published Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Defense Spending

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

62
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
328Kwebsite said...

One way to stop waste, fraud and abuse might be to require defense contractors to operate on a non-profit basis. Or, putting a stop to "sole source" contracts valued at over $1 Million.

Or, putting a stop to Secretary of Defense warrants being granted to contractors who do not qualify as Warrant Officers under a 1920s law expecting them to meet certain standards. That warranting law was based on a previous set of problems we had in late 19th and early 20th century. We ignore those laws today when we apply them to multimillionaires and corporations; but, we require those standards to be enforced if a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine desires to become a Warrant Officer.

Department of Defense Warrant Officers are probably the best trained servicemen on duty anywhere. Meanwhile, as we exercise hypocrisy for profit, unqualified government contractors exploiting a warrant have proven to be the most difficult and expensive people to deal with incountry.

During the 1990s, when most Americans didn't want to participate in a war in Kosovo, we changed defense contracting regulatory laws to permit large corporations, particularly Haliburton, to operate for profit under conditions which had been previously illegal.

On a daily basis, we continue to ignore our desire to fail to enforce those standards for defense contracting through SECDEF warrants. Simply requiring that contractors pass the entry-level aptitude tests for Warrant Officer would immediately eliminate an overwhelming majority of the contractors in service today.

Chances are that voters will sit idly by and keep the overpaid contractors and corrupt corporations. You'll send the vets home instead. As they arrive, politicians will gripe just short of calling veteran's benefits "welfare."

The likelihood is that, as in previous wars, about 90% of combat veterans will be forced out of the military. It's partly a control issue because after witnessing war, most men can't stand bad public policy and hypocrisy in government. Meanwhile, some measure of that is always unavoidable. It's often best to let some go home. Inevitably, we always manage to get rid of too many good survivors.

I take it from today's cartoon that we can all expect the fraud and abuse to continue.

January 7, 2012 at 12:36 a.m.
fairmon said...

This cartoon would apply to every federal government department and to a large extent to state and local governments. Why are military personnel not provided the same benefits, including health care, as those sending them into battle? Every veteran exposed to combat should be provided financial assistance until gainfully employed and assisted in finding a good job they are able to retain. Every combat veteran should be provided the best available health care for any illness or injury occurring during their military service whether considered related to their service or not.

January 7, 2012 at 2:42 a.m.
fairmon said...

Is this a cartoon in support of Ron Paul? Those fearing PACs and a few other contributors influencing their votes also refuse to know for certain what Ron Paul is saying and advocating. They allow the media and others influence them and quote them like parrots. They fear they may be influenced to vote for him. A large number of intelligent college students certainly support him, they know the selfish and greedy not in the 1% are willing to pass on to them a debt that can never be paid. They know the political power brokers are pandering for their vote and will do anything to retain their power, prestige and personal wealth.

January 7, 2012 at 2:56 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

And Ron Paul get more donations from military people than any other candidate, right? Jehovah is a warrior, Jehovah is His name--and He's libertarian in some ways. (Slow to anger, but don't get Him started. Jesus or Hell.)

What about other departments that pay people not to work, that get paid by taxes whether they do anything worthwhile or not...30+ years ago the Australian Department of Aborigines was spending $1600 or so per aborigine, and the average aborigine got $96 or so of that. (For aborigine there think Indian here.)

January 7, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
EaTn said...

After the Bush massive military build-up and special interest spending to support the unnecessary Iraq war, Obama has begun to tackle the elephant to reduce it back to a sustainable size.

January 7, 2012 at 6:12 a.m.
MTJohn said...

AndrewLohr said...

And Ron Paul get more donations from military people than any other candidate, right?

Ron Paul seems to be getting more donations from prostitutes than any other candidate, too.

AndrewLohr said...For aborigine there think Indian here.

Think Indians and think slaves. The way both have been treated in this country gives us a pretty good idea of what a mature libertarian society would look like.

January 7, 2012 at 8:01 a.m.
GMills said...

Before BigRidgePatriot wakes up and tells us what a lousy drawing this is, I just want to say I agree with 328kwebsite's insightful comment 100%.

January 7, 2012 at 9:28 a.m.

Harp3339, it would seem to me a topical cartoon relating to the recent announcements, though it could be considered timeless.

