Spending and spending makes things worse

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It seems the government, including local government, is relentlessly coming up with new ways of spending more taxpayer dollars. And much of the spending is sold to the public by stating how the spending will help the children.

I thought that those who are spending all this money may want to look at things from a different point of view if only for a millisecond.

First, yearly total government spending (federal, state, and local) is $6.4 trillion or 41 percent of GDP. Total government spending is getting closer and closer to total private spending.

Furthermore, of the $6.4 trillion government spends, it takes in only $5.2 trillion. Meaning, it borrows $1.2 trillion every year to pay its bills (I’m talking total government.).

Obviously, all this government spending can’t last. At some point many of these government assistance programs (not to be confused with Social Security, which is paid into for many years by most recipients, but free government assistance programs) will have to be eliminated for the simple fact the country will not be able to borrow any more money to pay for them, which will cause forced economic austerity, the key word being forced.

The more programs and projects that are started means more dependent people, which means more people, that at some point, will lose their benefit and be put in a very difficult if not impossible situation.

Maybe government officials should look at the bigger picture and ask themselves what happens when we can’t borrow any more money or another really bad recession comes?

Maybe instead of spending more money, we should pay down debt and build up more rainy day funds, so at the very least, all the people who already depend on government assistance can continue to receive it during even harder times?

Or another way to look at it is to look at it from a child’s point of view. If a kid is 12, in just six years he or she will be an adult, do we really want to keep adding more debt that will eventually have to be paid back by the children who we claim we’re helping so much?

Yes, we have gotten ourselves into a terrible situation. Americans must borrow trillions of dollars every year to pay our bills.

But, continuing to spend and spend and spend is only going to make it much worse in the future for everyone including the children.

Richard Strozinsky

Walla Walla

Comments

paco1234 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Richard, many thanks for being civil and for not insulting anyone. Although I fundamentally disagree with you I still respect your legitimate concerns about this Country's fiscal problems. Please consider that Government functions by spending, and by investing in the future, by facilitating Education without enriching Mr. Trump's "University" schemes, for example. A 12 year old should expect free college education , exactly like many other countries do for their children. Let's start here! Many programs need mending not ending, and with the help of both sides...if ever possible!

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ImJustSayin 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Government functions by spending what it has in the budget. Not by borrowing and spending beyond our means. And free college? I know it's now legal, but put down the pipe!

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paco1234 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Well, free college in this corporate oriented Country of ours will be an up hill, idealistic fight. I guess we could start by making student loans as cheap as possible. But bilking students with high rate loans, as proposed by Republicans in Congress is not right. Student loans has turned into a big, profitable "industry" favoring banks and other, so colled "educational" schemes that are literally stilling from our students. Do you have any other ideas at all? Now is your turn to put your pipe down!

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PearlY 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Six percent on an unsecured loan to someone who has no present ability to repay it is not a "high rate." And the only reason these loans are profitable at all is because (drumroll) they're federally guaranteed.

Don't forget, the banks may get some modest interest on their loans, but the principal is all spent at educational institutions. THEY are the ones benefitting the most from what I do believe is a major scam. Young people have been convinced that a "higher education" is the path to wealth and success, mostly because they keep hearing the arguments about the higher lifetime earnings of the college educated.

But those arguments all suffer from a major logical flaw: They confuse correlation with causation. In the past, people who graduated from college did make more money. But graduating from college in the past required good grades in high school, which required self-discipline, good study habits and/or high intellect. Such students scored well on tests which predicted college success, and their test scores mattered.

They were expected to exercise discipline in college and had institutions (fraternities/sororities, residence hall advisors, families) that supported that. (When I started college, the sorority I joined monitored first year students' grades, required a two hour study hall every evening, and imposed a 7 pm. curfew and 10 p.m. bedtime on first year students and a pretty high minimum GPA.)

Smart, disciplined, ambitious people went to college, and yes, they did well, but was that because they were smart, disciplined and ambitious or because they went to college?

Nowadays, people can get into college and start accruing huge debt even though they are barely able to read. I forget the percentage that now have to take remedial courses, but I think it's because I'm blocking the memory - it's huge. Not surprisingly, these unprepared, undisciplined, not over-bright students are going to have a rough time in "college" type occupations even if they do make it through.

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paco1234 7 months, 3 weeks ago

You're right in many ways. Let's then start by eliminating the so called "universities" that are reaping tax free benefits, admitting poor candiates, charging high tuitions for what ends up being meaningless diplomas. The CEOs of these "universities" are making millions at the expense of our tax dollars. Oh, but this is OK... and legal?

