With all of these Debates; anyone heard the National Debt discussed ?

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  #1  
Old 04-15-16, 05:06 AM
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With all of these Debates; anyone heard the National Debt discussed ?

When Obama came into Office, he created the Simpson-Bowles Commission, a Bi-Partisan study group, to study and propose a solution to the then growing National Debt Crisis.

They rendered a Report in 2010 : https://www.fiscalcommission.gov/sit...h12_1_2010.pdf

After being issued, it was subjected to a few Hearings; but because it proposed some austere measures, it was shelved and its recommendations were never acted upon, and the "Can was just kicked down the Road" !

Now, it's 5 years later, and the Debt has doubled . . . . and still no one wants to talk about it.

The closest discussion I've heard was when Ben Carson's Wife described our situation as similar to that of a group of Airline Passengers being instructed by a Stewardess as to what they should do when the oxygen masks drop out of their ceiling compartments. She said "Put your own mask on first; don't worry about helping anyone else . . . . because if you don't keep yourself alive, you won't be able to help anyone else !"

That basic wisdom seems to still be ignored, as if it's a non-issue. Of all 20 or so Candidates we had for the Presidency, did any of them have guts enough to openly discuss what is necessary to save this Country from itself, or was that issue deemed to be just too uncomfortable to be discussed in Public . . . . last time I looked, the problem is still looming over us.

The silence is deafening !
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 04-17-16 at 06:07 AM. Reason: Fixed link
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  #2  
Old 04-15-16, 05:37 AM
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Yeah, Trump said he could erase the debt by the end of 2 terms. Like that could ever happen.
 
  #3  
Old 04-15-16, 05:43 AM
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You have to understand how the debt started & why it is where it is today. The common misconception is that WWII solved the financial problems of The Great Depression, of the 30s. The real answer is Keynesian Philosophy. John Maynard Keynes, a British economist, convinced President Roosevelt that he could temporarily run a deficit. In today's words, use a credit card. As we all know today, it wasn't temporary.

Why did it work then & isn't working now? The answer is that it only worked when "the rate of profit was greater than the accumulation of debt". Think about that for a few minutes. That ended around 1975. By that time, most of the gold was removed from Fort Knox, to pay debts. When Reagan was elected in 1980, he raised the debt ceiling about 16 times, in the next 8 years.. However, it's not all his fault. All presidents followed suit. The two major parties can point their fingers but both of them are to blame. As the debt became larger, it became necessary to become more global. Hence, America's involvement across the world & the hatred that ensued due to that involvement.

At 9AM EDT, on Fridays, listen to Economic Update on:

http://stream.wbai.org:8000/wbai_128
 
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Old 04-15-16, 05:56 AM
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According to google, the national debt is 108% of the nation's annual GNP. Anyone who thinks Trump... or anyone else for that matter... will be able to put a dent in that debt is dumber than a box of rocks.

The whole world's economic system is like a house of cards, and it can't last much longer. I hate to imagine what it will be Iike when it collapses. Every city will be a Flint, Michigan. The "austerity" that Greece has had to endure will seem Iike nothing compared to what the 99% wIll have to deal with. Not a bright future, IMO.
 
  #5  
Old 04-15-16, 06:33 AM
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Anyone who thinks Trump... or anyone else for that matter... will be able to put a dent in that debt is dumber than a box of rocks.
Actually, it can be done but it won't be allowed, for many reasons. One simple suggestion is to tax religion. All the fighting & terrorism is based on religion. Let them pay for the trouble that they have caused. Tax the churches, mosques & synagogues.

I have other suggestions but I would have to use phrases such as American Imperialism which may not be accepted here.
 
  #6  
Old 04-15-16, 06:56 AM
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Well thank you . . . . that's more discussion here than in all of the Debates so far this cycle.

People I speak with seem to think that "if" it's not being talked about, well then it must not be a problem!

I grew up thinking that i was very troublesome that we hadn't finished paying off what was spent on World War II leaving a Debt of $345,000,000,000 (hardly more than ⅓ of a Trillion); but then we had to pay for Korea, and the Cold War, and the InterState Highway Program, and the Space Program, and Viet Nam, and Johnson's Great Society and the War on Poverty, and MediCare, and the S&L Banking Crisis, and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the War on Terrorism, and now ObamaCare. It does add up and it's all paid for with borrowing against the Future . . . . now approaching $20,000,000,000,000. Does it all not have to be paid for ?

