View Poll Results: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

Voters
41. You may not vote on this poll
  • Stop paying our debts

    17 41.46%
  • Stop paying our defense expenditures

    9 21.95%
  • Stop sending out social security checks

    14 34.15%
  • Stop paying Medicare/Medicaid

    21 51.22%
  • Stop paying everything not covered in one of the above categories

    5 12.20%
  • Print more money to pay for everything above

    1 2.44%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

  1. #31
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Quote Originally Posted by SPC View Post
    It's pretty apparent this is a biased poll. What they need to do is cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, NPR and Media Matters, then they need to eliminate the Departments of Labor, Education, and Energy. And that's just a start.
    Yeah that'll just fix everything won't it

  2. #32
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    I think they need to do welfare reform, eliminate wast, reform employee benefits to be fair with the private sector, and to cut military spending. I can't support de-funding education, healthcare, social security/medicare, or stop paying our debts. From the list above I chose military spending, but there are other areas that are not listed that I think need to be drastically cut and reformed.
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  3. #33
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Since I asked this question of those who are opposed to hiking the debt ceiling, I suppose it wouldn't be fair to not answer it myself. First of all, let me say that my ideal solution would be for Congress to raise the debt ceiling to cover their expenditures (or eliminate the debt ceiling entirely) without any preconditions, and then get to work at controlling the long-term trajectory of our entitlements. But ultimately it's fundamentally irresponsible for our government to have a mechanism by which Congress can allocate funds, then deny the Treasury the ability to collect the money necessary to pay for them.

    But if a debt ceiling increase doesn't materialize, my preferred solution would be for Obama to flat-out ignore Congress and to direct the Treasury to continue borrowing money anyway, and take his chances with the courts. It's not an ideal solution by any means, but Congress would have forced the executive branch to prioritize which of their directives should be followed and there is nothing in the Constitution that says HOW the White House should choose which of Congress' conflicting laws should be enforced. So my preference would be that he prioritizes Congress' spending instructions ahead of their instructions not to borrow any money. Or maybe he can MOSTLY prioritize spending over debt, but take the opportunity to cut off funding to a few token programs that are near and dear to the hearts of Republicans, in order to light a fire under their asses to raise the debt ceiling.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 07-03-11 at 07:54 PM.
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  4. #34
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post

    Sorry that you consider the financial reality to be biased. If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling, our government will have insufficient revenue to cover its expenditures next month, and will have to immediately slash government spending by 33%.



    You're right it's just a start. In fact, it's so completely inadequate for the shortfall we'd face without a debt ceiling increase, that it barely even qualifies as a "start." Let's see where your cuts get us:

    Planned Parenthood: $0.4 billion per year
    NPR: $0.1 billion
    Media Matters: $0 (As far as I can tell this receives no federal funding whatsoever. If it does, it's nothing more than a rounding error.)
    Department of Labor: $104.5 billion
    Department of Education: $71.0 billion (That is, if you're truly willing to eliminate ALL the funding for this in the next 4 weeks before the states have time to plan their own education budgets accordingly.)
    Department of Energy: $24.1 billion


    In total, you've managed to cut $200.1 billion from the federal budget...or 5.2% of expenditures. If you're opposed to raising the debt ceiling, you need to find another 28.1% to cut. (Hint: Eliminating the entire non-defense discretionary budget still won't get you there.)

    Media Matters does get a tax break in that it pays no taxes. That needs to be stopped.

  5. #35
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Looks like only a single professed liberal has stepped up to vote. What's the deal with the liberals? I guess they'd let us default.
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  6. #36
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post

    Sorry that you consider the financial reality to be biased. If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling, our government will have insufficient revenue to cover its expenditures next month, and will have to immediately slash government spending by 33%.