But not just governments, almost any organization has waste, as do many individuals.

I agree with your other sentiment, but that matter is for another day.

January 7, 2012 at 9:37 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Ron Paul does not just get more active military donations than any other candidate. He gets more donations than all of the other Republican candidates combined and more than Obama.

January 7, 2012 at 9:52 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Anyone who thinks non-profit operation of defense contractors is good idea is as dim witted as the cartoonist that mars the top of the TFP on-line opinion page every day. (trying not to disappoint GMills)

January 7, 2012 at 9:55 a.m.
MTJohn said...

BigRidgePatriot said...

Anyone who thinks non-profit operation of defense contractors is good idea is as dim witted as the cartoonist that mars the top of the TFP on-line opinion page every day. (trying not to disappoint GMills)

Anyone who think that wars ought to be waged by defense contractors (i.e. mercenaries) rather than women and men in uniform is as dim witted as BRP.

January 7, 2012 at 10:04 a.m.

328Kwebsite said "One way to stop waste, fraud and abuse might be to require defense contractors to operate on a non-profit basis"

While I may agree there is an over abundant abuse of wasteful spending. The only reason companies go into business is to make money and if that option is off the table then why would they bid on the contracts. The thing that worries me the most is the current cutbacks that are going to affect the ground units in both the Army and Marines. While everyone keeps saying we are in the age of push button wars. I would just like to remind everyone that after 10 years of pushing buttons and sending rockets it was a ground unit that got both Bin Laden & Saddam Hussein. The problem we may be facing from Iran now makes it seem that this cut back could have waited. Not to mention, what is going to happen to those veterans when they are forced out of the military with no jobs available for them?

January 7, 2012 at 10:19 a.m.
MTJohn said...

Waging peace would be a lot less expensive than waging war and, in the long run, a lot more effective, too.

January 7, 2012 at 10:22 a.m.
jesse said...

you can BET that the defense budget cuts will do the MOST harm to the TROOPS out there in Indian country! the powers that be ,when they want to look like they are TAKIN CARE OF BUIS. by cutting defense ALL WAYS leave the grunt hangin out on a limb!

they will pay $5,000 for a toilet seat for some gen"s.personal aircraft but WON'T armor the hummers the grunts ride around in!

January 7, 2012 at 10:33 a.m.
dude_abides said...

The sign needs more fasteners. Perhaps 30 per side, and 40 across the top and bottom. Better yet, a frame of gold with non-marring plexiglas, and large incandescent light fixtures.

Hey, if anybody wants to understand knee-jerk politics, just take a look at South Carolina's polling numbers after Iowa. The GOP is so at sea. Their ship is like an overloaded third world ferry, with the panicked passengers running from starboard to port and back, en masse, as the boat gets closer and closer to capsizing. They desperately need someone to get behind and then profess to have supported from the beginning.

January 7, 2012 at 10:37 a.m.
jesse said...

hey mt.john? explain to me "how to wage peace"in the 21st cen!(or any other era in human history!)

WAR is the natural state of mind for humans!as long as humans exit we will be in a state of conflict. (just look at the amount of CONFLICT on this forum!) take that to a factor of 4 and you have the state of the planet!just the way it is,git used to it!

give B.R.P. a cruise missal,he's gonna send it to alprova's house!!lol(OR VISA- VERSA!!)

January 7, 2012 at 10:50 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

MTJohn said... "Anyone who think that wars ought to be waged by defense contractors (i.e. mercenaries) rather than women and men in uniform is as dim witted as BRP."

Anyone who cannot tell the difference between the question about whether or not defense contractors should be used and how they should be compensated if used is a blithering idiot much like the cartoonist that the TFP curses us with on a daily basis.

January 7, 2012 at 11:05 a.m.
alprova said...

BRP wrote: "Ron Paul does not just get more active military donations than any other candidate."

Well, we're only talking about a total of $34,000 in donations from active military members over the life of his 2012 Presidential candidacy.

This may tick off some people, but due to Ron Pauls anti-war stance, which I happen to agree with by the way, such donations are likely coming from members of the military who are having second thoughts about fulfilling their agreements to carry out the more dangerous duties that come with a military career.

"He gets more donations than all of the other Republican candidates combined and more than Obama."

Sorry, but that is simply not true.

