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Streetwise: How should we solve our federal budget deficit problem?

With the clock ticking toward the potential of government default, some Danville residents have their own ideas about how to reduce the budget deficit. This week, roving reporter Stan Wharton went to Bagel Street Cafe in The Livery to ask How should we solve our federal budget deficit problem?

Comments

Posted by CW, a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 22, 2011 at 1:43 pm

The best way to reduce the federal deficit is to STOP SPENDING! Our government is out of control! Obama has a spending disease! He thinks the best way to fix the deficit is to tax us more so he can continue to spend at will!! The Obamas should stop taking their fancy trips such as the one Michelle recently took to S. Africa in which she was spending $10,000 per night on hotel rooms! She took her two daughters, her mom and her brother's children and more! They met Mandela and went on a fancy safari all on the taxpayers backs! That trip cost us a bundle! Was it necessary? NO!!! They can go to Camp David for their vacations like many past presidents have!
Also, we are giving money to 50 countries, some of which are our enemies! WHY? Let's stop this NOW! We need the money here!
Let's also stop the money flow to illegals! They get food stamps, free healthcare, welfare, and if it's true, free college educations, and social security, that they haven't paid into! WHY? They are ILLEGAL! They have broken the law by "sneaking" into our country and we are rewarding them by giving them freebees!!! Stop the handouts and they will go back to Mexico or wherever they came from....hopefully! They take jobs away from Americans and most of them don't want to learn English or become citizens.
We could also save money by firing Obama's czars! No other president has had "czars", why should he? Everyone says Obama is intelligent then why does he need czars?
How about we eliminate the cadillac healthcare and big retirement funds for congress? Let them be on Obamacare and social security like the rest of us! That would save the country alot of money!
Obama gave all White House employees raises last year. Did you get a raise? Let's eliminate those raises!!!
See how easy it is to reduce the deficit....and I'm not an accountant, just an everyday housewife with common sense!


Posted by guynextdoor, a resident of Danville
on Jul 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I didn't see any comments from The Bagel Street Cafe but the House of Representatives has just passed a very comprehensive bill entitled "Cut, Cap and Balance". It is more comprehensive than anything floated to date and increases the debt ceiling in time to avoid a default or a downgrade in our debt rating. It also puts a cap on federal government spending and expansion and when ratified by the states provides for balanced budgets in the future. And the current and projected future budget cuts guarantee the continuation of SS, Medicare and Medicaid. Although the Congress and the President don't appear to be close to an agreement, this plan would get my vote.


Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Jul 22, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Really CW? Check your facts...Presidents in the past have frequently invoked a euphamistic "czar" in the past, largely a political act...we have had "energy czars" "drug czars" and "inflation czars" over the years....both republican and demo...
get with it...


Posted by eagle, a resident of Danville
on Jul 23, 2011 at 11:44 am

No more Czars, no more inordinate staff for First Lady, no more hundreds of aides/staff members/and strapper-onners traveling with first family, no more extravagant and lavish vacations and unnecessary foreign trips. Abolish cabinets such as the Education Department, abolish perks for congressmen and senator, abolish their retirement compensation if they serve less that 10 years. Make Pelossi repay all the taxpayer costs used for her trips on board Air Force aircraft. Make Weinner repay any and all compensations he received upon his dishonorable resignation. One could go on ad nauseum.


Posted by Treebeard, a resident of Danville
on Jul 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm

One of those interviewed was D. J. Barton, Baldwin Elementary 4th grader, who said,

"I save my money by putting it in my wallet and not spending it. I've saved $27 in that wallet, and I have $1,600 in the bank. I'm planning to use it for college. The government should also save and put it in their wallet."

This youngster has the right idea. Let's send him to Washington to make some common sense laws right away!


Posted by Farmer Dave, a resident of another community
on Jul 25, 2011 at 9:35 am

Farmer Dave is a registered user.

@CW:
You need to be reasonable about deficit reduction, get rid of your xenophobia, AND get your facts straight. Mrs. Obama has a smaller staff than Laura Bush had. Web Link
As first lady, Laura Bush took FIVE goodwill trips to Africa. Were you complaining then?Web Link
The Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission found that both reduced spending AND increased revenues were necessary to get our fiscal house in order. Web Link


Posted by James Ritchey, a resident of Danville
on Jul 25, 2011 at 9:39 am

How about we take away the subsidies to the big oil companies to the tune of 25 billion dollars per year. OH! how about we not spend 6-8 billion dollars on an aircraft the pentagon doesn't want or need and let the company find their 300 employees work elsewhere. How about we cut in half all monies sent to other countries and put it into solving the debt crisis. For example, the 135 billion dollars sent to Pakistan each year (100 billion for military expenses) and 35 billion for who knows what? If we took away monies we give to large corporation who are making huge profits and do not contribute to societies problems, this in it's self could solve a huge number of domestic problems. If Joe the plumber and Helen the stay at home mom knew how much monies the govt. was giving away, congress would no longer have jobs. And one last thing How about congress joining the ranks of the middle class and convert their Pensions to social security. I know of no person who works in a job one year and get a full pension for life. Now thats what causes our country to have financial problems.


