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US Budget

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February 13, 2012 8:05:42 PM

Anyone look it over yet? Apparently the President is going to have one hell of a year for vacations and parties...

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February 13, 2012 9:58:01 PM

Like they said years ago, a few billion here, a few billion there, and soon, youre talkin real money
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February 14, 2012 7:10:06 PM

The PDF is scary. "Cutting subsidies of inefficient fossil fuels."

Any correlations to gas prices going up at the same time? Marathon Petroleum already loses a significant amount of money on gasoline. That's why they're subsidized. Gasoline is a byproduct that is sold to minimize losses on it. They make their money on discoveries, new tech, and selling other byproducts.
February 14, 2012 7:38:11 PM

Well the budget just came out that they're going to get cut off. The last time prices broke $3.50 was March 9th. They're up 3 weeks early this year so that's the concern. Knowing you're going to get cut off will cause a spike.

Then again, the summer blends are also more expensive than the winter blends. Considering the warmer weather across the country that might be a reason why the prices are going up as well.
February 14, 2012 9:10:56 PM

I doubt that doubling the capital gains tax would cause the economy to sink into a depression. The fact that millionaire investors pay less in taxes than me is disturbing.

Gas prices going up will be rough but people will find a way to reduce their gas consumption to offset some of the burden (I carpool to work and ride a bike whenever I can). Also it will encourage people to buy more fuel efficient cars like hybrids and electric vehicles, not to mention paying tax payers money to keep gasoline a viable option seems to defy logic.

Overall I don't see all that much wrong with it but I didn't read all of it. With the ending of the two wars and a balanced budget we could be back on our feet much sooner than expected.

February 14, 2012 11:35:25 PM

Lets see, 15% of say 30 million is less than most pay?
WOW
Dont I feel lucky
February 15, 2012 11:12:01 AM

Kind of like how Romney makes 200,000$+ each year from Capital Gains then stores it in banks overseas. He needs every dollar to keep those Swiss banks making money.
February 15, 2012 11:18:57 AM

wanamingo said:
Kind of like how Romney makes 200,000$+ each year from Capital Gains then stores it in banks overseas. He needs every dollar to keep those Swiss banks making money.


What's the big deal? Do you fully understand investing and that those accounts may not be entitled to taxation within the US? How well do you understand investing and the tax code to say this is illegal, as he reports this information openly? :) 
February 15, 2012 11:53:05 AM

Hiding wealth in dodgy tax free havens is what has gotten us all into this mess.

If countries were able to effectively tax the rich they wouldn't be going into deficits with their budgets.
February 15, 2012 11:59:34 AM

Im just saying if the wealthy say they need every single dollar (Esp from Capital Gains) because they are "Creating Jobs" then they should be creating jobs...... Its not illegal just a dick thing to do.

I don't fully understand every nuance of the tax code (I don't own shite, and im 23 ). But I haven't heard a compelling case as to why the top earners in our country need every dollar from investments, especially when its not being reinvested.
February 15, 2012 2:15:42 PM

Reynod said:
Hiding wealth in dodgy tax free havens is what has gotten us all into this mess.

If countries were able to effectively tax the rich they wouldn't be going into deficits with their budgets.


That is a flat out lie. You could tax the rich at 100% and the US would still be deficit spending. The rich are effectively taxed. What you're saying is you want to tax them more to take a bigger chunk of their money.

Effectively taxing would be a flat tax, say 20% across the board. But what you're saying is that they have additional millions of dollars they don't need and want to tax that. That's apples to oranges. They pay a percentage as does everyone else. When you view the dollars, you want more.

On one hand we tax by percentage. What you're suggesting is taking a dollar amount away from them.. which is not correlated to a percentage. I think your future arguments would be better served by saying the maximum income would be $10 million dollars, readjusted every 5 years based on inflation, and that for each $100,000 in addition to the $10 million you make, you pay a flat rate of $20,000 per $100k generated.

If they made $11 million, they would pay their tax rate on $10 million and then an addtional $20k per $100k ($200k) on the million dollar excess.

But all of that is crap. Because milionaires live in the Capital Gains Tax world, not the Income Tax World which so many people confuse. The reason the CGT is 15% is to encourage people to save their money and invest it to make more money. That 15% applies to me the same as it applies to Buffet. He is now at the point where his money easily works for him, whereas the money doesn't easily work for me but I have to built that nest egg up.

I would think the appropriate argument would be to raise capital gains tax to 20-25% on any individual making more than... $1 million in capital gains (arbitrary number)? I think that would be a fair tax to those making "excessive" amounts of income through capital gains. If their stocks underperformed for the year and they generated less than the set number, they wouldn't be 'punished' by an increased tax.

Therein is the lie of your very statement about taxing the rich to eliminate the deficit. If the rich do not continue to keep making all this money, the treasury would take a hit because the tax base went down. Therefore the argument (which currently stands today) is to tax the rich MORE because they're not making enough that their current tax rate pays the deficit.

