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      03-15-2013, 10:59 AM   #1
Andy H.
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How the Feds are Conning You

This week, President Obama told ABC News that the current national debt, approaching $17 trillion, is "sustainable" and he does not feel the need to try to balance the budget.

Where is Herbert Hoover when we need an economic genius?

Just about every honest economist knows that running up massive debt without an effective strategy to improve the economy is flat out dangerous. If the U.S. dollar collapses, there will be a worldwide depression that will make the recent recession look like an after-party at George Clooney's house.

In the meantime, I can report the following federal expenditures that the President apparently has no problem overseeing:

- $27 million to the country of Morocco to teach the folks over there how to make pottery. I guess the Moroccan government is not capable of pottery instruction. This con is courtesy of the U.S. Agency for International Development, which now has the nerve to tell us that the pottery project is "not on track to achieve its goals." Translation, the dollars we've sent are likely to have been stolen.

- $1.5 million to the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston to study why many lesbian Americans are overweight. The National Institutes of Health calls the situation "an issue of high public health significance." Sure. Everybody's talking about it.

- $947,000 to research a "Mars menu." What astronauts would eat on the planet Mars if they ever get there. NASA says it will send six volunteers into a barren Hawaiian landscape to eat stuff so it can figure out what tastes good on Mars. I am NOT making this up, with apologies to Dave Barry.

- $325,000 to develop a robot squirrel. The National Science Foundation wants the robots to scare rattlesnakes. The agency also says the robosquirrels will help in "public outreach." Does anyone know what that means? Rocky? Bulwinkle?

- The National Science Foundation strikes again by funding a New York City theatre company called "The Civilians." They got nearly $700,000 tax dollars to put on a play about "climate change and biodiversity." Have you seen that play? No? That might be because it only played in Kansas City. Even Al Gore hasn't seen it.

Finally, if you go to the Alabama Watermelon exposition this year, you paid for some it. If you visit Nebraska, you should know that your tax dollars funded a company that makes shampoo and toothpaste for pets. And if you like caviar - you paid for a website designed to bring those exotic fish eggs to "the masses."

These expenditures are so stupid it hurts. But I also think they are a criminal misuse of our tax dollars. It is estimated that the federal government could save $400 billion a year by eliminating wasteful and redundant programs.

There comes a point when folks get the government they deserve. The American people reelected Barack Obama knowing he is the biggest spending president in history. In fact, Mr. Obama has spent more federal money than every president combined up until George W. Bush's second year in office. And to this day, Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party are proud of their spending record.

The Donkey is the symbol of the Democratic Party. It should be the robosquirrel.
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      03-15-2013, 02:21 PM   #2
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      03-15-2013, 06:39 PM   #3
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Exactly. He's a flat lying hypocritical S.O.B.
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      03-15-2013, 06:47 PM   #4
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Now let's watch all the liberal progressives come in here and change the subject by bashing Jesus and/or anyone who believes those with a questionable sexual preference are immoral and/or claiming racism, etc.
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      03-15-2013, 07:29 PM   #5
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Please, please, please you must remember that he is a product of His up bringing and environment. You know 'Illinois Politics'. Remember that's the state that has term limits. One term in office and the second in 'jail'.
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      03-19-2013, 05:00 PM   #6
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I'm from Illinois and its true!
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      03-21-2013, 03:12 PM   #7
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So my vacation plans to Cyprus have been cancelled. Something about the government there seizing everybody's wallet because the country is bankrupt. Another nanny state bites the dust. When will they ever learn?

Never.

Here in the good old USA, there are 73 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Folks like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Maxine Watters and Rep. Alan Grayson. Sanders is the only honest one of the bunch. He comes right out and admits he's a socialist. He'll take all your stuff while telling you tales of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys.

The CPC recently released their budget vision. They want a 49% income tax rate for the nation's highest earners. Half of the take. They also want to eliminate most deductions for the rich crew and, when they die, the progressives want 65% of what they leave to their families.

Sound reasonable? Sure, if you're Joseph Stalin.

Of course the CPC wants to couple the onerous taxation with even more spending. To them, Barack Obama is Jack Benny. Look him up.

Yep, despite the nearly $17 trillion debt the progressives want an additional $2.5 trillion for "job creation." That means giving tax money to folks they like. Doesn't matter what kind of jobs are created, if you have anything to do with fighting global warming, the progressives want to send you a check.

