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Of course you could and so could i. But I like living like this and spending what i spend. I got this thread sidetracked to focus on me and i didn't mean to. But now that it is I am a good example of how the trickle down works and when my taxes go up my spending is gonna go down. In the long long term that affects everyone negatively.
1) Fair point, but cutting the deficit right now is very popular in polling. Like 70% popular. I'll also agree that republicans have been the ones, for the most part, sounding the alarm. Although a notable exception was Paul Songis back in the early 90's.
2) I agree if you're talking about political leaders, but I was just talking about the board.
In the last page, Aresenal said this: "In the long-term, we do have a deficit problem, which is almost entirely a function of health care spending. If it were up to me, I would like to have dramatic cuts to medicare and medicaid, as well as government programs designed to reduce the rate of health care inflation."
A page before that, I made a long ass post that included the notion that we face financial ruin if we don't get our deficit under control soon.
A few pages before that, Paul made the most detailed deficit reduction plan of anyone. DOY has made aggressive deficit reduction posts. The list goes on and on. We're all on board with deficit reduction, but there seems to be an unwillingness or inability to accept this fact on the part of some of the board conservatives. My post was a stab at the reason why.
That reason being: Social conservatism is out of vogue. There is a war within your own party that has left the foreign policy hawks on the outside looking in. "Compassionate conservatism" championed by the last President Bush and characterized by things like increasing entitlement spending is dead. Party leaders are saying they need to tone down the anti abortion stuff because you can't win elections losing women at a 60% clip. On immigration your party needs to "change" for the same reasons. If you don't own fiscal conservatism, then what's left? I think the reason republicans/conservatives are unwilling to admit that democrats can have some sound fiscally responsible positions is because as soon as they do, they'll have to confront that question.
If asked the question, "Do you want a lower deficit?", I'm sure people will resoundingly will answer yes. However, ask them if they are willing to pay more in taxes or lose benefits probably not so much. So no, I'd say its a stretch that true deficit reduction as being described by many in this thread is popular.
no. deficit reduction is an investment in the long term future. Rising deficits mean currency devaluation, inflation and future tax increases just to name a few. The folks on here that are looking for deficit reduction just have the foresite to think beyond today
Have you read Paul's detailed plan he posted a few pages ago? Do you have a better one?
The Republican party just needs to take on a more libertarian bent. Ron Paul resonated with Millenials. Traditional Conservatism does not. You can step away from the abortion/gay rights issues that are a sideshow from the real issues by pushing a more libertarian bent where the government doesn't get involved in your bedroom.
Push personal responsibility and freedom and make fiscal issues the forefront, not social/religious. Pubs did an awful job projecting an inclusive message and making the fiscal matters the focus. Don't get me wrong, it will be difficult with the evangelical religious right, but not impossible.
I always vote fiscal issues first, because imo, there is nothing better to solve the ills of our society than a strong economy that has people working and earning a good wage. I am socially much more moderate and get frustrated that those issues paint fiscal conservatives in a bad light with guilt by association to the word "conservative" or "Republican".
The democrats entire position during the fiscal cliff negotiations has been to cut as little as possible and not dramatically reform entitlement. That is the party's position. So it's laughable to say they are on board with deficit reduction.
About 10 pages ago we pressed Paul for his plan and kudos to him it was thorough and understandable. And I'd be fine with it. The problem is, the Democratic Party would not be. They are not going to accept cuts and reforms. They've found electoral gold: low taxes for most and huge government benefits. Unfortunately the bill will eventually come do.
Go away, KA!
The bill is PAST due.
I don't have a lot of time but do have some thoughts. First, thanks for taking the time to spell out your thoughts in a comprehensive fashion.
1. I agree that part of or deficit is the result of the recession. However, IMO, part of it is because we simply spend too much. If you look at the history of our revenue (linked) we have only raised 20% or more of GDP 3 times in the last 70+ years. The point being is that, regardless of the tax rates implemented (they have varied), we are most likely going to receive in the range of 17% to 19% of GDP in revenue and may get in 20% territory when the economy is really humming along, like it was in the DotCom era. Hence, when our spending goes in the 20+% of GDP range and higher, like it is now at 23%/24%, we are most likely going to run significant deficit since we never generate enough revenues to cover this much spending. 70+ years of history supports this fact.
