fightcitymayor
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In the president's super-kewl new deficit reduction plan, he wants us to believe this bit of fun:
CNN wrote:
War savings: $1.1 trillion.

The administration is counting the reduction in spending in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next decade that will result from the planned draw-down of troops and the changing nature of the operations in those countries.

In addition, the administration is counting savings that would result from spending caps it has proposed on future overseas contingency operations.

So... out of the $3 trillion he considers "spending cuts," one third of that is of the "well, we aren't buying that Cadillac now, so I consider that savings!" variety. If anyone would like to stick up for this bit of creative accounting, I will sit and listen attentively. I will also award 5 Bonus Points to anyone who can make me believe that "spending caps" on future wars (erm... "contingency operations") are the least bit feasible. Okay...go!

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It's a cut in stuff that, had things have continued as they were, would have been spent. If it was stuff that was budget for, and is now no longer budgeted for, then it's a cut in the budget. Just as if they'd have cut some other form of spending.

Putting a cap on future "overseas contingency operations" seems pretty daft though. Reminds me of David Cameron's plan to cap asylum seekers.
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Ed Bradley
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Sweet. I can tell my wife I've saved us £70 by not buying GW's new "Dreadfleet" game. Then she'll be less pissed off when Space Empires: 4X arrives
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
It's a cut in stuff that, had things have continued as they were, would have been spent. If it was stuff that was budget for, and is now no longer budgeted for, then it's a cut in the budget.


Except they haven't presented a budget for two years now. We have been surviving on Emergency Spending Resolutions.
 
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Les Marshall
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Perhaps Obama is finally willing to soil himself with realpolitik.

We've had years of politicians on the left and right claiming credit for the work of others and blaming others for their own shortcomings. Remember, Reagan is known as the patron saint of fiscal responsibility and yet he both increased taxes and the national debt.

Part of the reason that Obama has racked up a deficit increase is that his White House reversed the course of the prior administration failing to include the cost of two wars in the budget. Trying to take credit for a "budget reduction" from withdrawing troops in no more cynical than anything we've ween out of the Bush regime. Whether we like it or not Bush charted us a course of war in two nations and it would be folly to simply pull out without careful planning or we waste all the blood and treasure lost so far. If Obama can claim some silk from that sows ear, he's welcome to it.

As for putting a limit on future wars.....that will last until the next session of congress.
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fightcitymayor
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Rulesjd wrote:
Part of the reason that Obama has racked up a deficit increase is that his White House reversed the course of the prior administration failing to include the cost of two wars in the budget. Trying to take credit for a "budget reduction" from withdrawing troops in no more cynical than anything we've ween out of the Bush regime.
President Obama can claim whatever credit he would like, but this cynical "2 wrongs make a right" seems counter-productive. So Bush authorized endless "appropriations bills" to fund these wars so he didn't have to declare it in any budget, and Obama puts the kibosh on it and then declares it savings? I understand the political imperative of "looking like you're solving the problem whether or not you actually are" but I don't know if even the big Bush haterz on the Left will be able to tell me we're "reducing the deficit" with a straight face on this one.

 
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I'm generally a supporter of Obama, but I agree that calling this "deficit reduction" is silly. It's an independently motivated move, and to suggest that he's ending a war because we can't pay for it seems simultaneously reasonable and sufficiently troubling that I'd rather he focus on the fact that as much of the job as can be done is done, and it's time to get out.

However, if he'd just been mugged on the debt ceiling because of projections of the future of the national debt which assumed that the spending on these wars would continue at the same level he's saying he's cutting from, then I feel as though he's being cynical and kind of dick using those unreasonable projections, but those who've relied on them to make hay about the deficit would be hypocritical to complain. I didn't actually check to see whether that's the case, but it did occur to me as a very plausible explanation of why he chose the baseline he did.
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fightcitymayor wrote:
So Bush authorized endless "appropriations bills" to fund these wars so he didn't have to declare it in any budget, and Obama puts the kibosh on it and then declares it savings?


