Las Vegas Sun

July 31, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Don’t turn debt over to the future

Another view?

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Regarding Robert Blanner’s letter, “Ryan won’t attract independent voters”:

If, as he says, the election will be decided by the moderates and independent voters, then why should the Democrats be celebrating over Romney’s pick of Rep. Paul Ryan. Why would a moderate or independent voter be saying, “Wow, these past four years have been so good for the U.S. I have got to vote for President Obama again.”

I’m not sure Ryan’s budget will be the focal point of the campaign, although I must admit I don’t like his budget. It doesn’t cut enough fast enough. There are cities and states that are broke and cannot pay their bills or afford their outlying pension and health insurance obligations. This is what is going to happen to the United States sooner rather than later with $16 trillion in debt and trillions more in unfunded mandates for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. President Obama’s plan for his second term would add another $5 trillion to the debt.

Do you feel all right leaving this kind of debt to our children and grandchildren? Do you think raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires is going to solve our debt problem?

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  1. Do you have a plan for the long term paying down of the debt? Do you have a plan for paying off the unfunded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? The debt to those who have loaned us money? Do you have a plan for funding the likely war that Romney will get us into with Iran, in support of Israel?

    Remember that Social Security and Medicare are programs that were funded by taxes on wages, even if the cost of healthcare has increased due to the uncontrollable greed in the healthcare industry under the current system.

    For the healthcare system to continue to serve all the citizens of our nation, we must have a single payer universal healthcare plan. There is no reasonable alternative now for controlling costs while improving quality of care. Nor will there be a loss of medical professionals, as some would have us believe.

    We need a long term break from recent unfunded wars in order to payoff the debt we are carrying as a result. One answer to that is to re-institute the draft for any future wars. That will make people be more concerned about the "children and grandchildren", and less likely to want to send them off to some other country to fight in a war.

    We need a long term plan for debt reduction. It is not mandatory to go to extreme cuts that cause long term suffering for seniors without another form on income, or the growing poor. Raise the earnings caps, or remove them, on tax contributions.

    We need jobs in rebuilding out infrastructure. Such spending historically has helped to revive our economic system from crises.

    We need to cut subsidies, for example to corporate agriculture, including crop insurance, which can become more lucrative than growing crops in normal conditions. These are often crops that go for export.

    Regarding the "children and grandchildren", I am not willing to leave them with a plan that robs them of their money in a gambling venture of private investment schemes. By the time they need the funds it has become far less than they planned on.

    There have been many cyclical recessions and other problems that cause them to lose money that way. It offers no security, and in fact robs them of security. The big investors, the wealthy are the beneficiaries generally, but even some of them lose significant amounts, depending on what type of investments they have. They can usually afford those loses and are not left in the type of difficulty that most others are left in.

    I'm sorry, but the "children and grandchildren" have no option but to continue paying for the debts incurred as a result of unfunded wars, the lack of moving to a single payer universal healthcare system, the continued lack of control over our financial system of casino gambling, the failure to close legalized loopholes and tax avoidance schemes that removes trillions of dollars from our economic and tax systems.

  2. "Do you feel all right leaving this kind of debt to our children and grandchildren?"

    Answer: No, I don't

    Do you feel all right about extending the tax cuts scheduled to expire this year? If you want to extend them you'll be leaving our children and grandchildren with that much more debt.

    Too many of us are singing two different songs when it comes to the National Debt.

  3. Let's also not forget the declining middle class from 30+ years of stagnant wage growth while business and corporate profits continued to grow to incredible heights.

    There is also the effect that we contributed to significantly which caused the current global economic crisis, and which circles around and effects the US economic crisis and recovery.

    There are many things that need change, but to think that the solution is to cause deprivation and suffering to seniors and the poor is the main salvation for the "children and grandchildren" while continuing to promote the growth in wealth for a small percentage of the upper income levels, is to buy into a form of brainwashing for political gain.

    The debts of our economy must be assumed by all generations until we are have a healthy economy again.

    Using the rationale of protecting the "children and grandchildren" is a manipulative tool that Republican's began using long ago, and nothing improved. They continued to spend and make it easier to send the bill to the dwindling middle class.

    They have obstructed as much as possible any possible solutions for a recovery in order to further their own ambitions for more power.

    Now, the mantra begins again and the problems will grow because when they get power they don't really give a damn about the "children and grandchildren".

