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  #1  
Old 10-16-2018, 06:11 PM
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The Debt and the Deficit

Anyone want to make the claim that the GOP cares about reducing either?
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:45 PM
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Not a GOP issue...

Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
Anyone want to make the claim that the GOP cares about reducing either?
The driver of out-of-control Federal spending is entitlement growth, specifically senior entitlement growth. And that is an issue that politicians will not touch until disaster looms....not Democrats or Republicans.

This reflects a fundamental flaw in our form of government,....when doing the right thing in the best interest of the Country risks costing politicians their jobs.
Term limits would help...but that is not likely in the near future, at least.

So, our kids and grand kids will be left with the effects of irresponsible political leadership.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post
This reflects a fundamental flaw in our form of government,....when doing the right thing in the best interest of the Country risks costing politicians their jobs.
Term limits would help...but that is not likely in the near future, at least.
Agree...IMO, term limits would help a lot.

Politicians behave differently when they are not afraid of losing their jobs.

Look at Trump, he is not beholden to special interests, so he does what is right.

Look at Flake, he said that he never would have called for the Kavanaugh FBI investigation if he was running for reelection.

80% of the public supports term limits, but I guess that would mean that politicians would have to vote to make themselves unemployed.

And a constitutional convention is a pipe dream.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
Anyone want to make the claim that the GOP cares about reducing either?
I will make that claim.

I see the GOP as supporting tax cuts, increased military spending, and decreased non-military spending. The Democrats want the opposite.

But, the GOP does want to spend money on the border wall, border security, etc.

Last edited by ud2; 10-16-2018 at 11:43 PM..
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post
The driver of out-of-control Federal spending is entitlement growth, specifically senior entitlement growth. And that is an issue that politicians will not touch until disaster looms....not Democrats or Republicans.

This reflects a fundamental flaw in our form of government,....when doing the right thing in the best interest of the Country risks costing politicians their jobs.
Term limits would help...but that is not likely in the near future, at least.

So, our kids and grand kids will be left with the effects of irresponsible political leadership.

As voters, we have nobody to blame but ourselves - and seniors are probably the worst. Social Security and Medicare are fiscal disasters. The politicians - for the most part - are just reflecting the will of the electorate. Most likely nothing will happen until we are on the brink of disaster.
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ud2 View Post
I will make that claim.

I see the GOP as supporting tax cuts, increased military spending, and decreased non-military spending. The Democrats want the opposite.

But, the GOP does want to spend money on the border wall, border security, etc.
That first sentence is a recipe for spending more. They are not/will not cut other spending by enough to make up for the spending that is tax cuts and increase in military spending.

However, I agree with UAC that the elephant in the room is SS and Medicare.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ud69 View Post
As voters, we have nobody to blame but ourselves - and seniors are probably the worst. Social Security and Medicare are fiscal disasters. The politicians - for the most part - are just reflecting the will of the electorate. Most likely nothing will happen until we are on the brink of disaster.
This is where I disagree that the politicians are following the will of the people. I think if a non-partisan group came up with a proposal that had EVERYBODY giving a least a little something and the other politicians did not attack it for their own gain, something could get done. I think the people know that something needs to be done. However, I realize that is not possible and nothing will get done until we are on the brink of disaster.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by CE80 View Post
I think if a non-partisan group came up with a proposal that had EVERYBODY giving a least a little something and the other politicians did not attack it for their own gain, something could get done.

Something very similar to this was done under Obama. He appointed a bi-partisan committee which came up with some very good recommendations - which he then ignored.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by CE80 View Post
This is where I disagree that the politicians are following the will of the people. I think if a non-partisan group came up with a proposal that had EVERYBODY giving a least a little something and the other politicians did not attack it for their own gain, something could get done. I think the people know that something needs to be done. However, I realize that is not possible and nothing will get done until we are on the brink of disaster.
Originally Posted by longtimefan View Post
Something very similar to this was done under Obama. He appointed a bi-partisan committee which came up with some very good recommendations - which he then ignored.
Which is (more) proof that the difference between R's and D's really isn't that different.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:38 AM
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Term limits

Term limits are only opposed by incumbent politicians and special interests, the special interests need tl's in order to maintain the status quo. Labor unions are apparently one of the biggest opponents of tl's.

The large majority of the public strongly supports tl's.


https://www.heritage.org/political-p...clean-congress:


It is difficult to overstate the extent to which term limits would change Congress. They are supported by large majorities of most American demographic groups; they are opposed primarily by incumbent politicians and the special interest groups which depend on them. Term limits would ameliorate many of America's most serious political problems by counterbalancing incumbent advantages, ensuring congressional turnover, securing independent congressional judgment, and reducing election-related incentives for wasteful government spending.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by longtimefan View Post
Something very similar to this was done under Obama. He appointed a bi-partisan committee which came up with some very good recommendations - which he then ignored.
I don't think Obama did or didn't do anything every other recent President has done or not done. The politicians know something needs to be done. They just will not stand up to the self interest groups and fear their political opponents will seize the opportunity to attack them. It is probably less the politicians following the will of the electorate but rather the will of the self interest groups. The question is whether the self interest groups are serving the will of their base.

The solution to the mess is not that complicated. It is some simple math. The best solution will leave everyone equally p!ssed off but will put everyone in a better place for the long run.
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:37 AM
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Bad timing, Mitch...couldn't this wait 3 more weeks?

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politi...GyE?ocid=ientp

"After instituting a $1.5 trillion tax cut and signing off on a $675 billion budget for the Department of Defense, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the only way to lower the record-high federal deficit would be to cut entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security."

Predictably, the D(umb)'s are jumping all over this...
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:14 PM
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Knee jerk opposition...

Originally Posted by CE80 View Post
I don't think Obama did or didn't do anything every other recent President has done or not done. The politicians know something needs to be done. They just will not stand up to the self interest groups and fear their political opponents will seize the opportunity to attack them. It is probably less the politicians following the will of the electorate but rather the will of the self interest groups. The question is whether the self interest groups are serving the will of their base.

The solution to the mess is not that complicated. It is some simple math. The best solution will leave everyone equally p!ssed off but will put everyone in a better place for the long run.
Originally Posted by rollo View Post
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politi...GyE?ocid=ientp

"After instituting a $1.5 trillion tax cut and signing off on a $675 billion budget for the Department of Defense, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the only way to lower the record-high federal deficit would be to cut entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security."

Predictably, the D(umb)'s are jumping all over this...
The Dems and AARP will respond as usual. This is where presidential leadership should come in and really matter. The people are not stupid. They can understand that retirement of post WWII baby boomers creates a unique situation that can be sensibly addressed.

What sensible person of either party can oppose gradual increase in the age for full SS benefits? We did it before with no fuss at all. Changing the internal indexing from wage growth to cost of living would also have a big effect. To satisfy the opposition the top wage for SS taxation should also be increased. These are very simple compromise changes that would have a huge effect. The failure of the parties to compromise about these things indicates the serious flaw in the way we run our country.

Senior entitlements are eating us alive and starving everything else. The reason so many zillion dollar F22s were damaged at an AF base in the path of storm Michael is that they couldn't be flown to inland bases. They couldn't be flown anywhere because they weren't operational for lack of parts, maintenance, etc.

Last edited by UACFlyer; 10-17-2018 at 12:27 PM..
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rollo View Post
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politi...GyE?ocid=ientp

"After instituting a $1.5 trillion tax cut and signing off on a $675 billion budget for the Department of Defense, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the only way to lower the record-high federal deficit would be to cut entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security."

Predictably, the D(umb)'s are jumping all over this...

Even though what he says is true, it was stupid to say this now. What a moron. He may have just handed the mid-terms to the Dems. I'm wondering if he is really this stupid or if he knows something we don't know and is sly like a fox.
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:27 PM
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The biggest disappointment of the Bush administration, is that when they had control of everything, and had a real opportunity to do something about entitlements, were even running a budget surplus, they did nothing to alter the course of SS, medicare, etc... Perhaps if 911 never happened, it could have/would have been accomplished, but I doubt it. Politicians are too scared to do anything about it.


Bush missed a great opportunity during the debates when Gore kept claiming that he wanted to put SS into a "lock box" for 50 years. All he had to do was look at him and say "my daughters and their friends will be retiring in about 50 years, what do we tell that generation, that we're going to kick the can down the road so they can deal with it? Why not do something about it TODAY Al?" He would have won the debate point with ease, and I think most would have supported doing something at the time. But alas, here we are....still.
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:47 PM
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What about our responsibility? We should be supporting Presidential vetos of spending bills and live with the government shutdowns, if we are truly serious about making a change.

I am bewildered by threads like these, and then strong objections to spending bill vetos by the same people when the rubber hits the road.

We should be putting Congress on the hotseat when there is a shutdown due to a grossly oversized spending bill, not the President.

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Old 10-17-2018, 01:50 PM
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Not spending bills, Fudd

Originally Posted by Fudd View Post
What about our responsibility? We should be supporting Presidential vetos of spending bills and live with the government shutdowns, if we are truly serious about making a change.

I am bewildered by threads like these, and then strong objections to spending bill vetos by the same people when the rubber hits the road.

We should be putting Congress on the hotseat when there is a shutdown due to a grossly oversized spending bill, not the President.
Fudd, spending bills aren't the problem. Spending bills refer to discretionary spending that remains part of the democratic process. Entitlement spending is the real driver of the problem and those programs grow automatically removed from the democratic process. The Congress does not "pass" a SS or Medicare spending bill....those expenses grow unconstrained. That's the problem.

