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Thread: Americans Blame Wasteful Government Spending for Deficit

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    Re: Americans Blame Wasteful Government Spending for Deficit

    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalThought View Post
    Please read your own articles.
    U.S. President Barack Obama is sending Congress a $3.73 trillion US spending blueprint that pledges $1.1 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade through spending cuts and tax increases.

    Calling the budget one of "tough choices and sacrifices," Obama said most of the largest cuts would be held off until after the end of his first term.


    already linked

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    Re: Americans Blame Wasteful Government Spending for Deficit

    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalThought View Post
    I don't know of anyone who has said the government shouldn't cut spending.

    Also, that poll reflects blame for what caused the deficit, not what Americans believe should be done to fix it.
    you think that Americans believe A) that we spend "too much" and that B) we should raise taxes so that we can keep spending "too much"?

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    Re: Americans Blame Wasteful Government Spending for Deficit

    Quote Originally Posted by pzycho View Post
    Americans Blame Wasteful Government Spending for Deficit

    Well, isn't this interesting. All you ultra-liberals out there that want to raise taxes and hurt the economic recovery, take careful note. This should help make the debt ceiling debate vigorous.

    hahaha I love how they put "national adults." Idk why but that's funny to me. It's like "this category includes everyone except national children."

    Democrats DO need to get their act together and realize that spending is the main driver of the deficit, but I believe any comprehensive and honest plan to reduce the deficit must include tax increases.
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    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
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    Re: Americans Blame Wasteful Government Spending for Deficit

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Spending cuts would hamper the recovery. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that line.
    yup. just like in 1921 and 1946.

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    Re: Americans Blame Wasteful Government Spending for Deficit

    There's plenty of waste in the government - that is to say, government spending that doesn't actually accomplish what it's supposed to be doing.

    Most of it's in defense, as medicare and SS have fairly strong anti-waste programs already.

    Medicare and SS are also not (yet) contributing to our massive national debt, so that largest source of spending, which is presently almost completely paid for by payroll taxes and is cutting into pretty much the only surplus the US government has ever meaningfully sustained, is in fact not the cause of our debt.

    The fact is that decades ago, before taxes for the wealthy were cut massively and defense spending was also raised massively, our government could pay for itself just fine. The variables that have changed massively since are taxation on the wealthy and defense spending, and there's no reason to believe we can't fix the problem by fixing those two points.

    Now, in order to avoid a later catastrophe in Medicare/SS that is not due to lower birth rates but is in fact due to an old and ongoing miscalculation between individual money in and money out, we should also increase the payroll tax. If I recall correctly, increasing the SS payroll cap should fix the program's problems. I'm not sure what increase Medicare would require, though.

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    Re: Americans Blame Wasteful Government Spending for Deficit

    Quote Originally Posted by Indon View Post
    There's plenty of waste in the government - that is to say, government spending that doesn't actually accomplish what it's supposed to be doing.

    Most of it's in defense, as medicare and SS have fairly strong anti-waste programs already.
    All social spending is a waste because we still have poverty.

    Medicare and SS are also not (yet) contributing to our massive national debt, so that largest source of spending, which is presently almost completely paid for by payroll taxes and is cutting into pretty much the only surplus the US government has ever meaningfully sustained, is in fact not the cause of our debt.
    Social Security spends more than it takes in. Same for Medicare/Medicaid.

    The fact is that decades ago, before taxes for the wealthy were cut massively and defense spending was also raised massively, our government could pay for itself just fine. The variables that have changed massively since are taxation on the wealthy and defense spending, and there's no reason to believe we can't fix the problem by fixing those two points.
    Revenue as a percentage of GDP has stayed constant. Those tax breaks did not change much because there were a lot of tax deductions before. Either way, changing the tax rate had very little effect on government revenues.

    Now, in order to avoid a later catastrophe in Medicare/SS that is not due to lower birth rates but is in fact due to an old and ongoing miscalculation between individual money in and money out, we should also increase the payroll tax. If I recall correctly, increasing the SS payroll cap should fix the program's problems. I'm not sure what increase Medicare would require, though.
    Just get rid of the programs. More taxes will not bring in more money as Hauser's Law has shown.

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    Re: Americans Blame Wasteful Government Spending for Deficit

    Quote Originally Posted by Indon View Post
    There's plenty of waste in the government - that is to say, government spending that doesn't actually accomplish what it's supposed to be doing.

    Most of it's in defense, as medicare and SS have fairly strong anti-waste programs already.

    actually medicare waste is the largest single fraud ticket in the Federal Budget.

    Medicare and SS are also not (yet) contributing to our massive national debt, so that largest source of spending, which is presently almost completely paid for by payroll taxes and is cutting into pretty much the only surplus the US government has ever meaningfully sustained, is in fact not the cause of our debt.

    The fact is that decades ago, before taxes for the wealthy were cut massively and defense spending was also raised massively, our government could pay for itself just fine. The variables that have changed massively since are taxation on the wealthy and defense spending, and there's no reason to believe we can't fix the problem by fixing those two points.
    actually there is plenty of reason to believe that we aren't going to fix the problems by raising taxes and reducing defense spending. the first (and most obvious) reason is that the unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare are larger than GDP..... of the world. they are larger than the GDP of the world by a lot. We would need about 80-ish TRILLION dollars extra in order to cover them. We have negative $14 Trillion. You aren't going to cover that gap from repealing the bush tax cuts for the rich and cutting out some carrier groups. The second is that raising taxes doesn't actually seem to raise that much revenue, but it does depress growth, which can have a long-term negative effect on revenue off the baseline.
    Last edited by cpwill; 05-03-11 at 09:14 AM.

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    Re: Americans Blame Wasteful Government Spending for Deficit

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    the first (and most obvious) reason is that the unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare are larger than GDP..... of the world.
    Now, you know they like to play that shell game where payroll taxes have the entitlements covered - perhaps raise the FICA cap and increase the retirement benefit age a touch), and the low income taxes for the wealthy and high defense spending is what blows our budget. This completely ignores the historical growth in entitlements as a percentage of GDP (1% in 1950, 14% in 2011) and the future growth predictions you reference with unfunded liabilities exceeding $80 TRILLION over the next 75 years (perfectly legitimate business projection done by the SSA as their long-term projection). Entitlements are over 60% of our federal budget and is squeezing deficits, defense spending (which has steadily dropped by 5% since the early post-WWII era), and all other functions of the government.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    The second is that raising taxes doesn't actually seem to raise that much revenue, but it does depress growth, which can have a long-term negative effect on revenue off the baseline.
    Especially during a time when the revenues are depressed due to high unemployment and negative average income per capita.

    We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Our spending problem is we spend twice as much a year as we can afford. Our spending problem is that the federal government represents 25% of GDP, with only 8% of employment.

    Surely we can agree that a corporatist-statist socioeconomic political system is bad for the philosophical foundations of our country: protecting individual freedoms.

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    Re: Americans Blame Wasteful Government Spending for Deficit

    Quote Originally Posted by pzycho View Post
    We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.
    And you are in denial. Spending is a problem, but so is the lack of revenue.
    PeteEU

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    Re: Americans Blame Wasteful Government Spending for Deficit

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    And you are in denial. Spending is a problem, but so is the lack of revenue.
    Revenue in 2010 is about the same as it was in 2004, but spending is almost a trillion dollars more.

    • "The America Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." -- Alexis de Tocqueville





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