T Nation

Time to REALLY Cut Spending



"Standard & Poor's threatened to downgrade the United States' prized AAA credit rating on Monday unless the Obama administration and Congress find a way to slash the yawning federal budget deficit within two years."

How this isn't blowing up on this here forum, I don't even know.


I have all but given up. When everybody has their sacred cow, and all of them get put on the exempt list, no real spending ever gets cut.

I already know I won't have social security or medicare when I am old. I wish politicians would grow the fuck up and face the problem instead of cowering.


1.5 TRILLION a year deficit.

Unreal how Congress is STILL resisting spending cuts. "We will just vote to increase the deficit"

Holy Jeebus.


They can go fuck themselves. They are the same people who, when a gov't shutdown was looming, cut military salaries and told them they still had to go deploy and get shot up without getting paid, all while never taking a pay cut for themselves, the lazy selfish conniving motherfuckers. I had friends who didn't get paychecks before they left for the sandbox.



The same people that will not use the health care they passed, continue to vote themselves raises and only work 28 weeks a year.

Tough gig.


This kind of news is surrreal. But neither party is serious about tackling the problem. Paul Ryan's budget proposal is serious enough in places, but it tippie-toes past old age entitlements while gutting other federal priorities that don't need that kind fo gutting (i.e., environmental issues). The Democratic counter-proposal (if it is one) is worse by magnitudes.

Here's the estimable Robert Samuelson saying it perfectly:

But it also matters how we do this. By policy and procrastination, both Democrats and Republicans would largely exempt today's elderly from changes and shift the burden to workers and the young. That's not "liberal" or "conservative." It's expedient -- and bad for America's future. It suggests the young will pay even higher taxes and receive even fewer public services. It will make raising a family harder and possibly deter millions from doing so. It may endanger America's security by shortsighted military cutbacks.


What everyone should be asking is why hasn't the MSLM been focused on this? Oh that's right they are not allowed to say anything that might make Obama look bad.


That, to the letter, is exactly what's going on in the UK as well


And I really don't get it. Not fifty years ago, it was an article of faith that society had a non-negotiable duty to hand to the next generation a better life than than the previous one had. This concept was so elemental, there was simply no debate over it.

Now, we have completely turned this concept on its head. Now, there is a near pathological obsession to vote ourselves as many goodies as we can right now and push the bill off the next generation. We don't live within our means, and think our children are obligated to pick up the tab on our consumption.

In my view, it's a downright breach of the covenant of society. And in the US, both parties are guilty of making things worse. Democrats have been worse on balance (although a tiny segment of Democrats, the Blue Dogs, have been pushing for balanced budgets, PAYGO principles, etc. well before the Republicans suddenly got religion on fiscal responsibility), but both parties have been captured by the policy of present gluttony.


What's interesting is US gov't bonds went up not down after S&P's statement came out...


No biggie. Just raise the debt ceiling. I wouldn't be concerned either if I could set my own credit limit and defer payments until I feel like it.


Good post. There's also the politicians who dont want to play the bad guy and lose votes.

Personally I think we should move back to the extended family structure, where the elderly aren't in need of supporting themselves so much.


See......the Tea Party is good for that........right?


"The threat of a downgrade raises the stakes in the struggle between President Obama's Democratic administration and his Republican opponents in the House to get control over a nearly $1.4 trillion budget deficit and $14.27 trillion debt burden."

What is the difference between deficit and debt burden?


Deficit is (Expenses-Revenues) for the current term. If someone plans to earn $60k this year and spend $80k they have a deficit of $20k.

Debt burden is the total amount of debt.


Ah, ok, thank you.


Yeah, this 2 party system is not going to cut spending.

Paul Ryans plan still adds like 9 trillion over the next 10 years...YAY.

They outright rejected Rand Pauls budget which balanced it in 5 years with a 19 billion dollar surplus.

Until you get rid of the bases over seas and admit to the elderly that there is no money for SS and Medicare, admit that only a laissez-fare market works for the long term you will never see this country do anything but hyperinflate.

I've only been saying this since 2009 that they would eventually cut our credit rating, and while it is true that US bonds did well today that is just people betting that congress will make the cuts, but if the government makes the cuts they kill this phoney "recovery" and we have to go through 2 years of hell before the economy rebounds, fat chance Obama lets this happen when the worst will be in his re-election year.


I personally think US presidents need longer in office, or at least some limit on the amount candidates can raise. It's ridiculous Obama is already sending out videos about re-election in 18 months, as whatever he does now will be with one eye on that election

Thunderbolt I entirely agree with you. The government here are screwing over the youth to give the baby-boomers and the subsequent generation some freebies like it's no tomorrow. It's just so pathologically wrong I can't describe it


Social Security - as I recall, can't look it up at the moment - originally established an eligibility for benefits age that tracked right on top of the mortality rate at the time (I think). Thus, SS was never meant to be an old age "pension" for perhaps twenty years of retired living. It was designed - originally - to be used as a "net" of last resort, not a "hammock" of first resort.

So, step one is to raise the age at which older citizens can collect benefits. Period. This is within the exact spirit of FDR's Social Security, so there is nothing peculiar or radical about it.

Also, means-test it. It was originally a form of social insurance - make it be exactly that. Just like you don't use health insurance if you aren't sick, there's no need to spend social insurance money on someone who doesn't need it. It's insurance - treat it as such.

And, put it back in a trust fund.

Third, and this also invokes another topic - get the Federal Reserve out of the business of trying to achieve "full employment". We always say we want responsible citizens to forego consumption and start socking away money over their working careers for retirement. And yet, we penalize saving so much through reckless inflationary monetary policy...and then we force these earnest, responsible savers into investing their savings just to kepp pace with inflation. Nothing wrong with investing, but it is no substitute for saving a nest egg, and so we need to reward the very behavior that would take pressure off of Social Security.

I don't care if there is a D or R (or anything else) beside his/her name - the first person to pick up the mantle of true entitlement reform is going to get my attention and probably my vote.


They try to do that, but they wont succeed.

We will see tax revolts before we see the young shoulder this crushing burden.