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Thread: Prioritizing government spending.

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    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
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    Default Prioritizing government spending.

    Here's one I think our divided political viewpoints can come together on.

    Fiscal conservatism means, in the simplest terms, not spending money like a drunken sailor, and most certainly not on nonessential projects. Liberals and progressives and other assorted socially responsible types believe that the role of government is to give people an assist when they are in trouble. It's why we have a military... one for all and all for one, if someone invades our country, we rise up and kill that son of a gun. And we do it as one united front. It's also why we have disaster relief... when people are drowning in New Orleans, we send people to help. Rescue teams and trained folks who know how to react in those situations. It's part of our common humanity that we have a designated group of trained, experienced, paid people who go do this, or at least have a core of professionals who are the first on the scene, with volunteers and charities who help from the private sector. That takes money, and no one wants such programs to go underfunded.

    One thing we seem to agree on is that when people are in serious trouble, that's what the government is for: it should do something for that. Where we tend to disagree is on most of everything else it does. If it is non-essential, how can we justify forcing people to give up their private property, their earned or saved monies, to contribute to a project they may not even need, and we don't even need? I don't care how progressive you are, there are some kinds of spending you'd scoff at, and rightly so. I'd wager there are very few people around who truly believe that we have a right to take everyone's money and spend it on any old thing.

    So, long story as short as I can make it, what's the deal with these wasteful government projects, approved in equal measure by liberals and conservative politicians alike, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents?

    I am told the following things:

    • Other states do it, so it's okay for mine to do so.
    • The people in my state pay into the federal pot, and getting as much of that money back for my state is kind of like reducing taxes... the money stays in my state.
    • These projects create jobs and stimulate the economy.


    And so on and so forth.


    Meanwhile, I am told that we have the following problems on our hands:

    • Our nation is experiencing a huge federal deficit.
    • Our nation is trillions of dollars in debt already.
    • Many of our state budgets are bleeding money, and essential services are being shut down or reduced in scope.
    • We have two wars we're fighting.
    • We have allies who need financial assistance in some way or other.
    • We have staggering unemployment, and unemployment compensation is running out of money.
    • We have millions and millions who can't afford health insurance premiums, and then health insurers can kick you out for little or no reason.
    • We have millions of homeowners who are behind on their mortgage, and that in turn is causing our banks to require federal assistance.
    • Social Security and medicare, vital systems that millions rely on, are going to go broke.


    Now, this second list doesn't make politicians think twice about spending other people's money on:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100425/...eways_for_fish
    Endangered Trout.

    I find that to be a little bit morally reprehensible.



    What are our priorities?

    In my estimation:
    1. Making sure nobody sets off nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons on our shores (or anywhere else, frankly), and generally trying to stop invasions or terrorist acts.
    2. Rescuing our citizens in cases of earthquake, fire, flood, or other disasters.
    3. Catching rapists and murderers and bank robbers, putting them on trial, and then putting them in jail if found guilty.
    4. Making sure old people and the disabled can afford to eat.
    5. Making sure a Doctor gets paid when he treats someone who has no job.

    To me, all of the above is some part of saving and protecting lives. Some people disagree on number five. Some people think that it's not the federal government's job to do number 4 either, and some people think that it's up to the local law enforcement to do number 3, and yadda yadda.

    But what I see is if we cannot even do one through five, then WHY are we spending money on ANYTHING else? Is anything else more important? Is anything else more vital? Explain.

    Why is a fish more important than a healthcare system? Why is a bridge to nowhere more important than funding social security? Why is a space program more important than underfunded law enforcement programs? Why is a bank bailout the solution, when you could just give a bailout to the home owners who have those bad loans, and repay the banks, and then the banks don't go under and people own their own houses?

    Maybe I'm not understanding, and I'm hoping someone will educate me. But why are we subsidizing corn, when we don't have enough money to subsidize unemployed people or social security?

