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Forum Post: It will surprise me if anyone answers this question with a number.

Posted 2 years ago on April 28, 2012, 12:01 a.m. EST by Craiggiedangit (99)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

What percent of the yearly federal budget, ideally, should be spent on public assistance programs?

66 Comments

66 Comments


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[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

constitutionalists will tell you that defense and infrastructure are the only two things the feds should be involved in.

That being said, Goldman Sachs vampire squid tentacles are so wrapped around so many people's lives at this point, Im not sure how you get out.

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Well, the government shouldn't involve me with it. Build your own house on the cheap for cash, or rent until you can own.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

PRoblem is, you are whether you like it or not. We all are. This beast is out of control and there is probably no turning back at this point,.

[-] 1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

True. I see some neo-conservative has downvoted you. Point restored.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

There's quite a few older, lifetime Democrats here that are certain Im a Republican because I think the country can do much better than what we currently have, and have decided to focus on the future instead of the now.

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

You don't understand.... O-bomb-ya has a "D" after his name! There is NO ROOM for improvement!

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

I would like to throw every single on of them out, and toss out the tax and trade books, and scratch the monetary and foreign policies and start over again, fresh.

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Ideally we would spend 0%.

If we had a fair and humane economic system where you were guaranteed a job as a right; and where income was allocated based on hard work, so that everyone was paid closer to the $135,000 per year workers in the US produce on average, instead of allocated based on our current system of bargaining power where a few at the top take the lion's share of the income which leaves 97% getting paid significantly less than the $135k average and 50% living in or close to poverty; and you were guaranteed a pension; and everyone was required to purchase insurance, you wouldn't need public assistance programs.

The only reason why we have charity and public assistance is because the few rich at the top who make up just 3% of the population convinced nearly all the broke people at the bottom who make up 97% of the population to keep this backwards, unfair, cruel, medieval economic system.

[-] 2 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

I wish when asking such questions,even if they are designed to incite strife, 'public assistance' were defined...after all federal and state highways are a form of public assistance, we kind of like those roads. We like electricity and that receives public assistance, in addition to the bill we get and pay every month.

Our hospitals receive federal and state funding, is that included?

I could list more, but I think it's enough to make the point that public assistance could use a lot more definition in the context of the question.

[-] 1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Interesting points.

That's the thing about electricity, when did it become a public good? At what point did it become harder to live without electricity than it was before it was discovered?

And why fund the corporate energy sector, when (if electricity is in fact a right), we can merely help people who have trouble paying their bills instead of helping all people pay lower bills (through subsidies) even when they can afford more?

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

Well, let's see...electricity...public good...Let's start with street lights...used to be streets were lit with gas lamps, before that torches for at least a few hours after dark. Benefits to the public and contribution to public good? Identification of locations, ease for emergency services to navigate for two.

There was a time when we didn't even have fire, yet today it is considered a necessity...it's all a matter of perspective.

If one considered that electricity isn't a public good, then why are electric providers receiving public assistance?

I just ask for a clear definition of what the person asking a question about public assistance considers it to be.

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Electric providers and other corporations should not receive money taken from us by force.

Your first example is a good reason why street lights are a public good, not electricity. That's like saying gasoline is a public good because the police drive cars.

I agree about electricity though. Why did it become a right, just because some people decide they can't live without it? When did people stop being able to survive without electricity?

A public good is one that the provider cannot stop people from taking, and is not a part of a limited supply; like road access. The cost of putting a toll on every road to pay for that stretch of road is costlier than the money received from the tolls, so the government is needed to tax to provide for these things and they are considered public goods.

[-] 2 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

Without electricity there are no street lights.

And I am no fan of toll roads. They cost more, are maintained no better, and actually do more to hinder traffic than to facilitate it.

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

I didn't say I was a fan of toll roads; as I said, it would be much too inefficient to make even most primary roads toll roads. In general, if the private sector can do something, it will do it. And if the private sector is not doing something, and a majority of people decide it is something that needs to be provided, it may be time for the government to start providing it.

