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U.S. budget deficit this year already 21% higher than last year

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level 1

Good thing the deficit hawks got elected.

level 2
20 points · 1 month ago
level 1
163 points · 1 month ago

If you think this is anything but on purpose, you're a fool.

It's the Republican thing to do. Drive up the deficit to justify cutting agencies. Then the agencies are less effective, thereby justifying that they are just overly large bureaucracies and need to be cut more.

Rinse, repeat.

level 2
81 points · 1 month ago

Republicans are a fucking cancer. We have decades of data showing their policies simply do not work. If you wonder why wages began to stagnate right around the Reagan 80s this shit is why.

level 3
19 points · 1 month ago

The period of Stagflation before the Reagan was absolutely brutal.

There's no point in wages rising if inflation is rising faster than wage growth. This is artificial wage growth because during 1976-1980 period the yearly inflation rate was at 8%. Wages were not growing at 8% therefore real economic buying power was not just stagnating it was decreasing dramatically.

level 4

Stagflation

I'm going to go ahead and steal this is you don't mind. This is an awesome and efficient way of explaining.

level 5

It's an actual technical term!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stagflation

level 6

I'm super behind on reading through my inbox - so sorry for the late reply!

I just wanted to thank you for explaining this instead of just mocking me for not knowing. It's really very kind of you, thanks!

level 3

We have decades of data showing their policies simply do not work.

Hence the catchphrase 'reality has a well-known liberal bias'.

level 3

Help! I'm confused by this subject. So to my understanding there was an institutional crisis in the way we were running capitalism in the postwar period. Unions gamed the system, businesses gamed the system. COLA contracts, wage-price spirals and all that. Roughly contemporaneous w/ OPEC embargo. Because of Cold War stuff, we funded the economies that became our competition in the 80s. Bretton Woods broke. Technological transitions with IT revolution as well. Correct me if I'm wrong but corporate profits were on the decline in the postwar period? Business organizes to defend it's interests. Nobody is happy with things as they stand. Ultimately investment strike, very painful stagflation.

So Reagan, austere Fed, deunionization and eventually globalization happened. Median wages grow at a slower rate than the postwar period. People maintained living standards in part by pumping up household debt (credit cards etc). However, real comp (benefits, etc) tracks pretty well. I'm a bit skeptical of that fact being used to dismiss concerns however, because the reasoning basically goes "yes, your wages grow slower now, but you get more $ in health coverage... well, you don't get more benefits... it just got more expensive...".

I'm not sure if wages grew at a slower rate because of the discipline and mandated flexibility imposed on labor by institutional changes, or something else. I've read in a bunch of stuff about rising costs. Education has apparently doubled. College has gotten ten times more expensive. Likewise with healthcare. I read somewhere that subway transporation costs in the US have ballooned. Rents went up significantly. Childcare has gone up as well. All this inflation adjusted of course. So, a lot of things essential to quality of living and mobility have become more expensive at the same time as wages slumped, and I'm not sure comp is enough to counterbalance. My overall point is that while I disagree with Republican economic policy at virtually every turn, I'm not sure the partisan POV is enough to address the complexity and extent of the problem.

level 3
4 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

Political elites of both parties and more importantly corporate interests are fucking cancer. They want you to turn on the other half of America instead of turning against their power & wealth.

Let's be honest that Obama grew the deficit by 5.8% relative to GDP, just as egregious if not moreso than Reagan at 4.1% or the current administration thus far.

As for wages, its easy to blame Republicans for labor laws or lack thereof that have diminished unions, but historically speaking even when Democrats were in power Democrats Paid a Huge Price for Letting Unions Die. TL;DR: Under 3 Democrat Presidents they failed to pass labor law reforms that would to bolster the union cause, Democrats could have increased the penalties for violating labor law, and they could have repealed the part of the Taft-Hartley Act that allows conservatives states to pass “right to work” laws.

EDIT: I guess its not enough to hate all elites. Anyone care to discuss or just downvote to disagree in truly reddit fashion?

level 4
5 points · 1 month ago

Obama had to deal with one of the worst recessions, which reduced corporate tax receipts AND the impact of the Bush tax cuts.

level 5

Federal Government: Tax Receipts on Corporate Income

2007: 328B

2009: 153B

2014: 339B

Sure, I'll attribute one trillion in extra debt to decreased corporate tax receipts, and I'll attribute another trillion to decreased non-corporate tax receipts, which still leaves 7 trillion extra debt that was generated. Among other things, the administration could've held back its deep bank bailouts, on military spending, or choose not to extend the same Bush tax cuts in the same way as before.

level 2

Let Democrat fix recession.

level 3

And then they blame dems for not being able to fix a fundamentally fucked system on their own immediately

level 4

And gods forbid the new president is something like a half white guy...

level 2

Similar thing happens in my country conservatives cut funding to health care and education because "we can't afford it because "insert opposition here" likes to spend and spend, now we have a deficit." Proceeds to widen deficit. Opposition gets in then they spend the whole time blaming their opposition for their debt until people fall for that shit again and vote conservative all over

level 2

It's also serves the purpose of boosting the short term economy at the expense of the long term. Trumpists can say how great the economy's doing at a time when their goal is to get through the midterms.

