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

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  • 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%
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Thread: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

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

    I'm curious if any of you who oppose raising the debt ceiling (or encourage political brinkmanship in the hopes that your side will win a great deal at the eleventh hour) have actually considered the consequences of a default.

    If the debt ceiling is not raised, the government is not going to have enough money to meet its obligations. It needs approximately $318 billion just to pay its August bills. Additionally, the government has about $500 billion in debt that is coming due in August; if we are in default or de-facto default at the time, chances are at least some of that debt will not be rolled over and we'll have to come up with billions more.

    So I'm curious as to which of our bills you think should not be paid. Should we literally default on our debt? Should we stop paying our soldiers? Should we suddenly cut retirees off from social security and Medicare? Should we shut down the entire federal government (including "essential" services) by ceasing payments on our discretionary budget? Or should we just print more money to cover all of these expenses?

    My prediction: None of the people encouraging a default will have any legitimate answer, and they'll resent the entire premise of this question: that we need money to pay for things.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Oh, and here are some numbers. If the debt ceiling isn't raised, we'll have to suddenly eliminate approximately one-third (33%) of our spending. So please don't say anything retarded like "We'll just cut foreign aid, welfare, and pork-barrel spending. Problem solved."

    Medicare/Medicaid: 18% of our budget
    Defense: 16%
    Social security: 16%
    Debt payment: 5% (Although this will surely increase if we default or otherwise fail to meet our obligations, because our interest rates will increase and at least some of our debt will not be rolled over.)
    Everything else: 45%
    Last edited by Kandahar; 07-02-11 at 03:14 PM.
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Keep paying on the debt to not screw our credit rating.

    Reduce payments to all the other areas, if possible.
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Salaries of all federally paid people

    From the President down to a private in the army
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  5. #5
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Keep paying on the debt to not screw our credit rating.
    That won't work, because even if the US continues to pay its creditors they'll obviously notice that we are failing to make good on our obligations. Just like your mortgage interest rate will go up if you stop paying your credit card bill...even if you continue to pay your mortgage on time.

    Reduce payments to all the other areas, if possible.
    What do you mean "if possible"? What is the alternative?
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    Salaries of all federally paid people

    From the President down to a private in the army
    We would need to immediately eliminate 1/3 of our expenditures. Since many of our federal expenditures are things other than salaries, this solution means that everyone would suddenly be taking a 50%+ pay cut.
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    That won't work, because even if the US continues to pay its creditors they'll obviously notice that we are failing to make good on our obligations. Just like your mortgage interest rate will go up if you stop paying your credit card bill...even if you continue to pay your mortgage on time.
    I do understand that our credit rating will be harmed by not making good on internal obligations but if would be far worse if we stopped paying our external creditors.

    The mortgage example doesn't hold though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    What do you mean "if possible"? What is the alternative?
    Not paying at all.
    I mean we could just totally stop.

    I'm thinking that we should make good on internal debts, as long as we have the money.
    Just at a reduced level.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    I am not familiar with what everything the we the tax payers are forced to spend money on but there is a lot of junk the federal government should cut. Foreign aid, Cultural preservation in other countries(building and fixing mosques,churches, temples and other buildings), Grants for all sorts of useless studies, agricultural subsidies and overlapping agencies just to name a few that should be cut. Sure some of this stuff may be chump change but it adds up after while and if the government is wasting money on crap like this then more likely is it wasting money on more crap. We could cut NASA, thats 18 billion right there it would save us each year. There are all sorts of things the government can reduce or cut spending on. We could raise the social security retirement age a lot higher, that could save some money.
    Last edited by jamesrage; 07-02-11 at 03:27 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I am not familiar with what everything the we the tax payers are forced to spend money on but there is a lot of junk the federal government should cut. Foreign aid, Cultural preservation in other countries(building and fixing mosques,churches, temples and other buildings), Grants for all sorts of useless studies, agricultural subsidies and overlapping agencies just to name a few that should be cut. Sure some of this stuff may be chump change but it adds up after while and if the government is wasting money on crap like this then more likely is it wasting money on more crap. We could cut NASA, thats 18 billion right there it would save us each year. There are all sorts of things the government can reduce or cut spending on.
    NASA: $18.7 billion
    Foreign aid (military and economic aid alike): $55.2 billion
    Federal funding for tertiary education (useless studies or otherwise): $0.8 billion
    Federal funding of agriculture (in total, whether it's something we'd recognize as a "subsidy" or not): $25.1 billion
    Cultural preservation in other countries: Not even a rounding error on the federal budget.

    In total, you've saved $99.8 billion per year...or roughly 2.6% of the budget. You have 30.7% more to cut, if we don't raise the debt ceiling by the end of the month. Keep going.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage
    We could raise the social security retirement age a lot higher, that could save some money.
    I don't disagree...but are you suggesting we raise it a lot higher within the next month, effective immediately?
    Last edited by Kandahar; 07-02-11 at 03:46 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Which obligations should the US stop paying in August?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    NASA: $18.7 billion
    Foreign aid (military and economic aid alike): $55.2 billion
    Federal funding for tertiary education (useless studies or otherwise): $0.8 billion
    Federal funding of agriculture (in total, whether it's somthing we'd recognize as a "subsidy" or not): $25.1 billion
    Cultural preservation in other countries: Not even a rounding error on the federal budget.

    In total, you've saved $99.8 billion per year...or roughly 2.6% of the budget. You have 30.7% more to cut, if we don't raise the debt ceiling by the end of the month. Keep going.
    This is just he crap we know the government is wasting tax payer dollars on. More than likely there is more waste and excessive spending.

    Consolidation of overlapping government agencies could save taxpayers 200 billion in ten years which is 20 billion a year.Government overlap costs taxpayers billions, GAO reports

    We could also remove marijuana from the list of drugs that the war on drugs is spent on. This would save some money from not having to incarcerate pot heads and pot dealers or the enforcement of laws against pot.


    Regardless of how much money is cut from non-essential spending, cuts to every non-vital program first before cuts are made to essential programs and the government starts demanding more taxes.

    I don't disagree...but are you suggesting we raise it a lot higher within the next month, effective immediately?
    Long term spending is just as important as short term spending.
    Last edited by jamesrage; 07-02-11 at 04:00 PM.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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