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03/04/2014 06:58:13 PM · #51
Originally posted by Cory:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Cowboy, that's a very deceptive statistic, because it lumps discretionary spending and mandatory spending together. For example, Social Security (which funds itself) is listed as somewhere around 21% of current expenditures... A more realistic analysis would be "What percentage of Government discretionary (not mandated by law, congress votes on it every year) spending goes to the military?" And the answer to THAT is "Well over half, more like 60%".

It's like you said to your wife, when she complains about the cost of your recreational activities, "Look, honey, our total budget is $4,000 a month, and I only spend $200 a month on my hunting and fishing. I work hard, and that's just 5%..." But she could counter, "Dear, the mortgage, the car payments, food for us and the kids, clothing, etc are budgeted at $3,800 a month for this family; your recreational activities represent 100% of our discretionary spending..."


And I would, rationally I believe, argue that the mortgage and car payments are also discretionary spending, granted, they are a long-term commitment type of discretionary spending, but there's no reason she couldn't be driving around in a $2,000 jalopy like I do - and the mortgage? Sure you need a place to live, but it could be done for $1000 a month instead of $2500. And the kids really don't need clothes from the top designers.

Once you strip out the 'luxury' and 'unnecessary' spending, I think it'd be pretty easy to show the wife that in fact, her discretionary spending budget each month totals far more than my $200 recreational budget. Sure, she'd be angry and argue with me, and then speed away in her Lexus or Mercedes, but I'd still be right... And I'd love to see her justify that $700 worth of fines for speeding and reckless driving next month as 'mandatory' spending.

;)

Now, you might ask where I'm going with all of this. The answer is that I don't care, but it was damned fun to tear apart your analogy. :D


$1000 a month? ROFL! That won't even get you a 2 bedroom apartment around here.
03/04/2014 08:02:30 PM · #52
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Military is also giving away 13,000 MRAPs ($500k each) to domestic law enforcement. So there is a trickle-down benefit for us citizens. :(


Free militarization of the local PD.

You think they'd throw in free cavity searches, enemas and colonoscopies for the citizens, but those will set you back a cool $5k.
03/04/2014 08:06:28 PM · #53
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Cowboy, that's a very deceptive statistic, because it lumps discretionary spending and mandatory spending together. For example, Social Security (which funds itself) is listed as somewhere around 21% of current expenditures... A more realistic analysis would be "What percentage of Government discretionary (not mandated by law, congress votes on it every year) spending goes to the military?" And the answer to THAT is "Well over half, more like 60%".

It's like you said to your wife, when she complains about the cost of your recreational activities, "Look, honey, our total budget is $4,000 a month, and I only spend $200 a month on my hunting and fishing. I work hard, and that's just 5%..." But she could counter, "Dear, the mortgage, the car payments, food for us and the kids, clothing, etc are budgeted at $3,800 a month for this family; your recreational activities represent 100% of our discretionary spending..."


I dunno, Robert. The statistic isn't "deceptive", it is what it is. You are both looking at things through a different filter, but I don't think one is less valid than the other. "Discretionary" is a bit of a misnomer (but I well know what you mean by it) because we do have the "discretion" to change social security, medicare, etc. The only more or less inviolable portion would be interest on the debt (and even then some fringe people might consider that discretionary as well).
03/04/2014 09:07:49 PM · #54
Originally posted by DrAchoo:


I dunno, Robert. The statistic isn't "deceptive", .


When we consider that the statistics provided also include costs for medicare, medicaid, and support for the elderly... it most certainly is deceptive, particularly when these as a collective are viewed as "Dependancy" programs.

By that analogy, one could argue that all things related to flying, shipping and the manufacture of weapons is by extension a "Military" endeavour.

There is no denying the fact that social programs cost a boat load of money, but did anyone notice that education is a good percentage of the total costs associated with these "Dependancy" programs.

Surely no one is suggesting that education be cut... or are they?

