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February 23, 2013
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The Sequester

:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
:iconwplz:hat if I told you I could afford a mansion by taking out a loan for the down-payment, and then borrowing successively increasing amounts of money every year to pay the mortgage. Would you consider me wealthy or prosperous? No, of course not- you'd tell me that eventually, I'll have to pay it all back, and I'll then be poorer than ever before because of the interest payments.

Well, that is exactly what the Democrats are trying to make the US federal government continue doing. They spent trillions of dollars that we did not have during Barack Obama's first term to give the illusion of economic growth. They want to keep increasing the rate of this spending to sustain the illusion and avoid ever having to pay off our debts. However, as our friends in Europe should now be very familiar with, all debts must eventually be paid off, and the longer you wait, the more painful it is.

So now, in an effort to force a slight move in the direction of fiscal sustainability, the Sequester is approaching. The Sequester was originally proposed by Jack Lew and pushed by Barack Obama, as a means to force Republicans to agree to more tax hikes. Congressional Republicans agreed to it, because they felt they could use it as a means to force Obama to agree to more spending cuts. But of course, nobody can agree on anything, and so the Sequester is going to be triggered- consisting of a tiny cut in the rate of increase of federal spending over 10 years. I repeat: this is a cut in the rate of increase in federal spending, not even a real spending cut. As in, we're still digging ourselves deeper in debt every year through federal spending, but we're going to do it ever so slightly slower. You can see from the graph here [link] how tiny and insignificant this 2.7% cut really is.

Yet, Barack Obama is crying bloody murder. [link] He is saying that federal spending must always keep rising, or the entire government will just collapse, and the economy will follow. If our economy can't function without federal spending rising faster than the GDP is growing, and the federal government can't function without growing faster than inflation every year, then the President has left us with a severely broken system. You can see in the third graph here [link] that the private sector is in a real Great Depression, and that all growth in the GDP that has been registered over the last 5 years has been purely from increased deficit spending, not from real economic growth.

This means the US economy has not recovered at all. We've only papered over the cracks with borrowed money that will need to be paid back eventually, with more interest the longer we wait. [link] There is no better time to pay off our debts than right now. Unfortunately, doing so will require far larger cuts than the Sequester will bring, and will remove the illusion of growth that the Democrats have worked so hard to build. We're now at the hangover from the Keynesian binge: [link]

Contrary to left-wing belief, the solution to a hangover is not "more booze!" Detoxing from our addiction to government spending will be painful, but it is the only way to avoid Greek-style collapse and return to real, sustainable growth of prosperity.

From an International Perspective,
we can see these same issues popping up around the world. Greece is in total collapse as they try to climb out of their debt hole. Most of Europe has slid back into recession as the unsustainable Keynesian spending comes to an end. The ruling French Socialist Party has blamed Europe's problems on "austerity," even as their own tax hikes have sent France back into recession without a drop of real spending cuts.

The whole world will now see that the only countries that truly recovered from the 2008 Great Recession are those that avoided the temptation of Keynesian stimulus, opting instead for free market reforms to lift the burden of government off the backs of the entrepreneurs and innovators. Switzerland [link] can now laugh at Germany [link] and the rest of the European Union [link] from their relatively free-market mountaintop.
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Devious Comments

:iconabcat:
AbCat Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013   Writer
You need another fiscal cliff, followed up by a fiscal parachute jump, topped off by a fiscal death-dive. If the GOP really gave a shit, they'd agree to the tax rises proposed by the Dems, instead of filibustering their country into bankruptcy.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Tax hikes are the absolute surest way to hurt the economy while doing nothing to actually fix the deficit crisis.
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:iconabcat:
AbCat Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013   Writer
Well, sure as hell they aren't going to cut a trillion dollars from the budget any time soon, and if it came down to it the GOP wouldn't have the balls to do that either, so either taxes are going up, or the country's going bust.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
You mean taxes are going up, AND the country's going bust. Higher taxes won't fix this. [link]

Either we privatize the health care entitlements, or the country goes bankrupt. There is no other choice.
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:iconabcat:
AbCat Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013   Writer
Sorry, but cutting public medical spending on its own will not nullify the US deficit. And linking to a graph drawn by someone three years ago on the presumption that the debt will be just flat-out ignored does not justify your statement.

