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Thread: So, where do you cut spending?

  1. #1
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    Default So, where do you cut spending?

    I can't seem to get anyone to point out some spending cuts that aren't back door, dishonest tax increase equivilent to someone.

    If one is collecting Social Security and "they" change the CPI/COLA calculation so that one gets less of an increase every year, isn't that the same thing as raising taxes that amount for that person?

    If we are spending it now, and we cut that spending, we are taking money out of the hands of somebody. We can cut spending and a number of people lose their jobs behind it. How does that help?

    The government can do two things: it can put money into the economy or it can take money out of the economy. Tax increases give it more money to put into the economy and help keep money circulating. Spending cuts take money out of the economy and out of circulation.

    The "books" may balance by spending cuts and/or tax increases, but "how" we balance the books is important.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    What happens if the government gets out of the milk business?
    Conferences at the top level are always courteous. Name calling is left to the foreign ministers. (Averell Harriman)

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    We may find out soon.

    Everyone seems to think spending cuts will only impact someone else.

    There is a limit to how much we can cut spending and not have severe economic consequences. There's a similar limit to raising taxes, but I think it's a much larger amount.

    There seems to be a concept that most government spending is wasted. No doubt some is, but I suspect that's less than is generally thought to be. Just cutting unemployment has consequences. Raising the age for Medicare eligibility only shifts cost; doesn't cut any, as the 65 and 66 year olds don't disappear themselves.

    Realistically, we can try to keep spending from going up. We can increase revenue carefully, but enough to cover our present obligations. That at least will eliminate the deficit and keep the debt from rising. It will buy us time to patiently and carefully find cuts that don't cause harm. Let's not kill the patient with the cure.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    You haven't been reading John. I as well as others have suggested for quite awhile starting with military bases around the World; not all of them, just one third. Bases in States having Tea Party Senators and Reps should be high on the list, too.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    10 percent in defense spending.

    60 billion in one area

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    I think we should start scaling back military spending. However, that needs to be some on a carefull schedule to allow the companies impacted time to shift to consumer products in order to minimize the impact of the cuts on employment, etc. One way to do that is to shift military spending to domestic civilian infrastructure (highways, publically owned railroads, public power infrastructure, etc.)

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    10% cut in "defense" spending every year for the next five, with the complex, hideously expensive weapons systems first. Do an audit of the Pentagon's procurement work and throw some of the corrupt former-military fixers in jail.

    10% cut in agricultural subsidies every year for the next five for commodity crops (cotton, sugar, etc.) that are not in short supply, with irrigated crops in arid regions (e.g. alfalfa hay in the southwest) first on the list.

    10% cut (as above) in programs that subsidize the conversion of ag land to residential subdivisions.

    Charge market-rates for permits to use public land (grazing, mining, drilling, etc.) and end direct subsidies to Big Oil.

    End federal grants to states and municipalities that are used directly or as in-lieu funding for corporate development incentives.

    End subsidies for the export of vital US commodities.

    End tax deductions for donations to college sports programs and similar uncharitable crap.

    Cut Homeland Security grants to state and local police for "anti-terrorist" junk such as invasive surveillance gear, heavy weapons, and armored cars.

    Raise the capital gains rate to at least 20%.

    Make estate taxes more progressive.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Closing bases involves little of that, Todd. Out troops can to transferred and absorbed elsewhere. Supplies planned for shipment to closed bases can be redirected elsewhere. Civilians no longer employed at those bases are the problem of the host country involved, not ours'. If the host country wants to pay for operating the base, we might consider that letting them do that. True, closing stateside bases would require more coordination; remembering that the intent is to save money, ands well as instruct Tea Party representation a lesson in back scratching.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    Bases in States having Tea Party Senators and Reps should be high on the list, too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    ...closing stateside bases would require more coordination; remembering that the intent is to save money, ands well as instruct Tea Party representation a lesson in back scratching.
    So much anger.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Abolish the TSA!
    Steve Martinsen

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Congressional health bennies. Make em buy it like the rest of us, or give us the same bennies...
    Govt. salaries could be lopped by 20% and they'd still largely be over paid.
    Military bases.
    But I think that instead of "cuts" what needs to be done is make programs more efficient, less redundant, and more accountable for their actions from the top down. If the Farm Bureau (For instance) gets "caught" spending $500,000 on a christmas party at a strip joint (for instance) they should be "fined" that amount, off the top of the next budget, with no increase.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Anger, Meleft8? Not at all; just making cuts among the folks who want them most. It's called "government by the people, for the people".

