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Thread: What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report

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    Re: What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    You cant pay of a national debt.. it is impossible. A country, like a company and people in general, need debt to do the day to day funding. People use credit cards, companies use credit lines and countries also need to have a certain amount of debt to function. This debt is both internally but also externally.
    while I agree it's implausible, I certainly see no reason why a debt free government is impossible. Indiana, for example, is currently enjoying a big fat emergency fund, rather than the debt-struggle we see in the other states.

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    Re: What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report

    Quote Originally Posted by ARealConservative View Post
    our total debt went up every year. I've been over the proof many times, I've come to understand zombies are all around me and want to believe what they want to believe.

    I think this guy explains it in a manner everyone should get if they actually cared to see the truth.

    The Myth of the Clinton Surplus
    Excellent link that was very informative, thank you. It should have ended any debate about the Clinton surplus but it appears many didn't read it or chose to ignore what they read.

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    Re: What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    while I agree it's implausible, I certainly see no reason why a debt free government is impossible. Indiana, for example, is currently enjoying a big fat emergency fund, rather than the debt-struggle we see in the other states.
    I agree. A debt-free country would be probably improbable, but not impossible. I think there are some countries that are actually debt-free, but I'm not quite sure
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    Re: What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    "Go out and go shopping"

    Thanks W. That was a great plan.
    It was a better plan than let's go to war for a decade.

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    Re: What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Paying off the national debt would not be a good idea. It would mean that we were consistently running a surplus. That's fine during economic booms, but it's the last thing you want to do when the economy is in the doldrums. If you want to stimulate the economy, run a deficit (e.g. raise spending and/or cut taxes). If you want to put the brakes on the economy, run a surplus (e.g. cut spending and/or raise taxes).

    Ultimately we need to be running a surplus during good times and running a deficit during bad times, and over the full course of the economic cycle our national debt should not be growing faster than inflation.
    I can't believe some people are still repeating this after seeing what spending trillions of dollars have gave us. Virtually nothing.

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    Re: What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    that's an interesting. theory. seems rather easily testable too; falsifiability, they say, is key to the scientific process. Okay, over the past 4 years we have run a series of historically massive, outlier deficits. have the past four years been marked by significant economic boom times? are we rolling in the dough?
    You are confusing the cause and effect. What I said was that we should run deficits when the economy is bad in order to stimulate the economy. Therefore you should EXPECT to see bad economies coincide with periods of high deficits. Your test does not work, because there is no control group (i.e. what would happen in the absence of those massive deficits). This reasoning reminds me of the old myth about the Russian czar who found out that the province with the most doctors had the sickest people...so he ordered all the doctors executed.

    Here's a list of nations by their deficit as a % of GDP. Shall we (say) go through and compare this list with a list of nations by growth in GDP, to put your hypothesis more thoroughly to the test? hey! look who is better than us when it comes to getting that good ole deficit spending out there! Greece! man, those guys must be sitting on top of the world! (checks second list) huh....that's odd....
    See above.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 10-23-11 at 01:43 PM.
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    Re: What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Perry View Post
    I can't believe some people are still repeating this after seeing what spending trillions of dollars have gave us. Virtually nothing.
    If you are referring to the various economic stimuli, you need to bear in mind that they were largely offset by budget cuts at the state/local level. So the overall effect of the stimulus was much smaller than the price tag might suggest.

    I'd also like to add that the merit of economic stimuli isn't exactly a controversial topic between liberal and conservative economists. It enjoys support from prominent economists from all across the political spectrum, from liberals like Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, to conservatives like N. Gregory Mankiw and Douglas Holtz-Eakin. The opposition to economic stimulus comes mostly from politicians, not economists.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 10-23-11 at 03:56 PM.
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    Re: What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report

    It never ceases to amaze me that people think so simplistically that their thought process is literally just "Stimulus passed, economy continued to get worse, therefore stimulus didn't work."

    Did you happen to notice the rate of job losses went from "holy **** nose dive" to "sluggish up and down?"

    Calculating the effect of the stimulus package is a lot more complicated than this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    You are confusing the cause and effect. What I said was that we should run deficits when the economy is bad in order to stimulate the economy
    well, we've had about what - 3.5 bad years now, and we've run massive deficits in each one. at what point, precisely, are our historically massive deficits supposed to - you know - actually stimulate the economy?

    Therefore you should EXPECT to see bad economies coincide with periods of high deficits
    yes, but then you would expect to see recovery.

    Your test does not work, because there is no control group (i.e. what would happen in the absence of those massive deficits).
    huh. interesting you should say that.

    how about this, if we were to look at the attempts at fiscal stimulus over the past few decades in each of the OECD countries, and it could be consistently demonstrated that the ones who had attempted to "stimulate" their economy through an increase in transfer payments had just as consistently failed to do so, while countries who had instead cut their business taxes had consistently succeeded in doing so... would you accept that as evidence? If it could be historically demonstrated what repeatedly does or does not work?

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    Re: What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    If you are referring to the various economic stimuli, you need to bear in mind that they were largely offset by budget cuts at the state/local level. So the overall effect of the stimulus was much smaller than the price tag might suggest.

    I'd also like to add that the merit of economic stimuli isn't exactly a controversial topic between liberal and conservative economists. ]It enjoys support from prominent economists from all across the political spectrum, from liberals like Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, to conservatives like N. Gregory Mankiw and Douglas Holtz-Eakin. The opposition to economic stimulus comes mostly from politicians, not economists.
    Huh, Would You Look At That...

    But It's Interesting That You Should Mention Mankiw.


    ...Perhaps the most compelling research on this subject is a very recent study by my colleagues Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna at Harvard. They used data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to identify every major fiscal stimulus adopted by the 30 OECD countries between 1970 and 2007. Alesina and Ardagna then separated those plans that were in fact followed by robust economic growth from those that were not, and compared their characteristics. They found that the stimulus packages that appeared to be successful had cut business and income taxes, while those that evidently did not succeed had increased government spending and transfer payments...
    Last edited by cpwill; 10-24-11 at 08:29 AM.

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