Ray

Message edited by author 2014-03-04 21:09:38.
03/04/2014 09:10:47 PM · #55
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Military is also giving away 13,000 MRAPs ($500k each) to domestic law enforcement. So there is a trickle-down benefit for us citizens. :(


Yep... at an average of 3 mpg, the trickle down effect to the local gas stations would be impressive. :O)

Ray
03/05/2014 07:06:15 AM · #56
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:


I dunno, Robert. The statistic isn't "deceptive", .


When we consider that the statistics provided also include costs for medicare, medicaid, and support for the elderly... it most certainly is deceptive, particularly when these as a collective are viewed as "Dependancy" programs.

By that analogy, one could argue that all things related to flying, shipping and the manufacture of weapons is by extension a "Military" endeavour.

There is no denying the fact that social programs cost a boat load of money, but did anyone notice that education is a good percentage of the total costs associated with these "Dependancy" programs.

Surely no one is suggesting that education be cut... or are they?

Ray


Education spending HAS been cut repeatedly.

Once upon a time, having an educated populace was a priority of the government and a good portion of both K-12 and higher education was paid for with tax dollars. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.
03/05/2014 04:52:21 PM · #57
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:


I dunno, Robert. The statistic isn't "deceptive", .


When we consider that the statistics provided also include costs for medicare, medicaid, and support for the elderly... it most certainly is deceptive, particularly when these as a collective are viewed as "Dependancy" programs.

By that analogy, one could argue that all things related to flying, shipping and the manufacture of weapons is by extension a "Military" endeavour.

There is no denying the fact that social programs cost a boat load of money, but did anyone notice that education is a good percentage of the total costs associated with these "Dependancy" programs.

Surely no one is suggesting that education be cut... or are they?

Ray


I read up on their Index and what it means. While it's certainly something created by a conservative foundation, it's not completely without merit (if you want to just dismiss it out of hand we'd need to do the same with, say, abortion statistics provided by Guttmacher, etc). Anyway, I think they mean "dependence" in the sense that if the program were to suddenly vanish, the individual would have no personal ability to compensate. I dunno. They don't mean "education" in the entire sense that all dollars spent on higher education grants, etc. You can get the drift from this sample paragraph: "Over the past decade, growing federal higher-education subsidies have increased the number and percentage of post-secondary students who depend on government aid. In the 2010–2011 school year, 9.1 million students received Pell Grant scholarships—more than double the number of students who received Pell Grants in the 2000–2001 school year.[58] Moreover, about 34 percent of all undergraduates take out federal Stafford Loans. In all, fed­eral borrowing increased by 2.5 percent from 2010 to 2011"

I still stand by that the statistic isn't "deceptive" once you understand what the index refers to. Hey, we spend a lot of money on "social" programs. It shouldn't be a surprise and it shouldn't be forgotten. It also isn't necessarily a bad thing.
03/05/2014 05:16:21 PM · #58
Reading the Heritage Foundation's description of their own "List of Dependencies", they are classifying as a dependency anything that "traditionally" USED to be handled by families, local governments, churches, whatever, and is now done by the Feds. Which is a weird metric. But I found the following disturbing paragraph re: Social Security;

"Some may argue that any measure of government dependence should not cover Social Security, because beneficiaries previously paid payroll taxes into the program before receiving benefits. However, the Index is designed to measure the amount of federal spending on programs that assume the responsibilities of individuals, families, communities, neighborhood groups, religious institutions, and other civil society institutions. Clearly, Social Security has greatly encroached on the responsibility of individuals for providing their own retirement resources."

How can they say that? To provide "your own retirement resources" you pay into some sort of retirement plan, right? I paid into social security all my life. It's not much that it's paying me, but I by God earned it...
03/05/2014 05:49:52 PM · #59
Originally posted by Bear_Music:


How can they say that? To provide "your own retirement resources" you pay into some sort of retirement plan, right? I paid into social security all my life. It's not much that it's paying me, but I by God earned it...


