This years deficit is nearing a trillion.....where are the fiscal hawks? - Forums at Modded Mustangs
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post #1 of 41 Old January 30th, 2018, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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This years deficit is nearing a trillion.....where are the fiscal hawks?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...cid=spartanntp

As Deficit Soars Toward $1 Trillion, Congress Shrugs and Keeps Spending

By ALAN RAPPEPORT and THOMAS KAPLAN

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged Congress on Tuesday to raise the federal government’s statutory borrowing limit and said Washington must soon grapple with the mounting federal debt, just as lawmakers are embarking on a significant spending spree.

Annual deficits are creeping up to $1 trillion a year and the national debt has topped $20 trillion. On Monday, Treasury said that the United States will need to borrow $441 billion in privately-held debt this quarter, the largest sum since 2010 when the economy was emerging from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Yet the need to deal with the federal debt seems to have taken a back seat to other priorities, including the $1.5 trillion tax cut increased defense and domestic spending, and an expected infrastructure request from President Trump.

“The president is very much concerned about the rate of increase of the debt and particularly the rate that it grew over the last eight years,” Mr. Mnuchin said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing. “Over time we need to figure out where we can have government savings to deal with the deficit.”
He dismissed suggestions that the tax cut, which is projected to add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over a decade even with economic growth, would only worsen the problem.

Mr. Mnuchin’s request to raise the debt limit stems from the simple fact that federal spending is far outpacing revenue. The Treasury must borrow money from private investors but needs congressional approval to go above the $20.5 trillion debt limit that caps the United States debt load.

Fiscal hawks warn that mounting federal debt will ultimately slow economic growth, but Washington shows no signs of paying heed. Congress is poised to dole out billions of dollars for a host of different priorities and the spending spree is being embraced across party lines.

Mr. Trump and Republicans are pushing for a big increase in military spending, warning that the nation’s security is at stake. The president wants $25 billion for border security, including his promised wall on the border with Mexico. Mr. Mnuchin also said on Tuesday that infrastructure would be an administration priority this year. Mr. Trump has suggested that rebuilding roads and bridges is something that could garner bipartisan support, and White House has signaled that it will seek $200 billion from Congress to jump-start an infrastructure investment program.

On top of that spending, the party is still celebrating its sweeping overhaul of the tax code, casting aside expectations of how it will impact the national debt.
After loudly bemoaning that the tax overhaul would swell the national debt, Democrats are now pressing to secure a sizable boost in spending on domestic programs, including billions of dollars to address the opioid crisis. And lawmakers from both parties are looking to approve at least about $80 billion in additional aid in response to last year’s hurricanes and wildfires.

“The deep dark secret is Republicans like to spend money just as much as Democrats,” said Representative Jim Costa, Democrat of California and a co-chairman of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition. “They just want to spend it on something different.”

Just last week, lawmakers approved a stopgap spending bill to end a government shutdown and keep agencies funded until Feb. 8 while also extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years. But the fine print of the bill also suspended or delayed a handful of taxes imposed by the Affordable Care Act, which will cost the government $31 billion, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

The deficit is now projected to reach $1 trillion in the 2019 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a fiscal watchdog group.

That could grow even larger if, as expected, congressional leaders from both parties can reach an agreement to raise strict caps on military and domestic spending that were imposed in 2011.

Republicans are pushing for a big increase to the cap on military spending, while Democrats are insisting on an equal increase in nonmilitary spending. All told, lawmakers could reach a two-year agreement to raise the spending caps by more than $200 billion over that period.

For Democrats, the firm posture in spending talks does not perfectly harmonize with their outcry during the battle over the Republican tax overhaul. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of the Senate Republican leadership, recalled that just recently, during the fight over taxes, Democrats were “absolutely outraged at what potential deficit impact there might be.”

“And then we immediately get into a tens and hundreds of billion dollars of discussion about how we now raise the spending caps,” Mr. Blunt said. “So I think there’s plenty of inconsistency.”

