• Sharebar

Is it possible to balance the budget without raising taxes? Sure, you say, but you'd have to cut government spending way back.

Turns out that's not the case, as explained here by Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute. Balancing the budget doesn't require higher taxes, or even any cuts to current programs:

We're always talking about reining in runaway government spending, but I was pretty shocked to learn that all we would have to do is freeze spending where it stands today in order to zero out the deficit in a couple years.

Why is it so hard to get this done?

Maybe I just don't get it. Maybe it makes perfect sense to spend $800,000 to teach guys on another continent how to wash their junk. (hat tip to happypantsmcgee. nice pull.)

If any of you encounter a government lobbyist this weekend, you have your Uncle Eddie's permission to kick him square in the nuts.

The WSO Advantage - Land Your Dream Job

Financial Modeling Training

IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation. Learn More.

Wall St. Interview Secrets Revealed

30,000+ sold & REAL questions. Learn More.

Resume Help from Finance Pros

Land More Interviews. Learn More.

Find Your Mentor

Realistic Mock Interviews. Learn More.

Comments (30)

  • TheKing's picture

    This is a large part of the platform Ron Paul ran on in 2008. Of course, when he espoused it, he was an out of touch lunatic. I supported these ideas then and I do now.

    Now we have actual out of touch lunatics (tea partiers) espousing these views (and some other actual crazy views) and it's a solid platform. Give me a fucking break.

    I'm all for going down this route, just not if it requires the baggage of social conservative garbage that the tea party brings along with it. You can't have the government stay out of your business while simultaneously saying we live in a "Christian nation" and trying to ban same-sex marriage / abortion / contraception (seriously, Christine O'Donnell).

    Where are all the socially liberal Republicans? Oh yeah, the tea party killed them.

  • Logger54's picture

    I can't wait for Anthony to get here...

  • TrippinBilly's picture

    Are we going to cut NASA because the founding fathers didn't think Aerospace exploration was important or because it didn't exist back then? I agree with him to an extent.. but you cant just cut those admins like SBA just because they aren't in the constitution. Its a completely different world now.. but stimulus money going to monkeys on cocaine that's just a waste of cocaine. I mean waste of money.
    http://coburn.senate.gov/public//index.cfm?a=Files... (page 24)

  • In reply to Logger54
    TNA's picture

    Logger54:
    I can't wait for Anthony to get here...

    I have arrived.

    This is the shit I have been saying the whole fucking time. Government scare tactics when in reality the answer is real simple. Unfortunately simple doesn't get votes and human beings are gigantic pussies nowadays.

    King, I agree with you that we need to get out of the business of government involved in social issues. Tea party would be a lot better if they just focused on the fiscal issues.

  • In reply to TheKing
    mr1234's picture

    TheKing:
    Where are all the socially liberal Republicans? Oh yeah, the tea party killed them.

    Bingo

    ---
    man made the money, money never made the man

  • macro's picture

    I remember when California was going through its budget crises last year (one of them anyway) there was an online module where you could try your hand at balancing it yourself, item by item. Is there something comparable for the federal budget?

  • TheKing's picture

    The whole political process just obliterates actual moderates. Gerrymandering royally fucked things as well in Congress.

    You can't win a Republican primary without moving so far to the right that you couldn't actually govern. The Repubs have no diversity in their party whatsoever. The Dems, hate-em or love-em, at least have some diversity of thought in the party. You can be a pro-life democrat, you can be a pro-business democrat. If you're a pro-choice republican, you're a "RINO" and need to be voted out.

    And fuck the tea party. Bunch of redneck dipshits who don't have legitimate jobs so they have time to spend their days at bullshit Glenn Beck rallies. And even though they have so much time, they don't actually know wtf they are talking about. And I hope no one comes in here with some "that's only a minority of them!" bullshit argument, because it's utter horse shit. You want proof? See the polls for Sharon Angle. There you have it.

    FEEL THE HATE.

  • In reply to TheKing
    mr1234's picture

    TheKing:
    And I hope no one comes in here with some "that's only a minority of them!" bullshit argument, because it's utter horse shit. You want proof? See the polls for Sharon Angle. There you have it.

