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mudded
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Registered: Aug 2001
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Is the US going bankrupt?

quote:
A ballooning budget deficit and a pensions and welfare timebomb could send the economic superpower into insolvency, according to research by Professor Laurence Kotlikoff for the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, a leading constituent of the US Federal Reserve.
Prof Kotlikoff who teaches at Boston University, says: "The proper way to consider a country's solvency is to examine the lifetime fiscal burdens facing current and future generations. If these burdens exceed the resources of those generations, get close to doing so, or simply get so high as to preclude their full collection, the country's policy will be unsustainable and can constitute or lead to national bankruptcy
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Old Post 07-19-2006 11:08 AM
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Smug Git
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It's not the only country with this problem, but I don't understand why the numbers don't bother more people.

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Old Post 07-19-2006 12:43 PM
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skalie
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http://costofwar.com/index.html

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Old Post 07-19-2006 12:58 PM
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fubar
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Registered: Apr 2005
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quote:
Originally posted by Smug Git
It's not the only country with this problem, but I don't understand why the numbers don't bother more people.


To be honest, I don't think most Americans comprehend the numbers.

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Old Post 07-19-2006 04:01 PM
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CHiPsJr
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It's been well-enough established. The problem is that it is far too easy to gain political advantage by arguing against any meaningful reform.

People understand the numbers all too well. The ones deciding elections correctly understand that the problem won't affect them directly (they'll be dead), whereas a solution would call for them to sacrifice in the immediate term.

The baby boomers: the generation that destroyed America.

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Old Post 07-19-2006 07:41 PM
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euphorbia
caustic milk - hybrid

Registered: Apr 2001
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are you guys complaining about the welfare programs?
Do you hate niggers and starving grannies or something?

but aside from the gross business of the feds and their welfare programs and the emotional twats that push for such things from the feds, especially in a country with the demographics we have, it seems over the last few years our economy grew by $1.3 trillion, an amount that is larger than the entire economy of canada and its going to be hard to convince people the deficit is a big deal...mostly because it will be hard for them to hear you as they squeal with laughter over the cute widdle poopoos that is the Canadian economy.

awe thems a widdle tinies...yes them is...japoojapoopoo...thems a mighty widdles conomies arent they? yes them is. jahums.

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Old Post 07-19-2006 08:08 PM
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BROKEN_LADDER
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Registered: Mar 2005
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quote:
Originally posted by Smug Git
It's not the only country with this problem, but I don't understand why the numbers don't bother more people.


Because Republicans say it's just a bunch of liberal hype. :)

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Old Post 07-19-2006 08:13 PM
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CHiPsJr
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Welfare's a drop in the bucket. It's the age-based entitlements that are the problem.

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Old Post 07-19-2006 08:14 PM
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CHiPsJr
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quote:
Originally posted by BROKEN_LADDER
Because Republicans say it's just a bunch of liberal hype.


More the converse, actually--see the case of Bush and social security reform--but it's not like either party has their hands clean.

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Old Post 07-19-2006 08:16 PM
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Smug Git
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quote:
Originally posted by CHiPsJr
Welfare's a drop in the bucket. It's the age-based entitlements that are the problem.


I was reading yesterday that Medicaid is pretty big now (the savings in putting welfare types to work from 1996 have been offset by Medicaid increases), but yeah, it's stuff like Medicare that looks set to eat everyone's lunch.

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Old Post 07-19-2006 08:19 PM
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Smug Git
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quote:
Originally posted by CHiPsJr
More the converse, actually--see the case of Bush and social security reform--but it's not like either party has their hands clean.


Bush's Social Security reform wasn't a solution either, though (indeed, it looked in part like a scam to boost stock prices). So he's not really any better than many of his predecessors (even Clinton talked up the problem), although for a few brief shining moments it looked like he was going to do something that was good. This, though, isn't a Presidential issue so much as a Congressional one, I think, so Bush shouldn't be the main target for the blame over the precisely nothing that has happened to improve things over his term. Bush's main failing was suggesting a policy that wasn't going to solve the problem and that he couldn't even sell to his own party, but I would hazard a guess that pretty much any president won't do much better even with both levels of Congress from his own party.

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Old Post 07-19-2006 08:22 PM
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euphorbia
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quote:
Originally posted by CHiPsJr
Welfare's a drop in the bucket. It's the age-based entitlements that are the problem.


meh welfare, entitlements, perhaps I shouldnt group them but they are the same thing to me.

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Old Post 07-19-2006 08:22 PM
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CHiPsJr
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quote:
Originally posted by Smug Git
Bush's Social Security reform wasn't a solution either, though (indeed, it looked in part like a scam to boost stock prices).


The point isn't that Bush's scheme would have eliminated entitlements problems--though I'd argue it would have been a good incremental step towards a broader solution. The point is that the Republican party has at least dared to investigate alternatives to the existing entitlement system--whereas the Democrats have proposed literally nothing in this vein and have demagogued literally every reform proposal proffered by anyone else. To say that the lack of attention to entitlement issues is the product of Republicans downplaying the danger of the issue is just total balderdash. If you're going to blame one party it would HAVE to be the Democrats. For my part, I think it's smartest to blame both.

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Old Post 07-19-2006 08:31 PM
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Smug Git
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Well, I think that the Bush scheme had problems, actually; although in theory the stock markets wouldn't be the necessary basis of it, I think that in practice they'd have had to be. I'm not sure what the solution is, although I'd say that raising the entitlement age to higher than is currently planned would be a good move.

