Published: Tuesday, Oct. 15 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
So you would support cuts in defense spending and higher taxes to make up the
Section. 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of
Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on
other Bills. If the House wishes to cut the budget, the appropriate
time is to do so when the budget is prepared. They do not wish to do so becasue
that will mean they will have to make decisions about what to cut. Instead,
they want to do this insane brinkmanship to force across the board cuts that
will come with less political cost.IOW, the House is trying to game
the system. And the Democrats are finally tired of giving in to the game.
Bully for them. If you want to claim "party of responsibility", then
man up and do the responsible thing and take the consequences or plaudits,
whichever they be.
The US military budget is bigger than the next 12 largest defense budgets in the
world - combined.Tax cuts plus two unfunded foreign wars have added
many trillions of dollars to the debt.Start there.
The writer of this article is right on the titular point: the debt ceiling is
not the problem. The actual problem lies in the spending already done. Congress
has always raised the debt ceiling and then spent more money. Now in it's
infinite wisdom, some in Congress are doing all they can to cut taxes. Any sane
person knows that when you have topped off your credit card, you have to pay it
off, not throw up your hands, quit your job and default on your debt. Congress needs to get on with business and work toward paying off the national
debt. The US government is paying over $220 billion a year in interest. Fully
one-third of the current deficit is going toward interest. Pay your bills, then
talk about cutting taxes. Any discussion about rducing spending should also
include increasing taxes until we are out of debt.
Where is the talk on cutting military spending? It is one of, if not the main
one, cause of the debt and interest on the debt. Its never ever talked about by
so called conservatives, why not?
"President Obama cannot continue to recklessly spend money that he
doesn’t have." The President doesn't authorize spending. But
this article's author is correct, we must stop our delusional thinking that
there are enough fools out there that we can borrow forever. We have been
deeply sinfull (reckless borrowing), and we either control our spending or our
young will suffer the effects of our not controlling our spending.
"The federal debt is important to all of us because it is slowly sapping the
vitality and growth out of our economy. Since 1950, the U.S. economy has grown
by an average of 3 percent annually but future projections are just above 2
percent and that may not be attainable. At the same time, the federal deficit as
a percentage of the overall economy has surged from 26.2 percent in 1980, to
48.3 percent in 1992, to over 100 percent today."Correlation
does not equate to causation. For example, the end of WWII, the debt to GDP
ratio was even higher than today, yet the economy expanded at unprecedented
rates after that. Which is to say, the author is looking at simplistic
solutions for complex problems.Why are companies not investing in
American jobs? Why aren't banks making commercial loans despite sitting on
historical reserves? Maybe our leaders should go about answering those
questions instead of stoking public opinions toward policy dogma.
I find it interesting that when the deficit is half of the former projection,
then 'everyone is congratulating each other for a dramatic
improvement', whereas 'President Obama cannot continue to recklessly
spend money that he doesn’t have'. You can't have it both ways.
Either Obama is completely responsible for the level of the deficit or he is
not. There is no mention, for example, that the public sector workforce has
decreased by over 600,000 jobs during Obama's tenure and the same number of
public sector jobs were created during the same time period in the Bush
presidency. All this talk about smaller government and deficits by the
Republicans is just that. Talk.
Paul Samuelson's article today on the debt is excellent. It has sobering
thoughts for both Republicans and Democrats. Of course one of the primary
problems we have fiscally is most think like Democrats or Republicans not
Americans.Unlike the letter writer he shows many of the true causes
of slow economic growth. He talks about the deficit as a consequence of slow
growth and not the cause. He also talks about the unsustainability of a society
built on continual high economic growth that now fundamentally can't
sustain that growth. Arguments centered on tax cuts, and military
spending do nothing to solve the crisis facing us. Expectations need to be
adjusted on both sides and both sides need to realize that education and
technology are the drivers of modern growth both personally and nationally.Germany figured it out and is out stripping the rest of the world. BTW, this is the Presidents economic plan. However, Democrats
specifically need to figure out that an aging population has serious
consequences for a slower growing economy.
There is a point where a taxes becomes punitive, causing total revenues to
decrease. We've reached it. (People stop doing economic activities for
which they are punished.)No, the problem is our spending. We will
never be able to control spending if we are unwilling to make cuts in the
largest budget categories. They are, in order:1) Health2)
Social Security3) DefenseThe problem is that whenever a leader
proposes cutting any of them, his political challengers attack on that point.
You get ads showing him throwing Granny off a cliff, etc.I've
been told never to state a problem without also proposing a solution. It is
this: the Constitution contains a list of items for which Congress is authorized
to tax and spend. We need to vote for people who will stick to the list, and we
need to vote against the people who don't.
Health, Social Security, and Defense have been the traditional winners, but the
deck needs to be reshuffled to deal in support of Climate Change Mitigation and
Adaptation, otherwise we are totally fooling ourselves about importance of the
first three. We have already shot ourselves in the foot by not having taken on
this challenge at the beginning of the first Obama administration, and now years
later, we are in serious trouble!
Defense spending cuts and tax increases would be a start. However, our biggest
problem is probably climate change. But, I imagine we'll have better luck
with the tax increases than even getting climate change acknowledged.
Nonetheless, climate change isn't going to wipe out my savings by thursday,
so first things first; better get ready to get a bunch of money moved from my US
to my Canadian bank.