I can so appreciate what you are saying here my friend. I have paid into social security and employment insurance all of my working life and guess what... I don't get to claim either. Today I found out that notwithstanding the fact that I have and continue to pay into a Long Term Disability Insurance program... I don't get to collect on that either should I suffer a disability.

Like you said earlier... fair is sometimes something evasive.

Ray
03/05/2014 05:53:17 PM · #60
I'd agree with you wholeheartedly Robert. It's a bit odd to call social security a "dependecy" other than, I suppose, some people may be dependent on the forced investment (via payroll tax). Had they not been forced to save in this manner they would not have saved on their own and would wind up with zero in retirement. But that seems like a different issue, no?

I don't have a problem with their talking about things being "taken over" by the government that were handled through other traditional means. I also see this ideology expressed in the real world. I'll give you an example. Many times I think there exists a liberal rubric that if you are "against welfare" you do not care about the poor. I've been witness to examples where I know this isn't true at all. I have a fellow board member at the Mission who is far more conservative than I am (enough that we can get into Facebook tussles over issues). She would clearly identify herself as "against welfare", but yet she is devoting her time on the board of an institution trying to serve the neediest of the needy. She would tell you the goverment isn't very effective at really helping people and that it should be done at the grass roots level through churches or other organizations funded by the donations of people who are able. Now, leaving aside whether you think that's a good idea or not, I think it's clear that she has a strong heart for the poor despite being against government programs that try to help the poor.

03/05/2014 06:32:56 PM · #61
I don't have the statistics handy to back up what I am about to propose Doc, but I do believe that on a percentile basis, the amount of aid provided by charitable organizations such as churches has dwindled rather significantly in the last 30 or 40 years.

I could very well be that the decrease in attributable to more governmental intervention, but I have no idea as to where I would find such stats.

Ray
03/05/2014 06:42:05 PM · #62
Originally posted by DrAchoo:



I read up on their Index and what it means. While it's certainly something created by a conservative foundation, it's not completely without merit (if you want to just dismiss it out of hand we'd need to do the same with, say, abortion statistics provided by Guttmacher, etc). Anyway, I think they mean "dependence" in the sense that if the program were to suddenly vanish, the individual would have no personal ability to compensate. I dunno. They don't mean "education" in the entire sense that all dollars spent on higher education grants, etc. You can get the drift from this sample paragraph: "Over the past decade, growing federal higher-education subsidies have increased the number and percentage of post-secondary students who depend on government aid. In the 2010–2011 school year, 9.1 million students received Pell Grant scholarships—more than double the number of students who received Pell Grants in the 2000–2001 school year.[58] Moreover, about 34 percent of all undergraduates take out federal Stafford Loans. In all, fed­eral borrowing increased by 2.5 percent from 2010 to 2011"

I still stand by that the statistic isn't "deceptive" once you understand what the index refers to. Hey, we spend a lot of money on "social" programs. It shouldn't be a surprise and it shouldn't be forgotten. It also isn't necessarily a bad thing.


There is a reason I dismiss anything from them "out of hand"...

Principal Issues

Heritage Foundation's mission is "to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense."
Heritage is the largest conservative think tank in Washington, DC.
It researches, publishes, lectures on, and markets right-wing public policy.
It organizes right-wing activists on domestic and foreign policy issues.
Heritage's publications are distributed to many thousands of people, including Members of Congress, congressional aides and staff, journalists, and major donors.
It takes credit for much of President Bush's policy, both domestic and foreign, referring to Bush's policies as "straight out of the Heritage play book."
Heritage supports faith-based initiatives, school vouchers, ban on abortion, overturning affirmative action programs.
- See more at: //www.rightwingwatch.org/content/heritage-foundation#sthash.sMxHmN3t.dpuf
03/06/2014 12:57:09 AM · #63
Originally posted by RayEthier:

I don't have the statistics handy to back up what I am about to propose Doc, but I do believe that on a percentile basis, the amount of aid provided by charitable organizations such as churches has dwindled rather significantly in the last 30 or 40 years.

