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Facts Are Stubborn Things -- The Graphed Truth About the Debt & Spending

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posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 11:48 AM
reply to post by xuenchen

Oh Xue...Still posting those crazy graphics...

Why again does your unemployment chart only include Oct. of each year and stop 2 years ago????

Lets looka t some full data..



posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by wash777

Well, I made a thread about war being the cause of our economic woes...and my agenda is admittedly and decidedly that as it may, I did my best to just present facts and figures without partisan accusations and obfuscation.

Mainly because 2 years ago I was wondering why people are hungry...this led to looking for actual dollar figures rather than statistics and percentages which all say something different, depending on who is presenting the 'facts.'

This led to my discovery about war costing us so much in every way and I learned quite a bit about national debt and the national budget.

If you are interested, here is that thread. You might find some resources I linked to which can help you find out more on your own, too.

posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 02:07 PM
Well anyone can post a bunch of nifty graphs and out of context facts to support whichever "side" they choose to be blindly led by. The same graph says two different things to two different parties. What truly baffles me is that people still believe there is a two party system in America these days. Both "sides" do exactly the samre thing when they get the seat of power. Two sides of the same coin. Obama promised "hope and change" and what did we get...the extension and increasing of almost all of Bush's policies. Increased wars in more countries. Increased "bailout" spending that really did nothing to bail out "we the people". For crying out loud - if you hated Bush, you have to hate Obama and conversely if you loved Bush, you have to love Obama. There is very little difference in what they have done as presidents.

We need to take our country back somehow and put someone in charge that has the interest of we the people and not the special interest groups. And a flat tax with zero deductions.

posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 02:30 PM

Originally posted by charles1952
One question at the start though. If George Bush starts a policy, then Obama and Democrats approve of it and extend it, is it still Bush's responsibility? I would argue that it is no longer, but rather belongs to the people who approve and continue it.

It is far easier to institute a policy than it is to change it or eliminate it altogether. The latter being near impossible sometimes.

OK, looking at your first graph's headline. You notice that it only refers to publicly held debt. Intra-governmental debt is at least half of that and is primarily the funding for entitlement spending. You'll notice that health care and Social Security are not even mentioned on the first graph. That omission skews everything.

No. Intra-governmental debt is not 'primarily the funding for entitlement spending.' It is OUR payroll taxes that fund entitlements...they are put into trust funds wherein the principle earns interest but entitlements are paid from the principle.

They are called entitlements because we are entitled to receive them back when we qualify to do so...either through hardship or getting old. We all put into one pot and we all should be able to draw from that pot when we qualify. And if there is interest earned from our my mind, we are 'entitled' to those, too...they should be re-invested into the principle and if they were...eventually FICA deductions could be reduced for everyone and no one would lose out on the benefits these funds are intended to provide us.

HOWEVER...intra-governmental debt occurs when the interest these trust funds earn is 'borrowed' by the government in order to pay for things other than entitlements...things that might be considered 'unforeseen' expenses in that they were not factored into the budget.

The expense of the military and especially the astronomical costs incurred in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are one primary example of such 'unforeseen' expenses. We have borrowed the interest earned by the principle funded by the money taken out of our provide for ourselves and each other during difficult order to pay for other activities in other government sectors.

And this interest borrowed is supposed to be paid back with interest. That payment of these debts as well as the interest accrued by borrowing is then funded by our income taxes.

When they say that Social Security is being depleted...what they mean is that there is less and less available interest to borrow for other things. And like I said...if the interest were put back into those funds, then Social Security would become an increasingly trusted and reliable resource and entitlements would not be such an issue.

These are diversionary tactics to hide what is really going being misused for things it was not intended for and without our full knowledge and an opportunity to oppose or condone.

posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 10:06 PM
reply to post by queenannie38

Dear queenannie38,

I really appreciate your lengthy and thoughtful reply.
My primary purpose here is to learn and get my thinking straight on important issues. I have a different view of Social Security and entitlements from yours, and I'd like to link to something that explains why. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

Social Security’s finances significantly worsened last year, according to the new 2012 trustees report,[1] because of a weakened economy and structural problems with the program. The April 23 report shows that all people who receive Social Security benefits face about a 25 percent benefit cut as soon as 2033—three years earlier than predicted in last year’s report.

