AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (128 comments)

  1. How about letting people quit the entitlement state? Pretty sure at least half of my generation would opt out if given the opportunity. In fact I would PAY a portion of my payroll taxes in exchange for formally quitting Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid/etc. That would reduce a big chunk of unfunded future liabilities as well as slowly start dismantling America’s welfare state. Of course it wouldn’t help with the current crop of beneficiaries, but that’s an untenable situation regardless.

    1. Todd Mason

      Bill Clinton was working on individual SS accounts at the end of his second term, but Republicans thought Monica Lewinsky was more important. Dubya was going to get around to individual accounts right after his tax cuts ignited an entrepreneural revolution. The facts are that starting prepaid SS at the same time as the current pay-as-you-go system — funding two systems — is horrendously expensive, almost impossible today given the state of the post-Dubya economy.
      But here’s the thing. Since 1984, a big chunk of my FICA taxes have been turned over to the General Fund in exchange for paper — $2.7 million at present, or enough to sustain current benefits for 20 years. So who is being scammed here, you, in a Ponzi scheme, paying for benefits you will never receive; me, for PREPAYING benefits you want to take away; or the “job creators” who took our money and gave us bupkis in return?

      1. So who is being scammed here, you, in a Ponzi scheme, paying for benefits you will never receive;…

        Clearly he is being scammed.

        me, for PREPAYING benefits you want to take away;…

        It is a pay as you go scheme. There are no prepayments. If you look at the legislation you are entitled to whatever Congress says you are.

        or the “job creators” who took our money and gave us bupkis in return?

        Employers were told that they had to fund benefits for current retirees. Their contributions was just the cost of doing business.

        1. Todd Mason

          If we get what Congress says then tom Elliott has no complaint either. (Hint: I think he does.)
          You know what I mean by “job creators.” Bush slashed taxes twice. The workforce when he took office was 132.47m. When left: 132.45m. Might as well have stacked up that pump prime money in the parking lot and set it afire.

          1. I think that Tom is asking to opt out. That is very different than the people who accepted the pay as you go scheme hoping that they would get what is coming to them. (And they will get it good and hard.)

            Bush’s problem was the massive increase in spending. Not only did he buy into the Gingrich shale of SS Part D and give a lot to the pharma sector but he spent money to police Europe, Japan, Korea, and most of the world even as the Chinese went in and purchased assets in the very countries that the US was supposedly protecting. He was a horrible president yet you guys figured out how to elect someone who is just as bad. Unless the political system is fixed what used to be the greatest country in the world will go the way of Britain. That will be a very sad event.

          2. Todd Mason

            I would have opted out too. Why does tom elliott’s lack of options count and mine doesn’t, except to say that my income story is over while tom’s has many years to run?
            And why wouldn’t we suspect that Ryan would also cut taxes and then give away the store to his military- / healthcare-industrial-complex buds?

            You spelled it “favour” in a previous post. You’re British?

          3. I would have opted out too. Why does tom elliott’s lack of options count and mine doesn’t, except to say that my income story is over while tom’s has many years to run?

            They both count. But he seems to be asking to opt out, which should be his right. You haven’t but if you are willing to opt out you should too.

            And why wouldn’t we suspect that Ryan would also cut taxes and then give away the store to his military- / healthcare-industrial-complex buds?

            I am not assuming that at all. There is no evidence that Ryan is really concerned about material spending so I would not give him the benefit of doubt that most Republicans give him. Ron Paul had no problem coming up with material cuts. Why didn’t Paul Ryan?

            You spelled it “favour” in a previous post. You’re British?

            Canadian. We tend to use the Queen’s English spelling but are flexible, particularly when our spell checkers give us grief.

      2. “Bill Clinton was working on individual SS accounts at the end of his second term, but Republicans thought Monica Lewinsky was more important.”

        Actually, Bill Clinton is the one who thought Monica was more important. The idea that he expended any effort on individual SS accounts is laughable, on par with all his phony proclamations that he was consumed with killing bin Laden.

        1. Todd Mason

          This was one in a series of town hall meetings on privatizing social security convened by Clinton, which ranks in my view as “any effort.” http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/speeches/1012804/remarks-national-forum-social-security-albuquerque-new-mexico Show me a similar campaign by Dubya. If we impeached/recalled/expelled horndog politicians of either stripe, govt would cease operating.

          1. Oh, he gave a couple speeches? Fantastic! That and 50 cents will get you a pack of gum. Clinton is remembered for alot of things: tax hikes, a phony surplus, Monica, crying on que, Whitewater, taking credit for dot com/Y2k boom. Nobody remembers him expending any capital on behalf of SS reform(other than raising taxes on SS benefits.)

            “Show me a similar campaign by Dubya.”

            How is it possible you missed Bush’s 2nd term efforts to partially privatize SS?? It was strangled in the crib by Democrats.

        2. re: individual SS accounts –

          self-directed IRAs?

          even Chile continued to have people pay into BOTH the old and new accounts as they transitioned, right?

          but in Chile as well as Singapore – the key is that the private SS accounts are MANDATORY not optional.

          there is no “opt out” …. you have to pay into a fund for your eventual retirement – so that others will not end up paying for you when you retire.

          and I’d be fine with that idea – as long as it was mandatory.

          but when Clinton and Bush were working on privatized SS, both assumed the stock market would continue to perform and events have proven that there is no guarantee there either. Many, many “voluntary” 401Ks have been seriously degraded.. to the point where they don’t provide what they were projected to provide by the prospective retirement date. That could happen again.

          the reason SS “works” is that it is a mandatory insurance annuity. It has a huge pool of people and they pay you benefits only as long as you live – as opposed to heirs getting what is “left”.

          If you had your own IRA – when you got ready to retire, you could also buy an annuity that would work the same way. They’d guarantee to pay you a certain amount for as long as you lived – even if you outlived your initial investment but on the other hand if you died early, they keep the balance and that allows them to pay out more than if you were just trying to live on it yourself.

          That’s why most annuities are known as insurance. You’re basically buying an insurance product.

          1. RonRonDoRon

            “the reason SS “works” is that it is a mandatory insurance annuity”

            Any insurance annuity with an actuarial situation similar to SS would be shut down by whatever insurance regulator had authority.

    2. That’s an interesting idea, but even if you lost every dime you had in some sort of financial disaster, the government wouldn’t let you starve in the street.

      It’s also worth remembering that you’re paying for government health care to keep poor people from contracting some sort of plague, and spreading it throughout the city or town where you live. Modern health care only prevents the spread of disease if it is available.

      1. That’s an interesting idea, but even if you lost every dime you had in some sort of financial disaster, the government wouldn’t let you starve in the street.

        People didn’t starve before. The US had a number of mutual societies, fraternal organizations, and charities that looked after the less fortunate. You made contributions and if things went badly for you the organization that you belonged to gave you payments that you were entitled to.

        It’s also worth remembering that you’re paying for government health care to keep poor people from contracting some sort of plague, and spreading it throughout the city or town where you live. Modern health care only prevents the spread of disease if it is available.

        Nonsense. Doctors run all kinds of tests that are unnecessary and people demand stuff that they would not want if they had to pay for it on their own. To see the difference look at the huge productivity increases in optometry and plastic surgery, areas that are not covered by government spending.

        1. Todd Mason

          Hurricane Katrina established two facts about Bush 41’s thousand points of light. No. 1 Televangelist Jerry Falwell does not have heiocopters. No. 2 Never trust important govt functions to people who view govt with contempt.