You're comparing apples and oranges here. Bush authorized appropriations bills to not declare war expenditures in the budget, which was spending money without telling anybody (sorta). Obama put war expenditures back in the budget proper, and is now suggesting stopping of spending on said wars. That's a budget savings by any reasonable yardstick.
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okiedokie wrote:
Except they haven't presented a budget for two years now. We have been surviving on Emergency Spending Resolutions.


I remember a news conference a while ago about this. A few Republicans were saying that they were going to fillibuster the budget that they had been negotiating for months because it had earmarks in it. When an astute reporter asked why they would do this considering they put some of those earmarks in there themselves, they started babbling incoherently. Funny stuff.
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LeeDambis wrote:

Why are these two statements not the same? Perhaps because most Republicans don't dare admit that spending less on national defense is also a form of spending cuts?


National defense? Most of the US military expenses have very little to do with defense.
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hibikir wrote:
LeeDambis wrote:

Why are these two statements not the same? Perhaps because most Republicans don't dare admit that spending less on national defense is also a form of spending cuts?


National defense? Most of the US military expenses have very little to do with defense.


Almost all of it has to do with making a lot of little Daddy Warbucks.
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hibikir wrote:
LeeDambis wrote:

Why are these two statements not the same? Perhaps because most Republicans don't dare admit that spending less on national defense is also a form of spending cuts?


National defense? Most of the US military expenses have very little to do with defense.


It's defense, alright. However, it's a stretch to call it 'national' and the thing being defended is certainly not what the military industrial complex would have you believe.
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But "Deficit Increase Reduction" doesn't have the same ring to it.
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Les Marshall
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fightcitymayor wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
Part of the reason that Obama has racked up a deficit increase is that his White House reversed the course of the prior administration failing to include the cost of two wars in the budget. Trying to take credit for a "budget reduction" from withdrawing troops in no more cynical than anything we've ween out of the Bush regime.
President Obama can claim whatever credit he would like, but this cynical "2 wrongs make a right" seems counter-productive. So Bush authorized endless "appropriations bills" to fund these wars so he didn't have to declare it in any budget, and Obama puts the kibosh on it and then declares it savings? I understand the political imperative of "looking like you're solving the problem whether or not you actually are" but I don't know if even the big Bush haterz on the Left will be able to tell me we're "reducing the deficit" with a straight face on this one.



I don't entirely disagree with you. I'd much rather take the moral high ground in any situation. Obamas clear declarations of intent and attempt to work across the aisle are generally admirable. However, the current GOP has no interest in cooperation with the president. In order to see him limited to one term they'd work at cross purposes to oppose even those measures that would benefit the country, hence record low ratings for congress as well as the white house.

Since the GOP and it's wealthy backers continue to spin every data point to death, it's foolish to expect Obama to fight with one arm behind his back. We live in the 30 second sound bite world and GOP extremists are winning. Time to fight back.
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fightcitymayor
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mightygodking wrote:
fightcitymayor wrote:
So Bush authorized endless "appropriations bills" to fund these wars so he didn't have to declare it in any budget, and Obama puts the kibosh on it and then declares it savings?

You're comparing apples and oranges here. Bush authorized appropriations bills to not declare war expenditures in the budget, which was spending money without telling anybody (sorta). Obama put war expenditures back in the budget proper, and is now suggesting stopping of spending on said wars. That's a budget savings by any reasonable yardstick.
It may indeed be apples & oranges, but to me it seems like neither are the potatoes that are the actual situation. Here's my take:

Funkytown needs a new sports stadium.
The mayor of Funkytown floats a 30-year bond to raise the capital to pay for it.
So Funkytown is on the hook for the next 30 years to pay back (with interest) the amount of the loan.
Can the mayor of Funkytown then say, in the 31st year, that he has "cut spending" simply by not having the bond payments outstanding anymore?

It would seem to be part of the definition of the outlay that it lasts for a certain amount of time that is defined by the outlay. (Yes, if it were up to Republicans it might well be war without end, but still, then we're back to the "2 wrongs" standpoint.)

p.s.
Won't you take me to...
Funkytown?


