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Author Topic: Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day
Paladine
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This is a very interesting book.......has anyone had the chance/inclination to read it yet? If so, any thoughts on its content?
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Lewkowski
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Got it for Christmas, I plan on reading it soon. I've always found Joe to be consistantly logical and steady in his show. I'm looking forward to it.

Had to read my fiction books first though. =)

(War of the Spider Queen is a great series if you like DnD btw)

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WarrsawPact
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Looks like the doomsday scenario regarding our ridiculously high debt, and blaming the Republicans all the way (and many deserve it, don't get me wrong).

Just read an excerpt from his first chapter here:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5932469/

Sounds like desperate measures are needed, no?
Well, there is... one idea. Scarborough may even be helping out.
"Starve the beast" relies on two things:
1) You make it obvious current programs won't last by pumping their future obligations into the stratosphere, then saying it's time to slash them.
2) You increase awareness of the defecit and debt so much that it becomes the dominant issue of the domestic policy debate.

From there, massive slashing is the only track you'll get past any Congress. This is especially easy if you make any taxing modifications (like raising taxes) transparent.
How do you do that? Make it obvious. Make it omnipresent.
Make it appear on every receipt, on every transaction.

I hope more awareness is spread about this number.

The debt is going up so fast that Congress has to deal with it constantly now. I'm hoping, really hard, that we do the closest thing to defaulting: we stop Social Security and Medicare and other costly government-teat programs.

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TomDavidson
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Yes, because people make their best fiscal decisions when they're strapped for cash and desperate.
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David Ricardo
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WarsawPact, I am very happy to see that you are a raving idealist, but it is interesting to note that the "starve the beast" optimistic justification that you are floating happens to be the same logic that has thrown many a Third World country into deeper currency crises ("we had to burn the village to save it" style approaches).

If you still delude yourself into believing that anyone in the Bush Republican Party still cares for actual fiscal conservatism, go right ahead.

I am sure you will come up with yet another idealistic fantasy justification for the next four years of increased government spending and ballooning deficits. Unfortunately, it is your generation who will end up paying the price for such misplaced idealism.

[ December 29, 2004, 02:55 PM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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stroll
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Why not reduce military spending, instead of letting your citizens suffer from illness? After all The US spend much more than anyone else on their war machine:

Data from the CIA's "World Factbook 2003"
Chart 5: Top 15 nations, as ranked by military spending (data from the CIA's "World Factbook 2003")

US_______ 276.7 (FY 1999 est.)

China_____ 55.9 (FY 2002)

France____ 46.5 (FY 2000)

Japan_____ 39.5 (FY 2002)

Germany__ 38.8 (FY 2002)

UK________ 37.2 (FY 2002)

Italy_______ 20.2 (FY 2002)
....
The numbers are in billions of US dollars.
http://www.truthandpolitics.org/military-US-world.php

The FY 2004 military budget is now more than six times larger than that of Russia, the second largest spender.
...
The FY 2001 military budget was twenty-four and a half times greater than the combined spending of Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria and Libya, countries which the US deems potential enemies or "states of concern". ....
In FY 2004, the US spends:

$759,145 on the military every minute

$45,548,724 on the military every hour

$1,093,169,398 on the military every day

http://www.nuclearfiles.org/eteconomicpers/usmilitary.html

social and military expenditure as a share of gross domestic product, 2000-2002
Country_____Education_____Health_____Military

USA__________4.8__________5.8______3.4

France________5.8__________7.2_______ 2.5
http://www.sipri.org/contents/milap/milex/mex_burden.html

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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by David Ricardo:
WarsawPact, I am very happy to see that you are a raving idealist, but it is interesting to note that the "starve the beast" optimistic justification that you are floating happens to be the same logic that has thrown many a Third World country into deeper currency crises ("we had to burn the village to save it" style approaches).

If you still delude yourself into believing that anyone in the Bush Republican Party still cares for actual fiscal conservatism, go right ahead.

I am sure you will come up with yet another idealistic fantasy justification for the next four years of increased government spending and ballooning deficits. Unfortunately, it is your generation who will end up paying the price for such misplaced idealism.

Yet you supported John Kerry all campaign long?

LOL

Who are you kidding David? You think the Democrats would do any better?

I'm no fan of the GOP spending of the last four years...but lets not kid ourselves that the Democrat party and ANY of their candidates were some kind of sane alternative for fiscal reasponsibility. It was either vote for "I'll spend this much" versus "I'll spend this much More."