          The point about healthcare is that hospitals today cannot turn away uninsured who have medical emergencies, and thus docs meet them in the worst circumstances: deathly ill in the ER, The hospitals then shift those costs and sic bill collectors on the uninsured, collecting fees that are up to 10 times higher than those negotiated by insurers. Result: six of 10 bankruptcies in the US are precipitated by medical bills. Apparently, Ryan and Vangel think that ratio is too low.

          1. Hurricane Katrina established two facts about Bush 41′s thousand points of light. No. 1 Televangelist Jerry Falwell does not have heiocopters. No. 2 Never trust important govt functions to people who view govt with contempt.

            Why would government have many ‘important’ functions to begin with? Where in the Constitution does it say that the federal government will take money from all taxpayers to bail out those that have built homes on flood plains while refusing to insure them?

            The point about healthcare is that hospitals today cannot turn away uninsured who have medical emergencies, and thus docs meet them in the worst circumstances: deathly ill in the ER,…

            Most emergency situations are not very serious at all. I would argue that more than 90% of the people there have minor issues that do not even require a doctor. And I recall that you did not have a national healthcare system that meddled much as late as the 1960s. Poor people still got medical care and saw doctors. Costs were reasonable and many doctors usually volunteered a few days a month in charity clinics and hospitals to look after patients that could not afford payment.

            The hospitals then shift those costs and sic bill collectors on the uninsured, collecting fees that are up to 10 times higher than those negotiated by insurers. Result: six of 10 bankruptcies in the US are precipitated by medical bills. Apparently, Ryan and Vangel think that ratio is too low.

            The claim that, “six of 10 bankruptcies in the US are precipitated by medical bills,” is nonsense. People go bankrupt because they have little in savings and expect government to look after them if something goes bad. Why was it that the statement, “six of 10 bankruptcies in the US are precipitated by medical bills,” was not true when the government stayed out of the medical field in the 1950s and 1960s? And if you have free access via the emergency room system why declare bankruptcy at all?

          2. re: ” And if you have free access via the emergency room system why declare bankruptcy at all?”

            because the hospital DOES send you a bill – and a bill collector – and you then file bankruptcy so the hospital can then seek other means to recover their costs.

            re: the Constitution and unenumerated things.

            1. no dollar amount on defense either and I doubt seriously they would have signed off on 1T spent on defense when your revenues are 1.3T.

            2. – the Constitution did not say you could not spend on other things

            3. – the Constitution set up an elected govt to decide what to spend on… to “promote the general welfare”.

        2. Todd Mason

          Hurricane Katrina established two facts about Bush 41’s thousand points of light. No. 1 Televangelist Jerry Falwell does not have helocopters. No. 2 Never trust important govt functions to people who view govt with contempt.

          The problem with healthcare is that hospitals today cannot turn away uninsured who have medical emergencies, and thus docs meet them in the worst circumstances: deathly ill in the ER, The hospitals then shift those costs and sic bill collectors on the uninsured, collecting fees that are up to 10 times higher than those negotiated by insurers. Result: six of 10 bankruptcies in the US are precipitated by medical bills. Apparently, Ryan and Vangel think that ratio is too low.

          1. “2. – the Constitution did not say you could not spend on other things”

            See the 10th Amendment.

            “3. – the Constitution set up an elected govt to decide what to spend on… to “promote the general welfare”.

            And then it goes on to explicitly enumerate what that means.

            “If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare,
            and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare,
            they may take the care of religion into their own hands;
            they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish
            and pay them out of their public treasury;
            they may take into their own hands the education of children,
            establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union;
            they may assume the provision of the poor;
            they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads;
            in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation
            down to the most minute object of police,
            would be thrown under the power of Congress…. Were the power
            of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for,
            it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature
            of the limited Government established by the people of America.”
            ~James Madison

          2. Todd Mason

            The 10th amendment says nothing of the sort. While James Madison did utter your quote, he lived in a time when states’ rights had a much different spin, namely that Virginia allowed him to enslave people while next door Pa. did not. (A slave was considered free after residing for 6 months in Pa, obliging Washington during his presidency to send his cook back to Va at regular intervals.)

          3. “The 10th amendment says nothing of the sort.”

            Yes it does.

            “While James Madison did utter your quote, he lived in a time when blah, blah, blah…”

            That’s all that needs to be said. The original intent of the term “general welfare” is absolutely not what Larry claimed. You can claim the Constitution is not relevant, but don’t tell me a stream of piss is a gentle rain.

          4. Todd Mason

            The constitution is relevant and what makes us unique. But the 10th amendment in its entirety says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

            Madison’s individual views are nowhere to be found.

            The constitution establishes the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of what’s constitutional and what’s not. So for starters how about some citations rather than rants from the World According to Paul.

          5. “But the 10th amendment in its entirety says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

            Yes. Article 1 Section 8-9 spelled out the enumerated powers. Exactly my point.

          6. so…some of the same folks who signed the Constitution went ahead and did this in the fifth Congress?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Act_for_the_relief_of_sick_and_disabled_seamen

            kinda set a precedent early on, eh?

  2. If he voucherizes Medicare and block grants MedicAid why does it still take until 2043 for the debt to start to decline?

    at not really mentioned is how big the debt will be at that point. Will it be 50Trillion? what’s the number?

    What Ryan is proving is two things:

    1. – that most of the GOP is not really interested in trying to balance the budget because they know you can’t do it in a decade or less without increasing revenues and cutting DOD also.

    2. – the GOP are not fiscal conservatives. They are apparently just fine with decades of deficits and debts to pass on to those kids they keep saying we are going to pass debt to… as long as their supply-side ideology is maintained.

    we simply cannot afford the National Defense we have right now unless we increase revenues to pay for it.

    We currently take in about 1.3T total in tax revenues and we are spending close to 1T on National defense which is DOD plus Homeland Security, Va, NASA, etc.

    these are not entitlements – they are spending for Defense-related things.

    there is no way we can balance the budget by just voucherizing Medicare and block-granting MedicAid.

    it’s totally bizarre that this is the “plan”.

    all along the GOP has said they want to cut spending. How many of them have said they want to balance the budget?

    Just Ryan as far as I know and look at his “plan”.

    that’s not a plan.. that’s a disaster How big will the debt be by the time it turns around?

    1. “We currently take in about 1.3T total in tax revenues and we are spending close to 1T on National defense which is DOD plus Homeland Security, Va, NASA, etc.”

      You can keep telling this 1.3 revenues lie, but you can’t make anyone believe it.

      “that’s not a plan.. that’s a disaster How big will the debt be by the time it turns around?”

      Smaller than what your boyfriend Barack is offering. He has no plan, yet not a word of criticism will ever pass Larry’s lips.

      1. You can keep telling this 1.3 revenues lie, but you can’t make anyone believe it.

        OK. How much does the government collect in individual income tax?

        1. He said “total tax revenues.” He repeatedly claims all that loot from FICA and Medicare tax is hands off. We’re all just taxpaying slaves so he can spend his golden years undisturbed.

          1. re: ” He said “total tax revenues.” He repeatedly claims all that loot from FICA and Medicare tax is hands off. We’re all just taxpaying slaves so he can spend his golden years undisturbed.”

            well .. unless or until Congress says otherwise. Are we talking about realities here or your wet dreams?

          2. Larry is an idiot who got careless. The point that he makes is a valid one that has been repeated by me and others many times on this site. Personal income tax comes out to around $1.3 trillion. If you add up all of the funding for military related activities you have a number that comes out to around $1 trillion. The fact that supposed conservatives claim that this is acceptable and that military spending can’t be touched is treasonous in my view because that spending will do more damage to the country than any external enemy is likely to. The Democrats and their welfare state spending are just as treasonous. What the country needs are reasonable men and women in Congress as well as the Executive and Judicial branches. From what I can see it does not because a poorly educated electorate is ignorant of the country’s history and philosophy.

