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  1. #21
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Apparently we also get $1 in spending cuts for every $10 dollars in tax increases, according to the CBO. Who also said we can look forward to $3.93 trillion in additional debt over the next ten years.

    Yipee...
    You know it's good when nobody likes it. /sarcasm
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  2. #22
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Does anyone know where to get the numbers to back any of this stuff up?

    I can't stand all these floating hypothesis going around with absolutely no context. There's way too many articles out there that speak much but say nothing.

    That's what pisses me off the most - all the cryptic language and lack of meaningful content. Most articles that come out lately are just scary fluff from which it is difficult to derive any actual facts.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Does anyone know where to get the numbers to back any of this stuff up?

    I can't stand all these floating hypothesis going around with absolutely no context. There's way too many articles out there that speak much but say nothing.

    That's what pisses me off the most - all the cryptic language and lack of meaningful content. Most articles that come out lately are just scary fluff from which it is difficult to derive any actual facts.
    I agree with this, its part of what motivated me to post about evidence and opinions.

    The scientific approach cant be well applied to some social policy questions I know but I agree that there's lots and lots of news which tells you nothing these days, I've been watching more of the news too with an interest to see if that can be confirmed and it sure can. There's no hard number crunching and people just spin opinions, there's a fiscally capitalist/libertarian consensus in everything I read.

  4. #24
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I swear we couldn't get much sillier if we had Rush Limbaugh vs John Stewart as the House, Bill O'Reilly vs Stephen Colbert as the Senate, and some random news anchor as President. It's like we're running a reality TV show instead of a country.
    Can I just say, "Niiiiiiiiiice!!!!"?

    In addition, I would like to say that is the frustrating thing about democracies. You have 535 people in the Congress alone trying to make decisions based on representing very diverse interests, and not always those of their constituents. It is difficult to get much of anything done unless you dominate the presidency and both houses, and even then you need strong party whips. Unlike Europe, where it is a BIG DEAL if you do not follow the party line, you can basically vote your "conscience" (or your pocketbook, as the case may be - forgive my cynicism, but I think it is somehow warranted). Surely, there must be a more effective way to govern???

  5. #25
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Okay, here is a legitimate question:

    In the past 30 years, we have had only 4 years of budget surpluses, causing the country to spiral into crazy federal debt. See: http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    If you check out that website, the numbers are staggering. The ratio of assets to liabilities and savings to debt? Appalling.

    The programs that put the most burden on the federal budget can't be touched. So what is to be done long-term to ameliorate this problem?

    Sure, taxing the rich (or anyone for that matter) is a burden on the economy. But you cannot want everything from your government and not pay for it.

    So what - really what - is to be done????

    And, in addition, I'd like to say that the government does not function on the same principles as individuals. If an individual is highly indebted, you tell them to get new sources of income, save, and reduce expenditure. But government's job is to invest - and not to overburden its citizens with taxes. So...this is a major long-term issue that cannot be ameliorated with short-term solutions.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    The programs that put the most burden on the federal budget can't be touched.
    That's where you're wrong.

    Sure, taxing the rich (or anyone for that matter) is a burden on the economy. But you cannot want everything from your government and not pay for it.
    Broaden the tax base so that those at the bottom pay some (income) taxes to insure that they don't endlessly vote themselves more benefits without having to share the burden.

    And also raise taxes on everyone if you have to. Although I'm convinced that if we really took a good crack at reforming our tax system that we wouldn't have to pay much more.

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  8. #28
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    That's where you're wrong.



    Broaden the tax base so that those at the bottom pay some (income) taxes to insure that they don't endlessly vote themselves more benefits without having to share the burden.

    And also raise taxes on everyone if you have to. Although I'm convinced that if we really took a good crack at reforming our tax system that we wouldn't have to pay much more.
    Excuse me, I should have been more precise. The problem is that no one ***wants*** to touch the programs that put the most burden on the federal budget, e.g. Medicare and Social Security, among others (e.g. defense expenditure).

    And I am not sure whether or not broadly increasing taxes for everyone would work. I'm not discounting the idea, but frankly, I'm not a tax expert. Could you give me some examples, please, so I can make an assessment?

    Finally, I'd like to point out that it seems odd to me that a country with so many human, natural, and economic resources can be so wasteful and yet provide so little. What is the deal with that??? And I'm not just saying this to be provocative, although it may sound that way. That is a *legitimate* question. ***How*** can it happen???

  9. #29
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    The states finances are going down everywhere. This fiscal cliff problem was just adjourned, the same applies for the Euro Crisis. The problem is for the whole western world and its an economic problem that hardly will get better. The tax raises on rich people is always a bad sign for more tax rises to come. Up until the point when people go on the streets and kick some major states asses. In an ideal economy taxes - no matter if there is a welfare or not - shouldnt be raised at all, on the contrary they should rather be a regulating mechanism. But states are starting to suffer from years of mindless misfinancing now and this wont get better.

    This fiscal cliff by a long shot aint over. Obama's adopting german chancellors tactic, which is called "salami tactic". They cut off pieces of the salami bit by bit and hand out information slowly or adjourn processes so they can buy time a lot of it. Thats the only thing which prevents the whole economic system from collapsing atm. Technically we are all in a deep recession already...
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  10. #30
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I'm not well educated in areas of economics. But I am well educated in running my home.