    You're right it's just a start. In fact, it's so completely inadequate for the shortfall we'd face without a debt ceiling increase, that it barely even qualifies as a "start." Let's see where your cuts get us:

    Planned Parenthood: $0.4 billion per year
    NPR: $0.1 billion
    Media Matters: $0 (As far as I can tell this receives no federal funding whatsoever. If it does, it's nothing more than a rounding error.)
    Department of Labor: $104.5 billion
    Department of Education: $71.0 billion (That is, if you're truly willing to eliminate ALL the funding for this in the next 4 weeks before the states have time to plan their own education budgets accordingly.)
    Department of Energy: $24.1 billion


    In total, you've managed to cut $200.1 billion from the federal budget...or 5.2% of expenditures. If you're opposed to raising the debt ceiling, you need to find another 28.1% to cut. (Hint: Eliminating the entire non-defense discretionary budget still won't get you there.)
    With the deficiet at 1.4 trillion nearly 60% of non mandatory spending would have to be cut.

    If I recall correct
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  7. #37
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Quote Originally Posted by SPC View Post
    Media Matters does get a tax break in that it pays no taxes. That needs to be stopped.
    The fact that you refuse to seriously contemplate how to plug the shortfall that will result if the debt ceiling isn't raised is exactly the kind of nonsense that I was referring to in my original post. It's amazing that you have the nerve to call my poll options "biased" when they are an all-inclusive list of the things we could plausibly cut to plug the budget hole. And then you cite freaking MEDIA MATTERS as though its government funding was on par with my poll options like defense and entitlement programs? Yep, we won't touch DoD, entitlements, shut down the government, or default on our debt...but hey, as long as Media Matters starts paying taxes we'll be just fine.

    I'm not going to respond to this nonsense anymore unless you come up with something intelligent to say. At least Goshin made a serious attempt to articulate what he'd cut (even though it was still vastly inadequate to cover the shortfall).
    Last edited by Kandahar; 07-03-11 at 11:01 PM.
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  8. #38
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Looks like only a single professed liberal has stepped up to vote. What's the deal with the liberals? I guess they'd let us default.
    I stated my preference in the thread: For Obama to completely ignore the debt ceiling and direct the Treasury to continue borrowing, contrary to the wishes of Congress. When Congress passes contradictory laws (i.e. spend $X on this, collect $Y revenue from that, and don't borrow any money to cover the difference) the executive doesn't have much choice but to pick and choose which laws he will enforce.

    So I would suggest he prioritize as follows: 1) Funding the bulk of government operations, 2) Not borrowing beyond the debt ceiling, 3) Funding any programs that he doesn't like...especially if it's a program that the Republicans DO like.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 07-03-11 at 11:20 PM.
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  9. #39
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    With the deficiet at 1.4 trillion nearly 60% of non mandatory spending would have to be cut.

    If I recall correct
    Yes, that's essentially correct. If the US wishes to avoid defaulting on its obligations, about 60% of discretionary spending would need to be eliminated. About half of discretionary spending is defense, and half of discretionary spending is everything else...so that would be what we were working with.
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  10. #40
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    At this point a good excuse would be "I already put in my two weeks' notice." Gradually raising the retirement age is a good idea; doing it suddenly without any advance warning whatsoever is not. In any case, it would provide only marginal savings in the face of the immediate 33% spending cut that will be necessary if the government does not raise the debt ceiling, because the only immediate savings would come from people who would've enrolled in August and now have to wait until November. I don't know how many people that is, but it can't possibly be a very big chunk of social security's total expenditures.
    I agree that it would be difficult to calculate the short term savings by making such changes. And yes, doing something like that without any forewarning wouldn't be wise. But such actions have been postponed for far too long. Better now than later in my opinion. And of course these changes would have to accompany other savings. I'd accept something like this being voted on in August and going into effect 3-6 months later. Having a set-in-stone progressing retirement age change would still make it easy for people to plan out their retirement. Yes, many would need to postpone their retirement slightly but frankly I care more about the future of those programs (and MUCH more importantly the future of our country).

    I cannot accept raising the retirement age by a month every other year, or what ever it is that some lawmakers are proposing. I cannot remember the exact changes being proposed, but I remember thinking it was FAR too slow.
    Last edited by Jucon; 07-04-11 at 02:10 AM.
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