0

LETTERS: It may be time to cut spending

It amazes me when I see people and pundits arguing over the deficit and the debt. Most people can't distinguish the two, so let's clear that up.

The deficit is the amount of money you spend over and above what you make. If you make $25,000 but spend $35,000 then your deficit is $10,000. You'll be bankrupt if you do that for a couple of years. The debt is simply how much money you owe other people.

If our government was a person, he would be spending $38,000 but only making $25,000. Of the $38,000 spent, 40 percent goes to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; 25 percent goes to the military; 20 percent to programs like food stamps, unemployment compensation, tax credits & student loans; 7 percent goes to interest payments and only 12 percent is used to run all other government services.

Some say we can run government like a business and raise our prices (taxes). Doing that will bring in more money and the rich can pay their fair share. Consider this fact: If you divide the money we spend, $3.8 trillion, by the number of taxpayers, 141 million, then your fair share is $27,000.

Before you we ask someone else to pay their fair share, ask if you are paying yours. And if you can't pay more, then it's time to cut spending.

-- David Cross,

Suwanee

Comments

Jan 1 year, 3 months ago

You start out demonstrating some intelligence but then you seem to go out into the netherworld of ridiculous Republicans talking points. Most obviously you omit ceratin areas of the budget such as education; however, you did not even allow for a miscellaneous category since your numbers (which are incorrect) add up to 104%. Minimum wage, which varies by state, would only earn around $16,000 annually. How do you think it a fair share for these is $27,000? Rational people understand that taxes should be based on a percentage of income and not put anyone in the position of paying their taxes or starving. This country has long established the concept of a progressive tax structure which has been distorted by loopholes built for the wealthy. I do agree that government waste is too common but we need to be careful how spending is cut or we will cause more problems than we cure. America should not become like China, with a slave class that is expected to work long hours in unsafe conditions just to put a few beans on the table. We also need to consider how Federal cuts effect state, city and county budgets. The services are interconnected and often federal cuts lead to extreme shortages in necessary services at the local level, such as teachers, firemen and police. We are currently feeling the repercussions of previous federal budget cuts requiring layoffs of service personnel locally.

0

R 1 year, 3 months ago

It’s a simple demonstration of high level math based on a per person / citizen population breakdown, so the numbers are something that the average reader can grasp. Besides ask any political leader of your choice on any government level and I bet you hear that 3 percent of the budget total is just the noise floor, not even worrying about in the end.

Remember, if you’re a family of 4 with a couple of children the REAL load is 27K x 4 for a whopping 108K on the household...

So it really comes down to this; Have YOU gotten YOUR money’s worth yet?

Some say YES and GIVE me MORE!!! While some workers are hurting mighty big, have you seen and really considered your pay stub? Do ever wonder why it states you were paid SO much more that you EVER really see in your hand?

As to the accuracy, even the current reported 16 + Trillion doesn’t include EVERYTHING on the Federal level, as freely admitted by those in DC that sit in the voting seats on our behalf...

If you ADD that in it could become a case of : “Eh why bother at all – what’s another additional 10 Trillion among friends anyway?” and this is the REAL problem right there…

0

JHogan 1 year, 3 months ago

"Don't confuse me with the facts!"

0

dentaldawg83 1 year, 3 months ago

snicker...LOL...damn..just damn...

0

notblind 1 year, 3 months ago

David, Jan's response is a PERFECT illustration of what we are up against trying to have a sensible conversation about the direction of our country. It's impossible to get through the fog of their ideology.

1

FordGalaxy 1 year, 3 months ago

It MAY be time to cut spending? For any normal family or person, when faced with financial situations akin to those faced by our government, the first thing you do is look for where you can cut back. You don't go seeking more money first, you figure what you can do without.

But our government is not that way. And we're told constantly by liberals that government cannot be operated like a company or even a family. Apparently, we're supposed to be okay with government constantly spending more than it takes in. Jsut remember, there are 535 people in Washington who have decided that the other 300+ million of us are not paying enough and should be paying more. They can't figure out how to be responsible, and the failure and blame falls on the voters. Every two to four years you have a chance to get rid of these fiscally irresponsible nutcases, and yet they keep getting re-elected. It's sad.

