What should be done about the national budget deficit?

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  1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 11 years ago

    Paul Krugman:
    " Back in 2010, self-styled deficit hawks — better described as deficit scolds — took over much of our political discourse. At a time of mass unemployment and record-low borrowing costs, a time when economic theory said we needed more, not less, deficit spending, the scolds convinced most of our political class that deficits rather than jobs should be our top economic priority. And now that the election is over, they’re trying to pick up where they left off.

    "They should be told to go away...."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/12/opini … es.html?hp

    1. LiamBean profile image81
      LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      It only takes another election in 2014 to clear the house of these die-hard Norquist signatories. I find it hard to believe that these Representatives and Senators are going to put the country in peril over loyalty to Grover above a loyalty to the country.

      But that seems to be the case.

      I respectfully remind everyone here that the last time we fought a war on two fronts the top 5% were paying 94% income tax. Well, we fought another war on two fronts; a very expensive effort. And those who benefited most financially are the very ones paying the lowest taxes.

      Pay to play I say.

      "It won't kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires, It really won't, I don't think. I don't really understand why Republicans don't take Obama's offer. Really? The Republican Party is going to fall on its sword to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted Democratic and half of whom live in Hollywood and are hostile?" -- Bill Kristol

      1. Mighty Mom profile image77
        Mighty Momposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        They are all a bunch of poopy heads.
        Not my words.Quoting Norquist.

        1. LiamBean profile image81
          LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I know. And he delivered it in such a dead-pan way. The man is somewhat reptilian in his delivery. neutral

    2. Repairguy47 profile image59
      Repairguy47posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      How about a big garage sale?

    3. profile image58
      retief2000posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Allow all of the Bush tax cuts to expire after all they were just for the richest 1% anyway or so we were told by the Democrats in 2003.  That should resolve the "revenue" issues since that takes us back to the Clinton Era and the "budget surplus."  Let the Simpson-Boles bipartisan solution occur thus "solving" the spending side of the balance sheet.  The Simpson-Boles Commission was bipartisan, accepted by both parties' leaders, Congress and the President.  Shouldn't these actions solve the problem?

      Or should we instead hope for even more Paul Krugman solutions like  alien invasion from space?  Krugman is a fool.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/1 … 26995.html

  2. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 11 years ago
  3. wilderness profile image93
    wildernessposted 11 years ago

    A good link.  At least if you like articles stuffed with exaggerations (dismantle medicare), highly connotative modifiers ("shred" the safety net) and inaccurate descriptions ("progressive" senators that should read "spend happy" senators).

    No, let's not get rid of the deficit hawks.  While fiscal theory may say we need a deficit in the current times, the political and population theory from deep within the Wilderness gut says politics has changed and the US citizenry have changed.  Neither have any self control at all when it comes to fiscal policy - both seem unable to live without borrowing from the future and a great deal of that borrowing is unnecessary.

    Without the hawks I cannot see any chance of ever weaning ourselves from the debt teat.  We always find huge emergencies that we just have to borrow for - the destruction from Sandy or Katrina, the war that has been going on for a decade with no sign of stopping, the starving poor, the absolute necessity of providing billions in foreign aid each year.

    We could budget for any and all of these, but won't.  Instead we budget for a new stadium or museum somewhere and make "estimates" of program costs (read affordable health care here) that we absolutely know are far below what they will cost and will inevitably result in "emergency" borrowing to maintain those programs.  How long has it been since the federal budget actually worked for just one year and didn't require congress to raise the debt ceiling in the last few months?

    Without constant outcry and fuss from the deficit hawks the deficit will never go down, but only up and up.  Without them we'll spend 3 trillion in recession help rather than the 1 trillion that is needed (make up your own figures here - the meaning is clear enough).  We'll continue to spend billions upon billions in earmarks that provide nothing for the country, but do buy votes for individual politicians and make the local citizenry happy as they feed from the public treasury rather than pay their own way.  As a whole, the country simply will not live within it's means.

