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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-02-2006, 06:46 AM   #21
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by Arc
I am all for tax cuts and reduced spending. I believe the Republicans are our best bet for tax cuts (or at least no tax hikes) - especially since the Dems agenda clearly states their intent to roll back Bush tax cuts - its a matter of record.

And even given recent history, I'll go with the Republicans on spending over the long term. National Healthcare scares me as does Dems refusal to seriously look at a Social Security - these dollars are astronomical. And no I didn't forget about the war. Whether you agree with it or not, National Defense is one of the very few expenditures that is actually provided for in the Constitution.
OK but explain how you are going to deal with the growing debt - eliminate social security and medicare/medicaid?
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-02-2006, 05:12 PM   #22
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by donheff
OK but explain how you are going to deal with the growing debt - eliminate social security and medicare/medicaid?
No easy answer here - but first step is to make at an economic matter and not a political one. Let's quit scaring people - any effort to address SS is met by Dems painting Republicans as thieves wanting to take peoples checks away - they've been very effective with the uninformed.

As an economic, matter the informed understand that it's just a terrible deal - anyway you look at it. Something needs done. I admit it is a problem of monumental proportion, with no easy answer. And expecting our politicians to be able to solve these may just be plain unrealistic.

So I will continue to save - like you all - and insure that the success or failure of SS Medicare has zero impact on financial security.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-02-2006, 07:43 PM   #23
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by Arc

Regarding the War, I'm very comfortable with an aggressive stance by US on matters of National Security. As it relates to $ cost, you tell me what this American way of life is worth.
I remember this rationale for war spending in the past, i.e. Vietnam. Isn't it funny how it comes around and around?
One thing you might keep in mind is what happened to the Soviet Union after we spent them into the ground on the arms race. Bin Laden, et al, seem to have the same strategy that we had in the Cold War, threaten, threaten, little bombs, big bombs, make the Soviets keep up with us in spending until their economy collapses. Our government under Bush is falling into the same trap. Our government is now in such severe debt that soon there will be no way to pay back loans to China. Then what?
I doubt there's any need to worry about the Democrats starting any more entitlement insurance programs. There's no money for the ones we have now. The only new taxes will be raised to pay back the debt created by 8 years of Mr. Bush.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-02-2006, 10:38 PM   #24
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by Oldbabe
I remember this rationale for war spending in the past, i.e. Vietnam. Isn't it funny how it comes around and around?
One thing you might keep in mind is what happened to the Soviet Union after we spent them into the ground on the arms race. Bin Laden, et al, seem to have the same strategy that we had in the Cold War, threaten, threaten, little bombs, big bombs, make the Soviets keep up with us in spending until their economy collapses. Our government under Bush is falling into the same trap. Our government is now in such severe debt that soon there will be no way to pay back loans to China. Then what?
I doubt there's any need to worry about the Democrats starting any more entitlement insurance programs. There's no money for the ones we have now. The only new taxes will be raised to pay back the debt created by 8 years of Mr. Bush.
Oldbabe,
You lost me - are you equating Bin Ladens attack on the US with the US response to Russia during the cold war?
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 01:27 AM   #25
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by Oldbabe

I doubt there's any need to worry about the Democrats starting any more entitlement insurance programs. There's no money for the ones we have now.
When did that ever stop them?

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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 05:56 AM   #26
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by Oldbabe
I doubt there's any need to worry about the Democrats starting any more entitlement insurance programs. There's no money for the ones we have now. The only new taxes will be raised to pay back the debt created by 8 years of Mr. Bush.
Don't you know there's always more money, we haven't hit the 100% tax rate, yet. We don't have a VAT on top of the income tax. The dead can still pass on some of their wealth.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 09:09 AM   #27
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by Arc
No easy answer here - but first step is to make at an economic matter and not a political one. Let's quit scaring people - any effort to address SS is met by Dems painting Republicans as thieves wanting to take peoples checks away - they've been very effective with the uninformed.
I completely agree that it is an economic matter. The bottom line is that we were on a path to at least a degree of fiscal balance and the recent tax cuts completely undid that. You say you are a fan of tax cuts and I presume that means even more tax cuts. I would simply like to know how the hell we are going to deal with the deficit with the existing tax structure let alone more cuts.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 09:30 AM   #28
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Re: Even more political rants

