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Jan. 15th, 2012 @ 11:07 am (no subject)
Lesson # 1:
* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:
* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts: $385

Here's another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:
Let's say, You come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in
your neighborhood....and your home has sewage all the way up to your

What do you think you should do ......

Raise the ceilings, or pump out the crap?

Your choice is coming Nov. 2012.
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Date:January 15th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)

Not even touching it!

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In addition to the current debt crises there are at least three different bubbles which threaten to burst and flood the metaphorical neighborhood.

1.) We have the public employee pension crisis (they're already paid almost twice as much as their private sector counterparts on average and their pensions are almost the same size as their current paycheck.

2.) The student loan bubble caused by schools which refuse to give students basic direction and idiotic students who waste their damn time with crap like minority women's studies and other worthless degrees as well as wandering aimlessly from major to major.

3.) All of the above is nothing compared to the retirement of the baby boomer generation in a few years.

I could go on, really, about how the European debt crises is going to bring everyone down with them and how the housing bubble is being recreated by short sighted fools but I'm really too depressed to continue.
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Date:January 16th, 2012 01:58 am (UTC)

Re: Not even touching it!

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I've been saying for a while now that the student loan fiasco is a bubble! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one!
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From:Nyxilis Mistwalker
Date:January 16th, 2012 03:05 am (UTC)

Re: Not even touching it!

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Oh gosh no you're not! At 29 a lot of my friends, associates, or even enemies went to various colleges for a wide variety of degrees. I also worked for an employment agency for sometime, as an interviewer & hunter and began to find out what employers want and don't want. Combination of things I'd run into.

1. A lot of degrees don't mean anything. My much older boss used to say that once upon a time it instantly did but there are so many out there now they're a dime a dozen. Half the time they might require a degree by default but 30+ people can meet that to. Some companies just don't care anymore and just want direct experience in the field before a degree in it.

2. People are all to eager to go to school for dumb things. We actually approached high schools and private schools targeting students who showed promise and even offered a number corporate based scholarships because a key segments of companies are desperate for certain kinds of technical degrees but we'd get turned down left and right. They'd try to ask for other degrees, various liberal arts, history degrees, and more. Now some liberal degrees like language studies did have demand but never for the languages people wanted. People want to study French but the companies wanted Portugese, Chinese, or something else.

3. I've watched a lot of those people I mentioned above now going down in flames from school debt. They're not even picking up the high credit card debt, home, and car that other people do. Because their degree doesn't pay, and by all rights some of them do have good paying jobs from their degree but their high cost and penalties stacked up so high in the time it took them to get their career off the ground that now a job that many dream of they're still buried in debt payments. Let alone the people working on low pay who never really will be able to pay it.

It's quite disconcerting to see such a large slice of population plunged into debt their effectiveness in the market in general reduced to ash before they even begin that part of the rat race. Often with the cheery smiles of their parents, counselors, teachers, and lots of supposed 'help groups' that push towards college.
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Date:January 16th, 2012 12:31 pm (UTC)

Re: Not even touching it!

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Heh, my mother and father raised me with a good dose of common sense. They urged me to get at least a two-year degree, but they also urged me to get it in something I could use. I ended up with a bachelor's in Computer Science from the local state university and about $1000 in debt, which I paid off within six months of graduation...

...because I'd taken a semester off for a co-op position and the company in question liked me enough that they kept me on part-time and low-pay for the rest of my degree and then handed me a handsome package directly upon graduation. :)

Want to make money off your degree? Now *that's* the way to do it!

(But I bet you already knew that.)

Originally that degree was going to be a stepping stone, taking advantage of the tech bubble, so that I could earn my way more easily to a degree in veterinary medicine. But I fell in love, got married, and chose a different path... which to this day I still do not regret one bit... and despite the tech bubble bursting, I'm a good enough programmer that I was able to take a full-time software engineering position for a while when my husband was out of work.
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Date:January 16th, 2012 06:50 pm (UTC)

Re: Not even touching it!

