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Old 20th March 2017, 10:56 AM   #161
Ziggurat
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Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
That would be splendid if it were relevant.

How does our readiness stack up against potential adversaries? Shouldn't that be the measuring stick?
No. That's a stupid standard. The relevant measuring stick is what readiness we need to be able to respond the way we want to be able to.
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Old 20th March 2017, 11:02 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Still waiting for a defense of the NEA/NEH that isn't just an appeal to emotion or a simple statement to the effect that "we need it." Even if it could be argued that the arts are important (and I certainly don't disagree with that) I still don't see a cogent argument that federal funding is needed.
I replied to your comments about the woman from your hometown that she was not listed as receiving a grant so it's not possible to know why she was. You never went any further.

Traditionally these grants go to people in the arts who have projects they can't get funded. The aim is to further the development of American culture. The rationale used to be, the arts are important and the richest nation on earth should be able to afford a tiny bit of support for the arts and culture.

Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Let's look at NEH too, then. They don't fund libraries. They might fund certain collections in libraries but it's not like those collections would disappear if there was no NEH...If it isn't there, there are other sources. If a particular library collection, artwork, etc is valuable, there will be patrons to support it. Federal funding is not necessary to support the arts...
Where's the evidence for this^ Why do you get to make claims without evidence?
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Old 20th March 2017, 11:02 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No. That's a stupid standard. The relevant measuring stick is what readiness we need to be able to respond the way we want to be able to.
Respond to potential adversaries.

Is this really difficult?

Do you need more force to invade North Korea, or Greenland?

Russia or Chile?

Do we as a country want to be able to militarily take out every country, as opposed to those who are actually against us?
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Old 20th March 2017, 11:06 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Wait, I gave you a defense. Namely, providing resources to local museums/libraries to provide exhibits and services that they might not otherwise have the capacity to provide. I know you counter argued that those aren't necessary and that those institutions may have found the funding in other ways, but they might not have either. It remains a perfectly valid argument.
You have to establish why it's necessary to have those exhibits and services and further why federal funds are the best way to provide them.

As far as increased defense spending, I do think we need to give more to our veterans and as the global situation gets more unstable we do need to be better prepared. I don't think we necessarily have to spend more money to do those things though. I would greatly prefer that we eliminate superfluous spending like NEA/H AND cut spending on necessities resulting in a smaller budget overall.
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Old 20th March 2017, 11:11 AM   #165
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What does the National Endowment for the Humanities do? This is what they say they do:

Quote:
Because democracy demands wisdom, NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.

NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars. [Things like:]
  • Seven thousand books, 16 of which have won Pulitzer Prizes, and 20 of which have received the Bancroft Prize.
  • The Civil War, the landmark documentary by Ken Burns viewed by 38 million Americans
  • The Library of America editions of novels, essays, and poems celebrating America’s literary heritage
  • The United States Newspaper Project, which cataloged and microfilmed 63.3 million pages of historic newspapers, paved the way for the National Digital Newspaper Program and its digital repository, Chronicling America
  • Annual support for 56 states and territories to help support some 56,000 lectures, discussions, exhibitions and other programs each year.
Link to NEH website
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Old 20th March 2017, 11:12 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
The increases simply reverse some of the sequestration cuts. And we need it because our readiness has fallen behind because of those cuts.
Okay the increases reverse the sequestration cuts. That's a statement, where's your evidence?
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Old 20th March 2017, 11:32 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
You have to establish why it's necessary to have those exhibits and services and further why federal funds are the best way to provide them.
Well, that much, at least, is a subjective thing. Do we, as a nation, value arts, history, and literature? Do we, as a nation, feel a wide range of arts, history, and literature should be available across the country? We may agree or disagree about the merit of individual exhibits/programs, but that has little to do with the NEH/A's overall program.

Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
As far as increased defense spending, I do think we need to give more to our veterans
I very much agree with this part, but it is a different line-item from the greater military budget. It is about the only part of the Trump proposal that makes a lick of sense.

Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
and as the global situation gets more unstable we do need to be better prepared.
More unstable than what? More unstable than the Cold War? More unstable than during the Vietnam War? WWII?

What exactly are we preparing for? Is it helped or harmed by cuts in the State Department budget?

Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I don't think we necessarily have to spend more money to do those things though. I would greatly prefer that we eliminate superfluous spending like NEA/H AND cut spending on necessities resulting in a smaller budget overall.
I disagree that the NEA/H is particularly superfluous. Also, as I've pointed out before, NEA/H is a very tiny portion of the overall budget and does a great deal of good.

As someone who, very briefly, has done work on a largely useless military project, I'd rather see our cost cutting measures pointed in a more effective direction.


eta: Aw, man. I did not need to know that this wikipedia page existed.
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Old 20th March 2017, 11:42 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
Okay the increases reverse the sequestration cuts. That's a statement, where's your evidence?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...fense_spending
$670 billion in 2012.
$593 billion in 2014.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...-proposal.html
$512 billion baseline 2017.
$574 billion proposed 2018.

I've found slightly different numbers elsewhere, but the basics are always the same. The sequester was a significant cut to defense spending, this proposal recovers a lot (but not all) of that cut.
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Old 20th March 2017, 11:47 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
Respond to potential adversaries.
Yes. Meaning people we might potentially engaged in armed conflict with. Russia and North Korea are already adversaries in other respects, but we aren't shooting at each other right now, so they are not adversaries in the context of that sentence. A lot of people want to be prepared for the possibility of such armed conflict, but don't actually want armed conflict. The distinction really isn't hard to grasp, I don't know why it eludes you.
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Old 20th March 2017, 11:48 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
Do we as a country want to be able to militarily take out every country, as opposed to those who are actually against us?

If we don't have a military big enough to intimidate everyone, enemy or ally, then it's more difficult to boss them around and give them orders. We say "Do this", and they say "Yes Sir. Right away Sir.", whoever they are. If we're going to be the leader of the free world, we need to be strong enough to tell everyone what to do. Negotiation is for weaklings.
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Old 20th March 2017, 11:54 AM   #171
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I don't get why people are so opposed to any budget cuts. It seems that all that needs to be done is pointing to a single program and use that as the only talking point ie meals on wheels. If this is such an important program for voters, then the cut should not come from that program. Since it has been put forward that it is a block grant, and that the program is not directly targeted, why does it matter? The most important programs to voters should not be affected, so other programs will have to.

I like when people actually have to discuss waste. And actually have to make tough choices. Which programs are necessary? Which can be reduced? Are they effective to begin with? These conversations don't happen when funding remains steady or increases.

I think that the justification for the budget cuts need to be applied to the increase in military spending as well. It's put forward that school lunch aid has not had a quantifiable impact on grades. Fine. Show me a quantifiable impact on US security by increasing the budget by 50 billion. What specifically is the increase being used for and how does it help to strengthen the military in ways that are necessary. Sure, we can build more air craft carriers, but show me why we need them. And what impact they have. In the same way you expect other programs to do.

Trump has pointed to waste directly in military programs twice since taking office. Why should other programs be cut to inflate a budget that is already bloated and filled with waste? Keep or decrease the budget there the same as the others and have those same tough choices become necessities. If something is not necessary, it will never change.
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Old 20th March 2017, 12:38 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
Sure, we can build more air craft carriers, but show me why we need them. And what impact they have.
We need more aircraft carriers because other countries have (or might get) them. If we don't have more than everyone else we can't boss them around!

War with China is inevitable. They have more people, more manufacturing capacity, more potential allies than we do. We lost to them in the 1970's. If we are going to win this time we will need the strongest possible military.

But Trump wants to cut funding for military programs! It's madness...
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Old 20th March 2017, 01:33 PM   #173
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If the defense increase is from $512 billion in 2017 to $574 billion in 2018 that seems fairly reasonable. I would point out that, with a major reduction in forces deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan in earlier years the defense budget should have fallen. That's the proverbial 'peacetime dividend.'
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Old 20th March 2017, 03:20 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
It seems to me if you don't like the way a discussion is going you should try and push it in a different direction.

