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Debt simulation game!

Deuce

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Budget Simulator | Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

The goal, apparently, is to get the national debt stabilized at 60% of GDP by 2018. It tells you what things cost to cut or expand. Assuming this is all accurate, it becomes clear pretty quickly that this is just about impossible without letting the Bush tax cuts expire and getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. (or other significant tax hike)

You try! Post your results. I can't wait to see the conservative version where they gleefully eviscerate medicare in an attempt to prevent tax increases.

What I did:
Reduce Troops [in Iraq and Afghanistan] to 30,000 by 2013
Allow All the [Bush 2001/2003]Tax Cuts, Except for AMT Patches, to Expire
Grow Regular Discretionary Spending with Inflation
Enact Administration's Proposed Weapon System Cuts
Cancel Missile Defense System
Reduce Spending on Ship Building
Reverse "Grow the Army" Initiative
Freeze Average Unemployment Benefits at 2009 Levels
Raise the Normal Retirement Age [Social Security] to 68
[Social Security] Progressively Reduce Benefits, Protecting Low and Medium Earners
[Social Security]Increase Years Used to Calculate Benefits
[Health Care]Expand Coverage to an Additional 5 Million People :)
Reduce Spending on Graduate Medical Education
Eliminate Certain Outdated Programs
Cut Federal Workforce by Five Percent
Cut Earmarks in Half
Reform International Tax System
Eliminate Life Insurance Tax Benefits
Eliminate Subsidies for Biofuels

Victory!
 

Deuce

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RyrineaHaruno

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* Budget Path( Reduce Troops to 30,000 by 2013,

* Defense, and diplomacy (Cut Foreign Economic Aid in Half, Enact Administration's Proposed Weapon System Cuts, Cancel Missile Defense System,Reduce Spending on Ship Building,Reverse "Grow the Army" Initiative )

* Domestic( cut a lot of the useless stuff we don't need)

* Social Security( Cut some stuff)

* Healthcare( Cut the expensive ones)


* Other Spending( Cut Federal Workforce by Five Percent, Reduce Federal Highway Funding,Eliminate Certain Outdated Programs,Reduce or Eliminate Certain Transportation Programs,Cancel NASA Missions to the Moon and Mars, and Reduce Farm Subsidies, and Cut Earmarks in Half )



* Revenues( Sold government assets, enacted five percent 5 Vat Partial Rebate, increased gas tax, enacted carbon tax, Reform International Tax System, Impose Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee, and Increase User Fees Across the Board Gradually Increase Payroll Tax by One Percentage Point, Raise Cap to Cover 90% of Earnings, Repeal Excise Tax on High-Cost Plans)




* Tax Expenditures ( Decrees a lot of them)

These are mine of course, and social security is something I am on, so I cut some of my own funding, because we need to cut. I got the Us debte down to 46%. :mrgreen:
 

Deuce

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* Budget Path( Reduce Troops to 30,000 by 2013,

* Defense, and diplomacy (Cut Foreign Economic Aid in Half, Enact Administration's Proposed Weapon System Cuts, Cancel Missile Defense System,Reduce Spending on Ship Building,Reverse "Grow the Army" Initiative )

* Domestic( cut a lot of the useless stuff we don't need)

* Social Security( Cut some stuff)

* Healthcare( Cut the expensive ones)


* Other Spending( Cut Federal Workforce by Five Percent, Reduce Federal Highway Funding,Eliminate Certain Outdated Programs,Reduce or Eliminate Certain Transportation Programs,Cancel NASA Missions to the Moon and Mars, and Reduce Farm Subsidies, and Cut Earmarks in Half )



* Revenues( Sold government assets, enacted five percent 5 Vat Partial Rebate, increased gas tax, enacted carbon tax, Reform International Tax System, Impose Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee, and Increase User Fees Across the Board Gradually Increase Payroll Tax by One Percentage Point, Raise Cap to Cover 90% of Earnings, Repeal Excise Tax on High-Cost Plans)




* Tax Expenditures ( Decrees a lot of them)

These are mine of course, and social security is something I am on, so I cut some of my own funding, because we need to cut. I got the Us debte down to 46%. :mrgreen:
And taxed us all to death you filthy communist! :)
 