As of September 30, 2011, the 3rd quarter fundraising report filed shows that Ron Paul had rasised a total of $12,623,422. He had spent $8,948,654, leaving him with $3,674,768 cash on hand.

Mitt Romney had raised $32,212,38, spent $17,559,845, and had $14,656,966 cash on hand.

President Obama had raised $86,215,580, spent $27,115,268, leaving him with $61,403,711 cash on hand.

Unofficial results for the 4th quarter of 2011 claim that Ron Paul raised $13 million. Mitt Romney is reported to have raised $20 million.

No estimates have been released regarding the President's 4th quarter numbers, but he was on track to raise $60 million. Whatever the final number turns out to be, it will be no less than 4-5 times that which Ron Paul was able to haul in.

January 7, 2012 at 11:05 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

jesse said... "give B.R.P. a cruise missal,he's gonna send it to alprova's house!"

Naw, alprovo is not worth the effort it takes to mock him.

January 7, 2012 at 11:11 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Anyone that cannot understand the difference between total contributions and contributions from active military is more retarded than the cartoonist they look to for intellectual guidance.

alprova, your comprehension deficit makes it impossible to have any substantial debate with you.

Does your feeble mind really lead you to believe that I meant Paul's total fundraising exceeded Romney's and Obama's? Really? You are just, once again, taking a statement out of context and trying to make point.

We were talking about active military contributions, dork!

January 7, 2012 at 11:19 a.m.
dude_abides said...

BigRidgePatriot said... Ron Paul does not just get more active military donations than any other candidate. He gets more donations than all of the other Republican candidates combined and more than Obama.

BRP... This is why we should try to enunciate our thoughts more clearly. If the italicized word were to be extricated, your statement would be less likely to be misunderstood. Class dismissed.

January 7, 2012 at 11:47 a.m.
MTJohn said...

jesse said...WAR is the natural state of mind for humans!as long as humans exit we will be in a state of conflict.

That is not true if you accept as true one of the premises of the American ideal, and as stated by G.W. Bush in his second inaugural address - the notion that each person bears the image of the Creator. I reject the notion that war is the natural state of the Creator and the state in which each of us has been created.

Alternatively, if it is indeed true that war is our natural state, it then is also true that our natural state includes the irrational fear and hatred of those who are different from ourselves. And, in that regard, we are no different from our adversaries.

So, to answer your question, the first step to waging peace in the 21st Century is to let go of our irrational fears and hatreds,look for the Creator's image in all of humanity and craft our foreign policy accordingly. In practical terms, that means stop behaving in ways that give others legitimate reasons to fear and hate us.

January 7, 2012 at 1:05 p.m.
MTJohn said...

BigRidgePatriot said...Anyone who cannot tell the difference between the question about whether or not defense contractors should be used and how they should be compensated if used is a blithering idiot much like the cartoonist that the TFP curses us with on a daily basis.

What's on your DD214?

January 7, 2012 at 1:08 p.m.
alprova said...

BRP wrote: "Anyone that cannot understand the difference between total contributions and contributions from active military is more retarded than the cartoonist they look to for intellectual guidance."

If that's what you meant, you should have written it more clearly. Written the way that you wrote it, it could have been taken to mean two different things.

"alprova, your comprehension deficit makes it impossible to have any substantial debate with you."

My comprehension skills are excellent. You are the one who separated the donation terms by including the phrase, "does not just get more active military donations" and including the phrase, "gets more donations than all of the other"...

"Does your feeble mind really lead you to believe that I meant Paul's total fundraising exceeded Romney's and Obama's? Really? You are just, once again, taking a statement out of context and trying to make point."

Every word is up there that you wrote. You Sir, are the one who wrote it. I took nothing out of context. Don't blame me for your poor choice in defining your terms.

"We were talking about active military contributions, dork!"

Then you should have included the word "military" in your second sentence as well, so that it was clear that you were still referring to the same.

January 7, 2012 at 2:48 p.m.
BobMKE said...

Harp just keeps stealing my thunder. I always enjoy your common sense posts, keep them coming.