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Lewkowski
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Because one of the primary functions of the government is to provide a military. "The common defense" This is more important then every single other issue except for our laws, rights, and law enforcement.

Handing cures and paying medical bills is a privelage that may or may not be good for the country. Socalized medicine is bad, and when your income doesn't determine the quality of care you lose one of the biggest incentives to work hard and get ahead.

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Paladine
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quote:
Handing cures and paying medical bills is a privelage that may or may not be good for the country. Socalized medicine is bad, and when your income doesn't determine the quality of care you lose one of the biggest incentives to work hard and get ahead.
Ugh. There are plenty of good arguments for not socializing medicine, but "People work harder when they're afraid they're gonna die" just doesn't quite hack it.
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stroll
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Do you want to conquer the world or what do you need that much military for? Playing 'policeman' and 'liberating' countries of strategic interest?
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FiredrakeRAGE
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Daruma28 -

I agree. Neither Democrats nor Republicans represent fiscal conservatives. Unfortunately, the Libertarian party is often so extreme in it's views that it fails to capture even a reasonable portion of the Presidential vote.

--Firedrake

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Lewkowski
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"Ugh. There are plenty of good arguments for not socializing medicine, but "People work harder when they're afraid they're gonna die" just doesn't quite hack it. "

Its the argument on why the government shouldn't feed, clothe, house, and support people from birth to death. There ceases to be an incentive to work. If everything is provided for you, why should you go get a job. If all jobs provide equal benifits why would you seek a more difficult career path.

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David Ricardo
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Daruma, I voted for Kerry over Bush primarily because of deep-set disagreement with the Bush Administration's foreign policy.

As far as domestic policy goes, I had no illusions about Democratic fiscal conservatism. But at least, Kerry would have not done any worse than Bush on the fiscal front (it is pretty impossible to outspend the Bush Administration considering that the Bush Administration has seen the largest growth of non-defense government spending since LBJ). Meanwhile, I have been very vocal about how I reject the entire premise of the Bush Administration's naive foreign policy (it is really just a substitution of optimistic idealism over hard pragmatic realities).

In short, Kerry would have been no worse than Bush on fiscal responsibility. At the same time, Kerry would have been undoubtedly better on the national security agenda, and that is why I voted for Kerry over George "LBJ" Bush.

[ December 29, 2004, 07:35 PM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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stroll
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The government doesn't look after everybody from birth to death, nor provide all jobs equal benefit, financially or otherwise.
But belonging to the richer part of the world, one may consider providing for the population in as far that nobody needs to suffer hardship, the wealth is there to do it. How many billions does one person need to live a fulfilled life? How many tanks, battleships and bombs does one country need to feel safe?

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kelcimer
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quote:
Do you want to conquer the world or what do you need that much military for? Playing 'policeman' and 'liberating' countries of strategic interest?
quote:
How many tanks, battleships and bombs does one country need to feel safe?
stroll

Better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it.

As far as the numbers go I think the US spends about 4% or so of it's budget on the military and EU countries each spend 2% of their budget on their militaries. If we are going by percentages it's not that much more then other Western nations. I must point out that I would very much like it if those european countries would up their military budgets a percentage point or two, but that's not gonna happen.

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Zyne
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quote:
Why not reduce military spending, instead of letting your citizens suffer from illness? After all The US spend much more than anyone else on their war machine:...[cut]
Traitor! Wait, you're not US. That makes you... Double traitor!

I am US. Somehow, my country has decided that a uniformly healthy citizenry is not necessary for our national defense. And decided that neither are well-educated citizens an important component of our global security.

You're exactly right, we could give our poor adequate nutrition, sanitation, housing, medical care, etc. without any hardship or sacrifice at all, but we continue to choose not to. Even though it would very likely be cheaper to provide these basics than to pay for their absence (costs of crime and incarceration, disease, emergency medical care, vagrancy and trespassing enforcement, etc.) and even though these items would give the military a tangible advantage, specifically, a better (healthier, smarter, more secure) and larger pool of applicants from which to choose their own.

Of course I don't agree with these choices any more than I can explain them.

