Bowles-Simpson open thread Nov. 12, 2010 Dan Crawford | November 12, 2010 10:09 am Comments (36) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Bruce Krasting takes a swipe at mored than SS.
I have to go pour cement. Krasting is not usually worth reading, but i’ll check back after the pour.
http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/gordon-adams/2035/let-games-begin-bowles-stimson-defense-and-way-forward And another on Military
BTW coberly, he only mentions COLA reductions as a big saver.
Gordon Adams makes the excellent point that drilling on the edges of the military industrial complex is only chipping at the margins and does not address the “two point five war” foundation which has wasted and deformed the debate since 1991.
buff will say “how isolationist!!!” (just a little Wendall Wilkie) to be interested in less than enough toys to get stuck in less than 2.5 remote sandboxes which would look like WW II and 1950 Korea, but for which there is no enemy much less understanding how the WW II force structure modernized would address those fictions which frighten buff.
That said cutting F-35 is necessary because it don’t work. They ordered several “production lots” of planes based on 100 flight hours in scripted hard to get the thing into the air tests.
Same for MV/CV-22 too expensive to not work. Cannot go near a hot LZ due to aero restrictions etc.
Cut KC-XX so there is no tool to take a US Army mech brigade into a sand box 2000 klicks beyond the last road.
Go down to enough active forces for the half war, enough reserve to meet a “one” whole war mobilized in 90 days and you get an order of battel ratio to active about what the Germans keep with 160,000 total troops.
But why should the US be as smart as Germany, it took beatings in 1918 through 1945 for them to fire their version MICC (who put that paper hanging Austrian in charge in 1934).
What is so astounding and exasperating is the near total absence of any consideration of the cost of war in the middle east as a major factor in the deficit. When did $1Trillion per year not stand out as in need of reconsideration. And what of the costs down the road when those unfortunately disable and disfigured soldiers return home? How is that not the first and foremost approach to a balnced budget and a sane foreign policy?
American exceptionalism, Henry Luce in July 1940 said the US has a duty to police the world. Besiudes the war profiteers make lots of money: 20% plus of US G outlays at good margins and heaven help the contracting officer make a supplier perform when it will eat into margin. Move the failed effort to new contract to pay again for the scrap and rework.
“And what of the costs down the road when those unfortunately disable and disfigured soldiers return home?” VA is up for cuts as well as dependent medical benefits.
“How is that not the first and foremost approach to a balnced budget and a sane foreign policy?” The for profit arsenals are a right of income to the upper classes, and over paid connected technocrats who are on a huge dole. Jobs in districts which do nothing more than would happen to the economy if the money were buried and people dug it up.
Follow the money.
And the military wasters, war profiteers all wrap themselves in the flag to put truth to Mencken’s comments about fascism coming wrappped in the US flag.
I have done a little analysis on the mortage interest proposal and it is a beneift really only to those above the median income.
National family median income is said to be 50k (approx) the second case builds a 30k standard deduction for a family. Taking the 31% limit that is used in mortgage lending today 50k implies about 15 k in interest (300 k balance at 5%). Since that would only use 1/2 of the standard deduction the deduction would be irrelevant. Even adding in the property taxes at 3% that still leaves about 5k margin (10k property taxes).
So its only the folks above the median who would benefit from the deduction.
The proposal would also allow a lot more folks to avoid schedule A of the 1040 and might allow the use of form 1040a which of course would hurt the tax preparers.
It’s good that we at this place understand the issue to a large extent. It’s mot good that it is not common knowledge. Go here: http://www.angrybearblog.com/2010/11/dear-congress-people.html and copy the letter and send it to an elected representative. Modify the letter in any way that you see fit, but make certain to let the recipients know that your vote depends on their pposition and their actions. Republicans may be just as sensative to their loss of your support. Democrats have to have it banged into their heads. Annoy you friends, relatives and neighbors to do the same.
I’ve learned to either ignore Jacks numbers or double check them. He said: “What is so astounding and exasperating is the near total absence of any consideration of the cost of war in the middle east as a major factor in the deficit. When did $1Trillion per year not stand out as in need of reconsideration.” (My emphasis)
But when we do a little research we find the following:
Operation FY.2001+ 2002 .$33.8
FY 2006 … $121.4
Total…… $1,082.4 (All costs in $ Billions)
I did a thing on buying versus renting in 2005. Other than mowing the yard and maintenance costs net interest after tax deduction was a wash. I think you are correct, second home subsidy for folk in the 35% plus bracket…….