0

Jan 1 year, 3 months ago

FordGalaxy: You wrote: "For any normal family or person, when faced with financial situations akin to those faced by our government, the first thing you do is look for where you can cut back". Do you really think that way? Do you believe it is better to make your family give up things like an education at a good college? Maybe you just want them to wear second hand clothes and eat beans and rice every night. Personally, before I would make my family suffer a major reduction in our living standard, I would seek out a second job so I could provide for my family without resorting to borrowing. Don't get me wrong. I am not opposed to cutting spending. We cut spending under Clinton and Under Obama. (Sorry, didn't happen under The Bushes or Reagan). THe problem is that the Republicans are more interested in taking money away from seniors by cutting Social Security and Medicare, two places that these people have paid into and deserve to get these benefits. Senior citizens are "entitled" to these benefits and they benefit should not be reduced to give the wealthy tax cuts. The debt has been growing because Republicans do not believe in a balanced budget. They have been running on this principle for decades and yet manage to increase spending while reducing taxes. Before Reagan, we had many responsible Republican Presidents. Ike believed we should pay off the war debt and raised the top bracket to 92% on incomes over $400,000. President Johnson(D) lowered it to 70% on income over $200,000 and Nixon(R) raised it to 77% on $200,000 income. With this high rates, people did not complain about paying their taxes as much as they do today. Seems that those that yell the loudest seem to think it is a contest to see how much wealth they can accumulate. It's like their only goal in life is to make it onto Forbes list of 400 wealthiest people. Now the Republican party has been co-opted by anti-tax and pro gun groups.

2

jack 1 year, 3 months ago

Jan- Just some random observations:

The government cannot go out and get a second job; it can only increase tax revenue, cut spending, or both.

Historically, the highest tax revenues, as a percentage of GDP, occurred 1998-2000--19.9%, 19.8%, and 20.6% respectively--when the top tax rate was 39.6%. The 90% tax rates you mention did not increase revenue as hardly anyone ever actually paid that rate.

From the Washington Post fact checkers about spending under President Obama: "One common way to measure federal spending is to compare it to the size of the overall U.S. economy. That at least puts the level into context, helping account for population growth, inflation and other factors that affect spending. Here’s what the White House’s own budget documents show about spending as a percentage of the U.S. economy (gross domestic product):

2008: 20.8 percent

2009: 25.2 percent

2010: 24.1 percent

2011: 24.1 percent

2012: 24.3 percent

2013: 23.3 percent

In the post-war era, federal spending as a percentage of the U.S. economy has hovered around 20 percent, give or take a couple of percentage points. Under Obama, it has hit highs not seen since the end of World War II — completely the opposite of the point asserted by Carney. Part of this, of course, is a consequence of the recession, but it is also the result of a sustained higher level of spending."

0

notblind 1 year, 3 months ago

Jack, no pesky facts please.

0

Jan 1 year, 3 months ago

Thank you, Jack, for actually arguing facts. Especially since they help support the fact that the tax code has been corrupted in favor of the rich. With the wealthy paying a lower percentage of income in tax and revenue being near the same as a percentage of GDP, this means the tax burden has been shifted to those in a lower economic range. If we shift that tax burden off the backs of those making near or below the median family income, then spending will go up and the economy will recover, the GDP will rise and tax revenue will rise. Everything is interconnected. To cut medicare benefits or social security is effectively a tax increase on the elderly, whether they are wealthy or poor. A needs testing formula for social security would not be as bad, but this also takes away money that these retirees have been promised.

0

FordGalaxy 1 year, 3 months ago

Jan - Yes, I do think that way. I've been in tough situations. I had to drop the luxuries of life. You act like I'm asking people to eat grass and drink toilet water. Americans living "in poverty" have a pretty decent quality of life compared to other continents. The "poor" that we're supposed to support through government often have a home computer, at least one video game system, air conditioning, at least one vehicle, etc.

In my experience, once times got tough, I cut out my cable and dropped to internet only. Luckily I didn't have to drop internet too. I stopped buying the nicer, name-brand groceries and started buying store brands. I survived, and did so by cutting back. No matter how optimistic you are, you cannot guarantee a second job. I looked for a second job, and in many instances when I was told why I wasn't being hired, it was often because I was "over-qualified" because of my Bachelor's Degree. So yeah, I think cutting back is the safest bet, because of that lack of guarantee.

