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View Poll Results: What will Washington do in the next two years regarding deficit reduction?
Nothing - deficit spending will actually increase, not decrease 19 21.35%
Minor changes will be made but nothing siginificant 58 65.17%
Significant cuts will be enacted 5 5.62%
I don't know but I want to vote in this poll 7 7.87%
Voters: 89. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-12-2010, 08:21 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
I couldn't vote. IMO the best we're going to get is a decrease in the rate of increase of spending. Over (a long) time as the economy recovers the increase in income will decrease the increase in spending and bring the deficit back into a reasonable range.
This could work if interest rates don't rise. But when they do, that mountain of debt we keep pushing down the road is going to grow faster than our economy can.
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:23 PM   #22
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Yes, one of the surprising things I found when I moved to the USA is that the term for a Congressman is a mere 2 years and there are no limits of when you can campaign. (In the UK, campaigning is only allowed in the 5 or 6 weeks prior to a General Election which is usually once every 4 or 5 years). When it comes to macro economics, what can you really achieve in 2 years (minus all the time out campaigning) ?
Just think what it would be like if we happened to have the British law for our elections. Specifically, Section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983:

http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resource...n-05112010.pdf
Quote:
1. This is the Judgment of the Court.
2. In the General Election held on 6 May 2010 Philip Woolas (“the Respondent”), who was the sitting MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth (“OES”), retained his seat, defeating his nearest rival, Robert Elwyn Watkins (“the Petitioner”), by 103 votes. The Respondent was the candidate of the Labour Party. The Petitioner was the candidate of the Liberal Democratic Party.
3. By a petition issued pursuant to section 120 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (RPA 1893) the Petitioner has contested the result of the election. He alleges that the Respondent was guilty of an illegal practice contrary to section 106 of the RPA 1983, namely, before the election and for the purpose of affecting the return, he made or published several false statements of fact in relation to the Petitioner’s personal character or conduct which he had no reasonable grounds for believing to be true and did not believe to be true.
4. The alleged false statements of fact were published in three election addresses sent to voters shortly before the election. These election addresses were drafted by members of the Respondent’s election team. The Respondent made suggestions as to what should and should not be in the addresses and approved them in their final form to ensure that they contained nothing objectionable. He has accepted responsibility for them. He said that he was aware that there was a prohibition against making false statements in relation to a candidate’s personal character or conduct but he denied that the election addresses evidenced any illegal practice contrary to section 106 of the RPA 1983.
5. If he is guilty of an illegal practice then section 159(1) of the RPA 1083 requires that his election shall be void. In addition he will be incapable of being elected to the House of Commons for three years; see section 160(4) and (5).
6. Section 106 and its predecessors have governed what may and what may not be said during an election campaign since 1895.
Tell a stretcher in a campaign, lose the election, and be banned for the next three years!

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Phil Woolas – a former Government Minister - was ejected from parliament today after a court ruled he had breached election laws by falsely claiming his Liberal Democrat opponent had "wooed" extremist Muslims in the run-up to Britain’s General Election in May
On second thought, the candidate would just run clips of himself kissing babies. Some completely unconnected PAC would tell the whoppers. Never mind.

I can't wait to see all the claims of cuts accomplished by various Congresscritters, while government spending mysteriously continues to rise. As long as the talk about cuts sounds sufficiently truthy, I'm sure it will all work out OK. Truthiness counts as revenue, right?
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:50 AM   #23
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Oh, and for the four of you who at this point voted you expect 'significant cuts', I offer this as evidence you might be a bit too optimistic:

Quote:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- When House Democrats return to Washington on Monday, a top priority will be putting a $250 dollar check in the mail to 58 million Social Security recipients.

Democrats plan to vote early in the lame-duck session on a bill that would provide Social Security recipients with a one-time payment, according to the office of Earl Pomeroy, a Democrat from North Dakota who authored the legislation.

The bill -- with a total cost of roughly $14 billion -- is designed to make up for another year without an increase in Social Security benefits.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:09 AM   #24
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The Congresscritters will bloviate, and the talking heads will rant. A proposal to ban earmarks will eventually pass, once enough key Senators attach their earmarks to it. Many committee meetings will be held. Hundreds of dinners shall be hosted by lobbyists, who did grin, and the Congresscritters did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats and large chu...

Meanwhile, the economy will quietly improve, and as a result, tax revenues will rise. Various programs set in motion during the recession will wrap up, and interest, dividends, and repayments will accrue, which will cause the deficit to be slightly less than static projections done with poor assumptions would forecast.

Assorted politicians will then take credit for this wonderful, magical deficit reduction, and extrapolating from one data point, will predict that the problem has been solved.

They're all too busy campaigning for the 2012 election to actually DO anything.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:15 AM   #25
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I did not vote because the correct option is missing.

They will adjust spending and taxes in some combination of ways that will keep the US stable economically.