With the tax overhaul now law and with lawmakers pushing to increase spending, fiscal watchdogs have been left reeling.

“Even just to keep the government open for a few weeks, for some reason it was necessary to add to our debt,” said Michael A. Peterson, the president and chief executive of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which advocates reining in federal budget deficits.

The tax overhaul approved in December “clearly dug the hole deeper,” Mr. Peterson said. The bill is projected to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over a decade, or about $1.1 trillion if the effects of economic growth and interest rates are taken into account, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Mr. Mnuchin dismissed that idea on Tuesday, reiterating his position that if economic growth can be sustained at an annual rate of 3 percent, the tax cuts will pay for themselves. (Macroeconomic Advisers, an economic forecasting firm, expects growth in the first three months on 2018 to fall to 2.3 percent.)

While Democrats tried to draw attention to how the tax cuts would worsen the government’s finances, few Republicans expressed similar concerns. One who did, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, vowed to oppose the tax rewrite if it added “one penny” to the deficit, but even he ended up voting for it.

At the hearing on Tuesday, Mr. Corker praised the tax bill for bringing better results than he expected, noting that the International Monetary Fund had raised its global economic growth projections in response to the tax cuts.

“It seems to be having an impact far beyond what we thought it would have just on our own country,” Mr. Corker said.

In conversations about the deficit, Republican lawmakers are quick to talk about the need to rein in the cost of entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, which make up a big portion of federal spending. But there is little expectation that Congress will take any significant action in those areas any time soon.
“This is out of control,” complained Senator David Perdue, Republican of Georgia, as he lamented that lawmakers were set to approve disaster aid without finding a way to pay for it.

“Every dime that we’re talking about for disaster relief is borrowed,” Mr. Perdue said. “We have to go to China and borrow that money to give disaster relief to farmers in Texas and people in Florida.”

At the Senate hearing on Tuesday, Mr. Mnuchin said that Mr. Trump has been focused on initiatives that will spur economic growth as a way of generating additional revenue for the government. “His first priority was to create economic growth,” Mr. Mnuchin said. “That’s the single most important thing that will create revenues.”
Some Republicans are not so sure.

“At some point we’re going to have to change the name of the Department of Treasury to the Department of Debt, because there’s not going to be any treasury left,” said Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana. “It would seem to me that we need to have an adult discussion at some point about how we’re going to get control of that.”


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post #2 of 41 Old January 31st, 2018, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Novanutcase View Post
“The deep dark secret is Republicans like to spend money just as much as Democrats,” said Representative Jim Costa, Democrat of California and a co-chairman of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition. “They just want to spend it on something different.”
So true. But it really isn't a secret.

The only time our national debt gets any attention is when Congress needs to increase the debt limit. Then suddenly the opposing party (Republicans if a Democrat is President or Democrats if a Republican is President) seems to make a big deal threatening government shutdown.

Obama was absolutely correct when he said the debt limit bill was the wrong time for that debate. The money had already been spent. Or rather, the government had already gotten the goods and services and what remained was paying the overdue bills. The time for debating spending is during the authorization and appropriation bills. But Congress hasn't manage to pass any of those in a decade instead they just pass continuing resolutions.

Our national debt cannot be controlled without first controlling the annual deficit. I was a deficit hawk when I supported Ronald Reagan in 1980. Democrats like to run down Reagan for increasing the national debt. Yes, he did. He had other problems. He was fighting a national economic condition called "stagflation." A stagnant economy with double digit inflation. Imagine a car loan with a 20% interest rate. It took a recession to cure that.

He also had to fix the "hollow forces" of our military. The Soviet Union was still a power in Europe. The Iran hostages were held for 444 days. Our rescue mission had failed in route for lack of a helicopter. And, we had squadrons of brand new F-15s sitting on the flight line with no engines. The recession and increased military spending increased the deficit and the debt. But he also set the conditions that later lead to prosperity under the Clinton administration. He cut taxes to jump start the economy.

