The future is bleak (to say the least)

cornopeanDecember 8, 2012

"Government spending in the United States is 42.2 percent, but revenues are 24 percent the widest spending/taxing gulf in any major economy." http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/percent-379256-government-spending.html

Then, as noted here, "68% of the federal budget is taken up by entitlements and debt service, alone. We could eliminate the entirety of the rest of the federal government and, at current rates of taxation, would still run a deficit."
http://www.qando.net/?p=14479

So...what other option is left? Either hyper-inflation or a collapse. or...deal with entitlements which noone is willing to do. Raising taxes on the wealthy doesn't even begin to resolve this. It's not enough. It's like trying to put out a house fire with a squirt gun.

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labrea_gw

Hyperinflation was proposed on here in 2008 & 2009 it didn't come to pass.
We had our warnings from the IMF cut too big you bring deflation & chaos for the rest of the worlds economies!
We can deal with entitlements just none of the republithings are going to like supporting means testing!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 10:32AM
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momj47(7A)

Welcome to a new member, cornopean, who joined yesterday.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 10:38AM
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cornopean

@labrea do you think this country has any fiscal problem?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 10:45AM
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chase_gw

cornopean, it all has to dealt with. Entitlements, military spending, revenue increases and tax reform. Nothing can be a sacred cow....except everyone has a sacred cow.

No easy answer and no silver bullet....even if your government can find the will to deal with the issue in it's entirety it will be a lot of years digging out.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 10:50AM
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vgkg(Z-7)

Hyperinflation was supposed to have done us in back in 1980 too when gold went thru the roof. Me thinks the US situation looks good today as compared to the other nations on the planet where fiscal situations are even bleaker than ours. We could max out at $25 Trillion in debt ok as long as we start to pay it down by then. Just the act of paying it down even ever so slightly would make things "look" fiscally better. Time is short, we were stupid not to at least pay-as-you-go for the 2 wars via war taxes on the richest. Major Idiots were running things back then of course and gave the the rich unneeded tax cuts instead.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 12:25PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

I object to the use of the word entitlements to describe government obligations like Social Security and Medicare. It is intentional to make these programs sound inherently bad. What is government? It is the set of rules we use to organize society. We decide as a group what we want to do as a people-as an organized people- to promote social security-peaceful and prosperous coexistence. If you dont do that the next thing you know civil war breaks out and that is a h#ll of a lot more expensive to a society than making sure everyone has enough to eat in their old age by making people pay into a retirement/insurance system. Corn-I challenge you do do some reading in history and pick a time and place when you would prefer to live over the organized system we live in now. You do not get to chose to be a member of the aristocracy.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 2:08PM
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david52_gw

Somalia.

There you have very limited government, unfettered free enterprise, individual liberty abounds, and none of that namby pamby stuff about treating minorities, women, the disabled, with any undue favors. They even have home schooling as the only choice, none of that socialist indoctrinating public education.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 2:19PM
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chase_gw

Actually I am OK with the word entitlement. To me it does not have the negative connotation some Americans put on it.

I believe that as a free and prosperous society we are entitled to universally available education, healthcare, clean water and air, safe streets, equality regardless of sex, age, religion, sexual orientation or race.

Yes we are entitled...and that's a good word.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 2:27PM
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heri_cles

Either hyper-inflation or a collapse. or...deal with entitlements

So, because of the Bush crash and Republican spending in two elective Wars, big pharma, and Bush tax cuts, let's leverage this Recession to get rid of all Social programs while we can...

This is a ludicrous and hypocritical argument but more than that, it is a losers argument.
You lost the election. What part of being a loser on this issue don't you understand?

President Obama will not accept any proposal that does not allow the Bush tax cuts on the upper 2% to expire. That is his mandate from the American people.
Every poll taken before and after the election supports his position..by a lot.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 2:37PM
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chase_gw

Wait I am confused.....yet again.

"Then, as noted here, "68% of the federal budget is taken up by entitlements and debt service, alone. "

...but on an other thread the same poster said that 70% of Federal spending is on welfare.

So now we are at 138% and the defense budget has yet to be mentioned!!!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 2:37PM
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chase_gw

"President Obama will not accept any proposal that does not allow the Bush tax cuts on the upper 2% to expire"

Heri, I think you may be wrong on that. I believe the President will accept a proposal that increases the tax rate on the wealthiest but not necessarily to the pre Bus tax cut level.

