It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
Originally posted by Mickierocksman
Can you (or anyone) please explain to me how your economy with over 16 Trillion in debt can be made financially viable & how it can even think it can continue on the road its on?
(trimmed for space )
You hit the million dollar question and one of the boards that didn't make the final thread. What I came to think of as my 'Whammy board'. It just had a couple factual issues I couldn't reconcile entirely. However..how do we fix it? You want the easy or hard answer to that?
Hard Answer (and probably only working one):
The United States comes to outright embrace the word austerity for several long years with MUCH higher taxes over MUCH lower benefits. It's the only way, with BOTH areas at once, to bring the numbers down. As others noted, the debt has become exponential with interest feeding interest and growing whether we add to it or not. So...
We not only need to bring the deficit to 0 and into full surplus as Clinton did, but go beyond that. FAR beyond it. If you look at the Deficit/Debt board under Clinton's surplus years, you see the debt still grew. Compound interest is an evil little thing. It never rests, it never stops...it just plods along by the laws of math. So....Until we have surplus large enough to cover the interest due annually AND go beyond that to actually attack principle....well... It's hard to see how that happens, huh?
Under current 1+ trillion deficits? We're probably talking upwards of 50% cuts to really see the debt number start to shrink...then several years of living at that level. Of course, we need 100% TRUST in our leaders that when the problem was solved, the 'austerity' hell would go away. Trust isn't easy to build either, IMO.
The Whammy solution (Nightmare option):
This is what I left off the formal boards. There *IS* a way to pay the national debt and it could be done overnight. At least....for a short time. Soon, even this solution won't work for the math. However, for the time being.....there exists enough in IRA/401k/Pensions (that aren't negative already) and similar retirement funding to entirely cover the national debt. 100% and with some to spare. Ireland has been doing this in small ways. Britain has suggested doing it as have other E.U. members. It's not a unique or new idea and it would work.
The numbers for this are contained in the Federal Reserve Bank statements dealing with Money circulation and how much is currently out there....including in savings and retirement accounts.
I call it the nightmare option because it would literally steal the life savings and retirement hopes and dreams of a good % of the U.S. population...and I believe it would immediately trigger catastrophic unrest. Ask me how I'll feel if I see my Mother broken and ruined as a person because everything she's worked her life to give herself, in her golden years, is stolen out from under her by Uncle Sam? Now multiply me by 10's of millions. Nightmare indeed.
Originally posted by PatrickGarrow17
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
Yeah, hope saying the overall problem being obvious wasn't taken as offensive. The details are crucial.
My take on the problem:
Many citizens are taking the easy way out in blaming the government for being inefficient. The fact is WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT. Or at least, have the potential to be.
Cutting into the deficit and debt is a matter of the public taking responsibility above all else. Each of us taking a bigger role in the services that the government is now providing inefficiently.
Let's stop using charity as an excuse not to pay taxes. Let's get rid of write-offs for donations. It just doesn't make sense. By allowing a tax deduction for community service, we are limiting our ability to solve these problems in private-public sector collaboration. Essentially, private charitable giving is funded by the government.
Only 26% of Americans over 16 years old are volunteering. So much of the deficit, as shown in your graphic, is due to the government assisting people in poverty. What if the majority started donating four hours a week to helping the needy? How would that effect the burden on poverty assistance?
It's the wealthy that primarily benefit for charitable tax write offs.
This problem requires a concerted effort by the current generation to do more for society.
Instead of the federal government providing health insurance, why not have counties provide a low cost public funded health clinic to reduce overall costs in a preventative fashion?
Create a dynamic education system where public colleges in urban areas are given incentive to assist in primary education at local schools. I live in Albany County. SUNY Albany has an enrollment of 18,000 students. Albany city schools have a total population of just over 9,000 and are graduating 50%. If we inserted college students into high school classrooms, students would have younger more relate-able role models. Ask the student population to spend three hours a week as teachers assistants in exchange for a tuition break.
Instead of having a small percentage of people working full time in government, we should have a large percentage of people working part time. Have local taxes payable in direct community service. A huge percentage of local budgets is employee salary. How about instead of having 1,000 full time teachers, we have 20,000 professionals from the community rotating. A more real world education promoting a community system, helping the poor to liberate themselves through education and thus lowering the burden of Federal Gov.
