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Even if we cut our defense budget to 0, we would still have a $60 billion deficit

pramod

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Oct 24, 2017
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I didn't fully realize how fucked we are until I saw these figures for last month:

For July:
$120 billion budget deficit
Total defense spending for July: $56 billion

So that means even if we spent 0 on defense....we were still 60+ billion in the red.

I mean, that kind of kills the left's argument that defense spending is what is causing huge deficits....but it doesn't really make me feel any better because the whole situation seems hopeless....what the fuck can be done?
 
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Tesseract

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it's just a running number, the rate it's going down is more important than the significant digits

not that it matters much when we hold the keys to the kingdom, the dollar ain't going anywhere for a long time
 
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CaptainAnchovie

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Most of the budget is spent on government services, medicare, medicaid, social security, welfare, extra educational programs aimed at trend correction. We also have large swaths of the population who take out far more than they pay in through taxes.
No fix except to cut benefits immensely, people will complain, but it was always meant to be temporary help rather than a lifestyle. It's utterly unsustainable, and people who are currently paying in more than they use will grow tired of subsidizing other people's lifestyles and Children.
 

Sub_Level

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what the fuck can be done?
Raise taxes on those Americans who are absurdly rich, specifically their investing activities since that is where their income is generated. Perhaps also enforce a "use it or lose it" measure on those entities which hoard money in overseas tax shelters.

But yes I know realistically America would sooner eliminate social safety nets for those darn welfare leeches. Gotta give the low levels someone even further to look down on to blame them for their ills.
 
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There's a hell of a lot of fat that could be cut out of the defense budget, such as glorified jobs programs that both parties bring home the bacon with for wasteful hardware production. That being said, 3rd Rail spending is the primary driver of the deficit, and always will be since nobody will care until people start telling the consequences of the national debt.

The only problem is that once people start feeling the consequences it's most likely too late to do anything about it. It's basicly the liberal version of climate change denial.
 
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Tesseract

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there are no adequate systems in place to redistribute american wealth successfully that doesn't funnel back to the top

we have no idea how to do it
 

Cucked SoyBoy

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Everybody talks about the debt and the deficit, but there is no voter support out there for austerity. In other words, nobody wants to make cuts to something that benefits them.

Trump and Republicans have stopped talking about it, because every time they mention balancing the budget, Democrats accuse them of looking to cut Medicare and Social Security.

At this point it'll to have to go on and on and on...until it all just collapses.
 

#Phonepunk#

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great! next cut congressional salaries.

next we tax elections. why are billions spent on hiring these jerks? 90% campaign spending tax.

we can keep going after that, i have a long list =)
 
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CaptainAnchovie

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there are no adequate systems in place to redistribute american wealth successfully that doesn't funnel back to the top
It's probably because under any constraint or system(you can imagine it like rules in a game), the current wealthy people, who also tend to be the most intelligent, will find ways to exploit or outright play better than the poor.
It is impossible to avoid hierarchy in humans because people on and individual and population level are so vastly different as to be ireconciliable when striving for equality.
 

Tesseract

Crushed by Thanos
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It's probably because under any constraint or system(you can imagine it like rules in a game), the current wealthy people, who also tend to be the most intelligent, will find ways to exploit or outright play better than the poor.
It is impossible to avoid hierarchy in humans because people on and individual and population level are so vastly different as to be ireconciliable when striving for equality.
yup, it's the nature of the game and iterative systems
 

Cucked SoyBoy

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Raise taxes on those Americans who are absurdly rich, specifically their investing activities since that is where their income is generated. Perhaps also enforce a "use it or lose it" measure on those entities which hoard money in overseas tax shelters.

But yes I know realistically America would sooner eliminate social safety nets for those darn welfare leeches. Gotta give the low levels someone even further to look down on to blame them for their ills.

It's not that simple. You could seize every last dime from every billionaire and multi-millionaire in the US and it would get you through maybe two years. And then who do you loot in 2022? No rich people left to loot.

You can raise overall tax rates but it's been studied that at certain inflection points, two things happen:
A) The more well-off people flee the country
B) Businesses raise prices on their products to make up the difference, so essentially your "tax on the rich" turns into a tax on everyone who buys stuff from the rich.
 

Liberty4all

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Nightmare scenerio is that the world moves onto a new default world currency.

At that point US is fucked. Until then party keeps going. Let us all hope we are currently in the middle of the US equivalent of the couple hundred year long PAX Romania.

Assuming this is the case we all will live our lives (and likely our kids too) and be dead and gone before the inevitable collapse of empire.