EaTn said... "After the Bush massive military build-up and special interest spending to support the unnecessary Iraq war, Obama has begun to tackle the elephant to reduce it back to a sustainable size." Let me put that is perspective, The eight year Iraq War cost us 810 Billion dollars, which of coarse is 190 Billion short of a Trillion. As I stated in another post that Oblamea is going to ask Congress again to raise the Debt Ceiling to over 16 Trillion. (6 Trillion was on his watch) God help us all. By the way Al will be gone to Liberal Heaven by that time so he wouldn't care. I'm saying that because I ASSUME (yeah I know the saying)the way Al posts on here he doesn't care about his children/grandchildren or ours.

January 7, 2012 at 3:42 p.m.
fairmon said...

MTJohn said....

Ron Paul seems to be getting more donations from prostitutes than any other candidate, too.

I doubt 90% of them know who the candidates are. However, those that do may contribute since they would fare better with regulations and taxation than they do with pimps and gangsters. Making prostitution, drugs and gambling illegal is no more successful than prohibition was. Prohibition of alcohol was a costly ineffective effort that made many criminals wealthy. Legalizing, regulating and taxing will not increase use and abuse. Making them legal or illegal is a state issue. The current approach is a failing attempt by the federal government to legislate morals. No sermon please.

January 7, 2012 at 4:17 p.m.
fairmon said...

happywithnewbulbs said... Harp3339, it would seem to me a topical cartoon relating to the recent announcements, though it could be considered timeless.

But not just governments, almost any organization has waste, as do many individuals.

True in many cases but none to the extent governments do. It is easy to spend other peoples money when there is no accountability or consequences. A business, a non-government organization or an individual being similarly wasteful will at some point fail or suffer the consequences. A kid without restraints will waste and spend until the parents have so say enough, no more. Failure to do that most often ends badly. As many states and local governments are learning their behavior is not sustainable and the federal government will have similar bad results. Many continue to refuse to face the truth or give up anything and unfortunately think extracting more from the most wealthy will solve the problem

January 7, 2012 at 4:42 p.m.
MTJohn said...

Harp - you apparently missed the recent article about the Bunny Ranch "pimpin' for Paul"

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000065908

January 7, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.
fairmon said...

MTJohn said... Harp - you apparently missed the recent article about the Bunny Ranch "pimpin' for Paul"

This Nevada location is less than 1% across the country with many in much worse situations. I have no problem with their effort and wish them a huge success in their fund raising efforts. Ron Paul is saying it is a state issue, not a federal issue other than paying the appropriate taxes. Prostitution has been going on through out recorded history and no legislator is going to stop it.

January 7, 2012 at 5:14 p.m.

harp3339: Oh please, no accountability or consequence? Stop with the hyperbole. If you don't know that there is an office of the inspector general, that people do get jailed for fraud, and so forth, then you really should familiarize yourself with the situation a bit more.

If you want to say not enough is done, I can get behind there. There's quite a few people, including the Governor of Florida, who should be made to pay for their defrauding of the citizenry.

Please let me know when they're doing to start the trials, I'll sign up for Jury Duty immediately.

BTW, the reason money has to be taken from the wealthy is because they've had the government help them get more and more of it. I think it's only fair that they pay for the service.

tu_quoque: Tom Coburn trying to be William Proxmire again? Well, he's sure on his way with the half truths and the specious accusations.

Did you know that that "monkey house" was built in the 1870s for some research purpose, and is part of a VA complex in Dayton Ohio? They're using it for equipment storage now. I suppose they could demolish it and replace it with something else, but pardon me for thinking that a CBA should be done first. Get us an estimate on demolishment costs versus savings for a replacement building.

And that's just one of the problems with that list. There are others. You might try looking of Methanogenesis for example.

January 7, 2012 at 6:42 p.m.
rick1 said...

"BTW, the reason money has to be taken from the wealthy is because they've had the government help them get more and more of it. I think it's only fair that they pay for the service."

Has to be taken! So you are for the government stealing someone elses money as long as it is not yours.

What is your definition of wealthy? Who has the right to decide who is and who is not wealthy?

What is your dfinition of fair?

How do you know the government helped them get more money?

You suffer from wealth envey. Instead of being so jealous of people who are successful, why don't you do something with your pathetic life instead advocating the government stealing from others.

January 7, 2012 at 7:29 p.m.