Another conservative who doesn't grasp the larger economic picture. Let me
spell it out. We have an economy that, over the past 30 years, has grown at
about 5.7 percent per year (actual dollars), but only at 2.7 percent when
adjusted for inflation. This growth has been largely dependent on government
borrowing. Without government spending far beyond its means, our economy would
be a mess. What the conservatives don't seem to understand is
that government spending does not happen in a vacuum. If you simply slash
government spending, which they all want to do in theory (but never in
practice), you take a big chunk of the economy away, and you get immediate
recession. So taming the deficit by only cutting spending is a recipe for
disaster.At the present, however, contrary to conservative rhetoric,
government revenue, as a percentage of GDP, is at its lowest level since 1950
(taxes are too low). Also, federal employment is about 1.8 percent of the
overall workforce, less than half of where it was in 1952. Corporate profits,
however, are at an all-time high. What does this suggest? See next comment.
This suggests that we have a system that is broken. It has been rigged to funnel
wealth to the top, where the so-called "job creators," those darlings of
the conservative policy makers, are not actually creating jobs. They are not
investing in American industry because there is insufficient demand. There is
insufficient demand because the working classes have been squeezed for so long
that they cannot buy the stuff corporate America produces (largely overseas).
To get this picture back in balance, we need to restore some
semblance of equality in terms of giving workers a fair share of the profits
they are creating. This would increase demand, which would spur investment by
those who have plenty to invest but aren't. And restoring tax rates to
pre-Reagan levels would assist in bringing our federal budget back into balance
without simply sucking millions out of the economy (which is the effect of
slashing spending). Spending can then be curbed wisely and gradually,
particularly by reducing our bloated military, reforming Social Security and
Medicare (primarily by means testing), and reducing the demands on the social
safety net (because workers earning more would need less help).
Avoiding default and getting our nation's fiscal house in order are equally
important issues. It should be obvious that protecting the full faith and
credit of the United States by avoiding default is the only truly honorable and
sane course of action.Getting our nation's fiscal house in
order will require extensive spending cuts, primarily in defense spending,
Social Security, and Medicare. To attempt to achieve this through draconian
cuts all at once would be economically devastating; instead, it will need to
happen through a series of reasonable strategic cuts that incrementally change
the debt trajectory.Getting our nation's fiscal house in order
will also require carefully crafting tax increases that will contribute to
incrementally changing the debt trajectory. T. Party said, "There is a
point where taxes become punitive, causing total revenues to decrease."
This is absolutely true. T. Party also said, "We've reached it."
Not even close. The "Laffer Curve" scenario to which T. Party is
referring is characterized by extreme tax rates that capture nearly all income
(70-75%+), and our current tax rates are at near historic lows.
Re: "Without government spending far beyond its means, our economy would be
a mess."Oh, well, then it's a good thing the government has
been spending like a drunken sailor all these years, so our economy isn't a
mess.But, wait, our economy IS a mess. So, how's that socialism
thing -- you know the one liberals as so fond of trotting out as a
"solution" whenever their manufactured crises break -- how does that
work, now?Oh, yeah, collapse the economy. Collapse the military.
Collapse the Nation. Then rebuild it as a workers' paradise, where
there's a dictatorship of the proletariat. And all our problems go away.Like they did in Soviet Russia and the Warsaw Pact. And China. And North
Korea. And Cuba. And . . . well, EVERY time it's been tried.Hmmmmm.
Good article, good comments, conversation is needed, especially after we vote
the bums out. The grandstanding egomaniacs seemed to have lost sight of
governance responsibility. I work for an agency that generates revenues and
tied to jobs in the local communities. We have seen cuts in both 2012 and 2013
- we still return $24 for every $1 of Appropriation, yet struggle to recruit new
staff (private industry pays more, and now it is hard to say their is stability
with the Federal jobs).I believe we need to keep social safety nets, lift
the most at risk, and the poor, there will always be the needy - have agencies
look for more efficiencies, and given the tools/resources to succeed, and
accountable. Concentrating wealth doesn't seem to be the best
answer, but to find balance, avoid pitfalls like we saw with the collapse in
2008 of the housing/financial bubble, Americans should know better and demand
more from their Reps in Congress. I also don't believe we can support the
world largest Armed Forces, plus $1.3 Trillion for the new F35 stealth fighter
jet built with jobs in 45 states, surely money can be invested smarter at home.
@SG in SLC "Not even close."Consider the fact that the
Obamacare mandates are taxes. (If not, then Obamacare is unconstitutional.) No
one figures in the dollar amounts of these mandates when they calculate tax
burden, but this burden is carried by employers nevertheless, and it affects the
decisions they make about their own economic growth. It has caused employers to
cut back staff; it has caused employers to relegate their staff to part-time
positions; it has caused them to delay new hiring; it has induced them to put
new investments on hold; it has caused them to raise prices; it has even put
people out of business. All of this has a negative effect on tax revenues
collected.A lot of my friends were upset with John Roberts for
calling the mandates a tax, but that is exactly what they are. Now we need to
take the next step and figure in their costs, along with those of all other
government mandates and regulations. That is the total tax burden. And it's
large enough to stifle economic growth and -- along with it -- tax revenues.
"the federal deficit as a percentage of the overall economy has surged from
26.2 percent in 1980, to 48.3 percent in 1992, to over 100 percent
today."If Bob Fuehr doesn't understand the difference
between the annual budget deficit and the national debt, he has no business
commenting.The annual deficit, as a percentage of GDP, was on a
steady and strong decline after WWII until the Reagan and Bush I
administrations, during which it took a precipitous rise, dropped under Clinton
and then rose dramatically again under Bush II. Under Dubya, the
annual deficit rose from $318 billion to $1.413 trillion. It has been coming
down steadily under Obama after FY2011 when the effects of the Bush great
recession began to be counteracted by stimulus spending.
Ten years ago was the first time in our nations's history that we went to
war while cutting taxes at the same time. 911 (and war and tax cuts and
recession and all people's bad spending habits) bankrupted us
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