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  1. #21
    WALMART
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    Three cheers for progress.


    Hip hip, hooray!

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Nice. I'm going to ignore the rest of your post then.
    The sand really is the best place for your head.

  3. #23
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    The only answer seems to be a third way which is to scale back, decentralize, and allow local relationships and social norms restrain evil and promote the common good in an otherwise free marketplace.
    How so?

  4. #24
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Bullshit. Those aren't spending cuts. They're decreases in the rate of increased spending.

    Those lost job positions and money are not jobs and money they currently have, but what they were planning to add without the sequestration.
    I have a feeling you are paraphrasing Rand Paul here. I believe he said that the sequester would slow budget growth over a ten year period... which is technically true, since the sequester calls for $1.2 trillion dollars in cuts in discretionary spending over 10 years (split evenly over the 10 years, requiring $109 billion per year reduction), but the sequester does not stop all growth in spending over the next decade. It only cuts discretionary spending, not mandatory spending (for example, the sequester only cuts Medicare by 2% and doesn't effect Highway Trust Fund spending or Department of Veteran's Affairs, among others). Discretionary spending is currently just above the historical average since 1972, but with the sequester will become lower than it has been since 1970 by 2017 (and you'll note the country has grown in various ways since 1970).

    For non-military discretionary spending, it's an estimated 9% to 12% cut across the board this year. For 2013, sequester cuts are required to happen at “program-project-activity” (PPA) level... which makes limiting the negative effects more difficult. Discretionary non-defense activities that may be affected include air traffic control, border patrol, scientific research, NIH, Food and Drug safety, special education, etc.

    So, given what a blunt instrument the sequester is, how little time there is to plan to minimize its effects, and how little wiggle room is available, calling it just a "decrease in rate of spending" seems like a dangerous oversimplification. And that's ignoring its effects on the still fragile recovery as well as the follow-on effects of delaying needed infrastructure upgrades and investments.

    A sequester overview is available from the Bipartisan Policy Center here.

  5. #25
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    How so?
    We could start by cutting federal bureaucracy and the taxes that fund it. For things like Medicaid we could block grant it to the states and then find a way to phase it out.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  6. #26
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    I have a feeling you are paraphrasing Rand Paul here.
    And Ron from the first time we dealt with this stupid mess.

    I believe he said that the sequester would slow budget growth over a ten year period... which is technically true, since the sequester calls for $1.2 trillion dollars in cuts in discretionary spending over 10 years (split evenly over the 10 years, requiring $109 billion per year reduction), but the sequester does not stop all growth in spending over the next decade. It only cuts discretionary spending, not mandatory spending (for example, the sequester only cuts Medicare by 2% and doesn't effect Highway Trust Fund spending or Department of Veteran's Affairs, among others). Discretionary spending is currently just above the historical average since 1972, but with the sequester will become lower than it has been since 1970 by 2017 (and you'll note the country has grown in various ways since 1970).

    For non-military discretionary spending, it's an estimated 9% to 12% cut across the board this year. For 2013, sequester cuts are required to happen at “program-project-activity” (PPA) level... which makes limiting the negative effects more difficult. Discretionary non-defense activities that may be affected include air traffic control, border patrol, scientific research, NIH, Food and Drug safety, special education, etc.

    So, given what a blunt instrument the sequester is, how little time there is to plan to minimize its effects, and how little wiggle room is available, calling it just a "decrease in rate of spending" seems like a dangerous oversimplification. And that's ignoring its effects on the still fragile recovery as well as the follow-on effects of delaying needed infrastructure upgrades and investments.

    A sequester overview is available from the Bipartisan Policy Center here.
    I appreciate you retrieving this information and sharing it. However, my original statement wasn't based on any of the particulars of the sequester but the baseline budgeting procedure that controls what is "more" and "less." I understand the desire to include inflation and population growth rate for planning purposes. But, I think it is dangerous and misleading to hide that aspect of the budget from the American people and merely refer to sequestration as "cuts." I don't think most people know about baseline budgeting and when they hear spending will be cut they presume that's based on actual current rates of spending. Obviously this is the whole reason why the Pauls bring it up. It's to let people know how much inflation is affecting government spending especially when wages are stagnating and plays into their whole opposition to deficit spending and the fed that makes it possible.

    The sequestration is stupid and idiotic and a blunt instrument, as you say, but in the grand scheme of things I don't think it's enough in cuts. That's part of the rhetorical reason why Rand sums it up as a decrease in spending because he's preempting attacks against descriptions of his next budget as harsher than sequestration. Unfortunately politics is a game of tag lines.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    We could start by cutting federal bureaucracy and the taxes that fund it. For things like Medicaid we could block grant it to the states and then find a way to phase it out.
    So as a stepping stone, more services in the responsibility of individual states (and associated taxes to finance those services), with the eventual goal of county or even city/town control?

    Ultimately, which for federal, which for state, which for local?

  8. #28
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    So as a stepping stone, more services in the responsibility of individual states (and associated taxes to finance those services), with the eventual goal of county or even city/town control?

    Ultimately, which for federal, which for state, which for local?
    That's the golden question. If you're abiding by subsidiarity then starting from the bottom level up each level handles everything it can and needs to deal with (within it's jurisdiction) and nothing that a lower level can handle on it's own. The problem is determining how that works out in reality. Europe and the EU have paid lipservice to subsidiarity for years, but at the end of the day the technocrats at the top decide what level has what duty.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    That's the golden question. If you're abiding by subsidiarity then starting from the bottom level up each level handles everything it can and needs to deal with (within it's jurisdiction) and nothing that a lower level can handle on it's own. The problem is determining how that works out in reality. Europe and the EU have paid lipservice to subsidiarity for years, but at the end of the day the technocrats at the top decide what level has what duty.
    I don't know if it's directly related, but I guess one problem I can see is that often states or areas within states that have the lowest local tax revenue to devote to services are the areas that need the most "help" if that makes sense.

  10. #30
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    I don't know if it's directly related, but I guess one problem I can see is that often states or areas within states that have the lowest local tax revenue to devote to services are the areas that need the most "help" if that makes sense.
    My problems with that are the same that I have with foreign aid:
    1. You don't get something for nothing. They will be exchanging political favors for the money which threatens their community's autonomy.
    2. Moral hazard. Some people live in places that just aren't economically viable and they shouldn't be propped up by outsiders.
    3. It encourages dependency.
    4. Most importantly there will be a tendency to focus on providing money over what the poor really need which is love and relationship. I know a guy who started a mission in a really horrible trailer park around Orlando. The real change in the park began after he asked 20 homeless guys to pray for him and reached out to them for support when his father died. He then put the guys to work doing service projects in their own neighborhood and he limited any outside helpers to no more than 25% of the work team. I think about 75% of those guys are steadily employed now and the crime in the neighborhood has dropped like a rock.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

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