  4. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    The budget should be balanced.  That is pretty undeniable and hasn't happened since Reagan was in office.

    1. LiamBean profile image81
      LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Clinton left office with a 5.9 billion dollar surplus so I'm not sure where you get the idea the Reagan era was the last balanced budget.

      1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
        Ralph Deedsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, he did, and Bush proceeded to blow it with a big tax cut, two unnecessary wars and an unfunded Medicare drug program.

      2. cam8510 profile image94
        cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        At the risk of getting busted for self promotion, here is a table from one of my recent hubs showing the increase in the national debt by presidential term.  http://hub.me/aenCs

        1. LiamBean profile image81
          LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          If the hub is relevant there's no harm and this is most certainly relevant to the discussion.

          1. cam8510 profile image94
            cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks LiamBean.

  5. AMFredenburg profile image73
    AMFredenburgposted 11 years ago

    I'm all for paying down the debt judiciously, over time, but not at the expense of a European-style austerity program, which will slow down the economic recovery. One thing we need is to create a junkyard dog of an enforcement unit that goes after waste, fraud and abuse, particularly in Medicare and Medicaid. We need to go after ways to cut government costs without cutting benefits and services first. We need to boost revenue by collecting taxes due from people who earn money in the stock market and don't report their earnings, possibly by requiring brokers to report those earnings on a 1099. We need to continue to find ways to cut medical costs.

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree. The critical issue is the timing of actions to balance the budget. When unemployment is close to 8 percent is not the time to chop the budget or increase taxes.
      And, as you said, the emphasis should be on reducing health care costs, not on passing cost increases on to people who are eligible for Medicare. Much can and should be done to reduce unnecessary tests and procedures and ineffective, expensive end-of-life treatments. Moreover, Social Security is not in danger of going broke as claimed by some deficit hawks. It can easily be put on a sound financial footing for the forseeable future by making one or two adjustments, starting with either eliminating or increasing and indexing the cap on earnings subject to the FICA tax.

  6. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    People can have the services they are willing to pay to support.  The debt comes from people wanting services, but not taxes.

  7. maab30 profile image61
    maab30posted 11 years ago

    President Obama should stand strong and not touch Medicare, Medicaid or SSI, all of which are being opened to take severe cuts. If the GOP in the House refuses any plan which does not include these cuts, than the White House should let the economy go over the cliff. In many ways, that would be less damaging than the plans/cuts being put on the table.

  8. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 11 years ago

    Business leaders jump into the fray with a big ad campaign on the need to avoid the fiscal cliff:

    " As Democratic and Republican leaders stake out their positions in the coming fiscal showdown in Washington, corporate executives are starting a political campaign of their own.

    "The chief executives taking part in two separate advertising blitzes that are set to begin on Monday and Tuesday are walking a delicate balance. They plan to press Congress to act quickly, even as they publicly steer clear of the political firefight surrounding the details of any far-reaching deal to cut the federal budget deficit.

    "Behind the scenes, however, the effort by business leaders could play a crucial role in shaping decisions on tax policy, including whether corporate tax rates go down even as individuals pay more..."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/12/busin … s&_r=0

  9. profile image0
    LikaMarieposted 11 years ago

    Well, you know, I just think that some people need to wake up and smell the coffee...  This really doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

    All of the video, I agree with.  Here Obama thought he was being diplomatic with the republicans to continue the Bush tax cuts, just to be ridiculed by that decision.  Had he not done that, he'd have been accused of other things.

    So, if you want a more balanced budget, don't vote for Bush era republicans...

  10. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 11 years ago

    Here's a rational commentary on the fiscal cliff and how to achieve a reduction in the budget deficit from Robert Rubin, Clinton's Treasury Secretary:

    "... Advocates of extensive tax expenditure reduction argue — correctly — that all deficit reduction choices involve substantive costs and are politically difficult. They then suggest that, when compared to other possibilities, substantially more cuts may be doable than the Congressional research numbers suggest.

