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Author: Subject: Bring Our Money Home

Zen Peach





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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 09:44 AM
I think everyone agrees that the financial state of our nation is the biggest problem facing us right now. We're very deep in debt, with no remedy in sight. I honestly think that jpb may turn out to be right, and there may be some very hard times ahead. But it seems to me that we could have a huge impact on our finances if we just stopped spending money in other countries. Do we really need military bases in Britain, Germany, Spain, Japan, and other countries all over the world? Do we really need to send billions of dollars in aid to other industrialized countries, like Israel, when we are so deep in debt ourselves? Do we need to be waging a war in Afghanistan, just so we can try to insure a few Americans won't get killed in a "terrorist attack?" Did we really need to spend all that money in Iraq? What would be a worst case scenario had we not attacked Iraq, or Afghanistan, for that matter?

As I said, I think we're going to keep driving this train full speed ahead until we go right over a cliff. I expect to see that within the next five years. It will probably be the best thing that every happened to us, but we won't think so at the time. One way to slow down the inevitable is to stop spending billions and billions in other countries, yet you seldom ever hear it even mentioned. Can anyone defend all the current policies?

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 09:58 AM
On my first cup of coffee.. "At the moment" I say let Karzai go ahead and join the Taliban. Maybe Bin Laden will come out of his cave and join them. Bring the troops home, Iraq can go on without us. We can always send in a drone or whatever.
 

Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 10:06 AM
You should know by now once we invade a country, we never leave, we're still in Germany for christ sake.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 10:41 AM
What's bothersome is that the government still seems to refuse any solution besides trying to tax our way out of the problem. What we end up with is a even a more stagnant economy, less freedom, and less revenue.

We need drastic and immediate spending cuts, and the military should probably be Item #1 IMO.

[Edited on 4/10/2010 by alloak41]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 12:44 PM
The older I get the more of an isolationist I become. Enough already....bring our soldiers home at least from some of the places and definitely from Iraq and Afghanistan. I supported going there in the beginning, but I'm afraid that ship has sailed.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 04:09 PM
I'm with you 100% SCB. We have 700-800 military bases in spots all over the world. And the number keeps rising as we root ourselves in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its time to withdraw from these outposts and have more of a defensive military instead of an offensive one.

However, that by itself will make only a small impact on our coming troubles. One reason is that even switching to a more defensive posture will cost money. We may be able to save a few hundred billion - no small change indeed - but that's no where near enough to cover the biggest problem: future entitlement commitments. That expense is many orders of magnitude beyond the potential military savings.

We put ourselves in such a hole that we now need to take dramatic actions to avoid default and decline. Some of these carry risk and may backfire, but our current course is impossible to maintain. Here's a few ideas -

Immediately lower all govt payrolls by 15%. With nearly 1/5th of the country affected by unemployment, reduced hours, or reduced wages why are govt workers still getting raises, making more than population averages, and receiving benefits and retirement packages that the taxpayers could only dream of. This can't go on.

Launch an incentive program for govt workers who create ways to reduce staff and/or reduce expenses. The growth of govt workers can not be supported and must be reduced. Give good managers an incentive for making govt more efficient.

Repeal the 16th amendment, stop all Federal income-based taxation, replace it with the a single Federal sales tax (the "Fair Tax" proposal), and close the IRS. This single step would leap-frog our country to the head of the line as THE place to invest and create/establish a business. Jobs and opportunity would follow.

Stop buying so much foreign oil and dramatically increase the use of domestic supply. DRILL! We're paying for both sides of all the Mideast turmoil with our ridiculous policy of non-domestic production. Obama's head-fake on drilling a few weeks ago is another meaningless gesture piled on his mountain of meaningless comments. We need to get serious about this and fast. Likewise with natural gas (minus the hydraulic fracturing technique that threatens aquifers). We need 3-4 decades to move our transportation from fossil-fuel based to something else (mostly electric). We have enough domestic oil to get us there if we want to. This will also produce many good paying domestic jobs.

Tax the importation of nearly all Chinese goods. While risky, they refuse to adjust their currency, keeping their goods here cheap. Those low prices have killed countless American businesses. Time to even the playing field a bit and give Americans a fighting chance.

Painful and politically suicidal as this will be; Social Security and Medicare must be reformed, meaning lower benefits paid and higher ages before qualifying. I know how much this sucks, but these two programs are set to swamp our economy if we do nothing.

I'm sure there's more I could list, but these would be a heck of a start - which assures that almost no Washington politician would consider any of it.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 04:22 PM
I can't argue with anything you posted, Fuji. We're on a collision course with financial disaster. And I agree that no one in Washington has what it takes to get this train back on course.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 04:53 PM
quote:
You should know by now once we invade a country, we never leave, we're still in Germany for christ sake.


