Will the US debt ever be paid off? Guns or butter?

Discussion in 'Economics & Trade' started by LafayetteBis, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Donor

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    From here: Will the US debt ever be paid off? - excerpt:
    The above in red calculates the percentage of Federal-spending on a total basis - that is, including debt. Debt is not discretionary - that is, Uncle Sam cannot say, "Ok guys, I'm not paying off the debt anymore. Thanks! Bye ...!"

    But Discretionary Spending is proposed by the PotUS and approved by both Chambers of Congress. Today, such spending looks like this when broken down by portion:
    [​IMG]

    Oupps: Wow! Fifty-seven percent of the Discretionary Budget goes to just one office - the DoD! Even Veterans Affairs gets more budget-expenditure than Health & Human Services!

    And for what? To pay your kids' post-secondary education bill? To subsidize a National Healthcare that would reduce humongous medical-expenditures by (at least) half and coverage for all. Nope!

    That's the question that the NY Times put to an analysis last year. See here: Would ‘Medicare for All’ Save Billions or Cost Billions? Excerpt:
    I remember my professor of Economics (yes, many, many years ago) puting the question to the class, "Guns or Butter?" It got us to thinking, but no one answered. Because it is a fundamentally important but complex question in any economy. And especially in ours! (As the above chart shows.)

    Yes, the answer is indeed complex. Still, in one aspect it reduces to this: Comparatively, the European Union (40% larger population-wise than the US) does not spend most of its national budget willy-nilly on a DoD. It spends it upon a National Healthcare Service! (Which is a condition of any nation seeking entry to the EU.)

    When will America wake-up and come around to the same notion? When will it realize that the good-health of all citizens allowing a longer lifespan depends upon universal healthcare? When will it realize also that the Industrial Age has transformed into the Information Age, thus requiring a general level of higher-study (vocational and college/university) funded by the government to assure that all may attend*?

    When ... ?

    *A post-secondary schooling (of four-years) here in France for a degree costs less than $1K a year. And the UK is the only country where it costs more.

     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  2. wgabrie

    wgabrie Well-Known Member Donor

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    Yes, the US government could solve the debt problem. But it might take centuries to finish paying it all. Or, of course, in an emergency, it could steal all of the assets of people and use that to pay it off. Of course, that would probably be the end of the USA.
     
  3. Right is the way

    Right is the way Well-Known Member

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    Discretionary spend is only 35% of the federal budget. And is the only place the military gets money.
     
  4. vman12

    vman12 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    What we need to solve this problem is the Green New Deal and medicare for illegal aliens.
     
  5. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Donor

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    Oh, and that makes DoD-spending of more than half the Discretionary Budget OK? Even Veteran Affairs gets more spending than Health and Human Services!

    What planet do you live on ... ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  6. Right is the way

    Right is the way Well-Known Member

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    What I mean is if you and discretionary spend with mandated spend which then comprises the total budget military spending is 15%. Which considering that this is one of the few things that is mandated by the constitution that the federal government is responsible for, that is not very much.
     
  7. The Centrist

    The Centrist Well-Known Member

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    The debt will never be paid off again.

    President Jackson pulled it off by seizing the assets of the Second National Bank.
     
  8. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member

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    The bulk of the 'debt' (roughly 2/3 going back decades) is owed back to Americans in the form of pensions, securities, bonds, etc. This imo is 'good debt' as it essentially amounts to Americans investing in their country's interests.

    The rest of it is indeed a problem we need to address. Just that the problem isn't quite as big as folks like to make it out as.
     
    DavidMK likes this.
  9. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Donor

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    Because we are not electing the "right people" to Congress?

    Some think it's a lifetime job. I dunno.

    Some people are very good at it, others not so good.

    Whichever, I maintain that BigMoney is screwing up our governance from city/town to state to LaLaLand on the Potomac.

    And that happened a long time ago to another "country" called Rome ...
     
  10. wgabrie

    wgabrie Well-Known Member Donor

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    Hey you, I didn't say that.
     
  11. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Donor

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    Maybe not to you. But I am not buying the argument that something must be mandated by the Constitution and if it is we should leave it as it is.

    We can change the Constitution anytime we get the verve to do so. We don't have that gumption as regards Healthcare or Tertiary Education.

    And we, the sheeple, are paying dearly* for that willful oversight ...

    *Inadequate Healthcare and insufficient graduates from Tertiary Education.
     
  12. Ernest T.

    Ernest T. Newly Registered

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    If the US debt is that 20 plus trillion number that's constantly increasing then no. (IMO)

    That number is so big as to be meaningless.
     
  13. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Donor

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    Not to those who are carrying the T-notes that pay interest every six-months . Stop the payments and there will be no more purchases of them.

    Of course, the Fed then is obliged to shut down operations to a level where income-taxation sustains the debt-payment that must-by-law be paid as well as minimal-operations.

    Which means cutting the DoD-budget by two-thirds, which is not that bad an idea ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019

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