Utlimately, if the argument to tax the rich more is to be used, it should be stated as this: "The rich do not make enough money to meet the spending demands of the US Gov't; Their taxes should increase to meet the spending demand of the Gov't." (Punish the rich.)

Let me make this clear: I am not financially rich. I am against raising the tax on the top income earners. Increasing their taxes is seen as punishment to me because the US Gov't (and other gov'ts) cannot control their spending. The issue is the US Gov't, not the rich. The rich are the scapegoats to distract the voting public.

Because isn't that what everyone is arguing? The US Gov't is deficit spending. Instead of forcing the government to cut spending, we want to tax the rich more? The rich aren't the ones voting on budgets and allocating pork spending to their pet projects. I'm sure through backdoor politics they may be, but isn't it the elected official the one causing the ultimate issue? Not all rich people hire lobbyists either.

The rich are pawns. Sacrifice them to keep the masses happily distracted from the reality. When the rich are taxed at 50% and deificit spending continues. What do we do then? We bought ourselves time through distractions.. but what happens when we run out of distractions? What then? That is why I am against raising taxes on the rich. It is nothing more than a distraction.
February 15, 2012 2:19:49 PM

wanamingo said:
Im just saying if the wealthy say they need every single dollar (Esp from Capital Gains) because they are "Creating Jobs" then they should be creating jobs...... Its not illegal just a dick thing to do.

I don't fully understand every nuance of the tax code (I don't own shite, and im 23 ). But I haven't heard a compelling case as to why the top earners in our country need every dollar from investments, especially when its not being reinvested.


If they're making money, the money has to be invested. Not investing that money doesn't serve any purpose. Do you think they have $10 billion sitting in a bank account collecting .02% interest? Not by a long shot, they're investing that money into companies, businesses, ideas, and other things.

Now, yourself and myself, if we came into $10 billion we'd probably let most of it sit in our bank accounts and know we would never need another penny in our lifetime, or our kids' lifetime. But eventually that money will disappear because we didn't invest it. Our spending habits would slowly shrink that $10 billion until it was gone. So after some thought we would invest in and try to make more than what we are spending.
February 15, 2012 5:15:15 PM

First off the idea is not that taxing the rich will be the cure all for the deficit. The idea is that they are not paying what they are legally obligated to by using tax dodges and loopholes. It is a single piece of a plan to get us out of this recession. Its not even really raising taxes when they are suppose to be paying that amount already, its closing loopholes to the current tax code. It was the rich companies and individuals who crushed our housing and financial markets that put us here in the first place (even if people should of known better than to live beyond their means, they were still duped). They need to pay their fair share and not a penny more.

Some millionaires and billionaires make all their money by ONLY investing. By doing this they make more money than the other 99% of the population and pay a lower percentage. There is nothing about this that is fair. Even if you put your money in the bank, the bank will then turn around and use that money to INVEST!! Its how banks make their money, by using your money as their own. Raising the capital gains tax to be somewhat close to the income tax level seems like a good solution.

The whole idea that government spending is whats wrong with our country is completely ludicrous. Taking on debt and then paying it off is a natural cycle of business. Our government is in a way a business. Is our borrowing currently too high? In a way yes it is, but it is not the sole reason to this dilemma we find ourselves in. Taking money away from projects and systems that can create value within our country is a faulty idea. Anyone who has taken any macroeconomics class will know this. However eliminating wasteful or redundant programs is a VERY good idea. One that is incorporated in this plan. There are a lot of spending cuts in this proposal.

As far as the energy policy goes, sticking with oil is ignorant of the future. Natural gas could replace gasoline while hydrogen and electric cars are being developed into viable options. As for domestic energy, nuclear, solar, thermal, hydro, wind and other forms of energy have not even matured as far as the development of their capabilities. If America puts serious effort into the development of these options, I guarantee you that we would be successful. If we develop these technologies it will create jobs and wealth, not to mention that we will be on the way to becoming self sufficient for our energy needs. We can export this technology to other nations and free ourselves of the burden that oil as become. The only reason we are not already there is the constant pressures from big oil companies and their lobbyists to delay the transition. They are making record profits and it would cost them some capital to transition to new forms of energy(which they slowly are already because they know it is inevitable).

You can end a war without victory, korea and vietnam come to mind. Although we wont really be ending it, we will transition more to covert operations which are more cost effective, efficient and safer for our troops
February 15, 2012 7:13:01 PM

A country that makes 2.5 trillion dollars a year is OK in your mind to have 15 trillion in deficit and spending 1.4 trillion additional each year?

The only reason to tax the rich more is that they're not making enough money for the government.

Get a credit card. They charge 15% APR while giving you 0.02% interest on your money they're loaning out.

Given that, we all have the same opportunities. It is completely asinine that you truly believe being in debt is part of the process. If the government wasn't in debt we'd have so much more. Over 50% of our yearly spending goes to paying the existing debt! That's $1.9 trillion dollars. The economy generates $2.5 trillion. Realistically we will hit the point of no return when we hit around 20-21 trillion in debt. At that point the economy will be paying for borrowed money only and all spending will be 100% borrowed money. Do the math. Figure we're spending 1.4 trillion extra per year, we have around 4-5 years before we're tapped out.

