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  #1  
Old 03-29-2011, 09:00 PM
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Default The US Budget

What would you cut, if anything?
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  #2  
Old 03-29-2011, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: The US Budget

Not there nuclear arsenal =D

For the US? They do not have a mammoth welfare state like Europe does, so I'd have to say social security or, more probably, government funding for nature awareness groups (I keed, I keed).
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: The US Budget

I'd cut no-bid contracts, the defense budget (because the amount we spend is outrageous), and work on fixing broken systems before cutting ones that work perfectly well but at slightly unnecessary.
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  #4  
Old 03-29-2011, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: The US Budget



A helpful chart of the 2010 federal budget. Together, entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment, welfare) makes up a whopping 56% of the federal budget. So I'm all for cutting those. What Congress is arguing about right now, cutting non-discretionary spending, is totally pointless. It's like trying to clean your house by rearranging your closet. The only way to put a dent in the deficit is to tackle entitlement spending, which is taboo (although some people from the Tea Party want to go for it next year). Going after the small stuff doesn't do anything and imo, what Khajmer said (other than defense cuts) wouldn't really make a dent at all in the deficit since it's still in the realm of discretionary spending.

I'm also against huge defense cuts as I'm a firm believer in the US as a world policeman. Ultimately I would like to see Social Security privatized.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: The US Budget

I agree with Lusankya - all the entitlement thing does is make people lazy. I'm not for cutting all of it, but a large part is just making American society decay.
I'd also stop giving illegal immigrants welfare. That's just silly and would probably at least take a small chunk out of spending.
(Forgive any ignorance; all I know is what I hear from here and my parents.)
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: The US Budget

I'd agree with privatizing Social Security. That is the only real cut I would be willing to make. In all honesty I would seek new profits or reuse old ones by revising the trade agreements. But that's just me.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: The US Budget

I would cut unnecessary funding for public schools/hospitals and allocate it to defense spending. After all, having government-funded public schooling and healthcare is one step further in the current administration's agenda in creating a socialistic state.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: The US Budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusankya View Post
A helpful chart of the 2010 federal budget. Together, entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment, welfare) makes up a whopping 56% of the federal budget. So I'm all for cutting those. What Congress is arguing about right now, cutting non-discretionary spending, is totally pointless. It's like trying to clean your house by rearranging your closet. The only way to put a dent in the deficit is to tackle entitlement spending, which is taboo (although some people from the Tea Party want to go for it next year). Going after the small stuff doesn't do anything and imo, what Khajmer said (other than defense cuts) wouldn't really make a dent at all in the deficit since it's still in the realm of discretionary spending.

I'm also against huge defense cuts as I'm a firm believer in the US as a world policeman. Ultimately I would like to see Social Security privatized.
The US should absolutely not be the world's policeman, aside from being a waste of our money it makes the rest of the world either hate us or dependent on us, and frankly I hate either. And frankly, privatizing Social Security isn't going to do jack. What we need to do is make it insular; money comes in from Social Security tax, money comes out to pay Social Security benefits when you retire, and it doesn't get spent anywhere else.

And for the record, when I was talking about reforming systems, I was talking about things like Social Security and Medicare. A lot of that money gets wasted or lost because of inefficiency and fraud, and before anything is done in regards to cuts, especially those systems, we need to take care of that so that we know how much does need to be cut, and how much those systems actually need.

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Never operate on hearsay, always do your own research first.

Edit: Karma, we could certainly have a long discussion about health care with valid points on all sides, but publicly funded education has not only existed but been widely supported for as long as post-Revolutionary America. It has nothing to do with socialism, it has everything to do with ensuring that all children get a bare minimum education, and I will thank you not to so blatantly insult my chosen profession as "socialism."
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Last edited by Lord Fedora; 03-30-2011 at 01:01 AM.
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  #9  
Old 03-30-2011, 01:08 AM
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Default Re: The US Budget

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Originally Posted by Lord Khajmer View Post
Edit: Karma, we could certainly have a long discussion about health care with valid points on all sides, but publicly funded education has not only existed but been widely supported for as long as post-Revolutionary America. It has nothing to do with socialism, it has everything to do with ensuring that all children get a bare minimum education, and I will thank you not to so blatantly insult my chosen profession as "socialism."
Oh, I was just joking. My opinion on the matter is pretty much the complete opposite of what I posted; I know what it's like to not have textbooks in a public school (it's not that bad if you apply yourself, but it's certainly irritating). Sorry for the confusion.