It's not stealing. It's compensation for services rendered. Don't believe me? Try copyright. Try property laws. Try royalties and grants. Try a foreclosure or two. Try any contract which they've relied on being enforced. Or not enforced, as the case may be. Bond issues and anti-trust exemptions. Just the provision of roads and a police force contributes mightily to the acquisition of wealth by most people. Not to mention an educated work force. The list goes on, and it is truly there.

But gee, making insults about me? That's kinda ruined your part of the argument. Why don't you try to make your points without such conduct?

I might well say that you suffer from Wealth Narcissism. Instead of being so obsessed with the love of money, why don't you do something with your pathetic life instead of grasping so hard after something you can't take with you.

But that is not going to make this discussion constructive, so...perhaps it'd be better to just take that as an example of what not to do.

BTW, the exact quantifiers are up to the accountants. Same as any pricing really.

January 7, 2012 at 7:50 p.m.
rick1 said...

The rich provided jobs to people which in turn increaed the tax base form local and State governmemts through people buying houses, and paying property taxes, school taxes, they purchase vehicles and pay registration fees and gasoline taxes, and other items they purchase because the wealthy person has provided them a job. As you said the list goes on.

You mention I'm suffering from Wealth Narcissim and instead of being obsessed with the love of money why I don't you do something with your pathetic life instead of grasping so hard after something you can't take with you.

First of all you know nothing about me or how much I make and what I do or don't do with my money. It is my money and you have no right to tell me or anyone else what they should do with it. It kills you liberals when you can not control someones entire life. Since you say you can not take your money with you, do you file your income taxes under the current rate or did you continue to file under the higher rate from the Clinton Administration? I bet you pay the lower rate. Or do you feel you pay enough in taxes but have the right to tell other people to spend more?

January 7, 2012 at 8:09 p.m.
rick1 said...

If money is so unimpotant to you than why are so obsessed with taking it?

January 7, 2012 at 8:15 p.m.

Actually, my example there was just to demonstrate how pointless it is to personalize discussions. Now take your indignation and outrage there, and channel it into not doing the same thing yourself in the first place. You do realize that you made the initial comment on your own, right? Same with your question in that second post. You're worried more about characterizing me, than an honest discussion.

As to the other stuff, it's kinda diverging from the main topic of the cartoon, but how do you know the net benefit of those jobs and other advances allegedly gained is greater than that provided in the form of support from the government? What if it's lower? What if it causes a loss? What then?

But we're really diverging from the main topic of this cartoon. It's about the idea of waste, and ways to cut waste also being wasteful.

I wonder, did they go to a Kinko's for that sign, or was it produced by Halliburton Printing Company Ltd?

January 7, 2012 at 8:21 p.m.

And no matter the utility or necessity of a government expenditure, there is always a rabid constituency in opposition to it.

But in the case of that alleged "Monkey House" they are using it for something. Storage of various equipment at the local VA facility. You want to claim you can build a storage unit that'll be cheaper to operate? Go right ahead and throw down some numbers. Don't ask Coburn for help, he didn't even know how much it was costing to maintain it. He just threw it in for the emotional impact, not because he knew a damn thing about it. So the VA has a shed that was on the property they were using. They're using it as a shed. My word, they should just bulldoze it right now. But wait, what if they were keeping the bulldozer in there?

Sometimes it helps to realize that you can spend more money trying to save money than it's worth.

BTW, the VA did not build that structure, it's a legacy from the prior property. So basically, what they're doing by using it is making the most of what they bought! Heavens no!

January 7, 2012 at 9 p.m.

You're confused. It's not capitalistic systems that are the problem, it's corrupt or just imbalanced systems, some of which are fostered by the government.

You also misspelled owe. And you got the existence in the wrong order. Government exists due to the citizens, and it does rightfully owe us. All of us. This is why we should all get justice, and protection, and so forth from the government, because that is what we are due from it. When the government imbalances something, it also owes us a correction.

However we're getting a little far from the discussion of waste. Why don't we wait for the regularly scheduled editorial on how taxes are evil?

Here's something related to the cartoon:

Do you think they printed this on something white, or did they get something black, and paint over the rest?

January 7, 2012 at 9:22 p.m.

EaTN, the war in Iraq wasn't unnecessary to the people of Iraq. Most of the negative comments regarding that war come from the left. It seems you only approve of war if your man is in charge.