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    You haven't been reading John. I as well as others have suggested for quite awhile starting with military bases around the World; not all of them, just one third. Bases in States having Tea Party Senators and Reps should be high on the list, too.
    Bringing them home to build and repair infrastructure in the continent US rather than Afghanistan? It's got to be hugely less expensive and beneficial it might even meet general approval from both sides although we'd miss Brian's photos.
    Try to work out what the marketing guy wants you to do then do precisely the opposite.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    How about guarding our schools? Battle hardened infantrymen vs local whack jobs.
    Conferences at the top level are always courteous. Name calling is left to the foreign ministers. (Averell Harriman)

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    A battle hardened whack job??

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    To cut spending you have to fire people.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    A battle hardened whack job??
    Seen a few of those, too.
    Conferences at the top level are always courteous. Name calling is left to the foreign ministers. (Averell Harriman)

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    It would be interesting to do a defense budget based on what we need to do to keep the nation safe. Starting with a clean sheet of paper and with no "sacred cows". I'm rational enough to know that's never going to happen, but somewhere we have to stop planning to fight two WW2 sized wars simultaneously. Main battle tanks, and nuclear attack submarines, F22 fighters with no defined enemies is just crazy.

    If I remember right, we spend more than the next 22 nations on defense spending. Maybe we should just decide to only spend more than the top 5.
    The same amount spent on infrastructure would return much more to the economy than spending on war materials.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    We don't need to cut no steenking spending. http://nation.foxnews.com/barack-oba...-workers-raise
    Conferences at the top level are always courteous. Name calling is left to the foreign ministers. (Averell Harriman)

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    John, bookmark this thread. There are many good suggestions on where to start right here already. No one has said it will not hurt.




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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    To cut spending you have to fire people.
    An inconvenient truth. All spending cuts will hit someone in the wallet. All meaningful spending cuts in "social" departments will have to hit service delivery workers, because that is where your spending is. And consolidating services the way "real" businesses do will hit rural areas harder than urban ones, because economies of scale and sustainability only come through aggregating volume.

    Take your top 5 spending departments, and force each to cut 5% this fiscal year, while holding all other spending areas to 0% increases. In this year, develop zero-based budgets for all departments, aligning with their core businesses - aligning budget targets with an overall Government plan for the core business it ought to be in.

    Note - sometimes, that core business is actually supporting regional economies ... which will mean delivering services "inefficiently." Small towns continuing to exist is a "public good" too - and of the type which elects governments.

    Truth be told, each department will already know where the "fat" is. In fact, they've probably proposed those very cuts for years to the politicians, but have had them knocked back because of the impact in constituencies. All government spending, after all, serves more than one purpose - its nominal one (road building, schools etc), but also politically sensitive "rewards" or "regional supports." Your bureaucrats know where these untouchable spending buckets are, and most of the management would give their eyeteeth to be allowed to kill them, and do their actual jobs well. DAMHIKT.

    So use this as an opportunity for replacing "legacy" ways of delivering essential services with ones which meet upcoming needs. You'll never have a better opportunity to ignore political sacred cows, discard bad practices, and rebuild on best practices.
    Last edited by TomF; 12-29-2012 at 08:54 PM.
    "It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Cut spending and increase revenue by:

    10% across the board spending cuts ---- excluding Social Security. Index overall government spending to GDP.

    5 year freeze on any increases in Social Security Benefits.

    5% tax increase on persons making $50,000 +/yr. Said increase to be used to pay off government debt only.

    Stop foreign wars, reduce defense budgets by an appropriate amount.

    End the “war on drugs”--- legalize pot and sell it over the counter at the pharmacy---tax the hell out of it.