If you made $100,000 a year, is it feasible in your mind to carry $600,000 in debt?! The most expensive thing people can afford is a house at 2.5 times their salary: $300k. We are far beyond that mathimatical calculation in government debt.

Do the math. Count the money. The bad part is.. Greek only needed $300 billion for a bailout. That's pocket change the way the US gov't works. We're going to need trillions. What economy out there can bail the US out when we reach that point? We will be bankrupt without a bailout kicker.
February 15, 2012 7:51:35 PM

Well the united states GDP is 15 trillion a year, so its not as bad as you think it is. Considering that is the actual influx of revenue per year and that has nothing to do with the net worth of the entire country as a whole. No need to tax the rich more just make them pay the current tax rate they have been avoiding for awhile. Really there is no other real option to increase revenue and it is the right thing to do. If not lets just tax the middle class into oblivion that way we can return to the lords and peasants, with no middle class.

We do not have the same opportunities as the rich. Money is needed to make money, its that simple. They have better connections and more pull in the government than the common man. Do you think they donate to those super PAC's just out of the good in their heart? Hell no! They do it to further their own causes.

Asinine? Really? Do you have any actual knowledge of our economy other then the information you have been spoon fed from the media? If you have a community college near you and if you can afford it take a couple econ classes, it will be a great experience for you. All high schools should have a mandatory economics class to eliminate the falsehoods associated with the national economy.

You point about the paying of our existing debt is the EXACT reason that a balanced budget with increased revenue and a decrease in spending is the RIGHT solution. Any company that was facing a mountain of debt would not just decrease spending to solve the issue. In business models I have participated in, the best approach was to increase your revenue through new projects and a decrease in expenses through cuts and refinement. In one model my company finished first in the nation with a total debt of $0. This is because a balanced approach is the best solution.
February 15, 2012 8:01:52 PM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
What Paul Ryan has to say about the Obama 2013 budget, and our debt.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/paul-ryan-ask-the-greek...



Give me a link to a reputable economist saying the same thing. Cant' trust what a competing politician says about another one. At the very least tell me exactly what accounting gimmicks he is using. Vague reasons are worthless.
February 15, 2012 9:47:16 PM

johnsonma said:
Well the united states GDP is 15 trillion a year, so its not as bad as you think it is. Considering that is the actual influx of revenue per year and that has nothing to do with the net worth of the entire country as a whole. No need to tax the rich more just make them pay the current tax rate they have been avoiding for awhile. Really there is no other real option to increase revenue and it is the right thing to do. If not lets just tax the middle class into oblivion that way we can return to the lords and peasants, with no middle class.


You're going to cite the GDP!? Do you even really understand how absolutely pointless that number is when dealing with real numbers? The GDP is artifically inflated because of all the printed money and incurred debt from the current administration. If you remove all the recently printed money, you would see that the US economy actually shrunk by just under 2% from the previous year! The whole reason the GDP is even registering as positive is because of the influx of printed money! The money is slowly being released into the economy to artificially prop up that number as an indicator of the country's health.

Your business models are just that. Models for a specific business. The government does not function that way. Seriously, take an econ class and you'll understand that spending more money than you bring in makes you poor. I don't understand how someone cannot understand that when we're spending nearly 50% more year each than you bring in and you have to make payments on that debt, you will nickel and dime yourself broke. We as a country are so far in debt that asking for a TRILLION EXTRA DOLLARS doesn't seem so bad anymore. C'mon, wake up and realize things are bad. Eventually, we will need to raise taxes 50% higher just to maintain debt payments.
February 16, 2012 12:41:33 AM

What I find strange is, while in the recent past, no one cared about how much the rich paid in taxes.
Deficits were manageable, people had jobs, invested their monies, thought it was great.
Now, we have a current government thats spending at 300% the pace of its former admin, and that admin spent heavily as well.
Now, since, and until anyone, and I mean anyone desires to trash the rich all the sudden, and not first and foremost address spending, if only looking at the tail of the snake, and complain about its scales, and not pay attention upon its head, and fangs, ones likely to be bitten
February 16, 2012 11:18:09 AM

Exactly. The rich are nothing more than a distraction.
February 16, 2012 1:19:10 PM

Yes, lets trust a politician with a B.A. in economics to understand the biggest and most complex economy in the history of humankind. I have a B.A. in business admin, which is not economics oriented but I have taken multiple economics classes.
February 16, 2012 1:41:55 PM

I have taken multiple econ classes as well, heavily invest in the market, and direct million dollar projects yearly.

I know plenty of idiots with B.A. degrees. The degree doesn't mean anything, it's what you can do with the knowledge that matters. It is asinine to believe that the US's debt and deificit spending isn't an issue.
February 16, 2012 1:56:46 PM

riser said:
You're going to cite the GDP!? Do you even really understand how absolutely pointless that number is when dealing with real numbers? The GDP is artifically inflated because of all the printed money and incurred debt from the current administration. If you remove all the recently printed money, you would see that the US economy actually shrunk by just under 2% from the previous year! The whole reason the GDP is even registering as positive is because of the influx of printed money! The money is slowly being released into the economy to artificially prop up that number as an indicator of the country's health.