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I completely agree that it is an economic matter.
I don't. Decisions like this ultimately depend on one's view of what the world should look like and what is important. If you don't think that a social safety net is impotant, then the solution becomes obvious: whackety-whack. If you believe that the social safety net is important, then you head out in an opposite direction: shore up the system as best you can. This isn't a simple matter of Yen and Euros.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 10:01 AM   #29
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by donheff
I completely agree that it is an economic matter. The bottom line is that we were on a path to at least a degree of fiscal balance and the recent tax cuts completely undid that. You say you are a fan of tax cuts and I presume that means even more tax cuts. I would simply like to know how the hell we are going to deal with the deficit with the existing tax structure let alone more cuts.
This tax cut issue is all rather amusing (- ) to me at this point and has put us into a weird situation. We elected a fellow who thinks tax cuts are a big answer to our problems. Some think that lower taxes are a sort of birthright due them . . . yet we expect our children and grandchildren to pay for our SS, Medicare and wars because some think lower taxes cure most everything.

Does anyone think that these younger folks won't expect this same birthright? Does anyone think they will want or will vote for less than what we get now? Remember, we are currently training them or have trained them in the past to think like us.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 10:03 AM   #30
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Re: Even more political rants

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Does anyone think that these younger folks won't expect this same birthright? Does anyone think they will want or will vote for less than what we get now? Remember, we are currently training them or have trained them in the past to think like us.
As a 33YO, I fully expect to get cornholed over SS. That's OK with me if it keeps a lot of elderly people out of poverty. More worrisome, IMO, is Medicare. It is in worse shape and we really cannot do away with it.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 10:10 AM   #31
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Re: Even more political rants

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As a 33YO, I fully expect to get cornholed over SS. That's OK with me if it keeps a lot of elderly people out of poverty. More worrisome, IMO, is Medicare. It is in worse shape and we really cannot do away with it.
I too have NO PLANS for SS in my future. Medicare is so far in the red it makes SS look flush with cash......................
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 10:17 AM   #32
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Re: Even more political rants

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I don't. Decisions like this ultimately depend on one's view of what the world should look like and what is important. If you don't think that a social safety net is impotant, then the solution becomes obvious: whackety-whack. If you believe that the social safety net is important, then you head out in an opposite direction: shore up the system as best you can. This isn't a simple matter of Yen and Euros.
I may have miscommunicated Brewer. I agree that we need the social safety net of a progressively structured SS system. I see that as an economic issue. Just like I see the increasing deficit as an economic issue.

Of course I neglected to add that I also see both of these matters as intensely political at the same time.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 10:33 AM   #33
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Re: Even more political rants

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More worrisome, IMO, is Medicare. It is in worse shape and we really cannot do away with it.
Why do our "leaders" spend so much time wringing their hands over SS when Med is in so much worse shape? I read recently the the unfunded Med liability is now six times the unfunded SS liability, and that part D is a major factor. This is one of the principal reasons I have total contempt for the Bush crowd. Fomenting fear about SS just about non-stop, all the while making the problem so much worse with part D. And then there is the provision in part D about prohibitiing any negotiations on the price of meds. End of rant.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 10:42 AM   #34
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Re: Even more political rants

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Why do our "leaders" spend so much time wringing their hands over SS when Med is in so much worse shape? I read recently the the unfunded Med liability is now six times the unfunded SS liability, and that part D is a major factor. This is one of the principal reasons I have total contempt for the Bush crowd. Fomenting fear about SS just about non-stop, all the while making the problem so much worse with part D. And then there is the provision in part D about prohibitiing any negotiations on the price of meds. End of rant.
Because SS still provides a budgetary gravy train while Medicare does not?

I actually think Part D was a good addition. Execution has been sloppy, though.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 10:59 AM   #35
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Re: Even more political rants

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As a 33YO, I fully expect to get cornholed over SS. That's OK with me if it keeps a lot of elderly people out of poverty. More worrisome, IMO, is Medicare. It is in worse shape and we really cannot do away with it.
I heard a shoot-from-the-hip idea for a SS resolution the other day while at my insurance agent's office: We just add another tax. Add a 10% tariff on all imported goods, take that money as it accumulates and put it aside into private accounts for workers. Pick an arbitrary time such as 2008 for a beginning date. Those already retired wouldn't be entitled to a penny of this money. Those retiring in say 2010 would get two years worth of that fund but have their SS reduced by an equivalent amount. As a younger worker, you would have money under your control that would make up a larger portion of your gov't supplied retirement fund. The younger you are today the greater that proportion of non-SS monies, a sort of gradual decline in you non-expected SS monies and increase in the tariff funded monies. After forty-sixty years, no more SS around. But the whole thing is funded by a sort of general consumer tax on all buyers of foreign stuff. It is very similar to Bush's plan except where the money from, another new added tax : on the whole country.