The recent tax cuts are already a failed promise in the sense that they were supposed to boost the economy so much that the deficit drops.

level 2
-19 points · 1 month ago(26 children)
level 3

If we leave all that up to the states you will have pockets of extreme poverty and poor education all over the country because some states simply don't have the means to take care of themselves. We are a union and the federal government helps allocate resources to areas with fewer resources so that an indivudual's success is based primarily on where they were born.

level 4

Well yeah but the US isn't exactly known for it's socialism and equality.

level 5

Not compared to other countries, but dont let the loudest political punditry confuse you. The US has alot of policies designed to spread wealth, even if its not always done the best effect.

level 6

spread it upwards maybe

level 7

Yeah we do alot of that, hopefully we will eventually learn that it doesn't actually help.

level 4
-8 points · 1 month ago(0 children)
level 5
18 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

The idea of taking all the big city's money, and just pumping it into some rural state seems ridiculous.

That already happens. Red, rural states take in more money for things like medicare and social security than they put out, and vice versa for blue, urban states. So these cuts harm the Republican base. It's not a good strategy for the GOP at all, and the only way they manage to hold onto power is by conning their base into thinking that voting against their economic self interest is a good thing.

As for whether interfering with capitalism is "American" or not, we already had a period of unrestrained capitalism, the Gilded Age. Lots of sweatshops, child labor and the like. Unfettered capitalism is a libertarian ideal, not an American one. So this American says interfere away. Actually, on that note why do you care how American something is if you're not American?

Lastly, the idea that we should pump all our resources into a few big powerhouses in order to compete with China is ridiculous. It just means we'd have a few overwhelmingly wealthy areas surrounded by tons of economic dead weight. It's a much better idea to help poorer areas develop, so that they can support themselves and even contribute. Not to mention diversifying improves our resilience against market shocks, disasters and such.

Hell, we actually had a period where the US government did lift large swathes of the country out of poverty; Roosevelt's New Deal. Look at the Tennessee Valley Authority and similar electrification programs for more specifics.

level 6
3 points · 1 month ago

It's refreshing to see someone actually understanding things instead of buying into punditry.

level 7

Thanks. It helps that FormidableSnowman was willing to explain his viewpoints in a very reasonable manner. I don't know if what I wrote is really informed enough to not be punditry, but at the very least it's better than cable news drivel.

level 6

It's not a good strategy for the GOP at all

It's an idealism that they're following through on despite its costs. I respect that

Actually, on that note why do you care how American something is if you're not American?

interested in economics and I respect people who stick to their ideals

It just means we'd have a few overwhelmingly wealthy areas surrounded by tons of economic dead weight.

Yeah that's true that is a good point

Lifting everyone else out of poverty is desirable, because then they will help contribute and it's all great, but it's also efficient to have more people living in dense cities which generate which exists in a bubble of high wages, high costs and enormous economic productivity.

Let me share my view on why I think poor areas shouldn't be subsidized:

If poor areas aren't subsidzed there is less money spent in rural areas, which means less infrastructure, less investment, and overall less human activity. Then people start to leave the poor areas and they can go back to nature.

I'm largely against the principle of subsidizing human life where there should be no humans. I think if you want to live there, fine, just live outside the capitalist world of the major world cities.

There is a similar situation in my country which is ireland where people think more investment should occur outside of Dublin. Economically, most of Ireland is just the hinterland of Dublin, which accounts for something like 50% of GDP.

But I'm against the idea of too much investment in rural areas. I think it's okay for these areas to be "left behind" as other people describe it. I simply see it as a dual economy of cities for people and separate rural areas which are less spoiled by human infrastructure and more natural. As long as people who choose to live rurally have their needs met, and the mobility to move to a city, then I'm happy.

