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Thread: Obama ‘Agnostic’ on Deficit Cuts, Won’t Prejudge Tax Increases

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    Re: Obama ‘Agnostic’ on Deficit Cuts, Won’t Prejudge Tax Increases

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I have a tough time believing that the American people have been duped into electing big-spending politicians decade after decade, and that they couldn't elect small government types if they actually wanted to. The more likely conclusion is that they simply DON'T want to.

    For example, Republicans are supposedly the party of small government. Yet why don't their representatives regularly campaign on spending cuts, and then actually try to cut spending? I think it's because they are well aware that the issue is a political loser.



    I'm guessing you'd find overwhelming support for social security, medicare, medicaid, education, defense, unemployment insurance, and just about any other major expenditure. And people would bristle at any attempt to cut them back. That's not to say that we shouldn't reform them to get the costs under control (in fact, it's absolutely imperative that we do so for Medicare/Medicaid), but there is going to be a lot of pushback against spending cuts...much moreso than there is for tax increases.



    Fair enough, but it's been fairly consistent in that 18-24% range for the last forty years or so. If that's where the political equilibrium lies, it's much more plausible to increase taxes to that level than to try to change the government spending preferences of the American people.
    Unfortunately it's all speculative, but your idea of what political sentiments right now are are pretty much opposite to mine. Spending cuts, even if they are unpopular, are always more popular than tax increases. And Republicans do campaign on spending cuts often, and some (not all) actually try to get it done. Sometimes it actually works, too.

    And as I already said, we can't really raise tax revenues to cover more than 1/8th of the deficit no matter how hard we try, so to fix the problem, tax increases would have to be supplemental rather than the central issue.


    EDIT: The idea isn't entirely that the people have been "duped" into electing "big-government politicians", it could also be that politicians who really and sincerely want to cut spending are elected, and then have no idea how to go about it once they're actually in office. As has been mentioned, incentives are very screwed up when you're spending other people's money.
    Last edited by Dav; 02-13-10 at 03:20 AM.

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    Re: Obama ‘Agnostic’ on Deficit Cuts, Won’t Prejudge Tax Increases

    We will not see a drastic reduction to the budget until unemployment begins to point to a recovery. Sorry to break your hearts, but this is econ 101 stuff boys.
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

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    Re: Obama ‘Agnostic’ on Deficit Cuts, Won’t Prejudge Tax Increases

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Spending cuts, even if they are unpopular, are always more popular than tax increases.
    Depends on what type.

    And as I already said, we can't really raise tax revenues to cover more than 1/8th of the deficit no matter how hard we try, so to fix the problem, tax increases would have to be supplemental rather than the central issue.
    I would love for you to explain the two lines on the bottom of your graph.

    If ever there was a time to increase deficits, this would be it.
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

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    Re: Obama ‘Agnostic’ on Deficit Cuts, Won’t Prejudge Tax Increases

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy219 View Post
    We will not see a drastic reduction to the budget until unemployment begins to point to a recovery. Sorry to break your hearts, but this is econ 101 stuff boys.
    Only if your econ 101 professor is a Keynesian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy219 View Post
    I would love for you to explain the two lines on the bottom of your graph.

    If ever there was a time to increase deficits, this would be it.
    ?

    This thread is about reducing the deficit, and that's what I was talking about. Anyways, which graph?
    Last edited by Dav; 02-13-10 at 02:11 PM.

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    Re: Obama ‘Agnostic’ on Deficit Cuts, Won’t Prejudge Tax Increases

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy219 View Post
    We will not see a drastic reduction to the budget until unemployment begins to point to a recovery. Sorry to break your hearts, but this is econ 101 stuff boys.
    No it's not. It's just the economic dogma you've bought into.

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    Re: Obama ‘Agnostic’ on Deficit Cuts, Won’t Prejudge Tax Increases

    Quote Originally Posted by drz-400 View Post
    or because the majority of our spending is considered non-discretionary mandatory spending.
    All that means is that a bad program must be funded.

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    Re: Obama ‘Agnostic’ on Deficit Cuts, Won’t Prejudge Tax Increases

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    It is a poll of how many cents people think the government wastes for every dollar it spends. Whether or not they "have a clue" doesn't change the fact that most people think the government is wasting a whole lot of money that it spends, which contradicts your claim.
    In other words it's completely meaningless. People believe in UFOs, deities, gnomes, trickle down economics... and other fairy tales.

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    Re: Obama ‘Agnostic’ on Deficit Cuts, Won’t Prejudge Tax Increases

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassman View Post
    How about eliminating entitlements altogether???
    Why don't you go somewhere and think about that for a while.

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    Re: Obama ‘Agnostic’ on Deficit Cuts, Won’t Prejudge Tax Increases

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I have a tough time believing that the American people have been duped into electing big-spending politicians decade after decade, and that they couldn't elect small government types if they actually wanted to. The more likely conclusion is that they simply DON'T want to.
    Most people don't understand that they are, generally, presented the candidates to vote on. The political party selects the primary contenders. How do they get to be selected? Generally they have shown that they can fund raise and campaign, who do they get most of their funding from? Corporations and PACs.

    Only recently, and I say this with much chagrin, some localized Tea Party movement has presented real grass roots candidates in at least one recent election so I give them props for that effort.

    For example, Republicans are supposedly the party of small government. Yet why don't their representatives regularly campaign on spending cuts, and then actually try to cut spending? I think it's because they are well aware that the issue is a political loser.
    Becasue they are also the part of big corporate interests and they need a large government to hide all of the corporate welfare that doesn't go directly through legislation.


    I'm guessing you'd find overwhelming support for social security, medicare, medicaid, education, defense, unemployment insurance, and just about any other major expenditure. And people would bristle at any attempt to cut them back. That's not to say that we shouldn't reform them to get the costs under control (in fact, it's absolutely imperative that we do so for Medicare/Medicaid), but there is going to be a lot of pushback against spending cuts...much moreso than there is for tax increases.
    Mostly because the cutbacks will simply be cuts instead of reform.

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    Re: Obama ‘Agnostic’ on Deficit Cuts, Won’t Prejudge Tax Increases

    Quote Originally Posted by ptif219 View Post
    Problem is nothing Obama has done has had a positive affect on jobs or the economy.
    That's not what the majority of people who study economics for a living say. But you're probably right because you heard it on Fox E-news.

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