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The US Debt

102 posts in this topic

The United States debt is almost up to $14 Trillion. It goes up over $3 Billion every day. The federal governments estimated receipts for 2010 are $2.4 trillion so even if the federal government spent every dollar it made on the debt, it would take six years to pay it off.

I think I care more about the debt than the average American. It seems that the average American has a list of things they want the government to accomplish with no regard for how it impacts the debt and further inflation. I've brought this up before on the last theboreds with little discussion, but I want an actual debate on what should be cut. Here is what most of our federal money is spent on:

1. Social Security - 19.6%

2. Defense - 18.7%

3. Unemployment/Welfare - 16.1%

4. Medicare - 12.7%

5. Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance - 8.2%

These five things take up about 75% of federal spending, with most of the remaining 25% being the departments, interest on debt and other services. Of these five, defense is the only one that is part of discretionary spending and not mandatory. But really, the only way to make a significant dent in the debt and the deficit (which is over a trillion dollars this year) is to cut from those five things without cutting entire departments, which is also up for debate.

What from this list would you cut and what from this list you you consider off limits? Would you cut one of the federal departments or simply cut from them? Would you make across the board decreases?

The United States spends $663 Billion on defense. The next highest is China who spends $98 Billion. We spend more than the next 19 countries combined on defense. Most of which are our allies. France and the United Kingdom are trying to cut their defense spending and their debts are no where near the ballpark of our debt.

I understand that we need to spend more because we are a world power and have more responsibility. Part of cutting defense would mean changing our foreign policy and reducing our influence in the Middle east. I think these are things that are simply necessities. We just cannot afford to act the way we do.

I think Americans feel safe having the strongest military and I agree with that. But we don't need to have the strongest military by 600%.

Military cuts aren't enough though. Even if we cut the ENTIRE defense budget, we still would have a deficit. We still would be going even further into debt. We can't afford social security at the rate it's going. It has to be adjusted in order for our debt to start getting reduced. Changes need to be made where certain people can't collect social security.

We can't afford to spend $23 Billion on the Department of Justice. Much of which is due to a failing war on drugs.

We can't afford to spend $51 Billion on the Department of State.

These are the things I would cut: Defense, Social Security, change war on drugs to incarcerate less people, State, and other discretionary spending. Also, I would be against any further bailouts or large bills like Obama's reinvestment plan.

Thoughts?

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Here is what most of our federal money is spent on:

not according to the Office of Management and Budget:

800px-U.S._Federal_Spending_-_FY_2007.png

I think Americans feel safe having the strongest military and I agree with that. But we don't need to have the strongest military by 600%.

i'd argue it's actually much higher than that. take, for example, the Navy: we currently operate 11 supercarriers and 10 active Carrier Strike Groups, comprised of 3+ destroyers, 1-2 attack submarines, 2 guided missile cruisers, and logistical train; not to mention that carrier's air wing. our smallest aircraft carrier is more than twice as large as the next largest foreign carrier; and only 2 countries (France and Russia) currently operate a single carrier group with comparable strength of support. the combined tonnage of our carriers alone outweigh every naval vessel from every navy currently sailing. it cost nearly $700m to refurbish the oldest of these carriers for deployment.

and i could go on: the cost of a single B-2 Spirit bomber, at $2.1b, is higher than most countries total annual defense expenditures, for instance. but i think we need to start asking some basic questions as regards defense spending: who are we intending to fight with such force? are our adversaries for the foreseeable future even susceptible to the kind of force we project with such massive expenditures? certainly Al Qaeda isn't; nor, interestingly, is China, who have taken a radically different approach to defense. so when we talk about defense spending it can't be just in terms of what programs we'd like to cut, like the bloated F-22 fighter procurements, but more fundamentally whether or not that spending meets the needs of a new era of warfare and takes into account our position so vastly far ahead of our nearest possible opposition in terms of projecting force. only then, i think, will we begin to see the size of cuts required even just in that section of our overall budget.

We can't afford to spend $23 Billion on the Department of Justice. Much of which is due to a failing war on drugs.

We can't afford to spend $51 Billion on the Department of State.

these 2 are insane, and here's why: the Justice Department already has a backlog and suffers from being understaffed (after the machinations of the Bush years) and underfunded; but let's take your suggestion and cut the budget for the entire department by 10%; that's $2.3b. out of 3.6 trillion dollars of our annual budget; a truly minuscule percentage that means hundreds fewer attorneys combating violations of environmental law, antitrust law, basic civil rights (not to mention bird law :D ); managing aid to crime victims; overseeing the creation of new laws, and the list goes on and on and on. the Justice Department does a massive amount of work given it's comparatively tiny budget; i think we'd be well-served to increase it.

as for the State Department, well, many of the problems we encountered and continue to encounter in Iraq and Afghanistan should have been handled by State Department officials; except they didn't exist. so these problems of development, diplomacy, and so forth were foisted onto the military, which simply isn't equipped to handle them. in Afghanistan, a country where active development of it's infrastructure, both physical and political, is a central strategic goal we have 104 U.S. troops for every 1 State Department official. a significant expansion of the State Department is required if we're going to be involved overseas to the extent we are currently, but again the entire department is a relatively tiny amount of our budget.