It is less than thorough to look at the supplementals, alone.
Stiglitz hit a trillion in 2006 and as an old military logistician I think he missed a bunch of secondary impacts and long term costs.
Those airplane, ships and tanks, designed to tilt with the Japanese Navy and the Luftwaffe run themselves and never break down………………….
Then there is the long term care and so forth.
While not a trillion the costs are 5 or more times your list of annual appn, all things considered.
Do not call the DVA and its charges welfare.
And the unfunded retirements of the guys who survive to get it and their families with life time health care etc.
Jack is closer than you, by an order or two of magnitude!
It is amazing the innumeracy (actually not amazing but sad), of the media. Why don’t they do a simple example like I did. Another example they did not discuss how the new 3 rates would map into the current 6 rates, its basically the 10-15% rate today for the bottom rate, the 25-28% rates for the middle and 33 and 36 for the top. Now cutting the state tax and mortgage interest will hurt the top more than others because they have larger deductions in those areas. So for example a family could make up to 209k before getting into the top bracket of the proposal which is hardly middle income. Upper middle perhaps, but 4x the median in any case.
COLA adjustments are not free. They reduce the standard of living of the people who paid their social security taxes on the promise that they would get benefits adequate to keep them from having to live on cat food.
there is no need to “save” money from SS. If the next generation is going to live longer than the last… the reason for the projected deficit… all they need to do is raise their own payroll tax twenty cents per week each year. That will entirely cover the extra expenses that come from living longer.
They are going to have to come up with this money anyway. Social Security is the only place they can “save” it safe from inflation or market losses or their own failure to thrive.
Krasting and everyone else talks about Social Security as if it were “the government’s money,” as though “we” were going to have to pay for it without ever getting it back. That is a lie, it is stupidity. Social SEcurity is you putting yourmoney in a safe place so that it will be there, with interest, when you need it.
The fact that “they” are trying to steal it is the ONLY thing that makes it less safe… the sad fact that the people are too stupid to stop them from stealing it.
You guys are hysterical.
You challenge Conservatives to come up with ways to cut government spending, and when they suggest that maybe, possibly, we shouldn’t send Bill Gates (net worth $54B) a social security check (means test), and it is “Oh Nooooo……. Mr. Bill!!!!!”
If sending a transfer payment to Bill Gates is sancrosanct……..
Pelosi is already backpedaling, says TIME. Imagine that…
I figure these days we could get by with a $350B/yr military.
Basically centered on the USMC and the USAF, with USN and USA in support roles.
If a full division of marines isn’t enough, we’re either going to need allies or call up the reserves. $50B
The USN should be downsized to support this overseas capability, plus sealane defense and the usual submarine skullduggery and strategic nuclear capability. $100B
USAF, dunno, keep the US Space Command going, strategic capability. Move the intercept function to the state NG. $100B
USA, eliminate divisions with duplicate skill centers and missions, and then roll these down into cadre brigades. $100B
The MI deduction is a valuable thing here in California, where income taxes can easily blow through the standard deduction, leaving the MI deduction dollar for dollar.
Of course, since everyone gets the MI deduction all it really does is boost the price of houses, also dollar for dollar. We should eliminate it on general principle, but I calculate a $450,000 house would fall to $350,000 if we did. Starting out the MI deduction is worth around $700/mo, which is the difference in payments between $350,000 with no deduction and $450,000 with it.
There is only one Bill Gates. His $2500/mo on a $800B/yr program is not going to fix anything.
Clinton left Bush with a $350B/yr military, about what he inherited from Bush Sr. Somehow that has doubled. Thanks, Ralph.
ILSM, Jack’s comment was absurdly overstated as is your defense of it. You said: “Jack is closer than you, by an order or two of magnitude!”
Wiki explains orders of magnitude as: “If two numbers differ by one order of magnitude, one is about ten times larger than the other. If they differ by two orders of magnitude, they differ by a factor of about 100…. “
So we find that your comment is even more absurd than Jack’s.
