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Old 11-25-2011, 10:24 AM   #11
Jorath Calar
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Default Re: US economic situation for dummies



I hope someone listens to this guy...
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:26 PM   #12
Timber Loftis
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Default Re: US economic situation for dummies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azred View Post
I was telling Noty the other day that my belief now is that we are beyond the point of no return--
Actually we aren't. But politically I don't think we can do the things needed to avoid it.

Put most tax rates back to mid-90's numbers and these problems start to go away all on their own in a short while. That's the actual start of a good fix. But, politically the anti-government crowd will keep allowing a polarized politics to keep winning the polls -- which inevitably means no reasoned solution can be reached. When you reward your politicians for holding firm on extreme policies, you can never expect them to work for any solution.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:32 PM   #13
Timber Loftis
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Default Re: US economic situation for dummies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorath Calar View Post
I hope someone listens to this guy...
Debt breakdown (trillions):

1.0 Prior to Reagan
1.9 Reagan
1.5 G.H.W. Bush
1.4 Clinton
6.1 G.W. Bush (incl. 1.5 wars and 1.8 tax cuts)
2.4 Obama (incl. 1.1 stimulus and tax cuts)
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:01 AM   #14
Memnoch
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Default Re: US economic situation for dummies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timber Loftis View Post
Debt breakdown (trillions):

1.0 Prior to Reagan
1.9 Reagan
1.5 G.H.W. Bush
1.4 Clinton
6.1 G.W. Bush (incl. 1.5 wars and 1.8 tax cuts)
2.4 Obama (incl. 1.1 stimulus and tax cuts)
Ya, Dubya blew the bank bigtime eh. As an outsider to the politics here, I find it ironic that he as a Republican has been responsible for the biggest increase in government spending in years and years. What was it, $2 trillion, $3 trillion and $4 trillion budgets?
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:01 AM   #15
Chewbacca
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Arrow Re: US economic situation for dummies

Speaking of Republicans: (very much a long article)
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...-rich-20111109

Quote:
The nation is still recovering from a crushing recession that sent unemployment hovering above nine percent for two straight years. The president, mindful of soaring deficits, is pushing bold action to shore up the nation's balance sheet. Cloaking himself in the language of class warfare, he calls on a hostile Congress to end wasteful tax breaks for the rich. "We're going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share," he thunders to a crowd in Georgia. Such tax loopholes, he adds, "sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary – and that's crazy."

Preacherlike, the president draws the crowd into a call-and-response. "Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver," he demands, "or less?"

The crowd, sounding every bit like the protesters from Occupy Wall Street, roars back: "MORE!"

The year was 1985. The president was Ronald Wilson Reagan.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:41 AM   #16
Timber Loftis
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Default Re: US economic situation for dummies

BTW I'm reading Back to Work (auth. B. Clinton) right now, about 90 pages in, and it's some incredibly informative stuff. Despite being enigmatic to me during his presidency (having voted for him once and against him once), this man is as far as I can recollect probably the smartest president we've had that I can remember (I vaguely remember Carter) and in retrospect our country was in our best heyday during his time (possibly not better than the 50's, 60's highest-standard-of-living era, but it's arguable), with all things balanced as best they ever were.

Anyway, a good read. I've thought of posting some passages, and perhaps I will when I get time. But, in all honesty, I have never seen anyone so good at congealing history to assimilate where the nation has been and where it's going. He's also bang-on the most knowledgeable person about the minutae of politics (like, as in: who won X district in Y state during Z year, and why), which is something that is very DC insider stuff and has always eluding my understanding.

I will say this. Annually, about 85% of the US budget is "non-discretionary." That means that 85% is pre-determined based on, in order of magnitude, (1) interest on the debt, (2) medicaid/medicare/social security, and (3) defense. What that means is about 15% is really out there and available for cutting, but frankly those programs (SBA, Student Loans, Welfare, work training, etc. -- it's a long list) have been being cut and forced to prove their worth for about 30 years, so most all of them are more efficient than a private-sector alternative. For instance, the VA Hospitals and medicaid/medicare run with less than a 15% overhead/management cost, yet the private sector insurance runs at sometimes upward of a 30% overhead cost. Nevertheless, if you cut them ALL to ZERO, you'd still only be able to make up 15% of the annual budget. But we borrow 50% of the budget annually. So, 15% < 50%, so there is, quite frankly NO POSSIBLE WAY that the deficit can be reduced solely through cutting government, even if you cut it all -- new revenues are not an option here, folks, and you just have to know that.

Oh, and on the list above, out of GW's 1.8T in tax cuts, well over 60% of those went to the top 1%. Considering the amount spent on Afgh/Iraq wars, those tax cuts to the top 1% could have almost fully funded those affairs. Oh, and 90% of that 1.8T went to the top 10%, with next to nothing going to our almost-extinct-and-needing-saving-like-the-bald-eagle middle class.

More later? Maybe.

But I am beginning to learn how our overall state of affairs is not a mere happenstance based on market whimsy and bubble-bursting (like the dot-com), but is something that is a product of national policy and its effect over the years. Market fluctuations aside, there are things other countries, who are also living amid fluctuating markets, did that over a couple of decades drove them up on the lists of "good happy social things" and opposing things we did that drove us down on those same lists.
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