Are we a rapidly “undeveloping” superpower?

President Obama unveils his vision for America today in the form of a 2013 federal budget. The President calls for $3.8 trillion in spending next year – including new investments in our roads and infrastructure, education, and manufacturing sector. Also included in the budget are a yearlong extension of emergency unemployment benefits, and of the payroll tax cut holiday for 160 million working Americans.

On the deficit-reduction side – the President’s budget cuts the deficit by $4 trillion over the next ten years by raising taxes on corporations and the very wealthy – like letting the Bush tax cuts expire for top income earners. It also trims down federal entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid – and cuts the Defense Budget by 5% over the next decade. Of course – the President’s budget with its massive investments in infrastructure, education, and manufacturing by making millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share in taxes will be just one vision laid out for the nation.

The Republicans will unveil their vision soon, which will likely call for even lower taxes for the super-rich – more investments in dirty oil rather than clean energy – and the destruction of Medicare as we know it. So which road should our nation take? The one that invests in creating a more competitive nation? Or the same one that, thanks to 30 years of Reagan, Bush, and Clintonomics, brought us to where we are today - becoming a rapidly “undeveloping” superpower?


mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 18 weeks ago

The phrase "cuts the deficit by $4 trillion over the next ten years" is misleading, no matter how common its use. It sounds like the deficit will decrease incrementally over the course of ten years, and that the tenth year's spending will be $4 trillion less than this year's. It would be better for everyone to phrase it as "cuts the ten-year deficit by $4 trillion". Of course, the fact that policy makers constantly switch between annual and decadal figures makes all budget discussion very confusing.

Bideford2007's picture
Bideford2007 12 years 18 weeks ago

I have always been amazed by the fact that two people with a Phd in Economics could have diametrically opposite views on economic issues. Obviously it is not an exact science. I don't even try to understand because statisics can lie and liars can write statistics as the saying goes. I can only go by what MOST economists are saying that cutting spending will cause an economey to slow and spending will speed it up. Right now we need to speed up the economey and once we are humming full steam the deficits will deminish because of the higher revenue to the FED. Naturally right now it would help if those people who would never miss a few thousand from the income would pay a little more. It would certainly help the FED to meet its obligations and keep money in circulation. Remember that money is like manure -- it's no good unless it's spread around.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 12 years 18 weeks ago

I think it depends on whether the common sense of Americans really changes on long terms -- whether we really get it, that we have to change -- to adjust to modern realities. We really have to say good-beye to 'good' old American cliches: American exceptionalism, idolizing success and the successful, absolutely claiming freedom selfishly at any costs and risks. This is all stuff for dinosaurs who are gonna die out. We don't wanna go under? So we gotta change.

This means cooperating society instead of selfish greed. The German success pretty much shows us the way.... (stop blah-blahing stupid righties -- they're not "socialists", Frau Merkel is a Christian Democrat, which are the conservatives over there!)

The results of the November election will pretty much show it.......

renegrippo's picture
renegrippo 12 years 18 weeks ago

I'm not impressed by a 5% reduction over 10 years in the much bloated defense budget. Although, going republican would mean continued increased spending in that area.

Regarding the $4T deficit reduction over 10 years; what does that mean? If the current budget deficit is $1.3T and no reduction means a debt increase of $13T over 10 years, does this mean the debt only increases by $9T to over the next 10 years instead? We should be able to do better than that.

I wonder if the increase in economic activity that results from a redistribution of wealth from folks who shelter it to folks who will spend it is taken into account. Probably not, otherwise the president would have to explain that and actually use the term "redistribution." Which the republicans would proceed to pounce on.

remouse 12 years 18 weeks ago

We are where we are because of the policy makers. Two wars on the credit card! Really!! No one has ever paid off a $1 trillion debt let only a 15 trillion & rising debt. The only way the Government makes money is through taxes so you see what I mean. The USA is never going to be a manufacturing country again, so get over it. We will continue to spiral down as our stats in most catagories indicate. When Shrub came in we were 3rd in internet speed, now we are 16th. Slovenia is faster than us & they weren't even a country until Yugoslavia split up. Really!! In Iraq cellphone service is free if you buy the phone. Uncle Sam foots the bill. Really!! We are a joke with a clueless Congress.

Lindawyeth 12 years 18 weeks ago

One correction: MEDICARE is NOT an entitlement program. Like Social Security, we pay for it through our taxes and premiums.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 12 years 18 weeks ago

By the way, these days I really LOVE♥♥♥LOVE♥♥♥LOVE Mitt Romney! LOL

Maybe he's not realizing it, but he's the most honest politician we possibly ever had:


Mitt loves firing (insurance companies, employees, whatever--it's in his DNA, that's the way he always felt)

Mitt prefers quiet rooms (to talk over more frauds and gridlocks to sneak them on us)

Mitt is severe (harmfully, fatally, devastatingly conservative pest that might befall us)


He's actually talking about what they talk over in Republican quiet rooms! He's selling his conservative fellows out, by revealing all those sneaky facts. That's what the GOP is all about, people!

People really have to get: this Republican Party got to "undevelop" to a party for very small minorities (like NPD in Germany). They are more harmful and dangerous as ever and supposed to shrink to a small fraction in Congress that can't disturb and harm any longer. On the left then we need a strong progressive party.

Then we can really stop the decline, the "undeveloping".....

Taylor.U's picture
Taylor.U 12 years 18 weeks ago

It really doesn't even matter because Harry Reid has already said that the President's budget is not going to be looked at before the election. Neither congress nor the senate want to balance the budget like the rest of America has to.

bewildered1's picture
bewildered1 12 years 18 weeks ago

You really think your medicare tax and the small primiums pay for the services provided through medicare. You are the problem.

bewildered1's picture
bewildered1 12 years 18 weeks ago

Where do they shelter that money, in their mattress?

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 12 years 18 weeks ago

We should think about the fact that we're entering a new phase of upward wealth redistribution. To date, the government has focused on redistributing money from the bottom to the top, with an occassional trickle down to the middle to keep them passive. We did, indeed, get tough on the poor. In fact, as a direct result of Clinton's welfare reform, the infant mortality rate among America's poor now rivals that of someThird World countries, and the life expectancy of our poor has actually fallen below that of some Third World countries. Even today's progressives evidentally have little problem with this. (As recently as the '80s, no one would imagine that America would accept this. Heck, even Reagan called to protecting welfare programs.) Those welfare dollars are gone now, so it's necessary to begin draining out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The trick is to keep telling the middle class that gutting these entitlements will result in a tax cut for them. Let them celebrate; they'll find out soon enough that it will be necessary for govt to legally require families to provide for their own elderly and disabled. This will be very expensive, but there is no viable alternative. So, sometimes we really do get what we ask for.

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