I was a deficit hawk when I supported Ross Perot in 1992. I couldn't tell the difference between a tax-and-spend Democrat or a borrow-and-spend Republican. I was absolutely disgusted with the entire mess.

I was a deficit hawk when I supported Newt Gingrich's Contract with America in 1994. After winning the House, Republicans later claimed to balance the budget. They came close but had to use accounting tricks to get it done. One of the things they did was to move federal paychecks one day from the last day of the month to the first day of the next month. That moved one month's entire payroll into the next fiscal year.

It took a while but I realized that the country would never (not ever) get a real balanced budget. I'm still a deficit hawk but I no longer chase the impossible goal of a balanced budget.

Economic theory suggests that our economy can prosper under constant annual deficits (and an ever increasing national debt) if economic growth is large enough to sustain it. The goal is to keep national debt a manageable percentage of Gross Domestic Product. I have come to believe that is the best we can hope for.

But It is impossible to support increasing debt with economic growth at 2% which is what economists were predicting. Many were saying that economic growth would never again be more than 2 to 2 1/2 percent. With those dire predictions it is just a matter of time before the United States becomes Greece where investors not only demand extraordinarily high interest rates because of the risk of default but also demand austerity measures that would cripple our military and all social programs.

So what do we do? We can't continue current spending on government programs with only 2% economic growth and there is no will in Congress to cut spending. Spending is votes. So the only alternative is to grow GDP. We can't get necessary economic growth if we are a service and consumer economy. Its not going to happen. The United States needs capital investment and good paying manufacturing jobs.

Economists say that GDP growth of 3 1/2% will support our increasing debt. Optimism alone drove GDP growth that high in 2017. The Republican tax plan should keep it going.

I'm still a deficit hawk. But I'm an older, wiser deficit hawk. Reality has tempered my goals. A balance budget is out of the question. Our only hope to avoid financial collapse is to grow the economy. I am hoping that the new tax plan will provide the economic stimulus necessary so that our next president can claim credit for a booming economy.

I find it very interesting that with Trump's election Democrats have suddenly become believers in states rights and fiscal responsibility. I wonder how long it will last.

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post #3 of 41 Old February 1st, 2018, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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While I agree with some of what you say I find it interesting how you continually talk about how you are non biased yet you only have scorn for Democrats. Republicans control the entire government yet they have decided to blow up the deficit and the debt yet zero mention of how irresponsible they are. You mention Reagan and how he had all these "necessities" that justified his increasing the deficit and debt of this country yet when Democrats bring out their list of "necessities" it is always shouted down by republicans as socialist and give aways.

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post #4 of 41 Old February 1st, 2018, 08:32 PM
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Times change. My grandmother was a die hard FDR Democrat. My parents were Democrats. I started out as a Democrat, definitely a Kennedy Democrat, although I was too young to vote. I loved JFK. Became an independent under LBJ. Stayed an independent under Nixon. Became a Republican under Carter. And, I loved Reagan. But even then I voted for a few Democrats. We actually had conservative Democrats back then. I have often said I didn't leave the Democratic party. It left me.

I suppose the biggest thing that influenced my transition was the Democrats policy that the Constitution is a living document and as such the courts can interpret our rights away. I was also a balanced budget advocate but I've pretty much given up on ever seeing that. And, I started noticing that Indiana Democrats had two voices. And the policies that they advocated in conservative Indiana vanished as soon as they got to Washington D.C. Reference: Evan Bayh. Hell, I once voted for Evan Bayh. I loved his comment about ACA. He said, "I voted for the good of the party." In Indiana we took notice. He didn't say he voted for the good of Indiana. He voted for the good of the party. He knew he wouldn't win the next election so he retired. He tried to make a comeback a couple of years ago and gave up. He doesn't represent Indiana.

No. While all of that is important that is probably not true. There were other things.

I disliked Carter because while likeable he was weak. I remember his comments about talking nuclear weapons with his grade school daughter and the time he took Amtrak to his speaking engagement with Air Force One flying above. He was showing he was the common man.

