YOU fix the Federal Budget!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2010 6:03 PM GMT
    The New York Times has a fun application on their website that enables anyone to have a go at balancing the Federal Budget:

    Try it!

    I think this sort of thing is very helpful because it makes it very clear that much spending is small fry compared to the giants of Medicaid, Medicare and Defense. It's also great because many of the less numerate members of this site frequently make non-quantitative claims that are clearly spurious when one examines the figures.

    There's plenty of room here for left and right wingers---report your solutions to the deficit crisis!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2010 6:41 PM GMT
    Yay, I balanced the budget without raising taxes.

    But not without clicking every single box in the military, domestic programs/foreign aid, Medicare and SS categories. To hell with everybody who doesn't like taxes. icon_twisted.gif

    Whereas, just getting one tax proposal in (the loopholes--Bowles-Simpson plan) will do the job of almost a whole category of cutting.

    This is perfect for Congress to show compromise: Repubs can take all the blame for cutting programs, Dems can take the blame for raising taxes, as long as the numbers are equal, the blame is equal.


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    Nov 14, 2010 6:53 PM GMT
    I also solved the thing by NOT making any cuts but clicking on every tax category (except the one for taxing people <$250k). It's actually better in 2030 with just a little shortfall.

    Jim DeMint should be ashamed of his slogans (earmarks = $14 billion).
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    Nov 14, 2010 8:19 PM GMT
    Bump!

    Show us the results of your political ideology, Republicans and Democrats alike.
  • Vaughn

    Posts: 1880

    Nov 14, 2010 8:30 PM GMT
    I mainly made cuts to the military. I didn't entirely solve the short term (-50 Billion) but the long term was over fixed. I also reintroduced some of the Clinton tax policies, such as the estate tax.
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    Nov 14, 2010 8:35 PM GMT
    I raised taxes at the top end, cancelled the unecessary militsry spending (upgrdes)
    Maintained troop levels

    Basically applied liberal thinking (still maintaining military levels) and balanced the budget easily on my first try




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    Nov 14, 2010 8:50 PM GMT
    This is cool!

    So I solved the deficit: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=xzxt40k0

    I tried to avoid tax increases for ordinary people, however the Bush tax cuts for >250k had to be made to expire to close the gap. With the estate tax, which is an evil tax in my opinion, I went with the lowest tax option.

    And just slash slash slash that military.

    I guess most of my money came from the "Cap medicare in 2013" option. Even though I personally wouldn't be in favor of it, the amount of cash involved is so huge that there really is no other choice. In parallel the health care system itself should be reformed, though.

    Now vote me your next president icon_razz.gif
  • Karnage

    Posts: 704

    Nov 14, 2010 8:51 PM GMT
    Ok, now that we've had a few successes, let's have all of you work together to make the decisions. Oh, and in a few years we'll get together a group of your polar opposites to re-balance the budget. Lather, rinse, repeat...
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    Nov 14, 2010 8:58 PM GMT
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=2k95bj0q

    Fear me.
    39:61
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2010 9:03 PM GMT
    OK, people, the sensible thing which almost everybody has done here seems to be a combination of cuts (especially to the military) and increasing taxes.
    I'm all ears to hear from socal,SB, riddler, aunty_jack...wait--I can't since I blocked them! icon_twisted.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2010 9:12 PM GMT
    Karnage saidOk, now that we've had a few successes, let's have all of you work together to make the decisions. Oh, and in a few years we'll get together a group of your polar opposites to re-balance the budget. Lather, rinse, repeat...


    Cynical but fair. I would never want to be in politics!
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    Nov 14, 2010 9:16 PM GMT
    this was a really cool exercise!

    Thanks Tiger tim!


  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Nov 14, 2010 9:20 PM GMT
    Wow that was educational! I easily balanced and came close to a full funding of 2030. My formula favors more taxes 70% and less spending 30%.
    Tax the rich, cut the military.
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    Nov 14, 2010 9:24 PM GMT
    where's the Gay Wedding Registry option? icon_razz.gif

    that alone should add $ 100 billion haha
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2010 9:24 PM GMT
    swimbikerun saidWow that was educational! I easily balanced and came close to a full funding of 2030. My formula favors more taxes 70% and less spending 30%.
    Tax the rich, cut the military.


