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  1. #1
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Default U.S. bid to cut debt draws fire

    I was happy to read about this in today's paper. Doesn't sound like it has legs to get done but it should. My country will need to face similar tough decisions (moving the retirement age up from 65, adding some more user fees to health care, etc). They better get off their asses and start working on it like soon.



    WASHINGTON—Americans grappled with a rare dose of icy fiscal reality Thursday as debate flared over a bipartisan bid to slash U.S. debt with almost across-the-board cutbacks in federal spending.

    Tensions ran high across the political spectrum over a suite of proposed austerity measures that would slash Medicare, Social Security and defence programs, raise gas taxes and scale back mortgage interest deduction loopholes.

    The commission's co-chairs — retired Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming and Erskine Bowles, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton — anticipated the reaction as they tabled their report Wednesday, joking they may need to enlist in the federal witness protection program.

    But faced with the kind of draconian cuts already underway in the deeply indebted U.K., the political blogosphere recoiled in horror. Washington Post columnist Joel Achenbach summed up the gloomy outlook for taming the $13.7 trillion debt as a generational turning point for the worse, blogging that he cannot help but feel “that everything will be timed, framed and calibrated in such a way that I, personally, get hosed in the extreme. The Bad Timing Generation. Tail End of the Boomers. Hosed.”

    The draft recommendations — including raising the retirement age for Social Security benefits to 69 by 2075; cutting 10 per cent of the federal workforce; a new 15-cent tax on a gallon of gas; trimming defence spending by one seventh, or $100 billion a year — are almost certainly dead on arrival, analysts agreed. Without support from a supermajority of the debt commission's 18 members by Dec. 1, the package is not even expected to proceed for debate in Congress.

    But the proposals mark the beginning of a national debate now converging on Washington as a new Republican-dominated House assumes power in January.

    President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters at the G20 Summit in South Korea, declined comment on the specifics but said both parties will need to advance together. “If we are concerned about debt and deficits, then we're going to have to take actions that are difficult and we're going to have to tell the truth to the American people.”

    The draft recommendation to slash Social Security benefits by hiking the retirement age and trimming inflation provisions was denounced by some pro-labour organizations as a “trial balloon” that would punish the country's hollowed-out middle class.

    The Strengthen Social Security Campaign argued that even though U.S. Social Security is not expected to exhaust its resources until 2037, allowing the Bush-era tax cuts on the 2 per cent of wealthiest Americans to expire this year would generate enough revenue to put Social Security on a sound footing for another 75 years.

    “We feared a sneak attack on the middle class after the midterm elections. But this is causing so much of a furor that now nothing is likely to happen until next year,” said Jane Slaughter, a writer and campaigner with Labornotes.org.

    “Social Security is often called the third rail of American politics. You just can't touch it. But now that we have gone through this economic crisis without a great deal of uproar from the populace, it feels like that theory is being tested again.”

    But the conservative Americans for Tax Reform was equally disdainful, saying the cumulative weight of ending home mortgage interest deductions, hiking capital gains tax and closing other loopholes would amount to a tax grab of $961 billion over 10 years.

    The New York Times in a Thursday editorial was almost alone in its guarded welcome, calling the draft proposals “an antidote to the low-minded debate” that “frankly acknowledges what most politicians are too cowardly to admit — that deficit reduction will require shared sacrifice.”

  2. #2
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    the conservative Americans for Tax Reform was equally disdainful, saying the cumulative weight of "ending home mortgage interest deductions"
    . . .
    Stupid proposal. Luckily, it probably will never see the light of day. It is a tax hike which will slow and worsen the housing market, which is bad enough, thank you.

    That said, yes tough decisions have to be made. I'm certainly for a raising of the S. Security eligibility/retirement age. That's gonna be a tough sell tho.

    Even tho spending has to reined in, I don't believe that you can or should even try to tax your way out of this mess. The only way things are going to turn around is if the economy takes off and we should whatever we can to pursue that end instead of raising taxes for homeowners, etc.
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  3. #3
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 05:35 PM
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    Default

    I read it over and I guess I missed the part where Congress proposed pay cuts across both houses and a reduction in their pension plans and also that they would return to living among the people.

