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Old 08-14-2019, 12:43 PM
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Trump has added $4 Trillion to the National Debt. Where is the Tea Party?


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President Donald Trump signed a budget deal last week that will add another $1.7 trillion to the national debt, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Despite promising to wipe out the national debt in eight years during his presidential campaign, the president has added an estimated $4.1 trillion to the country's debt within his first two and a half years in office.

Interest paid on the increasing national debt has surged, already surpassing the total spent all last year.

Net interest paid on the national debt has jumped up nearly $20 billion to $343 billion in the first 10 months of this fiscal year, already surpassing the $325 billion spent all of last year.
https://www.newsweek.com/budget-nati...-trump-1454143

In line with Rush Limbaugh stating "nobody is a fiscal conservative anymore" recently, is it fair to suggest the Tea Party movement was never about the debt, fiscal conservatism is a myth and the GOP will do a total u-turn once a Democrat is in the Oval Office again?
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:47 PM
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They're fine with it because in the end, the debt only matters when Democrats add to it in order to fund social programs. But if Republicans pile on the debt to the point where the budget is about to break, "Oh my! Well, it looks like we can't afford social security, medicare, medicaid, SNAP, and TANF. So-reeeeee!"
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:47 PM
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... is it fair to suggest the Tea Party movement was never about the debt, fiscal conservatism is a myth and the GOP will do a total u-turn once a Democrat is in the Oval Office again?
Certainly.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:53 PM
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Fiscal conservatism is not a myth, but it is dead. Reagan killed it damn near 40 years ago. It was always about rhetoric for Republican pols. Democrats bought into it as well and shrieked that the Republicans were cutting too much and starving black babies or something.

I will also note that the wokest Dem congress in history just passed a budget giving Trump’s Pentagon every cent they asked for. The military welfare complex plays both sides nicely.

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 08-14-2019 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:54 PM
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It should have been obvious from the beginning, because the Tea Party movement never supported cuts to military spending. It's always been about "I'm paying too much tax" and "The poor don't deserve handouts."
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:04 PM
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It should have been obvious from the beginning, because the Tea Party movement never supported cuts to military spending. It's always been about "I'm paying too much tax" and "The poor don't deserve handouts."
But somehow the rich and the highly profitable corporations do.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:09 PM
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The Republicans don’t cut welfare spending either. Where have you been?
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:17 PM
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The Republicans donít cut welfare spending either. Where have you been?
No one said they did, just that they keep threatening to.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:24 PM
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The Tea Party was mostly about culture, ethnicity, and race. It was clear enough then, but this should make it extra-extra clear. They (meaning tea-party Republicans in office) are fine with spending, just not by Democrats, and especially not by black Democrats with foreign-sounding names.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 08-14-2019 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:26 PM
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Of the Congress people who were elected in 2010 during the Tea Party wave, how many are still in office? I don't know the answer, but my impression was that their numbers have shrank significantly.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:26 PM
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With the two-party system, we've unfortunately gotten into a situation where neither party has any incentive to reduce the debt. It has become a hot potato to pass around. Debt-cutting measures such as austerity, tax hikes and spending cuts will cause pain to voters, who then punish the debt-cutting party.......by voting the opposing party into power. It's a tiger neither party can afford to get off of and stop riding.

In fact, it may be in the interest of one party to now increase the debt, so as to make it likelier that the opposing party will suffer a debt crisis when they are in power, which then causes backlash and gets the first side back in power again.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
The Tea Party was mostly about culture, ethnicity, and race. It was clear enough then, but this should make it extra-extra clear. They (meaning tea-party Republicans in office) are fine with spending, just not by Democrats, and especially not by black Democrats with foreign-sounding names.
Yeah, the Tea Party pretended to be about fiscal responsibility when that message lined up with their broader social and cultural parochialism, but they were never serious about it. They were, for the most part, all about identity politics.

What's more interesting to me in the current political environment is the almost complete abdication of policy priorities by the one group of Republicans who really did, for a while at least, seem to actually believe their own rhetoric about budget deficits and fiscal responsibility: the Freedom Caucus.

