The War on Arithmatic

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  1. Doug Hughes profile image60
    Doug Hughesposted 12 years ago

    "On Thursday, House Republicans released their “Pledge to America,” supposedly outlining their policy agenda. In essence, what they say is, “Deficits are a terrible thing. Let’s make them much bigger.” The document repeatedly condemns federal debt — 16 times, by my count. But the main substantive policy proposal is to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, which independent estimates say would add about $3.7 trillion to the debt over the next decade — about $700 billion more than the Obama administration’s tax proposals.

    True, the document talks about the need to cut spending. But as far as I can see, there’s only one specific cut proposed — canceling the rest of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which Republicans claim (implausibly) would save $16 billion. That’s less than half of 1 percent of the budget cost of those tax cuts. As for the rest, everything must be cut, in ways not specified — “except for common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops.” In other words, Social Security, Medicare and the defense budget are off-limits.

    So what’s left? Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while simultaneously (a) making the Bush tax cuts permanent and (b) protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t cut, is to completely abolish the rest of the federal government: “No more national parks, no more Small Business Administration loans, no more export subsidies, no more N.I.H. No more Medicaid (one-third of its budget pays for long-term care for our parents and others with disabilities). No more child health or child nutrition programs. No more highway construction. No more homeland security. Oh, and no more Congress.”

    The “pledge,” then, is nonsense..."

    This isn't an opinion from a lightweight. Paul Krugman wan the Nobel Prize in economics, To read the whole article.... … mp;emc=rss

    1. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      How 'bout the war on spelling?  lol

      Anyway, there are other ways to cut.  Like sections of the space program,  nonsensical research programs (I'm sure we can all figure out some of those, like maybe research into why cockroaches live so long), some ancient-focused geological projects that have nothing to do with jobs for the average American, replacing all the "green" crap with laws allowing us to use our natural resources while also implementing safety rules, funding legitimate professions like farm loans with the confiscated former salaries of nuts like Van Jones and Pelosi, lots of things I'm sure.  big_smile

      I've read the Pledge.  It's not nonsense.  Matter of fact, it doesn't lean as far Right as I'd like for it to.  But it calls for the repeal of Obama's health plan.  That in itself is a step in the right direction.

      1. Doug Hughes profile image60
        Doug Hughesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Some people you can always count on for a cognative disconnect.

        The math of the pledge does not add up. You can't cut taxes - maintian popular and essential programs. (Social Security and Medicare)  fund the war machine at current levels  AND cut the deficit. It does not all up. It's either fluff - or an outright lie - or it's the intent of the GOP to cut life support for seniors in Medicare aand/or SS. That's the math.

        1. Pcunix profile image93
          Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Of course it's a lie.  It is the GOP, remember?

      2. alternate poet profile image66
        alternate poetposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        It is hardly a suprise to see from your post that you are as mathematically challenged as you are spiritually barren.

        1. profile image0
          Brenda Durhamposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I wuv you too alternate poet.

          1. profile image0
            zampanoposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Some prose to change from poetry ?
            looks like some litigation is running around here.

            1. profile image0
              Brenda Durhamposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Take me away from this!  Tell me to write another poem!  LOL
              Good diversion, zampano.  I'm also getting tired.  It must be way late there!   Do you have toothpicks propping up your eyelids?  wink

      3. profile image0
        sandra rinckposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        How easily your are convinced! lol.  Yes, they plan to repeal Obama's health plan and then put them right back in. lol The idea is that it can only be 'good' if the Republican's do it.

        So instead of letting it stand just the way it is, they plan to waste more of your money on repealing it just so they can put them right back in.  All Obama's health care bill is missing is the "republican" stamp so they can take credit for it and then lie about it in the future.

      4. profile image0
        GladYaMetMe!posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Farmer Wisdom:

        "Never try to teach pigs to sing; it wastes your time and only irritates the pigs!"

        But you can put lipstick on 'em . . . just like Sarah Palin!

        1. profile image0
          sandra rinckposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Nice pig... I mean pic. big_smile

          1. Ralph Deeds profile image65
            Ralph Deedsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            It'll take a lot of lipstick to take care of all the pigs in the GOP. Ladies, you'd better lay in a supply before it's all gone from your local Walgreen's.