    "Maybe, but I think that’s unlikely when compared to the alternative of restoring the topmost tax brackets to their Clinton-era level.

    "Raising tax rates for those with the highest incomes challenges the supply-side proposition that even moderately higher rates would hurt growth. President Bill Clinton’s 1993 deficit reduction plan increased income tax rates for roughly the top 1.2 percent of incomes. Opponents said this would lead to recession. Instead, we had enormous job creation and the longest economic expansion in our history....

    When you compare raising the marginal rates for roughly 2 million Americans to phasing out health insurance exclusions that would affect 150 million Americans — even if some reform should be done — I don’t think it’s a close call substantively or politically.

    "We should let the Bush high-end tax cuts expire, with an achievable, progressive reduction in tax expenditures. And we should have spending cuts, including entitlement reforms, equally matched by revenue increases. The entire program — including budgetary room for public investment and a moderate upfront jobs package — could be enacted now and deferred for a limited time with a serious mechanism to guarantee implementation...." 

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/13/opini … ef=opinion

    1. LiamBean profile image81
      LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      This bears repeating and it irrefutable, undeniable, and well documented.

      "Raising tax rates for those with the highest incomes challenges the supply-side proposition that even moderately higher rates would hurt growth. President Bill Clinton’s 1993 deficit reduction plan increased income tax rates for roughly the top 1.2 percent of incomes. Opponents said this would lead to recession. Instead, we had enormous job creation and the longest economic expansion in our history....

  11. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    The first step would be tax simplification and removal of all the loopholes and tax shelters the top few percent are able to use.

  12. Don Fairchild profile image71
    Don Fairchildposted 11 years ago

    The answers are all there, we just have to agree to implement them.

    1. Get rid of most of the entitlement programs.
    2. Get rid of the tax exemptions that business use to avoid most of their taxes.
    3. Get a balanced budget amendment with an automatic reduction in spending across the board.
    4. Tie politicians pay and operating expenses into economy statistics. (Bad performance = no pay)
    5. Amend the Health care bill to force the medical industry to reduce pay and operation expenses by two thirds.

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      "1. Get rid of most of the entitlement programs.
      "2. Get rid of the tax exemptions that business use to avoid most of their taxes."

      Not likely.

    2. LiamBean profile image81
      LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      1. No. Social Security has nothing to do with the national debt. Not. One. Thing.
      2. Yes. And raise taxes on the top 5%.
      3. Yes, but this has been tried before, many times in fact. A bill might work; I don't think an amendment has a chance in heck of passing.
      4. Yes, with conditions. There should also be a limit on the number of days (and dollars) that can be wasted trying to pass the same bill thirty-three or so times*.
      5. Insurance companies are limited to 15% profit now. This affects what the hospitals can expect to charge. The biggest problem with health is that a stay in the hospital is the third leading cause of death in this country. That means there are a lot of mistakes being made. Those mistakes cost money. Lots of money. Money in trying to cure people who got sick because of a hospital stay, money in the form of malpractice payouts, money in the form of administrative costs, money in the form of lost revenue when a bed that should be free isn't because of the problem the hospital caused and so on.

      * A loose calculation is about 1.5 million dollars per attempt, but this is way off. This is assuming that congress works 365 days a year, which they don't. If we are lucky they might work 140 days a year, but often it is not even that. So the 1.5 million per day spent trying to pass a bill that wouldn't even clear the Senate actually worked out to about 3 million per attempt.

      Reduce the debt, in part, by holding our congress critters to their jobs.

      1. Don Fairchild profile image71
        Don Fairchildposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        By entitlement programs, I didn't mean Social Security.  I was talking about all the ridiculous liberal programs that give money away to everyone under the sun including some foreign countries.  Besides, Congress over the last few decades has stolen all the money from Social Security.