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Delirium Tremens
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quote:
As far as the numbers go I think the US spends about 4% or so of it's budget on the military and EU countries each spend 2% of their budget on their militaries. If we are going by percentages it's not that much more then other Western nations.
And to put the numbers even in a bit more perspective: the debt/gdp ratio of the US is around 68% ( Source for gdp). The euro stability pact asks that countries participating to the euro should strive for a debt/gdp ratio of 60%. So again nothing exceptional here. The only thing is that a budget deficit of 5% sustained over several years will probably cause raising interest rates and a devaluating dollar, but that would be the "normal" price to pay for spending too much.
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Delirium Tremens
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"Because one of the primary functions of the government is to provide a military....
Handing cures and paying medical bills is a privelage that may or may not be good for the country."

I am curious to learn why you think that. I don't understand why the laws of economics do not apply to the military.

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Paladine
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quote:
I am US. Somehow, my country has decided that a uniformly healthy citizenry is not necessary for our national defense. And decided that neither are well-educated citizens an important component of our global security.
Right. Because we spend so much less per capita on education and healthcare than every other industrialized nation. And, if only we only had a more bloated federal apparatus handing down educational appropriations, we'd be universally well educated. Just as, if only we had another bloated federal apparatus in charge of providing healthcare, we'd be *universally healthy*.

If you don't think that the federal government is the best entity through which people can be educated and medicated, obviously you want everyone to be uneducated and disease-ridden.

[ December 30, 2004, 11:15 PM: Message edited by: Paladine ]

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Danzig
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Why on earth is hard work a valued goal? Work sucks and should be eliminated as soon as possible.
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Paladine
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We spend more on our "war machine" because without it we'd be at the mercy of terrorists and thugs. So would Europe and the rest of the world. In fact, I can't help but think an awful lot more people would be speaking either German or Russian right around now did it not exist.

Freedom isn't and never has been free. It costs money and lives to preserve, and that's a sacrifice that with which we, as the world's leading military and economic power, are charged to a greater extent than any other. Our "war machine" might seem unnecessary or excessive to some, but it's tested too often for us to allow it to fall into disrepair. It's the only thing that allows us to come to the rescue when dictators with a penchant for genocide arise in Europe's backyard.

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JLMyers
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Hey, Danzig and I agree!

KE

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Zyne -

It appears to me that you're advocating providing the poor (I'm not sure how you define that) with food, housing, water, etc. for free.

Unless we're providing them air, someone would have to pay for that (and even air is not free). The fact that the government already pulls that money for taxes and you merely propose a redistribution is not a reason to waive the inevitable 'not with my tax dollars' objection. If we do not need to spend the money, it should first pay off our debt, and then be given back to the citizens in the form of decreased taxes.

--Firedrake

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Paladine
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Lew-

quote:
Its the argument on why the government shouldn't feed, clothe, house, and support people from birth to death. There ceases to be an incentive to work. If everything is provided for you, why should you go get a job. If all jobs provide equal benifits why would you seek a more difficult career path.
I'm not talking about providing everything for everyone. I'm never once said that all jobs should provide equal benefits. I don't know whose post you were responding to exactly, but it certainly wasn't mine.

My argument was that refusing to provide healthcare purely on the basis that removing the fear of death from some awful disease might somehow effect the work incentive is a callous, weak position. Wouldn't people work better if they were able to be treated for their sicknesses? Wouldn't that probably make people more productive? Or, when a person is faced with a life-threatening illness in the middle of his working life, will we all be better off if he's just left by the wayside in order to set an example for others who are foolish or unfortunate enough to wind up in a similar position?

I am not a supporter of universal healthcare, but my reasons for that have nothing to do with wanting to let the less hardworking elements of society die of all sorts of easily treatable maladies in order to encourage others to work harder. That is a statement as disgusting as it is absurd, and I certainly hope it's not one to which you subscribe.

I get frustrated when I see things like that because it's the type of callous absurdity used to stereotype conservatives like myself. At the core of my argument is that socialized medicine is actually less effective for the vast majority of the population. Government intervention is a large part of the reason medical costs are as high as they are, as are insurance companies. When people don't pay much of the bill, they don't care that doctors and hospitals charge absurd rates and perform all kinds of unnecessary and expensive tests. That's why most people without insurance or government coverage can't bear the financial burden of medical care.

This is what drives the cost of American medicine so high, and it's not a problem that can be alleviated by instituting universal healthcare. This isn't to say that a blanket of basic protection shouldn't be extended to the elderly and the poor. It serves a definite public interest to prevent the spread of disease and to have a healthy population. Those who can pay for their own healthcare should be made to do it, but the measure of a society is how it treats its lowest class. But is providing this blanket the role of the federal government?

