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Old 07-15-2011, 07:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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debt ceiling

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
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes we do have enough debt, in fact way too much. By federal law the national debt cannot exceed a specific amount. For years, rather than reducing the deficit the lawmakers have increased the debt ceiling. We are at the point where the percent of our economy needed to service the debt our government has is an unbearable burden. So here we are, sooner or later the deficit must be reduced either by increasing federal revenues (taxes) or by reducing federal spending. Neither is popular.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I wonder why we even have it if they raise it every time it's needed.

---------- Post added at 12:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:06 PM ----------

I find it funny that raising taxes is offered as some kind of solution to the debt problem. However, Washington spends more than it takes in every year. It's pointless to raise taxes, the only way to get the debt problem under control is to reduce spending.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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if you reduce spedning it will cause job loss????? right??
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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from this week's economist:

America's debt: Shame on them | The Economist

Quote:
The sticking-point is not on the spending side. It is because the vast majority of Republicans, driven on by the wilder-eyed members of their party and the cacophony of conservative media, are clinging to the position that not a single cent of deficit reduction must come from a higher tax take. This is economically illiterate and disgracefully cynical.

A gamble where you bet your country’s good name

This newspaper has a strong dislike of big government; we have long argued that the main way to right America’s finances is through spending cuts. But you cannot get there without any tax rises. In Britain, for instance, the coalition government aims to tame its deficit with a 3:1 ratio of cuts to hikes. America’s tax take is at its lowest level for decades: even Ronald Reagan raised taxes when he needed to do so.

And the closer you look, the more unprincipled the Republicans look. Earlier this year House Republicans produced a report noting that an 85%-15% split between spending cuts and tax rises was the average for successful fiscal consolidations, according to historical evidence. The White House is offering an 83%-17% split (hardly a huge distance) and a promise that none of the revenue increase will come from higher marginal rates, only from eliminating loopholes. If the Republicans were real tax reformers, they would seize this offer.
paul krugman's editorial about the loons on the right:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/15/op...WT.mc_ev=click

this is an excellent overview from the financial times:

US debt crunch: A nation taken to the limit - FT.com

so the debt cieling is what we call bullshit.
can you say: bullshit?

but wait---there's more: a steaming core of ultra-concentrated bullshit within the bullshit that is named grover norquist.

who the fuck elected grover norquist to anything?
his pressure group is at the center of the right's intrasigence in the face of reason, which most folk agree includes tax increases----except for the lunatic right and ideological hatchet men like norquist.

but read the articles above for yourself.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This "Debt ceiling" debacle is one of the best evidences of an uninformed electorate and a media that has to play nice with stupidity in order to be "balanced."

The debt ceiling is not about creating new spending. It is about paying for the budget that has already passed. That no one on the media is pointing this out is ridiculous. One party essentially authorized spending but now is refusing to authorize the means to pay for that.

Finally, "the percent of our economy needed to service the debt our government has is an unbearable burden" is absolutely not true. US debt and its interest are still fairly small, and it would take either many more years of increased deficits, or some nutjobs wanting to default on the debt, for things to get that way.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's an example. I know people who live check to check. Not because they don't make enough money, but because that's how they operate. If they make $600 or $2000 the check will be totally gone come next week.

That's how our government operates, but not only do they spend this weeks check, they spend next weeks and next weeks. Increasing income(taxes) does not address the mentality of always spending more than you have. Increasing taxes will have no affect on the national debt until there is a major change in Washington in regards to how they spend our money.

Giving more crack to a crack addict won't solve the addiction. Taxes aren't the solution to the debt problem until the spending problem is solved.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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there's nothing serious about this without military spending on the table.
there's nothing serious about all this blah blah blah spending bad business with afghanistan and iraq still happening and their cost largely off the books.
there's nothing serious about this without some attempt to dismantle the lunatic "war on terror" and do something about the grotesque levels of largely unaccounted-for spending on expanding the american surveillance sector.

there is, in fact, nothing serious about this debt cieling nonsense at all.

what is serious is the systemic crisis that this form of capitalist organization is undergoing.
what is serious is the levels of unemployment that are abroad in the land.
the state has a significant role to play in managing crisis.

but the ideological right is so mired in a backwater economic ideology and so beholden to nutcases like grover norquist that none of those problems matter.

all that matters to the right is angling to get back into power. they want to create a crisis and then try to pin it on the obama administration.

except no-one is fooled.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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there's nothing serious about this without military spending on the table.
there's nothing serious about all this blah blah blah spending bad business with afghanistan and iraq still happening and their cost largely off the books.
there's nothing serious about this without some attempt to dismantle the lunatic "war on terror" and do something about the grotesque levels of largely unaccounted-for spending on expanding the american surveillance sector.

there is, in fact, nothing serious about this debt cieling nonsense at all.
I'm with you on all those points.