            Larry is a great example of how terrible the education system is. But so are many of the self proclaimed conservatives who attack him from the right.

          3. re: ” Larry is a great example of how terrible the education system is. But so are many of the self proclaimed conservatives who attack him from the right.”

            he seems to be one of the few here who actually looks at the numbers, though.. instead of sucking up mindless propaganda.

            that’s the problem here. We got a bunch of folks including apparently GOP congressman who don’t look at real numbers…

          4. Thank you for proving my point that you are an idiot. Whatever happened to all the information Ron sent you about how insurance works? And about how SS works?

          5. ” Thank you for proving my point that you are an idiot. Whatever happened to all the information Ron sent you about how insurance works? And about how SS works?”

            what ROn “sent” was Grade A propaganda from known propaganda sites.

            I prefer CBO data… that’s real and authoritative.

            SS works exactly as I’m telling you and I have the authoritative links to substantiate it just as I do with the budget numbers.

            if ya’ll weren’t so busy playing silly ad hominem games you might actually realize you’ve been sucking on propaganda weenies too long.

          6. “well .. unless or until Congress says otherwise. Are we talking about realities here or your wet dreams?”

            The reality is your monthly checks are all part of the same monetary system. If the whole thing collapses in the next few years, as seems likely, you are going to be screwed along with me. Somehow, you think only the people who work are going to take it in the a**.

            But I get that you greedy geezers have a powerful lobby.
            All the more reason it will probably collapse.

          7. re: ” The reality is your monthly checks are all part of the same monetary system. If the whole thing collapses in the next few years, as seems likely, you are going to be screwed along with me. Somehow, you think only the people who work are going to take it in the a**. ”

            let’s see.. did you miss the part where I agreed with you that we’d all have to take a haircut?

            “But I get that you greedy geezers have a powerful lobby.”

            are you talking about all the DOD lobby folk?

            “All the more reason it will probably collapse.”

            not if folks like you are truly serious about the problem.

            as long as you pretend the problem is just entitlements, we WILL be doomed.

            we have 1.3T in revenues. You tell me what percent of that should be spent on National Defense.

            OR you tell me we need to cut DOD so that it’s no more than 50% of that number OR you agree that without more revenues, it’s unsustainable.

            you said.. everyone has to take a haircut – and I agree – and it includes DOD and National Defense – including active duty and retired.

            and I suppose you realize that the military retirees also receive SS and Medicare, right?

          8. “Larry is an idiot who got careless.”

            He’s an idiot, but he wasn’t being careless. He sincerely believes all that FICA and Medicare money is hands off, it’s all for him and his blue haired buddies to frolick in the sun.

            “The fact that supposed conservatives claim that this is acceptable and that military spending can’t be touched is treasonous in my view because that spending will do more damage to the country than any external enemy is likely to.”

            There are some conservatives who claim this, but most of the ones I read know we have to cut back. That’s a far cry from your argument that we should basically fighting with sticks.

          9. “He sincerely believes all that FICA and Medicare money is hands off, it’s all for him and his blue haired buddies to frolick in the sun.”

            nope. I believe the reality. and if the reality changes, I’ll believe that also but right now this is just foolishness and you boys know it.

            “There are some conservatives who claim this, but most of the ones I read know we have to cut back. That’s a far cry from your argument that we should basically fighting with sticks.”

            not cut – how much? because ultimately we have to use real numbers if we really want to zero the deficit and buy down the debt.

            it’s not good enough to say “we need to cut… then drop it”.

            that’s the problem.

        2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:U.S._Federal_Receipts_-_FY_2007.png

          but there are quite a few sources for this.. it’s the correct number…

          1. You are reckless. The number is the total INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX REVENUE, not total tax revenue. Businesses pay taxes also and there are other taxes that are collected.

          2. re: the taxes. look at the tables. It’s the total of individual and corporate income taxes. The other taxes are things like the Federal gas tax and airport taxes and others that are dedicated to specific things not general revenues.

            this is the reality guy. People are either blissfully unaware of it and just ignore it but it’s the awful truth.

          3. It isn’t reality Larry. There is more than $1.3 trillion in tax revenue. The number you are looking at is individual income tax.

  3. Ryan and McCarthy are two guys serious about debt reduction as an issue and not just as a talking point. If the GOP as a party is just as serious it will follow Ryan’s lead and accelerate plans for Medicare reform. After all, if the national debt really is an unfolding crisis, shouldn’t it begin to be solved sooner rather than later?

    LOL…Ryan was never serious about cutting anything. Had he been serious he would have proposed both Medicare/SS and defense spending cuts. He didn’t and only proposed a budget that would cut from a baseline but would lead to more spending in the future. The GOP is no more credible on this issue than the Democrats. It is about time for new voices and new leadership to get serious about the future.

    1. Ryan is helping the GOP take a few important first steps. Ryan is attempting to model plans based on what can pass amongst his party. Hence why some of the assumptions seem a little silly, and unrealistic.

      1. Ryan is helping the GOP take a few important first steps. Ryan is attempting to model plans based on what can pass amongst his party. Hence why some of the assumptions seem a little silly, and unrealistic.

        What steps? His plan had no material cuts in spending. You can’t fix anything unless you are serious about cutting everything.

        1. what Ryans budget really proves is that even if you whack entitlements.. there is so much other non-entitlement spending that it will take literally decades to balance and even then it’s based on pie-in-sky supply-side theory.

          I’m convinced this is why most GOP only talks about “cutting spending” without really talking specifics.

          Give Ryan credit – but not a lot – just more than the rest of the GOP.

          But if someone wants to see a real balanced budget in the next decade – it’s not the Ryan budget and it’s not the GOP ” cut spending” approach.

          it cannot be done without more revenues.

          1. Cameron

            Sir, I am struck by your dismissal of supply-side economics as a “pie-in-sky” theory. Surely allowing citizens to keep more of their own money so that they can spend it efficiently on the private sector is a good thing that promotes growth? The President spent nearly a trillion on Keynesian stimulus that was supposed to get us back to prosperity by now. Even under the dubious metric of jobs saved or created, it is still a dismal record. Of course, if the 20 million jobs that were created as a result of the Reagan tax cuts weren’t good enough then I can see that we won’t be able to debate this.

          2. re: ” Sir, I am struck by your dismissal of supply-side economics as a “pie-in-sky” theory. Surely allowing citizens to keep more of their own money so that they can spend it efficiently on the private sector is a good thing that promotes growth?”

            I totally agree – as long as you don’t end up with a chronic structural deficit that no one will own.

            “The President spent nearly a trillion on Keynesian stimulus that was supposed to get us back to prosperity by now. Even under the dubious metric of jobs saved or created, it is still a dismal record. Of course, if the 20 million jobs that were created as a result of the Reagan tax cuts weren’t good enough then I can see that we won’t be able to debate this.”

            The POTUS got CONGRESS to approve stimulus which in the end proved to be far less than needed because they woefully underestimated the depth of the recession.

            but fair is fair, he did spend a trillion…

            the problem with supply side is that it disconnects itself from aggregate demand – at best – and at worst it believes that lower taxes and less regulation will lead to more aggregate demand “somehow” but there is, as far as I know – no real regime of “you cut this much and you get this kind of tax revenues” and so when you cut taxes and tax revenues fall below spending – like happened in 2006 on – how do you fix that?

            that’s my problem with supply side. It seems to be an ideology without any practical way of dealing with the revenues and spending and if a deficit results – all the supply-siders do is advocate for more tax cuts – when we’re already deep in the hole.

