Spending to cut. Stop wasting money B4 we raise taxes

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rigel1
rigel1's picture

Dept. of Energy - They don't find or develop energy sources. Since this usless organization was founded we have not gotten an inch closer to reducing our dependance on fossil fuels and foreign oil. They are a colossal waste of money and need to be closed.

The private sector is doing much more. The 2012 Ford Fusion. Gets 100mpg. That is how we will solve the energy problem. Not with a giant government debacle. It's time to admit that The Dept. of energy has been a failure.

Here is the first one there are plenty more wasteful areas. Including the military. Please feel free to add your cuts.

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Laborisgood
Laborisgood's picture
rigel1 wrote: ......there are

rigel1 wrote:

......there are plenty more wasteful areas. Including the military.

God bless you Rigel!

rigel1
rigel1's picture
Laborisgood wrote: rigel1

Laborisgood wrote:

rigel1 wrote:

......there are plenty more wasteful areas. Including the military.

God bless you Rigel!

$465 million for continued development of an obsolete fighter engine

Hidden in: DOD Appropriations

Porker: Unspecified

From the Pig Book:$465,000,000 for the continued development of the F-136 engine as an alternative engine in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. The JSF is $55 billion over its budgeted cost, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Congress has added funding for an additional engine in order to supposedly increase competition and flexibility for pilots. However, according to a February 24, 2009 United Press International article, the money was allotted, “despite the fact that the winning engine had already prevailed in half a dozen public and private competitions and despite the fact that no other part of the plane would be competed once production commenced.” CBS News reported on July 30, 2007 that the Air Force and two independent panels concluded that the second engine is “not necessary and not affordable” and that the professed savings from competition “will never be achieved.” No wonder that all 435 representatives and 100 senators refused to be identified with this massive waste of tax dollars.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-worst-pork-of-2010-2010-4#465-million-for-continued-development-of-an-obsolete-fighter-engine-25#ixzz1gkwLo8kY

Bush_Wacker
Bush_Wacker's picture
The Department of Homeland

The Department of Homeland Security.

Phaedrus76
Phaedrus76's picture
Ok, so we kill the Dept of

Ok, so we kill the Dept of Energy, who regulates and oversees nukyular plants? Do we trust the smart guys that ran Enron or BP who are the real freedom loving, free market rich folks who know how to things best?

Redlocks
Redlocks's picture
To echo

To echo what Phaedrus76 talked about, the DOE is responsible for guarding the safety of our nuclear industry. So, either the nuclear industry would have to bear this cost or we would simply need to shut down ALL of our nuclear power plants and bury ALL of our nuclear waste.

And how does builing a whole new fleat of cars solve any problems? Building cars pollutes water, pollutes the air, uses tons of steel, petroleum and mercury. I could explain the whold process, but I don't think you would care. Needless to say that manufacturing a new car to save a little bit of gas at the pump still ends up with a negative impact on the environment that we depend upon.

And this "free market" has done wonders for fuel efficiency. From the time of the Model T to a few years ago, average fuel efficiency has risen by 2 miles per gallon! The only reason we are seeing new cars with higher gas mileage is that other foreign governments are demanding higher fuel effiecency and Americans are too broke to buy cars...so, car manufactures have to make cars to sell in other countries. But, I digress.

But, what is the main problem with the DOE for the Koch brothers...oh, sorry... for you rigel1? Is it because they are threatening to end subsidies for oil and coal? Because that is one way to cut costs and I don't see you saying that is a good thing that they should keep doing...'cuz it will save money?!?! Do you honestly think that our federal government would spend any significant amount of money on non-petroleum forms of power generation (I personally include nuclear power in this category since it requires two coal power plants to enrich uranium and tons of petroleum to make nuclear power plants)?

Redlocks
Redlocks's picture
Sorry to blather on... I

Sorry to blather on...

I should amend my above statement by saying that I do not support the DOE for other reasons. I just think that disolving this agency is impossible politically, a serious mistake because someone has to watch over our nuclear waste and is not the best area to cut costs.

I personally view the DOE as a tool for the petroleum and coal industries and think that if any cost cutting need to be done, they should be done around ending all subsidies for petroleum, natural gas and coal. 

However, any cost cuttings would be symbolic until the corruption were removed from the design of this agency.

micahjr34
I would make cuts to the CIA.

I would make cuts to the CIA. I have always thought it to be crazy, if not hypocritical, for the USA to persecute spies from other nations found here while sending out spies of its own. I know that the CIA is only a small use of money when compared to other organizations, but it is a start.

