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Old April 22nd, 2011, 06:47 PM
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Default Balancing the U.S. budget

There are a lot of very smart people on CM so perhaps someone (or more) can answer ...

why do we keep sending money to all these foreign countries when our country is in such dire need?

I'm for cutting the money by at least half if not more and yet you never even see this mentioned (at least I don't).
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 07:01 PM
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Less than 2% of our total budget goes to foreign aid. 60% of it is for Defense, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and Social Security.

We can talk about all the wasted money in foreign aid, infrastructure, the space program or medical research but until the elephants in the room are addressed then its a lot of work with little result.

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Old April 22nd, 2011, 10:14 PM
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I would respond with my opinion but then my post would be deleted as political posts are not allowed on CM .
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 02:03 AM
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"why do we keep sending money to all these foreign countries when our country is in such dire need?"

The short answer is: Because we have to. We need them to keep on buying our stuff. Its a small investment with a huge return.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 03:31 AM
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Ship2shore,


You are partially correct. However, it all depends upon to whom we're sending the money. There are countries to which we send foreign aid but from which we receive no tangible benefit. I'm not saying that's necessarily wrong. I'm just stating a fact.

Same thing with foreign trade. We trade with countries from which we buy far more than what we sell. Again, I'm not saying that's necessarily wrong, I'm only saying that's why we continuously such a high "Trade Deficit."

Todd
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 06:50 AM
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"the world is flat" and because we are a global economy everything our Country does is inter-related to our national agenda/interest of spreading democracy thru out the world (which is alot better then the alternative) and we can not be isolationist
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 12:37 PM
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Trillions of dollars spent to send our military in places like Iraq and Afghanistan could be used to eradicate poverty
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 12:56 PM
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I have the perfect solution..since Donald Trump claims he knows how to reduce the national debt..have him put up as collateral his own $$$ equal to the amount of debt he claims he can reduce (or take into bankruptcy) in the next 6 months and let him go at it..if he is successful, then he should be considered a serious candidate, if he fails, we have his $$$$$

talk is cheap when you have never held an elected office or been held accountable to the voters (and has never served his Country in the active military)
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 02:37 PM
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Henry, My hubby's lastest orders are open ended. The Pres. said he would shut down operations, so the ball is in his court. I guess we just have to see if he does what he said.

Poverty will never end as long as people think the job of the government is to support them. Education is the key, and the kids can't be educated as long as the teachers are on the nightly news, instead in the classroom.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 03:48 PM
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"There are countries to which we send foreign aid but from which we receive no tangible benefit."

Show me a country that doesnt have Coca Cola. (With the possible exception of North Korea, who still might use some US weaponry bought in a roundabout way.) Coke is just one example among thousands.
A better question is: why are we sending aid to Japan? They have the means to fix things themselves.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luanne Russo View Post
Henry, My hubby's lastest orders are open ended. The Pres. said he would shut down operations, so the ball is in his court. I guess we just have to see if he does what he said.

Poverty will never end as long as people think the job of the government is to support them. Education is the key, and the kids can't be educated as long as the teachers are on the nightly news, instead in the classroom.
Amen on both.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 04:37 PM
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Default LuAnne

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Originally Posted by Luanne Russo View Post
Henry, My hubby's lastest orders are open ended. The Pres. said he would shut down operations, so the ball is in his court. I guess we just have to see if he does what he said.

Poverty will never end as long as people think the job of the government is to support them. Education is the key, and the kids can't be educated as long as the teachers are on the nightly news, instead in the classroom.

I choose not to debate this with you .You understand that we have totally different views.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 04:38 PM
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Default coca cola

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Originally Posted by ship2shore View Post
"There are countries to which we send foreign aid but from which we receive no tangible benefit."

Show me a country that doesnt have Coca Cola. (With the possible exception of North Korea, who still might use some US weaponry bought in a roundabout way.) Coke is just one example among thousands.
A better question is: why are we sending aid to Japan? They have the means to fix things themselves.