  4. #4
    Sinner's Swing! Jesus H Christ's Avatar
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    I see no mention of Welfare Reform. How about the illegal immigrant problem?
    How about all the "foreign aid" money we give out? Did we all forget about the massive expense for the wars we wage?

    Nah...lets fuck the working man some more and cut his retirement benefits and raise his taxes. That'll fix it.
    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

  5. #5
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    Fuck those assholes...try to drop the mortgage interest deduction. It will bring the middle class out with righteous furor. This is an across the board tax.

    At my company we have to deal with increasing payments to our health plans, cuts in raises and outright freezing of wages, layoffs combined with extra work for those lucky enough to still be working.

    I have yet to see any serious approach like that in the government sector which employs at least 1/4 of the people in the USA. Why are bureaucratic agencies worth so much more that we have increase the amount of cash sucked from the private sector to fund it?

    Oh, and I read today that the richest counties surround Washington DC. I call that Bureaucratville. I have driven through there on my company business and I could not believe the endless rows of McMansions all over the place in what was previously farmland. Miles and miles of it. Sucking on taxes.

    Like I said, fuck those assholes.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk Wruff_ajax's Avatar
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    ^ Hear, hear.
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 05:43 PM
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    You know a guy who owns ice cream truck could manage the US government better than all these Harvard and Yale types. Theres tons of stuff to cut and eliminate without touching things like the mortgage interest deduction. How about the billions a year in pork barrel projects alone!
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  8. #8
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwardv View Post
    You know a guy who owns ice cream truck could manage the US government better than all these Harvard and Yale types. Theres tons of stuff to cut and eliminate without touching things like the mortgage interest deduction. How about the billions a year in pork barrel projects alone!
    the public will have to suffer some to balance the books, whether it be something like a cut in deductions or an increase in taxes. It would have been nice to see a cut in the pay of elected reps though and long term freeze proposed. That's the first thing that all governments need to do to have any chance of passing this type of measure.

  9. #9
    Baluchitherium Scott's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 05:46 PM
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    I actually think that there should be more taxes in the US...remember, here in Canada - we're north of 50% at the end of the day that goes to taxation. Think about it this way - if gas tax in the US was raised another $.15 per gallon (still placing the US amoung the cheapest gas in the world) and everyone paid .5% more tax per year - I bet the deficit would be immediately cut to half of the current value - then, when the economy gets better - to zero and then to into repayment.

    These two things along would basically not be felt by anyone (at the end of the day) - and would still mean the US is one of the cheapest places in the world to live....

    Bottom line is that if something isnt done real soon - there are massive issues ahead.
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  10. #10
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    Hell yeah dude. I'd love to see us north of 50% just like you. That'd be friggn' RAD.

    pft. not.

    Social welfare shit needs some serious scrapping.
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  11. #11
    Baluchitherium Scott's Avatar
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    I'm not saying you should go there - just that there is room to tax more.

    Bottom line is that no matter how much cutting you do - you're still going to need to tax more. It's just that simple.
    Winners come and go; legends are forever.

  12. #12
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    I don't see why we as citizens should have to pay more. That's like giving your kid $5 in allowance, which he promptly loses, and then being told you have to give him $5 more. Our government just needs to stop spending money foolishly - giving them more isn't going to fix that problem.

  13. #13
    Baluchitherium Scott's Avatar
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    Unless the military budget is drastically cut- no other amount of spending cuts will be dramatic enough to make a difference. The reality is that taxation is the only method that I can see that will help fix the problem.
    Winners come and go; legends are forever.

  14. #14
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    I don't see why we as citizens should have to pay more. That's like giving your kid $5 in allowance, which he promptly loses, and then being told you have to give him $5 more. Our government just needs to stop spending money foolishly - giving them more isn't going to fix that problem.
    it'll have to be both.

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    Last month Senator Tom Harkin (D) Iowa held hearings in his banking sub committee he chairs. The subject was debate and testimony over if the US government should take over private 401k accounts and turn them into a social security like system called Guaranteed Retirement Accounts or GRAs , which along with a new payrole tax would take care of underfunded pensions and lower the government debt at the same time. The hearing was not covered big time by the mainstream but its all in the US Congressional record if you want to check it out. The Dems are backtracking now that the blogasphere has exposed that this hearing was actually held. It's like when Roosevelt told all Americans to hand over their Gold assets in 1933.
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

 

 

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