Is transferring debt really a great idea?

United States
July 4, 2011 9:38am CST
Republicans in Congress want to dramatically cut spending in order to cut or debt, and retain cuts for the wealthiest Americans (themselves included). But, the only thing this will do is transfer this debt from the federal level to the state, local, individual level, and eventually back to the federal level which ends up hurting the economy. We have already seen this at the state level where states are cutting spending because they are receiving less from the federal government. This then drops down to the local level where governments have been laying off workers left and right. If you cut Medicare you are only transferring that debt from one part of the government to another. See, if you don't have health insurance but still get sick you are going to still go to the hospital, which looks at your income and if you meet their standards than they write if off their taxes, which means that debt goes right back to the government. So, what exactly have you accomplished? So, how do you fix the problems that will be caused by these massive cuts before they are made? And, shouldn't we consider the consequences to these cuts before we blindly follow people that are fighting to save their own pocket books and jobs?
7 responses
@elmiko (6639)
• United States
5 Jul 11
The richest people in america which are the billionaires and multimillionaires can afford to pay more taxes. they are richer then they have ever been and so are corporations which also of record profits yet the majority of american's are still suffering. its obvious if you look at the numbers. however, they have to be careful not to tax corporations too much because they can just relocate their entire business overseas to avoid the higher taxes. i doubt the richest people are going to do that though as taxing them more won't phase them hardly at all if any. i think more then anything its the republicans trying to block the increased taxes more then america's richest individuals. Being worth over $250,000 isn't as much as it use to be due to inflation although its still alot of money. America Needs a Fourth Tax Bracket For the Richest People. They have the money. Others do not.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jul 11
Mater, if republicans run the house, than why are republicans so afraid of outrageous spending? I also don't understand why it is that we can't raise taxes, and cut spending. I look at our problem as a spending and revenue issue. If you just cut spending you aren't going to be able to do this without cutting programs to the bone, hurting more Americans than helping the country. If you just do BOTH it we just make much more sense.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
7 Jul 11
How can you say we have a revenue problem when our revenue over the last 3 years is higher than it's ever been? It's our spending that's the problem, not our revenue. you'd have to raise taxes to a ridiculous amount on EVERYONE just to make a dent in the current deficit.
• United States
9 Jul 11
Taskr, What part of cut spending, and raise taxes didn't you understand? If taxes are so high now, than why haven't republicans started to burn pictures of Ronald Reagan? His taxes rates were much higher than Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Isn't it ironic that the last two presidents that had economic growth had HIGHER TAX RATES than we have now? Must be an anomaly!!!
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
6 Jul 11
So we cut federal spending so we do not have to raise taxes okay but let us not live in an imaginary world where all of those services that were being funded by that spending keep going on like nothing happened. If the states decide to fund those services themselves state taxes will, most likely, have to go up or the services will have to be dropped. It would be easier if the wealthiest two percent started paying at the same rate they did during the Clinton administration, than to shift the funding for programs from the feds to the states.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jul 11
I don't understand why it is so hard to get sane people to understand this. They don't see that republicans are just pushing the debt to the states, so they say they did something when they really just kicked the can down the street. I don't understand how it is that someone like me can see this, but no one else can.
@sierras236 (2740)
• United States
4 Jul 11
Spending cuts are going to hurt PERIOD. There really isn't any other way to sugar coat it. America simply can't keep spending at the level it has been. So, YES. People are going to get hurt when their government can't provide for them anymore. That's a fact. It will be painful. But hopefully, it will inspire people to start looking after their selves instead of relying on the government even in retirement. Frankly, the states would have had to cut spending far sooner than now. The stimulus merely delayed the issue rather than solved it. Let me say it again. IT HURTS TO CUT SPENDING... (That's even true in household budgets.) Likely, if the Government does the spending cuts right, the US will see another Recession before things begin bouncing back.