As far as street lights go, they also require glass and galvanized steel. That is not a reason to subsidize glass and steel mills. If these things, along with electricity, were not available on the private market, then there should be not street lights, as there would be much bigger problems than unlit streets.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22338) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

100% - all government programs should support the population. Not the greedy corrupt white collar criminals.

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[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Exactly. We need to cut corporate welfare, like the Goldman Sachs and GM bailouts.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (22338) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

And end fossil fuel subsidies and throwing money at foreign country's instead of buying and sending goods and services from all of the lower/small class American businesses instead of the huge conglomerate profiteers.

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

That too. We also need an end to illegal wars, domestic spying and insurance mandates.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (22338) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

End fossil fuel dependency - export equipment and goods for peace instead of guns and money and I think we will have a good start to defeating strife.

[-] 1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

I see some corporation loving troll downvoted my first response. I don't think we will ever end strife, especially since there are probably enough Kalashnikov rifles in the world to kill every person with one bullet each. We could at least start by not giving corrupt regimes the money to buy their own.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (22338) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Or to run away and hide in another country living off of hidden assets stolen from American aid money when their people chase them out with pitchforks.

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[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

the public welfare promotes the economy

[-] 1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Not true. The time when we experienced the most growth, was when there was little public assistance available. Not that public assistance is a bad thing, of course, but it does not promote the economy.

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Is the question really Federal Government spending or public assistance specifically?

The time we experienced the most economic growth was during WWII, where Federal spending levels were 125% GDP in 1945... it also rebuilt our manufacturing base and brought us out of the Great Depression. All those planes, boats, and tanks were consumed by the US Govt., we were also off the gold standard and were running a flexible fiat currency.

Government spending promotes economic growth. Instead of increased Public Assistance, real Jobs creation through increased government spending (as per FDR's model) would boost the economy. Our government has failed miserably in this respect.

[-] 2 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

uh.... nope, the question, as outlined in the OP, is public assistance, not federal spending. Federal spending can raise the value of things on occasion, paying low-income people not to work doesn't.

Works like this, trades are used to mutually raise the value of things. Labor is worth little to me. I sell it for $10/hour. That labor raises the value of the goods held by the person I sold the labor to, by x amount. Our collective activity has raised the value of both of our goods. I will trade the money I collected on things that are worth more to me than the money is, raising the value yet again. The person I sold the labor to will trade his finished products to someone for something he wants more than the goods, raising the value on that end also. The faster and more frequently this happens, the more the economy grows.

Now take our mutual trade out of the picture. Instead of raising the value of someone else's items, the government instead confiscates his money directly, holds it for six months as it goes through the red tape, all the while losing value due to paperwork costs, deflation, or both, and eventually gives it to me for nothing (welfare), or pays me to do something that nobody would pay me to do otherwise (workfare). The money goes on to produce nothing, in the case of welfare, it is just held in the system until it loses value.

It can produce value in the case of workfare, depending on what is being produced. Am I building a road, which will improve work efficiencies for other people? I might be producing value, and thus, helping the economy. This is a public good, which can't be provided by the private sector.

However, is that road merely going to an unpopulated village in Alaska, at a cost of $10,000,000? (Or, a cost of one million hours of unskilled labor) If so, it is not producing a net differential, and not improving the value of anything, or the economy.

Plenty of people seem to take the attitude that any jobs are good jobs, but this is simply not true. If the government pays me to do something nobody wants done, like paint tree trunks, I am not helping the economy or raising the value of anything.

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Works like this, trades are used to mutually raise the value of things. Labor is worth little to me. I sell it for $10/hour. That labor raises the value of the goods held by the person I sold the labor to, by x amount. Our collective activity has raised the value of both of our goods. I will trade the money I collected on things that are worth more to me than the money is, raising the value yet again.

Wow... labor is worth little to you, and you believe that trades really raise the intrinsic value of goods.... thats not how economies grow, that is how bubbles form. Increased production is the only way economies truly grow.

