What government agencies should be targeted for spending cuts

  • 140 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

This topic is locked from further discussion.

#1 Posted by whipassmt (13995 posts) -

The National debt is about $16 Trillion and the country has been running deficits of about $1 trillion a year for years now, so what government agencies should have their spending reduced by large amounts?

Here are some of my picks:

1. Dept. of Education - education is more of a state/local affair anyway, so we could cut this department to save some money. I'de still keep Pell Grants for citizens and Stafford Loans though, maybe the Pell Grants should be capped at a certain amount per student per year though (if they aren't already).

2. Equal Opportunities Employment Commission (EE0C) - I don't think they're needed. From what I understand they mainly file lawsuits on behalf of people who believe they are discriminated against, but I think in today's day and age people are capable of suing on their own (plus is it really the gov'ts role to help one person sue someone else, should the government take sides like this?). Besides I don't think EEOC is too busy with important work, considering that they sued Belmont Abbey College in 2009 for not covering contraception in it's employee health policy for religious reasons (I'm not sure how that is discrimination, so if EEOC is wasting money on cases like that, they have excess funding which should be taken away). Also EEOC's last major court case, EEOC v. Hosanna-Tabor resulted in a unanimous defeat for the EEOC and the DOJ at the Supreme Court.

3. Dept. of State- I'm sure we could close some consulates and cut down on some diplomatic staff. Plus if we close down some consulates then the terrorists won't be able to attack them.

4. Dept. of Justice

5. Dept. of Health and Human Services

#2 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -
 No offense whip, but my opinion is that your list is an indication that you either don't really know what's causing our deficits or aren't serious about fixing them. Everything you listed falls in the category of "discretionary spending" (AKA the 18% "everything else"). To actually come anywhere close to having a meaningful impact on the deficit, you'd pretty much need to eliminate the "everything else" category completely. There's a very easy way to know whether or not someone who is talking about solving the deficit issue in this country is serious or not. That way is if they talk about three things. 1. Defense spending 2. Entitlement spending (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) 3. Tax revenue Any "plan" to fix the deficit that doesn't revolve around some combination of cutting the first two and raising the third one is an unserious plan. Either the person putting forward that plan doesn't understand the issue or they DO understand and are cynically assuming that the audience he is talking to does not. We can argue how much of the deficit reduction should come from which of those three things. Most liberals think it should come mostly from a combination of defense spending cuts and tax increases on the top income brackets. Most conservatives think that it should come primarily (exclusively) from entitlement program cuts. But that's where the actual impactful items are.
#3 Posted by comp_atkins (31269 posts) -
i for one am against these job-killing proposals.
#4 Posted by Rich3232 (2754 posts) -
cut the goddamn defense already.
#5 Posted by br0kenrabbit (12824 posts) -

Entitlement spending (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) nocoolnamejim

Only those aren't entitlements if you've paid into them your whole life.

Also, Social Security would be just fine if they hadn't borrowed against it for decades.

#6 Posted by DaBrainz (7628 posts) -
What you mentioned is fine but I would start with stopping unnecessary wars then foreign aid then corporate welfare. Fix all of that and then we can start cutting domestic agencies.
#7 Posted by Zeviander (9503 posts) -
If saving money is the goal, then the most logical step would be to drop social security, medicare, and the other unfunded liabilities. Then cut spending on offensive military programs (focusing solely on defense) and foreign aid. But these are incredibly unrealistic as the general public would be unwilling to give up their entitlements, even if the country can't afford them.
#8 Posted by fueled-system (6257 posts) -
Soooooo basically your solution is for alot of people to lose their jobs in an already fragile economy?
#9 Posted by Abbeten (2803 posts) -
if you close the embassies the terrorists win also the EEOC is there because companies can afford teams of lawyers on retainer and potentially wronged employees cannot
#10 Posted by Stevo_the_gamer (42627 posts) -
Also, Social Security would be just fine if they hadn't borrowed against it for decades.br0kenrabbit
Which gives credence to the idea of it being a ponzi scheme.
#11 Posted by psymon100 (6138 posts) -

lol, chooses education as number one, doesn't mention the military budget.

#12 Posted by KiIIyou (27144 posts) -
Soooooo basically your solution is for alot of people to lose their jobs in an already fragile economy?fueled-system
But are they good jobs: ;o
#13 Posted by comp_atkins (31269 posts) -
Soooooo basically your solution is for alot of people to lose their jobs in an already fragile economy?fueled-system
haven't you heard? if your work relates to the government, you don't really have a job. so cutting it isn't really killing jobs.
#14 Posted by br0kenrabbit (12824 posts) -

[QUOTE="br0kenrabbit"]Also, Social Security would be just fine if they hadn't borrowed against it for decades.Stevo_the_gamer
Which gives credence to the idea of it being a ponzi scheme.

Nonetheless, if I'm not going to see the return I was promised, I want ALL my money back.

It's not like I had the option to opt out.

I think the idea is a good and necessary one, but its implementation needs some fixing.

#15 Posted by br0kenrabbit (12824 posts) -

lol, chooses education as number one, doesn't mention the military budget.

psymon100

He's a RRNJ, why would you expect anything more?

His problem with public education is "too much science, not enough God."