    Some call for government works projects to create jobs. Some even say "pay people to dig ditches, and then fill those ditches" to combat unemployment. Well that's fine, but not everyone can dig a ditch or do manual labor of that kind. Not all of that money reaches the locales which have unemployment. If you're willing to pay people to dig a ditch you don't even need, then why can't you afford the unemployment compensation? Why can't you afford paying doctors to treat the sick? Why can't you bailout those who can't pay their mortgage?

    If you spend the money there, where does it go?

    1. Unemployment compensation goes DIRECTLY back into the economy. They spend it on food, rent, and bills. The capitalist economy gets close to 100% of that money right back, and you have people who aren't starving! You don't get that kind of return on subsidizing corn. Dollar for dollar, that does not give as many people a safety net, and it causes people to permanently rely on government spending on corn to even have a job. That's not a solution. Given the choice between unemployment checks which don't cover **** and a job that pays minimum wage, guess where I'm going? Anything is better than unemployment, so when there's a job, I'm gone. Working off of money which subsidizes corn means I'll be relying on that government money forever, until I find another job. So all it is, is really expensive unemployment compensation. It's the same thing, just less efficient, and the corn-growing industry which needs no help gets to benefit from government assistance.

    2. Paying a doctor to treat the sick. Where does that go? Well if it goes into his pocket, he tends to spend it on consumer goods, or he invests that money in savings accounts or other investments. And he's providing a necessary service, and that money goes back into the economy. It's about saving lives and making sure doctors are paid for their well-trained services. How can you go wrong here?

    3. Helping those who are "underwater" as it pertains to their mortgage would send 100% of that money right back to the very banks that were whining about not being paid. I seem to recall we spent a lot of money on those banks, and they paid their executives very well and gave out lots of bonuses, which is fine. And they started back up with the credit swaps and derivatives like the responsible stewards of our economy that they are, good for them. But many of those who still owe on their loans are still in trouble and nothing has been resolved. You could have helped those banks and the loanholders at the same time, by directly addressing the problem. Helping those loanholders would help pay off the banks, and reduce the amount of homelessness and foreclosure and help our housing market recover, and maybe even turn our economy around. So you get a direct benefit from every dollar you spend there. If you're going to "stimulate" the economy, doing that would do a lot more good than reducing taxes by a small fraction for people who are already paying low taxes and already spend their money comfortably. Instead you've got people on the street, houses that are empty, the housing market totally depressed, and banks still not getting their money back, but we bailed them out and now the money is all spent. What did we accomplish? I'm either naive or that's totally absurd.

    Bottom line is that we can't afford to waste money, now more than ever, and as a general principle, when handling other people's money, you really have to justify every dollar spent. So when I see subsidies for nonessential items, when I see projects to protect fish and not protect people, when I see budgets and essential services being bled to death, with two wars going on, and taxes are being lowered... I get a little sick to my stomach. Every dollar spent on one thing is another dollar not spent on another, more essential thing. Every one of those million dollars for the trout recovery effort could have been used to cover the costs of several patient's medical bills who couldn't afford to pay, or extend unemployment coverage for a hundred people, or to keep many dozens of families in their homes.


    What did you get for your million dollars?

    For example, the United Conservation District in Ventura needs to replace a 20-year-old $1.5 million ladder at a cost of up to $25 million, according to general manager Michael Solomon.
    Something that didn't work as advertised and needed to be replaced for 25 million dollars.

    Government spends wisely once again.



    Third party solution?



    You want to have a third party, a tea party, some kind of taxpayers' union or outsider political party that challenges Republicans and Democrats? You would get far with a party based purely on the above philosophy, one that I BELIEVE liberals and conservatives would agree on, and that's adjusting spending priorities. I haven't even talked about touching the tax rates, or overhauling the tax code to look for loopholes, or anything all that controversial. If you had a platform based purely on prudent, efficient spending, and cutting waste and fraud and moving that money where it could be used wisely, to get a bigger bang for your trillions of federal bucks, and maybe a bigger bang for your (I don't even know how much) State budget bucks, then you might go far.