I find it really amusing how many of you complain about waste and involvement with special interests when your man in the White House is the poster boy for both.

I have to disagree with you, Harp, I think states and local govs do a much better job of cutting out waste than the Fed. gov.

January 7, 2012 at 10:52 p.m.
dude_abides said...

blonde... You were pro Iraq war, but voted for Obama(I remember the post in which you claimed you were duped into voting for Obama)? You're disingenuous and therefore untrustworthy and therefore your posts are garbage. Geez, change your name so I don't have to think about your out and out lie every time I see you post.

January 7, 2012 at 11:43 p.m.
fairmon said...

blondbutnotdumb said...

I have to disagree with you, Harp, I think states and local govs do a much better job of cutting out waste than the Fed. gov.

I agree, I didn't say they were as bad but having less odor doesn't mean there is not a terrible stink. Some states do a better job but many have traits similar to the federal government. Most states, if not all, are required to balance their budget and don't have the latitude of increasing their debt ceiling or printing money. California and a few others are on the brink of defaulting. Businesses and individuals that can afford to are leaving California and NY in large numbers.

January 8, 2012 at 12:05 a.m.
fairmon said...

happywithnewbulbs said... harp3339: Oh please, no accountability or consequence? Stop with the hyperbole. If you don't know that there is an office of the inspector general, that people do get jailed for fraud, and so forth, then you really should familiarize yourself with the situation a bit more.

Being legal and not subject to criminal charges doesn't mean there is accountability and consequences. Both parties have continued to propose and approve budget deficits as the national debt increases exponentially. The only consequences is if they fail to continue that practice they may not retain their position. The government Borrowing money and creating a debt that cannot be paid is not illegal but in my opinion is immoral. Most citizens are clueless about such spending and many never give a thought to where the money comes from or the risk of the national debt. They only know if something they have been getting stops. I would like to see a balanced budget amendment with a rquirement of reducing the debt 2% per year plus a requirement that taxes be adjusted sufficiently on everyone to pay for it. Until that happens there will be no change in the irresponsible behavior of government. It is a fact the government can only spend what it borrows or takes from others.

January 8, 2012 at 12:32 a.m.

California is a bad example. Their problem is not a lack of actual money or other resources. Their GDP is 1.9 trillion. How much do you think their state debt load is? How much is their state deficit? Their problem is a lack of will to improve their tax system and fix their debt structure, not a lack of money.

New York I don't know about, but Texas has just as bad a problem with its own debts and deficits(do note that local governments also matter), growing even faster than the nation's, and yet according to Rick Perry, they've added tons of jobs.

I don't think it's as simple as you make out. Or Rick Perry. Does he know that his state has more Foot Stamp Recipients than California? But that's another argument.

In regards to deficits and such, you are talking about Congress. Congress is also punishable, when they commit crimes, or other such offenses. See Tom Delay. See William Jefferson. See the city council of Bell, California. See any number of other examples. When people simply disagree about a choice, that's a political affair though, not a matter for the justice system to adjudicate.

As it should be. We should not be putting people in jail or punishing them just because we simply don't like what they are doing, because we think it's a mistake. There needs to be a much higher burden than that. Actual malfeasance. Intentional harm. True wrong.

And here's where you are not thinking of the problem properly. Borrowing money when it cannot be paid is not the only problem. Loaning money is also an issue. Yet strangely the people doing that want the rest of us to bail them out, even when they are committing fraud and violating the existing rules. (See Robo-signing and the times when service members were foreclosed upon!)

I also think you are in error over how people think about government debt. Not that they aren't clueless, but that their cluelessness leads to the opposite situation, as such people are quite overwrought about government debt, to the point of a Chicken Little reaction such as yours, with this idea of a fixed amendment that controls things as if that were prudent. Governments exist over a long period of scale, they shouldn't be treated as a day-to-day kind of thing, but a long-term system that will last for a while. I won't even get into how widely impractical your particular idea is.

And you are also quite mistaken about that last thing, because you know what? The government creates a lot, that it provides to others. You know why it works? Because an investment is supposed to grow, not just pay back in equal kind. Sometimes this is risky, or sometimes the direct payoff is low, or long-term. But it's been quite worth it in many many things. Which you are enjoying today, even if you don't realize it.

