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November 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm #605737
obama has laid out a plan to avert a fiscal crises. the plan is heavy on tax increases and is way too light on cuts. the plan should be 50/50. if there is $1.6 trillion in increased revenue then $1.6 trillion in cuts needs to be found.
Presume the increased revenue as proposed. Now lets identify some cuts.
For starters: No extension to unemployment benefits, enough is enough. Also raising the retirement age is another item.November 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm #778548
I would agree that 50/50 seems to be a reasonable approach.
But our elected officials on both sides are so inept. In the end, there will be zero spending cuts and zero tax increases. So it will be 50/50. We’re gonna kick the can down the road again and rack up another 1.2 trillion in debt next year.November 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm #778549
1) Stop subsidizing buses. Raise fares to $25 a ticket like they should be.
2) Make nursing homes self-supporting. Why do they need to hire people to mow the lawn and mop the floor when there’s like 50 people sitting around with nothing to do?
3) Cut school lunch programs. Find out how many calories a kid needs to survive and cut it to that.November 30, 2012 at 5:36 pm #778550November 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm #778551
that’s a pretty simplistic approach, hooper, because the economy is a large, dynamic animal. and government revenue depends largely on how well the economy is working.
returning tax rates on higher incomes to previously functional levels is an expedient, because the economy is not recovering quickly enough to prevent the government from running budget deficits for the immediate future.
however, if the current economic trends continue, we’ll get there, with or without tax increases.
but, yes. we should cut some of the fat. the political problem is what various factions consider fat, and what they consider muscle.
you want cuts? start with defense contracting. lots of redundancy there, and there are a lot of jobs being done by contractors that could be done more cheaply by federal employees.
like the army peeling its own potatoes for a change.
gotta be careful, though. lots of cuts will lead to even higher unemployment. one of the worst unemployment factors in the past 4 years has been the layoff of hundreds of thousands of federal and state employees due to budget-cutting. and because of that budget-cutting governments have less money to bid for private contracts to build and maintain things.
that’s why ARRA – aka “porkulus” – was a good idea. not great, mind you, but good and necessary.November 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm #778552
You are correct bus fares should be increased, probably not to $25 though.
Nursing homes – why are taxpayers paying for this in the first place? where in the constitution is it identified? this is a huge cost item!
School lunch – why is government paying for meals for kids. feeding a child is the parents responsibility!November 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm #778553November 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm #778554
hey, wait a minute. the white house has already cut the budget. why don’t republicans want to talk about that?
The trouble with this analysis is that it ignores history: As part of the 2011 Budget Control Act, Obama agreed to spending reductions of about $1.5 trillion over the next ten years. If you count the interest, the savings is actually $1.7 trillion. Boehner should have no problem remembering the details of that deal: As Greg Sargent points out, Boehner at the time actually gloated about the fact that the deal was “all spending cuts.”
And now, with this latest offer, Obama is proposing yet more spending reductions, to the tune of several hundred billion dollars. Add it up and it’s more than $2 trillion in spending cuts Obama has either signed into law or is endorsing now. That’s obviously greater than the $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue he’s seeking.November 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm #778555
Discretionary funding is pretty small though. The bulk of the federal budget is entitlements.
The Republicans are playing both sides. They all say they want to cut spending. But show me a single one who says where they are willing to cut.
The democrats are going to have to get this done on their own somehow. It’s a huge mess.November 30, 2012 at 6:41 pm #778556
government spending as a percentage of GDP has been dropping since obama took office. GDP growth has been slower, of course, but it’s still rising.
the problem is that government revenue as a percentage of GDP has been flat or falling, too.
like i’ve said before – yeah, we need to cut spending. but you can’t cut your way to a balanced budget. it’s impossible. with a roughly $3.6 trillion budget, and a $1.1 trillion deficit, you’d have to cut almost half of the budget merely to balance it and start paying the interest.
we have to grow government’s share of GDP until we get to a manageable and sane place.
and in the interest of improving the dialogue and civility, i understand what you mean by “entitlement,” skeeter. but i still hate that term.
you’d feel the same way if i started calling the mortgage interest deduction an entitlement, even though everyone with the ability to do so takes advantage of it. some more than others. does that make the rich more entitled than the middle class?
people pay good money in good faith into social security and medicare for 40 years or more, and they expect to see a return. no, it isn’t a retirement plan; they should plan on that on their own. but those programs are designed to be there so that no matter how bad shit gets, pensioners always have enough money to keep them from dying on the streets.
those programs can be tweaked to make them more solvent, but they shouldn’t have a meat axe taken to them just to square the ledger sheet.November 30, 2012 at 6:50 pm #778557November 30, 2012 at 7:02 pm #778558
I pretty much agree with you redblack. We cannot balance the budget by spending cuts alone. Not without abandoning our responsibility to care for the poor, sick, and elderly. Tax increases will simply have to be a significant portion of a balanced budget.