Even if we actually are in the late stages of empire (and a good argument can be made for that), Empires take a lonnng time to collapse... And even after collapse can still enjoy a good quality of life for the citizens even many years after (look at the UK).
 

Sub_Level

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It's not that simple. You could seize every last dime from every billionaire and multi-millionaire in the US and it would get you through maybe two years. And then who do you loot in 2022? No rich people left to loot.

You can raise overall tax rates but it's been studied that at certain inflection points, two things happen:
A) The more well-off people flee the country
B) Businesses raise prices on their products to make up the difference, so essentially your "tax on the rich" turns into a tax on everyone who buys stuff from the rich.
Looting all their money isn't the goal of a tighter tax regime. They get to continue being absurdly rich for all intents and purposes. The goal is to tax the profits they make passively on investments. Capital gains. The economy would continue along just fine and risk tolerance would be lower (since the margin on every investment is lower) resulting in a more stable economy if anything.

They are more than free to leave the country behind which still continues to produce the best and brightest in tech & science and has the biggest middle class consumer market in the world over a few extra %'s of lost income. Would not advise though.
 

NickFire

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Raise taxes on those Americans who are absurdly rich, specifically their investing activities since that is where their income is generated. Perhaps also enforce a "use it or lose it" measure on those entities which hoard money in overseas tax shelters.

But yes I know realistically America would sooner eliminate social safety nets for those darn welfare leeches. Gotta give the low levels someone even further to look down on to blame them for their ills.
That's what they always say. Then the check comes, and we find out the definition of "absurdly rich" means anyone making enough to support their family. Then we get called racist for saying we cannot afford giving more social safety nets to people from other countries. And then we are left with no choice but to vote for the least drunken person to borrow out credit card.
 

iamblades

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The deficit is not even the scary thing, the scary thing are the unfunded liabilities. The estimated unfunded liabilities(mainly SS and medicare) basically exceed the sum total of all wealth in existence. These liabilities won't be paid out because they can't be, it is mathematically impossible, regardless of how much we raise taxes.

Looting all their money isn't the goal of a tighter tax regime. They get to continue being absurdly rich for all intents and purposes. The goal is to tax the profits they make passively on investments. Capital gains. The economy would continue along just fine and risk tolerance would be lower (since the margin on every investment is lower) resulting in a more stable economy if anything.

They are more than free to leave the country behind which still continues to produce the best and brightest in tech & science and has the biggest middle class consumer market in the world over a few extra %'s of lost income. Would not advise though.
If looting it all won't balance the budget, any 'tighter' tax regime would do even less. The US already has one of the most progressive tax regimes in the world, the rich and upper middle class basically pay the bills for everyone else already. If we want anything close to a balanced budget at our current levels of spending(much less increased spending), it would require broad based tax increases on the middle class and even the poor. There is no scenario where taxing the rich alone can come close to filling the gap.

A few extra % is hugely important because of interest compounding. At some point you remove the incentive for investment, so rich people just spend all their money on frivolous luxuries.
 

Sub_Level

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That's what they always say. Then the check comes, and we find out the definition of "absurdly rich" means anyone making enough to support their family.
If you need to make eight figures annually to support your family its time to move. Because thats the type of wealth people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are talking about.

Then we get called racist for saying we cannot afford giving more social safety nets to people from other countries.
Mitch McConnell specifically wants to cut social security, medicare, and medicaid. Those three exact programs. Programs paid by Americans for Americans.
 

NickFire

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If you need to make eight figures annually to support your family its time to move. Because thats the type of wealth people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are talking about.
LOL. But seriously, you don't really believe that right?
 

Sub_Level

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LOL. But seriously, you don't really believe that right?
You don't really believe that lowering taxes for the rich and for corporations helps the deficit, right? Like what conservatives did with the TCJA? Every time raising taxes is brought up its met with disbelief and protest, but we don't question lowering taxes for the elites.
 

NickFire

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You don't really believe that lowering taxes for the rich and for corporations helps the deficit, right? Like what conservatives did with the TCJA? Every time raising taxes is brought up its met with disbelief and protest, but we don't question lowering taxes for the elites.
Of course I don't really believe that. But the assholes in the other party gave me two choices. A little tax cut for me and more for the rich people, or no tax cut for me at all. So I support the option that includes a little tax cut for me, and now shake my head in disbelief when someone running on a platform of free shit for the entire third world says they won't raise my taxes.
 

iamblades

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If you need to make eight figures annually to support your family its time to move. Because thats the type of wealth people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are talking about.



