Fiscal Conservatism is Dead

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anonymous_coward
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Fiscal Conservatism is Dead

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-proposes-4-4-trillion-...

The GOP president’s proposed budget, an annual document that outlines the priorities of the administration, doesn’t balance over a decade in large part because, even with slightly stronger economic growth, it projects the government will collect less federal revenue than it forecast last year. That is because of the $1.5 trillion tax cut enacted in December.

One result is the document projects a budget deficit next year that is nearly double what his proposal estimated last year.

Those figures don’t take into account a two-year budget agreement Congress struck last week that would increase federal spending by $300 billion. Independent analysts said the deal could boost federal deficits above $1 trillion next year.

In other news, Trump's approval rating is up:
https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/?ex_cid=rrpromo

Which just goes to show you... if you take a cash advance on your credit card and hand cash to your children, they'll like you...

Where's the conservative outrage? Or is the entire GOP passed out drunk on fiscal koolaid?

pmconusa
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Fiscal conservatism died when

Fiscal conservatism died when the Constitution, mandating gold and silver as the only means to settle debts, was signed. From then on the government determined the distribution of nature's wealth through the tax code.

Economike
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Which just goes to show you..

Which just goes to show you... if you take a cash advance on your credit card and hand cash to your children, they'll like you...

The electorate isn't so childish as this. If passing out borrowed money were effective, Obama's approval ratings would have been a whole lot better than middling. He passed out eight trillion dollars.

Trump's approval rating is up because he's getting credit for economic growth. He deserves some of that credit. As someone once said, "It's the economy, stupid."

Where's the conservative outrage? Or is the entire GOP passed out drunk on fiscal koolaid?

All responsible adults know that a day of fiscal reckoning will arrive. Meanwhile, it's political poison to propose anything fiscally effective, which will get you pegged as a malicious meanie who's trying to starve Grandma. Until the demagogery subsides and reality sets in, a return to baseline economic growth is better than the lackluster trend of the Obama years.

Islander
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AC, maybe this will help

AC, maybe this will help
https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/feds-collect-reco...
"During January, the Treasury collected approximately $361,038,000,000 in total tax revenues and spent a total of approximately $311,802,000,000 to run a surplus of approximately $49,236,000,000."
Hopefully the trend will continue, I doubt it though

anonymous_coward
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@Islander: how much of that

@Islander: how much of that is one-time repatriation money? (Not that is bad, I actually agree with that part of the tax plan, just that it's taking one month out of context is a poor way to argue that we are fiscally sound.)

pmconusa
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If we are collecting so much

If we are collecting so much in taxes how come we are $20 trillion in debt. Because the dollar is not consumed as is its real backing, the fuel value of the food we eat. It is the food we eat which enables the work that earns the dollars, each dollar that accumulates reduces the real value of all of those that proceeded it. It is why, when I started work at $5,000 per year in 1956 I could survive quite nicely, Now I have to pay more than that in taxes to live in my own house that is paid for. It is because the 2017 dollar isn't worth what the 1956 dollar was worth. It is a characteristic of the economic system. Tax cuts that are not accompanied by an equal reduction is spending are not tax cuts at all but a continuation of the normal devaluation of the accumulation of dollars over time. It is the system that has been adopted by every society since the adoption of governments that unequally distribute nature's bounty to those who render it that power. It is a system that ultimately begins to fail when the production of fuel (food) equals its consumption. This condition has already arrived in many countries which is why people are at war with their rulers or migrating where they either enjoy charity, earn a living or both.

Our indigenous food production has reached its limits and the production of the most efficient has to be subsidized for the farmers to produce it. When our population reaches about 500 million and that day is close, the United States will have reached that point.

Toolsmith
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Aren't we still paying

Aren't we still paying farmers to *not* grow crops? Don't we have vast stretches of unused land... and land with buildings that could be demolished to create even more farmland?

How can we be maxed out?

anonymous_coward
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@pmcon: Ummm if we were

@pmcon: Ummm if we were stretched to the limits of food production, the price of food would be going up.... and yet it's not.

JackStrawFromWichita
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“how much of that is one-time

how much of that is one-time repatriation money?”

None.

Repatriation is a 2018 item and the first corporate payment for 2018 isn’t due until April 15, 2018. On top of that they can take 8 years, interest free to pay it.

