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Old 2010-02-04, 23:28   Link #5921
SeijiSensei
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I take it you're basing this analysis on an examination of the actual budgetary figures. If not, perhaps you should start with this.

Most of the budget consists of things that are pretty uncontrollable -- Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and debt interest. That's why there's a division between "discretionary" and "non-discretionary" spending. The biggest discretionary item in the budget is defense, which doubled in size during the Bush administration from about $300 bn in 2000 to over $600 bn in 2008. These four items alone constitute most of Federal spending.

If you look at the figures for FY 2009 versus FY 2008, however, you'll see that spending grew $1 trillion over the year. Fully three-quarters of that increases comes from the "commerce and housing credit" line item which includes TARP, Federal Deposit Insurance, and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac.

I'd like to see defense spending reduced in half or more myself, but that won't happen any time soon. We kept hearing about the "peace dividend" that was supposed to follow upon the fall of the Berlin Wall. I'm still waiting.
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Old 2010-02-04, 23:29   Link #5922
justinstrife
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikita View Post
And who will replace them? "power corrupts." inevitably even the best will become disillusioned and fall from where they were. the world is a screwed up place, even if you have good intentions it's too little compared to the tide of self interest that is prevalent everywhere. you can only comprimise, and choose whoever you think is better, and hope for the best.
Put term limits up, dump the quirks, dump the pension, cut their salaries in half, make them accountable for what they do in and out of office, there's a few things that could be done.

Being in Congress was never suppose to be a real job or career.
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Old 2010-02-05, 00:06   Link #5923
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I take it you're basing this analysis on an examination of the actual budgetary figures. If not, perhaps you should start with this.

Most of the budget consists of things that are pretty uncontrollable -- Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and debt interest. That's why there's a division between "discretionary" and "non-discretionary" spending. The biggest discretionary item in the budget is defense, which doubled in size during the Bush administration from about $300 bn in 2000 to over $600 bn in 2008. These four items alone constitute most of Federal spending.

If you look at the figures for FY 2009 versus FY 2008, however, you'll see that spending grew $1 trillion over the year. Fully three-quarters of that increases comes from the "commerce and housing credit" line item which includes TARP, Federal Deposit Insurance, and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac.

I'd like to see defense spending reduced in half or more myself, but that won't happen any time soon. We kept hearing about the "peace dividend" that was supposed to follow upon the fall of the Berlin Wall. I'm still waiting.
Two wars tends to do that. Especially when you have to rebuild the military after Clinton cut into it a little too deeply. The same happened when Reagan came along. The Military was extremely underfunded under Carter. As things cool down in Iraq, resources can be transferred over to Afghanistan. Eventually costs can be cut even further as more troops leave the Middle East(though we will never be fully out of the area. Ever).

If I had the power, I'd phase out Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. But alas, I do not. The Military is a vital and Constitutional part of this country. The other three, not so much.
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Old 2010-02-05, 00:13   Link #5924
LynnieS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinstrife View Post
The numbers I'm hearing now is 1.9 trillion. When do we as citizens wake up to the corruption in our Government and vote all of these elitists out of office? I don't give a damn if they have an R, a D, or an I infront of their name. Boot them out!
To cut the deficit, you have 3 ways, IMHO: Raise taxes, cut spending or boost the economy.

Raising taxes is unpopular. People tend to look for loopholes. There are often tries to make the action into hurting the so-called middle class, families, and businesses; "preventing" this means opening loopholes that people can exploit as well. People also don't trust the politicians to spend the money well but on "pork" projects benefiting their own constituencies instead. A different type of "NIMBY" attitude, in a way.

Cutting spending is also not that effective, IMHO. Depending on who is doing the cutting or what is being cut, people are going to be hurt, and replacement on the private sector side may not be there. There are a lot of "sacred cows" out there that people do not want to touch. Again, "NIMBY"; you can cut everyone else's pet project, but don't you touch mine.

Boosting the economy is probably the most acceptable to everyone since a rising economy floats all boats. At the moment, it's also the least likely to get off the ground. People talk the good talk with a lot of key words, but words != concrete and successful action. You pretty much have to raise taxes and increase spending, IMHO; the private sector alone won't be able to manage to create enough jobs to drop the real unemployment rate down past 15% or less. The upcoming spending bill, I have doubts over its success. There was also some talk earlier about how the obligation to Fannie and Freddie wasn't being included in the need for money. (1) Interest on the debt issued by the U.S. and (2) possible lower demand on U.S. debt are going to be a worry as well.

