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Thread: US Debt

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    US Debt

    I saw this article in the newspaper, to me, solving a 16.4 trillion
    Dollar debt by making money out of thin air to payback debt seems absurd.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/poli...icle-1.1235224

    To raise some talking points,
    what is prohibiting the US from paying back the debt?
    is the government in so deep it will never be able to pay it back? will the debt ceiling continue to be raised further and further to avoid defaulting?
    What's happens when this number gets beyond a figure that can never be paid back, and the ceiling cannot be raised?

    This website provides a sobering view on the debt america faces.
    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

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    Re: US Debt

    I learned recently that the US has run a deficit for something like 70 of the last 80 years. I'm no economist, but I think it'll take a heck of a lot more than a tax increase on the well-to-do to dig out of the hole we're in.

    Why not just print an extra 16 trillion dollars? There, problem solved, hyper-inflation be damned. So what if we'll pay $100 for a loaf of bread.

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    Re: US Debt

    Fiat money systems have obviously failed. They make other people filthy rich (those as members of large power groups) and the average person gets hammered with inflation, which is essentially a hidden tax, but one of the worst.

    Also, it is mathematically impossible to pay of the national debt.

    Like Harlequin said, printing money (which is what the Fed is doing now through QE 1,2,3, etc) is just having a hell of a lot more money chasing after the same amount of goods.

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    Re: US Debt

    [QUOTE=bolagnaise;1762687]I saw this article in the newspaper, to me, solving a 16.4 trillion
    Dollar debt by making money out of thin air to payback debt seems absurd.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/poli...icle-1.1235224[quote]

    The 'trillion dollar coin' is only there to prevent another instance of 'Government Shut Down' by congress refusing to raise the 'debt ceiling' which is fancy talk for saying, "Will we agree to pay our debt?" If the 'debt ceiling' is used again to hold the US economy 'hostage' Obama has the option of printing money without needing congressional approval. The last time the 'debt ceiling' was used as 'leverage' the US was down graded to AA rating and incurred billions of dollars in damages by merely owing a higher interest rate.

    Its not really about paying off the debt its about Congress saying if they want to pay the debt or not.

    To raise some talking points,
    what is prohibiting the US from paying back the debt?
    The debt is an accumulation of two long wars, tax cuts, increased spending, and ultimately the economic recession. This all started over a decades worth of time and will take far longer to pull out of. Nothing prohibits the US from paying its debt but time and the economy.

    is the government in so deep it will never be able to pay it back? will the debt ceiling continue to be raised further and further to avoid defaulting?
    What's happens when this number gets beyond a figure that can never be paid back, and the ceiling cannot be raised?
    The debt ceiling is basically an amount of money denoted by congress that it will be willing to pay. Our debt can reach 20 Trillion and the US Congress can refuse to raise the ceiling and we still owe that money we just don't acknowledge that we owe it. The government is going to be able to pay it back but first getting a good economy and revenue stream is priority. Also reducing the deficit is top priority.

    The debt is actually considered by most economists well able to be paid off in terms of GDP. Its far from good but we certainly have the means.
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    Re: US Debt


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    Re: US Debt

    Quote Originally Posted by Reinhold View Post
    That is not an accurate infographic and lesson 2 is a failed analogy that took no time to properly create any relevance to the issues. First one must consider the fact that 'debt' has been commoditized and is largely a 'lesser' evil. Europe has tried, and failed, with its Austerity Programme and by and large the US version, under B. Obama, has succeeded in adverting depression, a booming stock market (13k Dow Jones), and cutting the deficit that peaked, under Bush's 2009 budget, at over 1.1 trillion dollars.

    The inaccurate infographic comes from the point that $38.5 Billion x 10^-8 =/= 38.5. Furthermore, the 'budget cuts' you hear people moaning about that didn't happen, didn't happen because they put off the sequester for two months! Decades worth of tax cuts, wars, and expanding budgets just don't go away *poof* in the midst of the worst economic downturn.

    Here is one thing you DON"T DO when you have so much debt though. You don't play around with the collectors and tell them "Naaaah we wont pay you according to the plan" so that they decrease your borrowing rate and increase your interest!
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    Re: US Debt

    I feel its worth mentioning occasionally, that raising the debt ceiling has nothing whatsoever to do with paying the existing debt. It still gets paid. The debt ceiling refers to issuing NEW debt to buy NEW things that we have NOT YET bought. That seems to get missed a lot in conversations about the debt ceiling...

