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Thread: President Obama seeks $3 trillion to $4 trillion in cuts

  1. #11
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    Re: President Obama seeks $3 trillion to $4 trillion in cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    I'll take it along with a debt ceiling increase, but this is pittience and if past suggestions by the President are looked at there's a good chance this "3 to 4 trillion" is similar to how Dan Snyder is paying Albert Haynesworth "100 million" dolalrs (IE, he isn't).

    If it is ACTUALY 350 billion dollars every year, that's good. Not great, good. However, if its a few billion for the first 4 or 5 years and its all back loaded into years 5 through 10, years which could easily be ignored through additional legislation after the fact, then its rather useless.

    Not to mention knocking our average 1 trillion addition to the debt down to 650 billion per year, while like I said is good, is hardly great and still by the end of the decade leaves us with 6.5 trillion of additional debt instead of 10 trillion.

    Still, its something and IF its not backloaded it's more than was done during the budget debate earlier this year. IF we could hit around the 4 Trillion mark which is within both Obama's (3-4T) and Boehners (4-5T) range and its not all backloaded, I'd be fine with the Republicans agreeing to such now and then beginning the fight for more significant cuts on the 2012 budget.

    If its majorly backloaded and basically assures that it'll never see the light of day, then its worthless.
    I haven't really looked over it, but I'd be amazed if it wasn't enormously backloaded. Obamacare worked pretty much the same way. The "trillion dollar savings over ten years" kicked in somewhere around the six year mark IIRC. What we need are policies that will reduce the deficit right now. Actually, scratch that. What we needed were policies that would have reduced the deficit two years ago. Now we're pretty much screwed.
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    Re: President Obama seeks $3 trillion to $4 trillion in cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    I don't think this is going to help.

    It's too little too late and what is needed is comprehensive changes across the board, Starting with dumping unions, because they are a major part of the problems from Coast to Coast.

    Next cut all Government pay rates including Obama and all of Congress and their perks.

    Bring all defense contracts home to give Americans the jobs.

    Stop all the crazy stimulus spending because it has shown to be a failed policy.

    There is much more that can be done and none of it is about raising taxes because we know it hurts more than it helps.
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    I also like how in the same breath you criticize the stimulus, then demand the return of defense contracts to US companies to create jobs.

    Ooook. I know there's more to the stimulus than the hiring of companies by the gov't, although that was a big part of it, especially in construction. So why would it work in defense spending but not other spending, its the same theory. Hire companies to do a job beyond their means, pay them in advance, thus forcing them to hire more people using the money you've paid them already.

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    Re: President Obama seeks $3 trillion to $4 trillion in cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    Next cut all Government pay rates including Obama and all of Congress and their perks.
    As a government employee, already making less than my equivilent in the private sector, I'd be willing to take a 5 to 10% salary cut OR a 5 year hold on COL increases (but not both) IF it would also apply to Obama and the Congress. After the last budget crisis when our COL was cut and we were going to be essentially locked out without pay...and yet Congress still gets paid...it left a very bad taste in my mouth. I'm fine with a reasonable reduction in pay for the federal work force, but the legislators should feel it too.

    However, I cannot help but think reducing pay would be the worser of two options regarding federal employement and the costs of it. I would think a reduction of the labor force, a change to a pay banding system over the entire government, or moving more positions to a lower level one if the job doens't warrant the position would be better. Cutting the money, especially at the lower ends which are more out of whack with the private sector equivilent in terms of duties than the higher ends are, just further reduces the incentive to get educated, skilled people working in the public sector which leads to needing more people to cover for it. By not continuing to cut pay but rather attempting to attract skilled people, you should be able to reduce the amount of employees while keeping producitivity relatively the same. A 20% cut of one persons pay is not as good as the removal of an entire positions pay, benefits, etc.

    The government could:

    1. Move to a Pay Band system across the board. It illiminates the automatic step increaes or moves to a higher GS scale.

    2. Instititute a 1 for every 2 hiring method until an agency is reduced by 5% of its total employees. IE you can fill one position for every 2 positions vacated.

    3. Create a temporary independent review panel that over the next 3 years would identify which agencies could suffer an additional 5-15% cut of personnel and impose the suggested cuts on that agency in similar method, upping the 2nd number as deemed necessary (so perhaps 1 for every 3, etc)

    4. This may seem counter productive because its creating a new group of jobs in the government, but I think the net effect would be beneficial. Create a new unit within the Office of Personnel Management that reviews the job duties listed in the announcement of any federal job that is being posted and determine whether said position is listed at the correct Band Level and title based on its duties and responsabilities. If it is not, the position is instead changed to the appropriate band and position.

