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Old 04-09-2011, 11:47 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by cb7010 View Post
So, here is a simple question:

Who here thinks that it is ok for our federal government to continue spending more money each year than they bring in?
It's okay by me. I see a lot of huffing and puffing about how disastrous it will be unless we balance the federal budget, and occasionally I insert into a thread a plaintive request for some evidence that we can't just keep the deficits going forever. There seems to be unanimity that we can't, but none of you seems to be able to say exactly why.
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:59 AM   #22
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I wonder if it would have been cheaper to let the Middle East etc do it's own thing, take the hit on sky high oil prices, and invest in alternatives to their oil.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:34 PM   #23
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I hope you were both railing against the original Bush tax cuts and last year's extension of the Bush tax cuts because both actions vastly exacerbated the problem.
To be fair, shouldn't the "extension" approved last year be Obama's tax cuts? after all, he's been President since January 2009
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:37 PM   #24
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What's wrong with tax cuts? How about reducing the waste? Do you believe no matter how much our government wants to take from our paychecks, it's ok....just keep on raising the taxes? To what point...100%? Then what?

We need tax cuts. We need MORE tax cuts, and those need to be funded by CANCELING programs that have no business being paid for with Federal tax dollars.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:38 PM   #25
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I wonder if it would have been cheaper to let the Middle East etc do it's own thing, take the hit on sky high oil prices, and invest in alternatives to their oil.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:39 PM   #26
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It's okay by me. I see a lot of huffing and puffing about how disastrous it will be unless we balance the federal budget, and occasionally I insert into a thread a plaintive request for some evidence that we can't just keep the deficits going forever. There seems to be unanimity that we can't, but none of you seems to be able to say exactly why.
I recently read The Predator State. The author's contention is that it is not only unnecessary but impossible for the US to have a balanced budget as long as other countries wish to hold dollars as the reserve currency. I'm not sure I completely understood this, and if he's right, I wonder if having the dollar as the world's reserve currency is good for the US if it means ever-increasing deficits and ever-increasing trade imbalance as he says.

I don't understand (if he's right) how the US can back away from the edge of the precipice. The author describes a scenario of an all-out effort to convert our economy to sustainability, drawing an analogy to the WW II war effort. I'm not sure whether he was just giving an example to show the type of change it would take to remedy our situation, or actually saying this is what we should do. Personally I don't think that's the answer. While I would love to see a sustainable US, there is not the unified desire to convert our economy that there was to defeat the Axis powers.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:42 PM   #27
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I believe Federal taxes are now at their lowest point since WWII.

I'm all for spending cuts, but its insane to talk about further tax cuts when we have a deficit of this magnitude.

Tell me where you want to cut $500 billion a year from the Federal budget first. We need to do that BEFORE we can even consider further tax cuts.


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Originally Posted by martyb View Post
What's wrong with tax cuts? How about reducing the waste? Do you believe no matter how much our government wants to take from our paychecks, it's ok....just keep on raising the taxes? To what point...100%? Then what?

We need tax cuts. We need MORE tax cuts, and those need to be funded by CANCELING programs that have no business being paid for with Federal tax dollars.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:44 PM   #28
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To be fair, shouldn't the "extension" approved last year be Obama's tax cuts? after all, he's been President since January 2009
I'm OK with that if you are We'll see who takes the credit/blame in 2012.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:52 PM   #29
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I'm OK with that if you are We'll see who takes the credit/blame in 2012.
You're on!
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:07 PM   #30
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Hindsight is always 20/20.
Why is it hindsight? Most, if not every president as far back as Nixon has publicly stated the need to stop our dependence on foreign oil, but regardless of the administration we fail to achieve that independence.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:27 PM   #31
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I take the view that "the function of spending" has little to do with "the generation of tax revenues". Two separate functions. One can overspend without regard to revenues (and they did !)

I have looked for information that could show what the current deficit would be had the Bush tax cuts not been implemented.
If anyone has a link for this, I'd certainly love to see it.

Over spending and lack of oversight are the twin elephants in the room.

Since Congress never points the finger at or blames themselves, they need a scape goat. Who or what has been the scape goat? The Bush tax cuts or course...

Put me in the camp of one who does not think it o.k for our government to continue over spending. 38 billion is a start..but it should not stop there.

Tax increases should be the last thing used to fix this. Why? Because it will not help our children or the generations behind us. It might actually make it worse for them. If the point is to reduce government....and government spending...then giving them more money potentially exacerbates (hides) the problem. Instead our government should be forced to think about every single little "million" dollar bucket it spends.
Notice I didn't say tax increases shouldn't be used...just that it should be one of the last options.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:27 PM   #32
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Why is it hindsight? Most, if not every president as far back as Nixon has publicly stated the need to stop our dependence on foreign oil, but regardless of the administration we fail to achieve that independence.
Well, when Joe and Jane Blow have to park in a long line waiting for their turn to fill up their cars and to pay what Europeans have been paying all these years, they get really, really mad and demand the heads of oil executives, politicians, heck, any and everybody.

