Treating the national debt like a kind of jeopardy

The kind with an upper-case J, that is.

I’ll take “Still the Third Rail” for $14 trillion, Alex:

Political cartoon from the Washington Examiner's Nate Beeler

(H/t: Hot Air)

25 comments Add your comment

Peadawg

February 18th, 2011
9:55 am

AMEN! I’ll take Watson and the Elephant’s idea. The only “tax hike” should on cigarettes, alcohol, and online poker deposits/withdrawals(they need to repeal that bill by Bush that makes online poker illegal!!!).

Dudley

February 18th, 2011
10:03 am

All three together would do the trick faster

Peadawg

February 18th, 2011
10:05 am

“All three together would do the trick faster” – The problem with that is if they do the tax hikes (i.e. have more money to spend) I highly doubt we’ll see any spending cuts.

JKL2

February 18th, 2011
10:08 am

Oh no, not entitlement reform. Suggest that and you’ll get rioting in Wisconsin.

Aquagirl

February 18th, 2011
10:09 am

They should build a computer to specialize in voter pandering. Maybe it would make us feel better, human supremacy is in no danger there.

CJ

February 18th, 2011
10:10 am

Watson is half right. Not all entitlements are the same, and there is no program called “Social Security and Medicare.”

Social Security is a well-structured, well-funded program that is not in crisis, nor is it contributing to our deficit problem. If we want to extend it’s life even further, we can simply raise or eliminate the payroll cap. Non-crisis averted.

Medicare, on the other hand, will bankrupt us if we don’t find a solution. There are three options: cut benefits, raise taxes, or control the cost of health which, as a percentage of GDP, is twice as much in the U.S. as any other industrialized nation.

I vote for doing something about the cost of health care.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 18th, 2011
10:31 am

I heard a smart proposal on medicare: eliminate the “direct payment” by the US government, and give each senior a voucher to subsidize the purchase of private health insurance. That would fix the contribution of the Feds, but would inject free market forces back into the system.

Halftrack

February 18th, 2011
11:12 am

Kyle; It is not as simple as the game Jeopardy. We have a sinking ship through unsustainable debt. It’s like you owing more money than you will ever make in your lifetime with substantial raises along the way or bailing a leaky ship with buckets.

Tychus Findlay

February 18th, 2011
11:28 am

IF Medicare and Social Security are the well funded programs that you claim, CJ, then there needs to be an opt-out/non-participation choice. Those that want to fund and claim benefits can continue to do so, the rest of us can fund our own retirements.

Libby

February 18th, 2011
12:11 pm

Sorry CJ – SSI is bankrupt!

CJ

February 18th, 2011
12:14 pm

Actually Tychus, I didn’t say that Medicare is well funded.

But it sounds like you might like the idea of letting people below the age of 65 to opt-in to Medicare. Those that want to fund and claim Medicare benefits can do so. The rest of you can fund our own health care. That would increase competition for private companies thereby driving down premiums, allow more people to have access to coverage leading to more preventive care and early treatment, and save the taxpayers from having to cover people who would otherwise go without insurance.

We could call it the “Medicare You Could Buy Into Act”, and done properly, we could probably write the legislation in less than four pages.

Well done, buddy.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr4789ih/pdf/BILLS-111hr4789ih.pdf

Andy

February 18th, 2011
1:17 pm

How about innovation that reduces medical cost and improves quality instead of increasing cost?

Wyle Kingfield

February 18th, 2011
1:27 pm

debt crisis can be solved with a few MIRVs well placed in places we don’t like. Can’t pay back dead people!

Here Spot

February 18th, 2011
2:02 pm

Getting rid of the Obama/Biden debacle is the first step in the right direction. Its always the Republicans that must make the tough choices.

buck@gon

February 18th, 2011
2:53 pm

A cartoon like this is worth 1000 words, and a Wingfield is worth 1000 Tuckers and Bookmans.

Rockerbabe

February 18th, 2011
3:04 pm

How sad, the republicans in GA aren’t getting all the money they want for the Savannah Port improvement! This GA earmark maybe a worthy cause, but since the republicans have been treating President Obama and the Dems like dirt beneath their feet, they really do not have any room to do the crybaby thing! The budget, in the end, is the creation of the Congress or the state legislature and it is they who should be held accountable.