    Wow really? That's a lot of tax dude.

    I did it with only 23% tax increases... Remind me not to vote your you, tax is evil icon_wink.gif
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    Nov 14, 2010 9:25 PM GMT
    PrinceOfArya saidwhere's the Gay Wedding Registry option? icon_razz.gif

    that alone should add $ 100 billion haha


    Wouldn't that cost money? If all gay couples get the same tax breaks? Maybe thats why they refuse to legalize it...
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    Nov 14, 2010 9:28 PM GMT
    These were my choices.
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=4lg4p6nk

    Most seemed like common sense. I tried not to raise taxes on anyone other than the super rich, who've proven time and again that they keep any tax savings they garner.

    I didn't even touch earmarks - those things usually fund a lot of jobs. And the notion that we should slash the national parks and such boils my blood. Some things we as a nation need to take pride in and take care of. Argh.
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    Nov 14, 2010 9:30 PM GMT

    Ok, I got us big surpluses by 2015 and bigger ones by 2030 with the money coming about half from savings and half from higher taxes.

    There should be little problem in going back to Clinton-era tax rates. That was, after all a period of sustained economic growth as well as consistent budget surpluses. I actually think that some of the military cuts could be more aggressive.

    Here's my plan:

    http://t.co/cyg50Vw
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Nov 14, 2010 9:32 PM GMT
    I did it with the bulk of my work coming from cutting military spending and repealing some tax cuts. This was really eye-opening but as a federal contractor I know that millions of people work in some of these defense spending areas. That's a lot of jobs and industry that would go under with the proposed cuts. Not that I'm suggesting we keep them working just for the sake of it, but in many cases its a very specialized market that won't be available again at the drop of a hat if shit pops off and we have a greater need later.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Nov 14, 2010 9:36 PM GMT
    flieslikeabeagle said
    Ok, I got us big surpluses by 2015 and bigger ones by 2030 with the money coming about half from savings and half from higher taxes.

    There should be little problem in going back to Clinton-era tax rates. That was, after all a period of sustained economic growth as well as consistent budget surpluses. I actually think that some of the military cuts could be more aggressive.

    Here's my plan:

    http://t.co/cyg50Vw
    Great job man! I don't agree with absolutely everything but this is really a nice plan over all.
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    Nov 14, 2010 9:37 PM GMT
    Ultimately, whoever has the least clout in terms of lobbyists in Washington (i.e. the middle class) will have their box checked (i.e. SS, Medicare). Don't even think the military-industrial complex and the top 1% wealthy people will allow their boxes to be checked.
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Nov 14, 2010 9:40 PM GMT
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=00p1140k
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    Nov 14, 2010 9:43 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidUltimately, whoever has the least clout in terms of lobbyists in Washington (i.e. the middle class) will have their box checked (i.e. SS, Medicare). Don't even think the military-industrial complex and the top 1% wealthy people will allow their boxes to be checked.


    That's probably the reason why the federal govt will fail miserably at balancing the books.

    Interesting about this 'game' is that it shows you that it IS possible to balance the books in the near future, it just requires some painful decisions to be made.

    So I know it is un-American to look to other countries for examples, but the US might wanna have a look at the UK for an actionable approach in which VERY painful measures are being taken, but a government that actually does what has to be done.
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    Nov 14, 2010 9:44 PM GMT
    TRDMRK saidalso, balancing the federal budget would probably be a lot easier if there were some goods under production... those of u playing that game, i sure hope opening up a factory of some sort was one of the options.


    A federal government dealing with planning of factories and production of goods? That game is called a command economy.

    Like this one:

    soviet_propaganda%5B1%5D.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2010 9:54 PM GMT
    Hm, I couldn't do it without raising taxes, but it was 33% taxes to 67% spending cuts.
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=lfft59p0