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What is the Government's plan to pay off the National Debt and Fund it's liabilities?

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  • Independent
    Henderson, NV
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    It matters not your political stripe, the National Debt is a threat to all of us. Just how the government plans to address this mounting problem is the question that should be asked by every single citizen before the next election cycle. I believe that until there is a good paying private sector job with benefits available to every legal citizen we will never be able to overcome the crippling Debt that the government has saddeled us with.
    If the Income Tax can be reformed to make this happen, so be it. To date however, the Income Tax has shown no ability to fund the government at current spending levels. To even consider just cutting spending at this time would be lunacy. There are now just too many of our fellow citizens dependent on the government to even consider such thinking. Jobs have to be available before you can even consider removing subsidies.
    The Fair Tax would expand the economy and expand the tax base by creating jobs for our fellow citizens who have suffered the most through these troubled times. The Affordable Care Act would have never even been considered if the government had stopped holding down the economy with the Income Tax. Educating out leaders as to the Benefits of the Fair Tax would go a long way towards Financial Stability for both the government and the citizens it represents. By reading the Fair Tax it would be obvious to all that the working poor would benefit the most from the Fair Tax but it would certainly help every single citizen of the United States with just a few exceptions. These exceptions would include the Washington Lobbyists and the Politicians who do their bidding. It is imperative that the Media report just how dire the Financial Situation is in the United States to force the government to reverse their reckless fiscal policies and even more importantly to secure our future through drastic Tax Reform. Nick
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Nick Gartner Wrote: It matters not your political stripe, the National Debt is a threat to all of us. Just how the government plans to address this mounting problem is the question that should be asked by every single citizen before the next election cycle. I believe that until there is a good paying private sector job with benefits available to every legal citizen we will never be able to overcome the crippling Debt that the government has saddeled us with.
    If the Income Tax can be reformed to make this happen, so be it. To date however, the Income Tax has shown no ability to fund the government at current spending levels. To even consider just cutting spending at this time would be lunacy. There are now just too many of our fellow citizens dependent on the government to even consider such thinking. Jobs have to be available before you can even consider removing subsidies.
    The Fair Tax would expand the economy and expand the tax base by creating jobs for our fellow citizens who have suffered the most through these troubled times. The Affordable Care Act would have never even been considered if the government had stopped holding down the economy with the Income Tax. Educating out leaders as to the Benefits of the Fair Tax would go a long way towards Financial Stability for both the government and the citizens it represents. By reading the Fair Tax it would be obvious to all that the working poor would benefit the most from the Fair Tax but it would certainly help every single citizen of the United States with just a few exceptions. These exceptions would include the Washington Lobbyists and the Politicians who do their bidding. It is imperative that the Media report just how dire the Financial Situation is in the United States to force the government to reverse their reckless fiscal policies and even more importantly to secure our future through drastic Tax Reform. Nick
    There is a very simple solution, which does not need any tax increase; CUT THE PENTAGON BUDGET IN HALF!!! Since we hopefully get out of Afghanistan (some idiots wants us to stay for another 10 years; cost nothing for sure). Also preparation for WWIII is not needed, because we have already plenty of overkill. No one will attack us. except a few US haters (we've created enough of them); invasion of another country into the US is just about impossible; every one here has a gun or a bunch of them. The trillions which come free from the crooks in the Pentagon can be used to finally create some infrastructure, like high speed railroads (antique trains who can only go about 30 miles/hr through a curve is laughable. We have to stop our meddling all over the globe; close all overseas bases and drone sites etc. lots of savings again (how long have we defended the border in South Korea? since 1948!! I guess the Koreans should be able to defend their own borders by now (sell some more KIA's here)
    So it is all quite easy; except if we the people love a militaristic state as it is now; sure than we will stay in debt forever and make it a lot worse by staying on the same track. Guess what got us in this situation? All our worseless wars, which did not do anything to "keep us safe" Iraq nor Vietnam never attacked us; what did we get back for it? May be new sports shoes from Vietnam? Sorry this present government is a pathetic pitiful bunch.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    One of the main causes as to why the U.S.S.R. collapsed was the huge cost of military spending that was needed to be able to keep up with the USA, all at the expense of it's citizenry.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    There are many who do not believe the so called "debt crisis" is a crisis! Stop being a sheeple and believing everything the politicians say as most of them are absolute dummies!
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    The funds to pay our taxes and buy government securities come from government spending.-Warren Mosler

    1817-1821: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 29%. Depression began 1819.
    1823-1836: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 99%. Depression began 1837.
    1852-1857: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 59%. Depression began 1857.
    1867-1873: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 27%. Depression began 1873.
    1880-1893: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 57%. Depression began 1893.
    1920-1930: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 36%. Depression began 1929.
    -chart by Rodger Malcolm Mitchell.