Mitch McConnell specifically wants to cut social security, medicare, and medicaid. Those three exact programs. Programs paid by Americans for Americans.
AFAIK this is completely untrue(at least in terms of actual policies proposed), Paul Ryan toyed around with the idea of cuts to those programs years ago, but it went no where because the republicans have no balls. The other senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul has suggested across the board cuts of a penny on the dollar per year, but that also went no where. Republicans haven't actually proposed an real budget cut in decades, and don't seem all that interested in doing so in the future. About as close as they have gotten is proposing cuts to the rates of spending increases, then backing off after the democrats agree to a deal to increase military spending. It would be a nice change if the republicans were actually serious about cutting spending though.

That said, those programs are going to get cut, no matter what, because they are completely demographically unsustainable and there isn't enough money in the world to actually pay out what is projected to be owed. The whole game in politics the last 20-30 years(at least since welfare reform) it seems has been to play hot potato with entitlements with both sides hoping that the grenade blows up when it's in the other guy's hand. Republicans as a whole seem perfectly willing to spend like drunken sailors in the hopes that democrats will be forced to take the political hit for the inevitable cuts.
 
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Sub_Level

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AFAIK this is completely untrue

Still, McConnell insisted that the change had nothing to do with a lack of revenue or increased spending and instead was due to entitlement and welfare programs. The debt, he said, was very "disturbing" and driven by "the three big entitlement programs that are very popular, Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.… There's been a bipartisan reluctance to tackle entitlement changes because of the popularity of those programs. Hopefully, at some point here, we'll get serious about this."
When a republican says entitlement reform, its about cuts. And you know I would honestly being willing to make some concessions if they didn't spend their 2 years in total power increasing defense spending and lowering taxes for the rich. They are being selective about how to lower the deficit and its plain as day.
 

SpartanN92

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That's what they always say. Then the check comes, and we find out the definition of "absurdly rich" means anyone making enough to support their family. Then we get called racist for saying we cannot afford giving more social safety nets to people from other countries. And then we are left with no choice but to vote for the least drunken person to borrow out credit card.
Yup. “Rich” means something different to everyone. Highest % income tax brackets start at something like $200k. If you’re making $200k you’re probably living a damn good life but you ain’t “rich”.
 
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iamblades

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When a republican says entitlement reform, its about cuts. And you know I would honestly being willing to make some concessions if they didn't spend their 2 years in total power increasing defense spending and lowering taxes for the rich. They are being selective about how to lower the deficit and its plain as day.

Again, that is not an actual proposed policy change, it's a 'hopefully maybe this will happen one day', and he's 100% right that it's not a revenue problem, it's an entitlement problem.

You will get no argument from me that republicans aren't completely full of shit when they want to spend money on what they want, but when 2/3rds of the budget goes toward medicare and SS(and it will only increase from now on due to demographics), it is clear that it will have to be dealt with eventually. No one is going to do it until forced though, cause they don't want to pay the political cost.
 

pramod

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So it says that our tax revenues have actually grown 12% since last year. That's great news, it means the economy is growing and the tax cuts are actually INCREASING tax revenue unlike what the left said would happen.

The problem is....spending increased 23%.

How the fuck is this sustainable?
 

TarNaru33

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I didn't fully realize how fucked we are until I saw these figures for last month:

For July:
$120 billion budget deficit
Total defense spending for July: $56 billion

So that means even if we spent 0 on defense....we were still 60+ billion in the red.

I mean, that kind of kills the left's argument that defense spending is what is causing huge deficits....but it doesn't really make me feel any better because the whole situation seems hopeless....what the fuck can be done?
Except that isn't the argument, the argument is that it can be reduced significantly for other programs that would help Americans.

I don't like the argument either because that isn't how economics work; the money spent on the military still goes to U.S citizens (though like everything else, mainly go to U.S's richest people) and into circulation, even the "wasteful" spending.


To deal with the deficits is something people aren't going to like. Taxes need to be increased significantly on the upper and upper middle class, and moderately on the middle class. Taxes need to go up for everyone, but the minimum wage also needs to be increased when doing this. The idea of people (even lower middle class. The only exception are those really close to or in the poverty level) not getting federally taxed is asinine.


So it says that our tax revenues have actually grown 12% since last year. That's great news, it means the economy is growing and the tax cuts are actually INCREASING tax revenue unlike what the left said would happen.

The problem is....spending increased 23%.

How the fuck is this sustainable?
No, revenue is increasing specifically because of the economy growing, cutting taxes increases deficits and decrease possible revenue. Spending naturally increases too as the economy gets bigger, the issue is the tax cuts ensured that the spending would outdo our revenue increase.

Its not sustainable, cutting taxes and leaving spending as is isn't sustainable and cutting taxes in a fucking booming economy is incredibly stupid as it takes options away from the government during economic slumps.
 
