September 11, 2012
What To Do About The National Debt
Dr. Tom Coburn, M.D. is a U.S. Senator from Oklahoma. If one accepts the Wikipedia writing about him, people will have opposing opinions concerning some of his views, especially on such hot button issues like abortion, but on the subject of the debt crisis, every citizen should listen to him, he's right on target. The Senator has written a book, "The Debt Bomb: A Bold Plan to Stop Washington from Bankrupting America." It lays out a path forward on which both liberals and conservatives could tread given the right leadership. That is leadership more devoted to solving problems than getting reelected, leadership that tells the truth, leadership with real world experience, courageous leadership.
Take about 45 minutes, watch and listen as Senator Coburn gives a speech to the Ripon Society about the debt. Shown on C-Span2, the video lasts about 45 minutes including introductions and questions from the floor.
Posted by warrenpeterson at September 11, 2012
10:25 PM | Email This
I did not hear much to get excited about the debt issue compared to his points on Medicare, tax reform, spending reform and the fact that once government starts a program it is almost impossible to get rid of.
So, by implication the debt problem is a result of the above issues and that is where the work needs to be done.
2. The largest part of the budget is military spending -- which was not addressed. That makes Coburn's speech, ipso fatso, not serious.
3. The largest part of the budget is military spending -- which was not addressed. That makes Coburn's speech, ipso fatso, not serious.
@2,3 - You are ignorant and have little regard for facts. Military spending only comprises 4-6% of the total budget. Entitlements are far and away the largest part of the budget.
It's ipso facto and you are not serious and not funny either.
5. Yes, Eyago @ 1, not only do such programs not ever go away they are all but guaranteed to increase in cost each year due to "Baseline Budgeting".
You must not have bothered to listen to the presentation. Coburn specifically addressed the military budget, He addressed a) the fact that the budget was using baseline accounting and that even with cuts the budget was increasing. b) that there was 70 Billion he found that could be cut that had nothing to do with the actual military mission, and c) He believes there is much more that could be cut if other people had a chance to look into it. d) it is hard to cut because politicians don't want to lose money for their districts.
Once again you have proven to have zero credibility and are part of the reason there is dysfunction in politics. You appear to have zero interest in solving problems and only want to discredit your opponents and prop up your side. people like you PREVENT solutions for taking place.
re 4: I'm not ignorant and I have a firm grasp of the facts. Direct military spending is 20% of the national budget and much of the discretionary spending is on the military.
Military spending is more like 40% of the national budget.
Coburn is in the pocket of defense contractors who supply the military with items they neither want nor need.
Senator Coburn's speech = Corporate Welfare.
8. re 6: "'We are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers." Mitt Romney
9. Lucy, KDS thinks military spending is 4-6% of the budget, while you say it's 40%. Of course the facts say 40% but this campaign is not going to be sidetracked by fact-checkers and their pesky "facts", nor by elitist "arithmetic". Therefore, the solution is tax cuts.
Yes you are ignorant Headless or very poor at math. You just proved it. OK, show me your "facts". Eyago is correct - you did not pay attention to the video if you even watched it.
Your fact checkers are sycophants and need to be checked like a 6 year old.
Bruce - do you have any documentation that confirms headless' claims ? she needs help.
11. re 10: I gave you a link to the facts that I presented in #7. You are the one who has presented gibberish with no backing.
@11 - the 40% you cited referred to the % total global arms spending. Not the same as the % of our total budget. Our deficit is ~ $1.5 Trillion for this year + ~ $2.3 Trillion to equal revenue.
According to wiki, the military spending estimate is ~$1.1 Trillion for 2012, which is just over 1/4 of the total budget.
What do do about the debt?
Nothing! According to Leftists and their PR organizations, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, NYT, LAT, etc. Somehow it will fix itself and what we should really be worried about right now is the funding of free abortions for Leftist women. Oh look over there, something shiny!
Whatever you do, don't talk about spoiled public employee unions, unemployment, national debt, crushing regulatory climate for business, and special government loans to friends of Obama.