    Why these third parties fail is because they go somewhere ideological that the Democrats or the Republicans have already cornered the market on. You want to have a controversial, ideological, partisan position on social morality or abortion or hold a non-mainstream position on secession or abolishing the IRS or things of that nature, and you'll never get anywhere. That's not pragmatic or realistic. You can vote how you want, but a party built on those ideas won't win elections, or you already have a Republican or Democratic politician who supports your view.

    As for managing or mismanaging our money, which is about 90% of what the government does, you need to have a broad-appeal, mainstream, single-issue party which can usurp the entrenched pork lovers in the Democratic and Republican parties, and reclaim our money and spend it properly, completely re-adjust our spending priorities and fix issues in the system like campaign financing. Then, job done, that party needs to go away or split up into other issue-based parties which may disagree on hot button issues, and go nowhere on abortion or gay rights or what have you. Fine, go back to your squabbles that will probably never be resolved. But can you not come together on basic, common sense (expletive)? Just for that one issue, which I know most of you agree on?

    Seriously.

    Even if you disagree with half of what I've said, or don't share the same perspective as what my perspective is, you know as well as I do that there's immense amounts of government spending that is totally unwise and unethical, not prudent and wasteful. We might agree just enough to put someone in charge who could get something done about it, and then when it is done, then we can go back to disagreeing on other issues.

    There's obviously a lot of disgust with both parties at the moment, and there's no time like the present to challenge incumbents with a third party candidate or even a Republican/Democrat who pledges to adhere to anti-waste and prudent spending principles. You don't really even need a whole new third party unless there isn't a viable candidate in either party who agrees with the platform. Change can happen and it wouldn't be outlandish to believe it could.

    So, what about a party platform? Is it possible that we as citizens can cut out the middleman and agree amongst ourselves what is necessary and vital, and what is not? Is it really so controversial to say that spending 25 million dollars on trout recovery is less important than funding medicare or paying cops?

    A platform we can agree on

    Can we agree on stuff like that? I challenge you... if you care about this issue, please post your thoughts, and highlight what you think should be part of this party platform against wasteful spending. The caveat is, I don't want you to say "simply stop spending the money", or "raise taxes" because that talks about adjusting how much in total we spend or take in to fund services. That's a separate, and might I add, ideological issue we will be divided on. The premise here is, if we're going to spend X number of trillion dollars based on Y percentage of tax rate, and that's what we are given to start with, where does the money go? Deal with tax rates and how much we spend in total somewhere else, and assume for the sake of argument we have the same tax rate and same spending rate, since we're spending the money anyway and adjusting the tax rate is controversial.

    Discuss, or tell me I talk too much. I don't care. I just needed to express this. If you can, focus on what we might be able agree on. If you completely disagree with me, then say so, but allow us who do agree to have our discussion.
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    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    That's a whole bunch to chew on and give a respectful, detailed response to, so I'll kick off with the frivolous (but hopefully relevant):

    Fiscal conservatism means, in the simplest terms, not spending money like a drunken sailor...
    ...Our nation is experiencing a huge federal deficit.
    Our nation is trillions of dollars in debt already...
    I've not ever been a drunken sailor, but I have been a drunken soldier. And when I was a drunken soldier, the thing is: when my pockets were finally empty, I STOPPED BUYING BOOZE. I returned to barracks, slept it off, and went about earning more money so I could be a drunken soldier again. Perhaps there's a lesson there.
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    pardon my klatchian Member al Roumi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    I'm afraid I also don't have time right now to invest myself into the reading and reflection meritous of APG's behemoth of economic policy considerations, so i will limit myself to a smarmy little interjection on our esteemed mod's post...

    Quote Originally Posted by KukriKhan View Post
    I've not ever been a drunken sailor, but I have been a drunken soldier. And when I was a drunken soldier, the thing is: when my pockets were finally empty, I STOPPED BUYING BOOZE. I returned to barracks, slept it off, and went about earning more money so I could be a drunken soldier again. Perhaps there's a lesson there.
    Sounds simple when you put it like that, but the analogy may not fit so well with this issue. To compare a state's annual budget to a soldier's beer money and consider a state's budget a "free resource" is political view in itself.