Now take our mutual trade out of the picture. Instead of raising the value of someone else's items, the government instead confiscates his money directly, holds it for six months as it goes through the red tape, all the while losing value due to paperwork costs, deflation, or both, and eventually gives it to me for nothing (welfare), or pays me to do something that nobody would pay me to do otherwise (workfare). The money goes on to produce nothing, in the case of welfare, it is just held in the system until it loses value.

Federal taxes do not finance Federal expenditures. What they do is remove the private sectors savings and reduce the aggregate money supply. Money that is credited to private sector savings puts money into the economy... it doesn't sit there until it loses value, rather it is used to purchase goods and services, which stimulates the economy.

However, is that road merely going to an unpopulated village in Alaska, at a cost of $10,000,000? (Or, a cost of one million hours of unskilled labor) If so, it is not producing a net differential, and not improving the value of anything, or the economy.

The workers who built the road, earned money and will put that money into the economy buying more goods and services. This again keeps demand up in the economy. The roadwork project is not wasted, but not as efficient as it could have been had it served an infrastructure need.

I would not qualify engineering and building a road as 'unskilled labor' by any stretch of the imagination. Drafting Engineers, surveyors, heavy machine operators, soil mechanics, geophysical engineers, are all involved in the project.

Plenty of people seem to take the attitude that any jobs are good jobs, but this is simply not true. If the government pays me to do something nobody wants done, like paint tree trunks, I am not helping the economy or raising the value of anything.

I guess I am one of those people. In my WWII example, the Federal Government was the consumer of military products produced by our industry, which employed millions of people. We were not then trading those products or selling them to the Germans and Japanese.... yet our economy grew at an unprecedented rate, pulling us out of the Great Depression.

FDR's 'New Deal' work projects like the CCC is another example of government spending that stimulated the economy and benefited the country by increasing productivity/employment.

You want to grow the economy you need to employ people... not trade products. Increased employment and limited underemployment make for the strongest economy.

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

"Wow... labor is worth little to you, and you believe that trades really raise the intrinsic value of goods.... thats not how economies grow, that is how bubbles form. Increased production is the only way economies truly grow."

What I meant by "worth little", is, in the sense that the time is essentially free if I have no other opportunities for it. Look at the time people spend watching television, this does not produce anything of lasting value.

And I realize trades do not increase the intrinsic value of goods, the increase the perceived, or effective value. If you are unable to operate a lawn mower, the mower sitting in your yard is worth scrap to you. However, the mower is worth much more than scrap to me, because I cut people's lawns for money. And of course, the mower is worth more to me than I will pay you for it, or else I wouldn't be benefited to buy it from you. It allows me to produce more.

"Federal taxes do not finance Federal expenditures. What they do is remove the private sectors savings and reduce the aggregate money supply. Money that is credited to private sector savings puts money into the economy... it doesn't sit there until it loses value, rather it is used to purchase goods and services, which stimulates the economy."

There is no Federal tax on saving in effect. Income is taxed. What you are describing is inflation, or quantitative easing, which is in effect a tax on savings, due to decreased buying power of the currency.

"The workers who built the road, earned money and will put that money into the economy buying more goods and services. This again keeps demand up in the economy. The roadwork project is not wasted, but not as efficient as it could have been had it served an infrastructure need."

Then why build the bridge at all? If it is not worth more as a bridge, to the economy, than the money expended on building it, then it is a waste. During the time expended arguing about where, how, and what color to build the bridge, along with the actual time spent building the bridge, why not just cut the workers a check for the money allotted and forget about it? The 10 years between the time the money is allotted and when it is all actually spent, and back in the economy, has decreased the buying power significantly due to inflation. Whereas, if the money was put in the hands of the workers overnight, it would likely have been spent within a week.

So here is what we are getting at: Why not just take massive amounts of money from the private sector and give it back to the private sector? I will tell you why, because the private sector does that already, and more efficiently than the Government does.

And I wasn't implying that building a bridge only requires unskilled labor; I was making the connection that ten million dollars represents approximately one million hours of unskilled labor, that must be taken from its producers, out of the economy to build the bridge.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

when

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

http://67thtigers.blogspot.com/2010/11/us-economic-progress-odd-graph-i.html

How much more are we spending now on public assistance than we did in 1950? Why hasn't it skyrocketed the growth?

