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To those who voted for Democrats two years ago

By maxwell edison ·
You contributed to adding more debt onto the shoulders of future generations than everyone else over the past 200 years! AND, you contributed to the impending total collapse of the U.S economy more than everyone else over the past 200 years!

Go ahead, blame Bush. It's all you seem to do. But you only have yourselves to blame. Your day of reckoning WILL come, and you will have dragged others down with you.

What will you do when the Dollar collapses and the United States defaults on both its debt obligations and promises to its citizens? What will you do when the Dollar is devalued? What will you do when the World Reserve Currency is no longer the Dollar? It will happen, you know; it's just a matter of time. And it will happen sooner rather than later. (And why is George Soros, Democrat's favorite billionaire, buying up all the gold and silver he can get his hands on - all the while, advocating MORE government spending and debt accumulation?)

When will people realize that America's credit card is WAY over the limit? And it's actually too late to fix it. I've been sounding the warning for twenty-plus years. But no, my detractors claim; I'm just mean-spirited and selfish.

In short, the American people have elected themselves out of the best thing that's ever happened in the history of the world. They've killed the Golden Goose in exchange for their own (selfish) basket of eggs.

P.S. I also blame the weasel and spineless Republicans who were sucked into the Democrats' games, and were, themselves, no more than Baby Democrats. But whatever it takes to get elected, I suppose.

Do you belive such a thing? Do you share such an outlook? If so, what will you do to prepare yourself? If not, why not?

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I don't want to enter into a tangential discussion, but my point was:

by maxwell edison In reply to Legitimately? Ah, um, wel ...

The cost of the U.S. military - for whatever purpose, right or wrong, it was being used for - has historically been paid for without creating budget deficits. Budget deficits didn't really exist in significant numbers until we got ourselves on the road to financing myriad social programs.

Therefore, my point that military spending today does not cause the current budget deficits, but rather social spending causes them, is a very legitimate argument that you've conveniently side-stepped around.

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Clears legitimate arguments in a single bound.

by neilb@uk In reply to I don't want to enter int ...

Sorry, but budgets is budgets. Everything is the cause - too much of everything. If military spending had been going down over the past few years then I would grant you your point.

Has it? According to my sources, military expenditure as a percentage of GDP rose every year that Bush was President.

Oh, and fell, year on year, during Clinton's watch.

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Neil, your point is meaningless - and continues to evade

by maxwell edison In reply to I don't want to enter int ...

I'm quite happy looking at the numbers - ALL OF THEM - and letting them speak for themselves.

I'll acknowledge that military spending, as a percentage of GDP, rose from about 4 percent to 6 percent between 2000 and 2010.

I'll also point out that TOTAL government spending, as a percentage of GDP, rose from about 33 percent to about 44 percent during that same period.

2 percent additional for the military versus 9 percent additional for all the rest. However, I didn't limit my sights on only the past ten years, I looked at the past 50 years - a more accurate indicator of the overall trend.

In 1962, when military spending was at 11 percent of the GDP, since the military consumed 60 percent of all government spending, all other government spending was only about 5 percent of the GDP. Run-away social spending started in the 1960s. Today, total military spending is ONLY 6 percent of the GDP and 20 percent of the budget, while all other government spending is 38 percent of the GDP and 80 percent of the budget.

In a nutshell (repeating myself, I suppose):

From 1962 to 2010, military spending, as a percentage of GDP, went from 11 percent to 6 percent - down 46 percent.

From 1962 to 2010, all other government spending, as a percentage of GDP, went from 5 percent to 38 percent. What is that? An increase of almost 800 percent?

Nonetheless, the United States needs to go on a serious spending diet. Your diet plan, Neil, calls for eating less of the comparative very small piece of pie. My plan, on the other hand, calls for eating less of the much bigger piece of pie. But most Americans think like you do, Neil; and our financial obesity problem not only continues, but it gets worse every year because too many Government Big Mac Meals are being handed out - Super Sized ones at that.

Cut BOTH of those pieces by 50 percent, and I'd be tickled to death!

But whatever; I won't push you anymore. If you don't want to acknowledge the obvious, then you won't acknowledge the obvious.

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Budgets, military and otherwise

by DelbertPGH In reply to I don't want to enter int ...

At, you can get some historical series, on debt, deficits, and categories of spending, either in nominal or inflation-adjusted (year 2005) dollars.

If you try to fill an eight-ounce glass with nine ounces of water, then you can reasonably blame the last ounce for the spillage. However, it seems a little false to me to be saying the bottom four ounces are a different and more virtuous kind of water than the last five. It's all water.

In 1945, with ten million men and women under arms, the defense budget was $846 billion (2005 dollars.) In 1962, Kennedy's first budget year, it was $330; 1969, Viet Nam's peak, $410; 1977, Ford's last year, $322; 1982, Reagan's first budget, $420; 1989, communism's collapse, $494; 2001, Clinton's last year, $404; 2005, the peak of Iraq, $600; 2009, the current year, $723. It's projected to rise in two years to $823 billion, before beginning a decline of about 10% as Afghanistan winds down and 75,000 Army and Marine troops are cut.

No way around it, we're paying for a lot more military than we are accustomed to.

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Delbert's playing the same game

by maxwell edison In reply to I don't want to enter int ...

The Web site you mentioned was the same one I used to get my numbers. Perhaps you didn't bother to notice or follow the link.

Now using that Web site, since you did your exercise on military spending, do the very same thing for non-military spending. Will you come to the same conclusion?

No way around it, we're paying for a lot more (non-military government) than we are accustomed to.

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Not so much a legitimate argument as a peculiar one

by DelbertPGH In reply to I don't want to enter int ...

