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Trump, the GOP Tax Cut, and the Powers of 10

Updated on January 16, 2018
peoplepower73 profile image

Mike has a keen interest in the effects of politics in our culture. He has a unique way of simplifying complex concepts.

The Difference Between the National Debt and the Budget Deficit

When we talk about taxes, we have to talk about the national debt and the national budget. They are two different, but yet related entities. The national debt is how much debt the federal government has incurred from the time of the first president up until the current president. The current national debt is approximately 20.6 Trillion. The reason it is approximate is because it is being added to the current debt, even as we speak.

The current national budget deficit is approximately 655 Billion. That is the difference between what the federal government has spent on a fiscal year basis and what the IRS has taken in as revenue. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the federal spending is at 4 Trillion while the IRS income revenue is at 3.3 Trillion dollars.

Trump and the GOP Tax Cut

Trump and company has stated that their tax reform bill will add a total of 1.6 trillion to the national debt. But not to worry, it will be spread over the next 10 year period and with the huge tax breaks that the super rich and big corporations get, they will make up the difference in that 1.6 trillion gap. They state this will be accomplished by corporations creating more jobs, raising workers wages, and tax cuts for the middle class, thus stimulating the economy by more spending. However, will it be enough for the IRS to get an increase in revenue to close the 1.6 trillion gap?

There are two ways the budget can be balanced. One is by increasing revenue and the other is by decreasing spending. I don't think they will decrease spending, not with all the things that Trump and company want to buy, including a huge increase in defense and infrastructure, including his wall.

The Powers of Tens

Billions and trillions are big numbers to visualize, but there is an easier way to do this with the power of tens or it is also known as Scientific Notation. So if we were to write one thousand in Scientific Notation (SN), it would be 1X10^3. That is read as one times ten raised to the 3rd power of ten. The upward pointing arrow denotes "raised to and is called an exponent." This can be written as the number one followed by three zeros, or 1,000. One million is 1x10^6. That is one followed by six zeros. One billion is 1X10^9 and one trillion is 1x10^12, that is a one followed by 12 zeros.

The 1.6 Trillion Gap Spread Over a Ten Year Period

We now know because of the powers of ten, 1.6 trillion can be written as 1.6x10^12 which is the same as 1.6 followed by 12 zeros. Now that we know how to express big numbers by the powers of ten, we can also perform arithmetic operations on them. Trump and company said that the tax gap would be spread over a ten year period. let's see what that means in terms of trillions of dollars.

To divide by the powers of 10, you just have to divide the coefficient 1.6 by 10. That equals .16X10^12. Now if we move the decimal point three places to the right, we have to subtract the exponent 3 from 10^12; the expression becomes 160x10^9 or 160 billion. So that means that in order to close the tax gap, it will take 160 billion dollars of additional revenue each year for the next 10 years or decrease spending by 160 billion dollars each year for the next ten years.

The question is: Will this tax bill allow that to happen? Presidents have a way of creating long term policies that are well beyond their terms in office. But we have seen from the past, it is very easy for a new president to change previous embedded policies.

Added Bonus: If you want to learn more about the powers of ten and how they are used in computer terminology, please proceed to the next section, if not skip that section and proceed to the survey .

Powers of Ten and How They are Used in Computer Terminology

First it is nice to know the difference between bits and bytes. A bit is called a Binary Iteration Time (bit), It is the time it takes the computer to write a one or zero. A byte is 8 bits.

1x10^3 = Kilo as in kilobytes or bits. It is 1,000

1x10^6 = Mega as in megabytes It is 1,000,000

1x10^9 = Giga as in gigabytes or gigahertz. It is 1,000,000,000

1x10^12 = Tera as in terabytes It is 1,000,000,000,000

We can move the decimal point to left of the one as well and express it as follows.

1x10^-3 = Micro as in microseconds. It is .001 or one thousandth.

1x10^-6 = Milli as in milliseconds. It is .000001 or one millionth of a second

1x10^-9 = Nano as in nanoseconds. It is .0000000001 or one billionth of a second


How to Multiply and Divide in Powers of 10

To multiply, just multiply the coefficients and add the exponents. For example,

3x10^3 times 5x10^6 = 15x10^9

To divide, just divide the coefficients and subtract the exponents. For example,

50x10^12 divided by 10x10^9 = 5x10^3


Addition and subtraction are much more complex if the exponents are not of the same value, it involves factoring and manipulation of values. If the exponents are of the same value, then add the coefficients and leave the value of the exponents the same. Example,

14x10^4 plus 20x10^4 = 34X10^4


Do you think that Trump and the GOP will be able to close the 1.6 trillion dollar tax gap with their tax reform bill?

See results

Did you find the power of tens tutorial useful?

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© 2018 Mike Russo

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    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      7 months ago from Placentia California

      Brad: You are right, we just have to wait and see how it unfolds. I'm just trying to put the deficit gap in perspective over a ten year period. You are right about the meltdown. But it was created by repealing the Glass Stegal Act. not by adding 1.6T to the national debt.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 

      7 months ago from Orange County California

      Mike

      Once again, I make specific comments to your specific comments, but you never answer my specifics? Why is that?

      The bottom line on this article is just to wait and see how it turns out. If people knew before hand the way the economy would go, then no one in government would have allowed the 2008 economic meltdown to happen. But it did happen, and no one in government that could do anything tried to stop it, and when it did happen they just through one and a half trillion dollars at it under two presidents and two congresses.

      What that money didn't do is help the real victims of the meltdown. It did help the creators of the meltdown, and put them back even better and stronger. So that the US government wouldn't be able to deal with them, these bailed out companies would now be the tail that wags the dog.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Alvie: As always, thanks for your comments that bring us back to reality. But Brad and Jack do make me do my homework and I do learn from it. This is from the Atlantic that makes sense to me.

      "Government programs should not be shutdown just based on their costs. They should be evaluated on a program-by-program basis, just like a business is supposed to do. A company that wants to expand into China doesn't automatically pull out of Europe because there's some arbitrary limit on the size of its business; it invests in every opportunity that it thinks will be worth it.

      That's the attitude we should have today. If there's a program that the American people, through our democratic system, agree will provide benefits greater than its costs, we should do it, independently of the existing spending level. And if there's a program that isn't covering its costs, we should kill it. This is obvious, but instead Washington seems locked in a debate about the total spending level and the total tax bill. And that's a recipe for bad decisions."