Last edited by karmachameleon; 03-30-2011 at 01:10 AM.
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  #10  
Old 03-30-2011, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: The US Budget

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Originally Posted by karmachameleon View Post
Oh, I was just joking. My opinion on the matter is pretty much the complete opposite of what I posted; I know what it's like to not have textbooks in a public school. Sorry for the confusion.
Ah. My apologies then, sarcasm is difficult to read on the internet.
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  #11  
Old 03-30-2011, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: The US Budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Khajmer View Post
The US should absolutely not be the world's policeman, aside from being a waste of our money it makes the rest of the world either hate us or dependent on us, and frankly I hate either. And frankly, privatizing Social Security isn't going to do jack. What we need to do is make it insular; money comes in from Social Security tax, money comes out to pay Social Security benefits when you retire, and it doesn't get spent anywhere else.

And for the record, when I was talking about reforming systems, I was talking about things like Social Security and Medicare. A lot of that money gets wasted or lost because of inefficiency and fraud, and before anything is done in regards to cuts, especially those systems, we need to take care of that so that we know how much does need to be cut, and how much those systems actually need.
But it makes the world better. It shouldn't matter whether the US is hated or not. It's going to be hated no matter what, because it's big and powerful, and the biggest and most powerful society of any era is always hated and/or feared. If we do nothing, we are hated for having all this power and wealth and being selfish with it; if we try and lead we are hated for being bossy; if we give endlessly we are hated for making the rich and corrupt even richer (throwing money at poor countries is a notoriously poor solution and if we try and use that money for them we get into the bossy problem). As for being depended upon, well, that is what a policeman is for. The world needs a policeman. Had the US been more aggressive in policing, the genocide in Darfur might not have happened. Or Rwanda. Had the US been less aggressive, South Korea could be as desperately poor as North Korea and Western Europe could be looking like Eastern Europe. All in all, the world needs more policing, not less. It's not a fun job by any means, nor may it be profitable. But it's necessary. (Note that I'm not arguing for nation-building like in Iraq or Afghanistan; that's not the kind of policing the world needs)

You can't get rid of inefficiency in government. That's just a property of the system. And what inefficiency you can get rid of won't improve the deficit by that much. The ultimate problem with entitlements is their sheer size, and tackling anything except that is just avoiding the problem. We are giving too much money to people who have done too little to deserve it, and the country is paying the price for that now. Phrases like "getting rid of inefficiency" or "cutting fat" get tossed around a lot because they sound nice and imply that we can solve the problem without needing to actually hurt anyone's bottom line, but even if the US government got rid of as much fat as it possibly could, the sheer laws of numbers would still leave us with a huge, gaping deficit hole.
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Dali: "I know what the picture should be ... We take a duck and put some dynamite in its derriere. When the duck explodes, I jump and you take the picture."
Halsman: "Don't forget that we are in America. We will be put in prison if we start exploding ducks."
Dali: "You're right. Let's take some cats and splash them with water."

Last edited by Lusankya; 03-30-2011 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:08 AM
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Default Re: The US Budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusankya View Post
But it makes the world better. It shouldn't matter whether the US is hated or not. It's going to be hated no matter what, because it's big and powerful, and the biggest and most powerful society of any era is always hated and/or feared. If we do nothing, we are hated for having all this power and wealth and being selfish with it; if we try and lead we are hated for being bossy; if we give endlessly we are hated for making the rich and corrupt even richer (throwing money at poor countries is a notoriously poor solution and if we try and use that money for them we get into the bossy problem). As for being depended upon, well, that is what a policeman is for. The world needs a policeman. Had the US been more aggressive in policing, the genocide in Darfur might not have happened. Or Rwanda. Had the US been less aggressive, South Korea could be as desperately poor as North Korea and Western Europe could be looking like Eastern Europe. All in all, the world needs more policing, not less. It's not a fun job by any means, nor may it be profitable. But it's necessary. (Note that I'm not arguing for nation-building like in Iraq or Afghanistan; that's not the kind of policing the world needs)
You can't claim the world is solely better for America's policies of "policing" the world. I certainly don't advocate us turning a blind eye to calls for help, but our manner and our method is not what is needed. Libya right now is a perfect example of we should act, working as one part of a machine in the pursuit of peace. To presume ourselves as the world's police force leads to things like Iraq.