There's also plenty of blame to go around for both sides.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i understand all of the above to a point.

1. how do you decrease the deficit?

2. once the deficit is at a marginal area, how do you keep it there??

3. who/why (let it) is it so bad?
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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at this point, i think it's pretty clear who is responsible for this debt ceiling canard and the manufactured "crisis" surrounding it---if it's not, then read any of the articles i posted earlier. krugman's is maybe the funniest--the financial times the best overview--the economist merely points out the obvious irresponsibility and duplicity of the republicans in it. there's a lot of blame to go around to the extent that people swallowed neo-liberal idiocy---but look at krugman's piece, which provides a nice little capsule history of the instrumental use the right made of supply-side/neo-liberalism---the right here includes moderate republicans like clinton of course---and points out that it has only become an absolute doctrine with the obama administration and the panic the right faced because it had to answer for its own record.

it's also clear that the republicans, as they have lurched further to the right in an attempt to differentiate themselves from themselves, have found their new and improved version of the same old brand held hostage by the ideological fringe, including norquist---and that these people are willing to risk an entirely unnecessary default in order to gain some imaginary tactical advantage rooted in upholding some worthless ideological purity for the hard right set.

these are different people than the tea partiers---more the power people who've lurked in the background and who are, bit by bit, **finally** getting outed.

---------- Post added at 08:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:26 PM ----------


=====================

ralphie---this quick overview may help get oriented:

US debt ceiling: Why is America facing a borrowing crisis? | Business | guardian.co.uk
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Here's an example. I know people who live check to check. Not because they don't make enough money, but because that's how they operate. If they make $600 or $2000 the check will be totally gone come next week.

That's how our government operates, but not only do they spend this weeks check, they spend next weeks and next weeks. Increasing income(taxes) does not address the mentality of always spending more than you have. Increasing taxes will have no affect on the national debt until there is a major change in Washington in regards to how they spend our money.

Giving more crack to a crack addict won't solve the addiction. Taxes aren't the solution to the debt problem until the spending problem is solved.
Equating the government's budget to a household budget is pants-on-head retarded
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Equating the government's budget to a household budget is pants-on-head retarded
I was trying to illustrate how we cannot tax our way out of debt. It's irrelevant when you have people who will spend more than they take in every time.

If we increased revenues to the US government by something crazy like 30% next year, do you really think they wouldn't spend that money on more government? There's no evidence at all they would try to pay down the debt with it.

Until the spending is under control, throwing more money at the problem by taxation should be off the table. It just doesn't make sense.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I really don't think it's as easy as stating that it's one problem (taxation) or the other (spending). Really? It all simply comes down to balancing budgets.

America has a serious spending problem, so cuts are badly needed.

America has a relatively low tax environment, so raising taxes makes sense.

It's not difficult, though I will admit the household budget is oversimplifying it. Running deficits often make sense. And while I know that both sides of the aisle are to blame for many things, I want to put out there again that during G. W. Bush's presidency, there was a great opportunity for balanced budgets if not reduced deficits.

Cutting taxes whilst funding wars is financially irresponsible. Clinton worked towards balanced budgets. Obama probably would have too if the shit didn't hit the fan.

The problem on both sides of the aisle right now is not taking the situation seriously enough. Like roachboy said: military spending, hidden costs, and the war on terror need to be addressed here. Follow the money.

If you're going to cut, cut across the board. Cut deeper where the benefits are questionable; cut shallower where you know it will hit the average Joe.

America will get nowhere fast without both raising taxes and cutting spending. If the equation is too heavily on the side of cutting, it's going to have devastating long-term consequences on the nation to the tune of falling behind in the world. I don't think anyone wants that.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I was trying to illustrate how we cannot tax our way out of debt. It's irrelevant when you have people who will spend more than they take in every time.

If we increased revenues to the US government by something crazy like 30% next year, do you really think they wouldn't spend that money on more government? There's no evidence at all they would try to pay down the debt with it.

Until the spending is under control, throwing more money at the problem by taxation should be off the table. It just doesn't make sense.
Except a look at the numbers tells you that they could cut just about everything and STILL not be able to pay it down without increased tax revenue. It can't just be spending cuts
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The first thing that needs to be discussed is that there is a difference between short term and long term. Short term, cutting spending will hurt the economy. Government debt is only really ever a problem when it starts crowding out private investment (that is, the government takes up all the money available to be borrowed out there). We are at a point far from that. Even with all the uncertainty of the debt ceiling fiasco 30 year treasury bill still have just about the lowest interest rates on earth.