I hope that saying this does not get me "disappeared"...

Laborisgood
Laborisgood's picture
Improving our ineffcient use

Improving our ineffcient use of resources is all too easy.  If we made some sensible progress, perhaps the amount of revenue we could expect from those that have it, would be more easily parted with?  Well, maybe not.

ah2
rigel1 wrote: Dept. of Energy

rigel1 wrote:

Dept. of Energy - They don't find or develop energy sources. Since this usless organization was founded we have not gotten an inch closer to reducing our dependance on fossil fuels and foreign oil. They are a colossal waste of money and need to be closed.

The private sector is doing much more. The 2012 Ford Fusion. Gets 100mpg. That is how we will solve the energy problem. Not with a giant government debacle. It's time to admit that The Dept. of energy has been a failure.

Here is the first one there are plenty more wasteful areas. Including the military. Please feel free to add your cuts.

And you know how Ford did that?  They were given governmental grants managed by..... that's right, rigel1!!!!  The Department of Energy!!!!  Let's tell him what he's won, Bob!!!!!!  Some education!!!!!

http://energy.gov/articles/pnnl-breakthrough-leads-less-foreign-oil-more-american-jobs

http://energy.gov/commercialization

A lot of those "great private sector innovations" are partially funded by grants managed by the DOE.  They would never happen without this agency to spur them on through targeted funding.

 

 

 

 

ah2
Phaedrus76 wrote:Ok, so we

Phaedrus76 wrote:
Ok, so we kill the Dept of Energy, who regulates and oversees nukyular plants? Do we trust the smart guys that ran Enron or BP who are the real freedom loving, free market rich folks who know how to things best?

Good point!!  the National Nuclear Security Agency is managed by the DOE:

http://energy.gov/nuclear-security-safety

 

polycarp2
I'm still watiing for the

I'm still watiing for the private sector to provide 30% of our electricity from renewable sources...as Denmark has done.

They are putting a million electric vehicles on the road. Plug 'em in a night at 3 cents a kilowatt. to store energy that would be wasted..Plug them in again at work during the day to sell the surplus energy stored in them back to the power co  to fullfill daytime demand.at 6 cents.. Over time, it pays for the car. and fuel costs to run it are zero.  Government programs...not private sector programs.

That wasn't instigated by the private sector anymore than the 1/3 of all German homes that have solar panels on them....selling power to the power companies at a profit. A government initiated program...not a private sector initiated program.

In some nations, everyone can profit from energy production while addressing environmental concerns at the same time.  In other nations, only a few profit from energy production. Production that continues to spew carbons into the atmosphere.

Whether an Energy Dept. is useful or not depends on just which segment of the population it is serving, doesn't it?  Is it serving the nation and the majority...or just a few and nation be damned?

Personally, I think I would greatly benefit if it cost me nothing to operate my vehicle...as is coming to fruition in Denmark... and the bulk of my current fuel expenditures wouldn't be shipped to a Saudi Prince. after a cut was given to Exxon.  . However, we have a failed ideology to maintain.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

chilidog
The spending is not going to

The spending is not going to cease.  These arguments might have held some water 30 years ago before the "new and improved GOP" came to power.  After 28 years in which  the godless Democrats controlled DC for exactly 2 years, these arguments are pointless.

Why not deal with reality instead and agree on some number that will be spent, and then argue over what it is going to be spent on?

polycarp2
As usual, it will be spent to

As usual, it will be spent to fill the corporate trough. The debate will be about which pig farm gets the fullest trough.

Probably finance, health ins. war contractors and energy corporations will be fed the most.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

rigel1
rigel1's picture
Phaedrus76 wrote:Ok, so we

Phaedrus76 wrote:
Ok, so we kill the Dept of Energy, who regulates and oversees nukyular plants? Do we trust the smart guys that ran Enron or BP who are the real freedom loving, free market rich folks who know how to things best?

I believe that there is already a nuclear regulatory commission. I agree with you. We should keep that. But the other crap is a colossal waste. The DOE has done nothing to reduce our dependance on BP or Shell.Zero, Zip, Nada. You make my point.

Kind of like food regulation. I love good food! I hate food poisoning. But do we really need 16 separate agencies to regulate food? I thought teh FDA was supposed to do this

rigel1
rigel1's picture
micahjr34 wrote: I would make

micahjr34 wrote:

I would make cuts to the CIA. I have always thought it to be crazy, if not hypocritical, for the USA to persecute spies from other nations found here while sending out spies of its own. I know that the CIA is only a small use of money when compared to other organizations, but it is a start.