The CPC also wants an additional $2.2 trillion to spend on science and technology, the environment, income security (that's direct welfare payments) and of course that time-tested money pit "education."

I love the education deal. The USA now spends more money per student than any nation on earth. But it's not enough. It will never be enough. The kids can't learn without more money, don't you know

The CDC does want to cut one bit of federal spending: defense. They want to go back to the 2006 level. Never mind that the former Secretary of Defense, ardent democrat Leon Panetta, says that would put the nation in peril, the CPC doesn't care. To them, the military are imperialists.

The truth is that the CPC doesn't like America. Capitalism is bad. Share the land. Take from rich. Power to the people. Abbie Hoffman would have loved these people.

But they are entrenched on Capitol Hill. Voters put them there. That's democracy for you. Pinheads can achieve power. And the rest of us suffer.
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      03-22-2013, 12:53 PM   #8
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Theres more takers than earners in this country and they will keep voting for their own lazy self interests. Its too late to turn it around. Once amnesty passes the left will have the power to drive this country right off the cliff.
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      03-22-2013, 04:33 PM   #9
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the problem with democracies: most people simply don't deserve to govern
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      03-23-2013, 06:21 PM   #10
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Bulldog CFP,

OK, for sh!ts and giggles and because I have some time, I'll bite. For the record, I feel I represent a largely unrepresented swath of the country and operate not from liberal nor conservative dogma. I think there are points people could agree on if they would just step away from their respective dogmas.

Also for the record, I live in liberal San Francisco, but have done quite well in my career.

The problem with your argument is you are dogmatic in the opposite direction of what you are lambasting, in, imo, an equally unrealistic manner.

I think everyone agrees, including the President, that in an ideal world we would have no budget deficit and would in fact be paying down the debt. I think even the progressive caucus believes this, they are just out there on how.

When you throw actual dollar amounts into your argument, you weaken it. Debt is measured by "honest economists" as a % of GDP, and you take into account inflation. Suggesting that the real dollar amount historically is some relatively absurd value is not actually helpful. It's true, it just isn't really what matters. Similar "biggest spending president in history". Guess what? Odds are the next one will be even bigger, regardless of party. The bipartisan budget commission suggested we cut about $4T from the budget deficit through spending and taxes over 10 years and guess what? We're pretty much at that amount of cutting/taxes over the past two years or so.

Anyone can quote absurd federal spending as an argument against waste. I can also claim you should turn off lights in rooms you aren't in in your home - this has about the same % effect on the problem as the programs you describe. One could also quote massive tax giveaways we are giving to hedge fund managers and energy companies that are equally appalling on the other end of the spectrum. This is also not really helpful.

Taxes as a % of GDP are at an all-time low, so that is also not really relevant.

The amount of spending that isn't the military and entitlements could be cut to ZERO and it would not get rid of the deficit. And there's lots of good stuff in that category like medical research that no one would agree we should cut.

The progressive caucus is equally wrong. I live in a city where progressives have gone relatively mad, and it sucks as bad as it would if right-wing people were in charge, just in different ways.

My point is this: Both sides are unclean in this argument. Neither side actually owns a public opinion mandate - americans like smaller government in the abstract, but also like all of the individual programs it provides in the specific, silly edge cases you describe excepted.

So what do I think? I guess here is where I potentially need to put on a flame suit because both sides will dislike what I say. I do have some principles though:

1. The tax code should be progressive to some degree. People who can afford to pay more, myself included, should pay relatively more. The argument is about how much more. The biggest problem here is people who make a lot more than me actually pay a lower effective tax rate than I do, and that is wrong. The graph of effective tax rate by income peaks in my range, and then falls back down for the even-wealthier. I should not be relatively punished because most of my income comes from *working* as opposed to *investing*.

2. People shouldn't go bankrupt because they get sick. We also shouldn't jeopardize the financial incentive for medical companies to invest in new technology. My suggestion for threading this needle is:

2a. The government should provide a base level of medical coverage. Nothing fancy, nothing extreme. All preventative care because this costs less than it saves. Highish caps on out of pocket for catastrophic problems like cancer. This isn't a "market" in the normal sense because people have no chance of not participating. If you pass out in the street you will be taken to an ER and given care.