The poor numbers come from a number of factors, including the continued weakness of the U.S. economy, high energy prices holding down wages, and a significant increase in the number of people who receive benefits from Social Security’s disability program (SSDI). SSDI has its own sub-trust fund that will be exhausted in 2016. While some SSDI costs will be paid from money that would have gone to pay retirement and survivors’ benefits, SSDI recipients face across-the-board benefit reductions in just four years.

In net-present-value terms, Social Security owes $11.3 trillion more in benefits than it will receive in taxes. This 2012 number consists of $2.7 trillion to repay the special-issue bonds in the trust fund and $6.5 trillion to pay benefits after the trust fund is exhausted in 2033. This is an increase of $2.2 trillion from last year’s report. This is the largest one-year drop in the program’s finances since 1994.

Net present value is the amount of money that would have to be invested today in order to have enough money on hand to pay deficits in the future. In other words, Congress would have to invest $11.3 trillion today in order to have enough money to pay all of Social Security’s promised benefits through 2086. This money would be in addition to what Social Security receives during those years from its payroll taxes.

Counting both programs together, in 2011, Social Security spent $45 billion more in benefits than it took in from its payroll tax. This deficit is in addition to a $49 billion gap in 2010 and an expected average annual gap of about $66 billion between 2012 and 2018. These deficits will quickly balloon to alarming proportions. After adjusting for inflation, annual deficits will reach $95 billion in 2020 and $318.7 billion in 2030 before the trust fund runs out in 2033. Now is the time to focus on solutions.

The existence of a trust fund does not make Social Security healthy. Although those assets are guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States, the bonds it contains must be repaid using general revenue that would otherwise go to other programs. Similarly, the interest that Social Security receives on existing trust fund balances is not spendable income. It merely inflates the numbers in the trust fund and increases the amount that Social Security will eventually receive from general revenue. (emphasis added)
Thanks for working with me on this issue.

With respect,

posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 10:13 PM
They all seem to lie to us. This country is a mess. Rich people have all the real money and we have worthless paper and official looking documents. The value of a corporations stock is worth many times their assets, seems to me like a legal gambling joint. Most corporations rent or lease everything.

posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 10:34 PM
To all those that say the government has no right to tax because the money they have is their money, not the government's, keep in mind taxes are the price we pay to live in a civilized society. I am not here to defend every expenditure by the federal government or every tax law, but every government including our own needs tax revenues to keep society running.

If you do not want the government to touch your money, then you should stay off the government's roads. You should not buy or use any goods that were transported on the government's roads. You should not drink or use water that comes from the government's water system.

You should not send your children to government schools or hire people who learned skills in public schools. You should also boycott companies that use labor that was educated in public schools. If you were educated in a public school, you should not use any skill you learned in the public schools.

Some groups of people, like the rich, depend on the government to enforce their legal rights. Take a guy like our potential next president, Mitt Romney. He has relatively little tangible wealth. His wealth is mostly in the form of paper like securities and bank deposits. If the government and its courts stopped enforcing the rights that came with his paper wealth, he would be poorer than you or I. For example, in a completlely lawless society some bank could arbitrarily decide to keep any money Romney deposited with it and not allow Romney to withdraw it. A company Romney owns in whole or in part could arbitrarily decide to disregard Romney's ownership rights by not allowing him to vote his shares or get dividends.

posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 10:55 PM
None of them give a damn about the debt.

They only want to take and spend all the money they can get their hands on.

So it really doesn't matter.

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 12:34 AM
reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint

Have you run into many people who believe there should be no taxes whatever? I know of people who complain about the level of taxes, but none who seriously say it should be 0.

I'm pretty sure we agree on the proposition that we are spending more than we should be, and that the tax code is a crazy pile of unitelligible rubbish. If that's the case, let's figure out what it should be and who is more likely to get us there.

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 01:20 PM
reply to post by charles1952

And thank YOU, sir, for the same.