    Government will always seek to expand and spend all the money that it has---and borrow more. The only way to increase the efficiency of government is to reduce the amount of money available to it.
    Even a fish wouldn’t get in trouble if it kept it's mouth shut.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oysterhouse View Post
    ...Government will always seek to expand and spend all the money that it has---and borrow more. The only way to increase the efficiency of government is to reduce the amount of money available to it.
    Government is citizens. Services exist and expand because citizens want them. Most bureaucrats I know - and I've worked with civil servants across my country - are quite angry that they're told on the one hand to "run government like a business," and on the other hand are explicitly denied the permission to cut, streamline or amalgamate services in ways which would actually make a meaningful difference.

    I work in Canada as a health policy wonk. All across Canada, Health departments spend upwards of 40% of the entire Provincial budgets. I expect that Provinces could cut costs by something in the order of 35% tomorrow, if the public would allow the governments of the day to remain in power after making those sweeping changes. While actually improving patient safety, and health outcomes. And that's before steps to make citizens accountable for more of the financial impact of their own lifestyle choices.

    It won't happen - but not because civil servants don't know how. Citizens won't permit some services to be run they way the private sector operates them.
    "It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    I am all for closing ALL of our foreign bases and eliminating the personel. My only concern about massive military cuts, which I would like to see is they will disrupt our economy. That is the only reason I suggested phasing them in slowly. If it was left to me, I would reduce the military to a small cadre of 100,000 or less in total.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrleft8 View Post
    Congressional health bennies. Make em buy it like the rest of us, or give us the same bennies...
    Govt. salaries could be lopped by 20% and they'd still largely be over paid.
    Military bases.
    But I think that instead of "cuts" what needs to be done is make programs more efficient, less redundant, and more accountable for their actions from the top down. If the Farm Bureau (For instance) gets "caught" spending $500,000 on a christmas party at a strip joint (for instance) they should be "fined" that amount, off the top of the next budget, with no increase.
    I am glad to report a small cut, but a cut just the same that has already taken place.

    My health insurance premiums for Blue Cross become effective Feb. 1 each year. I have always received a notice late December advising me of changes in my pension that take affect January 1 and then another notice late January telling me what changes take place Feb. 1. This year the one notice that advised of January 1 changes also advised of Feb. 1 changes, saving the cost of the second mailing which I don't see as harming anyone.

    This indicates that the administration is already looking for ways to be more efficient.

    I agree we can cut military/defense by a lot and still be safe. My recollection is there were some shenanagans involved in putting all those new screening machines in airports, and I doubt they make us any safer.

    I think we could legalize drugs and treat them like alcohol. We then have some control over the quality, we get tax revenue from them, and we cut the spending on enforcing laws that we can't seem to enforce. Perhaps we could then spend less money incarcerating our youth and more money educating them.

    My suggestion is we look at all the "cuts" carefully, and completely, after we raise taxes. At some point we have to be more than revenue neutral each year, as we need more coming in than our current spending if we are to pay down any of the debt.

    Many things that will cut federal spending will increase state spending and state taxes. Many will cut into the ability of the middle and lower class to consume, which will be bad for business.

    I also think that some money can be cut from one place and used to better purpose elsewhere, such as repairing bridges.

    I believe it was Henry Ford that said something to the effect that no job is too big when you break it down to small parts. I think that applies here. If we break this into smaller parts and establish small committies to ponder how best to cut/re-direct spending in specific areas, we are much more likely to have wise choices.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Mr. TomF;
    Your points are well taken. I think that we can agree that politicians, through their efforts to garner votes, usually manage to destroy the efficiency of everything they touch ??

    Allow me to edit my comment thusly:
    Politicians will always seek to expand government and spend all the money available---and borrow more. The only way to increase the efficiency of government is to reduce the amount of money available for politicians to screw with.
    Even a fish wouldn’t get in trouble if it kept it's mouth shut.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    To cut spending you have to fire people.
    That's a possibility, unless you cut carefully and wisely. The single mailing this year that replaced two mailings of all prievious years that I mentioned above didn't cost any jobs.