          3. “I’m convinced this is why most GOP only talks about “cutting spending” without really talking specifics.”

            Well, at least they are standing firm so far on the sequester while your boyfriend is wailing on about how a tiny sliver of cuts will cause armageddon.

            Which reminds me once again about your credibility. You spent last yr chortling about your hero’s support of the sequester while the GOP’s knees were trembling at the prospect. Here’s one of your comments about Ryan:

            “that “plan” balanced the budget?

            hahahahahbhbhahahahh

            it was hypocrisy personified!

            the man is a grade A HYPOCRITE!

            Show him the budget sequester or similar and he runs screaming to hide in the closet.”

          4. re: the sequester. I’m fine with it Paul. It’s dumb but it’s more effective than the alternative.

          5. “re: the sequester. I’m fine with it Paul. It’s dumb but it’s more effective than the alternative.”

            Oh, now you’re back to supporting it.

            Meanwhile, your boyfriend and the Democrats threw a weeklong temper tanturm over it.

            But you only can muster up a critique for the GOP.

    2. ” It is about time for new voices and new leadership to get serious about the future.”

      And this “new voices and new leadership’ will get exactly nowhere with the uninformed, corrupt American people who are not even remotely serious about fiscal responsibility. They’re alot like Larry who claims he wants deficit reduction, just keep your grubby hands off his monthly government checks. Tax somebody else instead.

      1. And this “new voices and new leadership’ will get exactly nowhere with the uninformed, corrupt American people who are not even remotely serious about fiscal responsibility. They’re alot like Larry who claims he wants deficit reduction, just keep your grubby hands off his monthly government checks. Tax somebody else instead.

        So what? Do you compromise principles in the hope that you fool people into voting for you? Do you act as Mitt did and point whichever way the wind is blowing? How did that work out?

        1. “So what? Do you compromise principles in the hope that you fool people into voting for you? Do you act as Mitt did and point whichever way the wind is blowing? How did that work out?”

          How did it work out for Ron Paul? Nobody is pure. Ron Paul made sure his district was perpetually up to their ears in pork. He voted for the war in Afghanistan in order to ensure his reelection.

          1. How did it work out for Ron Paul? Nobody is pure. Ron Paul made sure his district was perpetually up to their ears in pork. He voted for the war in Afghanistan in order to ensure his reelection.

            You forget that Mitt ran because he wanted power. Ron Paul ran because he wanted to curb the use of power. I would argue that standing firm on principle worked out much better for Dr. Paul than Mitt’s strategy to abandon principle for popularity did for Mitt and the GOP.

            In his ‘retirement’ Dr Paul has worked on a new radio show and is setting up a foreign policy institute that will argue for commercial relations with all and against entangling alliances and military interventionism abroad. He keeps going to campuses to spread the ideas for liberty and attracts thousands of people to those speeches. (Romney could not draw flies.) Dr Paul also has an upcoming book about how to fix the education system and keeps writing commentaries on economics and foreign policy.

            His ideas are winning converts and will prevail in the end because they are consistent and correct. Even when his opponents on the left do not agree with him they respect his consistency and give his ideas a hearing. He has pushed them to question Obama’s role as a great decider as he acts as judge, jury, and executioner in killing Americans without trial or invading the privacy of individuals. The GOP has no say in the matter because it never said a word when Bush was in the role of the Great Decider and chose to curtail your civil liberties.

          2. How did it work out for Ron Paul? Nobody is pure. Ron Paul made sure his district was perpetually up to their ears in pork. He voted for the war in Afghanistan in order to ensure his reelection.

            Bullsh!t. Ron Paul stood alone in his opposition to Iraq because he did not see any evidence that Saddam was involved in 9/11. For that the GOP tried to run candidates against him but had no chance because the people in his district trusted him more than they trusted the party.

            As for earmarks, all spending should be earmarked. Why should bureaucrats in Washington decide what is to be spent where. IF all members of Congress did the same thing as Dr. Paul there would be no debt and no deficit because the spending would be in check. As it is the GOP wants to increase military spending even though it takes up around 70% of total income tax revenue.

            What you boys need are mirrors and better sight. You clearly are not what you pretend to be or what you think you are.

          3. “You forget that Mitt ran because he wanted power.”

            Oh, I didn’t realize you can read minds. You do have proof this was his sole motivation, don’t you?

            “Ron Paul stood alone in his opposition to Iraq because he did not see any evidence that Saddam was involved in 9/11″

            And he voted for war in Afghanistan like the opportunist, chickenhawk he is.

            “As for earmarks, all spending should be earmarked”

            I just love how you try to turn pork into some kind of virtue because your master Ron Paul engaged it in so recklessly.

            Talk about compromising on principle. Look in the mirror, Vange.

          4. Oh, I didn’t realize you can read minds. You do have proof this was his sole motivation, don’t you?

            I have proof that he certainly had no consistent convictions. Take that away and why else would he be running for office?

            And he voted for war in Afghanistan like the opportunist, chickenhawk he is.

            Actually, no. He voted because the Taliban did have something to do with protecting al Qaeda. But as I said, if he was doing it for political purposes, as everyone else who voted for the wars did, he would have voted to go into Iraq. He didn’t. The GOP went after him but he beat the party at its own game. And when he stood up to the mayor of 9/11, Rudy Giuliani, at the GOP debates he inspired a strong antiwar movement that attracted many young people and made it impossible for the GOP to win the White House unless it chose a candidate who stood for peace.

            I just love how you try to turn pork into some kind of virtue because your master Ron Paul engaged it in so recklessly.

            Talk about compromising on principle. Look in the mirror, Vange.

            Nonsense. First of all, I am an anarchist. That means that I favour small government. To me Dr. Paul is far too statist. That said, if I accepted the Constitution as legitimate I would have to conclude that almost all spending decisions should be made by Congress, not at the Oval Office. That would mean that all spending would be specifically earmarked.

          5. re: ” I am an anarchist” … and also a Canadian with universal health care and a god-awful VAT?

          6. There are many anarchists in Canada Larry. Probably more as a percentage of the population than in your country.

          7. how do the anarchists in Canada feel about the Canadian govt and the VAT and Canadian health care, the Canadian budget, and Canadian entitlements including Canadian Social Security?

          8. “I have proof that he certainly had no consistent convictions. Take that away and why else would he be running for office?”

            To try and save America from the Obama disaster. Romney flip-flopped alot, as all politicians do, but I see nothing of lust for power and control exhibited by Obama.

            “Actually, no. He voted because the Taliban did have something to do with protecting al Qaeda. But as I said, if he was doing it for political purposes, as everyone else who voted for the wars did, he would have voted to go into Iraq.”

            Bullshit. He knew he would have been hung out to dry and went against his convictions:

            http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/26/fmr-staffer-ron-paul-planned-no-vote-for-afghanistan-invasion-staff-threatened-mutiny/

            Again, this also makes him a chickenhawk by the Vange standard.

            ” And when he stood up to the mayor of 9/11, Rudy Giuliani, at the GOP debates he inspired a strong antiwar movement that attracted many young people and made it impossible for the GOP to win the White House unless it chose a candidate who stood for peace.”

            What crackpot history is this? Nothing about it is accurate other than his Chomskyite retort to Rudy. Rudy got the overwhelming applause in that debate, by the way.

            ” That said, if I accepted the Constitution as legitimate I would have to conclude that almost all spending decisions should be made by Congress, not at the Oval Office. That would mean that all spending would be specifically earmarked.”