If there was one faction within the Republican Party that I thought might actually have the courage of its economic conservatism, this was it. While I disagreed with many of the Freedom Caucus's arguments, they always struck me as folks who might actually be willing to stand up for their principles, even within their own party, and especially against someone like Trump. And yet, with the exception of Justin Amash, who's ditched the GOP altogether, the Freedom Caucus members have shown themselves just as cynical as every other Republican in their power grubbing, and just as willing to throw out of their previous criticisms of Trump, in order to ride the Orange Bandwagon.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
With the two-party system, we've unfortunately gotten into a situation where neither party has any incentive to reduce the debt. It has become a hot potato to pass around. Debt-cutting measures such as austerity, tax hikes and spending cuts will cause pain to voters, who then punish the debt-cutting party.......by voting the opposing party into power. It's a tiger neither party can afford to get off of and stop riding.

In fact, it may be in the interest of one party to now increase the debt, so as to make it likelier that the opposing party will suffer a debt crisis when they are in power, which then causes backlash and gets the first side back in power again.
Debt and deficit spending seems to be more about who's gore is getting oxed these days. There IS no fiscal responsible party, and no fiscal conservatives. Now, it depends on what and why you are going into deficit spending on, no on doing it at all.

WRT to the Tea Party, I think they are down to only about 40 or so these days, so they aren't really much of a factor. I don't think they have that much power wrt the party anymore, if they ever really did.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:00 PM
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I was always under the impression that the tea party faction was never a large grouping and that their influence came solely from the fact that they held just enough support to become the balance of power. Empty vessels make most noise and all that....
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:07 PM
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Just to gore the other oxe, I did a quick Google search, and found that there are nearly 100 self identified progressives in Congress, so one might ask, why haven't they pushed through a full progressive agenda? I mean, if you are asking where is the Tea Party wrt deficit spending (i.e., why haven't they used their massive power of 48 members to shift Congress and stop the deficit spending), I'd be asking why Progressives haven't done more for their own agenda.

Of course, the answer is really the same, which is American politics don't really work like that. You can't just do what you want, even within your own party. You have to ally and horse trade with other people who want or demand different things, and you have to compromise.

I do find it very interesting that, now that the shoe is on the other foot and Republicans are more in charge that deficit spending is not a big deal anymore. It's very hypocritical, and definitely demonstrates what the OP is wanting to, which is that deficits really weren't that important to Republicans...it was just something they used against the other party when they were doing it. And, I'm sure, folks in this thread won't care much about them either when the Dems are back on top and doing more deficits, as many of the Dem hopefuls seem to be raring to go wrt more spending. More spending seems to be the only thing both parties can agree on, even if they can't agree on what we should be spending more on...
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:10 PM
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I do find it very interesting that, now that the shoe is on the other foot and Republicans are more in charge that deficit spending is not a big deal anymore. It's very hypocritical, and definitely demonstrates what the OP is wanting to, which is that deficits really weren't that important to Republicans...it was just something they used against the other party when they were doing it. And, I'm sure, folks in this thread won't care much about them either when the Dems are back on top and doing more deficits, as many of the Dem hopefuls seem to be raring to go wrt more spending. More spending seems to be the only thing both parties can agree on, even if they can't agree on what we should be spending more on...

I'm not sure it's necessarily that Republicans like big spending or that the debt isn't a big deal to them, as it is that it's utterly drowned out by other noise these days. Politics over the past few years (and not just the Trump years) has turned into a shrill screaming match with a hundred different opinions screeched at max volume. With the border wall, kids in cages, trade war with China, identity politics, Russia, Mueller, impeachment, AOC, etc., the issue of debt and the deficit has simply faded to background noise.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:15 PM
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Of the Congress people who were elected in 2010 during the Tea Party wave, how many are still in office? I don't know the answer, but my impression was that their numbers have shrank significantly.
I looked it up. I count 23 current members of the House Tea Party Caucus, with 24 being former members. Of the formers, some have gone on to bigger things, like Mick Mulvaneu becoming the Acting Chief of Staff to the President. Others have had a tougher time, like Michelle Bachmann, who continues to be Michelle Bachmann.

Until there’s a cure, people.

Last edited by Ravenman; 08-14-2019 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:12 PM
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I will also note that the wokest Dem congress in history just passed a budget giving Trump’s Pentagon every cent they asked for.
They didn't.

The NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) for 2020 is still in process. There are differences in the House and Senate bills to be resolved in conference committee. (Cite)

There was an agreement to exceed Budget Control Act limits for DOD and other authorizations. That included an agreement on what the total DOD number will be. That DOD topline is 738 million in both bills. DOD requested 750 million. That's 1.2 trillion cents more than they are probably getting(Cite and Cite)

...and now back to the OP after the detour for accuracy.

Last edited by DinoR; 08-14-2019 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:17 PM
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I thought they mostly died.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Boycott View Post
https://www.newsweek.com/budget-nati...-trump-1454143

In line with Rush Limbaugh stating "nobody is a fiscal conservative anymore" recently, is it fair to suggest the Tea Party movement was never about the debt, fiscal conservatism is a myth and the GOP will do a total u-turn once a Democrat is in the Oval Office again?
Rush is correct about the "no fiscal conservatives" part, and certainly the GOP will flip if and when a Democrat is in the White House. Trouble is that Rush is correct about the "no fiscal conservatives" part, because so will the Dems. All spending bills originate in the House of Representatives - refresh my memory, which party controls that House?

And Trump meant exactly as much by his pledge as previous Presidents meant by theirs.

The deficit is inexcusably high, and there is no better time to address it than now. Years ago would have been better. It needs to be addressed with spending cuts, and tax increases, in a roughly 2:1 ratio. Republicans will not cut military spending, Democrats will not cut anything else, neither party will increase taxes (see the Bush era tax cut expiration), and everything else is political posturing.

We should care about this. Both parties should be just as up in arms now as they were when a member of the other party was in the White House. But politicians don't get re-elected by cutting spending.

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Old 08-14-2019, 03:29 PM
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Deficits only matter when Democrats are in the White House, and they count double if a black Democrat is president. Republicans campaign on promising not only to eliminate the deficit but pay off the debt, and somehow manage to avoid being smitten by lightning and the Bible doesn't spontaneously combust when they are sworn in.

The Tea Party has just been consumed by the White Nationalists just as Republicans were taken over by Fascists. Tea Partiers never gave a flying fuck about deficits, they just couldn't stomach the idea of a black president.

Last edited by BobLibDem; 08-14-2019 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:32 PM
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They didn't.

The NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) for 2020 is still in process. There are differences in the House and Senate bills to be resolved in conference committee. (Cite)

There was an agreement to exceed Budget Control Act limits for DOD and other authorizations. That included an agreement on what the total DOD number will be. That DOD topline is 738 million in both bills. DOD requested 750 million. That's 1.2 trillion cents more than they are probably getting(Cite and Cite)

...and now back to the OP after the detour for accuracy.
In the context of the thread, this is rather pointless nitpicking.

First of all, Will Farnaby said that the Dems agreed to give the Pentagon every cent they asked for, which is actually pretty much what happened. As this story notes, officials at the Pentagon had been planning for the $733B figure, and talks of more than this were actually "a welcome surprise to military planners."
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While not a huge leap, the figure is more of an increase than budget planners initially expected, reflecting growth of 4.7 percent over last yearís top line. Defense officials had been planning for a $733 billion overall national defense budget, which would have been an increase of 2.4 percent over last yearís $716 billion top line.
So the figure that Dems have agreed to is basically the figure that military officials were counting on, and your correction of Will Farnaby is, at best, a rather semantic one, and depends on exactly whom you define as "Trump's Pentagon." If it's the military planners themselves, he is correct; if it's Mick Mulvaney, then you are. Tomato, tomahto.

But much more importantly, his central point stands: in the face of growing deficits and a massive national debt, the best that Democrats and Republicans can do is tinker around the edges, bickering about exactly how many more billions the Pentagon should be getting, when what they should be talking about is significantly scaling back military spending.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:38 PM
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<snip> It needs to be addressed with spending cuts, and tax increases, in a roughly 2:1 ratio. <snip>
And when Obama offered 10 dollars in spending cuts for every dollar of tax increases, Republicans told him to go pound sand.

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Old 08-14-2019, 03:40 PM
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When did he do that? And is that a literal figure, or hyperbole?