So, to finish, I'm not a crazy advocate of unfettered capitalism (fossil fuel extraction and climate change is a major reason why), I'm just against the idea of subsidizing rural areas. I think rural should stay poor and rural, cities can be where you go if you want all the benefits of capitalism. Cities should be for people. Countryside should be for nature.

level 7
6 points · 1 month ago

Then cities become the only area where people can survive reasonably, and you wind up having loads of issues associated with a high population density like crime, mental illness, and viral disease transmission.

level 8

This is the underlying point of this entire debate. You have to support the entire country or eventually the whole thing fails. If we ignored poor areas too much, it won't be just rural towns that are negatively effected.

I think the disconnect is that Ireland is alot smaller and less diverse so its alot easier to manage relative to the US.

level 7
2 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

I appreciate the detailed and reasonable response; it's cleared up a lot of your points and I have to retract and apologize for my statement that you don't know what you're talking about.

I do agree that focusing on rural areas to the detriment of cities is a bad idea, and that cities should be the primary economic engines. I even agree that rural areas shouldn't be receiving subsidies just to stay rural. That's actually an issue here, where people are refusing to adapt to changing conditions. West Virginia's coal mining towns are a good example.

That being said, I think there are still a few issues with your arguments. First and foremost, I think you're taking things too far in the other direction. Overconcentrating wealth in cities while leaving more rural areas as merely self-sufficient risks disaster in the event that something happens to one city. Even in economic terms, a single city being the sole focal point of economic activity in an entire region can have severe consequences if the city's economy collapses. Witness Detroit, for example.

Like I said, I agree with cities being the big economic powerhouses. Hell, I live in New York City, and love it here. But I'm also fine with some of my money going to poorer, less urban regions, because it means there's more overall wealth that can eventually come into a city. I also see it as a way of creating and enhancing more cities in other regions of the country.

It's also important to note that there are spaces between urban and rural, and that some parts of the country are better suited to rural economies, such as the big agricultural states in the middle of the US. Kansas may not have many cities, but it still pumps out a hell of a lot of economic value along with all the wheat.

Finally, I think there are some minor situational differences and misunderstandings at play here. The first one is mine; I assumed you were arguing against spreading wealth regionally more than against urban to rural subsidies. Thanks to your explanation of the situation in Ireland, I've better grasped where you're coming from, but also why your arguments aren't as applicable here in the States.

America is big. Really, really big. We have a lot of land that is still 100% natural, and plenty of rural towns and villages that don't take up much space at all. It makes a lot of sense for Ireland to focus on its capital, given how much of the economy Dublin makes up. But here, we have enough land left to nature that more rural development isn't as much of an issue, and we have enough big cities that taking a bit from each of them won't cause too many problems. We certainly don't lack for airports here in NYC (though the less said about quality, the better).

Incidentally, most conservationists here are more worried about suburban sprawl than stubbornly rural folks. Suburbia takes up obscene amounts of land, while rural towns, villages and houses are spread widely enough to leave plenty of room for nature.

level 8
2 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

This is good, I'm glad we can discuss this idea.

> I think you're taking things too far in the other direction

Having reread my initial points that's correct. I conceed I was simplistic in my argument and presumptive about the US. I think I am on your page now.

I'm interested by the points you raised on the gap between urban and rural, and the middleground which is the spread of suburbia. From a broad idealistic perspective, urban sprawl should not happen. And I agree that tat is probably a bigger waste of resources than a few lightly subsidized rural areas. Having grown up in a suburb, the whole idea I see with sprawl is that it's the quickest fix to the problem: We need more housing.

So capitalism's natural response is to build a house on the cheapest free land near the city. But over time this results in huge inefficiency as the benefits of city living are lost almost entirely. I grew up in a suburb, surrounded by rows and rows of houses. No shops or business within a 45 minute walk. You had to drive everywhere. Which, as a kid, is terribly boring. No community, which is a benefit of small towns.

But, as always, capitalism doesn't account for the societal cost. In this case, the cost is the inefficiency of spreading everything out. In this case wastes land and causes unnecessary transport, also the social cost (this is subjective) of growing up in ostracised suburbs.

The very simple solution is a natural resource consumption tax. The earth's limited resources should not be freely extractable just to make profit. This can result in people doing huge damage to the planet without, and still being a sensible business venture. A great example is meat. I like beef. I like to eat it. But it's too damn cheap. Makes me sick. Beef sales should have a huge tax added to them to discourage their massive pollution. If I want to eat a beefburger, I should have to pay the environmental cost of it. It's such a backwards idea that a pound of beef is an economically sensible everyday purchase.