A lot of companies recognized the charge in 2017 but the actual payments can be spread over 8 years starting in 2018 if that’s when they bring back the cash.

pmconusa
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Toolsmith: The land is not

Toolsmith: The land is not being converted to agriculture because the cost of production cannot be recouped in the marketplace and the only reason farmers grow wheat is because the government subsidizes its price and other crops will not grow where wheat is grown without irrigation, which adds to the cost.

Anonymous: The obvious answer is the supply is in excess of demand which is why we still export nearly half of our wheat crop and almost 15% of our corn crop. If you don't believe me check our government's web site at www.USDA.gov. As I have stated in the past, when our population starts consuming what we now export, the price will skyrocket.

johnw
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Why all this cynicism ?

Why all this cynicism ? Everyone know we can spend our way out of debt...............

pmconusa
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Yes we can. All the treasury

Yes we can. All the treasury has to do is print $20 trillion in currency and pay it to those we owe money mainly the banks. The problem is if we continue to employ the same economic system, the debt will continue to build because nearly everyone operates on borrowed money. including the government.

Ugenetoo
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PM

PM
You know about as much about farming in the US as you do about humility.

pmconusa
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According to the U. S.

According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture wheat production in 1982 was 2.75 billion bushels and in 2012 had dropped to 2.0 billion where the acreage harvested also dropped from 80 million acres to 50 million acres. You don't have to know anything about farming and have no humility at all, which is irrelevant anyway, to know there is trouble ahead. Wheat is called a staple commodity for a reason, that being it is the most complete food, pound for pound than any other except corn which we primarily grow to feed animals and export to Mexico where it is their staple. For example you would have to eat about 40 pounds of tomatoes to obtain the kcal necessary to support an average consumption of about 2000 kcal per day per person whereas it takes less than 2 pounds of wheat. You could not consume 40 pounds of tomatoes anyway because the body is not equipped to handle that much weight or volume. Everyone added to the population is consuming what is produced and soon we will have exhaust the quantity we now export.

If you would stop and think for a second you would not be prone to make such outrageous accusations.

Ugenetoo
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Since you have your finger on

Since you have your finger on the pulse of American agriculture, please show me what the acreage and yield of the other two of the big three commodities were in that same time span.

johnw
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What if we get rid of the

What if we get rid of the whole dollar based currency thingamajig and just cut to the chase and issues Kcal credits in exchange for food and other necessities...But then that begs the question if I grow a bushel of potatoes and trade them for goods am I counterfeiting ?

Roger S
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What our resident agriculture

What our resident agriculture expert neglects to mention is that the farm bill of 1996 changed the economic incentives between the three main crops, corn, beans, and wheat. Over the past 20 years corn and beans have been more profitable to grow than wheat so farmers have adjusted their acreage.

Ugenetoo
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BINGO, Roger S !!

BINGO, Roger S !!

Mike G
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I'd ask how much of the corn

I'd ask how much of the corn production was a result of ethanol for gas and how much of bean, meaning soybean I'd assume, is for non-food use?

Enlighten us because I have not followed that at all

taxfoe
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(SOUNDBITE OF TED TALK)

(SOUNDBITE OF TED TALK)

MENKER: We discovered that the world will be short 214 trillion calories by 2027. The world is not in a position to fill this gap an alternative way to think about this is to think about it in Big Macs. Two-hundred-fourteen trillion calories - a single Big Mac has 563 calories. That means the world will be short 379 billion Big Macs in 2027. That is more Big Macs than McDonald's has ever produced. So how did we get to these numbers in the first place? This map shows you where the world was 40 years ago.
____________________________________________________________________

She read the book.

pmconusa
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Taxfoe: What Menkers is

Taxfoe: What Menkers is talking about, the Chinese are already doing. They are buying up African land to grow staples they are short of, namely wheat and rice. The issue is not whether it is wheat, rice, soy beans or other staple crops it is all about water. Wheat cannot be grown in the tropics because there is too much water and the yields drop like a stone when there is too much water. Corn on the other hand needs water, but as in the United States it is used primarily to feed cattle. It is the alternate, the same as when crops were not cultivated, the nomads ate grains in the summer and meat in winter. Transportation and shear volume have altered this cycle so that our diet year round consists of both and food has never been a problem until the total consumption begins exceeding the supply. No one ever dies of starvation but malnutrition and the maladies it enhances and cause death.

