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A challenge to those on the left
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georgia_tech_swagger Offline
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Post: #1
A challenge to those on the left
Balance the federal budget.

I genuinely want to see somebody from the left have to make the tough choices required for this country to live within its means. Because it will *require* massive spending slashes in entitlements and defense IMO. There's just not enough money elsewhere, including a 100% tax on all income over $500,000/yr, to make up that gap.
12-21-2017 02:16 PM
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Redwingtom Offline
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RE: A challenge to those on the left
I have no issue what that whatsoever.

Defense needs cut no doubt. As far as entitlements go, I'd rather they spend a little more money and streamline the processes to root out the fraud, and then see what can actually then be cut after the waste is taken out of the equation. Same thing goes for all the other cabinet level government programs. These types of cuts combined with modest tax increases should quickly balance the budget. The current deficit is only $664B and is actually falling as I type.
12-21-2017 02:33 PM
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georgia_tech_swagger Offline
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RE: A challenge to those on the left
(12-21-2017 02:33 PM)Redwingtom Wrote:  I have no issue what that whatsoever.

Defense needs cut no doubt. As far as entitlements go, I'd rather they spend a little more money and streamline the processes to root out the fraud, and then see what can actually then be cut after the waste is taken out of the equation. Same thing goes for all the other cabinet level government programs. These types of cuts combined with modest tax increases should quickly balance the budget. The current deficit is only $664B and is actually falling as I type.


Have at it ... looking forward to hearing what you'd cut.

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12-21-2017 03:12 PM
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tanqtonic Online
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Post: #4
RE: A challenge to those on the left
Isnt that a massive challenge for the supposed 'right' as well, GST?
12-21-2017 03:13 PM
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georgia_tech_swagger Offline
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RE: A challenge to those on the left
(12-21-2017 03:13 PM)tanqtonic Wrote:  Isnt that a massive challenge for the supposed 'right' as well, GST?


Not really. Those in the rank and file elected establishment GOP? Absolutely. The grassroots? It isn't hard to find a Republican eager to cut.
12-21-2017 03:15 PM
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tanqtonic Online
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Post: #6
RE: A challenge to those on the left
But you are simply highlighting a huge bifurcation between the rank and file GOP and one that actually believes in the what the Constitution is -- a blueprint for *limited* power central government.

I cannot call myself a Republican in this day and age; too many in that organization are true believers in big government (albeit in a different way than supposed progressives) and are true believers in massive government intrusion into social issues (whereas progressives simply like massive government intrusion into economic affairs for the most part).

Just saying the implied call on the 'left' really makes no distinction with what is roundly perceived to be 'right' these days. (And just another reason why I hate the broadbrush distinctions of left/right and conservative/progressive these days.... but I digress....)
12-21-2017 03:30 PM
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Post: #7
RE: A challenge to those on the left
Well the right hasn't exactly won the day on the issue either. A big reason I identify less and less with the GOP.

The math is incredibly easy. It's convincing the public to not run you off when you apply the math.

Deficit post-TARP etc is running $400 billion to $500 billion. We will take the high end, $500 billion.

Current US defense budget is $824 billion. Let's take that back to $700 billion by scaling back some of the system purchases and closing some of our overseas presence (we were spending $625 billion just three years ago).

So that takes the deficit to $375 billion.

Mortgage interest deduction is around $490 billion a year yet it has failed to stimulate home ownership as promised, we barely lead the UK to be 41st in the world in home ownership rate. Toss out the dinky countries and countries with crap economies and the US is still behind Norway, Iceland, Italy, Finland, Belgium, Sweden, Ireland, The Netherlands, Canada, Israel, Australia, France, and New Zealand. The new tax law is probably going to knock out over half of that as people opt to not itemize. Let's say the future cost is $200 billion. We eliminate that and now only have $175 billion left to deal with.

If medical spending were in line with peer nations on a per person basis, our current spending on Medicaid, Medicare, and VA medical would adequate to cover every American. The tax deduction for employer provided health care costs just under $700 billion.

Repeal the law prohibiting Medicare from negotiating drug prices and adopt common sense rules like most insurers have of requiring you to start with a generic before trying more expensive medications. That saves so money. Repeal the health insurance deduction and boost the medicare tax how much you go up depends on what sort of health plan you want. Presumably no one wants a UK system which is VA turned Hulk but rather either a Singapore plan that is very high deductible, or a Medicare for all that provides basic coverage and you pay out-of-pocket if it you want more coverage, or 5-10 regional plans more like Canada.