I hope that saying this does not get me "disappeared"...

I'm sure that there is waste in the CIA. The problem is the CIA is a hyper-secret organization and must stay that way to function. We will never be privy to how they spend their money. So that one may have to come off the table. I had a secret clearance while in the Marines. But I did not have access to secret material unless I had a "need to know." Just the way it should be.

polycarp2
If the Dept. of Energy did

If the Dept. of Energy did its job, we'd be heading towards free re-newable fuel for our private autos like Denmark is.

If the FDA did its job, we'd probably stop the importing  of food from China.

Government Agencies either work for the majority of the population, or they don't. It all boils down to whose pockets they are in, doesn't it?

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

.

DRC
DRC's picture
rigel, do you notice that we

rigel, do you notice that we agree on military waste and the corporate subsidy programs?  We just don't think that ending democracy is the way to get local, ground up development that is not run by the warlords, landlords and others with the money to hire enforcement and extract "agreement."  We think that neighbors helping neighbors can include voting in the common interest for the Commons and the common good.

And, we think that there is a macro relationship along with the base of grounded, indigenous development with appropriate technology.  There are universal standards of fairness and democratic equity that we need to have nationally.  "States rights" and the virtues of localism sound great when it is some mindless imperial tyrant on the other end.  When we think of how local interests can stack the deck too, we see why the micro needs the macro even if we can agree that indigenously owned development and comerce is the only one that really pays off.

I think the "franchise corporate model" is bogus and will fail once the finances and subsidies are taken away.  Mom and Pop diners and locally owned department stores rather than chains were what a real Middle Class economy featured.  We have gained nothing and lost a lot to the consolidation of American business and the Malling of America.  It is the high price of "cheap" on steroids.

When we consider the Medicare issues, for example, the price gougers are the health insurance and drug companies.  For profit medicine has also distorted the investments to push expensive, high profit procedures and other ways to pay the rent rather than deal with the priorities of public health. If we owned our own health insurance, Single Payer or Medicare for All, we could also demand that the pharms served the public interest or nationalize them as well.  

Think about it for a minute.  If we owned our own drug research and development--we already fund the vast bulk of this part of the drug business--and if we added production and distribution, we could make public health priorities the target and internalize the profits and costs to get them where people needed them for free or cheap.  We would also be spared the ads on tv with the incredible list of possible side effects.  How does it help the delivery of good medicine to have patients asking for what they saw on tv?  How does it help doctors to have pharm reps keep pushing some new profit generator instead of bringing solid science to meet real healthcare needs?

Where corporations have demonstrated that they are more trouble than they are worth, and I think both the health insurance and drug manufacturers have earned the death penalty as corporations, we the public can use our money to have public institutions accountable to us instead of "the market" and their own appetites.

rigel1
rigel1's picture
DRC wrote: rigel, do you

DRC wrote:

rigel, do you notice that we agree on military waste and the corporate subsidy programs?  We just don't think that ending democracy is the way to get local, ground up development that is not run by the warlords, landlords and others with the money to hire enforcement and extract "agreement."  We think that neighbors helping neighbors can include voting in the common interest for the Commons and the common good.

And, we think that there is a macro relationship along with the base of grounded, indigenous development with appropriate technology.  There are universal standards of fairness and democratic equity that we need to have nationally.  "States rights" and the virtues of localism sound great when it is some mindless imperial tyrant on the other end.  When we think of how local interests can stack the deck too, we see why the micro needs the macro even if we can agree that indigenously owned development and comerce is the only one that really pays off.

I think the "franchise corporate model" is bogus and will fail once the finances and subsidies are taken away.  Mom and Pop diners and locally owned department stores rather than chains were what a real Middle Class economy featured.  We have gained nothing and lost a lot to the consolidation of American business and the Malling of America.  It is the high price of "cheap" on steroids.

When we consider the Medicare issues, for example, the price gougers are the health insurance and drug companies.  For profit medicine has also distorted the investments to push expensive, high profit procedures and other ways to pay the rent rather than deal with the priorities of public health. If we owned our own health insurance, Single Payer or Medicare for All, we could also demand that the pharms served the public interest or nationalize them as well.  

Think about it for a minute.  If we owned our own drug research and development--we already fund the vast bulk of this part of the drug business--and if we added production and distribution, we could make public health priorities the target and internalize the profits and costs to get them where people needed them for free or cheap.  We would also be spared the ads on tv with the incredible list of possible side effects.  How does it help the delivery of good medicine to have patients asking for what they saw on tv?  How does it help doctors to have pharm reps keep pushing some new profit generator instead of bringing solid science to meet real healthcare needs?