I would not say you are wrong simply because I don't see that as a valid concept in the learning process. Right might be considered to have full and complete knowledge that is 100% accurate. And no one has that, in any subject...we are all learning as we go and incomplete understandings only amount to opinions formed and reformed as more is understood...and opinions cannot be wrong as they are not objective but subjective in nature. The ideas of right and wrong cause a lot of bickering, too, that I personally have no stomach for.

That being said, the article you posted only addresses the issue in a somewhat isolated fashion centered around the 2012 report. It isn't inaccurate, just very narrow in scope as far as cause and effect. In order to get a bigger picture on the situation, one must go back in history a bit and also consider the entire expenditure log for the government, and I mean not even limiting it to deficit and budget but all financial activities going on at the Federal level.

It is getting easier to find this information in bigger bits and pieces than it has been, but still it is hard for me to assimilate all I've discovered over the last few years into a couple of links. But I'm not good at all at explaining things...especially financial goings-on. I understand but can't translate, if that makes sense.

So try reading these, and see what you get from them:

Understanding the Social Security Trust Funds
Huffington Post Article
Someone's Blog (that sounds like a really authoritarian source, eh? actually, though, it is good and sound information presented simply and without can easily confirm what is written once you know what to put in the search box)

Also, that blogs reveals something significant to the greater issue which was Johnson's financing the Vietnam war...that's where things started to go astray with the SS fund and our perception of same, etc.
The American economy, however, has been sorely affected by the costs of war and military for longer than that.

This page might serve to sum things up a little bit as far as the point I hope to bring to light...which is as follows (snipped in the middle and emphases my own):

Notice that repayments of debt (bars below the 0% line) can only occur when other federal funding exceeds operating expenses (bars extend above the 100% line).

The heavy debt incurred from 1917-19 to finance WWI was significantly repaid during the 1920s when federal tax collections exceeded expenses for several years. Not so for the debt incurred from 1940-46 to finance WWII.


It is also of interest that extensive Federal borrowing from the public has typically occured during times of war (1917-19, 1940-45, 1965-75, and the early 2000s) and in hard economic times (the Great Depression of the 1930s). The significant increases in peacetime borrowing that occured during the 1980s and early 1990s were unprecedented in US history.

And those 'hard economic times' invariably follow times of war.

It seems incongruous that spending was so high during Clinton's terms in office yet he is the only President so far who was able to present a budget with no deficit...meaning simply that the yearly federal budget came out in the black instead of the red.

I think he might deserve more credit than he receives for that, but then again, it was a combination of circumstances that really created the opportunity for him to accomplish that...notably it was PEACETIME and had been for years...and tax income had been high due to the administration preceding him...and a lot of other factors.

I will have to look up another source or two to back up the next thing I am going to say but I can't do it right now as I've already spent too much time online this morning! :p

But the thing is this...the economy began a decidedly worsening downward shift in the year 2001. And every year that follows, with nothing changed that the events of that year instigated...i.e. continued increased military involvement in the world and war still in Afghanistan...the national debt gets larger and subsequently the yearly federal budget reflects this...because debt continues to accrue but nothing can be paid back since every penny possible must be spent on the expenses incurred by the activities of military and defense.

Keep that year in mind when you look at graphs and charts of any kind related to this issue! You will see an undeniable pattern/trend.

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 01:49 PM

Originally posted by IsThisThingBugged
reply to post by pajoly

See this is the problem I have with this... HOW CAN government count money that Americans are allowed to keep as adding to the debt?!

The bush era tax cut was never the governments money it's OURS dangit. So how can they accuse this program of adding to the debt?! That's typical big government BS! It's our money!
edit on 28-8-2012 by IsThisThingBugged because: (no reason given)

I don't think you understand the numbers here. This is revenue from tax that is not being generated because the wealthy are not contributing as they should. That equates to debt.

Tax cuts for the wealthy have not worked, and they continue to NOT WORK. What part of this is so difficult to understand?

The situation right now is not sustainable. It would not be sustainable without the wars and without the global meltdown, those things have simply added to the existing problem.

If you have swathes of the nation, the richest people in your nation, walking away without contributing to the nation through taxation the way everyone else does, you are inevitably going to have economic problems. A ten years old can figure this out, so why is it so amazingly difficult for adults? Is the American education system really so bad that adults in your country can barely manage the idea of credit and deficit?