Your business models are just that. Models for a specific business. The government does not function that way. Seriously, take an econ class and you'll understand that spending more money than you bring in makes you poor. I don't understand how someone cannot understand that when we're spending nearly 50% more year each than you bring in and you have to make payments on that debt, you will nickel and dime yourself broke. We as a country are so far in debt that asking for a TRILLION EXTRA DOLLARS doesn't seem so bad anymore. C'mon, wake up and realize things are bad. Eventually, we will need to raise taxes 50% higher just to maintain debt payments.


http://www.measuringworth.com/usgdp/

Go to this site and check out the GDP and the deflated GDP is listed there as well.

Talking about printed money is just some jargon the politicians use to confuse people. In reality the treasury has reduced interest rates to 0% so banks can borrow for free. This is so that banks will start lending again and trust me its working. Major banks like wells fargo and citi are starting to increase their borrowing after getting dominated by credit unions the last couple years(in the loan market). Keeping the interest rate at 0% does lead to an increase in inflation though and you are right to say that the actual GDP would be slightly lower. Also the economy shrank because we were in a recession, that's what happens in a recession, otherwise it wouldn't be a recession.

(Economics) the management of the resources, finances, income, and expenditure of a community, business enterprise, etc.

While the government might not be a business per se, it is very similar. They have revenue from investments, taxes and tariffs to name a few. Then we have our expenses, public projects, education, healthcare, 2 wars in the middle east, the military as a whole and many others. Then we also have our liabilities, the mountain of debt that we have is the best explanation of this. Then we have our equity, which wiki puts at about 300 trillion, but its really hard to judge that figure accurately. Also we have assets like the total value of the housing industry, gold and other precious metals, military vehicles and equipment and much more. The government is the CEO of our economy and right now its like the board is split down the middle so nothing effective can be done.

I don't advocate going after the rich with a pitchfork. I just think that closing the loopholes in our tax code will increase revenue and make our tax system much more efficient and effective. We need increased revenue to attack this deficit on all sides. More money to pay it off and a decrease in needless spending to slow its growth. The one thing you need to be careful about with cutting spending is the long term health of the economy. You need to have money invested into the country so that down the road that money provides opportunities for the people to contribute to the economy. In other words, you need to GROW your economy out of a hole instead of just getting a smaller shovel.


February 16, 2012 2:00:38 PM

riser said:
I have taken multiple econ classes as well, heavily invest in the market, and direct million dollar projects yearly.

I know plenty of idiots with B.A. degrees. The degree doesn't mean anything, it's what you can do with the knowledge that matters. It is asinine to believe that the US's debt and deificit spending isn't an issue.


There you go with the asinine comment again. It is an issue, that I am not debating. I am debating about the best possible solution of the issue, which to me is a balanced approach.
February 16, 2012 7:22:38 PM

Taking on unsustainable debt that produces nothing in return is not a normal part of business.

You cannot count the housing market, military vehicles, etc, as an asset. That's such a lie. Owning a home is a liability until you sell it. I seriously doubt selling the housing market is an option for the US Gov't to pay off debt. Therefore it is not truly an asset. In fact, bailing out the housing market, Fannie/Freddie absolutely proves my point that it is a liability until sold. At the point of sale and no longer having to maintain or care for such object, then it becomes an assst. Sure, on the books you can call it an asset, but we're talking reality vs. what some academia person writes on paper.
February 16, 2012 7:35:30 PM

riser said:
Taking on unsustainable debt that produces nothing in return is not a normal part of business.

You cannot count the housing market, military vehicles, etc, as an asset. That's such a lie. Owning a home is a liability until you sell it. I seriously doubt selling the housing market is an option for the US Gov't to pay off debt. Therefore it is not truly an asset. In fact, bailing out the housing market, Fannie/Freddie absolutely proves my point that it is a liability until sold. At the point of sale and no longer having to maintain or care for such object, then it becomes an assst. Sure, on the books you can call it an asset, but we're talking reality vs. what some academia person writes on paper.



No all the debt that we have taken on has produced nothing in return. That is a veryyyyyy loose statement. The examples of assets were bad, here are some others. Any technology that was developed for the military or other government assets that is then sold to private industry for further use, gps and patents for many other technological advancements come to mind. Assets are the one thing that is extremely different for the government compared to a business though, you are right.. Its more of a financial firm in that respect. Failed regulation caused the housing market to be considered a liability when the net value of the housing industry dropped due to the unprecedented greed of the banking industry.