And Okinawa (Japan) and the Phillipines...and Guam.....etc .etc

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 04:55 PM
quote:
Not to mention the impact wars have on infrastructure projects at home. Vietnam got in the way of the Army Corps of Engineers having the proper funding for the post-Betsy levee system, and these wars are getting in the way of the post-Katrina levee system. Old Huffington Post article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/23/new-orleans-repeating-dea_n_120841 .html

I was laid off from a job due to the Iraq War back in May 2004, as the US Army Corps of Engineers was one of our biggest clients, and they were left with no budget as a result of the war.


Too bad you didn't work for Halliburton....

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 04:57 PM
quote:
I'm with you 100% SCB. We have 700-800 military bases in spots all over the world. And the number keeps rising as we root ourselves in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its time to withdraw from these outposts and have more of a defensive military instead of an offensive one.

However, that by itself will make only a small impact on our coming troubles. One reason is that even switching to a more defensive posture will cost money. We may be able to save a few hundred billion - no small change indeed - but that's no where near enough to cover the biggest problem: future entitlement commitments. That expense is many orders of magnitude beyond the potential military savings.

We put ourselves in such a hole that we now need to take dramatic actions to avoid default and decline. Some of these carry risk and may backfire, but our current course is impossible to maintain. Here's a few ideas -

Immediately lower all govt payrolls by 15%. With nearly 1/5th of the country affected by unemployment, reduced hours, or reduced wages why are govt workers still getting raises, making more than population averages, and receiving benefits and retirement packages that the taxpayers could only dream of. This can't go on.

Launch an incentive program for govt workers who create ways to reduce staff and/or reduce expenses. The growth of govt workers can not be supported and must be reduced. Give good managers an incentive for making govt more efficient.

Repeal the 16th amendment, stop all Federal income-based taxation, replace it with the a single Federal sales tax (the "Fair Tax" proposal), and close the IRS. This single step would leap-frog our country to the head of the line as THE place to invest and create/establish a business. Jobs and opportunity would follow.

Stop buying so much foreign oil and dramatically increase the use of domestic supply. DRILL! We're paying for both sides of all the Mideast turmoil with our ridiculous policy of non-domestic production. Obama's head-fake on drilling a few weeks ago is another meaningless gesture piled on his mountain of meaningless comments. We need to get serious about this and fast. Likewise with natural gas (minus the hydraulic fracturing technique that threatens aquifers). We need 3-4 decades to move our transportation from fossil-fuel based to something else (mostly electric). We have enough domestic oil to get us there if we want to. This will also produce many good paying domestic jobs.

Tax the importation of nearly all Chinese goods. While risky, they refuse to adjust their currency, keeping their goods here cheap. Those low prices have killed countless American businesses. Time to even the playing field a bit and give Americans a fighting chance.

Painful and politically suicidal as this will be; Social Security and Medicare must be reformed, meaning lower benefits paid and higher ages before qualifying. I know how much this sucks, but these two programs are set to swamp our economy if we do nothing.

I'm sure there's more I could list, but these would be a heck of a start - which assures that almost no Washington politician would consider any of it.


Rich, PLEASE RUN FOR FOR OFFICE AS AN NC CONGRESSSIONAL REP....You've got my vote!

Then again, we all know common-sensical politicians never get elected.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 05:10 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
Not to mention the impact wars have on infrastructure projects at home. Vietnam got in the way of the Army Corps of Engineers having the proper funding for the post-Betsy levee system, and these wars are getting in the way of the post-Katrina levee system. Old Huffington Post article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/23/new-orleans-repeating-dea_n_120841 .html

I was laid off from a job due to the Iraq War back in May 2004, as the US Army Corps of Engineers was one of our biggest clients, and they were left with no budget as a result of the war.


Too bad you didn't work for Halliburton....


LOL...seriously.


Didn't mean to sound harsh, Charlie, but your situation just illustrates how absurd - and sad - the whole Iraq debacle is. Here we have American jobs lost because of an ill-conceived, half-assed war done on the cheap, and millions - or even billions - of dollars in cash are lost because there was little or no tracking mechanisms in place to make sure that the money went to the "contractors" it was supposed to. No accountability, no responsibility, little or no records kept, falsified or no receipts kept, suitcases of cash changing hands.....where is the taxpayer outrage over this Money Pit? Is this/was this any way to run a war? Cetainly not a way to WIN one.....

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 06:16 PM
quote:
Rich, PLEASE RUN FOR FOR OFFICE AS AN NC CONGRESSSIONAL REP....You've got my vote!
Funny you mention this - I've considered it. But I live in Sue Myrick's district, who is generally seen as conservative enough. I don't always think she's pushing hard enough, but more often than not she's on the right side of the issues. I wish she was a bit more outspoken, but she's pretty consistently conservative and she maintains good support.

I did send her a few warning shots after she voted for TARP though...

Then again, most of them did. They were scared to death following Paulson's dire warnings. Now its turned into a slush fund for whomever is in power. More crazy debt and spending...