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Old 08-14-2019, 03:42 PM
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Rush is correct about the "no fiscal conservatives" part, and certainly the GOP will flip if and when a Democrat is in the White House. Trouble is that Rush is correct about the "no fiscal conservatives" part, because so will the Dems. All spending bills originate in the House of Representatives - refresh my memory, which party controls that House?
This is not just about what parties do; it's about the connection (or otherwise) between what they say and what they do. Refresh my memory, which party is the one that makes fiscal conservatism and reduced government spending a centerpiece of its platform? And refresh my memory also on which party held both houses and Congress AND the White House for the two years starting in January 2017.
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And Trump meant exactly as much by his pledge as previous Presidents meant by theirs.
This is hilarious, and I would actually be surprised at the disingenousness of this argument if I didn't have almost two decades of experience with your obfuscatory debating tactics. It's a perfect storm of Shodan false equivalency.

Obama promised to halve the deficit in his first term in office, and according to your linked story, he "only" managed to REDUCE the deficit by about $500 billion. Trump promised to reduce the deficit, and he mas managed to ADD over $300 billion to the deficit in three years, with the promise of even greater deficits in the years ahead.

In your mind, these two things are apparently equal. LOL.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:54 PM
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This is not just about what parties do; it's about the connection (or otherwise) between what they say and what they do. Refresh my memory, which party is the one that makes fiscal conservatism and reduced government spending a centerpiece of its platform? And refresh my memory also on which party held both houses and Congress AND the White House for the two years starting in January 2017.
This is hilarious, and I would actually be surprised at the disingenousness of this argument if I didn't have almost two decades of experience with your obfuscatory debating tactics. It's a perfect storm of Shodan false equivalency.

Obama promised to halve the deficit in his first term in office, and according to your linked story, he "only" managed to REDUCE the deficit by about $500 billion. Trump promised to reduce the deficit, and he mas managed to ADD over $300 billion to the deficit in three years, with the promise of even greater deficits in the years ahead.

In your mind, these two things are apparently equal. LOL.
I should also like to add the fact that Obama inherited a costly war and a tattered economy that was in dire straights, while Trump inherited a basically ramped down war and a strong economy.
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:05 PM
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They didn't.

The NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) for 2020 is still in process. There are differences in the House and Senate bills to be resolved in conference committee. (Cite)

There was an agreement to exceed Budget Control Act limits for DOD and other authorizations. That included an agreement on what the total DOD number will be. That DOD topline is 738 million in both bills. DOD requested 750 million. That's 1.2 trillion cents more than they are probably getting(Cite and Cite)

...and now back to the OP after the detour for accuracy.
Your cites donít say how much the pentagon requested. They requested $733 billion.

Thank you mhendo for providing that cite from Foreign Policy, I appreciate it.
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:18 PM
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Trump has added $4 Trillion to the National Debt. Where is the Tea Party?


Justin Amash?
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:19 PM
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Your cites donít say how much the pentagon requested. They requested $733 billion.

Thank you mhendo for providing that cite from Foreign Policy, I appreciate it.
Huh? mhendoís cite, which you thanked him for, says the Pentagon requested $750 billion: ďTrump seeks $750 billion.Ē

You canít say DoD requested $733 billion when you literally just read that they did not. (Mind you, $733 billion is still too much, to say nothing of $738 billion, but thatís the nature of compromise.)
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:43 PM
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Huh? mhendo’s cite, which you thanked him for, says the Pentagon requested $750 billion: “Trump seeks $750 billion.”

You can’t say DoD requested $733 billion when you literally just read that they did not. (Mind you, $733 billion is still too much, to say nothing of $738 billion, but that’s the nature of compromise.)
Like I said in my post, it depends how you define "Trump's Pentagon."

As my story notes, the military leaders in the Pentagon were all set at $733 billion, but Mulvaney (presumably after some DoD types got in his ear) convinced Trump that it should be $750 billion.

But your last parenthetical sentence is the more important one, and it's why I accused DinoR of pointless nitpicking. The most important thing, in the context of this discussion, is that Dems seem basically just as willing as the GOP to hand the military pretty much all the money it wants, and to continue increasing military appropriations at a time when those appropriations should be reduced.