Also, if you don't mind, please provide your statistics on Obama cutting spending. I ask, because in eight years George W Bush gave us $4.7 Trillion in debt, while in less than four year, Obama gave us nearly $6 Trillion.

0

Jan 1 year, 3 months ago

Here are the facts:

Average inflation is about 3%, This means that we should expect a 3% average annualized growth in spending.

Since 1982, their have been five presidential terms that exceeded 4% growth in government spending. Reagan, both terms, Bush I and Bush II, both terms. Clinton's terms were held at 3.2% and 2.9% government spending increase and Obama has the lowest increase of only 1.4%, well below average inflation rate.

Average annual spending increase under Republicans of 6.88%, more than twice average annual spending increase while under the Democrats the average is only 2.83% annual increase in spending.

When the annual increase kept below inflation, it is an effective spending decrease. The debt increase is an expected result of the Bush tax cuts and the poor economy inherited from Bush. These together resulted in much less revenue.

0

Why_not 1 year, 3 months ago

We have been running a budget deficit for many, many decades. This didn't just happen recently as some would want you to think.

0

R 1 year, 3 months ago

SO let’s not start to apply the brakes now? It's going to take a LONG time to stop or even slow this train, unless we hit the wall first, then it happens all at once...

How’s your Mandarin or Farsi these days?

0

kevin 1 year, 3 months ago

I guess you were asleep when Clinton had us in a surplus.

0

JHogan 1 year, 3 months ago

Jan is closest to being right. R, not blind, Ford Galaxy and Jack are wrong on the merits.

In the first place, the federal government is NOT like your household. It is NOT like your city. It is NOT like your county. It is NOT like your state. All those groups are users of the currency, whereas the federal government is the issuer of the currency. The US is NOT like Greece or any of the European countries. That is because they are users of the currency,like Georgia or South Carolina or Wyoming or any of the other states in the US.

That means that there is NEVER a debt that the federal government can't pay, because the federal government is the issuer of its own currency. That radical idea is ensconsced in the US Constitution, in article 1, section 8, par. 5.

But, they will say, all this "deficit" spending will cause inflation, will cause interest rates to rise, will cause the economy to contract. Well, we've several trillion dollars of new money injected into the economy, and none of these bugaboos have happened. Their argument only makes sense if the monetary system is on a hard money standard, which we left on August 15, 1971, over 40 years ago.

0

notblind 1 year, 3 months ago

Okay, Einstein, tell me what's the point in anybody having to pay taxes ?? If the goobermint needs the money they should just print some more. That would leave me a lot more money to spend thereby stimulating the economy. Something in your theory just doesn't add up.

2

R 1 year, 3 months ago

So Greece has NEVER printed currency, period???

Or are we looking at European countries Euro style like they are US States, perhaps CA.?

Are you really a serious Too BIG to Fail fan now?

As to bugaboos NOT happening, please point to era in our HISTORY where the FED HELD interest rates at ZERO (or just about as close as EXCEL spreadsheets can get) by the artificial means being deployed now? That maneuver skews countless other data polluting COLAs / forecasts in a multitude of ways. Soon as this policy "lapses", the rapid rise of inflation will kick in like a MAJOR 1st class hang over.

One upside with government in control of healthcare, they can order us all into medical commas to ease the withdrawal. Maybe they will just cancel all the bonds under the advice of Tim "The TubroTax" Geithner...

Or perhaps we'll take the advice of that rather young, attractive Native American spokesperson and take a few Trillion in our Fed bank tomorrow with JUST our signature...

0

JHogan 1 year, 3 months ago

Greece is a part of the EuroZone. (The term "PIIGS" refers to Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, all countries who are being looted by the currency issuers, primarily the Germans, in the EuroZone,) All the countries in the EuroZone gave up their right to create their own currency when they joined. Now they are paying the price for their foolishness in folllowing essentially the same policy the the Republicans would inflict upon America if they had a chance.

BTW, the dollar is not backed by anything. It flutuates against all the other currencies. The US and the rest of the world have been using this method since 1971. Maybe it's time that the public catch on to this.

0

JHogan 1 year, 3 months ago

"...currency issuers, primarily the Germans..."