It has lots of problems, obviously. But it amused me when I heard it. From a Liberal trying to think of some positive solutions. I liked it on the surface because it wasn't presented as a paradigm shift in thinking, which is always hard to digest.

And, to stay on topic, I think you-know-who completely botched his recommended SS fix in content and, especially, the presentation to the public.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 11:04 AM   #36
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Re: Even more political rants

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Add a 10% tariff on all imported goods
Non-starter. Not only would this run afoul of just about every trade treaty we ever signed, but you'd get to see what inflation really looks like.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 11:18 AM   #37
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Re: Even more political rants

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Oldbabe,
You lost me - are you equating Bin Ladens attack on the US with the US response to Russia during the cold war?
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Arc, I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear. Bin Laden has expressed publically that Al Queda's intention is to bankrupt us. Their attacks, including 9/ll, have been aimed at our financial heart. By doing so, they lead us to spend more and more on defense, sometimes ineffectually, in the same way that we led the Soviet Union to match us in the arms race. It is a futile effort that leads to financial ruin, which is how we defeated the Soviet Union, although in the short term it may seem that we are making "progress" in the "war against terrorism." I know that this is a very unpopular viewpoint among those who believe our government has unlimited funds for defense.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 11:29 AM   #38
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Re: Even more political rants

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Arc, I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear. Bin Laden has expressed publically that Al Queda's intention is to bankrupt us. Their attacks, including 9/ll, have been aimed at our financial heart. By doing so, they lead us to spend more and more on defense, sometimes ineffectually, in the same way that we led the Soviet Union to match us in the arms race. It is a futile effort that leads to financial ruin, which is how we defeated the Soviet Union, although in the short term it may seem that we are making "progress" in the "war against terrorism." I know that this is a very unpopular viewpoint among those who believe our government has unlimited funds for defense.
I generally agree with you Oldbabe. My concern is that even if the Dem's plans for getting us out of Iraq are successful, what do we do about terrorism? I'd like to think that non-military means such as negotiations and consensus would do the trick. But then I remember that even under Clinton and the Dems we had the relatively successful attack on the World Trade Center in '93 and other less impactful incidents. So, I fear it's possible the Dems will get us out of Iraq and pulled back home, but occassional terrorist events (a plane here, a poisoned water system there, etc.) will keep us spending big time. I think you're right, that's their plan.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-03-2006, 08:21 PM   #39
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Re: Even more political rants

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Arc, I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear. Bin Laden has expressed publically that Al Queda's intention is to bankrupt us. Their attacks, including 9/ll, have been aimed at our financial heart. By doing so, they lead us to spend more and more on defense, sometimes ineffectually, in the same way that we led the Soviet Union to match us in the arms race. It is a futile effort that leads to financial ruin, which is how we defeated the Soviet Union, although in the short term it may seem that we are making "progress" in the "war against terrorism." I know that this is a very unpopular viewpoint among those who believe our government has unlimited funds for defense.
Interesting viewpoint - what do you suggest then?
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-04-2006, 08:37 AM   #40
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by Oldbabe
Arc, I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear. Bin Laden has expressed publically that Al Queda's intention is to bankrupt us. Their attacks, including 9/ll, have been aimed at our financial heart. By doing so, they lead us to spend more and more on defense, sometimes ineffectually, in the same way that we led the Soviet Union to match us in the arms race. It is a futile effort that leads to financial ruin, which is how we defeated the Soviet Union, although in the short term it may seem that we are making "progress" in the "war against terrorism." I know that this is a very unpopular viewpoint among those who believe our government has unlimited funds for defense.
Although you make a valid point, you are not looking at the economic reality of your statement. The Soviet Union had LITTLE economic output to begin with.......i.e. in the Communist way, the govt controls prouduction, productivity, etc. They can't come close to the economic output of a capitalist society and free market enterprise.

I agree we are spending a boatload of money on defense. BTW, our govt DOES have unlimited funds, as long as they control taxation..........
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