So, I did go off on a bit of an aside there, but I just like thinking out loud here. Reading it back, I'm surprised my economic theory is so "green".

level 5

Its not capitalistic, its humanistic. Whether these areas can eventually be self-sustaining is irrelevant to those who live there now. We don't want to leave our fellow Americans behind for something outside their control.

Also, as they build up, they are still far behind the Californias, Texas, and New York type states and thus inflation and the value of the dollar dropping makes it even more difficult for the poor to catch up.

Its a bit naive to think a poor area can just generate more economy on their own. Nation building is a team sport and we need to support each other. It is the human way.

level 6

Its a bit naive to think a poor area can just generate more economy on their own.

Not every area can build its economy. Some areas have low income and low cost of living. That's just the way of the world. Once people have basic needs met then everything else is a bonus. Every nation has rich areas and economic powerhouses. Spreading wealth too much is counterproductive ie.

New York City needs a new airport but it isn't going to get one because (let's say) Iowa needs a new network of roads and bridges. The lack of an airport will affect the entire city of New York's ability to generate wealth, and since New York generates a lot of America's economic activity, that will hurt a lot more than no new roads in Iowa.

There is a balance to strike between what is humanisitc, and what is economically sound in the long run. True equality is massively undesirable and will never happen. It's a fairytale that exists in the mind.

level 7

Unfortunately we are a union and cost of living isnt dependent on the local economies alone. So poor areas see similar levels of inflation and thus suffer more significantly.

Capatalism is a survival of the fittest type system and businesses are less inclined to make the necessary adjustments to better serve poor areas and so they get left behind.

I would also say that saying that complete equality is a fairy tale is not much of an argument. Nobody expects perfection, but we should always strive towards it.

level 7

You may find this interesting to read as well.

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/12/12/570217635/the-u-n-looks-at-extreme-poverty-in-the-u-s-from-alabama-to-california

Our poverty stricken areas are not doing well even with the help they currently recieve. These people don't deserve to be left behind to this extent.

I can appreciate an idea of having pockets of simpler lifestyles with cheaper living and thats great, but that isn't what poverty looks like.

level 3
8 points · 1 month ago

> isn't the federal government's job just to provide defence and international relations while the individual states do stuff like schools.

Not any more. The US federal government's role has expanded significantly pretty much throughout the history of the US.

Only 16% of the federal government's budget is spent on defense. And 2% of international affairs. Over half of the budget goes to various social welfare programs (including social security and healthcare). The rest is transportation, energy, etc.

I don't know whether that's entirely good or bad, but the reality is the federal government does most of the taxing/spending in the US now.

level 3

Less taxation of the rich, same taxation for the poor.

level 4

Poor people barely pay any income taxes to begin with. The top 25% of earners pay 87% of all federal income tax revenue. The top 5% alone pays 60%.

level 3
2 points · 1 month ago

Spending is up, not down. Increasing military spending doesn't shrink the federal government or make us a less obtrusive player in the international arena.

level 3
2 points · 1 month ago

the agencies are less effective

The government doesn't get smaller. It just accomplishes less.

level 4

And it only accomplishes less in areas the republicans hate.

level 4

> Drive up the deficit to justify cutting agencies.

But by cutting agencies would it also get smaller. By a figure like total employees or total spending

level 5

Which makes the agencies understaffed or underfunded, reducing how effectively they can accomplish their goal, which in turn is used as justification for removing the now ineffective agency.

level 1

Are we great again yet?

level 2

Trump is just raising the deficit to combat Hillary and the deepstate, I wouldn't expect you to be able to understand the 73D Candyland Trump is playing right now /s

level 1
17 points · 1 month ago

They're going to use this bloat as an excuse to cut even more from already underfunded environmental, social services and education programs.

level 1
6 points · 1 month ago

Damn President Clinton! She's always messing stuff up!!

level 1
18 points · 1 month ago

I hate Trump and the republicans as much as anyone, but this doesn't belong here. It's not a longform article or essay, and isn't a "thought provoking commentary". It's just a news article.

level 2
6 points · 1 month ago

This sub-reddit is in deep need of moderation.

level 2

It’s definitely food for thought!

level 1
2 points · 1 month ago

Anytime fox or a republican asks how a progressive is going to pay for a social program, the progressive needs to point to this and tell them to fuck off and take a long walk off a short pier.

level 2

"Fox or a Republican" is a bit redundant, isn't it?

level 1
-8 points · 1 month ago(0 children)
level 2
3 points · 1 month ago

Why am I not surprised to see Infowars and conspiracy propaganda subs in your history lol

level 2

That's Bush (both of them actually). How is it Obama started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when Bush was president in 2003?

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