Where corporations have demonstrated that they are more trouble than they are worth, and I think both the health insurance and drug manufacturers have earned the death penalty as corporations, we the public can use our money to have public institutions accountable to us instead of "the market" and their own appetites.

 I don't know that drug companies are gouging us. It takes about 15 years for a new drug to get from concept to approval. The Pharma companies have already invested tens to hundreds of millions of dollars before they see their first dollar in return. They have a limited time to make any money before the generics get a piece of the action.

                                                               How about this one?

$200,000 for a tattoo removal program in California

Hidden in: Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Act

Porker: Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.)

From the Pig Book: $200,000 by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) for the Providence Holy Cross Foundation tattoo removal violence prevention program in Mission Hills. In fiscal 2002 there was a $50,000 earmark for a tattoo removal program in San Luis Obispo, in the district of Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.). It is now time for a pork removal program.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-worst-pork-of-2010-2010-4#200000-for-a-tattoo-removal-program-in-california-4#ixzz1h1g5MTRM

 

chilidog
Who in this current crop is

Who in this current crop is the fantasy candidate who will cut spending 1% if he is in office 8 years?  Or is this fantasy candidate as yet unidentified, anywhere?

rigel1
rigel1's picture
chilidog wrote: Who in this

chilidog wrote:

Who in this current crop is the fantasy candidate who will cut spending 1% if he is in office 8 years?  Or is this fantasy candidate as yet unidentified, anywhere?

He does not exist. I'm not smart enough to be president, but if I were I would demand that every federal agency submit a budget that is 5 to 10 percent less than the previous year. I would eliminate at least half of all government subsities. I would audit all federal agencies and shut down the bottom ten percent of performers and eliminate all redundant programs.

After this has been accomplished, I would raise the top income tax rate to 40% as it was under President Clinton.

That might be a good start.

Semi permeable ...
Semi permeable memebrain's picture
 Big Pharma is a big as rip

 Big Pharma is a big as rip off as thiere is. Americans pay at least three times the other western contries for thier drugs and we are 30 something in life expectancy. Those statistics alone shouldtell you something

rigel1
rigel1's picture
Semi permeable memebrain

Semi permeable memebrain wrote:

 Big Pharma is a big as rip off as thiere is. Americans pay at least three times the other western contries for thier drugs and we are 30 something in life expectancy. Those statistics alone shouldtell you something

Different subject. I am looking for government waste to cut.

For example:

Last night, on my local ABC affiliate, they did a story on government waste. Did you realize that we are spending $600,000 to figure out why monkeys throw their poop? When I said that we throw our money away on crap, I didn't know how right I was. Is this really where you want you tax dollars spent?

DRC
DRC's picture
How many times do we hear

How many times do we hear some "silly" research topic run through the know nothing media.  When you take a look, it turns out to be part of a critical study on a very important problem.  In this case, it could be a study of the behavior patterns of the Republican House.

What you miss, dear rigel, is that having to buy expensive and profit inflated drugs from companies we have already subsidized heavily is stupid.  We ought to own the whole thing, and the idea that we would pay more or encounter more entrenched corruption or entropy in a public, non-profit corporation than in the present system is ridiculous.  We would also direct research and development where public health priorities led rather than to where money could be made.  We pay a lot for this as consumers, and it comes out of the same pocket as taxes.  Tax funding would be cheaper for us.

If you really are looking at government waste, stop complaining about welfare or anything that goes to people in need.  Target the military.  OK, too easy.  How about the corporate subsidies in ag, energy, etc., that go to the entropic past rather than to create the green alternatives that can be sustained?  Big Sugar could take a hit because they are anti-labor, industrial "farmers."  Hit the high petro-based ag because it cannot compete with indigenous and artisanal farming when we take out the structural inequities based in cheap oil and fertilizers.  The latter do too much damage to continue.

Check out Italy.  They are on the list of economies in trouble in the South of Europe.  We do not need to go into the banksters in Europe v. the "austerity" bail outs to appreciate that they are spending a lot of money on infrastructure in this time of financial crisis.  It is their smart way of putting people to work and generating economic activity within Italy.  They understand that this is what one does when the private credit markets go through their panics.  Austerity, cutting jobs, is a terrible approach to the problem because it makes everything worse.  In its own way, it is the worst waste of all because it wastes the real economy to save the phony money.

chilidog
I'm surprised that more

I'm surprised that more information wasn't easily found on the $200 hammers:

http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=96;t=0...

