OT: Interesting Debt Comparisons

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12 Scary Debt Facts for 2012
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/12-scary-debt-facts-for-2012.html
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88.198.244.100:

the deficit right, there is no use.
<quote> Deficit = money government takes in -- money government spends </quote> Since the government (i.e. you and I and everyone else) is spending more than the take in, this would lead to a negatrive deficit, which by definition is a surplus. Which isn't true, ergo the equation is wrong. it should read: Deficit = money government spends -- money government takes in
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Han
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Han wrote:

It's government math.
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I don't think finance.yahoo.com is government. It's just stupid, just like the deficit problem.
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Han
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Actually the source is CBSMarketwatch. It's an obvious error though and it's clear what was really meant. However the rest of the piece is even more dubious. Supposed to be "scary facts", yet a lot of it has nothing to do with what is going on today, ie the defictis, debt, and ability of the country to repay them.
The best thing I've seen that puts the scary scenario into focus is converting the federal budget into an equivalent family budget. Essentially you get rid of the zeros. John Stossel showed it on Fox. Essentially it's this:
Annual family income: $21,700 Money the family spent: $38,200 New debt on the credit card: $16,500 Outstanding balance on credit card: $150,710 Total budget cuts: $385
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<snip>

I'll take your bait. It is obvious that even very painful budget cuts won't do the job. Moreover, budget cuts reduce GDP, stifle the economy and put people into the poor house. Just look at what is happening in Greece. Greece is not a good example for the US economy. Especially since here tax compliance is orders of magnitude better, and pension outlays orders of magnitude lower. The only good way to get our economy going is to increase taxes where they would do the least harm (capital gains and other loopholes need to be tightened, and higher incomes' taxes need to go up). At the same time, regulations need to be streamlined without making things like air quality and environmental defense useless. I could go on, but you know what I'd propose.
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Han
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Bait? What bait? It's just the basic facts.

Says who? No material budget cuts of any kind have been made. Per the budget example, we're fooling around with pennnies.

That's the faulty logic that got us where we are.
Just look at what is happening in

It sure is a good example. And unfortunately you fail to grasp the lesson from Greece. It was too much govt spending, giving people unrealistic salaries, benefits, welfare, all kinds of spending, usurping 50% of GDP that got them where they are. Greece debt is 50% of GDP. We're passing 100%, Capiche?
Especially

Sure. Cutting all the wasteful govt spending is going to kill the economy, but higher taxes won't? Spoken like a true lib. Here's a question. What has gone up by 40% since 2007? Hmmm. Not taxes. Govt SPENDING. If taxes had been cut by 40% since 2007 then I'd consider tax increases. Since taxes are about the same, time to focus on the real problem. SPENDING.
If your household couldn't meet it;s budget, would you answer be that unless you can increase income, hell no, spending can't be cut? Look at our state, NJ Christy CUT the buget and it's now lower than it was 3 years ago.
At the same time, regulations need to be streamlined

to steamline regulations. That is 180 degrees opposite the Dems and in particular Obama.
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Even the starkest GOP cuts won't budge the deficit much at all.

It sure isn't the whole solution. Budget cuts should be applied appropriately,and I'm sure that some cuts would be better than others.

According to <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt>, Greece is close to 150% and we are just under 100%. Germany is 85%. SO between us and Germany there really isn't too much difference on this statistic. Especially given the point in the economic cycle we're in.

Taxes have gone down in important ways - important to the economy because the wealthy are paying less than before, when the economy was in good shape. Accordingly, just because taxes were higher during the Reagan years, taxes should go up now ...

Christie may have cut the state budget, but he increased taxes too, just by cutting the homeowners rebate, and by cutting local support tremendously. In my town, they had to fire a bunch of policeman, curtail library hours and more like that to stay under the cap, which they did an admirable job with. Now the boro has chosen a Republican majority, they have promptly followed the lead of the Democrats who had proposed raising water rates, but now it seems we have to go up 4-fold to get to neighboring communities. (But I don't know the details). There are some good points in Christie's massive reorganization of public employee pensions. On the other hand, he has effectively reduced incomes for teachers, in spite of contract obligations.