Correction: That should be LENDERS, not currency issuers.

0

kevin 1 year, 3 months ago

our money is also close to worthless right now. Mere printing will eventually result in high inflation. I don't believe the government's inflation rate as it is being calculated to keep it lower than it is.

0

JHogan 1 year, 3 months ago

Because the government will never have as much money as it needs to operate if it is held to the growth of the economy. That typically, in a good year, runs about 3%. Last year the GDP was about $15 trillion. Multiply that by .03 and the result is about $450 billion. (The defense budget alone for this year is over $600 billion.)

Alas, taxes are the price of civilization.

The Federal government can continue to run "deficits" up until such time as there is full employment. Then the Federal government may have to raise taxes to try to cool down the economy. The constraint is inflation. Inflation occurs when demand exceeds supply, the oil price shocks in the 1970s a prime example,

0

notblind 1 year, 3 months ago

If all it takes is a snap of the fingers or the waving of the money printing wand why do we ever have economic slowdowns, recessions, class warfare, pay their fair share, etc ? Why did we have the housing bubble ? The goobermint could have printed some more money and sent it to the homeowners.

0

JHogan 1 year, 3 months ago

Remember those $500 checks we got a few years ago? That was part of an effort to put more money back into the economy after the housing crash. We should have done more of that by sending money to the states and localities to spend on infrastructure. (That is the roads and bridges, the water and sewer systems, etc...the things we expect from government.)

The housing crash was caused when the price of housing exceeded the ability of a significant number of mortgagees to meet the note.)

But you have asked some excellent questions, and they deserve an answer from policy makers.

I'm encouraged when citizens start asking the right questions.

1

notblind 1 year, 3 months ago

My questions were directed at YOU for an explanation of your bizarre economic theories. Especially the one about printing more money can fix everything.

0

jack 1 year, 3 months ago

I think Hogan is referring to "monetizing the debt".
Search this and draw your own conclusions as to whether it is a particularly good idea or not.

0

JHogan 1 year, 3 months ago

Why should we ever be forced into debt in order to create our own currency?

0

JHogan 1 year, 3 months ago

The Washington Times is owned by The Rev, Sun Meung Moon. Take what you read in it for what it is worth.

0

JHogan 1 year, 3 months ago

This "bizarre economic" theory is reality. It is a reality that the "debt" has greatly increased, and NONE of the things your side of this argument said would happen have actually happened.

Your side said that if we didn't cut the deficit, we would have inflation going through the roof. Didn't happen.The FED (that's the Federal Reserve Board) has been trying to get inflation up to 2% a year and can't quite make it.

Your side said that if we didn't cut the deficit, we would have interest rates going through the roof. Didn't happen. Instead we have some of the lowest interest rates in history.

Your side said that if we didn't cut the deficit, the value of the dollar would collapse. Didn't happen. Instead, the world is lining up to buy our currency.

Those are the facts. Some people don't deal with facts very well, especially when the facts contradict their long-held beliefs.

0

R 1 year, 3 months ago

The FED has basically held rates NEGATIVE, so we issue more debt to buy more debt so we can swamp out or marginalize any other holders of same...

Its great!!!!! Until the next currency comes along ...

Inflation has indeed risen just NOT recorded as such in the narrow standards the government utilizes due to the skew the FED actions created. Certainly its a GREAT game and the reason OIL has risen in price, even as economies REDUCE consumption worldwide.

0

jack 1 year, 3 months ago

In your list of things that "didn't happen", I believe the operative word "yet" was omitted.

When our credit rating tumbles again and other countries stop buying our bonds...........well, you know what'll happen-- these things being somewhat cyclical in nature.

0

notblind 1 year, 3 months ago

From what I have read the fed is buying bad debt from the banks and the banks are taking that money and buying bonds from the fed. When the fed finally owns all the bad debt the banks won't have any more money to buy the bonds. Then I guess the bottom will fall out. Uncle BO will most likely be gone by then so his teflon aura won't take a hit which is all he is concerned with.

0

kevin 1 year, 3 months ago

redistribution of the wealth is what you are proposing.

0

R 1 year, 3 months ago

Actually the next round of stimulus should be given to homeowners carrying mortgages of 250K or less so loans can be paid off. The banks get money to right their balance sheets, consumers can spend again, tax money flows back to the government, infrastructure projects begin...

