1
   

What should the (financial) priorities be for the next administration?

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 08:22 pm
I came across a (Dutch) poll tonight that asked respondents, "which of the following things should the government spend more money on?"

Now the timing is horrific, of course, because the financial calamities of this past week suggest that the next US administration (and to a greater or smaller extent other governments too) wont have any extra money to spend on anything.

Nevertheless I wanted to bring the question, with a few revisions, here too, because however you turn it the question of priorities remains when the new administration takes office. In terms of budgeting, what should the next government focus on? Tax cuts or public investments? Defense or health care? All/none of the above?

So I created a poll.

Take the poll

Feel free to choose several of the answers, though probably not more than three or four because that would kind of defeat the purpose. And comment at will below on which options you chose and why.

For those, like me, who are not Americans - hmm, what shall we do. Maybe this: take the poll for what you think the priorities for the US should be; and/or post a separate list below for your own country, if you feel like it.

I've just roughly translated the choices that were mentioned in the Dutch poll, with a couple of variations (I'll post the results of that one later on, for comparison's sake...).
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 09:22 pm
@nimh,
So far, these are the results - but I think only three or four people took the poll for now:


http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?chs=420x200&cht=p&chtt=What should the financial priorities be for the next administration?&chd=s:999ffffff&chco=ff0000&chdl=sales&chxl=0:|Education|Other|National debt|Development aid|Health care|Information society|Social security|Transport|Welfare/poverty|&chxt=x

The two "other" votes were for "Balancing the budget" (so that roughly counts as an extra vote for paying down the national debt) and "Energy".

(Chart made with chartpart.com chart generator, as suggested in this useful thread - thanks Craven :-))
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 09:51 pm
@nimh,
I voted, but the poll doesn't represent my position too well.

The things I'd like to see more financial resources dedicated towards are Education, Development Aid, R&D and Social Security (as long as it's an effort to pay the bill while fundamentally changing the system, not just agreeing to pay the bill as is indefinitely).

Thing is, I don't care about any of that nearly as much as I care about what I think should be reduced: military spending.

Seriously, with absolute disregard for one's politics on the military the military spending is obscenely exorbitant. Even if I subscribed to extreme militarism I'd still want a significant reduction in military spending. We don't need to spend as much as the rest of the world combined and could reduce the military spending by at least 15% without losing any military superiority if it just had less waste and pork.

Together with our closest allies we account for about about two thirds of the world's military spending and we could reduce that spend without ceding any military superiority if the forces were modernized correctly this is all within reach.

Specifically, I'd like to see a lower headcount, a continuation of spending cuts on programs to develop new heavy artillery (e.g. the Crusader was a good cut by Rumsfeld) and focusing equipment spending on the modernization programs like Future Combat System and not on nuclear weapon (where I'd like to see a further reduction in stockpiles).

And none of that is even that drastic or controversial and doesn't touch my other concerns like service overlap (I'd like to see the services work together in ways that can eliminate redundancy).

I really believe that the US military and its allies can get much more bang for the buck and very much want to get some of that budget freed up to go toward the elimination of deficit spending.

What I most care about is putting deficit spending back in its place as the exception rather than the rule, and using the exorbitant military spending to get there.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 09:52 pm
nimh, I think your inquiry about budget priorities is an interesting one if we started from square one, but with the current priorities already in place, how much of the budget can the next administrations can set priorities?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/pieFY09-1.gif
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 09:55 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I agree with Robert G in the imaginary budget; priorities should go to Education, Development Aid, R&D and Social Security. Realistically, I'm not sure how much we can really reduce defense spending for the next few years.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 10:01 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Thanks for a thoughtful answer, Robert. Good stuff.

One question on detail if you dont mind:

Robert Gentel wrote:

Specifically, I'd like to see a lower headcount, a continuation of spending cuts on programs to develop new heavy artillery (e.g. the Crusader was a good cut by Rumsfeld) and focusing equipment spending on the modernization programs like Future Combat System and not on nuclear weapon (where I'd like to see a further reduction in stockpiles).