    Their only goal is money and power and reinforcing the "entitlement" of the rich to gain more and more and more off the backs of everyone else, no matter what it costs them in their lives and health, or the reality that the losses will also pass on to the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

  4. Europe is no longer across the pond. It's on our doorsteps. Major cities spending more than they take in are going belly up and/or on the verge of insolvency. US government is no different. Romney-Ryan know and understand the importance of fiscal austerity. Obama-Biden didn't. Romney-Ryan win on Nov 6 for the words immortalized in by Abe Lincoln, a Republican: You can fool some of the people all of the time, you can fool all of the people some of time, BUT you can't fool all of the people all of the time. American voters get it and will kick Obama-Biden out of the White House. They ahd their chance, and blew it. Let them enjoy retirement with Nancy and harry.

    CarmineD

  5. Here is what I find sad as we head toward a fiscal disaster.

    After 9/11, former President Bush and Congress spent what we needed to spend to defend Americans from more terrorism. After that, Bush and Congress just continued to spend on everything under the sun and did not raise taxes to cover the spending.

    Then comes President Obama. He and Congress spend what is required to back us away from the fiscal cliff. After that, Obama and Congress have just continued to spend on everything under the sun and have not raised taxes to cover the spending. (increasing taxes on the wealthy by 3 % or 4 % is akin to doing nothing).

    Romney/Ryan propose to cut taxes more and don't see a balanced budget until 2030.

    Bush added trillions to our debt; Obama trillions more, and Romney proposes to add more trillions.

    What Bush did was financial idiocy. What Obama is doing is financial idiocy. What Romney proposes is financial idiocy. Where is the sane person who finally says 'Whoa, we really screwed up here. Spending must be cut and taxes raised on everybody?'

    Michael

  6. RefNV believes that "...most..." liberals want the "...demise..." of the U.S.

    As a liberal who served in the military and been around mainly liberals this statement is nonsense.

  7. It's a rare politician who genuinely considers future generations in his/her decision-making, because re-election is almost entirely dependent on two things, satisfying the powerful lobby interests in order to raise enough funds to wage a successful campaign, and not taking anything away from today's selfish voters.
    Canadian TV aired last night the movie FOOD, INC. and it was absolutely depressing to learn how completely America's food and farm quality departments are headed up by shills of the conglomerates. I remember Michael Moore's documentaries about the drug industry and the financial industry, and how the same thing has happened there.
    Michael Casler's post at 6:13 a.m. is very astute.
    Personally I've lost all confidence that things will ever improve for most of the citizens of America and Canada. Today's obscene brand of "maximizing shareholder value" capitalism is gradually amassing almost total control in the hands of mega-business. Our way of life, replete with a viable middle class, is doomed. Massive and burgeoning government debt, as lamented by this letter writer, is just one aspect of the overall hopelessness.

    Donald Desaulniers

  8. I'm always sorry there are not more Donald Desaulniers here in America and in Canada too.

    Don realizes, as I do, that we cannot get back on a proper path as long as our parties and representatives need to amass millions (soon to be billions) to get elected and re-elected. Powerful groups and interests with lobbyists provide that money. It's a 'shakedown' racket right out of the 1930's.

    Powerful interests say in a covert way to our Representatives:.....'We will see to it you are provided with what you need to be elected and re-elected, in exchange for you passing legislation that betters our position'...

    Until we change that dynamic, how we vote matters little, who we vote for matters little... in fact very little we do matters.

    Michael

  9. The huge majority of Progressive and Conservatives want the country to do well and very few want to see the nation's demise. I understand that fervor with which people hold their views, but Mark is correct here... it is nonsense that either Progressives and Conservatives want to see the demise of America.

    What is true however, is that Progressives do have a vision for America that is different from what we see today. Conservatives also have a different vision that what we see today.

    I don't agree with either vision as a whole. We actually need parts of each, but since we can no longer compromise, we can't get anywhere.

    Michael

  10. Ref...Welcome back!!! Your war estimate leaves out the medical costs associated with half of ALL returning military personnel applying for disability benefits. The military says those costs as well as veterans of the rest of our wars are approaching a trillion over the next ten years.
    Passing debt from one generation to the next has been going on since Washington. Nothing new.
    More perplexing is a nation that refuses to defer consumption and save for retirement and other contingencies. Half of our people die penniless with Social Security the only financial life line they have.
    High aggregate costs, no domestic savings and stagnant wages are going to cause issues for decades to come. Nothing anyone can do about it.
    Recession number 48 is around the corner. Things will get worse before the long road back.