Since it is mostly you and I debating this issue, I have a question for you riser, as we have navigated away from the issue at hand. What kind of budget/fiscal policy will right the ship? What kinds of policy do you think would successfully navigate us out of this recession and provide a sustainable future?
February 16, 2012 10:55:46 PM

Lets get to it/
Manufacturing is important right?
What does the government manufacture?
Nothing, nada zip.
To add anything beyond zip isnt truly what I think Riser, and certainly myself am referring to.
A business no more tells its customers you must buy our product than government creates things.
I can go and carve a piece of wood, sell it, and make some dosh.
The government tells its taxpayers theyre hiring someone to make one, and the taxpayers paying for it.
In the mean time, only certain government personnel are allowed to use it.
The inflated costs of making such a thing is much higher than the true market value, mainly due to governments demand its within its certain specs, where upon they hired someone at higher than market incentives to create those specs, and write them up, as well as dev them.
Now, when the governments done with this item, itd either throw away, destroyed, kept in mothball status, where it costs monies to oversee such things, where upon they hire someone to watch over them, or theyre sold off at incredible under market pricing.
In the meantime, the elected official who started this whole rigmarole, not only gets credit by and from the sheeples, his hired, and paid for by the taxpayers assistants ramp up and deliver such verbiage for this elected official.
So, since this is best case scenario, since theres actually something there you can touch and use, doesnt it appear to go wisely in this direction?
February 17, 2012 1:42:09 AM

I think we need a group hug.

mingo ... get the camera.

:) 
February 17, 2012 11:04:20 AM

Reynod said:
I think we need a group hug.

mingo ... get the camera.

:) 




Everyone DONT smile and sit still for the next 4 hours.
February 17, 2012 12:02:15 PM

Wheres my pitchfork...
February 17, 2012 2:11:22 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Lets get to it/
Manufacturing is important right?
What does the government manufacture?
Nothing, nada zip.
To add anything beyond zip isnt truly what I think Riser, and certainly myself am referring to.
A business no more tells its customers you must buy our product than government creates things.
I can go and carve a piece of wood, sell it, and make some dosh.
The government tells its taxpayers theyre hiring someone to make one, and the taxpayers paying for it.
In the mean time, only certain government personnel are allowed to use it.
The inflated costs of making such a thing is much higher than the true market value, mainly due to governments demand its within its certain specs, where upon they hired someone at higher than market incentives to create those specs, and write them up, as well as dev them.
Now, when the governments done with this item, itd either throw away, destroyed, kept in mothball status, where it costs monies to oversee such things, where upon they hire someone to watch over them, or theyre sold off at incredible under market pricing.
In the meantime, the elected official who started this whole rigmarole, not only gets credit by and from the sheeples, his hired, and paid for by the taxpayers assistants ramp up and deliver such verbiage for this elected official.
So, since this is best case scenario, since theres actually something there you can touch and use, doesnt it appear to go wisely in this direction?


No entirely sure what direction your going here but as far as hiring someone at higher than market incentives, they usually take the lowest bidder. Now are they the most efficient when it comes to getting their bang for their buck? I would not put money on it.
February 17, 2012 2:23:17 PM

Hmmm
Apparently youve entirely missed it.
Who hires whom?
And what about the rest of the process?
You actually think this is done by the private market, and not government?
The ones who write up the dev, the ones who write up the prints, the standards at which they are expected?
And what of these standards?
Are they comparable? To the open, free market?
And those that do all the writing, are they compensated in the same way?At the same level, including incentives?
As far as lowest bidder, if they dont reach the standards placed by the government, they wont be considered to begin with.
Oh, and by the way, what makes anyone think that the government wont hold any private business to these standards, if and when they fail?
Manufacturing have standards, just like the PCI limitations,as example, and again, the governments are higher
February 17, 2012 5:36:03 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Hmmm
Apparently youve entirely missed it.
Who hires whom?
And what about the rest of the process?
You actually think this is done by the private market, and not government?
The ones who write up the dev, the ones who write up the prints, the standards at which they are expected?
And what of these standards?
Are they comparable? To the open, free market?
And those that do all the writing, are they compensated in the same way?At the same level, including incentives?
As far as lowest bidder, if they dont reach the standards placed by the government, they wont be considered to begin with.
Oh, and by the way, what makes anyone think that the government wont hold any private business to these standards, if and when they fail?
Manufacturing have standards, just like the PCI limitations,as example, and again, the governments are higher


Who hires whom for what?
The rest of the process of what?
Standards in the *free* market = regulation passed by the government.
When something goes to bidding for any company they will have to meet certain standards based on what the company wants out of the bid. Then they will take the most appealing bid once these conditions have been met.

Is there a reason you are speaking in generalities? It is hard to follow your thought process with half statements, it feels like I'm reading a document with half the words blacked out. The standards of manufacturing in the U.S.A are higher than any other country in the world and in fact products from the U.S.A are still widely considered high quality. Even if we don't manufacture that much anymore.
February 17, 2012 9:33:41 PM

I guess the private sectors standards, which arent as high as government standards in the same fields is what Ive been saying.
In other words, what you get from a manufacturer from a store will cost less, and still meet the needs of the consumer.
Government goes beyond this mark, and those that write such standards, again, for the government, are paid more, raise those standards, and those that dev them, and all along the line.
So, yes, the government pays much more for similar products in the private sector.