I think he may well settle for a 2% hike.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 2:42PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

Chase-under those terms I accept the term entitlement. You are correct, as a citizen I have the right to expect a fair share of the results of agreeing to live as a socially responsible person in a socially responsible society.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 5:01PM
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cornopean

@chase if it all has to be dealt with, then why does the left refuse to touch entitlement spending? Why is there NO plan from the left that deals with Medicare and SS?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 6:32PM
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cornopean

Funny someone should bring up Somalia. Check the link.

One can argue that things are better there w/o a govt, than it was with a govt. That doesn't mean things are wonderful. It just means that relative to when they did have a govt, things are improved w/o one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Somalia

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 6:36PM
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chase_gw

@corn.....suspect that is because they are still dancing ......entitlements will be on the table as will additional taxes for the wealthy. They just haven't had enough silly time.

PS....love the@ thing :-)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 8:43PM
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cornopean

Are there any democrats in either house calling for entitlement reform? There might be; I just don't know. I kind of doubt it but....

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 8:56PM
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chase_gw

Yes corn , there is. As serious as they need to be...maybe not yet ...but there is a move afoot just like there is for revenue increases on the Republican side. Nothing happens easily....but it happens.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:00PM
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cornopean

wrong forum. sorry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Family Cap law

This post was edited by cornopean on Sat, Dec 8, 12 at 21:06

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:03PM
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cornopean

Chase, which dems are supporting entitlement reform? any names?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:28PM
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pnbrown

Dave, curiously, even though I could have a lot of personal freedom in Somalia and pay no taxes and probably own some slaves if I bribed the right gangsters, I don't have any desire to relocate there.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:30PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

No one should be supporting entitlement reform-who else should our government be spending our money on but us? Lets cut all support of business-that includes the gigantic Pig in the room-the military industrial complex-the super slupper of our government funds-the real source of our discontent. America spends more on military than-well gosh just about everyone else combined. Imagine a world where we dont spend ourselves into a black hole to support an ever growing military. We would have resources to burn-sort of like the military.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:39PM
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cornopean

'America spends more on military than-well gosh just about everyone else combined.'

haha!! Please. Check the link.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:45PM
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cornopean

@patriciae do you believe there is any need for a military? do you think we could do without it?

Perhaps if we got rid of our military, all our enemies would go back to being used car salesmen and school teachers. no?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:49PM
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cornopean

@pnbrown was Somalia better off with its govt or better off w/o it?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:50PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

>spend ourselves into a black holeSo that's why they're called "black ops"!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 10:01PM
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esh_ga

do you believe there is any need for a military? do you think we could do without it?

Is it an "all or nothing" proposition? How about we spend LESS and keep some of it?

Of course we need some military.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 10:59PM
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pnbrown

Somalia would be better off without an elite class that abuses the peasantry.

You are very confused about the term "government", because you clearly can't perceive the difference between monolithically autocratic rule over relatively small regions by an armed elite (Somalia, 18th C ireland, as examples) and very loose rule by powerful consortiums overlaid upon an earlier republican form of self-rule such as what passes for the democracy that we have in Canada and the US. In the former examples the government is entirely a problem; in the latter the situation is far more complex, not surprisingly when talking about 100's of millions of people living on a huge climatically diverse continent.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 8:11AM
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david52_gw

What these anti-gub'mint zealots never seem to realize is that the libertarian, Ayn Randian utopia never existed and never will exist, because humans will organize themselves into some sort of societal structure - call it 'government' or something else, but its the same thing.

Genghis Khan organized his hordes. Somali war lords organize their tribes. Somali pirates organize their crews and coordinate attacks with other pirates.

In the absence of what we'd call government and the societal order, some sort of organization will arise pretty quickly. In the chaos of Pakistan, Mali, Yemen, Libya, Syria, etc, Islamic fundamentalists start taking over. Not because they have the best ideas, but because they have the guns, and often, they're the people creating security from robbery, rape, and chaos, they distribute food, and so on. A government.

Now its true that some folks manage to live their lives relatively free of societal interference, but then along comes people who are organized, and they take your stuff; resources, land, water, and so on.

In the context of the United States, in the absence of an effective, laws and regulation passing government, it wouldn't take more than a few years that corporate America - with their far better organizations, would rule the place, taking all the resources and so on. And for those displaced, you'd find criminal gangs running things.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 11:42AM
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pnbrown

Exactly so, Dave.

Along that vein, I actually think that our system of many different and some times overlapping or conflicting levels of government is overall a better option than some kind of autocratic, authoritarian, or tribal rule. It largely eliminates the possibility of a given individual or minority group becoming victim to some type of abuse without redress. The great increase in federal power since the civil war is largely in response to that issue. Without doubt that has led to its own problems, particularly for those in other parts of the world unprotected (from the US Federal gov) by US citizenship.