            1. rebekahELLE profile image86
              rebekahELLEposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              lol  you may be right Ralph. I do need some fall colors!

              I found this article interesting the other day discussing the politics of the founders in contrast to what the tea partiers keep saying.
              it reminds me of the myth about George Washington cutting down the cherry tree and not telling a lie to his father.
              it was simply a tale written by an author (a parson) to give Washington a warmer, honorable quality.
     … ernow.html

              1. Ralph Deeds profile image65
                Ralph Deedsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                I just finished reading that article. The Libertarians, Tea Partiers and Scaliaphone "original interters," apparently aren't aware that the argument was settled 300 years ago when Washington and Hamilton prevailed over Jefferson and Madison over the founding of the first federal bank which was the precursor of the Federal Reserve. There's been a lot of water over the dam since then.

      5. Ralph Deeds profile image65
        Ralph Deedsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Van Jones? I think he's gone thanks to the right wingnuts.

        1. profile image0
          Brenda Durhamposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Who knows where he's been placed now?

          I'm sure the conservative public would say you're welcome Ralph for thanking them for ousting Van Jones; and yes thanks to the right-wingers, a communist unpatriotic ulterior-agenda community organizer is out of public office.  One down, several more to go.

    2. Ralph Deeds profile image65
      Ralph Deedsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      That pretty well sums up the phony "Pledge to America." Unfortunately Krugman's columns are rarely picked up by other newspapers. He has been right on every call on the recession and what it will take to bet the economy back on track (more and better targeted stimulus).

    3. weholdthesetruths profile image61
      weholdthesetruthsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      LOL, "Krugman"?   you can get better analysis from reading bird droppings.

    4. weholdthesetruths profile image61
      weholdthesetruthsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Doug, your post could be more accurately titled "My war on intelligence".

  2. Mighty Mom profile image80
    Mighty Momposted 12 years ago

    Child nutrition, child health, highway construction, national parks, even Medicaid I can live without.
    But no more CONGRESS?????!!!!!!!
    They can't do that -- can they???
    It would be, well, it would be unconstitutional, that's what!!!

  3. Evan G Rogers profile image59
    Evan G Rogersposted 12 years ago

    cut spending AND cut taxes.

    Now THAT would be revolutionary (you hear that, Tea Party?!)

  4. Mighty Mom profile image80
    Mighty Momposted 12 years ago

    Just curious, Brenda. Where do you get your health coverage from and what would you do if suddenly the job of the person who supplies it (yours, spouse's) was suddenly gone?
    Any preexisting conditions (other than those mentioned in the above posts) that might exclude you from being eligible for health coverage? Have you ever thought about this?
    How would you pay for it? Do you have any concept of what health insurance costs for an individual plan?
    Is there any particular reason you wish for 46 million Americans to be denied what you seem to take for granted?
    And not for anything, but how can you justify such a stance with your christianity? Would Jesus approve?
    Does not compute!

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I don't know if she knows the story about the Good Samaritan.

    2. Doug Hughes profile image60
      Doug Hughesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      On the subject of Repealing Health Care Reform - Consider the  final estimates from the CBO -

      "CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation will produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010-2019 period."

      "CBO and JCT estimate that by 2019, the two pieces of legislation combined will reduce the number of nonelderly people who are uninsured by about 32 million.."

      Further estimates by the CBO suggest a reduction in the deficit for the 2nd decade about a half of one percent of GDP - in the neighborhood of a TRILLION dollars. The reverse is just as true - repealing health care will INCREASE the deficit by over a TRILLION dollars.

      1. weholdthesetruths profile image61
        weholdthesetruthsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        You just posted the greatest mathematical fiction of our time.   

        You're complaining about something from a political party...  But you didn't ever compare the alternative, which is to continue the pure insanity going on.  Expecting Democrats to suddenly get religion and find fiscal prudence attractive would be the definition of insanity.   We've been waiting for 60 years and it hasn't happened yet. 