14. Headless Lucy----. The largest part of the budget is military spending -- which was not addressed. That makes Coburn's speech, ipso fatso, not serious.-----
Those of us who watched the video know that you did not.
re 10 thru 14 -- Note this: The Bush administration ran up trillions in debt with 2 off budget wars. Half of the debt is because of Bush. I didn't hear all this breathless talk about deficits and the national debt during those years.
Everyone knows that austerity is counterproductive in a recession.
You are such twits.
Newsflash: Bush is no longer in office - the military must be audited as Sen. Rand Paul stated. There would only be a chance of that occurring if Romney is elected. Austerity in some measures is necessary when reckless spending has exploded the deficit - otherwise a country will go into default. You are parroting Paul Krugman, the communist political-economic propagandist loser.
You knowledge of economics leaves a lot to be desired - twit !
When the government starts cutting back on employees that operate automatic elevators (see Capitol Hill elevator operators) I'll begin to believe there is a seriousness about getting the budget deficit under control. And for those that argue this amount is just a pittance, if the government can't cut such obvious waste I have no faith that it can manage anything larger.
"An online job listing for an opening as a Capitol elevator operator from 2009 says the job pays between $14.19 and $16.55 an hour and includes "A variety of health insurance plans; retirement system with investment options; paid holiday; paid sick and annual (vacation) leave; life insurance; incentive systems; subsidized transportation; training and development opportunities, etc."
18. $16-plus trillion would take about 40 years to pay off if we took the entire DOD budget and applied it to debt repayment. Obviously, our national debt is a serious, serious problem!
15: Hey mindless, how stupid are you? Your own "facts" don't support your claim that "The Bush administration ran up trillions in debt with 2 off budget wars." (unless Obama is continuing to run up debt with off budget wars
and Wikipedia hasn't caught on yet)
The chart on US Defense Spending Trends shows 10 years of "Overseas Contingency (Wars)" where not a one seems to be over $200B. Simple math says that 10 years * $200B = $2T, so this is much less than $2T.
Also, if you read the fine print you'll see that this "Military Budget" is artificially inflated by $170B-$550B by including -
- "State Department financing of foreign arms sales and militarily-related development assistance. [At minimum, foreign arms sales. At most, entire State budget. $5.6-$63.0 billion]"
(I'm so sure that Hillary loves being called part of the military.)
- "interest on debt incurred in past wars [$109.1-$431.5 billion]"
(So do we add their share of interest on the debt to the cost of social programs?)
- plus items that the author(s) admit are non-military expenses : "Neither does [the Defense Department budget] include defense spending that is not military in nature, such as
- the Department of Homeland Security [$46.9 billion],
- counter-terrorism spending by the FBI [$2.7 billion], and
- intelligence-gathering spending by NASA [$3.5-$8.7 billion]."
To be clear, I agree that "military-related items that are outside of the Defense Department budget, such as nuclear weapons research, maintenance, cleanup, and production, which is in the Department of Energy budget, Veterans Affairs, the Treasury Department's payments in pensions to military retirees and widows and their families" can legitimately be considered part of military spending.
Your evening funny of the day...
2008 giddy Obama supporter interviews her 2012 self and does not like what she learns....
21. A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment.
I think that you should write more about this topic, it may not be a taboo matter but generally people don't speak about such topics. To the next! Best wishes!!
What I would do about the national debt?
Mandate an across the board 10% reduction of spending of each and every federal entity and office across the country followed by an addition 4% every year for the next 5 years.
Mandate an across the board 10% reduction in staff by simple attrition the first 3 years and 4% the next 5 years.
These two items will reduce and cut the majority of federal redundancy.
Cut foreign aid to our enemies - hello Egypt.
Attempt to sell federally owned building sitting empty and wasting into dilapidation.
There are currently more than 1300 federal agencies, with God only knows how many offices across the country.
We don't NEED an Administration on Aging, a Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, a Commission on Fine Arts, a Marine Mammal Commission; we sure as hell don't NEED a National Endowment for the Arts or National Endowment for the Humanities or a Women's Bureau, just to name a few. There are far too many entities that should easily be funded with private monies - hello PBS, Big Bird makes such a fortune in merchandise licensing they could support you (shh, that's a dirty little secret you aren't supposed to know).
