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How much do you care about balancing the US federal budget?

How much do you care about balancing the federal budget (in the medium/long term)?


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Kandahar

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How much do you actually care about balancing the US federal budget? Democrats bludgeoned the Republicans with the issue in 2006, and Republicans did the same to the Democrats in 2010. Yet does either side actually give a damn about it? I certainly haven't seen any evidence to suggest that they do.

The Democrats talked a lot about the deficit in 2006...but they promptly increased spending and cut taxes when Barack Obama was elected. Please don't misunderstand me; I'm well aware that the bailouts and economic stimulus were absolutely vital for the short-term health of the economy. However, they've also done absolutely nothing to address the problem in the medium-term. The Democrats have put forward no credible plan to stop the growth of entitlements. And now Barack Obama is saying that he wants to compromise with Boehner to extend the tax cuts.

...which brings us to the Republicans. The Republicans (especially the Tea Party) shrieked a lot about the deficit for the past few months. Yet what is their most pressing concern? Extending tax cuts for the wealthy. Are they going to cut (or even PROPOSE to cut) any major program by any amount that actually matters? John Boehner and Eric Cantor have both been asked that question in the last few days...and they've punted, which makes it obvious that the answer is no.


Personally I have mixed feelings on the issue. It's certainly not as big of a deal as the out-party constantly makes it out to be. Even after the nastiest recession in generations, our debt-to-GDP ratio is still relatively low. In the short-term, I'm the first to argue for as much deficit spending as possible to stimulate our economy. However, our medium- and long-term budget deficit is a problem. I don't think we need a plan to completely balance the budget in the medium term...but we should work on developing a plan to keep it to no more than 1-2%. That way, we'll at least be able to grow our economy faster than we grow our debt.
 
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Kandahar

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And before anyone asks where the poll option is for "I'm a Republican/conservative who wants a low deficit and low taxes and low spending" (or the converse for Democrats)...the entire point of the poll is to NOT allow you to do that. You actually have to make a tough choice instead of just reciting your talking points.
 

tacomancer

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Long term ... I would like to see a low deficit. However, I would support a high deficit if we have enough expansion to minimize it.
 

jamesrage

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And before anyone asks where the poll option is for "I'm a Republican/conservative who wants a low deficit and low taxes and low spending" (or the converse for Democrats)...the entire point of the poll is to NOT allow you to do that. You actually have to make a tough choice instead of just reciting your talking points.

You do know that they can have low taxes and make lots of cuts? It does not have to be low taxes and high deficit or taxes and tax increases and high deficit.
 

Kandahar

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You do know that they can have low taxes and make lots of cuts? It does not have to be low taxes and high deficit or taxes and tax increases and high deficit.

Yeah, except that doesn't actually happen in the real world. Hence the poll asking you to prioritize.
 

Kandahar

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"So when did you stop beating your wife?"


Poll FAIL.

Well, let's look at the question. There are three issues here: 1) Deficits, 2) Taxes, 3) Spending.

Instead of braying about how wonderful the world will be when you get your way on all three of them (which hasn't happened in at least 80 years and isn't going to happen), I'm asking you to prioritize. Otherwise you're just spouting talking points rather than actually doing anything to advance the discussion and/or contribute anything intellectually.

Would you be willing to raise taxes if it reduced the deficit? Or would you accept a bigger deficit if it meant lower taxes? I think that's a pretty straightforward choice.
 
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ReverendHellh0und

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Well, let's look at the question. There are three issues here: 1) Deficits, 2) Taxes, 3) Spending.

Instead of braying about how wonderful the world will be when you get your way on all three of them (which hasn't happened in at least 80 years and isn't going to happen), I'm asking you to prioritize. Otherwise you're just spouting talking points rather than actually doing anything to advance the discussion and/or contribute anything intellectually.




Your questions require the voters to accept your conclusion. It's a fallacy called a "loaded question".
 

Kandahar

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Your questions require the voters to accept your conclusion. It's a fallacy called a "loaded question".

Wrong. That's just an evasive answer because you resent the whole concept that sometimes you have to prioritize in order to improve the economic standing of the country. OK, let's try this another way:

Say that you were president, and you had the political capital to EITHER keep taxes low (at the cost of a high deficit), or keep the deficit low (at the cost of higher taxes). The opposition party prevents you from doing both. Which do you pick?
 

ReverendHellh0und

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Wrong. That's just an evasive answer because you resent the whole concept that sometimes you have to prioritize in order to improve the economic standing of the country. OK, let's try this another way:

Say that you were president, and you had the political capital to EITHER keep taxes low (at the cost of a high deficit), or keep the deficit low (at the cost of higher taxes). The opposition party prevents you from doing both. Which do you pick?