No, I don't think so. I think that this is ideally a gap best covered by state governments, most of which are unfortunately corrupt and atrophied when it comes to delivering any kind of meaningful service. This is a separate argument, however, and does not mean at all that basic coverage for those who cannot afford it shouldn't exist.

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WarrsawPact
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quote:
WarsawPact, I am very happy to see that you are a raving idealist, but
Aw, David, thanks!

But, I'm not an idealist, thanks for playing.
I'm a pragmatist.
How did you get me being an idealist? Do you not read any of my posts? Your claim that I'm a "raving idealist" doesn't do any good at promoting a high quality debate.

quote:
it is interesting to note that the "starve the beast" optimistic justification that you are floating happens to be the same logic that has thrown many a Third World country into deeper currency crises ("we had to burn the village to save it" style approaches).

Except that... for some reason... Bush just cut back on all those funding promises he only made so he could get re-elected. Or did you not read the FY2005 budget his White House sent out?

quote:
If you still delude yourself into believing that anyone in the Bush Republican Party still cares for actual fiscal conservatism, go right ahead.
Did I mention straight conservatism? No, this is another way to handle the debt entirely. This is slashing at promised funds in other programs, continuing tax cuts, and leaving a few giant bulls-eyes on the budget. The trade defecit, Social Security, and Medicare.

I'm still livid about the debt being left to my generation. Don't get me wrong. But I think Kerry would have done a worse job at this than Bush. Half of what I needed to know I learned in four words at John Kerry's website: "will protect Social Security." That was his promise.

quote:
I am sure you will come up with yet another idealistic fantasy justification for the next four years of increased government spending and ballooning deficits. Unfortunately, it is your generation who will end up paying the price for such misplaced idealism.

Again, what's with the idealism claim?
Am I quoting some philosopher here? Am I reading out of the Bible?

Increased government spending? You mean, killing Social Security? You mean, continuing tax cuts?
And still managing to cut the defecit in half over the next four years? Is that a ballooning defecit?
You mean, encouraging a dollar policy that will lower the widening gap between imports and exorts that's costing us all those billinos of dollars? That defecit?
Or do you take issue with Bush spending more money on the military and Homeland Defense? You and I both supported putting more boots on the ground if we were going to go into Iraq. You and I both supported spending more to make sure the job's done right. I'm sure that hasn't changed, so what's wrong with next year's budget, David?

You think Kerry with all his spending promises, even if the Congress stopped all of his special programs, would have been able to realistically promise to cut the budget defecit in half, as Bush has? I'm sure you know that kind of behavior would break a long streak of pathetic performance in the US Senate. Especially now, when he'd have to convince Republicans of which programs to cut.
Kerry's idea of pragmatic foreign and fiscal policy is to BUY all the WMD's from everyone else. He advertised this fact on his website.
Kerry's idea of pragmatic foreign policy is to go hat in hand to the UN and Europe every time we need to do anything with our military besides scrambling fighters over a major American city. Who would Kerry sell out to try to get Europe to go along with us? Israel? Would that be pragmatic enough for ya?

Come on David. It's fine to have doubts about Bush's foreign policy, but to try to defend Kerry's policy in his place is ludicrous. Can't you admit that Kerry had an even worse foreign policy than Bush (and Rumsfeld)? Or is there something I should know about Kerry that will make me change my mind?

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David Ricardo
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WarsawPact said:

quote:
Sounds like desperate measures are needed, no?
Well, there is... one idea. Scarborough may even be helping out.
"Starve the beast" relies on two things:
1) You make it obvious current programs won't last by pumping their future obligations into the stratosphere, then saying it's time to slash them.
2) You increase awareness of the defecit and debt so much that it becomes the dominant issue of the domestic policy debate.

From there, massive slashing is the only track you'll get past any Congress. This is especially easy if you make any taxing modifications (like raising taxes) transparent.
How do you do that? Make it obvious. Make it omnipresent.
Make it appear on every receipt, on every transaction.

[...]

The debt is going up so fast that Congress has to deal with it constantly now. I'm hoping, really hard, that we do the closest thing to defaulting: we stop Social Security and Medicare and other costly government-teat programs.

WarsawPact, anyone who believes in the "starve the beast" hypothesis is a raving idealist -- especially when the current president has had the largest non-defense government spending growth since LBJ and has also never wielded his veto pen even once against any of the atrocious pork-barrel appropriatations bills that crossed his desk over the last four years of fiscal spendthriftness (becoming the first U.S. President in over 100 years who has not used his veto pen even once).