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[-] 1 points by amanofnoimportance (82) from Orlando, FL 2 years ago

100%

But that depends on your definition of "public assistance."

[-] 1 points by Shule (2237) 2 years ago

100%.

I mean like, is that not what the government is supposed to do?

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

What do you mean by public assistance? 100% of the money collected by the government should be spent on things to assist the public.

[-] 1 points by nobnot (529) from Kapaa, HI 2 years ago

101 percent

[-] 1 points by TheMisfit (48) 2 years ago

Rather than ask what exact percentage should be allocated, we should look at what should be cut before we reduce public assistance. I believe that we should not send dollar one in foreign aid overseas if we have a single person struggling in the US. How can we justify helping other nations when we have people struggling here? Not a single dollar from the government should leave the nation until our problems at home are fixed first. Not only do we have spending problem in the US, we have a priority problem.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Very true. Personally, I believe, with foreign aid, it's basically, "We helped you out, now you owe us." I scratch your back, you scratch mine. Little, if any, is altruistic.

[-] 1 points by TheMisfit (48) 2 years ago

While that may be the assumption, it has never come to be. After WWII, nearly all of the free world owed us a debt, whether monetarily of simply through military support, but we were never repaid. We never collected and continued to give more and more in the hopes that someday, someone would reciprocate to our own detriment.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Thats not all true. Britain paid back the Lend Lease program which supplied them arms during the war. There are other examples as well.

Thats like saying other countries don't offer us aide during times of natural disasters like hurricanes, which they do and we reject... another misconception.

Foreign Aide is bribery.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

If they would fix the major shit, we wouldnt need much public assistance.

As of right now, I think the current percentage is around 10-15%..

If we could get these assholes to stop bombing people, things would clear up quickly.

[-] 2 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

Currently we spend about 60% on public assistance:

Federal Spending by Category Top Ten (In billions)

  1. 21% - $743 – Medicare/Medicaid
  2. 20% - $695 – Social Security
  3. 20% - $663 – Department of Defense
  4. 17% - $571 – Income Security
  5. 6% - $164 – Interest on National Debt
  6. 3 % - $78 – Department of Health and Human Services
  7. 3 % - $72 – Department of Transportation
  8. 2% - $52 – Department of Veterans Affairs
  9. 2% - $52 – Department of State and Other International Programs
  10. 2% - $48 – Department of Housing and Urban Development
[-] 1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

O-Bomb-ya 2012!

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

The people are literally going to endorse bombing and killing this election, with either mainstream choice...

They are willing to kill overseas in order to help protect what they deem important to them, whatever the "other side" would take from them.

Innocent lives over seas is an after thought.

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Just out of curiosity, why do you think your mind was saved from this mental trap of partisan slavery, groupthink, and identity politics some of the other people here seem to be in?

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Quite honestly, because Ive campaigned a decent amount, the last one for a major candidate being with BO in 08. Total bullshit. Everything he's done is bullshit.

I do my own thing now, and for third parties/indies/anything outside of those two corrupted monsters. It wasnt really the ones that were all rah-rah that interested me. Or the ones that were pro McCain. It was those that pointed out the amount of deal making between the two with horrible legislation. The follow the money crowd.

It sent me on a path, i started really paying attention to not what they SAY, but what tey DO.

Thats why Im at where I am at.....which is.....

Fuck Em All.

[-] 1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

But I was thinking more along the lines of, how are you different from the average person here who knows O-Bomb-Ya is a disaster, but won't admit it because they voted for him. Why are you so willing to completely trash someone you voted for? Is it all these people have in life, so if they give up and admit O-bomb-ya is a disaster then they won't have anything? Do they not pay attention to current events like you appear to?

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

I'm really not sure. Honestly, I just dont give a shit, and dont mind admitting when Ive made a mistake. I hold people accountable, just as I expect them to hold me accountable.

We hire them. I honestly could give a shit what the ones that I didnt vote for do. I didnt vote for them. Imagine if everyone thought like that? We may some accountability.