Debt only becomes a problem if it is unsustainable long term. The reason regular people can't just keep refinancing our debts forever is because we eventually die, so we don't want to leave something like that behind. But the government has no such problem. It doesn't have to eliminate debt, just keep it low enough that interest payments in refinancing aren't too much of a burden. And right now, interest payment refinancing isn't that much of a burden. Long term it might be.

But there is a budget that can keep spending high in the recession and then balance it long term.

The reason we don't have such an ideal compromise is actually relatively simple:

- Long term deficit reduction requires touching some sacred cows, namely the military and medicare.

- Electoral cycle politics means that short term recessions caused by drastic cuts in spending greatly help the party out of the office. I guarantee some of these deficit hawks will change their tune once a republican is back in office. Of course, this isn't republican specific. Presidential elections, more than anything else, are about the economy. No matter how eloquent Reagan, Obama, Clinton, etc are, they all were elected by poor economic conditions. Republicans right now are betting on economic disarray, just like democrats will often do when republicans are in office.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Except a look at the numbers tells you that they could cut just about everything and STILL not be able to pay it down without increased tax revenue. It can't just be spending cuts
I haven't seen any numbers that show taxation can even touch the national debt. If you took the entire net worth of US billionaires it would be about 1.3 trillion. That would put a small dent in the debt and that's not even taxes that's taking everything they have.

The budget deficits every year exceeds 1 trillion dollars. That's a trillion dollars to the already 14.5 trillion dollar national debt every year. Show me evidence this can be touched realistically by taxation. I don't see it.

Taxation shouldn't even be on the table until the politicians can hit their yearly budget. Then you can come back to me and argue there should be more taxes to pay down the debt.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:01 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I haven't seen any numbers that show taxation can even touch the national debt. If you took the entire net worth of US billionaires it would be about 1.3 trillion. That would put a small dent in the debt and that's not even taxes that's taking everything they have.

The budget deficits every year exceeds 1 trillion dollars. That's a trillion dollars to the already 14.5 trillion dollar national debt every year. Show me evidence this can be touched realistically by taxation. I don't see it.

Taxation shouldn't even be on the table until the politicians can hit their yearly budget. Then you can come back to me and argue there should be more taxes to pay down the debt.
the "no new taxes" stance is a big reason we're in this mess. Taxes are at historical lows and the country is suffering for it.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:13 AM   #19 (permalink)
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At this point, it's not about the debt; it's about the deficit. Handling the debt is clearly a long-term issue, though it's difficult (impossible?) for politicians to act on matters beyond the next election.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:24 AM   #20 (permalink)
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The Republican party supports a $2.4tn package of spending cuts, but is not backing the tax rises.








ok then, what are the republicans imposing? it was a good article thanks roachboy.
so why dont we (the government) make all the banks and companies that we bailed out pay the money back??
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:40 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Obama sure likes to raise the debt limit when he's in power, but in 2006 he voted against raising the debt ceiling because it would add to much to the national deficit. I lolled.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:57 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Obama sure likes to raise the debt limit when he's in power, but in 2006 he voted against raising the debt ceiling because it would add to much to the national deficit. I lolled.
It's all a political game, sure. The GOP approved raising the debt ceiling every year Bush was in office, but now it's the BIGGEST ISSUE EVER.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:25 AM   #23 (permalink)
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the "no new taxes" stance is a big reason we're in this mess. Taxes are at historical lows and the country is suffering for it.
Isn't that the GOP plan, make the problems so bad, that simple fixes don't work anymore?

Clinton did a good job with spending, and tax rates. Then Bush 'won' and his supporters were saying "The government is taking in too much money, give it back". And they did, to the rich. And we found out that trickle down economics failed again, and raised prices on homes and gold as the rich were looking for different investment opportunities and ways to hold onto the money.

We should have had to raise taxes and increase gas taxes in order to start the two wars. Make 'the current generation suffer' for making the decision to go to war. Once the war is done, then taxes can come back down.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:24 AM   #24 (permalink)
 
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The Busts Keep Getting Bigger: Why? by Paul Krugman and Robin Wells | The New York Review of Books

the main driver of this crisis of capitalism---it's proximate cause---was the real estate bubble/derivatives trade. the condition of possibility for that-->deregulation of the financial sector. the condition of possibility for that--->the neo-liberal delerium. this review provides a little history of that delerium and its consequence--->crisis after crisis in the banking sector triggered by greed and incompetence (these without exaggeration) followed by massive bailouts using taxpayer funds followed by....nothing. no re-regulation. no lessons learned. more of the same.

welcome to plutocracy.