The USA will not be happy until it has nationalized every country on the planet .Just wait till there is interplanetary travel .
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 04:54 PM
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Yes Henry, I do understand your problem with the military. I said something that is not only true, but something I thought would make you happy.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 07:12 PM
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Luanne/Henry...on a regular basis I speak with alot of young teenagers who live in the inner City of New Orleans..my advise to them is to prepare for a job where you are your own boss, because you should never put yourself in the precarious position of relying on the government or corporations for anything (I always start out if I had a chance to do it again, I would have never gone to work in corporate America)...i also strongly urge them to learn a craft/trade (a union craft job is still a great way to earn a living with/without a college degree) or learn to play a musical instrument, so you can feed your family or be able to move to another part of the Country and find work and also learn how to grow vegetables in a garden and learn how to read a book so you know what the heck is going on in the world..also tell them for every $1 they make, tithe 10%, pay yourself 10% and establish a savings account at a credit union to begin to establish credit, take 10% and treat yourself to something, then pay your bills on a consistent basis and don't ever get a credit card until you have been on a job for more then 2 years..one day when I first started doing this, it dawned on me, this is everything my Dad taught me (and I to my son) and 99% of them don't have a positive male role model (Dad or otherwise) in their homes, let alone their lives

I also urge them to join the military as a great way to grow up, gain discipline, earn a GED and beyond, see the world and benefit from the GI Bill..I get the biggest pushback from them on this topic..they tell me that they can get shot in Iraq..I tell them that they have a greater chance of getting shot on the streets of New Orleans then in Iraq, and hey, you get a weapon to shoot back and everyone of them has an obligation to serve their Country (if they can qualify)..the service is not perfect, but the upside far outweighs the downside..falls on deaf ears..I once took a bunch of them to Belle Chasse Air Station to meet my son and sit in his F-15 and talk about careers in the military...they did not make the connection of hard work and the payoff
..the public/private charter school system in New Orleans is still a mess, post Katrina...the teachers that invite me into their classrooms are overwhelmed but working 24/7 to try to give their students an edge...the teacher unions are in the streets up north for a far bigger political battle, but I bet you $$$ that the majority of them are keeping tabs on their kids every night..that's what good teachers do
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 08:20 PM
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Default LuAnne

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Originally Posted by Luanne Russo View Post
Yes Henry, I do understand your problem with the military. I said something that is not only true, but something I thought would make you happy.

You are a very nice person .Aside from my perception on this board I've heard this from a mutual friend of ours .However ,I personally disagree with several of your points of view and there is no need to debate them. I tried to PM you once but you have that option blocked .
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 08:28 PM
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Luanne/Henry...on a regular basis I speak with alot of young teenagers who live in the inner City of New Orleans..my advise to them is to prepare for a job where you are your own boss, because you should never put yourself in the precarious position of relying on the government or corporations for anything (I always start out if I had a chance to do it again, I would have never gone to work in corporate America)...i also strongly urge them to learn a craft/trade (a union craft job is still a great way to earn a living with/without a college degree) or learn to play a musical instrument, so you can feed your family or be able to move to another part of the Country and find work and also learn how to grow vegetables in a garden and learn how to read a book so you know what the heck is going on in the world..also tell them for every $1 they make, tithe 10%, pay yourself 10% and establish a savings account at a credit union to begin to establish credit, take 10% and treat yourself to something, then pay your bills on a consistent basis and don't ever get a credit card until you have been on a job for more then 2 years..one day when I first started doing this, it dawned on me, this is everything my Dad taught me (and I to my son) and 99% of them don't have a positive male role model (Dad or otherwise) in their homes, let alone their lives

I also urge them to join the military as a great way to grow up, gain discipline, earn a GED and beyond, see the world and benefit from the GI Bill..I get the biggest pushback from them on this topic..they tell me that they can get shot in Iraq..I tell them that they have a greater chance of getting shot on the streets of New Orleans then in Iraq, and hey, you get a weapon to shoot back and everyone of them has an obligation to serve their Country (if they can qualify)..the service is not perfect, but the upside far outweighs the downside..falls on deaf ears..I once took a bunch of them to Belle Chasse Air Station to meet my son and sit in his F-15 and talk about careers in the military...they did not make the connection of hard work and the payoff
..the public/private charter school system in New Orleans is still a mess, post Katrina...the teachers that invite me into their classrooms are overwhelmed but working 24/7 to try to give their students an edge...the teacher unions are in the streets up north for a far bigger political battle, but I bet you $$$ that the majority of them are keeping tabs on their kids every night..that's what good teachers do
In 1971 I worked for the NYS Department of Labor in the Federal Office .My job was working with soldiers recently returned from Viet Nam who lacked the vocational skills necessary to find suitable employment .
The majority of these young people were high school dropouts . Many were disabled as a result of being in the army . The majority of those I worked with told me that they could build bombs but that was not something that would enable them to get a job .
A friend of mine who is a newspaper writer believes that a lot of young people join the armed services because they are at the poverty level .Unless they are career soldiers they still have to face the reality of finding a job once they leave the service.
I don't know if conditions in 2011 are the same as they were 40 years ago but I surmise that they are .
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 09:36 PM
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Henry, I have heard the same things about you. I am sorry you could not get through on PM My e-mail is Luanne@hot.rr.com