Like Johnson he micromanaged military operations. Johnson planned bombing runs from the White House. He sent our B-52s on the same flight path allowing the Vietnamese to easily target them. He drew a line that we couldn't cross but our enemy crossed it at will. I had an opportunity once to personally talk to a former White House reporter. The 1968 Tet Offensive was a huge victory for the United States but the media reported it as a loss. My friend asked him why. He said that it was because Johnson had lied to them so many times that if Johnson said it was a victory it had to be a defeat.

Johnson's administration had rules of combat so tight that we actually courts martialed a pilot who took out an anti-aircraft gun that was shooting at him.

Carter was the same. He micromanaged the rescue mission. He picked the assets limiting them to the bare minimum for fear of escalation. When one of the helicopters broke down the entire mission failed. During an event a couple of years ago Carter said if he could do things over again he would have sent one more helicopter. Obama's apologetic tour was the same way and his micro-management of the war was just a continuation of the same.

Sorry, but as the Democratic Party moved further and further left I discounted more and more what they say. I find it extremely interesting that during the Trump administration Democrats have suddenly discovered states rights and fiscal responsibility. If its not a pretense (which I think it is) then I might actually start listening again.

I was extremely angry at the Congressman who got up and walked out when the Republicans were chanting USA during the state of the union address. Our people are fighting and dying for this country and some damn globalist get up and walks out of the State of the Union Address.

This might surprise you but I would not have dedicated 20 years of my life to the military if I were a globalist. After Vietnam I went to school and became an officer. I truly believe that we have the best governmental system that man can create. It is a compromise among various demands. Not exactly a democracy but a republic. That vary nature protects minorities ( not racial minorities but ideological minorities). Throughout history democracies have been a rarity. The longest of the two most notable in history only lasted approximately 200 years. We are working on 240 years.

I worry about our republic but it has suffered though much worse than the division we have today.

And, Nova. You are absolutely correct. I pretty much discount everything Democrats say. But then I have you to correct me.

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post #5 of 41 Old February 1st, 2018, 08:59 PM
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Our people are fighting and dying for this country
I'm sorry if you take this as antagonistic but: are they really? Because personally, there is not any war I can imagine myself agreeing with fighting in for the defense of our nation since 1945.

“A young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. But he pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked.” (Mark 14:51-52)
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post #6 of 41 Old February 1st, 2018, 10:34 PM
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I'm sorry if you take this as antagonistic but: are they really? Because personally, there is not any war I can imagine myself agreeing with fighting in for the defense of our nation since 1945.
There were many who doubted the entry of the war in WWII. I don't take anything that you say as antagonistic. I support the Constitution. Maybe you do not understand . We, in the military, defend the Constitution. You perhaps have never had to think like this, but I have. I would defend the Constitution with my life. I completely support the idea that you have free speech and that you may disagree with me. Even though I disagree with much that you have to say. I will always defend your right to say it.

I believe in the Constitution of the United States. What say you?

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post #7 of 41 Old February 1st, 2018, 11:14 PM
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There were many who doubted the entry of the war in WWII. I don't take anything that you say as antagonistic. I support the Constitution. Maybe you do not understand . We, in the military, defend the Constitution. You perhaps have never had to think like this, but I have. I would defend the Constitution with my life. I completely support the idea that you have free speech and that you may disagree with me. Even though I disagree with much that you have to say. I will always defend your right to say it.

I believe in the Constitution of the United States. What say you?
Of course I believe in the Constitution and would defend it if necessary. I'm not opposed to revisiting it however. Not the Bill of Rights section though. The only "revisiting" of the Bill of Rights I support is what has generally already happened - to be inclusive of all human citizens of the United States.

But I don't believe we're defending the Constitution when we're fighting conflicts in Vietnam, Desert Storm, or Iraqi Freedom. Going into Afghanistan and after Bin Laden and Al Qaeda and the Taliban seemed like a worthy cause but they expanded that war drum justification into unrelated offenses which really had no relevance to "defending the Constitution". Otherwise, we would have been conducting Operation Saudi Arabia Freedom.