Last edited by mhendo; 08-14-2019 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:49 PM
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With the two-party system, we've unfortunately gotten into a situation where neither party has any incentive to reduce the debt. It has become a hot potato to pass around. Debt-cutting measures such as austerity, tax hikes and spending cuts will cause pain to voters, who then punish the debt-cutting party.......by voting the opposing party into power. It's a tiger neither party can afford to get off of and stop riding.
I don't agree with that. We've seen what Republicans do when they control Congress and the Presidency. Let's come back to this thread the next time Democrats are in the same position and see what they do with respect to the deficit. Personally, I think they'd be a damn sight more responsible than the Republicans.
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:46 AM
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I'm not sure it's necessarily that Republicans like big spending or that the debt isn't a big deal to them, as it is that it's utterly drowned out by other noise these days. Politics over the past few years (and not just the Trump years) has turned into a shrill screaming match with a hundred different opinions screeched at max volume. With the border wall, kids in cages, trade war with China, identity politics, Russia, Mueller, impeachment, AOC, etc., the issue of debt and the deficit has simply faded to background noise.
This makes no sense at all.

If the debt and deficit aren't really the big issues that people are focusing on, and if people care much more about all of the other things you've listed, then surely it should be pretty easy to pass a budget that reduces the deficit. If everyone is paying attention to the other stuff, and you hold both houses of Congress as well as the Presidency, and if you've run on a campaign of reducing the deficit and the debt, why not just pass a responsible budget? If the issue is "not a big deal" and is "utterly drowned out by other noise," as you suggest, then there will no political downside to cutting the deficit, right?
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:05 AM
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Like I said in my post, it depends how you define "Trump's Pentagon."

As my story notes, the military leaders in the Pentagon were all set at $733 billion, but Mulvaney (presumably after some DoD types got in his ear) convinced Trump that it should be $750 billion.
But the Pentagon doesnít just decide on its own what size budget it wants to plan for. Thatís decided by the Office of Management and Budget in the White House. So what actually happened was:

1. In 2018, OMB told DoD to plan for $733 billion.
2. Around fall 2018, Trump tweeted that we spend too much on the military and the budget should be $700 billion. (Iím not making this up.)
3. OMB shit their pants and told DoD to now plan for $700 billion. Other trousers were then soiled.
4. A few months went by, and minds changed again, and this time the number was decreed to be $750 billion.

At no point does DoD decide how much money it is going to ask for - this is all determined by OMB (and half the time directed by law.)
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:26 AM
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... and to continue increasing military appropriations at a time when those appropriations should be reduced.
Why is this the time when the US military budget should be reduced? What are you basing that on?
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:27 AM
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But the Pentagon doesnít just decide on its own what size budget it wants to plan for.
Never said they did. But this doesn't mean that they don't have an ear to the ground when the process is happening, or that they don't have a sense of how much money they would like and how much they're likely to get.

I didn't say that the Pentagon requested any specific amount. What I said was, and what my linked story said was, that the leaders in the Pentagon were expecting 733, they were making their plans based on 733, and were mostly fine with 733.

And again, all of this is almost completely irrelevant to the central point, which is the bipartisan spending spree that the two parties lavish on the military.
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:51 AM
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The US ran a surplus under Bill Clinton for four straight years, so don't say it can't be done.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:08 AM
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Why is this the time when the US military budget should be reduced? What are you basing that on?
I'm not mhendo, but I would say this is the time because the deficit is inexcusably high.
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Originally Posted by RickJay
The US ran a surplus under Bill Clinton for four straight years, so don't say it can't be done.
Sure, it can be done. All we need is a Congress committed to doing it, from either party or both parties.

Neither party is. It's a big deal when the other side is in power, and different when my side is in power.

As you mention, the last time the budget was balanced was when a Democrat was in the White House and the GOP controlled Congress. Will that happen if Biden or Sanders or Harris or one of the others is in the Oval Office and the GOP controls the Senate and House? Will it happen if Trump is re-elected and the Dems take over the Senate?

I tend to doubt it.

This is like global warming. It is better as a campaign issue, because the actual policies to address it are going to very unpopular and painful.

The Green New Deal lost in the Senate 0-57. The Bush era tax cuts could have been left to expire if the Dems simply did nothing, but they were extended. Even the Dems in the Senate knew which side their bread was buttered on.