Entitlement spending restraint requires basic restructuring of the programs. And that requires: 1)recognition of the problem and willingness to solve it; 2) willingness to compromise and cooperate. Item 2. is what's missing.
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Fudd View Post
What about our responsibility? We should be supporting Presidential vetos of spending bills and live with the government shutdowns, if we are truly serious about making a change.

I am bewildered by threads like these, and then strong objections to spending bill vetos by the same people when the rubber hits the road.

We should be putting Congress on the hotseat when there is a shutdown due to a grossly oversized spending bill, not the President.
I didn't see anyone on this thread say anything about vetos. I am all for vetoing excessive spending. The media will put it on the President, and you know it. Besides, currently, the Congress is GOP and they are spending like drunken sailors (apologies to drunken sailors).

The real responsibility for "Term Limits" is on us, the voter, to just vote anti-incumbent.

When it comes to spending, the R's and D's are not that different. They spend on different things, but spend just the same.

PJ O'Rourke has a great quote - "The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it."
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post
The Dems and AARP will respond as usual. This is where presidential leadership should come in and really matter. The people are not stupid. They can understand that retirement of post WWII baby boomers creates a unique situation that can be sensibly addressed.

What sensible person of either party can oppose gradual increase in the age for full SS benefits? We did it before with no fuss at all. Changing the internal indexing from wage growth to cost of living would also have a big effect. To satisfy the opposition the top wage for SS taxation should also be increased. These are very simple compromise changes that would have a huge effect. The failure of the parties to compromise about these things indicates the serious flaw in the way we run our country.

Senior entitlements are eating us alive and starving everything else. The reason so many zillion dollar F22s were damaged at an AF base in the path of storm Michael is that they couldn't be flown to inland bases. They couldn't be flown anywhere because they weren't operational for lack of parts, maintenance, etc.
I said it above with about Obama. With respect to this issue, he was no different than the rest of they guys in the White House before him. However, he could have been different. He was the cool guy. The great communicator. He surely could have got something done - right? Trump is not going to be the President that is going to get the Ds and Rs to work together. This can is getting kicked down the road at least 2 more years and probably 6.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by CE80 View Post
I said it above with about Obama. With respect to this issue, he was no different than the rest of they guys in the White House before him. However, he could have been different. He was the cool guy. The great communicator. He surely could have got something done - right? Trump is not going to be the President that is going to get the Ds and Rs to work together. This can is getting kicked down the road at least 2 more years and probably 6.
Agree...no way will Trump run in 2020 on a platform of cutting entitlements.

This issue gets put off until at least 2024, more likely 2028 or 2032.

A Democrat would never run on a platform of cutting entitlements until the poo is about to hit the fan.

And we need the Dems on board in order to get anything done.

So, we are screwed.
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Old 10-17-2018, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ud2 View Post

So, we are screwed.
yep!!
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Old 10-17-2018, 04:57 PM
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One of my good friends thinks that the feds should expand SS and Medicare. The current system is going bankrupt, but he wants to expand it.

And he thinks that Trump's border wall is immoral, despite the fact that 80% of illegal immigrants end up on welfare, something which the country obviously can not afford with our $21 trillion in debt.

I love him, but man, he is a far left, hard core leftist.
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ud2 View Post
One of my good friends thinks that the feds should expand SS and Medicare. The current system is going bankrupt, but he wants to expand it.

And he thinks that Trump's border wall is immoral, despite the fact that 80% of illegal immigrants end up on welfare, something which the country obviously can not afford with our $21 trillion in debt.

I love him, but man, he is a far left, hard core leftist.
He must also think that taxes need to be increased as that is the only way to expand those two.
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
He must also think that taxes need to be increased as that is the only way to expand those two.
Oh yeah! Tax and spend all the way.

He thinks that we spend too much on the military too, even though military spending is down significantly from what it used to be.
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Old 10-17-2018, 06:40 PM
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Most liberals and Democrats want to expand SS, medicare and medicaid. They want to increase taxes on the rich to pay for it, and many giveaways, which they want to increase. Does anyone have a survey that shows that the majority of Americans want to cut these three, or any one of them?
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rollo View Post
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politi...GyE?ocid=ientp

"After instituting a $1.5 trillion tax cut and signing off on a $675 billion budget for the Department of Defense, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the only way to lower the record-high federal deficit would be to cut entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security."

Predictably, the D(umb)'s are jumping all over this...
Read the comments to some of the articles reporting what McConnell said. We are in trouble. Nothing will get done until it is doomsday.
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:32 PM
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What Americans want...what Americans need

Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
Most liberals and Democrats want to expand SS, medicare and medicaid. They want to increase taxes on the rich to pay for it, and many giveaways, which they want to increase. Does anyone have a survey that shows that the majority of Americans want to cut these three, or any one of them?
Surely there are no surveys showing that Americans want to have "these three" programs cut. (Please stop using the word "cut"). Senior entitlements are very popular programs, and they are good programs. But, their growth rate is driving an unacceptable budget deficit.

What Americans need is leadership, i.e., a President who can carefully and thoughtfully explain the situation...and show how the rate of growth of these very popular programs can be reigned in without cutting anyone's benefit.

How is that? That's what has to be explained in simple terms. If a guy is getting $100 from some government program, and the formula for his $100 benefit shows that in five years he'll be getting $150, changing the formula so that he gets $130 is not a cut in his benefit unless you think $130 is less than $100.

What has happened is that the rate of growth of his benefit has been reduced. Why the President? Because the two parties are so polarized, so angry with each other, so obstinate and dogmatic,....that they cannot cooperate and/or compromise re this issue. For that reason a President who has the ability to go straight to the people offers the best chance of addressing this issue in a way that puts the Country first. Reagan would have been good at this, I think.

People are so frightened by this issue that they can't even think about it rationally...and seniors vote! Solving the problem will require either the Presidential leadership I mentioned (not likely)...or a fiscal crisis (likely).
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post
Surely there are no surveys showing that Americans want to have "these three" programs cut. (Please stop using the word "cut"). Senior entitlements are very popular programs, and they are good programs. But, their growth rate is driving an unacceptable budget deficit.

What Americans need is leadership, i.e., a President who can carefully and thoughtfully explain the situation...and show how the rate of growth of these very popular programs can be reigned in without cutting anyone's benefit.

How is that? That's what has to be explained in simple terms. If a guy is getting $100 from some government program, and the formula for his $100 benefit shows that in five years he'll be getting $150, changing the formula so that he gets $130 is not a cut in his benefit unless you think $130 is less than $100.

What has happened is that the rate of growth of his benefit has been reduced. Why the President? Because the two parties are so polarized, so angry with each other, so obstinate and dogmatic,....that they cannot cooperate and/or compromise re this issue. For that reason a President who has the ability to go straight to the people offers the best chance of addressing this issue in a way that puts the Country first. Reagan would have been good at this, I think.

People are so frightened by this issue that they can't even think about it rationally...and seniors vote! Solving the problem will require either the Presidential leadership I mentioned (not likely)...or a fiscal crisis (likely).
UAC - I understand the issue and agree totally with your solution but there are still many, many that do not understand, or do understand but they want their benefits per the formula left alone and they want the "rich" guys to lose benefits and pay for leaving theirs alone. In our political climate today, there is zero chance in anything like you propose getting done any time soon. Forget about the president explaining why this needs to be done. Get AARP on board. Then you might have a fighting chance. Right now AARP would crucify anyone proposing what you propose.
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:02 PM
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Absolutely

Originally Posted by CE80 View Post
UAC - I understand the issue and agree totally with your solution but there are still many, many that do not understand, or do understand but they want their benefits per the formula left alone and they want the "rich" guys to lose benefits and pay for leaving theirs alone. In our political climate today, there is zero chance in anything like you propose getting done any time soon. Forget about the president explaining why this needs to be done. Get AARP on board. Then you might have a fighting chance. Right now AARP would crucify anyone proposing what you propose.
For sure "many" do not understand the issue. I'd say most.

Recall, during the debates both Kasich and Christie said they would explain this to the people. (I know neither guy won the nomination...but not because of this issue,)

Also, recall that during Clinton's time a significant change was made, i.e., the age for full benefits was raised. So it can be done. Politics has become far more partisan since Clinton.

I think getting AARP on board is a very good idea. A great idea. But to get AARP's endorsement of changes they have to be persuaded that change is critical. And the changes have to include compromises, e.g., higher wage taxation in exchange for slowing the growth rate.

Perhaps even means testing, i.e., lowering the benefit for wealthy people. Warren Buffet is eligible for SS and Medicare. The cost of Medicare Part B is already means-based. Do you recall any rioting about that?

This is not like creating a cure for cancer or travel to Mars. The fixes are easy. We can't give up on this...it's got to be addressed.

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Old 10-18-2018, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post
Surely there are no surveys showing that Americans want to have "these three" programs cut. (Please stop using the word "cut"). Senior entitlements are very popular programs, and they are good programs. But, their growth rate is driving an unacceptable budget deficit.

What Americans need is leadership, i.e., a President who can carefully and thoughtfully explain the situation...and show how the rate of growth of these very popular programs can be reigned in without cutting anyone's benefit.

How is that? That's what has to be explained in simple terms. If a guy is getting $100 from some government program, and the formula for his $100 benefit shows that in five years he'll be getting $150, changing the formula so that he gets $130 is not a cut in his benefit unless you think $130 is less than $100.