Quote:
You can't get rid of inefficiency in government. That's just a property of the system. And what inefficiency you can get rid of won't improve the deficit by that much. The ultimate problem with entitlements is their sheer size, and tackling anything except that is just avoiding the problem. We are giving too much money to people who have done too little to deserve it, and the country is paying the price for that now. Phrases like "getting rid of inefficiency" or "cutting fat" get tossed around a lot because they sound nice and imply that we can solve the problem without needing to actually hurt anyone's bottom line, but even if the US government got rid of as much fat as it possibly could, the sheer laws of numbers would still leave us with a huge, gaping deficit hole.
Government is not by definition inefficient. It's only attitudes like that that keep it from being properly fixed.

Let me make this abundantly clear: I support cutting down on entitlement spending. But doing so without fixing it where it is very clearly broken will do nothing but harm to the common people, no matter what good it does to our deficit.

And finally, the problem is not that those are inherently empty words. The problem is that the people who say mean them as empty words. It's not that the system can't be fixed, it's that politicians don't want to fix the system. It benefits their political careers in the short term; as long as things stay bad, they can point their fingers at the other side and blame them.
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  #13  
Old 03-30-2011, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: The US Budget

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Originally Posted by Lord Khajmer View Post
You can't claim the world is solely better for America's policies of "policing" the world. I certainly don't advocate us turning a blind eye to calls for help, but our manner and our method is not what is needed. Libya right now is a perfect example of we should act, working as one part of a machine in the pursuit of peace. To presume ourselves as the world's police force leads to things like Iraq.
Right, and what's happening in Libya wouldn't be possible if the US doesn't have the military it has. NATO and the UN are essentially hollow without the US. If the US didn't have the military to back up the entire Western world, coordinated action like in Libya wouldn't happen.


Quote:
Government is not by definition inefficient. It's only attitudes like that that keep it from being properly fixed.

Let me make this abundantly clear: I support cutting down on entitlement spending. But doing so without fixing it where it is very clearly broken will do nothing but harm to the common people, no matter what good it does to our deficit.

And finally, the problem is not that those are inherently empty words. The problem is that the people who say mean them as empty words. It's not that the system can't be fixed, it's that politicians don't want to fix the system. It benefits their political careers in the short term; as long as things stay bad, they can point their fingers at the other side and blame them.
Government is inherently inefficient. There's little incentive for a government to cut cost. They're not out for profit. The methods of evaluating their efficiency are few, far in between, and not at all effective. And democracies, especially one rife with checks and balances like the US, are the most inefficient form of government without even accounting for human laziness or corruption. Find me a democracy that's as efficient as a business, and you might have an argument.

Entitlement spending's biggest "brokenness" is its size, period. The system, by and large, works the way it's supposed to. That's the problem. The way it's supposed to work isn't helpful.

Yes, and you know what? That's not going to change. As previously stated, there is no incentive for the government to be efficient. It doesn't have to worry about profit. It doesn't have to worry about a rational, reliable, and objective way of evaluating its effectiveness. There is no way to objectively and scientifically evaluate the effectiveness of most government programs. What you're proposing requires a fundamental alteration of human nature, which there is no practical way to accomplish.
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Dali: "I know what the picture should be ... We take a duck and put some dynamite in its derriere. When the duck explodes, I jump and you take the picture."
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  #14  
Old 03-31-2011, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: The US Budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusankya View Post
Right, and what's happening in Libya wouldn't be possible if the US doesn't have the military it has. NATO and the UN are essentially hollow without the US. If the US didn't have the military to back up the entire Western world, coordinated action like in Libya wouldn't happen.




Government is inherently inefficient. There's little incentive for a government to cut cost. They're not out for profit. The methods of evaluating their efficiency are few, far in between, and not at all effective. And democracies, especially one rife with checks and balances like the US, are the most inefficient form of government without even accounting for human laziness or corruption. Find me a democracy that's as efficient as a business, and you might have an argument.

Entitlement spending's biggest "brokenness" is its size, period. The system, by and large, works the way it's supposed to. That's the problem. The way it's supposed to work isn't helpful.

Yes, and you know what? That's not going to change. As previously stated, there is no incentive for the government to be efficient. It doesn't have to worry about profit. It doesn't have to worry about a rational, reliable, and objective way of evaluating its effectiveness. There is no way to objectively and scientifically evaluate the effectiveness of most government programs. What you're proposing requires a fundamental alteration of human nature, which there is no practical way to accomplish.
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