#16 Posted by whipassmt (13995 posts) -

 No offense whip, but my opinion is that your list is an indication that you either don't really know what's causing our deficits or aren't serious about fixing them. Everything you listed falls in the category of "discretionary spending" (AKA the 18% "everything else"). To actually come anywhere close to having a meaningful impact on the deficit, you'd pretty much need to eliminate the "everything else" category completely. There's a very easy way to know whether or not someone who is talking about solving the deficit issue in this country is serious or not. That way is if they talk about three things. 1. Defense spending 2. Entitlement spending (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) 3. Tax revenue Any "plan" to fix the deficit that doesn't revolve around some combination of cutting the first two and raising the third one is an unserious plan. Either the person putting forward that plan doesn't understand the issue or they DO understand and are cynically assuming that the audience he is talking to does not. We can argue how much of the deficit reduction should come from which of those three things. Most liberals think it should come mostly from a combination of defense spending cuts and tax increases on the top income brackets. Most conservatives think that it should come primarily (exclusively) from entitlement program cuts. But that's where the actual impactful items are.nocoolnamejim

I don't think Tax raises would do much to reduce the deficit, especially now that we have already raised the rates. As for Social Security I thought it was funded by the payroll tax and thus is one its own budget, not contributing to the overall federal deficit. As for Defense and Medicaid/Medicare, we may need to make some cuts to both. Though maybe Defense cuts should wait until after we leave Afghanistan.

#17 Posted by psymon100 (6138 posts) -

[QUOTE="psymon100"]

lol, chooses education as number one, doesn't mention the military budget.

br0kenrabbit

He's a RRNJ, why would you expect anything more?

His problem with public education is "too much science, not enough God."

I have no expectations of users.

#18 Posted by whipassmt (13995 posts) -

if you close the embassies the terrorists win also the EEOC is there because companies can afford teams of lawyers on retainer and potentially wronged employees cannotAbbeten
I didn't say to get rid of EEOC completely, just take away some of its funding and make it prioritize more.

#19 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -

[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"]Entitlement spending (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) br0kenrabbit

Only those aren't entitlements if you've paid into them your whole life.

Also, Social Security would be just fine if they hadn't borrowed against it for decades.

I'm a liberal and therefore my preferred plan to reduce the deficits focuses more on defense spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthiest individuals. I merely said that any serious plan to reduce the deficits needs to be some combination of the three things I mentioned. Technically a plan that eliminated Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid entirely WOULD fix any deficit issues. It would be sociopathic in my opinion, but it WOULD be a serious plan to reduce the deficit in the sense that the math would work out and it would accomplish it's stated goal.
#20 Posted by whipassmt (13995 posts) -

[QUOTE="psymon100"]

lol, chooses education as number one, doesn't mention the military budget.

br0kenrabbit

He's a RRNJ, why would you expect anything more?

His problem with public education is "too much science, not enough God."

What's a RRNJ? And no that is not my problem with public education.

#21 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -

[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"] No offense whip, but my opinion is that your list is an indication that you either don't really know what's causing our deficits or aren't serious about fixing them. Everything you listed falls in the category of "discretionary spending" (AKA the 18% "everything else"). To actually come anywhere close to having a meaningful impact on the deficit, you'd pretty much need to eliminate the "everything else" category completely. There's a very easy way to know whether or not someone who is talking about solving the deficit issue in this country is serious or not. That way is if they talk about three things. 1. Defense spending 2. Entitlement spending (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) 3. Tax revenue Any "plan" to fix the deficit that doesn't revolve around some combination of cutting the first two and raising the third one is an unserious plan. Either the person putting forward that plan doesn't understand the issue or they DO understand and are cynically assuming that the audience he is talking to does not. We can argue how much of the deficit reduction should come from which of those three things. Most liberals think it should come mostly from a combination of defense spending cuts and tax increases on the top income brackets. Most conservatives think that it should come primarily (exclusively) from entitlement program cuts. But that's where the actual impactful items are.whipassmt

I don't think Tax raises would do much to reduce the deficit, especially now that we have already raised the rates. As for Social Security I thought it was funded by the payroll tax and thus is one its own budget, not contributing to the overall federal deficit. As for Defense and Medicaid/Medicare, we may need to make some cuts to both. Though maybe Defense cuts should wait until after we leave Afghanistan.

Of course tax increases would help reduce the deficits. Here's another picture.  No matter how you slice it, deficits happen because the government is spending more money than it is taking in. As unemployment drops as the recovery continues, you'll eventually have MORE taxpayers because you have more people with jobs passing the income threshold to pay taxes which will increase tax revenue without changing the rates. But what's actually driving the deficits? Remarkably clear. Recession. Wars. Bush era tax cuts. I admit that I am being a little disingenuous. Raising taxes on JUST the upper income groups really isn't enough. Resetting the tax rates for EVERYONE back to the Clinton levels would have a HUGE impact on reducing the deficit. But I prefer waiting to do that until the economy is fully recovered. Basically, in a bad economy, you should spend a lot to jumpstart and get out of it. In boom times, like the Clinton surpluses, we SHOULD have used that extra amount to pay our bills.
#22 Posted by br0kenrabbit (12824 posts) -

I'm a liberal and therefore my preferred plan to reduce the deficits focuses more on defense spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthiest individuals. I merely said that any serious plan to reduce the deficits needs to be some combination of the three things I mentioned. Technically a plan that eliminated Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid entirely WOULD fix any deficit issues. It would be sociopathic in my opinion, but it WOULD be a serious plan to reduce the deficit in the sense that the math would work out and it would accomplish it's stated goal.nocoolnamejim

The most sensible plan I've heard about reforming Social Security is to take into account assests and income of retirees. If you're drawing a $12,000-a-month pension and pulling from stocks and annuities, do you really need that $1,500 social security check?