Any way you cut it, absent malfeasance you put more money in the hands of the average consumer, lower business costs (making the US more competitive on the world stage) and cut the costs of home and auto insurance and workers comp by eliminating or capping medical coverage.

Get the budget balanced and within 30 years you've retired the Federal debt, since the deficit includes debt payments.
12-21-2017 03:31 PM
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GeminiCoog Offline
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RE: A challenge to those on the left
(12-21-2017 03:30 PM)tanqtonic Wrote:  But you are simply highlighting a huge bifurcation between the rank and file GOP and one that actually believes in the what the Constitution is -- a blueprint for *limited* power central government.

I cannot call myself a Republican in this day and age; too many in that organization are true believers in big government (albeit in a different way than supposed progressives) and are true believers in massive government intrusion into social issues (whereas progressives simply like massive government intrusion into economic affairs for the most part).

Just saying the implied call on the 'left' really makes no distinction with what is roundly perceived to be 'right' these days. (And just another reason why I hate the broadbrush distinctions of left/right and conservative/progressive these days.... but I digress....)

Agreed. A Republican (member of the GOP) and a republican (one who believes in the Constitution) are now two separate definitions. It's becoming rarer and rarer these days to find a republican that is also a Republican, though they're still out there. Ted Cruz is a good example. Same with Rand Paul. Marco Rubio, to some degree, also has fundamentally republican (again with a lowercase r) beliefs. (And that's just in the Senate.)
12-22-2017 03:48 AM
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solohawks Offline
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Post: #9
RE: A challenge to those on the left
getting it balanced and keeping it balanced are 2 very different things.

even if we got it balanced, something is bound to happen that would be used to justify reintroducing deficit spending
12-22-2017 09:10 AM
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arkstfan Away
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Post: #10
RE: A challenge to those on the left
It ain't a Republican or Democrat problem anymore.

It's a child-like faith that everything will magically work out.

There is ample polling data showing that there is not one program outside of foreign aid that a majority of Americans desire to see cut but there is no majority support for actually paying for the things the public demands.


The GOP wave candidates swept into office in 2010 to be fiscally responsible just voted to increase the deficit.
12-22-2017 02:01 PM
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georgia_tech_swagger Offline
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Post: #11
RE: A challenge to those on the left
Come on Tom/Mach/Fitbud. I know you're reading this. I can get to balanced, but I want to see if you can first, and what you'd cut to get there.
12-22-2017 02:39 PM
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Redwingtom Offline
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Post: #12
RE: A challenge to those on the left
Sorry man. I'm swamped at work and just don't have time to devote to it. But the short answer, there isn't much that I would NOT cut. I would just a balanced approach across all agencies. But as I said, on the entitlements, I'd actually spend some up front money to fix the systems to get rid of the fraud.
12-22-2017 02:48 PM
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RE: A challenge to those on the left
Consumption Tax. We didn’t get here overnight and were not going to get out of it overnight either. We’ve went from tax and spend Democrats to borrow and spend Republicans. You can’t cut spending and remain viable in November. It’s very very easy to say. Hey we have to cut spending. Very hard in principle. It’s like I tell my daughter. Pay zero attention to what “he” says. Only pay attention to his actions.
12-22-2017 02:57 PM
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A challenge to those on the left
(12-22-2017 02:57 PM)Machiavelli Wrote:  Consumption Tax. We didn’t get here overnight and were not going to get out of it overnight either. We’ve went from tax and spend Democrats to borrow and spend Republicans. You can’t cut spending and remain viable in November. It’s very very easy to say. Hey we have to cut spending. Very hard in principle. It’s like I tell my daughter. Pay zero attention to what “he” says. Only pay attention to his actions.

I’m for some form of consumption tax. I’d like a transaction tax on securities to try to slow the trading pace and longer holding of assets to qualify for a lower capital gains tax that is tiered based on time held. Also any options given to management should be ordinary income unless it takes five or more years to vest.

Publicly traded companies tend to think quarterly too much instead of long-term.

My brother-in-law is a plant manager working for a privately held company that bought it from a publicly held company. The approach to upgrades, maintenance and employee benefits are radically different. One of my closest friends works for a privately held competitor. Neither wants to ever work for a publicly held again.


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12-23-2017 08:03 PM
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RE: A challenge to those on the left
The quickest cut I'd make is international aid.

Sending billions to countries that shake our hands with their right and hand money to organizations killing us with their left is unacceptable.