The Army has thankfully set higher standards these days. You must have at least a HS diploma, or GED. Instead of having to wait until after your service to go to college, you can now go during your tours. It is not easy, especially with all of these deployments, but can be done.

Henry, I hope you and others reading this do not think I am some sort of war monger. This is my life. I was barely 22 the first time I walked on a military base. I am 57 now. These are my people. This is all I know. My children were born on military bases, my son is buried in a military cemetary. I do not look forward to deployments. These people are tired. They want to stay put for a little longer than 12 months. They want to be there when their babies are born, and be there for the first day of school, but sadly, the world is in a mess, and for every 2 places where the military is fighting, there are 20 others that need us.

I know that having a military is costly. I also know that it is not your soldier that costs, but the waste that goes on elsewhere. If they do cut the military it will be like during the Carter years. It was a dangerous time to be a soldier. The threat won't be cut, but the ability for the soldier to do his or her job, will be harder.

Henry, I know that you and I will never see eye to eye on the military. I respect you, and appreciate your opinion.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 10:42 PM
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and you cannot have a criminal record (times have changed since the mandatory draft)

even in a tough economic downturn, i think most employers will give serious consideration for someone with an honorable discharge in their hiring process..in light of 911 and the surge in enlistments more for patriotism, then escaping lower economic circumstances, i think it still holds true...but it's also true, that the military has always been one of the traditional routes to escape poverty(and enlistments have always gone up during a recession)...the challenge today is that our troops are fighting a variety of conflicts at the same time , which put aside WW2 when we had two major theatres of war, is unheard of..my son has been to Iraq 2X and Afghanstan 1X..enough is enough, I so agree with Luanne in that respect

terrorism is now a 24/7 round the clock mission that is not disappearing in our times..we must recruit,train, equipt and most importantly, take care of our troops and their families who are wounded (physical/mental) defending our Country...the VA needs a major overhaul and more funding...we need to continue our 4 year military academies that have to turn out officers and future leaders that are in tune with how to lead in a very different type of warfare for now and the future..our elected members of Congress and the 2 major parties they represent (plus the Teaparty folks) are the ultimate in hypocrisy..they want major budget cuts as long as it does not affect them directly in terms of their entitlements, but it's ok if it's someone else ..I've been reading about when Social Security started back during the great depression in the 30's...those vocal critics today should read up on the history before they talk about slicing it
this entire budget, national debt conversation is interesting..we did not get into this mess overnight..we are not going to solve it by doing massive cuts overnight..it's a balancing act..and by the way the Bush tax cuts for the rich have got to go..it's both a spending and revenue problem, but we cannot be short sighted, we have to invest in the future
if you see a member of the military in Church with their families on Easter Sunday, please say thank you for their service and their family's sacrifice in these tough economic times
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 10:46 PM
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Henry, I have heard the same things about you. I am sorry you could not get through on PM My e-mail is Luanne@hot.rr.com

The Army has thankfully set higher standards these days. You must have at least a HS diploma, or GED. Instead of having to wait until after your service to go to college, you can now go during your tours. It is not easy, especially with all of these deployments, but can be done.

Henry, I hope you and others reading this do not think I am some sort of war monger. This is my life. I was barely 22 the first time I walked on a military base. I am 57 now. These are my people. This is all I know. My children were born on military bases, my son is buried in a military cemetary. I do not look forward to deployments. These people are tired. They want to stay put for a little longer than 12 months. They want to be there when their babies are born, and be there for the first day of school, but sadly, the world is in a mess, and for every 2 places where the military is fighting, there are 20 others that need us.

I know that having a military is costly. I also know that it is not your soldier that costs, but the waste that goes on elsewhere. If they do cut the military it will be like during the Carter years. It was a dangerous time to be a soldier. The threat won't be cut, but the ability for the soldier to do his or her job, will be harder.