2b. The private health insurance market should continue to exist but focus on care above that base level. Shorter waits, more exotic and experimental care, non-preventative care.

2c. Note that this is somewhat of a "public option", which actually decreases cost. And by not including the more expensive stuff in the public part, it stops the massive increase in spending in medicare/medicaid, and would replace both of those programs.

3. Free markets are the ideal, but in extreme cases intervention is required. Monopolies. Banks that are so big if they failed they would destroy the economy. Etc. Regulation is a tool that should be used only on these extremes, but is a tool that should be used. For silly things, like airbag warning stickers on sun visors, the government should stay the hell out. One interesting idea here is limiting the # of laws per session of congress. Make em count.

This means no subsidies for farmers. This means if a kid dies from a defective product, the market should sort that out not the government. Again, both sides have faults here.

4. A base level of education should be free - primary, secondary, and university. We should be tracking kids into more university-track and technical vocational school track earlier on, like Europe does. This should all be free. Advanced degrees probably should stay private. Let the private market handle everything above this base level, ala my healthcare position above. While we are towards the top of education spending per capita, we aren't actually at the top despite what you say, and an *extremely small* percentage of that comes from the federal government. Most comes from local property taxes and then state funding, and is horrifically inequitable and inefficient.

5. Massively more spending on R&D - medical, computers, biology, and yes, NASA - this is stuff that makes us better and more money in the end, and again, is a pittance of the total. All of NASA = 1% of the total budget.

6. Increased spending on infrastructure. Not stupid high speed rail. But highways, bridges, tunnels, mass transit to keep cars off the road, etc. Again, this is all good and gains us more money than it costs.

7. Decreased spending on the military. Here I get more controversial I bet. We spend more than the next 13 countries combined on defense, including on unnecessary programs the military doesn't even want but are in congressional home districts so pork keeps them around. We spend nearly 2.5x China as a % of GDP. These are many *many* times the spending program amounts you list, and again, the military doesn't even want them. We need to stay ahead of china, and have effective ways to defeat guerilla-style terrorist groups in various countries. We don't need anything more than that.

I am not saying we need to avoid conflict like libertarians - we have a duty as the richest people in the world to be the world's cop where required. But we are doing like 5x that right now.

8. Social Security. Despite what some like to say, Social Security is *mostly* financially solvent and just needs some minor adjustments based on eligibility age based on the fact that people live longer. Once we get through the baby boomers retiring, it becomes solvent again. People don't save for retirement - this is why this was invented in the first place. Old people were destitute. That shouldn't happen and I don't see a better way to stop it than social security.

9. The gov't should stay the hell out of social issues and people's lives and religions. This again goes both ways. People should marry whom they choose. Priests shouldn't have to be forced to marry anyone.

If you object to something here, please try and be specific about it. *Both* sides are being vague and it is unhelpful. Tell me which program that totals more than 1% of the budget you would cut and how. Don't just repeat Fox News talking points, and don't just use the other extreme to try and make your point.

We need to trim the big programs - medicare, medicaid, social security, and the military. We also need to tax fairly, by which I mean progressively.

If we did all of this, our deficits would be solved. If you have an alternative that would actually work, by all means illustrate it. But please learn about what you are discussing in a way that depends on facts and not talking points.
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      03-23-2013, 08:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmcnulty View Post
Bulldog CFP,

OK, for sh!ts and giggles and because I have some time, I'll bite. For the record, I feel I represent a largely unrepresented swath of the country and operate not from liberal nor conservative dogma. I think there are points people could agree on if they would just step away from their respective dogmas.

Also for the record, I live in liberal San Francisco, but have done quite well in my career.

The problem with your argument is you are dogmatic in the opposite direction of what you are lambasting, in, imo, an equally unrealistic manner.

I think everyone agrees, including the President, that in an ideal world we would have no budget deficit and would in fact be paying down the debt. I think even the progressive caucus believes this, they are just out there on how.

When you throw actual dollar amounts into your argument, you weaken it. Debt is measured by "honest economists" as a % of GDP, and you take into account inflation. Suggesting that the real dollar amount historically is some relatively absurd value is not actually helpful. It's true, it just isn't really what matters. Similar "biggest spending president in history". Guess what? Odds are the next one will be even bigger, regardless of party. The bipartisan budget commission suggested we cut about $4T from the budget deficit through spending and taxes over 10 years and guess what? We're pretty much at that amount of cutting/taxes over the past two years or so.

