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Debt ceiling

I hope the young people here realize that SS is not something they can count on anymore and instead focus their years ahead to create wealth and build their own nest egg.

It's extortion pure and simple: people have paid a portion of their wages into SS for years, decades -- and now they're going to be stiffed when they try to collect. This is not some freebie people are clamoring for.

You just can't trust the US government worth a damn. This is no recent epiphany of mine; I've been saying it for years.
 

Abdel

Economist
The only difference between SS and a ponzi scheme is that the government forces you to participate in SS.

Ponzi schemes are illegal for a reason, they don't work. So if the private sector cain't make them work, they certainly won't work when the governement is in charge.
 
The poor usually stay passive when they don't have access to weapons or cannot organize. One only needs to look at inner city crime stats to realize the poor in this country are pretty well armed and more than happy to use them. I would like to see a decrease in poverty rather than an increase. Unfortunately, IMO, the single greatest determiner on whether someone breaks the cycle of poverty or continues in it (parenting) is also something the government cannot control. You can give money away and give free education to all, but it still comes down to showing up and doing your homework.
 
Only because the USA has been routinely emptying out the SS account to pay for other things not linked to social security. Like, oh, that massive military of ours...

Social Security is a current pay system. No account to empty. Military expenditures as a % of GDP is pretty low historically. The military costs a lot, but isn't the only thing that is draining the government coffers.
 
US Defense Spending as a % of US GDP

It is the second page. We are at around 4.7% of GDP right now. It was much higher years ago.

Defense spending is 20% of the US budget. Honestly, don't see an issue with this. Now I have no problem with cutting it and I think it should be reduced, but national defense is one of the legitimate jobs of a Federal government.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fy2010_spending_by_category.jpg

This is what the 2010 budget looks like.

18.74% of the budget was spent on the military.

25% was spent on medicaid/Welfare/Unemployment

33% was spent on Social Security and Medicare (elderly insurance)

The rest is a bunch of different agencies. So as you can see, simply cutting the military won't do much. It is also one of the actual real jobs of the government. States cannot protect the whole nation which is why we pool our money so that the Federal government can do what we cannot do alone.

Just looking at that pie chart gives you a good idea how Europe can live so well. If you took out that 20% chunk you could reallocate it to a bunch of social programs. If only there was world peace. I guess until that day comes, having a strong military is a pretty good thing.
 
I hope the young people here realize that SS is not something they can count on anymore and instead focus their years ahead to create wealth and build their own nest egg.

I certainly have been. Obviously like all the other GC holders out there, I get taxed on this but doubt I will ever see a penny of it!

Just looking at that pie chart gives you a good idea how Europe can live so well. If you took out that 20% chunk you could reallocate it to a bunch of social programs. If only there was world peace. I guess until that day comes, having a strong military is a pretty good thing.

Thing is Anthony, it's the overseas expenditures which cost so much and achieve very little. The US and Britain do all the heavy hauling when it comes to the "policeman" role. Obviously Britain has a smaller role, but then the country only has a population of 60m versus 300+ m. The defense expenditure is why Britain has some of the least generous social programmes in Europe.

Take a look at the the EU though as a whole:

It has a combined defense budget of $406,7 billion, 1.5 million active personnel, 4.5 million reserve forces, almost a million paramilitary forces, 7 thousand combat tanks, 3,500+ combat aircraft, 1,300+ logistics aircraft, 7 aircraft carriers, British and French Nuclear submarines and warheads.
Bases in the Falkland Islands, Caribbean, Canada, French Guyana, the Pacific, Atlantic and Med.

I mean who the hell us going to invade that? It would be utterly pointless, and with a population of around 500 million people, if you conscripted those folks the boots you could put on the ground would be massive.
That doesn't include other European nations, who aren't EU members such as Switzerland ( the whole country is riddled with tunnels in order to move troops rapidly through the alps) and Norway.

It's the wars, not the size of the military which are crippling the US. The policeman role is a losing bet in my opinion, we need to pick our battles better. It took 10 years to catch Bin laden and a staggering cost in money and lives.
 
There are countries out there that are MUCH more socialist than we are and have balanced budgets
Which ones?
Why are they that much better at business/economics than we are?
We have the second highest median per capita income in the world. We are NOT doing poorly.
 
It'll drop our spending by nearly 20%! That and REAL healthcare reform will be enough to claw our way to profits.

There are countries out there that are MUCH more socialist than we are and have balanced budgets and are actually lending money to us. Clearly their socialism isn't this massive impetus to wealth accumulation that everyone likes to pretend... how do they do it? Why are they that much better at business/economics than we are?
Drop by 20%....? You want to cut the military entirely?!?! Are you mad!??!
 
How about Sweden? It's projected surplus this year will be enough to pay off another 14% or so of its debt (that it incurred during a housing bubble and ensuing financial crisis in the 90s). As a matter of fact, since '98 Sweden has had a surplus every year spare '03 and '04. Even when the rest of Europe was drowning in debt trying to stave off a depression and going into a recession.

Fair enough.

Oh, and according to its Gini index, it is THE most socialist country in the world with the smallest wealth gap.

The gini index measures income distribution, not how socialist a country is, but yes, it does have the smallest wealth gap.

... and yet I still hear "do we REALLY want to be Sweden?!?" on FOX news...

Personally I would rather live nearly anywhere else. I lived most my life in Europe and I cannot stand living in a place where most people do not bother to work hard, and face no punishment for not doing so.

According to Wikipedia, Sweden still has lower productivity than the US per hour worked, so they aren't at our level in any case.
 
According to Wikipedia, Sweden still has lower productivity than the US per hour worked, so they aren't at our level in any case.

Productivity has to be seen in context. American workers work like dogs -- they just don't see the benefits of their productivity, whch accrue to the top few per cent -- mostly the top 0.5%.
 
The military might be 20% of the budget, but you need to really look at those numbers. A lot of the budget is pay, pensions, etc. It is not reasonable to cut the military by 90%. Cuts like that destroy the operational efficiency.

The USA is not socialist nor should it ever become so. Sweden is a small, ethnically similar nation. To compare them to the US is a disservice.

Besides, the government is for national defense, international treaties, etc. It is not to replace your parents.
 
The real reason why cuts in Social Security are on the cards:
(source)

Paul Ryan has been noting this "double counting" since way back in early 2010 when the healthcare bill was being passed.


The devotion so many on left have in advocating for higher coerced revenues into their beloved operation astounds me. As Ryan would say, hiding costs do not reduce them.

You would think people would have learned this from Enron only a decade ago.
 
Well according to budget hero 2.0, with a military spending freeze and bringing most of our troops home from the M.E., we can save around $3 trillion over the next 10 years. If we cut discretionary spending by 10%, that's another $700 billion, if we link healthcare payouts to inflation, more savings, pass a 25 cent gas tax per gallon, another $300 billion over the next 10 years, and so forth.

Honestly, it's ridiculously easy to come up with a decent plan to put us on a path to solvency. The only problem is that these politicians care more about staying in office than about getting things done with the position of that office.
 
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