    If we cut spending in ways that directly cost people jobs, or simply cost people some ability to consume, which leads to less demand, which leads to job loss, you are correct. This is why any cuts must be made with great care.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by fishrswim View Post
    It would be interesting to do a defense budget based on what we need to do to keep the nation safe. Starting with a clean sheet of paper and with no "sacred cows". I'm rational enough to know that's never going to happen, but somewhere we have to stop planning to fight two WW2 sized wars simultaneously. Main battle tanks, and nuclear attack submarines, F22 fighters with no defined enemies is just crazy.

    If I remember right, we spend more than the next 22 nations on defense spending. Maybe we should just decide to only spend more than the top 5.
    The same amount spent on infrastructure would return much more to the economy than spending on war materials.
    The military budget has taken on a mind of its own. Remember the $400 hammers? I read an article that explained those. It said we were giving the Pentagon more money than it could spend, and the Pentagon was hiding it within the computer among all purchases. This meant that every purchase showed up as $400 more than the actual price. Didn't notice it in a tank invoice, but it stood out when added to the cost of a screwdriver.

    I've also heard often that the military features a lot of cost overruns which mean the opening bids for contracts don't really mean anything.

    If we could get serious people to take serious looks into this and other places, I'm sure they can find cuts in spending or places where money can be moved to some other project or purpose with better results.

    This brings us a second question that maybe deserves its own thread but seems to fit here.

    Assuming we can get Congress to actually take the appropriate steps here, what is a reasonable amount to pay on the debt each year? If we manage to stop it growing past $17 trillion, 10% would be 1.7 trillion. That seems impossible. If we can do 1/3 of that, we're looking at 30 years to get rid of the debt.

    Under the best scenario, it may take half a century to pay off this debt. The longer it takes to get started, the longer it will take to pay off.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    An inconvenient truth. All spending cuts will hit someone in the wallet. All meaningful spending cuts in "social" departments will have to hit service delivery workers, because that is where your spending is. And consolidating services the way "real" businesses do will hit rural areas harder than urban ones, because economies of scale and sustainability only come through aggregating volume.

    Take your top 5 spending departments, and force each to cut 5% this fiscal year, while holding all other spending areas to 0% increases. In this year, develop zero-based budgets for all departments, aligning with their core businesses - aligning budget targets with an overall Government plan for the core business it ought to be in.

    Note - sometimes, that core business is actually supporting regional economies ... which will mean delivering services "inefficiently." Small towns continuing to exist is a "public good" too - and of the type which elects governments.

    Truth be told, each department will already know where the "fat" is. In fact, they've probably proposed those very cuts for years to the politicians, but have had them knocked back because of the impact in constituencies. All government spending, after all, serves more than one purpose - its nominal one (road building, schools etc), but also politically sensitive "rewards" or "regional supports." Your bureaucrats know where these untouchable spending buckets are, and most of the management would give their eyeteeth to be allowed to kill them, and do their actual jobs well. DAMHIKT.

    So use this as an opportunity for replacing "legacy" ways of delivering essential services with ones which meet upcoming needs. You'll never have a better opportunity to ignore political sacred cows, discard bad practices, and rebuild on best practices.
    That seems to have a degree of good sense init.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Without exception, any government service other than super-expensive military hardware has the majority of its spending in remuneration of one kind or another. In Canadian healthcare, for instance, salaries and other forms of health provider pay account for between 70-85% of the total spend, depending who's counting and how. That's service providers, mind, not administrators. Multiple national and regional studies show administration costs for this are only between 2-3% ... in fact, that's part of why I personally feel that Canadian health care costs too much; it's under-managed.

    The premise is no different in areas like child welfare, education, or other social services; the real costs are in provider salaries ... which individually aren't as large as most non-civil-servants think they are. And cutting them will have a significant financial impact especially in rural areas, where those professional salaries have a disproportionate impact on the local economies compared to bigger cities (which have more diversified economies, and more professional opportunities).
    "It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oysterhouse View Post
    Cut spending and increase revenue by:

    10% across the board spending cuts ---- excluding Social Security. Index overall government spending to GDP.

    5 year freeze on any increases in Social Security Benefits.

