Raising revenues are always important, and taxes are an important factor in that, as I'm sure a really smart guy like yourself realizes. Because revenue when it is spent transparently and in a way that benefits a nation, reflective of taxpayers' desires, is a very good thing. It makes an economy move better, faster, stronger. And although my quote of Eisenhower and Obama numbers didn't show it (it was really only a conversation starter), I'm fully in favor of capital moving quickly. People who don't like capitalism are welcome to go off on a commune somewhere and eat carrots til their own legs take root, as far as I'm concerned.
This is true. However the premise has a rotten foundation. When has such ever occurred for more than a few years at a time? In the entire history of mankind, do we have a single solitary example of a long running, efficient government policy at anything resembling the scale of the Federal government? I don't believe humanity is capable of it. The history of our government is one of continual expansion of both power and spending, with few stops in the progress, and none of them lasting long.
If government spent transparently, in a way that benefits the nation, reflective of the taxpayers desires, a difficult qualification to meet.
And yet, the Eisenhower years saw enormous productivity, and all those rich people (if you think them evil, you shouldn't hang around them, you know; send them to me, as I've liked working closely with rich people in the past) never jumped shipped, but had plenty of capital with which to hire. Personally, I'd like to see the money *do things.* Safe bonds aren't safe at all; they don't value up at a rate sufficient to accomplish anything unless you're twenty years old and want to provide for an old age in well, 80 years or more. But subsidizing industries that already show tremendous profits isn't a good investment of federal money either: it's just a political fiat. And a lot of federal money is spent this way. If you're a government and you're looking to get the economy moving, there are far better ways to do so than sticking it in safe bonds or giving it to an specific series of businesses already extremely well off because Senator Gluteus Maximus wants to smile. Right? My point being that dissing safe bonds doesn't automatically mean there's only one other solution. Many are offered to the problem of how a government should use the money it collects. Some are bad--such as subsidies to very successful industries, as a political bribe--and others are good, such as using money to build and maintain highways. But I'll get into that a bit more, further down.
Oh, no--you're far cleverer than I am, by focusing entirely on deficit spending without breaking it down into shortterm and longterm deficit spending, and ignoring the revenue side of the equation completely, just to focus on your point. I remember the Eisenhower years, and there was no real talk at the time of "socialist spending" outside of red-baiting politicos, because social spending was almost nonexistent in Europe following the war--unless you want to call ration cards social spending, which is a really tremendous reach. Much of Western Europe was engaged in programs of rebuilding and commercial and industrial expansion relative to the losses of the 30's and 40's. Socialism in any case is a pejorative used for anything and everything, just as capitalism is for another set: such horror! Medicare is socialism. Public schools are socialism. Low income housing is socialism. So is a strutting idiot who pretends he leads a Socialist Party that matters to no one and nobody. These aren't the same, plenty of subsidiary issues are involved as you're well aware, and the word should be used in a specific sense if having a meaningful conversation is the goal. If it isn't, well, what do you think of them Lakers, huh?
Thank you for arguing my point? Eisenhower had relatively balanced budgets, two thirds the size of our current ones...
With half the revenue we take in now, we could fully fund a stronger military, S.S. and Medicare programs that scaled with lifespans like they should have to begin with, all the interstate roadwork we can come up with, and a massive amount of oversight well in excess of anything truly necessary
As ~80% of the rich are newly minted, first generation, self made individuals, why would anyone want government to collect their money to pick and choose how to spend beyond those basic functions? Whether in bonds, all soon to be 17 trillion of them, or added tax revenue(assuming an increase in rates actually got us more revenue, as I said it's historically flat over the massive swings in rates), the effect would be the same. Money being spent in a comparatively poor fashion. They more closely resemble the homeless drunk that puts everything into booze, than someone capable of creating wealth.
Government spending isn't automatically a bad thing. It depends on what it does. Government spending puts police on the streets; it supports road construction and maintenance. It supports fire departments. Government spending on regulation can be a problem but it can be good, too, because industry self-regulation has been a failure in every attempt made at it, and nuclear power plants aren't a good thing to ignore and "hope" they stay safe with fingers crossed behind one's back. (And I *like* nuclear power a lot, when it's safely managed. As I do some new developments that have made great strides in coal efficiency.) Traffic controllers? Need regulation to make sure standards are maintained. Airlines themselves need somebody looking over their shoulder; there have been too many documented instances of regulators finding severe faults in planes that subsequently led to planes being grounded, and owners fined. (Did the loss of the plane hurt the airline? Yes. But it's a benefit if your passengers survive.) Regulation relative to the federal budget is at a low since pre-Reagan years when indexed for inflation and national growth. Cut regulation? By all means. But let's target specifically what we want to cut, instead of making airy generalities. And let's make sure what we want to have regulated is funded enough to do so effectively. Otherwise, it's money that's going to waste. And note: one of the biggest wasters of federal money is the Pentagon. There are many good reasons to keep an active military, but a wasteful one on that scale isn't good for any nation. Pentagon spending? Needs to be carefully and above all sensibly regulated. Yet it really isn't. At all.