    In fact, not raising the debt ceiling probably makes our existing debt much MORE likely to be paid off.
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    Re: US Debt

    In finance, default occurs when a debtor has not met his or her legal obligations according to the debt contract, e.g. has not made a scheduled payment, or has violated a loan covenant (condition) of the debt contract. A default is the failure to pay back a loan.[1] Default may occur if the debtor is either unwilling or unable to pay his or her debt. This can occur with all debt obligations including bonds, mortgages, loans, and promissory notes.
    I was lazy so I wiki'd it.

    Your statement that:

    'that raising the debt ceiling has nothing whatsoever to do with paying the existing debt. It still gets paid. The debt ceiling refers to issuing NEW debt to buy NEW things that we have NOT YET bought.'

    Is an incorrect analysis of how one pays for operations. Consider a company; a company authorizes an invoice for X service and agrees to pay Y dollars, this is the act of passing a bill in our government. The debt, at the passage of a bill which is known to have a price, is the debt you are considering to ignore when not raising the debt ceiling.

    A good example is that you agree to a contract for 100 F-22 Raptors. The F-22 Raptors are then planned to be built by our private sector. Now the payment for these F-22 Raptors is not an 'all at once affair' much like you do not get 100 F-22 Raptors in just a years time. However you are arguing that even though the private sector built the F-22 Raptors the US Government is in no obligation to pay it because it reached some artificial number that says; "We shall not pay any dues past a cent more than this number no matter our prior contracts, duties, or obligations."

    What is far far worse is that you imply that not raising the debt ceiling would have only benefits and absolutely no negatives.

    First, I am offended that you would be fine for this nation to break our very constitution, a mighty offense indeed; but worse is the fact that you are choosing to ignore the credit downgrade our nation suffered because we very nearly defaulted. That downgrade damaged our already fragile economy, rose our interest rates, and sent shockwaves through the global market. Finally, I very much do not understand why one would push for failed European Ideals to be enacted in our nation. Austerity and governmental shutdown is very much what Greece is doing and most of Europe is suffering through. These failed European Policies that you are pushing in our American Nation would not only be clearly unconstitutional (as said prior) but would damage this nation in ways Stalin could not even do.

    I would love for you to clarify your position though. Perhaps I misunderstand.
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    Re: US Debt

    http://www.economist.com/news/leader...bolished-cliff

    Failure to raise the debt ceiling would force immediate spending cuts equal to 6% of GDP. Not only would that threaten to send the economy back into recession. It would also deprive doctors, pensioners, contractors and millions of others of money needed to meet their own obligations, setting off a chain reaction of defaults.
    ...
    Even a few days’ default would roil the global financial system, which relies on Treasuries in countless transactions. The mere possibility could incite skittish investors to dump their holdings, driving up interest rates.
    Yeah. Looks like raising the debt ceiling is totally irresponsible in light of the huge economic disaster it would advert.
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    Re: US Debt


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    Re: US Debt

    If you want to converse please go ahead; if you want to insult me by completely ignoring the time and effort I put into formulating a coherent post by putting a 'freemarket.org' sponsored infoganda video please go do it at Conservapedia.

    The Sandbox is for discussion and debate. Simply posting youtube videos is not a discussion.

    Please I want this discussion. I WAS a freemarket supply-sider center right person only a few years back. I have so many responses to that video's points (ignoring the 'New World Order' conspiracy theory) that I'd love for you to actually bring them up instead of using a talking head.
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    Re: US Debt

    The SandBox is JUST for exactly what I posted. We live in an internet age, where video is a crucial part of the discussion process. Don't be so naive to think that the SandBox is simply your playground for disagreeing with people textually, which is mostly what you do. If you don't like that style then too bad.

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    Re: US Debt

    It is an incredibly trite and unproductive form of 'discussion'. It also puts no amount of accountability to you and defers it all on someone else. A wonderful way of arguing by proxy. If this is what our representatives think is 'discussion' no wonder we get no where.

    I'd actually prefer reading the tome of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged than a four minute video of conspiracy theory thumping. Something I'm actually doing.



    Basically Video amounts to:

    Any attempt at discrediting status quo is an evil attempt to destroy america for no reason whatsoever. The climate change parts are very insulting.