What has happened is that the rate of growth of his benefit has been reduced. Why the President? Because the two parties are so polarized, so angry with each other, so obstinate and dogmatic,....that they cannot cooperate and/or compromise re this issue. For that reason a President who has the ability to go straight to the people offers the best chance of addressing this issue in a way that puts the Country first. Reagan would have been good at this, I think.

People are so frightened by this issue that they can't even think about it rationally...and seniors vote! Solving the problem will require either the Presidential leadership I mentioned (not likely)...or a fiscal crisis (likely).
I will agree to stop using the word cut, if you stop using entitlement to describe social security, which most of us will pay more into than we will get out, and medicare, which we pay a premium for.

You are preaching to the choir about the change being needed. In fact they can cut my benefit I will start collecting in two years. You and I are not the problem.

You seriously think that Trump, or anyone in this country, can explain to liberals, and AARP, that this change is necessary. Don't forget it takes 60 senate votes to pass such changes. Can you name 9 Democrats who will vote for it? The only way it happen is if the Republicans have at least 60, or the Democrats propose it.

Let me give you two examples that demonstrate how tough it is. When Obamacare passed most states expanded Medicaid. That expanded an entitlement that the states would eventually pay for, but the minions scream and yell to get their free handout. The second one is the Farm Bill. Republicans passed three conditions that would be required to get food stamps. You had to work or volunteer if physically able. The Democrats all voted it down, so no passage.
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
I will agree to stop using the word cut, if you stop using entitlement to describe social security, which most of us will pay more into than we will get out, and medicare, which we pay a premium for.

You are preaching to the choir about the change being needed. In fact they can cut my benefit I will start collecting in two years. You and I are not the problem.

You seriously think that Trump, or anyone in this country, can explain to liberals, and AARP, that this change is necessary. Don't forget it takes 60 senate votes to pass such changes. Can you name 9 Democrats who will vote for it? The only way it happen is if the Republicans have at least 60, or the Democrats propose it.

Let me give you two examples that demonstrate how tough it is. When Obamacare passed most states expanded Medicaid. That expanded an entitlement that the states would eventually pay for, but the minions scream and yell to get their free handout. The second one is the Farm Bill. Republicans passed three conditions that would be required to get food stamps. You had to work or volunteer if physically able. The Democrats all voted it down, so no passage.
I am not sure that the bolded phrase is true, as our life expectancy is much higher than the plan is designed to pay out.
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
I am not sure that the bolded phrase is true, as our life expectancy is much higher than the plan is designed to pay out.
That's the problem.

It is not a 401k type defined contribution plan. For it to work, those that make more will pay a disproportionate share versus those that make less. Higher earners will not get it all back. Lower earners will get more than they put in. Those that live longer will make out better than those that die earlier. The trick is to balance it all. I said earlier, everyone ends up a little p!ssed off but something workable for the long run gets put in place.
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:08 PM
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Not so Jack

Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
I will agree to stop using the word cut, if you stop using entitlement to describe social security, which most of us will pay more into than we will get out, and medicare, which we pay a premium for.

You are preaching to the choir about the change being needed. In fact they can cut my benefit I will start collecting in two years. You and I are not the problem.

You seriously think that Trump, or anyone in this country, can explain to liberals, and AARP, that this change is necessary. Don't forget it takes 60 senate votes to pass such changes. Can you name 9 Democrats who will vote for it? The only way it happen is if the Republicans have at least 60, or the Democrats propose it.

Let me give you two examples that demonstrate how tough it is. When Obamacare passed most states expanded Medicaid. That expanded an entitlement that the states would eventually pay for, but the minions scream and yell to get their free handout. The second one is the Farm Bill. Republicans passed three conditions that would be required to get food stamps. You had to work or volunteer if physically able. The Democrats all voted it down, so no passage.
Jack, the average SS recipient gets far more from the program than paid in.

And it's a good program. Major competitors like China, Japan, some European countries, have a serious problem because of aging populations and inadequate or no financial safety nets.

The problem is not that our senior entitlement programs are bad. Over the years they have been changed several times. Right now and for the next 20-30 years an unusual wave of WWII baby boomers will be receiving benefits...a unique situation that will come to an end. That and aging of the population have created undue strain on the system at the expense of other pressing national needs. But remedies are simple and, in fact, painless.

The problem is the toxicity of political debate over the matter. Two reasonable, well informed people, one conservative and one liberal, could sit down together and come up with a few changes acceptable to both that would solve the problem. But two political parties at each others throats can't/won't even engage in discussion about the matter. It's the nasty politics that are killing us...not the complexity of the problem.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post
Jack, the average SS recipient gets far more from the program than paid in.
Sure, those studies give no interest credit for all the year's the government held our money. But as Hilary said, what difference does it make.

Anyway you are preaching to the choir. What is your solution to get 60 Senate votes?
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:33 AM
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The votes

Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
Sure, those studies give no interest credit for all the year's the government held our money. But as Hilary said, what difference does it make.

Anyway you are preaching to the choir. What is your solution to get 60 Senate votes?
Are you saying it's impossible to do something we've already done? Times are different I realize. But significant changes were made to SS when Clinton was president. Why not now?

Bipartisan cooperation and compromise are required plus Presidential leadership. Had Obama paid attention to and pushed for the Simpson-Bowles suggestions we'd be on much firmer ground. Just as his (Obama's) failure doomed reform, an activist president could push through reform. This can't happen with Congressional action alone. The President has to lead.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post
Are you saying it's impossible to do something we've already done? Times are different I realize. But significant changes were made to SS when Clinton was president. Why not now?

Bipartisan cooperation and compromise are required plus Presidential leadership. Had Obama paid attention to and pushed for the Simpson-Bowles suggestions we'd be on much firmer ground. Just as his (Obama's) failure doomed reform, an activist president could push through reform. This can't happen with Congressional action alone. The President has to lead.
You said it, times have certainly changed. So they need to change back before all our wishing will have a chance. As of now the socialist leaning Dems will not consider such a move till it becomes a crisis, and even then they may raise the FICA tax to cover.

Wait till the Dems take over and completely open the borders, then entitlements will sore.

Bring back Clinton and Gingrich, when Congress got things done. The good old days.
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
Sure, those studies give no interest credit for all the year's the government held our money. But as Hilary said, what difference does it make.

Anyway you are preaching to the choir. What is your solution to get 60 Senate votes?
Since interest rates have been low for a number of years, I suspect that even adding in interest would be negligible to the overall value.
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
Since interest rates have been low for a number of years, I suspect that even adding in interest would be negligible to the overall value.
Interest should be factored in over a lifetime of work at reasonable investment rates, so 40 years on average. Take a conservative average rate of 5%, for a combination of conservative stock and bond funds. Your FICA contributions would at least double in value.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:49 PM
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Not viable, Jack...

Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
Interest should be factored in over a lifetime of work at reasonable investment rates, so 40 years on average. Take a conservative average rate of 5%, for a combination of conservative stock and bond funds. Your FICA contributions would at least double in value.
So, suppose your retirement nest egg has been invested in that "conservative" stock and bond fund...or group of funds. And suppose you're just a few years away from retirement and living off that nest egg. Or, you may already be doing so.

And then a financial melt down like 2008/2009 happens and retirees and near retirees see half that nest egg evaporate before their eyes triggering panic selling.

Jack, one of the best and vital things about Soc Sec is its stability and security. Retirees don't have to think about or worry about the performance and/or fluctuations of an investment account. They sleep soundly.

There are few investment options more secure or conservative and less volatile than money market mutual funds. Yet in 2008/2009 the Federal government had to quickly step in an guarantee those funds to prevent panic withdrawals. And that was for money market funds!...not stock and bond funds which are vastly more volatile.

The arguments that a person could do better than SS by investing their FICA tax money on their own simply do not consider the reality of financial markets.

FICA taxes are not an investment. They represent tax money that is transferred from workers to those that are no longer working. Now benefits are so lucrative, relatively, that we're down to only two or three workers supporting each retiree...something like that.

The astonishing thing is the formula still used to compute SS benefits gives raises to those still working over and above cost of living. That is, a guy retiring ten years from now will receive a larger benefit than a guy retiring today even if there is zero inflation over the ten years.

This is nuts!
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post
So, suppose your retirement nest egg has been invested in that "conservative" stock and bond fund...or group of funds. And suppose you're just a few years away from retirement and living off that nest egg. Or, you may already be doing so.

And then a financial melt down like 2008/2009 happens and retirees and near retirees see half that nest egg evaporate before their eyes triggering panic selling.

Jack, one of the best and vital things about Soc Sec is its stability and security. Retirees don't have to think about or worry about the performance and/or fluctuations of an investment account. They sleep soundly.

There are few investment options more secure or conservative and less volatile than money market mutual funds. Yet in 2008/2009 the Federal government had to quickly step in an guarantee those funds to prevent panic withdrawals. And that was for money market funds!...not stock and bond funds which are vastly more volatile.

The arguments that a person could do better than SS by investing their FICA tax money on their own simply do not consider the reality of financial markets.

FICA taxes are not an investment. They represent tax money that is transferred from workers to those that are no longer working. Now benefits are so lucrative, relatively, that we're down to only two or three workers supporting each retiree...something like that.

The astonishing thing is the formula still used to compute SS benefits gives raises to those still working over and above cost of living. That is, a guy retiring ten years from now will receive a larger benefit than a guy retiring today even if there is zero inflation over the ten years.