So, do we have young men and women dying overseas right now to protect our freedom? Nah. In my mind, they're dying for a less-than-worthy cause and that cause is most definitely not anywhere near in the name of "Defending the Constitution". That's not on the soldiers. That's on the politicians and financial interests that put them there.
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post #8 of 41 Old February 2nd, 2018, 03:21 PM
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No response?

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post #9 of 41 Old February 2nd, 2018, 05:09 PM
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Me? I agree in principle. And when we go to war it should be for our own national interest and it should be fought to win. But we were protecting ourselves in Korea and Vietnam. Communism and the Soviet Union were a direct threat to our existence. Historians now call Korea, Vietnam and Russia's Afghanistan proxy wars. They were the hot spots during the cold war which eventually lead to the collapse of the Soviet Empire.

Iraq's invasion of Kuwait got us into our current mess. We are currently fighting for people who hate us against people who hate us. I have no idea how we get out but we can't leave ISIS in charge. And I have no idea how many of our "friends" will turn on us when ISIS is finally defeated.

This old dog has learned that not everyone is ready for democracy. The dictators of the Middle East were holding down a bigger threat--radical Islam.

As far as the Constitution goes, I have no problem with revisiting it and changing it. There is a process for doing that. The process does not include activist judges interpreting our rights away.

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post #10 of 41 Old February 2nd, 2018, 05:45 PM
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Me?
Haha, yeah dude, you asked a question and I responded so I thought we were having a discussion! Making sure your question wasn't a rhetorical one presuming that I don't support the Constitution since I think sometimes you might take my arguments on here as my own personal viewpoints when a lot of the time, they're just used for perspective purposes.

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I agree in principle. And when we go to war it should be for our own national interest and it should be fought to win. But we were protecting ourselves in Korea and Vietnam. Communism and the Soviet Union were a direct threat to our existence. Historians now call Korea, Vietnam and Russia's Afghanistan proxy wars. They were the hot spots during the cold war which eventually lead to the collapse of the Soviet Empire.
Why? Genuine question (you lived through it, I did not). If a sovereign nation determines Communism is best suited for them, who are we to intervene? The USSR was very close to our allies' borders, but we were and currently are very close to our enemies' borders as well. Why are we in the right, in that regard? We defend our allies from foreign aggressors. That makes sense. But a whole lot of it was "Communism is bad, we must crush Communism in every corner of the world". Who gets to dictate which system of governance is best suited worldwide? We aren't going to let people come here and start a war in our country because they believe Democracy sucks. Why should we expect any different?

Defending against crimes against humanity is a great reason. But it doesn't hold much water when we conduct our own crimes against humanity under the name of democracy. We've had internment camps. We've had torture. We've had experiments and black ops conducted on our own citizens. We've killed swaths of innocent non-aggressors.

I forget the exact quote or who conveyed it was, but it's essentially "Communism will always fall under its own weight given enough time". If North Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh believed Communism was right for their nation, how do we extrapolate that into "Defending our Constitution"?

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Iraq's invasion of Kuwait got us into our current mess. We are currently fighting for people who hate us against people who hate us. I have no idea how we get out but we can't leave ISIS in charge. And I have no idea how many of our "friends" will turn on us when ISIS is finally defeated.

This old dog has learned that not everyone is ready for democracy. The dictators of the Middle East were holding down a bigger threat--radical Islam.

As far as the Constitution goes, I have no problem with revisiting it and changing it. There is a process for doing that. The process does not include activist judges interpreting our rights away.
Why are you correct in assuming activist judges only exist on the left but holding the opposite view is untrue? No you're not saying this directly, but based on your previous comments and the amount of times you've reiterated this point which generally accompanies a support for "conservative" judges, I think it's a relatively safe assumption that you're implying liberal judges work against the framework of the Constitution by default. Conservative judges don't just naturally interpret the Constitution in such a way that doesn't remove certain rights.