How many failed businesses did Bush have under his belt before he became POTUS? I think most intelligent people know that he was irresponsible and had no clue. That's what you get for hiring a dumb ass to run a nation, well done America!

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 10:25 PM
reply to post by charles1952

The tax code used to be quite simple and very similar to the flat tax everyone is proposing. There were two problems. The first was special interest groups placed and continue to place all sorts of exemptions and credits into the code.

The second problem, was a flat tax is too simple. Sometimes it leads to harsh results to the taxpayer and more often it allows people to cheat the system. There are elaborate provisions in the code to prevent cheating the system or harsh results the the taxpayer. A flat tax is inadequate to tax income that comes from elaborate transactions or complex.

For all those who advocate a flat tax, tell me how the flat tax will treat the following transaction

1. Taxpayer owns 10% of an LLC. Taxpayer purchased his 10% stake by contributing $50,000 in cash and receiving the remainder as equity compensation for the work taxpayer performed for the LLC. The LLC purchased a building for $1,000,000. The LLC then sold the building for a $1,500,000 note that is to be payed off over a term of 10 years at 6% interest. The LLC distributes to the taxpayer $90,000 a year. Taxpayer is expected to gain a greater interest in the LLC as compensation for his labors before the note matures.

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 12:44 AM
reply to post by queenannie38

Dear queenannie38,

Thank you so much for your post and links.
They've been very helpful. I've left aside, for a moment, the question of the starting year of the charts, and looked at the Social Security information. It seems that we're quite close in our understanding of it. May I explain what I thought I saw, and you can tell me if I've gone wrong?

Social Security was designed to collect more in taxes than it spends in benefits, and it has. In 2009 the total surplus they had collected was $2.5 trillion, and by 2020 it is estimated to be $4 trillion. This money has been lent to the government as a whole to spend as it sees fit. In return the government has given the SS fund, treasury bonds, or "promises to pay," or IOUs. The government is also giving the fund about 5% interest on the money it has borrowed.

In 2011, SS had to use $45 billion of its interst, in addition to all the money it received in taxes, to cover payments, and that number is expected to rise. In 2030, the estimate is that the SS deficit will be over $300 billion, far more than the interest payments and taxes combined. According to the SS 2012 report, all of the IOU's will be cashed in by 2033. After that they will only be able to make payments out of the taxes received, meaning about a 25% reduction in benefits.

If you like long-term projections, the SS also uses a 75 year planning range. The shortage in the accounts by 2086 could be covered if the government invested $11.3 trillion dollars today. The problem is being caused by fewer employed people paying taxes, lower wages paid to the workers, the baby boomers retiring (and retiring earlier) and the increase in disability recipients.

So, now to your point. Where in the world is the money going? You know the answer: wars, Solyndra, bailouts, DHS, and anywhere else the government wants to spend money. But as the years go on, the amount needed to pay SS benefits will grow. The more we spend on other things, the less will be able to be paid out by SS, and the more drastically we'll have to change the system to keep it afloat.

But the thing is this...the economy began a decidedly worsening downward shift in the year 2001. And every year that follows, with nothing changed that the events of that year instigated...i.e. continued increased military involvement in the world and war still in Afghanistan...the national debt gets larger and subsequently the yearly federal budget reflects this...because debt continues to accrue but nothing can be paid back since every penny possible must be spent on the expenses incurred by the activities of military and defense.
I'm not sure I can entirely agree with you here. Our deficits have been over a trillion dollars a year for the last four years. The president has asked for $740 billion for defense and the wars in the 2011 budget. In addition, Congress still has that sequestration issue to deal with, which may reduce defense even more. Further, looking at the charts in The Huffington Post article you linked, I saw that the deficit grew quickly under Bush from 2001-2003. Then, surprisingly, it started to turn around and get smaller. Then, in 2007 and 2008 the deficit became huge. What happened? The war was still going on, that hadn't changed. My belief was that the increase in the deficit for 2007-2008 was due to to the fact that for the first time in his administration the entire Congress, both houses, were Democrat controlled.

