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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4340

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not for war in the middle east, however China's military budget has gone up 30% while ours is falling dramatically. Military is the only big-government program that is essential to world peace.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3538

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in a town with no taxes except golf cart liscence plates and cheap property tax.
We have bad roads,cops, no building codes,no nothing......
Useless public officials who get paid almost nothing.
In the past many conservatives found the ungoverned life here not to their taste.Hippies seemed to do best.They have always been the most committed small government low taxes, reduced intrusion in your life caucus in US culture.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3538

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bard could it be that the problem these guys have isn't with the need for a deterrent. Maybe it is the huge cumbersome war machine ready to fight the Cold War that looks like a waste.
Congress is the only body that can fix this.
They are not going to give us a sharply trained highly paid heavily armored small fast moving army with 21st century air support because the lobbyist army,the most powerful on earth, will not allow it.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5570

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feuser/Florian--fabulous and even handed bit of journalism. I doubt that any phones were tapped, or police officers bribed, to create this piece. And Murdoch would never listen, much less pay for such an effort. Given my experience in governance, there are a number of interesting take-home messages.

1. Pension and salary benefits for local governments are higher than they should be, and substantially higher than for corresponding private businesses, State, and Federal employees.

2. Some of this, but certainly not all, is because many government employees perform jobs that require college degrees, and often advanced degrees.

3. Even though local government is the most accessible to direct democracy, most citizens are out of touch with the issue and problems. For example, about 70% of the costs of local government are police and fire service, which are expensive and allow very early retirement.

4. Privatizing governmental services like park maintenance doesn't seem to save citizens much, but generates profit for businessmen--who support requiring it. In Oakland, it made grounds crews mostly Hispanic almost overnight.

5. Grover Norquist is one of the worst kinds of dema-gogues. But he proves the effectiveness of the adage stay on message.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5570

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To repeat what I said about the uninformed. Bard claims the military budget is going down. Absolutely false. I bet he can't even name the talk show host that told him that, much less actually find the figures on the military budget.

Show me your skills Bard. Or admit you made it up.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 6026

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While it hasn't happened yet, the defense budget is supposed to take a significant haircut in January 2013. Maybe that's what Bard was thinking about. Ironically, the reason that needs to be done is because the Republicans in Congress wouldn't agree to the much steeper budget cuts that the Obama Administration wanted since the proposal included new revenue increases. They couldn't tolerate a tax increase on folks making over one million dollars a year. Also, it would sacrilegious for Republicans to come out against their pledge to Grover Norquist.

With all the red states that depend greatly on the defense budget, it will be interesting to see how the Republicans respond the closer we get to 2013.

What do you think Bard, is it worth a slight tax increase on the wealthy to help prop up the defense budget? As you know already, I'm for expiration of the Bush tax cuts across the board for all tax payers, so I'm all in for reducing our deficit. Also, I'm totally stoked that the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts, and a reduction in the defense budget, are both scheduled to come down after the November election. The Republicans really blew the negotiations on that front.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5570

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chandler--not really a haircut, and taken out of time context that is meaningless. The Pentagon's budget release (http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2013/FY2013_Budget_Request_Overview_Book.pdf) has a top-line (i.e. no black ops included) budget of 525 billion in 2013, a 5 billion reduction from the 2012 budget. That's 1%. The remaining budget cuts are actually reductions in future budget increases.

Over time, the military budget has increased from 316 billion in 2001 to a peak of 690 billion in 2010. With two wars coming to an end and a realization that ground wars are not effective in the Middle East a 1% budget cut doesn't seem terribly drastic. Of course that doesn't include the rest of the national security budget, which adds about to about $200 billion.

But if you listen to Newt and Rush, and they're paid by Lockheed, you can say that the sky is falling and its all Obama's fault.

Democracy, to work requires some assembly of the moving parts.
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4340

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will defer to what you said Mac. That was stated as a 1% budget cut, while the Chinese are pushing out new aircraft carriers and fighter jets. Someday we might regret wasteful regulations on small businesses instead of training youth to produce something of value. If you guys think I care if Buffet pays higher taxes you're wrong. It doesn't matter what tax rate you have, Buffet won't pay taxes because of his trusts. Even though he will spend his own money more wisely than our govt, I don't think Billionaires should be able to escape such taxes with trusts.

Agreed on the lobbyists KC. And I agree with Boggs on the fact that there are plenty of other Repubs that would have made this a better race. I think the truely heroic men, have something to hide. An affair, some scandal etcetera. Heroic men lead full lives with many mistakes.

Mac, don't you think I'd make a good prez? I'd get you some of Buffet's money for the poor.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5570

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No Bard, even before you got us into a war you wouldn't listen to enough people.

To be sure we need to cut things in the Federal budget. I despair of a Republican Party, and ditto heads on this forum, that don't bother to inform themselves of what is really costing money. Local government, cumulatively, is much larger than the Federal government, and has cut an immense number of jobs. Yet that didn't do us any good for recovery. And it cost us a lot of public safety. Firemen and policemen are important, and have dangerous jobs, but are overpaid and overprotected. It is mostly because local officials don't do their homework. The budget crisis has forced some small governments to rethink whether they can afford all the police they have, or pay them as much, or whether they want to join together for police and fire protection. These are good things. But 5 straight years of cutting the schools, at every level, leads to more crime and less income tax revenue down the road. Sure, make schools and students both accountable for making progress toward graduation. Align schooling with job opportunities, and make sure that it is broad enough to provide us with skilled blue collar workers. Blaming the poor for their tiny part of the Federal budget problems, without understanding that defense of cheap oil from the Middle East and middle class entitlements account for most of the costs, is just evidence of profound ignorance.

I would not make a good president, I don't suffer foolishness willingly, much less gladly.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 2036

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote

Quote:
...Blaming the poor for their tiny part of the Federal budget problems, without understanding that defense of cheap oil from the Middle East and middle class entitlements account for most of the costs, is just evidence of profound ignorance.


Mac, I would have to say that of all the things I have learned on this forum this is the most important. Sure, we all have some general awareness of the size of these programs, but until one actually runs the numbers, I think it is easy to slip into preconceived ideas that are constantly reinforced with political rhetoric.

I constantly have to remind myself just how much of our Federal budget is devoted to Medicare, SS and Security. Too bad our politicians won't address it head on.
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