Anyone can quote absurd federal spending as an argument against waste. I can also claim you should turn off lights in rooms you aren't in in your home - this has about the same % effect on the problem as the programs you describe. One could also quote massive tax giveaways we are giving to hedge fund managers and energy companies that are equally appalling on the other end of the spectrum. This is also not really helpful.

Taxes as a % of GDP are at an all-time low, so that is also not really relevant.

The amount of spending that isn't the military and entitlements could be cut to ZERO and it would not get rid of the deficit. And there's lots of good stuff in that category like medical research that no one would agree we should cut.

The progressive caucus is equally wrong. I live in a city where progressives have gone relatively mad, and it sucks as bad as it would if right-wing people were in charge, just in different ways.

My point is this: Both sides are unclean in this argument. Neither side actually owns a public opinion mandate - americans like smaller government in the abstract, but also like all of the individual programs it provides in the specific, silly edge cases you describe excepted.

So what do I think? I guess here is where I potentially need to put on a flame suit because both sides will dislike what I say. I do have some principles though:

1. The tax code should be progressive to some degree. People who can afford to pay more, myself included, should pay relatively more. The argument is about how much more. The biggest problem here is people who make a lot more than me actually pay a lower effective tax rate than I do, and that is wrong. The graph of effective tax rate by income peaks in my range, and then falls back down for the even-wealthier. I should not be relatively punished because most of my income comes from *working* as opposed to *investing*.

2. People shouldn't go bankrupt because they get sick. We also shouldn't jeopardize the financial incentive for medical companies to invest in new technology. My suggestion for threading this needle is:

2a. The government should provide a base level of medical coverage. Nothing fancy, nothing extreme. All preventative care because this costs less than it saves. Highish caps on out of pocket for catastrophic problems like cancer. This isn't a "market" in the normal sense because people have no chance of not participating. If you pass out in the street you will be taken to an ER and given care.

2b. The private health insurance market should continue to exist but focus on care above that base level. Shorter waits, more exotic and experimental care, non-preventative care.

2c. Note that this is somewhat of a "public option", which actually decreases cost. And by not including the more expensive stuff in the public part, it stops the massive increase in spending in medicare/medicaid, and would replace both of those programs.

3. Free markets are the ideal, but in extreme cases intervention is required. Monopolies. Banks that are so big if they failed they would destroy the economy. Etc. Regulation is a tool that should be used only on these extremes, but is a tool that should be used. For silly things, like airbag warning stickers on sun visors, the government should stay the hell out. One interesting idea here is limiting the # of laws per session of congress. Make em count.

This means no subsidies for farmers. This means if a kid dies from a defective product, the market should sort that out not the government. Again, both sides have faults here.

4. A base level of education should be free - primary, secondary, and university. We should be tracking kids into more university-track and technical vocational school track earlier on, like Europe does. This should all be free. Advanced degrees probably should stay private. Let the private market handle everything above this base level, ala my healthcare position above. While we are towards the top of education spending per capita, we aren't actually at the top despite what you say, and an *extremely small* percentage of that comes from the federal government. Most comes from local property taxes and then state funding, and is horrifically inequitable and inefficient.

5. Massively more spending on R&D - medical, computers, biology, and yes, NASA - this is stuff that makes us better and more money in the end, and again, is a pittance of the total. All of NASA = 1% of the total budget.

6. Increased spending on infrastructure. Not stupid high speed rail. But highways, bridges, tunnels, mass transit to keep cars off the road, etc. Again, this is all good and gains us more money than it costs.

7. Decreased spending on the military. Here I get more controversial I bet. We spend more than the next 13 countries combined on defense, including on unnecessary programs the military doesn't even want but are in congressional home districts so pork keeps them around. We spend nearly 2.5x China as a % of GDP. These are many *many* times the spending program amounts you list, and again, the military doesn't even want them. We need to stay ahead of china, and have effective ways to defeat guerilla-style terrorist groups in various countries. We don't need anything more than that.

I am not saying we need to avoid conflict like libertarians - we have a duty as the richest people in the world to be the world's cop where required. But we are doing like 5x that right now.

