Social Question

woodcutter's avatar

Wait, what? The right thinks if they reduce federal spending then we will climb out of all our problems and all the needs that these tax dollars were meeting will evaporate?

Asked by woodcutter (16224 points ) October 9th, 2012

But will that not create unfunded mandates for the individual states to handle? All those services will still be in demand even though the federal govt has washed its hands of them. So where then does the funding come from to continue these? State tax increases? A tax is a tax no matter what name it has as the recipient- the bill comes due. At least I always thought so. So federal taxes drop and state taxes go up. This problem is solved then?

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32 Answers

wonderingwhy's avatar

No, no, no. That would just be pushing the problem down so congress can look good playing high and mighty and not have to deal with it or the peeved, headache inducing, voters.

The real funding comes from your hard work and effort as an individual chasing the American dream. If that’s not enough to make ends meet your not working hard enough and if industry doesn’t fill the gap clearly it never necessary to begin with. Oh and if it’s something important like healthcare, the cost, at competitive free market rates, comes from your savings (which of course you have) or as an extended debt that you can spend the next several years paying back, with interest; or, you know, you die, whichever.

Please avoid standing in the sarcasm for prolonged periods, it may prove disorientating.

glacial's avatar

Sure. And it’s all ok as long as you don’t call it “redistribution of wealth”.

woodcutter's avatar

Ok I hope I don’t regret not putting this one in “general“guys. So really does the right think that only national stories are covered in MSM? Everyone lives in a state somewhere and all politics is local right? So what it looks like they want is to reduce federal spending, ok that seems to be a good idea no problem from me on that one but, yes kicking the problems over to the states to deal with, does what? Maybe the politicians are using numbers based on the fact that private enterprise aka US businesses who contract with the federal govt. are gouging the crap out of the tax payers because they can. I can’t see how the states are going to get by without increasing revenue on their own so how will they go about doing that?
Is it true that if there is no will to pay for something that is needed, then there really is no need for it? Or- do our needs influence the priority of our spending?

wonderingwhy's avatar

Not being part of the right I can’t really say what they’re thinking.

It certainly seems that if you’re going to reduce federal spending on programs that directly impact states, the states are either going to have to find funding to maintain those programs on their own, at least for the short term, or scrap them. Some portion of that funding can be repurposed or created through efficiency but the majority of the funding will have to come from some form of tax. (A lot also depends on the timeframe and percentage of the cuts in question.)

I suppose the idea is the states will find models that work best for them and their people which shrinks federal level government and allows more local control – I hear this is a major talking point. That can certainly have benefits when it works, but when it doesn’t there is no federal recourse. And let’s not forget not all states are equal, richer states will have a much easier time of it, poorer states on the other hand rely heavily on federal funding and will either collapse or be non-competitive for a long time.

When you say there’s no will to pay, that can indicate there isn’t a need or at least a lesser need. But be careful not to mistake a lack of will for a lack of ability, ignorance, or a minority or subordinate position.

Sunny2's avatar

If you believe that each individual should ‘make it’ the best he can, without government help, you can cut all the funding to any group or individual with “social” problems. It’s really a very strong difference between political phiosophies. I tend to look back at early village systems. Do you help your neighbor? Or do you make him fend for himself regardless of his situation? Do you feed him if his crops fail? Or if he has a crippled leg and can’t work? Societies have grown.
Governments have taken the place of neighbors. Are there really any issues that actually need government support?
Not according to those who always thought people should each be self-sufficient regardless of circumstances. I take care of myself! They can take care of themselves!
To me it’s a matter of personal point of view as towhat is important in life.

woodcutter's avatar

It seems shortsighted if some states do drop to a level where it becomes so profound that the situation itself bends politics to a point where the situation becomes a campaign issue and then the subsidies end up restarting again almost as an emergency program and here we go again.

Blackberry's avatar

Also, people on welfare are single handedly bringing the country down as well.

YARNLADY's avatar

Let me use the example of closing all the State Mental Hospitals. The theory was that the local county and city governments would provide facilities for the mentally ill in their home community.

What really happened is they turned into an army of homeless people with mental problems.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Blackberry The majority of those people on welfare would gladly give it up for a decent paying job which would support their family. The disappearance of jobs that pay a living wage is the real culprit.

woodcutter's avatar

Some of the cuts that are being discussed could be to municipalities fire dept., police and apparently teachers are getting some kind of fed dollars in some fashion? When the word “cuts” is mentioned some just instinctively run to the aid of welfare recipients, etc. How many cities really are working extra firefighters that they can do without? And cops? When ISO evaluates municipalities it goes toward determining how much insurance cost…everyone and so there will be another de facto tax imposed on people because gutted fire depts get a lower rating translates into pricier premiums. Cities will tax you more to keep up.
I just watched a story on the news that has all these army tanks that the army does not need ,being rebuilt because the reps from the state where the tank rebuilding facility is wants to keep their job because the company has been giving them monies. A desert in CA has thousands of tanks parked side by side waiting for work, they still work but are awaiting upgrades. Money being spent that is not needed. The fix needs to start in Washington.