    Disagree with you on this. Sharon Angle is one candidate out of 3 core Tea Party candidates. I think after the budget crisis fiasco, the Tea Party will lose purpose and disappear.

    ---
    man made the money, money never made the man

  • TNA's picture

    Oh yawm, the repubs have the tea party and the dems have countless wackjobs, enviro terrorists, Vegan nuts and the like.

    Actually King, what you describe about the different parties has historically been a weakness with the Dems. The Republicans can count on single issue support. Example, NRA is pretty much a Rep stronghold and all they care about is gun rights. Dems really don't have that kind of single issue support. Kind of like herding cats. Dems want a bunch of issues and it is hard to really touch on all of them .

    Every party and political movement needs foot soldiers. You need fervent, blind supporters to get past the agenda.

    I blame the radical tea party members on the fact that elected representatives are worthless, lying, pieces of shit. This is what happens when you have a disconnected political entity. People get sick and tired and become radical. Plus you have a huge divide in this country. Everyone talks about the haves and the have nots, how the income divide is increasing. What I think you really have going on is a divide between people who work and pay more and more taxes and a large proportion of society that is completely worthless and contributes nothing.

    I bet the income divide would shrink if hard working Americans didn't have an anchor around there neck.

  • In reply to TrippinBilly
    econ's picture

    TheKing:
    Where are all the socially liberal Republicans? Oh yeah, the tea party killed them.

    I don't think the tea party killed them. There's lots of socially liberal Republicans (and Libertarians, which is not necessarily the same thing) out there. It's just that the tea party is making lots of noise and getting lots of attention, so it's easy to forget about the more sane views/people out there.

    TrippinBilly:
    Are we going to cut NASA because the founding fathers didn't think Aerospace exploration was important or because it didn't exist back then? I agree with him to an extent.. but you cant just cut those admins like SBA just because they aren't in the constitution.

    The constitution is only one component of the argument. The people at Cato, and most Libertarians in general, are not saying we should get rid of the SBA just because it's not allowed in the constitution. They say we should get rid of the SBA because it's an intrusion of many people's freedom, and because the amount of money we pay for the SBA is way more than any benefit we get from it (in other words, it fails a cost-benefit analysis), and lastly they would probably say that irrespective of cost, the net benefit is actually negative (causes more harm than good).

  • ThaVanBurenBoyz's picture

    Is there a timeline (or something) out there, showing when US debt needs to be serviced? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that how Cali set itself up for bankruptcy (freezing spending wasn't enough)?

  • In reply to econ
    mr1234's picture

    econ:
    TheKing:
    Where are all the socially liberal Republicans? Oh yeah, the tea party killed them.

    I don't think the tea party killed them. There's lots of socially liberal Republicans (and Libertarians, which is not necessarily the same thing) out there. It's just that the tea party is making lots of noise and getting lots of attention, so it's easy to forget about the more sane views/people out there.

    I don't think the Tea Party killed moderate republicans but they did kill moderate republican candidates.

    There are a lot of moderate republicans floating around, like TheKing. But I am sure guys like him feel like they have no place in today's GOP and no libertarian-style/moderate candidates (like Ron Paul) to vote for.

    ---
    man made the money, money never made the man

  • In reply to TNA
    EngPhD's picture

    Anthony .:
    Oh yawm, the repubs have the tea party and the dems have countless wackjobs, enviro terrorists, Vegan nuts and the like.

    I think the difference is that the Democrat's nuts have been largely marginalized. Sure, we let them give the party money and maybe throw a few dog whistle words into speeches, but they do not hold the reins of power in the party. I don't think we ever nominated, for example, a 9/11 truther for major office. The tea party's nuts are winning primaries and, thanks to the upcoming wave election, many will get elected.

  • SAC's picture

    Why not cut defense spending ? We don't have the capacity for spending so much on defense anymore, we need to shut down multiple bases.

  • mr1234's picture

    ---
    man made the money, money never made the man

  • TNA's picture

    Defense spending has been cut before and will be cut again. The winding down of the war in Iraq should be a natural reduction in spending. Hopefully the same thing can be done in Afghanistan.

