Staredit Network > Forums > Lite Discussion > Topic: America's Deficit and Budget Cuts
America's Deficit and Budget Cuts
Mar 4 2012, 4:21 am
By: rayNimagi  

Mar 4 2012, 4:21 am rayNimagi Post #1




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Historically, America has incurred massive debt during wars. In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan increased deficits by cutting taxes and increasing the size of America's military. In the 21st century, low tax rates and retiring Baby Boomers threaten to raise the debt even further. America's debt has already surpassed GDP, and it continues to rise. The biggest expenditures are found in transfer payments (e.g. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid), interest on the current debt, and the military. Every domestic program (not including entitlements) only occupies 11% of the budget, so cutting agricultural subsidies, oil subsidies, educational grants, etc. would barely put a dent in the deficit. The wars in the Middle East have only eaten up a small faction of the national budget, and the US has already pulled out of Iraq and reduced the size of its military. Clearly, something must be done about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We must reduce the cost of those programs or raise taxes to ensure their continued functioning.

Liberals argue that we should raise taxes to make up for the growing deficit. Conservatives argue that we should reduce the size of government. The question is, what do we cut? And what can we do to stop the growing problem of debt?



Win by luck, lose by skill.

Mar 4 2012, 5:30 am Jack Post #2

>be faceless void >mfw I have no face

Default on the debt, bring all the troops home, cut the size of the army, end the fed, get rid of or at the very least make healthcare far more efficient, end the ponzi scheme of social security, make taxes the same for everyone, cut the unnecessary government departments, which is most of them. Gg.



Red classic.

"In short, their absurdities are so extreme that it is painful even to quote them."

Mar 4 2012, 5:31 am Sacrieur Post #3

Still Napping

MOAR TAXES! WHOO!

Also, we should probably fix the working conditions here so people can afford higher taxes.



None.

Mar 4 2012, 6:06 am Lanthanide Post #4



America will almost certainly default on it's debt eventually, either overtly or simply through (hyper)inflation. That is, unless they can come up with some brand new source of energy like fusion that is very very cheap and they can kick off another industrial revolution from it (energy cheap enough to economically mine the ocean to get the gold and uranium out, for example).

Quote
The wars in the Middle East have only eaten up a small faction of the national budget
These wars are estimated to have cost $1.3T and as your public debt is $15T and change, that's actually quite a considerable lump. I'm not sure how that figure is calculated though - whether it's spending above and beyond a baseline maintenance of the military, or just a flat "military forces deployed here cost X much", ignoring the fact that some figure Y < X would need to be spent wherever the military was.

One thing to note about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is that Bush pushed them through outside of the budget; ie they never went through the normal funding process. This is why they were able to rack up such massive costs without (too) much fuss.



None.

Mar 4 2012, 7:21 pm rayNimagi Post #5



Quote from Jack
cut the unnecessary government departments, which is most of them.
Which ones in particular? And would the responsibilities of those departments be transferred to state/local governments, or just removed entirely?


Quote from Lanthanide
Quote from rayNimagi
The wars in the Middle East have only eaten up a small faction of the national budget
These wars are estimated to have cost $1.3T and as your public debt is $15T and change, that's actually quite a considerable lump.
I meant that defense spending is only about 1/5th of America's budget, rather than something close to 50% of the budget. But you're right, military spending, especially for the War on Terror, has caused over one trillion dollars of debt (and counting).



Win by luck, lose by skill.

Mar 4 2012, 9:28 pm Jack Post #6

>be faceless void >mfw I have no face

Whichever ones Ron Paul says to remove. If the states want to run their own version that's up to them, but it isn't the federal government's job to do that. I'd be more specific on which ones to remove but I don't know enough about American departments, other than there being way too many secret services.



Red classic.

"In short, their absurdities are so extreme that it is painful even to quote them."

Mar 4 2012, 10:10 pm Lanthanide Post #7



Quote from Jack
Whichever ones Ron Paul says to remove. If the states want to run their own version that's up to them, but it isn't the federal government's job to do that. I'd be more specific on which ones to remove but I don't know enough about American departments, other than there being way too many secret services.
You know that Ron Paul wants to remove the hurricane tracking system as well as the US geological survey (tracks earthquakes, locates and prospects ore/oil/coal deposits etc)? These departments are very cheap and produce a huge return in value for the amount invested.

Ron Paul is a hack.



None.

Mar 4 2012, 10:17 pm Jack Post #8

>be faceless void >mfw I have no face

Quote from Lanthanide
Quote from Jack
Whichever ones Ron Paul says to remove. If the states want to run their own version that's up to them, but it isn't the federal government's job to do that. I'd be more specific on which ones to remove but I don't know enough about American departments, other than there being way too many secret services.
You know that Ron Paul wants to remove the hurricane tracking system as well as the US geological survey (tracks earthquakes, locates and prospects ore/oil/coal deposits etc)? These departments are very cheap and produce a huge return in value for the amount invested.

Ron Paul is a hack.
The states can run these departments themselves, as can private companies.



Red classic.

"In short, their absurdities are so extreme that it is painful even to quote them."

Mar 4 2012, 10:33 pm Lanthanide Post #9



Quote from Jack
The states can run these departments themselves, as can private companies.
Because multiple states running their own private hurricane tracking systems is going to be more efficient and cheaper than simply running a single one? Do you know anything about "economies of scale"? Let alone all the systems you'll have to set up so each state can co-ordinate the information they have with each other, or alternatively have to duplicate the entire system so they don't have to talk to each other (increases costs). Then if you have a miscommunication or something doesn't go quite according to plan, you could end up with lives lost or damage done to infrastructure that could have been avoided had the departments all operated together as they were supposed to.

This is pretty much what I expected your response to be, though. Unthinking and dogmatic.

A perfect example of why private companies are not the best solution for all things is unfolding right now in New Zealand through ACC. The government is going to open up the work account to "competition" from the private sector, because this will "create efficiencies" and "drive down the price" for everyone. Except that ACC doesn't have to make a profit, because it's run by the government. So now the government is talking about forcing ACC to increase the levies it charges, because private insurers can't possibly compete with it (because they have to make a profit). So what they're suggesting, is to "drive down the price" for everyone is to increase the cost of ACC so that private companies can compete with it on a level footing. That's the most egregious example of double-think that has come out of this government yet.



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