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 

      8 months ago from Orange County California

      B: Changing the TAX revenue from Income to National Sales Tax would allow the IRS to be trimmed down to a nub.

      M: A national sales tax is essentially a tax on consumption. Since low income families spend almost every penny they earn on subsistence items, they would pay a higher percentage of their earnings in taxes. Higher income families could afford to put a portion of their earnings into savings investments.

      B:----

      Tell that to jerry brown, as we have the same sales tax as I am suggesting for the national sales tax. And these taxes would be paid from what was their withholding.

      -------------

      -- The entire tax industry would be destroyed, and thousands of accountants, IRS workers and other people in the tax business would lose their jobs.

      -- With a sales tax anywhere from 23%-34%, people could be discouraged from making purchase

      B: What other agencies do you think, other than the military cannot be shrunk, or eliminated

      M: It is way above my pay grade to determine what and what not cannot be shrunk or eliminated. The budget has mandatory spending requirements that by law cannot be changed. According to the Balance, here are the ones projected for FY2018 all of these are in billions unless noted:

      Medicare - 404

      Health - 582

      Social Security - 1 Trillion

      Food Assistance and Unemployment 544

      Interest on debt - 315 billion

      B:-----

      Medicare and Social Security along with Obama Care are all taxes.

      Medicare and Social Security should have been replaced by private programs using the same employer and employee contribution.

      Medicare and Social Security should have been funded by the contributions, and they should have been handled the same way that FERS protects government employee retirement.

      Medicare has been plagued by FRAUD, and misused by Obamacare.

      Social Security is just wrong. What retirement system other than it, requires you to contribute not only an indefinite term, but also as long as you earn wages. Even after you are receiving SS benefits.

      Unemployment is also a tax.

      What good is SS to the tens of millions of new people in the workforce. They have to wait until they are 68 now. But who knows what the SS retirement age will be when they are ready to retire.

      Just because millions of people rely on their SS benefits today, doesn't mean that SS is a good and beneficial system. It is like saying that it is beneficial for illegal drugs, because people are addicted to it.

      ---------

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 

      8 months ago from Orange County California

      Mike,

      When you fail at your original complaint about the deficit and debt, I always laugh at the inevitable fall back to the neo-con ranting and raving about any and everything without any concern for its relevance or whether data indicates its actually material.

      B:----

      Don't know what that means.

      -----------

      - The credit bubble and housing bubble are attributable to many things. I would argue and as far as I know, all educated discussions of the housing bubble, place the FRB towards the back of the line for who contributed to the bubble. Good try though.

      B:------

      The Real Estate Bubble couldn't have lasted as long as it did without the FRB keeping the interest rate low. These loans had very little down payments, and some of them were negative amortization. The finances of many of the people that got the loans gave them no extra cash for higher loan payments if the FRB had increased the variable interest. Many of the homeowners were tapped out payment compared to their income and savings.

      The FRB also was spending $40 billion a month for many months after the crash buying up the worthless derivatives containing the bad loans. Why did they do that?

      --------

      - The federal government in 1913 was smaller, but then again, there was no FDA or modern pharmaceutical industry, there was no FAA because there were no airlines, there was no FCC because television and the internet had yet to be invented, and so on and so on. The point being, what exactly is your point?

      B:----

      I made my point. There was also no large federal government. The country was formed to be the UNITED states, and the Federal government existed to handle conflicts between the states, including but not limited to enforcing the Interstate Commerce Clause, and its apportionment.

      The 1913 Income Tax violated apportionment, but SCOTUS ignored it.

      I also stated that the federal govt didn't get large all at once.

      And by the poor SCOTUS decisions on the ICC, they gave more power to the federal government taking that power from the states. My point is that in the last 100years SCOTUS made the 10th Amendment impotent.

      Now everything is a Federal Issue, but it was supposed to be a State issue.

      -------------------------

      - A change to a sales tax could be considered and you're correct, the IRS would likely shrink, but do you understand how a sales tax is regressive and how it would stunt economic growth?

      B:-----

      Not when it get completely rid of the Income Tax and its tax shelters in the Internal Revenue Code. Which is the real reason we have such an unequal distribution of wealth in the US.

      As far as economic growth, this sales tax is paid from what was the withholding of income tax into the pocket of the consumer. The FICA would still be withheld out of the salary, but that problem is another issue.

      ------------------------------

      - Public education does belong to the states and local governments. Your town has a school board. There is no federal school board for where ever you live. You're just wrong, plain wrong. Laughably wrong.

      B:--------

      The money comes from the federal government. ha ha.

      -----------------------------

      - I actually agree that the cost of pension benefits are very high. Serious consideration should be given to whether the federal government and municipal governments should provide this benefit given the private sector has been moving away for expense purposes. It's a reasonable thing to consider. That aside, taking those benefits away is like pissing on a forest fire. Again, the topics you raise fail to meet the scope of the deficit and debt.

      B:-------

      Check out how much the FERS, FEHS, and other perks and benefits given to the govt employees.

      You seem intelligent until you get to the emotional content of your comments.

      -----------

      - The war on drugs (can we say we lost that war yet?) and "tough on crime" / mandatory sentencing are neo-con strongholds. Prohibition laws, whether it be alcohol or drugs are a black hole of enforcement dollars. But again, it lacks the scope for the original topic and the amusing part, is a complaint against your own neo-con positions on crime and drugs.

      B:------

      These drugs come into the country across the border. And they cause expenses to various state and federal budgets. For example, the drug cartel and the druggies in the US fill our prisons. This is a cost.

      The basic problem is that we overspend and then overtax.

      When we take away from the states 10th Amendment responsibilities we duplicate and unnecessarily duplicate

      ---------------------------

      - Yes immigration laws should be enforced and those who cheated should be removed. Tell you what. You come up with (1) a non-porous border (2,000 miles with Mexico, let's just call it 3,000 miles with Canada, I don't even know how many miles of coast land, and every airport and port) and (2) an identification system that makes identity theft impossible, and you'll have everything you need to make illegal immigration impossible. Good luck with that.

      B:--------

      We can start by not flying them over the fence and into the welfare of the country, as we did under Obama. There is no protection when we do that. As far as the fence, we had 700 miles of it built under GW Bush in 2006. Nothing during the eight years of Obama.