        You don't have to raise the top 5%, all you have to do is get rid of all the damn loopholes.  I would bet the effective increase would be closer to a 50% increase.

        1. LiamBean profile image81
          LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Does that include Corporate Welfare? When an energy company is making obscene profits I really don't think they need a tax break, much less reduced taxes. As to foreign aid, how about we start shutting down military bases in France, Germany, and England. Spain would be nice too. I seriously doubt the Europeans are anxious to start yet another war and an expenditure made sense during the Cold War makes no sense now.

          Congress "borrowed" the money from Social Security.This is why that particular beast continues to raise it's ugly head. Congress needs to honor the promise to repay that debt instead of trying to convince the majority of Americans who paid into it that it's somehow wrong.

          Entitlement means something one is entitled to or an obligation by one party to pay the other.

          And I do wish the right would stop trying to redefine that word "entitlement" and chose another.

          No the loopholes are not enough. I think we both know that.

          In the early 1930s and 1940s the top tax rate was 80% ~ 9o%. This was during a two front war. Well we've just been through a two front, un-financed war. Those that profited most from these wars are the very people I propose pay more taxes. I think we should close the loop-holes, raise taxes a few percent on the top 5%, reinvest in this country (only the gods in heaven know why we don't since we've created so many industries that have now fled offshore), and either curtail or simply maintain our military spending.

          As someone so glibly pointed out today's aircraft carrier has six times the defensive/offensive force of that same carrier two decades ago simply due to technological advances. We may have fewer ships, but those we do have more than make up for numbers.

      2. Don Fairchild profile image71
        Don Fairchildposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        As for the health industry limited to 15% profit, this method of limitation is flawed in it's effectiveness.
        Just like the tax code that allows the rich to "deduct" everything under the sun, the health industry will claim all kinds of business expenses that will go against their bottom line.  These expenses will create a false economic floor with a nice profit margin stuck on top of it.

        You only have to look at certain other indicators to realize that all aspects of the health industry is wallowing in money.  So when hospitals stop building multi-million dollar facilities, doctors stop driving their expensive vehicles to their million dollar homes.  When the pharmaceutical industry stops gouging for new drugs.  When health care industry stops putting expensive ads on TV to threaten us for trying to use our own homeopathic (cheap) drugs.   Not until most of these conditions change, will I believe that the heath care industry is interested in US rather than what the investors think about how big their dividends were at the end of the year.

        1. LiamBean profile image81
          LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Eventually, yes, I'm certain that will happen. Of course had a compromise NOT been made on the "single payer" option e.g. taking it completely off the table, there would be a bit more of an incentive for insurance companies to be competitive rather than predatory.

          As I've said elsewhere, not here, the ACA is a first step and only a first step. As an example a lot of the conditions that business must meet at the thirty hour week employee have yet to be worked out much less codified. As long as ACA is legal and constitutional it can be built upon.

          It is no accident that when president Obama gave his speech in favor of ACA that he mentioned the Geisinger Health System, a hospital system that found they could save lives and money in a variety of ways, not the least of which was to provide the patient with a work warranty and assign a team of doctors to every intake. They found that by assigning a specific team of doctors and nurses that communication breakdowns (like giving the patient the wrong dose or the wrong drug) happened much less frequently. They also found that by giving the patient a one year warranty on work performed that their doctors held themselves to a higher standard.

          The net result? Lower return rates, less in hospital mistakes, lower insurance premiums on malpractice insurance, better patient survival rates, and higher quality medical care. They are also now a preferred provider for insurance companies.

          This is what president Obama envisioned for the health care industry when he mentioned them.

    3. psycheskinner profile image80
      psycheskinnerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Roads, police men, courts, firefighters, ambulance, food stamps?

      I am not sure I'd want to live in a place with none of these tax-supported entitlements. People would be starving and gangs fighting in the streets.

