Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The avalanche

We have a spending problem, not an under-taxation problem.


7 comments:

Dr William J McKibbin said...

Defense spending is missing from the avalanche cartoon -- the US currently spends more each year on defense than the rest of the world combined (including China) -- more at:

http://wjmc.blogspot.com/search?q=defense+spending

The US is spending far too much on guns and butter at this point...

Benjamin said...

You know, I would vote for the GOP'ers, if they would also acknowledge $1 trillion a year in outlays for Defense, VA and Homeland Security.

In real terms, about double since 2001.

This is from the Cato Institte, a bona-fide right-wing (libertarian) outfit.

"The dirty little secret of U.S. defense politics is that the United States is safe—probably the most secure great power in modern history. Weak neigh- bors, vast ocean barriers, nuclear weapons and the wealth to build up forces make almost nonexistent the threats that militaries traditionally existed to thwart. Americans cannot seriously fear territorial conquest, civil war, annexa- tion of peripheral territories, or blockade. What passes for enemies here are small potatoes compared with what worried most states at most times."

In 2001 outlays for the VA were $45 billion...now slated at $147 billion.

Remember: The Dems love entitlement spending and to throw money at perceived problems; the GOP loves agency spending, and to throw money at the world's perceived problems...







Joseph Constable said...

The cartoon refers to the fiscal cliff, which sequester cuts to military spending are still scheduled in the next couple of months.

Earlier in a comment Benjamin referred to military spending as parasitic. I guess that is a new economic term. I think it says more about Benjamin than about the military industrial complex.

I certainly didn’t feel parasitic when I nearly bought the farm when in the army. I already feel the effects of limited budgets relative to the influx of vets at my VA hospital. Even though I am priority two, I have encountered very long delays for tests and treatment. The VA is a pure socialist system. They will need to ration more and more in the future as price doesn’t change demand. The pain will be felt at the VA just like all people when the cuts to entitlements come in earnest.

The VA probably should be moved into a pure market system just like all health care should be. Kill the high costs with competition and cessation of cost shifting. (My girl friend who does payroll at her company told me last night that the company pays Aetna $24,000 a year for a single mom and dependents on the PPO. This is because the average age is in the sixties while the young are with Kaiser where the premium is $13,000 for a single mom and dependents. Obama -care has required her to put the company paid premium on the W2 forms. Not for the union people, they are exempt from that revelation.) Health care will bankrupt the country otherwise. Get it? Hardly anybody can pay their own premiums. Medical care is the single biggest future source of government spending. Cutting military spending is easy compared to Healthcare which is a far far more complicated matter. Military spending doesn’t have the future promises factor. And look how beloved Obama did those back room deals with the hospital trade group, big pharm, and insurance. Big pharm made out as did the hospitals but I laugh at insurance because Obama stabbed them in the back in return for their support of Obamacare. The medical device manufacturers didn’t make a deal with Obama and were punished with a surtax, a federal excise tax. Have fun trying to fix this corrupt mess. Crony government.

Dr William J McKibbin said...

Neither the big government Democrats or the military-industrial Republicans will cut government spending -- their goals are to divert guns into butter, or butter into guns -- but neither the big government Democrats or the military-industrial Republicans are committed to balancing the US budget -- far from it.

Those committed to balancing the Federal budget will need to turn to the Libertarians, the true party of minimal government and maximum liberty -- more at:

http://www.lp.org

Again, neither the big government Democrats or the military-industrial Republicans have a plan to balance the Federal budget -- neither party is even close...

Benjamin said...

Joseph:

My comments about the Pentagon, and the $1 trillion in outlays for Defense, VA and the Homeland Security are accurate---economically, such outlays are parasitic. Productive citizens are taxed to funnel money to economically unproductive public agencies.

Throughout history, organized religion and standing militaries have feasted at the expense of productive people, businesses, enterprises.

My feelings toward dedicated individuals within any modern federal agency are different. Most of us (certainly myself) are just bubbles on the ocean, trying to find some security somehow. I don't blame any individual for making a living in public service, and many care about what they do.

On a personal level, I am deeply sorry for any fellow citizen who got mauled in Iraqistan, or Vietnam for that matter.

I cannot fathom why such overseas folly was undertaken, at such huge expense, and for little gain.

I wish the right-wing would recognize this as folly, and more are, in the Cato Institute, Ron Paul campaigns, and even Pat Buchanan.

But your injuries could properly be blamed on a set of federal agencies, and interest groups, that feel a need to sustain themselves and engage in such endeavors.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck and success.

Benjamin said...

Joseph:

One last comment.

I am, albeit minutely, responsible for your injuries.

I voted for George Bush jr. in 2000.

I thought him to be a moderate, MBA-sort of guy, who would be pro-business, lower taxes, and in general do nothing. A great president by my standards.

After 24 Saudi Arabians perpetrated a terrorist attack on 9/11, Bush jr, oversaw the most rapid expansion of federalism since WWII, and also rammed through a Medicare Part B program, the latter more expensive than the entire Social Security program.

Bush jr did not propose a much smaller terrorist-hunting military, he instead added more and more layers on top of a hugely expensive Cold War platform already 30 years out of date.

Americans are now the monitored people in history, far eclipsing even Eastern European nations in the bad old days. It is possible, somewhere, a federal monitor is reading this comment of mine, due to its content.

I voted for Bush jr, and he sent you to Iraqistan.

I have regretted that vote many times, and today I fresh occasion to do so.

Paul said...

Benji,

"I have regretted that vote many times, and today I fresh occasion to do so."

Oh, puke. You also voted for Obama, a socialist community organizer who makes George Bush look like George Washington.

Express some contrition for that just once.