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The budget deficit


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The current administration has been heavily attacked from both liberals and conservatives for the huge budget deficit. Assuming for argument sakes that the war in Iraq needed to occur and the massive war expenditures incurred, how could Bush have practically prevented the deficit? I'm not sure what the deficit for the current fiscal year is projected to be, but what programs (and associated costs) could have been cut by the President by veto (keep in mind there is no line item veto), could those vetoes have survived, what other programs in the bills containing the items that the President wanted to veto would have been eliminated, if the vetoes would have been sustained is it likely that the necessary war funding would have been approved by Congress (keep in mind that we are assuming for argument purposes that the war was a necessity and needed to occur) and practically how much of the deficit could have been reduced?

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The current administration has been heavily attacked from both liberals and conservatives for the huge budget deficit. Assuming for argument sakes that the war in Iraq needed to occur and the massive war expenditures incurred, how could Bush have practically prevented the deficit? I'm not sure what the deficit for the current fiscal year is projected to be, but what programs (and associated costs) could have been cut by the President by veto (keep in mind there is no line item veto), could those vetoes have survived, what other programs in the bills containing the items that the President wanted to veto would have been eliminated, if the vetoes would have been sustained is it likely that the necessary war funding would have been approved by Congress (keep in mind that we are assuming for argument purposes that the war was a necessity and needed to occur) and practically how much of the deficit could have been reduced?
The size of the Department of Education exploded during the Bush years. The department should have been eliminated instead.
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The size of the Department of Education exploded during the Bush years. The department should have been eliminated instead.

 

Give me numbers. How much would have been saved by eliminating DOE? What duties and programs that they performed were worthwhile and how much did those programs and duties cost? What federal agency would have performed the duties and programs previously performed by DOE? If the states would have performed those duties and programs, how would they have paid for them? How much in dollars did DOE grow and what programs were added or expanded during the explosion? I don't want generic statements, I want well thought out responses with numbers.

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Give me numbers. How much would have been saved by eliminating DOE? What duties and programs that they performed were worthwhile and how much did those programs and duties cost? What federal agency would have performed the duties and programs previously performed by DOE? If the states would have performed those duties and programs, how would they have paid for them? How much in dollars did DOE grow and what programs were added or expanded during the explosion? I don't want generic statements, I want well thought out responses with numbers.
Department of Education spending increased by more than 67% from 2000 through 2004. I will dig up some current numbers later. However, I favor scrapping the entire department and shifting all of its responsibilities to state and local government, so I will not be identifying specific areas that should be cut. An obvious part of growth has been the Bush-Kennedy No Child Left Behind program.
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Department of Education spending increased by more than 67% from 2000 through 2004. I will dig up some current numbers later. However, I favor scrapping the entire department and shifting all of its responsibilities to state and local government, so I will not be identifying specific areas that should be cut. An obvious part of growth has been the Bush-Kennedy No Child Left Behind program.

 

I'm not saying that shifting it to the state and local level isn't bad but in terms of money, that would mean the states and localities would have to raise the taxes there on that level to pay for it. It's either Peter or Paul that sends the bill and the cost wouldn't be a whole lot different.

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I'm not saying that shifting it to the state and local level isn't bad but in terms of money, that would mean the states and localities would have to raise the taxes there on that level to pay for it. It's either Peter or Paul that sends the bill and the cost wouldn't be a whole lot different.
Anytime you can push responsibility down the chain of command in any kind of organization, including government, there is a potential reduction in bureaucracy and financial savings. In many, if not most, cases federal education funding is sent to the states for distribution. Having the states collect and distribute the money would be more efficient and lower level bureaucrats are more accountable to voters and taxpayers.
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It does not matter how much is saved, education is a state responsibilty. The federal government should not be spending 1 dime on education, other than the GI Bill(which is a benefit given to veterans). When you read the delegated powers of Congress there is nothing about education, that means education is left up to the states thru the 10th Amendment.

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It does not matter how much is saved, education is a state responsibilty. The federal government should not be spending 1 dime on education, other than the GI Bill(which is a benefit given to veterans). When you read the delegated powers of Congress there is nothing about education, that means education is left up to the states thru the 10th Amendment.
:thumb: This is true of most of the discretionary spending done by the federal government.
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Short of an exhaustive review of the budget to identify instances of unnecessary spending, coming up with specific areas to cut would be difficult. However, a 50% increase in federal spending in 7 year's time (going from $2 trillion to $3 trillion) speaks volumes to me. I don't need to dive into the details to know that the government has grown out of control. The emergency appropriations bills for Iraq and Afghanistan averaged approximately $100 billion per year (it has been more in recent years). That only accounts for a 10% or maybe 20% of the increase in spending. What about the other $800-900 billion in increased spending? I will not be convinced that was all critical and necessary. I suspect much of that is due to the expansion of entitlement spending (due to such programs as the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit). There are also undoubtedly billions in pet project pork.