Math is hard.

Laborisgood
Laborisgood's picture
We are all opposed to waste,

We are all opposed to waste, fraud and abuse.  That's a no-brainer.

rigel1 wrote:

After this has been accomplished, I would raise the top income tax rate to 40% as it was under President Clinton.

After we tidy up our house, we'll implement Rigel's 40% top marginal tax rate and get on with our lives.  Thanks Rigel, sometimes you do make sense.  Merry Christmas!

rigel1
rigel1's picture
Laborisgood wrote: We are all

Laborisgood wrote:

We are all opposed to waste, fraud and abuse.  That's a no-brainer.

rigel1 wrote:

After this has been accomplished, I would raise the top income tax rate to 40% as it was under President Clinton.

After we tidy up our house, we'll implement Rigel's 40% top marginal tax rate and get on with our lives.  Thanks Rigel, sometimes you do make sense.  Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you as well

 

rigel1
rigel1's picture
chilidog wrote: I'm surprised

chilidog wrote:

I'm surprised that more information wasn't easily found on the $200 hammers:

http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=96;t=0...

Math is hard.

And that is the problem with government spending. There is little accountability. It's easy to spend other people's money.

Bush_Wacker
Bush_Wacker's picture
 [/quote] Different subject.

 [/quote]

Different subject. I am looking for government waste to cut.

For example:

Last night, on my local ABC affiliate, they did a story on government waste. Did you realize that we are spending $600,000 to figure out why monkeys throw their poop? When I said that we throw our money away on crap, I didn't know how right I was. Is this really where you want you tax dollars spent?

[/quote]

LOL.........Right on with that one rigel. 

Phaedrus76
Phaedrus76's picture
The Nuclear Reg Commission is

The Nuclear Reg Commission is within the DOE. We should look to improve what we can, eliminate the needless parts. But, since all people with any knowledge of where petroleum comes from know, we are running out of the stuff, and have been since the 1st day we began pumping it out of the ground in Pennsylvania. If the DOE has done nothing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, then what do you think they could be doing to reduce our reliance on foreign oil?

And if that entails increasing domestic production, won't that accelerate the rate at which we run out of domestic oil?

At what point do we begin to implement switching from a carbon energy system to an all electric, solar, wind and hydro future?

 

polycarp2
I thtink you'll find that the

I thtink you'll find that the Dept. of Energy is committed to extending the use of current energies rather than seeking alternatives. It serves its existing energy constituency. Oil, coal, natural gas.

This isn't Germany or Denmark. This is the U.S.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

rigel1
rigel1's picture
How about this one? 161.3

How about this one?

161.3 Million to the National Endowment for the Arts.

http://www.nea.gov/news/news09/2010-nea-budget-request.html

Why is the government in the art business anyway? Shouldn't quality art be able to stand on its own? In this time of crisis is welfare for artists really a critical need? Is this the best way to spend our money? If the government stops throwing money at "artists" will art come to a screaching halt? I doubt it.

Sprinklerfitter
Sprinklerfitter's picture
rigel1 wrote: How about this

rigel1 wrote:

How about this one?

161.3 Million to the National Endowment for the Arts.

http://www.nea.gov/news/news09/2010-nea-budget-request.html

Why is the government in the art business anyway? Shouldn't quality art be able to stand on its own? In this time of crisis is welfare for artists really a critical need? Is this the best way to spend our money? If the government stops throwing money at "artists" will art come to a screaching halt? I doubt it.

Farmers get billions every year not to grow anything. Pretty good gig I'd say. I wonder which way most of them vote?

chilidog
Eight years of Reagan, twelve

Eight years of Reagan, twelve years of Bush, 12 years of a Republican Capitol Hill, six years of total GOP control, two years of total Democrat control.  The NEA is not going away.

Next.

Phaedrus76
Phaedrus76's picture
Throughout history, all the

Throughout history, all the great artists have had patrons or sponsors. Without govt money, symphony halls and museums get abandoned or turned into warehouses.

rigel1
rigel1's picture
chilidog wrote: Eight years

chilidog wrote:

Eight years of Reagan, twelve years of Bush, 12 years of a Republican Capitol Hill, six years of total GOP control, two years of total Democrat control.  The NEA is not going away.

Next.