    The National Debt is just a record of all the dollars spent by the federal government and saved by the non-federal government.

    And if you want to impose austerity, one has to show why, and so far nothing has been proposed that is applicable to a government that issues a non-convertible currency, on floating exchange, and with a debt denominated in its own currency.

    Alan Greenspan was in Ayn Rand's cult and he understood this.

    William Niskanen was president of CATO and a leading national libertarian and he understood this.

    Bush II's chief of staff, Andy Card, understood this. And his advice to Bush II was evident in the spring of '03 when the president said: "I don't worry about numbers on pieces of paper, I worry about jobs!"

    Democrats need only quote Republicans to make the case against austerity and the modern Republican party, in general.
  • Independent
    Henderson, NV
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    Not sure how dumb they are? I am convinced that both Political Parties have abandoned the Citizens in favor of the rewards from the special interest groups. There is no logic or common sense coming from Washington D.C., it is beyond criminal that they point fingers at each other and accomplish little or nothing. Then when they do reach a "Bi-Partisan Agreement" we really take it in the shorts. I agree we spend way too much on the Military. I do not agree that we could just arbitrarily cut the budget in half however. I believe that if there was an audit of the Federal Government of all spending, the findings would show that there is way too much waste and the budget could be cut by one third without affecting any government program's services to the tax payers. Even cutting one third of the spending would still not affect the debt or the unfunded liabilities. The current Tax System only brings in a little over 2 trillion dollars a year, that seems like a lot but the government currently spends well over 3 trillion dollars to meet it's current obligations. Obviously, cutting spending by one third would still not address the Debt or future unfunded liabilities such as pensions and interest on the existing debt causing the totals to keep increasing. The only way to cut that much spending and still bring in enough revenue to bring about financial stability is to change the Tax System without harming the Citizens. The Nation needs Jobs that offer good wages and benefits, we need to give our corporations the incentive to expand to accomplish this. I have been studying this for over twenty years and the only plan that I have found that can accomplish this is to repeal the 16th Amendment, disband the IRS and implement the Fair Tax. www.fairtax.org
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    However you want to calculate the tax bill is fine, just know that there's a level of taxation that corresponds to full employment for a given sized gov't + financial expansion. And the market in aggregate determines the size of the gov't deficit.

    Anyways, much easier for the federal gov't to just tax land and federalize some desks inside of existing county property tax offices to do the work. You can't hide land! Much easier to assess and collect. And land taxes could be as progressive as we desired.

    Tax enforcement is ultimately what drives or backs the currency. We have to pay our taxes with it, or face punitive action by the government. That's what gives the otherwise worthless currency value enabling gov't to spend the currency into existence.

    So gov't has to advance U.S. $ and run deficits in-order for us to acquire the dollars to pay taxes in U.S. $, which it requires.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    There are two kinds of national debt, domestic debt and foreign debt. Paying off the foreign debt is important. It is the bad kind of debt. It is the debt that is owed to countries like China. Not making payments on this debt can drastically affect the world economy.

    Domestic debt is a different beast. It is debt that is owed to Americans. This debt is annoying, but paying it off would not really benefit anyone and could actually be detrimental. The vast majority of domestic debt is owed to the upper class. The holders of these debt are already really well off and aren't really worried about the government paying them back anytime soon. Also, to pay back these people we would have to use taxes from all Americans which would essentially boil down to taking taxes from the poor to pay the rich. It has been argued, and I agree with this argument, that is it better to invest that revenue back into infrastructure and public goods and services.

    Current foreign debt is right around $5.6 trillion which leaves about $12 trillion of debt is to be owed to Americans. Of course, no debt is good debt, but we need to be able to prioritize how money is spent.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    johnnycee Wrote: One of the main causes as to why the U.S.S.R. collapsed was the huge cost of military spending that was needed to be able to keep up with the USA, all at the expense of it's citizenry.
    The biggest joke is, guess who transports our astronauts to the space station? This shows we are indeed broke!!!
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Dutch, you are so right, I guess the old adage holds true ,he who laughs last ,laughs best.
  • Independent
    Campbellsport, WI
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    Let's run the Math.

    Current annual Military Budget is $718 Billion. This includes the added cost of Iraq and Afghanistan. /2 = $359 Billion

    Current Unfunded Liabilities $62 Trillion
    Current Debt $17 Trillion

    Cutting the Pentagon budget in half will retire $79 trillion in 220 years. This does not include interest and assumes no new debt is added.

    Currently we are spending $1.3 trillion/year more than we are taking in.

    If we eliminate 100% of our military spending, we would be left with $582 billion/year (at current spending rates) added to the US Debt/liabilities.

    I respectfully disagree with your "very simple solution".