Over a 5 year period, do away with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Drug Enforcement Administration and any other personal responsibility agencies - they are and should be a STATES responsibility, although I might concede they need guidelines and accountability.
Phase out the US Postal Service: they are inefficient, incompetent and sinking under the weight of union thuggery. Put postal service areas up for bid to private companies like Fed Ex and UPS. Offer incentives for bids on difficult rural service areas.
Simplify the tax code and reduce the need for IRS personnel needed for the monstrosity we endure now.
re 22: You are so brutally stupid, I hardly know where to start -- but I'm sure you'll 'mandate' that as well.
You guys have had it all your way since 1980 and you've done nothing but bring this country to the brink of ruin.
Re 23 - It's the default MO of loud lefty's to denigrate that which they can't refute.
Remind me, where are YOUR ideas? Where are President Downgrade's?
I love when loud lefty's prove my point so aptly. It proves they do indeed have some little Darwinisistic purpose in our lives. Kumbaya loud lefty.
Defense spending is 20% of federal spending, Headless has that correct from that data I am looking at. Here are some facts to keep that in perspective.
Year % of budget % of GDP
1960 52.2% 9.3%
1965 42.8% 8.5%
1970 41.8% 8.1%
1975 26% 5.5%
1980 22.7% 4.9%
1985 26.7% 6.2%
1990 23.9% 5.2%
1995 17.9% 3.7%
2000 16.5% 3.0%
2005 20% 4.0%
2010 20.1% 4.8%
2012 19.8% 4.7% (est)
Our military spending is decreasing as a percent of GDP over time, though an argument can be made for the off-budget expenses of the wars bumping those numbers up a bit. Still, they are not a huge portion of the budget. Even if all defense spending and the costs of the wars were cut 100% from the budget we would still run a deficit.
So, it does not appear that the growth in defense spending is our problem, since it is actually decreasing or at least remaining relatively stable over the last couple of decades. Thus something else is causing our expenses to increase.
The thing about wars is, one does not budget for them. You can't say that Bill Clinton and his staff failed to budget for 2001 by not including a provision for the 9/11 attacks (it happened in Bush's term, but the budget was written for that year in Clinton's.) So, if we were attacked, waht do we say to the Taliban? "hey, knock that off?" "We'd attack you but it's not in the budget, so... NEE! Yes, NEE! There, we said it. We'll say it again, NEE!"
Seriously, Wars are not budgeted items, and you don't decide on whether you respond to an attack based on whether you have it in your budget.
To be honest, you have to look t the long term trends and look at what is expanding and what is not and compare it to your income and decide what you are going to do about it. Certainly you can cut back on things that are not expanding, simply because you do need to trim where you can, but if you ignore the spending that is spiking with no end in sight and caterwaul about things that are NOT growing, then you are not having a serious approach to the true financial issues.
My source for the numbers
27. Thanks for taking the time to talk about this, I feel strongly about it and enjoy mastering extra on this topic. If possible, as you acquire expertise, would you mind updating your weblog with far more data? It is very useful for me.
28. Sen. Coburn has some ideas about eliminating debt. Insightful, I'm sure. Next, Kelsey Grammer will tell us how to end the War on Drugs.
re 25: "Defense spending is 20% of federal spending"
You failed to read the material otherwise you would have known that 20% of discretionary spending is also on the military.
Remember all that 'privatizing' stuff and 'no bid' contracts for Halliburton?
When Obama took office, roughly 40% of the $10.6 trillion National Debt was owed to government accounts. Basically, surplus dollars from various programs, mostly Social Security, that the government raided and replaced with Treasury Bills to reduce annual deficits. That means the other 60% of the debt was actual money owed to non-government investors.
What should scare the heck out of people today is that under Obama, the government baseline of spending has exploded by 5% of GDP. The nearly $5.5 trillion added to our current $16 trillion national debt has been 100% borrowed from non-government investors or invented by the Federal Reserve. In other terms, under Obama, the real debt owed to the public has skyrocketed 79% from Jan 2009 from $6.3 trillion to $11.3 trillion. In a year it will have doubled.
