Friday, February 1, 2013

No Easy Answers

I realize this cartoon is a bit outdated now but it's still a good illustration for our ongoing debt vs. stimulus debate. I definitely agree we need to start tackling our deficit but as Paul Krugman points out in this article, austerity measures in Europe seemed to have just matters worse employment-wise. What do you think is the best course of action for our country at this point in time?
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/opinion/krugman-looking-for-mister-goodpain.html?hp&_r=0

27 comments:

clif said...

Two comments, we all know there are roads, bridges and other important sections of the infrastructure we all collectively use that need renewal.

Start there instead of wasting billions feeding the war machine on useless wars like Iraq, that gave Iran strategic control in that country. That will do two good things, help people get back to work, and fix a lot of Americas infrastructure that needs mending.

That should be a no-brainer, so obviously the no-brain right wing will be against it, like they have since a non-white man beat them in 2008.

Snave said...

I don't know, but the best answer isn't to just punt things down the road. The best answer, in my opinion, is a combination of increased revenue and spending cuts.

What to cut, and how much? How to raise the revenue? This is what we all end up arguing about. But I think most people would tend to agree that simply doing it through cuts won't work, and neither will it work simply by raising taxes.

And maybe this ISN'T a place where cuts need to be made:


IS there really a crisis here?


clif said...

Snave that sorta dovetails with this;

The Hoax of Entitlement Reform

free0352 said...

I learned a long time ago it is pointless to debate liberals on spending cuts. Except for the military liberals wont agee to any cuts. Not even big bird. Military spending has been slashed to dangerous levels. It cant protect the home land or refit after the war. Any more cuts, we might as well just disband it and return to the militia system. So now that DOD is on starvation funding, there is zero hope for further spending cuts as liberals will refuse any more. In fact they will argue these trillion dollar defacits are somehow a good thing. As if Greece, Portugal, Italy Spain and France do not paint the way to our future.

Snave said...

Good link, Clif. They probably do just want to reduce the amount of care people get. I learned a long time ago it is pointless to debate most conservatives on health care , because a good number seem to think that being able to afford it is something that has to be earned, and if you die, so what, because we're supposed to be all about the individual and it's supposed to be sink or swim. Not much room for the common good in that sort of philosophy, maybe unless they want to try and justify it by looking at it through a religious lens. Not all conservatives look at it this way, but it seems to me that's a driving viewpoint, at least for some of the noisier ones.

jim marquis said...

Free, one thing I've never understood is how you can say we've practically starved the military to death and yet there are all these articles claiming our budget is equal to the next thirteen countries combined...http://defense.aol.com/2012/03/16/the-military-imbalance-how-the-u-s-outspends-the-world/

Are they lying?

free0352 said...

As if "common good" magically makes money appear out of thin air. Or that people are deserving of that "common good." Even Bill Mhaer admits at least nearly a quarter of Americans on the dole are pure "dirt bags." His words, not mine. And even when those on the far left like Maher acknowledge at the least a quarter of those blood sucking this country are just lazy, good for nothing moochers liberals still won't agree to cut one dime, and refuse to admit the "safety net" has become a hammock to at least a quarter of those who take advantage of it.

free0352 said...

Oh and I roared with laughter when Robert Riech talked about a social security trust fund. Let me ask you, how much money is in that trust fund.

Answer, its several billion in the hole. Maher was dead right when he said - and this might be the first and only time I agree with him-

it just seems like there’s less people pulling the wagon and more people in the wagon, and at some point the wagon is going to break.

free0352 said...

Oh, and you say that my contention SS is in the red is a lie? Think again.

TRUST FUND. More like PONZI SCHEME.

clif said...

I wonder how much money in interest to the social security Trust Fund the US government had to pay last year due to all the money Reagan and both Bush's borrowed to try to cover up their tax cuts for billionaires?


At the end of 2011, the Trust Fund contained (or alternatively, was owed) $2.7 trillion, up $69 billion from 2010.

Due to interest (earned at a 4.4% rate in 2011) the program will run an overall surplus that adds to the fund through the end of 2021.


Ah found out;

"Income including interest to the combined OASDI Trust Funds amounted to $805 billion in 2011. ($564 billion in net contributions, $24 billion from taxation of benefits, $114 billion in interest, and $103 billion in reimbursements from the General Fund of the Treasury—almost exclusively resulting from the 2011 payroll tax legislation.)

Total expenditures from the combined OASDI Trust Funds amounted to $736 billion in 2011.

Lets see, $805 billion income going into the fund, minus $736 billion in payments, means a $69 billion surplus.

Total income exceeds total expenditures means a surplus, simple accounting, no right wing ideology needed.


No deficit in 2011 even if certain right wing trolls want to lie and say there is.

clif said...

I also see when Jim points out how bloated the military welfare state is, freebee pulls a switch to talking about a supposed SS deficit, even though non currently exists in fact, instead of looking at how the right wing memes feed the pigs at the troughs of the military industrial complex contracting system, Dwight David Eisenhower tried to warn us all about.

free0352 said...

Notice Cliff doesn't have any links to any serious sources, because what he's saying is crap.

The money Cliff is talking about, that he clearly cut and pasted from some link he found, is not cash in an interest bearing account somewhere. Its simply the projected SS tax revenue for next year.

And its not enough, by nearly 40 billion dollars. And EVERY accounting service that is part of the US government agrees that won't change, but that the problem is getting worse. But on the bright side, Medicare and Medicade are much larger drains on the economy. While 1 in 5 is now collecting a disability check.