    Edit: To call it a 'style' is also very lazy.
    Last edited by Ytman; 01-16-2013 at 05:52 PM.
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    Re: US Debt

    Quote Originally Posted by Ytman View Post
    I would love for you to clarify your position though. Perhaps I misunderstand
    Sorry, I've been out sick. Let me see if I can respond now. I'll start with the easiest point:
    What is far far worse is that you imply that not raising the debt ceiling would have only benefits and absolutely no negatives.
    That is just a misunderstanding. I feel the negatives are outweighed by the benefits, but I will acknowledge that there ARE some negatives, and I'm sorry if I was unclear on that point. In fact, I think there are significant negatives on BOTH choices -- raising or not raising the debt ceiling both suck, because we've backed ourself into a corner. But just because it's going to suck doesn't mean we can skip making the choice.

    Your statement that:

    'that raising the debt ceiling has nothing whatsoever to do with paying the existing debt. It still gets paid. The debt ceiling refers to issuing NEW debt to buy NEW things that we have NOT YET bought.'

    Is an incorrect analysis of how one pays for operations. Consider a company; a company authorizes an invoice for X service and agrees to pay Y dollars, this is the act of passing a bill in our government. The debt, at the passage of a bill which is known to have a price, is the debt you are considering to ignore when not raising the debt ceiling.

    A good example is that you agree to a contract for 100 F-22 Raptors. The F-22 Raptors are then planned to be built by our private sector. Now the payment for these F-22 Raptors is not an 'all at once affair' much like you do not get 100 F-22 Raptors in just a years time. However you are arguing that even though the private sector built the F-22 Raptors the US Government is in no obligation to pay it because it reached some artificial number that says; "We shall not pay any dues past a cent more than this number no matter our prior contracts, duties, or obligations."
    Companies tend to operate that way, yes, but the government has always considered itself "better" than companies and refused to do similarly. They don't even write that debt down anywhere until after they've sent out the check. If we accrued those debts properly like a private company should, we're already something like 6 TIMES past the debt limit.

    That said, the government also differs from private companies in another important way: A significant quantity of our payouts are NOT on an exchange contract, X service for Y dollars. They are on a voluntary grant contract, Y dollars because we said so and we like you. If we don't HAVE the Y dollars, then it seems reasonable that at some point we have to stop handing it out.


    First, I am offended that you would be fine for this nation to break our very constitution, a mighty offense indeed; but worse is the fact that you are choosing to ignore the credit downgrade our nation suffered because we very nearly defaulted. That downgrade damaged our already fragile economy, rose our interest rates, and sent shockwaves through the global market.
    The constitution would NOT in fact be violated. Or at least, that point would be up for constitutional debate by the supreme court. The constitution only requires that "the validity of the public debt of the United States...shall not be questioned". It doesn't specify what kinds of debt are covered though, and without specifying I would assume that uses the Government definition instead of the Corporate definition (see above). The Government definition of debt can be entirely satisfied without ever raising the debt limit again.

    As for the credit downgrade -- I may have been watching different news sources than you, but the sources I watched all heavily implied the downgrade was due to the fact that the deals that WERE passed to avoid the debt limit did NOT include any meaningful deficit reduction. It would be difficult to assume from that, that the best action for our future credit rating would be to do the exact same thing again - raise the debt limit and not include deficit reduction.

    Finally, I very much do not understand why one would push for failed European Ideals to be enacted in our nation. Austerity and governmental shutdown is very much what Greece is doing and most of Europe is suffering through. These failed European Policies that you are pushing in our American Nation would not only be clearly unconstitutional (as said prior) but would damage this nation in ways Stalin could not even do.
    Funny, here I was thinking the "Failed European Policies" that we should avoid were the ones that BROUGHT them to their fiscal disaster, not the ones they adopted once they were fully immersed in it. Yes, the austerity measures are very painful -- but that's not because austerity is a bad solution, it's because they need a solution to a very bad problem. They spent all of the money they SHOULD have today, many years ago. And we are currently doing our best to imitate the very Failed European Policies that brought them to the edge of Austerity.

    In short, while the damage is indeed terrible, it's not being done today. It was done long ago. It is merely being FELT today.

