Why Is the Republican Field So Extreme? (Read 1977 times)


Feeling the growl again

    We Need a Second Party

     

    I respect that author and he makes some valid points.  However, one may argue that BOTH parties need to go back to the pile.  A party putting forth a >$900 billion deficit for next year, with no end in sight to deficits of that magnitude -- and only that small because it assumes cuts and revenues which are not currently law -- is hardly any closer to reality about what needs to be done to control spending.  

     

    Friedman himself gives a laundry list of spending to be done, but scant little advice about how to really save money.  "Trimming" entitlements but not "cutting" them?  What does that even mean?  Given the enormous magnitude of the coming expense, "trimming" is not going to cut it.  I continue to get the distinct impression that the Democrats think that the Buffett rule or some other magical tax reform is going to find a huge pile of money which can be appropriated without any negative impact on the economy.

    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

     


    Interval Junkie --Nobby

      Still waiting for the Socially Liberal and Fiscally Conservative (but not anti-govt) party to show up.

      2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

      Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!


      Feeling the growl again

        Still waiting for the Socially Liberal and Fiscally Conservative (but not anti-govt) party to show up.

         

        'Cause matter and anti-matter coexist in harmony all the time.  Wink

        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

         


        Prince of Fatness

          Semi-retired.


          Interval Junkie --Nobby

            Goes back to a lunch-time question we had floating around: "Name a govt social program that you or your family directly benefit from, that you'd give up  to lower the nat debt/reduce taxes."  

            2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

            Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!

              Goes back to a lunch-time question we had floating around: "Name a govt social program that you or your family directly benefit from, that you'd give up  to lower the nat debt/reduce taxes."  

              My parents exist on their Social Security (old-age) benefits and my dad's pension.  Cut Social Security and they come live with me.  The hell with that.

              “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman


              Feeling the growl again

                Goes back to a lunch-time question we had floating around: "Name a govt social program that you or your family directly benefit from, that you'd give up  to lower the nat debt/reduce taxes."  

                 

                Well there's the rub.  Of course the majority of people, if they are getting more out of the system than they are putting in, will not want to give anything up.  That's human nature, and why we need gov't officials not out for personal gain...or just being reelected as career politicians...and willing to make the tough choices to do what is right for the country even when it is not popular.

                 

                Personally, I'd say establish a cap on retirement income/assets beyond which you do not get Social Security back, and a similar cap where you need to buy your own health insurance (no Medicare).  This would likely impact me.  How is SS a safety net for a retired millionaire?

                 

                This is part of the insidious evil nature of entitlements.  I believe that most people should be personally responsible for their own retirement planning.  However, realistically, once SS takes 6% of your income (more if you are self-employed) how much does the Average Joe have left to save for themselves?  The gov't takes it and gives a crappy return (really none) for growth.  So in their effort to "guarantee a safety net" the effectively make a lot of people dependent on them who otherwise could save for themselves.

                 

                Some might say that if the gov't did not do this a lot of people would not save and would have nothing.  I'm fine with this.  A safety net is a noble goal and all, and I'm not for total abolishment and throwing people out on the street, but the current system effectively forces people to be dependent on the government when a lot of them could do better if left to do it on their own.  It also removes incentives for people to be responsible for themselves.

                 

                To CliveF's comment....I understand your sentiment, I really do...but to play devil's advocate, you realize that this is exactly what we used to do?  This is what many other cultures still do, take care of their parents?  The younger generation took care of the older one.  Now we pay a huge premium for the government to try and take care of our parents for us.  I'm not entirely sure this is the way it should be.

                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                 

                  I think "forcing" might be stating it a bit too strongly.  People waste more than 6% of their net income -- it ain't the FICA bite that's keeping the Average Joe from saving for his retirement.

                   

                  I'd be fine with a trimming back the menu of things for which one can get SSA payouts.  My HS girlfriend's father died her senior year.  She got benefits for college.  She also had a full ride, but that didn't reduce the benefits by a penny.  Personally, I'd rather see people buy life insurance, which (IMO) is exactly how parents should be planning to provide for those they might leave behind.

                   

                  And yes, I know that multi-generation households is how it used to be.  But the world -- or the US, at least -- was different back then.  The advice I got from someone two generations older ("one-fourth of take-home for housing, one-fourth for bills (all of them), one-fourth into savings, and one-fourth to have fun with") is ridiculously unattainable for most people today.  And if my parents lived with us with only my dad's pension income, the cost of caring for them would eat up anything I put away each month for my own family's retirement and my son's college education.  But then, my parents and their parents never even saved for it for their kids -- my sibs and I are the first generation in our family to earn college degrees.  (I'd wonder aloud at the connection, but then Jeff would post that infographic again.)

                  “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman


                  Feeling the growl again

                    I think "forcing" might be stating it a bit too strongly.  People waste more than 6% of their net income -- it ain't the FICA bite that's keeping the Average Joe from saving for his retirement.