I recently heard on NPR that spending on food stamps/EBT has quadrupled since 2000. Look, I’m no expert on food and nutrition. I don’t know how people fed themselves before 2000. But when I hear a statistic like that, I have to think there is some room for responsible spending cuts as well. I must admit I got really upset when I saw that Starbucks has signs in some of its stores advertising they accept EBT. I don’t think our government should be borrowing money from China so poor people can eat $3.49 scones.
But again, I agree with your basic point that tax increases should be part of a balanced budget. Republicans will not publicly admit it, but every Republican with half a brain realizes we cannot balance the budget by spending cuts alone.
Side note – I’m a big fan of social security. Mandatory participation in a basic safety net is a good thing.November 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm #778559November 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm #778560
Which is really also representing the perpetual divide in this country…
If 20 of you (representing yourselves) can’t agree on this forum on where to start…then most certainly…the elected officials representing 300+ million are bound to have a little stick up their kazoos about the issue…
Where to start? Line by line in ALL Departments still seems like a good idea…
I am most certain there are still plenty of $500 pens and screws being bought by idiot federal accountants…November 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm #778561November 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm #778562
hooper: read the quote from the link i posted. coupled with the spending cuts authorized last year, obama’s proposal is 50/50. actually it’s more like 60% cuts, 40% revenue over 10 years.
instead of posting here, you should be yelling at mitch mcconnel and john boehner.
and again, regarding the retirement age, do you really want 72-year-old heavy equipment operators, bricklayers, and sheet rockers roaming around on construction sites?November 30, 2012 at 8:03 pm #778563
redblack – i see many 72 year old’s that are very active! raising the retirement age should be the easiest task at hand. People are living far longer than in the past.November 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm #778564
Is this going to be one of those threads that ends up with blooper saying something really mean and a bunch of posts getting pulled?November 30, 2012 at 8:27 pm #778565
“I recently heard on NPR that spending on food stamps/EBT has quadrupled since 2000. Look, I’m no expert on food and nutrition. I don’t know how people fed themselves before 2000. But when I hear a statistic like that, I have to think there is some room for responsible spending cuts as well.”
so you actually know how much money an individual gets on food stamps to feed themselves for a month hoop? I can bet you that you would have a difficult time doing so because i know that i can’t do it.
now.. take away your pantry and your fridge and your stove and your microwave.. and figure out how to feed yourself.. because that’s what homeless people do.
food stamp dollars have risen because poverty has risen hoop… and too many of those are our working poor.. that’s people with jobs who income is still low enough to qualify them for food stamps.
“i see many 72 year old’s that are very active! raising the retirement age should be the easiest task at hand.”
so if i had a construction company and sent a 72 year old to hang drywall, you wouldn’t mind that the job took longer to do because of the physical capacity of that worker?
I am thinking you would be yelling like a banshee… but that would be the reality if you got your way.
people whose bodies wear out doing physical work need that retirement hoop.November 30, 2012 at 8:37 pm #778566
i have had 70+ year old handyman’s conduct work for me in the past, damn they did good work!November 30, 2012 at 8:38 pm #778567November 30, 2012 at 8:43 pm #778568
Life is too damned short to be as miserable and unhappy as some posters on here. :(
( thinking Hoop needs to walk a mile or two in my shoes. Oh, wait. I can only get a shoe on one foot – sigh.)November 30, 2012 at 8:52 pm #778569
It’s one thing for a 72 year old individual to choose to work as long as physically and mentally able to do so. It’s another to be forced to work until you drop dead regardless of any hardship, be it physical or financial. No civilized country in the world would even consider such policies.November 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm #778570November 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm #778571
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