As for medicare, I'm all for a single-payer system anyway. It's not so much the system that's a problem as it is the fact that the pharama and medical industries pass their R&D onto the American people, but not anyone else. We pay, the rest of the world benefits.

Come on, let's be fair. If they want a piece of the pie the rest of the world needs to pony up some cash just like we're expected to. Otherwise, they can just wait on the generics.

#23 Posted by Aljosa23 (24747 posts) -

Your #1 thing is to cut education? LOL

#24 Posted by psymon100 (6138 posts) -

Don't they just get the federal reserve to print the money then loan it to the government at interest?

That's gotta be the problem. It can never ever be paid back.

#25 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -

[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"] I'm a liberal and therefore my preferred plan to reduce the deficits focuses more on defense spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthiest individuals. I merely said that any serious plan to reduce the deficits needs to be some combination of the three things I mentioned. Technically a plan that eliminated Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid entirely WOULD fix any deficit issues. It would be sociopathic in my opinion, but it WOULD be a serious plan to reduce the deficit in the sense that the math would work out and it would accomplish it's stated goal.br0kenrabbit

The most sensible plan I've heard about reforming Social Security is to take into account assests and income of retirees. If you're drawing a $12,000-a-month pension and pulling from stocks and annuities, do you really need that $1,500 social security check?

As for medicare, I'm all for a single-payer system anyway. It's not so much the system that's a problem as it is the fact that the pharama and medical industries pass their R&D onto the American people, but not anyone else. We pay, the rest of the world benefits.

Come on, let's be fair. If they want a piece of the pie the rest of the world needs to pony up some cash just like we're expected to. Otherwise, they can just wait on the generics.

I'm absolutely in favor of means based thresholds for entitlement payouts. Billionaires don't need social security checks. But that's another policy fight because it's essentially a stealth tax increase on rich folks by making them pay into the system without getting any benefits.
#26 Posted by br0kenrabbit (12824 posts) -

I'm absolutely in favor of means based thresholds for entitlement payouts. Billionaires don't need social security checks. But that's another policy fight because it's essentially a stealth tax increase on rich folks by making them pay into the system without getting any benefits. nocoolnamejim

I pay for WiC out of my income. I pay for education out of my income. I don't have kids. STEALTH TAX!

It isn't unprecidented, and part of living in society is that you contribute.

#27 Posted by Rich3232 (2754 posts) -

Your #1 thing is to cut education? LOL

Aljosa23
Young adults don't need education to die in pointless wars.
#28 Posted by Yusuke420 (2793 posts) -

I support changes to Social Security and Medicare, raise the acceptance age for both of these programs if it helps make them more sustainible. I also support more tax revenue, but not just from the most wealth americans, making the bush taxs cuts continue indefinately for 98% of americans was a mistake in my opinion. Defense spending needs to be reigned it, but at this point with North Korea barking like a rabid dog this is unlikely to happen.

#29 Posted by Wasdie (49628 posts) -

Defense spending could be cut by half and it still wouldn't dent the deficit, you would also be putting a lot of people out of work instantly.

The military employees over 2 million people directly and has contracts with US companies that employ hundreds of thousands, if not millions more. It's not like that money is just being thrown away into experimental weapons programs that will never get used.

The war in Afghanistan and Iraq did not get added to the DoD budgets. That's where a large chunk of that 16 trillion has come from.

Also the Pentagon has already cut down 200 billion of spending increases in an attempt to not grow any larger. They are the only department of the federal government that is doing that. Bascially they are freezing the growth. This does involve cutting a lot of stuff we didn't need.

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/newsgraphics/2011/0119-budget/index.html

The overall R&D budget for the US military is 75 billion, which is substantial, but is the only part of the budget that can really afford to be cut down dramatically without having an impact on the quality of military overall.

We're working on cutting down stuff like the old aircraft carriers and stuff that costs billions a year that we'll never use again. That's all part of the freezes to the budget taking place.

Direct spending cuts don't need to happen as much as freezes in their growth, reorganization and reevaluation, and closing of tax loopholes.

If there are direct cuts to be made, they should be made in social security, medicare, freezes on military spending, end of war spending (that is the biggest one by far), and start to cut our agricultural subsidies.

Looking at the rates of growth, both Social Security and Medicare will continue to bury us in debt.

#30 Posted by whipassmt (13995 posts) -

Your #1 thing is to cut education? LOL

Aljosa23

Not education, the Dept. of education. Education is something mostly done by the state and local governments anyway.

#31 Posted by Aljosa23 (24747 posts) -

[QUOTE="Aljosa23"]

Your #1 thing is to cut education? LOL

Rich3232

Young adults don't need education to die in pointless wars.

Pretty much. Besides, if there are more highly educated citizens then even less people will vote Republican.