I didn't blame the Republicans, though (I just wasn't very impressed with Bush's particular attempts). Indeed, the Democrats play a pivotal role because without them, reform is probably a political impossibility, wheras broad-based Republican support probably isn't as necessary (because as it stands, the Democrats are trusted more by the population on this issue). oth sides have failed and, above all that, the voting population are guilty of ignoring the obvious, almost exactly as they do with their own personal finances, on average.

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Old Post 07-19-2006 08:41 PM
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Trenchant_Troll
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quote:
Originally posted by CHiPsJr
Welfare's a drop in the bucket. It's the age-based entitlements that are the problem.


You guys over-complicate everything. The answer is really quite simple.

Attachment: soylent.jpg
This has been downloaded 69 time(s).

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Old Post 07-19-2006 09:01 PM
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Nutrimentia
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If we are going to amend the constitution, how about a bit where the government is required to fund the laws they pass? Want a new program? Add the taxes to pay for it in the legislation.

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Old Post 07-20-2006 12:46 AM
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fubar
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How about we do away with half the laws on the books that aren't doing any good anyway and start enforcing what's left?

Gun control laws for instance. The only guns they control are the ones owned by people who are honest in the first place.

Quit spending so much money on "the war on drugs". Make 'em legal and use a tiny fraction of the "war" budget to incenerate the dead druggy carcasses.

Quit busting people for paying for sex with someone who is old enough to legally give it away.

B_L, am I leaving any out?

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Old Post 07-20-2006 02:21 AM
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Smug Git
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Even the NRA don't oppose all gun-control laws (they favour the laws preventing felons from owning guns, don't they?), I thought.

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Old Post 07-20-2006 02:25 AM
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lucidnightmare
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quote:
Quit spending so much money on "the war on drugs". Make 'em legal and use a tiny fraction of the "war" budget to incenerate the dead druggy carcasses.

Quit busting people for paying for sex with someone who is old enough to legally give it away.


And let nature take it's course.

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Old Post 07-20-2006 02:46 AM
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Smug Git
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The vast majority of drugs users aren't going to end up dead on account of their drug use, although they will feel freer to bore the shit out of the rest of us in public.

Legal prostitution would probably lead to less STDs, I'd have thought (this would clearly be true if it was regulated (ie, taxed) but even if unregulated I should think that there'd be a clear market for certifiably STD-free whores.

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Old Post 07-20-2006 02:52 AM
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lucidnightmare
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quote:
The vast majority of drugs users aren't going to end up dead on account of their drug use, although they will feel freer to bore the shit out of the rest of us in public.


Heroin,meth and crack users left alone kill themselves.

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Old Post 07-20-2006 02:54 AM
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Smug Git
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Some do. But heroin, meth and crack users are not the majority of drugs users anyhow.

I had a long conversation with a guy who worked with a drugs charity once and he said that the main contributory factors in deaths from heroin was shitty or unknown quality heroin, violence associated with the criminal aspect of it and dirty needles. It's not particularly good for you but if you take out OD, violence and communicated diseases and it's a lot safer and to some extent at least, those are correlated with its illegality.

I'm not advocating that people take, say, heroin, or that it is legalised, but some of the problems encountered by heroin users are related to factors what could be eliminated or reduced if it was legal.

Unless massively taxed, narcotics of a given quality would end up much cheaper than they currently are, too.

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Old Post 07-20-2006 03:10 AM
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skalie
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Which is how the Australians keep things under control, the police force does all the major dealing.

Keeps the quality of the heroin on an even keel, generates income and keeps your average trouble maker pretty subdued. Of course they would prefer it if the average troublemaker dealt the stuff as opposed to doing petty crime to support their habits.

Just DON'T get caught with stuff of better quality than the police sell. That would be illegal.

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Old Post 07-20-2006 07:49 AM
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Coincidence
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quote:
Originally posted by Smug Git
[i]
I had a long conversation with a guy who worked with a drugs charity once and he said that the main contributory factors in deaths from heroin was shitty or unknown quality heroin, violence associated with the criminal aspect of it and dirty needles. It's not particularly good for you but if you take out OD, violence and communicated diseases and it's a lot safer and to some extent at least, those are correlated with its illegality.


If heroin was legal it would be a healthier lifestyle than smoking and drinking.
That's not very impressive, but still, anti-drug logic should include smoking and alcohol before we gleefully picture piles of heroin junkies rotting in the streets. It's a childish dream for defenders of normality.

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Old Post 07-20-2006 11:49 AM
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FuhQall
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Healthier lifestyle than smoking and drinking??, you're kidding right?

Having a cigarette does not make me want two the next time, neither does drinking, there is no such thing as being a social heroin user as is there with smoking and drinking.
I can afford to get a bit careless and smoke more than three cigarettes in a row and drink 4 shots of tequila in a row, no person has shot up 2 loads of heroin in a row and lived, usually addicts OD because they shot the same load and didn't realise the quality was better, a welcome fact in both smoking and drinking.

I can swap beer glasses with a buddy and even share a smoke with my buddy without getting AIDS or Hep.

Most importantly, I can fucking smoke and drink in font of my kids without exposing them to the horror of watching my eyes roll back in my head, slump sideways and piss myself.

Healthier lifestyle my ass!

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