If the interest rate were a normal 5 or 6%, there wouldn't be much left in the Budget to do anything except service the National Debt. (Do I detect major devaluation coming down the pike ?)

There will be a day of reckoning when we discover that our Emperor not only has no clothes; but also has no money !

Problem recognition is usually the first step to problem solution; but it seems that no one really wants to recognize the enormity of the problem . . . . so it simply doesn't get discussed. We'd rather talk about legalizing Drugs and raising the minimum Wage so that everyone can be happy !

Obama is probably pleased that he can Exit Stage Left without having had to deal with it.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 04-15-16 at 07:56 AM.
  #7  
Old 04-15-16, 07:59 AM
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You keep mentioning Obama but the problem is Capitalism not just one president. Let's see, the war on poverty didn't work. The war on hunger didn't work. The war on cancer didn't work. The war on Aids didn't work. The war on terror won't work either. It's all fake, a way to gain support. America is the cause of everything that it doesn't like. The Emperor has a large wardrobe & more money than you think. We will be broke not the Emperor.
 
  #8  
Old 04-15-16, 08:01 AM
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The problem as I see it are all of these new pork barrel spends for things that are not needed is part of the problem. One classic example the bridge that goes nowhere in Alaska that Sarah Palin talked about for a while when she was governor of Alaska. Trouble was when she ran for vice president she forgot all about it and as I understand it the bridge was finally built.

So the problems in my mind come from both parties. Instead of buying new bridges we need to repair or replace old bridges and roads and instead of having duplicate programs for things we need only one. That is my 2 cents on the subject.
 
  #9  
Old 04-15-16, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Pulpo
". . . You keep mentioning Obama but the problem is Capitalism not just one president . . ."
If I 'm the one who keeps mentioning Obama, that's just your perception; Barack Obama is really just a Johnny come Lately, one of many . . . . but still the most recent one to offer to find a fiscal solution.

But when his own Commission made recommendations that seemed politically unacceptable, he too chose to ignore its proposals and has (so far) managed to sweep the problem under the rug for someone else to deal with.

It's like all of Washington has been, and continues today, to be playing that old children's game of Musical Chairs where, when the music stops, someone is left without a chair.

Unless this reckless way of doing business is sustainable, then some day, the music will stop !
 
  #10  
Old 04-15-16, 08:49 AM
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The problem is not capitalism. The real debt problem is creeping socialism. National debt will continue to grow as the nanny state becomes more and more pervasive. Take a look at where the government spends your tax money. More and more of it is going into social programs.

Approximately two thirds of government outlay is spent on mandatory entitlement programs. Social security and medicare now cost 2.4 trillion annually. That dwarfs all discretionary spending on things like defense, infrastructure, education, energy etc.

With an aging populace and a cowardly congress it is only going to get worse.

My favorite Margaret Thatcher quote - "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money."
 
  #11  
Old 04-15-16, 10:00 AM
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In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill were able to set a Bi-Partisan example in dealing with the problem by agreeing to gradually increase the normal Retirement Age for Social Security from 65 to 67 within 30 years. I was one of the 1st Baby Boomers to plan for and deal with an age 67 Retirement Age . . . . it's okay !

In recognition of our increased life expectancy, that change was supposed to be just a starting point, with that age intended to be gradually raised to age 70, and early retirement slowly changed from age 62 up to age 65 or 66.

But for the next 30 years, nothing more was ever done.

I suspect that a few decades from now, children around the World will be reading "The Rise and Demise of the American Empire", they'll ask:

"These Americans fought Hitler's National Socialists and the Japanese Empire and the Soviet Communists, and the Islamic Jihadis . . . . who finally destroyed them ?"

The answer: "Nobody else . . . . they did this to themselves !"
 

Last edited by Vermont; 04-15-16 at 10:26 AM.
  #12  
Old 04-15-16, 07:53 PM
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In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill were able to set a Bi-Partisan example in dealing with the problem by agreeing to gradually increase the normal Retirement Age for Social Security from 65 to 67 within 30 years.
I don't call taking money from seniors, dealing with the problem. Taking money from Congress would have been a better plan.
 
