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View Full Version : Nat'l Security How much would you cut from the following three programs?


Direckshun
07-12-2010, 02:49 PM
Simple question.

I'm not expecting super-detailed or super-researched answers or anything. Just your gut reaction. How would you cut the following programs?

Edited to add: I guess we could also say "improve the solvency," as many liberal posters (myself included) could devise other ways of putting these programs in the black.

1. Social Security.

2. Medicare.

3. Defense spending.

Thanks in advance for the serious answers.

Taco John
07-12-2010, 03:19 PM
I would cut defense spending by X% by closing a lot of overseas bases (especially ones like Germany, France, Japan) that aren't directly related to the security of our own nation. I would use that money to make social security and medicare solvent because people have become dependant on these programs. I would then phase out social security by making it a pay to play program in which people get out what they put into it, plus 5% (just under a government bond). Social security would return to being a program of last resort, rather than a retirement plan. And then I'd allow people to either opt in or out of it as they choose. No longer are people forced against their will to participate in it.

I think SS should be eliminated as a ponzi scheme where this generation is paying to support the last generation.

As far as how much to cut from three programs - that's a fool's errand. Dependancies have been institutionalized, and just making cuts across the board without any sort of easing into it is going to result in elections where people who promise things are going to get elected and overcorrect in a way that makes things worse.

petegz28
07-12-2010, 03:45 PM
I agree with TJ. I would also argue that if the Fed Gov actually made SS and Medicare more efficient in the way it is administrated that would go a long, long way. When it comes to SS, it isn't about cutting spending but about quiting the spending of the SS money on things other than SS.

vailpass
07-12-2010, 03:54 PM
Any cuts in defense would have to come from aid to foreign countries and realigning/downsizing/eliminating non-strategic global locations. We are a superior military force becasue of the courage and commitment of our troops AND because of our commitment to R&D which keeps us ahead in C4 and weaponry. A cut to any of those areas now would show up not now but years from now at which point we would lose our tactical advantage. This is not something you can turn on and off, it takes years to establish and many more years to regain if you ever can.
If you think maintaining the strongest military in the world is expensive guess what the costs would be if we were without it.

Social Security should pay out according to what was paid in and the individual should be given the opportunity to manage their funds privately.

Medicare should be retained at current levels or the funding level should be increased. You can tell an awful lot about a nation by how they treat their old. As the richest nation on Earth (or close enough) there is no reason our elderly should not be taken care of. Funding cuts to long-term welfare and food stamp recipients could pay for part of a Medicare increase. Cuts in other social welfare programs could divert more towards Medicare.

Amnorix
07-12-2010, 04:02 PM
Without going into too much painful detail:

1. Defense: First, remove non-defense items from the defense budget and put them where they belong. There are games played with this stuff.

Second, close some overseas bases that are more closely tied to the Cold War than our current strategic needs. Though not TJ/BEP mass closures.

Third, close some domestic bases that are more closely tied to Congressional clout, the desire of the militayr to have more Congresspeople dependent on them, and have little to do with national defense.

Fourth, eliminate some high tech military programs that are more closely tied to Congressional bacon-delivery and/or military leadership fantasies than current strategic needs, including compoentns of our nuclear arsenal and outdated and unnecessary strategic triad.


2. Social Security. Everyone over 55 stays in the system. People 45 and over keep paying in, but have their 100% benefit rates jacked up by like 3 years. Then restructure for the rest in some kind of dramatic way that eliminates fixed benefits for life.

3. Medicare. No clue.

4. You didn't ask, but I'd eliminate all fixed-benefit pensions for all federal (and state) employees (except 20 year military). It's a massive albatross and isn't needed to compete iwth private sector employers because few/none offer them anymore.

healthpellets
07-12-2010, 04:44 PM
1. SS - not sure we need to cut anything. seems to be that if we put SS in a "lockbox" and stop raiding the damn fund to pay for everything else, we might not have to cut anything. however i wouldn't be opposed to just scrapping the whole system for anyone 17 or younger.

2. Medicare - i guess we need to be paying for everyone's healthcare. but in the end, since the government doesn't pay full market price, the rest of us have to pay more. so that kinda sucks.

3. Defense Spending - i'd cut it by 75%. all at once, like ripping off a band-aid. close the bases and sell them. allow an early exit for those currently serving that would like to leave service, while keeping their full bonus if they've served at least half of their agreement. stop send billions to support countries in the middle east. stop providing defense for germany and japan, however nominal it may be. invest and develop a real missile defense system, while truly securing the boarders on both sides, and securing all ports of entry. lock this shit down.

HerculesRockefell
07-12-2010, 05:39 PM
2. Social Security. Everyone over 55 stays in the system. People 45 and over keep paying in, but have their 100% benefit rates jacked up by like 3 years. Then restructure for the rest in some kind of dramatic way that eliminates fixed benefits for life.


I'd prefer 10 years. You had to outlive the life expectancy of the time when SS was created to begin collecting benefits, it should be similar to that today.

Though I'd prefer to be able to opt out entirely.

The Mad Crapper
07-12-2010, 05:45 PM
Lavender for Fire Island!

vailpass
07-12-2010, 06:04 PM
1. SS - not sure we need to cut anything. seems to be that if we put SS in a "lockbox" and stop raiding the damn fund to pay for everything else, we might not have to cut anything. however i wouldn't be opposed to just scrapping the whole system for anyone 17 or younger.

2. Medicare - i guess we need to be paying for everyone's healthcare. but in the end, since the government doesn't pay full market price, the rest of us have to pay more. so that kinda sucks.