• United States
6 Jul 11
If congress moves it's debt on to the states than you will see unemployment go up dramatically. You will see it felt more on middle class families and lower income. You will see college as something that only the rich can afford, and it will hurt the country overall. Cutting spending will hurt much more than raising taxes on the rich. But, it seams much more logical to do both than just one and saying that it is for the betterment of the country. Especially when it is the rich that will benefit from it the most.
• United States
6 Jul 11
That's if raising taxes would actually solve the debt problem. But the truth is, it won't. It won't touch the debt. You absolutely cannot depend the government to spend extra revenue on what it needs to be spent on. The States can't depend on the Federal Government to keep bailing them out. The States should have been looking at their spending years ago. Instead the Government kept allowing them to push balancing their budgets off and that has ultimately hurt them. The true intention of Welfare was to give you a temporary boost to get back on your feet. Not to be something that the government pays you for the rest of your life. Welfare has sucked the will out of the people to work. I will say it again. Cutting spending will hurt. There isn't anyway around that basic fact. But you simply can't keep raising taxes to support an ever-growing Welfare system. At some point, there simply won't be any money or any "Rich" left to keep the system going. But the real problem is that once again a group of people is being singled out for "tax discrimination."
• United States
7 Jul 11
Sierras, please show me where I said that raising taxes would solve our problems? If you actually would have read my response you would have seen I said that we should do BOTH. That means that we should cut spending, and raise taxes. Please explain to me why raising taxes is not a good idea, but cutting spending is the ONLY WAY we can get out of this mess. If you have to go to the hospital and spend weeks in the hospital running up a huge debt would you just look at your budget and find what you can cut. Or, would you look at your budget, and maybe work more hours, or find another job? Please explain this logic to me like you would a four year old, because it makes no sense at all to me. States have been cutting spending, they have also been cutting support to many service, and laying off workers to balance budgets. I agree that Welfare should be temporary, but it isn't. The problem is you want to look at the welfare system for the poor and you want to reform that. What you are looking at is fraction of the the welfare system that is killing this country. Corporate welfare is draining this country of hundreds of billions of dollars that should go into the government that is now going overseas, or being spent on tax lawyers. Republicans are right that we need to change the corporate tax code, but I am much more afraid of what they are up to. Tax discrimination? LMFAO Cry me a river about all of the rich Americans that pay 35% of their income in federal taxes. By the way, can you find me one American that actually pays 35% in taxes? Sure isn't D!ck Cheney who pay less in percentage than I am sure you did three years ago, yet is worth hundreds of millions. I hope you excuse me for not crying for poor rich Americans.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
4 Jul 11
The difference here is that states can't print money. That means that, when up against the wall, they WILL balance their budgets. There's also the matter of how important that federal money is to the states. A lot of that money is earmarks for pet project including everything from new dirt bike trails (yes, it's in the stimulus) to studying fruit flies (yes, it's in the stimulus too). Sure, not all federal dollars are for silly things like that, but some, like the infamous Bridge to Nowhere, are very expensive and not that critical. A lot of them also are matching funds for state investments like high speed rails which in the end cost state taxpayers a fortune since the matching fund from the government only count towards construction, not operating costs and maintenance. You're right about Medicare which is why changes, not simply cuts, are the best solution. As with the construction I mentioned, federal money for medicare is typically matching funds which motivates the states to waste more on medicare to get more from the feds. The problem is that if we don't balance the budget it will just keep growing. Right now the interest alone on the debt is ungodly and that will continue to grow every year that we have a deficit creating a vicious cycle. We need to end the deficit and start paying down the debt so our interest doesn't increase. I AM a local government employee and even I support some pretty heavy cuts. No, it doesn't benefit me directly that I will be paying for insurance for my family. I don't make that much and it's going to force me to cut my own spending, but I know it's what needs to happen. Just to clarify, my insurance for my entire family was 100% free, paid for by taxpayers, until about June of last year when Chris Christie passed legislation making all state government workers pay a minimum of 2% of their salary towards their insurance. Even that is a piddly amount. Basically I'm paying about $22 per paycheck to insure my entire family. Now he's pushing legislation to make state workers pay something like 30% of the premiums. Now I haven't checked the numbers, but that's certainly going to cut into my paycheck. Of course now my work email is flooded with union crap saying how he wants us all to go broke and die, but I know he inherited a massive deficit from Corzine and he's doing what he must to balance the budget without raising taxes. On a side note if I had the power to cut costs I could save so much money in the library system here. Even in my small branch library I could cut 3 low level people who I consider borderline useless and 2 higher level people who are overpaid and have redundant responsibilities. They could easily be replace with 1 person a rank lower who hasn't been a leech on the system for 30 years. My library is so overstaffed it's ridiculous, but nobody with the power to fix it wants to do anything about it.
