posted by mel1962
(1) My main point as a conservative is that we need to spend less and balance the budget ASAP. (2) Taxes should be held or raised slightly. (3) I am
all for a VAT or simplified tax. (4) Our spending may create interest payments that eliminate us affording a military! You can create all the charts
that you want, but the facts are we are facing a point of no return on debt, not only government but household! (5) The downfall of Rome, Spain,
Britain and other empires was their debt. [Edited by Don W]
1) We have entitlements. That is a national policy. For example, anyone who has an income less than a specified amount is eligible for food stamps -
no longer use stamps but now use a credit card. When the law was passed, Congress did not know how many people would be eligible and how much it would
cost. But, we did it, and it is called an entitlement. Medicaid, another entitlement. Again, based on income. Meant at first to serve AFDC children
and new mostly single mothers. But, it is an entitlement because Congress pays for it as it goes along, n0t knowing from year to year how many people
will be on Medicaid.
Social Security and Medicare are entitlements. The 2 largest.
About $1.7 t. of the proposed 2009 $2.9 t. is in entitlements. That is, the Congress really can’t do much about that. Neither can the president.
That leaves about $1.2 t. to fund the discretionary programs. Nearly hall of that is set for the DoD, interest on the debt is next in size, leaving
barely $ $200 b. to run all the other government programs and services. All the so-called “welfare” payments are less that $70 b. So where and how
do you seriously cut government outlays?
Scratch “spending less” as an option.
2) Agreed, especially on “raised” but not slightly.
3) I’ve explained elsewhere that the former advocates of a flat tax have achieved a flat tax for the Rich and Famous - R&Fs - so they are no longer
It is a rule of thumb that the retail price of goods is 10X the cost to make it. VAT - value added tax - as goods move through the process of mining
ore, refining, processing, manufacturing, distributing and retailing, a tax is added at each step based on the “value” added at that stage of the
process. Cost out compared to cost in. The VAT is not intended as a “simplified” tax, but is instead a method of evenly spreading the tax burden.
A European concept not looked on kindly over here by the R&Fs. Scratch the VAT.
4) Yes. At some point in time, people who are currently loaning us money to pay for things we think we need or want but are not willing to pay for
will either find a better place to invest their money or will want more interest than we can bear. Borrowers are always at the mercy - directly
proportional to the amount of debt - of the lenders. Always.
Equally true that our long time government policy does not encourage savings or thrift, but instead encourages consumption. Over consumption. Looking
back, it was strongly encouraged to save 10% all during War 2. Movies were usually double features, and at the break, the movies sold War Bonds and
War Stamps in the lobby. Children bought 5 cent stamps and when a stamp book was filled, could turn it in for a $25 war bond which was sold for
$18.75. Held 10 years to be worth face value. Workers were encouraged to sign up for payroll deductions. And etc. We know how, we lack the will to do
5) It would be nice if that was so. Like so many social phenomenon, there are usually 100s and even 1000s of reasons for success or failure. We have
never lived in a world with the amount of debt we have today. This is brand new to everyone. I don’t think we are handling it very well. Some do,
some say “borrow your way out of debt!” Stupid as that is, there are many people who think it is possible.
Frugality is still a by-word for a comfortable future.
[edit on 4/9/2007 by donwhite]