            Whatever technical merits that has, it’s purely crap covering up for Paul’s pork, aka government waste. You wouldn’t defend it if anyone other than your beloved master was doing it. Every dollar he pissed away on “clean energy” pilots and parking garages was money that added to the debt. An honest Vange would be asking why the federal government is financing projects that should be at the state or local level(at best.)

            http://factreal.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/ron-pauls-hypocrisy-on-earmarks/

  4. any adminstration since hoover balance their budget?

    1. re: balanced budgets… pretty much balanced in 2000 but we still had about 5T in debt.

      what’s curious right now is the dialogue.

      are we to cut spending but not necessarily balanced the budget or are we seriously going to actually balance the budget?

      seems like just “cutting spending” without having a specific goal is more talk than substance.

    2. any adminstration since hoover balance their budget?

      Ike in his last year was the last guy to do it.

      1. Todd Mason

        Clinton did it as well, with a $40 billion surplus in his last year IIRC. Conservatives today have all sorts of reasons we should dislike Clinton for this feat. I have one myself. The self-same conservatives used CBO projections of trillions in govt surpluses, based on one year of black ink, to advance Dubya’s tax cuts and “give back” all those excess dollars.
        Why didn’t the surpluses continue? 9/11, two wars fought on credit. a housing bust, and at the end of Dubya’s adminstration, an 856k job gap. http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/18/news/economy/obama-bush-jobs/index.html In my youth, the folks who spent money that didn’t exist were called many things, but “conservative” is not one of them.

        1. re: “… In my youth, the folks who spent money that didn’t exist were called many things, but “conservative” is not one of them.:”

          the problem is when you believe in supply-side tax cuts and cut taxes and then a deficit begins to open up – you can’t go back and raise the taxes back to cover it so then you say we have a “spending” problem but you never get around to how to cut and just play the blame game.

          right now, we take in 1.3T in tax revenues.

          no matter how you slice it – that won’t cover current expenditures – even if the entitlements were cut to zero.

          when this happened to Reagan – he went back and raised taxes via tax code reform, to cover the deficit.

          now we are told that tax code reform CANNOT be used to reduce the deficit.

          the only balanced budget proposal to date has come from Paul Ryan and it does not balance until well after 2030. All that time in between now and 2030, the deficit continues to add to the debt.

          I agree with Todd – that’s NOT “conservatism”.

        2. “I have one myself. The self-same conservatives used CBO projections of trillions in govt surpluses, based on one year of black ink, to advance Dubya’s tax cuts and “give back” all those excess dollars.”

          Regarding the phony surplus: You left out the Medicare Prescription drug plan that Clinton started pimping for in his last years and was one of the planks in Gore’s campaign. Bush went along with it. The Democrats had a competing plan that was twice as expensive.

          1. re: ” You left out the Medicare Prescription drug plan that Clinton started pimping for in his last years and was one of the planks in Gore’s campaign. Bush went along with it. The Democrats had a competing plan that was twice as expensive.”

            correction – the GOP Congress did it ..at 3am with some arm-twisting by Mr. Delay…

            the GOP did not have to approve it and Bush did not have to sign it – but they both did.

          2. “the GOP did not have to approve it and Bush did not have to sign it – but they both did.”

            Yes, agreed. The Democrats always conveniently forget they were pushing a plan twice as expensive, also not “paid for.”

          3. Todd Mason

            OK, statistics aren’t your strong suit. A snapshot depends entirely on which two dates start and end it. Annual performance of the DJIA as of 9-16-2000 would look radically different its han annual performance as of a day later, 9-17-2000 being the index’s largest single-day loss, and the beginning of the Tech Wreck. No, Treasury revenues are not that volatile, but they are both seasonal and sensitive to the business cycle.
            The debt went up $18B to 5.674T in 2000, or .03 percent, which can be easily explained by the 3 month lag. Let’s agree that $40 billion is a pittance in Treasury terms and notable only for the color of ink.

          4. Todd Mason

            Oops, make that 0.3 percent.

        3. Clinton did it as well, with a $40 billion surplus in his last year IIRC.

          That is not true. Clinton used the excess SS contributions as revenue without accounting for the accrued liabilities. If you look at the historical debt you do not see it going down during the Clinton administration and there isn’t a single year during his presidency where it did not go up.

          Conservatives today have all sorts of reasons we should dislike Clinton for this feat.

          Most Conservatives cannot look in the mirror and see that they are not fiscally conservative. This is why they see no problem with more than 70% of the individual tax revenue going to defense spending. They talk a good game but are just as pro-big-government as the Socialists in the Democratic Party.

          I have one myself. The self-same conservatives used CBO projections of trillions in govt surpluses, based on one year of black ink, to advance Dubya’s tax cuts and “give back” all those excess dollars.

          I agree. The projections were obviously unrealistic. The tax cuts should have been enacted as federal spending was reduced.

          Why didn’t the surpluses continue?

          There weren’t any surpluses. As I said, the claim of a surplus came because the government counted excess SS contributions without accounting for the unfunded liabilities. And let us not forget that Clinton benefitted from a tech bubble that increased capital gains revenues by a significant amount. Once the bubble burst capital gains turned into capital losses. As much as I dislike Bush and think him a terrible president I can’t blame him for the problems that Greenspan and the Fed created.

          9/11, two wars fought on credit. a housing bust, and at the end of Dubya’s adminstration, an 856k job gap. http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/18/news/economy/obama-bush-jobs/index.html In my youth, the folks who spent money that didn’t exist were called many things, but “conservative” is not one of them.

          They are certainly not fiscally conservative. That is why the GOP is losing members and in a panic to find new ‘leaders’ who will fool people into joining the party again. This is why you get frauds like Rubio and Ryan being sold as fiscal conservatives when they advocate policies of economic and political interventionism proposing policies that will have no material effect on future spending.

          1. Todd Mason

            The $40B was net of FICA. The Number seized upon by Clinton and supplysiders was $127 billion.

          2. If there was a real surplus why was it that the debt went up every year?

            http://useconomy.about.com/od/usdebtanddeficit/a/National-Debt-by-Year.htm

          3. Todd Mason

            because the fed budget is 10-1 to 9-30 rather than a calendar year.

          4. It does not make a difference. And as I pointed out, it is not easy to do better than expected when a massive bubble increases capital gains. Any of the deficit improvements were due to Greenspan’s money printing and the capital gains they triggered. Had there been similar capital gains on real estate you would have seen similar results during the housing bubble if the military were not wasting so much money on worthless wars abroad.

            Clinton was much smarter than Bush and Obama on the issue of war. He did not have the type of massive commitments that are driving the country into bankruptcy and simply used war for political purposes as he created diversions from his character issues and the corruption of his government.

  5. The SS trust fund is but 1 of more than 100 to include things like the highway trust fund and the military retirement trust funds.

    they all work the same way. When you buy gasoline – you pay 18 cents a gal in tax and that tax is put into a trust fund – and spent and the govt exchanges a special T-note for the money that they will redeem when the time comes – and yes they will redeem it by selling more T notes to the public when we are in debt.

    This is nothing unique nor specific to this with regard to SS. Trust funds are in effect, checking accounts.

    SS is primarily funded from FICA – about 868 billion dollars a year – every year.. on and on.

    what will happen if no reforms are made is that, by law, SS will automatically reduce benefits to not exceed what FICA provides but they do expect to get back the FICA that went into the trust fund – the same way the highway folks expect to get their money back for roads the the military get their money back to pay military retirements.