Henry, I know that you and I will never see eye to eye on the military. I respect you, and appreciate your opinion.

You should delete or have somebody delete your e-mail address from your post.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 10:49 PM
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Venice :

There is absolutely no necessity for the US to have a military presence in every european country .There is also ,IMHO ,no reason to have troops in Afghanistan and Iraq .This is not just my point of view .Thousands of members of the Vietnam Veterans Against The War share this view.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 02:20 AM
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Henry, my friend..we respect each other's opinion ...let's get back to the original post about how to balance the budget
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Old April 24th, 2011, 10:57 AM
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r
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Venice :

There is absolutely no necessity for the US to have a military presence in every european country .There is also ,IMHO ,no reason to have troops in Afghanistan and Iraq .This is not just my point of view .Thousands of members of the Vietnam Veterans Against The War share this view.
I am a Vietnam Veteran who agrees with that.

So many lives were lost in Vietnam and so much money was spent. I still have bad memories of things that I saw over there.

All for nothing.

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Old April 24th, 2011, 11:56 AM
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Like many others here, I am a former military officer and a Vietnam veteran. It is time that we forget the past and concentrate on saving the future.

Do we give too much foreign aid? Yes we do. Do we still have troops stationed all over the world where there is no fighting? We do, and they should be brought home. Should we get out of Iraq and Afghanistan as soon as we reasonably can ensure sucess? Yes.

Are medicare and social security both costing too much? Yes they are. I receive both and am prepared for changes that eliminate fraud and eliminate excess funding. The government MUST spend less, and, if it causes us some hardship, it may keep our children and grandchildren from becoming third world citizens.

Should the tax system be changed and fraud eliminated? Yes. I am not wealthy, but should my taxes be increased if it helps to balance the budget? Yes, but only if the politicians from both parties stop throwing money away!!

Should we establish a crash program to develop our own natural resources? yes, since our coal, oil and natural gas reserves including off shore drilling, probably exceed that of the rest of the world. These should be taxed and the revenue be used to develop efficient solar, wind, tidal and thermal energy sources as well as research on things like cold fusion and hydrogen powered engines.

Should we all try to become more self sufficient and expect less from the government? Definitely YES!!!!!!!
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Old April 24th, 2011, 09:22 PM
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As I've posted numerous times ,I am a retired Health Insurance Frauds Investigator .My company started the investigations in 1986 .The major health insurance carriers were not concerned about fraud .
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Old April 26th, 2011, 08:08 PM
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Aid's a drop in the bucket. You guys waste wayyyy more moolah on other things.

Cruise missiles, for example.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 02:28 AM
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Haole, you're absolutely right.....unless of course you're a GI on the receiving end of a rocket barrage. Were that to happenk I've a feeling your opinion my be a tad altered. ;-)

Todd
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Old March 13th, 2012, 09:20 AM
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It's easy to balance the budget.....take what you have as income and total it up. Next you divide it proportionately between all phases of government to operate.

Simple arithmetic, just like we do it at home!
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Old March 13th, 2012, 09:36 AM
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Pretty good discussion, despite some unnecessary diversions from the topic.

I'll weigh in with Mike, who hit it on the head right at the beginning. This "foreign aid" canard continues to be talked about by people who don't pay any attention to the numbers. And the money that is spent has definite paybacks on a net basis.

Of course, right now by far the biggest chunk of unjustified "foreign aid" is going to Afghanistan (included, for budget purposes--to the extent that we "budget" for wars at all--in the military budget).

I also agree with most that we absolutely must cut spending and we must raise taxes--on the rich first and foremost, and on the rest of us too. Like some others, I'm prepared to have my taxes rasied and my "entitlements" reduced. I would consider it an act of patriotism.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 02:00 PM
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It is difficult to reach a balance budget because budgeting decisions are made from a political basis instead of an economic basis. To make good economic decisions will take a change in our political system. I would suggest the following:

1. Outlaw all lobbyists
2. Put strict controls on political contributions
3. REVERSE the Supreme Court decision that gave corporations the same political rights as individuals (this is especially worrisome)
4. ENFORCE the Constitutional concept of the separation of Church and State

In addition, IMHO our economy is based on the false premise that we have unlimited resources. We really need to come together as a society and work on these issues to preserve some of the great aspects of our culture.
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