This Future Combat System - I know nothing about this, except some brief mentions on it in the context of to-and-fros between the Obama and McCain camps. Apparently Obama wants to scrap or cut down on it, and McCain has blasted him on that; except McCain himself apparently also said he wanted to scrap or cut down on it in an interview a year ago or so.

Thats all I remember - I dont remember whether the discussion was about axing it or just cutting costs on it, nor what what it does. But because both candidates apparently opposed it, your mention of it caught my attention. What's good about it? Why is it important?
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 10:02 pm
The 16th Amendment shoud be repealed,
with the repealer providing that all government
(ferderal, state n local) must be financed only
from sales taxes and importation tarriffs.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 10:22 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:
This Future Combat System - ....

What's good about it? Why is it important?


I think any military program will have its negatives, and especially an ambitious one like this. It basically represents bringing information technology to military equipment. To describe it in one word it's between "networking" or "robots".

I think it's important because I think that's a clear direction that technology is going to shape warfare. I don't know enough about the current state of affairs to know if they are doing a great job getting there but it's the main modernization program for the military and it is a join development project.

One of the big areas of waste I see in the current military is redundancy. The old way is to have the most and the biggest. The new way will be the smartest and most agile and to not put human lives out there on the line.

You have probably already seen a glimpse of it in the use of unmanned drones in the latest US wars. The next step is more of these networked and unmanned vehicles and it's important to future wars because the human cost of life has gone up (a good thing in my opinion) and war weariness is going to increasingly be a limitation on any democratic country's military. Without the ability to continue to minimize loss of life and focus even "smarter" the military will have less viable use cases anyway as long as the government is a Democracy.

It's like robots and the internet for the military. The unmanned drones being able to do more than just surveillance is already game changing and the more networked the systems are the less redundancy is needed due to the efficiency of the collective awareness of the network.

It's the "work smarter not harder" for the military.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 11:49 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert G wrote:
Quote:
One of the big areas of waste I see in the current military is redundancy.


That's been the bain of our military complex since WWII, and we still haven't made the corrections necessary to cut the cost of defense.
0 Replies
 
TTH
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 01:13 pm
@nimh,
I voted for Health care/ health insurance. That's all, 1 vote.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 01:33 pm
@nimh,
i put my 3 cents worth in :
education , environment , paying down debt .

imo that should apply to the next canadian government too . we have an election coming up in october . current predictions are that it will be another conservative minority government - so a lot of money will have been spent for nothing .
hbg

btw canada should get out of afghanistan - wouldn't cost anything - the money should be spent on proper development aid rather than than ammunition .
a canvasser for the conservatives justified the presence of canadian troops in afghanistan thusly : "if we don't fight them over there , the taliban will come right to canada ! " .
my suggestion is that if that's our worry , we invite the taliban into the arctic territory - i'm sure they would gladly return to afghanistan .
hbg
0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 01:41 pm
@nimh,
http://able2know.org/topic/122739-1
0 Replies
 
DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 03:56 pm
unfortunately, i would expect that the next president will be forced to increase military spending.

apparently bush and cheney have managed to piss off the russians to the point that they just voted to increase their military spending by something like 24% a day or so back.

another job well done, boys...

and just in time to drop it in the next president's lap. the bush family seems to have a real knack for it. senior left somalia. junior upped him one with russia.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 04:24 pm
Thank you all for your answers so far. And thanks to Robert for satisfying my curiosity about FCS!

Here's the answers so far:

http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?chs=500x300&cht=p&chtt=What should the (financial) priorities be for the next administration?&chd=s:9sjjaaaaRJJJ,&chco=ff0000,0000ff&chxl=0:|National debt|Education|Health care|Environment|Innovation/technology|Other|Social security|Welfare/poverty|Transport|Defense|Development aid|Tax cuts|&chxt=x

"Other" includes:

- repeal income tax; fianace gov 't from sales taxes
- Balancing the budget
- energy
Ramafuchs
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 05:16 pm
@nimh,
i can cut and paste to substantiate my critical views. But i am disgusted.
here is your question
What should the (financial) priorities be for the next administration?
my answer.
the next Administration should say one simple word Sorry.
Nothing more
nothing less
nothing else.
Ramafuchs
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 06:02 pm
@Ramafuchs,
Barack Obama and John McCain has at least two things in common:
They are attacking Washington and they do not have the solutions.
When you hear their campaigns you would think differently.
Because this is about more than economy.
They have to show leadership in a time of crisis.
And even if they aren't providing solutions they can still create an impression of understanding, insight and ability for their voters.
Who will gain the trust of scared Americans remains to be seen.
What is certain is that the this week of fear has put the economic policy at the top of the political agenda.
It has repressed silly bickering about lipstick and who said what.
Right it is about the real political questions " and that is a healthy thing.