      The Immigration is the least of our problems. We don't want terrorists to have easy access through our borders. We don't want the Drug Cartel to have easy access to sending over $25 billion dollars of illegal drugs across the border. We don't want the Drug Cartel to slip contraband like weapon in thru the border. We don't want human trafficking.

      We haven't even put a dent in the war on drugs. We have druggies in the US that are the consumers of these illegal drugs coming across our border. These druggies then overdose, commit crimes to pay for their drugs, and even commit suicide because of these drugs.

      With your idea, why do you bother to lock your vehicles, and your homes?

      ------------------------------

      - Nearly all academic studies (the most noteworthy being Harvard) concludes the "free stuff" illegal immigrants receive are de minimis and are offset by the benefits of cheap labor, as far as their economic drag on society.

      B:-----

      Academics are like statistics they can be manipulated.

      Free education in California is not de minimis, neither is free medical. They have caused many Truama hospitals to close because of the free medical to illegals.

      Cheap labor, there are millions of legal immigrants that do those jobs.

      Also, look at the prisons and jails that are filled with illegal aliens, and that also isn't de minimis either.

      ---------------------------

      - Homeland Security? Sure, why not. Of course, you'll have to up the budgets for those department taking over the responsibilities of Homeland, thereby making any cost benefit marginal, at best. But sure, go for it.

      B;-----

      Another layer wasn't needed

      I just did an article on it.

      -------

      - The FDA, because deregulation is good, shortened the drug approval process significantly. This resulted in drugs getting to market sooner, which has many benefits for patients needing those drugs. However, it also greatly increases the risk of drugs being discovered as unsafe after they make it to market, thereby resulting in drug recalls and costly class action suits. I tell you what. If you're willing to let your mother or child take some pill, with a Russian roulette safety outcome, then perhaps going back to the "snake oil remedies" market philosophy is warranted. Otherwise, grow up.

      B:----

      You missed my FDA point

      "Grow up" again you digress from intelligence because you became emotional when you didn't have a good answer.

      ----------------------

      - I hate to digress to the nuisance gripes of neo-cons, but felt it necessary to demonstrate that not only are they irrelevant at best to macro issues like national debt but more laughably, reveal very uninformed disgruntled individuals.

      B:------

      The breach in your intelligence finally burst.

      If you can't address the issues without personal attacks, you don't make compelling arguments for your points.

      ---------------------------

      I'm not shocked Jack is on board with Brad.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Brad and Jack: With every decision, there are trade offs. Here is the ones for a National Sales Tax.

      B: Changing the TAX revenue from Income to National Sales Tax would allow the IRS to be trimmed down to a nub.

      M: A national sales tax is essentially a tax on consumption. Since low income families spend almost every penny they earn on subsistence items, they would pay a higher percentage of their earnings in taxes. Higher income families could afford to put a portion of their earnings into savings investments.

      -- The entire tax industry would be destroyed, and thousands of accountants, IRS workers and other people in the tax business would lose their jobs.

      -- With a sales tax anywhere from 23%-34%, people could be discouraged from making purchase

      B: What other agencies do you think, other than the military cannot be shrunk, or eliminated

      M: It is way above my pay grade to determine what and what not cannot be shrunk or eliminated. The budget has mandatory spending requirements that by law cannot be changed. According to the Balance, here are the ones projected for FY2018 all of these are in billions unless noted:

      Medicare - 404

      Health - 582

      Social Security - 1 Trillion

      Food Assistance and Unemployment 544

      Interest on debt - 315 billion

      Here is a link to very informative website that makes it much easier to understand the entire budget process.

      https://www.nationalpriorities.org/

    • Reason and Facts profile image

      Alvie Dewade 

      8 months ago from New York, NY

      Mike,

      When you fail at your original complaint about the deficit and debt, I always laugh at the inevitable fall back to the neo-con ranting and raving about any and everything without any concern for its relevance or whether data indicates its actually material.

      - The credit bubble and housing bubble are attributable to many things. I would argue and as far as I know, all educated discussions of the housing bubble, place the FRB towards the back of the line for who contributed to the bubble. Good try though.

      - The federal government in 1913 was smaller, but then again, there was no FDA or modern pharmaceutical industry, there was no FAA because there were no airlines, there was no FCC because television and the internet had yet to be invented, and so on and so on. The point being, what exactly is your point?

      - A change to a sales tax could be considered and you're correct, the IRS would likely shrink, but do you understand how a sales tax is regressive and how it would stunt economic growth?

      - Public education does belong to the states and local governments. Your town has a school board. There is no federal school board for where ever you live. You're just wrong, plain wrong. Laughably wrong.

      - I actually agree that the cost of pension benefits are very high. Serious consideration should be given to whether the federal government and municipal governments should provide this benefit given the private sector has been moving away for expense purposes. It's a reasonable thing to consider. That aside, taking those benefits away is like pissing on a forest fire. Again, the topics you raise fail to meet the scope of the deficit and debt.

      - The war on drugs (can we say we lost that war yet?) and "tough on crime" / mandatory sentencing are neo-con strongholds. Prohibition laws, whether it be alcohol or drugs are a black hole of enforcement dollars. But again, it lacks the scope for the original topic and the amusing part, is a complaint against your own neo-con positions on crime and drugs.

      - Yes immigration laws should be enforced and those who cheated should be removed. Tell you what. You come up with (1) a non-porous border (2,000 miles with Mexico, let's just call it 3,000 miles with Canada, I don't even know how many miles of coast land, and every airport and port) and (2) an identification system that makes identity theft impossible, and you'll have everything you need to make illegal immigration impossible. Good luck with that.

      - Nearly all academic studies (the most noteworthy being Harvard) concludes the "free stuff" illegal immigrants receive are de minimis and are offset by the benefits of cheap labor, as far as their economic drag on society.

      - Homeland Security? Sure, why not. Of course, you'll have to up the budgets for those department taking over the responsibilities of Homeland, thereby making any cost benefit marginal, at best. But sure, go for it.

      - The FDA, because deregulation is good, shortened the drug approval process significantly. This resulted in drugs getting to market sooner, which has many benefits for patients needing those drugs. However, it also greatly increases the risk of drugs being discovered as unsafe after they make it to market, thereby resulting in drug recalls and costly class action suits. I tell you what. If you're willing to let your mother or child take some pill, with a Russian roulette safety outcome, then perhaps going back to the "snake oil remedies" market philosophy is warranted. Otherwise, grow up.