 And Mumia isn't getting out of prison either. That doesn't mean we have to like it. It's still criminal waste

rigel1
rigel1's picture
Phaedrus76 wrote:Throughout

Phaedrus76 wrote:
Throughout history, all the great artists have had patrons or sponsors. Without govt money, symphony halls and museums get abandoned or turned into warehouses.

So be it. We are not entitled to art. It is not a critical need. Did you know that someone got paid by the feds to put a crucifix in a jar of pee? All hell would break loose if we couldn't fund that. Right? Art is nice to have. At this point, we can no longer afford any more "nice to have's." Art is not a critical need and government is not obligated to provide it.

polycarp2
rigel1 wrote: How about this

rigel1 wrote:

How about this one?

161.3 Million to the National Endowment for the Arts.

http://www.nea.gov/news/news09/2010-nea-budget-request.html

Why is the government in the art business anyway? Shouldn't quality art be able to stand on its own? In this time of crisis is welfare for artists really a critical need? Is this the best way to spend our money? If the government stops throwing money at "artists" will art come to a screaching halt? I doubt it.

Most "good art" doesn't stand on its own unti the artist is dead.

It's in subsidising all research with possible favorable outcomes that we get fantastic returns.  Same with art.

 Once, monarchs and nobility were patrons of the arts...in the sense that they supported the artists until they were able to stand on their own. The National Endowement of the Arts sort of takes their place.

.Arts is one of the few things that separates the human species from other animal species. and that only human beings can participate in. Some consider art an unnecessary expense. a handicap. A "frill" that should even be eliminated from public schools.

Some like to encourge those things that make us human in every way possible.  Some don't see a more human humanity as being worthwhile. It's a philosophical difference.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

 

ah2
rigel1 wrote: Phaedrus76

rigel1 wrote:

Phaedrus76 wrote:
Throughout history, all the great artists have had patrons or sponsors. Without govt money, symphony halls and museums get abandoned or turned into warehouses.

So be it. We are not entitled to art. It is not a critical need. Did you know that someone got paid by the feds to put a crucifix in a jar of pee? All hell would break loose if we couldn't fund that. Right? Art is nice to have. At this point, we can no longer afford any more "nice to have's." Art is not a critical need and government is not obligated to provide it.

By what criteria are you defining "critical need" and what gives you the right to determine that for everyone?

rigel1
rigel1's picture
ah2 wrote: rigel1

ah2 wrote:

rigel1 wrote:

Phaedrus76 wrote:
Throughout history, all the great artists have had patrons or sponsors. Without govt money, symphony halls and museums get abandoned or turned into warehouses.

So be it. We are not entitled to art. It is not a critical need. Did you know that someone got paid by the feds to put a crucifix in a jar of pee? All hell would break loose if we couldn't fund that. Right? Art is nice to have. At this point, we can no longer afford any more "nice to have's." Art is not a critical need and government is not obligated to provide it.

By what criteria are you defining "critical need" and what gives you the right to determine that for everyone?

I have no "right" but I have a brain. Lets bring it down to the personal level. If you are in massive debt, are you going to spend your money on food, clothing, shelter, car payment, heating, debt payments? Or would you run up your debt and  go out and pay good money for a new painting or a jar of pee  with a crucifix in it for your mantle?  We ain't got the money. And "artists" have no legitimate claim to the money that we don't have.

micahjr34
Rigel1, You have a point

Rigel1,

You have a point about how we just don't have the money to have everything that we as a society want. I am not anywhere an expert when it comes to raising/cutting taxes, and raising/cutting spending.  All I know that if we as a nation continue going into debt with impunity, one of these days we will hit an economic threshold when it comes to that debt and everything else...

American Proverb -

"When you are up to your --- in alligators, it is not time to worry about draining the swamp."

polycarp2
As long as you maintain a

As long as you maintain a privatized financial system, governments have to take out a dollar loan to print a one dollar bill.

Monasteries   produce what's needed, and distribute what's needed. When we produce a surplus, we become unemployed...and participate in the arts. We still receive a distribution of required goods from the surplus.

When the surplus is used up, we go back to work..Idle periods are the time of the greatest participation in the arts  Under your wacky  structures, it's a time of woe and austerity. Tsk tsk.

Stop being so concerned with money as the reason to impose austerity everywhere and develop an economy that works, Surely if we can, you can.

Even Native Americans didn't stop producing/exchanging goods for lack of money. They didn't use it. The lack of it didn't stop them from participating in the arts, either.

A successful economy is nothing more than the production and distribution of required goods to those who need them...with ample leisure time for the arts. Your economy is a miserable failure..