Look for higher taxes, reduced benefits (for almost all programs that provide services to people), and reductions in other govt spending.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:28 AM   #26
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I did not vote because the correct option is missing.

They will adjust spending and taxes in some combination of ways that will keep the US stable economically.

Look for higher taxes, reduced benefits (for almost all programs that provide services to people), and reductions in other govt spending.
It appears to me this falls in the category of 'significant cuts'. But then, what do I know - other than you are more optimistic than 90% of those responding.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:08 PM   #27
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I have little faith in any of the 3 parts of federal guvment. They just seem to continue to slap the old beach ball back and forth.
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:23 PM   #28
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We need a great centrist leader. Probably also means a third party so the extreme positions of both sides can't veto the nomination process.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:39 PM   #29
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Samclem, I'm not challenging your post but I would need to see real numbers. My understanding is Gov Daniels reduced proposed spending but real spending has increased, the budget is balanced by dipping into reserves, and Indiana has increased it's borrowing. I think the efforts of Govs like Daniels and Christie are notable but are baby steps compared with the task ahead.

As for Europe, I was referring not to their unbridled socialistic ways but the recent examples of UK and Germany political leadership in challenging themselves and others to greater fiscal and monetary responsibility.
I dunno if this article is sufficient to end your doubts of Gov Daniels. But here it is:https://www.weeklystandard.com/artic...de-along-mitch

<<Later I remarked to Daniels how the schools I’d seen in Indiana all had the same gleam and polish: immaculate athletic fields, vast cafeterias, swimming pools.

“Yeah,” he said, “it’s a problem.”

I’d meant to flatter him but he sounded appalled.

“When we were first campaigning, I started to notice, we’d drive through these rural counties, these very poor counties, and we’d drive up over a hill and on the other side you’d see a brand-new high school that looked like Frank Lloyd Wright had just been there. Enormous gold-plated buildings. It turned out we had higher capital expenditures for educational construction per square foot than any other state. There’d be a bond issue and then the architects and contractors would run amok, spending money on things that had nothing to do with academics. I understand why it happens. The school board likes it because they get to play designer for a year. But we couldn’t afford it.”

Daniels put a 120-day moratorium on new school bond issues. “We’ve told them, if you propose a project that costs more per square foot than the national average, be prepared to show cause.”


One of my favorite bits of Daniels video on YouTube shows him at a press conference defending a bill to end “social promotion” in the state’s grade schools. School districts were appalled that the bill would pass without “additional resources” to educate the kids who would be held back.

A reporter asked him about it.

“By the time a child has finished third grade, the state has spent $40,000 and the school district has had 720 days to teach that child to read,” he said, tight-lipped. “If that child can’t read by then, there is a fundamental failure in that district. And they’ll need to remedy it. The most unacceptable thing to do is to shove that child along to fourth grade into almost certain academic failure. That’s a cruel thing to do, it’s a wrong thing to do, and we’re going to put an end to it.”

The reporter pressed: But won’t the schools need more money?

Daniels’s eyes got wide.

“More than $40,000 to teach someone how to read? No. It won’t and it shouldn’t and any school district that can’t do it ought to face consequences.”

When Daniels took office, in 2004, the state faced a $200 million deficit and hadn’t balanced its budget in seven years. Four years later, all outstanding debts had been paid off; after four balanced budgets, the state was running a surplus of $1.3 billion, which has cushioned the blows from a steady decline in revenues caused by the recession.

On his first day Daniels reversed an executive order signed by a Democratic predecessor granting collective bargaining rights to state employees. Union membership plummeted overnight. “I think they were happy to have the extra thousand dollars that would have gone to dues,” Kitchell said. Decertifying the public-employees’ union has spared Indiana pressures that have crippled other state governments. Unhindered by union demands, the governor instituted a “pay for performance” scheme, rewarding state employees who met explicit goals with raises ranging from 4 percent to 10 percent. The salaries of underperforming employees stayed flat. No one was fired, but every time a job went vacant a supervisor had to justify hiring a replacement. The number of state employees has fallen from 35,000 to under 30,000, back where it was in 1982.>>
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:55 PM   #30
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You know how hard this is going to be? We've had DeMint (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and others coming out for a moratorium on earmarks.

This morning in his weekly remarks, President Obama said in his weekly address, "I agree with those Republican and Democratic members of Congress who’ve recently said that in these challenging days, we can’t afford what are called earmarks."

Oops. That was enough for the 'whatever he's for, I'm against' crowd.

I just caught Senator Inhofe (R-Okla.) being interviewed on 'Judge Napolitano' on Fox, and proclaiming that earmarks are vital for the defense of our country.