    5. A 5 year reduction in COL increase, where whatever said increase would be is halved (So if it'd be a 1.5% it'd be a .75%).

    6. A change to the average of your high 5 years instead of your high 3 with regards to the pention.

    I think doing that would cut the amount needed for funding government employment more than a flat decrease in salary while not having as much of an impact on the quality and efficiency of the work.

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    Re: President Obama seeks $3 trillion to $4 trillion in cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Baralis View Post
    3-4 Trillion over a decade sounds like a great idea but is anyone really buying that? Even if they actually cut it by that much without accounting manipulation to show a better result then will actually be achieved, within the decade we will just add more spending and will probably gain little.

    But its a start!
    3-4 Trillion over a decade sounds like a drip in a lake of debt.

    In 1967 long-run forecasts estimated that Medicare would cost about $12 billion by 1990. In reality, it cost more than $98 billion that year. Today it costs $500 billion. (SOURCE)
    So basically they are talking of 8 years of medicaid (IF IT STAYS THE SAME - it won't!) saved over 10 years.

    Even the politicians say THIS IS JUST A START! No one understands how bad it REALLY is!

    ... big deal! a few trillion! That equals more than $1,923,076,923. (nearly 2 billion a week for 10 years) ... and that is just a start? and no one understands how critical this is!
    Last edited by LoudAmerican; 07-07-11 at 09:48 AM.

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    Re: President Obama seeks $3 trillion to $4 trillion in cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    I haven't really looked over it, but I'd be amazed if it wasn't enormously backloaded. Obamacare worked pretty much the same way. The "trillion dollar savings over ten years" kicked in somewhere around the six year mark IIRC. What we need are policies that will reduce the deficit right now. Actually, scratch that. What we needed were policies that would have reduced the deficit two years ago. Now we're pretty much screwed.
    Yep. Its a political trick that is used so often in sports that most savy sports fans will know it and expect it immedietely. Backloaded contracts are the norm, and it seems to be becoming the norm for trying to claim huge numbers on political issues when in reality, just like those contracts, the people will never see that money.

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    Re: President Obama seeks $3 trillion to $4 trillion in cuts

    IMO, the debt ceiling needs to be raised to avoid what would be a completely self-inflicted crisis were it not increased.

    I would prefer credible fiscal consolidation. The figures cited would constitute good progress in that direction if they are incorporated into legislation that contains the appropriate policy parameters to bring about the savings and if the savings are not overly backloaded.

    If, however, one finds that, for example, Medicare savings would be achieved through increased efficiencies brought about by technology/reduced waste, fraud, or abuse, then the numbers could be somewhat illusory. If the savings are expressed largely in the form of targets/goals with the policy details to be enacted later, again problems would arise, as there would be no assurance that the necessary policy changes would ultimately be adopted.

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    Re: President Obama seeks $3 trillion to $4 trillion in cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    What the hell do unions have to do with the Federal Government, federal employees can't unionize...
    I don't think that's true. You have the AFL-CIO, the AFGE, NTEU, and others. I know its been a huge thing for a while with TSA trying to become unionized with the screeners. I don't think that's correct...

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    Re: President Obama seeks $3 trillion to $4 trillion in cuts

    Wow ... you are on the other side of the fence from me! I totally disagree with this post!
    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    IMO, the debt ceiling needs to be raised to avoid what would be a completely self-inflicted crisis were it not increased.
    The crisis is to raise it - if you have credit cards maxed out - why would getting more credit be a fix? How is THAT credible fiscal consolidation?

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    I would prefer credible fiscal consolidation. The figures cited would constitute good progress in that direction if they are incorporated into legislation that contains the appropriate policy parameters to bring about the savings and if the savings are not overly backloaded.
    a lot of gobbledygook ...
    • credible fiscal consolidation by raising a debt limit?
    • if they are incorporated into legislation that contains the appropriate policy parameters What legislation do you propose? Don't you understand that LEGISLATION is what has this country all messed up?
    • bring about the savings ... back to your opinion on raising the debt limit - that is NOT a savings!
    • savings are not overly backloaded Like ObamaCare bill which had stuff unrelated to healthcare
    • If, however, one finds that, for example, Medicare savings would be achieved through increased efficiencies brought about by technology/reduced waste, fraud, or abuse, then the numbers could be somewhat illusory. in other words if someone who had the ability to do what no one has done - it could fix things!

    this makes no sense
    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    If, however, one finds that, for example, Medicare savings would be achieved through increased efficiencies brought about by technology/reduced waste, fraud, or abuse, then the numbers could be somewhat illusory. If the savings are expressed largely in the form of targets/goals with the policy details to be enacted later, again problems would arise, as there would be no assurance that the necessary policy changes would ultimately be adopted.
    To fix Medicare? Medicare is the government sponsored insurance you have to buy when you are on Medicaid.