I'm fairly certain that's exactly what Ziggurat's been doing, if you catch my meaning.
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Old 20th March 2017, 03:21 PM   #175
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I still want to know where the military money is being spent before making any judgements on it.
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Old 20th March 2017, 03:22 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
If we don't have a military big enough to intimidate everyone, enemy or ally, then it's more difficult to boss them around and give them orders. We say "Do this", and they say "Yes Sir. Right away Sir.", whoever they are. If we're going to be the leader of the free world, we need to be strong enough to tell everyone what to do. Negotiation is for weaklings.
And this horrifies nobody more then the US Military, who have to work in the real world other then a alt right fantasy.
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Old 20th March 2017, 03:25 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I still want to know where the military money is being spent before making any judgements on it.
I would put my nickel down on a big juicy contract with '[Academi]'.

Betsy DeVos' brother is the founder and remains largest single shareowner.
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Old 20th March 2017, 03:33 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
The increases simply reverse some of the sequestration cuts. And we need it because our readiness has fallen behind because of those cuts.

Currently there's mileage in discussing 'America vs The Rest of the World' as a hypothetical.

Just how ready do you want to be?
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Old 20th March 2017, 03:55 PM   #179
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With a rsduction in overseas deployment and less actual fighting there should be a reduction in spending, you can't keep things on a war footing.
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Old 20th March 2017, 04:54 PM   #180
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This is from a Reuters news story of a few weeks ago (the situation may have changed):
Quote:
An official familiar with the [budget] proposal said Trump's request for the Pentagon included more money for shipbuilding, military aircraft and establishing "a more robust presence in key international waterways and choke points" such as the Strait of Hormuz and South China Sea.

Trump has said previously he would expand the Army to 540,000 active-duty troops from its current 480,000, increase the Marine Corps to 36 battalions from 23 – or as many as 10,000 more Marines – boost the Navy to 350 ships and submarines from 276, and raise the number of Air Force tactical aircraft to 1,200 from 1,100. Link
One of the ways Trump intends to get the money is by cutting State's $50 billion budget by as much as 30%. Not everyone, even military people, agree that is a good idea:
Quote:
More than 120 retired U.S. generals and admirals urged Congress on Monday [Feb. 27th] to fully fund U.S. diplomacy and foreign aid, saying such programs "are critical to keeping America safe."
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Old 20th March 2017, 07:48 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
The increases simply reverse some of the sequestration cuts. And we need it because our readiness has fallen behind because of those cuts.

Yes. We've fallen behind on battleships. Gotta make up the battleship gap.

And nuclear warheads.

We could probably only obliterate all life on Earth three or four times over, now.
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Old 20th March 2017, 07:54 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No. That's a stupid standard. The relevant measuring stick is what readiness we need to be able to respond the way we want to be able to.

You seem to be conflating "need" and "want". Just because someone in the MIC wants it doesn't mean we (the U.S.) need it.

How about explaining why we need more.

That's the metric conservatives want to use on anything they don't like in the budget.

Not just some amorphous "want".

Will the extra $50 billion really offer that much more military security for the country, or will it just buy some more planes that the Air Force/Army doesn't even want, or some more ships the Navy doesn't even want, but some manufacturers and Congresscritters do for reasons entirely unrelated to actual defense readiness?
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Old 20th March 2017, 07:57 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...fense_spending
$670 billion in 2012.
$593 billion in 2014.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...-proposal.html
$512 billion baseline 2017.
$574 billion proposed 2018.

I've found slightly different numbers elsewhere, but the basics are always the same. The sequester was a significant cut to defense spending, this proposal recovers a lot (but not all) of that cut.

Maybe we were spending too much already.

Just because there was a time when we spent more doesn't mean we have to spend more now.
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Old 20th March 2017, 08:05 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
I don't get why people are so opposed to any budget cuts. ....
Did the budget plan cut spending or just shift it?

Was it wise to trade the State Department strengths for more hardware?

Is it a lie to claim you care about the taxes the middle class pays when all the tax cuts are going to the very rich?
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Old 20th March 2017, 08:31 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
I wouldn't bet on it. I no longer think its possible for this country to get any less stupid.

Trump voters are the lowest of the low. The most retarded morons history has ever seen. All the pain and suffering they are about to experience due to their inept agenda against the black president and would-be woman president will be blamed on the black guy, and said to be much better than what the woman would do.