*SIGH* And earmarks are roughly $16 billion of the $3.5 trillion federal budget this year, a half of a percent. What happens when something big, like any of the deficit study panel suggestions comes up? The odds of any significant change are about zero.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:23 PM   #31
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There will be gridlock for the next two years in preparation for the presidential election. Maintaining the status quo will result in overall increases in spending.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:47 PM   #32
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I'll be surprised if the bush tax cuts won't contine for top 2%...that adds about another $70 billion a year.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:01 PM   #33
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I'll be surprised if the bush tax cuts won't continue for top 2%...that adds about another $70 billion a year.
Perhaps (I didn't check the math). But that is (I'll assume) under a STATIC model.

Related to another thread, a STATIC model would tell us that a 55% (or whatever) Estate tax would mean we collect 55% of all those big estates (above the exclusion). But we don't. Because our world is not static. People respond to their environment. They hire lawyers and accountants to avoid the taxes. Don't assume rich people are stupid, or that that they don't have options. Money buys lots of options.

PS: fixed your misspell in the quote above - ya' might want to take the time to check that. If people invest as much time reading your posts as the effort you put into writing them, that won't be much effort, will it? Oh and proper names (like "Bush") are capitalized. Feel free to correct my misuse of possessives's (sic ), I have a mental block regarding those, maybe I'll learn a thing or two.

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Old 11-13-2010, 09:31 PM   #34
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Oops. That was enough for the 'whatever he's for, I'm against' crowd.

I just caught Senator Inhofe (R-Okla.) being interviewed on 'Judge Napolitano' on Fox, and proclaiming that earmarks are vital for the defense of our country.
I agree with your scepticism on the ability of both sides to work together. Still, Inhofe's position isn't one he adopted in response to the President's, he's been an unabashed booster of earmarks for a long time. He sees them as simply a legitimate part of the way the legislature accomplishes its responsibilities under the Constitution.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:34 AM   #35
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I agree with your scepticism on the ability of both sides to work together. Still, Inhofe's position isn't one he adopted in response to the President's, he's been an unabashed booster of earmarks for a long time. He sees them as simply a legitimate part of the way the legislature accomplishes its responsibilities under the Constitution.
My bad. I heard him saying that in response to a question about President Obama's address. I found a spreadsheet for FY 2009 totaling up earmarks, and Senator Inhofe racked up $91,661,625.00 that year, so I suppose he's been a big fan of them for quite a while.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:51 AM   #36
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The US GDP is 70-80% borrowing and spending. Any slowing in borrowing, directly by the people or indirectly by the gov't, will result in negative GDP. The most likely scenario will be to continue to hide the ever growing spending/debt in the Fed which is not audited.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:09 AM   #37
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I dunno if this article is sufficient to end your doubts of Gov Daniels. But here it is:https://www.weeklystandard.com/artic...de-along-mitch
Thanks. I'll read the article. Note the The Weekly Standard is quite partisan.

My doubts are not about Gov. Daniels - he seems to be making a legitimate effort. I do have doubts about the story of the Indiana budget and the ability of interested parties to create and portray an narrative that satisfies an end but does not faithfully represent all the relevant data or facts.

Regardless of my doubts, however, Govs Daniels and Christie seem to be setting examples of political leadership needed to improve our fiscal needs and we should follow what they are doing, regardless of personal or partisan view or ideology.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:46 AM   #38
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The US GDP is 70-80% borrowing and spending. Any slowing in borrowing, directly by the people or indirectly by the gov't, will result in negative GDP. The most likely scenario will be to continue to hide the ever growing spending/debt in the Fed which is not audited.
By extension, the way to enhance our GDP is to borrow more? That's a bad road.

Even with the spending binge of the last two years, the federal deficit (i.e. federal government borrowing) accounted for about 10% of GDP.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:16 AM   #39
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Perhaps (I didn't check the math). But that is (I'll assume) under a STATIC model.

Related to another thread, a STATIC model would tell us that a 55% (or whatever) Estate tax would mean we collect 55% of all those big estates (above the exclusion). But we don't. Because our world is not static. People respond to their environment. They hire lawyers and accountants to avoid the taxes. Don't assume rich people are stupid, or that that they don't have options. Money buys lots of options.

PS: fixed your misspell in the quote above - ya' might want to take the time to check that. If people invest as much time reading your posts as the effort you put into writing them, that won't be much effort, will it? Oh and proper names (like "Bush") are capitalized. Feel free to correct my misuse of possessives's (sic ), I have a mental block regarding those, maybe I'll learn a thing or two.

-ERD50
An increase in marginal rates will flow through almost entirely because they are on income that is already being reported. I don't see how this relates to the estate tax discussion.

Why not put aside the grammar policing and focus on the issues?
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:06 PM   #40
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By far, most think only minor changes/cuts will be made and it looks like placing some limits on earmarks may be the first minor "belt tightening" legislation to be enacted.

Since earmarks account for less than 2 percent of spending, the impact will be mostly symbolic. The pork-barrel projects they fund won't necessarily go away, they will simply have to have some sort of light shone on them before getting legislative approval: First Read - McConnell joins earmark ban
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