OT: Interesting Debt Comparisons

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The same thing (as an earmark) by another name. Another good reason to not get too bunched up about "earmarks".
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Not even close. Earmarks are for specific projects and can't be spent on anything else. While in the other system, some states may have gotten more money than they put in, but the actual projects still had to meet the same criteria for acceptance as any other. Many earmarks are for projects that couldn't be funded under the older system (which was still in force for the "general" money allocated to transportation, etc.)
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No, it's the same thing. The administration might be slightly different, but the result is the same. Both are congress' way of telling the executive what to do. I don't see that as all bad.
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Again, says who? Spending was increased 40% between 2007 and 2011. That is a staggering amount. If it can be increased, it can also be decreased. The latest example of foolishness is extending the SS tax cut. It's just another $90bil of unfunded govt benefits designed to make people feel good in an election year. Exactly like the process in Greece, Ireland, Italy....

The problem is with spending out of control, NO real budget cuts have been made. Per that example of the family budget, after all the bitching and screaming about cuts from the Dems, almost nothing has been actually cut, because they won't allow it.

So, Germany is at 85%, the US is passing 100%, Greece is at 150%. What in that gives you comfort? The problem is not just Greece. It's that most of Europe had gone down the same socialist highway to hell. At some point, it becomes unsustainable. How much further do you want to go?
What happens one day when the bond market finally wakes up and instead of worrying about international risk, starts worrying about credit risk? When that day comes, you'll have Tbonds yielding 8% or 12% and corresponding rates in the credit markets for mortgages. Think the real estate market is bad now, what will that bring? Think the deficit is bad now? Wait until they have to borrow at 12% instead of 0 to 3%.
And that turn could come at any point. Everyone was happy as a clam holding all kinds of stocks back in 2000 at lofty levels without a care. Then one fine day it turned with a vengance and everyone re-evaluated what they were really worth. It's all based on fear and greed, human emotion. And one day it can turn like that on US bonds, when buyers suddenly demand a higher rate for the risk.
The libs railed like hell about the deficts under Reagan as pure evil. At the end of Reagan's term the debt was 50% of GDP, or half of what it is today. The deficit was 3% of GDP. Today the corresponding numbers are 100% and 8.5% and the answer from the libs is..... MORE govt spending.

Let's look at the facts. Federal tax revenue was $2.568bil in 2007 In 2012 it was $2.627bil. That's right. The govt took in MORE last year than it did in 2007, more than it ever did in history. Revenue is NOT the problem and never has been. Now let's look at spending. In 2007, it was $2.7tril with a deficit of just $160bil. Last year spending was $3.8tril with a deficit of $1.3tril. Now that is a clearly a spending problem.
Yet the libs want to spin it into class warfare. The top 10% of incomes earners are currently paying 70% of the tax burden. The top 1% are paying 36%. How much more do you want? You could take it all and it would only lead to even MORE spending.

Earmarks are one part and should be curtailed, but it's not the core of the problem.
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I'm picking and choosing ... I don't believe that you can single out the period between 2007 and 2011. First of all, most of that period is NOT Obama's budget, as you'd like us to believe. Secondly, once the economy has been dropped into a hole, you have to do something to get out, and as the example in Greece will likely prove, cutting all expenses to barebones isn't the solution.
I agree that extending the SS taxcut is more like giving a tax break and financing it by making it part of the national debt. It does make people feel good, and if they do use the money to make purchases, that is in itself good for the economy. But we'll pay for the incurred debt, and I'd rather have had it be paid for by taxes in some form or another now, instead of later as the currently in place "law" does. It will be especially painful later when (not if) interest rates go up.
What is happening in or to Greece is the revenge of the Germans on their profligate clients down south. What needs to be done in Greece (my opinion) is well-considered cutting of benefits/salaries that are indeed exorbitant to all but the most leftist (your view) idiots (you see, I agree with that), but also streamlining and/or cutting crazy and protective work rules, making tax collection work, eliminating tax evasion and areas of the "grey" economy, where "bartering" or under the table work leaves services untaxed.
The Greeks are now used to getting things without paying for them, and it will be difficult to get over that featherbedding.
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Of course most of it was. The last budget of GW would have been enacted for 2009 on 10-1-2008. But they have also shown that taxation without some incentives for cap and biz formation is not the answer either.
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Just seeing it from the perspective of the Greeks. I don't agree with that, because I'm a fiscal conservative <grin>.