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btgorman

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I didn't fully realize how fucked we are until I saw these figures for last month:

For July:
$120 billion budget deficit
Total defense spending for July: $56 billion

So that means even if we spent 0 on defense....we were still 60+ billion in the red.

I mean, that kind of kills the left's argument that defense spending is what is causing huge deficits....but it doesn't really make me feel any better because the whole situation seems hopeless....what the fuck can be done?
Defense spending (Discrectionary) is only about 16% of the deficit.

Welfare spending (social security, medicare, medicaid) (Mandatory) is about 51% of the deficit.

I wouldn't mind if we cut our Mandatory spending in half throughout. But Republicans can't do this because the Democrats always scream from the top of their lungs that "People are gonna die!" and "Trump is gonna take away your Medicare!" So... it's a losing strategy for Republicans to actually cut Mandatory spending.

Democrats criticize Republicans for 16% of the deficit yet Democrats are effectively responsible for at least 51% of the deficit (this doesn't include other Welfare programs like unemployment).

 
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finowns

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Raise taxes on those Americans who are absurdly rich, specifically their investing activities since that is where their income is generated. Perhaps also enforce a "use it or lose it" measure on those entities which hoard money in overseas tax shelters.

But yes I know realistically America would sooner eliminate social safety nets for those darn welfare leeches. Gotta give the low levels someone even further to look down on to blame them for their ills.
The top 1% pays as much the bottom 95%. The government doesn't have a funding problem it has a spending problem.
 

gunslikewhoa

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Raise taxes on those Americans who are absurdly rich, specifically their investing activities since that is where their income is generated. Perhaps also enforce a "use it or lose it" measure on those entities which hoard money in overseas tax shelters.

But yes I know realistically America would sooner eliminate social safety nets for those darn welfare leeches. Gotta give the low levels someone even further to look down on to blame them for their ills.
Raising those taxes won't put the tiniest of dents in the deficit and penalizing investment is a horrible idea. Just ask Sweden.

If you need to make eight figures annually to support your family its time to move. Because thats the type of wealth people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are talking about.
And they know it won't help one bit. They want votes.
 
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Dunki

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Raise taxes on those Americans who are absurdly rich, specifically their investing activities since that is where their income is generated. Perhaps also enforce a "use it or lose it" measure on those entities which hoard money in overseas tax shelters.

But yes I know realistically America would sooner eliminate social safety nets for those darn welfare leeches. Gotta give the low levels someone even further to look down on to blame them for their ills.
Yeah and If I were rich I would totally leave he country and eventually take al my industry with me. Which means less jobs for everyone. No taxes at all etc.

Here is what you should do. Encourage thse ultra rich people to invest their money in creating new work places, new factories etc. How? By lowering the taxes for their companies so they want to invest more money in certain areas. By taxing the Rich with 70% or like some even suggesting with 99% when they are reching a certain amount of profit you not gai anything at all but rather lose a lot of money and security for the working people.

You want healthcare? Welfare? Cool good luck but for this it also means to tax everyone and not the rich only. Right now as a Single i pay like 40% taxes in all. We in Germany basically work more than 6 months for free because of our taxes.
 
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Super Mario

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Most of the budget is spent on government services, medicare, medicaid, social security, welfare, extra educational programs aimed at trend correction. We also have large swaths of the population who take out far more than they pay in through taxes.
No fix except to cut benefits immensely, people will complain, but it was always meant to be temporary help rather than a lifestyle. It's utterly unsustainable, and people who are currently paying in more than they use will grow tired of subsidizing other people's lifestyles and Children.
You were right about everything except for the bold part. It's always been way more about government dependence and pandering vs getting people back on their feet. What good is government if too many people are self-sufficient?

Our ONLY hope is that Trump guts it all in the 2nd term. Doing it in the 1st is instant suicide to re-election.
 

CausticVenom

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You think that's bad? The overall deficit is $22 trillion, and neither parties care.

Raise taxes on those Americans who are absurdly rich, specifically their investing activities since that is where their income is generated. Perhaps also enforce a "use it or lose it" measure on those entities which hoard money in overseas tax shelters.

But yes I know realistically America would sooner eliminate social safety nets for those darn welfare leeches. Gotta give the low levels someone even further to look down on to blame them for their ills.
This is a common tactic from the left, to increase extortion rates on the rich when in reality that'll cause even more problems when it comes to loopholes or flat out evasion, lower the tax rate and they have a higher chance of not doing that (common Rand Paul talking point). I thought the left believed in equality? The same tax rate is fair for everyone. It's not like people on that side care, they want to raise taxes in general.
 