If a Conservative judge decides that a certain subgroup of the human race isn't worthy of a certain right just because that's how things were when the Constitution was written, is that naturally the correct interpretation just because they're not an 'activist' judge? Yes this is hyperbole. But there is plenty of hyperbole towards liberal judges from people on the right, but we're supposed to assume the people on the right understand the Constitution better than those on the left while espousing a lot of flawed viewpoints on how selectively the rights established by our Constitution should be applied. Or, as you put it so eloquently, interpreting them away. (this is not you - this is people in your party; similar to how I hope you are capable of separating me personally and those that hold ridiculous views under the name "progressive")

“A young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. But he pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked.” (Mark 14:51-52)
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post #11 of 41 Old February 3rd, 2018, 07:36 AM
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Why? Genuine question (you lived through it, I did not). If a sovereign nation determines Communism is best suited for them, who are we to intervene?
Here is the thing. They didn’t choose Communism. It was forced on them with guns. First Lenin then Stalin. Stalin killed millions of his own people consolidating communist power. Some historians estimate that perhaps 20-25 million died from executions, Gulag camps, etc. And, communism was a direct threat to the United States and its allies. Khrushchev had once claimed that he would bury us and the United States and the Soviet Union almost went to nuclear war during the Cuban missile crises.
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Defending against crimes against humanity is a great reason.
That is perhaps the worst reason to go to war. We do not have the ability to right every wrong in the world. We should only go to war for our own national interest. That is not to say we shouldn't help our allies because it is in our national interest have allies.
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If North Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh believed Communism was right for their nation, how do we extrapolate that into "Defending our Constitution"?
Ho Chi Minh didn’t pick communism because he felt it was best for his country. He picked it because they would give him guns to fight the French. It has been reported that he first asked the United States for help against the French but we denied his request because France was an ally. Not all Vietnamese wanted to be communist and like all communists Ho Chi Minh eliminated all political adversaries. The Vietnam War was part of that. The north was communist and the south had a separate government aligned with the French. When the French were defeated the south kept fighting. Kennedy first sent in advisors to help and then it escalated under Johnson. And we were not fighting to conquer the north. Our rules of engagement didn't allow that. We were fighting to defend the south. That is why we lost. You cannot win a defensive war.

Our strategy at the time was containment. To stop the domino effect of one country after another being forced into communism. A lot of people scoffed at the domino theory but we later saw it in action after the Berlin Wall fell. First the Eastern European countries threw off the yoke of communist oppression then the Soviet Union itself fell apart. Like I said, the people didn't want communism. It was forced on them by people with guns (and tanks). Maybe you should read about the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
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Why are you correct in assuming activist judges only exist on the left but holding the opposite view is untrue? No you're not saying this directly, but based on your previous comments and the amount of times you've reiterated this point which generally accompanies a support for "conservative" judges, I think it's a relatively safe assumption that you're implying liberal judges work against the framework of the Constitution by default. Conservative judges don't just naturally interpret the Constitution in such a way that doesn't remove certain rights.
I’m not implying. I’m saying that liberal judges believe the constitution is a living document and as such should be interpreted to fit current political desires. Liberal judges are the ones legislating from the bench. I have been using the term conservative judges but I realize that to you it means religious judges. I don’t mean that at all. The term currently used is originalist judges. People who believe the original intent of the constitution still holds true.

Case in point, the second amendment. Liberals want it interpreted to mean that only the national guard has a right to guns. But records of the time clearly show that our founding fathers meant it to be an individual right. (I have read the Federalist Papers.)
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post #12 of 41 Old February 3rd, 2018, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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I’m not implying. I’m saying that liberal judges believe the constitution is a living document and as such should be interpreted to fit current political desires.
This is what I mean when I talk about the subtle bias that you show at every turn. How do you know that they're interpreting the constitution to fit current POLITICAL desires? Perhaps the "interpretation" on the right has been wrong all along and their are righting the ship just because it's the right thing to do?