      - I hate to digress to the nuisance gripes of neo-cons, but felt it necessary to demonstrate that not only are they irrelevant at best to macro issues like national debt but more laughably, reveal very uninformed disgruntled individuals.

      I'm not shocked Jack is on board with Brad.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 

      8 months ago from Yorktown NY

      I totally agree with Brad. Our government is too big to fail...and it should not be.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 

      8 months ago from Orange County California

      Mike

      I have said it many times, that the FRB was one of the conspirators that enabled the Real Estate bubble. Had they not kept down the very low interest rates, many of these loans would have failed immediately. We knew about these loans in 2007. They kept the interest rate low, to enable the bubble to grow.

      It doesn't make sense other than in theory that the FRB is not controlled by the government, but in reality it has shown that it is part of the problem, not the solution.

      The federal government wasn't this size when the country was formed, and it happened slowly but surely over the last one hundred years. We didn't even have an income tax until 1913, and it was the income tax, passed because of bad SCOTUS decisions misinterpreting the Interstate Commerce Clause.

      So as the federal government grew over the last one hundred years, it can shrink over the years.

      Changing the TAX revenue from Income to National Sales Tax would allow the IRS to be trimmed down to a nub.

      Give the public education back to the states, and with our nation's dismal education performance that might be good.

      We really need to cut back on all the perks given to government employees. Their Defined Benefit Retirement System is very costly.

      We need to stop the over $25 billion dollars of illegal drugs coming into the country. These illegal drugs set up direct and indirect costs including overcrowding in our prisons, criminal activity in the US, suicides from drugs.

      Stop bringing in people from around the world, that are getting into the country ahead of those that are going through the legal immigration process. This costs billions of dollars to the country, and it is money that could go for Americans and Legal Immigrants.

      Giving free medical, free education, welfare, and driver licenses to illegals is costing the country.

      Homeland Security is unnecessary layer that could be eliminated or certainly reduced in size. Homeland Security could be replaced by internal government agency policies to share information.

      The FDA is another area that can be reduced because since congress gave them the oversight for pharmaceutical drugs, the US has not cured a single major disease. The FDA increases the cost of getting drugs passed them by $800 million and that is followed by class action suits because the FDA passed drug is dangerous and deadly.

      The FDA has no independent laboratories to test these drugs, and they only rely on data given them by the drug companies.

      What other agencies do you think, other than the military cannot be shrunk, or eliminated?

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Hi Larry: Always great to have you stop by.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      8 months ago from Oklahoma

      Always interesting and depressing.

      Great read!

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Brad: Doesn't the government have to pay the interest on the foreign loans? If the money doesn't come from some place, then it gets added to the national debt. The FRB tries to regulate interest rates to keep us from going into inflation or recession

      You are saying shrinking the size of government will lower the need for higher taxes. How do you propose to shrink the size of the federal government? What programs should be eliminated and how much would that save in taxes?

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 

      8 months ago from Orange County California

      Mike

      FRB that charges us interest on our own money.

      And that statement is still true. And it was the FRB that kept interest rates down during the Real Estate bubble, and if they had raised the rates the collapse would have happened in 2007 and not 2008.

      Again, I don't understand your point. How does foreign loans factor into the congress continually going uncapped and not shrinking the government to lower the need for higher taxes.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Brad: This what you said: "The role of the Federal Reserve Board needs to be examined, as it is the FRB that charges us interest on our own money."

      Here is my reply to that statement:

      Brad: It is more than the FRB that owns our debt. There are many foreign countries that own our debt and they all charge interest on that debt. There are also many companies and private enterprises within the U.S. that own our debt.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 

      8 months ago from Orange County California

      Mike

      What is your point. The FRB has the most control of our debt because they can change the interest rate.

      What exactly is the topic here?

      If it is the GOP tax plan then let it play out.

    • Reason and Facts profile image

      Alvie Dewade 

      8 months ago from New York, NY

      M and B,

      Who owns the debt isn't related to how much is owed and how much it will grow. It only grows through deficit spending, which will increase under the GOP tax plan, thereby increasing overall debt.

      Who did what in the past is context, at best. Yes, the party that unequivocally called the national debt a moral issue, yes, they should be held to their own words. Which they are failing at miserably.

      Stay on topic.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Brad: It is more than the FRB that owns our debt. There are many foreign countries that own our debt and they all charge interest on that debt. There are also many companies and private interprises within the U.S. that own our debt.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 

      8 months ago from Orange County California

      Mike

      It is like the Electoral College, that is the way they have always done things.

      The other thing is that the government never shrinks, and what you call are services that can't be cut, didn't exist when the country was formed.

      The framers didn't want a large central government, that is why we have United States, and not just cities like other countries. The federal government was meant to speak to the world as a country, and deal with conflicts between the states. For example, the reason that we have the Interstate Commerce Clause.

      Unfortunately, the SCOTUS made some very bad decisions in favor of making everything federal, and they used the 2 sentences in the Interstate Commerce Clause along with the Supremacy Clause to keep expanding the federal government.

      Ironically, CA has rejected the Supremacy Clause, and has politically seceded from the Union. When they confronted the Federal Jurisdiction of immigration. Their Attorney General has now made it a Crime for any business in California to cooperate with the Federal Government on deportation issues.

      This counters the role of the state in the Union, and it competes with the federal government.

      Back to the budget.

      The role of the Federal Reserve Board needs to be examined, as it is the FRB that charges us interest on our own money.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Brad and Alvie: So if national debt is comprised of three parts. The amount we already owe, the interest payment that is being paid for with more debt, and the budget surplus/deficit that will reduce/increase the total debt.

      Why can't the government separate the part that is already owned from the new budget and pay off what is already owed? This would then preclude any shutdown.

      They could then negotiate the new budget after the old bills are paid. We have to pay what is owed no matter what the situation is, if we don't we will fall into bankruptcy and our credit rating will be lowered...just asking.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 

      8 months ago from Orange County California

      Alvie

      B: "The democrats don't care about balancing the budget, and that is why they are against having a cap. Both parties don't really care because unlike the states by definition the US can't go bankrupt. Unlike Bankrupt Sanctuary State CA."

      A: Ahhh, GOP fiscal responsibility. Going back to the GOP's grandstanding for the last decade, they outlined a clear budget strategy; do not have a budget deficit which adds to the national debt each year. They even went so far as to say we needed a balanced budget amendment. And what is in their first budget? A tax cut that will add $1.6 trillion of the national debt over ten years, or using a $160 billion annual deficit (straight average allocation of the projected $1.6 trillion increase in debt), the current annual deficit of $655 billion would increase to $815 billion, or an increase of 24.4%.