Yeah, that will last.

clif said...

is not cash in an interest bearing account somewhere.

Freebee the trust fund buys US bonds that pay a a 4.4% rate in 2011.

Nice try at another dishonest claim.

Try the facts the SS accounting has lots of them you right wingers ignore to spew your talking points and spin that isn't true.

Everything I posted came from their accounting for 2011, which is why I quoted that year, because the final report for 2012 isn't done yet.

clif said...

I see when Jim points out how bloated the military welfare state is, freebee wants to persist in pulling a switch to talking about a supposed SS deficit, even though non currently exists in fact, even going so far as to deny the simple fact the SS trust fund in invested in interest paying US treasury bonds.

Which BTW it is BY LAW.

Instead of looking at how the right wing memes feed the pigs at the troughs of the military industrial complex contracting system, Dwight David Eisenhower tried to warn us all about.

free0352 said...

Well don't worry Cliff, after the sequestration cuts in March we'll have the smallest military since 1941.

That of course, is after the several hundred BILLION that has already been cut in the last few years.

Feel safer?

clif said...

is after the several hundred BILLION that has already been cut in the last few years.

Oh you mean ending the illegal immoral Iraqi War Bush and Cheney launched?

Why yes I feel much better we aren't sending people to die for their arrogance anymore in Iraq, and we aren't killing Iraqis to force them to do as the neo-cons want.


But at least you stopped lying about the social security trust fund, I'm sorta tickled about that also.

free0352 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
free0352 said...

Oh you mean ending the illegal immoral Iraqi War Bush and Cheney launched?

No. I mean the tens of thousands of Soldiers, Marines and Sailors this administration has cut over the past few years, the cuts to equipment and training to the tune of nearly 1 trillion over a few years. Now that will be tripled. By this time in five years we'll have an Army of about 200,000 men, only handful of them being combat arms. We have 10 active combat divisions today, in a few years we'll have FOUR. So really, beyond that what military cutting did you have in mind?

free0352 said...

As for the fiction that is the "Trust Fund" I'd accuse you of lying Cliff if I had confidence you actually knew what you were talking about and were not simply parroting the lies of others.

There is no "trust fund"

There is a reason nit-wit that the President talks about Seniors missing SS checks when he laments us not raising the debt ceiling.

Its because our government borrows the money its sends out in SS checks genius.

Its a plain fact that SS pays out more than it takes in.


Hell, even the -laughably titled- Board of Trustees for SS admit they will have to slash benefits to 25% of what they are now to stay solvent by 2033. My generation won't see a fucking dime.

clif said...

freebee you still lie.

In the United States, the Social Security Trust Fund is a fund operated by the Social Security Administration into which are paid payroll tax contributions from workers and employers under the Social Security system and out of which benefit payments are made to retirees, survivors, and the disabled, and for general administrative expenses. The fund also earns interest. There technically are two component funds, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds, referred to collectively as the OASDI funds.

When program revenues exceed payments (i.e., the program is in surplus) the extra funds are borrowed and used by the government for other purposes, but a legal obligation to program recipients is created to the extent this occurs. These surpluses add to the Trust Fund. At the end of 2011, the Trust Fund contained (or alternatively, was owed) $2.7 trillion, up $69 billion from 2010. The fund is required by law to be invested in non-marketable securities issued and guaranteed by the "full faith and credit" of the federal government.

The trust fund represents a legal obligation to Social Security program recipients and is considered "intra-governmental" debt, a component of the "public" or "national" debt. As of April 2012, the intragovernmental debt was $4.8 trillion of the $15.7 trillion national debt.


There IS a SS trust fund no matter how much you lie and claim there isn't

clif said...

... and as for the military, I trust the generals over a right winger.

If there really was a problem they would be talking about it, and they are not.

John Myste said...

Clif,

Can you cite your sources, please?

You are quoting, so it should be no problem to include links to the data you are quoting.

If you leave the links out, it makes it look like you don't have confidence in the credibility of that which you cite.

clif said...

The first one is from the 2011 Social Security Trustees report

The second is the beginning of the wiki entry of the social security trust fund.

free0352 said...

If there really was a problem they would be talking about it, and they are not.

Generals? Really. I'll do you one better. I give you The Secretary Of Defense, Leon Fucking Panetta.

...You know. That guy who is the boss of EVERY general.

"This [budget cuts] will badly damage our national defense and compromise our ability to respond to crises in a dangerous world,"

As for your assertions of a "trust fund" every accounting agency IN GOVERNMENT to include statements by Barrack Obama himself disagree with them.

But I'm sure that won't get in the way of your faith belief.

free0352 said...

As for a comment Jim made quite a while ago, I don't care what other countries spend. They don't shoulder the responsibility this country took on after WWII.

We're the world police. If we quit doing that job, there will be no more world police. What if we stop? There is nobody waiting in the wings. Europe does all that it can, so do a few other partner nations. They do everything they can already do. Without us, everybody is fucked. Its world anarchy. It leads to nuclear war.

clif said...

And the Mayan calander predicts the world ends, .... oh forget it, if you are that deluded, there is no hope.

we ain't the worlds police, we claim that to push our views on everyone else, unless they are willing to fight about a decade and then we will quit and go home, like we did in Vietnam, and just did in Iraq.

We are BROKE cause idiots like you want the US to shoulder the cost of policing the planet, even though very few agree to go along with our demands. Just like the British empire went broke trying to play worlds police before the US, and the soviet Union went bust trying to out police the US.

The Thousand Yard Stare said...

Yup, because nothing saves money like nuclear warfare.