Now we are rehashing old arguments. You know I disagree.
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I'm pretty sure you and I will not agree on where the cuts should be made, but cuts need to be made. And some taxes need to go up, because we can't really keep up spending if there is no offsetting income. It's just that compromises need to be made if Congress wants to get some respect.
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The whole point is that spending should NOT go up. The govt is already consuming too much of GDP. Sigh.... Some folks just don't get it. Spending is up 40% since 2007. Federal revenue is slightly above what it was in 2007. Taxes rates are the same as they were in 2007. Therefore, taxes are not the problem. Out of control spending is.
If a household has a budget problem where they are borrowing 40% of what they spend every year, is the answer that spending can only be cut if the household also gets more income? Or do you look around and say let's immediately get spending back closer to what it was just a few years ago?
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Germany is 85%, US is 95%, Greece is 150%. That in itself is some comfort. Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy have had varied left and right governments, and that is NOT the common denominator versus Germany and Holland having left and right governments, which they have also had. The difference between North and South in Europe is the pervasiveness of tax evasion and gimme benefits in the South, versus more responsible fiscal (and labor) management in the North. And believe me, my wife just returned from a week in Holland (for less than enjoyable reasons), and in Holland the top subject of discussion was Greece and how worried they are whether things will work out or not. That is, after the sorrow of no "11 Cities race on skates" this year (A 120 mile race over natural ice - <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elfstedentocht> something that the Dutch go into a frenzie over that makes excitement over superbowl XLVI in New York or Boston appear tame).
So there is no socialist highway, but a "tradition" that for Greece et al indeed has become unsustainable because the euro doesn't allow for individual countries to devalue their currency, which is what would have happened in the past. The euro was indeed fashioned with the hopeful throught that countries would individually modify their tax and spending habits to fall in with the general rules. Individuality prevented that thus far, and now there is going to be imposed fiscal restraint. Tough on Greece.
There is a lesson for Congress - make the budget much more balanced or somehow there will be imposition of restraint that'll be very, very painfull, from whatever authority that will hold the spoils (China, anyone?).
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As if devaluation would solve a govt handing out money they don't have? If Greece had their own currency, it would not get them any further. You think all the holders of Greek debt are just gonna sit there and say, oh well, you just made my bonds worth 50% less, that's cool?

The real lesson from Greece is that govt spending way beyond their means leads ultimately to disaster. That spending, BTW, was not on wars, but on all kinds of big govt programs that you liberals fully endorse.
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It's not just their spending. The Greeks also encouraged the privatesector to pay wages over and above what they should be, granted more vacation than others (Italians and French do that too), granted earlier pensions (I & F as well), an ABOVE ALL, the Greeks tolerated widespread tax evasion (I as well). The whole thing needs to be rebalanced in Greece, but cutting private wages 20% doesn't help GDP.
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The biggest prob with Greece, though, is the structures put in place that made it REALLY hard to start (and more importantly grow) businesses. This is the main problem that the others only served to exacerbate.
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Indeed, there is apparently an enormously laborious system of protecting turf, with licenses that are difficult to start or branch out businesses and services.
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You will note that NOBODY in all of this has discussed anything that would address this issue, the one that would (sooner rather than later) work to get the Greeks back to work and actually grow the economy. Nope, nothing but tax increases and budget cuts.
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wrote:

That brings up talk of a "stimulus"?? But I believe that is contrary to conservative thinking/ideology, so why would you bring that up? <grin>.
I do believe that parts of the "rescue" package include doing away with onerous parts of work and business regulations. That should spur the economy.
Also, if and when the general European economy perks up more, tourism would/could pour money into the economy (true also for Spain and other S Europe countries).
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What brings up talk of a stimulus? Kurt said that nobody has discusses anything that would address this issue, that issue being a laborious system of protecting turf, with licenses, etc that make it hard to start new businesses. Same thing is going on here, to a lesser extent. And dealing with that has always been a core conservative position.
On the other hand, you're here complaining on the one hand that the Greek govt wound up driving salaries and benefits to unsustainable levels both in govt and the private sector, yet at the same time you're bitching that those salaries have now been cut 20%?
As for any govt stimulus in Greece, the problem is they can't borrow any more money. Soon the USA will be in that position too. Yet you insist that we keep stimulating with more govt programs, more govt spending. In the case of Greece, trying to fix their economy by doing that, isn't going to work. It's like giving an alcoholic another drink instead of real treatment.


Tourists generally don't prefer countries with riots in the streets, hippies burning down buildings and cars, etc.
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On Tue, 21 Feb 2012 06:51:08 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

The difference is that we can fire up the printing presses and loan money to ourselves, which is exactly what Obama's been doing for three years already. Of course that can't be done forever, either, but Obama doesn't know that.

Exactly like the US government and tax increases.

Businesses don't either but try telling that to an "occupier".
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Because it didn't. I was talking about addressing the barriers to new business formation. You know getting government out of the way. PURE conservativism (grin).

You might be right. I haven't seen any reports that they are doing much, but I might have missed it.
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On Mon, 20 Feb 2012 08:24:36 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

They wouldn't have much choice. OTOH, the bond holders likely wouldn't be in that position if the EU hadn't been underwriting them all along.

Yup.
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