This is nuts!
One, the average of 5% takes into account the highs of 2017 and the lows of 2008. Secondly, no one takes all their money out at one time. You don't need it, and it would kill you tax wise. A person would take out 5-10% each year. So the balance left in keeps earning and hits more highs and lows. The average stock return over 40 years is 7%. Thirdly, no sane person would invest all their money in Dow stocks. Maybe 40-60% near retirement. True the Dow went down 42% in 2008, but within four years, all that was made back, and in 10 years the Dow has now tripled.

If you take out 5% a year and earn 5%, you die not having touched the principal. Taking out 5% a year is probably more than you now get from social security. Do the math, I have.

Last edited by jack72; 10-20-2018 at 04:19 PM..
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
One, the average of 5% takes into account the highs of 2017 and the lows of 2008. Secondly, no one takes all their money out at one time. You don't need it, and it would kill you tax wise. A person would take out 5-10% each year. So the balance left in keeps earning and hits more highs and lows. The average stock return over 40 years is 7%. Thirdly, no sane person would invest all their money in Dow stocks. Maybe 40-60% near retirement. True the Dow went down 42% in 2008, but within four years, all that was made back, and in 10 years the Dow has now tripled.

If you take out 5% a year and earn 5%, you die not having touched the principal. Taking out 5% a year is probably more than you now get from social security. Do the math, I have.
The reality is - there is no investment, and there never has been. We can't take the money coming out now, because there would be no money to pay current beneficiaries. The number of beneficiaries is growing dramatically and the number of workers to support them is not. It is a math problem.

Options include 1) raising the tax on current workers, 2) limiting the growth by increasing full retirement age for future recipients, 3) limiting the growth by reducing the increase that is applied, 4) combination of all 1-3 (including all of them).
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
The reality is - there is no investment, and there never has been. We can't take the money coming out now, because there would be no money to pay current beneficiaries. The number of beneficiaries is growing dramatically and the number of workers to support them is not. It is a math problem.

Options include 1) raising the tax on current workers, 2) limiting the growth by increasing full retirement age for future recipients, 3) limiting the growth by reducing the increase that is applied, 4) combination of all 1-3 (including all of them).
Good post IA. I agree Congress will never shut down the current system and let individuals have their own money. However, all your solutions, as good as they are, will not happen till there is a crisis, just like the deficit reductions and reduced spending. Not happening now, and not a snowballs chance after November elections.

Our kids and grandkids are screwed with high debt, a broke SS, overpriced medical costs, increasing entitlements to illegals and socialistic philosophies. Trump is the last hurrah. It is all into the dumper after that.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
Good post IA. I agree Congress will never shut down the current system and let individuals have their own money. However, all your solutions, as good as they are, will not happen till there is a crisis, just like the deficit reductions and reduced spending. Not happening now, and not a snowballs chance after November elections.

Our kids and grandkids are screwed with high debt, a broke SS, overpriced medical costs, increasing entitlements to illegals and socialistic philosophies. Trump is the last hurrah. It is all into the dumper after that.
True - I was just pointing to the only tools that they really have at their disposal.

Frankly, it's unfortunate that SS was turned into a "retirement income" vs. the "elderly welfare" it was intended to be. I don't use the term welfare in a negative connotation. I mean it as it was intended to help the poor who were elderly.
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:38 PM
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I have heard many Democrats, some of who are running for office, say that we do not have to change the benefits under Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, in fact we should increase them. They all say if they get rid of the recent tax increases that would take care of the cost and the Federal Deficit. So there you go UAC, et al. The Democrats are mostly in la la land when it comes to curbing entitlements and social security. So 60 House votes is a dream probably not happening, until the **** hits the fan someday.
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:47 PM
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Our Government

Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
I have heard many Democrats, some of who are running for office, say that we do not have to change the benefits under Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, in fact we should increase them. They all say if they get rid of the recent tax increases that would take care of the cost and the Federal Deficit. So there you go UAC, et al. The Democrats are mostly in la la land when it comes to curbing entitlements and social security. So 60 House votes is a dream probably not happening, until the **** hits the fan someday.
This is an issue that severely shakes my confidence in our form of government. An effective government has to be able to address and solve problems. That is not being done at either the federal or, in many cases, the state level.

As you say, Jack, when the **** hits the fan our elected officials may get around to dealing with the senior entitlement issue. Not likely before.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:13 PM
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Heard a political ad on TV last night about McConnell wanting to cut SS, Medicare, and Medicaid, while giving the rich a big tax cut.

Those evil Republicans!

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Old 10-31-2018, 10:10 AM
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The way things are headed, I have to agree with Yellen.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/30/yell...ise-taxes.html

"If I had a magic wand, I would raise taxes and cut retirement spending," Yellen told CNBC's Steve Liesman at the Charles Schwab Impact conference in Washington, D.C., who characterized the U.S. debt path as "unsustainable."
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
I have heard many Democrats, some of who are running for office, say that we do not have to change the benefits under Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, in fact we should increase them. They all say if they get rid of the recent tax increases that would take care of the cost and the Federal Deficit. So there you go UAC, et al. The Democrats are mostly in la la land when it comes to curbing entitlements and social security. So 60 House votes is a dream probably not happening, until the **** hits the fan someday.
I've heard that too.

So we were precariously funding Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and god knows what else as part of governmental benefits before the tax cuts.

So follow this logic:

A: We take away the tax cuts (a give back to the government funding mechanism).

B: This reduces the deficit gap.

C: We use that same money to spend on Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid,etc.

D: We kick in a little more since we always never have enough.

E: We therefore have increased these governmental benefits without any impact upon the budget deficit.

OK right! Gotcha.
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:30 PM
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WSJ Article from today...

https://www.wsj.com/articles/treasur...5_VycQJy3eapmA
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:03 AM
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Everyone appears to understand the threat...

Everyone appears to understand the threat posed by the spiraling national debt. Even John Bolton is speaking out about the looming peril. Everyone except President Trump that is.

How often, if ever, do you hear the President even make reference to the deficit or debt? Why should he worry about debt? All his life he's thrived on piling up debt...and as often as not, failing to pay it back. Bankruptcy was his game...a half dozen time. Someone else left holding the bag.

This time the American people will be left holding the bag.

Of course, a President needs the help of Congress to get anything done. But, that didn't deter President Trump from going after taxes, regulation, immigration, etc. His emphasis on those areas shows he's willing to take the lead in areas that he considers important.

Tackling the deficit/debt also will require Presidential leadership. But first a President has to feel that its important.
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:07 AM
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If Trump filed for bankruptcy a half dozen times, then he's one of the greatest financial and business minds of the last 100 years. He probably has over 200 businesses, corporations, and subsidiaries operating within his Trump branded tentacles, from buildings, to landlord/tenet, media, advertising, golf courses, hotels, resorts, clubs, land acquisition, renovations, construction, etc etc etc etc literally on every continent in the world other than Antarctica. And within every region of the globe Im sure he has offices and directors working there within the scope of those laws within those national jurisdictions that must be met and complied with separate and apart of anything he operates in the United States. All of those businesses operate within their own smaller vacuum of profit and loss. What a Trump casino project does in Atlantic City has nothing to do with how a potential golf course on the banks of Scotland may be financially orchestrated, planned, managed, made profitable or unprofitable, and met with local taxation and regulation compliance within that localized region of the world.

A half dozen failures doesnt suggest he's not especially talented or successful at what he does -- it proves just the opposite. Ive failed at probably 20 projects for every 1 or 2 that end up working. Ive had so many business ideas that went nowhere I've literally lost count. The time and money I poured into those ventures was ridiculous. I look back and wish I was smarter but in reality my hitting percentage is not unlike most.

For Trump to swing and hit 90-95% of his ventures into the viable and successful category over his 45 years of business is a batting average that only savants can attain. Even if you start out with a massive pile of money, most average people would end up penniless after a while. We know this to be true because most Lottery winners end up losing most of their fortunes through bad deals, dumb business ideas, and poor acumen.

So Trump starting with a few million from old man Trump neither guaranteed much success either. For him to turn millions into billions is the kind of thing only a handful of people in the world can do. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Whether you started with $10M or $10,000. The scale and success rate would be the same. The more money you start with, the more money you stand to lose. The gains are bigger when you win, the losses are diabolical when you lose.

The easiest way to make a small fortune in life is to start with a large one. This is how most people end up. If Trump were like the rest of us, he'd have filed for bankruptcy about 180 times were his success and failure rate like mere mortals based on the times he's gone to bat.

Now, does any of this have anything to do with his ability to govern and be POTUS? No. Just like Obama's ability to organize communities had nothing to do with anything. But Trump's financial success (and I dont care if he overstates his wealth by 300% -- he still made billions from millions despite losing millions or billions) may suggest he understands how "the system" works to get things done. How taxation works, how having good lawyers that eek out every legal tax loophole works, how delegating responsibility works, how to hire and fire, how to motivate (through incentive or fear), how to lobby local city councils and mayors, which wheels to grease and which to ignore.

So why does Trump spend so much money we don't have? I dont have a good answer for you. I dont like it either. I think the most logical answer is the same answer I would give you when Obama and Bush were POTUS -- its far easier to be charitable with other peoples' money. Social Justice Warriors are great examples of this: noble in the abstract, gracious and kind and compassionate to a fault -- as long as someone else is paying for it or burdened with the uncompensated expertise/labor. I think being POTUS has a few of those moral hazards built into the job just because the scale of money thrown around is to the point if $5 billion goes missing in a lockbox somewhere, its like you or I dropping our lunch money down the sewer. We've reached a point where we're anesthetized to the scale of numbers so that nothing less than $1 trillion increments raises a red flag.