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post #13 of 41 Old February 3rd, 2018, 04:37 PM
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It's going to take a looooooooong time to pay off the Clinton, Bush and Obama years.

Obama skyrocketed US national Debt.

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post #14 of 41 Old February 3rd, 2018, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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It's going to take a looooooooong time to pay off the Clinton, Bush and Obama years.

Obama skyrocketed US national Debt.
So Obama "skyrockets" the national debt to save the US from going into a complete meltdown and that's bad but Reagan blows up the deficit to give away tax breaks to corporations and further feed the MIC and that's OK because that's "responsible" spending........

Now Trump is doing the same thing and it's deemed "responsible" by people like you.

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post #15 of 41 Old February 3rd, 2018, 08:58 PM
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The fact is we will never pay off the debt incurred during the Obama administration. Nor will we pay off the debt incurred by any other administration. All we do is roll it over borrowing a little more each time. Countries have credit ratings just like individuals. The worse the credit rating the more risky the investment and the higher the interest rate.

Looking at 2018 the federal government is expected to spend $4.094 trillion. It is suppose to take in $3.654 trillion creating an annual deficit of $440 billion. That is a lot better than the $1 trillion plus deficits during the Great Recession but it is still a lot of money. According to The Balance, the federal budget is 20.5% of GDP (approximately $20 trillion). They say before recession the government kept spending below 20%. During the recession it jumped to 24.3% in 2012. The government actually spent more on stimulus than it did on fighting two wars.
https://www.thebalance.com/current-u...ending-3305763

Our national debt broke $20 trillion in September 2017. By the end of 2018 it will be approximately $20.5 trillion. So basically we own 100% of our GDP in debt. Since interest rates are still low most investors believe that is an acceptable risk. Some are estimating that our national debt will grow to $30 trillion by 2028. That is a 50% increase in debt in 10 years.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/...united-states/

If our economy chugged along at a sluggish 2% growth rate by 2028 our GDP will only be $25 trillion. Clearly at that growth rate our credit worthiness is getting worse. Debt will be 120% of GDP. We do not have debt forecasts out to 2028 but assuming another $10 trillion is added making the total $40 trillion then a 2% growth rate will result in a GDP of $30.5 trillion in 2028. Our national debt would be 131% of GDP. This is an unsustainable trend.

But if we can achieve a 3.5% GDP growth rate then GDP will grow to $29 trillion in 2028 and $40.8 trillion in 2038. At the end of 20 years our debt will still be only 100% of GDP. While not exactly ideal this is a sustainable scenario. We will be no worse off then than were are now.

Because there is absolutely no desire to cut spending by either party this is the best we can hope for. And the only way it works is to stimulate the economy to 3.5% and encourage the creation of manufacturing jobs here in the United States. 2% growth just doesn't get us there.

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post #16 of 41 Old February 4th, 2018, 12:20 AM
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People tend to forget that the very low interest rates we have today is very unusual. Low interest rates mean low interest payments and low interest payments reduce our deficit. As our economy heats up and inflation starts showing up the federal reserve will raise interest rates. The fed has already started doing this. Higher interest rates are meant to cool the economy down. The federal reserve will slowly inch up rates until they are approximately double what they are today.

The most troubling part of our national debt is the interest payments. With interest rates falling during the Great Recession the United States was able to double it debt without increasing it interest payments. They stayed around $250 billion. Still that is the fourth largest budget item. But here is the catch. The recession is over and interest rates are on the rise. By 2020 (only two years from now) Interest on the debt is estimated to be $474 billion. By 2026 is is estimated to be $787 billion. That will be 12.2% of our national budget. By 2021 our government will spend more on interest payments than on the military.

I do not know if increased interest payments have been calculated into the estimates of total future debt. I assume that it has because the same organization did the estimates.
https://www.thebalance.com/interest-...l-debt-4119024

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Last edited by Eagle2000GT; February 12th, 2018 at 09:21 AM.
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post #17 of 41 Old February 4th, 2018, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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While Credit rating plays a part it really comes down to confidence of the Lender.