    5% tax increase on persons making $50,000 +/yr. Said increase to be used to pay off government debt only.

    Stop foreign wars, reduce defense budgets by an appropriate amount.

    End the “war on drugs”--- legalize pot and sell it over the counter at the pharmacy---tax the hell out of it.

    Government will always seek to expand and spend all the money that it has---and borrow more. The only way to increase the efficiency of government is to reduce the amount of money available to it.
    Across the board is a hatchet job. We need more precision. Across the board 10% cuts will take food out of the mouths of a lot of children, and that is food that will not be bought to feed those kids, and that will hurt the businesses that make the food. Do you cut pensions of retirees? do you cut unemployment benefits by 10%?

    You're basic premise is correct; the governmentn spends the money it has providing services to the people. If spending goes down, people lose services.

    We do not have the luxury of starting where we would like to start. We have to start with a debt that will reach $17 trillion before we put anything into law.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    1.Stop all foreign aid.

    2.Stop all the military intervention around the world.

    3.Shut down/bring back all troops of foreign military bases in the 100 plus countries around the world.

    4.Freeze/set retroactively all gov pay to 2006 levels.

    5.Set gov budget to 2006 levels.

    I could go on but this would be a good start.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Mr. Smith;
    No mater what we do it's going to hurt, and because of that we will probably do nothing. Our society will continue to deflect and postpone responsibility for the financial mess that we now find ourselves in. Why pay now when someone else will pay later?
    Even a fish wouldn’t get in trouble if it kept it's mouth shut.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Here's a planthat's already in Congress's menu. It changes the budget to a baseline basis, rather than the automatic increases it now employs. But the demo's haven't passed a budget in 4 years, you think they'll start now?

    http://www.conniemack.com/issues/penny-plan/

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    No tax relief for religious organizations would be a welcome start.

    Chip skiff's #7 has some real meat to it that bears masticating.
    Gerard>
    Everett, WA

    Next election, vote against every Republican, for every office, at every level. Be patriotic.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    Anger, Meleft8? Not at all; just making cuts among the folks who want them most. It's called "government by the people, for the people".
    I'm missing the anger reference......

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    Government is citizens. Services exist and expand because citizens want them. Most bureaucrats I know - and I've worked with civil servants across my country - are quite angry that they're told on the one hand to "run government like a business," and on the other hand are explicitly denied the permission to cut, streamline or amalgamate services in ways which would actually make a meaningful difference.

    I work in Canada as a health policy wonk. All across Canada, Health departments spend upwards of 40% of the entire Provincial budgets. I expect that Provinces could cut costs by something in the order of 35% tomorrow, if the public would allow the governments of the day to remain in power after making those sweeping changes. While actually improving patient safety, and health outcomes. And that's before steps to make citizens accountable for more of the financial impact of their own lifestyle choices.

    It won't happen - but not because civil servants don't know how. Citizens won't permit some services to be run they way the private sector operates them.
    Govenment is NOT a business. It provides services tha promote the general welfare that don't generally hold enough profit for business to do them.

    The argument against raising taxes is it will take money out of the hands of consumers and prevent them from consuming, which will be bad for business and the economy. Spending cuts do the same thing a different way.

    It is possible to cut some without having a negative impact on the economy, but there is a limit. Most cuts will have the same result as tax increases on the poor and middle class.

    I'm not sure which government services we really want to cut. It was lack of oversight that led to both the recent Wall Street bail out and the Savings & Loan bail out of three decades or so ago. I like the idea of our food being as safe as possible to eat. Our water being as clean as possible to drink. I sometimes wish we had more cops simply observing drivers. Should my house catch fire, I'd certainly want the response to be a fast as possible. I believe smaller class sizes are better. All these things are connected, as are many other things, and we will miss them when they are gone.

    I don't think people appreciate the many things government does that improves our lives daily. I'm not sure how many even know we're about to go over a cliff or understand the the cost of not raising the debt ceiling.

    I suspect too few know the difference between the deficit and the debt.

    It's disturbing to me to hear people who love their Medicare say they don't want the government involved in healthcare, and I realize many voice that opinion.