The reasons why I left it in general terms is that its widely spread, these determinations made in government vs the private sector, cost more, and are resold at low pricing if they can be, or are mothballed at a cost, which is continual, and the more we add, the higher those costs.
The government has to turn to the private sector, and the public then cries foul when they see the high costs of such things, not understanding the costs and the differences.
Pols take advantage of this, and pick their favorite boogeymen. Otherwise, its hoped to not be found, as its usually pork granted as favorites from fellow back scratching congressmen.
The only thing comparable in the private sector is pharmaceuticals, which are heavily regulated, and is a favorite boogeyman of some pols, whove generally created much of the high pricing.
February 18, 2012 1:30:03 AM

It's been 4hrs and I am still sitting watching the screen and smiling ... waiting for the flash.

February 20, 2012 1:14:56 AM

riser said:
Anyone look it over yet? Apparently the President is going to have one hell of a year for vacations and parties...
More money to add to our deficit. Real great work Obama. I hope he will not cut our military by 80% I just read. This is horrific if this happens.
February 20, 2012 5:19:17 AM

Welcome Marv !!!

Glad to see you found your way out of Appleland to visit us down here.

Mind the ceiling is a bit lower here in the dungeon and don't mind the sound of water dripping ...

:) 
February 20, 2012 1:08:53 PM

Yeah "Water Dripping'....... So that's what that sound is. Im surprised anyone else could hear that.

I hope we dramatically cut military spending, end some of our wars maybe get a better standing in the world.

And Bush Jr. took the most vacations of any president I believe.
February 20, 2012 3:32:25 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Lets get to it/
Manufacturing is important right?
What does the government manufacture?
Nothing, nada zip.
To add anything beyond zip isnt truly what I think Riser, and certainly myself am referring to.


You prove how little you know about our government. The government produces/manufactures a lot of things. Much of what the government does is often with private companies, but that isn't always the case. Often, the government has created their own group to manufacture what they want. Look at DARPA and other agencies that created something. Later on, the government can hand it off to the private sector. Look at the Medical field and how many government employees are producing the work to later hand it off to the private sector. This is because the money from the government exceeds that of what private companies have available.

As my original statement, you listed "assets" which were not assets but vital infrastructure to the US. This cannot be an asset, only a liability. Tally up what is truly and asset and you find a long list of liabilities which is dragging this country down.

Reading further into your statements it is clear to me that your knowledge of economics and insight into R&D and manufacturing is severely lacking. In fact, after reading the quote replied, continuing to debate or converse with you on the subject is idiotic to me. :) 
February 20, 2012 8:00:19 PM

Thats not what I meant
Most of those things are specialty items, and costs are even higher.
Im not sure youre responding to me?
Few assets exist, and also was my point.
Sorry, but my response was towards johnsonma, not you, as I generally agree with you.
Not sure how you got that mixed.
My whole point was, expenditures are high, assets low, or non existent.

Reread it from that POV, and you may just get it.
Private sector standards are lower in costs, and generally arent overdone.
Thus, they cost much less.
The less R&D, the lower the quality, the less the costs.

The general reasoning behind such liabilities is, bigger is better, and since no ones standing still, they are investing into other companies, which are always borrowing, all to become a bigger entity.
Some branch off into other ventures, but there again, its bigger is better, and again, greater liabilities.
I think you need to see whom I was addressing
February 21, 2012 1:05:19 AM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
Ummm, Paul Ryan has a B.A. in economics. Do you?

Paul Ryan is a BS artist!
February 21, 2012 7:02:51 AM

wanamingo said:

And Bush Jr. took the most vacations of any president I believe.

True. But you need to look at the vacation costs. Most of his were spent at his home in Texas. He didn't spend millions of our tax dollars in Hawaii or Spain. And he never used a separate aircraft for his dog and a few extra hangers on.

There's plenty to hammer Bush the Younger with - like the Stimulous Part I and the Iraq invasion. But not his vacation costs.
February 21, 2012 12:01:57 PM

Interesting enough, Chicago is where Obama is from and was living when he was elected. Bush was in Texas.

Bush vacationed in Texas where he was living when elected. Obama vacations in Hawaii, where he does not own property, and did not live at the time of election, nor had lived for a long time.

Now you see Michelle taking monthly week long vacations. I would say this administration is absolutely out of touch with the American people. While the word Staycation is already propping up, the President decides he should be a vacation jet-setter.
February 21, 2012 3:24:32 PM

riser said:
You prove how little you know about our government. The government produces/manufactures a lot of things. Much of what the government does is often with private companies, but that isn't always the case. Often, the government has created their own group to manufacture what they want. Look at DARPA and other agencies that created something. Later on, the government can hand it off to the private sector. Look at the Medical field and how many government employees are producing the work to later hand it off to the private sector. This is because the money from the government exceeds that of what private companies have available.