"Vroom, vroom"... It's the American way, don't cha know?
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:34 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Hamlet View Post
I'm all for spending cuts, but its insane to talk about further tax cuts when we have a deficit of this magnitude.
But the OP did not put it in either/or conditions:

Quote:
it is the equivalent of a family that spends 160K a year, but has an income of 100K a year.
It was put simply in terms of spending exceeding income. It seems to me some early posts started with one versus the other. Why not stick with the general case, spending exceeds income? It can be solved by one, the other, or both.

It appears to me that some posters with an agenda have put it in either/or terms. I'd prefer a reasoned discussion that keeps the thread open, but that's just me I guess.

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Why is it hindsight? Most, if not every president as far back as Nixon has publicly stated the need to stop our dependence on foreign oil, but regardless of the administration we fail to achieve that independence.
Is independence on foreign oil really so important? If I think of this in the micro-economic sense, the ERD household is dependent on all sorts of 'foreign' (to our household) resources. We are not self-sufficient. We trade our resources ($ and/or labor) for other resources, many of which we could not do without. Yet, this does not seem like a problem at all, and it has been sustainable for as long as I've been alive, and I don't see an end to it, nor do I desire an end to it (I don't plan on learning how to do my own surgery, or build a car myself).

In fact (I think samclem has pointed this out before) , getting these resources at the lowest cost to us is exactly what we should do. Foreign oil must be cheaper than domestic oil, so why not buy it from the cheaper sources? It's the same make/buy decision I make with every single purchase (grow my own food, buy it?, etc).

And to be consistent, I'm against subsidies. So yes, oil needs to stand on its own for this to be meaningful. Let the oil companies buy their own protection, if that is what it takes to deliver 'foreign' oil.


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Old 04-09-2011, 01:38 PM   #34
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I have looked for information that could show what the current deficit would be had the Bush tax cuts not been implemented. If anyone has a link for this, I'd certainly love to see it.
According to this source Ezra Klein - Putting the $3.9 trillion extension of the Bush tax cuts in context, $3.9 trillion over the next 10 years, in the range of 30% of the 2010 deficit...

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I hope you were both railing against the original Bush tax cuts and last year's extension of the Bush tax cuts because both actions vastly exacerbated the problem.
Significant to be sure but "vastly exacerbated" seems a little biased IMO.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:41 PM   #35
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Why is it hindsight? Most, if not every president as far back as Nixon has publicly stated the need to stop our dependence on foreign oil, but regardless of the administration we fail to achieve that independence.
I agree, but it's impossible to judge current affairs against what-if scenarios, since you'd be postulating against an unknown chain of subsequent events... for example what would the world look like today if we had stayed out of the Mideast and nuclear war erupted? What would our energy dependence quotient be today if we had been exploring and drilling for our own oil- offshore; in the Bakken; and the ANWR? What would our economy look today like if oil had gone to $500/barrel in 1980? There is no way to look back and accurately predict the outcome(s). Everyone can claim 20-20 hindsight, since there is no eye exam to measure it.

YMMV
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:46 PM   #36
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I would say that one common topic on this forum is the concept of frugality and managing one's money closely.

I've also noticed a great divergence in views on various political topics.

So, here is a simple question:

Who here thinks that it is ok for our federal government to continue spending more money each year than they bring in?

.
The answer to the question is "nobody who posts here".

We had an earlier poll on the Simpson/Bowles deficit proposal. It got something like 90% support on this board. I expect that virtually every person who voted for it could find some aspect they would want to change, but they said they'd rather have a flawed package that closes the gap than hope for a perfect package down the road.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:46 PM   #37
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Good start. How about another sacred cow, the DOT?
In fiscal 2010, the Fed spent $3,456B. Of that $847B (24.5%) was Defense and a relatively trivial $92B (2.7%) was Transportation.

SocSec was $756B (22%), Medicare/Medicaid was $821B (24%) and Interest was $196B (6%).

Same period revenue was $2,163B for a deficit of $1,294B. It's going take a lot more than one "sacred cow" to solve our deficit issues without dramatically raising taxes. And I'd much prefer less spending to higher taxes.

This info is all readily available online.

And yes, the latest budget cutting battle was very much ado about nothing. Wonder why the media never pointed that out?
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:47 PM   #38
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According to this source Ezra Klein - Putting the $3.9 trillion extension of the Bush tax cuts in context, $3.9 trillion over the next 10 years, in the range of 30% of the 2010 deficit...

Significant to be sure but "vastly exacerbated" seems a little biased IMO.
Thanks Midpack...I've seen this projection from this point forward. I suppose I was more interested in....how much the cuts actually attributed to the current deficit over the "past" 15 years or so. Meaning...I would like to see how much overspending there was...that can be tracked to nothing ...but just plain long overspending in the past.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:52 PM   #39
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Thanks Midpack...I've seen this projection from this point forward. I suppose I was more interested in....how much the cuts actually attributed to the current deficit debt over the "past" 15 years or so. Meaning...I would like to see how much overspending there was...that can be tracked to nothing ...but just plain long overspending in the past.
As you know, no direct answer is possible, but FWIW The Tax Foundation - How Much Did the Bush Tax Cuts Cost in Forgone Revenue?
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:52 PM   #40
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I have looked for information that could show what the current deficit would be had the Bush tax cuts not been implemented.
It seems you can expect only a theoretical answer, since it will be argued that the cuts prevented the economy shrinking any more than it did and hence maximized tax revenues.
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