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Thread: Federal Deficit Highest Since 1940s

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    Re: Federal Deficit Highest Since 1940s

    Alright, I have a question. How exactly is our deficit bad? We owe a whole bunch of money to various people, including China, that we don't plan to pay back. And then we keep borrowing money from them with impunity. It seems to me that our massive deficit is a sign of international supremacy. We say we want money, and people "loan" it to us, knowing that they'll never see most of it again. Doesn't that make us kind of like the mafia of international economics?
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    Re: Federal Deficit Highest Since 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale
    and people "loan" it to us, knowing that they'll never see most of it again
    Bondholders are paid so this is wrong.
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

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    Re: Federal Deficit Highest Since 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by E-M View Post
    What purpose does this serve? We all know the deficit is high right now.

    A lot of things contribute to this, including defense spending, Bush tax cuts, and the "entitlement" or welfare programs. Conservatives have been succeeding in making the deficit problem and the spending problem identical in the public consciousness. There are many ways to go about cutting the deficit and all of them have serious downsides.

    It really is a remarkable propaganda campaign the conservatives have kept up the last few years. They don't only act as though revenue approaches to fixing the deficit are ineffective, but as if they are illegitimate or cheap. They have made it a blaspheme to talk about things like revenues or defense spending.
    There is one way to drastically reduce the deficit that won't cause any burden at all. Eliminate the massive fraud waste and abusive of government projects. It happens to a staggering degree on every level. I will give you one good example...

    I am a NYS employee. A large government owned building recently got a 500,000 upgrade to its entrance. Now when they said entrance, I was thinking they meant the whole damn thing. The drive in, parking the sidewalks, and the entrance to the building itself.

    Now being that NYS has a massive deficit problem, such a works project is simply not needed at this time. Being that as a union worker I have received several different types of cuts in pay in the last few years. So I was understandably pissed that while I am doing my part, the government itself is not doing theirs. Beyond that, I know some contractors, and asked a few questions... given what I told them they figured the job to be at most half of what the government was paying for it. But THEN I learned that when they meant entrance, they weren't kidding! 500,000 for a re-designed entrance and sidewalk to the entrance. That was it. ARE YOU F_ING KIDDING ME!! That job in the civilian world would cost at most 1/10th of what the government paid.

    Now this type of massive overspend goes on all across the country by the fed, state and local governments. What if.... that was eliminated? What if.... the government paid what it should? Our deficits would instantly be cut, perhaps in half, perhaps even more.

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    Re: Federal Deficit Highest Since 1940s

    "Eliminate fraud and waste" is a commonly thrown about phrase, but it is neither as simplistic as some would have you believe, nor is it as sizable as others proclaim. I understand the sentiment that lies behind such a statement, but the saying itself has been turned into a safety net of sorts for those with little other policy proposals or credentials to their name. Simply put, you could eliminate fraud (as if federal agencies are willingly defrauded at a frantic pace), and put an end to waste (note that the term is horribly subjective, depending on who you happen to be conversing with at the time), and still fail to make more than a mere dent in our current deficit.

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    Re: Federal Deficit Highest Since 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by Romulus View Post
    I'm a conservative and I want defense spending cut in half. What else you wanna cut? Oh, and I'm not talking about the cuts to projected increases (Orwellian cuts), I'm talking actual cuts.
    Such a move would prompt layoffs of considerable size, which aren't exactly optimal at this time from a militarily or economic standpoint.
    Last edited by a351; 08-01-12 at 07:04 PM.

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    Re: Federal Deficit Highest Since 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by 00timh View Post
    There is one way to drastically reduce the deficit that won't cause any burden at all. Eliminate the massive fraud waste and abusive of government projects. It happens to a staggering degree on every level. I will give you one good example...
    While I agree that waste and redundancy should be eliminated, its just a drop in the bucket. First, addressing what "we" want from government. Its turned into a bloated monster that only drastic and "draconian" (love that word) cuts would actually make a difference. Funny part, most Americans wouldn't even notice most of the cuts.

    Second and the lion's share of the problem...entitlements. SS, Medicare/aid and various other "safety net" entitlements make up over 50% of federal spending.

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    Re: Federal Deficit Highest Since 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishstyx View Post
    While I agree that waste and redundancy should be eliminated, its just a drop in the bucket. First, addressing what "we" want from government. Its turned into a bloated monster that only drastic and "draconian" (love that word) cuts would actually make a difference. Funny part, most Americans wouldn't even notice most of the cuts.