Candy-canes and Rainbows for one and ALL!!!

Really it almost smacks of the year of the Jubilee, another economic 50 year reset cycle - who'd thunk it?

0

BuzzG 1 year, 3 months ago

Since 2008 federal revenues have gone down 2% while spending has increased 27 per cent. In the bizarre world of progressives (the new name liberals call themselves) this means that we need to raise taxes on the rich. Unemployment benefits for 2 years, 47.7 million people on food stamps, free Obamaphones, 52% on Gwinnettian children on "free or reduced" school lunches, all the while bailing out G.M. and the banks. Where will it all end? To people like Jan it will never end. The federal gravy will just keep flowing.

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." Frederic Bastiat

2

kevin 1 year, 3 months ago

Maybe Jan can understand this simple math. When a person making $55,000 gets the same take home spending money ad a person making $25,000 and receiving government benefits, this country is in big trouble. What is more troubling is the fact that many Americans, though once smart people, can't see our freedoms and way of life going away to a socialist run government. I guess they will all wake up one it hits them that are have been taken over by the Feds.

1

Jan 1 year, 3 months ago

I, obviously, understand math better than you do. I do my own taxes, understand tax brackets and tax calculation, I know about government benefits and restrictions and can assure you that a individual making $55,000 has significantly more left over after expenses than an individual making $25,000. They also have, with possibly a very few exceptions, a much better credit rating. Of course we have some socialist elements in the government. It would be bad to have private corporations run the police, fire departments, military or schools. When the bottom line is of more concern than people, all these would shirk from some duties to improve the profit margin. Having some degree of humanitarian feelings, we do have some safety nets in place to give temporary help to those falling on bad times. Almost all government assistance programs are temporary and have work requirements. Contrast this to the assistance programs we give big businesses which is a much greater amount. You have proven that your belief in the republican propaganda is so strong that you ignore facts so I rarely will respond to your absurdities. I did this time because you made an attempt at "facts" instead of your usual resort to lame insults.

0

kevin 1 year, 3 months ago

a person making $25K with a family of 4 can receive about $25K in government benefits, Fed, state, local. This was proven to be a fact. You don't have to wonder why many folks do not want to work much. I guess you don't believe in family and friends helping the less fortunate either? Remember on e thing, once a person realizes they can survive on free money, they refuse to ever work again.

0

Jan 1 year, 3 months ago

After a little more research, I find myself questioning your data. Go back to your link and check it's source at the bottom. Seeing that, I did more research. Here is a link that gives links to more meaningful statistics: http://www.aic.gov.au/crime_types/violence/homicide.html Among other things, the data distinctly shows a significant reduction in the homicide rate. On the site, I also found information that almost all the gun related crimes are from illegal, unregistered guns. As I stated before, it will take years to get such guns out of circulation so we need to begin now.

0

notblind 1 year, 3 months ago

Why don't you use the statistics from New York, DC, Chicago, LA, Mexico, Russia, ???????

2

Jan 1 year, 3 months ago

The only reason that I used Australia's stats was in response to kevin's citing of their stats; however, Australia has a society more like ours and would be more meaningful. As for stats on individual cities, they are more representative of the effectiveness of enforcement rather than the level of regulations. For cities like New York, DC and Chicago, enforcement would require border checkpoints and searches of every car to prevent importation of weapons legally purchased in other states. We need a consistent national minimum standards for effective gun control. One simple regulation would be to require every gun to have a test fired bullet computer imaged and included in a national bullet registration so guns used in crimes can be traced back to their owners. Another would be requiring every gun sold to include a trigger lock and a requirement to use them in any house with minors. May be difficult to enforce but law abiding citizens would make an attempt to obey it.

0

notblind 1 year, 3 months ago

Law abiding citizens are not the problem. Why cause them more grief ?

There are fewer violent people in our society than guns. Lock them up for good and the problem goes away.

0

jack 1 year, 3 months ago

WOW!

Posters armed with guns have highjacked a thread about spending!

Obviously more regulation is needed!

0

kevin 1 year, 3 months ago

Those that hate gun ownership should form their own Communist government somewhere else because this also tells me they do not want to abide by our Constitution.

0

Sign in to comment