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Old 08-03-2012, 08:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by 325seeeye View Post
I started absorbing the budget recently. Has anyone given this thought? It actuals seems straight foward that we are complete idiots, but there has to be more methodology to Congress' madness.

If you look at the budget, our Mandatory spending (SS, medicare, medicaid, interest on the debt etc....) is 2.4 Trillion. Our tax receipts are 2.6 Trillion. We barely cover our entitlements and interest on debt with taxes, and have nothing left over to pay for the actual "government". Does anyone else see this as a complete out-of-control way to budget our government?

Am I looking at this too simplistically? That is why I say that neither the president (ANY president, current or past) and Congress aren't really serious about balancing the budget. No one wants to go through the pain of doing it (and it will be painful, from rich people down to poor people, there is no way to cure this without having everyone pay more and everyone take less).
Is that the first time you've taken a look at Federal outlays and revenue? There's a reason why a bunch of people keep saying that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security represent the most predictable economic crisis in history.

Everybody in Washington knows it needs reform. But nobody wants to sacrifice their current election cycle to make meaningful reforms that only pay dividends decades into the future. Our government will only make the hard choices when it's forced to. So I wouldn't be surprised if we're in for a Greek like debacle (with US sized consequences) 15 years down the road.

This is why I laugh at "relative politics" where, Obama for instance, talks about "reducing th deficit over 10 years" (Bush said the same, and they are long gone in 10 years). Am I supposed to be impressed that the amount of negative spending gets better? We are still deficit spending. That should be phrased "less sh!tty, but still sh!tty".

See photo circled in red. And sorry it is huge. I couldn't resize at home with my MS paint-like editing software.
When the politicians submit CBO graded budgets, the CBO grades them in 10 year windows. And most of the time, the lawmakers will backload a lot of the spending cuts and tax hikes so that it improves the 10 year picture, but it doesn't do anything for the first 7-8 years.

When the Democrats submitted the PPACA to CBO budgeting review, they collected the new taxes for 7 years while only paying out benefits for 4 years in the first 10 years of the law which is how they got the "it cuts the deficit!" talking point. Every year after that is an actuarial disaster, although you'll never see that in the headlines of the newspapers.

Both sides do it. There are a few elements within the Republican party who are committed to really bringing down the deficit and the debt, but they simply can't get enough political traction to do it. The budget cuts both parties agreed to last year? It doesn't actually cut the budget. It simply slows the rate of growth in the budget. I don't think there's been a year post WWII where Federal spending has actually declined in dollar terms.
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