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Short of an exhaustive review of the budget to identify instances of unnecessary spending, coming up with specific areas to cut would be difficult. However, a 50% increase in federal spending in 7 year's time (going from $2 trillion to $3 trillion) speaks volumes to me. I don't need to dive into the details to know that the government has grown out of control. The emergency appropriations bills for Iraq and Afghanistan averaged approximately $100 billion per year (it has been more in recent years). That only accounts for a 10% or maybe 20% of the increase in spending. What about the other $800-900 billion in increased spending? I will not be convinced that was all critical and necessary. I suspect much of that is due to the expansion of entitlement spending (due to such programs as the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit). There are also undoubtedly billions in pet project pork.

 

But I think before you can "blame" the current administration, one has to understand how, where and why there was such a huge increase. People on this board in general like to throw about broad based criticisms of politicians, often unfairly. Bush doesn't have a line item veto. Often times huge increases were bundled into bills that needed to be passed. Its easy to say Bush should have vetoed the bill because of the pork, but that's one heck of a lot easier to say than it is to do. So I want specifics from the critics; I want to know what specific programs should be cut; what specific spending bills should have been vetoed. I too am concerned about the growth in the federal spending as most of us are. But before I lobbed grenades, I like to know the specifics.

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Aces, as a person who spent a significant amount of money educating my kids without any federal or state money, I don't necessarily disagree with you. However, in the interest of equal quality education for all, how do you feel about the even greater disparity that a lack of federal oversight and support would create from state to state (in a broad sense) in education, or community to community (in a smaller-scale sense)?

 

If states like Alabama already lag in education, how would they improve if the federal influence were removed?

 

Also, if economic prosperity is a goal of the country, how do we rationalize a lack of focus by the federal government on education? Education is very definitely the key to a well-educated, economically viable workforce.

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But I think before you can "blame" the current administration, one has to understand how, where and why there was such a huge increase. People on this board in general like to throw about broad based criticisms of politicians, often unfairly. Bush doesn't have a line item veto. Often times huge increases were bundled into bills that needed to be passed. Its easy to say Bush should have vetoed the bill because of the pork, but that's one heck of a lot easier to say than it is to do. So I want specifics from the critics; I want to know what specific programs should be cut; what specific spending bills should have been vetoed. I too am concerned about the growth in the federal spending as most of us are. But before I lobbed grenades, I like to know the specifics.

 

 

LNeck, I can't answer where I feel specific cuts should be made, but I will say that I feel that in a general sense some sort of legislative reform should occur. Unrelated line items should simply not be allowed to be tagged onto a bill.

 

My thoughts are that the president should be a line item veto. But, on the other hand, in a broad sense, there wouldn't be a necessity for a line item veto if the legislation put forward were not muddled with unrelated line items.

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But I think before you can "blame" the current administration, one has to understand how, where and why there was such a huge increase. People on this board in general like to throw about broad based criticisms of politicians, often unfairly. Bush doesn't have a line item veto. Often times huge increases were bundled into bills that needed to be passed. Its easy to say Bush should have vetoed the bill because of the pork, but that's one heck of a lot easier to say than it is to do. So I want specifics from the critics; I want to know what specific programs should be cut; what specific spending bills should have been vetoed. I too am concerned about the growth in the federal spending as most of us are. But before I lobbed grenades, I like to know the specifics.

 

I disagree. In the private sector, the onus is placed on the person requesting increased funding to justify the need for the increase. It's not up to others to root around in the numbers, searching for areas of waste or padding.

 

Other administrations have controlled the growth of federal spending far more effectively. In my opinion, the root cause of the increase was that the President failed to set an appropriate and consistent tone early with Congress that spending discipline was expected and would be required to pass legislation. Even though federal budgets ballooned from $2 trillion to nearly $2.8 trillion during the period of Republican control of Congress, I don't recall much emphasis on spending discipline by the White House until the Democrats took control of Congress. Bush did not use his veto power until well into his second term, and 9 out of his 10 vetoes have taken place in the last year, in the period since the GOP lost control of Congress. The impression one is left with is that generous federal spending was lavished on the Congress, in an effort to ensure GOP reelection.

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Aces, as a person who spent a significant amount of money educating my kids without any federal or state money, I don't necessarily disagree with you. However, in the interest of equal quality education for all, how do you feel about the even greater disparity that a lack of federal oversight and support would create from state to state (in a broad sense) in education, or community to community (in a smaller-scale sense)?

 

If states like Alabama already lag in education, how would they improve if the federal influence were removed?

 

Also, if economic prosperity is a goal of the country, how do we rationalize a lack of focus by the federal government on education? Education is very definitely the key to a well-educated, economically viable workforce.

I am sure that my answer will seem harsh to you. If a state does not provide adequate services for its citizens, then they can either move, work to improve the system, or do as you have done and find a private alternative. It is much easier for an individual to make a difference at the state and local level than at the federal level. Most of us have no realistic shot at influencing or unseating a US Senator or Representative, but we can make life tough for an incompetent or corrupt school board member.
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