    I hope I'm a little clearer this time.
    Last edited by Kerostasis; 01-21-2013 at 12:19 AM. Reason: Added Europe Section
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    Re: US Debt

    No issue. I prefer a slow broiling debate than a rushed one. I myself have been preoccupied with certain things and actually wanted to wait with where the recent news of a House vote on a three month extension has taken the debate. Effectively it has pushed it from mind and sight... which is a shame... but at least it was raised and generally agreed that threatening default is a terrible idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerostasis View Post
    That is just a misunderstanding. I feel the negatives are outweighed by the benefits, but I will acknowledge that there ARE some negatives, and I'm sorry if I was unclear on that point. In fact, I think there are significant negatives on BOTH choices -- raising or not raising the debt ceiling both suck, because we've backed ourself into a corner. But just because it's going to suck doesn't mean we can skip making the choice.
    Republican Ben Bernanke, chairman of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers until appointed to the Federal Reserve in 2006 (and re-appointed in 2010 by President Barrack H. Obama), a Harvard and MIT graduate, had the following to say about failure to raise the Debt Ceiling:

    Major budget restructuring, particularly targeting entitlements such as healthcare, poses a monumental political hurdle. Bernanke said tying the two issues together would raise the risk that the U.S. wouldn’t subsequently be able to raise the debt level and therefore default on its debt. That, he said, would cause a financial crisis and “real chaos.”

    “It would be extremely dangerous and likely recovery-ending event,” Bernanke later added.

    “For a very long time afterwards, the U.S. would have to pay higher interest rates in the market and that would make our deficit problems even more intractable,” he said.

    First, the Fed chief said a new financial crisis would be created as firms that rely on receiving interest and principle from the government are unable to make their own payments. “That would probably cascade through the financial markets,” he said.

    Then, there would be a “massive loss of confidence” in U.S. Treasury securities, the deepest, most liquid market in the world.

    Bernanke said even if the U.S. failed to meet its debt payment deadline for 20 minutes and the government avoided the most serious harmful impacts, the interest rates the U.S. pays on its debt would still likely rise with the perception of higher riskiness and uncertainty associated with funding the government.

    “Broadly speaking…it would be a very, very bad outcome for the U.S. economy,” he said.

    Source
    A quick run-down highlights the huge crushing understanding that It Kills Recovery. Killing the economic recovery that we have today makes no sense no matter what long term debt issues you wish to tackle. I'll pass on explaining that now to be succinct but if you would like an explanation as to why the National Debt is not an immediate issue I can.

    The Standard and Poor loaning agency reduced our credit rating citing:

    The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as
    America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective,
    and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt
    ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in
    the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this year's wide-ranging debate, in our
    view, the differences between political parties have proven to be
    extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting
    agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program
    that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently.
    Here even we see what results when our government chooses to use it as leverage. It bloody scared the S&P! The mere thought that it might happen! Interestingly enough they go on to describe a best case outlook which contains the following (and could result in an upgrade):

    Our revised upside scenario--which, other things being equal, we view as
    consistent with the outlook on the 'AA+' long-term rating being revised to
    stable--retains these same macroeconomic assumptions. In addition, it
    incorporates $950 billion of new revenues on the assumption that the 2001 and
    2003 tax cuts for high earners lapse from 2013 onwards, as the Administration
    is advocating. In this scenario, we project that the net general government
    debt would rise from an estimated 74% of GDP by the end of 2011 to 77% in 2015
    and to 78% by 2021.
    I just wanted to point out that the best case scenario had increased revenues as the major component listed and significantly resulted in their projected debt of the base case:

    Under our revised base case
    fiscal scenario--which we consider to be consistent with a 'AA+' long-term
    rating and a negative outlook--we now project that net general government debt
    would rise from an estimated 74% of GDP by the end of 2011 to 79% in 2015 and
    85% by 2021
    . Even the projected 2015 ratio of sovereign indebtedness is high
    in relation to those of peer credits and, as noted, would continue to rise
    under the act's revised policy settings.
    What is important to understand is not the actual number but the rate of change. The best case, which relies on revenues of increased taxes, shows a 1% increase over six years between 2015 and 2021. The 'baseline' case shows a 6% increase over those years.