    A soldier does not have as much control or responsability for himself as a state (such as the US) has for itself -his immediate requirements for survival are satisfied without him having to consider them. The money a soldier is handed out on pay day (please feel free to correct me if i'm wrong) is potentially all his to spend as he sees fit (all neccessary costs are paid before he touches it): beer money -he can save it, drink it, gamble it or it...

    A state however has to make hard decisions about what its immediate requirements for survival (or minimum financial requirements) actually are, as well as how it can meet them or not. These "minimums" are of course entirely political, that is not all will agree to them being a "minimum" -e.g. healthcare or national security.

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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by KukriKhan View Post
    I've not ever been a drunken sailor, but I have been a drunken soldier. And when I was a drunken soldier, the thing is: when my pockets were finally empty, I STOPPED BUYING BOOZE. I returned to barracks, slept it off, and went about earning more money so I could be a drunken soldier again. Perhaps there's a lesson there.
    What would you have done if you had a credit card? That scenario is closer to the reality we have today.
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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    What would you have done if you had a credit card? That scenario is closer to the reality we have today.
    Spent to his limit, scraped along paying minimums for a couple of years, then declare bankruptcy and make other people eat the loss.

    ...or not. Kukri is honorable, you see, and that messes up rational calculations about gaming the system.
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    ....entitlement spending....

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    kumquattor Member Riedquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by KukriKhan View Post
    I've not ever been a drunken sailor, but I have been a drunken soldier. And when I was a drunken soldier, the thing is: when my pockets were finally empty, I STOPPED BUYING BOOZE. I returned to barracks, slept it off, and went about earning more money so I could be a drunken soldier again. Perhaps there's a lesson there.
    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    What would you have done if you had a credit card? That scenario is closer to the reality we have today.
    Really its more close than you think in some countries...

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Spent to his limit, scraped along paying minimums for a couple of years, then declare bankruptcy and make other people eat the loss.
    Exactly... not comparable in any shape or form with USA situation but relevant somehow, Argentina's debt look at the period between 1973 and 1982/3 and see what happened when the drunken soldiers were in charge...

    returning to the shadows.....

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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Conquences of being a drunken sailor are far worse than a drunken soldier. With a drunken soldier, the only thing you lose is your money.
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    kumquattor Member Riedquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Depends of the country I guess, with our drunken soldiers currently we dont own our own rear ends... so... it can't be worst ;)
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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    America's public debt is enormous, its size gives it geopolitical consequences.

    However, as a percentage of GDP it is not as large as one would expect. It is as low as that of 'fiscal discipline 'r us' Germany, and not half that of 'save, save, save' Japan.
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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    America's public debt is enormous, its size gives it geopolitical consequences.

    However, as a percentage of GDP it is not as large as one would expect. It is as low as that of 'fiscal discipline 'r us' Germany, and not half that of 'save, save, save' Japan.
    It's America, the sky is always falling and everyone is a communist just waiting to spring there trap
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strike For The South View Post
    It's America, the sky is always falling and everyone is a communist just waiting to spring there trap
    You know who you sound like? HILTER!
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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    You know who you sound like? HILTER!
    You know who would say that? STALIN!
    There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford

    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    You know who loves to call people Stalin? MAO!
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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    You know who loves to call people Stalin? MAO!
    You know who brings up MAO? East Coast Ivory tower elitists!
    There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford

    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strike For The South View Post
    You know who brings up MAO? East Coast Ivory tower elitists!
    You know who plays the East Coast Ivory Elitist card? Redneck racist teabaggers!
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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    This thread eerily echoes the standard debate in DC on this subject.
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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    I still can't get over how they call themselves "teabaggers" due to the other uses of the word.

    It does explain their attitude though.
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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Askthepizzaguy View Post
    But what I see is if we cannot even do one through five, then WHY are we spending money on ANYTHING else? Is anything else more important? Is anything else more vital? Explain.