They'll vote in more republitards and re-elect Trump, regardless of the situation of the country.
There is a very, very, very easy way to prevent this. Currently just 37% of the country like Trump. The other 63%, every single one of them, man and woman, black, white, or in the middle, they can change things very easily. It's called using your feet to get to the voting booth for every single election between now and 2021 and voting Democrat. It's one thing to put on your crocheted pink pussy hat and marching in Washington and your local airport. Sure that gets the media's attention, but it doesn't change things. What changes things is getting off your butt and voting in elections. If those that dislike Trump and want change, act and vote, then there will be the largest swing that the US has ever seen and the Democrats would take massive control of the systems again, but they have to actually get out and vote instead of thinking marching, going to town halls and posting on Facebook will do the job. Get out there, stick your ballot in the box and do it for every single election you can regardless of how big or small it is.
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Old 20th March 2017, 09:37 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
With a rsduction in overseas deployment and less actual fighting there should be a reduction in spending, you can't keep things on a war footing.

Sometimes your buddies need a good war. You know, to keep the contracts coming in.

It worked for Dubya.

I won't be too surprised if we see one in our near future.
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Old 20th March 2017, 09:42 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Did the budget plan cut spending or just shift it?
Need clarification on what you mean exactly. If you are referring to the cuts to other departments being spent instead on the military, then it definitely is just a shifting of priorities for spending, not a reduction of spending. As I said in my post, I think the same criteria for lowering funding should be applied to military spending as well.

If you mean shifting the burden onto the states, again I would agree for certain programs as well. Being from NJ, I guess it would be far too optimistic of me to expect whatever savings on the federal side wouldn't be offset by an increase in costs for me at the state level. I do feel people have more control on the local and state level than on the national level, although it seems people are unwillingly to put in the work to make changes there as well.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Was it wise to trade the State Department strengths for more hardware?
No, but there is definitely cuts to be made there. I don't take the drastic numbers seriously since they will never reach the levels laid out, but like I said earlier I feel inspection of what is necessary is important, and without an incentive to reduce waste, nothing ever changes.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Is it a lie to claim you care about the taxes the middle class pays when all the tax cuts are going to the very rich?
I don't think I've seen a politician in my life that didn't pay lip service to the middle class while doing little to ease the burden on them. And yea, it's ********.
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Old 20th March 2017, 09:54 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
....I don't think I've seen a politician in my life that didn't pay lip service to the middle class while doing little to ease the burden on them. And yea, it's ********.
Not just lip service, but a totally dishonest talking point, claiming they were weighing the single mother with two kid's side against the social support spending side. That's a big lie.
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Old 21st March 2017, 03:13 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
This is so charmingly naive.
Being cynical is naive now?
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Old 21st March 2017, 05:46 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Did the budget plan cut spending or just shift it?

Was it wise to trade the State Department strengths for more hardware?

Is it a lie to claim you care about the taxes the middle class pays when all the tax cuts are going to the very rich?
I don't think "all going to the very rich" is a true statement.
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Old 21st March 2017, 06:34 AM   #191
rwguinn
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We have to be a bit sceptical about budget "cuts".
All too often, a reduction in a proposed budget increase is referred to as a "budget cut"
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Old 21st March 2017, 06:38 AM   #192
pgwenthold
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Originally Posted by rwguinn View Post
We have to be a bit sceptical about budget "cuts".
All too often, a reduction in a proposed budget increase is referred to as a "budget cut"
Yep, this is the new republican claim.

Then again, another example of a "budget cut" involves cutting off their money.

We know the difference.
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Old 21st March 2017, 06:53 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
You seem to be conflating "need" and "want". Just because someone in the MIC wants it doesn't mean we (the U.S.) need it.

How about explaining why we need more.
You are very confused. First off, I'm quite aware of the difference between need and want. Second, and more importantly, you clearly missed the entire point of that post. The point was not to prove that we need any particular level of spending. The point was that the standard proposed by another poster for how to evaluate spending was wrong. Within the standard that I proposed, there is still plenty of room for differences of opinion. If two people want us to be able to respond differently, then the corresponding spending need to satisfy that want will be different as well. That post took no position on what the appropriate response capabilities should be, and thus no position on the appropriate spending levels.