The Federal government, in return for a few percent of their budgets, puts idiotic requirements on construction projects, fire and police departments, the education sector, the list goes on. Because of Uncle, we have fire fighters that are completely incapable of doing the job, as well as completely incompetent otherwise. Why? Between gender and race norming(Affirmative Action says minorities and women are stupid), the only way a government agency doesn't hire a moron is if a geniunely suitable candidate is available, fitting an equally advantageous profile. They can't fire them either, we have known pedophiles "working" in school districts because they'd have to wait for them to actually rape a kid to get a prosecution going before they can fire them. Instead they just give them a desk job doing nothing in the administration. Then there's construction. We have hundreds of little airports all over the country built just so this or that congressman didn't have to drive two hours to the nearest airport. We have thousand foot bridges to sand bars populated by a dozen people. 55 miles per hour?
Industry regulation is another hilariously bad performer. When Alaska Airlines Flight 261 went down, the FAA had already been warned repeatedly. The whistleblower had been fired in return for contacting the FAA, and the FAA relaxed the Manufacturer specified maintenance requirements after finding out from Boeing what the bare minimum maintenance would require. When Alaska Airlines continued to fail to maintain even those lax levels, the FAA was again warned and did nothing. They weren't even keeping the jackscrews lubricated. The typical plane groundings are done by the Airlines themselves, actual maintenance checks by the FAA are extremely rare. Other inspection agencies are much the same. The USDA does routine inspections of food processing plants, visual inspections. They walk in, look around, and leave. The only time they shut down a plant is when people get sick. You mention nuclear power plants, yet Three Mile Island, the only meltdown of a reactor not being run by the Federal government, happened under strict regulation. The several other nuclear meltdowns that have happened in this country were all caused by government operated reactors, three of them by the same group and covered for by the Department of Energy.
You trust them to do a better job than people scared of a lawsuit will?
Regulation relative to the federal budget is at a low since pre-Reagan years when indexed for inflation and national growth.
This is hilarious enough I just had to pull it out by itself...
We surpassed 8% of GDP in 2010, that's before Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act came into play. The FDIC said it would be too expensive to find out how expensive Dodd-Frank is, so we still don't have any idea how high the costs for it are. The Affordable Care Act isn't even finished writing. Several thousand pages of new regulations from two bills, and 2010 was a new record.
Regulatory compliance is how much it costs to comply with them, not how much it costs the government to write them. Comparing the cost of regulation to an ever expanding federal budget isn't very helpful either. Screwed twice is still screwed even if you get screwed twice as hard from one.
Allow me to offer something equally simple: if the government hires people, people who were otherwise unemployed get jobs, therefore more money for their households. More spending means more money circulating in the economy. This is a good thing. Governments are a notable driver of economies through employment. It's been shown to be the case time and again. Would you like plenty of figures with your whine and cheese?
Consumption of wealth does not create wealth. Technological advance and plain old lying has been utilized to hide massive amounts of inflation brought about by consumption driven keynesian policy. When government hires more people, more people become unemployed. This bears out in history, as well as the present. Government expansion largely creates jobs without wealth, typically jobs that actively destroy wealth beyond the consumption of the wage earners. In some things, it's a tradeoff, physical wealth in the form of more food, energy, durable goods, for added security. Emergency services, the military. In others, there is no tradeoff. The ATF is an entity completely without purpose, that spends more resources committing crime than it does preventing it. At the same time, these tradeoffs, and not so tradeoff expenditures, are not made out of a vacuum. The money is either taken out of the economy to begin with, and thus has a maximum effect of zero, or it is printed, hence the inflation.
Bankruptcy is the only place you end up. The EU is already there, Japan got there a long time ago, so did Russia and Mexico, we're next.
Complete agreement. It's a steep shot off a severe cliff. I have my opinions, but how would you suggest dealing with this, while allowing for the way so many economic, social, and political issues are entangled together in a way that sets one screaming?
I'm just waiting for society to collapse, then I can sit on the porch and shoot looters. I bother with argument because it amuses me, I suffer no delusions. The sheeple will continue driving civilization off the cliff, completely oblivious to how utterly screwed they are.
A theoretical solution, short of violent revolution? Instead of gutting the politicians(I'd prefer to do this anyway just on principle), just wipe out every discretionary federal agency but the NTSB, FBI and CDC, wipe out the civilian contracting in the military, and use those pea brains to tie medicare and social security to life expectancy. Lawsuits keep people more honest than regulatory oversight, no one would even notice of the FDA disappeared, and most of the regulatory bodies are just an outright drag on society. The only thing they really do is after the fact investigations, and almost all of those already are or could be handled between those three agencies.
As I see zero chance of either party passing even the most obvious and necessary change regarding life expectancy, I'll continue to look forwards to the modern day fall of Rome here in the next 10 to 15 years. We could put it off for longer if we get serious about resource development, but I'm not that optimistic.