All these two parties are is branding and marketing, each one tailored to a certain person/response/idea.

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

I was too young to vote in 08, but I may in fact have voted for McCain. That would have been just as big of a mistake, had I done it, as voting for O-Bomb-ya.

I guess some people cannot admit they were ever wrong. The partisan string-pullers need types like them, to defend them blindly even when it defies all logic and sanity.

With all the internet censorship/regulation bills in the past six months, I am becoming convinced the partisan duopoly is terrified of the internet. Whatever we are doing must be working. I know you said you make some short documentaries, and I wish you luck. I have always thought we needed more indy filmmakers instead of the Michael Moores of the world hired by the rich to propagandize people.

YouTube may be the country's only hope ..... lol.

Cheers

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[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

putting money in the hands of those that have none will create a market for entrepreneurs

the need to be provided with that money

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Baloney. I can start an online business for the $100 spent by some of these "entrepreneurs" on lottery tickets.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

and I wont buy I thing because I can't afford it

[-] 0 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 2 years ago

Zero, federalism should be abolished.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

100%

[-] 1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Okay, I was wrong, that doesn't surprise me at all.

No military? No GM and AmTrak subsidies?

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

How many times do I have to post this, before you get it?

http://pragcap.com/understand-the-modern-monetary-system/understanding-modern-monetary-system

100% of what needs to be spent there, can be spent there.

With the added benefit of no more FED.

Oh, I forgot, you HATE benefits.

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Oh, right, I forgot. We find an economic theory that proclaims 2 + 2 to be five because we like the outcome, so that makes it true.

Yay! Print ALL the money!

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

That's not what it says.

I hope they come up with a drug for knee jerk syndrome.

Nice to know you can pick up macro economics in a blink of your eye.

You're wasting your time here.

[-] -1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Oh yeah. I spent some time over there at that moron blogger's site you referred me to. I had a blast, he ended up admitting I was right. He claimed that the GSA's orgy of spending hurt no one. Yet he also acknowledged that the same amount of money, if given to everyone to spend, would destroy the economy.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

OK cool.

Here have some more. Keep reading until you get it.

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/

http://rodgermmitchell.wordpress.com/

Take your time. It needs to sink in.

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Mitchell is the one I'm talking about, lol...

He seems to have trouble keeping straight the difference between inflation being stimulative and inflation being a limitless magic bullet to an infinitely powerful economy. When I pointed out his obvious logical fallacy in his claim that the GSA spending, while "hurting no one", is still something that "we cannot condone", he got angry in his obvious mental defeat and wouldn't answer. If you have the ability to ration that one out for a second, you will see what I am referring to... I won't hold my breath.

In the mean time, I will check Mitchell out again to see what more of his ill-considered "logic" I can anger him by pointing out. If I have extra time to waste, I will check the other one out as well.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Yeah, I'll bet you really think you have him stumped with your "tough" question.

Wow, to think a world class macro-economics expert posting here.

A guy that knows everything, about everything.

Here's some more while your at it. You can even print this one out.

http://moslereconomics.com/wp-content/powerpoints/7DIF.pdf

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Hold up, I haven't finished angering Mitchell sufficiently. One economic ideologue at a time, please.

When did I claim to be an expert? I merely asked him a question. If I am asking a question, it means I don't know the answer, and would like to learn. Einstein was deemed to be an "idiot" by his German pre-Nazi compulsory education system teachers, because he asked too many questions.

I mean, you are welcome to answer the question if you want, instead of complaining that I asked it in the first place. Or, you can just do the latter, and admint you don't know the answer either. Oh wait, you did lol

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Damn, shooz, if you were going to be sarcastic, you should've went all-out. 110%? 150%?

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

He wanted a number and I gave him one.

The thread is an attempt at sarcasm anyway.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

I'm just mad 'cause you beat me to it (not really).

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

I could delete my post if you like......:)

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Heh heh heh. Nah, in fact I gave you a 'like' just for the humor infusion.

[-] -1 points by Tarty100 (-98) 2 years ago

000000000000000