8. Social Security. Despite what some like to say, Social Security is *mostly* financially solvent and just needs some minor adjustments based on eligibility age based on the fact that people live longer. Once we get through the baby boomers retiring, it becomes solvent again. People don't save for retirement - this is why this was invented in the first place. Old people were destitute. That shouldn't happen and I don't see a better way to stop it than social security.

9. The gov't should stay the hell out of social issues and people's lives and religions. This again goes both ways. People should marry whom they choose. Priests shouldn't have to be forced to marry anyone.

If you object to something here, please try and be specific about it. *Both* sides are being vague and it is unhelpful. Tell me which program that totals more than 1% of the budget you would cut and how. Don't just repeat Fox News talking points, and don't just use the other extreme to try and make your point.

We need to trim the big programs - medicare, medicaid, social security, and the military. We also need to tax fairly, by which I mean progressively.

If we did all of this, our deficits would be solved. If you have an alternative that would actually work, by all means illustrate it. But please learn about what you are discussing in a way that depends on facts and not talking points.

Very well written
I wish more Americans thought like you
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      03-23-2013, 10:24 PM   #12
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Very well written
I wish more Americans thought like you
Many do. I would bet most would agree. But emotion and social issues are used to distract the masses.

I certainly agree with most of it and what I'm skeptical about isn't enough argue about. What was written is mostly logic, not rocket science. This begs the question, why are things the way they are in this country? The people in charge can recognize these points and solutions as well. Our friend logic says things are the way they are because the people in charge want them that way. If both sides are against deficits, why are their deficits? If both sides are against over spending, why is there over spending?

Mmcnulty, what's your view on a flat income tax in conjunction with a federal sales tax?
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      03-24-2013, 02:17 AM   #13
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Mmcnulty, what's your view on a flat income tax in conjunction with a federal sales tax?
Too regressive. Consumption taxes always are, counter to what you would guess, and that would tip the balance towards that with the base being flat. I'm honestly ok with "flatter", so long as it doesn't peak and trend back downwards at the top like now.
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      03-24-2013, 02:21 AM   #14
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What was written is mostly logic, not rocket science. This begs the question, why are things the way they are in this country? The people in charge can recognize these points and solutions as well. Our friend logic says things are the way they are because the people in charge want them that way. If both sides are against deficits, why are their deficits? If both sides are against over spending, why is there over spending?
Ah, this reminded me of a part I forgot, thank you.

0.1. All elections are run with public money, and fairly limited at that. Districts should be drawn by neutral parties, and primaries should be open (not one dem one repub). At this point this would take a constitutional amendment it seems, but the only way logic gets to prevail, imo. We need money out of politics, and incentives for politicians to migrate towards the center, not polarize. Seems like this is the prerequisite to all of the above, sadly. Both sides have gotten way too good at gaming the current system, which is why this seems so intransigent.
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      03-24-2013, 02:28 AM   #15
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A viable third centrist party would potentially pull it off as well, but the system is pretty biased against it all on so many levels. People had high hopes for Bloomberg for his party-switching ways and distain, before he went and started nanny-stating against big sodas (but sorry Sarah, not actually Big Gulps - those were exempt).
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      03-24-2013, 01:28 PM   #16
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I still believe that you need a minimum of 3 parties for a healthy democracy
Because the US 2 party system has shown us that you take 1 step forward, the the other party comes to power, and does an undo of what the other party achieved.
Once you have 3, you need 2 parties to agree, that filters out the whacko nut job ideas of the extremes, on either side.
And you get moderate ideas coming out
So you may be swinging a little from right to left, but maintaining a forward momentum.
And no I don't mean Ralph NADER
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      03-24-2013, 03:55 PM   #17
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until there's a better tax system, just live poor and keep it in a swiss bank account.

you can legally bring in $10k every time you enter the u.s., there's also the tax-exempt annual gift of $26k/yr from parents. or just wear a gold rope (you've had it for years, of course) and pawn it.

the government's losing money every year. if they don't clean it up, it'll just be a matter of time. all the great fighting states in civilized history either ran out of money or were ultimately beaten themselves. [THG]

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      03-27-2013, 11:57 AM   #18
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This week, President Obama told ABC News that the current national debt, approaching $17 trillion, is "sustainable" and he does not feel the need to try to balance the budget.

