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Old 13th October 2021, 10:03 AM   #41
crescent
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
- only about 15% of the US budget is discretionary, the remainder is mandated by preexisting law that in some cases dates back as far as the 1930's.
Greater than 30% is discretionary - but the majority of that is military.

Discussions of the federal debt and budget are often framed by omissions. They often leave out the non-discretionary funding and defense spending. They also often leave out payments on the current debt - bonds reach maturity at 20-30 years and mostly get paid out then, paid for in part via sales of new bonds.

So you end up looking at a pie chart that only shows non-military discretionary funding and conflates that with the total budget. Then they cite the proportion of the total budget paid for with deficit spending (say 15%-25%, not sure what the current figure is). That makes it sound like one can cut 15%-25% of the discretionary funding to end the deficit. The reality is nowhere close to that.

That said, we get a good "buy" with our borrowing habits. The U.S. credit is pretty solid, such that we are able to borrow enormous sums of money at interest rates barely above inflation. Hopefully the current drama will not change that.
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Old 13th October 2021, 10:05 AM   #42
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Again how big the budget is is an entirely different discussion from "The people who make the budget and the people who determine how much to spend act like that's two separate things and use it to make a fake political dog and pony show out of."

The Debt Limit would be stupid if the budget was 74 cents or a hundred gazillion dollars.
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Old 13th October 2021, 10:22 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Greater than 30% is discretionary - but the majority of that is military.

Discussions of the federal debt and budget are often framed by omissions. They often leave out the non-discretionary funding and defense spending. They also often leave out payments on the current debt - bonds reach maturity at 20-30 years and mostly get paid out then, paid for in part via sales of new bonds.

So you end up looking at a pie chart that only shows non-military discretionary funding and conflates that with the total budget. Then they cite the proportion of the total budget paid for with deficit spending (say 15%-25%, not sure what the current figure is). That makes it sound like one can cut 15%-25% of the discretionary funding to end the deficit. The reality is nowhere close to that.

That said, we get a good "buy" with our borrowing habits. The U.S. credit is pretty solid, such that we are able to borrow enormous sums of money at interest rates barely above inflation. Hopefully the current drama will not change that.
The reverse is also a problem....people act like non discretionary means Congress doesn't have discretion. They can absolutely ignore it
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Old 13th October 2021, 10:35 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
?

What are you talking about? I wouldn't support that strategy either.
He is talking about your incredibly asinine budget plan of yours that you posted before you went to your early lunch.

If such a plan were actually implemented, then it would destroy the American economy, and probably a good bit of the world economy along it.
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Old 13th October 2021, 11:39 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
He is talking about your incredibly asinine budget plan of yours that you posted before you went to your early lunch.

If such a plan were actually implemented, then it would destroy the American economy, and probably a good bit of the world economy along it.
Cue "And now here comes Bob to tell us what that's actually a good thing because it's a pure version of a totally other philosophy..."
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Old 13th October 2021, 11:43 AM   #46
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The entire point of the debt ceiling is to create a soap box for austerity hawks to use to whine about spending. It serves no purpose other than to create crisis and opportunity for headlines that politicians can use to prove their ideological purity to ultra conservative fiscal policy cranks.