The best solution would be to double income tax.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
:iconjawdropplz: Double the income tax!? Do you have any idea how devastating that would be for the economy? We'd collect less revenue than we do now, simply because of the resulting recession and the fleeing of the rich from the country. It seems you have a lot to learn about economics before you can make any reasonable suggestions.

And the debt is being ignored. This graph [link] drawn by the CBO within the last two months, is really not much different than the one from 3 years ago that I linked to. Look at how tiny the sequester really is there.
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:iconabcat:
AbCat Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013   Writer
It wouldn't be devastating to the economy at all. It is a necessary measure. It is utterly laughable that people on six figure salaries pay as little as 16% income tax, and your country is humming and ahhing over how it's going to deal with the deficit. Utterly laughable.

Where do you think the middle and upper classes will go? The Cayman Islands? Mexico?
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
People with 6-figure salaries pay upwards of 30%. You're full of shit.

If you double their income taxes, they'll flee to countries with lower tax rates. Here's a nice list to show you how easy it would be to find such a country: [link]

If you double the tax burden in the US from 30% to 60%, then people who can afford to move will flee to South Korea, Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, Iceland, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, the UK, or any other developed nation on that list. There are plenty of developed nations (some of them even more developed than the US) that have far lower tax rates than you're suggesting, and they will all receive the wealth that you scare away with your idiotic tax proposal.
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:iconsnuffleseleven:
snuffleseleven Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
"Detoxing from our addiction to government spending will be painful"

Only for people with lots of debt, like recent college graduates, middle class families with home loans, lower-middle class families with credit card debt, poor people with outstanding debt that hampers their economic livelihood... oh, actually... that's everybody, basically.

...yeah, that would be painful. Very. And crippling. Crap, you think consumer demand is at an all time low right now? That happens, ain't nobody buyin' ANYTHING. They'll be lucky if they can find a nice bridge to lie under at night.
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:iconzagstrike:
ZaGstrike Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
"The whole world will now see that the only countries that truly recovered from the 2008 Great Recession are those that avoided the temptation of Keynesian stimulus, opting instead for free market reforms to lift the burden of government off the backs of the entrepreneurs and innovators."

:iconaustraliaplz:


Australia, welfare/heavy regulator state that recovered from the recession yonks before the rest by using government stimulus spending. Once again proving Schemer wrong.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
Australia is neither welfare-heavy nor regulation-heavy. [link] Nor is their debt situation anywhere near to where ours is. [link]
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:iconzagstrike:
ZaGstrike Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Oh lookie, a link to heritage, what a great and honest source you could be using.

How about you actually look at an Australian site for once and get the facts straight from the horses mouth, i'll help you and give you the link to the Australian governments department of human services site so you can peruse through all the wonderful tax funded payments and services i've put money into through tax.

As for regulations, here's a link which will lead you to a database of all of them: [link]

And of course, for just a simple category in which Australia is more regulated than America.... Gun control, 'nuff said.


What's debt got to do with it? I wasn't talking about debt, i was talking about the stimulus.

"The whole world will now see that the only countries that truly recovered from the 2008 Great Recession are those that avoided the temptation of Keynesian stimulus,"

Do you stand by this statement? Do you deny that Australia's stimulus spending was responsible for its recovery? Do you disagree with these three articles praising the Australian stimulus? [link] [link] [link]
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
:lmao: That's nothing. If you tried to just list the titles of every US federal regulation, the list would be thousands of pages long.
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:iconzagstrike:
ZaGstrike Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
"The whole world will now see that the only countries that truly recovered from the 2008 Great Recession are those that avoided the temptation of Keynesian stimulus,"

Do you still stand by this statement, even in spite of the evidence that Australias economy resisted recession through the use of the-great-and-mighty Rudds stimulus? [link] [link] [link]
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:iconthadantheunliving:
ThadanTheUnliving Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
Wait, a country in which if you smuggle a Poptart into the country by plane, you get fined excessively? Where produce is dirt cheap but a used game is taxed up to about $90 US Dollars? Where any manufactured good is spiked in cost compared to the States? Which has 37 government funded universities but only 2 private ones barring specialty schools? Which has universal health care? Which has the highest housing prices and household debt in the world? Where failure to enforce regulations on health care corporations has bit them square in the ass? [link] Where the insurance group HIH collapsed, the largest corporate collapse in Australia's history, was due to systematic weaknesses in the APRA's administration of the regulatory system? [link]

