Originally Posted by BLADEMDA
This is a role for our STATE govt. as well. I like that you point out roads or bridges and not huge govt. agenncies like the Dept. of Education or even the FDA.
There is absolutely a role for the Federal govt in the USA; however, it should be about 1/10th the actual size it is today based on strict interpretation of the constitution.
Blade, we just have radically different ideas on what the federal government should do. For me, an interstate highway system that specifically links many states up is a no-brainer for federal government. It's practically the definition of regulation of interstate commerce.
Originally Posted by BLADEMDA
Where did you get this chart from? I have a really hard time believing that 25-year-olds as a cohort use 75 cents of every dollar they pay into Medicare.
Regarding your copious postings on tax policy, I think we pretty much agree. Things will have to change.
Originally Posted by pgg
I have to deviate from my usual agreement with Blade here. I'm pretty far off on the libertarian scale, I admit it. I'm totally OK with the dirty little secret of liberty ("you're on your own") ... and it doesn't really bother me that some people squander the advantage an American birth gives them and wind up failures in life.
But there are some non-Constitutionally-mandated things I want our government to do.
I totally favor 100% federally funded comprehensive limitless healthcare for everyone under the age of 18. There's no reason for the richest most powerful country on earth to have kids without medical care, no matter how stupid or screwed up their parents are.
I favor social security and medicare for old people, subject to some rational limits (maybe no free CABG at age 87), because I don't want to live in a country where old people eat cat food or fight over the park bench closest to the steam pipe.
Welfare and programs like WIC have a place too.
Free public education (no "voucher" system), strong defense (albeit one of a less expeditionary flavor), extensive and well-maintained infrastructure, a solid and rational strategy for environmental protection and resource exploitation ...
... but here's the thing:
My most basic belief here (and I think Blade's too though I don't presume to speak for him) is that reducing government spending and debt MUST trump all, and Real Soon Now - because if you do the math, the day is coming when that debt will make it impossible to provide both the minimalist Constitution-directed federal services as well as the optional niceties most of us want to see from a wealthy, free, and civilized nation.
pgg, you asked me earlier if I thought we could grow our way out of our debt. I was listening to the radio recently and heard that the US trade deficit rose again last year.
But what I didn't realize until then was that American manufacturing actually isn't in that bad a shape. The trade deficit was $558B, but that was on exports of $2.1T.
Not good, but better than the impression we generally get about US manufacturing. We're still the #1 or #2 manufacturer in the world, closely vying with China. Exports are at their highest level ever,
and in the past decade we've increased factory production by about 1/3
. We manufacture more stuff than Germany, France, India, and Brazil combined
. The sector is getting hit hard jobs-wise because American factories continually increase how much each individual worker can produce in a shift.
So, no, I don't think we can grow our way out of the debt. I think we need some of the bipartisan reform that Blade has posted about. But, I don't think there's an inevitable lost decade ahead of the US.