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Solve the Budget Deficit - NY Times interactive

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by SpeedTchr, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    Interesting and fairly informative "game" in the NYT about solving the budget deficit.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html

    Here was my solution:
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=hm61pjm0
     
  2. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    Interesting.

    Not surprisingly, most of my solution was in budget cuts
     
  3. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Took me about five minutes. Too bad it would take Congress 50 years.
     
  4. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I came up with about 48 percent budget cuts/52 percent tax increases and ran a very large surplus.

    It'll suck like hell for a few years, but it gets the debt paid off (or a at least a good chunk of it) and sets up future generations nicely.
     
  5. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    This gizmo would be more realistic if every item was accompanied by an estimate of how much more likely said item would make the chances of the voters throwing you the hell out of office. THEN it would give the user a sense of why it is indeed hard to balance the budget.
    It's always easy to tell somebody else to make "hard choices." But when crunch time comes, every voter shrieks "not mine!"
     
  6. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    I loved the idea the moment I saw it. I've long believed I could eliminate the deficit if you just give me a couple of days in Washington; I wouldn't be popular, but I'd get it done. I jumped right into the Times proposal. Took me about 20 minutes.

    What I should do is send my completed proposal to every member of Congress.
     
  7. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    So the key to progress is electing an executive and legislators who are OK being one-termers?
     
  8. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    That's one option, Bari. The other is to admit that nobody gives a damn about the budget deficit except members of the party out of power, for whom it's a club with which to hammer the other guys (that's a bipartisan tactic). Voters SAY the budget deficit is a bad thing, but voters say lots of things. They also say they want lower taxes and more services.
    In arithmetical reality, the budget will only be controlled by dealing with medical care costs. That is, either by limiting government spending on medical care, meaning old people, children, and poor people will be more likely to get sick and die due to lack of care, or by limiting the money made by health care industry employees and institutions such as doctors, nurses, hospitals, insurance companies, etc.
    Run for office on either of those platforms. I dare you.
     
  9. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    It would also be more realistic if it reflected the costs of cutting certain costs. For example, if you cut the federal work force by 200,000, then you have to pay unemployment benefits, severance pay, etc. You'd probably still end up with a saving, but every action, opposite reaction, etc.

    (This is a much bigger issue in the U.K., where the safety net is much larger than the one in the U.S. If you fire a £25,000-a-year worker, you essentially save nothing once unemployment benefits, housing allowances, etc., are taken into account.)
     
  10. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    56 budget cuts, 44 percent tax increases, but I wasn't happy with that.

    I was happy with seeing an option for a bank tax. What the hell, if you are going to punish the rich citizens, punish the rich banks first.
     
  11. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Well, the "career politician" is just about the biggest obstacle to getting anything meaningful done.
     
  12. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    There are two different budget issues.

    One is the middle-of-the-century 8-million-pound gorilla that says that the baby boom generation is a demographic timebomb that will consume the entire economy if we give them even half of what they've been promised in social spending.

    That one can only be solved by health-care cost-cutting.

    But there's also the immediate problem of a deficit equal to 10% of our GDP and debt that is now roughly the size of our GDP. Medical cost-cutting won't dent that much.
     
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