It is also useful as a meta conversation about "debt" generally, rather than about specific spending items that they undoubtedly support. They keep their mouths shut while slashing taxes on the rich or funding their pet projects, but have the opportunity to periodically grandstand and pretend they care about balancing the books without being specific.
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Old 13th October 2021, 11:47 AM   #47
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That and the whole idea of government shutdown sells well to the "You deserve it as punishment for depending on the government too much" types.
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Old 13th October 2021, 11:58 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Cue "And now here comes Bob to tell us what that's actually a good thing because it's a pure version of a totally other philosophy..."
Deficit spending is sensible. I was just demonstrating that the question of balanced budgets has a trivially easy answer.
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Old 13th October 2021, 12:41 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Deficit spending is sensible. I was just demonstrating that the question of balanced budgets has a trivially easy answer.
Well then, since you now admitting the obvious fact that your idea is as worthless as it is trivial, then hopefully it is now equally obvious that you will not be able to fix the federal budget deficit problem in one day (as you so proudly claimed that you could).
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Old 13th October 2021, 12:54 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
Well then, since you now admitting the obvious fact that your idea is as worthless as it is trivial, then hopefully it is now equally obvious that you will not be able to fix the federal budget deficit problem in one day (as you so proudly claimed that you could).
I said fix it and balance it and that is what I did. It is fixed. I didn't promise a beneficial or good outcome.
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Old 13th October 2021, 01:24 PM   #51
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hey, I could solve the middle east too. everyone just stop fighting.

going to my early lunch
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Old 13th October 2021, 01:28 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I said fix it and balance it and that is what I did. It is fixed. I didn't promise a beneficial or good outcome.
Hey genius! Here is just what you said about fixing the federal budget deficit.

Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I didn't mean my budget....I can fix the federal budget and balance it in about a day. it's easy.
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Old 13th October 2021, 01:30 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
hey, I could solve the middle east too. everyone just stop fighting.

going to my early lunch
Wow!

That sure does sound like the type of incredibly absurd claim that some other poster may make.
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Old 13th October 2021, 01:31 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
hey, I could solve the middle east too. everyone just stop fighting.

going to my early lunch
The sad part is you just literally described the entire concept of pacifism without over simplifying it.
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Old 13th October 2021, 03:14 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
Hey genius! Here is just what you said about fixing the federal budget deficit.
Which my proposal does.
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Old 13th October 2021, 05:04 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Which my proposal does.
I expected as much ...

So now you are calling it a "proposal" when you originally called it "[an easy] fix".
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Old 13th October 2021, 05:26 PM   #57
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Cue the "I'm not trying to convince anyone..." routine.
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Old 13th October 2021, 06:28 PM   #58
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It has no meaning. Democrats approved a raise even thought the GOP had just given a huge gift to the rich.

Republicans always resist raising the debt ceiling WHEN the president is a democrat. The voters are too stupid to figure out who spent the money. So the GOP voters think the Democrats did.

Anything else?
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Old 13th October 2021, 08:32 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
I expected as much ...

So now you are calling it a "proposal" when you originally called it "[an easy] fix".
I don't know what else you would call the thing I'm saying is an easy fix other than the proposal on how to fix it.
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Old 13th October 2021, 08:54 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Cue the "I'm not trying to convince anyone..." routine.
The whole point it is an awful way to balance the budget. But trivial solutions often are.
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Old 13th October 2021, 09:54 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
For the first two, I simply don't care. One just has to keep cutting if there is lower revenue. down to zero if necessary.
When you go into a store and something costs $100 do you leave $90 and take it anyway because you "simply don't care" that it costs $100?

So you would default on your obligations because you "simply don't care". In the real world this is purist stupidity because the harm caused by debt is vastly smaller than the harm caused by defaulting on your debt.

Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post

For your third, preexisting law can't limit future budgets.
Wrong. The law requires the money be spent and does not require it to be part of the budget and this requires no appropriation. The money must be spent whether it's allotted in the budget or not. Congress could repeal the law but that would be outside the budget process. In other cases (usually military spending) there are multi-year appropriations already signed off by congress as part of the budget

Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
The reverse is also a problem....people act like non discretionary means Congress doesn't have discretion. They can absolutely ignore it
If they "ignore it" the president has to spend the money as the existing law dictates. If this can't be done due to the debt limit the US is in default.
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Old 13th October 2021, 09:59 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
I have noticed recently that there's been a bit of a 'discussion' about this, somewhere in DC.



As a non-American living here, I get puzzled by these antics.