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 08:32 PM
Cost estimates for the Iraqii embassy are approaching 1 billion. its sickening that Americans have to sacrifice and pay more in taxes to support crap like this. if politicians are telling us that social security and medicare are doomed than make cuts to all the overseas crap first before you ask Americans to sacrifice.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 11:44 PM
quote:
quote:
Rich, PLEASE RUN FOR FOR OFFICE AS AN NC CONGRESSSIONAL REP....You've got my vote!
Funny you mention this - I've considered it. But I live in Sue Myrick's district, who is generally seen as conservative enough. I don't always think she's pushing hard enough, but more often than not she's on the right side of the issues. I wish she was a bit more outspoken, but she's pretty consistently conservative and she maintains good support.

I did send her a few warning shots after she voted for TARP though...

Then again, most of them did. They were scared to death following Paulson's dire warnings. Now its turned into a slush fund for whomever is in power. More crazy debt and spending...


I guess your letter to Myrick wasn't stuffed with as much cash as the ones she got from BOA, Wachovia and Wells Fargo....

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/11/2010 at 03:54 PM
I absolutely agree with massive cuts in the Pentagon's budget. That money needs to be re-directed and spent here at home.

I also think we need to penalize corporations outsourcing American jobs. American companies with Customer Service centers in the Philippines and India should be taxed per foreign employee. The Credit Card companies that took bail out money and have foreign customer service centers should have a special hell all their own.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 4/11/2010 at 03:56 PM
quote:
I absolutely agree with massive cuts in the Pentagon's budget. That money needs to be re-directed and spent here at home.

I also think we need to penalize corporations outsourcing American jobs. American companies with Customer Service centers in the Philippines and India should be taxed per foreign employee. The Credit Card companies that took bail out money and have foreign customer service centers should have a special hell all their own.


Hear! Hear! Or outsource all goverment jobs....especially our elected representatives.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 4/12/2010 at 08:36 AM
I think anyone who's ever read my posts in relation to our military/industrial/congressional complex knows I agree completely with Santa. And I agree 100% with Fuij's list of things to do immediately. Especially the Federal sales tax. And Rich, if you're ever serious about running for elected office, I'd love to work on your campaign. Free of charge, by the way.
 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/12/2010 at 08:57 AM
quote:
I absolutely agree with massive cuts in the Pentagon's budget. That money needs to be re-directed and spent here at home.

I also think we need to penalize corporations outsourcing American jobs. American companies with Customer Service centers in the Philippines and India should be taxed per foreign employee. The Credit Card companies that took bail out money and have foreign customer service centers should have a special hell all their own.
I often wonder on ideas to tax or penalize companies that export jobs. I don't believe they are wantingly removing these jobs to foreign lands, as in; "boy, I can't wait to take some jobs away from my fellow citizens and give them to some folks in Bangladore".

So what drives them to the point of making such a move? I wonder if its not more often a combination of business conditions that together make it impossible for a company to compete unless they make such a change. Things like labor costs, difficult regulations, dramatic overall cost savings, etc.

So should they be penalized by such moves? Wouldn't establishing such a process hinder the exact thing we need: meaning business investment/creation and job growth? While every situation is different, I think our first step should be self-examination. How do we improve the business climate here so that companies are less inclined to look into moving jobs in the first place. It's a tough subject.

In the case of China, we're fighting a govt (keeping it's currency devauled) as much as we're fighting lower labor and production costs.

 

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uninsured and then make them pay more to be insured again,
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World Class Peach



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  posted on 4/12/2010 at 09:26 AM
I agree with you SCB, we send billions to help starving people in other countries while people starve in our own, they could close 80% of those bases and it would not change a thing... write your congress men and senotors and tell them what is in this post we elect these goofballs they are supposed to be there representing us Hah what a joke that is.

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 4/12/2010 at 12:55 PM
quote:
Repeal the 16th amendment, stop all Federal income-based taxation, replace it with the a single Federal sales tax (the "Fair Tax" proposal), and close the IRS. This single step would leap-frog our country to the head of the line as THE place to invest and create/establish a business. Jobs and opportunity would follow.


amen!

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/14/2010 at 08:04 AM
There is so much here posted by everyone that I whole heartedly 100% agree with.

This thread shows how much common ground there is among so many members who are often in disagreement on other issues.

Ann likes to chime in and say "ok we've identified the problem, not what is the solution". So we all know Washington is broken, heck even the politicians themselves say that. But what can we do? Vote for representation that we think will make changes in Washington and instead we continue to get out of control spending and deficits. Simply put I think we are on a crash course no matter who is in charge of the controls. Maybe nobody or group of people can actually change the path we are on. As people blame Republicans for this and Democrats for that, our country is left sinking due to historical compounding of mistakes and missteps by both parties and here we are all going down with the ship. The future doesn't look too bright unless there is radical change in how our government functions and really, that isn't going to happen by choice. If and when it comes by necessity things aren't going to be pretty.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/14/2010 at 08:09 AM
I completely agree, nebish. Kind of reminds me of what a fiend of mine used to say in new Orleans, "Don't they know that if our end of the boat goes down, the whole f*cking boat is going down?"

I think our elected officials will still be pointing fingers at each other as the water goes over their stupid heads. The best the rest of us can do is prepare for the worst, and hope for something better.

 

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