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Debt Is Destructive

October 12, 2013

To The Reader’s Forum: Debt is the most destructive force that we face. Seventeen trillion dollars in debt and absolutely no plan to repay one red cent; that is our national policy....

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(40)

HenryH

Oct-12-13 5:55 AM

Randy, I agree debt is a serious issue. However, you do not have the ability to print your own money so your analogy is an inaccurate comparison.

Our debt is serious but it is being driven by a spending regime sponsored by both parties which is unsustainable. You are correct to highlight the military spending which is out of line with the threats we face. You also need to consider our social spending which is way too high and the number of people employed by the public sector is exorbitant. We could easily remove $1 Trillion in spending but then the gravy train would be crippled.

My question is, what are we going to do to stop spending first to limit our debt? What programs are we going to cut? How many people are we going to remove from public employment? What things does our society value? Only then can we discuss removing the debt.

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50s4ever

Oct-12-13 8:20 AM

HH. Agreed. Too bad you felt compelled to use the first paragraph.

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HenryH

Oct-12-13 9:08 AM

50s, you have the ability to change the value of the currency you use to conduct commerce?

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carlaw

Oct-12-13 9:38 AM

Great comment Henry H!

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50s4ever

Oct-12-13 12:17 PM

No. I have the ability to not take a shot at somebody for no good reason.

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50s4ever

Oct-12-13 12:20 PM

Totally unnecessary elitist cheap shot. He never said he did.

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HenryH

Oct-12-13 12:34 PM

Oh 50s, how you see yourself is heartbreaking. For you to see me, a normal guy, as elitist shows how you value your own thoughts and self. To turn to the topic at hand, about 1/3rd of Randy's letter was devoted to an analogy which is fallacious. You cannot compare a personal approach to finance which tends to be cash accounting to the US Budget and the US Government's ability to depreciate its currency instead of changing its spending.

50s, in closing, I feel for you that you choose the mundane to address. How about participate in a helpful way by offering how you'd solve our debt problem and do try to keep an even keel.

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FedUpL8ly

Oct-12-13 3:13 PM

How's this Henry. CUT SPENDING! Henry, with your superior intellect, please enlighten the rest of us as to how this country was able to enjoy prosperity for 15 years immediately preceding Obama's tenure while spending so much less money. Don't start with that phony premise that Obama inherited the worst mess since the Great Depression. Reagan inherited a worse mess from Jimmy Carter and Reagan turned it around in half the time that Obama has been in office. Actually, in principle, Mr. Gruel made a very cogent analogy between personal debt and the nation's debt. Insisting there's a difference because the U.S. can print more money rather than having their checks bounce is nonsense. When FOMC interest rates return to normal levels between 3% and 4%, our debt payments will balloon hundreds of billions of dollars. Make no mistake, they will return to those rates someday in order to stem inflation which will occur with a return to prosperous times.

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EaglesWings

Oct-12-13 7:15 PM

Incidentally HH, Debt is not destructive. UNPAID debt is, yet this Prez keeps running it up. What say you? (How about an answer and leaving George W and the Repubs out of it)

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HenryH

Oct-13-13 3:56 AM

SSS is correct. Feddie, I think many of us tire of your broken record of partisanship. Reagan started our current monetary approach as he had half of the equation right with Hayekian budgeting but allowed Keynesian spending to continue. GB Sr., Clinton and GW all continued Keynesian policies. We've run budget deficits for 30 years. I've come to believe that regardless of party, leadership think they can spend their way out of it.

I won't labor the point, but, home economics and complex macro economic management are really on on par. If you think they are, I'm happy to buy you a year's subscription to the Economist.

In closing, I have a solution: Cut the military by 75%; Close 2/3rds of the DoS facilities; Cut the Black Budget by 80%; Close the Education Dept; Close all local Federal offices; and cut all social payments by 50%. Then, prepare for the world to shake.

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HenryH

Oct-13-13 3:59 AM

Eagles' what is the distinction between debt and unpaid debt in the US Government context? You understand that the US Government uses a zero-based budget and has no balance sheet in the same context that a business would have? Do enlighten us with your insights between near term and long term liabilities.

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FedUpL8ly

Oct-13-13 2:38 PM

HenryH, you have the "partisan" view of history. As you like to tell the rest of us how government works, maybe you should stop and remind yourself. All spending legislation originates in the House and bills are then passed by the entire Congress. The President then either signs or vetoes what is presented to him. Reagan worked with a Democratic Congress that was typical of all Democrats. Tax more and spend even more. Your blaming Reagan for compromising with Democrats is typical. All you could expect of Reagan is that he would temper their spending. Liberals, including Obama, blamed Bush for spending but if you look closely, you'll see the Bush deficits exploded when the Democrats took over Congress in 2006. If Bush deserves any blame, it's that he didn't veto the Pelosi/Reid spending of his second term. That's why I don't blame House Republicans for any shutdown because Barack Obama seems to think he can treat the U.S. Treasury as his own personal piggy bank.