I am proud to be a progressively thinking man who finds fiscal responsibility to have top priority, and F all those earmarks.
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Han
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Nor will Obama's continued spending increases. The fact is that base-line budgeting has *got* to go, and the "baseline" reset to 2008, at least.
<snip>

Earmarks are *not* the problem.
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I say to go back a bit further, and reset the tax rates in addition to the budget. Then hike the tax rates so we are properly aware of the ongoing costs of the Iraq and Afghan wars (I think you will agree that caring for the brave men and women who fought the war will keep costing money). If Congress (R or D) increases spending, they should cover the expenses, at least in the long run. Spikes in spending will occur from time to time to finance "emergencies", be they wars or natural or economic catastrophes.

In themselves earmarks are not, but as a symptom of irresponsible spending they often are. There should be a set # of $/ rep or sen that cannot be exceeded. Period.
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Taxes are *NOT* the problem. The wars were *NOT* the problem. You can stop with those lies any time. Find new ones.

I wouldn't object to that, so much, except that not all districts are the same. There are positive aspects of earmarks; they force funds to be spent on specific projects rather than giving the executive all the discretion.
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I don't understand. If you reduce taxes and spend extra money for wars, why would that not contribute to a deficit, especially when combined? Moreover, we are now retreating and either abandoning or destroying expensive equipment in foreign lands. And paying "contractors" to provide "security", not to mention the myriads of other expenses we didn't have before the invasions, such as caring for the wounded, both those with physical and those with mental disabilities as a result of the wars.
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The point is that any time there is talk about the deficit and debt crisis, the two wars always get brought up by liberals as if they were the sole cause or the main cause of the deficit and the national debt. As I have pointed out time and time again, the total cost of both wars for 10 years was about $1.3tril. Yet the deficit for last year was $1.3tril ALONE and Obama is calling for a deficit of $1.2tril for the NEXT year. The most costly war is already OVER. The other is winding down. Many of us are just sick and tired of folks pointing to the wars when they are clearly NOT the main causes.
And while we're at lies and the wars, let's look at the latest claims made by Obama regarding "savings". In his new budget he claims he's reducing the deficit by $4tril over 10 years. With $3.5tril coming from spending cuts. Wow, sounds good. Except:
1 - $1tril of those cuts are coming from cuts mandated by the debt increase process from last summer, yet he's counting it again.
2 - $850bil is coming from counting the ending of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of that $850bil, he proposes to use $250bil for new spending. In other words, he's counting spending that never would have occured and using it to justify in part, more NEW spending.
That's a whopping $1.85 tril worth of lies right off the top. About $1.5 tril of deficit reduction would come from tax increases, if Obama had his way. That part, if enacted is the only REAL part of the plan that would materialize.

I suggest you actually look at a federal budget one day and see where the money is really going. Then you would see the real major problems.
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We'll never agree here. The tax cuts reduced revenue, and the wars added expenses. The major expenses may be over, but the country is still in a recession that we are barely starting to crawl out of. You can't stop stimulating the economy at this point. Simple as that. I agree that we have to plug the leaks both on the expense and income sides.
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Han
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If it's as simple as that, how exactly did the US economy grow from 1776 until Keynesian economics were invented? This is another liberal fallacy. That a free economy is unaceptable and we need the govt to control it.
>I agree that we

Tax revenue is at an all time high. Spending has increased 40% since 2007. When you liberals show us that you've made serious, real cuts in that 40%, then you can come talk to us about tax increases.
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Because all of the indicators suggest that cuts (at least until they reach the new equilibrium) add to revenues. In actual money, both the RR and the Bush tax cuts dropped first year but were back up to the original revenue within two years at worst. The other, more compelling argument to my mind, is what happened in real life compared to the models used by the Joint Committee on Taxation to officially "score" the changes. Not only was the drop in the first year much less than forecasted, but the JCT scoring suggested that revenue wouln't return to original levels for the entire 10 years of the scoring. (not matter if you evaluated the yearly results as cumulative over the 10 years or if you just took each year's results individually.)
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Stop lying. You've already been called on that one.

Incredible. Just incredible.
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Totally agree.
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Han
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most Hiway dollars were doled out on the basis of a Congressionally-mandated formula. The enabling legislation outlined the type of projects and the formula for disbursing the money. That is still the case, to my understanding, for most of the money. Of course this was also subject to game playing, so the states with the most senior people got more than they paid in after playing with the formula.
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wrote:

Well, yes there is that thing that we call in the eye of the beholder. What is essential to some is a waste to others. Especially in the area of transportation.
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Han
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