The debt owed to government accounts is really nothing more than unfunded obligations today, along with the $100 trillion of additional unfunded obligations. If the reality of this crisis could be visualized, we would take the $4.7 trillion in Treasury Bills held in these government accounts, stack them neatly on the Capitol steps, and put a match to them. Nothing would change, but everyone would understand that whether they existed or not, they do NOT represent anything but evidence of how much the government has stolen from programs like Social Security and spent long ago.
31. Cut back on the rapidly expanding (and largely unnecessary) social programs. People need to start being accountable for their piss poor decisions in life. A bunch of whiny, weak-willed slugs procreating this country into collective slavery with the aid of the equally weak-minded democrat party enablers that support them. Work on that and the debt will come down post haste.
32. Exploding increases on food stamps, workers disability and at least some of the leviathan Obamacare will make the budget unsustainable. Some form of austerity is the only answer that will keep us from going over the financial cliff. Headless Lucy and the rest of the progressives including the presstitutes be damned.
The only reason you guys are even mentioning the national debt is so that you can unfairly use it against the president as a political cudgel.
If Romney gets in and starts an off-the-books war against Iran, enriching himself and his cronies, we won't hear a squeek from you about the national debt. You guys are classic passive/aggressive types
Waaaahhhh. Can't stand the heat? Get out of the kitchen! You mention the Bush debt. That was four years ago! Have you considered that it has gone up considerably since then? Who's watch was that under? And since when are you Union backers afraid of a political cudgel? You guys love union thugs and force. Remember all the Bush mannequins burned in effigy? You guys are the classic aggressive/ aggressive types.
re 33: So, cause and effect with the national debt only works in four year increments, and the whole thing reboots and time becomes a tabula rasa?
That would mean that, theoretically, the day Romney took office, nothing Obama did could be used as a cause for the present problems.
What an idiot you are.
@35 - It is more likely that Obama would have us be attacked and get us into a war than Romney would. No more wars like Iraq - that lesson was learned from the Bush blunder.
Your comments about the debt show what a insufferable moron you are. Go play in the freeway.
@35 - what you wrote is precisely the way Obama and the Democrats have been functioning since 2009 - "ALL of the debt is a function of the "mess" that Bush left Obama and none of the new debt is Obama's fault."
In order to "compromise" with Democrat controlled House and Senate, Bush agreed to massive spending increases starting in 2007. He agreed to TARP. He agreed with the auto bailout. He did not fight as hard as he could against the Democrat controlled Congress to bring about reforms to Fannie and Freddie. His reward was the housing collapse.
When Obama took over, HE signed the 2009 budget which was a heavy increase in spending - one that the Democrat Congress wouldn't present to Bush. Obama signed the stimulus bill that was a major component of the first trillion dollar annual deficit in our history. The Democrat controlled Senate has since then failed to produce a budget and we have now had our fourth trillion dollar annual deficit.
But still, the Democrats blame everyone and everything else except themselves.
They have failed to reduce spending and hundreds of millions of dollars (maybe even billions) have been lost to the taxpayers through the bankruptcies of companies that were given tax dollars to "create jobs".
Even after we get the economy going again, we will not see reduced deficits until the spending comes under control. Spending will not lessen until government is drastically smaller so as to wield less power over the population. With less power comes less ability to use tax dollars to buy votes.
As long as the government is the behemouth it is now, we will never see deficit reduction, let alone debt reduction.
Thank you, Dr. Barbara Bellar:
"So, let me get this straight (this is a long sentence), we're going to be gifted with a healthcare plan we are forced to purchase, and fined if we don't, which purportedly covers at least ten million more people, without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a congress that didn't read it, but exempted themselves from it, and signed by a president who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, for which we will be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke. So what the blank could possibly go wrong?"
re 36: "No more wars like Iraq - that lesson was learned from the Bush blunder."
I only wish that were true. Here's a song that was written about the Iraq war in reference to the lessons that were supposedly learned from the Vietnam conflict.