#32 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -

[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"] I'm absolutely in favor of means based thresholds for entitlement payouts. Billionaires don't need social security checks. But that's another policy fight because it's essentially a stealth tax increase on rich folks by making them pay into the system without getting any benefits. br0kenrabbit

I pay for WiC out of my income. I pay for education out of my income. I don't have kids. STEALTH TAX!

It isn't unprecidented, and part of living in society is that you contribute.

Yep. Technically true. Things like the child tax credit or joint filers tax credit for married individuals DO favor one type of individual over another. It's an implied nod towards the idea that stable family structures are a benefit to society as a whole. In other words, society functions better if you try and incent certain things. Which is, again, a policy discussion.

I don't agree with the idea that individuals above a certain income threshold should get the benefits of things like social security, medicare, etc. I'm just acknowledging the reality that if you make them pay into things like that and deny them the ability to receive any benefits then you're basically shifting the burden onto them. Basic honesty to acknowledge such a thing. I still think it's worthwhile to do. In general terms I think the rich who can afford it paying in more than they get back in order to partially subsidize a strong middle class benefits them in the long run. But I also know that the GOP that they elect to represent them don't necessarily agree. In order to have "enlightened self interest" you need the "enlightened" part. Many of the upper income/richer individuals in this country view everyone else as a bunch of moochers and parasites. Look at the Papa Johns CEO who is making dire warnings about needing to raise the price of his pizzas to pay for Obamacare while running commercials talking about giving away "2 million free pizzas!"
#33 Posted by whipassmt (13995 posts) -

[QUOTE="whipassmt"]

[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"] No offense whip, but my opinion is that your list is an indication that you either don't really know what's causing our deficits or aren't serious about fixing them. Everything you listed falls in the category of "discretionary spending" (AKA the 18% "everything else"). To actually come anywhere close to having a meaningful impact on the deficit, you'd pretty much need to eliminate the "everything else" category completely. There's a very easy way to know whether or not someone who is talking about solving the deficit issue in this country is serious or not. That way is if they talk about three things. 1. Defense spending 2. Entitlement spending (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) 3. Tax revenue Any "plan" to fix the deficit that doesn't revolve around some combination of cutting the first two and raising the third one is an unserious plan. Either the person putting forward that plan doesn't understand the issue or they DO understand and are cynically assuming that the audience he is talking to does not. We can argue how much of the deficit reduction should come from which of those three things. Most liberals think it should come mostly from a combination of defense spending cuts and tax increases on the top income brackets. Most conservatives think that it should come primarily (exclusively) from entitlement program cuts. But that's where the actual impactful items are.nocoolnamejim

I don't think Tax raises would do much to reduce the deficit, especially now that we have already raised the rates. As for Social Security I thought it was funded by the payroll tax and thus is one its own budget, not contributing to the overall federal deficit. As for Defense and Medicaid/Medicare, we may need to make some cuts to both. Though maybe Defense cuts should wait until after we leave Afghanistan.

Of course tax increases would help reduce the deficits. Here's another picture.  No matter how you slice it, deficits happen because the government is spending more money than it is taking in. As unemployment drops as the recovery continues, you'll eventually have MORE taxpayers because you have more people with jobs passing the income threshold to pay taxes which will increase tax revenue without changing the rates. But what's actually driving the deficits? Remarkably clear. Recession. Wars. Bush era tax cuts. I admit that I am being a little disingenuous. Raising taxes on JUST the upper income groups really isn't enough. Resetting the tax rates for EVERYONE back to the Clinton levels would have a HUGE impact on reducing the deficit. But I prefer waiting to do that until the economy is fully recovered. Basically, in a bad economy, you should spend a lot to jumpstart and get out of it. In boom times, like the Clinton surpluses, we SHOULD have used that extra amount to pay our bills.

You mean Bush-Obama era tax cuts? And yes once the economy gets better the deficits will be reduced, probably to less than a trillion dollars a year.

Resetting the tax rates for everyone back to Clinton levels would be a heavy burthen for many Americans though and probably wouldn't sit well with voters, so Clinton's rates are dead and gone just like the old T.I., and Bush's rates are here for a while.

Also I think you're chart is problematic in some regards: 1. It mentions the Iraq and Afghanistan wars but I don't see anything about the Libyan War 2. Bush cannot be pinned with all of the deficits accumulated due the Afghan war and recovery measures since Obama contributed to some of that with some of his policies (for instance the Afghan war surge).

#34 Posted by Aljosa23 (24747 posts) -

[QUOTE="Aljosa23"]

Your #1 thing is to cut education? LOL

whipassmt

Not education, the Dept. of education. Education is something mostly done by the state and local governments anyway.

Same thing. I'm not interested in debating semantics with you. Besides, the ED is the smallest department in the cabinet. Your idea to cut spending for them is almost as stupid as Romney wanting to cut PBS funding. States and local governments deciding curriculum would be horrific. Can you imagine how stupid the south and bible belt would be compared to other richer places?

#35 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -

Defense spending could be cut by half and it still wouldn't dent the deficit, you would also be putting a lot of people out of work instantly.

The military employees over 2 million people directly and has contracts with US companies that employ hundreds of thousands, if not millions more. It's not like that money is just being thrown away into experimental weapons programs that will never get used.

The war in Afghanistan and Iraq did not get added to the DoD budgets. That's where a large chunk of that 16 trillion has come from.