I could very well be that the decrease in attributable to more governmental intervention, but I have no idea as to where I would find such stats.

Ray


Not sure what's you'd expect me to do with that Ray...

Kelli, I hear ya. But we quote other similar sites with an agenda. It's best just to refute what is said instead of dismissing it because of who said it. That's called ad hominem.
03/06/2014 01:43:09 AM · #64
Interesting tool here I thought you might like to take a look at. Two resources.

//www.cbo.gov/
Cato

Both combined can give you a more clear perspective of how your taxes are spent. Both sights offer opinions along with facts. Be mindful and only look at the facts.
03/08/2014 07:09:11 PM · #65
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Kelli, I hear ya. But we quote other similar sites with an agenda. It's best just to refute what is said instead of dismissing it because of who said it. That's called ad hominem.


How about we dismiss the Heritage Foundation because the approach to the economy it pushes -- namely trickle-down/austerity/deregulation -- has been thoroughly discredited. You have to have zero understanding of recent world economic history to lend any credence to those bozos.
03/08/2014 07:52:09 PM · #66
Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

You have to have zero understanding of recent world economic history to lend any credence to those bozos.

If you are a majority stockholder in a large corporation I think you have a perfect of recent economic history ... :-(
03/08/2014 08:46:34 PM · #67
Since we're talking about the Heritage Foundation, it is interesting to note that many of the components of the demonized (by the Right, anyway) Affordable Care Act are ideas proposed by the Heritage Foundation in the first place.
03/08/2014 09:56:13 PM · #68
Nevermind. It's not worth it.

Message edited by author 2014-03-08 22:15:49.
03/09/2014 11:06:42 AM · #69
Originally posted by Spork99:

Since we're talking about the Heritage Foundation, it is interesting to note that many of the components of the demonized (by the Right, anyway) Affordable Care Act are ideas proposed by the Heritage Foundation in the first place.


Yes, you're exactly right on that, though it's the Right who refuse to acknowledge that fact. The ACA isn't a great idea. While it does help out those that have been denied coverage, it's lining the pockets of the insurance companies.
03/09/2014 02:14:19 PM · #70
Originally posted by Kelli:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Since we're talking about the Heritage Foundation, it is interesting to note that many of the components of the demonized (by the Right, anyway) Affordable Care Act are ideas proposed by the Heritage Foundation in the first place.


Yes, you're exactly right on that, though it's the Right who refuse to acknowledge that fact. The ACA isn't a great idea. While it does help out those that have been denied coverage, it's lining the pockets of the insurance companies.


The Right refuses to acknowledge it because they'd rather see Americans boiled in oil than admit the current president did something right.

I won't say the ACA is perfect, but anything that moves the US away from the outdated notion that health coverage is only for those with jobs that provide it is a good thing.
03/09/2014 02:26:37 PM · #71
Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by Kelli:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Since we're talking about the Heritage Foundation, it is interesting to note that many of the components of the demonized (by the Right, anyway) Affordable Care Act are ideas proposed by the Heritage Foundation in the first place.


Yes, you're exactly right on that, though it's the Right who refuse to acknowledge that fact. The ACA isn't a great idea. While it does help out those that have been denied coverage, it's lining the pockets of the insurance companies.


The Right refuses to acknowledge it because they'd rather see Americans boiled in oil than admit the current president did something right.

I won't say the ACA is perfect, but anything that moves the US away from the outdated notion that health coverage is only for those with jobs that provide it is a good thing.


Previously: Those who held jobs were able to pay for their own health insurance, if they wanted it.

Today: Those who hold jobs are expected to pay for their own health insurance, and for the health insurance of others who don't have jobs.