      Now, it is difficult to believe the GOP was ever sincere in their fiscal responsibility, since their first budget will increase the national debt and do so at an accelerated rate from what Obama handed off. The GOP is only fiscally responsible when it comes to criticizing someone else. You can see the true nature of someone by their deeds, not their words.

      To sum up, when we look at the GOP's actual actions and not their words, they increased our interest payments and from their first budget proposal, are actually increasing the deficit, accelerating the growth of the national debt.

      B:-----

      Both parties have screwed the economy. And this will keep going until they both decide to get rid of the Federal Income Tax and its Internal Revenue Code. They are responsible for the 1% to 99% division of wealth in the US. There are 540 US Billionaires and 10.8 million US Millionaires in the country.

      ---------------------------------------------------------

      What I love about neo-cons, is the combination of their vim and vigor when it comes to broad and unsubstantiated complaints with a marked absence of actual facts. At the very least, come up with fake numbers about Obama spending $50 kagillion dollars a day and taking the entire naval fleet on a diplomatic trip to India. lol

      B:-----

      The fact is that under Obama the National Debt doubled to $20 Trillion -- Fact

      GWB tried and failed to double the debt.

      When Bush’s term started Jan. 20, 2001, the gross federal debt was $5.73 trillion. At the end of his term, Jan. 20, 2009, the gross federal debt was $10.63 trillion. This means that the debt just about doubled under Bush.

      So while Obama double what it was when he took office after GWB, the $20 Trillion is not too far from Quadruple.

      -------------------------------------

      Please stop your name calling NeoCon!

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 

      8 months ago from Orange County California

      Alvie

      B:"The democrats especially don't care about the national debt, Barack Obama doubled it, and he even beat out GW Bush. And it was both parties that brought the economic meltdown, I have explained my opinion to you before."

      A: It is important for you to realize that to increase your total debt each year, that will primarily only occur when you have a deficit each year.

      B:------

      For the last 16 years that hasn't been a problem.

      --------------------------------------

      The St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank has a great chart on government spending and can be found at: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GCEC1

      What you will find is under Obama (Q1 2009 - Q4 2016) spending started at $3.01 trillion per year and ended at $2.90 billion, or a reduction of 4.6%.

      B:--------

      You need some help with math

      -------------------------------------

      Under GWB (Q1 2001 - Q4 2008) spending increased from $2.55 trillion to $3.04 trillion, or an increase of 19.2%.

      __________________

      So national debt is comprised of three parts. The amount you already owe, the interest payment that is being paid for with more debt, and the budget surplus/deficit that will reduce/increase the total debt.

      For the amount already owed there's nothing you can do other than default on your obligations, which by the way, would likely cause nothing short of global war. The interest paid per year ( https://am.jpmorgan.com/us/en/asset-management/gim... --slide 23 is 7% of our total spending. The interest rate and thus interest payments are in part based upon our credit rating, which was downgraded in August 2011, for the first time ever. The rating agencies cited the gridlock exhibited between Congress and the President reducing the confidence that the US will honor its obligations. And what was happening in August 2011? The GOP was being absolutist and grandstanding about a balanced budget, cutting spending, and oh yeah, Ted Cruz's "repeal Obamacare" tack on as part of the spending bill. So we can thank a rabid GOP for the increase in our annual interest payments.

      This leaves us with the annual deficit, which adds to the national debt each year. Going back to the Federal Reserve data, yes the national debt went up during Obama's years. But that was in part due to the deficit inherited from GWB. And what possibly could have created such a large deficit? Perhaps an unpaid prescription drug plan? Perhaps what is now a 16-year conflict in the middle east that was supposed to be paid for by oil revenues? The bottom line is GWB inherited a surplus budget from Clinton and handed off a deficit budget, which, big shocker, adds to the national debt every year.

      B:-------

      Intragovernmental Holdings. This is the portion of the federal debt owed to 230 other federal agencies. It totals $5.6 trillion, almost 30 percent of the debt. Why would the government owe money to itself? Some agencies, like the Social Security Trust Fund, take in more revenue from taxes than they need. Rather than stick this cash under a giant mattress, these agencies buy U.S. Treasurys with it.

      By owning Treasurys, they transfer their excess cash to the general fund, where it is spent. Of course, one day they will redeem their Treasury notes for cash. The federal government will either need to raise taxes or issue more debt to give the agencies the money they will need.

      Which agencies own the most Treasurys? Social Security, by a long shot. Here's the detailed breakdown as of December 31, 2016.

      Social Security (Social Security Trust Fund and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund) - $2.801 trillion

      Office of Personnel Management Retirement - $888 billion

      Military Retirement Fund - $670 billion

      Medicare (Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund) - $294 billion

      All other retirement funds - $304 billion

      Cash on hand to fund federal government operations - $580 billion.

      Debt Held by the Public. The public holds the rest of the national debt ($14.7 trillion). Foreign governments and investors hold nearly half of it. One-fourth is held by other governmental entities. These include the Federal Reserve, as well as state and local governments. Fifteen percent is held by mutual funds, private pension funds and holders of savings bonds and Treasury notes. The remaining 10 percent is owned by businesses, like banks and insurance companies. It's also held by an assortment of trusts, companies, and investors.

      Here's the breakdown of holders of the public debt as of December 2016:

      Foreign - $6.004 trillion

      Federal Reserve - $2.465 trillion

      Mutual funds - $1.671 trillion

      State and local government, including their pension funds - $905 billion

      Private pension funds - $553 billion

      Banks - $663 billion

      Insurance companies - $347 billion

      U.S. savings bonds - $166 billion

      Other (individuals, government-sponsored enterprises, brokers and dealers, bank personal trusts and estates, corporate and non-corporate businesses, and other investors) - $1.662 trillion.

      This debt is not only in Treasury bills, notes and bonds but also Treasury Inflation Protected Securities and special state and local government series securities.

      As you can see, if you add up the debt held by Social Security and all the retirement and pension funds, nearly half of the U.S. Treasury debt is held in trust for your retirement. If the United States defaults on its debt, foreign investors would be angry, but current and future retirees would be hurt the most.

      Why the Federal Reserve Owns Treasurys

      As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve is in charge of the country's credit. It doesn't have a financial reason to own Treasury notes. So why did it double its holdings between 2007 and 2014?