These are the things I would cut: Defense, Social Security, change war on drugs to incarcerate less people, State, and other discretionary spending. Also, I would be against any further bailouts or large bills like Obama's reinvestment plan.

we need to take some serious steps to get a handle on Social Security and Medicare costs, which Obama has attempted and Bush did nothing to address (beyond add to them with Medicare Part D). there are long-term plans for bringing these costs down, the question is one of political will to tackle them.

Thoughts?

the problem of our rising debt cannot be alleviated by cuts alone. you can't cut your way out of a hole that big, we're going to have to increase taxes, or better enforce tax policies already in place. in the past 20 years, greatly accelerated during the previous administration, we've seen the greatest transfer of wealth to the rich of any nation, ever. income inequality in the U.S. is now the highest it's ever been; the wealthiest 1% now account for 24% of all income.

100902_GD_Part1_PikettySaez-fig1.gif

simply put, it's time to get a lot of that back. some in taxes to ease the debt, some in a redistribution of taxes away from the lower-and middle classes onto the wealthiest. tax loopholes that allow major businesses in the U.S. to keep offshore havens and avoid paying the intended amount; the U.S. government paying billions in subsidies to, say, oil companies while they make billions in profit each quarter; it goes on and on and on. billions being paid or uncollected that permit the inequality of wealth to grow and grow and our national debt is no less a victim than the middle class.

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Important business that this thread will have absolutely no influence over.

So it's not worth discussing? What a terrible attitude.

You don't know that it won't have an influence either. Sure, it's unlikely to have a direct effect, but who knows?

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I agree with you on increasing taxes and getting rid of the loopholes. As for the department of justice, I'm more referring to the fact that we spend more to incarcerate people than any other country and that price should come down. It's a different issue though.

Also, you said that my stats were wrong but I was quoting stats from the 2010 budget and you posted a 2009 chart.

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for additional comparison, the Justice Department of the United States has an annual budget of about what Wall Street firms pay their employees in bonuses every year.

Also, you said that my stats were wrong but I was quoting stats from the 2010 budget and you posted a 2009 chart.

oh okay, fair enough. that was the latest one i could find in graph form.

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So it's not worth discussing? What a terrible attitude.

You don't know that it won't have an influence either. Sure, it's unlikely to have a direct effect, but who knows?

I think it's a realistic attitude. I'm not being pessimistic or facetious, I'm simply saying there are better ways to actually influence the situation, or even at least gather a wide range of opinions on the matter.

In my opinion it's not that it's worth discussing, I think it is silly to approach the discussion with an air of intellectualism since nobody here has any idea what they are talking about, otherwise they wouldn't be wasting their time discussing the issue on theboreds.com

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Where would they be discussing it then? Who's to say they're not? And maybe there are better ways to influence the situation, but why can't you view this as a first step? Do you think it's being counterproductive in any way? If it's not a bad thing, then why have a negative attitude towards other people having a discussion?

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Where would they be discussing it then? Who's to say they're not? And maybe there are better ways to influence the situation, but why can't you view this as a first step? Do you think it's being counterproductive in any way? If it's not a bad thing, then why have a negative attitude towards other people having a discussion?

Well I'm not one to say that I am using my time in the most productive of ways at the moment (I should go running and get rid of some beer gut before the weekend arrives, karma is a birchchhc) and it's never counter-productive to discuss things. I don't want people to feel like I am nay-saying as much as encouraging people to be real to themselves and others and if this an issue of true concern that there are other outlets out there that could be more useful. And you are right, this is definitely a good first step, but on the realist side, had my comment not been made, would there have been a "Second" step, perhaps a third or a fourth? WOuld I be so lucky to find dodgerbolt holding a community meeting and raising concerns? Knocking on my door to present some sort of petition to whomever is in charge of this?

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If you want to encourage people to not have the conversation end at just talking about the problem, I absolutely think you should do that.

But I do think there's a less negative way to say that than the way you originally did.

*nods head, shakes your hand, has a snack.

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TheSun, I've already emailed my Congresswoman about this topic well before I brought it up on a message board if that somehow makes you feel better. I don't see how there's anything wrong with discussing something that isn't discussed enough in this country.