Maybe if the GOP wasn’t bought and paid for in full by the corporatacy, then they would have more wiggle room to manuver and actually make deals; but, then again, that would require them to be civil and a tat bit respectful of others and well, we can’t have that!

If the republicans want to spend money, raise money! Close corporate loop holes, raise user fees, make the tax code more fair, esp to those who are not in the top 2% of the tax bracket. Cut subsidies to oil, agriculture, energy, R&D, raise the income levels for social security tax purposes, cut defense spending. Float a few bond issues for your pet projects instead of asking local taxpayers to pay for unneed stuff, like a new stadium, when the one we have is perfectly fine! There is lots that can be done, but the GOP frat boys only want the easy way out and that hurts way too many people without the means to weather such cuts.

Here Spot

February 18th, 2011
3:15 pm

Thats ok RockerBabe. After the next election things will straiten out as ObaManure and Biden will be history. We will survive until a GA friendly Pres is in office.

get out much?

February 18th, 2011
3:40 pm

Since the theme is apparently games shows, here is the $64,000.00 question: “Which entitlements?”

buck@gon

February 18th, 2011
4:19 pm

get out,

All of them need to be reformed.

Social Security entitlement age needs to be raised.
Medicare needs means testing for benefits.
Medicaid needs more limits for treatments.
Entitlements for liberal “frat boys” to borrow a phrase from Rockerbabe, need to be cut just like the Wisconsin legislature is set to do to its highly paid and highly subsidized teacher’s unions.
If you do these things you will really and truly CUT SPENDING.

Any questions?

saywhat?

February 18th, 2011
4:20 pm

The elephant’s answer should have read “What are tax cuts for the rich?

Linda

February 18th, 2011
4:34 pm

“Social Security is a well-structured, well-funded program” that is in the red for close to $15 TRILLION! The DC dodos spent every cent. It’s a Ponzi scheme. It is not even included in the natl. debt of over $14 TRILLION!

Medicare is in the red for an additional $78 TRILLION!

The first thing we should do to reform entitlements is to stop calling them entitlements! The fed. govt. needs to take care of those who cannot help themselves (orphans, widows, etc.) & those who have served (veterans). The rest of us are not entitled except to our own money.

Let us keep our own money & we’ll take care of ourselves until the day we die. Oh, you DC dodos don’t trust us? Okay, then place my social security funds in a joint account that I can’t touch until I retire with me controlling its investment.

We don’t need $20,000 health insurance policies. Most of us would be fine having cheap, catastrophic policies, paying cash & filing our own claims when we visit the doctor once or twice per year, until we age.

Linda

February 18th, 2011
4:55 pm

This new budget hikes taxes about $1.5 Trillion over the next 10 yrs. That is $1.5 T taken out of the economy & spent by the govt. for more govt. The tax revenues will grow from 14.4% of GDP in 2011 to 20% of GDP in 2021. The historical average is 18% of GDP.

This is what the liberals/progressives/Democrats have said would reduce the debt. This tax hike will not reduce the debt. It will be spent.

The debt will continue to rise. This fiscal year, ending 9/30/11, there is another $1.645 T deficit. Based on Obama’s predictions, the debt will ONLY rise by another $7.2 T during the next 10 yrs., but the CBO’s economic growth is not as rosy & predicts it will rise by close to $9 T!

Obama’s State of the Union Address AND his budget AND his threats to veto any significant spending reductions erases any doubt from my mind that he has any intention of reducing the debt & has all intentions to continue spending us into oblivion.

get out much?

February 18th, 2011
6:24 pm

buck@gon@4:19 – interesting that you think around $46k (the average teacher salary in Wisconsin) is highly paid. btw it is around $48k here in Georgia.

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Don Jordan

February 21st, 2011
11:48 pm

I give up!!! Why hasn’t anyone mentioned MILITARY BUDGET??? Do we honestly owe Germany, Japan, Italy, N Korea, and 65 other counties free military protection? Their standards of living are now way above ours.