I wonder if something like the Selective Service for politics, but on an one-time per person only basis, would work better than what is out there today. It's basically a feedback system now; you get elected, you bring money into your area, and you get re-elected. The longer you stay, the more powerful you become, and that means more money and (usually) re-election.
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Old 2010-02-05, 00:21   Link #5925
iLney
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Alas, more taxes and more spending, which means more Government?

Common, how long has we been running Keynesian economics? Try something new!
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Old 2010-02-05, 00:32   Link #5926
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More taxes is not going to do anything to help the economy. No way, no how. Not in our current situation. People have already cut back spending as it is. Increasing taxes, will only make people spend even less. Less private spending = less consumption and jobs. There needs to be a huge cut in Government spending. As it is, Government Unemployment is far less than that of Private Unemployment. Add in the fact that the average Government worker makes more than the average Private worker... It's a recipe for disaster.
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Old 2010-02-05, 00:33   Link #5927
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iLney View Post
how long has we been running Keynesian economics?
Since 1980, I'd say it's been a little under a year now.

Richard Posner was one of the leading lights in the Chicago "law and economics" movement with close ties to Milton Friedman. Now he writes about How I Became a Keynesian.
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Old 2010-02-05, 00:34   Link #5928
Vexx
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It does seem as if one votes on a party to decide which half of "guvmint" you want to blow more money than you have on at the federal level. Both political parties have been completely irresponsible in that regard - even if certain people within each party have tried to effect improvements.

The infrastructure/socialservices side suffers from:
1) rampant inefficiencies
2) privatization without accountability or results.
3) "pork barreling" (interests of one district outweighing needs of the nation)
4) A lack of consensus about just what constitutes a necessary infrastructure.
The military side suffers from:
1) rampant inefficiencies.
2) privatization without accountability or results.
3) "pork barreling"
4) An unwarranted tendency to wave the flag to silence critique.

BOTH parties are to blame for each item on each list - boondoggles galore.
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Old 2010-02-05, 00:41   Link #5929
LynnieS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iLney View Post
Alas, more taxes and more spending, which means more Government?

Common, how long has we been running Keynesian economics? Try something new!
Not in a time of crisis, IMHO, and looking at the stats coming out over the past few weeks (esp. with the 4Q GDP numbers being pretty new and likely to be revised downward like earlier), a crisis is looking more likely every day. You should be experimenting during the boom times when you have both time and money as luxuries, IMHO, but it rarely happens since people get... complacent.

You also need to have a set of clear and easily understood goals to work toward, and that has to be done consistently. This isn't happening anywhere to any major degree that I can tell. Damn it.
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Old 2010-02-05, 00:43   Link #5930
justinstrife
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
It does seem as if one votes on a party to decide which half of "guvmint" you want to blow more money than you have on at the federal level. Both political parties have been completely irresponsible in that regard - even if certain people within each party have tried to effect improvements.

The infrastructure/socialservices side suffers from:
1) rampant inefficiencies
2) privatization without accountability or results.
3) "pork barreling" (interests of one district outweighing needs of the nation)
4) A lack of consensus about just what constitutes a necessary infrastructure.
The military side suffers from:
1) rampant inefficiencies.
2) privatization without accountability or results.
3) "pork barreling"
4) An unwarranted tendency to wave the flag to silence critique.

BOTH parties are to blame for each item on each list - boondoggles galore.
This is correct of course. You won't get any arguments from me here.
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Old 2010-02-05, 00:45   Link #5931
mg1942
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Fears Rise of Euro Government Default


Spoiler for ...:

Last edited by mg1942; 2010-02-05 at 00:56.
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Old 2010-02-05, 01:14   Link #5932
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
Fears Rise of Euro Government Default


Spoiler for ...:
i think i remember reading a few weeks back that said 1/4 of the pop in Greece work for the government and that successive government can't/won't cut down on public employment due to public riotunrest.
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Old 2010-02-06, 14:59   Link #5933
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Man jailed for raping woman, 86, at Bradford care home
Quote:
A 19-year-old man has been given an indeterminate jail sentence for the kidnap and rape of an 86-year-old woman in a Bradford care home.

A judge at Bradford Crown Court told Dale Boocock, from the Woodside area of the city, his crime was "appalling".

Boocock, who admitted rape and kidnap, was told he would serve a minimum of four years and nine months.

The elderly woman was assaulted at a home in the Buttershaw area of Bradford in the early hours of 15 September.

She needed hospital treatment at the time of the attack and has since died of natural causes.

The court heard Boocock had been on bail for a series of house burglaries at the time of the attack. The judge, Recorder Colin Burn, said Boocock would probably serve "very much longer" than the minimum sentence.

He said the defendant posed a significant risk to the public, particularly vulnerable people.