there are problems, but the "debt ceiling" aint one of them.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:24 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Giving more crack to a crack addict won't solve the addiction. Taxes aren't the solution to the debt problem until the spending problem is solved.
HERE HERE! Cure the disease, don't just prescribe more medicine for the symptoms!
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:29 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Meanwhile, Wall Street is saying "why is this even open for discussion? Fucking do it already!" Stocks are stagnant or falling, bonds are dipping and the financial markets are preparing for a worst case scenario. Because if it doesn't get done, the global economy is going to go haywire.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:10 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Capital flows to markets with stability. It's not difficult. Deficits make sense when they provide stability. The problem isn't merely that America posts deficits; it's that it doesn't post surpluses enough when the time is ripe. Clinton did it. G. W. Bush felt that tax cuts and wars were more important.

Too many Americans are already struggling. Cutting deeply into badly needed programs is only going to make things worse. Economies are built from the ground up: when the lower and middle classes crumble, there is nothing for the wealthy to make money off of, and so they go and make money elsewhere. Spoiler: i.e. overseas
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:03 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Equating the government's budget to a household budget is pants-on-head retarded
thinking that the concepts of home budgets and goverment budgets aren't pretty close to the same is pants-on-head retarded.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:32 AM   #29 (permalink)
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thinking that the concepts of home budgets and goverment budgets aren't pretty close to the same is pants-on-head retarded.
does your household budget fund thousands of projects and pay millions of people?
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:13 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Business understand this simple concept and they are far more complex than home budgets. They manage to produce profits. I'm not even asking the government to make a profit, just maybe break even one year would be a huge step in the right direction.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:17 AM   #31 (permalink)
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does your household budget fund thousands of projects and pay millions of people?
my household budget funds a dozen projects and pays two people. see? concept is the same.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:32 AM   #32 (permalink)
 
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If you're making the comparison, and I dont think it is valid, the average american family's debt is more than 20% of their income (correction - over 125%), if you consider mortgage, credit card debt, car loans, student loans, etc.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:43 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Seriously, though: equating household budgets to federal budgets is akin to equating military budgets to house league hockey budgets (or little league baseball budgets, for you Americans).
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:43 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Just get this shit done before you fuck us all over, government. I understand you're going to do a last minute compromise which will take years of litigation to unfuck. In the meantime, give businesses some certainty and predictability so the economy can continue its tenuous path to recovery.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:56 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Seriously, though: equating household budgets to federal budgets is akin to equating military budgets to house league hockey budgets (or little league baseball budgets, for you Americans).
why? are we americans so dense and mathematically challenged as to not understand numbers greater than our annual income or mortgage payment?
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:09 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dksuddeth View Post
why? are we americans so dense and mathematically challenged as to not understand numbers greater than our annual income or mortgage payment?
It's not just about the numbers. That's the point.

Why not say addressing the federal budget is like solving 1 - 1 = 0?

I mean, duh, right?
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:18 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Regardless of your opinion, big business prove it can be done on a macro level. Saying the national budget can't be balanced because it's too complex isn't being realistic.

DC the comparison I was originally making was that taxes aren't the solution until the spending is under control. The example was that there are households that will over spend their incomes whether it's $600 or $6,000 a week and end up borrowing. You can see it with big shot sports stars and movie starts that amazingly go broke with what most of us would considering nearly unlimited money. Yet some people can hit there budget at only $600, it's a mentality.

It's a spending problem and increasing taxes to solve the problem is just going to do further harm to the economy at this point. Show me you can hit just one budget and then maybe I'll consider increasing taxes as a valid argument.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:27 AM   #38 (permalink)
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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
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:38 AM   #39 (permalink)
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It's not that the national budget can't be balanced; it's that it shouldn't, based on the consequences that would occur should it be made to balance.

The role of government isn't to make a profit. Continuing to insist that government should look to business as a model for balancing budgets serves little to address the issue and mostly is a distraction.

Governments are not businesses. If the American federal government were run like businesses, they'd do things like eliminate the majority of the military budget and outsource it to China and India. They'd let the poor starve because of no return on investment. They'd let China have fundamental influence on executive decisions because they are the biggest shareholder.

Or we could just simplify things and simply say: the government should always balance the budget. Okay, but this would require making important decisions such as raising taxes (something akin to Canada's tax rate, as we do have legislation regulating balanced budgets) and decimating the military budget to put it on par with other developed nations. Those two would be the first steps because they are clearly the biggest anomalies in America when compared to other developed nations: an astoundingly low tax rate, and a ridiculously bloated military budget.

Where to start? Anyone want to throw out some numbers?

Any idea what reducing the military budget by 90% would have on job numbers?
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Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 07-19-2011 at 10:42 AM..
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:50 AM   #40 (permalink)
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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.
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