If for nothing else, I like to hear what Blackstar has to say on these kinds of issues. So for my own personal benefit, I don't regret this thread.

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The fact that there is a discrepancy on what is spent on by the government is exactly why we need to audit the fed. Once we know exactly where our money is going, we can begin to budget appropriately. But if I were to hazard a guess, we should just pull the plug on social security, medicare and medicaid, especially considering that there is money about to fuel a national health care plan. So those are consolidated (and reduced) into national health care, reducing our presence in foreign affairs can reduce our defense budget, and we need to tax bullshit things like soda and drugs much higher and make sure that money is going into things like paying off debts.

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most discussions on any given subject are not had by the people directly involved in influencing the subject under discussion.

so once again Gomez, your "contribution" to a thread in the Issues forum adds absolutely nothing to the discussion. feel free to keep "contributing", but your position is self-referentially incoherent.

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The fact that there is a discrepancy on what is spent on by the government is exactly why we need to audit the fed. Once we know exactly where our money is going, we can begin to budget appropriately. But if I were to hazard a guess, we should just pull the plug on social security, medicare and medicaid, especially considering that there is money about to fuel a national health care plan. So those are consolidated (and reduced) into national health care, reducing our presence in foreign affairs can reduce our defense budget, and we need to tax bullshit things like soda and drugs much higher and make sure that money is going into things like paying off debts.

don't you go to Harvard?

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haha stop a 14 trillion $$ debt.

This should have been a top priority 10 years ago when we had a chance to stop it.

Every man woman and child owes $40,000 on our national debt and with 70% of our GDP coming from consumers,

I don't think that trend is going to reverse any time soon.

Every month Bernanke adds another trillion to the debt, can anyone say banana republic?

It's almost funny to watch globalist bankers ransack this country and leave everyone jobless and broke.

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. - President Thomas Jefferson

http://www.usavsus.i...Quotes-Bank.htm

We have over 300 million Americans who are forced to pay into a system that no one entirely agrees with.

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most discussions on any given subject are not had by the people directly involved in influencing the subject under discussion.

Eh, I wouldn't say that. There is a time and a place where this sort of discussion has a deeper more significant impact on a given situation. The Boreds dot com is not that place. Might as well be talking to squirrels at that point. :)

so once again Gomez, your "contribution" to a thread in the Issues forum adds absolutely nothing to the discussion. feel free to keep "contributing", but your position is self-referentially incoherent.

I am glad someone is keeping tally, makes me feel like a celebrity B)

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TheSun, I've already emailed my Congresswoman about this topic well before I brought it up on a message board if that somehow makes you feel better. I don't see how there's anything wrong with discussing something that isn't discussed enough in this country.

Ha! The "budget" is one of the most tactiful used buzzwords in the media for a reason: You can't do shit about it. I worked at various activist organizations out there, "e-mailing" your Congresswoman on your own is very unimpressive to them, you need to have a campaign, a mass, a message, and the intention to do a whole lot more than that.

If for nothing else, I like to hear what Blackstar has to say on these kinds of issues. So for my own personal benefit, I don't regret this thread.

Well yeah, if that's all you are looking out of this thread I am very glad you are happy with your choice.

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what do you mean you wouldn't say that? i'm not asking for your opinion, i'm telling you that that is the case. since it patently is the case.

Did your daddy hit your mommy when you were a kid? Seriously you are so antiquated and boring it's absurd.

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Did your daddy hit your mommy when you were a kid? Seriously you are so antiquated and boring it's absurd.

Stamp your widdle foot and fling shit all you want, but his sentence is pretty much true by definition. Think it through.

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Stamp your widdle foot and fling shit all you want, but his sentence is pretty much true by definition. Think it through.

That's incredible. You honestly believe that the entire world's topics of conversation are a quantifiable thing and that some internet kid named Blackstar has those "facts/numbers" conveniently ready to use in a randomized Internet conversation as a "rebuttal" about how much his opinion doesn't really matter.

On that note, when I lived in Mexico, most people's discussions WERE about things they were intimately involved, their work, their lovelife, their hopes and dreams. It wasn't until I was immersed in a consumerist culture that people talked about things outside of their realm of influence, such as celebrities, movies and sadly, "politics".

Even then I will not take it that it is "patently so" that Blackstar could even understand, at his convenience, what the world is talking about.

This is how small blackstar is: .

This is the world: . x 6 billion.

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please note that you've now attempted a mere 1 (incoherent) sentence in any way related the actual topic of the thread, the U.S. debt, out of 7 posts.

if you have nothing to say about the U.S. Debt, why are you posting in this thread?

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