    If the government were to operate as a private business, it would need to make a profit out of everything it does.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd D View Post
    I am all for closing ALL of our foreign bases and eliminating the personel. My only concern about massive military cuts, which I would like to see is they will disrupt our economy. That is the only reason I suggested phasing them in slowly. If it was left to me, I would reduce the military to a small cadre of 100,000 or less in total.
    All cuts must be done carefully. This is where raising taxes provides the best way to begin, as they can be done carefully and quickly.

    We can look at tax rates when this country was thriving: they were considerably higher than they are now. I don't think we can take it ALL from the wealthy, but a man who earns several million a year and pays a 50% tax on the third million keeps a lot of money.He keeps more of the first million. If he earns $3 million and keeps $2 million he does a lot better than the one who earns $50k.

    No one has presented the math and how it has to work. Until we zero out our deficit, the debt will continue to grow. If we establish tax increases, then some cuts, and zero out the deficit, we stop the debt from going up, but do nothing to bring it down.

    Therefore we must begin with a plan that zeros out the deficit. We must do this in a way that does not prevent the middle and lower classes from consuming. We must find ways to open factories here and expand our jobs, and the taxes raised can then go toward paying down the debt.

    When I see "over ten years" as part of the expression of when we will raise/save money, I hear, "We will have a deficit for 10 years" and the debt will keep growing.

    Income disparity (we've all seen the charts) has been enormous over recent decades. The very wealthy have done extremely well. Tax rate changes, IMO, could be aimed at something based on income growth over 30 years. This country has been very good to those people, and they shouldn't be so greedy as to not to want to pay something back.

    This free lunch mentality began under Reagan. Back then we were sold the idea that deficits could go on forever and no one would ever have to pay the money back. We've had many years of Republicans signing Norquist's pledge and seemingly believing we never had to pay any of this borrowed money back.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oysterhouse View Post
    Mr. TomF;
    Your points are well taken. I think that we can agree that politicians, through their efforts to garner votes, usually manage to destroy the efficiency of everything they touch ??

    Allow me to edit my comment thusly:
    Politicians will always seek to expand government and spend all the money available---and borrow more. The only way to increase the efficiency of government is to reduce the amount of money available for politicians to screw with.
    I don't think that's true at all. Congress may be dysfunctional. Local governments may be dysfunctional. That doesn't mean the agencies they create are dysfunctional or inefficient. Most of the services we get from government are done so well by the agencies that we seem to forget the government is doing them.

    There are very few, and hard to find, people on Medicare who have any complaints about it, and that is a government run program. It's a lot easier to find people who have complaints with their private health insurance. Motor Vehicle in NJ is quite efficient these days and not at all an unpleasant place to conduct business. When I think of the various problems I've had over my many years, more of them have been dealing with private companies than government agencies.

    When I needed a copy of my birth certificate, I left an enveloped addressed to the place I needed to get it from for my letter carrier to take on a Thursday. Saturday's mail brought my birth certificate. This entire thing was done by government employees, and you cannot get better service than that.

    It is the government that keeps our harbors dredged and maintains navigational aids. It is the government who put up the satellites so we can enjoy our GPS. NASA is a government agency, and it's had a pretty good record.

    I enjoy putting my garbage to the curb and have it picked up.

    Bodies of politicians, such as congress or state houses, are not representative of how government created agencies do their jobs. This is not to say some agencies don't screw up from time to time, but that's true of anything run by people. If private industry never screwed up, no company would go out of business.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    Without exception, any government service other than super-expensive military hardware has the majority of its spending in remuneration of one kind or another. In Canadian healthcare, for instance, salaries and other forms of health provider pay account for between 70-85% of the total spend, depending who's counting and how. That's service providers, mind, not administrators. Multiple national and regional studies show administration costs for this are only between 2-3% ... in fact, that's part of why I personally feel that Canadian health care costs too much; it's under-managed.