If energy and resources last out, and climate change does not break us in the next century, I suspect there will some preliminary form of world gov that would be more powerful than Wash or Beijing.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 2:30PM
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david52_gw

Along the same lines, it may be fun to laugh at the European Union and the incredible bureaucracy, regulations, currency issues, and so on, but an awful lot of Europeans remember the alternative - a couple of world wars - and figure they'd rather put up with the bureaucracy.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 2:51PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

>corporate America - with their far better organizations, would rule the place, taking all the resources and so on. And for those displaced, you'd find criminal gangs running thingsWould? We have a lot of that right now.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 2:54PM
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david52_gw

And I'm sure the strident calls for less government have nothing at all to do with corporate power and resource grabs.

Nope, and all those 'think tanks' like Heritage Foundation and Freedom Works with their multi-million dollar salaries are funded by rugged individuals, each chipping in a dollar, two dollars.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 2:59PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

Pish-I never said get rid of the Military-I said clip the wings of the Military industrial complex-the Haliburtons of our world who make billions doing what military personal used to do for pennies(which was very wrong as they ought to be paid better)or subsidies for Boeing and other big military suppliers. I also think it would be more sensible to do our world dominating more through the UN. We think we have a better form of government, we could use less expensive and more peaceful means to spread that form and not need such a large military.

Corn-you neglected to add into your military budget from your chart the big chunk of what is called discretionary spending that goes to the military-it is more than half of that category. We spend 41% of the known military funds in the world on our military. According to the article that your chart comes from we spend over 4% of Our GDP and since we have by far the largest economy in the world that is a lot of money-such is the magic of percentages it doesnt sound so bad until you start looking up the actual sums of money spent by any other country who has only one country to protect from the whole rest of the world just like us.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 6:27PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The Pentagon has a set of "Black Books" that are under guard and accessible only to generals and senators (after applying for permission) etc. The real military expenditure is double what is usually reported to the public.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 12:34AM
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heri_cles

Where did the surplus go ...you know the one that we had when Bush got in as President?
Bush tax cuts have anything to do with that?
Two elective wars he never budgeted for?
Did Bush even consider the financial ramifications to our country of invading and occupying a country ....or was he just motivated by his personal revenge against Saddam Hussein without regard to economic concerns?

Why should Democrats keep the Bush tax cuts on the top 2% when they were part of the problem we have?

These issues were joined in the recent campaign and the people have spoken decisively. It is time for Right Wingers to stop the bloviating and cooperate with a balanced approach under President Obama's leadership.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 2:22AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

"Grey skies are going to clear up, put on a happy face..."

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:04AM
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jodik_gw

I would concur with David, PNBrown, and Heri...

And...

Maybe we should ask Native Americans if they're better off now than they were before European settlers took over, and took everything... seems to me they were able to govern themselves and manage their territory and possessions fairly well... before the infestation of greed, and some of the very things European settlers came here to avoid.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:56AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Maybe we should ask Native Americans if they're better off now than they were before European settlers took over, and took everything... seems to me they were able to govern themselves and manage their territory and possessions fairly well... before the infestation of greed, and some of the very things European settlers came here to avoid.

Seems to me that's looking at it through rose-coloured glasses.

Plenty of talk (all BS of course) about how white men ruined the wonderful, happy, rainbows and unicorns way of life natives lived. Revisionist history.

Greed, war, possessions and land grabs were as much a part of native life as european life.

Then add the fact that native north americans were still living the stone age way of life... life was cruel, brutish and short, truly.

Ask any native now if they are willing to give up any of the comforts of life the evil europeans brought. Go live off the land with stone chipped arrows, no medical care, no manufactured goods, nothing. I guarantee you they love the European way of life then.

Trust me, we are WAY better off than before Europeans came.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:50AM
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labrea_gw

But the Europeans saved their eternal souls!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:57AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

But the Europeans saved their eternal souls!

Personally, the religion I can do without.

But then, I don't subscribe to any religions... European or Native American

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 11:08AM
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cornopean

@david52 it was govts that caused WW2. Your argument on this line assumes that Germany was a libertarian style govt when WW2 launched. The opposite is the truth.

@jodic again, it was the US govt that wreaked havoc on the Indians. and the Indians did not rules themselves well. they were constantly fighting and life as an indian was horrible (esp. if you were female).

again, my point is that when people are allowed to freely organize themselves, scarce resources are better allocated than if some govt tries to do it. A govt should do nothing else than protect the citizens from invasion, foreign or domestic and enforce contracts.