Regards,
Shodan
  #38  
Old 08-15-2019, 08:09 AM
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Joe Walsh just apologized for his role in electing Teimp, so maybe some Tea Party Representatives can admit that they were wrong/pandering.
  #39  
Old 08-15-2019, 08:11 AM
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I do find it very interesting that, now that the shoe is on the other foot and Republicans are more in charge that deficit spending is not a big deal anymore. It's very hypocritical, and definitely demonstrates what the OP is wanting to, which is that deficits really weren't that important to Republicans...it was just something they used against the other party when they were doing it. And, I'm sure, folks in this thread won't care much about them either when the Dems are back on top and doing more deficits, as many of the Dem hopefuls seem to be raring to go wrt more spending. More spending seems to be the only thing both parties can agree on, even if they can't agree on what we should be spending more on...
You shouldn't find it interesting; if you're paying any attention, you should have expected based on past actions over the past 40 years. It's not interesting, it's so normal as to be unremarkable in any way.

Framing it as "well, I guess all the parties just do it the same, those crazy politicians" is the last refuge of people who are unwilling to take a hard stand against the obvious Republican lie.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:15 AM
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Why is this the time when the US military budget should be reduced? What are you basing that on?
I probably could have phrased that better. It's not that something has suddenly happened now. I'm not arguing that there's something unique about 2019, or the Trump presidency, that makes reducing military spending a good idea.

It's simply that the United States has spent far too much on its military for years--decades--and it's one of the areas where spending could be reduced without in any meaningful way reducing the practical safety of the United States and its people. We could have saved about $10 billion a month over an extended period simply by not engaging in a dishonest and idiotic invasion of Iraq.
  #41  
Old 08-15-2019, 08:33 AM
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As you mention, the last time the budget was balanced was when a Democrat was in the White House and the GOP controlled Congress.
That's true, but you neglected to mention that, at the time, Congress was operating under rules put in place by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. That law was passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress without a single Republican vote in favor of it.
  #42  
Old 08-15-2019, 08:41 AM
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Of the Congress people who were elected in 2010 during the Tea Party wave, how many are still in office? I don't know the answer, but my impression was that their numbers have shrank significantly.
And their GOP replacements are different how?

We all know the game: the GOP is all about cracking down on deficits - when a Dem is in the White House, and only then. Bush the Elder was the one exception to that in the past 40 years, and he all but had an intra-party rebellion on his hands.
  #43  
Old 08-15-2019, 08:44 AM
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As you mention, the last time the budget was balanced was when a Democrat was in the White House and the GOP controlled Congress.
And yet, in all of your bothsidesism, you appear congenitally unable even to acknowledge that the party of fiscal responsibility has, even when it held BOTH houses of Congress AND the White House, shown basically no interest in adhering to one of its own central principles, as articulated with mind-numbing frequency by party leaders.

This is a key issue here. It's not simply that both sides spend money like crazy. They do. It's that one side spends money like crazy while constantly harping about NOT spending money, and about the need for balanced budgets and reduced deficits. And it also does this while bribing its own voters with irresponsible tax cuts that actually make things even worse.

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Framing it as "well, I guess all the parties just do it the same, those crazy politicians" is the last refuge of people who are unwilling to take a hard stand against the obvious Republican lie.
I think that's true, but as a lefty I do wish that people on my side of the political fence were at least a little more willing to take seriously the question of spending, deficits, debt, and the long-term consequences. It's one thing to engage in deficit spending to alleviate hardship and keep things going during an economic downturn. It's something else altogether to simply continue to spend more and more and more without taking into account the long-term consequences. Every dollar spent servicing our massive debt is a dollar that can't be spent on useful things.

Some of my favorite Democrats are guilty of this sort of thing. When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was asked how she would pay for some of the her policies like the Green New Deal, her answer was basically, "You just pay for it!" I want a little more nuance than that from my politicians when it comes to economic policy.

Elizabeth Warren has promised a wealth tax that would, by some calculations, raise almost $3 trillion dollars over ten years. Even if that amount is correct (and some economists are dubious), she then puts forward a range of spending plans that, she says, would benefit from the wealth tax. But if you add up all of her spending plans, it's clear that she's double and triple and quadruple dipping into the same pool of money.

