How To Run A Federal Budget Surplus

Discussion in 'Politics' started by UncleJoe, May 9, 2010.

  1. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    What a novel idea. Cut spending. Who would have thought?

    An essay by Gary North


    ...reform mandates an across-the-board cut of spending by every Federal agency. No exceptions. Every budget is cut by the same percentage.

    "But what about. . . .?" Yes, that one, too.

    "But you can't mean. . . ." Yes, I do.

    "But that would lead to. . . ." Yes, it might.

    "But people would be forced to. . . ." I am sure they would.

    "But this idea is utopian." No doubt it is.

    I will tell you what else is utopian: long-term Federal solvency

    With an across-the-board cut in spending, every special-interest group would be forced to identify itself as a special-interest group. Politically, this is a benefit for cost-cutting. Cost-cutters can then respond: "Are you saying that you won't bear your fair share?" That is exactly what they are saying, but it's embarrassing to be visible about this.

    The politics of the fair share is always invoked to promote higher taxes. "Everyone should pay his fair share." And just who is everyone? "The rich."

    Tax reform worldwide is always based on this slogan. "Don't tax you. Don't tax me. Tax the man behind the tree."

    The public's response to an across-the-board fixed-percentage spending cut would be this: "Don't cut you. Don't cut me. Cut the man behind the tree."

    The political justification for an across-the-board cut would be a national debt emergency. But no one in Washington believes that there is a national debt emergency facing us. That is also the economists' outlook. There are only marginal problems.

    When the Tea Parties call for an across-the-board fixed-percentage cut in spending, we will know that they are not just another loose confederation of special interests: "Don't cut you. Don't cut me. Cut the man behind the tree."

    How To Run a Federal Budget Surplus by Gary North
     
  2. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

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    Uncle Joe, the only mandatory cut that makes me squirm just a little is cutting defense. Is the Pentagon bloated, inefficient and downright corrupt to whatever degree? You betcha. But as a history buff, I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the times America has squandered the lives of our service people because budget restraints degraded training and equipment. ObaMoa effectively destroyed the missile defense program while 3rd world pi$$hole countries like N Korea, Iran, and Pakistan are working very hard to develop an intercontinental nuke capability.

    Maybe across-the-board cuts are the only way, but IMHO, the Fed's primary role is to defend our borders -- let the states do the rest and get the Fed out of our pockets and our lives.
     

  3. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    They could cut defense without putting the US at risk if they'd quit playing global cop and tell the UN to stick it where the sun don't shine,
     
  4. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    I can agree to an extent, but I personally feel that if we brought even half of our military home, we would be perfectly capable of defending our own borders and slash costs by not needing to ship supplies around the world and sending the troops back and forth when it comes to leave time.
     
  5. Asatrur

    Asatrur Well-Known Member

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    Agreed UncleJoe!
     
  6. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

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    Y'all have my vote as long as the Fed can fulfill its primary obligation to the American people: protect our borders.
     
  7. kogneto

    kogneto The Skeptic

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    i agree, i thought Obama had made mention of cutting back spending in his last state of the union where he talks about budgeting being something you plan ahead for or something (the exact words escape me).

    but as for bringing the military home there's a tight rope to cross between "protecting america's interests at home" by killing terrorists over there, and "protecting america's interests at home" by bringing troops home and cutting defense spending. Can't have it both ways :(

    I don't really get the man behind the tree phrase though, I mean I know it rhymes but couldn't it have gone "don't cut you, don't cut me, cut the man with the fancy tee...shirt" I dunno I think it needs work. Is the man behind the tree the rich man? Is the tree made of money? If so I'd say cut the tree down and spend that lol, jk

    ---

    Recently watched Capitalism: A Love Story, and surprisingly enough it follows a pretty logical chain of thought, that mirrors a lot of what I hear on this board. He talks about the top 1% having more money than the combined 99%, and that just seems crazy to me

    fairness, justice, equality, these are not things found in capitalism

    <edit> just to be clear, what he talks about that mirrors this board is not an anti-capitalism slant, but about the Federal government ballooning, and the taxation of the poor as a means of funding the rich's bad habits
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2010
  8. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

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    Kogneto, your statement, "fairness, justice, equality, these are not things found in capitalism", is, IMHO, dead wrong.

    America is in the mess she's in because the overwhelming majority of the American populace have taken the responsibilites of freedom for granted. We can blame Washington for our ills, but the fact is, we elected them. We've been asleep at the switches in so many areas that I don't know if we can fix it now. Far too many Americans can't explain the 3 branches of government; or the role of these branches. We've allowed our public schools to be vast black money holes that produce large numbers of nearly illiterate graduates the result of union takeovers and political correctness.

    Capitalism has produced the highest standard of living for the largest number of people in the history of mankind. In America, even our poor or well-to-due compared to the inhabitants of much of the rest of the world. As someone once said, "Only in America do wards of the state drive their own cars to the welfare office". But we are heading for third world status very quickly.

    We, and the rest of the Western World are paying for our foolishness. The old joke goes like this: A reporter approached a man on the street and asked, Do you think ignorance and apathy is a problem in this country? The man replied, "I don't know and I don't care."

    That statement represents FAR to many of my fellow Americans.
     
  9. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    Capitalism refers to an economic system. It would be a mistake to assign moral attributes (fairness, justice, equality, etc.) to it or any other economic system. Those with the power set the moral standards of any economic system no matter which system is in place.

    Capitalism is the most productive because it recognizes the self-centered nature of mankind. Specificallly, people will be most productive when being productive benefits them in a personal way.