    ============

    Companies tend to operate that way, yes, but the government has always considered itself "better" than companies and refused to do similarly. They don't even write that debt down anywhere until after they've sent out the check. If we accrued those debts properly like a private company should, we're already something like 6 TIMES past the debt limit.
    Because governments are not companies. The definition of a company is far different today than it was when our Founding Fathers ironed out our nation. If the government is the will of the people, ergo 'Out of Many, One', then companies, which are only conglomerates of some people, are subject to the whole nation. An interesting note is that the debt ceiling has actually been only raising no matter what. Its well past '6'.

    I want to bring up a core philosophical point of that paragraph which is the assumption that the government should be operated like a company. While certainly all companies are governments, not all governments are companies. Companies dictate where you are, what you do, how you do it, what you can/can't say, and generally are formed to benefit the creator; ergo, "Among many, I!". Governments, particularly our own, tells us we can be anywhere, we can do almost anything any way we want, and is formed for the benefit of us all.

    The is a significant difference when one understands that society and government are directly proportional and that government and economy are entirely relevant. Economies, as Ben Franklin said in so many words, are 'creations of the publik' yet there seems to be a prevalent thought, very resurgent now, that economies exist first and the government is there tacked on as some grumpy grandpa who just doesn't 'get it'. This is a digression and I do not need this to be directly addressed. Just think about it please.

    That said, the government also differs from private companies in another important way: A significant quantity of our payouts are NOT on an exchange contract, X service for Y dollars. They are on a voluntary grant contract, Y dollars because we said so and we like you. If we don't HAVE the Y dollars, then it seems reasonable that at some point we have to stop handing it out.
    Well, in a round about way I think you are basically saying there is no law actually that binds our government to any one policy? A sort of 'Meta-Law' if you will? I find this a scary suggestion and it is quite indicative of the problems Greece is facing today. Greece is the construct of a crucial part of our current debate; a general lack of revenue due to a poor tax code and participation rates. Nearly 31% of the budget deficit is the result of self employed officials evading taxes at a cost of 28 Billion Euros. I bring this up because it is the exact same concept that you are positing: "Not paying for what you agreed to pay for."

    Assuming that you would want would occur, that is the US government saying 'Nah we shouldn't pay Joe Plumber Contracts' for the repaired water pipers in the local Water Treatment Plant, you have effectively told the US government to steal. Worse of all you are suggesting that they steal from its very citizens who are providing a service.

    The constitution would NOT in fact be violated. Or at least, that point would be up for constitutional debate by the supreme court. The constitution only requires that "the validity of the public debt of the United States...shall not be questioned". It doesn't specify what kinds of debt are covered though, and without specifying I would assume that uses the Government definition instead of the Corporate definition (see above). The Government definition of debt can be entirely satisfied without ever raising the debt limit again.
    I'd love to see the stalled economy as the two year litigation process works to find out what exactly happens when we default. It'd also be great to see all the XYZ v US Government as XYZ Corp asks to get paid according to its contract. Also it'd be awesome for the Postal Service, Medicaid, Medicare, Police, Firefighters, Schools, Infrastructure Maintenance and more to just stop. Our troops would probably love the end of defense spending too.

    As for the credit downgrade -- I may have been watching different news sources than you, but the sources I watched all heavily implied the downgrade was due to the fact that the deals that WERE passed to avoid the debt limit did NOT include any meaningful deficit reduction. It would be difficult to assume from that, that the best action for our future credit rating would be to do the exact same thing again - raise the debt limit and not include deficit reduction.
    CNN? While the S&P did cite less than stellar dealing, including not a significant cut in spending, they also HEAVILY stated that 'political brinkmanship' tied directly to the threat of government default by not raising the debt ceiling was a direct reason. It was so important that in their official document had an entire paragraph devoted to this. They also further clarified they had no intent to suggest policy.

    Our opinion is that elected officials remain wary of tackling the
    structural issues required to effectively address the rising U.S. public debt
    burden in a manner consistent with a 'AAA' rating and with 'AAA' rated
    sovereign peers (see Sovereign Government Rating Methodology and Assumptions,"
    June 30, 2011, especially Paragraphs 36-41). In our view, the difficulty in
    framing a consensus on fiscal policy weakens the government's ability to
    manage public finances and diverts attention from the debate over how to
    achieve more balanced and dynamic economic growth in an era of fiscal
    stringency and private-sector deleveraging (ibid). A new political consensus
    might (or might not) emerge after the 2012 elections, but we believe that by
    then, the government debt burden will likely be higher, the needed medium-term
    fiscal adjustment potentially greater, and the inflection point on the U.S.
    population's demographics and other age-related spending drivers closer at
    hand (see "Global Aging 2011: In The U.S., Going Gray Will Likely Cost Even
    More Green, Now," June 21, 2011).