    The other thing I’d point out is that we already have the ability to have self-directed pensions.. we all can do it and we should – because SS was never intended to be a complete pension to start with – only a supplemental one and then only for those who needed it – as it is called an Insurance Annuity not Pension.

    but these are just side issues to the primary problem that we have which basically is that we take in about 1.3T in taxes and were are spending about a Trillion on National Defense alone before we ever get to entitlements (non FICA) and the rest of govt.

    so right now about 80% of our available revenues are spent on National Defense. You can’t fix this just by cutting entitlements.

    1. “SS is primarily funded from FICA – about 868 billion dollars a year – every year.. on and on.”

      Wrong. SS is primaily funded by taxpayers in the private sector. All the rest is merely accounting gimmickry set up to fool gullible and greedy people like you.

      1. ” SS is primaily funded by taxpayers in the private sector. All the rest is merely accounting gimmickry set up to fool gullible and greedy people like you.”

        primarily funded from FICA Taxes. It’s a pay-as-you-go system.

        1. “It’s a pay-as-you-go system.”

          Oh, well then there’s nothing for you to “get back.”

          1. re: ” “It’s a pay-as-you-go system.”

            Oh, well then there’s nothing for you to “get back.”

            your auto and home insurance are also “pay as you go”

            would you expect to get nothing back if you had a claim?

          2. Correct.

        2. “your auto and home insurance are also “pay as you go”

          would you expect to get nothing back if you had a claim?”

          That’s stupid. I would expect nothing back if I didn’t have a claim. Auto and home insurance would go bankrupt if everyone was guaranteed to have a claim.

          In other words, apples and oranges.

          I do love how you go back and forth between “trust fund” talk and “pay-as-you-go” without missing a beat.

      2. Todd Mason

        You hope the folks who have paid $2.7 trillion over and above SS disbursements since 1984 are gullible enough to let you take it. As for greed, the “job creators” who robbed the Treasury under Dubya are now trying to rob the elderly. It’s only gimmickry if don’t want to pay it, eh?

        1. “You hope the folks who have paid $2.7 trillion over and above SS disbursements since 1984 are gullible enough to let you take it.”

          Yes, I want to take it. It’s all for me.
          Lock it up in my vault like Scrooge McDuck.

          It all should be on the table, not just income taxes. Larry and the greedy geezer coalition want to raise my taxes while their honey pot goes untouched. They think I’m “gullible enough to let them take it.”

          1. re: ” It all should be on the table, not just income taxes. Larry and the greedy geezer coalition want to raise my taxes while their honey pot goes untouched. They think I’m “gullible enough to let them take it.””

            I’ve repeatedly said that I do not get SS. I have no dog in that hunt.

            but worst case – the 2.7T is gone. what happens?

            the 860 billion from FICA keeps paying benefits – albeit at a reduced level – because the law says that you cannot pay out more in SS benefits than FICA generates.

            unless or until Congress changes it … or changes FICA to be general revenues and abandons SS all together but now we’re deeply into Paul wet dreams… not any kind of reality.

        2. re: ” You hope the folks who have paid $2.7 trillion over and above SS disbursements since 1984 are gullible enough to let you take it.”

          well it’s true of ALL trust funds INCLUDING the military and civilian DOD trust funds… ALSO.

          so do you think the military and civilian retirees are also “gullible” about their pensions?

          1. “well it’s true of ALL trust funds INCLUDING the military and civilian DOD trust funds… ALSO.

            so do you think the military and civilian retirees are also “gullible” about their pensions?”

            Everyone needs to take their hair cut. All you want to do is stick it to taxpayers. People like you helped create the mess in the first place.

          2. ” Everyone needs to take their hair cut. All you want to do is stick it to taxpayers. People like you helped create the mess in the first place.”

            actually on that I AGREE.

            but when folks try to treat SS like it is a unique “ponzi scheme” and ignore the rest of the trust funds, it just proves their idiocy…

            ALL TRUST FUNDS – more than 100 of them – ALL WORK THE SAME WAY.

            When you go to an airport – you pay fees – and those fees go into a trust fund… just like FICA does… and in both trust funds – the govt immediately spends the money and gives special Tnotes.

            Later on.. when the airport needs a new tower or whatever, they redeem those Tnotes for cash which the govt gets by selling more Tnotes to the public.

            that’s how it works folks – for all the trust funds.

          3. so do you think the military and civilian retirees are also “gullible” about their pensions?

            Of course they are. The crowd is not wise. It believes many things that are wrong. Which is why your elections turn out the way that they do.

  6. Libertarians are the only true deficit hawks of the Republican Party from my experience.Most Republicans are just corporate whores being pimped out by big business,who only cry wolf when a Democrat president comes to power inheriting the load of debt they helped pile up.Plus the US debt is the least of our worries,some decades it goes up,some decades it goes down.It is being used to scare the public into submission,the US & Europe could cancel out the deficits in one coordinated flash of a pan if they wanted to.Dissapeared gone bang just like that!

    1. re: deficit hawks – the only true deficit hawks IMHO are the ones that insist on what it takes to prevent us from having a continuing structural deficit. “what it takes” is more than advocacy for “cuts”. It’s first and foremost a commitment to NOT go into deficit to start with or if you do – you do what Ronald Reagan did when he saw that his cuts resulted in deficit – you revamp the tax code AND you use that money to buy down the deficit – not cut taxes further.

      1. “you do what Ronald Reagan did when he saw that his cuts resulted in deficit – you revamp the tax code AND you use that money to buy down the deficit – not cut taxes further.”

        Cut taxes? You mean like Obama and his payroll tax cuts? Or is “Making work pay” gimmicks?

        “you do what Ronald Reagan did when he saw that his cuts resulted in deficit – you revamp the tax code AND you use that money to buy down the deficit – not cut taxes further.”

        Why doesn’t this apply for spending. *cough* Obama *cough*

        I love how in Larry World this case, when it comes to taxes, the President is an active participant, the lead dog in fact. However, when it comes to Obama and all the debt that’s piled up during his term, he’s just a chairwarmer who merely signs the checks.

        1. “you do what Ronald Reagan did when he saw that his cuts resulted in deficit – you revamp the tax code AND you use that money to buy down the deficit – not cut taxes further.”

          Cut taxes? You mean like Obama and his payroll tax cuts? Or is “Making work pay” gimmicks? ”

          that was stimulus… deficit spending…

          “you do what Ronald Reagan did when he saw that his cuts resulted in deficit – you revamp the tax code AND you use that money to buy down the deficit – not cut taxes further.”

          Why doesn’t this apply for spending. *cough* Obama *cough* ”

          it does.. Obama believes the tax reform revenue should be used to pay down the debt.

          “I love how in Larry World this case, when it comes to taxes, the President is an active participant, the lead dog in fact. However, when it comes to Obama and all the debt that’s piled up during his term, he’s just a chairwarmer who merely signs the checks.”

          he is responsible for the stimulus for sure but the rest of it was already baked into the budget – and the spending was willingly continued by the GOP Congress in the CRs.

          truth Paul..

        2. Todd Mason

          I love how in Paul World, the global economy in the last months of Dubya’s presidency was not within a default or two of devolving to the barter system. I voted for McCain because I didn’t think O had enough experience to handle the challenge, but the constant is this: O inherited the worst financial mess since FDR, and the lion’s share of it can be traced to Rs who hate taxes but love spending (and also start gratuitous wars and allow mortgage brokers to plunder and pillage in the name deregulation.)

          1. “I love how in Paul World, the global economy in the last months of Dubya’s presidency was not within a default or two of devolving to the barter system.”

            What, and that was all Bush’s fault because it happened a few months before Obama took over?

            “but the constant is this: O inherited the worst financial mess since FDR,”

            And he made it worse. He went on a ruinous spending spree, clogged the economy with uncertainty, and passed up easy low hanging fruit.