Make community service a part of the high school curriculum as well.
A big part of reducing spending lies in diminishing the probability of war. In my opinion, this is also a cultural/social solution. By increasing cultural learning in the public school system and creating a young population of people who are interested and friendly toward cultures like Islam and China we will gain sympathy and anti-Americanism would be reconsidered.
Presentations like what you've provided here are essential. We have a drastic problem that requires a drastic change to the status quo in order to survive. The political system itself needs reform, particularly in areas of interest group financing. Through a grassroots movement toward higher individual political responsibility and an increase in identifying self with government, the system is more likely to fix itself.
I'm 21 years old, and I feel that attitudes must change among my demographic very soon in order to successfully address the problems faced by our nation. Many students in college do not seem to realize that their actions, or lack thereof, are a factor in whether or not our nation survives or collapses.
edit on 9/8/2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)edit on 9/8/2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by DarthOej
Of course, the problem is.....there is no viable 3rd option. That is what makes it scary. I agree with you in saying the 2 options I present at the end of the past page are not workable....but when nothing else exists, it has to be one of the two or a variation.
When I was with Occupy last fall, I'd asked an Economics Professor who was in camp doing a 'teach-in' on economics from the University of Illinois across the river about this. He was extolling the virtues of a socialist base system and how it was far superior to capitalism. Whatever we each feel on that subject, the point I brought up was asking what we do about the building debt owed to places like China, Japan and others. This was a tenured Professor of Economics, mind you.....and his answer?
'They'll just have to forgive it. They have no choice'. Said as causally as you could want.
These seem to be the Plan B solutions in the minds of those running the debt up into realms we literally cannot even visualize anymore. My first board describes a Trillion in many ways. It's now 16 Trillion for debt. It will be 21 Trillion in 2017 and 25 Trillion in 2022. How do we even make sense of those numbers?
was a series of economic measures taken by U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1971 including unilaterally cancelling the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold that essentially ended the existing Bretton Woods system of international financial exchange.
Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
What it will do though is force the public to see and confront the reality of things in a way it can't be done any other way. Remember, ages ago, Ross Perot tried to do this same thing during a prime time broadcast with colorful charts and graphs and props. I think it was one of the lower viewed presentations he gave for his aborted run at the White House. People in general just have their minds blank out and go mushy when big big numbers start coming in.
In addition, the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25) instituted statutory caps on discretionary appropriations for each of the fiscal years 2012 through 2021. (By contrast, in most recent years the total amount of annual appropriations—except for those designated as emergency requirements—was governed by annual funding allocations agreed to by the House of Representatives and the Senate but not enacted into law.) The new caps do not constrain spending for the war in Afghanistan or similar activities or for designated emergencies; however, if implemented as written in the act, the caps would keep other appropriations for 2012 and 2013 below the amounts provided for 2011 and would limit the growth of those appropriations to about 2 percent a year from 2014 to 2021. Compared with allowing nonwar discretionary appropriations to grow at the rate of inflation, the capped amount of discretionary budget authority would be about 4 percent lower in 2012 and 9 percent lower in 2021; as a result, budget deficits would be reduced by $778 billion between 2012 and 2021, CBO estimates (not counting the savings in interest payments resulting from lower outlays).
"The unemployment rate is falling as we saw the thirtieth straight month of private sector job growth, with the economy adding nearly one hundred thousand new jobs. While our recovery is still moving too slowly for many Americans, job growth would likely have been even stronger if Republicans had not blocked Democratic efforts to hire more teachers, firefighters and police officers.
"At the end of the day, too many people in Nevada and across America are still struggling to get by. The best way to speed up our recovery is for Republicans to stop their knee-jerk obstruction of every effort Democrats put forward, and start working across the aisle to find common ground. Next week, the Senate will vote to give employers incentives to hire veterans, so our heroes are not left out in the cold when they return home. This is a common-sense jobs bill, and I hope Republicans will join Democrats in supporting it.
"The Republican leader said his single most important goal was defeating President Obama. To speed up our recovery, it's time for Republicans to put politics aside, and join Democrats to make the middle class their top priority."
Originally posted by Kovenov
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
Just a brief &, maybe, amusing anecdote, but while looking through the "New Topic" list I saw your thread and initially thought it read, "A Con Man's Guide to the Federal Budget."