« on: February 28, 2008, 01:32:30 PM »
You're basically asking us "young people" to just suck it up about SS- no thank you. I don't know how to fix the system, but raising the cap is not a solution I'm willing to field OR vote for. Further, I realize old people vote and that the AARP is ridiculously powerful, but that's no objection (as you're using it). Is Obama about change or is he about getting people to vote?
No, I'm not (asking "young people" to suck it up), the ridiculous policies of spend, spend, spend, and cut cut cut taxes is what's going to force the issue. After being poor most of my life, I'm not thrilled about the idea of once I actually have some money, I'll have to pay for the mistakes and handouts to the super rich of the 2000-2008 years.
However, I AM a realist. Our debt situation is not sustainable. I'm perfectly happy for that something to be drastic military cuts, however, a lot of Americans aren't and therefore its not really something someone can campaign on. Also, no one is going to win an election by telling people they are going to cut their social security. For many elderly around here, that's their only income. And I'm truly hoping this election is different, that young people come out and vote in force for their interest. And I think it could happen. But historically, young people don't vote. And so the "old folks" get to decide.
Again, I'm simply being a realist.
The only way we can get out of the debt is to curtail our spending. If you feel that you want to help the government, then go ahead and donate your 30 K. But i sure as hell don't want to be obliged to do that.
Ok, tell me what you are going to cut? Military is by far the biggest chunk. I'm all for it, but a campaign with that as a platform will surely fail. Then we're left with spend and cut McCain.
There are only a few options here. Pay now, or pay later. But at some point the American citizens are going to have to pay for the giant handout of the 2000's. I'd rather pay now, while the baby boomers are still alive and paying TOO. Otherwise, they are all gonna die and never have to pay for their mistakes. It's unfortunate that the rest of us, Gen X and Gen Y, are going to have to pay for their party, but there it is.
Saradsun, I agree with you that we've got a problem and that we'll have to suck it up and deal with a tax hike until we get it under control. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to point out a few things:
- Tax raises aren't enough to get us out of our problem.
- Military spending, which accounts for about 20% of federal spending, is not the cause of our nation's fiscal problem.
- The pending bankruptcy of Social Security has nothing to do with Military spending. SS expenses will soon outstrip SS revenue, and will continue to do so at an increasing rate until well after the entire accumulated trust fund has been depleted.
- Although discretionary spending is responsible for a large part of our current national debt, entitlement spending is the real threat to our future. It accounts for between 53% and 60% of all federal spending. It is growing at a faster rate than other federal spending and federal revenue. It is harder to cut when budget problems arise--indeed, it usually rises during times of fiscal problems. It is hard to cut because it is "entitlement" spending and thus creates an expectation that people rely upon.
- The last eight years, despite virulent anti-Bush rhetoric to the contrary, have not been a constant handout to the rich. On the contrary, the rich now pay a greater portion of the nation's tax burden than they did when Bush entered office. The bottom 30% of income earners now pay "negative income tax" (that is, they get a refund even though they do not pay taxes).
- I prefer not to be called Generation X or Generation Y --- My TV tells me I'm a member of the Pepsi Generation! ;-)
I agree that we have a big problem and that it is going to hurt to fix it. It seems that your solution is "just make the rich hurt." Unfortunately, that is not a solution because the problem isn't just on the tax side--and it certainly isn't that the rich are not paying their fair share. The problem is on BOTH the tax side and the spending side. And it isn't just on the rich. We need a solution, and the solution will hurt. It will have to include multiple components, including:
- Eliminating the Social Security tax wage cap (even though this will destroy its justification as a "social insurance" "trust fund" and fully embrace the reality of a mode of wealth distribution)
- Raising other taxes across the board (and not doing this typical cop out by excluding 55% of the population from them)
- Drastically cutting social security benefits, eligibility, and benefit increases
- Cutting the federal budget across the board
- Avoiding new entitlement spending
- Implementing deficit reduction methods, like were used in the 1990s