      1. LiamBean profile image81
        LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        1. the right to have something
        2. something that one is entitled to (or believes that one is entitled to)
        3. (politics) a legal obligation on a government to make payments to a person, business, or unit of government that meets the criteria set in law, such as social security in the US.

        1. Don Fairchild profile image71
          Don Fairchildposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          OK, sorry bad choice of word "entitlement".  My original thoughts back when I said this didn't come out in my writing.  My thoughts were about how so many government programs today contain "freebees" that are just methods to purchase a voters vote at the polling places.   
          1. Free higher education promises for illegal aliens at some colleges. (I paid for mine)
          2. Free lower education (with free lunches) for undocumented (read illegal) for their children.
          3. Free cell phone service.
          4. Billions of dollars given to foreign governments to keep them honest. (Tongue in cheek example, The mouse that roared.)

          A more insidious example of "freebees" is the current process used today to not only "buy" votes but also generates huge amounts of money for political campaigns.  You go to a particular group or organization and you ask them for a huge political campaign donation, which they do.  Let's just use a hypothetical example of say a solar energy company.  The unwritten promise is once the politician is put into place, that company would receive very rewarding bail out money that would go into the corporate coffers just before the business goes bankrupt due in part to the huge golden parachutes that the CEO's and CFO's had set up ahead of time.  Of course the government promises to investigate these incidents, but nothing ever comes of it.  Are you surprised by this?

          Obviously we need a new term to define this new form of corruption.  These processes bring a whole new dimension to corruption in our government.

  13. innersmiff profile image63
    innersmiffposted 11 years ago

    "The truth about Budgets both left and right"

    This article argues that government spending needs to be cut by at least half if the economy is to be saved. There's going to be a massive hit, and it needs to be taken as soon as possible before it gets any worse.

  14. innersmiff profile image63
    innersmiffposted 11 years ago

    This "unfunded tax cuts" thing makes me howl every time. Government over-spending and over-taxing is the irresponsible act here - it's not irresponsible to ask for something back from that just because the government won't be able to afford its whims.

    And then following on from that "Bush's expansion of military" - are you actually kidding me? Obama has not made any significant cuts, has been drone-bombing the middle-east to oblivion, sanctioned countries to starvation and invaded countries without congressional approval. The Democrats and Republicans are equally guilty of this, don't play.

    Krugman: 'I'll just keep repeating "Bush's unfunded tax cuts and expansion of military" and I might just be able to keep the illusion of legitimacy. Doesn't matter if it makes no sense whatsoever'

  15. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 11 years ago

    Get rid of the big private bankers.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/its-the-in … ld/5311030

    Until such is done - all is for naught.

    1. LiamBean profile image81
      LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Glass-Steagal. Next?

    2. Don Fairchild profile image71
      Don Fairchildposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      How about get rid of all Bankers, Auto Industry, Insurance industry that make huge donations to a politicians election with the expectation of some big bailout in the future.  And they also make contributions to both parties during the same election.

      1. LiamBean profile image81
        LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I think we need to separate public banking from investment banking.  A little cushion between the two worked well with the Glass-Steagal act.

  16. paradigmsearch profile image60
    paradigmsearchposted 11 years ago

    Tax all dog owners $1,000 per dog. There are 72,114,000 household dogs in the US. So there's a quick 72 billion bucks right there.

    Tax all cat owners $1,000 per cat. There are  81,721,000 household cats in the US. So there's another quick 81 billion bucks.

    As for the remaining 15 trillion, I'll have to get back to you on that....

    (All Hubbers owning cats and dogs now hate paradigmsearch...)

    1. Don Fairchild profile image71
      Don Fairchildposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Oh fer cripes sake, lets tax SUV drivers that take up two parking spots too!!!  ha.

      1. paradigmsearch profile image60
        paradigmsearchposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        $5K each for them. I think we are on to something...