President Obama is in the 'lameduck stage' of his Presidency so he does not give a shit. It will be his legacy.
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      03-27-2013, 12:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by mmcnulty View Post
Bulldog CFP,

OK, for sh!ts and giggles and because I have some time, I'll bite. For the record, I feel I represent a largely unrepresented swath of the country and operate not from liberal nor conservative dogma. I think there are points people could agree on if they would just step away from their respective dogmas.
“I feel” and “I think”, doesn’t cut it. Give me a break!

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Originally Posted by mmcnulty View Post
Also for the record, I live in liberal San Francisco, but have done quite well in my career.
So what’s your point?

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Originally Posted by mmcnulty View Post
The problem with your argument is you are dogmatic in the opposite direction of what you are lambasting, in, imo, an equally unrealistic manner.
Meaningless, unsubstantiated, and aimless.
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Originally Posted by mmcnulty View Post
I think everyone agrees, including the President, that in an ideal world we would have no budget deficit and would in fact be paying down the debt. I think even the progressive caucus believes this, they are just out there on how.
Here we go again with the, “I think” perspective. Clearly, you do not see the fact that this president has no desire to implement a budget. Five years into his presidency with a 17 TRILLION dollar national debt obligation and a 1 trillion dollar budget deficit with no budget yet. And all he continues to do is campaign for his increased spending and play golf!
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Originally Posted by mmcnulty View Post
When you throw actual dollar amounts into your argument, you weaken it. Debt is measured by "honest economists" as a % of GDP, and you take into account inflation. Suggesting that the real dollar amount historically is some relatively absurd value is not actually helpful. It's true, it just isn't really what matters. Similar "biggest spending president in history". Guess what? Odds are the next one will be even bigger, regardless of party. The bipartisan budget commission suggested we cut about $4T from the budget deficit through spending and taxes over 10 years and guess what? We're pretty much at that amount of cutting/taxes over the past two years or so.
“When you throw actual dollar amounts into your argument, you weaken it.” Whew! Really? Again, clearly your unfounded opinion. Sheesh! It's just $17 TRILLION. No biggy, right Mmcnutly?!?

“Debt is measured by "honest economists" as a % of GDP, and you take into account inflation”

Our gross debt to GDP Ratio is 106%. http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Ask any honest economist or any business or financial analyst if this is healthy!

“Odds are the next one will be even bigger, regardless of party.”

Obama has added more to our national debt than all presidents before him combined. This is a fact. So, you are diminishing this by SPECULATING that it’s okay because the next president will spend even more? Wow! It is evident that you believe the BS line, that all the liberal progressives spew to their ignorant constituents for support, “we need to invest more in…”. Liberal translation for investing: Borrow and spend.

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Originally Posted by mmcnulty View Post
Anyone can quote absurd federal spending as an argument against waste. I can also claim you should turn off lights in rooms you aren't in in your home - this has about the same % effect on the problem as the programs you describe. One could also quote massive tax giveaways we are giving to hedge fund managers and energy companies that are equally appalling on the other end of the spectrum. This is also not really helpful.
I need a shovel. It’s getting really deep in here!

You are actually equating all the Federal Government waste as though it’s inconsequential minutia or to that of leaving a light on when no one is occupying the room. Wow! Really? Mmcnutly, help us all out here and specify any government entity that is running lean, mean, profitable, offers value to the folks and isn’t broke.

Okay, here we go with the liberal progressive talking points of bashing the oil companies. And I bet you aren’t driving an electric car either! If you don’t like it then stop using petroleum based products. Or, don’t invest in a hedge fund. You make the choice!

But it is okay, from your perspective, that California Alameda County executive Susan Muranishi will be doing just fine when she retires on $470,000 a year for life and even getting performance bonuses to boot when she’s no longer performing! At least the folks are getting something for what they are paying for from the oil companies. Oh, here’s one, I wonder why California Berkeley City Councilman Gordon Wozniak wants to tax emails. Suggesting that the money collected, which would be part of a wider-reaching internet tax, could be used in Berkeley’s case to save the local post office!?!

Hey Mmcnutly, why is the U.S. Post Office broke in the first place? Why is UPS, DHL, FedEx, etc. profitable? Mmcnutly, please enlighten us on why you think/feel/speculate that California is $164 billion dollars in Debt?