Also the Pentagon has already cut down 200 billion of spending increases in an attempt to not grow any larger. They are the only department of the federal government that is doing that. Bascially they are freezing the growth. This does involve cutting a lot of stuff we didn't need.

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/newsgraphics/2011/0119-budget/index.html

The overall R&D budget for the US military is 75 billion, which is substantial, but is the only part of the budget that can really afford to be cut down dramatically without having an impact on the quality of military overall.

We're working on cutting down stuff like the old aircraft carriers and stuff that costs billions a year that we'll never use again. That's all part of the freezes to the budget taking place.

Direct spending cuts don't need to happen as much as freezes in their growth, reorganization and reevaluation, and closing of tax loopholes.

If there are direct cuts to be made, they should be made in social security, medicare, freezes on military spending, end of war spending (that is the biggest one by far), and start to cut our agricultural subsidies.

Looking at the rates of growth, both Social Security and Medicare will continue to bury us in debt.

Wasdie
"R&D" spending referenced above and not TOTAL DEFENSE SPENDING.  740 billion annually. More than the next top TEN countries combined, many of which are our allies. There is fat to cut there.
#36 Posted by whipassmt (13995 posts) -

[QUOTE="br0kenrabbit"]

[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"] I'm absolutely in favor of means based thresholds for entitlement payouts. Billionaires don't need social security checks. But that's another policy fight because it's essentially a stealth tax increase on rich folks by making them pay into the system without getting any benefits. nocoolnamejim

I pay for WiC out of my income. I pay for education out of my income. I don't have kids. STEALTH TAX!

It isn't unprecidented, and part of living in society is that you contribute.

Yep. Technically true. Things like the child tax credit or joint filers tax credit for married individuals DO favor one type of individual over another. It's an implied nod towards the idea that stable family structures are a benefit to society as a whole. In other words, society functions better if you try and incent certain things. Which is, again, a policy discussion.

I don't agree with the idea that individuals above a certain income threshold should get the benefits of things like social security, medicare, etc. I'm just acknowledging the reality that if you make them pay into things like that and deny them the ability to receive any benefits then you're basically shifting the burden onto them. Basic honesty to acknowledge such a thing. I still think it's worthwhile to do. In general terms I think the rich who can afford it paying in more than they get back in order to partially subsidize a strong middle class benefits them in the long run. But I also know that the GOP that they elect to represent them don't necessarily agree. In order to have "enlightened self interest" you need the "enlightened" part. Many of the upper income/richer individuals in this country view everyone else as a bunch of moochers and parasites. Look at the Papa Johns CEO who is making dire warnings about needing to raise the price of his pizzas to pay for Obamacare while running commercials talking about giving away "2 million free pizzas!"

I think the Child Tax credit makes sense though, because it allows tax-payers to use that money to take care of their kids instead of spending it on taxes.

#37 Posted by Wasdie (49628 posts) -

"R&D" spending referenced above and not TOTAL DEFENSE SPENDING.  740 billion annually. More than the next top TEN countries combined, many of which are our allies. There is fat to cut there.nocoolnamejim

We also employ more people and give amazing benefits for people who are employed in the military. There is fat to trim, we're trimming it without cutting the effectiveness of the military.

Our military spending isn't causing the deficit and chopping it up would do more harm than good.

I also never said that was the total defense spending, I said it was what's the safest to cut without rendering our military ineffective or hurting the millions of people who rely on the military.

#38 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -

[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"][QUOTE="whipassmt"]

I don't think Tax raises would do much to reduce the deficit, especially now that we have already raised the rates. As for Social Security I thought it was funded by the payroll tax and thus is one its own budget, not contributing to the overall federal deficit. As for Defense and Medicaid/Medicare, we may need to make some cuts to both. Though maybe Defense cuts should wait until after we leave Afghanistan.

whipassmt

Of course tax increases would help reduce the deficits. Here's another picture.  No matter how you slice it, deficits happen because the government is spending more money than it is taking in. As unemployment drops as the recovery continues, you'll eventually have MORE taxpayers because you have more people with jobs passing the income threshold to pay taxes which will increase tax revenue without changing the rates. But what's actually driving the deficits? Remarkably clear. Recession. Wars. Bush era tax cuts. I admit that I am being a little disingenuous. Raising taxes on JUST the upper income groups really isn't enough. Resetting the tax rates for EVERYONE back to the Clinton levels would have a HUGE impact on reducing the deficit. But I prefer waiting to do that until the economy is fully recovered. Basically, in a bad economy, you should spend a lot to jumpstart and get out of it. In boom times, like the Clinton surpluses, we SHOULD have used that extra amount to pay our bills.

You mean Bush-Obama era tax cuts? And yes once the economy gets better the deficits will be reduced, probably to less than a trillion dollars a year.

Resetting the tax rates for everyone back to Clinton levels would be a heavy burthen for many Americans though and probably wouldn't sit well with voters, so Clinton's rates are dead and gone just like the old T.I., and Bush's rates are here for a while.

I'm not talking about the politics of the situation. I'm talking about the IMPACT ON DEFICITS.

