View Poll Results: What is more important?

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  • A balanced budget (no growth in debt)

    53 86.89%
  • Tax cuts

    8 13.11%
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Thread: Tax cuts or balance budget

  1. #111
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    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Badmutha View Post
    Only in imaginationland.....

    Everything from the DMV to Public Sector Union Slobs represent the antithesis of efficiency........
    SS has been so efficient it helped fund the US Government.
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

  2. #112
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    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    SS has been so efficient it helped fund the US Government.
    So we should implement more ponzi schemes?
    .
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    ..

  3. #113
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    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Besides, a public program is more efficient by definition. A privately owned company needs to turn a profit. A public one need only break even. Given the same capital, a public program can produce a better profit. And wouldn't be motivated to try and dupe the public through advertising, since there's no personal gain in moving more product.
    This had me on the floor laughing. Ahh, the innocence.

    The truth is, a private program has competition. In order for a private program to turn a product, they need to deliver quality service at a lower price. This means there is strong, profit-based incentive to reduce costs.

    A public program finds itself in the opposite situation. There is no competition, in a public program. A public program has no incentive to reduce costs and operate efficiently. In fact, a public program has an incentive to acquire more funding and does so be being inefficient and performing poorly to increase staff. It creates work for itself, through increased bureaucracy.

  4. #114
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    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    SS has been so efficient it helped fund the US Government.
    and helped leave us with an unfunded liability larger than world GDP. SS is a notoriously bad return.
    Last edited by cpwill; 03-30-11 at 08:04 AM.

  5. #115
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    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    This had me on the floor laughing. Ahh, the innocence.

    The truth is, a private program has competition. In order for a private program to turn a product, they need to deliver quality service at a lower price. This means there is strong, profit-based incentive to reduce costs.

    A public program finds itself in the opposite situation. There is no competition, in a public program. A public program has no incentive to reduce costs and operate efficiently. In fact, a public program has an incentive to acquire more funding and does so be being inefficient and performing poorly to increase staff. It creates work for itself, through increased bureaucracy.
    Further to your point: Let's say there are two people making Product 'X'. Person 1 is better than Person 2 at making 'X'. The government is looking for help making product 'X' in a public program. Person 1 has practically unlimited profitability by making 'X' in the private sector, because he is the best. So he refuses to work for the government, understandably. Person 2 will have a difficult time keeping afloat making product 'X' in the private sector, especially with Person 1 as competition. So person 2 works for the government.

    The government will always be hiring the second best. They can never have efficiency like the private market does because those that are the best in their fields will never work for the government.

  6. #116
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    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    and helped leave us with an unfunded liability larger than world GDP. SS is a notoriously bad return.
    Only because the money the money that was taken from it was never repaid. Too bad we didn't listen to Gore and put the funds in a lock box. We decided to go with the beer drinker instead. Actions have consequences. Fortunately, we can still lock those funds from being used offset other government spending like our optional wars, and raise in the FICA cap is all that is required to fix that problem.
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

  7. #117
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    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    This had me on the floor laughing. Ahh, the innocence.

    The truth is, a private program has competition. In order for a private program to turn a product, they need to deliver quality service at a lower price. This means there is strong, profit-based incentive to reduce costs.

    A public program finds itself in the opposite situation. There is no competition, in a public program. A public program has no incentive to reduce costs and operate efficiently. In fact, a public program has an incentive to acquire more funding and does so be being inefficient and performing poorly to increase staff. It creates work for itself, through increased bureaucracy.
    There is not a single insurance company that operates with less cost for management than M/M.
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

  8. #118
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    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    There is not a single insurance company that operates with less cost for management than M/M.
    First off, you got a link to go with that claim?

    Secondly, you talk about management. Nice strawman.

    Thirdly, if service overhead is lower for for-profit, allowing more money to pay for quality management reimbursement and still make a profit and still offer lower premiums, sounds like a win to me. As fredmertz points out, the best and brightest do not look to get hired by the government.

    Fourthly, is the service commensurate?

    Finally, looking at Medicare, the future finances are a complete wreck, as the dominant factor in the future of federal budgets.

    Costs and funding challenges

    The costs of Medicare doubled every four years between 1966 and 1980. According to the 2004 "Green Book" of the House Ways and Means Committee, Medicare expenditures from the American government were $256.8 billion in fiscal year 2002. Beneficiary premiums are highly subsidized, and net outlays for the program, accounting for the premiums paid by subscribers, were $230.9 billion.