    The premise is no different in areas like child welfare, education, or other social services; the real costs are in provider salaries ... which individually aren't as large as most non-civil-servants think they are. And cutting them will have a significant financial impact especially in rural areas, where those professional salaries have a disproportionate impact on the local economies compared to bigger cities (which have more diversified economies, and more professional opportunities).
    One area in the US that costs taxpayers money is the part of the Medicare prescription drug bill that DID NOT allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Having worked in government, both federal and state, pretty much everything needed goes out for bid. Lowest bid gets the contract.

    This is not a perfect idea, as the lower bid may cut some corners on quality and, long term, be more expensive.

    It also doesn't always work without some corruption. When we paved our parking lot, it went out for bids. Lowest bid was $35,000. He took that money and paid another contracter $17,000 to do the job. Where was that guy when we were taking bids?

    I do think that politicians frequently pass laws that may be popular, but cannot be efficiently or effectively enforced, and then we have built in failure of the agency that has to enforce the laws. We had enough sense to repeal Prohibition. I wish we'd have the same sense with drugs, prostitution, and gambling.

    We cannot make them go away, but we can have more control over them if they are legal, we can stop wasting money trying to make them go away, and we can raise some money by taxing them when they are legal.

    I think it would be good to make our roads safer, and we could grandfather in some technology to do that. Congress forced seatbelts and airbags into cars. I'd like to see them force a "reader" in all new cars so you cannot start the car without a valid license, and maybe valid insurance. Maybe technology that renders a cell phone inoperable while the vehicle is in motion.

    I stray, but not as far as you might think. These things might lower car insurance premiums, keep people out of ERs, and over time save money.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    it's not the governments purpose to save money as in collect it and not spend it

    the real issue is how much should it collect and spend and on what

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Every government expenditure you cut affects a long line of people's livlihoods. If you don't understand that, you can't discuss this question.

    It's cute to talk about consolidating two Social Security mailings into one, but you're not thinking about the people who work at the Post Office, or the person in the government printing office, or the people who manage the computer databases which calculate the numbers which get dropped into the little spaces in the letter.

    Clearly, the most important thing for our current economy is to confront the big question - how are we going to produce life sustaining incomes for the population of today and of all the tomorrows ahead of us. Having essentially destroyed the basis of our economy in pursuit of greater profits for our business community, what new basis can we envision and will it do more than create profits for those who already have too much while barely sustaining life for those who do the dirty work?

    Ross Perot was correct - there was a big sucking sound, and both sides of the political sphere thought it was OK to let it get made.
    A society predicated on the assumption that everyone in it should want to get rich is not well situated to become either ethical or imaginative.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by elf View Post
    Every government expenditure you cut affects a long line of people's livlihoods. If you don't understand that, you can't discuss this question.

    It's cute to talk about consolidating two Social Security mailings into one, but you're not thinking about the people who work at the Post Office, or the person in the government printing office, or the people who manage the computer databases which calculate the numbers which get dropped into the little spaces in the letter.

    Clearly, the most important thing for our current economy is to confront the big question - how are we going to produce life sustaining incomes for the population of today and of all the tomorrows ahead of us. Having essentially destroyed the basis of our economy in pursuit of greater profits for our business community, what new basis can we envision and will it do more than create profits for those who already have too much while barely sustaining life for those who do the dirty work?

    Ross Perot was correct - there was a big sucking sound, and both sides of the political sphere thought it was OK to let it get made.
    First, it's a computer generated mailing. The only thing saved was the cost of the paper and the postage. Eliminating one mailing is hardly going to impact the Postal Service: what is killing the postal service is the law requiring them to overpay pensions and benefits for 75 years into the future.

    This is a very tiny drop in a very large bucket, but it is a sign that someone has been looking at ways to do some things a bit more efficiently.

    To be clear, this mailing came from OPM and it simply included next month's change in my Blue Cross premiums which had always been in a separte mailing.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

  44. #44
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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    How to get jobs and grow the economy?

    First, IMO, thing to do is single payer healthcare so employee health insurance is not part of the cost of doing business.

    2nd, we have to educate people that we need higher taxes than other countries because we have a bigger defense budget, so we can police the world.

    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/...cit_chart.html

    According to this site, deficit is already going down. CBO did score the ACA as saving money, perhaps that's reflected here.

