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"Washington hasn't paid a bill in 5 years"

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Patters, May 4, 2006.

  1. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This is by the fairly conservative Ernest Hollings, former Democratic Senator of South Carolina.

    http://www.charleston.net/stories/?newsID=84520&section=commentary

    First, Washington hasn't paid a bill in five years. Inheriting a budget "with surpluses as far as the eye can see," the president and Congress have been spending. In five years they have added $2.5 trillion to the national debt. Beginning in 1789, we paid for all the costs of wars and government before this nation reached a trillion dollar debt in 1982. The $300 billion Iraq war didn't cost $2.5 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office now projects that interest costs on the national debt next year will exceed $1 billion a day ? $399 billion. Spending $1 billion a day for nothing. We have just paid personal income taxes to the government ? amounting last year to $927 billion. This means that with interest rates rising the government will spend almost half of its personal income tax take for nothing. To keep the government going we have to borrow about $2 billion a day.

    How have we gotten by with this scandalous conduct? The answer is by China and Japan financing our deficits. Japan now directly holds $673 billion of our Treasuries and China $265 billion. China could stop financing our deficits and we would be in trouble.

    To observe a good economy, everyone cites that the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) grew last year by 3.6 percent and today's unemployment is low at 4.7 percent. No influence in finance is more corrosive or less recognized than the systematic distortion of U.S. economic reality by government agencies. The government's greatest deception is quoting a deficit less than it is. For example, rather than subtracting spending from revenues, the government credits Social Security surpluses to Social Security and then spends the surplus, reporting a less than actual deficit. I authored the law forbidding the president and Congress from citing a deficit figure that includes Social Security money.

    Ignoring the law, President Bush states on page 4 of the U.S. Government Budget for FY 2007: "We now project that the 2006 deficit will come in at 3.2 percent of GDP, or $423 billion ?"

    But turn to page 334 of the same budget where it shows the gross federal debt from FY 2005 to FY 2006 increasing $706 billion ? a deficit of $706 billion instead of $423 billion.
     
  2. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The righties are starting to care. Some of the Republican apparatchiks don't care, but the tone of this forum has changed with most of the righties expressing some serious disagreements with Bush. They may not have the guts to admit they were wrong to vote for Bush in the first place, but they are beginning to see the truth. Will they \support a Democrat for President? A few of them might, but it's more likely they'll give less and campaign less for the Republican Party. After all, even righties have some self-respect!
     
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Of course we care, how were we to know that our "Conservative" candidate would end up being a big spender. Why do you think I didn't vote for Bush in 2004 ?

    However I am not in favor of increased taxes. I am in favor of cutting spending. Cancel all aid to states and foreign governments. Let the stats raise taxes, if needed, for their own projects. Put a hold on Federal Employee (yes, even though I am one) raises, even enact a 5% cut on salaries. Etc.
     
  4. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    And social security increases should be at the inflation rate and no more. That would help keep the dinosaur alive as long as possible. And medicare needs to be cut back. We simply don't have the money to support more and more 95 year olds or 67 year olds taking every drug they see advertised on TV - that we now get to pay for.
     
  5. Pujo

    Pujo Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Yeah, I'm sure what's driving up our taxes is seniors with nothing better to do than take unnecessary drugs. How would you support their ability to buy necessary ones, or should we just ship people off to the mountains to die once they're that age?
     
  6. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    First, just for a point of reference my parents are in their 70s so this isn't a non issue to me. The basic point for me is I don't want to pay for your parents' drugs. I'll help my parents as needed but I don't want to help yours and I don't want you to help mine.

    One of the things which really bugs me right now is every other commercial on TV is a damn drug commercial. So instad of Mr. X being told he really needs a drug, he'll be going to doctors to get a prescription for Magic Drug X. High blood pressure or high Cholesterol ? No, don't eat better. Just take a damn drug and let Medicare pay for it. Can't get it up anymore ? Not to worry, Medicare will pay for those drugs too.
     
  7. Pujo

    Pujo Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    What if something happened to you and you could no longer provide for your parents, and one of them, god forbid, needed... say blood thinning medications (certainly not an elective drug). Would you want me to help them then?
     
  8. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    As I have said before . . . I am OK with medicare existing and paying for drugs which are absolutely necessary. But I am not OK paying for drugs for blood pressure, cholesterol, erectile dysfunction, etc, etc.

    And I really wish those drugs weren't advertised on TV because it just encourages people to think there's some miracle drug out there they can take and everything will be great. I went through that a few years ago when trying to lose weight, I'd spend $30-$60 a month on the latest miracle weight loss pill - only to find out that I can lose, and maintain, my weight by not eating sugar.
     
  9. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    BF, at this point, who are you more likely to trust and why: A Republican who promises to cut the deficit without raising taxes or a Democrat who promises to cut the deficit without raising taxes? I'm asking, because this is what I expect the next presidential race to center around, at least domestically.
     
  10. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Well I will have 99% confidence that a Democrat will raise taxes. Of the four combinations (Democrat slow spending, Democrat raise taxes, Republican slow spending, Republican raise taxes) that is the one I am supremely confident in. The others, I really don't know, it depends on the candidate.
     