    Why is a fish more important than a healthcare system? Why is a bridge to nowhere more important than funding social security? Why is a space program more important than underfunded law enforcement programs? Why is a bank bailout the solution, when you could just give a bailout to the home owners who have those bad loans, and repay the banks, and then the banks don't go under and people own their own houses?
    The short answer; special interests. Believe it or not, there are groups that lobby for federal spending on a whole load of useless crap, like animals and plants and community programs and pet projects like ethanol that aren't on your list of necessities. For each one of them, the benefit from the special spending on their particular issue is much greater than the small negative impact from the increased deficit.

    And there's only a few out of hundreds of congressmen who care enough to not tack on handouts to groups on every bill (ie John McCain).

    Maybe I'm not understanding, and I'm hoping someone will educate me. But why are we subsidizing corn, when we don't have enough money to subsidize unemployed people or social security?

    Some call for government works projects to create jobs. Some even say "pay people to dig ditches, and then fill those ditches" to combat unemployment. Well that's fine, but not everyone can dig a ditch or do manual labor of that kind.
    Actually that's not fine. It's a colossal waste of money. GDP, or gross domestic product, is a measure of the value of goods created in the nation. Digging and then filling ditches has a value of zero dollars. So you're taking money (via taxes) from people earning it for useful work and giving it to other people to accomplish nothing. The people you're taxing would otherwise spend that money buying goods and thus increase GDP. So you're hurting GDP and people with jobs to accomplish, literally, nothing.

    Government cannot efficiently create jobs. Each job it 'creates', through subsidies or whatever, costs much more to the economy than just the worker's wage. It creates significant inefficiencies.

    For example, when the government enacts protective tariffs to protect domestic jobs, the net cost to the economy ends up being many times the cost of those worker's salaries.

    1. Unemployment compensation goes DIRECTLY back into the economy. They spend it on food, rent, and bills. The capitalist economy gets close to 100% of that money right back, and you have people who aren't starving!
    You also have people paid to do nothing. While you might constantly try to get a job, most people wait until the benefits are about to run out before really looking for jobs. Incentive wise, you're increasing the reasons not to hold a job and decreasing the reasons to hold a job.

    2. Paying a doctor to treat the sick. Where does that go? Well if it goes into his pocket, he tends to spend it on consumer goods, or he invests that money in savings accounts or other investments. And he's providing a necessary service, and that money goes back into the economy. It's about saving lives and making sure doctors are paid for their well-trained services. How can you go wrong here?
    If people don't pay for doctor visits they'll go more often, since they don't see any downside to constant doctor visits even if they aren't really sick. Again, you're punishing people who pay for insurance and rewarding those who don't pay.

    3. Helping those who are "underwater" as it pertains to their mortgage would send 100% of that money right back to the very banks that were whining about not being paid.
    Again, you help people who don't deserve it. Why should someone who foolishly bought something they can't afford have the government pay for it? It creates a moral hazard. That is, it says to foolish people; "Go ahead and buy things you can't afford, because the government will bail you out if it gets tough!". And so you have people making foolish purchases without worrying about the consequences.

    ***********

    As for how to solve it - I don't have faith politicians can fix it, be they from any political party.

    The main reason for that is that only half of the people pay any federal income tax. So half get all the services of the government without having to pay for any of it. Those people will always support more government spending.

    Therefore, I think the simplest way to cut down on spending will be to take away the vote from people who do not pay more in taxes than they receive in handouts. A corollary would be to prohibit any business that gets more in subsidies than it pays in taxes from donating to any political causes or candidates. We'll still have people who whine for more spending, but they won't be pandered to because they can't vote.

    Also, get rid of the amendment that made Senators elected instead of appointed by states.

    CR
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Therefore, I think the simplest way to cut down on spending will be to take away the vote from people who do not pay more in taxes than they receive in handouts. A corollary would be to prohibit any business that gets more in subsidies than it pays in taxes from donating to any political causes or candidates. We'll still have people who whine for more spending, but they won't be pandered to because they can't vote.