We have evolved into a society where one has to work in order to survive. The drought of the 1930s affected the food supply but the only ones who really suffered were those who lost their jobs because they were in the economy fueled by the raising of wheat. There was still enough to feed everyone, including those unemployed but if you didn't have money you couldn't buy it.

The Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s is the classic case of why our economic system will ultimately fail. A blight destroyed the potato crop and those who depended on it for income; the growers, the processors and the distributors as well as those whose livelihood depended on the income of those working in these occupations either migrated or starved because the government had no system in place to distribute the surplus wheat other growers were using to produce alcohol for export. We in the U. S; have a system in place to aid those who do not work, it is involuntary charity through taxation. Even in this effort, the government still maintains the system of inequality of distribution that leaves out a growing number of those who do not work. For example, Warren Buffet collects Social Security payments but certainly does not need them and he will collect far more than the government ever collected from him which means these payments must come from active taxpayers who continue to see their social security deductions rise. Increasing taxes in other areas, such as gasoline will get the politicians who vote them see themselves thrown out of office so they borrow (print money) in order to avoid raising taxes.

Everyone chides me about my book, which explains this economic disaster in the making but because it doesn't seem to affect them they belittle the author. I just ask the question, if the government stopped paying out what it promised what would happen? Those who worked for the government and businesses whose only customer is the government and now live on their exorbitant pensions would suddenly find themselves without any income and have to live on what they may have saved for their retirement. They may try to sell their houses and other property but would find no buyers because people would not have the money to buy them. Those who do not work at all and live on the dole would starve to death or like the Irish in the potato economy migrate, but where?

This is the scenario that played itself out in Germany after World War I. Germany's obligations were the outlandish reparations they agreed to pay to the winners, namely France and Britain. If the government taxed to pay this debt they were cast from office, so the government finally started printed currency to make up for the gold it had to back it and was using to pay the debt causing rampant inflation. The final straw was the ascension of Adolph Hitler who promised a better life and when elected to office stopped paying the debt and to revive the value of the currency borrowed to return the Mark to its earlier value. Guess who he borrowed from? If you said U.S. banks you win the prize.

Donald Trump's administration and all of his predecessors since the 1920s has been going the same, this time borrowing from our treasury to keep the ship afloat. What is ultimately going to happen I lay out in my book that those who chide me have not read but are quick to criticize.

anonymous_coward
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The fact that this thread has

The fact that this thread has devolved into a "discussion" about food just reinforces the point that nobody cares about getting our fiscal house in order.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-economy-is-soaring-and-now-so-i...

pmconusa
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The fact that food is the

The fact that food is the backing for the exchange that regulates our economy is why a discussion of agriculture is highly relevant to our fiscal order. Gold, no longer is the basis for the issuance of our currency and never was. Ignoring that fact has put us in the position we are in and we are there only because we are one of the few countries left in the world that produces a surplus. The migration of much of the world's excess population to were these surpluses exist only hastens the time when those surpluses will no longer exist. There is still time to turn it around but there won't be once the surplus is consumed. If you can't see that I don't feel sorry for you because the government can still provide for you but it will not be true for you grandchildren.

Melvin Udall
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How many copies of "THE Book"

How many copies of "THE Book" have you sent to the White House, Congress, and various think tanks?

pmconusa
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If I wasted my money and sent

If I wasted my money and sent them my book it would never get by their screeners who would treat it like the mail they used to get that was laced with anthrax. My books are an expose' of the entrenched bureaucracy and the last they want is for others to find out what they did and how they did it. Which is the same reason you criticize it yet have not read it. I have been posting excerpts from them for the past several years on this blog and you and your friend Bruce and perhaps a few of your converts are the only ones who comment and always negatively. The rest realize I am telling the truth but also realize they cannot do anything about it so say nothing.

Prophets who have successfully predicted the future have never been accepted until after their death and never accepted while alive.

Melvin Udall
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I guess that's why we still

I guess that's why we still eat chickens.

So, prophet, you need to work on the screeners. Hold a symposium off campus in DC with free food and drink; they'll all show up. Then give a one hour pitch on your book.

And try not to have every other line be "if you don't believe me...."

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