But the election is still 45 days away. That is a long time in an American presidential campaign
http://watchingamerica.com/News/6558/the-week-of-fear/
Norway speks my language and it is not your way.
Ramafuchs
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 06:07 pm
@Ramafuchs,
Morocco speaks Rama's English

It took a global financial crisis to tear the campaign away from its personal cheap shots and oblige the two candidates for the White House at the beginning of the week to tackle the number one worry of their co-citizens: the economy.


John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee and Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, were battling for months over who would be the best "commander in chief" or in other words, who would be the most adept at immediately managing a major world crisis from the seat of the Oval Office.

The wave of international shock from the bankruptcy of the investment bank Lehman Brothers on Monday provided them the opportunity to measure up to a real crisis.

With less than fifty days before the presidential election on November 4th, numerous polls prove that the economy is the number one concern of Americans, but they also reveal that neither Obama nor McCain has yet convinced them of their capacity to deal with the economic situation.

On the economic front, neither has succeeded at delivering a message capable of convincing Americans," points out Andrew Dowdle, professor of Political Science at the University of Arkansas (Southern US).

This is what the two candidates tried to do on Monday with voters at bay, who see their pensions and savings vanishing. And this return to an essential subject contrasts greatly with the lows of last week when McCain, for example, accused Obama of insulting the Republican candidate Sarah Palin by using the popular, current expression in the United States, "put lipstick on a pig."

On Monday, the Democratic candidate was quick to blame the financial crisis on the eight years of Bush government and predicted that the Americans would have four years of the same with McCain.

His Republican rival promised a reform of Wall Street and assured that Barack Obama was going to increase taxes and undermine economic growth.
The Arizona Senator who up until now is leading by a short margin in the polls also in a meeting in Florida (Southeastern US) stressed that the fundamentals of the economic were "solid", immediately provoking the taunts of his opponent.

"Senator McCain, what economy are we speaking of?" responded Obama in Colorado (Western US). McCain, when questioned on the subject Tuesday on the ABC television channel, explained that for him the fundamental elements of the economy were "American workers."

"I know that American workers are the most solid, the best, the most productive and the most innovative," he declared. The workers "were betrayed by the corruption and the distress that are putting their future in danger," continued the Republican candidate, promising that he would know how to "deal with this."

Several months ago, the Illinois senator tried to capitalize on an imprudent phrase of McCain confessing that he did "not know much" about the economy.

According to an ABC News/Washington Post, 47% of voters trust Obama in economic matters in contrast with 42% for McCain. The "lack of faith (of Barack Obama) in American workers can explain why he wants to increase taxes in this difficult times for the economy, but it is not a way to lead our country," argued McCain.

After this ping-pong party, one can expect that the economy will find itself at the center of the three debates that will put the candidates head to head beginning September 26th, each one wanting to prove his abilities in this domain. At least until the next personal attack in a negative ad.

http://watchingamerica.com/News/6497/the-financial-crisis-moment-of-truth-in-the-race-to-the-white-house/
0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 06:11 pm
@nimh,
Read some global views.
here is one from Germany
"The McCain surge is over. The Palin effect appears to have dried up "

http://watchingamerica.com/News/6540/obama-rejoices/
let me larn some English from you all folks
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Where is the US economy headed? - Discussion by au1929
The States Need Help - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Fiscal Cliff - Question by JPB
Let GM go Bankrupt - Discussion by Woiyo9
Sovereign debt - Question by JohnJD
 
  1. Forums
  2. » What should the (financial) priorities be for the next administration?
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 05/25/2020 at 12:18:28