Clinton era tax rates = record surpluses (and a thriving economy to boot...also low relative to, say, the Reagan era rates) Bush/Obama era tax rates = record deficits A little intellectual honesty please. Changing the rates of what 300+ million people pay into the federal government can have a huge impact. Raising taxes may not be politically popular, which is why it may not happen. Just like cutting defense spending or entitlement spending may not be politically popular and therefore may not happen. But NOTHING said so far changes the basic truth. If you want to fix the deficit you need some combination of the following: 1. Cut defense spending 2. Cut entitlement spending 3. Raise taxes Again, you can argue how much should come from which of those three things, but that's how you fix the deficit. Some combo of those three.
#39 Posted by br0kenrabbit (12824 posts) -

In general terms I think the rich who can afford it paying in more than they get back in order to partially subsidize a strong middle class benefits them in the long run.nocoolnamejim

The middle class wouldn't even need to be subsidized if their pay kept step with their productivity. And it's the upper class (the execs and CEOs) that are directly responsible for this squeeze.

They can't afford to hire Joe Public full-time because they'd have to pay for his benefits, but that multi-million dollar bonus for all the suits is a given.

#40 Posted by whipassmt (13995 posts) -

[QUOTE="whipassmt"]

[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"] Of course tax increases would help reduce the deficits. Here's another picture.  No matter how you slice it, deficits happen because the government is spending more money than it is taking in. As unemployment drops as the recovery continues, you'll eventually have MORE taxpayers because you have more people with jobs passing the income threshold to pay taxes which will increase tax revenue without changing the rates. But what's actually driving the deficits? Remarkably clear. Recession. Wars. Bush era tax cuts. I admit that I am being a little disingenuous. Raising taxes on JUST the upper income groups really isn't enough. Resetting the tax rates for EVERYONE back to the Clinton levels would have a HUGE impact on reducing the deficit. But I prefer waiting to do that until the economy is fully recovered. Basically, in a bad economy, you should spend a lot to jumpstart and get out of it. In boom times, like the Clinton surpluses, we SHOULD have used that extra amount to pay our bills.nocoolnamejim

You mean Bush-Obama era tax cuts? And yes once the economy gets better the deficits will be reduced, probably to less than a trillion dollars a year.

Resetting the tax rates for everyone back to Clinton levels would be a heavy burthen for many Americans though and probably wouldn't sit well with voters, so Clinton's rates are dead and gone just like the old T.I., and Bush's rates are here for a while.

I'm not talking about the politics of the situation. I'm talking about the IMPACT ON DEFICITS.

Clinton era tax rates = record surpluses (and a thriving economy to boot...also low relative to, say, the Reagan era rates) Bush/Obama era tax rates = record deficits A little intellectual honesty please. Changing the rates of what 300+ million people pay into the federal government can have a huge impact. Raising taxes may not be politically popular, which is why it may not happen. Just like cutting defense spending or entitlement spending may not be politically popular and therefore may not happen. But NOTHING said so far changes the basic truth. If you want to fix the deficit you need some combination of the following: 1. Cut defense spending 2. Cut entitlement spending 3. Raise taxes Again, you can argue how much should come from which of those three things, but that's how you fix the deficit. Some combo of those three.

I see what you mean. But I think the "thriving" economy of the Clinton/Gingrich years were due to the rise of the internet and the end of the cold war more than to any political policies, and I think the economy did go downhill later in the Clinton years.

#41 Posted by Abbeten (2803 posts) -
it is meaningless to say something like 'the military budget is not causing the deficit'
#42 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -

[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"] "R&D" spending referenced above and not TOTAL DEFENSE SPENDING.  740 billion annually. More than the next top TEN countries combined, many of which are our allies. There is fat to cut there.Wasdie

We also employ more people and give amazing benefits for people who are employed in the military. There is fat to trim, we're trimming it without cutting the effectiveness of the military.

Our military spending isn't causing the deficit and chopping it up would do more harm than good.

Yes, it IS causing the deficit. Just like Social Security is causing the deficit. Just like Medicare is. Just like the Bush era tax cuts are. ALL OF THESE THINGS cause the deficit. A deficit, by definition, is spending more money than you take in. You spend money on things that have benefits in some way, shape, or form. You obviously think that defense spending is too important to cut, even though I've shown just how much we spend relative to the rest of the world. (The U.S. BY ITSELF has about HALF of the TOTAL defense spending of the entire world...) And that's fine. We get certain benefits from defense spending as you've mentioned. But that means if you take that off the table, fixing the deficit requires either deeper cuts to entitlements or bigger tax increases. We have some say on WHICH levers we want to use, but it's a zero sum game. If you don't cut from defense, it means you need to cut MORE from, say, Social Security. Math.
#43 Posted by Wasdie (49628 posts) -

[QUOTE="Wasdie"]

[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"] "R&D" spending referenced above and not TOTAL DEFENSE SPENDING.  740 billion annually. More than the next top TEN countries combined, many of which are our allies. There is fat to cut there.nocoolnamejim

We also employ more people and give amazing benefits for people who are employed in the military. There is fat to trim, we're trimming it without cutting the effectiveness of the military.

Our military spending isn't causing the deficit and chopping it up would do more harm than good.