They will never be able to pay it back! And while you are at it, please let us know your thoughts on why there is a mass exodus of folks from California to states like Texas (and I pray they do not bring their liberal ideology with them).

You must not be paying your fair share of taxes, mmcnutly! C’mon, man up! Sheesh!!!! Hey man, we’re only 17 trillion in debt and running a 1 trillion dollar budget deficit. Right, Mmcnutly? No biggy.

Oh BTW, following your oil company logic, then we should all stop going to the movies because the movie stars are hoarding millions of dollars in profit instead of equally distributing it among all the other folks who were employed to help make the movie. “Apalling”.

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Originally Posted by mmcnulty View Post
Taxes as a % of GDP are at an all-time low, so that is also not really relevant.
C’mon Mmcnutly, use that space between your ears and think it through. Also, just a helpful tip, if you stop watching the liberal progressive main stream biased news and listening to Nancy Pelosi you will have a better opportunity to think outside the box.

Taxes as a % of GDP are at an all-time low because the economy is in the crapper with 8% unemployment (double digit when you factor in all those who have stopped looking). The U.S. has the highest corporate tax structure over any other developed country in the world.

Mmcnutly, why do you think U.S. companies are hoarding cash, running on the least amount of employees and not hiring and growing?

Obviously tax revenue would be higher if the economy was thriving. C’mon dude, Econ 101.

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The amount of spending that isn't the military and entitlements could be cut to ZERO and it would not get rid of the deficit. And there's lots of good stuff in that category like medical research that no one would agree we should cut.
This is simply more meaningless, unsubstantiated and aimless comments. I particularly like the use of, “stuff”. It solidifies your point very well.

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Originally Posted by mmcnulty View Post
The progressive caucus is equally wrong. I live in a city where progressives have gone relatively mad, and it sucks as bad as it would if right-wing people were in charge, just in different ways.
You are saying that “right-wing peoples” belief in fiscal responsibility, financial independence, freedom from government tyranny is as bad as the liberal progressives who embrace the belief that the Government can do better for you than you can do for yourself? The same folks who want European socialism, entitlement (nanny) state, no budget or spending limits, and ignore fiscal responsibility?

Take a good hard look at our country, mmcnutly. Do you like what you see?

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Originally Posted by mmcnulty View Post
My point is this: Both sides are unclean in this argument. Neither side actually owns a public opinion mandate - americans like smaller government in the abstract, but also like all of the individual programs it provides in the specific, silly edge cases you describe excepted.
The majority embrace smaller government, financial independence and personal responsibility. They enjoy taking the initiative that is reinforced with reward of personal success, achievment and financial freedom. This is the very essence of what made our country so great.

Sadly, this majority is not far off from becoming the minority. Our current administration has done an exceptional job at getting more people addicted to entitlements. And, it is difficult to get them off once they’ve embraced it. Think about it. An individual earning $50,000 a year after taxes nets less take home pay than a comparable individual on welfare. What would you do?

Mmcnutly, what can you glean from Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain or Portugal? Do they offer you any insight? What about Cyprus?

Can you glean any comparisons here?

Oh yeah, our nation’s financial situation is "comparable to one leaving a light on while no one is in the room". Oh Sorry, man. I forgot your perspective on that.

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Originally Posted by mmcnulty View Post
If you object to something here, please try and be specific about it. *Both* sides are being vague and it is unhelpful. Tell me which program that totals more than 1% of the budget you would cut and how. Don't just repeat Fox News talking points, and don't just use the other extreme to try and make your point.
I’ve been very specific since the inception of this thread. However, you are hypocritical to ask me to be specific when you fail to do the same.

Who is repeating Fox News talking points? It doesn’t matter where you get your news as long as you question, challenge and verify everything. Am I wrong?
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      03-27-2013, 01:55 PM   #20
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unemployment could easily be 20% if you include the underemployed (rocket scientists driving cabs, etc)

there's definitely a ton of wasteful spending: medicare is inherently flawed and doctors have a blank check, there's also the $1000 sears-quality tsa uniforms, people freeloading from disability (e.g. i'm crazy send me checks). at all levels, it's a big game of who can mooch the most whilst doing the least.
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      03-27-2013, 05:43 PM   #21
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This is all being done by design.

Meanwhile lets keep up the 24/7 news coverage of the gay marriage debate!!!!
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      03-27-2013, 11:27 PM   #22
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