    We have to be responsible here. As Nick Gardner wrote, this is a serious problem.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    I have to assume you didn't bother to read any of the posts here (other than Nick's, of course) or you wouldn't have come to the conclusions you have. I would suggest you read both CBB and Zachs posts, in particular then get back to us. In the mean time turn Fox NotNews off.
  • Independent
    Campbellsport, WI
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    pr Wrote: I have to assume you didn't bother to read any of the posts here (other than Nick's, of course) or you wouldn't have come to the conclusions you have. I would suggest you read both CBB and Zachs posts, in particular then get back to us. In the mean time turn Fox NotNews off.
    Hello PGR,

    You assumed incorrectly.

    Zach is correct in stating our debt is held by domestic and foreign sources. I didn't feel the need to comment.

    CBB is correct in stating the Federal Government is responsible for controlling the money supply (I'm particularly gratified to see he isn't advancing the argument that the federal reserve is completely separate from the Federal government. Technically yes - reality no.) The amount currency must increase as an economy grows. It's imperative that this increase be linked to productivity, or inflation will hit relative to the amount of "unnecessary currency".

    I don't completely understand why CBB stated deficit spending is necessary to bring dollars into an economy so I can't agree or disagree. It would require detailed explanation by CBB and time for me to study... :)

    The current policy of quantitative easing will lead to inflation (Japan tried it in the 1970's). To answer Nick, I believe this is how our government intends to pay down the debt. With less valuable dollars. QE does have a short-term positive effect but long-term consequences. Here is the bad news Nick, The fix (a tight monetary policy) has near-term painful effects followed later by positive results. Do you know of any politician who is willing to do that? Me either. :)

    Inflation is a hidden tax on, not just the rich, but everybody. Here is how it works... Imagine every dollar currently in existence; from the biggest piles horded by the rich to the last $5.00 in the back pocket of a homeless person. Now we gather paper and ink and print $1000.00 bills (electronically of course). Where did the value of the "new" dollars come from. It comes from devaluing EVERY dollar in our existing pile.

    So our homeless person goes to McDonalds and hands over his $5.00 and receives a big mack value meal and eats for a day. Now enter QE3, money is printed, the dollars in his pocket are devalued, and he hands over another $5.00 to Mc Donalds and says, "where is my big mack value meal?!?!The cashier say's,"sorry sir, they are now $6.00." Inflation hurts the poor and middle class the most.

    Most of My economic theory I learned by listening to old lectures and discussions put out by PBS. :)
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Dialogue Wrote: Let's run the Math.

    Current annual Military Budget is $718 Billion. This includes the added cost of Iraq and Afghanistan. /2 = $359 Billion

    Current Unfunded Liabilities $62 Trillion
    Current Debt $17 Trillion

    Cutting the Pentagon budget in half will retire $79 trillion in 220 years. This does not include interest and assumes no new debt is added.

    Currently we are spending $1.3 trillion/year more than we are taking in.

    If we eliminate 100% of our military spending, we would be left with $582 billion/year (at current spending rates) added to the US Debt/liabilities.

    I respectfully disagree with your "very simple solution".

    We have to be responsible here. As Nick Gardner wrote, this is a serious problem.
    I guess you are another blinded army person; you are forgetting all the "hidden" budgets and a lot of "secret" budgets, as well as "money" which is used for one department and charged to another. The Pentagon budget is way larger than your numbers; how do you think our Korea border protection is charged? Probably under foreign aid. How much do you think one F35 cost? How much the new Navy ships? How much did all our wars cost? How about our meddling in all kind of countries with our drones; how much are the cost of US personel stationed somewhere and has to get paid? Out of what budget? What does the NSA cost? How much are we paying Russia for transporting our people to the space station? What does it cost to protect and update our nuclear arsenal? How much equipment did we loose in Iraq and Afghanistan? (which has to be replaced according to our useless generals?)
    No, I do not think you have a clue about expenditure (read waste) of this government.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Our government doesn't have a plan to pay off the debt. That's not by accident, because they have no intention of paying off the debt. Their plan is to borrow and spend more and more for as long as they can get away with it.

    How much is the debt now? Last I heard it was about $55,000 for every man woman and child and it is all getting heaped on the backs of our children and grand children. If their politicians are as bad as ours, they will just pass it on to THEIR children and grandchildren.

    Last year the US paid $220 Billion on the interest on the national debt, yes that's just the interest. For that $220 Billion we got nothing.

    President Obama was going to cut the deficit in half, instead he doubled it. We are in debt over $17 Trillion now and latest budget projections are a debt of $25.3 Trillion by 2023. Interest on that debt would be $763 Billion assuming interest rates average about 3 percent. If interest rates approach 5 percent, total interest on the national debt could exceed $1 Trillion a year. That's far more than we currently spend on defense.

    Not to fear, our Congress has a plan. Their motto is: I'VE GOT MINE, SCREW YOU. Their plan is working...for them.