  • Virginia Tech 4ever's picture

    Ok, I really like some of the guys here, but what the fuck are you guys talking about? The Tea Party's foundation is strictly fiscal in nature--the Tea Party has zero to do with social issues at all whatsoever. The fact that anyone would say otherwise is ignorance at its highest level.

    Here is the Tea Party contract from america www.thecontract.org (this was HUGE news in the political world 6 months ago):

    1. Protect the Constitution
    2. Reject Cap & Trade
    3. Demand a Balanced Budget
    4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
    5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government
    6. End Runaway Government Spending
    7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
    8. Pass an 'All-of-the-Above" Energy Policy
    9. Stop the Pork
    10. Stop the Tax Hikes

    Do you people see one damn thing about social issues in here? No, because what you all are quoting about the Tea Party movement is factually wrong prima facia. The "founding" of the Tea Party movement was on February 19, 2009 when Rick Santelli of CNBC went on a long rant on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange criticizing the bailouts.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement

    Christine O'Donnell won the Delaware primary because her opponent, Mike Castle, voted for cap-and-trade while in Congress, one of only a handful of Republicans in the entire congress to vote for it. It was an egregious vote and it cost him. Nobody voted for O'Donnell because she's pro-life--they voted for O'Donnell because Mike Castle, a so-called Republican, stood with the Democrats on one of the most left-wing votes in American history.

    Ron Paul's son, Rand Paul, a libertarian, won the Kentucky primary for Senate and is poised to win there. No one ever accused the Paul family of being socially right-wing (although both are pro-life).

    Sharon Angle is a quintessential libertarian, even saying at one point she'd like to abolish Social Security.

    Finally, the assertion that pro-life Democrats are more accepted than pro-choice Republicans is an out-and-out falsehood. There are dozens of pro-choice Republicans in congress, but probably less than a dozen pro-life Democrats. Pro-life Democrats are almost non-existent as far as elected officials. In fact, my Republican congressman, Tom Davis, was a well known pro-choice Republican and he had senior leadership roles with the Republican party, including leading the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. What you're saying, King, is absolute and total bullshit.

    Finally, your assertion that tea partiers are low-class white trash is also factually bullshit. As Gallup points out, tea party "members" are mainstream and actually are of higher income than average.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/tea-partiers-fai...

    So in summation, before you put down an entire movement of people, why don't you turn off MSNBC and do some independent research.

  • happypantsmcgee's picture

    hokie high, tech tech VPI well said man

    Ed: How about another one, CNN ran an article recently are about 1.4 million stimulus payments going to either Prison Inmates or Dead people. I tried to find the article but it disappeared.

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • TNA's picture

    Yeah, according the the CBO pigs fly also. From what I have read the CBO makes some nice assumptions and best case senarios. It is government, it is going to cost more and increase the size of govt.

  • cphbravo96's picture

    Great response VT.

    One of the problems I have seen with responses like Kings is they are ultimately biased because they often come from people (very often Liberals...especially socially liberal folks) that have no grounding in morals through a faith based religion.

    Democrats like to sling mud and claim that Republicans are dragging their feet and aren't willing to play ball, but from my experience, it's much harder to "give in" on certain topics, especially when you were raised with a religious upbringing. It's easy to be wishy washy and go with the crowd when you have no concrete sense of right and/or wrong.

    Please, I am NOT saying religion is the end all be all or that people who don't actively participate in religious practices or adhere to principles outlined by religion are bad people...I am just trying to offer a little perspective to the other side. Tea Partiers...many of whom are Christians believe that a child is created at inception...not X amount of weeks down the road when a lung is formed or the brain is functional, etc...so anyway you try and slice abortion to them (impregnated rape victim, potentially mentally handicapped child, etc) is flat out wrong because in their eyes it is murder. So with regard to social issues, conservatives, especially the religious ones feel very firmly about the social topics at hand because they typically fall into categories that are determined by their faith/religion...which is of the utmost importance to them. This is the same situation with same sex marriages. From a religious stand point, "marriage" is a union between a man and a woman...so in their eyes, they don't understand the "need" to change this...in their eyes, homosexuals who want to marry are infringing on their rights.