Our national debt has been climbing since the 80's yet the dollar has been the standard bearer when it comes to currency. ALL currencies are measured against the US dollar. The fact that we have the most robust economy in the world is the real deciding factor in regards to our debt and it's effects on our credibility. What hurts it is when the clowns in congress can't agree on a budget and kick the can down the road or we go into a government shutdown.

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post #18 of 41 Old February 4th, 2018, 08:58 PM
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I've lived through several government shutdowns. The United States kept it AAA rating through all of them. Standard & Poor reduced the debt rating to AA+ in September 2011 when there wasn't a shutdown. But they were estimating detrimental deficits and the accumulations of more debt by 2013.

Quote:
S&P considered the government budget deficit of more than 11 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and net government debt rising to about 80 percent or more of GDP by 2013, to be high relative to other "AAA" countries.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...ing_downgrades

You are correct, the dollar is the standard bearer and it remains that way for two reasons. The first is the Great Recession was world wide and other industrial economies are growing at an even slower rate than ours. The second is that except for the United States only China has an economy large enough to support a world currency but they don't have a banking system that creates the same level of trust as the United States.

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post #19 of 41 Old February 5th, 2018, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Your figures are based on projected incomes from a dynamic model. That model includes continued stock market increases but, as you know by the events of today, that can all fall apart in a second. The correction that seems to be coming along with rising interest rates is going to heat up the economy and inflation is going to be rampant due to the tax cuts that were just passed. Had Trump not been such a dumbass and left Yellen in there the markets would probably be calmer and we wouldn't be seeing the sell off and pessimism we are starting to see. Thankfully the metrics are strong so, hopefully, we'll be able to weather the storm but if the new incoming Chairman of the Fed isn't able to calm Wall Streets fears this could spin out of control very quickly.

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post #20 of 41 Old February 6th, 2018, 05:31 AM
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Your figures are based on projected incomes from a dynamic model. That model includes continued stock market increases but, as you know by the events of today, that can all fall apart in a second. The correction that seems to be coming along with rising interest rates is going to heat up the economy and inflation is going to be rampant due to the tax cuts that were just passed. Had Trump not been such a dumbass and left Yellen in there the markets would probably be calmer and we wouldn't be seeing the sell off and pessimism we are starting to see. Thankfully the metrics are strong so, hopefully, we'll be able to weather the storm but if the new incoming Chairman of the Fed isn't able to calm Wall Streets fears this could spin out of control very quickly.

John
By every financial analyst's opinion the market is still overvalued even after the last couple of trading days. Market cycles happen all the time. I watch financial news all the time. The pundits need something to talk about so they try to relate market movements to current events. No one really expected interest rates to remain at historic lows. I doubt that an increase in interest rates which everyone has known was coming for months really caused the market correction. If I were to speculate I'd say that people are just trying to lock in their profits.

There are all sorts of market investors from the day traders to the long term investors. I'm one of the latter. But speculators (basically gamblers) can drive bull and bear markets in the short term.

You have hit on something that is of concern. Conditions were such that the bull market and economic recovery should have occurred during the Obama administration but people were holding back doubtful about Obama's and Clinton's policies. I remember Obama complaining about companies sitting on cash. Someone (not Obama) even floated the idea of taxing savings accounts.

The stock market and the economy are not the same but they can be driven by similar things: optimism and pessimism. In 2017 people started buying not only stocks but goods and services again. Our economy was heating up. Unemployment was down and there was an upward pressure on wages. Throwing a large stimulus package on an already hot economy could make inflation worse. But I doubt that it will result in the double digit inflation rates of the late 70s and early 80s.
Historic inflation United States ? historic CPI inflation United States

By the way, unlike other positions the Chairman of the Federal Reserve does not serve at the pleasure of the President. They can only be fired for cause. But that is actually unimportant now. Jerome Powell was sworn in as Chairman of the Federal Reserve yesterday. He is expected to follow the same fed path but he is facing very different economic conditions.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/05/powe...in-yields.html

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