VanceMack

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It lacks a LOT of viable alternatives. there are far more areas of defense and civil service employment cuts that can occur. There are mountains of redundant federal government systems that should be straight up eliminated (federal dept of transportation, education, etc). The congressional budget itself should be gutted. Waste in medicare and medicaid should be targeted (which would massively reduce cost without reducing services). Social Security retirement age should have been changed a long time ago. Im OK with terminating some SS benefits for high income earners but they ought to be given a cash out option for their contributions which would result in a net savings. I would be fine with some levels of tax increases provided that they were by law coupled with reduction of spending and the tax increases would be repealled once the budget deficit was paid off in full.

Oh...and Id tax the HELL out of the sports and entertainment industry. Just for fun.
 

Deuce

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It lacks a LOT of viable alternatives. there are far more areas of defense and civil service employment cuts that can occur. There are mountains of redundant federal government systems that should be straight up eliminated (federal dept of transportation, education, etc). The congressional budget itself should be gutted. Waste in medicare and medicaid should be targeted (which would massively reduce cost without reducing services). Social Security retirement age should have been changed a long time ago. Im OK with terminating some SS benefits for high income earners but they ought to be given a cash out option for their contributions which would result in a net savings. I would be fine with some levels of tax increases provided that they were by law coupled with reduction of spending and the tax increases would be repealled once the budget deficit was paid off in full.

Oh...and Id tax the HELL out of the sports and entertainment industry. Just for fun.
This debt simulation game appears to only attempt reasonable methods of debt reduction.
 

VanceMack

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This debt simulation game appears to only attempt reasonable methods of debt reduction.
Reasonable to who? And what about what I wrote is unreasonable?
 

Jetboogieman

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What boring game... couldn't we have Deficit Invaders or Pac-Man tackles the US national Debt?
 

RyrineaHaruno

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And taxed us all to death you filthy communist! :)
lol I guess that I am a filthy Communist xd. :)


I also wonder why the entire Military budget wasn't on the table, since we spend about a trillion an year on it. I would have assumed cutting some of that would also cut the debt. Also the fact that their was only a withdraw the troops option in Iraq and Afghanistan, and no leave button I would say they didn't give us a full budget, if you know what I mean.
 
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VanceMack

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lol I guess that I am a filthy Communist xd. :)


I also wonder why the entire Military budget wasn't on the table, since we spend about a trillion an year on it. I would have assumed cutting some of that would also cut the debt. Also the fact that their was only a withdraw the troops option in Iraq and Afghanistan, and no leave button I would say they didn't give us a full budget, if you know what I mean.
You might note that eliminating ALL of the healthcare legislation actually caused the n umbers to INCREASE...not decrease...so apparently whoever is creating this little exercise has ignored the reality that this debacle at current figures is going to run into the trillions and still promotes that it will actually save money.

There really is a LOT of waste in the military and fed service that can be cut that wouldnt require manpower cuts or reductions in warfighting equipment or training.
 

washunut

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Budget Simulator | Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

The goal, apparently, is to get the national debt stabilized at 60% of GDP by 2018. It tells you what things cost to cut or expand. Assuming this is all accurate, it becomes clear pretty quickly that this is just about impossible without letting the Bush tax cuts expire and getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. (or other significant tax hike)

You try! Post your results. I can't wait to see the conservative version where they gleefully eviscerate medicare in an attempt to prevent tax increases.

What I did:
Reduce Troops [in Iraq and Afghanistan] to 30,000 by 2013
Allow All the [Bush 2001/2003]Tax Cuts, Except for AMT Patches, to Expire
Grow Regular Discretionary Spending with Inflation
Enact Administration's Proposed Weapon System Cuts
Cancel Missile Defense System
Reduce Spending on Ship Building
Reverse "Grow the Army" Initiative
Freeze Average Unemployment Benefits at 2009 Levels
Raise the Normal Retirement Age [Social Security] to 68
[Social Security] Progressively Reduce Benefits, Protecting Low and Medium Earners
[Social Security]Increase Years Used to Calculate Benefits
[Health Care]Expand Coverage to an Additional 5 Million People :)
Reduce Spending on Graduate Medical Education
Eliminate Certain Outdated Programs
Cut Federal Workforce by Five Percent
Cut Earmarks in Half
Reform International Tax System
Eliminate Life Insurance Tax Benefits
Eliminate Subsidies for Biofuels

Victory!
As most other exercises in this area I find this post meaningless. It does not have numbers with a start point, does not have numbers next to each action so does not tell us what the result is.