      That's when it ramped up its open market operations by purchasing $2 trillion in Treasurys. This quantitative easing stimulated the economy by keeping interest rates low. It helped the United States escape the grips of the recession.

      Did the Fed monetize the debt?

      Yes, that's one of the effects. The Fed purchased Treasurys from its member banks, using credit it created out of thin air. It had the same effect as printing money. By keeping interest rates low, the Fed helped the government avoid the high-interest rate penalty it would usually incur for excessive debt.

      The Fed ended quantitative easing in October 2014. As a result

    • Reason and Facts profile image

      Alvie Dewade 

      8 months ago from New York, NY

      Brad:

      B:"The democrats especially don't care about the national debt, Barack Obama doubled it, and he even beat out GW Bush. And it was both parties that brought the economic meltdown, I have explained my opinion to you before."

      A: It is important for you to realize that to increase your total debt each year, that will primarily only occur when you have a deficit each year.

      The St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank has a great chart on government spending and can be found at: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GCEC1

      What you will find is under Obama (Q1 2009 - Q4 2016) spending started at $3.01 trillion per year and ended at $2.90 billion, or a reduction of 4.6%.

      Under GWB (Q1 2001 - Q4 2008) spending increased from $2.55 trillion to $3.04 trillion, or an increase of 19.2%.

      So national debt is comprised of three parts. The amount you already owe, the interest payment that is being paid for with more debt, and the budget surplus/deficit that will reduce/increase the total debt.

      For the amount already owed there's nothing you can do other than default on your obligations, which by the way, would likely cause nothing short of global war. The interest paid per year ( https://am.jpmorgan.com/us/en/asset-management/gim... --slide 23 is 7% of our total spending. The interest rate and thus interest payments are in part based upon our credit rating, which was downgraded in August 2011, for the first time ever. The rating agencies cited the gridlock exhibited between Congress and the President reducing the confidence that the US will honor its obligations. And what was happening in August 2011? The GOP was being absolutist and grandstanding about a balanced budget, cutting spending, and oh yeah, Ted Cruz's "repeal Obamacare" tack on as part of the spending bill. So we can thank a rabid GOP for the increase in our annual interest payments.

      This leaves us with the annual deficit, which adds to the national debt each year. Going back to the Federal Reserve data, yes the national debt went up during Obama's years. But that was in part due to the deficit inherited from GWB. And what possibly could have created such a large deficit? Perhaps an unpaid prescription drug plan? Perhaps what is now a 16-year conflict in the middle east that was supposed to be paid for by oil revenues? The bottom line is GWB inherited a surplus budget from Clinton and handed off a deficit budget, which, big shocker, adds to the national debt every year.

      B: "The democrats don't care about balancing the budget, and that is why they are against having a cap. Both parties don't really care because unlike the states by definition the US can't go bankrupt. Unlike Bankrupt Sanctuary State CA."

      A: Ahhh, GOP fiscal responsibility. Going back to the GOP's grandstanding for the last decade, they outlined a clear budget strategy; do not have a budget deficit which adds to the national debt each year. They even went so far as to say we needed a balanced budget amendment. And what is in their first budget? A tax cut that will add $1.6 trillion of the national debt over ten years, or using a $160 billion annual deficit (straight average allocation of the projected $1.6 trillion increase in debt), the current annual deficit of $655 billion would increase to $815 billion, or an increase of 24.4%.

      Now, it is difficult to believe the GOP was ever sincere in their fiscal responsibility, since their first budget will increase the national debt and do so at an accelerated rate from what Obama handed off. The GOP is only fiscally responsible when it comes to criticizing someone else. You can see the true nature of someone by their deeds, not their words.

      To sum up, when we look at the GOP's actual actions and not their words, they increased our interest payments and from their first budget proposal, are actually increasing the deficit, accelerating the growth of the national debt.

      What I love about neo-cons, is the combination of their vim and vigor when it comes to broad and unsubstantiated complaints with a marked absence of actual facts. At the very least, come up with fake numbers about Obama spending $50 kagillion dollars a day and taking the entire naval fleet on a diplomatic trip to India. lol

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Brad: Thanks for the comments.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 

      8 months ago from Orange County California

      Mike

      B:"The democrats especially don't care about the national debt, Barack Obama doubled it, and he even beat out GW Bush. And it was both parties that brought the economic meltdown, I have explained my opinion to you before."

      M: TARP didn't happen on Obama's watch.

      B:------ Recovery efforts

      To help the economy heal, the government has committed record sums since September 2008 in an attempt to restore the flow of credit, boost the job and housing markets and - with Obama's plan - get consumers spending again.

      In the past three months, the Federal Reserve launched a $600 billion money market guarantee program, a $1.4 trillion program to boost the commercial paper market - a key source of short-term business financing, a $200 billion consumer loan-backed securities purchasing program, a $500 billion mortgage-backed securities purchasing program and a $100 billion program to buy up Fannie and Freddie debt.

      As a result, the Fed's balance sheet - the total worth of the assets the Fed obtained as a result of its lending - currently totals $2.3 trillion, up from $933 billion on the week before Lehman Brothers collapsed.

      Obama's estimated $775 billion plan could serve as the next step in the recovery efforts. While most of the Fed's programs have been aimed at boosting lending, Obama's economic stimulus plan is aimed primarily at job creation and consumer spending. To top of pageSo, I guess you are right Neither party cared as this. My point is that none of this $1.3 plus Trillion dollars helped the victims.

      B: "The democrats don't care about balancing the budget, and that is why they are against having a cap. Both parties don't really care because unlike the states by definition the US can't go bankrupt. Unlike Bankrupt Sanctuary State CA."

      M: No but their credit rating can be lowered.

      B:--------- And who cares about that in the government, it just means higher taxes, but spending is the same or higher.

      B: "The parties answer to the national debt is to borrow, print more money, or raise taxes. They don't consider spending less, or cutting their size back."

      M: There is only certain discretionary spending they can cut. The rest is protected by the constitution. (See my link to Jack.) The IRS could be downsized if they would go to a National Sales Tax and not the Income Tax. None of this large federal government is in the US Constitution because the framers didn't believe in a larger government, that is why we are called the United States as opposed to simply America.

      B: "My point is that of all the politicians in the past none of them had a tax plan that worked. And Trump wasn't in the government then, and now he is so why can't you just wait and see what happens instead of opining on it."