    We still look at a deficit for 2013 of nearly $1 trillion. That's the difference between income and outgo for the year. and that much will be added to our debt.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

  45. #45
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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    If we dare think outside the box, there are things we can do that will cut spending and increase revenue that aren't hard.

    First: legalize drugs. This isn't a question of whether we think taking drugs is a good thing or a bad thing. The fact is our war on drugs is a war we are losing. Most of the gun violence in this country is related to drugs being illegal. Much of our prison population is from drugs being illegal.

    We spend billions and billions of dollars fighting this war we can't win. If we legalize these drugs, we cut down on a lot of violence, which means less ER trips. We stop spending so much money on law enforcement chasing its tail and on prison space. We have more control over substances that are legal than over ones that are illegal, and we can tax the product.

    I'd make the same argument for legalizing prositution. More control and tax revenue. Maybe less broken marriages.

    If we are concerned with our budget, and we are compassionate towards single moms, we might consider prohibiting a single mom on public assistance from having more children while on that assistance.

    Under the thinking of things are connected to each other, had we started back when I suggested it, today's vehicles would require a valid license and insurance to start. I'm sure that would avoid a lot of accidents, injuries, ER trips, and would likely help lower car insurance premiums.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    I, for one, would advocate that government contracts should come from within the nation (the Netherlands for me). This will cost more, but you help your own employment rather than some other country's employment. If you are hesistant to let other siphon your money away, please provide a good example.
    If at first you fail, you need to expand your sample size.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bram V View Post
    I, for one, would advocate that government contracts should come from within the nation (the Netherlands for me). This will cost more, but you help your own employment rather than some other country's employment. If you are hesistant to let other siphon your money away, please provide a good example.

    I don't think it's that simple. If the government wants to buy computers, and none are made here, they cannot buy domestically. Telling private companies they have to build products here tends to violate our basic principles.

    The question becomes one of how to make this country more enticing for manufacturing plants. Single payer healthcare is my first suggestion.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

  48. #48
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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    This whole forum just seems like a low budget grind of current events. What a waste of time for anyone who's serious about the issues. Some nut shoots up a gun free school and the demo's scream "ban the guns". A few weeks ago it was "ban the gas, stop the hurricanes", "global warming", "we can change the world , if it will just listen to what we want it to do, stay the way we want it, forever". Tomorrow it will be taxes, which have nothing to do with the debt that's killing this country, then it'll be more about the debt and a little about illegal immigration, a little more about the poor and a little more about the rich, and the Lamestreampress will keep all you dumb masses one step behind them. As always.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdh View Post
    This whole forum just seems like a low budget grind of current events. What a waste of time for anyone who's serious about the issues. Some nut shoots up a gun free school and the demo's scream "ban the guns". A few weeks ago it was "ban the gas, stop the hurricanes", "global warming", "we can change the world , if it will just listen to what we want it to do, stay the way we want it, forever". Tomorrow it will be taxes, which have nothing to do with the debt that's killing this country, then it'll be more about the debt and a little about illegal immigration, a little more about the poor and a little more about the rich, and the Lamestreampress will keep all you dumb masses one step behind them. As always.
    Taxes have nothing to do with our budget deficit? There goes your credibility.

    We had a balanced budget and were paying down the debt until the Bush tax cuts.

    This election vote for the party that believes in Evolution, Climate Change, a woman's right to maker her health decisions, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more people having health insurance is a good thing, and thinks voting should be made easier to do.

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    Default Re: So, where do you cut spending?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdh View Post
    This whole forum just seems like a low budget grind of current events. What a waste of time for anyone who's serious about the issues. Some nut shoots up a gun free school and the demo's scream "ban the guns". A few weeks ago it was "ban the gas, stop the hurricanes", "global warming", "we can change the world , if it will just listen to what we want it to do, stay the way we want it, forever". Tomorrow it will be taxes, which have nothing to do with the debt that's killing this country, then it'll be more about the debt and a little about illegal immigration, a little more about the poor and a little more about the rich, and the Lamestreampress will keep all you dumb masses one step behind them. As always.
    If you are so unhappy here with the course of conversation why don't you leave?
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