  17. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 11 years ago

    Here's some bad news from Matt Bai in today's NY Times:

    The problem here is that urging Mr. Obama not to join House Republicans in reducing entitlement spending is like pleading with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John not to reunite for a Christmas album. It’s just too late.

    Sure, there was a lot of specious debate during the campaign about which candidate would protect older people from the evil designs of the other. Mitt Romney claimed, dubiously, that Mr. Obama had raided sacred Medicare financing to pay for his health care plan. Mr. Obama said that Mr. Romney would follow the lead of his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan, and scrap Medicare altogether for future generations.

    But both candidates had to know how thoroughly disingenuous this debate really was. The fact is that Mr. Obama, during his “grand bargain” negotiations with the House speaker, John A. Boehner, in the summer of 2011, had already signed off on painful cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, even if he never once mentioned that during his re-election campaign. So he knew there was a deal to be had that would preserve — and perhaps even strengthen — these programs without destroying them.

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012 … ready-has/

  18. recommend1 profile image60
    recommend1posted 11 years ago

    All the various things discussed in this thread may or may not be useful to some degree or other.  The biggest has not been mentioned yet - cut the military to a normal size for defense and concentrate on home issues would do more than all these other 'things' put together.  Military spending is what crippled the USSR to the point of collapse, which was the whole point of the  'cold war' - maintaining the huge military built up in that era is heading the US to the same fate.

    Military spending only benefits the arms manufacturers and dealers - it does not benefit the country.

    1. LiamBean profile image81
      LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Nor does it benefit the citizen solider. We need to stop creating new war veterans.

  19. Drive By Quipper profile image56
    Drive By Quipperposted 11 years ago

    1. Admit we have gone broke. Sooner or later you have to quit taking stuff to the pawn shop and borrowing from relatives.

    2. Forget about credit and stay within budget.

    3. Reform the tax code - 10% across the board, no deductions. Tell Washington DC, "There, that is your budget for the year. Spend it wisely." This will automatically reign in the mad spending and stimulate the economy.

    1. Don Fairchild profile image71
      Don Fairchildposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hooray! you got it...   Have always been in favor of a fixed standard tax code applied to all.  Now how do we get it passed in Congress and the Pres.   Unfortunately the checks and balances employed in our government doesn't include the U.S. citizen.  Congress was supposed to represent us in Washington, so what happened with that theory....?

    2. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      No deductions is a non-starter politically. It's been tried and didn't work. Romney said he was going to save money by simplifying the tax code and doing away with some deductions, but he never got around to saying what deductions he would eliminate, for good reason--he would have been overwhelmed with objections from the groups, industries, special interests and people who would have been affected.

      Several people are saying now that the best approach would be to establish an overall cap or maximum on deductions and not try to eliminate e.g., the home mortgage interest deduction, or the charitable deduction.

    3. wilderness profile image93
      wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Unfortunately, with the supremely high quality of the politicians we elect, anything you give them will be gone by June.  Whereupon they will come back, hat in hand, declaring that we either give them more or they will shut down all government services.  Military, welfare, offices, parks, FBI - all chopped off if we don't pay more.  Because, after all, that new museum was important to the local residents where it was built.  Surely more so than keeping the Navy in fuel!  (They're right, too - a few thousands gallons of diesel oil in a Navy tanker won't buy nearly the votes that a new museum will).

  20. maab30 profile image61
    maab30posted 11 years ago

    What should be done about the fiscal cliff? In short, nothing.  There is no cliff, its a made up crisis. What will happen if no deal is made? Well the wealthy will see their taxes go up which is what economists say needs to happen anyway and while the the same will happen to the so called middle class, such a situation could be easily remedied. And finally the military will see its budget slashed which may not be a bad thing by the way. With two wars ending and the cold war long since over, its really difficult to justify the bloated military spending from both parties. In fact we spend more on our military than China, Russia, England and the rest of the EU combined. So yes cuts in military spending is needed anyway.

