desperation it is because others did not take the Tea Party serious. Obama knew the day would come when the debt ceiling would need to be raised years ago, yet he did nothing. Why? why didn't he address the issue when he had a super majority? Why didn't he address the issue during the lame duck session after the 2010 election? Yet you actually think the Tea Party is the problem? The Tea Party in not in control of the Senate, yet they have passed nothing. They don't control the WH, yet there is no specific plan from the WH. The Tea Party is actually only a small portion of the House - are you and others giving the Tea Party too much credit for controlling the agenda on this issue?
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Last edited by aceventura3; 07-21-2011 at 08:09 AM..
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:14 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceventura3 View Post
As I stated tax policy indirectly affects revenue collected by the government.

The above statement is critical, if you don't agree anything that follows is pointless. And we need clarify why you either disagree or what the impact is.
Your cataxtrophic scenario aside, I suppose all of this is about the disparity between what the American people want and what the American people are willing to pay for.

You mentioned the ramifications of changing tax policy, which is a legitimate concern (in spite of your silly kitty example). However, there are also the ramifications of dismantling what has become fundamental aspects of American policy.

There is a difference between not being able to cut spending by a certain level and not wanting to cut spending—based on perceived consequences.

What if they just went ahead and balanced the budget for 2012? Would America maintain its opinion of itself as the best nation in the world?

---------- Post added at 12:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:11 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by aceventura3 View Post
I remember some posts where people held the position that the Tea Party was done after the 2010 elections and would have no future impact, did you hold that view?
My opinion of the Tea Party is that they hold influence disproportionate to whose views they represent. Angry fringe groups can get like that. Obstructionism isn't a new concept.
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Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 07-21-2011 at 08:21 AM..
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:06 AM   #77 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
Your cataxtrophic scenario aside, I suppose all of this is about the disparity between what the American people want and what the American people are willing to pay for.
Generally, I agree. More specifically there are some American people who want other American people to give them a free ride. Again I have no problem "paying" for the basic needs of all children, elderly and the truly disabled.

Quote:
You mentioned the ramifications of changing tax policy, which is a legitimate concern (in spite of your silly kitty example). However, there are also the ramifications of dismantling what has become fundamental aspects of American policy.
If it is a failed system, it needs to be fixed. Measuring negative ramifications of dismantling fundamental aspects of American policy brings into question the original intent of those fundamental aspects of American policy. I suspect there is and was never any real agreement on the intent of some of those fundamental aspects, i.e. Medicare, liberals and conservatives don't agree on what the intent was and is for this program.

The "kitty" example is not as silly as it appears. It has been about 7 years since I left California, but when I was there the cost to formally set up a small business (corporation, partnership, LLC) was close to $5,000 in fees, taxes and minimal admin costs. In addition it was about $2,000-$3,000 just to maintain the entity annually -revenues or not - profits or not. That was just the state costs, just for the entity! So, in my example substitute small business for "kitty" and you may see the analogy in a new light. And some people in California still wonder why there was a mass business exodus out of the state. Businesses that had the option, moved to lower the costs, there were many other excessive costs in addition to what I describe here. The point is that people respond to tax policy.

Quote:
There is a difference between not being able to cut spending by a certain level and not wanting to cut spending—based on perceived consequences.

What if they just went ahead and balanced the budget for 2012? Would America maintain its opinion of itself as the best nation in the world?
I suspect if people even believe that the folk in Washington were going to balance the budget, that we would see a spike in economic activity like we have never seen. The level of uncertainty from Washington has trillions of dollars on hold. Even with Obama-care alone, the 2,000 page bill will most likely have hundreds of thousands of pages of new regulations. Only the foolish, or those with no choice will make long-term decisions until the impact of these regulations is fully known. Then of course you would see the government actually collecting more revenue. think about it, they could actually spend more and reduce the debt.

Quote:
My opinion of the Tea Party is that they hold influence disproportionate to whose views they represent. Angry fringe groups can get like that. Obstructionism isn't a new concept.
I am not angry. I have not even been to a Tea Party rally or anything like that in over a year. I have not written any letters, called into any radio shows, or done anything like that (other than post my political views here). Most Tea Party people live normal lives and don't have time to be "angry".
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:15 AM   #78 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by aceventura3 View Post
When spending is greater than the money coming in the result is negative. Spending is directly controlled. The money coming in is indirectly controlled. The most direct way to avoid a negative result is to properly manage spending.
That's probably the best short answer I've ever heard on the subject.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:41 AM   #79 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
When spending is greater than the money coming in the result is negative. Spending is directly controlled. The money coming in is indirectly controlled. The most direct way to avoid a negative result is to properly manage spending.

in baseball games the team that scores the larger number of runs wins.
when a smaller number of runs is scored, the result is negative.

the control over the number of runs our team scores is direct.
our control over the number of runs the other team scores is indirect.

we have decided to cut the number of pitches we throw.
to do this, we will now stop play altogether at the point we have scored the larger number of runs.
the other team may continue to play, but we do not care.
we declare the game over. so it is over.

this is our innovative new strategy for controlling negative outcomes.


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Last edited by roachboy; 07-21-2011 at 11:43 AM..
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:52 AM   #80 (permalink)
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roachboy, can they do that?
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