Also the starting premise. Stabalize the debt to GDP ratio at 60%. What debt are you talking about, If the national debt is now approaching 13 trillion, and we have a 14-15 trillion economy we are at something like 90% now!

What is you estimate of economic growth, tax revenues, I do not see getting out of Iraq or Afghan why?

Forget the fact that much of what you pose will never happen with this collection of politicians,
 

Deuce

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As most other exercises in this area I find this post meaningless. It does not have numbers with a start point, does not have numbers next to each action so does not tell us what the result is.

Also the starting premise. Stabalize the debt to GDP ratio at 60%. What debt are you talking about, If the national debt is now approaching 13 trillion, and we have a 14-15 trillion economy we are at something like 90% now!

What is you estimate of economic growth, tax revenues, I do not see getting out of Iraq or Afghan why?

Forget the fact that much of what you pose will never happen with this collection of politicians,
You seem to be under the impression that I programmed this thing.
 

washunut

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You seem to be under the impression that I programmed this thing.
No offense. I am not sure where this started. Just wanted to point out some limitations.
 

Deuce

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No offense. I am not sure where this started. Just wanted to point out some limitations.
I suspect the guys who came up with it did not intend it to be used as an actual tool for governing :p

It does give you some perspective as to the war spending and the size of the Bush tax cuts, though!

Another thing to note is that you can click the little information button and get an explanation for that line item. Some interesting info!
 

samsmart

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I find this debt simulation game to be automatically invalid as it does not allow one to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution in order to cut down costs for law enforcement and court fees and to raise tax revenue by taxing and regulating those industries.
 

Deuce

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You people are way too serious.
 

cpwill

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I got it down to 58% while keeping the Bush Tax Cuts.
 

reefedjib

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What I did:
Reduce Troops [in Iraq and Afghanistan] to 30,000 by 2013
Allow All the [Bush 2001/2003]Tax Cuts, Except for AMT Patches, to Expire
Grow Regular Discretionary Spending with Inflation
Enact Administration's Proposed Weapon System Cuts
Cancel Missile Defense System
Reduce Spending on Ship Building
Reverse "Grow the Army" Initiative
Freeze Average Unemployment Benefits at 2009 Levels
Raise the Normal Retirement Age [Social Security] to 68
[Social Security] Progressively Reduce Benefits, Protecting Low and Medium Earners
[Social Security]Increase Years Used to Calculate Benefits
[Health Care]Expand Coverage to an Additional 5 Million People :)
Reduce Spending on Graduate Medical Education
Eliminate Certain Outdated Programs
Cut Federal Workforce by Five Percent
Cut Earmarks in Half
Reform International Tax System
Eliminate Life Insurance Tax Benefits
Eliminate Subsidies for Biofuels

Victory!
Here is what I did that resulted in 60% of GDP in 2018. I preserved troop levels in Iraq to 60,000, I kept the tax cuts, I expanded the Military and Veterans Benefits. I cut SS and Healthcare and spending.