As my original statement, you listed "assets" which were not assets but vital infrastructure to the US. This cannot be an asset, only a liability. Tally up what is truly and asset and you find a long list of liabilities which is dragging this country down.

Reading further into your statements it is clear to me that your knowledge of economics and insight into R&D and manufacturing is severely lacking. In fact, after reading the quote replied, continuing to debate or converse with you on the subject is idiotic to me. :) 



My comparison was between the U.S. governments management of the economy vs. the management of a "business". In the end they are different but there are similarities. The housing market is not a liability because we do not have to make payments on it. That is, of course, if you don't count the bailing out the financial institutions as integrated with the housing markets but I would almost consider those as investments since most of it will be paid back.. This is a unusual circumstance though and I doubt it will happen again in our life times (unless another bush comes along to nose dive the economy "bush jr. jr.").


According to the 2009 report, the U.S. owned $2.7 trillion in assets at the end of 2009, up from only $2.0 trillion a year earlier. Many of these are off-limits (we aren’t going to sell the Capitol or the USS Nimitz), but some raise interesting questions.

For example, we own an impressive portfolio of financial assets:

$540 billion in direct loans (e.g., student loans) and mortgage-backed securities
$240 billion in TARP loans and equity investments (some of which have since be repaid)
$24 billion in a trust that invested in AIG
$65 billion in preferred stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

We also have a tidy amount of gold:

$250+ billion (The official financial statements report the gold as worth $11 billion, but that’s assuming gold is worth $42 per ounce. Gold prices are now about 25 times higher.)

Now when you think about our economy as a whole, you have to view the housing market as an asset. If you don't then you don't understand how accounting works. These are intangible assets however, and we cannot liquidate them to pay bills. If we tallied up all our assets and then considered them liabilities we would be closer to a $200,000,000,000,000 deficit. Luckily, we don't do that because they are not liabilities, and never will be. If they were then, A=L+OE would be completely disregarded and that is just not going to happen.

February 21, 2012 3:55:48 PM

What is on paper doesn't mean squat. How you want to classify anything doesn't mean squat.

When you can't pay your debt, you're SOL regardless of what you classify as an asset.

$240 Billion in TARP loans that are at 0% APR and many are not being repaid. This 'asset' is costing the government money. First, the 0% APR doesn't produce additional money. Second, inflation is going up, meaning that it is a diminishing amount of money against the current rate.

You can play the number games however you want with accounting. This I know very well. In the end, if you want to know how well a company is doing, or the government for that matter, you need only look at the Cash Flow statement.

A business that is spending more than they make will go bankrupt. Wait, we've seen this. The government bailed many of them out. When a government goes bankrupt, what happens? Wait, we've seen this too. Greece is bailed out by the IMF. $170 billion or something. Pocket change.

What happens when the largest government goes bankrupt? Who bails them out?

If you look at the cash flow of the US Goverment you know a few things: The country is poor (spends more than it makes). The country is facing a certain bankruptcy in the near future. 'Assets' are costing more than they will ever produce - this is why I label them liabilties. Use your accounting terms as you want, I'll work within the confines of reality.
February 21, 2012 5:44:24 PM

riser said:
What is on paper doesn't mean squat. How you want to classify anything doesn't mean squat.

When you can't pay your debt, you're SOL regardless of what you classify as an asset.

$240 Billion in TARP loans that are at 0% APR and many are not being repaid. This 'asset' is costing the government money. First, the 0% APR doesn't produce additional money. Second, inflation is going up, meaning that it is a diminishing amount of money against the current rate.

You can play the number games however you want with accounting. This I know very well. In the end, if you want to know how well a company is doing, or the government for that matter, you need only look at the Cash Flow statement.

A business that is spending more than they make will go bankrupt. Wait, we've seen this. The government bailed many of them out. When a government goes bankrupt, what happens? Wait, we've seen this too. Greece is bailed out by the IMF. $170 billion or something. Pocket change.

What happens when the largest government goes bankrupt? Who bails them out?

If you look at the cash flow of the US Goverment you know a few things: The country is poor (spends more than it makes). The country is facing a certain bankruptcy in the near future. 'Assets' are costing more than they will ever produce - this is why I label them liabilties. Use your accounting terms as you want, I'll work within the confines of reality.


There is much more that goes into judging whether a country is poor or not other than the budget surplus or deficit. Yes, we have a huge deficit, and its not a good thing. It is mostly due to the recession which caused the need for a influx in money to stave off what could have been much worse. It is not the end of the world however, as long as we manage it and set the groundwork to grow from it.

Now that we have established the principle that the governments management of its economy is similar to the management of a business we can look at this from a different perspective. What must a company do to get itself out of debt? It either expands it operations to create new streams of revenue or it cuts costs and slims down. In the case of the government we can do both, cut costs, and get some badly needed revenue by fixing the tax code. This is a solid plan and I don't understand why people get so defensive about it. It is the best solution to the problem that is our deficit. When the governments deficit is under control then our companies will be more confident about doing business in the United States and we will be that much closer to putting the recession behind us.