I can not dispute that we're paying a lot more for social services than we ever did before. Of course, we have over 300 million people today; in 1960, I think we had about 180 million, and in 1940, about 135 million. Social service expenses properly trend upward as population increases. Particularly, it will increase even faster as our proportion of elderly citizens rises, because they absorb more in the way of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. (By the way, half of Medicaid payments, which are intended to help the poor, go to keep elderly patients in nursing homes.)

Without saying what an appropriate level of military expenditure would be, I would have to note that the threats to our security have not increased over the last 30 years. If anything, they've decreased. No more Soviet bloc, etc. On the other hand, stuff costs more these days: an F-22 costs $150 million, and an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter costs $130 million, whereas a 1975 F-16 cost about $15 million, a 1960 F-4, about $2.4 million, and a 1950 F-86, about $220,000. It kind of raises questions about value for cost: is one F-22 as capable as 10 F-16s? In any case, the cost of keeping up our military has doubled since Clinton left the scene, and I suspect there's a lot of luxury spending in that budget. (The Presidential helicopter fleet: the new set of Marine One choppers, commissioned after Bush couldn't keep in full communication on 9/11, will break all records. The VXX program will cost $11 billion for 28 craft, about $400 million per helicopter.)

However, all that's beside the point. You may feel that the military, the courts, public roads, and the police are the only proper things for which government ought to pay and for which we ought to be taxed. That's not my opinion. I don't go to that church.

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Oh My! Talk about a peculiar argument!

by maxwell edison In reply to I don't want to enter int ...

The population increase as justification for spending a greater percentage of GDP on social programs? Are you really serious?

The population was also increasing, on average, every year for the 150 years preceding your time-frame, but there was no increase during that time.

Moreover, an increase in population - especially productive population - will, in itself, increase the GDP; which, in turn, will automatically increase the tax revenues to government; which, therefore, would pay for the additional services, if any, provided by government to and/or for that increase in population.

Collect the same percentage of GDP, and total revenues increase all by itself. An increase in population is no reason to increase the percentage collected - unless the role of government is expanded for reasons other than just an increase in population.

Do you really believe some of the stuff you post? Or do you just spew it out without thinking it through?

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Tracking the numbers

by DelbertPGH In reply to I don't want to enter int ...

Again, looking at, percentages this time, total government spending in these years was this % of GDP:
1900 3
1**6 2
1**9 24
1925 4
1939 10
1944 46
1947 17
1949 15
1952 20
And, from there, it pretty much stays put going forward, fluctuating between 18% and 21% most years, hitting 22% several years in a row under Reagan, once dropping to 16.4% in 1965 (under LBJ). GWB drove the percentage up, and under Obama, it gets to 25%.

Population grew: about 76 million in 1900; 132 million in 1940; 180 in 1960; 227 in 1980; 272 in 1999; 310 today. Percent 65 and older in 1960 was 9.2; in 2009, 12.9.

Defense numbers are all over the map, fluctuating from 6% to 11% through the cold war, 4% to 5% thereafter. (Before the New Deal, it was between 1% and 2%, usually closer to 1%.)

Deficits were pretty much under control until 1970, under 1% most years, often negative. 1979 (Carter) was the last year a deficit was under 2% of GDP, until 1996 (Clinton.) GWB proceded to borrow a ton for his wars, and slashed revenues to create tax cuts; Obama's borrowing looks to be close to 10% of GDP, approaching war time budget dimensions.

What does this tell us?

Well, tax-and-spend Democrats appear to be better than borrow-and-spend Republicans on the deficit. However, the total budget goes up each year, and nobody bothers to revisit the effectiveness of existing programs. So, nothing much gets cut.

There are a lot more Americans, and even more needing Social Security and Medicare.

The defense budget, currently at 5.5%, is high for peace time. Once wars wind down, the war budget needs to back off, too. One thing worth bringing up, on the nation's financing of wars: traditionally, we have raised taxes so that we won't have to deficit-finance our complete war. We did that for WW1, WW2, Korea, and Viet Nam. (I, who paid income tax in 1968, remember computing the whole form 1040, and at the bottom, adding an extra 10% of the amount due.) For Afghanistan/Iraq, we cut taxes. It's the opposite of how we approached all other wars.

The numbers suggest that total government spending is within the band of normal spending that has endured since Korea. Are you suggesting we go back to Warren Harding days (and 1.5% defense) to get back to where we should be? To "normalcy", as Harding put it?

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Delbert - The point is:

by maxwell edison In reply to I don't want to enter int ...

The massive spending is being funded by the accumulation of debt, not by the collection of revenue. You could eliminate ALL military spending, and there would still be debt accumulation necessary to pay for the rest . You could tax people - rich or otherwise - to their maximum possible breaking point, and there would still be debt accumulation.

Our national debt is rapidly approaching 100 percent of our GDP. It's simply not sustainable. It's destroying the value of the dollar on the world currency market, and it's put our economy on track for a massive financial train wreck.

If you disagree with any of that, you're either not paying attention or you have your head in the sand.

The freedom and individual liberty arguments are secondary to that financial reality.

And in that regard, I find it extremely sad to realize that while our founders gave their fortunes and their lives in the quest for more freedom and liberty, today's crop of the "me first - what's in it for me" generations won't even give up a free visit to the emergency room to get rid of a pimple on their a$$!

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Panem et circenses

by neilb@uk In reply to To those who voted for De ...

Is about where you're at in the process.

Fast food and reality television.

The fundamental causes for the fall of Rome:

Over-militarisation and military over-extension

Widespread indebtness

A widening gap between rich and poor

The imposition of religious fundamentalism as the state religion

The denigration of rational thought in favour of faith

The moral decay epitomised by Bread and Circus within the Roman Empire.

Recognise any of these?

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