    Socialism and Communism are based on the belief that all people are basically industrious, kind, and generous as long as their needs are met and the playing field is level. Hence the assumption that some people will work harder than others even though they gain nothing personal for their extra efforts. Evidence proves the fallacy of that belief!

    If you want fairness, justice and equality don't expect it to originate from an economic system. It will come from the people within the system. If the people are corrupt then the system will be corrupt.
     
  10. kogneto

    kogneto The Skeptic

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    :congrat: I like this, but would you say that one or the other inspires people to be more corrupt? Not to say it "is" corrupt or moral or immoral, but would you say one makes the choice of apathy easier or harder? hmm that may have answered your claim in favor of mine.

    Certainly it would seem socialism, or described as public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources, in seeking to equalize the population, would inspire apathy by those more skilled than par.

    But in focusing wealth and power into the hands of the few, doesn't that create an unequal society that exploits the masses, and waste good tech and resources in areas focused against the public good?(see: billionaire ceo's, current class warfare of main st./wall st., fact that it pays better to go into wall street than humanitarian work)
     
  11. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    What inspires corruption is not opportunity. If it was then all poor people would be corrupt. Corruption is caused by the worldview of the individual. Those of high moral fabric will not pursue corrupt actions whether they are rich or poor.

    Show me a society in which the wealthy do not exploit the poor! But the problem is not the economic system but in the nature of the people in control.

    Despite the whining and crying of liberals poor people in the US are still the envy of most of the world.
     
  12. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    I understand it to mean anyone that you don't know; someone unseen. If you don't know "the man behind the tree" that is being taxed, you won't feel the pain it puts him through when the tax axe is brought down upon him. It doesn't impact you personally. JMHO. :)
     
  13. kogneto

    kogneto The Skeptic

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    ah yes the "other" lot of interesting ideas as to our responsibility to "other"


    mtnman - I get the impression that there is an innate nature to man then to give in to immoral actions. It takes work, principles and effort to remain moral, whether you're rich or poor.

    You make a very good point about rich poor exploitation as well. It will always be the nature that those "with" will strive to keep those "without" without. It does not benefit them to have competition, if anything it costs them.

    If an economic structure then is created in which their is greater benefit for the richest of the rich, and active destruction of main street to rake in more profits for the rich, is that not an immorally supported economic structure. Honestly though I cannot tell you what a morally supported economic structure would be.

    I'm not sure if they were ever meant to be moral, such as you stated earlier. Though not that they can't be moral or immoral, they just can't be moral...hmm, but is fairness or rules moral? Not in and of themselves necessary, rules are moral because they are rules, but good rules, rules that assist those who most need it.

    I know I keep harping on this, just trying to flush out my own opinions on it, seems like a competition can be moral/immoral question :scratch
     
  14. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    The thing with capitalism is that for it to make the rich richer there must also be a market for their goods or services which means that the more money consumers have to spend the better off everyone will be. It isn't a "competition" in which some win and others loose. It's also based on supply and demand in which the products that best meet the needs of consumers are the products most in demand. This competition keeps businesses working hard to please the consumer.

    It really is a superior economic system as has been historically proven.

    The "morality quandary" you're dealing with could also apply to fast cars which obviously promote speeding and reckless driving, high capacity magazines which obviously cause people to commit mass murder, and 50 caliber rifles which obviously cause people to become long range killers. It would be a mistake to assign moral attributes to cars, gun magazines or 50 cal. firearms although many have tried to label them as good or bad. They are nothing but tools. So what if Al Capone preferred a sawed off shotgun or "tommy-gun!" Does that mean that they are "bad" guns?

    You see what's going on? A knife can be used to filet a fish or murder your neighbor. The knife didn't cause the act but was merely the tool used. Economic systems are merely tools. A means to an end.
     
  15. kogneto

    kogneto The Skeptic

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    i like it, makes sense, but can it be improved? does our system match up enough to where it can truly be called capitalism? what I mean is, can you really apply the capitalistic view that it's truly an equal system where competition, while maybe not win/lose is buy best. I guess what I'm driving at is, can you beat walmart, can you beat the big brands, and if it's exorbitantly difficult to do, is that still a capitalistic society.

    if the smallest segment controls the largest proportion is that still operating under the name capitalism, or better yet is it operating under anything but a name?
     
  16. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    Of course our system could be improved. The first step would be to get the government out of it. Businesses need to succeed and fail. When businesses get bailed out because they are "too big to fail" the government becomes the problem. They are breeding inefficiency. Capitalism is self-correcting when it's left alone. If it becomes so self-seeking that it destroys the host (the consumer) then, like a cancer, it dies too.

    Walmart and similar enterprises exist as part of the system because they fill a need in the system. Walmart is not the enemy. No one is forced to buy from them. Are they difficult to compete against? Sure. That doesn't make them evil or illegitimate in a capitalistic society.

    For capitalism to work you need opportunity and initiative. Anything that restrains these will have anegative impact. The biggest anchor to our system today is the federal government. Large businesses have used the government to drive out competition. Environmentalists have used the government to stop business formation and growth. It costs so much to begin any kind of large industry by the time you comply with government regulations and the profit margins are usually so thin that it just doesn't pay. The only people left who have that kind of capital are the rich. And they've opted to go outside the US to open new businesses where the environment is more business friendly. (And that hurts EVERYONE!

    I have a son who owns a rain gutter business. He can't hire anyone to work because the profit margin is too thin to pay his help and comply with the government "add-ons" (social security, medicare, workman's comp. additional insurance requirements, etc.) associated with employees.

    If you want the system to work right, get the government out of it. It is self-correcting. Those times are not pleasant but they are cleansing and necessary for the system to stay healthy.
     
  17. kogneto

    kogneto The Skeptic

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    :beercheer: ser gut!