Yes, it IS causing the deficit. Just like Social Security is causing the deficit. Just like Medicare is. Just like the Bush era tax cuts are. ALL OF THESE THINGS cause the deficit. A deficit, by definition, is spending more money than you take in. You spend money on things that have benefits in some way, shape, or form. You obviously think that defense spending is too important to cut, even though I've shown just how much we spend relative to the rest of the world. (The U.S. BY ITSELF has about HALF of the TOTAL defense spending of the entire world...) And that's fine. We get certain benefits from defense spending as you've mentioned. But that means if you take that off the table, fixing the deficit requires either deeper cuts to entitlements or bigger tax increases. We have some say on WHICH levers we want to use, but it's a zero sum game. If you don't cut from defense, it means you need to cut MORE from, say, Social Security. Math.

I don't take it off the table. I agreed with the freezes and cutting of a lot of future military programs that had no strategical advantage and were wastes of money (look up the F-35 fighter and what kind of financial disaster that has been) nor am I opposed to future cuts and freezes.

I'm just saying I don't want to see it chopped up and cut down to match other nations. It's a large part of our economy, helps millions of people through school, and distributes billions back into our own economy.

We're making cuts to military. It's a gradual process so that the effectiveness of the military is not hindered. It will drop even faster once we pull out of Afghanistan in 2014. Billions will be easily cut from the defense budget once we aren't deploying troops to combat. That just will take a matter of time.

I just hate it when people believe that cutting the military down to more comparable sizes to other nations would solve most of the problems. I know you didn't say that personally, I've just seen that mentality here quite often.

As I said previously, Medicare and Social Security also need cuts and freezes. However those too have massive drawbacks which make it even more difficult.

That's my biggest problem with government spending. Once you start, it's almost impossible to stop. This is why I'm never for increases in government spending in any area unless it's absolutely necessary and can be made up somewhere else through either higher taxes, larger tax base that generates more revenue overall (my personal favorite way of doing it), or cuts.

#44 Posted by comp_atkins (31269 posts) -
imo the gubment needs to stop the tax breaks as incentives/gifts mentality that has led to everyone and their mother getting a tax break for something.... each time one of these is passed they're giving taxpayer money, in a sense, away to that particular interest because it's lost revenue. it increases the deficit and debt which must be paid back by, guess who? everyone else. not mention leading to a cluster-f of a confusing tax system. eliminate them all.
#45 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -

[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"][QUOTE="whipassmt"] You mean Bush-Obama era tax cuts? And yes once the economy gets better the deficits will be reduced, probably to less than a trillion dollars a year.

Resetting the tax rates for everyone back to Clinton levels would be a heavy burthen for many Americans though and probably wouldn't sit well with voters, so Clinton's rates are dead and gone just like the old T.I., and Bush's rates are here for a while.

whipassmt

I'm not talking about the politics of the situation. I'm talking about the IMPACT ON DEFICITS.

Clinton era tax rates = record surpluses (and a thriving economy to boot...also low relative to, say, the Reagan era rates) Bush/Obama era tax rates = record deficits A little intellectual honesty please. Changing the rates of what 300+ million people pay into the federal government can have a huge impact. Raising taxes may not be politically popular, which is why it may not happen. Just like cutting defense spending or entitlement spending may not be politically popular and therefore may not happen. But NOTHING said so far changes the basic truth. If you want to fix the deficit you need some combination of the following: 1. Cut defense spending 2. Cut entitlement spending 3. Raise taxes Again, you can argue how much should come from which of those three things, but that's how you fix the deficit. Some combo of those three.

I see what you mean. But I think the "thriving" economy of the Clinton/Gingrich years were due to the rise of the internet and the end of the cold war more than to any political policies, and I think the economy did go downhill later in the Clinton years.

True. Bush Jr. inherited a mild recession. Nowhere near as deep as the one Obama inherited from Bush Jr.  But he did inherit an economy that had mildly scaled back from the peek years under Clinton. (Which, I'll note, Clinton passed tax increases on the rich and had that growth anyway.) But this whole thing is a separate discussion. We're talking about the deficit. And, again, if 80% of the government spending is on entitlements, defense, social safety net and interest on the debt...if you want to fix the deficit you focus on where 4/5ths of the spending is, not the remaining "misc" category. Fixing the deficit: 1. Cutting defense 2. Cutting entitlements 3. Raising taxes That's the ballgame. Can argue which of those three to emphasize to which extent, but some combo of those three is the framework.
#46 Posted by Aljosa23 (24747 posts) -

I, for one, think churches should be paying taxes too. Because fvck giving special interest groups and lobbyists tax breaks.

#47 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -

[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"][QUOTE="Wasdie"]

We also employ more people and give amazing benefits for people who are employed in the military. There is fat to trim, we're trimming it without cutting the effectiveness of the military.

Our military spending isn't causing the deficit and chopping it up would do more harm than good.

Wasdie

Yes, it IS causing the deficit. Just like Social Security is causing the deficit. Just like Medicare is. Just like the Bush era tax cuts are. ALL OF THESE THINGS cause the deficit. A deficit, by definition, is spending more money than you take in. You spend money on things that have benefits in some way, shape, or form. You obviously think that defense spending is too important to cut, even though I've shown just how much we spend relative to the rest of the world. (The U.S. BY ITSELF has about HALF of the TOTAL defense spending of the entire world...) And that's fine. We get certain benefits from defense spending as you've mentioned. But that means if you take that off the table, fixing the deficit requires either deeper cuts to entitlements or bigger tax increases. We have some say on WHICH levers we want to use, but it's a zero sum game. If you don't cut from defense, it means you need to cut MORE from, say, Social Security. Math.