So, yes, Warsawpact, I am calling you a raving idealist for believing in the discredited "starve the beast" hypothesis.

Please read my post regarding the fundamentally flawed "starve the beast" hypothesis here and educate yourself on the econometric realities that you seem to be ignoring out of your "starve the beast" idealism.

http://www.ornery.org/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=005450

P.S. If you want a full-fledged debate about the unsound "starve the beast" hypothesis, please direct your future replies to the other topic, "Starve the Beast -- Factually Wrongheaded."

[ January 02, 2005, 01:31 PM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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TomDavidson
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"WarsawPact, anyone who believes in the 'starve the beast' hypothesis is a raving idealist -- especially when the current president has had the largest non-defense government spending growth since LBJ and has also never wielded his veto pen even once against any of the atrocious pork-barrel appropriatations bills that crossed his desk over the last four years of fiscal spendthriftness..."

In all fairness to WP, this may be because Bush could be trying to bankrupt the government so he can START starving it.

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Paladine
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David, WP certainly wasn't "raving" about anything. I do agree with you that President Bush, up until this point, has demonstrated remarkable fiscal irresponsibility, particularly in the area of non-military spending.
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WarrsawPact
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idealist - one who places ideals before practical considerations (Merriam-Webster)

Where have I shown that I place ideals before pragmatism? I'm a "might makes right" man. What few things I believe in that sound like ideals, I place only second to determinism. YRTSYFEAMN, for example, is a useful tool in my book for creating a successul society, but not something to place ahead of a more practical option if given the opportunity.

Believing in a hypothesis based on my experience with other human beings does not make me an idealist. You may say I'm *wrong*... but not that I'm an idealist. It simply doesn't meet the definition of the word. You're trying to fit the square peg in the circle hole here.

quote:
In all fairness to WP, this may be because Bush could be trying to bankrupt the government so he can START starving it.
Nah, the government's long past bankruptcy. Some people just don't realize that yet.
I think Bush has already started the "starving" with the FY2005 budget his White House proposed.
In case you haven't read his budget proposals, they would cut the defecit as a percentage of GDP below the 40-year historical average of 2.2% by 2006 and keep shrinking it. If you want the actual numbers of the shrinking defecit now that Bush has a freer hand, check out the FY2005 Mid-Session Review of the federal budget. Note how the February and mid-session defecits drop from
$521/445 billion in 2004 to
$364/331 billion this year to
$268/261 billion in 2006 to
$241/233 billion in 2007 to
$239/228 billion in 2008

David, if you haven't read the mid-session review, you must. That's straight from the horse's mouth.
It's not all about financing with debt anymore. The beast IS starved. It's happened. The beast is looking out there and finding a barren forest to hunt in. And now Bush is cutting budgets to all *kinds* of programs -- and he has expressed a resolve to continue cutting and slashing. He realizes he's going to need to keep cutting it if he wants to get his way with SocSec.
When I say I think they should do the closest thing to defaulting, that's what I mean: admitting that the gov't can't live up to all the obligations they took upon themselves, and by simply maknig fewer promises for the future (like, oh, indexing SocSec benefits to prices instead of wages, as Bush is planning to).

Oh, and about the pork - you and I are both against pork, and for that I fault Congress as well as the administration. Why do you think he never had to use his veto pen, David? How do you think bills get passed these days? Be practical here: do you honestly think Bush could have won re-election in 2005 without pork?

I'll take the "starve the beast" bit over to your other thread.

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David Ricardo
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WarsawPact said:

quote:
I think Bush has already started the "starving" with the FY2005 budget his White House proposed.
In case you haven't read his budget proposals, they would cut the defecit as a percentage of GDP below the 40-year historical average of 2.2% by 2006 and keep shrinking it. If you want the actual numbers of the shrinking defecit now that Bush has a freer hand, check out the FY2005 Mid-Session Review of the federal budget. Note how the February and mid-session defecits drop from
$521/445 billion in 2004 to
$364/331 billion this year to
$268/261 billion in 2006 to
$241/233 billion in 2007 to
$239/228 billion in 2008

Unfortunately, you are using the White House's discredited numbers that they routinely massage with Enron accounting (as they have constantly lowballed the costs of their first four FY budgets with the same kind of dishonest accounting). Here is an analysis of how the White House is cooking the books:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/01/02/MNGQ3AK25B1.DTL

quote:
Washington -- To show that President Bush can fulfill his campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by 2009, White House officials are preparing a budget that will assume a significant jump in revenues and omit the cost of major initiatives like overhauling Social Security.

