How would YOU balance the budget.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3711) 10 years ago
Kind of a fun little exercise. It's overly simplistic in that it doesn't take into consideration the effects of some actions on the economy, but it's kind of interesting. About the only way to make it work is a combination of huge cuts and major tax increases, something we know that no politician has the stones to do, so in a way it's a bit depressing as well.

http://public-consultation.org/exercise/
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Posted by M T Zook (+514) 10 years ago
I can't believe we spent that much on medical research. Good find.
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Posted by Bill Freese (+478) 10 years ago
I zeroed out the military and did not change anything else. Problem then was what to do with all the extra money.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3711) 10 years ago
Good luck with that strategy.
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 10 years ago
Just don't get why the military has to dominate the entire budget compared to medicine for our citizens...If the citizens die because they cannot afford to live, then why does it matter about a state of the art military...
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6175) 10 years ago
On a fulcrum.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3711) 10 years ago
There's not much chance of getting the thing balanced using that calculator without taking a big chunk out of the military which is realistic. To be fair though, it doesn't give you the option of cutting Social Security or Medicare and both of those are as big a chunk as the military. The "fix social security" section is also misleading because it believes the popular fiction of the social security trust fund which means the actions that you take to fix SS would work, but they would mean that in coming years you would have to keep cutting more and more out of the federal budget to pay for SS.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
I'm not sure you can say the military dominates the budget. I'm guessing we spend more on medicine overall.

But even if that weren't the case, there are issues of appropriateness involved. It is possible to pay for your own health care services. It's generally frowned upon to hire your own mercenaries, however.
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Posted by Gail (+45) 10 years ago
All expenses are out of control-medical included. Almost $6000 for a cat scan-this is total BS-Drug companies are a big part of the problem. As for the military, they have so much waste, it is ridiculous. We still need the military in a big way but the government is wasting your money, whether it is fed, state, county and city. If people would be honest and WORK 8 hours for 8 hours pay, expenses could be cut. I've lived around the Navy bases since 1975 and cannot believe the waste. For example-just 1 little incident-$25,000 worth of lobster was freezer burnt at a Navy galley and had to be thrown out. The list goes on and on, and I'm talking all gov't entities. Food stamp fraud is rampant, illegal immigrants cost us billions, all of it adds up.

[This message has been edited by Gail (3/12/2011)]
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11731) 10 years ago
Food stamp fraud is rampant, illegal immigrants cost us billions, all of it adds up.


On what do you base this? Could site sources? This sounds like Faux News opinions rather than actual fact.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3711) 10 years ago
I'm not sure you can say the military dominates the budget. I'm guessing we spend more on medicine overall.

But even if that weren't the case, there are issues of appropriateness involved. It is possible to pay for your own health care services. It's generally frowned upon to hire your own mercenaries, however.


Here's our budget:



If you want to make a real difference, the only things big enough to cut are Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, and Defense.

By far the easiest to cut is the military. It's true that you can't "hire your own mercenaries", but our military has very little to do with national defense. The US is one of the easiest countries in the world to defend thanks to our two oceans and complete lack of enemies on our continent. No one is going to attack the United States.

I'm not even talking about Iraq and Afghanistan. We have troops stationed in 130 countries. There are close to 30,000 troops in Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Great Britain. In the days of the British empire, they thought that they needed to spend as much on their navy as their two biggest rivals combined. Here's the US military spending vs. the other world powers (none of which are considered our enemy currently).



I'm not anti-military at all, and I think that the US should have the biggest and best military in the world, but what we have now strikes me as major overkill.
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 10 years ago
IMO, our military budget has grown to feed the military industrial complex in this nation...so to cut the budget of the military (which should definitely be done) will throw a lot of Americans out of work...Eisenhower said to "beware the military industrial complex" and we can now see what he meant...
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+796) 10 years ago
Another fun exercise to add to this might be. What would our country and the world be like if we had not elected George Bush and Dick Cheney to office for two terms?
I'll start: No National debt. No war in Iraq.
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Posted by Bixby (+53) 10 years ago
oh please -- get over it. Let's talk about today -- the King Of Spending --- Obama!
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Posted by Michael A. Preller (+63) 10 years ago
Levi,

I am unsure of your military service. Being a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer that served through the Reagan and Clintion administrations, I can tell you quite abit about the Department of Defense and its "Budget". First of all the budget that is listed is not really what it seems to be, as the practice of adding special pork or earmarks for special projects adds to the overall budget.

The real issue is simply taken care of by not allowing earmarks to ANY budgets. Another fix is by making forgien countries such as but not limited to; Germany, South Korea, Japan, and numerous others pay ALL costs associated for our troops to be stationed on their soil. This would include payroll, medical costs (for family members also), retirement and all equipment supplies and bases that our service members are stationed at.

Really any Farmer, Rancher, Businessman or average Joe understands one basic principal in book keeping, you can't continue to spend more than you have (Your Mom and Dad probably taught you that).

Secondly, Our government has continued to add numerous programs throughout the years that need to be changed or disbanded. One is the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It's been over one hundred years now, time to cut the umbilical cord. Want to see what government programs do to destroy the pride and dignity of a whole group of people... go look at what a great job they have done for a former proud and self sufficent Native American society. It's sad when you drive through the reservations of Montana.
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Posted by C.Kee (+375) 10 years ago
Cut Social Security? What happens to the elderly that rely on that as their only income?
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Posted by Bridgier (+9178) 10 years ago
I guess they'd better develop a taste for Fancy Feast.
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Posted by C.Kee (+375) 10 years ago
I take it you do not have parents.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6175) 10 years ago
People need to realize that social security was never intended to be the sole source of income for retired folks. Unfortunately, over the pass several decades, the company pension so longer exists for most and people in the U.S. are woefully inadequate at living within their means and saving for their retirement. I'm at a loss as to how to fix this. Whatever the solution it won't be a quick one.
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Posted by Gail (+45) 10 years ago
Amen Michael.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9178) 10 years ago
The people have spoken C.Kee - cat food and ice floes are all we can afford anymore. The math, as they say, demands it.

Well, that and tax cuts for rich people.

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (3/17/2011)]
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