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Just like Greece or Italy, whose leaders have been sleeping behind the wheels for years, whoever takes the power on Penn street (or in Ottawa for that matter) for the next couple decades, will be in trouble... No matter the allegiance, there is a lot of work to do. These debt and deficit were not done by ONE administration in 2 years.. It is the results of lots and lots of questionnable decisions over many years. We have been living way beyond our own means. But now we just realized it wasn't pretty and someone wanted his cash back...
With some countries having unfair advantage (cheap labor to name a few) and many countries going crap and taking us down with them, it's not like we have hundreds of solutions to make things better. Do you realize how big of deal it his if Italy or Greece goes bankrupt? Do you realize how close they are, and no matter what solution they want to try, people protest? Have you noticed, here in Canada, that the people who protest and/or strike all the time, are the ones with very good salary and conditions? Now will you have the strenght to protest when you loose your job, your car, your home, and you can't afford a dentist, a doctor, and a good school for your kids? Sounds pretty dark heh?

I believe someone will have to take very tough decisions, and will be critized for these, and the next guy will take him down and reap the credits. That's how it works all the time. At the end of the day, do you want the middle class, hard working people, feeding kids and paying taxes, to support our countries on their shoulder, or the ones who earns billions, hide their money in swiss bank, have loads of taxe credits, thanks to fictional companies, and benefit from the same services that the first gang pay for? Everyone should do their part right?

Don't forget that while our leaders argue against each other, our ennemy competition grow stronger.ninja They wait, and when they will run out of ressources and water, they won't be afraid to push the red button.

I believe that's the best (or worst) I can say in a discussion about politics, I may be totally wrong, as I don't know all the facts (who knows all the facts anyway, just don't rely on the bs you see on TV) and I will be glad if someone can enlighten me and make me believe in a bright futur. However, at the moment, I cannot. Something will happen and we are not at the big end of stick.
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Rulesjd wrote:

I don't entirely disagree with you. I'd much rather take the moral high ground in any situation. Obamas clear declarations of intent and attempt to work across the aisle are generally admirable. However, the current GOP has no interest in cooperation with the president. In order to see him limited to one term they'd work at cross purposes to oppose even those measures that would benefit the country, hence record low ratings for congress as well as the white house.

Since the GOP and it's wealthy backers continue to spin every data point to death, it's foolish to expect Obama to fight with one arm behind his back. We live in the 30 second sound bite world and GOP extremists are winning. Time to fight back.


You pretty much sums up my opinion. They want the power, and they don't seem to realize or to care about the gravity of the current situation at all. Talk about short term sight!ninja
 
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fightcitymayor wrote:
In the president's super-kewl new deficit reduction plan, he wants us to believe this bit of fun:
CNN wrote:
War savings: $1.1 trillion.

The administration is counting the reduction in spending in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next decade that will result from the planned draw-down of troops and the changing nature of the operations in those countries.

In addition, the administration is counting savings that would result from spending caps it has proposed on future overseas contingency operations.

So... out of the $3 trillion he considers "spending cuts," one third of that is of the "well, we aren't buying that Cadillac now, so I consider that savings!" variety.



Isn't that exactly what a spending cut is? Something that you used to spend money on, but now you don't? And if the thing you used to spend money on (in this case, stupid and ineffective wars) was frivolous, isn't that in fact the best kind of spending cut?

I could understand being skeptical that these spending cuts will actually happen, but they're definitely spending cuts!
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fightcitymayor wrote:
It may indeed be apples & oranges, but to me it seems like neither are the potatoes that are the actual situation. Here's my take:

Funkytown needs a new sports stadium.
The mayor of Funkytown floats a 30-year bond to raise the capital to pay for it.
So Funkytown is on the hook for the next 30 years to pay back (with interest) the amount of the loan.
Can the mayor of Funkytown then say, in the 31st year, that he has "cut spending" simply by not having the bond payments outstanding anymore?


No, because the bond payments were previously scheduled to end in the 30th year. This wasn't the case with the war: it was a deliberate choice by the Obama administration to draw down troops rapidly in the manner that they chose to do in the matter of something which was open-ended and indefinite in its nature.

That's the difference: you're comparing a predetermined time frame with an open-ended one in your analogy.
 
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