CHOOSE YOUR PATH
Reduce Troops to 60,000 by 2015
Renew All the Tax Cuts
Grow Regular Discretionary Spending with Inflation
DEFENSE, DIPLOMACY & SECURITY
Enact Administration's Proposed Weapon System Cuts
Cut Foreign Economic Aid in Half
Expand Veteran's Income Security Benefits
Cancel Missile Defense System
Reduce Spending on Ship Building
Increase Number of troops by 46,000
DOMESTIC SOCIAL & ECONOMIC SPENDING
Cancel TARP and Rescind Unused ARRA Funds
Food Stamps: Gradually Reduce Benefits to 2008 Levels
Freeze Average Unemployment Benefits at 2009 Levels
Cut Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program
Eliminate the New Markets Tax Credit
Double Funding on Adoption and Foster Care
SOCIAL SECURITY
Raise the Normal Retirement Age to 68
Gradually Reduce Scheduled Benefits (by 30% in 2080)
Use An Alternate Measure of Inflation for COLAs
Reduce Spousal Benefits from 50% to 33%
Increase Years Used to Calculate Benefits
Include all New State and Local Workers
HEALTH CARE
Modify Health Care Reform Law: Repeal Legislation, but Keep Medicare/Medicaid Cuts
Increase Cost-Sharing for Medicare
Raise Medicare Premiums to 35% of Costs
Reduce Spending on Graduate Medical Education
Enact Medical Malpractice Reform
Increase the Medicare Retirement Age to 67
Modify Federal Medicaid Funding to States: Reduce Funding Removing Floor on Matches
OTHER SPENDING
Eliminate Certain Outdated Programs
Reduce Federal Highway Funding
Reduce or Eliminate Certain Transportation Programs
Cut Federal Workforce by Five Percent
Reduce Farm Subsidies
Cut Earmarks in Half
Increase Mass Transit Funding
REVENUES
Increase User Fees Across the Board
Sell Certain Government Assets
Reform International Tax System
Increase Gas Tax by 10 Cents per Gallon
Raise Social Security Payroll Tax Cap: Raise Cap to Cover 90% of Earnings
Reduce Corporate Tax Rate from 35% to 30%
Index Tax Code to Alternate Measure of Inflation
Improve Tax Collection (Reduce Tax Gap)
TAX EXPENDITURES
Limit Itemized Deductions for High-Earners
Curtail State and Local Tax Deduction
Eliminate Life Insurance Tax Benefits
Eliminate Subsidies for Biofuels
Tax Credits for Children and Families: Cut the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
Tax Treatment of Employer Sponsored Health Insurance: Replace Employer Health Care Exclusion with a Flat Credit (In Place of Excise Tax)
 

Hoplite

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Budget Path
Iraq and Afghanistan
-Reduce Troops to 30,000 by 2013
2001/2003 Tax Cuts
-Renew the Tax Cuts on income below $250/200,000
Discretionary Spending Growth
-Grow regular discretionary spending with inflation

Defense, Diplomacy & Security
-Enact administraion's proposed weapon system cuts
-Cancel missile defense system
-Reduce spending on ship building
Foreign Aid
-Increase foreign economic aid by 50%
Veteran's Benefits
-Expand veteran's income security benefits
Troop Levels
-Reverse the "Grow the Army" initiative

Domestic Social & Economic Spending
-Cancel TARP and rescind unused ARRA funds
-Eliminate the New Markets tax credit
-Enact new jobs bill
Food Stamps
-Index current (Post Stimulus) benefits to GDP

Social Security
-Raise the normal retirement age to 68
-Use an alternate measure of inflation for COLA
-Include all state and local workers
-Institute a minimum benefit
Slow Initial Benefit Growth
-Progressively reduce benefits, protecting low and medium income earners

Health Care
Modify Health Care Reform Law
-Expand coverage to an additional 5 milion people

-Increase cost sharing for Medicare
-Enact medical malpractice reform

Other Spending
-Eliminate certain outdated programs
-Cut Federal workforce by 5%
-Cancel NASA missions to the Moon and Mars
-Reduce farm subsidies
-Cut earmarks in half
-Expand spending on Federal research and development

Revenues
-Sell certain government assets
-Impose crisis responsibility fee
-Reform international tax system
-Enact carbon tax or cap-and-trade
-Enact 5% VAT with partial rebate
-Impose surtax on income above $1,000,000
-Gradually increase payroll tax by 1%
-Improve tax collection
Raise Social Security Payroll Tax Cap
-Raise cap to cover 90% of earnings

Tax Expenditures
-Limit itemized deductions for high income earners
-Curtail state and local tax deduction
-Eliminate life insurance tax benefits
Tax Credits for Children and Families
-Extend "American Opportunity" college tax credit
Tax Treatment of Employer Sponsored Health Insurance
-Replace employer healthcare exclusion with a flat credit

I reached the goal and actually went under it by 3%.

Aggressive tax reform and military cuts seem to be at least partially the way to go.

This is a rather difficult simulation :)
 
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