Your and Jack’s thoughtless acceptance of the anti-war talking points is embarrassing.
This is what I had to say re SSA:
-Social Security would be “socialized”. Some say SS is a third rail. We are about to see that in action. A big savings comes from a recalibration of COLA increases. So right away you have 60mm Americans apposed to this.
What is wrong with that observation? “Not worth reading” You’re just a nasty SOB Cobery. I never say things like this about you and Webb. Grow up….
What’s a few hundred billion here or there in service to creating allies for Iran?
Or at least put some quality into the effort.
Yes, I am a nasty SOB. I care very much about the role Social Security plays in protecting Americans. You usually say things that are either wrong as to facts or suggest “fixes” that would hurt people.
I do not know if you are a good person. I have trouble believing a good person would keep making irresponsible proposals. There is a good reason 60 million Americans would be opposed to recalibrating the COLA.
why is it so hard for you to get the point? Bill Gates not only paid for his own Social Security check, he paid for a good part of someone else’s. That’s the way insurance works.
You seem to think that if Bill Gates had a fire in his house, the insurance company should not have to pay on his policy on the grounds that he can afford to make the repairs himself.
Defend your use of supplementals or dispute Jack’s specifics.
Why tell me about logarythms?
They work for showing the Dow as near a straight line in the bubble.
Why post an editorial?
Is it surprising for Pelosi to go middling? Why?
Inside the beltway it is all compromise and no soul.
Yes most people have a generic disposition against Grand Larceny. Even when perpetrated by think tanks and blue ribbon commissions.
Yeah I noticed Rand Paul got religion on earmarks now that he’s about to be sworn in as a US Senator.
Dog bites man, film at 11.
What use for all the force you want to keep?
Should the US develop forces to be forces or should it develop a strategy for the use of force and when?
The industrial age war model went away when the iron curtain came down, and the Red Army folded tent.
The US has been mobilized to fight on the east and west ends of the Eurasian land mass since 1950. That order of battle needs to be demobilized.
I think $150B total annual expenditures is too much.
If you went to the 30k standard deduction as the intermediate proposal suggests, then the situation is altered a bit. But of course the plan does punish those who live in high cost areas (basically the coasts) and favor those who live in the center. But at 30k not 11k the size of the standard deduction does make a difference. It is the increase in the standard deduction that makes the MI deduction an upper middle class deduction not a median income deduction.
ILSM, I’ve already disputed/disproved Jack’s specifics, $1T/Yr for cost of war. Your complaint of supplemenatals is meaningless. It was, in fact, the budgetted war costs. IIRC, Onbama changed the process to including costs within the budget.
You and Jack want to take the entirety of the DOD budget, which BTW is only ~$700B/Yr, as the total costs to fight the wars. Can’t be, even you admit it!
Teaching you a little humility is why I clarified your use of math. BTW, learn how to spell logarithm. It adds credibility.
CoRev have you considered talking to your physician about a daily fiber supplement? It might really help. I’m only asking because I care.
Are you more upset that my numbers are not precisely correct, a mild over statement, or that
I’ve criticized the egregious waste of a great deal of America’s assets on wars of misadventure? Drown yourself in your numerical precision, but even your measures are not precise. Add in the cost of caring for the damage done to men and women who volunteered to protect their country from real enemies and have been disabled by a lie.
Jack said: “Are you more upset that my numbers are not precisely correct, a mild over statement,…” Your numbers have no precision, and are a long way from mild! Being off by nearly a factor of 10 (nearly one magnitude) is out rageous over statment.
What amazes me is the complete ignorance of the actual budget numbers. The 2010 VA budget was in the $113B range. The DOD budget was in the $700B range. Their total is still less than your exaggerated $1T/Yr war cost.
BTW, much of the medical costs are covered in the DOD budget and not VA, so no matter how you exaggerate it, you just can not get close to your $1T/Yr.
Your thoughtless acceptance of the anti-war talking points is embarrassing.
yeah, be sure to read the comments in reply to the TIME article on Pelosi. I was surprised to see that about 100% of them thought the article was fatuous. Of course it was, but still surprising to see that so many people saw through it.