                     

                      And if my parents lived with us with only my dad's pension income, the cost of caring for them would eat up anything I put away each month for my own family's retirement and my son's college education. 

                     

                    We're admitted dealing with completely unsupported conjecture at this point...but I have a hard time agreeing to your first point above because you go on and make the second...without numbers it seems like a contradiction.

                     

                    This just all goes back to, you're not going to find things that are popular to cut.  Look at Greece, the country is begging for loans just to avoid imminent default yet people are rioting in the streets over the cuts.  Leadership is doing what is needed even if it is unpopular.

                     

                    You make a good point about changing personal finance cost structure over the last few generations.  Even is you held lifestyle even, it's just more expensive to live these days (more education --and cost -- to get the same type of job etc).

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     

                      This just all goes back to, you're not going to find things that are popular to cut.

                      On this, we can completely agree.

                       

                      I was much more the "slash the entitlements!" guy when I was younger.  Then I had to use a service or two.  Then I had a kid and realized there was a future beyond my own time here.  Then my folks got old, my mother became disabled, and I saw how relatively fragile their situation became.  (FWIW, my folks most definitely were not the conspicuous consumers.  Same house for decades, simple cars, no "label" clothing, lots of "stay-cations".  In fact, they never had more than one TV in the house until my mother became disabled.  (We kids bought their current TV as a gift, and they've never had a flat-screen.)  My parents can't be the only ones out there having not made tons of bad choices in life to get to the point where they're leaning on Social Security.  So I have a tough time taking the knife out there.

                       

                      Not an easy problem to solve. (Thank you, Capt. Obvious!)

                      “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                        Of the Big Three spending buckets, social security is probably the easiest to fix.   With minor tweaks spread over years you could make the program solvent--turn it back into a safety net to keep elderly people out of poverty rather than a lifestyle-preserving entitlement, all without Clive's parents having to move in with him.

                         

                        Now if spaniel and Clive can come to an agreement on defense and medicare spending while raising revenues, I'll feel a little more optimistic about our chances of eliminating the deficit and someday paying down our debt.

                        Runners run.


                        Feeling the growl again

                          Of the Big Three spending buckets, social security is probably the easiest to fix.   With minor tweaks spread over years you could make the program solvent--turn it back into a safety net to keep elderly people out of poverty rather than a lifestyle-preserving entitlement, all without Clive's parents having to move in with him.

                           

                          Now if spaniel and Clive can come to an agreement on defense and medicare spending while raising revenues, I'll feel a little more optimistic about our chances of eliminating the deficit and someday paying down our debt.

                           

                          Excellent first paragraph, you framed my thoughts better than I did.

                           

                          One of the "tweaks" most commonly thrown about is raising the retirement age.  I'm not sure how waiting until people die to let them be eligible provides a safety net.  I think a lot of people....especially those less well-off most likely to end up needing a safety net....have jobs they cannot physically do until they are 70+.  Now that WalMart is getting rid of greeters, how are they supposed to support themselves in a "donut hole" between when they can no longer perform the job that kept them employed when they were young enough to do it, and SS kicking in?  Seems like this would destroy the whole purpose of the program.

                           

                          I'd rather not get it back if I don't need it than watch people like my parents...who sound much like Clive's...need it but not get it or not get it until too late.

                           

                          Defense is easier.  Cut it.  Stop pretending this is WWII and we need to be able to occupy and hold two foreign countries simultaneously.  We were in Iraq nearly a decade and it may still fail.  We've been in Afghanistan a decade and there is no end in sight where we can say we did what we set out to do there.  It takes large amounts of troops, gear and money to occupy foreign countries.  Often more strategic resources can isolate a regime/country enough to neutralize a threat with far less investment (Libya, special forces efforts, etc).

                           

                          I don't have the energy to get into Medicare.

                          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                           


                          A Dance with Monkeys

                            I'm not sure how waiting until people die to let them be eligible provides a safety net.  I think a lot of people....especially those less well-off most likely to end up needing a safety net....have jobs they cannot physically do until they are 70+.  Now that WalMart is getting rid of greeters, how are they supposed to support themselves in a "donut hole" between when they can no longer perform the job that kept them employed when they were young enough to do it, and SS kicking in?  Seems like this would destroy the whole purpose of the program.

                             

                            You dirty liberal.


                            Menace to Sobriety

                              Excellent first paragraph, you framed my thoughts better than I did.

                               

                              One of the "tweaks" most commonly thrown about is raising the retirement age. 

                               

                              What about removing the $106,800 income ceiling for SS taxes, or at least raising it?

                              Janie, today I quit my job. And then I told my boss to go f*** himself, and then I blackmailed him for almost sixty thousand dollars. Pass the asparagus.