Remember Jefferson? That govt governs best which governs least. Wise man.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:16PM
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david52_gw

@david52 it was govts that caused WW2. Your argument on this line assumes that Germany was a libertarian style govt when WW2 launched. The opposite is the truth.

I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

again, my point is that when people are allowed to freely organize themselves, scarce resources are better allocated than if some govt tries to do it.

uh, when people freely organize themselves, its called forming a government.

A govt should do nothing else than protect the citizens from invasion, foreign or domestic and enforce contracts.

So none of that namby pamby stuff about insuring liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Whats a domestic invasion?

And for contracts, you need judges, courts, court people, jails, lawyers, laws, and all that.

And I assume you'd just leave things like tainted food killing people up to 'market forces? And no regulations on banking, the movement of money, trading anything and everything including young sex slaves, gold futures, and so on?

How old are you, anyway?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:27PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

We can deal with entitlements just none of the republithings are going to like supporting means testing!

You can have my social security and medicaid. Just give me back all the contributions I've made over the years, and we'll call it even. You can even keep the interest. Anything less than that, they can kiss my butt. Those are not entitlements, contrary to opoular belief. They're PAID FOR insurances. If they can't make good on what they were paid for, refund me the money, or we're gonna talk.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:22PM
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demifloyd(8)

Posted by bill_vincent Central Maine (billvincent@hotmail.com) on
Mon, Dec 10, 12 at 18:22

We can deal with entitlements just none of the republithings are going to like supporting means testing!

You can have my social security and medicaid. Just give me back all the contributions I've made over the years, and we'll call it even. You can even keep the interest. Anything less than that, they can kiss my butt. Those are not entitlements, contrary to opoular belief. They're PAID FOR insurances. If they can't make good on what they were paid for, refund me the money, or we're gonna talk.

*

AMEN BILL.

I've said that for some time myself--just give back the forced contributions, keep the interest and I'll take it from there.

We never needed the government being Sugar Mama for us anyway.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:25PM
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david52_gw

Thats what kind of ticks me off.

Why call it an "entitlement" when its something you've paid into your whole life.

Its a contract. Just like buying an annuity, or health insurance, or anything else. I pay you now, and when I get old and sick, you do what you said you would do.

So let them tell the truth, its about contracts they're trying to wiggle out of.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:53PM
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demifloyd(8)

So let them tell the truth, its about contracts they're trying to wiggle out of.

*

I agree.

Social security and medicare are not actual entitlements in the true sense.

But the fact of the matter is, these programs have gotten out of hand and there's not enough money to pay for them.
The rules are going to have to be changed because our elected representatives and presidents have been terrible stewards of our money that they FORCED us to contribute to to fund these programs.

It did not take a rocket scientist to realize that this deal wasn't going to work out for seniors like it was supposed to.

Lockbox. Ummm Hmmmm.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:24PM
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pnbrown

Maybe living fewer years with stone-age technology and without degenerative disease is a smart swap.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:26PM
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david52_gw

There are lots of ways to fix Social Security - slightly higher premiums, get rid of the limits on the top - when they set this up, people earning over $110 thousand were really rare, now you can get that if you're a policeman or a teacher.

With Medicare, thats part of the whole health care debacle - payment for service instead of wellness and outcomes. And somebody has to start talking about the costs at the end of life - I have enough confidence in my fellow man that if given a variety of choices, most people would prefer not to live with dementia, poor mobility, severe pain and the rest of it for very long.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:54PM
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elvis

I think the "entitlement" mind-set comes from considering that there are those who are collecting much more than they ever paid in. Much, much more. If medical costs are not regulated, this will get worse and worse.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:57PM
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mylab123(z5NW)

It's not unreasonable to live longer and fully expect to collect payments that the govt. gambled you would not live long enough to collect- if I live to be 100 and collect my S.S. I don't want to hear any guff from the social security office telling me that I'm taking 'entitlements" away from others - after all, they were banking that I would kick the bucket right around the time I started collecting anyway. And for a long time, they were winning that gamble with a whole lot of the population.

I certainly agree on one thing - medical costs must be regulated, we have seen what has been going on with medical costs in just the last decade alone, much less the last several decades.

If intrusive big government is resented and not wanted and is declared to be unneeded - then how should it go about being regulated and who should oversee and enforce the regulating?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 8:43PM
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labrea_gw

�The tax increase will kill jobs and lead to a recession, and the recession will force people out of work and onto unemployment, and actually increase the deficit.� That�s Newt Gingrich, in 1993, on the Clinton tax increase, and those of us who were working on the other side of that tax increase, Newt, have been waiting for your apology for 20 years for being completely wrong about that.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 11:17PM
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