            “and the lion’s share of it can be traced to Rs who hate taxes but love spending (and also start gratuitous wars and allow mortgage brokers to plunder and pillage in the name deregulation.)”

            Personally, I’d love to go back to the days of Bush/unified GOP Congress deficits. 2007’s $170 billion or so deficit would be awesome right now.

            “…and allow mortgage brokers to plunder and pillage in the name deregulation.)”

            Yeah, it’s all the fault of the GOP.

            http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/03/documents-plaintiffs-in-1995-obama-led-citibank-lawsuit-submitted-class-action-claims/

            also

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyqYY72PeRM

          2. re: “daily caller”… ??? l you’re kidding right?

            have you seen the news lately?

          3. Larry,

            If you have anything to dispute about Obama’s days as a community organizer parasite suing banks to force them to give loans to people with shitty credit and/or insufficient incomes, let’s hear it.

          4. re: ” Larry,

            If you have anything to dispute about Obama’s days as a community organizer parasite suing banks to force them to give loans to people with shitty credit and/or insufficient incomes, let’s hear it.”

            let’s see.. we’re talking about Ryan’s attempt to develop a balanced budget …right?

            now what does that have to do with Obama pre-POTUS?

          5. Don’t encourage him. Larry is an idiot in search of attention. I have no problem with him taking any positions no matter how stupid I think that they may be. My problem is that he has no logic or facts to defend those positions.

          6. ” Don’t encourage him. Larry is an idiot in search of attention. I have no problem with him taking any positions no matter how stupid I think that they may be. My problem is that he has no logic or facts to defend those positions.”

            just stick with the numbers guys. look at the CBO tables and forget about community organizing…

          7. “let’s see.. we’re talking about Ryan’s attempt to develop a balanced budget …right?

            now what does that have to do with Obama pre-POTUS?”

            Follow the thread, idiot. I was responding to Todd. What does Reagan’s actions have to do with Obama pre-POTUS?

          8. I was responding to Todd. What does Reagan’s actions have to do with Obama pre-POTUS?

            Reagan? I thought it was Dubya….

            did we talk about Dubya pre-POTUS and how that affected anything?

            what does any of that have to do with anything anyhow?

          9. O inherited the worst financial mess since FDR, and the lion’s share of it can be traced to Rs who hate taxes but love spending (and also start gratuitous wars and allow mortgage brokers to plunder and pillage in the name deregulation.)

            Yes, but in his ignorance he made things worse. He could have chosen to take the route of Harding but chose to be FRD instead. And the country is suffering for it.

          10. Todd Mason

            Dubya’s sin in the housing bubble was to allow it continue unchecked in the name of self-regulating markets. Only in this case we had Wall St packaging risky mortgages that owed their existence to the fact that they were being handed off, and sold to investors who knew better but understood that the govt. could not let Fannie and Freddie fail. And F and F were late to the party, losing share steadily to the Wall St syndications that used derivatives for “safety.”.

          11. Dubya’s sin in the housing bubble was to allow it continue unchecked in the name of self-regulating markets.

            Only free markets are self regulating. Even a fool like W knew that there was no such thing in US housing.

            Only in this case we had Wall St packaging risky mortgages that owed their existence to the fact that they were being handed off, and sold to investors who knew better but understood that the govt. could not let Fannie and Freddie fail.

            Correct. You had regulators giving the GSEs implicit guarantees and Fed officials looking to game the system to protect the financial sector.

            And F and F were late to the party, losing share steadily to the Wall St syndications that used derivatives for “safety.”.

            Party? You mean that they were late to the bubble and did things that no rational business should have done.

        3. “that was stimulus… deficit spending…”

          HAHAHAHAHAHA. It was mostly payback to parasites. A trillion dollars pissed away.

          “it does.. Obama believes the tax reform revenue should be used to pay down the debt.”

          Huh? I said SPENDING, idiot. We all know he wants to raise taxes. We all saw the temper tantrum Lord Almighty Obama threw last week when a tiny sliver of his kingdom was taken away.

          “he is responsible for the stimulus for sure but the rest of it was already baked into the budget – and the spending was willingly continued by the GOP Congress in the CRs.”

          Oh, how is he responsible for the stimulus? Didn’t Congress just send him the bill? I thought he just signs the checks. Now compare to Larry’s description of the President when it comes to tax hikes: “you do what Ronald Reagan did when he saw that his cuts resulted in deficit – you revamp the tax code AND you use that money to buy down the deficit – not cut taxes further.”

          Reagan did that all by himself, I guess. Powerless Obama just sits there twiddling his thumbs waiting for something to hit his desk.

          1. “that was stimulus… deficit spending…”

            HAHAHAHAHAHA. It was mostly payback to parasites. A trillion dollars pissed away.

            you mean just like Dubya’s wars? AGREED!

            “it does.. Obama believes the tax reform revenue should be used to pay down the debt.”

            Huh? I said SPENDING, idiot. We all know he wants to raise taxes. We all saw the temper tantrum Lord Almighty Obama threw last week when a tiny sliver of his kingdom was taken away. ”

            how do you pay down the debt nimrod?

            ““he is responsible for the stimulus for sure but the rest of it was already baked into the budget – and the spending was willingly continued by the GOP Congress in the CRs.”

            Oh, how is he responsible for the stimulus? Didn’t Congress just send him the bill? I thought he just signs the checks. Now compare to Larry’s description of the President when it comes to tax hikes: “you do what Ronald Reagan did when he saw that his cuts resulted in deficit – you revamp the tax code AND you use that money to buy down the deficit – not cut taxes further.”

            Like Dubya – the advocated the stimulus, Congress agreed, and he signed it.

            “Reagan did that all by himself, I guess. Powerless Obama just sits there twiddling his thumbs waiting for something to hit his desk.”

            Nope. He advocated it. Congress agreed. And he signed it.

            That’s how it works Paul. Honest Injun….

          2. “you mean just like Dubya’s wars? AGREED!”

            His (plural) wars? Are you a 9/11 truther? Sounds right up your alley.

            “how do you pay down the debt nimrod?”

            Let me break this down for you since you are obviously an economic illiterate: there are two sides of the ledger. Obama views the spending side of the equation were on full display last week. He really made you look like an idiot, didn’t he?

            Oh, but he wants to raise taxes.

          3. “Let me break this down for you since you are obviously an economic illiterate: there are two sides of the ledger. Obama views the spending side of the equation were on full display last week. He really made you look like an idiot, didn’t he?

            Oh, but he wants to raise taxes.”

            how do you want to pay down the debt?

            can you do that without raising taxes?

          4. Todd Mason

            Dubya gives $1T to wealthy taxpayers and it is an investment. O hands out stimulus worth a bit less than $1T to restart the economy and it is “payoff for parasites.” So in Paul World which got more bang for the buck? Hint from the real world: Dubya’s job gap was 858k vs 261k for Obama. http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/18/news/economy/obama-bush-jobs/index.html

          5. “Dubya gives $1T to wealthy taxpayers and it is an investment.”

            Todd Typical Liberal believes allowing taxpayers to keep more of their own money is “giving” it to them.

            “O hands out stimulus worth a bit less than $1T to restart the economy and it is “payoff for parasites.”

            Yes. Actually, it’s much much more than that when you look at total government spending under his rule. The stimulus has been mostly built into the baseline.

            “So in Paul World which got more bang for the buck? Hint from the real world: Dubya’s job gap was 858k vs 261k for Obama.”

            In Todd’s world, he gets to pick the variables and pretend the 2 different time periods can be held constant.