Sure, $500M gone wasted in a $3 trillion economy is comparative peanuts. It's 1/6000th. But its only small within the scale of the larger number. By itself, its still huge and still massively impactful on an individual level. $500M could build 2,500 brand new ADA-accessible homes at $200,000/ea for our permanently wounded military veterans. That's not meaningless.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:43 AM
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The Trump reality....

Originally Posted by Chris R View Post
If Trump filed for bankruptcy a half dozen times, then he's one of the greatest financial and business minds of the last 100 years. He probably has over 200 businesses, corporations, and subsidiaries operating within his Trump branded tentacles, from buildings, to landlord/tenet, media, advertising, golf courses, hotels, resorts, clubs, land acquisition, renovations, construction, etc etc etc etc literally on every continent in the world other than Antarctica. And within every region of the globe Im sure he has offices and directors working there within the scope of those laws within those national jurisdictions that must be met and complied with separate and apart of anything he operates in the United States. All of those businesses operate within their own smaller vacuum of profit and loss. What a Trump casino project does in Atlantic City has nothing to do with how a potential golf course on the banks of Scotland may be financially orchestrated, planned, managed, made profitable or unprofitable, and met with local taxation and regulation compliance within that localized region of the world.

A half dozen failures doesnt suggest he's not especially talented or successful at what he does -- it proves just the opposite. Ive failed at probably 20 projects for every 1 or 2 that end up working. Ive had so many business ideas that went nowhere I've literally lost count. The time and money I poured into those ventures was ridiculous. I look back and wish I was smarter but in reality my hitting percentage is not unlike most.

For Trump to swing and hit 90-95% of his ventures into the viable and successful category over his 45 years of business is a batting average that only savants can attain. Even if you start out with a massive pile of money, most average people would end up penniless after a while. We know this to be true because most Lottery winners end up losing most of their fortunes through bad deals, dumb business ideas, and poor acumen.

So Trump starting with a few million from old man Trump neither guaranteed much success either. For him to turn millions into billions is the kind of thing only a handful of people in the world can do. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Whether you started with $10M or $10,000. The scale and success rate would be the same. The more money you start with, the more money you stand to lose. The gains are bigger when you win, the losses are diabolical when you lose.

The easiest way to make a small fortune in life is to start with a large one. This is how most people end up. If Trump were like the rest of us, he'd have filed for bankruptcy about 180 times were his success and failure rate like mere mortals based on the times he's gone to bat.

Now, does any of this have anything to do with his ability to govern and be POTUS? No. Just like Obama's ability to organize communities had nothing to do with anything. But Trump's financial success (and I dont care if he overstates his wealth by 300% -- he still made billions from millions despite losing millions or billions) may suggest he understands how "the system" works to get things done. How taxation works, how having good lawyers that eek out every legal tax loophole works, how delegating responsibility works, how to hire and fire, how to motivate (through incentive or fear), how to lobby local city councils and mayors, which wheels to grease and which to ignore.

So why does Trump spend so much money we don't have? I dont have a good answer for you. I dont like it either. I think the most logical answer is the same answer I would give you when Obama and Bush were POTUS -- its far easier to be charitable with other peoples' money. Social Justice Warriors are great examples of this: noble in the abstract, gracious and kind and compassionate to a fault -- as long as someone else is paying for it or burdened with the uncompensated expertise/labor. I think being POTUS has a few of those moral hazards built into the job just because the scale of money thrown around is to the point if $5 billion goes missing in a lockbox somewhere, its like you or I dropping our lunch money down the sewer. We've reached a point where we're anesthetized to the scale of numbers so that nothing less than $1 trillion increments raises a red flag.

Sure, $500M gone wasted in a $3 trillion economy is comparative peanuts. It's 1/6000th. But its only small within the scale of the larger number. By itself, its still huge and still massively impactful on an individual level. $500M could build 2,500 brand new ADA-accessible homes at $200,000/ea for our permanently wounded military veterans. That's not meaningless.
Chris, your analysis of DJT's success rate by percentage indicates you aren't familiar with the magnitude and scope of his business failures.

There's a reason why we haven't seen those tax returns....and it's not that Trump hasn't paid taxes. He'd boast about that as evidence of his business acumen as he did during debates.

While there is some uncertainty as to the amount of money his father started him with,...he reports a few million; others have said a few hundred million,...it has been reported that had he simply invested what his father gave him in an average mutual fund he'd be worth far more today than even he claims.

Back to those tax returns.....
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post
Chris, your analysis of DJT's success rate by percentage indicates you aren't familiar with the magnitude and scope of his business failures.

There's a reason why we haven't seen those tax returns....and it's not that Trump hasn't paid taxes. He'd boast about that as evidence of his business acumen as he did during debates.

While there is some uncertainty as to the amount of money his father started him with,...he reports a few million; others have said a few hundred million,...it has been reported that had he simply invested what his father gave him in an average mutual fund he'd be worth far more today than even he claims.

Back to those tax returns.....
UAC, can you post your tax returns on this site for all of us to see and ask questions. Thanks.

"But, but, but I am not the President and he has an obligation." Obligation to whom? He has an obligation to himself and his family to keep things private that the laws do not make him reveal.

It is not required and it is not happening, so move on.
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Old 11-01-2018, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post
Chris, your analysis of DJT's success rate by percentage indicates you aren't familiar with the magnitude and scope of his business failures.

You're the one who said he filed for bankruptcy 6 times.

Last edited by longtimefan; 11-01-2018 at 01:59 PM..
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Old 11-01-2018, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post
While there is some uncertainty as to the amount of money his father started him with,...he reports a few million; others have said a few hundred million,...it has been reported that had he simply invested what his father gave him in an average mutual fund he'd be worth far more today than even he claims..
If there is recognized uncertainty whether it was a few million or a few hundred million, how can there be any certainty he'd be worth more today if he invested in an average mutual fund? If Secretariat had stripes, he'd also be a zebra.

But that's still beside the point. Lets even assume everything you said is true and he simply invested it and sat back in his chair and smoked cigars for 50 years doing nothing and never bothered with the successes and failures. That would have still been infinitely worse. He would have created no jobs, built no buildings, renovated no ice skating rinks, created more housing, affected neighborhood blight to revitalize towns and communities, affected the secondary market that supports construction and feeds and clothes those workers, helped families get a job and put food on the table, etc. The "wealth" creation goes far beyond the greenback he simply slides into his back pocket when the project is finished. Everybody that worked on one of his successful projects benefited.

Bill Gates has probably affected more people on the planet than any other human being. Yet had he just sat back and invested his earnings in 1987 and never done anything else, he'd probably still be worth similar billions. But he's changed the world from his company continuing to do business. He's made everyone's lives richer for it. He probably wouldnt have the Bill Gates Foundation had he pulled the plug on working back in the 80s and sat back and enjoyed his success.

And Im not even sure that most people could even invest the money and do well anyway. Most people are ignorant. If investing was as straight-forward and simple as it sounded, we wouldn't need social security. Most people are lousy with money, do not understand budgets, risk, compounding, interest, taxation, etc. Its always easy to say what one of us could have done with someone else's money but we dont have any skin the game and can wax poetic about what we might have achieved without having achieved it.

Most people could screw up a government-backed certificate of deposit. Like I said there's a reason most lottery winners end up more destitute in 10 years than before they collected their financial windfall. After all, they played the lottery to begin with --- which is the ultimate proof they have no understanding of financial risk, odds, and smart decision-making. When you voluntarily tax yourself, its a glaring indictment.

The only people that talk about billionaires like it's easy to become one is someone who isn't one. I don't consider myself to be a complete dumb-dumb, yet I fail in probably 80-90% of business ventures I enter. I mis-calculated the demand for a product, over-estimated my own expertise, ran out of money, ran out of time, drowned in complexity, got overwhelmed in compliance or regulation, couldn't hire qualified people, mis-timed the market, purchased the wrong hardware and software, took bad advice, developed inadequate pricing schematics, underestimated labor costs, improperly factored the R&D, fell short in the marketing and advertising plan, targeted the wrong audience, mis-managed an allocation of resources, etc, etc, etc.

Most entrepreneurs fail. Most start-up businesses fail. Success is a rarity. Those who consistently do it are gifted with a special talent the rest of us simply dont have -- even among us relatively educated dolts.

Folks arguing about Trump's potentially poor business acumen is like listening to someone argue about Vlade Divak's inability to rebound from their 3rd floor apartment La-Z-Boy. Even with Vlade's shortcomings, he was still in the top 1-millionth at his profession. His skills and talent would make everyone other than about 500 people in the country look like they never played basketball in their lives.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:17 PM
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One day we'll know

Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
UAC, can you post your tax returns on this site for all of us to see and ask questions. Thanks.

"But, but, but I am not the President and he has an obligation." Obligation to whom? He has an obligation to himself and his family to keep things private that the laws do not make him reveal.

It is not required and it is not happening, so move on.
Originally Posted by Chris R View Post
If there is recognized uncertainty whether it was a few million or a few hundred million, how can there be any certainty he'd be worth more today if he invested in an average mutual fund? If Secretariat had stripes, he'd also be a zebra.