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Jul 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm

James Ritchey,

Which "subsidies" for "big oil companies" do you oppose?

The U.S. tax code already puts U.S. oil companies (Exxon, Chevron, Conoco) at a huge disadvantage relative to non-U.S. oil companies (BP, Shell, Total, etc). U.S. oil companies are taxed on their worldwide income, while most other countries tax their oil companies on their local income only. This puts U.S. oil companies at a price disadvantage when bidding against non-U.S. oil companies for new projects.

Exxon, Chevron, Conoco shouldn't be viewed as a piggy bank to solve fiscal problems. The stock of these companies is largely owned by mutual funds and retirement funds of millions of ordinary Americans.

The effective tax rate of U.S. oil companies is 44%, vs. ~25% for most other U.S. based multinational companies. Exxon pays $1 million of taxes every 5 minutes. Isn't that enough?

Oil companies are already excluded from many U.S. tax benefits (e.g. manufacturing credit) and have entire code sections devoted to making them pay more taxes than other industries, which often results in U.S. oil companies being subject to double taxation.

How does the U.S. benefit by weakening the financial position of U.S. oil companies? Our economy is critically dependant on oil. Is the U.S. better off if the tax code benefits non-U.S. oil companies at the expense of U.S. oil companies?

We should remove politics from the tax code. We shouldn't penalize a specific industry just because it suits the politics of the moment.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Danville
on Jul 25, 2011 at 9:40 pm

The problem is Bush. He cut revenues while increasing spending. He also was lax on financial regulations.The Bush tax cuts added $3 trillion in red ink. While Republican leaders wail that Americans — particularly their rich contributors — are overtaxed, the facts say otherwise: U.S. taxpayers, particularly the wealthiest, pay far less in taxes than they would in most other developed countries. Today, the 400 wealthiest Americans have as much wealth as the bottom 125 million. The GOP insists that those wealthy people use their money to create jobs, and that taxing them more heavily would ultimately hurt the economy. But, if that's so, why was the rate of job creation in the decade after the Bush tax cuts the poorest in any decade since before World War II?


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2011 at 8:10 am

We could confiscate ALL of the income the top 1% makes per year ($1.6 trillion) and it still wouldn't be enough to cover our reckless spending.

The problem is middle class taxpayers pay hardly any taxes, yet demand very expensive social programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Obamacare) and military spending.

The average U.S. retiree today will collect $72,000 MORE than they paid into the Medicare & Social Security system.

Web Link

The average middle class person pays less than 10% income tax. At least middle class Europeans pay a value added tax to pay for all the welfare benefits they demand. Here in the U.S., the middle class want "the rich" to pay for it all. The top 5% of taxpayers pay more income tax than the bottom 95% combined. The bottom 48% pay no income tax at all.

Web Link

We also spend $685 billion per year on the military, more than the other top 20 countries combined. Bush got us into those stupid wars. Obama hasn't ended those and now has us in Libya and Sudan as well.

The federal govt. out of control.


Posted by KM, a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2011 at 8:42 am

For eight years I heard Ronald Reagan say if we lower taxes on the rich it will all trickle down, but it didn't happen. Then, after eight years with Clinton we had a surplus. Then we get eight years of Bush again cutting taxes while increasing spending, but again no net jobs.

I've had enough of this Republican idea that if you lower taxes on the wealthy they create jobs. It doesn't work, we've tried this experiment long enough. Businesses create job when there is demand for their products and services, which is when the middle class have money to spend. But now the middle class is hurting while millionaires and billionaires say even they think the tax rate is too low.


Posted by InAlamo, a resident of Alamo
on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I was born in India and a proud American Citizen for decades. Sometimes I feel I am more American than native-borns.

The solution to this problem is VERY SIMPLE --
"minimalist government". Somewhere between Tea-party and
Libertarian principals lies the solution.

Main stream media (liberal) will never let either of these
parties to come in true power; but I sincerely hope that
power of people can OVERCOME power of media and power of
mega-corporations and take down corrupt and incestuous
political/regulatory/judicial infrastructure.

A plug -- Ron Paul for president! :)

P.S.: Get rid of xenophobia and focus on going back to
principals and constitution that our country was founded on.

P.P.S: And yes -- "End the Fed" and "Kill big banks" -- that
should solve 80% of problems :)


Posted by InAlamo, a resident of Alamo
on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Reposting because it looks like I messed up on formating.

I was born in India and a proud American Citizen for decades. Sometimes I feel I am more American than native-borns.