Maybe life would be better if a different set of choices had been implemented, but it's hard to say that with any certainty.

January 8, 2012 at 1:06 a.m.
fairmon said...

hwtnb said.... I also think you are in error over how people think about government debt. Not that they aren't clueless, but that their cluelessness leads to the opposite situation, as such people are quite overwrought about government debt, to the point of a Chicken Little reaction such as yours, with this idea of a fixed amendment that controls things as if that were prudent. Governments exist over a long period of scale, they shouldn't be treated as a day-to-day kind of thing, but a long-term system that will last for a while. I won't even get into how widely impractical your particular idea is.

Add we are different and your opinion sounds like the rhetoric of every world dynasty in history that failed. Deficits and the growing debt are not sustainable. What happens when the dollar is no longer the reserve currency? China recently said they did not plan to buy and more U.S. bonds they needed to diversify their investment of their excess.

hwtnb said...

And here's where you are not thinking of the problem properly. Borrowing money when it cannot be paid is not the only problem. Loaning money is also an issue. Yet strangely the people doing that want the rest of us to bail them out, even when they are committing fraud and violating the existing rules. (See Robo-signing and the times when service members were foreclosed upon!)

I don't see anything I said that indicates those commiting fraud should not be prosecuted. I didn't say those not commiting fruad but being fiscally irresponsible should be treated as a criminal.

January 8, 2012 at 5:05 a.m.
MTJohn said...

harp3339 said...This Nevada location is less than 1% across the country with many in much worse situations. I have no problem with their effort and wish them a huge success in their fund raising efforts. Ron Paul is saying it is a state issue, not a federal issue other than paying the appropriate taxes. Prostitution has been going on through out recorded history and no legislator is going to stop it.

Harp - I intended the first post to which you responded tongue-in-cheek because of the recent report regarding the bunny ranch. I understand very well the reason the proprietor of the bunny ranch supports Ron Paul. I suspect his employees do so because they were told to. I also understand that prostitution is the oldest profession. And, consistent with libertarian principles, I have no problem with women intentionally making that choice of employment - provided no coercion or exploitation is involved. However, that latter criterion is seldom or ever the case - even at the bunny ranch.

January 8, 2012 at 5:40 a.m.

harp: And your rhetoric sounds like every other dynasty that's failed. Or company, or family. Hunker down, go into austerity mode, starve our way to success! It really doesn't work out very well. But heck, I'm not averse to debt or deficit control.

I just remember that you have to tax the money where it is, and where it is, well, the largest share of it is concentrated in the hands of a few.

Also, what you didn't say what anything about the loaning of money improperly. That might have been an oversight on your part, but you didn't say it, so I did. If we agree that's a part of the problem, then we should also consider it in any solution. It is also fiscally irresponsible, and it's driving a lot of the problem. So thinking of it, which you did not do, because you didn't mention it, is important. Or do you think it's not part of the problem?

BTW, you do know that the most common reason for filing a bankruptcy is medical expenses, right? That's not the same kind of fiscal irresponsibility, now is it?

January 8, 2012 at 12:55 p.m.
Rufus_T_Firefly said...

Waste not want not.

The defense department is the deep pit of waste.

January 8, 2012 at 3:48 p.m.
fairmon said...

I do agree irresponsible government supported and condoned lending is a major part of the problem which was exacerbated by a rapid run up in energy cost. Too big to fail is too big. I personally don't think failure of the big banks and brokers would have hurt the middle class but would have challenged the FDIC, The wealthy and many politicians.

Bankruptcy resulting from health care cost is not irresponsible but health care is a complex problem which the poorly constructed AHCA will not solve. That will become very evident by 2014.

January 8, 2012 at 5:19 p.m.

It was exacerbated by a rampant abuse of the system, combined with criminal behavior from bundling to robo-signing and more. They didn't fail because they were big. They failed because they were irresponsible gamblers, and then they forced us to cover their end.

Maybe it would have been fine to let it all burn, maybe not. Don't know, too late to find out now.

And if you expected the health care system to be reformed in one fell swoop, you were overly optimistic. Too many entrenched interests, it's like a deep infection, in a vital organ, it's got to be slowly removed rather than cauterized.

January 8, 2012 at 7:28 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.