But that's still beside the point. Lets even assume everything you said is true and he simply invested it and sat back in his chair and smoked cigars for 50 years doing nothing and never bothered with the successes and failures. That would have still been infinitely worse. He would have created no jobs, built no buildings, renovated no ice skating rinks, created more housing, affected neighborhood blight to revitalize towns and communities, affected the secondary market that supports construction and feeds and clothes those workers, helped families get a job and put food on the table, etc. The "wealth" creation goes far beyond the greenback he simply slides into his back pocket when the project is finished. Everybody that worked on one of his successful projects benefited.

Bill Gates has probably affected more people on the planet than any other human being. Yet had he just sat back and invested his earnings in 1987 and never done anything else, he'd probably still be worth similar billions. But he's changed the world from his company continuing to do business. He's made everyone's lives richer for it. He probably wouldnt have the Bill Gates Foundation had he pulled the plug on working back in the 80s and sat back and enjoyed his success.

And Im not even sure that most people could even invest the money and do well anyway. Most people are ignorant. If investing was as straight-forward and simple as it sounded, we wouldn't need social security. Most people are lousy with money, do not understand budgets, risk, compounding, interest, taxation, etc. Its always easy to say what one of us could have done with someone else's money but we dont have any skin the game and can wax poetic about what we might have achieved without having achieved it.

Most people could screw up a government-backed certificate of deposit. Like I said there's a reason most lottery winners end up more destitute in 10 years than before they collected their financial windfall. After all, they played the lottery to begin with --- which is the ultimate proof they have no understanding of financial risk, odds, and smart decision-making. When you voluntarily tax yourself, its a glaring indictment.

The only people that talk about billionaires like it's easy to become one is someone who isn't one. I don't consider myself to be a complete dumb-dumb, yet I fail in probably 80-90% of business ventures I enter. I mis-calculated the demand for a product, over-estimated my own expertise, ran out of money, ran out of time, drowned in complexity, got overwhelmed in compliance or regulation, couldn't hire qualified people, mis-timed the market, purchased the wrong hardware and software, took bad advice, developed inadequate pricing schematics, underestimated labor costs, improperly factored the R&D, fell short in the marketing and advertising plan, targeted the wrong audience, mis-managed an allocation of resources, etc, etc, etc.

Most entrepreneurs fail. Most start-up businesses fail. Success is a rarity. Those who consistently do it are gifted with a special talent the rest of us simply dont have -- even among us relatively educated dolts.

Folks arguing about Trump's potentially poor business acumen is like listening to someone argue about Vlade Divak's inability to rebound from their 3rd floor apartment La-Z-Boy. Even with Vlade's shortcomings, he was still in the top 1-millionth at his profession. His skills and talent would make everyone other than about 500 people in the country look like they never played basketball in their lives.
Jack, my tax returns are plain vanilla and there is absolutely nothing in them that I would mind having you see and ask questions about. I doubt if you'd be able to think of a good question.

Re "But he's the President"....That is a significant "but". There is no legal requirement; you are correct. Nonetheless, presidential candidates have been making their returns public for a half century, and then some. So have gubernatorial candidates and those seeking other offices. Most of them don't like doing it. But, they do it.

A candidate that refuses to make his returns public knows he's going to take a lot of heat and absorb a lot of flak. Something else he knows: The ration of crap he'll have to absorb by not revealing his returns is nothing compared to what will happen if he does.

Eventually we'll know why.

Re the President's business affairs: An analysis I read well before the election explained in detail that DJT had debts that he could not repay of approximately $4 billion...$1 billion of which he personally guaranteed. The banks that he was indebted to concluded that the Trump name intact was worth far more to them than forcing personal bankruptcy...so they propped him up.

Can I prove any of that or cite a reference? No. But, it's supported by DJT Jr's oft-quoted remark of a few years ago that "No U.S. or European bank would lend us money...so we're pretty heavily indebted to Russian interests". That was then and this is now. The Trump's state unequivocally that they have no Russian financial entanglements of any kind. So, I suppose Trump's luck took a turn for the better and the Russian loans were repaid.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:36 PM
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Most presidential candidates have had a lifetime of politics. I am surprised not.more is made of the fact that career politicians get disgustingly rich on their salary. How can Maxine Waters afford a $4M mansion?

Trump was a private citizen. Big difference.
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Old 11-01-2018, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cj View Post
Most presidential candidates have had a lifetime of politics. I am surprised not.more is made of the fact that career politicians get disgustingly rich on their salary. How can Maxine Waters afford a $4M mansion?

Trump was a private citizen. Big difference.

From a 5 minute google search I can tell you MW is married to a former NFL player and mercedes dealership owner who collects pensions from both the NFL and mercedes.
Apparently the mansion was bought in 2004 when the property tax value was listed as 206,000 dollars. The next year it exploded to 2 million and is currently 2.5 million.
It's LA where property prices are in a different universe from dayton, ohio
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:06 PM
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Not just a private citizen...

Originally Posted by cj View Post
Most presidential candidates have had a lifetime of politics. I am surprised not.more is made of the fact that career politicians get disgustingly rich on their salary. How can Maxine Waters afford a $4M mansion?

Trump was a private citizen. Big difference.
Not only was Trump a private citizen....he was an international real estate developer with financial interests in may countries. It is entirely possible that Trump was ineligible to run for president because of unresolvable conflict with the emoluments clause of the Constitution.

There are things that prevent a person from being a candidate for president no matter how qualified, e.g., being foreign born; being too young (<35); in conflict with a Constitutional provision such as the emoluments clause.

Re the latter: Suppose Rex Tillerson ran for President and owned Exxon stock worth millions. He would have to divest that stock as a condition for holding the office. Similarly, if a guy/gal held a large stock position in a major defense firm he/she would have to sever that connection. It would not be optional. No President (or other high ranking official )would be allowed to have major financial connections to a company that the Government did business with. That is a no brainer and relates to the emoluments clause of the Constitution.

The difference between these examples and Trump's situation is that the business connections I've used as examples would be well known in most cases.

In Trump's situation it well known that he has large international financial connections...only by his choice they remain secret for the most part so that no conflict of interest re the emoluments clause is visible. Huh?

Severing a financial conflict by selling stock or placing stock in a blind trust is simple. It may be practically impossible for an international real estate developer to sever conflicts without destroying his business...especially when his name "is" the business. So if that's the case we just say, OK, doesn't matter?
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:13 PM
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Flaming liberal talking points at their best!
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:13 PM
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What does it matter whether Trump is worth a million, 100 million or 100 billion? The guy is way more successful than you or I, and almost any past president, and is so rich he can donate his time to being President.

Once again we need to focus on what he accomplishes for the US citizens, and that has been a bunch. We will never see a penny of his money in our pocket, so who cares.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:32 PM
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Mitch McConnell was asked, if now that Dems have the house could they work a deal on reforming entitlements? His answer was, no, they made it clear to me many months ago that they have no interest in even discussing it.
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
Mitch McConnell was asked, if now that Dems have the house could they work a deal on reforming entitlements? His answer was, no, they made it clear to me many months ago that they have no interest in even discussing it.
We will see, but IMO, the House Democrats are not interested in working with Trump on anything.

Obama refused to work with the GOP over his last 6 years IMO.

I just don't think the Dems are open to compromise.

Trump is a wheeler dealer IMO, he is open to compromise, but even he IMO, will not be able to break the gridlock.

GWB was willing to make some compromises IMO. As was Clinton.

I guess Clinton was an exception, I give Clinton credit for being open to bipartisan compromise.
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:34 PM
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To her credit, Pelosi is at least sounding all the right notes about bipartisan compromise, we will see if she stays true to her word.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/vi...on_ground.html
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:24 PM
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Deficit Reduction

will happen with more tax reduction. Art Laffer told us how to do it 38 years ago.
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Old 11-10-2018, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Alberto Strasse View Post
will happen with more tax reduction. Art Laffer told us how to do it 38 years ago.
Still hanging on to the old (and largely discredited) Laffer Curve?

As projections for the deficit worsened, it became clear that the 1981 tax cut was too big. So with Reagan’s signature, Congress undid a good chunk of the 1981 tax cut by raising taxes a lot in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1987. George H.W. Bush signed another tax increase in 1990 and Bill Clinton did the same in 1993. One lesson from that history: When tax cuts are really too big to be sustainable, they’re often followed by tax increases.

The tax reform (after the '81 "Laffer experiment") worked on by Reagan & O'Neill resulted in a revenue neutral changes to the tax code.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill202 View Post
Still hanging on to the old (and largely discredited) Laffer Curve?

As projections for the deficit worsened, it became clear that the 1981 tax cut was too big.
However, as the national debt under Obama grew by about $9 trillion (more than all former presidents combined), or an increase of 86%, he still wanted to tax us at a goodly rate.
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:33 PM
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I am good with a roll back of some of the tax cut in conjunction with cuts/changes in SS/Medicare.
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Mich Flyer View Post
However, as the national debt under Obama grew by about $9 trillion (more than all former presidents combined), or an increase of 86%, he still wanted to tax us at a goodly rate.
Keep in mind Obama successfully led us out of the worst economic downturn (happened with a R in office) since the Great Depression. He also greatly reduced the deficit each year.

This big of a deficit in a booming economy is inexcusable

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Old 11-11-2018, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by zmz723 View Post
Keep in mind Obama successfully led us out of the worst economic downturn (happened with a R in office) since the Great Depression. He also greatly reduced the deficit each year.