If all that happens when the limit is approaching all you do is raise it, then what's the point of having it in the first place?
Virtue signalling and an excuse to cause political chaos.
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Old 13th October 2021, 10:03 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Greater than 30% is discretionary - but the majority of that is military.
Military spending has a significant amount of multi-year appropriations. While it's technically still discretionary, these are not part of the yearly budget process as the spending has already been signed off on and it's just a matter of paying for the hardware arriving that year. If congress tried to stiff the suppliers it would just get sued and have to pay the many anyway because the contract is already in place.
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Old 13th October 2021, 10:12 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
When you go into a store and something costs $100 do you leave $90 and take it anyway because you "simply don't care" that it costs $100?

So you would default on your obligations because you "simply don't care". In the real world this is purist stupidity because the harm caused by debt is vastly smaller than the harm caused by defaulting on your debt.



Wrong. The law requires the money be spent and does not require it to be part of the budget and this requires no appropriation. The money must be spent whether it's allotted in the budget or not. Congress could repeal the law but that would be outside the budget process. In other cases (usually military spending) there are multi-year appropriations already signed off by congress as part of the budget
I don't care because that is not the exercise.

Congress does not have to repeal laws. Congress passing new legislation that conflicts with old law automatically updates the law. If Congress passes a budget giving explicit limits on non discretionary spending, then it overrides previous requirements. They do not have to limit themselves to a separate legislative act to address it.
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Old 13th October 2021, 10:50 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I don't care because that is not the exercise.
It's exactly the exercise. Budgets add up how much things cost, you can't just fudge the numbers and write in a different number and say you've balanced the budget.

Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If Congress passes a budget giving explicit limits on non discretionary spending, then it overrides previous requirements.
Such an order isn't allowed for in the budget process.

If were to order the President not to honor the contracts and commitments of the US government that's what the President would be forced to do, but this wouldn't make those commitments go away so the US government would still legally owe that money. What Congress would have to do is make a law revoking those commitments, and in some cases even that may be unconstitutional. (Eg if you sold something to the US government, the courts would almost certainly not allow Congress made a law saying the US doesn't owe you the money it promised to pay)
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Old 14th October 2021, 04:21 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I don't know what else you would call the thing I'm saying is an easy fix other than the proposal on how to fix it.
My problem is that I am just going by what you so proudly claimed before you went to your early lunch where you flat-out said that you could easily fix the federal budget deficit problem.

And now you that you have been called out on how terribly wrong you were to make such a foolish claim, you are now trying to save your pride by retroactively calling your original claim to be nothing more than a proposal.
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Old 14th October 2021, 05:14 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
My problem is that I am just going by what you so proudly claimed before you went to your early lunch where you flat-out said that you could easily fix the federal budget deficit problem.

And now you that you have been called out on how terribly wrong you were to make such a foolish claim, you are now trying to save your pride by retroactively calling your original claim to be nothing more than a proposal.
If I tell you I could easily fix your sink, and I tell you what I would do, that is a proposal.

But if you don't like the word proposal, fine. I won't use it. I fixed the budget. I'm done.

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Old 14th October 2021, 05:15 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I don't know what else you would call the thing I'm saying is an easy fix other than the proposal on how to fix it.
If a group of non-specialists were sitting around having an informed discussion on how to get to Mars, and a six-year-old child were to pop in and proclaim "Easy! I'd just fly there!"- well. You could, I suppose, charitably call that a "proposal," but is it really any sort of meaningful one? You could assume that at least the child has some potential to fill in the gaps in his methodology for problem-solving, but if an adult were to say the same thing, surely the only necessary response would be a kind of Bill Belichick snort.
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Old 14th October 2021, 05:23 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
.



Such an order isn't allowed for in the budget process.
Congress regularly messes with social security inside consolidated appropriations. Here was a time they altered the program to waive a waiting period in the same appropriation act that changes the pay of appeals judges.