    Standard & Poor's takes no position on the mix of spending and revenue
    measures that Congress and the Administration might conclude is appropriate
    for putting the U.S.'s finances on a sustainable footing.
    Again take notice that quite clearly they are most worried about a fractured policy system of two drastically divergent ideals butting heads and solving nothing. Then again this was after the 2010 elections and today... well its far different and clout is not something both parties have.

    This all being said there is an excellent argument that the downgrade is even a non story as it only actually brought good things to our recovering economy. The same argument suggests more spending at lowered interest rates and argues, quite convincingly, that high debt per GDP is not close to being met in the US yet. This would be hard to discuss here though.

    =======================

    Funny, here I was thinking the "Failed European Policies" that we should avoid were the ones that BROUGHT them to their fiscal disaster, not the ones they adopted once they were fully immersed in it. Yes, the austerity measures are very painful -- but that's not because austerity is a bad solution, it's because they need a solution to a very bad problem. They spent all of the money they SHOULD have today, many years ago. And we are currently doing our best to imitate the very Failed European Policies that brought them to the edge of Austerity.

    In short, while the damage is indeed terrible, it's not being done today. It was done long ago. It is merely being FELT today.

    I hope I'm a little clearer this time.
    Today, or yesterday, news came out of our current economic growth, and revisions might show up some time later, but the headline I've seen is that it is negative for the first time in 14 months. This coincides with upticks in all our private economic markets including consumer spending, good stocks (all of which are heading to record breaking numbers), and new boost in our housing markets. What it is being attributed to? A cut in government defense spending by 22%. You've probably heard it all too often but what really got us out of the depression was WWII manufacturing at the government's whim. Not only did it serve to build an army which participated in two wars, winning one single-handedly, but it also was leveraged to create the most booming and economically equal time this nation has ever seen during the 50s and 60s. On top of this there was the whole Dust Bowl which was caused by private farmers and was fixed by government intervention over a decades time.


    I am not suggesting that the government is the be all end all but I am saying it has its uses. There is a time when we have to realize that our society exists before our economy, we do not have economies with society tacked on. This being said we need to have an economy that can sustain our society. The policies that have lead to our current situation is directly tied to the 2001/2003 tax cuts, which never saw the effects claimed when sold; and also, more importantly, the huge gutting of our workforce through the great recession.

    Certainly during the Bush Administration our deficit began to surge (balloon would be apt when including including 'discretionary spending' of two wars). It would be foolish to expect a company to both decrease its revenues and open up two new start-ups in hostile foreign markets. However adding to the equation the implosion of the demographic to which you sell to and a complete gutting of revenues... well that spells disaster. Obviously, you are right when saying governments are not companies, they come with many abilities that companies do not have. Likewise they do not have many of the needs a company does. I remember, it was around the first year of election of President George W. Bush, when the surplus and balanced budget was no more, a particular morning news guy on my radio that; "Surpluses are bad because that means the government is taking too much money." I agreed then and thought it was a good argument for the 2001 tax cuts. Today I look back and can only see a glaring hypocrisy as the same man rails a deficit which is proven to be funding an economic recovery AND prevented a global depression.

    Austerity simply does not work and is only spelling further disaster in Europe who have suffered another recession. The very things Germany is pushing on the EU has brought England, a comparatively very strong and stable economy, into a second recession!

    The damage was done long ago and greatly compounded upon by the Great Recession but we shouldn't use this as a justification of destroying very important social imperatives that we as a people wanted to help the elderly avoid poverty. As time proved once before, higher taxes and larger government spending brought us great economic growth and won us two global wars. Our issues are not as cancerous as proclaimed here and we should not tackle these issues with knee jerk reactionism. In fact the GOP has understood this general truth and has completely backed off the long term debt issue and is more interested in the short term issue, the deficit. As we should.
    "a man cannot just be; he can only be what he is by doing what he does,"
    'Virtue and the Moral Life'
    Bernard Mayo

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