You can produce the goods...and don't. You don't have any way to distribute them. You use money to distribute goods. Your monetary system is designed to suck money into fewer and fewer pockets rather being utilized to distribute everything that is capable of being produced. Scarcity admidst potential plenty is the norm.

In a system that made sense, idle periods would see an explosion in the   arts or in  the enjoyment of what others create. There is no real  economic reason why that shouldn't be so. Monastaries and other societies in history have show that to be so. .You have ideological economic reasons by the hundreds to prevent it..

If the possibility of  getting rich...having lots and lots more than your neighbor is more important than having  a functioning society.... go for it. Keep a dysfunctional system. Give up the arts while you're at it. Dysfunctional societies can't afford them.. They often chose austerity while sitting in the midst of potential plenty.

FDR thought austerity/poverty amidst potential plenty was stupid. He was right. People weren't going hungry from a lack of agricultural lands, or because of drought or plagues of locusts. .The dysfunctional system didn't provide the means to distribute the food.

You don't have a money/debt problem. You have a distribution problem. Money is used to enrich a few rather than as a tool, and merely a tool, to distribute goods and maintain their production

If  the supply of money equals the output of goods and services, and is distributed in such a manner that all goods/services can be distributed (bought) there are ample resources for the arts. You don't do it that way.

Debating how to make a dysfunctional system function has been the focus of economsts ever since Adam Smith. They should probably focus on creating a functional system rather than on how to prop up a dysfunctional one.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

DRC
DRC's picture
rigel, when you get your

rigel, when you get your undies twisted about the money we don't have, please direct your rage to those who waste it and not to artists who are rarely paid very much for doing a lot for people with little money.  American taxpayers waste no money on art.  We are really cheap about supporting what adds aesthetics to the barren bottom line of Commerce.  Our public buildings, particularly the "private" ones, are tedious and pretentious.  Our government buildings have become more of the former without any style or sense of public presence.  It is what happens when we demand that government "cut costs."

It is never the waste directed to the powerful that is cut.  We could agree to end the wars and bring the military back to a national defense posture instead of being world cop for the oil companies and banks.  If you want to reform the Ag budget or address a real Energy policy, we could stop wasting and begin investing a major amount of money.

Fulminating against the cost of Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid while protecting drug and health insurance profiteers from serious democratic reforms is utter hypocrisy.

Poly is totally correct about the image of money.  It is like the blood in the body or the water in a garden where neither flood nor drought is good.  Or, think of electricity and why the current needs to be running thoughout the system instead of kept in the battery pack.

This is why banking is a public utility issue, and if we want to run our own money we don't need private banksters doing it for/to us.  The money is a measure of OUR productive ability, not some magic potion that is given to us from afar to let us be their tools.  The rich have no right to hold our economy ransom.  It is not "their' money because it belongs to the economy.  If they want to maintain their favored position in the system, they had better get busy taking care of the system that has made them rich.  I do not expect this miracle, but I do think we can see through their self-delusions.

micahjr34
Good point, Polycarp2, I

Good point, Polycarp2,

I myself am not trying on paranoia like a pair of jeans, so to speak.  I know that when it comes to the economy and the debt, it is a matter of priorities.  We need to produce when we need to, consume when we need to, and pay off the debt when we can.  However, I am a supporter of this nation being modestly in debt so that investors can buy savings bonds and the like. It is good for the country and good for the investor. "Buy savings bonds. Buy stock in America."

polycarp2
DRC wrote: Poly is totally

DRC wrote:

Poly is totally correct about the image of money.  It is like the blood in the body or the water in a garden where neither flood nor drought is good.  Or, think of electricity and why the current needs to be running thoughout the system instead of kept in the battery pack.

poly relies: Exactly.

You don't have a money/debt problem. You have a distribution problem. Money is used to enrich a few rather than as a tool, and merely a tool, to distribute goods and maintain their production

If  the supply of money equals the output of goods and services, and is distributed in such a manner that all goods/services can be distributed (bought) there are ample resources for the arts

Throwing money into financial paper  or hoarding it is like producing electricity merely to store it in a battery pack . It's useless.The only way the economy can replace it under our current privatized monetary  system is through borrowing.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

 

rigel1
rigel1's picture
DRC wrote: rigel, when you

DRC wrote:

rigel, when you get your undies twisted about the money we don't have, please direct your rage to those who waste it and not to artists who are rarely paid very much for doing a lot for people with little money.  American taxpayers waste no money on art.  