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FedUpL8ly

Oct-13-13 2:50 PM

SuperSerious, why don't you start to pay attention. The Republicans have been passing bills with constructive ideas, talking about ways to cut spending responsibly and Sen. Coburn and others have been talking about the waste for years. You sound exactly like the Democratic strategists I hear on TV. Everyone one of them lies, distorts the truth and misleads with statistics taken out of context. Myself, I refuse to play the fool and fall for their garbage even though I wasn't impressed with Bush and remain unimpressed with Boehner and McConnell. But as unimpressive as Bush was, he was a heck of a lot better than that fool, Al Gore. As far as that goes, Boehner and McConnell make a lot more sense than what comes out of the mouths of Reid and Pelosi.

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HenryH

Oct-13-13 3:41 PM

OK Feddie, you got it all figured out. What is the answer? You make it sound like it is only the Dems. Both parties are culpable. Both are Keynesian in approach. If you do a like for like comparison, you are fighting over a small portion of pork. Keep drinking that kool aid as hyper inflation will soon be upon us. Oh yeah, and those freedoms which Republicans love to talk about will not exist as GW has done a great job of removing them and Obama will see the job done. It is all a farce to keep the ignorant working class thinking they have some control. Jokes on us big boy!

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bobbojr

Oct-14-13 9:06 AM

Debt is a way of life for all countries and families. 17 Trillion dollars of debt is not a huge debt when you measure it against the size of the annual national budget. To the author of this little blerb of an opin ion. Russian is nothing? Syria is nothing? etc etc Your opinion is NOTHING, it is an opinion based on what? What I ask, not very much, this is 203 not 1913, a new reality in a new age; looks like the lack of a formal education from a bygone generation when only the few obtained it because our federal government didn't help provide it. This is the result of what happens without a Pell Grant, Federal and State Loans for a formal education. Not trying to insult just states FACTS.

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50s4ever

Oct-14-13 9:21 AM

HH I suspect you spend a lot of time in front of a mirror.

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HenryH

Oct-14-13 9:53 AM

Oh 50s, is that your best rebuttal? A personal attack of which all you know is a reasonably articulated opinion. It would be fantastic if you leveraged the resources in our community, advanced your opinion and found a way to articulate it without the slant diatribe which you commonly spout.

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50s4ever

Oct-14-13 2:41 PM

Correction. You must spend a lot of time talking in front of a mirror.

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HenryH

Oct-14-13 3:09 PM

Doggie, you really need to take that political philosophy class and figure our your left from your right. Read my first comment and then call me liberal. Your rose colored glasses are really preventing you from engaging in a discussion which could be fruitful. Frankly, it is really getting old.

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HenryH

Oct-14-13 3:13 PM

50s! You went back to the well again for the same insult? If you are going to insult me twice, at least be a bit more creative. I keep wishing you'd invest yourself, bet it with an argument or with committing to a creative way of insulting me. I feel cheapened that I get neither from you. Show some effort, man!

I'd like to point out your insult is superfluous in that you clearly have engaged with my comments as have others so that means I'm not talking in front of a mirror. But good try though. I'll give you a D+ for the lacklustre effort to make it about me instead of showing up with a well articulated opinion. Oh yeah, and like I told Doggie, read my first comment on this article and tell me I'm wrong.

Come on 50s, one more time - WITH FEELING!

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HenryH

Oct-14-13 3:27 PM

Bluesman, I call BS on your last statement. First, was born in 1978 and is not a professor but a junior faculty member at Columbia. Second, he is in education and culture so he has no economics background and his PhD was in education anthropology. He is unqualified outside that of a normal voting citizen to compare and contrast the types of debt between the two administrations. If you are going to be disparaging, at least do so with a credible source.

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HenryH

Oct-14-13 4:48 PM

Bluesman, you are not using my words against me. If you think you are, then you'll have to be a bit more overt.

You do not understand the academic world. He is an associate professor in the Columbia School of Education. My point, clearly made, was that he is not fit for comment. It is like choosing the guy who hangs out at the Cherry Lounge bar as an expert on debt. Now, if you wish to quote full professors (by the way, that is a title to be earned) then do choose a professor who has undertaken rigorous research in the area of public debt and financing.

Am I clear? Oh, and Bill O'Reilly is not a person who I would empower to select knowledgeable guests to discuss a topic. One thing they do teach you at JCC is that you need to choose 'good' sources and a Fox News talking head probably does not qualify.

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HenryH

Oct-14-13 4:53 PM

Doggie, you choose a 75% cut in spending to call me liberal? You are comical when you are grasping for straws. Pitty that the PJ does not allow for the posting of graphics as I could show you why a 75% cut in spending preserves the strongest military in the world while removing the pork. You've hear that the Army wanted to not buy 2,000 A1 tanks, yes? Pork. You heard the Navy wanted to downsize many of its high tech fleet because they were not helpful, yes? Pork. You know we have 700 military installations around the world, many of which have no offensive positioning? BAD SPENDING!

Go ahead, Doggie. Tell me we should spend more on a military which is already has a budget 15 times bigger than the next 10 largest armies combined. Seriously! Know how the Romans fell? They spent to much on non-value add activities. In particular, a war machine in a time of peace when there was no more enemies to fight. Tell me Doggie, why am I wrong?

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50s4ever

Oct-14-13 5:49 PM

Hill is about as qualified as Obama.

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50s4ever

Oct-14-13 5:55 PM

HH you are in such a hurry to dazzle us with your self proclaimed brilliance, you didn't actually read the letter before you started running your mouth making it something that you could get miles of blah blah out of.

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