Looks Like Déjà vu (all over again) by John Fogrty
"Did you hear 'em talkin' 'bout it on the radio
Did you try to read the writing on the wall
Did that voice inside you say I've heard it all before
It's like Deja Vu all over again
Day by day I hear the voices rising
Started with a whisper like it did before
Day by day we count the dead and dying
Ship the bodies home while the networks all keep score"
All they have to do to start a war is blow up a few buildings and the whole country will be screaming for war.
Thanks. You contradicted yourself and proved my point in your comment.
Obama has been in office for nearly four years.
The Senate has been in Democratic control for six years.
The House has been in Republican control for only two of those four and six year time periods.
And who do idiots like Headless Moron blame for the sky-rocketing debt over the last several years?
Why, Republicans, of course.
It's too bad that level of stupidity isn't physically painful.
42. And who do idiots like Headless Moron blame for the sky-rocketing debt over the last several years?
Constipation rears its ugly head...less. I recommend warm prune juice.
Isn't it ironic not one of our loud lefty's managed even a hint of a suggestion of an answer to the question that is the topic of this thread?
Dear Warm Prune ... juice:
US Wastes Billions More On Health Care Than Entire Pentagon Budget
A new study that is out shows that the United States wastes more money each year providing health care than is does paying for the entire Department of Defense budget!
--- The U.S. health care system squanders $750 billion a year -- roughly 30 cents of every medical dollar -- through unneeded care, byzantine paperwork, fraud and other waste, the influential Institute of Medicine said Thursday in a report that ties directly into the presidential campaign.
President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are accusing each other of trying to slash Medicare and put seniors at risk. But the counter-intuitive finding from the report is that deep cuts are possible without rationing, and a leaner system may even produce better quality.
For fiscal year 2012, the Pentagon spent about $646 billion.
Facts are hard, eh Warm Prune ... juice
By the way, where are your ideas to solve the problem of our national debt?
Based on the tone of disgust in comments from Headless Lucy and this Live Science study,
leaves one wondering if it is pretty chilly in Headless Lucy's bedroom.
29: "You failed to read the material...
That's rich, mindless. I've already shown that you failed to read, or worse, you failed to comprehend, the material you presented to supposedly back up your case.
I think your head is stuck in the sand. Maybe you should go look for it.
8: "We are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers." Mitt Romney
And obviously the mindless one doesn't let facts get in his way. Hey mindless, please show me where you found Mitt Romney saying this.
I bet you even think Sarah Palin said "I can see Russia from my house."
mindless, you're such a loser. Remember the old adage - "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
47. What a lovely day for a 708911! SCK was here
Not Romney, but Romney's lead pollster.
Brought to you by....fact checkers. For those of you in the reality free zone.
S&P 500 (clearest measure of corporate economic health) - Jan 20, 2009 - 805.22
Sept 14, 2012 - 1465.77 - Up 82% in Obama's term. Clearly the work of an socialist commie, out to destroy capitalism and the American economy. Yeah, that stimulus didn't work at all.
MORE facts? Unemployment in Jan 2009..7.8% and rising fast. Unemployment in Aug 2012 - 8.1% and falling.
Am I and my family better off today than we were four years ago, in the depths of the Bush recession? My investments and retirement funds are much better off, income is up, taxes are down. I suspect the same is true for most Americans, which is why Obama will win reelection.
@48 More wishful thinking from a bubble and cognitive dissonance.
Some truths to diminish your facts - Wall Street is not the same as Main Street - the real unemployment rate from Mort Zuckerman is close to 19% - there have been increasing fewer workers for the last 3 months in a row, and the lowest percentage of the eligible labor force since 1981. In addition, thanks to the beginning of QE3, our credit rating is now AA-, down from AA. Bernacke must also go !
If Americans are wise, Obama will lose and that's a big IF...
The burning of the Arab street is helping to make independents and some moderate Democrats wiser.
More smacks of reality. Take your money out of the stock market before the end of the month. Meanwhile, our avalanching debt faces new dangers;
"Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in a statement that "President Obama invented the sequester, President Obama signed the sequester, and President Obama has failed to show any leadership to stop the sequester."