In other posts about spending levels, I did not set out to prove that we needed to spend what Trump is proposing. I merely observed that his proposed spending level is not out of line with previous pre-sequester levels, and thus does not represent any sort of grand departure from all previous policy. You may still disagree with it, but be honest about what you're disagreeing with and why.
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Old 21st March 2017, 07:02 AM   #194
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I didn't read the entire thread, so apologies if this point was made earlier, but the last two pages are treating this budget and the listed cuts as some form of necessary balancing. That is not what his happening.

This budget is a massive tax cut. It will, along with the ACA clustershart, explode the deficit in a stunning way. It is totally ridiculous to discuss the merits of NEH or Meals on Wheels as though the intent of this bill is to balance the budget.

We are just repeating on the national scale what happened in Kansas. It's all based on the empirically false notion that tax cuts for the wealthy will result in economic growth and "pay for themselves." I mean hell, don't even look at Kansas. This is exactly what Bush did save for it being even more ridiculous. And let's recall what Bush budgets did for our debt and deficit:



Massive military spending + Massive tax cut = Massive Deficit. Anyone pretending that we can't feed the elderly because it costs too much while defending this budget is either lying or .... well, you know.

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Old 21st March 2017, 07:10 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
In other posts about spending levels, I did not set out to prove that we needed to spend what Trump is proposing. I merely observed that his proposed spending level is not out of line with previous pre-sequester levels, and thus does not represent any sort of grand departure from all previous policy. You may still disagree with it, but be honest about what you're disagreeing with and why.
You're right, the "grand departure" issue is a canard. The question is whether the amount proposed makes sense. Our previous levels of military spending were absurd and should be decreasing as we reduce our commitments overseas (Or increase them!? - depending on whether "Isolation Trump" or "Ass-Kick the World Trump" is holding the psychological conch).

This whole budget is a barely coherent farce. It would be one thing to demand an increase in military spending. It's another to do so while dramatically slashing the nation's revenue. If it's that important, tax levels should support it in some manner that generates sustainable deficits. That's not what will be happening here, even if every cent of discretionary domestic spending is cut.

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Old 21st March 2017, 07:13 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by TraneWreck View Post
You're right, the "grand departure" issue is a canard. The question is whether the amount proposed makes sense. Our previous levels of military spending were absurd and should be decreasing as we reduce our commitments overseas (Or increase them!? - depending on whether "Isolation Trump" or "Ass-Kick the World Trump" is holding the psychological conch).

This whole budget is a barely coherent farce. It would be one thing to demand an increase in military spending. It's another to do so while dramatically slashing the nation's revenue. If it's that important, tax levels should support it in some manner than generates sustainable deficits. That's not what will be happening here, even if every cent of discretionary domestic spending is cut.
Only if you think that the larger military spending was really the end desired. It is the excuse to destroy other government agencies.
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Old 21st March 2017, 07:20 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Only if you think that the larger military spending was really the end desired. It is the excuse to destroy other government agencies.
I mostly agree. I do think they want increased military spending in its own right. It is just a welfare program for corrupt defense contractors. Like charter schools and the endless list of private-public partnerships advanced by the right, it's another way to siphon tax dollars into people's pockets.

But you're ultimately right. This is what happened to Kansas - Slash taxes based on the comically false principle that it will stimulate the economy (Brownback's "shot of adrenaline"). When this fails and the deficit explodes, say over and over again, "we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem," then slash spending.

Kansans woke up one morning and realized that the schools were going to cancel an entire year - this is not hyperbole. Then they voted all the tea-people and glibertarians out. Both a repeal of the tax cuts and approval of the ACA's Medicaid expansion have passed with huge (but not veto-proof) majorities in the last legislative session. It's sad that we have to stare down the abyss before realizing how ridiculous all of this is.

I'm not sure what the federal equivalent to public schools not opening is, but it looks like we'll have to hit that point.
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Old 21st March 2017, 09:28 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Yep, this is the new republican claim.

Then again, another example of a "budget cut" involves cutting off their money.

We know the difference.
It's been that way since at least the 1960's..
You seem to have mistaken me for a Tea Party fan
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Old 21st March 2017, 09:32 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by rwguinn View Post
It's been that way since at least the 1960's..
You seem to have mistaken me for a Tea Party fan
If it quacks like a duck...
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Old 21st March 2017, 11:20 AM   #200
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Won't someone think of the military?
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