    Usually, the money is already there.. we'd just been careless, apathetic, and blind to it. We spent money on cable TV and then ate the random medical expense the dog suddenly needed. We bought convenience foods and then had to charge the card for the gas money we needed that month helping our family. We took spending money for ourselves by the week instead of the month.

    I don't understand why a modest income is unattainable for members of Congress, etc. I could see a president making $400k figures... but Congress? Why pay them each $400k for *life*? I say, $100k each for life reduces their budget by a million dollars easily right there, and they would still make enough money to afford a nice lifestyle for themselves and their children.

    Someone had posted a snarky comment on FB that they'd fix the healthcare problems in 5 minutes by forcing Congress to use the same healthcare system that the average American uses and put them on social security, and make them contribute to social security. Which made me realize they weren't in any of that in the first place. I don't understand how they approve systems that they themselves would not use. The leadership is what is lacking.. When I make a budget, I make sure it is something comfortable for me, not something that'll make me loathe everything because it is my own. If I can do it, I can expect my parents to do it with confidence.

    If they put themselves into consideration with this budget, put their own spending money on the chopping block, and adjusted themselves to be treated like every other American (they're not superior.. they have a job that (hopefully) they love... but there should be little more difference than that. I don't think anyone should become a congressman for the money..) then things would balance out a lot quicker. If I made my parents live off of their budget alone, they'd be living in a cardboard box eating ramen noodles. When I put my income in there, and adjusted all of us accordingly.. we could all live comfortably. I'm not calling for socialism or anything, but why is it a Congressmen gets paid the same price as a president? How is that possibly justified? How is it possible that they create programs that they won't buy into themselves?

    It is really easy to tell everyone else to deal with something.. when you deal with it, though, it becomes very real. They're making $400k for life. How much can they really value our economic woes and struggles? They're set.. they're playing with these numbers like it's a sudoku puzzle.

    What I think needs to happen, in order:

    1. A reformation of a system to add real value to it. If a universal healthcare system sucks (army personnel and their families don't even make up 10% of the American population and that system is so slow and jacked up that I'm stuck waiting nearly a year for a hip surgery that MIGHT have fixed my hips but by the time I get it I'll probably have to file for disability. Imagine expanding this current horrible system to include an extra zero in that percentage.) then it doesn't matter if everyone 'technically' gets healthcare or not. There should be 3 levels of a single system--Children, elderly, and everyone else. Income should have no influence. (I don't understand how the government can say "Oh! you only make $15,000 a year! You need not pay taxes! ... but uh.. pay $150 a month for health insurance.")

    2. Forcing even highly paid personnel to participate in the systems created. If you make $1,000,000 a year and decide to pay a private doctor anyways--well and dandy for you. Still participate in the system. If people like Congress that ran this country had to deal with the long phone calls, the annoying paper trails, the "I'll send it to you in the mail regardless of the technology available now-a-days" referrals.. I'll bet something would be done much sooner. I don't think people should 'upgrade' out of a shitty system... I think a system needs to be good enough that everyone can participate in it no matter what they make. If the president had to use the same system us veterans did, I don't think it'd be such a pain in the ass. It's not that I automatically blame them, but apathy is really easy to get used to when you're not actively engaged in something.

    3. Forcing the lower people to step up to the plate (I don't care if you make $1 a month or $1,000,000 you should pay taxes..) and be incorporated. No one can say to anyone else outside of tax evasion that they didn't put forth their end of the deal to make this country run. No one has a leg up on anyone else--everyone is contributing and thus everyone should benefit.

    4. Programs that benefit people should come at a cost. I'm not at all saying that welfare and benefits should be taken away. But you should pay in time what you cannot pay in money. That's a pretty basic standard in budgets. If you collect welfare, I don't think it is much to ask to volunteer some of your time a couple hours a week into something (ANYTHING) that would help the country. Programs like unemployment... we're paying people to find jobs when something goes wrong. I completely agree with that. What I don't agree with is the laissez-faire way of doing it. "*Yawn* Apply to three jobs a week and keep a record in case we want to look at your record." That program should be more personal, face-to-face, and way harder to fake. The government is paying for those employees anyways--so employ them. They're going to apply for jobs anyways whether they're making money or not--and giving them money alone isn't really incentive to find a job immediately. Instead, get them out there and working while they earn that money. There are papers to sort out somewhere, trash to be picked up, trees to be planted and watered, languages to learn, and job skills to be learned. People could be learning about computers and information software while they're looking for a job. They could be making their local towns and cities more beautiful while they're finding the perfect position. They could be in person, in a building, working active on a resume instead of being at home doing it. They say job searching is a full time job, and it should be--either learning trades to try and get one, or expanding your networks, etc. No one can tell me that it's better to be at home putting in applications when they have to wake up, go to 'work' and look for their job in a place dedicated to that. It'd be a better use of our money, and I'll bet the turn around rate for applicants finding jobs would be WAY higher.

    4. Oh, and the standard rules of budgeting probably need to be applied: i.e. do not spend money you do not have, live within your means, and make being debt-free a real priority.

    Social security gets treated like it's a privilege.. I don't think this is really the case. Everyone retires whether they want to or not. We expire. Our ability to work expires. We cannot control that aspect. Treating social security like it's an opportunity and a program instead of a necessity is a damn shame. "Oh, we might run out of money for SS." Oh really? I don't think that should be an option at all. Retirement is not an option for anyone. I don't see why it should be an option in our budget. There are some things you just cannot cut. That's why you cut where you can.
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