Neither, I would cut programs, cut spending, cut pork, AND lower taxes. :shrug:
 

Kandahar

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Neither, I would cut programs, cut spending, cut pork, AND lower taxes. :shrug:

...Except in my example you're the president with limited political capital and an opposition party, not an all-powerful dictator playing SimCity. Try again. Which do you pick?
 
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ReverendHellh0und

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...Except in this scenario you're the president with an opposition party with different goals than you, not an all-powerful dictator playing SimCity. Try again. Which do you pick?




Why do democrats get different options from republicans?
 

Kandahar

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Why do democrats get different options from republicans?

Well presumably Democrats want high spending AND a low deficit. And presumably Republicans want low taxes AND a low deficit. I'm asking them which they care about more.
 
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ReverendHellh0und

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Well presumably Democrats want high spending AND a low deficit. And presumably Republicans want low taxes AND a low deficit. I'm asking them which they care about more.




That would not be my place to answer, since you are so specific, I as a libertarian have been excluded from your poll.
 

Kandahar

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That would not be my place to answer, since you are so specific, I as a libertarian have been excluded from your poll.

Well since you want low taxes and a low deficit (but not high spending), that makes you a conservative for the purpose of this poll. So which is a higher priority - low taxes or a low deficit?
 

ReverendHellh0und

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Well since you want low taxes and a low deficit (but not high spending), that makes you a conservative for the purpose of this poll. So which is a higher priority - low taxes or a low deficit?



I vote both.
 

ReverendHellh0und

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OK. Unlike the honest people who were able to vote in the poll, you are obviously incapable of having an intellectual conversation without receiving your talking points from whichever pundit you get them from. Stop wasting my time now.



What pundit?



Your question is loaded bunk.



I would have lower taxes that were wrapped around lowering spending, I don't see why you get all pissy over this. :shrug:
 

Kandahar

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What pundit?



Your question is loaded bunk.



I would have lower taxes that were wrapped around lowering spending, I don't see why you get all pissy over this. :shrug:

Yes yes, and I'd have higher spending and higher taxes and a balanced budget. And while we're at it, I'd like a million bucks and a blowjob from Angelina Jolie. We don't always get everything we want. If you're unable to prioritize them in a simple, straightforward manner, then it's because you're unwilling or unable to have an honest, intellectual discussion.

You can vote in the poll if you figure it out. If not, meh whatever. I'm done trying to explain it to you.
 

ReverendHellh0und

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Yes yes, and I'd have higher spending and higher taxes and a balanced budget. And while we're at it, I'd like a million bucks and a blowjob from Angelina Jolie. We don't always get everything we want. If you're unable to prioritize them in a simple, straightforward manner, then it's because you're unwilling or unable to have an honest, intellectual discussion.

You can vote in the poll if you figure it out. If not, meh whatever. I'm done trying to explain it to you.




I'd balance the budget first, But your premise is bunk. :shrug:
 

deb

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There is no option there for my opinions. I am a firm believer that the purpose of government should be to govern - national defense, law enforcement, the judicial system, the corrections system, certain infrastructure, foreign policy, immigration policy are examples of things that I believe the government should do, and the government should collect taxes in an amount that pays for these functions without creating a deficit.

Currently, the government is spending money on things that aren't related to governing. All spending on those items should be stopped! This includes the department of education, corporate bailouts, economic stimuli, social programs, research grants (unless directly related to national defense), etc. You all get the idea.

Each person in the U.S. should fund the activities of government through taxes, and if unable to pay taxes the person should be required to perform services - If I'm too poor to pay taxes, I should have to file, sort mail, clean government buildings, or perform some service in lieu of paying my proportionate share of tax. Parents should be responsible for covering the requirement for their children until their children become adults.

Disabled individuals (and I mean truly disabled - they would have to be debilitated to the point of being unable to reproduce, play sports, work a tv remote, etc) would be exempt - but the exemptions should be relatively limited. If you've served in the military - you should be considered to have paid your tax in full.
 

jamesrage

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Yeah, except that doesn't actually happen in the real world. Hence the poll asking you to prioritize.

Raising taxes and cutting spending doesn't happen in the real world either. So I will still choose cut spending and lower lower taxes. Even if taxes were raised to lower the deficit those taxes raises would not go away once the deficit went away, those in office would use to the money to fund something else thus increasing our deficit.
 

Cassandra

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Raising taxes and cutting spending doesn't happen in the real world either. So I will still choose cut spending and lower lower taxes. Even if taxes were raised to lower the deficit those taxes raises would not go away once the deficit went away, those in office would use to the money to fund something else thus increasing our deficit.

Well, that is not really correct. Spending is always relative to population growth and G.D.P. Presidents have reduced the debt to G.D.P. ratio by raising taxes.
 
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