3. Defense Spending - i'd cut it by 75%. all at once, like ripping off a band-aid. close the bases and sell them. allow an early exit for those currently serving that would like to leave service, while keeping their full bonus if they've served at least half of their agreement. stop send billions to support countries in the middle east. stop providing defense for germany and japan, however nominal it may be. invest and develop a real missile defense system, while truly securing the boarders on both sides, and securing all ports of entry. lock this shit down.

It is a damn good thing people like you aren't allowed anywhere near the Defense Appropriations Committee.

KC native
07-12-2010, 06:51 PM
1. Lift the cap on SS tax. SS is immediately fixed. Also, increase the retirement age by a few years.

2. Medicare. I'm for a single payor model along the lines of the french system.

3. Like Amno, I think we need selective base closure. Also, dramatic cuts to many weapons programs. I think we should still outspend the world but spending more than the rest of the world combined is ludicrous.

Hydrae
07-12-2010, 07:15 PM
3. Close probably 1/2 the bases overseas.

4. Stop benefits to foreign countries. This will go a long ways to balancing the budget by itself.

Then we can talk about 1 and 2. Right now is probably not the time to talk about cutting services to citizens. Stop giving the rest of the world the farm and maybe we can get our own home put back into shape.

FD
07-12-2010, 08:34 PM
4. Stop benefits to foreign countries. This will go a long ways to balancing the budget by itself.


Foreign aid is less than 1% of the Federal Budget, with the vast majority of that going to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hydrae
07-12-2010, 09:15 PM
Foreign aid is less than 1% of the Federal Budget, with the vast majority of that going to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Turns out you are right. I stand corrected. I have learned something today. :D

Direckshun
07-13-2010, 09:32 AM
For the record, KC Native and I are exactly the same on social security. Amnorix and I are pretty much the same on defense. And vailpass and I aren't too far from each other on Medicare, although that's not really a solution, and I don't pretend to have one, unfortunately.

bobbymitch
07-13-2010, 09:56 AM
1. If one doesn't pay in, ya don't get anything out of it. I believe that SS funds are being used for other purposes than SS benefits. Increase revenue. Remove the cap. Employers contributions would be capped at the existing amount, with the EE paying the full amount after that on all remuneration.

2. Not sure.

3. Reduce wasteful spending. No reason for the Pentagon to pay more for tools than one can get from Sears. They should be paying a lot less due to volume. Reduce paying for cost over runs. If the contractor can't deliver at the bid price, then the contractor eats it. Having said that, there could be some exceptions dealing with shared development costs and add-ons. When I was a supply PO, at the end of each fiscal year, I was given a blank check to spend. The reasoning was that what ever we didn't spend, then the next year's budget would be reduced by a similar amount. How dumb and wasteful. I also agree that congress types shouldn't be forcing unneeded and unwanted planes/tanks/whatever down the throats of the military.

Velvet_Jones
07-13-2010, 09:57 AM
1. Lift the cap on SS tax. SS is immediately fixed. Also, increase the retirement age by a few years.


I'm 45 and my retirement age for SS is already 70.5 years for full benefit. How much more do you want to raise it? What 80?

Amnorix
07-13-2010, 11:07 AM
4. Stop benefits to foreign countries. This will go a long ways to balancing the budget by itself.



A common mistake. Foreign aid is insignificant in the overall federal budget. Not that it's not big money in terms of raw dollars, but to way "long ways to balancing the budget" is WAY wrong.

King_Chief_Fan
07-13-2010, 12:21 PM
Simple question.

I'm not expecting super-detailed or super-researched answers or anything. Just your gut reaction. How would you cut the following programs?

Edited to add: I guess we could also say "improve the solvency," as many liberal posters (myself included) could devise other ways of putting these programs in the black.

1. Social Security.

2. Medicare.

3. Defense spending.

Thanks in advance for the serious answers.

They would all be increased. There is tons of other shit to cut long before these items. Government needs to keep their hands of SS except to pay out to those who have paid in.

talastan
07-13-2010, 12:29 PM
I would cut defense spending by X% by closing a lot of overseas bases (especially ones like Germany, France, Japan) that aren't directly related to the security of our own nation. I would use that money to make social security and medicare solvent because people have become dependant on these programs. I would then phase out social security by making it a pay to play program in which people get out what they put into it, plus 5% (just under a government bond). Social security would return to being a program of last resort, rather than a retirement plan. And then I'd allow people to either opt in or out of it as they choose. No longer are people forced against their will to participate in it.

I think SS should be eliminated as a ponzi scheme where this generation is paying to support the last generation.

As far as how much to cut from three programs - that's a fool's errand. Dependancies have been institutionalized, and just making cuts across the board without any sort of easing into it is going to result in elections where people who promise things are going to get elected and overcorrect in a way that makes things worse.

THIS especially with SS!! Give those of us with several years to retirement the abilitiy and choice to pay into our own SS account, or a private investment of our own choice. You lower benefit costs, and also increase investment and growth in the markets and subscequently our economy.

FishingRod
07-13-2010, 12:43 PM
To cut defense spending in a significant way we would need a fundamental shift in our foreign policy. We have been the worlds policeman for the last 50 years. While we have certainly had our share of blunders and haven't been thanked for it the world would be a much different place had we reverted to an isolationist policy similar to what we did prior to both World Wars. From a selfish stand point we might well be better off and I'm willing to entertain the idea but to slash our defense spending will make wars for the control of the oil in the middle East will be more likely and more common. Places like China will feel free to liberate Taiwan from their democratically elected government. If we don't care then we don't care but, if we then decide to be the good guys and help out we have traded a temporary savings for American lives.