By the way the last I heard about a funny, so colled university was "Trump University". Like this one there are dozens or maybe hundreds of them in this Country, their victim students wasting their time and money...and then, they are so ill prepared noboby hires them. So, let's blame it on those unscupulous scumbags who concoct "educational" schemes to bilk students and government under the shield of the American entrepreneurial, coorporate "philisophy" that gives them the "right" to rip poeple off.

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PearlY 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Paco, we don't have to "eliminate" them. We could just let them sink or swim in the free market - in other words, we could stop subsidizing them and let students decide if its worth putting their OWN money into tuition there. When people have to use their own money, they suddenly gain about 25 IQ points and start spending it much more wisely.

It's ridiculous to blame entrepreneurship or the free market for a system that has nothing to do with either. The "unscrupulous scumbags" you're referring to are 100% creatures of the government. Blame the politicians who created them. And you are naive if you think it is only private institutions that are bilking students and the government. By dollar volume, the University of Washington is probably the biggest scammer in the state. It's just so huge that its worthless programs and ripped-off students are buried in amongst its many good ones.

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namvet60 7 months, 3 weeks ago

A progressive trait - spend spend spend until they run out of other peoples money and then move on from the devastation that they have left behind.

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downhillracer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Your sheer ignorance is breathtaking. If the previous administration had been honest about the cost of two unfunded wars, perhaps the public would have sat-up and taken notice. The current administration is actually reducing the deficit (which Reagan said "doesn't matter"), but you never hear - or see - any support by Congress. Isn't it about time for someone to shout "Bengazi!" again? We never heard a peep from any of the 13 attacks on our outposts during the Bush administration. Not. Once.

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namvet60 7 months, 3 weeks ago

You ramble like an outdated Nancy Pelosi or a befuddled Harry Reid. Rave on Mr Big City.

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downhillracer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Actually, I reference facts. If you are able to refute them, please do so and provide the source of your data. Pretty simple, don't you think? You know, an honest debate, not foolish blather from what you read on the Drudge Report or heard Hannity shout.

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paco1234 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Namvet, if you're deprived of facts, just keep your tongue off the rollerbldes. You conviniently get off the subject by pronouncing an insult...and that's fine? Please concede and retreat!

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namvet60 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Thats funny paco - I see your spell check is working? Here's one for you - there are a few on these posts that are deprived of oxygen and you really should get a new cannister.

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paco1234 7 months, 3 weeks ago

You need new ideas...and civility!

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namvet60 7 months, 3 weeks ago

downhillracer - "This Administration is reducing the deficit"? Are you in a Cloud?

If they are going into negotiations to raise the debt ceiling is that lowering the deficit?

Maybe that is the Progressive thought process of lowering the deficit is raise the debt ceiling. How about this Administration is now at causing the deficit to increase by 7 trillion in less that 5 years. Real spendthrifts I would say?

As support by Congress - where is your Harry Reid and the Senate?

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downhillracer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The increase was based on the actual accounting of two unfunded wars and an unfunded entitlement (Medicare Part B/prescription drugs), and the stimulus, which was signed by GWB.

If you would acquaint yourself with the facts, instead of the nonsense fed to you by your narrow "sources", you might actually learn something, but it's not likely since you have your mind made-up already, just like all your phony "facts". What a clown, not even funny. http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-02-11/business/37030933_1_national-debt-deficit-hawks-deficit-reduction

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kurtfr 7 months, 3 weeks ago

In 2002 there was a vote on the debt ceiling 37 Democrat Senator Voted yes and 31 Republicans voted yes. In the house 212 Republicans voted yes. In '03 in the Senate, Yes votes: 50 R's & 3 D's. In '04 50 R's and 2 D's Senators voted Yes. In the house 208 R's voted yes. In '06 52 R's voted yes in the Senate. in '07 the yeses were 26 D's and 27 R's.

What was different from '02 to '07 that made Republicans think raising the debt limit was good policy?

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namvet60 7 months, 3 weeks ago

When reading these comments it is beneficial to comprehend what one reads. I was referring to the hoopla about who was lowering the deficit when they were having to raise the debt ceiling. It probably wouldn't make any difference it there was an inexhastible supply of money but when the capital is dead and buried, quit spending.

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namvet60 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Do you find Benghazi humorous? You need to put your head on straight - that was 4 American lives lost in that affair. Pure ignorance on your part.

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downhillracer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't be an idiot (any more than you already prove yourself to be). Of course no one finds any loss of life "humorous". Where were all you shouting fools during any one of the 13 embassy and outpost attacks during the last administration? Crickets...