I also agree that we should be doing everything we can to get the economy moving and avoid another recession. You say get out of recession, perhaps you're clairvoyant on this point. Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised if we're back in a recession in 2013. Back to the point, reasonable minds can and do differ as to whether spending cuts will harm the economy. Some economist believe that "spending cuts are much more effective than tax increases in stabilizing debt and avoiding economic downturns." (See, Harvard economist Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna 2009 analysis of the impact of large changes in fiscal policies in OECD countries over the past 30 years - http://www.nber.org/papers/w15438.pdf?new_window=1). I leave a full blown discussion on this for another time and another thread.
With respect to your statement about right wingers not wanting tax increases as an excuse to push their own agenda, that's not true with me. As stated above, I don't believe more taxes will stimulate the economy and will likely hurt it, which means less tax revenue coming in. Nonetheless, I would have no problem paying higher taxes if I really believed the additional revenue would actually be used for deficit reduction, but it won't. How do I know this? Obama's lip service and actions on cutting spending as well as years of history of how Washington works. The more money we give them, the more they will spend. The only way to control the leviathan is starve the leviathan. Sad but true based on history. Pols like to give and despise taking away.
2. I agree that healthcare spending is the major expense that is out of control and Medicare is the tough question. SS can be dealt with quickly through some adjustments like age eligibility. Medicare is the far tougher issue. I don't agree with your statement about pushing healthcare off onto the private sector. Frankly, I'm not sure what you mean by this. The Pubs are not proposing pushing Medicare on the private sector, they want to use the private sector to control costs, which we both agree is our major problem, through free market competition, like has worked for Medicare part D. The monies to pay for this will still come from the Gov't. And if the Dems need to have a Gov't option available, then use a plan like Romney ran on that permits the patient to use/choose traditional Medicare, if the want.
3. I hear Dems keep saying that "it is inevitbale that gov't spending is going to have to increase" to deal with an aging population. I agree that our health care costs are going to continue to go up because of the aging population. However, how can our spending continue to rise if we can't pay for it? As I covered in point 1, our history reflects that we're only going to raise 17%-19% of GDP and maybe an occasional 20% regardless of the rates. So we have to live with this fact and adjust our spending needs to meet this. In fact, I look at the issues of an aging population exactly opposite of you. I see it as more evidence that we need to reform our entitlement programs now. This is no different than spending issues many families have to deal with. Paychecks aren't going up but costs are, so some items need to be cut. Better to give as much coverage as we can afford for the elderly than have the system fiscally buckle because we refused to adjust for what we can afford.
Totally agree with everything you said.
In what world is that the center of the political spectrum?
"It's just so hard," Greivis said. "It's my heart, my love. Maryland made me who I am."
A world where Barack Obama wins re-election? Seriously though, polling does show this.
Popular among the masses does not equal the political center. C'mon.
Is Paul an elected official or Senior WH advisor?
Exactly. Paul's plan is not the Democrats plan. Currently the democrats don't have a plan, they are just trying to prevent as many spending cuts as possible.
I'd really rather read one from Obama (that makes sense). Could I see it, please?
It's right next to Eric Prisbell's final encomium on the shady under belly of college basketball recruiting... or the final chapter of Brian Griffin's novel...
You seem to have left out taxing the "rich", a key centerpiece of their "plan".
So, the center of the political spectrum is fluid based on who is elected for President?
And this is where we depart. Because I honestly believe that had the republicans been willing to work with him, Obama would have supported Simpson-Bowles and shepherded it through Congress.
Some very loose thinking going on the last couple pages. The people may want tax increases on rich people in exchange for doing not much on entitlements, as Obama seems to promise, but only a fool believes this is actually possible for very long or does anything to address the our unsustainable fiscal trajectory. And as every stupid sovereign learns, when what the people "want" conflicts with what the bond market wants, the people end up disappointed.
Tax increases are fine if its part of a large plan to reduce our debt. Simpson Bowles had tax increases. But tax increases in the name of fairness without a larger plan to reduce our debt is a waste of time.
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