The White House and the Congress, Democrats and Republicans, including Romney's vice-presidential running-mate Paul Ryan agreed on the automatic, cutting exercise under a deal reached in August, 2011. The cuts were meant to be so painful a prospect they would force Democrats and Republicans to come to terms on a deficit reduction package.
The cuts are part of the so-called "fiscal cliff" scenario that economists say could throw the country into a new recession. Expiring tax cuts -- which if not renewed will take billions out of American pocketbooks next year -- are the other side of the cliff.
The report warns that the Pentagon faces cuts that "would result in a reduction in readiness of many nondeployed units, delays in investments in new equipment and facilities, cutbacks in equipment repairs, declines in military research and development efforts and reductions in base services for military families."
Obama looks good by appears on shows like the Pimp with a Limp, Letterman, ET or playing golf often, but in reality - he is a malevolent moron when it comes to our fiscal and our national defense well-being. It should be crystal clear by now that he does not have our best interests at heart - except for the mentally deranged liberal progressive sheeple.
Bhagwan-Shree Obama and his academic czars would suffice in a place riddled with corruption like the old Soviet Union, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Iran or Venezuela. This is what this country will become if he is reelected.
51. Everyone knows that austerity is counterproductive in a recession.
You are such twits.
Everyone knows that spending yourself into oblivion is counterproductive in any reality.
48: Some other facts you forgot to mention:
There are many other inconvenient truths regarding Obama that could be listed.
And to carry on where It Takes a Village to Convene a Grand Jury left off:
The Truth About the Unemployment Rate in 2 Graphs
Here's what they're not telling you
Recovery For Burger-Flippers Only
According to new analysis of unemployment data by the National Employment Law Project, while 60 percent of the jobs lost during the 2008-2009 financial crisis were in middle income occupations, the vast majority - 58 percent - of jobs created under President Obama are low-wage. Those jobs include "retail sales, food preparation, home health and customer service."
"The recovery continues to be skewed toward low-wage jobs, reinforcing the rise in inequality and America's deficit of good jobs," said the author of the study, Annette Bernhardt. "While there's understandably a lot of focus on getting employment back to pre-recession levels, the quality of jobs is rapidly emerging as a second front in the struggling recovery."
The McJob recovery
--Today, the Obama administration keeps claiming to have added 4.3 million jobs by choosing to start from February 2010 rather than the start of the recovery in June 2009 or the passage of Barack Obama's stimulus package in February 2009. The Obama recovery in full has only added less than 65,000 jobs per month, far below the level needed to keep up with population growth (125K-150K per month), and the civilian population participation rate has fallen to a 30-year low this spring. A new study now shows that even those jobs that have been added are the "McJobs" that Kerry inaccurately accused Bush's recovery of generating:
---The data shows that even the paltry job creation of the Obama recovery has done little to advance the economy. Businesses won't invest in job-creating activities that require more expensive labor until they can reliably calculate future costs, which in this regulatory and tax environment, they cannot do. That's why companies are sitting on their capital, and why we won't get anything but McJobs in significant numbers until those policies change. The only thing we can get with this job-creation environment is fries with our meal.
Flashback: Obama Attacks Bush Over Employment Report Showing Gains Of 300,000 Jobs...
And then we have Obama today telling us the economy is improving with a gain of only 96K jobs and 368K Americans leaving the workforce.
54. certainly like your web site however you need to
take a look at the spelling on several of your posts.
Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome
to tell the reality nevertheless I'll certainly come again again.
55. Solve the debt:
* Legalize Pot and tax it
* Tax Internet purchases
Solve the debt:
* Legalize Pot and tax it
* Tax Internet purchases
And stop fighting wars, PERIOD!
Iraq- too early to tell, my sense is it will return to another Dictatorship
Missing Panama, Grenada, who cares!
57. @55 -56 - Your revenue plan would have to produce at least $1.4 Trillion/year if Obama is reelected - very doubtful. Show us the documentation and don't forget to check your math.
58. Wake up to the lies