It is never the waste directed to the powerful that is cut.  We could agree to end the wars and bring the military back to a national defense posture instead of being world cop for the oil companies and banks.  If you want to reform the Ag budget or address a real Energy policy, we could stop wasting and begin investing a major amount of money.

Fulminating against the cost of Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid while protecting drug and health insurance profiteers from serious democratic reforms is utter hypocrisy.

Poly is totally correct about the image of money.  It is like the blood in the body or the water in a garden where neither flood nor drought is good.  Or, think of electricity and why the current needs to be running thoughout the system instead of kept in the battery pack.

 

Calm down my friend. No rage on my part. The problem isn't the "Arts" per se. Art is simply one of thousands of things that add up to real money. Can you think of any others? (already mentioned military)

polycarp2
 Micah wrote: "However, I am

 Micah wrote: "However, I am a supporter of this nation being modestly in debt so that investors can buy savings bonds and the like. It is good for the country and good for the investor"

poly replies: A savings account in a public bank would benefit the people and the state you live in. Since a public financial system  would make governments self-financing, you wouldn't have to pay taxes anymore. You'd have a lot more to plow into savings if that was your choice.

The state-owned Bank of N. Dakota feeds the state treasury, it doesn't bleed it. N. Dakota has its highest budget surplus in history.

If all banks in N. Dakota were state-owned, there would be no need for state taxes

However, if you prefer public debt and taxes so you can buy Savings Bonds, that is also a choice.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

micahjr34
Interesting point

Interesting point Polycarp2,

I am thinking in terms of what is going on  now. However, I concede to you that investing in a state bank that produces less debt for the public would be better than necessarily promoting public debt through bonds. However, it is going to be awhile before there is a state bank where I live, so I do consider savings bonds to be a viable option, at least for now.

Phaedrus76
Phaedrus76's picture
We can go back to the pre-

We can go back to the pre- Reagan taxation levels. Then, problem solved, we are in the black, no deficits.

The reality is, we spend about 22-25% of GDP, we raise through taxes about 15-18%, over the last 30 years. Before then we actually spent less, 16-20%, and were always "close" to balanced. So, either raise revenues, or you have big cuts to Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security and the Military. About half of what we spend at the federal level goes to transfers to the elderly through the M/M and SSI. About 25% is the Pentagon.

Service on the debt is about 10%. And by law, this gets paid the first every month, out of money recieved.

50 + 25 + 10 = uh, I need a calc... 85%.

All the rest, arts funding, national parks, executive pay, congressional pay, judges, courts, dept of energy, education, labor, etc etc etc, is 15%.

We're in a hole of 40%.

40% is greater than 15%. You can eliminate all spending other than DOD, SS, M/M and debt payments, and you are still in a 25% hole.

Coming to me with 5-10%, end duplicate programs, and inefficient programs ain't a good start of cutting 40%. Cutting to get balanced requires going after M/M, SS, DOD or tax increases.

Raise taxes to increase revenues by $600 bn a year, and cut DOD by $400 bn a year and that'll get us close to balanced. And, that level of DOD spending, as a % of GDP, is still above the pre 9-11 levels.

The tragedy isn't what we spend, but how we allow our oligarchs to hijack our nation.

rigel1
rigel1's picture
Phaedrus76 wrote:   Raise

Phaedrus76 wrote:

 

Raise taxes to increase revenues by $600 bn a year, and cut DOD by $400 bn a year and that'll get us close to balanced. And, that level of DOD spending, as a % of GDP, is still above the pre 9-11 levels.

You missed the point of the post. They need to earn any tax increases by proving they will give us more than lip service. One cut is all you could come up with? Huge spending cuts must come first. For example:

Education. The federal education bureaucracy involves more than 788 programs in 40 different federal agencies at a cost of nearly $100 billion each year. An estimated 30 cents of every federal educational dollar is lost in overhead and never makes it to the classroom.

Rather than have 40 wasteful agencies competeing against each other for funding, how about having one effective agency? I don't like my money treated with such disdain. Is this how you want your money spent?

400 billion from the DOD? There is waste in the DOD but how do you know that 400 billion will not cut into the meat along with the fat? I would support an independant audit of the military to find out where the waste is.

All I ask is that congress make a real effort at self control and stop the insane spening spree BEFORE hitting us up for more jack.

 

chilidog
Phaedrus76 wrote: You can

Phaedrus76 wrote:

You can eliminate all spending other than DOD, SS, M/M and debt payments, and you are still in a 25% hole.

Yes, but you didn't account for the $161 million we spend on the National Endowment for the Arts.  How big would the hole be if we eliminated that?