I am wide open to ideas, but even eliminating the military completely will not be sufficient. Ok, let's not spend so much there, but where else can we cut? Or should we change SS? Maybe make people retire at an older age? Raise their taxes? Reduce their benefits? I can understand why the government has wanted to "kick the can" down the road, everything looks unpleasant.

As an off-topic aside, you may want to look for additional sources to The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. My first impression is that they are not neutral. They have a section where they list the praises they have earned from various people. They have three from columnists from The New York Times and [/]The Washington Post combined, Vice-President Biden, a columnist from The Boston Globe, and three others I don't recognize.

Again, I am very grateful for all the help you've given me in learning about this issue. If you ever think I can be of help to you, please U2U.

With respect,

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 04:57 PM
reply to post by charles1952

Um, that is the way all retirement plans work.

You put your money into a retirement plan, and that plan spends your retirement funds on investments, from which they expect to earn money so that they can pay you back your money with interest, and often extra money for those people who managed the investments.

Guess what, most private retirement funds are doing far worse tha SS.

In fact, the biggest reason for the fed bailout of Wall Street was to save all those pension plans that would have became worthless.

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 05:03 PM
It almost seems like some organization is trying to purposely bust this country so they can take over. I think more Republicans are involved than Democrats. What groups of individuals hold the most stock in these big corporations and what do they have in common. Please steer me to an old thread that explains this. One must exist.

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 05:07 PM
reply to post by poet1b

That is about right. I keep forgetting to look at simple things and dig too deep. The Pension funds disappearing would have tore apart the country. Remember what they used to say about twenty years ago.... "Don't invest more than you can afford to lose in the stock market."

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 02:46 PM
reply to post by rickymouse

We have been screwed everyday the super rich could get us, and these clowns crying about the evils of class warfare are either among the super rich, total suckers, or the kind of people who would rather be servants than liberated individuals.

It really is time to blow this whole pyramid ponzi scheme of fractional reserve banking apart. Conssidering that boomers have been happy to dump so much debt on future generations, it is hard to feel sorry those who managed to hang on to some kind of retirement.

Time we started to consider the future of our country.

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 03:36 PM
Facts Are Stubborn Things -- The Graphed Truth About the Debt & Spending

Yep facts are stubborn things that can't be argued like that more people in this country at this moment are getting paid by tax revenue than paying tax revenue which is the source of all our economic "woes".

Current entitlement spending is 2.2 trillion dollars over 100 million Americans or 1 in 6 are on the government dime.

The Us government is the largest healthcare provider in the country.Medicare,Medicaid 75 million/50 million with 30 million new people added to the dole via the care act/
The Us government is the largest retirement fund manager in the country.;Social Security
The Us government is the largest provider of mortgages in the country; Fanny and Freddy
The Us government is the largest education provider in the country that has a debt of over 1 trillion dollars

That is the truth about spending that all has destroyed wealth, that has added to the debt because some people actually believe they can live beyond their means.

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 03:40 PM

Originally posted by detachedindividual
I don't think you understand the numbers here. This is revenue from tax that is not being generated because the wealthy are not contributing as they should. That equates to debt.


A decrease in revenue is exactly that, a decrease in revenue.

It only becomes debt if the spender is unwilling to adjust their expenditures in line with their revenues.

Which is pretty much the MO of every government that I know of.

It is a shame too, seeing as the US, in particular, could have easily reduced expenditures without touching any social services or safety nets.
edit on 1-9-2012 by peck420 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 04:27 PM
reply to post by peck420

Most of the government spending goes to contractors. I would say over half. The jobs left in government are there to watch over the proper use of these funds. Get rid of the oversight than get rid of the money that the government gives to all businesses and contractors. No government contracts anymore, sounds fine to me. Our Economy would collapse within weeks. No NASA. no road money, no nuclear power plant building, no economic development funds, no subsidies for corn producers, no payments to any business for any services or products whatsoever. All banks will be required to pay back the governments money because nobody will be watching over it. What do we need all those businesses in Washington DC for anyway, there is not going to be any workers to keep that economy viable. If businesses have control, what do we need congress for.

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