    Second and the lion's share of the problem...entitlements. SS, Medicare/aid and various other "safety net" entitlements make up over 50% of federal spending.
    Yeah, the entitlements do make up such a large portion of the spending. And they cost so much and yet give out crumbs. If they were simply run better, the cost to effectiveness ratio would be so much better. They wouldn't be so costly if there wasn't so much wasteful spending on them. And then of course any and every other agency, including the DOD. Fighters and bombers cost twice as much as they should... and every other weapon. The cost the government pays for everything is double if not more than what the average citizen pays. Reduce the spending of government in half just by taking the money it gets, and even with keeping all of its programs, agencies and other entitlements, just manage them better and suddenly our deficit problem is not so severe.

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    Re: Federal Deficit Highest Since 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by Romulus View Post
    I'm a conservative and I want defense spending cut in half. What else you wanna cut? Oh, and I'm not talking about the cuts to projected increases (Orwellian cuts), I'm talking actual cuts.
    I'm an anti-capitalist, so the question doesn't really apply to me. "Cuts" are only important to me insofar as they weaken the capitalist class and make wholesale revolution possible.

    I wasn't trying to argue how to cut the deficit. I was observing how the discussion has developed in in the U.S. Prominent mainstream conservatives have succeeded in making defense cuts and revenue increases almost untouchable in the national discussion about the deficit. Obviously I wasn't arguing that every single conservative that exists ever opposes defense cuts. The only important conservatives I know who don't are the Paul's. Not surprisingly they are consistently alienated from the mainstream conservative establishment.

    Quote Originally Posted by 00timh View Post
    There is one way to drastically reduce the deficit that won't cause any burden at all. Eliminate the massive fraud waste and abusive of government projects. It happens to a staggering degree on every level. I will give you one good example...

    I am a NYS employee. A large government owned building recently got a 500,000 upgrade to its entrance. Now when they said entrance, I was thinking they meant the whole damn thing. The drive in, parking the sidewalks, and the entrance to the building itself.

    Now being that NYS has a massive deficit problem, such a works project is simply not needed at this time. Being that as a union worker I have received several different types of cuts in pay in the last few years. So I was understandably pissed that while I am doing my part, the government itself is not doing theirs. Beyond that, I know some contractors, and asked a few questions... given what I told them they figured the job to be at most half of what the government was paying for it. But THEN I learned that when they meant entrance, they weren't kidding! 500,000 for a re-designed entrance and sidewalk to the entrance. That was it. ARE YOU F_ING KIDDING ME!! That job in the civilian world would cost at most 1/10th of what the government paid.

    Now this type of massive overspend goes on all across the country by the fed, state and local governments. What if.... that was eliminated? What if.... the government paid what it should? Our deficits would instantly be cut, perhaps in half, perhaps even more.
    Both parties have been arguing for this since the beginning of time. Both parties get into power and spend recklessly. Arguing to cut waste is the easiest thing to do politically and the hardest thing to execute. This is why Republicans could oppose Obama's bailouts and then attend the ribbon cutting ceremonies in their districts for projects funded by the bailout. I don't have any examples on hand of democrats doing something similar but I wouldn't be surprised if a conservative here did.

    In any government where money is so important to being elected you are going to get waste. This is because those that gain from the waste will never forget the favor while most of the public will never remember. It really isn't in either parties interest to cut waste and alienate the special interests that fund their campaigns.

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    Re: Federal Deficit Highest Since 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by Romulus View Post
    I'm a conservative and I want defense spending cut in half. What else you wanna cut? Oh, and I'm not talking about the cuts to projected increases (Orwellian cuts), I'm talking actual cuts.
    That's the only cuts you want?
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    Re: Federal Deficit Highest Since 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by 00timh View Post
    Yeah, the entitlements do make up such a large portion of the spending. And they cost so much and yet give out crumbs. If they were simply run better, the cost to effectiveness ratio would be so much better. They wouldn't be so costly if there wasn't so much wasteful spending on them. And then of course any and every other agency, including the DOD. Fighters and bombers cost twice as much as they should... and every other weapon. The cost the government pays for everything is double if not more than what the average citizen pays. Reduce the spending of government in half just by taking the money it gets, and even with keeping all of its programs, agencies and other entitlements, just manage them better and suddenly our deficit problem is not so severe.
    Any rational person realizes that these programs need reform. Problem is, anytime this is even mentioned, some politician comes out claiming people want to starve grandma and grandpa and then push them out on an ice flow. Look what happened to Paul Ryan. His proposals were reasonable or at the very least a good place to start the damn discussion.

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