    Also, get rid of the amendment that made Senators elected instead of appointed by states.
    I like how Crazed Rabbit wants to unravel democratic freedoms, you can tell where his loyalties lie.
    Last edited by Beskar; 04-27-2010 at 00:39.
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    This thread eerily echoes the standard debate in DC on this subject.
    Nope, I have to give the edge to the BR for verbal wit/style.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beskar View Post
    I like how Crazed Rabbit wants to unravel democratic freedoms, you can tell where his loyalties lie.
    Where, exactly?

    And I'm not unraveling anything with the Senators; that would merely return things to the original writing of the constitution.

    Not allowing some people to vote already happens; we don't let children vote. Why should we let people who don't contribute vote?

    Our current system gives a perverse incentive for politicians to highly tax the very successful so they can pay out money to the unsuccessful, but more numerous, people.

    CR
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

    The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter – all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement! - William Pitt the Elder

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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed Rabbit View Post
    Our current system gives a perverse incentive for politicians to highly tax the very successful so they can pay out money to the unsuccessful, but more numerous, people.
    I guess this is the point where you say you have no humanity or soul. It is in the best interest of the state to look after the poor, not for them to be exploited by the rich and powerful which you are proposing. Since being honest, the "very successful" can lose the money in the first place, I doubt owning another limited edition ferrari is going to severely impact their standard of living. The reason they are so rich in the first place is because of a broken wealth distribution system. Even then, the vast majority of the "very successful" are simply 'luckly' due to the riches of their own parents, very rare from anyone from a working background to get into the category.

    Who says the original consitution was right in the first-place? It is like a fundamentalist taking the bible literially from over a thousand years ago. There are reasons for changes and there is always very valid reasons for progress.

    The conquences of your actions would basically bring about a dystopia with a system far more sinister and corrupt in its place where the poor are merely cattle for the rich to exploit, and what is to stop the rich from exploiting now? You successfully disarmed everyone via removing their right to vote.

    Your argument about "not let children vote" is as a reason is laughable, because you completely ignored the reasons why they have to reach a certain age to vote in the first place. Would you advocate banning gun ownership and driving cars because children cannot do them either? According to your logic, this fact means we should ban them tomorrow.

    Edit: Before you ask, yes, if I was the "very successful" I wouldn't care about the loss of that money, infact, I would probably support it and promote it more.
    Last edited by Beskar; 04-27-2010 at 01:13.
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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.



    Good grief.

    Could you actually state where I propose that people be exploited, or is that just more nonsensical psuedo extrapolation? I.e. a strawman of terrifying proportions. Since I don't want to derail the thread and grow weary of debunking socialist claptrap, I shall merely direct you to read Greg Mankiw's blog.

    And we do let children (18 and under) own guns and drive in some circumstances. In fact, we ban certain adults from owning guns (criminals) and driving (reckless and/or DUI morons), which fits in nicely with banning those who subsist on government handouts from voting.

    In many western nations, government spending is unsustainable. It continues because politicians, voted in by those who pay nothing, keep voting for more programs and no cuts. It seems to make perfect sense that those who can't live on their own earnings should not be able to dictate (indirectly) how other people's money is spent.

    CR
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

    The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter – all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement! - William Pitt the Elder

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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed Rabbit View Post
    Could you actually state where I propose that people be exploited, or is that just more nonsensical psuedo extrapolation? I.e. a strawman of terrifying proportions. Since I don't want to derail the thread and grow weary of debunking socialist claptrap, I shall merely direct you to read Greg Mankiw's blog.
    It is the consequences of your proposels. Doesn't take much to realise that, or is it are you just blinded by your own elitist claptrap? But I must be wrong, there is no harm in stripping the right for people to vote, so the power becomes more centralised untill an oligarchy of your "very successful" who is obviously not use this to their advantage to exploit people and come even more "successful". People say the corperations and 'Wall Street' have too much power already, but with your proposals, they will be the only powers.