        Even the slightest examination of the federal budget, the projections based on demographics and future earnings, that there is no possible way to continue as it is.  Within my expected lifetime, just social security and related entitlements will consume all possible extractable wealth from the public, and there will be nothing left for ANY other governmental purpose.   

        Bug Democrats just pretend that they can "tax the rich" to continue the spending.   No voter will vote for "tax me for it", so Democrats campaign on 'taxing someone else" to pay the bill.   Class warfare does sell to one of the narrow slices of small minded people,  but it's mostly used as a tool to excuse wanton spending as 'someone else's duty to pay" besides the voter. 

        No matter, it is a shell game, with no rational governance expected at the end, just endless spending in effort to continue to buy votes from the intellectually lazy.   

        But this is the mindset in Washington DC.   In has become the ideology of the Democrats, and widely accepted by the GOP.   Which is why the TEA Party exists.   Whatever cause it was that caused this rabid irrationality to become the means of governance is historical and hard to pin down.   What isn't hard to understand, is that reality must now displace the mindset in Washington, and all Democrats plus the infected GOP need to be immediately and summarily dismissed, and replaced with anyone who still retains a grasp on reality, as it concerns our federal government's financial affairs.   

        Bush had a Harvard MBA.. No intellectual slouch there, but he still went along with the Democrats.    It's as if there's some kind of drug in the water or disease that debilitates the mind once one reaches DC, and it seems to be caught by associating with long term politicians. 

        And then there's the laughable Krugman, whose columns are desperately poor propaganda, but could never pass off as rational in the real world.   Still published and followed by the Beltway crowd.   In retrospect, the TEA Party event was inevitable.   Even for the non political, the insanity in Washington has reached the level of "you have got to be out your mind!"  We as home makers, business people, whatever ( the average TEA Party person is more educated, successful, and happier than the average voter ), the solution is obvious, and the fact that our thought is by far the majority of thought, IS going to result in change in DC, and it's going be the kind of change any rational person do... "Whatever it takes to get things under control".   

        Factually, that will have to do with either abolishing or completely restructuring Social Security into a small, means tested and limited budget program which provides benefits only to the otherwise hopeless (handicapped, etc) and abolition of the endless aphabet soup of spending agencies whose actual value and benefit are too small to be observable, or whose role has become redundant or archaic.   

        Just as any business does in hard times,  it restructures to reduce overhead, reduce management, reduce redundancy, and operates with far less non productive expenditures and far less dead weight collecting paychecks and producing nothing. 

        Hurt?   Yeah.  I'm perfectly willing that they take away every benefit of every current and former federal politician except president and possibly VP, and slash the benefits of all federal workers to below industry levels.    To wholesale eliminate most federal agencies, and then to simply abolish the IRS and move to a retail only sales tax.   

        Thus, never again, can runaway spending be sold as "someone else will be forced to pay for it".

    3. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Actually, I don't have health care coverage at this time.  When I worked for years, I kept health insurance (actually, for a long time my employer provided free health insurance permiums, and us employees paid the rest of the costs when we needed health care).
      During the last few years since I haven't been working, we lost health insurance as hubby changed jobs. It's astronomically high.
      So I'm in the same boat as many other people are.
      I don't want anyone to be denied access to health care.  What I oppose is health care coverage being mandated, and health care coverage being so high that people cannot afford it.

      Is there any reason you wish for 46 million people to be FINED by the government for NOT cowing down under a law that Obama proposed and is trying to enforce upon us and our future generations?  Any law should originate from the people when there is a need, not originate from the top down and be mandated through the bullying process that Obama put Congress through.

      I think that by now, the health care system could have been reformed, fraud exposed and cut out, and the Medicare and Medicaid kept in use for seniors and the disabled and veterans and etc., without all this carp that's being imposed upon us.

        Do you know what caused the whole hoopla?-----FRAUD!--the system of hospitals being able to charge astronomical prices for one pill or one test, the system of hospitals and doctors being able to give discounts to patients without insurance yet billing the insurance of those who are covered at even higher prices;  perhaps even the treatment of ILLEGALS who shouldn't even be here;  perhaps giving free coverage to mothers with a dozen children just because they're a minority race;   I know that by the time I quit my job several years ago, all those factors had started coming into play, including jobs being outsourced to other Nations and illegals being offered work when legitimate workers wouldn't meet the overbearing demands of employers.