• United States
5 Jul 11
Taskr, I agree that putting this burden on the states will force dramatic cuts, and will likely increase unemployment dramatically. I understand that states receive pork projects, but that also sends money into the states, and local companies. How do you feel about means testing for Medicare? I can bet you all the money in the world you will NEVER hear that idea from republicans. I hate to tell you this Taskr, but it has been over a decade since the federal government even came near balancing their budget. It sure wasn't one of Bush's top priorities. I agree that government employees need to pay more for their health insurance and retirement. But, taking away their rights to representation isn't going to help balance the budget. With you having less money everything month to purchase your needs, you will have to go with out your wants. Which means you will be putting less back into the economy, and it will hurt the over all economy. What is happening to you, will happen nation wide, and it will hurt the economy much more than many believe. Your library is like congress: those in power doing everything to stay in power. It doesn't matter if their job is not needed, if they cut one position than someone starts to look around at other places to cut, and it might be their job. So everyone keeps their mouths shut, and enjoy their government job. NO different than what happens in Congress.
• United States
7 Jul 11
Taskr, don't you find it interesting when people want cut something that benefits them they don't want to do it? Republicans have no problem cutting programs for lower income Americans, but god forbid you cut something that benefits them. If I die today all of that money I have put into medicare will never be used by me. You say this is just punishing people who saved, when in actuality these are just people that have managed to stay alive. I personally support means testing for social security, I am unsure of Medicare do to the cost, but if we all have to make cuts than EVERYTHING should be on the table. My mother worked for the library so I understand what you are saying, and why you were scolded. My mother was a union rep, and they were reprimanded many times by management for doing the same thing you did because it was a librarians job. You know as well as I do how much librarians make, and if they were to replace them with you it would put them out of a job.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
7 Jul 11
If we are going to have means testing than people should have a CHOICE whether or not they want to contribute. The government's been stealing that money from my paycheck since I was 16. I've also been carefully saving for my retirement since I was 18. Now I don't expect SS to exist when I'm old enough to collect, and I'm planning on it not being there when I save. That said, if it is there, I want, and deserve, everything I contributed to it. If they want to do means testing, I'd be more than happy to say "No, I do NOT want you to take that money from my paycheck because I don't need a government nanny dictating how much allowance I get each month when I retire. Nor do I want other people living off my dime just because they failed to invest in their future properly." I think we just need to cut Social Security in its entirety. It's a Ponzi scheme that we've been forced into thanks to FDR, our worst president ever and the closest thing to Hitler and Stalin that this country has ever seen. Cut it, give people back what they contributed, and say "Sorry, the government sucks with money. You'll have to invest it yourself because we're just paying back old money with new money now." The librarians in this system are only making about $3,000 a year more than I am right now not counting any raises they got before their contracts expired. I actually have the highest "non-librarian" job possible right now. Back when I worked as a library computer tech in Orlando I DID replace a librarian. That was actually a trend that was going on there for a while to shut down the librarian's union since they were the only employees that unionized. Everytime a librarian quit or retired they were replaced with either a computer tech or an assistant manager. Computer techs like me basically did everything librarians did plus taught computer classes. We made about 3K-4K less than librarians and we did our own negotiating for raises and such instead of letting a union do it for us. On a side note, I got this job as a promotion and I'm actually doing LESS work than I was at my previous position. If I were in charge I'd downgrade this position to the same as my last one since anyone doing this job is just being overpaid. I literally have so little work to do that I spend half my time shelving books. That's a job that minimum wage students do at the library.