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001

https://www.ssa.gov/legislation/legi...in_012201.html
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Old 14th October 2021, 05:33 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by turingtest View Post
If a group of non-specialists were sitting around having an informed discussion on how to get to Mars, and a six-year-old child were to pop in and proclaim "Easy! I'd just fly there!"- well. You could, I suppose, charitably call that a "proposal," but is it really any sort of meaningful one? You could assume that at least the child has some potential to fill in the gaps in his methodology for problem-solving, but if an adult were to say the same thing, surely the only necessary response would be a kind of Bill Belichick snort.
That is my point. While a scientist can't do what is requested, Congress is vested with the power to do the incredibly stupid thing described. They also don't have to be the party to figure it out. If they didn't spend enough money to keep something going, no court has the power to force them to legislate differently.
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Old 14th October 2021, 05:44 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
That is my point. While a scientist can't do what is requested, Congress is vested with the power to do the incredibly stupid thing described. They also don't have to be the party to figure it out. If they didn't spend enough money to keep something going, no court has the power to force them to legislate differently.
Uh huh.
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Old 14th October 2021, 05:47 AM   #72
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This is like asking a depressed person if they ever just thought about not being depressed.
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Old 14th October 2021, 05:51 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
This is like asking a depressed person if they ever just thought about not being depressed.
Again, that is something someone can't do. Congress can do what I said, it accomplishes what it says, but is really bad..

it's more like telling a depressed person to commit suicide.
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Old 14th October 2021, 05:56 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If I tell you I could easily fix your sink, and I tell you what I would do, that is a proposal.

But if you don't like the word proposal, fine. I won't use it. I fixed the budget. I'm done.
Excellent!

Once again, you have validated your self-assessment.
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Old 14th October 2021, 06:06 AM   #75
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This is something we see a lot from people who walk into a conversation way above their heads and want to act smart, this idea that the real problem is all the people close to the problem are "overthinking it" and need some outsider to "cut to the chase" with "cut to the chase" usually meaning "Define the solution as just 'stop doing the problem' as if that never occurred to anyone.

Not knowing what you are talking about is not the same thing as having some laser guided focus other people lack.

And again this is why I push back on the whole "Oh but if I ran my household/small business finances like that blah blah blah" way of looking at this problem.
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Old 14th October 2021, 06:13 AM   #76
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
This is something we see a lot from people who walk into a conversation way above their heads and want to act smart, this idea that the real problem is all the people close to the problem are "overthinking it" and need some outsider to "cut to the chase" with "cut to the chase" usually meaning "Define the solution as just 'stop doing the problem' as if that never occurred to anyone.

Not knowing what you are talking about is not the same thing as having some laser guided focus other people lack.

And again this is why I push back on the whole "Oh but if I ran my household/small business finances like that blah blah blah" way of looking at this problem.
My favorite version of that was the empty chair that was supposed to represent the American people.
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Old 14th October 2021, 06:26 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If I tell you I could easily fix your sink, and I tell you what I would do, that is a proposal.

But if you don't like the word proposal, fine. I won't use it. I fixed the budget. I'm done.
It’s more like if you said you could easily fix my sink but the fix was to kill my dog and stuff it’s corpse down the drain, and then being confused why everyone thinks your fix isn’t a fix at all and then arguing how you’re technically right even though you too agree it’s a terrible idea and then everyone is wondering why you even bothered to bring it up.
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Old 14th October 2021, 06:29 AM   #78
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
It’s more like if you said you could easily fix my sink but the fix was to kill my dog and stuff it’s corpse down the drain, and then being confused why everyone thinks your fix isn’t a fix at all and then arguing how you’re technically right even though you too agree it’s a terrible idea and then everyone is wondering why you even bothered to bring it up.
That sounds like an incredibly fun and interesting conversation and of course you bring that up.
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Old 14th October 2021, 06:49 AM   #79
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Old 14th October 2021, 05:47 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And again this is why I push back on the whole "Oh but if I ran my household/small business finances like that blah blah blah" way of looking at this problem.
You have yet to explain why household finances are radically different to government finances.
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