      M: Opining means to give an opinion. The last time I looked, the 1st Amendments says I'm entitled to an opinion as are you. That's all we can do is wait and see how Trump and company unfold. However, that doesn't preclude me from staying informed and informing others of what I find.

      B:---- Well my opinion is supported by history. 2008 the US Economy went down. And since that collapse there are now 540 US billionaires, and Bill Gates didn't lose a dime, as he is now at $90 billionaire. In addition, there are 10.8 million millionaires in the US.

      If the tax plans of the past were working this unequal distribution of wealth wouldn't be so lopsided, would it.

      Thanks for the details, I appreciate it.

      :)

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      B:"The democrats especially don't care about the national debt, Barack Obama doubled it, and he even beat out GW Bush. And it was both parties that brought the economic meltdown, I have explained my opinion to you before."

      M: TARP didn't happen on Obama's watch.

      B: "The democrats don't care about balancing the budget, and that is why they are against having a cap. Both parties don't really care because unlike the states by definition the US can't go bankrupt. Unlike Bankrupt Sanctuary State CA."

      M: No but their credit rating can be lowered.

      B: "The parties answer to the national debt is to borrow, print more money, or raise taxes. They don't consider spending less, or cutting their size back."

      M: There is only certain discretionary spending they can cut. The rest is protected by the constitution. (See my link to Jack.)

      B: "My point is that of all the politicians in the past none of them had a tax plan that worked. And Trump wasn't in the government then, and now he is so why can't you just wait and see what happens instead of opining on it."

      M: Opining means to give an opinion. The last time I looked, the 1st Amendments says I'm entitled to an opinion as are you. That's all we can do is wait and see how Trump and company unfold. However, that doesn't preclude me from staying informed and informing others of what I find.

      :)

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Thanks Jack

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Alvie: Thank you for your comments.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Kari: I'm glad to have helped you. Thank you for stopping by.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      8 months ago from Ohio

      Thanks for the quick rundown on the powers of ten. It does make seeing those giant numbers easier.

    • Reason and Facts profile image

      Alvie Dewade 

      8 months ago from New York, NY

      Jack, I've seen you post in other places, and you give the same vague, unsubstantiated claims. Here's data on government expenditures, net of inflation. What you'll see is while government spending did increase from 2008 - 2010 during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, it subsequently decreased an hit a low point 2014. After 2014 it increased slightly, but even at 2017 spending levels, it is still lower than 2008.

      https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GCEC1

      As far as non-defense discretionary spending, look at slide 23. We borrow 17% of our total spending and ALL of our non-defense discretionary spending is 19%. Are you saying that cutting 89.47% (17% of the 19%) of all non-defense discretionary spending is easy and I'm just a liberal who says there isn't enough to cut there?

      It seems I have data to back my sentiments. I've yet to see you do the same.

      https://am.jpmorgan.com/us/en/asset-management/gim...

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 

      8 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Mike, here is another way the government can save money...

      Unemployment claims are way down...

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-18...

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 

      8 months ago from Orange County California

      Mike

      The democrats especially don't care about the national debt, Barack Obama doubled it, and he even beat out GW Bush. And it was both parties that brought the economic meltdown, I have explained my opinion to you before.

      The democrats don't care about balancing the budget, and that is why they are against having a cap. Both parties don't really care because unlike the states by definition the US can't go bankrupt. Unlike Bankrupt Sanctuary State CA.

      Playing these math games with the power of ten is meaningless because people cannot understand in real terms the enormity of trillions. Even though they buy disk drives that are greater than Gigabytes.

      The parties answer to the national debt is to borrow, print more money, or raise taxes. They don't consider spending less, or cutting their size back.

      Also, the main invisible thief in the economy is the Federal Reserve Board, as they charge us interest on our own money, and that is where the debt resides. It was also the FRB that contributed to the Real Estate Bubble by not raising the interest rates on all of these bad, and mostly variable interest loans. Both parties had warning about the economy all through 2007, but they ignored it so they could focus on the election. Everyone in congress was campaigning either for reelection or to save a party seat. They ignored the warning signs of the economy, maybe hoping it would stay together until after the election.

      Whatever you say about Trump and his tax plan, you have to agree that none of the tax plans of either party in the past helped. Dot Com Bubble is not a tax plan, and bubbles burst.

      My point is that of all the politicians in the past none of them had a tax plan that worked. And Trump wasn't in the government then, and now he is so why can't you just wait and see what happens instead of opining on it.

      :)

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Jack: This makes for very interesting reading and is very informative about discretionary spending versus mandatory spending.

      https://www.thebalance.com/current-u-s-federal-gov...

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Jack: I agree with you. The problem with medicaid and medicare is that the insurance companies are in the middle between the doctor and the patient. We have a huge medical complex called Kaiser Permanente which is actually an insurance company that employs doctors, including all other medical services.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 

      8 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Good question. You pay for it the same way you pay for all other expenses that are sanctioned by the Constitution. You cut out those that were added by fiat... Just look at all the alphabet agencies in our government, can you say with a straight face that all are necessary for our well being?

      If the government were to shut down tomorrow, will we survive as a nation? No need to guess. It has happen many times before under both Republican and Democratic admin.

      And we survived.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Alvie: That is the same thing that happened during the Reagan years.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Jack; Thanks for your comments. Isn't reducing taxes the same as a tax cut? Trump and company want a stronger military. How do we pay for it, if spending is reduced?

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Alvie: Thank you for your comments. The states that you mentioned are a great example of tax cuts not working.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 

      8 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Alvie,

      You are fooled by those that tell you there is nothing here to cut. The federal government is full of outdated agencies and programs. The waste and fraud just in medicare and medicaid runs in the billions. In the last 8 years, despite tax increases and record revenue taken in by the IRS, our spending has gone up instead of down. This was the case during a recession when you and I and businesses cut back our own expenses, the federal government didn’t. Don’t tell me there is very little they can cut.

    • Reason and Facts profile image

      Alvie Dewade 

      8 months ago from New York, NY

      Jack, cutting spending of course is a good thing. If you look at Federal spending however, you'll find there is a finite amount of cutting that is available. Almost 2/3 of spending is military spending and social security, neither of which anyone is advocating cutting. Once you set aside interest and other mandatory spending items, you'll find that the discretionary spending isn't all that significant and offers very limited cost cutting opportunities.