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
4 Jul 11
There is not enough money in the US to pay off its debts...But, cutting pork spending is something it should do. Pork has become insane. They should also cut the size of the Bureaucracy. That too has become insane. There are an average of 5 times as many people doing the jobs of 1 person in the private sector. This would put folks out of work, but an effort would then have to be made to stimulate the private sector. People think the government should support them...This too is an insane idea that must be stopped. All of this will take time. More time than it took to get us in this mess.
• United States
5 Jul 11
There is enough money in the US to pay this debt off a few times over. US corporations are sitting on TRLLLIONS in profits that they made during the great recession. See while the common folk were struggling to get through the great recession corporations were raising prices, and sticking to the common folks. I agree there needs to be cuts, but I think they should be universal. I also believe that congress, and the executive branch should have their pay based on the INCOME of the country. Why should they be able to vote themselves a raise? If the country is in debt than they don't receive a dime. There are many jobs in Washington that are redundant, and they need to go, especially in the department of defense where the corruption is legendary.
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
6 Jul 11
I agree with most of what you said. However, the corporations are not sitting on trillions. Whatever they make, they spend. They do not hang onto it long. It goes into stockholders pockets or CEO's pockets or someone's pockets, but they are not sitting on it. Some of it may even be sitting offshore, but it is not accessible to our Gov. I would say that another place where jobs could be cut would be HUD and WELFARE offices. I was on a County Public Housing Commission. It is amazing how many people it takes to run a HUD housing project as opposed to a privately funded low income housing project. The ratio was 5 to 1. And the HUD folks all had Gov. cars that were less than 3 years old, while the private projects drove their own cars with just gas reimbursement. The HUD employees were always late with paperwork and it was messed up at audit time. I never saw this with the private projects once. No one should be in control of their salaries!!!! We the People should decide the salary of the Representatives from our own districts. That would put some fear into them!
• United States
7 Jul 11
Adoniah, I hate to tell you this, but they really are sitting on Trillions and have no desire to do anything with it. Here is one link, and I can find many more http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/HST/corporate-tax-system-_b_858758_87330264.html I agree no one should be in control of their salaries, but congress is, and they NEVER pass up a chance to increase their pay.
@petersum (4525)
• United States
4 Jul 11
You can't spend money that you haven't got! All Americans need to understand this. It doesn't matter who gets the blame. When you talk about "the debt". it is like something real. It isn't! It is a huge lump of NOTHING. You can't see it, feel it, carry it or spend it.
• United States
5 Jul 11
Thanks for your response. You are correct that it is hard for people to understand.
@TeamCholent (2842)
• United States
4 Jul 11
I don't even know where to start responding to this topic so please forgive me if I start to jump around a lot. Firstly, America can't spend many and budget in projects we can't afford. Is it practical to remodel your house with a fancy pool just cause your guests would like that even though you have not worked in years and not retired? Secondly, with tax breaks. Why should the rich be the ones to keep an entire country afloat? All we are doing is pushing off big businesses from opening here with all these taxes. Also, you are aware that with lower taxes comes a higher personal spending which creates local jobs? Gas stations, malls, salons etc. Once you take that away the government is getting less tax money and has to pay a far great unemployment rate/wages. Thirdly, how about we stop sending billions of dollars to Pakistan in aid? Yes, specifically Pakistan who has shown their loyalty lies not with us but with the other side and just takes our money. How about we stop funding Anti-American liberal organizations that are bent on destroying us and everything we stand for as a people(nothing to be with political parties)? When you increase tax all you are doing is hurting the average Joe who is struggling to survive as is.