The solution to this problem is VERY SIMPLE -- "minimalist government". Somewhere between Tea-party and Libertarian principals lies the solution.

Main stream media (liberal) will never let either of these parties to come in true power; but I sincerely hope that power of people can OVERCOME power of media and power of mega-corporations and take down corrupt and incestuous political/regulatory/judicial infrastructure.

A plug -- Ron Paul for president! :)


P.S.: Get rid of xenophobia and focus on going back to principals and constitution that our country was founded on.

P.P.S: And yes -- "End the Fed" and "Kill big banks" -- that should solve 80% of problems :)


Posted by WC Dave, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Jul 26, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Hey KM,
Do a little more research before you put out incorrect info.
"For eight years I heard Ronald Reagan say if we lower taxes on the rich it will all trickle down, but it didn't happen."

According to the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB), when adjusted for inflation to constant fiscal year 2000 dollars, receipts (revenues) increased from $1.077 trillion to $1.236 trillion during Reagan's time in office.

"Then, after eight years with Clinton we had a surplus."
Clinton's fiscal 1994 budget contained some spending restraints. An equally if not more powerful influence was the booming economy and huge gains in the stock markets, the so-called dot-com bubble, which brought in hundreds of millions in unanticipated tax revenue from taxes on capital gains and rising salaries.

"Then we get eight years of Bush again cutting taxes while increasing spending, but again no net jobs. "
The Bush administration created about three million jobs (net) over its eight years.

"I've had enough of this Republican idea that if you lower taxes on the wealthy they create jobs."

Numerous media outlets, including CNN, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The New York Times, have reported that about 16.75 million jobs were created under Reagan.

"It doesn't work, we've tried this experiment long enough. Businesses create job when there is demand for their products and services, which is when the middle class have money to spend. But now the middle class is hurting while millionaires and billionaires say even they think the tax rate is too low. "

Tax rates-- whatever they are-- are just words on paper. Only the hard cash that comes in can cover government spending. History has shown repeatedly, under administrations of both political parties, that there is no automatic correlation between tax rates and tax revenues. After the capital gains tax rate was cut in the United States in 1997, the government collected nearly twice as much revenue from capital gains taxes in the next four years as in the previous four years. Despite political demagoguery about "tax cuts for the rich," in human terms the rich have less at stake than working people. Precisely because the rich have so many ways of avoiding taxes, a high tax rate is likely to do them far less harm than it does to the economy, on which millions of people depend for jobs.


Posted by Farmer Dave, a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Farmer Dave is a registered user.

@WC Dave:

Speaking of doing your research - did you also discover that Reagan raised taxes? Reagan also didn't really reduce the size of government. Annual spending averaged 22.4% of GDP on his watch, which is above today's 40-year average of 20.7%, and above the 20.8% average under Carter.

All told, the tax increases Reagan approved ended up canceling out much of the reduction in tax revenue that resulted from his 1981 legislation.
Web Link

The Bush administration job increase record was one of the worst. A total increase over 8 years of 1,094,000 jobs, or 1.1%. Your Reagan job numbers are correct however. Web Link


Posted by Ralph Hoffmann, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Jul 27, 2011 at 8:01 am

Campaign and VOTE for the candidates of your choice in the 2012 Primary and General Elections!


Posted by ch, a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2011 at 9:08 am

I don't know, but is it possible to just add more taxes on products coming into the US from other countries. Everyone says they want to buy American, but we buy cheaper imports. If the items were close in price would this not solve the problem. The deficit would be satisfied by the taxes collected from other countries. Especially from some who we owe money, and perhaps by doing this we would create more jobs for more product to be created here. We need to stop batteling Republican and Democrat and start trying to save this wonderful country. Both sides are spending too much on personal fare, are to interested in being in control and winning for their side.


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2011 at 10:27 am

ch,

During the Great Depression of the 1930's, we imposed additional taxes (tariffs & duties) on imported goods. Our trading partners responded in kind, imposing additional taxes on U.S. goods imported into their countries. The result was a trade war that reduced economic trade, stagnated the world economy, and prolonged the depression.

The U.S. (particularly the working poor) has the most to lose by starting a trade war. Until 2011, the U.S. has been the world's largest manufacturer for the past 110 years (China just edged us out this year). We should promote policies that make U.S. products competitive in the world market.

The middle class and poor suffer the most from tariffs & duties, as that increases the cost of imported consumer goods. The middle class and poor spend disproportionately more of their income on consumer goods than the rich.

People need to remember that, in general, taxes retard the economy. Perhaps someone should remind our President of this fact.


Posted by n, a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Stop giving money to foreign countries.
Stop raising taxes.
Stop spending.
Take care of our country first.
Stop taxing small business owners so they can succeed and provide jobs.
Provide incentives to bring businesses back to the US and employ our people.


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