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When government dumps tax dollars into an institution, two things invariably happen: the cost of everything the institution does goes up, and the quality falls through the floor. Since the propagation of the Pell grant and all the other federal grants and loans, college tuition has (amazingly!) gone up over 400%, while the value of the sheepskins has fallen to next to nothing.

I'd bet a dollar to a donut that the ratio for PUBLIC school costs, since the introduction of mandatory federal schooling, has done at least that much. And noone needs to ask about the drop in quality--- a high school diploma isn't worth wiping your arse.
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Date:January 17th, 2012 06:26 pm (UTC)

Re: Not even touching it!

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Oh, yes, she is. Glad to hear it, that is. B-)
Date:January 16th, 2012 06:52 am (UTC)

Re: Not even touching it!

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And I've got a SAGE Truck-Driving school (good reviews, low student-teacher ratio) right here in Billings MT, but I can't get a student loan to attend. I've even got some (straight-truck) experience....
Anybody out there good for a $6K microloan? worksbynyt@yahoo.com!
Ron Good (a.k.a. sfreader)
P.S. Yup, shameless... but thread-appropriate - and if it works (long shot), I'll be able to buy all your books & CDs!
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Date:January 16th, 2012 04:59 am (UTC)
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Ya know, liberals will say, "Oh, the economy can't be compared to a household, it's completely different!"

Tell me, Mr. Hypothetical Liberal, what happens when other countries refuse to lend to use because we can no longer keep up with the interest payments - let alone paying down the capital, and the liability of current programs? We cannot simply print more money; that would cause rapid inflation and kill the economy. Nor can we increase taxes; many businesses are on the bleeding edge of success and failure as it is, and such a tax increase would send us into a worse depression than we've ever seen. And let's say nothing of "Obama's Stash".

So, Mr. Hypothetical Liberal, what shall we do?
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Date:January 23rd, 2012 03:40 am (UTC)
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You're assuming they think an answer is warranted.
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Date:January 24th, 2012 07:05 am (UTC)
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To relay what I've heard from Liberals on the National Debt problem, the offered solution is usually some combination of three factors:

1 - Increase the actual tax rate in some manner, on some group. Some advocate an increase, others advocate for allowing the tax cuts that can expire to expire. Different pundits float different rates to different people. Occasionally a push to increase the Capital Gains tax.

2 - Close 'tax loopholes'. These are poorly defined, but I believe that they are accusing large multinational corporations (and possibly very rich people) of structuring their accounting books in such a manner as to greatly reduce their "effective tax rate". (Effective tax rate being the percentage ratio of taxes to income.) Strongly inferred or outright stated is that smaller businesses do not engage in this alleged practice because they don't have enough money to higher the magical accountant gnomes nor have the ability to play shell games across international borders.

3 - Cut spending, in particular Military Spending. One legitimate gripe, I think, was the sheer magnitude of the military spending that did not go on the Federal Budget under Bush. I don't think most Conservatives advocate for this activity, so hopefully it'll not be resumed under future Republican presidents. Pundits claim that the military is being fleeced with war profiteering, or that there are government projects that are getting fleeced (things like buying $5,000 goats and whatnot, as an off-the-cuff made up example.), or that the military is buying fancy doo-dads that are unneeded. The argument is sometimes framed with a disclaimer that they feel the spending is beyond what is needed for National Defense, not that there is no need for National Defense.

I've not heard any liberal pundits putting forth any ideas that are too far from one the three above approaches, from what I recall. I'm not saying I agree with these positions, just that I've heard them. (Well, I do agree with tallying all of the military spending onto the Total Budget.)
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Date:January 24th, 2012 06:52 am (UTC)
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To say nothing of the content, looking at the first list of dollar amounts makes me wish that HTML had something akin to a Tab tag.

Make it quick and easy to make all of the numbers align to the same point. The only way I've found via a quick Googling would be to cause the text to be in a Fixed-Width Font, and use spaces to line everything up.

It would also be possible to hammer out a quick table, or do some complicated clankering with css.