If I give you $100, you can't then go out and use it to buy a $100 hard drive, AND a $100 dinner, AND a $100 dress. That's not how economics works, but that seems to be how it works for some candidates. "I'm speaking to an audience of college grads today, so I'll talk about how my wealth tax will pay for student loan forgiveness. Tomorrow, I'm speaking about health care, so I'll use my wealth tax to help pay for increased coverage. Then, next week, it will help me promise a new child-care plan"

Of course, the problem for Democrats is that, if they now start to get brutally honest about the economics of some of these things, they will lose some voters, and the Republicans will take advantage double down on their own hypocrisy by once again becoming the party of rhetorical fiscal responsibility, for just as long as it takes to win another election.

Last edited by mhendo; 08-15-2019 at 08:45 AM.
  #44  
Old 08-15-2019, 09:02 AM
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A) The tea party wasn't about the debt, as was clear to anyone who actually looked for 3 seconds at one of the protests.

B) The guiding principle of the conservative movement on fiscal matters is that there should be stimulus during Republican presidencies and austerity during Democratic presidencies.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 08-15-2019 at 09:03 AM.
  #45  
Old 08-15-2019, 09:16 AM
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Some of my favorite Democrats are guilty of this sort of thing. When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was asked how she would pay for some of the her policies like the Green New Deal, her answer was basically, "You just pay for it!" I want a little more nuance than that from my politicians when it comes to economic policy.
I'm not sure if there can be a better answer to this. While I don't heavily disagree with any one point in Bernie's platform from last campaign, (even though it was too much spending as a whole), he had a detailed plan for how to pay for each bit, which seems a bit overboard since for instance I don't see what a tax on financial transactions has to do with free college tuition. (Actually, that's sort of a bad example because I don't think a tax on financial transactions is all that great. But I can't think of any other of his revenue proposals that I heavily disagreed with.)

Last edited by Ludovic; 08-15-2019 at 09:18 AM.
  #46  
Old 08-15-2019, 09:24 AM
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And their GOP replacements are different how?

We all know the game: the GOP is all about cracking down on deficits - when a Dem is in the White House, and only then. Bush the Elder was the one exception to that in the past 40 years, and he all but had an intra-party rebellion on his hands.
I'm pretty disappointed in the level of spending - I'd like it to be cut quite significantly.

The question was in regard to how many are in office as a result of that Tea Party push in 2010. If they were all still there but have since changed their tune, that would be different than if they all turned over and the replacements didn't campaign on the same issues.
  #47  
Old 08-15-2019, 09:25 AM
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And yet, in all of your bothsidesism, you appear congenitally unable even to acknowledge that the party of fiscal responsibility has, even when it held BOTH houses of Congress AND the White House, shown basically no interest in adhering to one of its own central principles, as articulated with mind-numbing frequency by party leaders.

This is a key issue here.
The key issue is when YOUR party controls the White House or the Senate or the House, the deficit is obscenely high and needs to be addressed. When MY party controls any or all of those, it's different.

Regards,
Shodan
  #48  
Old 08-15-2019, 09:34 AM
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A) The tea party wasn't about the debt, as was clear to anyone who actually looked for 3 seconds at one of the protests.

B) The guiding principle of the conservative movement on fiscal matters is that there should be stimulus during Republican presidencies and austerity during Democratic presidencies.
I would argue it's the belief that water running downhill will never reach the bottom. So long as we remain the world's reserve currency, that's fine. But eventually pressure will grow and rates will climb and we'll either devalue the currency or have some other calamitous thing occur to force things into balance again.
  #49  
Old 08-15-2019, 09:53 AM
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Never said they did. But this doesn't mean that they don't have an ear to the ground when the process is happening, or that they don't have a sense of how much money they would like and how much they're likely to get.
Gotcha -- saying that the Pentagon was "all set at $733 billion" is both perfectly accurate and perfectly able to be misunderstood, since others here are under the impression that the military decides what it wants to spend. So we appear to be in violent agreement.
  #50  
Old 08-15-2019, 09:57 AM
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All I have to say is that as a lefty Dem, I really, truly hope that the Trump-era actions re: Republican deficit increases have finally convinced my party that the GOP is spectacularly full of shit on the deficit issue, and that the next time the GOP/media sounds the five-alarm fire on deficits the Democrats must collectively tell them all to screw off and proceed to implement whatever policies they want to implement.

From a purely political standpoint, nobody cares about the deficit and it should basically just be ignored. I hope that the Democrats have finally learned that.

Last edited by 2ManyTacos; 08-15-2019 at 09:59 AM.
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