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Rookje

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Social security and medicare need massive cuts. Social security in particular should have its eligibility age increased. People live way longer today than in the 30s when it was implemented.
 

Ke0

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People keep saying the rich will leave, where will they go? A developing nation without nearly as skilled of a labor force in key industries? A European/Nordic country with a higher tax rate?
 

womfalcs3

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People keep saying the rich will leave, where will they go? A developing nation without nearly as skilled of a labor force in key industries? A European/Nordic country with a higher tax rate?
1.) Renounce US citizenship
2.) Get citizenship from an EU country (e.g., UK, France, Germany)
3.) Continue residing in the US.
4.) Pay no taxes as EU countries don't charge their expatriates taxes.
 

Cucked SoyBoy

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Fuck taxing elections, just make them publicly funded.

Absolutely not. If the existing power structure is doling out all the money for the campaigns, then the current politicians will be able to control who gets on the ticket (i.e. only people who agree with them already).

For example a Trump or Bernie would never have gotten a dime for their campaigns under that system. If you want to have candidates that come in and shake things up with new ideas, you can't rely on the established leadership to help them do it.

The establishment people already try to lock out new blood (superdelegates etc). Don't make it even easier for them.
 

CeroFrio996

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Absolutely not. If the existing power structure is doling out all the money for the campaigns, then the current politicians will be able to control who gets on the ticket (i.e. only people who agree with them already).

For example a Trump or Bernie would never have gotten a dime for their campaigns under that system. If you want to have candidates that come in and shake things up with new ideas, you can't rely on the established leadership to help them do it.

The establishment people already try to lock out new blood (superdelegates etc). Don't make it even easier for them.
The existing power structure is ALREADY doling out all the money for campaigns, thinking otherwise is foolish. What's worse is that they have profit motives for picking particular candidates. Public funding of elections would be anything like the current system that we have. We wouldn't have youtube campaign ads and billboards. We'd have neutral ground areas for all candidates to present their platforms equally, including scheduled 1 on 1 debates and town halls.
 

Hotspurr

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After the tax cuts Amazon went to paying 0 in taxes.
The healthcare system is a huge drain. I am guessing the private sector sets the cost on healthcare and then government has to cover those costs for elderly or poor, which are double what they should be.
I really don't mind helping the poor - those systems are in place because the American dream hasn't been alive for decades and sometimes life just goes terribly wrong and you can't control things. It's ignorant to think that if someone just works hard enough they can make it no matter what.
Fix the US government inefficiency by cutting out unnecessary middlemen and curb military spending a bit (space.force, like what? Maybe it sounds good sci-fi loving voters), investing in lots of green technology and batteries and exporting that will also help as the demand will soar once people finally wake up to climate change.
 

Cucked SoyBoy

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After the tax cuts Amazon went to paying 0 in taxes.
Every person working for Amazon pays their individual taxes. Unless you are saying Bezos himself pays no tax? Sounds like you should alert the IRS then. It's silly to have Amazon make a bunch of money, pay a big tax on that, then pay their workers salaries which are then taxed again. This sounds like an argument from greedy politicians that just want to find a way to double-tax the same money twice.

And this is coming from someone who has no sympathy for Amazon and thinks they should pay their workers more $$$.


The healthcare system is a huge drain. I am guessing the private sector sets the cost on healthcare and then government has to cover those costs for elderly or poor, which are double what they should be.
The way to fix this is to get the government out of fucking around with health care, not to get the government MORE involved with health care.


I really don't mind helping the poor
Then reach into your own pocket and give to the poor. But people like you don't do that. Instead you vote for politicians that promise to pick my pocket and give my money to the poor. What actually happens is my money is taken and used to pay government officials who get 6-figure salaries for running "programs" that don't actually help anyone. Almost none of the money ends up going to the poor. Then you walk around patting yourself on the back for "helping the poor" when all you really did was elect thieves to steal $$$ from me and give it to themselves. Great f**king job.


Fix the US government inefficiency by cutting out unnecessary middlemen and curb military spending a bit
Did you not read this thread? Even if we had a military budget of zero we'd still be in debt for more money than the total amount of gold and silver that's been mined out of the ground in all of human history. And the debt would still be growing every year.


investing in lots of green technology and batteries and exporting that will also help as the demand will soar once people finally wake up to climate change.
Climate change is irrelevant. The Earth's climate is constantly changing (slowly). Why is it everyone who talks about climate change only comes up with changes that the US, Canada and Europe have to implement? No one ever says China and India need to de-industrialize, why is that? It's all just bullsh*t posturing.
 

Tesseract

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no one also brings up the emerging industrial nations that are set to have bigger economies than everyone combined

gl getting africa to do your bidding