It's a beautiful country, while that is not without it's faults, is not libertarian in the slightest if you knew anything about the country beyond a Heritage Foundation article.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Yes, I'm comparing that country to the one where 5-year-olds get fined hundreds of dollars for selling lemonade on their front lawn.
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
Nonono Australia is the Libertarian paradise that TBS wants to live in when he finally gets round to putting his money where his mouth is.
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:iconzagstrike:
ZaGstrike Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Poor bloke would go mad the moment he gets confronted with just our customs system when he gets off the plane.

"What? You're going to force me to open my bag? TYRANNY!!!!"
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:iconno-doves-fly-here:
no-doves-fly-here Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
Technically Australia is both more socialist and more libertarian than the United States because it is a social-democracy, while the United States' government is a combination of fusionism and social-liberalism.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
I'm not an economist so I don't know what the actual solution to these problems are or what implications solutions would have. In the end, I find both sides of this sequester debate to have valid points. Certainly cutting spending is important, but should it occur indiscriminately and recklessly? Although you say it has to be painful, surely we could make it a bit less painful. I certainly don't want to see institutions or people cut, such as airport employees that help assure safety and efficiency, something I'm willing to pay taxes for. Of course, on the other hand, do we have to just deal with such issues to force cuts? I'd hope it wasn't necessary, but I don't know if that's the case.
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Mmm. Republican thinking: Balance the budget on people who are too old and ill to work and will be fucked without the help, while not touching a dime from anyone who can actually afford the drop.

Democrat thinking: Take money from those people and organizations that can actually afford to lose the money without being hurt. Not a real solution, apparently.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
I don't think taxes are really the issue at this point. More so, it's the budget. I think, like most people, I'd prefer taxing the wealthy as you say while working out spending intricately. I believe that's Obama's stance, but will he follow through with that? He has stalled on budget issues in the past.
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The problem is most of the budget is things we can't afford to cut. We're underfunded on infrastructure, the people on benefits still don't have living wage jobs available to switch to, we're underfunded on education, and so on. Either that, or they're things we could get away with missing but would also be a literal drop in the bucket in terms of savings.

The things we can cut that will actually gain a lot of savings without fucking over a lot of people--mainly the military and company subsidies of various stripes--the Republicans refuse to touch.

On top of that... yeah, taxes are a big chunk of the problem, since a good chunk of the deficit is actually a decrease in tax revenue, not any increase in unnecessary spending.

Now, if we were talking an actual audit of overhauling all our systems to provide the same level of services but with more efficient methods, I'd be all up in that. But the Republicans aren't offering to do that any more than the Dems are. The Republicans just want to cut necessary services and fuck up the quality of what's left, and call it "savings".
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
Yes, the issue of cutting useful programs was one of my main points. It is difficult to create these cuts, especially arbitrarily, when this funding has clear benefits. One likely needs to consider how many people are affected by a cut before deciding upon it.

I support cutting military spending and subsidies, but the former is not a popular idea in either party or anywhere in the US still. People still think we need the biggest, best military ever, then wonder why we can't afford essential or beneficial programs. Obama at least wants to cut subsidies though.
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Personally I'd love to see our entire government system upgraded. All our buildings and infrastructure overhauled to be more modern, and both time- and energy-efficient. Like what we did with food stamps, going from the old paper system to the automatic electronic cards.

Problem is that would require the classic short-term spending for long-term savings... which is kind of impossible when you're cutting budgets before you can get away with the natural savings.

Honestly, most of our waste is entirely due to outdated systems that take more effort to use and maintain than they would if they were properly upgraded and repaired.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
It doesn't have to occur indiscriminately. House Republicans have already passed a bill that would replace the sequester with cuts and reforms to the systems that are actually driving the increasing debt: ObamaCare, Medicare, and Social Security.