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namvet60 7 months, 3 weeks ago

If you would like to see an IDIOT go and look in that mirror where you admire yourself. If you want to go back why not try going to the USS Cole & World Trade Center to name a few of Clinton's tragedies while he was testifying that he did not have sex with that intern. Where were all of your progressive screeches then? You are just a big City Bust!

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downhillracer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

We sought out and have persued justice for the USS Cole incident, and I believe the current adminisration oversaw the delivery of justice to Mr. Bin Laden. Let's see.. Clintons "tragedies".. you mean a budget surplus? You're concerned about the Monica Lowinski affair? Us "progressives" were as offended and concerned about that, as the appropriate level. You're just grasping as straws, and are obviously more comfortable screaming "Get of my lawn!" than having an intelligent discussion with any convictions of your sound, through research. Go back to your reruns of Hee Haw, m-kay?

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namvet60 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Nope - prefer Edgar Bergen re-runs. Charley McCarthy reminds me of you progressives with your force fed rhetoric and talking points from your almighty leader. Have you thought of taking a job for MSNBC or CNN because you would fit right in.

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paco1234 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Namvet, I just can imagine the audience rolling their eyes at your disjointed comments! You keep pulling rabbits out of the hat even after the audience has booed...and gone!

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namvet60 7 months, 3 weeks ago

paco - are you mixing your potted plants with Boone's Farm finest? Talk about dis-jointed comments - wow.

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treardon 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Downhillracer- "The current administration is actually reducing the deficit... " Question is, relative to what? The following are the annual budget deficits: 2005: $318BB 2006: $248BB 2007: $161BB 2008: $459BB 2009: $1,413BB 2010: $1,294BB 2011: $1,300 BB 2012: $1,087BB

So you are correct, the deficit is cooling down relative to the President's first year, when he pushed to spend huge bucks on "stimulus". But Obama deficits are still muliple times the deficits of all previous administrations, even if they are going down.

But don't tell me- ".. it's Bush's fault...". Riiiiiight.

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downhillracer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

You can not say the Bush administration is not culpable in the current state of affairs - to do so is myopic. PS, its was Bush who signed the Stimulus bill: http://money.cnn.com/2008/02/11/news/economy/bush_stimulus/

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namvet60 7 months, 3 weeks ago

GW Bush stimulus was for around $150 billion.

Your current President signed the 2009 stimulus for $831 billion.

Still haven't heard from CNN and MSNBC - maybe you could fill in for Chrissy or maybe even Ole Al?

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downhillracer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

While I rarely use wikipedia as a reference source, here's a reminder to the 2008 package.

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namvet60 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't give up - maybe you can find some more links. It has been 4 1/2 years since GW has been in office and since the Democrats have been in majority for those years you just keep at it. I suppose it will be Bush's fault when Obama goes into Syria all by his lonesome and then go check some speeches from 2007-2008 during his campaign.

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NewInWW 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree that unilateral action by Obama would be a complete reversal of his stance on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I'm very much afraid that we're going to do this simply to cash a check his "red line" statement issued. It's time we stopped being the world's policeman and started taking care of our own.

That said, my disappointment with Obama on this (and other) matters in no way makes any past Republican candidate he defeated or any of the current crop of Republican "leaders" an even slightly more attractive alternative.

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downhillracer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Masterful at your buffoonery you are, mr 'namvet'. Check the stats on the horrendous loss of jobs during the previous administration, and the long hard fought struggle to reverse that. I'll bet you were all for hunting down them weapons of mass de-struction in Iraq, but now, not so much? I too, wish to see the evidence that can be released concerning Syria, and the US not pursue a unilateral response, but since the Black Man is running the show, it's all bad to you.

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namvet60 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I knew it - Your racism and bigotry is in the forefront full face!

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downhillracer 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Huh? You make less sense than usual.

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namvet60 7 months, 2 weeks ago

While I have been posting on the incompetence of this president and his entourage at the inability to manage foreign policy and even domestic policies YOU manage to inject race into the issue. I have never indicated race has had anything to do with the stupidty in this administration. As I have said in the past if you don't comprehend, ask a friend if you have any.

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downhillracer 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Because his policies are not universally "stupid". There are few explanations for your blatant and consistent rants of hatred and disgust. Many of the positions you support and rally behind have a very solid foundation in ignorance and bigotry - big time.

Trying to have the slightest discussion based on reason and logic with you is all but impossible, just as the President faces an intransigent congress. Please, stick to shouting at people to get off your lawn, you'll have more luck.

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