      During that time even my employer had told us that he would have to quit providing full insurance premiums for us, that we'd have to pay for part, or maybe all, of it....

      There was also the factor of easy credit (during that time, there were loans being offered freely by mail to people, high-interest-rate loans of course), bankruptcies became rampant, including the  usual allowance to file against all one's medical bills and be free of those!, and people in general seemed to think it was okay to rack up oodles of bills intentionally because they knew they could write them off in bankruptcy, and, usually, still keep their house and car, etc.

  5. Mighty Mom profile image80
    Mighty Momposted 12 years ago

    Well, Doug.
    That's all very nice(and quite relevant on a forum thread about arithmetic).
    But c'mon. You know as well as I do that the health reform is going to put the insurance companies out of business. So really, it's just another job killer!

    1. Doug Hughes profile image60
      Doug Hughesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      If HCR was going to put the insurance companies out of business, stock prices of medical insurance companies should have dropped after reform passed. The reverse happened - stock prices in the big insurance companies went U after final passage.

  6. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 12 years ago

    you do realize that the GOP will change medicare and social security. all of the changes that just went into place yesterday will be repealed only because they want to do it their way. it makes me ill that the republican party has turned into an arrogant bunch of selfish nay-sayers who had no plans of working together in congress from the moment Obama was elected. they planned all of this. it's not about the people anymore, it's about power. they want Obama to fail. so they have done everything they can to make it look that way. they have failed the people that elected them into office by refusing to work together.
    and it's not november yet.

  7. Mighty Mom profile image80
    Mighty Momposted 12 years ago

    Thank you, Brenda, for answering my question so honestly.
    I agree with you about many of the factors you cite for why health care costs are so astronomical.
    I do disagree, tho, on the basic tenet of the intent of HC reform. I believe health care legislation is in response to a HUGE need. 46 million Americans living in fear of getting sick or worse yet, being hospitalized. Declaring bankruptcy is not something many people take lightly. And yet, what choice would you have or I have if faced with a $150,000 hospital bill?
    The emergency room was never intended as a source of "primary, non-emergency care." And yet that is the sad reality for many people who don't have insurance.
    Anyway, people need access to medical care. It's really that simple. So
    Why the emphasis on fining people? Wouldn't you welcome having the peace of mind of health coverage again if it didn't cost an arm and a leg???

    1. alternate poet profile image66
      alternate poetposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      big_smile big_smile big_smile   I hope you meant to do that !!  kinda sums up the whole argument nicely big_smile

    2. Doug Hughes profile image60
      Doug Hughesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with Brenda to the extent that people who have medical insurance or medicare pay more to offset the cost of providing emergency medical care for the uninsured. If everyone WAS insured, then that would not be the case.

      1. weholdthesetruths profile image61
        weholdthesetruthsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Medicare pays so little, that the UNINSURED transfer less costs than the medicare recipient, because MOST uninsured can and do pay bills.   Medicare universally stiffs the providers by reimbursing negligible compared to actual costs and is by far the single largest source of cost transfer.

  8. profile image0
    GladYaMetMe!posted 12 years ago

    Sorry Sandra, didn't spot your post!

    Thank you!

  9. AnnCee profile image67
    AnnCeeposted 12 years ago

    "Some people you can always count on for a cognative disconnect."

    "It is hardly a suprise to see from your post that you are as mathematically challenged as you are spiritually barren."

    Fast attack much, liberal lie lovers?  I believe this system has a spell check function by the way.

  10. anime_nanet profile image59
    anime_nanetposted 12 years ago

    I dont give a shit about any of this caralho!

  11. Jonathan Janco profile image62
    Jonathan Jancoposted 12 years ago

    Repeal the law that allows millionaire con-artists to keep their money and assets after being convicted of defrauding consumers. After that, eliminate all the freeloaders that take money from the Pentagon system by posing as defense contractors. Do both of those things and you won't have to cut anything.


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