    We can undo hundreds of years of suffrage, simply because [Some Elitist] is paranoid that some hobo is getting a free meal from the soup-kitchen and wants to stop it and prefer them to lay-facedown in the gutter suffering, as he drives past in his 2010BMW mocking them and taking snaps with his iphone, uploading a picture on the forum with the caption "Go and get a job you bums!", unaware that he removed the ability for them to try to pick themselves up last week with his vote.

    But I trust that you won't go that far, and realise the lunacy before then.
    Last edited by Beskar; 04-27-2010 at 01:44.
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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beskar View Post
    It is the consequences of your proposels.
    So human nature will change and those who earn enough to be taxed will suddenly start hating the poor?

    You do know that woman's suffrage came about even while only men could vote? And that before that, universal suffrage for white men came about even when only property owning men could vote?

    My point is that people won't suddenly stop caring about others. Nor will Wall Street and big corporations suddenly become all powerful. If politicians cut down on handouts and entitlement spending, that just means more people will be able to vote.

    You know, it's the Democratic party that favors big corporations at the cost of small businesses with all the regulations they write. Large corporations with teams of lawyers find it easier to comply with all those regulations.

    Heck, your whole 'argument' is nothing but strawmen and wild accusations with evidence or facts to back it up.

    CR

    PS I'm amused you think I own a car. Or a cellphone that can take pictures. Or that the government controls whether people are successful or not.
    Last edited by Crazed Rabbit; 04-27-2010 at 01:55.
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed Rabbit View Post
    So human nature will change and those who earn enough to be taxed will suddenly start hating the poor?
    No no no! My poor CR, the "very successful" will not suddenly hate the poor, they already do. You are just removing power from the poor, which acts as a counterbalance to their self-interest. The elitists have looked down upon the poor and classes underneath them long before Jesus and the Eypgtians. After-all, why do 'we' at the top have to bother with the vermin below? Human nature won't be changing at all. Which is one of the reasons why in itself, socialism can be seen as viable. The greed of the many overrides greed of the individual.
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Ah, that explains why the rich, 'successful' people gave the poor people the vote in the first place.

    And ignores the fact that the majority of the citizens would still be able to vote. So what you're saying is based on something that says socialism is viable, ignores historic facts, and assumes that people making 50k a year or more are all part of some giant evil conspiracy to oppress the poor, whom they hate.

    CR
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

    The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter – all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement! - William Pitt the Elder

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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed Rabbit View Post
    Ah, that explains why the rich, 'successful' people gave the poor people the vote in the first place.

    And ignores the fact that the majority of the citizens would still be able to vote. So what you're saying is based on something that says socialism is viable, ignores historic facts, and assumes that people making 50k a year or more are all part of some giant evil conspiracy to oppress the poor, whom they hate.

    CR
    Where did the 50k come from? We were talking about the "very successful", so we would be look at least 100k.

    Also what is interesting, History backs my claims, so it isn't ignoring any facts. As for "gave the poor people the vote in the first place." I am sure you heard of the threat of revolution right? After the French revolution, the "very successful" astrocrats completely wet themselves, and with growing ideology of socialism and communist, which aimed to provide equality to the oppressed masses, they had to do something to stem the tide.

    Then there were obviously those who were with that grouping which obvious saw the oppression and worked to counter-it themselves, freely giving power and wealth to make this happen. But it would be interesting if you start using them as your "heroes" because you wanting the enact the opposite they were doing.
    Last edited by Beskar; 04-27-2010 at 02:14.
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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prioritizing government spending.

    It's the people who make over 250k a year who are targeted for high taxes in the USA and called "The Rich" by democrats.

    Under my plan though, everyone who pays more in taxes than they get from the government gets to vote. Which means the cutoff would be around 50k a year or thereabouts.

    As for your 'history'; the French Revolution occurred in the late 1700s, while socialism and communism became relatively popular around after the 1850s, IIRC.

    And that doesn't have anything to do with what happened in America and how suffrage was expanded to all white males. You continue to ignore American history, which is what I'm talking about here. And seeing as how we're talking about America politics in this thread, that's the relevant history.

    CR
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

    The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter – all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement! - William Pitt the Elder

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