            EX:
            *Why doesn’t Bush’s excessive spending over the yrs count as stimulus? What’s the difference? There isn’t one.
            *Why does Bush receive all the blame for the government caused meltdown? No honest appraisal would.

            *How is it possible to credit Obama for the entire jobs cycle? Ever hear of the business cycle?

            *Why are we measuring only Obama’s “official” stimulus? Why not look at total spending, as it’s all the same, mostly wasted.

            *Let’s add total debt from Obama vs. Bush. It’s all keynesian “stimulus.”

          6. Larry,

            “how do you want to pay down the debt?

            can you do that without raising taxes?”

            I know you’re not this frickin’ stupid, this is your dishonesty kicking in.

            I talked about spending, and you keep bringing up taxes. YES, everyone on the planet knows Obama wants to raise taxes.

            Everyone on the planet should also know now he will throw a hissy fit if the GOP tries to cut spending.

            So back to your question: you certainly can’t do it without cutting spending. Obama’s presidency means it won’t happen at all if he has anything to say about it.

            Once again: Hey Larry, remember when you used lecture us how he supported the sequester?

          7. ” “how do you want to pay down the debt?

            can you do that without raising taxes?”

            I know you’re not this frickin’ stupid, this is your dishonesty kicking in.

            I talked about spending, and you keep bringing up taxes. YES, everyone on the planet knows Obama wants to raise taxes. ”

            so he can pay down the debt…

            “Everyone on the planet should also know now he will throw a hissy fit if the GOP tries to cut spending.”

            no. you need spending cuts also. but spending cuts alone are not going to pay down the debt. We’re going to be lucky if spending cuts can balance the budget.. it’s doubtful.

            “So back to your question: you certainly can’t do it without cutting spending. Obama’s presidency means it won’t happen at all if he has anything to say about it.

            Once again: Hey Larry, remember when you used lecture us how he supported the sequester? ”

            Paul -what does any of that have to do with a REAL PLAN to balance the budget and pay down the debt instead of advocating generic and unspecified “cuts” ?

            see ..this is all about partisan ideology rather than serious approaches to actually balancing the budget and paying down the debt.

            Why does it matter one iota what Obama thinks if the GOP is willing to lay down a plan for balancing the budget?

            wouldn’t doing that put the ball in Obama’s court and make it look like the hypocrite you say he is – if the GOP actually did do that?

            this whole thing is seriously silly. If the GOP knows how they want to do a balanced budget why don’t they stick it to Obama and make him look really bad even to his own supporters?

          8. I tire of you today, Larry, save this:

            “Why does it matter one iota what Obama thinks if the GOP is willing to lay down a plan for balancing the budget?”

            It sure seemed to matter to you when you were chortling how Obama supported the sequester but the GOP was trembling at it.

          9. Have a good night Paul.

          10. My other take on this:

            “Why does it matter one iota what Obama thinks if the GOP is willing to lay down a plan for balancing the budget?”

            I thought you said it was important for the GOP to submit a budget Obama will sign? Otherwise that just demonstrates they aren’t serious? Seems like it would matter what he thinks.

            Here’s Larry “logic” the way I understand it:

            Obama’s not to blame for the bloated budgets “Congress” sends him.

            vs.

            The GOP Congress should not send Obama budgets that reduce the deficit they know he won’t sign. Obama’s not to blame for that either.

            Seems to me Obama’s escaping any blame no matter what.

            I get the feeling you lie when you say you don’t have any favorites, Larry.

          11. Here’s Larry “logic” the way I understand it:…

            Larry logic? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

          12. you boys A R E funny…!!! ;-)

          13. IF both houses of Congress do agree on a budget, it puts Obama on the spot. If the budget never reaches him then he’s off the hook.

            If both houses of Congress AGREE on what to cut – that’s a serious effort that the POTUS cannot easily ignore.

            That’s what happened under Clinton and Reagan and both of them signed budgets they did not totally agree with rather than be the blocker.

          14. IF both houses of Congress do agree on a budget, it puts Obama on the spot. If the budget never reaches him then he’s off the hook.

            LOL…What is lost in this discussion is that when it comes to the question of, ‘should the size of government grow,’ there tends to be a bipartisan agreement on the answer within the two parties. Both the GOP and Democratic Party will give in and decide to kick the can down the road. But the voters are stirring and many no longer like the idea of carrying the public sector and funding the corporate/individual welfare recipients with taxes on the earnings of productive working people, investors, and businesses.

          15. re: the size of govt. I got curious whether or not a POTUS could refuse to spend appropriated funds…

            and the answer is – it was a POTUS power …until Nixon.

            so basically if Congress – the Dems/GOP appropriate money – like for “green” energy or.. anything… it appears the POTUS must spend it.

            but what Ryan is telling people is that when we take in about 1.3T in revenues and we spend 2.8T… balancing the budget is not only not going to be easy -it’s going to be a bear.

            and to me.. this perfectly explains why the folks who spend every day saying we have a ‘spending problem’ don’t give specific cuts they support because if they did – and they were not enough to actually balance the budget – they would be exposed for their hypocrisy.

            and they know they can’t balance the budget with only cuts unless they essentially wipe out Medicare and MedicAid and other entitlements… and that would get them thrown out of office.

            the only way to really cut a trillion from the budget would be about 500B from entitlements and 500B from National Defense.. and that also would get them thrown out of office.

            so what do they do? they talk about a “spending problem” without ever getting into specifics.

            What Ryan is saying is – it’s going to be hard as hell to balance the budget…

            and the most amazing thing to me is that we got here in 10 years from a relatively balanced budget.

            10 years and we can fix it in the next 10…. it’s going to take 20-30 years… apparently.

  7. Jim Fair

    I am 62 and I would like the Ryan reform to apply to me. Traditional Medicare is an idiotic program.

    1. Todd Mason

      So don’t apply for benefits.

      1. re: ” So don’t apply for benefits.”

        Medicare Part B IS totally voluntary as Todd points out. You have to APPLY for it. (C&D also).

        the only one that is “pre-funded” is Part A -hospitalization that was taken out with FICA.

  8. Todd Mason

    “Todd Typical Liberal believes allowing taxpayers to keep more of their own money is “giving.”

    You’ve convinced me, Paul. No more payoffs for the parasites. Let’s start with the farmers. If they can’t make money at today’s corn prices, let them go down to the welfare office with the rest of the bums. Then we have these upstanding corporate citizens. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/01/eight-corporate-subsidies-in-the-fiscal-cliff-bill-from-goldman-sachs-to-disney-to-nascar.html Kinda like going to the funeral to hit up the widow for bills past due, eh?
    And ,no, you wouldn’t want to mistake these gifts from the taxpaying masses for the economy stimulating kind. Disney and its studio kin get tax breaks if 75 percent of production costs are incurred in the US. Mouse to Treasury: Pay up or I am off to Toronto. How’s your nonmobile, deteriorating bridge gonna compete with that?

    1. “Let’s start with the farmers. If they can’t make money at today’s corn prices, let them go down to the welfare office with the rest of the bums.”

      Totally agree.

      ” Then we have these upstanding corporate citizens. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/01/eight-corporate-subsidies-in-the-fiscal-cliff-bill-from-goldman-sachs-to-disney-to-nascar.html Kinda like going to the funeral to hit up the widow for bills past due, eh?”

      Agreed.

      “Disney and its studio kin get tax breaks if 75 percent of production costs are incurred in the US. Mouse to Treasury:”

      More outrage. Agreed. Don’t forget Obama crony capitalists at Dreamworks who under investigation by the SEC for bribing the Chinese government.

      http://freebeacon.com/dreamworks-finalizes-china-deal/

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