    How about getting medicaid into an insurance policy and out of government control?
    That would clear up to 5 trillion in ten years - Medicaid will cost $500 billion a year ... this year!

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    Re: President Obama seeks $3 trillion to $4 trillion in cuts

    To be fair...

    If you have your CC's maxed out and your payment on your house, your utilities, your other monthly expenses you're locked into, on top of your CC payments then you're able to at least enter bankruptcy that is far more leinent and less damaging to yourself and your family than the options for it that hte government has. So while in principle, I agree and we need to move away from even getting to a point where we need to constantly be having this debate....it can't be compared as a 1:1 exact analog.

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    Re: President Obama seeks $3 trillion to $4 trillion in cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by LoudAmerican View Post
    Wow ... you are on the other side of the fence from me! I totally disagree with this post!
    The nation is not in a position to instantly balance the budget. There is no way that the country can immediately cut around 40% of its expenditures without a severe disruptive impact on its programs/services and on the broader economy. A transition will be needed. Not raising the debt ceiling would require just such an outcome. At the same time, there would be the added risk that the government could not roll over all of its maturing debt, leading to additional outlays to stave off default. Moreover, monthly revenue and month expenditures/monthly debt maturity do not match in terms of timing, creating additional cashflow-related issues.

    The crisis is to raise it - if you have credit cards maxed out - why would getting more credit be a fix? How is THAT credible fiscal consolidation?
    Fiscal consolidation is the path that would lead to a sustainable fiscal situation. Credible fiscal consolidation would tackle the imbalances associated with the mandatory spending programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security).

    [*]credible fiscal consolidation by raising a debt limit?
    Raising the debt ceiling and fiscal consolidation are separate issues. They are not synonymous.

    [*]if they are incorporated into legislation that contains the appropriate policy parameters What legislation do you propose? Don't you understand that LEGISLATION is what has this country all messed up?
    The mandatory spending programs won't magically become reformed. Legislation will be required to change premiums/payments, eligibility criteria, benefit structure, etc. None of that would happen all by itself without legislation. Maybe in some countries, the leader could order such changes, but not in the U.S. The legislative process is the only means by which those programs can be restructured.

    [*]bring about the savings ... back to your opinion on raising the debt limit - that is NOT a savings!
    Raising the debt ceiling and savings from fiscal consolidation are separate matters. The debt ceiling would be raised to avoid an immediate crisis. The savings would be achieved from agreeing on a fiscal consolidation path that would be carried out over a number of years.

    [*]savings are not overly backloaded Like ObamaCare bill which had stuff unrelated to healthcare
    Overly backloaded savings usually means that they won't materialize. That has been a common practice. Resorting to that device would undermine the credibility of any fiscal consolidation program.

    [*]If, however, one finds that, for example, Medicare savings would be achieved through increased efficiencies brought about by technology/reduced waste, fraud, or abuse, then the numbers could be somewhat illusory. in other words if someone who had the ability to do what no one has done - it could fix things!
    The reality is that policy makers have cited savings from efficiency or technology as a "catch all" to avoid making difficult choices. Usually, those savings never materialize, because the assumptions are way too optimistic. I don't expect all the programs to be reformed overnight. I do expect steps in that direction. One step would include increasing the age of eligibility for Social Security and then tying it to life expectancy changes. Another would include tying Social Security benefits to the CPI (or some broader measure of inflation e.g., PCE deflator) rather than wage changes. Ultimately, Medicare reform will, in part, depend on broader health care reform that tackles the system's excessive cost growth problem.

    To fix Medicare? Medicare is the government sponsored insurance you have to buy when you are on Medicaid.
    Medicare and Medicaid are separate programs. Medicare is the program for older persons. Medicaid is the program for low-income persons. There is some overlap e.g., Medicaid helps pay for nursing home costs.

    How about getting medicaid into an insurance policy and out of government control?
    That would clear up to 5 trillion in ten years - Medicaid will cost $500 billion a year ... this year!
    Those are issues that will be required in the overall reform debate that will have to take place down the road. Reforms to those programs will need to occur in the context of broader health care reform that deals with the excessive cost growth problem (far broader than just Medicare/Medicaid). Unless that problem is tackled, the result of privatization would merely be a shifting of costs to individuals with a much higher incidence of uninsurance. If, on the other hand, the government retains the programs, the result would be rising costs and reduced coverage (de facto uninsurance). Medicare and Medicaid reform will not be viable without addressing the excessive cost growth problem.

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