    If President Barack Obama does nothing now, he will put himself in a better position of getting future deals done. For example if he puts forth a plan fore middle class and small business tax cuts only, the Republicans will not risk pissing off the electorate so close to the mid-terms. And in the end Medicare and Medicaid along with SSI will not face cut one. 

    http://front.moveon.org/so-what-the-hec … ?sdf=sdfds

    1. innersmiff profile image63
      innersmiffposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      MoveOn is severely misinformed if not maliciously so. There is a significant crisis and it is inevitable. The question is how bad is it going to be? This article argues that if government spending isn't cut by half, it'll be quite horrific.

      "The truth about Budgets both left and right"

      1. LiamBean profile image81
        LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Yup. Horrific. Just like those obscene expenditures during World War II. A war that was finally fully paid off in the late 60s or early 70s.

        Of course, we haven't had a two front war since and will likely never have one again. What? What's that you say? We just had a two front war? Oh. My mistake.

        Come on man. It's about as artificial as it can be. So tax rates go up January 1, 2013. When are they due; right then and there or at the end of the year?

        1. Don Fairchild profile image71
          Don Fairchildposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          LiamBean and Moveon, what part of 16 trillion in debt don't you understand?

          1. LiamBean profile image81
            LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Don, what part of tax breaks for the rich, Medicare part D, and two unfunded wars don't you understand?

            1. Don Fairchild profile image71
              Don Fairchildposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              You don't understand my position, (BTW, you are up early this morning)
              I WANT to tax the rich, I want them to pay their fair share according to the tax tables as they are described now!!  The tax rates for incomes over say 150k is greater than %35, but due to all the loopholes in that tax laws, I challenge you to find anybody other than lottery winners who have paid greater than say 15%.....  Practically nobody including corporations pays anywhere near what the tax tables say they should be paying.   This has to stop and raising the tax rate for the rich is NOT going to fix that problem.   
              Get rid of the tax loopholes and watch the debt go down, while commerce increases prices on goods because they will be pissed off that we are on to them.

              1. LiamBean profile image81
                LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Hey Don, my apologies, it's been a busy day. You have a point and having brought it up you have caused me to think about it beyond just thinking "no, that's wrong," and discounting it without a second thought.

                The biggest deductions most of us have (or are familiar with) are the interest deduction and the tax deduction on a home. I started thinking about why those were allowed.

                I believe this was implemented right after the second world war. The idea was to promote family growth and the raising of children. An incentive to returning service members to add to the population. I believe the majority of home owners have children in college or on their own these days. This is also why property tax, back then, was tied to funding schools. The reasoning being as homeowners these people had children and should have been the ones paying for those schools. Very logical and appropriate.

                But the demographic changed; these tie-ins no longer exists as it once did. Those who can afford a home are no longer primarily parents raising a family. Just as it no longer makes sense to use property taxes to funds schools that have very little to do with them.

                I believe most deductions are tied to the conditions of the past and no longer apply to the demographic they were intended to serve. This may be one of those things MItt Romney had right (as reluctant as I am to say that), but there it is.

                1. Don Fairchild profile image71
                  Don Fairchildposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  LiamBean, thanks for the reconsideration.  It is appreciated.
                  This isn't the first time that I have felt that I am a punching bag between the two extreme sides of political groups.  Really, all this arguing about who should pay more taxes is disturbing when you consider that one side has introduced so many loopholes in the tax code that regardless of how high the tax rate is published, these people and corporations are paying next to nothing.

                  Then the other side raises taxes on the rich, but at what point do the tables increase their rates?  Nobody will tell us.  Sure they all say, "only the rich over $250K  will see an increase, but in fact the table grow linearly starting and the lowest end like around $10k income.  BUT, do you think anybody will let us look at the new tax tables before they are actually implemented?  I don't think so.