    Medicare spending is growing steadily in both absolute terms and as a percentage of the federal budget. Total Medicare spending reached $440 billion for fiscal year 2007 or 16% of all federal spending and grew to $599 billion in 2008 which was 20% of federal spending. The only larger categories of federal spending are Social Security and defense. Given the current pattern of spending growth, maintaining Medicare's financing over the long-term may well require significant changes.

    According to the 2008 report by the board of trustees for Medicare and Social Security, Medicare will spend more than it brings in from taxes this year (2008). The Medicare hospital insurance trust fund will become insolvent by 2019. Shortly after the release of the report, the Chief Actuary testified that the insolvency of the system could be pushed back by 18 months if Medicare Advantage plans that provide more health care services than traditional Medicare and pass savings onto beneficiaries were paid at the same rate as the traditional fee-for-service program. The New York Times wrote in January 2009 that Social Security and Medicare "have proved almost sacrosanct in political terms, even as they threaten to grow so large as to be unsustainable in the long run."

    Spending on Medicare and Medicaid is projected to grow dramatically in coming decades. While the same demographic trends that affect Social Security also affect Medicare, rapidly rising medical prices appear a more important cause of projected spending increases. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has indicated that: "Future growth in spending per beneficiary for Medicare and Medicaid—the federal government’s major health care programs—will be the most important determinant of long-term trends in federal spending. Changing those programs in ways that reduce the growth of costs—which will be difficult, in part because of the complexity of health policy choices—is ultimately the nation’s central long-term challenge in setting federal fiscal policy." Further, the CBO also projects that "total federal Medicare and Medicaid outlays will rise from 4 percent of GDP in 2007 to 12 percent in 2050 and 19 percent in 2082—which, as a share of the economy, is roughly equivalent to the total amount that the federal government spends today. The bulk of that projected increase in health care spending reflects higher costs per beneficiary rather than an increase in the number of beneficiaries associated with an aging population."

    Financial viability

    Richard W. Fisher, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has remarked that in order to "cover the unfunded liability" for the Medicare program today over an infinite time horizon,[clarification needed] "you would be stuck with an $85.6 trillion bill" which is "more than six times the annual output of the entire U.S. economy", and noted that "Medicare was a pay-as-you-go program from the very beginning."
    The present value of unfunded obligations under all parts of Medicare during FY 2009 over an infinite horizon is approximately $36 trillion. In other words, this amount would have to be set aside today such that the principal and interest would cover the shortfall assuming the program continues indefinitely.

    Aging of the population

    The fundamental problem is that the ratio of workers paying Medicare taxes to retirees drawing benefits is shrinking, and at the same time, the price of health care services per person is increasing. Currently there are 3.9 workers paying taxes into Medicare for every older American receiving services. By 2030, as the baby boom generation retires, that is projected to drop to 2.4 workers for each beneficiary. Medicare spending is expected to grow by about 7 percent per year for the next 10 years. As a result, the financing of the program is out of actuarial balance, presenting serious challenges in both the short-term and long-term.

    Fraud and waste

    The Government Accountability Office lists Medicare as a "high-risk" government program in need of reform, in part because of its vulnerability to fraud and partly because of its long-term financial problems. Fewer than 5% of Medicare claims are audited.

  9. #119
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    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    and helped leave us with an unfunded liability larger than world GDP.
    GDP is a snapshot of one year. Social security's liabilities are a snapshot of 30-50 (or more) years. Comparing them is meaningless. Social security solvency is manageable with a few minor changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill
    SS is a notoriously bad return.
    It certainly is. But in terms of our nation's balance sheet, it's not going to bankrupt us. Whether or not it's a worthwhile program is a separate argument.
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  10. #120
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    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    First off, you got a link to go with that claim?

    Secondly, you talk about management. Nice strawman.
    You disputed the claim that, "a public program is more efficient by definition." The greater efficiency of the Medicare program provides evidence to back up that claim.

    Medicare vs. Non-Government (Private) Health Insurance - Health Care Reform - ProCon.org



    Finally, looking at Medicare, the future finances are a complete wreck, as the dominant factor in the future of federal budgets.
    That is the same problem we have been dealing with under private insurers, health care costs. That is why we need a single payer system like the rest of the First world nations.

    It has nothing to do with Medicare's lower administrative costs.
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

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