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Old 04-16-16, 03:39 AM
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I'd bet if the members of congress had to use medicare and social security there would be a lot less issues with those programs!
 
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Old 04-16-16, 05:10 AM
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I'd bet if the members of congress had to use medicare and social security there would be a lot less issues with those programs!
Agreed______________________________
 
  #15  
Old 04-17-16, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Pulpo
". . . I don't call taking money from seniors, dealing with the problem . . ."
In the 1980s, the people being affected (like me) were only in their 30s, and were not Seniors . . . . so there was plenty of time (decades) to plan for it.

That particular System (Social Security) was designed when the average Life Expectancy was only 65 years. Now, the average American lives almost 79 Years.

I'm sure that Seniors are pleased with that increase; but left unattended actuarially, Americans could ultimately spend more years drawing from Social Security than they spent paying into it . . . . that won't work !

But Social Security is just one program that needs adjustment; meanwhile people are still being educated to believe there is no limit to how much can be drawn from the Public Trough, and it's inhumane to deny funding for so many favorite projects.

Politicians continue to describe this as the "Wealthiest Nation in the World", when in reality, that time has long passed . . . . we're now the "World's largest Debtor Nation". That's different !

Maybe the next President will pull out the proposals of the Simpson Bowles Commission, dust it off, and take another look . . . . if it isn't too late:

https://www.fiscalcommission.gov/sit...h12_1_2010.pdf
 
  #16  
Old 04-21-16, 11:09 PM
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Similarly if members of Congress had to fill out their own tax forms in the capitol on a day reserved just for that purpose, using only paper IRS forms and manuals, blank paper, and pencil (no calculators, no computers, no phones), we'd greatly simply the tax system.

Members of Congress should also be required to drink only tap water from municipal water systems with highest rates of pollutants coming out of the taps, with no filtering.
 
  #17  
Old 04-21-16, 11:27 PM
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It's wrong to think that the debt problem is insurmountable because it was basically being solved for decades, causing the debt/GDP ratio to decrease steadily from the end of WWII until about 1980, when fiscal policy suddenly took a radical change and made the ratio almost double in about a decade. Traditional fiscal policy was restored in the 1990s, resulting in 4 budget surpluses in a row and estimates that the national debt could be paid off completely by about 2035, later revised to about 2015. This trend reversed course again in the early 2000s when the irresponsible fiscal policies of the 1980s were brought back, more intensely than before, by a government that refused to raise taxes, unlike the government of most of the 1980s, which raised them at least 6 times when it realized deficits were too large.

People ignorant of economic history don't realize that the US government has tended to receive too much revenue and has has gone into surplus whenever taxes weren't cut, and deficits expanded only when there's been war or irresponsible tax cutting.
 
  #18  
Old 04-21-16, 11:35 PM
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But Social Security is just one program that needs adjustment;
The Pentagon & American Imperialism are what needs to be adjusted not Social Security. I know a man in his 80s who spins that "people are living too long" nonsense. I told him that he thinks that people are living to long, he should commit suicide for his country & save the money.
 
  #19  
Old 04-21-16, 11:59 PM
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"Let's see, the war on poverty didn't work. The war on hunger didn't work. The war on cancer didn't work. The war on Aids didn't work. The war on terror won't work either."

Actually the war on poverty did work, as did the war on hunger. The war on cancer was probably premature because much less was known about how cells functioned back then. The war on AIDS was such a failure that now HIV+ patients live as long as the general public. The war on terror was botched mainly by the war on Saddam, who had been doing a very good job of preventing Islamic terrorists from gaining any power in Iraq.

Capitalism works great except for some infrastructure matters (it doesn't want to pay for any of it) and health insurance (it's never as efficient as the federal government at that).
 
  #20  
Old 04-22-16, 01:50 AM
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I guess that we are living in two different worlds.
 
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Old 04-22-16, 03:23 AM
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I guess that we are living in two different worlds.
Larrymoencurly is a new poster, and we really don't know which "world" he/she is living in, since their profile has not been completed. Monitoring posts.
 
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Old 04-22-16, 04:01 AM
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The war on hunger didn't work
All you have to do is look around at all the overweight people to know there isn't a big hunger problem in this country. Not like 50 yrs ago when there were more skinny folks than fat ones.
 
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