      So, it does go back to tax revenues, and there's little reason to believe that the tax cut will do anything other than increase the size of the deficit, so at best, cutting spending will offset the lost revenue from the tax cut, leaving us with fewer services and the same annual deficit.

      Again, look at states that have implemented aggressive tax cut agendas. You'll find the revenue growth through tax cuts is a wonderful fairy tale.

      The other way to assess this is to look at the increase in the wealth gap. The accumulation of wealth at the top means capital is not being reinvested and not trickling down. It really is time that "fiscal conservatives" actually behave conservatively and not plan our economic future on economic growth that will 'poof' appear, especially when all recent evidence says otherwise.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 

      8 months ago from Yorktown NY

      What you and others are missing is that we have a spending problem and not a revenue problem. You can tax more as we have done over the Obama years and it makes no dent on the debt because the more you give our elected officials, they find more ways to spend. The solution is right in front of you. You cut spending and reduce taxes and all well work out. The reduced tax spurs economic growth which will increase revenue while we cut spending so as to slowly reduce the debt. You need both part.

    • Reason and Facts profile image

      Alvie Dewade 

      8 months ago from New York, NY

      One perspective which cannot be stressed enough is, even if the $1.6 trillion is reduced to an annual number, $160 billion, the current annual deficit of $655 billion would increase to $815 billion, or an increase of 24.4%.

      While it is a wonderful narrative that tax cuts will spur economic growth which will make up for the shortfall, recent evidence proves otherwise. If you investigate Kansas, Wisconsin, or Louisiana, three states which proudly implemented the long touted philosophy of "tax cuts will increase tax revenues through economic growth", a different picture emerges quickly.

      If any research is conducted on these states, you will find that economic growth or GDP has at best, kept pace with national averages and their neighbors and at worst, lagged by large margins. You'll also find that the tax revenue growth from economic growth never materialized, creating larger budget deficits and eventually sizable budget cuts and liquidation of state accounts and assets.

      The real irony is the GOP spent the better part of a decade decrying any deficit and even proposed a balanced budget amendment. It's time to question whether they were ever sincere or if they were just scoring political points.

      In my opinion, the more realistic answer is no, they were never sincere, and they've passed on tax cuts to their large donors, indifferent to average Americans and our country's long term economic health.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      I.W. McFarlane : Thanks for your comments. We will just have to see how this administration unfolds and see if he delivers. I think in his mind, no matter what and how he delivers, he is always going to be a success.

    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 

      8 months ago from Philadelphia

      This is simple the game of politics. Trump has to now deliver all he had promised. It doesn't matter who is going to suffer or hurt in the long haul!

      Thanks for sharing this bit of information that we should all be aware of.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 

      8 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Mike, no problem, we all make mistakes.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Sorry Jack: You are right. It should have been 20.6 Trillion. I'll change it right now. Thanks,

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 

      8 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Mike, was this a miss print...

      “The current national debt is approximately 2.6 Trillion”

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      I read your link and it is scary. Have you heard of ALEC? It stands for the American Legislative Exchange Council.

      ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. Here is the link.

      https://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/What_is_ALEC

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      8 months ago from Placentia California

      Jack: I said approximately 20 trillion. That is where I got my information from was the National Debt Clock. You are right half of it was added during the Obama years. That is no surprise. Each president inherits the national debt of the previous president at the start of their term. Trump is just getting started with his spending. I believe with everything he wants to do, it will be in the neighborhood of at least 10 trillion added to the National Debt.

      What you call the annual deficit is actually the budget. It was a surplus under Clinton because of the dot com stock boom.

      Well if the average person has a hard time balancing their checkbook, then don't you think they would have a hard time understanding 1.6 trillion divided by 10 years. I'm sorry if your academic prowess is way above learning the powers of 10.

      You are right what Trump is proposing is what Reagan did 30 years ago. It's called trickle down economics. It didn't work then and I will be extremely surprised that it works now. Jobs are not sent overseas because of high corporate taxes. They are sent overseas because of cheaper labor. With all the loopholes in the tax codes, the corporations are not paying that much in taxes now. The money didn't trickle down under Reagan because the profits went to shareholders and unnumbered accounts in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.

      I don't know how old you are but Reagan created the Savings and Loan debacle of the 80's. He eliminated the cap of 100K that was placed on mom and pop Savings and Loans. This allowed all kinds of corruption to take place in buying and selling property. The market crashed just like it did in 2008 and it took at least 10 years to recover from that crisis. Reagan's success is a myth created by conservative propaganda. Just read this.

      https://www.thebalance.com/savings-and-loans-crisi...

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 

      8 months ago from Yorktown NY

      First of all, the current national debt is over $20 trillion and half of it was added over the Obama years.

      That was an error on your part.

      Go check out the debt clock...

      The annual deficit is the difference between what the IRS collect each year and what uncle Sam spends... and it has been negative for all the years I can remember.

      This by the way is happening at a time when we had a record revenue coming to the IRS. How come?

      Well, we spend too much and waste more and have outdated agencies that are no longer relevant and yet they continue to exist...sounds familiar?

      What you claim to be the power of 10 is no magic. That is common knowledge or at least it should be. Not that they teach basic math in public schools any more. The average person has a hard time balancing their check book.

      What Trump is proposing with the tax reform is no different than what Ronald Reagan did 30 years ago. It lead to record revenues and a booming economy after the malaise of the Carter years.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Leslie McCowen 

      8 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      I don't know, man....these repubs around here have always called me stupid..."dumb, but amusing", but even i know what they're up to. It's not about stimulating the economy, it's about shrinking the government.

      Kochs, Mercers, Adelsons....people like that resent paying taxes. Trump bragged about it, remember? "Finding a way to not pay taxes makes me smart"

      Who was that guy....the one who used to make all repubs sign a no raising taxes pledge???? A Swedish guy! (To my shame) Anyway, its to make gvt so small it will go down the bathtub drain, or something like that.

      They have already made corporate cuts PERMANENT.

      And they want to change the constitution, so that its not "for the people", but For Us, Just Us.

      This is really dangerous, and a dangerous time for America. They have almost enough states to ratify and create a new constitution....which is why they cheat to win. This has been a long range plan, and they certainly have the money to carry it out.

      I wish the media would get on this...

      This will not be America anymore if they have their way.

      It will be like the places we all came here to escape.

      The power of ten.....we certainly have more of us than them....we must magnify the message: They are up to no good!!

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/n...

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