  11. scout

    scout Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #15 Jersey

    Why harp on the benefits for the elderly as the beast of burden? Haven't all of us worked meaningless jobs in our lifetime beside someone who was ready to keel over from old age? Didn't we think to ourselves, "not me". With the infinite number of flagrant pork programs, congressional pension plans, corporate welfare, pentagon abuses, no bid contracts for friends, fraud in contracts for friends, do we pick on someone who can't make ends meet? There are no doubt that some elderly receive pills they don't need. I'm sure there are elderly that should not receive financial help from our government due to their undisclosed income. This does not mean that the vast majority should not be taken care of. When someone has to decide between a needed pill and dinner, something is very wrong.
     
  12. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    The problem is that many of the pills we're paying for aren't needed. Unless you think that 76 year old Joe X needs an erection, on us, after dinner.

    The drug thing was just a part of what I said, that happens to be what was picked up on. I would slow spending on Federal Employees (even though I am one) to zero and even a small negative. I would stop any state assistance and let them pay for what they want themselves. I would repeal the Federal Gas Tax and, again, let states pay for road construction and repair themselves.

    Any, yes, I would slow the growth of SS and Medicare. Or those taxes will be going up.
     
  13. phantom73

    phantom73 Rookie

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    With all due respect, the real problem is that there are too many people making this argument despite the fact that they really don't know what they are talking about. What qualifies you to decide exactly what Joe X needs, or what any other American needs for that matter?

    Am I happy that 'my' tax dollars are being used on Joe X's Viagra? No. Are there problems with Social Security, Medicare, and the new Medicare drug benefit? Absolutely. Are there people on medications today as a result of a series of bad lifestyle decisions? No doubt whatsoever.

    Still, just because someone can cherry pick one or two examples where a certain drug or therapy receives questionable coverage, or where someone is getting treatment for a condition they are partially to blame for does not mean the whole program is the problem.

    Any insistence otherwise is simply ignorant.
     
  14. bmf31c

    bmf31c Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Why the hell should federal employees have to bear the burden of a mismanaged budget? The military, who by the way are federal employees, are getting boned already with a 2.2% (maybe 2.7%) raise because the government can't scrape up enough money for the defense budget. Who does that effect the most? The Generals or the Privates? Troops on the ground that are actually seeing the elephant pay the toll, while fortunate sons in DC send them to the box AGAIN while giving them a inflation meeting only pay raise. Thanks alot, A-Holes.
    How about the the President, VP and the cabinet give up their salaries? How about the Senate and the congress and the rest of the pork barrels chumps? People that actually work shouldn't have to bear the burden of a stupid decision.
    My wife and I are both Federal employees, let them try to take 5% off of our pay. You'd have a military revolt if they even breathed word that it would have a chance of happening. Bad, bad, bad idea.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2006
  15. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If the choice is to keep taxes the same and begin paying off the deficit or to begin reducing the deficit by raising taxes on those earning over $200,000/year, which would prefer?

    I think the Republicans will promise not raise taxes and also promise to cut the budget. There's no way to trust them on the second promise at this point, because, frankly, neither Reagan, Bush I, or Bush II delivered. On the other hand, the hypothetical Democrat proposal is easier to trust because something like that has been a campaign theme for quite awhile. Do you disagree? Democrats have been positioning themselves as fiscal conservatives for at least a decade, but the Republicans effectively play up the liberal wing of the Party. I wish the liberal wing was stronger, but of course expect the next Democratic candidate to be the lesser of two evils.
     
  16. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey

    Out of curiousity, BF, why are you against raising taxes? That's how Governments derive their revenue. As citizens, isn't this part of our civic responsibility? We have a 3 billion a week habit in the middle east. Wouldn't it make sense to at least increase taxes temporarily to offset that cost?

    This is just madness. And while Bush has, and the next GOP candidate probably will, win the election by yelling loudly "GAY MARRIAGE!" or "9/11!" to the bleating incredibly stupid people that are the American citizenry, things like the economy go untalked about.

    When W. took office, the Canadian dollar was worth 52 cents against the US dollar. Today it is worth 90 cents. By the time W's term is up, it might be worth more. Can you imagine going to Canada, buying something that's marked 5 dollars, and having to pay 5.25 U.S? It's coming, and it's nothing the Canadians are doing differently. The Peso is also at an all time high, getting really close to 10/1.

    I'm curious to know what your solution is if taxes aren't raised. You've said cutting services, but that's only going to allow the deficit to grow at a slower rate. At some point, we're going to have to reverse direction. I'm not excited to be receiving less of my paycheck, but it's a better option than a terrible economy. The alternative is privitization of everything. Let WalMart administer the Dept. of Agriculture. General Motors can administer the Dept. of Transportation. Exxon/Mobil can administer the Dept. of Energy, and so forth. That's the direction we're travelling in, and I think you'd agree that it's not a good one.
     
  17. phantom73

    phantom73 Rookie

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    As much as I hate to say it, why shouldn't taxes go up? For crying out loud, in addition to various other expenditures, the USA is trying to essentially finance TWO wars.

    Without going into a debate on the merits of these wars, but if they are as important to national security as many conservatives would have you believe, shouldn't ALL citizens share in the burden of financing, if not fighting, these wars?

    Maybe if more Americans were required to sacrifice more than the cost of those yellow magnets they put on the back of their SUV, the course of these wars, along with the administration behind them, might be significantly different.
     
  18. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Excellent point!
     
  19. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    Fortunately, there's a 3rd choice...stop the huge ongoing growth of govt expenditures and reduce the size of government. Problem solved.
     
  20. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The political will to do that simply is not there, so it's not a realistic choice.
     

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