    In my experience, Christians seem to be ultra tolerant of things they disagree with, despite what many people and the media would have you believe and if you weren't raised in a religious household it is likely you won't really pick up on that fact. I willingly admit I am probably extremely biased because I was raised a Christian, and although I am not as strong in my faith as I probably should be, I still see the world through my religious glasses...at least to some extent. I am probably more liberal, socially, than most people that go to church or that have a similar background but I ultimately realize that religion is a choice and shouldn't be forced upon anyone. I don't agree with abortion because I think people should be responsible for their actions...however, in reality, that isn't the case, so I see where there is a relevant argument to allow it. I don't agree with homosexuality (I find it repulsive and creepy, but I'm not, nor have I ever been, attracted to men...so I might not understand), but that doesn't stop me from interacting or knowing or hanging out with homosexuals.

    It seems to me that many Liberals/Democrats are so focused on equal rights and tolerance that they cut off their own nose, just to spite their face. I won't partake in abortions and I won't partake in homosexual acts (other than that one time, j/k) which is my choice...doing any of the aforementioned things is your choice too. What I don't like is that I am expected/required to be tolerant of behavior that would otherwise be judged as obscene. Leather thongs and straps and whips and marching through public places seems tacky and hurtful to your (homosexuals) own cause. I have no interest in allowing my kids (if I had any) be witness to some of the ridiculous and lude outfits and acts that occur at many of the festivals and parades that there are to support GLBT community. Do it in your own home, not the city park.

    It appears to me (again, I'm probably biased) that most Christians just want to live a normal life and typically are unconcerned with what your sexuality is, etc. What they don't like is when you (ACLU) come to their place of business and tell them they can't have an office Christmas party anymore instead you have to have a "holiday party" so you don't offend anyone.

    Or that your child's school will likely be sued because the principal refused to crown a transgender student as the homecoming queen because the student is actually a guy, despite the guys belief that he is a girl trapped in a boy's body.
    http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/Transgender-student...

    Or when a town is forced to remove the Christian flag from a Veterans Memorial because the ACLU has threatened it with a lawsuit, despite overwhelming support from the members of that town.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0GgzYHD0qA

    Anyways, while I agree there is a boat load of fraud and waste coming from countless government organizations that are entirely useless, I don't think we should start hacking away whole offices just because they weren't outlined in the Constitution but I do think their should be some diligence done on the benefits these offices provide and then their budgets adjusted accordingly.

    This was a great video and it makes some excellent points. The added benefit of a cap on spending is it will force politicians to decide what is most important going forward since they obviously won't be able to increase spending to the rate at which they originally thought.

    TheKing, your statement about Republicans/Conservatives/Glenn Beck fans truly reflects poorly on you and actually discredits your post(s). First and foremost, it isn't accurate, but even outside of that it is sad to think that someone's opinion doesn't count because they are viewed as rednecks or hicks or uneducated, etc. Do you feel that way about blacks and women too, or have you some sense of equality? I will also remind you that the rally took place on Saturday, a day in which many people in this country have off on a weekly basis. Ironically, President Obama's inauguration was held on a Tuesday, and it is estimated that somewhere between 1.2mm and 2mm showed up to watch. It is also estimated that only 13 of them missed worked thanks to welfare and other social programs.

    Regards

    "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
    - Ronald Reagan

  • In reply to cphbravo96
    ThaVanBurenBoyz's picture

    cphbravo96:

    One of the problems I have seen with responses like Kings is they are ultimately biased because they often come from people (very often Liberals...especially socially liberal folks) that have no grounding in morals through a faith based religion.

    That's a little offensive, and ironic.

  • In reply to ThaVanBurenBoyz
    happypantsmcgee's picture

    To unlock this content for free, please login / register below.

    Sign In with Facebook Sign In with Google

    Connecting helps us build a vibrant community. We'll never share your info without your permission. Sign up with email or if you are already a member, login here Bonus: Also get 6 free financial modeling lessons for free ($200+ value) when you register!

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • ThaVanBurenBoyz's picture
  • mr1234's picture

    ---
    man made the money, money never made the man

  • In reply to Virginia Tech 4ever
    cphbravo96's picture

    "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
    - Ronald Reagan

  • ThaVanBurenBoyz's picture