..

Personally, I do not see that as any sort of improvement.
03/09/2014 03:24:46 PM · #72
Originally posted by Cory:

Previously: Those who held jobs were able to pay for their own health insurance, if they wanted it.

Today: Those who hold jobs are expected to pay for their own health insurance, and for the health insurance of others who don't have jobs.

..

Personally, I do not see that as any sort of improvement.


I don't understand what you're saying here. Previously, my husband and I, both self-employed, could not afford $15,000 a year for health insurance (the cheapest policy we could find in New York State, and not very good coverage at that). Today, the most expensive coverage is 50 percent cheaper than before the ACA, and since we're not buying the most expensive policy, and we're eligible for some subsidy, it's quite affordable. And we don't have to worry about lifetime caps in the event of long-term illness, or worry that our coverage will be cut off due to illness (a pre-existing condition). A very much improved situation for me personally.
03/09/2014 03:39:33 PM · #73
Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

Originally posted by Cory:

Previously: Those who held jobs were able to pay for their own health insurance, if they wanted it.

Today: Those who hold jobs are expected to pay for their own health insurance, and for the health insurance of others who don't have jobs.

..

Personally, I do not see that as any sort of improvement.


I don't understand what you're saying here. Previously, my husband and I, both self-employed, could not afford $15,000 a year for health insurance (the cheapest policy we could find in New York State, and not very good coverage at that). Today, the most expensive coverage is 50 percent cheaper than before the ACA, and since we're not buying the most expensive policy, and we're eligible for some subsidy, it's quite affordable. And we don't have to worry about lifetime caps in the event of long-term illness, or worry that our coverage will be cut off due to illness (a pre-existing condition). A very much improved situation for me personally.


Hmm. Strange to me that you could be getting cheaper insurance, when it has to cover more, and cover more people who aren't paying in..

Whatever, though, perhaps you're being honest... Who knows.

What I DO know is that my coverage has done the following:

Originally: Self-paid, $200 or so a month for amazing coverage, like it cost me NOTHING when I lit myself on fire last Feb. (ER, 3rd degree on hand and leg) (Officially deductible was 1k/year)
Today: My insurance company (Humana) left the state and stopped coverage. The exchange wants just over 2x as much for a plan that covers significantly less, and has a deductible 5x as high. Interestingly Humana has still been billing me, so I need to figure that out.

Now, I'm uninsured, and angry about it. Tell me whatever you want, but I got fucked in this deal. And I'm going to be taxed now for being fucked. Yeah, I'm super happy.
03/09/2014 03:42:53 PM · #74
Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by Kelli:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Since we're talking about the Heritage Foundation, it is interesting to note that many of the components of the demonized (by the Right, anyway) Affordable Care Act are ideas proposed by the Heritage Foundation in the first place.


Yes, you're exactly right on that, though it's the Right who refuse to acknowledge that fact. The ACA isn't a great idea. While it does help out those that have been denied coverage, it's lining the pockets of the insurance companies.


The Right refuses to acknowledge it because they'd rather see Americans boiled in oil than admit the current president did something right.

I won't say the ACA is perfect, but anything that moves the US away from the outdated notion that health coverage is only for those with jobs that provide it is a good thing.


Yes, that is a good thing. I just wish we could go more towards what works in the rest of the civilized world. I'm drowning in medical debt. And though I now have very good coverage through medicare, there are still appointments I can't go to because of co-pays that I can't afford.
03/09/2014 03:55:40 PM · #75
Originally posted by Cory:

Whatever, though, perhaps you're being honest... Who knows.

Cory, impunging the honesty of other members here is not a good idea ...

Now, suppose on one of your escapades with that 300lb camera of yours you had had an accident and become paraplegic ... just how much would that $200/mo policy have done for you, for the rest of your life? Be honest now ...

Message edited by author 2014-03-09 15:56:46.
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