[...]

But White House budget planners are not stopping there. Administration officials are also invoking optimistic assumptions about rising tax revenue while excluding costs for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as trillions of dollars in costs that lie just outside Bush's five-year budget window.

The five-year plan, due in February, is likely to reaffirm previous predictions of a $200 billion surge in tax revenues in 2005, the biggest one- year jump in history, and an increase of more than $700 billion a year by 2009.

"We still believe we will see new economic growth, with revenues increasing as a share of GDP," said Chad Kolton, a spokesman for the White House Office of Management and Budget, referring to the gross domestic product. "I think our numbers are very realistic because they are consistent with the best estimates of Wall Street and of the Congressional Budget Office."

As in past years, the budget will exclude costs for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which could reach $100 billion in 2005 and are likely to remain high for years to come. The budget is also expected to exclude Bush's goal to replace Social Security in part with a system of private savings accounts, even though administration officials concede that such a plan could require the government to borrow $2 trillion over the next decade or two.

Among the costs that are expected in the five years after 2009 are more than $500 billion to make Bush's tax cuts permanent, nearly $500 billion for the new Medicare prescription drug program and at least $400 billion to address widely acknowledged problems with the so-called alternative minimum tax.

Many analysts are dubious about the long-term plan. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that deficits will remain well above $300 billion if Bush's tax cuts are made permanent and if Iraq war costs taper off gradually. On Wall Street, analysts at Goldman Sachs predict that budget deficits will total about $5 trillion over the next 10 years.

"I've been watching this more than 30 years, and I have never seen anything quite this egregious," said Stanley Collender, a longtime author on budget issues and a senior vice president at Financial Dynamics, a communications firm in Washington.

White House officials are making several budgeting decisions that make their tax revenues look higher and their spending look lower than many analysts think is realistic.

The first is to exclude a wide range of future costs for proposals, like those for military operations in Iraq,
that White House officials say are impossible to predict.

Bush has consistently refused to include Iraq costs in his annual budget request, seeking money through a supplemental appropriations bill that lies outside the official budget. The White House asked for and received $87 billion for the last fiscal year, as well as an additional $25 billion to cover the first few months of the 2005 fiscal year. The administration is expecting to ask for as much as $80 billion more in the next few months, but it will not include any cost estimates in Bush's budget for the 2006 fiscal year.

"My own preference is to wait until the last possible moment, in order to have the best idea of how much will be needed," said Joshua Bolten, director of the Office of Management and Budget, in a recent meeting with reporters.

Thus far, Bush's plan to reduce the deficit has heavily rested on the assumption that tax revenues will rise as economic growth accelerates.

White House officials declined to spell out their revenue forecasts. But their forecast last summer showed a jump of more than $200 billion
, and White House officials say they continue to expect tax revenues will climb faster than the economy for the next few years. The underlying forecast for economic growth is essentially unchanged.

But analysts say the administration expectations may prove optimistic.

Even though the economy grew at a rapid pace of 4 percent in 2004, and corporate profits soared at double-digit rates, federal tax revenues were only 16.2 percent of the gross domestic product last year, the lowest level since the early 1950s. Despite a $100 billion increase in 2004, tax revenues were still lower then than they were when Bush took office in 2001.

Every other FY Bush budget has looked too good to be true at first. I have no doubt that this new Bush budget will adopt the same overly optimistic and delusional predictions that make all the Bush budgets in the past completely unrealistic and unreliable.
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WarrsawPact
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Well, first, that paper was clearly written before the administration announced that they were bumping back SocSec reform to a later date (grrr. next year...).

That said, I can see the writing on the wall and it looks like I'm starting without a certain necessary minimum of economic knowledge (something I feared was the case, but I'm trying to learn).

Even so, I don't like to take anyone's word for anything (thoguh I like to look at what people are saying, and take it seriously, I don't assume anyone's totally on base). What are the specific ways in which Bush's analysts are padding the numbers? How are they coming to these optimistic conclusions regarding revenue predictions? What assumptions is the CBO making that the OMB isn't? If the OMB is using basically the same numbers as the CBO on revenue, then do they disagree on the probable cost of the war?

[ January 03, 2005, 02:29 AM: Message edited by: WarrsawPact ]

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