  21. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 11 years ago

    11-16-12NYTimes--"Life and Death Deficits?" Paul Krugman

        Life, Death and Deficits - NYTimes.com

       "Raising the retirement age on Social Security and Medicare would be a harsh blow to Americans in the bottom half of the income distribution."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/16/opini … n&_r=0

  22. Xenonlit profile image60
    Xenonlitposted 11 years ago

    I agree that the best way to deal with their fake deficit crisis is to get red of those wacky right wingers at the national government level. They mostly come from welfare, or federal revenue negative states and they contribute more to the deficit than they take away. They also engage in destructive behavior for no better reason than being incompetent and dumb. I say make them pay for wasting our federal funds while acting silly in the House of Representatives or impeach them.

    The second best way is to end the concept of "corporations as individuals". Corporate influence over our government policy has overridden the will of the people and is driving up our deficit to benefit greedy investors and executives.

    Corporations are also getting government subsidies while they make insane profits and pay sickening salaries to the top executives. This would take a third chunk out of our deficit load.

    1. LiamBean profile image81
      LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I was struck by an idea. Now to be fair, this idea may be just so much porcine mikvah, but it seems to me Representatives can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. I don't know if the following fits the definition of high crime, but it most certainly is a misdemeanor if not an outright act of treason.

      Earlier this year the House attempted to pass a bill, with no chance of passing the Senate, at least thirty-three times. It has been estimated that each attempt cost the American taxpayer 1.5 million dollars, but this is based on the assumption that the House works at least 360 days per year, which we all know, isn't even close to the actual number of work days.

      Though I'm finding it difficult to locate an actual hard number, I doubt the House has met more than 120 days this year. That's 1/3 year making the actual cost per failed vote closer to 4.5 million dollars per effort.

      I will be generous and discount the first two attempts to kill the A.C.A. which leaves the other thirty-one attempts as a pure waste of taxpayer funds; with no repercussions....so far. That means that the House wasted at least thirty-one days on an effort that had no chance of passage at (I'll be conservative here) 4 million dollars a pop. That's a grand total of one hundred twenty-four million dollars total. $124,000,000. An odd move by a party claiming fiscal responsibility.

      Now if that isn't criminal it should be.

      1. Don Fairchild profile image71
        Don Fairchildposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        LiamBean, I like your idea of jailing some politicians for incompetence and outrageous spending.
        Unfortunately they are nearly a majority of voters, who believe the lies that these politicians are feeding them.  Sadly they only have to "buy" a few more votes to put them over the edge and now they justify their crimes in the name of democracy.  When ever I read some of the rationale expurgated by these individuals I think of some of the crime shows on TV where the police catch a drug addict with a baggy of dope in his pocket and he vehemently  claims that it doesn't belong to him and has no idea of where it came from.  Talk about head in the sand ignorance, well that is what we have to deal with these days.
        Absolute denial of the obvious, No Boundries, No Rules, No compassion, No sense of right and wrong.

        1. LiamBean profile image81
          LiamBeanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Don. Impressive. This is why you are a writer. I can't rebut this, refute it, or attempt to argue with it. All I can say is "I'm impressed."

    2. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Speaking of "sickening salaries," this one takes the cake: by Gretchen Morgenson:

      "SHAREHOLDERS get little say on executive pay. Yes, they can get angry. But they can rarely get even.

      "A million-share “retention award” vaulted David Simon to the No. 2 spot among the highest-paid chief executives in the 2011 compensation derby.

      "One big investor, the Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System, wants to change that. Its target is the Simon Property Group of Indianapolis. Last year, that company granted its chief executive, David Simon, a stock award worth $120 million..."

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/busin … f=business

  23. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 11 years ago

    "Slugging It Out: Inside Obama's Mind"

    "Here is the dialogue, as I imagine it, between the two policy wonks — the Moderate Obama and the Liberal Obama — struggling for control of the president’s soul....":

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/busin … ebate.html

  24. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 11 years ago

    Here's a little economics lesson on the deficit from Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize economist:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/26/opini … n&_r=0


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