USA should spend significantly less
Debate Rounds (3)
if you look at the experts, we see the congressional budget office, and plenty of current and former administraters in that and realted organizations that say the same thing. a noteable name comptroller david walker. our triple A rating has been downgraded a notch, and they warn us it could be more if we don't get our affairs in order. china is warning us that we need to get our affairs in order.
only people like paul krugman argue it is not a big deal. he probably does this mostly to be a contrarian and get attention. he argues for keysian econonomics, that we can grow ourselves out by spending more.
while keynesian econ has some merit to it, it's not applicable now. that theory says when we are in a recession we should spend so as to stimulate. now, we are not in recession, and while we are not optimal, i would argue it's the new normal. employment won't go down more, cause our economic structure doesn't need that many people working. and similar arguments could be made about other economic indicators.
the measure of how much we should spend is often GDP v debt. we are about 75% debt to GDP, and the highest it has been was around WWII. what makes now different, is that the country was developing, and had a marked advanged over less developed and war torn counties. that allowed them to pull themselves out of the mire. now, we dont have things like that to pull us out.
also, probably a better measure, is that we should compare debt to national revenue. if we continue to grow in debt, we revenue won't increase in proportion.
also, within maybe thirty or so years, interest on the debt will eat out much of other spending, even to the detriment of entitlement spending. an example that revenue increases are not matching debt levels.
i'm not saying we are beyond the point of no return. but we are getting there. things need to shape up. we can't keep spending like a drunken sailor.
While I agree with the premise that debt should not increase, moreover that in prosperous times debt should decrease, I disagree that cutting spending is the ideal solution.
Government funding should not be cut just for the sake of reducing government spending. We should however always be open to innovation to reduce spending in the long haul. Rather than focussing on reducing spending, introducing a +1mil. USD income tax bracket could help the budgetcrisis (if I may call it that). As the money a person makes for example under 55.000 USD is much more valuable to that person, than the money another person would make over 400k, and even more valuable than the money another would make over one million dollars.
The most surefire way to boost the economy (and ultimately government income) is by investing in R&D and large government projects.
I look forward to this debate.
i wouldnt necessarily be opposed to increases in R and D as i am not a hard core conservative. i just think we should spend less. and there is some good points from traditioal conservatism, that says if there's a way for us to improve efifcincy etc, the private sector would probably fix it. the 'invisitble hand'. if we have to throw money at it artificially, ie the government, it could very well be something that doesn't deserve the money to begin with. of course, not being a traditional conservative, i can see some merit to government some times having a hand in spending there.
Could you name a few of those programs that shouldn't exist? While it is clear that basically all government programs could run better, I haven't really found any that are useless like Pro states. The fact that they could run better does however not mean that funding towards them should be cut. Most programs that I know have that have been under fire, for example some public transportation projects, are valuable projects that help citizens. They deal with the transportation issues of te future, which is when they will be needed. Building for current demands is too late. When we look to cities that are thriving around the world, we see elaborate public transportation. Public transportation contracts also provide jobs and will continue to provide jobs.
- The private sector would fix it
The reason the health care system in the U.S. is completely messed up is entirely because of the private sector. Lack of government control in health care in the past has lead health care costs to escalate. A minority could not afford health care or insurance. This caused hospitals to increase the cost of everything to make up for this lost revenue. As a result more people could not afford paying their medical bills, and so on, and so on. The cost for medical insurances (entirely private sector) are also absurdly high. Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (AKA Obamacare) attempted to remedy this problem and to some extent succeeded, but the problem of actual health care costs are insane.
We assume that the private sector will optimalize but what we fail to see is that the private sector optimalizes for the best achievable finances at the end of one fiscal year. More often than not though, companies make it difficult for themselves to survive this way (as happened with health care).
- Throwing money at something => probably not worth it.
An easy way to counter this argument is by bringing up basic security, giving people who don't make enough money on themselves a little support. People who don't make enough money to sustain their families become dangerous people. People will always choose the best solution for their situation. When people resort to a life of crime, two things can be wrong with them; they're either abandoned by society and find a way to make a living, or they're messed up in the head and need help/be removed from society. I would conclude from almost every case of crime I have heard of and knew who did it, excluding serial killers and the like, were people struggling to keep their family fed.
Being poor makes for bad decisions http://www.sciencemag.org...
- Increased income tax
Pro is correct in my point being an increased income tax, this by introducing another bracket for extremely high salaries.
I look forward to your rebuttal.
if you admit efficiencies can be found, that usually means spending can be reduced. otherwise they are performing better with teh same amount of money.
- Department of Education
The department of education is probably one of the worst branches of the government to cut spending in. Basic education leads to smarter people, which make up a society in which you can rely on other people to make better decisions. Unless you are planning on solving all of tomorrows problems yourself, we will need a country where everyone gets at least a basic education. Education is the highest return investment a country can make. The better people are educated the easier it is for them to find a job and provide for themselves and not rely on government help. But it seems you also wish to get rid of this government help.
- Head Start
While it is true that the effectiveness of Head Start has been a matter for debate, the arguments against are that kids who participated in the program, usually end up in low income schools, which undo the benefits of the program. So instead of cutting this program and leaving poor kids to end up poorer than their parents. We should invest in kids who have even less to say about their financial state than their parents. Instead of using local property tax to fund local schools, the federal government should distribute the wealth better. This so more money ends up in low income schools, as they are chronically underfunded. Because of the current system, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
- Meals on Weels
Almost half the budget of Meals on Wheels comes from gifts. The program was made to fight senior lonelyness and poverty. These people have contributed to the country most of their lives, and once we're done leaching them out, we should leave them to starve?
- Section 8
This housing section funded by the government costs quite a bit of money, it has a higher return than the investment that it takes.
Also, the buildings are privately owned, but without the help of the government, the private sector would not be willing to take in tenants who have an uncertain income. So in this case the private sector will definitely not fix it.
You also seemed to not have read my rebuttal because I named basic security as one of the main arguments for govermnent involvement. Housing and food are considered basic security.
I perhaps also did not elaborate enough on the article I posted: it concludes poor decisionmaking isn't a prerequisite for poverty, however poverty will lead to poor decisionmaking. http://www.sciencemag.org...
So basically providing people with a house they can live in and providing people with food, will make them smarter people, will make them feel more responsible, and make them less dangerous (with regards to crime).
This is a very nice article about crimes of desperation with a staggering conclusion; for every $ spent on measures to reduce poverty (provide housing, food, clothes,...) 6$ can be saved in costs to society (damage done, justice system). http://www.calgaryunitedway.org...
What I meant by saying that basically all government programs could run better, was that there is always room for improvement and that we shouldn't stop looking for ways to make them more efficient. Instead of cutting spending from the top down, the programs themselves should be encouraged to either achieve the same goals with less, or to achieve more with the same amount of money. Working the other way around however, would lead to the programs working less efficiently.
Basically I hope you will not have a hand in reforming the budget of the United States, as you would leave the poor to die out on the streets, leave the elderly to starve in their homes and generally reward rich people for being rich.
Maybe a good question to ask yourself is: what do we need money for. Is money not a means to an end, a way to allow people to survive and thrive? I think making money, and having a part of that money go to making this country a better place to live in for everyone, a beautiful idea. And instead of looking at "what does it cost me", look at "how does it benefit the people of the U.S.A.". Choosing the advancement of society over personal gain is what defines us as humans. Without it, we would not have started building roads, we wouldn't have health care, education for everyone, we wouldn't have most of our technology.
"Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life." - Nelson Mandela
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