Again, defense spending isn't the problem.
---------- Post added February-22nd-2011 at 11:30 AM ----------
Last edited by mardi gras skin; February-22nd-2011 at 10:41 AM.
I would argue that spending $3 trillion on an unnecessary war and billions upon billions on weapons systems that the DoD doesn't even want, is a problem. I would also argue that spending nearly as much on defense as every other nation on earth combined is unreasonable.
---------- Post added February-22nd-2011 at 12:01 PM ----------
I think the most impressive thing about the graph MGS posted is the growth in GDP since 1950. Wow.
W kept the war spending out of his budget forecasts. But we're discussing the actual numbers. And those numbers account for every dime, and always have.
Yes, the deficit really has exploded, by exactly the amount that the GOP says it did. (Now, it exploded before Obama took office. And it didn't explode because of anything that Obama or the Democrats did. But it really did explode.)
Regardless, defense spending has been on a long steady increase for quite a while now.Regardless, the chart I posted includes the cost of the wars. So, whatever Bush did, we still know that defense spending has been on a long slow decline for quite a while now.
Last edited by mardi gras skin; February-22nd-2011 at 11:51 AM.
MGS, is your point that the growth in GDP represents inflation? And that defense spending has only risen since 1950 due to inflation?
Notice the words, on the side of that chart, labeled "$ bln 2005"? The number "2005" is there because those numbers have been adjusted for inflation to 2005 levels.
You keep insisting that defensing spending isn't the problem, and "supporting" it by pointing that when GDP went up, defense spending we up, but not as much.But defense spending ISN'T the problem.
I do not think this means what you think it means.
There is no law of nature that says that when GDP goes up, then defense spending should go up at the same rate.
Like comparing things to GDP? Here's a few that are kind of related to GDP:
(Note: The vertical axis on the lower two charts don't start at zero.)
Obviously, we should double corporate taxes, increase income taxes by a third, and reduce social security taxes by 2/3. Right?
Heck, if income taxes were bringing in 11% of GDP, like they were from 1950 - 80, we wouldn't have a deficit this year.
So, if we just repeal all of the tax cuts beginning with Reagan, personal and corporate, then that wouldn't be a tax hike, because it would just be keeping revenues at a constant percentage of GDP, right?
Now, if you want to assert that the growth of spending on Medicare and SS are our biggest future problem, then I'll wholeheartedly agree with you. These programs are huge problems, both because they're huge already, and because as the laws stand right now, they're designed to go up automatically, much faster than inflation, forever.
At least at present, we don't fund Defense spending that way. Congress actually has to approve increasing defense spending. Whereas with entitlements, it literally takes an act of Congress just to slow down the rate of growth.
(And because of the political reality that whoever votes to do that will be guaranteed to be attacked by the other Party, for "cutting" whatever it is.)
If you want to argue that defense spending isn't as big a problem as Medicare/Medicaid, I'll wholeheartedly agree with you.
(I list SS a bit differently, because, while SS spending is also scheduled to go up automatically, at least SS has somewhat paid for itself in advance. SS has money set aside to cover the future spending, at least for a while. But still, even that's a problem, just not quite as immediate as the others.)
No, I hadn't dealt with inflation until Larry brought a chart showing nominal dollar value into the discussion.
My point is that the federal government has a pool of money to draw taxes from. As the gross domestic product increases, out national wealth increases and the pool of money the federal government has to spend increases assuming they continue to tax us at a similar rate. If defense spending decreases relative to GDP it represents less and less a burden to the public compared to the past.
I would love to see cuts in the defense budget. I know there is waste. But I'm not foolish enough to think we can cut the defense budget enough to make up for the rapid increases in other areas of the budget. Even if we drop defense spending to 3% of GDP and hold it there that won't be enough cost savings to absorb the line items that are increasing faster than our nation's collective wealth is increasing.
If out GDP is growing at 10% annually, a 10% annual increase in Medicaid manageable. If GDP is growing at 3% and Medicaid is growing by 15% annually, we have a major problem.
Last edited by mardi gras skin; February-22nd-2011 at 12:51 PM.
Another thing that people don't realize that is affected by cuts in government spending is jobs. For example, where I'm working right now, two weeks into my new position I found out that my position is getting cut because there is a movement to cut down government contractors. (Something which always goes in cycles, between saving money and being able to get the job done.) That is certainly putting my job at risk, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Tax cuts don't mean much if I don't have a job because of it.
That isn't to say that fat shouldn't be cut, but there are consequences. It is why I wish this type of talk happens in better times when one can find jobs outside of the government realm. Instead, it is usually the opposite that happens.
Gotta run but you left this one out Larry:
Revenue has remained more or less constant relative to GDP since the 1950's. Whatever pot we decide to draw from, total revenue has remained constant.
Meanwhile, our government expenses are climbing relative to GDP. That can't continue. Those line items that are increasing faster than our ability to produce more wealth are killing us.
What I find so astounding about the last page or two is that Larry and Mardi Gras have essentially been agreeing with each other this whole time yet continue to misunderstand each other and essentially argue semantics and what the definition of "is", is.
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