He told him: "You were released on police bail for September 13 matters and you went on to commit other offences of rape and kidnap, perpetrated against an elderly, infirm and extremely vulnerable victim living in nursing accommodation.

"You had no thought for her whatsoever. You forcibly removed her from her bed, you dragged her outside at night into the garden, causing her injury, and you raped her outside, leaving her in dreadful distress and unrest on the ground.

"I have no doubt that, whatever the eventual cause of death was, her prognosis deteriorated rapidly as a result of what you did that night and she died two months later."

'Beyond belief'

Det Ch Insp Jon Hoyle, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "Dale Boocock has been sentenced to imprisonment after pleading guilty to the kidnap and rape of an 86-year-old lady, the circumstances of which can only be described as vile and beyond belief.

"The only consolation I can offer the family is that Boocock was arrested soon after the offence and has been dealt with by the courts quickly and he will remain in prison for a very long time.

"However, this will never make up for the loss of a wife, a mother, a grandmother, great grandmother and friend, after she tragically passed away just seven weeks after the incident.

"During my short involvement with this family it became apparent that she was a very special person to many."

Anchor Homes, which owns the Bradford care home, welcomed Boocock's sentence.

Area manager Louise Gibson said: "Following the attack, we organised counselling sessions for staff at the home and we extended this help to residents.

"We spoke to the next of kin of every resident, offering them support and reassurance and the opportunity of individual meetings with them, and we are continuing to do so."
One of the worse ways to go. Poor lass.
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Old 2010-02-06, 15:04   Link #5934
Seitsuki
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Holy crap. There really are all sorts of people in the world.
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Old 2010-02-06, 15:15   Link #5935
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seitsuki View Post
Holy crap. There really are all sorts of people in the world.
The last time I saw the world, it was a crazy place. I don't think anything changed in the past 2 years I was in the army.

But we have worse news....

JAPAN HAS 3.6 MILLION HIKIKOMORIS

Surprise. But aren't they the ones maintaining the export sector of Japan's economy rather than the salarymen?
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Old 2010-02-06, 16:39   Link #5936
Haruka_Kitten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seitsuki View Post
Holy crap. There really are all sorts of people in the world.
The word "depraved" goes somewhere in there

speaking of...

Students swayed by high uni fees

Guess you gotta do what you gotta do.
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Last edited by Haruka_Kitten; 2010-02-07 at 01:07.
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Old 2010-02-07, 03:47   Link #5937
Seitsuki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
The last time I saw the world, it was a crazy place. I don't think anything changed in the past 2 years I was in the army.

But we have worse news....

JAPAN HAS 3.6 MILLION HIKIKOMORIS

Surprise. But aren't they the ones maintaining the export sector of Japan's economy rather than the salarymen?
NO YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND!! Think of it socially: this is why the birth rate is so low! Everyone's stuck on computers watching youtube and playing eroge! It all suddenly makes sense!!!

@Haru:
there you go..
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Old 2010-02-07, 06:34   Link #5938
Haruka_Kitten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seitsuki View Post
NO YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND!! Think of it socially: this is why the birth rate is so low! Everyone's stuck on computers watching youtube and playing eroge! It all suddenly makes sense!!!
And that's a good thing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seitsuki View Post
I'm sorry, I'm hoping I won't resort to such measures. I'd be no good at it, and would probably get bored of it.
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Old 2010-02-07, 14:28   Link #5939
Woopzilla
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Connecticut power plant blast 'causes mass casualties'

Quote:
A huge explosion has rocked a power plant in the US state of Connecticut, with US media reporting at least two people killed and many more injured.

Black smoke could be seen pouring out of the plant site shortly afterwards.

A receptionist at nearby Middlesex Hospital told local media it was receiving victims from the explosion.

The Middletown Press newspaper said a gas pipeline had exploded at about 1130 (1630 GMT).

One local resident said the shockwave felt like an earthquake.

[...]

Connecticut State Representative Matthew Lesser, who lives about the mile from the plant, told the BBC: "Our windows rattled, friends who live closer to the blast site report significant damage to houses."

He added: "I sit on the energy committee and we've been following the construction of this company," he said.

"As I understand it, they were testing a gas line when the explosion took place but we're not sure. Our first priority is making sure that everyone there is safe."

Hundreds of people are believed to have been working at the plant, located on the Connecticut river to the south of Middletown, at the time of the explosion.
Damn, this is pretty bad. Let's just hope the death count remains at two.
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Old 2010-02-07, 15:00   Link #5940
MrTerrorist
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In Paris, the customer is not always right
My God, what a bunch of Jerks the Parisian are. If i ever go to Europe, London is where i'm going, at least the British are friendly.
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