Unfortunately, the obstructionist Democrats refuse to even consider any real solutions to the problem.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
But Obama has suggested other means of reform as well. Instead of cutting welfare, he's suggested reforming it. I don't think that just cutting those programs in one move is a good idea. There are, in fact, people who really benefit from these programs and it does have a positive contribution to the country. As such, instead of cutting them and harming innocent people, it would be better to work out reformation before deciding on how much money to allocate. That would be ideal, of course.
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Not sure how we're supposed to reform welfare. There's already means tests galore available to catch any fraudulent claims that just need to be enforced better by actually hiring enough people to do so, and you can't make any reforms to move people off welfare into living wage jobs when there still isn't enough living wage jobs for everyone to move into.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
I honestly don't know as I know little about the intricacies of the welfare programs. I only assume that they can be reformed rather than simply cut.
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Those are the only two ways I can think of that they could be reformed: Cutting off those people who have under-the-table or other hidden income that's sufficient to live on, and job placement programs that take underemployed or unemployed people and put them in living wage jobs.

Otherwise all you're doing is cutting off people who still have no other options for sufficient income.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
Oh really? What solutions have Barack Obama suggested to stop the rising costs of Medicare?
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
I do not know off hand what exactly he plans to do. I know he has suggested welfare reform, though not with many specifics. I'd be willing though to wait and listen if such a desire to reform with debated seriously.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
Barack Obama will never take welfare reform or any other form of entitlement reform seriously. The Republicans have given him many chances to make a deal on those issues, but all he wants to do is hike taxes and keep the money flowing to his favored constituencies.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
Cutting the programs isn't the way to reform them either. Because of the nature of the programs, they require much more attention than they are receiving from either side. Their integrity and purpose should be maintained while trying to alleviate costs wherever possible.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
The only way to truly reform those systems is to take steps towards privatizing them. The Republicans have already passed bills that would do exactly that. The Democrats simply aren't participating in the reform process.
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:iconscottahemi:
ScottaHemi Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love how they're tyring to hype this up as such a bad thing XD

especially when those bad things are payed for by local taxes... yep...
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:iconsexy-cowboy-predator:
Sexy-Cowboy-Predator Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
The sequester is nothing more than an overblown hyperbole. The amount of money it effects is so insignificant its not even worth discussion. Personally, I hope it happens. If the only way we can get our government to cut spending is by them not having any other option, then so be it. The sequester is far from a solution, but its a step in the right direction.
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:iconpakaku:
Pakaku Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
Okay, but what about those silly republicans pre-2008?
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:iconenuocale:
EnuoCale Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Does he think the giant W makes us think his thread is more classy?
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:iconpakaku:
Pakaku Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
:iconcplz::iconlplz::iconaplz::iconsplz::iconsplz::iconyplz::iconexclamationpointplz:
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
I don't think it. I kno:iconwplz: it.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
You mean the Bush-Pelosi-Reid partnership in putting the deficit ball into overdrive? That would be why the Republicans abandoned Bush. But now we have a president who is orders of magnitude worse. The Democrats are making every effort to obstruct any and all solutions to the deficit problem and the related economic growth problem.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
A president orders of magnitude worse, under whose administration federal spending has been numerically flat, and actually decreasing when inflation is taken into account? That's somehow worse than Bush's spending spree?
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
under whose administration federal spending has been numerically flat

Only if you don't count entitlement spending. Discretionary spending may have been flat, but entitlement spending is soaring.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It's funny how entitlement spending has to go up when the private sector refuses to hire anyone and wages are still stagnating/dropping because CEOs and stockholders are hoarding all the money, ain't it?
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, go figure. I guess Walmart is such a boon for employment, when it pays its workers so poorly that they have to go on public assistance just to feed their families.
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:iconjeysie:
Jeysie Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You're forgetting, it's capitalist to require subsidized labor. And then want the impossible situation of then no longer subsidizing it and having nobody paying the full costs of said labor and expecting everything to not crash and burn.

But just remember: It's the liberals who can't understand how economics work and want free stuff.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Are you seriously trying to show me how dangerous Obama is by linking me to a graphic produced before he even took office?
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