I don't take it off the table. I agreed with the freezes and cutting of a lot of future military programs that had no strategical advantage and were wastes of money (look up the F-35 fighter and what kind of financial disaster that has been) nor am I opposed to future cuts and freezes.

I'm just saying I don't want to see it chopped up and cut down to match other nations. It's a large part of our economy, helps millions of people through school, and distributes billions back into our own economy.

We're making cuts to military. It's a gradual process so that the effectiveness of the military is not hindered. It will drop even faster once we pull out of Afghanistan in 2014. Billions will be easily cut from the defense budget once we aren't deploying troops to combat. That just will take a matter of time.

I just hate it when people believe that cutting the military down to more comparable sizes to other nations would solve most of the problems. I know you didn't say that personally, I've just seen that mentality here quite often.

As I said previously, Medicare and Social Security also need cuts and freezes. However those too have massive drawbacks which make it even more difficult.

I think there's a middle ground to be found. The number 2 country on that list is China. We spend approximately 8.5 times the amount on defense as our next closest competitor. Certainly, defense spending does drive some economic benefits. (How much is arguable.) And too extensive of cuts too quickly would have some economic impacts just like raising taxes too quickly on too many would. But, do we really need to spend 8.5 times the next closest country in the world? Could we spend, say, 5 times the amount China spends and still be okay? I say so. I support President Obama's approach based on this pragmatism. Everything we spend money on has SOME benefit. Fixing the deficit involves figuring how much of which benefits we're willing to scale back vs. how much more we're willing to pay to keep them.
#48 Posted by comp_atkins (31269 posts) -
[QUOTE="whipassmt"]

[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"] I'm not talking about the politics of the situation. I'm talking about the IMPACT ON DEFICITS.

Clinton era tax rates = record surpluses (and a thriving economy to boot...also low relative to, say, the Reagan era rates) Bush/Obama era tax rates = record deficits A little intellectual honesty please. Changing the rates of what 300+ million people pay into the federal government can have a huge impact. Raising taxes may not be politically popular, which is why it may not happen. Just like cutting defense spending or entitlement spending may not be politically popular and therefore may not happen. But NOTHING said so far changes the basic truth. If you want to fix the deficit you need some combination of the following: 1. Cut defense spending 2. Cut entitlement spending 3. Raise taxes Again, you can argue how much should come from which of those three things, but that's how you fix the deficit. Some combo of those three.nocoolnamejim

I see what you mean. But I think the "thriving" economy of the Clinton/Gingrich years were due to the rise of the internet and the end of the cold war more than to any political policies, and I think the economy did go downhill later in the Clinton years.

True. Bush Jr. inherited a mild recession. Nowhere near as deep as the one Obama inherited from Bush Jr.  But he did inherit an economy that had mildly scaled back from the peek years under Clinton. (Which, I'll note, Clinton passed tax increases on the rich and had that growth anyway.) But this whole thing is a separate discussion. We're talking about the deficit. And, again, if 80% of the government spending is on entitlements, defense, social safety net and interest on the debt...if you want to fix the deficit you focus on where 4/5ths of the spending is, not the remaining "misc" category. Fixing the deficit: 1. Cutting defense 2. Cutting entitlements 3. Raising taxes That's the ballgame. Can argue which of those three to emphasize to which extent, but some combo of those three is the framework.

what's interesting is the last 4 recessions, 81, 90, 01, and 07 have been the "flattest" ones in the group. in the last 30 years we haven't been seeing as sharp a recovery as we used to....
#49 Posted by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

Social Security would be just fine if they hadn't borrowed against it for decades.

br0kenrabbit
That's a common misconception, but that really isn't what has been going on with the social security trust fund. The reason why the social security surplus has been invested in treasury securities for all these years is so that money can accrue interest instead of just sitting idle.
#50 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -
[QUOTE="nocoolnamejim"][QUOTE="whipassmt"] I see what you mean. But I think the "thriving" economy of the Clinton/Gingrich years were due to the rise of the internet and the end of the cold war more than to any political policies, and I think the economy did go downhill later in the Clinton years.comp_atkins
True. Bush Jr. inherited a mild recession. Nowhere near as deep as the one Obama inherited from Bush Jr.  But he did inherit an economy that had mildly scaled back from the peek years under Clinton. (Which, I'll note, Clinton passed tax increases on the rich and had that growth anyway.) But this whole thing is a separate discussion. We're talking about the deficit. And, again, if 80% of the government spending is on entitlements, defense, social safety net and interest on the debt...if you want to fix the deficit you focus on where 4/5ths of the spending is, not the remaining "misc" category. Fixing the deficit: 1. Cutting defense 2. Cutting entitlements 3. Raising taxes That's the ballgame. Can argue which of those three to emphasize to which extent, but some combo of those three is the framework.

what's interesting is the last 4 recessions, 81, 90, 01, and 07 have been the "flattest" ones in the group. in the last 30 years we haven't been seeing as sharp a recovery as we used to....

Completely wild ass guess here, but I think that is based on the overall SIZE of the economy. Dumb metaphor time: bigger cars have larger turning radius. The bigger something is, the more force required to make it change direction. Many economists argued that the stimulus was too small relative to our economy's size. I tend to agree with that assessment, but I also think it was the largest one likely to pass.