If the world wants our help policing the globe, they'll have to pay for whatever they want in their region.

Kick the UN out of the country, and severely cut funding to it.

Trim TSA down extremely. Talk about a waste of money.
12-24-2017 01:27 AM
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georgia_tech_swagger Offline
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RE: A challenge to those on the left
(12-24-2017 01:27 AM)CG_Hawk06 Wrote:  The quickest cut I'd make is international aid.

Sending billions to countries that shake our hands with their right and hand money to organizations killing us with their left is unacceptable.

If the world wants our help policing the globe, they'll have to pay for whatever they want in their region.

Kick the UN out of the country, and severely cut funding to it.

Trim TSA down extremely. Talk about a waste of money.

I can go along with almost all of that. I'd balk at all international aid. I'm perfectly OK helping out some outposts of Western Civilization in the developing world. But for the parts of the world that embrace collectivism? SHUT THE FUNDING DOWN YESTERDAY.

But all of the above are drops in the bucket. You can slash all to zero and you won't even dent the deficit much, let alone the debt.
12-25-2017 01:57 AM
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Post: #17
RE: A challenge to those on the left
(12-25-2017 01:57 AM)georgia_tech_swagger Wrote:  
(12-24-2017 01:27 AM)CG_Hawk06 Wrote:  The quickest cut I'd make is international aid.

Sending billions to countries that shake our hands with their right and hand money to organizations killing us with their left is unacceptable.

If the world wants our help policing the globe, they'll have to pay for whatever they want in their region.

Kick the UN out of the country, and severely cut funding to it.

Trim TSA down extremely. Talk about a waste of money.

I can go along with almost all of that. I'd balk at all international aid. I'm perfectly OK helping out some outposts of Western Civilization in the developing world. But for the parts of the world that embrace collectivism? SHUT THE FUNDING DOWN YESTERDAY.

But all of the above are drops in the bucket. You can slash all to zero and you won't even dent the deficit much, let alone the debt.

Very true, but keeping American money in America is important to me. IMO, letting millions/billions go overseas so often was a result of initially sending smaller amounts with no public outcry. The pot grew and grew and grew, and the American public saw no difference overall. The 'ol boiling frog trick.
12-26-2017 04:00 AM
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Post: #18
RE: A challenge to those on the left
(12-21-2017 02:16 PM)georgia_tech_swagger Wrote:  Balance the federal budget.

I genuinely want to see somebody from the left have to make the tough choices required for this country to live within its means. Because it will *require* massive spending slashes in entitlements and defense IMO. There's just not enough money elsewhere, including a 100% tax on all income over $500,000/yr, to make up that gap.

Ask your party why they just added 1.5 Trillion dollars to the deficit so that they could give the ultra rich a lot more money. Then we can talk about how “entitlements” as you call them, even though we have all paid into Medicare and social security, so that’s our money, need to be cut.

I’d start with the defense budget and pointless wars. Also, I’d make corporations, whom your party calls “people” actually pay taxes. Along with the major rich who hide their money in off shore accounts. The fact I pay more in taxes than donnny boy and his friends is criminal.
12-26-2017 09:40 AM
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georgia_tech_swagger Offline
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RE: A challenge to those on the left
(12-26-2017 09:40 AM)DogPoundNorth Wrote:  
(12-21-2017 02:16 PM)georgia_tech_swagger Wrote:  Balance the federal budget.

I genuinely want to see somebody from the left have to make the tough choices required for this country to live within its means. Because it will *require* massive spending slashes in entitlements and defense IMO. There's just not enough money elsewhere, including a 100% tax on all income over $500,000/yr, to make up that gap.

Ask your party why they just added 1.5 Trillion dollars to the deficit so that they could give the ultra rich a lot more money. Then we can talk about how “entitlements” as you call them, even though we have all paid into Medicare and social security, so that’s our money, need to be cut.

I’d start with the defense budget and pointless wars. Also, I’d make corporations, whom your party calls “people” actually pay taxes. Along with the major rich who hide their money in off shore accounts. The fact I pay more in taxes than donnny boy and his friends is criminal.

I approved this primarily to serve as an example of what a crappy and unacceptable post is on this board.

You assumed I'm Republican. I'm not. I would ask "my party" what they think about that, but they have 0 elected officials at the federal level.