  11. http://www.alternet.org/hot-news-views/s...
    The above is what keeps me up at night. Pathetic!!!
    No country or region has ever paid back a massive debt burden. Research the Latin America debt crisis, Treaty of Versailles, Russian debt crisis, Asian Contagion...on and on. Within 50 to 100 years the debt will go bye bye with the stroke of a pen. It takes too many resources to manage large debts for them to be paid back. The resources are needed for consumption purposes.
    Getting a nation of uneducated, "Swamp People, Kardashian" watchers to save. I don't know how you do that.

  12. While just about everyone would love to pay off our $16 trillion debt without raising taxes, lets put some numbers to that proposition. In 2011, the government spent $3.6 trillion and had revenues of $2.3 trillion, for a deficit of $1.3 trillion. The debt was at $14.8 trillion. To reduce the deficit to zero without raising revenues, we needed to cut 2012 actual (not budgeted) spending by $1.3 trillion or by 36%. To pay off the debt over 30 years, we would have to cut an addition $500 billion per year from actual spending or another 14%. That makes a total spending cut of $1.8 trillion PER YEAR, (50% cut) plus any budgeted spending increases to pay off the debt in 30 years without raising revenues. Keep in mind that the Republicans are now claiming the $1.2 trillion of savings (actual and budgeted) over the next TEN years passed by Congress last year will destroy the American economy. If you still think we can pay off the debt without raising revenues so our children and grandchildren won't have to pay it off, I want some of what you are smoking.

  13. Mr. Pratt.. I don't think anyone really wants to make the sacrifices necessary to get rid of the debt. There is $700 trillion worth of GDP coming down the pike in the next 40 years. A moderate national sales tax would get rid of the debt. My view is that people wouldn't even consider it. Why pay an extra buck for a pair of pants at Walmart when you don't absolutely have to.

  14. Mr. Hageman, I agree with you. But in order for a moderate national sales tax to be effective, we need a robust middle class to drive our economy. With more and more of our wealth being concentrated in the top 1%, I don't see a robust middle class in our future.

  15. Michael:

    1. Invading Iraq was not "defending America."

    2. We "financed" the Iraq war with tax cuts -- tax cuts which were claimed to be going to restore our prosperity and grow our economy so large that they would pay for themselves and generate huge surpluses. (No need to point out how that worked out.)

    3. By the time we are done paying for the continuing care required by soldiers with brain injuries, paraplegia, limb loss, etc., our bill for Iraq will be about $3 TN. (Are we likely to get anything of value out of Iraq for the money we spent and will continue to spend?)

    4. Both major political parties are big spenders. We insist on it. The uncomfortable truth is that the parties spend money because we want them to. The Rs spend money on what they are pleased to call "defense". The Ds spend money on social benefits. The only difference is: the Ds don't spend as much as the Rs and the Ds think about increasing taxes to keep revenues and expenditures somewhat closer to balance.

    5. If we got rid of the R and the D parties, we could probably arrive at a balanced budget with the Debt serviced properly and no one missing a meal or dying in the street for lack of health care, or unable to get a job for lack of education or training. But, instead, we insist on our two-party system. Division of the country into 2 parties is more important to us than the welfare of the whole nation.

    6. Neither party has a real plan for the country -- only a plan to win election by saying whatever so they can reward their campaign contributors.

  16. Exactly. Iraq was created to demonstrate shock and awe, to obey the great President in Washington or accept invasion. Not one single reason given for invasion was true. The yellow cake uranium stockpile story was a contrived lie to generate fear.

    Bush left us with $5.9 trillion in additional National Debt with trillions of expenses still accumulating from the war and the collapse of Real Estate and Wall Street finances. You failed to mention that entirely.

    Bush borrowed money to give the wealthy a tax break while invading Iraq and the result was the biggest recession in 70 years. Bush crashed retirement savings to a greater degree than the debt he created.

    Romney will take debt and spending on military adventures to the next level. He is ready to loan our military to Bibi, free of charge. The debt and civil instability caused by National Demonstrations will cripple this country.

  17. Does anyone here know what happened the last time our country paid off the debt?

  18. Hoover in the Great Depression ?

  19. It was around 1830 when we were last debt free. We had three recessions in a row after.

  20. Mark: Zippert is right. Andrew Jackson finished paying off the National Debt in 1835. (This included the State debt from the Revolution, which the federal government took over after the Constitution had been adopted.) The Panic of 1837 ensued.

  21. RefNV,

    "Peacelilly wants a union of countries in North America like the EU, see her quote below:

    "One day there is a good possibility we will be the North American Union, then the American Union with a new currency and government structure for the whole continent."