By the way fixing our tax code will send a message to the world that we will pay our debts which is pretty good thing too. Maybe we can get our triple AAA rating back.
February 21, 2012 6:04:27 PM

I generally have a very open mind and can understand concepts very well. What you propose I cannot understand.

10% of the wealthiest in the US pay 70% of the Federal Budget. 49.5% of tax payers pay no tax at all. 3% comes from the remaining population. The remainder is borrowed.

The US Gov't has to figure out how to balance over a one trillion dollar deficit. Fixing the tax code wouldn't resolve this issue in anyway. While it is desperately needed it is a considerable small part to the problem. If the government were to cut $500 billion in spending a year, they would still need to raise revenue streams by at least 20% to break even!

By October 15th it is estimated we will have reached our borrowing limit of $16.3 trillion dollars. Given today's rate, next year by October 15th we'll be at $17.5 TRILLION in debt.

Cutting a trillion dollars from the deficit spending is going to have a huge impact across the country. Millions of people won't receive their entitlement funds. Social security was set to go broke in 2018 - now a 2% decrease in funding it will advance that timeline. Millions of Americans who are unemployed are falling off Unemployment and switching to Disability - Social Security Disability, furthering the decline of FDR's safety net.

If our current administration wins this coming election, all hope for this country is lost. If another candidate wins, I still have little hope in this country for recovery.

We spending almost 4 trillion a year on the budget. We only generate 2.5-2.7 trillion a year. Cutting a trillion.. wow. That's a major impact. It is necessary though.

Heck, look at the USSR. They tried it, they fell apart. The US had the capabilities then. Today, we do not. Russia is stepping up their defense spending. Something breaks out in the middle east, Russia sides with them.. and the cold war is back on and we're in a position that we can't possibly expect to win.
February 21, 2012 8:28:11 PM

riser said:
I generally have a very open mind and can understand concepts very well. What you propose I cannot understand.

10% of the wealthiest in the US pay 70% of the Federal Budget. 49.5% of tax payers pay no tax at all. 3% comes from the remaining population. The remainder is borrowed.

The US Gov't has to figure out how to balance over a one trillion dollar deficit. Fixing the tax code wouldn't resolve this issue in anyway. While it is desperately needed it is a considerable small part to the problem. If the government were to cut $500 billion in spending a year, they would still need to raise revenue streams by at least 20% to break even!

By October 15th it is estimated we will have reached our borrowing limit of $16.3 trillion dollars. Given today's rate, next year by October 15th we'll be at $17.5 TRILLION in debt.

Cutting a trillion dollars from the deficit spending is going to have a huge impact across the country. Millions of people won't receive their entitlement funds. Social security was set to go broke in 2018 - now a 2% decrease in funding it will advance that timeline. Millions of Americans who are unemployed are falling off Unemployment and switching to Disability - Social Security Disability, furthering the decline of FDR's safety net.

If our current administration wins this coming election, all hope for this country is lost. If another candidate wins, I still have little hope in this country for recovery.

We spending almost 4 trillion a year on the budget. We only generate 2.5-2.7 trillion a year. Cutting a trillion.. wow. That's a major impact. It is necessary though.

Heck, look at the USSR. They tried it, they fell apart. The US had the capabilities then. Today, we do not. Russia is stepping up their defense spending. Something breaks out in the middle east, Russia sides with them.. and the cold war is back on and we're in a position that we can't possibly expect to win.


Numbers on paper don't mean squat! Just kidding, they do.

You cannot understand what I propose? Fix any and all loopholes in the tax code to increase "cash flow". Reduce the budget by as much as possible with out stifling the economic recovery. After that we will have a better picture at what we will need to do to finish closing that gap. This is not an insurmountable problem, only 11 years ago we were in a budget surplus.

The rich will continue to live their lives being rich even if they give the government some more money. One of the first things bush did when he came into office was give them a tax break to help pay back people for his campaign. Looking back at his disastrous economic policy and seeing that, the first step towards the downward spiral of our economy, kind of puts it in perspective. I would also suggest raising taxes on the middle class once the unemployment drops below 7%. That will never happen of course but it would be a huge boost to our budget. You cannot raise taxes on them until the economy is recovered somewhat or it will not be able to absorb the hit it will take from this.

Just to be clear riser, you do agree with closing that tax holes but think that it is insignificant compared to the amount of budget cuts we need to make, correct?
February 22, 2012 11:54:41 AM

Closing the loopholes doesn't accomplish anything. That's called a tax increase! Those loopholes were supposed to be there to encourage growth in certain economic sectors!

You essentially propose a tax increase. Here's how it works in the UK:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/cons...

49.5% of Americans don't pay income tax. The top 10% pay *****70%***** of the US Federal Budget!

In fact, this year I don't think I'll end up paying a dime in taxes because I have a lot of write offs.

We are at a point where we need slash spending, bite the bullet, and in a few short years we'll be adjusted and capable of moving forward again.
February 22, 2012 12:12:19 PM

What?
We cant live on the bubble anymore?
!