You also wrongly (and probably deliberately) panned the tax overhaul as simply a give away to the rich. Which also assumes rather arrogantly that the government has first claim to the wealth they produce. If you indeed derive your policy decisions from jealousy of those more wealthy than you -- when just being a US citizen puts you in the top 0.1% of wealth in THE ENTIRE WORLD -- you desperately need a reality check, some enhanced perspective, and to unplug from whatever propaganda is getting spoon fed to you.

The defense budget and pointless wars. Now we're getting somewhere. What in SPECIFIC would you cut? And while you're pointing fingers of hypocrisy, here's a whopper for you:

12-26-2017 08:23 PM
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RE: A challenge to those on the left
My approach to taxation and budgeting would center on these pillars:
  • Comprehensive Tax Reform (flat structure, no deductions)
  • Elimination of Social Welfare programs that contribute to the poverty trap and replace them with a Negative Income Tax
  • Line-Item Veto
  • Bismarck Health Plan

What it would require to get there is that you would need a president who is not encumbered by one political party or the other. You would have to leverage enough votes for Tax Reform by providing benefits on the lower-income side like a Negative Income Tax while removing stacked social welfare programs. Likewise, balance universal health coverage aspects provided by the kind of Health Care Plan proposed by Owl 69/70/75 paired with a line-item veto in order to get enough votes for both to pass. I would like to see a president parlay a repeal of the War Powers Act to get a line-item veto (shift one overreach of presidential power for another), helping to reduce the defense department share of the budget deficit in the process.

The approach that I think it would require politically is to combine enough votes from politicians with enough genuine interest in those programs to be willing to trade votes on aspects of the program that they wouldn't normally agree with, and pols who are pressured into agreeing to vote on one or more of the above pillars due to public pressure.

One basic problem is that we are essentially 12-13 years into a toxic political environment whose roots really run at least 25 years or so in the form of binding "no new taxes" pledges, congressional scorecards, and terms like "RINO".

Long gone are politicians like Tip O'Neil willing to genuinely work across party lines... I'd venture that votes along strict party lines are far more common today than they were 30 years ago or more... gone with the Blue-Dog Democrats and the Golden Fleece Award.

Whatever passes for cross-party voting is probably limited to niche spending programs that only serve to benefit local campaign contributors. Without the line-item veto, I think bringing the budget under control is a futile task. There are those that disagree, but the question is how to return to a long-gone Congressional ethic?

The Line-Item Veto Won't Work - Foundation for Economic Education - Working for a free and prosperous world
Quote:In our view, the malady stems from a change in the implicit “Constitutional ethic” describing the relationship between private economic actions and the government. For the first century or so of our nation’s existence, there was a commonly held view which placed most private economic activity outside the domain of government policy. The implication of this ethic is profound. If no one believes that the government is (or should be) the guarantor of income security, government transfer payments do not inflate the budget. If government intervention in private markets is not considered appropriate, agricultural price support programs do not drain the treasury.

The basic pillars I've outlined essentially attempt to contain wealth transfers that the above authors (Cott and Bohannon) find to be the root of the problem. Social welfare would be focused in direct transfers (negative income tax) and health care (which is a growing portion of the economy. I think that the public appeal of targeted subsidies - agricultural or otherwise - would be less appealing when you've also eliminated the myriad of targeted social welfare programs.

ibid
Quote:Our nation now finds itself in a situation where government wealth transfers have extended themselves into every nook and cranny of our economic life. Moreover, all social and economic ills, real or imagined, are viewed as a legitimate domain for a new government program. This is the new ethic.

The line-item veto does not arrest this process, let alone enable us to regain what we have lost. Regardless of protestations to the contrary, Presidents are political animals, indeed the most successful of the species. All members of the species find serving special-interest constituencies irresistible. This insures their survival.

The rigid application of the two-party system has bred the kind of political animals that we have, and I think it would take someone not invested in that system to really change how Congress functions. I'd like to think that is the promise that most Trump voters saw in Trump, but instead he has basically asked politicians to trade adherence to the party platform for personal loyalty to Donald Trump. What we have is the political inverse of Barack Obama, and what we will see after the next election or the one that follows is the same kind of reactionary response - while Trump is doing everything he can in his role as anti-Obama to erase the legacy of Barack Obama, the anti-Trump will do everything he or she or xhe can do to erase the legacy of Donald Trump... probably involving implementation of every nonsensical regulation they can conceive of, coupled with immediately doubling the corporate income tax. I think it's unlikely that there will be much of anything else of substance to Trump's legacy.
12-27-2017 05:24 AM
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