    Where did I advocate that? I simply posed what I see as a possibility based on how things are moving globally.

    I am not a proponent of such a thing, nor of a USE. I think the example of the US is the best reason against such large unions. Even less among countries with different cultures, histories and philosophies.

    Actually, I am a proponent of breaking up the US into 3 or 4 separate nations.

  22. I read the letter. Same old rhetoric with no solutions evidenced. I am (personally) tired of worrying about the future of people (the children)living in this country, and more immediately, Clark county Nevada. Bloviating about the future of this 3rd world educational cesspool, that is Las Vegas, and CCSD in particular is moot. Ask your GOP governor, and the "minor league" legislature, seeking higher political office, that allegedly "represents" the populace, what THEY PLAN TO DO?.....sound of crickets. One thing for sure, I will no longer support ANY increase in my property taxes to prop up the corrupt administration that provides NO GUIDANCE OR SUPPORT FOR THE CLASSROOM TEACHERS WHO ARE ON THE FRONT LINES OF EDUCATION. I have no skin in this BS; no kids in the system, and refuse to pay higher property taxes as a result. I will vote NO on any request to increase funding for this dysfunctional school district, at my expense. If you have kids in this system, PAY YOUR SHARE x THE NUMBER OF KIDS YOU HAVE IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. I don't "owe" anyone anything when it comes to education. Support YOUR OWN CHILDREN, and quit waiting for a taxpayer handout to fund your child's education.

  23. Michael,

    "After 9/11, former President Bush and Congress spent what we needed to spend to defend Americans from more terrorism."

    That isn't completely correct. Before we invaded Iraq, it was publicly know that the result of the UN Security Council inspections by the team headed by Hans Blix were that no WMD's were found, nor the capacity to make them, and the Nigerian uranium rods were a hoax. A preliminary report was given to the UN Security council 30 days in advance of the final written report.
    We invaded Iraq two weeks later, before the report was published.

    There was no need to invade Iraq. It was a dishonest hoax of the Bush Administration.

    The real goal appears to me to have been the lust for oil. France and Russia opposed our proposed action to invade Iraq. Why? Because they had signed a contract with Iraq to build an oil pipeline.

    Supposedly, we were supposed to be paid back by Iraq through gaining oil contracts. We were paid back alright! We ended up getting no oil contracts. They were given to oil companies in other countries.

    I think it doing what was necessary to protect our nation from terrorism was a good intention, but should have focused on the protection within the country, and by changing the way we do business in other countries that builds so much hate and hostility. Unfortunately, we don't seem to know how to do that, and not even Obama did that.

    The injustice continues and we continue to arm ourselves to maintain our form of injustice.

  24. From Belledville @ 7:56 am,

    What you describe sounds like the perfect set up for a continuing venture/vulture capitalists takeover.

  25. zippert and leric get it. Will any conservatives do so? I doubt it.

  26. Not happening Mr. Teamster. He's a one termer. Romney-Ryan get 318 electoral votes, 53 percent of popular vote and carry all the swing states. Obama-Biden retire with mother Nancy and dirty harry.

    CarmineD

  27. Carmine is making numbers up out of his head again. It is a pathetic attempt to sway some poor soul who might run across his wild exaggerations.

  28. The ONLY way out of this is to BALANCE THE BUDGET each and every year. Then addressing paying down the debt: perhaps whenever we add an import duty, instead of allowing Congress or the POTUS from spending, insist everything go toward the debt. I personally would like to see a way to make it easy to leave money to the federal debt--perhaps a federal law that County Administrators (the guys who handle intestate assets) have oversight and that excess assets (and estates left to) go to paying down the national debt. This would mean that those with some experience would be required to liquidate your assets for the benefit of....and not absorb everything as "expenses" of "probate." Some of us are going to outlive our relatives and would LIKE TO LEAVE THE MONEY for a specific government purpose.

  29. Leric and Peacelily,

    Sorry if I did not make myself clear. I supported both wars. Afghanistan I thought was necessary. I also believed the intelligence about Iraq, which turned out to be wrong. I regret my support for the Iraq war. I do believe President Bush did what had to be done in Afghanistan, but it should have been paid for.

    I continue to believe that the war in Iraq had zero to do with oil, for after we 'won' we took none of the oil. I also doubt that Bush invaded to avenge his dad or because he was a war monger, although I will admit either or both are possible.

    Only Bush knows and he has already spoken. Everyone is free to believe what he said or not.

    Michael