This big of a deficit in a booming economy is inexcusable
The deficit grew by $9 trillion. What kind of math gives Obama reward for a decrease?
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
The deficit grew by $9 trillion. What kind of math gives Obama reward for a decrease?
You're confusing debt and deficit.

The Debt grew by $9T. His biggest deficits were in the first few years - including the $1.4T deficit that he got in year 1 from GWB (who signed it).

The deficit did decrease toward the end of his term, though the last one was $693B, which was higher than the prior year.

The economy was on the rise when Trump took office (and had been for several years), Trumps first deficit is $1T+. That's a pretty big jump, don't you think?
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:41 PM
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A hair curler

Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
You're confusing debt and deficit.

The Debt grew by $9T. His biggest deficits were in the first few years - including the $1.4T deficit that he got in year 1 from GWB (who signed it).

The deficit did decrease toward the end of his term, though the last one was $693B, which was higher than the prior year.

The economy was on the rise when Trump took office (and had been for several years), Trumps first deficit is $1T+. That's a pretty big jump, don't you think?
If you want to read a hair curler take a look at the article in today's WSJ (Page 2, I think), re the increased share of Federal spending attributable to interest on the national debt...growing rapidly as interest rates rise. We are not far from the point where interest payments exceed the defense budget unless something is done quickly.

There is no national issue any more important than the growing national debt. It impacts everything! And the guys we've sent to DC are doing nothing about it.
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
You're confusing debt and deficit.

The Debt grew by $9T. His biggest deficits were in the first few years - including the $1.4T deficit that he got in year 1 from GWB (who signed it).

The deficit did decrease toward the end of his term, though the last one was $693B, which was higher than the prior year.

The economy was on the rise when Trump took office (and had been for several years), Trumps first deficit is $1T+. That's a pretty big jump, don't you think?
Wait till you see the next one the Dems propose.

The deficit for fiscal 2018 was $782B, not $1T+.

"What happened: Higher outlays for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as interest on the public debt, contributed to the boost in spending for the year, the Treasury Department said. Higher spending by the Federal Emergency Management Administration for hurricane relief also boosted overall outlays. The agency’s disaster relief spending climbed by 33% for the year."

So what do you propose for a balanced budget that will get Democrat's votes? I guess drastically cut defense spending.
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Old 11-12-2018, 02:42 PM
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Maybe not

Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
Wait till you see the next one the Dems propose.

The deficit for fiscal 2018 was $782B, not $1T+.

"What happened: Higher outlays for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as interest on the public debt, contributed to the boost in spending for the year, the Treasury Department said. Higher spending by the Federal Emergency Management Administration for hurricane relief also boosted overall outlays. The agency’s disaster relief spending climbed by 33% for the year."

So what do you propose for a balanced budget that will get Democrat's votes? I guess drastically cut defense spending.
If defense was zeroed out entirely it wouldn't eliminate the deficit....it's that bad. So Dems focusing on defense cuts wouldn't make a dent in the deficit, realistically.

Wih a Democtratic House and GOP Senate and a President who doesn't really care one way or the other, a bipartisan compromise plan may not be out of the question.
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Old 11-12-2018, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
Wait till you see the next one the Dems propose.

The deficit for fiscal 2018 was $782B, not $1T+.

"What happened: Higher outlays for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as interest on the public debt, contributed to the boost in spending for the year, the Treasury Department said. Higher spending by the Federal Emergency Management Administration for hurricane relief also boosted overall outlays. The agency’s disaster relief spending climbed by 33% for the year."

So what do you propose for a balanced budget that will get Democrat's votes? I guess drastically cut defense spending.
I think you missed the tax cut in there....It is adding to the deficit.

Social Security is paid from the current collections, it is not supposed to be included in the deficit/budget at all, is it?

However, for the sake of sanity, we all know that slowing the growth of SS is the only real way to make a dent. It will not be done.
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Old 11-12-2018, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
I think you missed the tax cut in there....It is adding to the deficit.

Actually, according to the CBO, income tax revenues are up since the tax cuts were implemented.
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Old 11-13-2018, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by longtimefan View Post
Actually, according to the CBO, income tax revenues are up since the tax cuts were implemented.
I'd like to see a CBO reference to that.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1JM2I3
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by longtimefan View Post
Actually, according to the CBO, income tax revenues are up since the tax cuts were implemented.
Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
I'd like to see a CBO reference to that.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1JM2I3
The issue here is how you two are defining increased revenue. Longtimefan is correct in the fact that tax revenues are up from last year. However, IAFlyer is correct because that the revenues collected are lower than they would have been expected with the current economic growth without the tax cut. This means less money was actually collected than projected thus the deficit has grown more than projected. And in fact the revenue as share of GDP has been decreasing since 2015 and the tax cuts have not helped that.
Considering a growing economy should grow revenues, this is a problem.
(https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/17/b...pgtype=Article)

The Republicans and Trump would argue that without the tax cuts, the economy wouldn't have grown and thus the actual revenue increase is greater than what the projected revenue would have been. I find this to be a bit dubious.

I know most on this board don't respect NY Times, so this second link probably won't be well received (not that the first link was well recieved). You may disagree with the each article's premise but the statistics and graphs within the article are the truth.

The tax cuts caused a large increase in stock buybacks by companies. This is great for the stock market and those like the Royal Rollo who basis his opinion of the president on the status of his 401K. Hey, I like to see the stock market rise, but it really is poor indicator of the overall economy and really only helps a small percentage of Americans as only half own stocks and the richest 10% own 80% of the stock market.

For the average American, the tax cut needs to deliver wage increase. This was the a complaint levied against Obama. Even though the stock market doubled during his time in office, many Americans weren't seeing any increase in their pay. But while wage growth has been seen by the vast amount of workers in the country in the past year, it has been a slower rate than the economy. So after inflation, it is nearly a wash. And the wage growth seen is lower than seen in 2016.

Under Obama, the deficit, which was at $1.4 trillion his first year in office, was reduced to $450 million in 2015. Although in his last two years, it slowly began creeping up again, to just over $600 million in 2017. Under Trump that has increased to $800 million in 2018 and projected to hit $1 trillion again, with the tax cuts playing a large factor in these increasing deficits.

Trump would argue that more time is needed to realize true wage growth, but the numbers aren't convincing. Tax revenues are up overall, but down compared to increase in GDP. Deficit is increasing. Investments by companies in buildings, equipment, etc increased in the first quarter of 2018 but then decreased over next two quarters to rates below what was seen 2017 before any cuts.
(https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/12/b...gtype=Homepage)

So to me, the tax cuts were never going to drive a huge economic expansion and at the time of economic growth (albeit slow), it only drove larger deficits. It never was going to pay for itself. Any gains were likely short term. And when the next inevitable recession occurs, the government will be even more hand tied to deal with it, by running large deficits, because it already is, in relatively good times.

Now to actually address the deficit requires all parties to give up their holy grails. Tax cuts aren't going to reduce the deficit. Reduction in defense alone won't reduce the deficit. The drivers are SS, Medicare and Medicaid. They have to be addressed. But I understand the Democrats are going to be very reluctant to do so, right after the Republicans passed a tax cut that only has helped increase the deficit.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 434 View Post

The Republicans and Trump would argue that without the tax cuts, the economy wouldn't have grown and thus the actual revenue increase is greater than what the projected revenue would have been. I find this to be a bit dubious.
Really? The economy is breaking records in so many ways and you are having trouble identifying what the cause and effect was that got us here? Your hypothesis is that the economy would have boomed if we had preserved the past tax structure? Hmmmm.

If I am following the logic that you are proposing, then the economy was already on track to break every record without the tax cut, and even though tax revenue is up after the cut, it would have been greater (in the old tax structure) with the economic boom that we are now experiencing. Therefore, the tax cut was a negative. To me, this appears to be twisting logic into a pretzel to get a desired negative conclusion.

By the way, wages increased 3.1% in 2018, the largest increase in 10 years, Unemployment is at 3.7%, the lowest since 1969. Minorities and womens unemployment rates have hit all time lows, so all levels and classes are being helped. "These jobs are not coming back". Remember that one? Did Trump have a magic wand to bring them back? Obama asked the question. Now, Obama says that he made it happen somehow. How frustrating to watch capitalism get unleashed and watch the progress only to have opposing ideologues deny what they just watched happen through twisted logic. Will we never learn? We won't if we see only what we want to see.

Increasing tax revenue is driving more debt? I think that your math is dubious.

The supply side of the economy is in great shape due to tax cuts and deregulation. We simply spend more than we can afford. I propose that we decrease spending in every category 1% per year until our budget is balanced. Do you think that Congress will go along with such a plan? The House of Representatives has the power of the purse. Have we elected people who will decrease spending?

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Old 11-14-2018, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Fudd View Post
….... Have we elected people who will decrease spending?
Love the sarcasm… The best way to save money now is to give congress and the white house a 2 year unpaid Sabbatical. Send then all home without pay. They will do nothing in those 2 years anyway.
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:07 AM
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U.S. Tax Revenue by Year

FY 2019 - $3.422 trillion, estimated.
FY 2018 - $3.34 trillion, estimated.
FY 2017 - $3.32 trillion.
FY 2016 - $3.27 trillion.
FY 2015 - $3.25 trillion.
FY 2014 - $3.02 trillion.
FY 2013 - $2.77 trillion.
FY 2012 - $2.45 trillion.
FY 2011 - $2.30 trillion.
FY 2010 - $2.16 trillion.
FY 2009 - $2.10 trillion.
FY 2008 - $2.52 trillion.
FY 2007 - $2.57 trillion.
FY 2006 - $2.4 trillion.
FY 2005 - $2.15 trillion.
FY 2004 - $1.88 trillion.
FY 2003 - $1.72 trillion.
FY 2002 - $1.85 trillion.
FY 2001 - $1.99 trillion.
FY 2000 - $2.03 trillion.

