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Discussion: (10 comments)

  1. OK, Getting back to 18% of GDP would be great. But, why do we accept without discussion the idea that when the economy expands, spending should expand by a proportional amount? Do all government program costs magically go up because the people become more prosperous? Do education expenditures rise because GDP rises? Welfare? Social Security? Defense? Isn’t it a more sensible position that the percentage of the government’s share should, in fact, GDP rises?

  2. Edited: OK, Getting back to 18% of GDP would be great. But, why do we accept without discussion the idea that when the economy expands, spending should expand by a proportional amount? Do all government program costs magically go up because the people become more prosperous? Do education expenditures rise because GDP rises? Welfare? Social Security? Defense? Isn’t it a more sensible position that the percentage of the government’s share should, in fact, decrease as GDP rises?

    1. Leaving aside that Social Securty and Medicare which have been designed to require higher per capita expenditures as the population ages, much government spending is like insurance, as people get wealthier, they generally insure more things. We want better weather forecasting, asteroid strike forecasting, higher standards for food and drug safety, global warming mitigation, etc.

      1. James Ashby

        ” Leaving aside that Social Securty and Medicare which have been designed to require higher per capita expenditures ”

        Social Security and Medicare are for laundering fiat money, a drastic reduction in the dollar’s value can’t possibly comply with government’s mission of serving everyone, serving commerce.
        The 1960 Supreme Court decision Fleming vs. Nestor held, in effect, that the US government doesn’t owe any Social Security taxpayer the time of day: ” In this 1960 Supreme Court decision Nestor’s denial of benefits was upheld even though he had contributed to the program for 19 years and was already receiving benefits. Under a 1954 law, Social Security benefits were denied to persons deported for, among other things, having been a member of the Communist party. Accordingly, Mr. Nestor’s benefits were terminated. He appealed the termination arguing, among other claims, that promised Social Security benefits were a contract and that Congress could not renege on that contract. In its ruling, the Court rejected this argument and established the principle that entitlement to Social Security benefits is not contractual right. ”
        A gold dollar serves everyone …

        ” much government spending is like insurance, as people get wealthier, they generally insure more things. ”

        Rising prosperity is living more by commerce, less by coercion, more freedom, less government. Insurance is in the realm of commerce, not government.

        ” We want better … ”

        Includes better government. The true interest of government is the success, not the usurping, of commerce. Better government is less government and better commerce enabling you to supply yourself with no end of better stuff, as you see fit …

    2. James Ashby

      ” Isn’t it a more sensible position that the percentage of the government’s share should, in fact, decrease as GDP rises? ”

      Yes! Government’s job is serving everyone, everyone’s interest is commerce, government’s true interest is the success of commerce, streamlining itself, getting more efficient, shrinking. Fiat money doesn’t serve everyone, is a drastic reduction in the dollar’s value for damaging commerce, enlarging government. A gold dollar serves everyone …

      Your good comment deserves your real name, wish I could give it a recommendation as in the Wall Street Journal reader forum, hope you post your thoughts there also.

  3. Spending at 18% of GDP? Is the GOP’s Balanced Budget Amendment realistic?“…

    Not even close

  4. Todd Mason

    A little honesty might be nice. An aging population means more elderly Medicare and Medicaid recipients, thus a larger multiplier for average per capita health care expenditures. Inflation makes things worse, of course, but an aging population IS the argument for controlling health care costs. This assumes that your goal is to find the most economic way to meet basic health needs. If your point is to cut taxes, then vouchers work because poor sick people eill turn to charity care once their resources are exhausted, as they do today. Just make sure you live in the wealthy county next door to the county with the overwhelmed public hospital.

    1. A little honesty might be nice“…

      Yes, that would be refreshing todd

      An aging population means more elderly Medicare and Medicaid recipients, thus a larger multiplier for average per capita health care expenditures. Inflation makes things worse, of course, but an aging population IS the argument for controlling health care costs“…

      True but we can do better at controlling costs by eliminating the medicare/medicaid scams…

      This assumes that your goal is to find the most economic way to meet basic health needs“…

      Why should that be an assumption?

      If your point is to cut taxes, then vouchers work because…“…

      Who pays for the vouchers?

      Just make sure you live in the wealthy county next door to the county with the overwhelmed public hospital“…

      What does that mean or accomplish?

  5. Thomas Sullivan

    5% annual growth would double the size of the economy in 15 years, quadruple in 30 years. That should be our #1 national priority. Instead, apparently job #1 is socialism – for energy, education, medicine, retirement savings, finance, etc. How’s that working out?

    1. DmAnderson

      5% growth has never been a sustained growth rate since the Civil War, trend rate is much closer to 3.5% irregardless of policy programs. So please get realistic…

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