So no, tax revenues are not falling with the tax cuts. Who makes that stuff up, and people do not look at the facts, but espouse theories based on their unproven assumptions.

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Old 11-14-2018, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
I think you missed the tax cut in there....It is adding to the deficit.

Social Security is paid from the current collections, it is not supposed to be included in the deficit/budget at all, is it?

However, for the sake of sanity, we all know that slowing the growth of SS is the only real way to make a dent. It will not be done.
To say the tax cut is adding to the deficit takes some fancy math, and denying that tax cuts have added to the economy, therefore number of jobs, wage increases and tax collections, which are up, not down.

Maybe you meant to say SS and Disability is supposed to be paid for by current collections. In 2018, for the first time ever, it is not, and is part of the deficit spending. It will continue in deficit, because the increases to it are greater each year than the projected collections.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
To say the tax cut is adding to the deficit takes some fancy math, and denying that tax cuts have added to the economy, therefore number of jobs, wage increases and tax collections, which are up, not down.

Maybe you meant to say SS and Disability is supposed to be paid for by current collections. In 2018, for the first time ever, it is not, and is part of the deficit spending. It will continue in deficit, because the increases to it are greater each year than the projected collections.
No it doesn't. It takes actually doing math. Look at the economic indicators for the past several years and tack on 2018 and it's pretty much a straight line. Meaning the tax cut did not "pay for itself". I personally believed we needed a lower Corporate tax rate, but it isn't making the impact you think it is.

I agree with your 2nd paragraph.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
No it doesn't. It takes actually doing math. Look at the economic indicators for the past several years and tack on 2018 and it's pretty much a straight line. Meaning the tax cut did not "pay for itself". I personally believed we needed a lower Corporate tax rate, but it isn't making the impact you think it is.

I agree with your 2nd paragraph.
That is interpolation not fact. We can agree to disagree on that one.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
That is interpolation not fact. We can agree to disagree on that one.
Seriously, the numbers from the past to the present aren't fact?

Just wow.
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
No it doesn't. It takes actually doing math. Look at the economic indicators for the past several years and tack on 2018 and it's pretty much a straight line. Meaning the tax cut did not "pay for itself". I personally believed we needed a lower Corporate tax rate, but it isn't making the impact you think it is.

I agree with your 2nd paragraph.
How did the tax cut not pay for itself? According to my math, the revenue went up while 90% of the population got to take home significantly more pay. The economy was stimulated, creating more jobs, and a large number of people came off public assistance. Now we have wage increases.

How was this not a win all around? Please explain.
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
Seriously, the numbers from the past to the present aren't fact?

Just wow.
So now you agree with me. See my post #81 above. I guess you are saying the facts are tax collections are up.
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jack72 View Post
So now you agree with me. See my post #81 above. I guess you are saying the facts are tax collections are up.
Tax collections are up over prior year, but that does not correlate to where they would have been without the tax cuts. That is the math that has to be done. You may not like it, but that is how one figures out the the actual impact.

Further the jobless rates, and economic indicators have been moving positively for years prior to the tax cuts - that also is a fact, not an interpolation as you called it.
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:25 PM
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Fiscal 2018 was 3.33 trillion actual. Fiscal year ends sept 30
Up from 3.32 trillion in 2017 which is a small 0.3 percent gain
The budget deficit was 779 billion up 17 percent because spending
exceeded the small gain in revenue.
The supply side theory that we can just erase the deficit with tax
cuts alone once again fails. 8 years of Reagan presidency told us
that already.
2019 estimates are speculation.
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Old 11-14-2018, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by IAFlyer View Post
Tax collections are up over prior year, but that does not correlate to where they would have been without the tax cuts. That is the math that has to be done. You may not like it, but that is how one figures out the the actual impact.

Further the jobless rates, and economic indicators have been moving positively for years prior to the tax cuts - that also is a fact, not an interpolation as you called it.
That imaginary math does not work because there would be no super-stimulated economy without the tax cuts. This is the real world where companies see lower taxes and decide that it is a good time to grow and hire. People are smart enough to react to new tax laws and change their behavior appropriately. There is a cause and effect relationship that you are ignoring. The tax cut paid for itself by increasing economic activity and getting taxes on volume rather than %. This is the whole point. Even if the tax revenue increase was modest, think about all of the positive side effects of increased economic activity. More people have jobs and better wages. And the decreased % of taxes for each individual put more money in everyone's pockets to begin with.

Our spending problem is a separate problem. The tax cut was a great decision that was a win on all fronts. The fact that we decided to spend even more is not related to the tax cut.

Don't make me scream at the sky!

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Old 11-14-2018, 09:41 PM
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Tax cuts and increasing spending are easy political instant gratification decisions.
That's the kind of decision making that got us into this mess.
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Furio View Post
Fiscal 2018 was 3.33 trillion actual. Fiscal year ends sept 30
Up from 3.32 trillion in 2017 which is a small 0.3 percent gain
The budget deficit was 779 billion up 17 percent because spending
exceeded the small gain in revenue.
The supply side theory that we can just erase the deficit with tax
cuts alone once again fails. 8 years of Reagan presidency told us
that already.
2019 estimates are speculation.
So because the tax cuts don't erase the deficit, you would rather go back to the old system and have higher unemployment and more people on welfare? Doesn't it count that a huge number of people got to take home a lot more money ($1000 to $2000 per year) without negatively impacting tax revenue? Don't look a gift horse in the mouth!
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Furio View Post
Tax cuts and increasing spending are easy political instant gratification decisions.
That's the kind of decision making that got us into this mess.
Furio, there is no negative impact to this tax cut. Everything moved in the direction that we want it to. That is the kind of good decision-making that we need more of. Some increase in tax revenue and a whole lot more money in the hands of the tax payers. I'll take that every day of the week and twice on Sundays. What are you frowning upon?

If we keep making these bad decisions on taxes, we had better watch out or we could all end up being rich.

This whole conversation blows my mind. Every metric that was affected by the tax cut is better, yet some here have convinced themselves that it made us mysteriously spend more money. The two are not related! I hope you people are not financial planners or accountants.

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Old 11-14-2018, 09:58 PM
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Fudd you see no negative impact because your thinking is very short term. What
happens when the next recession hits in the next 1 to 3 years and your out of
fiscal or monetary measures because you used it up blowing up the bubble economy.
It may be a brutal awakening for you.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Furio View Post
Fudd you see no negative impact because your thinking is very short term. What
happens when the next recession hits in the next 1 to 3 years and your out of
fiscal or monetary measures because you used it up blowing up the bubble economy.
It may be a brutal awakening for you.
?????

Does the sweet spot of maximizing tax revenue and encouraging economic activity change during a recession?

Why not live in the sweet spot all the time? It does no good to depress the economy artificially during good years. And spending can always be adjusted.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:45 PM
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Party like its 1928 cause 1929 never arrives
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Furio View Post
Party like its 1928 cause 1929 never arrives
I guess my point is that you are not really stimulating 1929, but proposing to depress 1928 and then stimulate 1929 to get it closer to the depressed 1928. Why not stimulate both 1928 and 1929 as much as possible?
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:04 AM
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Let's now combine the effects of tax cuts with overspending. They are two separate and distinct casual issues.

This tax cut criticism and nit picking speculation about whether it decreased tax collections or increased the deficit is just one more attempts by anti-Trumps to try and shoot holes in all his great accomplishments. The economy is booming, no matter how many if, ands and buts they throw in.
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:12 AM
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The thing that amazes me is that older people care more about the deficit than those in their 20's and 30's and 40's. They will be the ones suffering the consequences, not us, yet they are the ones now voting for progressives and socialists, who want to spend more, and have no worry about the economy or supply side, period. Maybe some of them will wake up as they get older, I did. Maybe they will get what they are wishing for, and that will wake them up.
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Fudd View Post
That imaginary math does not work because there would be no super-stimulated economy without the tax cuts. This is the real world where companies see lower taxes and decide that it is a good time to grow and hire. People are smart enough to react to new tax laws and change their behavior appropriately. There is a cause and effect relationship that you are ignoring. The tax cut paid for itself by increasing economic activity and getting taxes on volume rather than %. This is the whole point. Even if the tax revenue increase was modest, think about all of the positive side effects of increased economic activity. More people have jobs and better wages. And the decreased % of taxes for each individual put more money in everyone's pockets to begin with.

Our spending problem is a separate problem. The tax cut was a great decision that was a win on all fronts. The fact that we decided to spend even more is not related to the tax cut.

Don't make me scream at the sky!
Bullhockey - Most of what you are espousing is conjecture and not actual numbers. The collections are up 0.3%. There is no way in heck you can say that the cuts paid for themselves. The math doesn't work.

Let me also point out that your "imaginary math" is EXACTLY how every business would evaluate any decision. By looking at what happened after, but comparing it to what they expected to happen without it and netting it out.

Last edited by IAFlyer; 11-15-2018 at 01:37 PM..
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