JLeslie's avatar

I would guess if it is given to the states, the states can ditch the program. Also, the “right” around me seem to hate the government; government can’t do anything well…but wait a minute…the government is the federal government. The central government that is run by liberals, northeasterners, and totally corrupt. Local government is very different.

wonderingwhy's avatar

It seems shortsighted… You’re quite correct, until you take the view of someone who knows they can’t deliver a real solution but still needs to justify their job or worse is catering to a personal interest. Any worthwhile solution says even if your goal is to end something like socialized medicine and privatize all health care (just as an example) you can’t do it all at once. It has to be done slowly enough to allow the existing system(s) to adapt and new ones to take hold. Of course that takes money, time, oversight, and adjustment which no one wants to admit or discuss. A real solution is to provide healthcare that is directed and funded at the federal level such that innovation is driven at the local level and managed and detailed at the state level. Successes are adopted and replicated where appropriate, failures corrected, and incentives directed to prevention, quality of care, and availability. This is a simple view of the kind of amalgam that neither side want’s to support because it’s not their idea and goes against too many of their ideals. It’s also the kind of solution I doubt our society is capable of handling today.

As to the tanks, there are issues like that throughout the military and government at all levels. The core problem is there’s little impetus or incentive to change the status quo and quite a bit of money and power behind keeping it firmly in place – or at least changing it very slowly and in the direction of private interests. Meanwhile groups like the TP seem to see the solution as, well my house is dirty instead of cleaning it let’s burn it down. And R’s and D’s can’t seem to agree that any solution that isn’t wholly theirs is any solution at all.

Finally just for my own personal soap box, the idea that basic preventative healthcare and treatment should even be a concern for any first world citizen regardless of financial capacity and subject to partisan politics is abhorrent. This should have been a fundamental right and moral standard long ago.

ETpro's avatar

It’s just like in a business. If your costs are too high and the rate you are selling the product for is causing you to loose money, then increasing costs and cutting your prices way lower will make you profitable, right? Like Ryan says, math. :-)

Blackberry's avatar

@YARNLADY I agree, as I was being flippant. This is something some conservatives and/or republicans seem to be passionate about. I understand people have seen this in person: others being lazy with no ambition and knowing they are paying for this, but they make it seem as if this is the sole major problem in the United States, and cutting them all off will fix everything. They’ll all get jobs and/or die and it’ll be ok, apparently.

JLeslie's avatar

After @Blackberry‘s last post I was looking up infirmation on which countries don’t have social systems, and I found this wikipedia page, and the map on it doesn’t make sense to me. Cuba is not considered a welfare state? Other countries also that have socialist regimes aren’t highlighted. Wouldn’t a communist or socialist country qualify as having welfare? Or, I guess it is something else when the country is communist? I was googling originally, because I wondered what countries these Republicans who want to get completely rid of social systems want to be like? Most Jellies have seen me ask before what country is prosperous, civilized, and industrialized doesn’t have public education, because some of these right wing people want to privatize k-12. I want examples of where there ideas have worked well. So, I was looking for examples of which countries don’t have social security, nor welfare, etc.

choreplay's avatar

Didn’t read everything above. The question seems to be predicated on the necessity of the spending. Did you give some specific examples of what is mandated or other spending you question applies to?

woodcutter's avatar

@choreplay It’s predicated on the necessity of cutting spending wherever it can be on the federal level. But no mention of how the state level spending will absorb this or just cut services so the blame/hating for the cuts will fall on local officials.

choreplay's avatar

My questions was, specifically what spending?

woodcutter's avatar

Take your pick. I’m easy like that.

You can even bring up Big Bird if you want

choreplay's avatar

You asked the question, I was just looking for clarification as to what specifically you were talking about.

woodcutter's avatar

I’m sorry if I confused you there but just go by, spending that politicians are looking to cut. Programs ,services that some may think unnecessary, for the sake of deficit reduction, etc. We have been watching this for years, more of a front burner topic for conservatives than others. All this discussion on the federal side of things and not much speak on the local.

know what I mean?

woodcutter's avatar

I was trying to get a discussion going on the glare of the federal budget deficit. The politicians want to really see those books balanced and it just seems to me there’s a bigger picture here that is left out. Sort of like plugging a big hole but hoping the thousands of smaller ones work themselves out. Most people don’t live in DC. Everyone lives in a state. And not every state is flush with cash. In fact many are minus.

choreplay's avatar

I guess I was suggesting the problem is even larger. I have a huge concern for the continued deficit spending and want to see us be proactive at reducing the debt. I think the first thing is to get the spending under control.
.
Hypothetically: If I’m in financial crisis I need to cut spending, things have to go and out of that a list is implied, like the cable TV, the gym membership and going out to dinner every Friday night. So I’m saying it depends what the cuts will be, if the cuts are reasonable than neither the federal government or the state governments should be allocating money to them. If the expense/cost is questionable than there is a cost benefit relationship that needs to be assessed at each level. If the federal government cuts something and the states choose to continue it than those are two separate matters.
.
I guess what your suggesting is that the federal government is cutting with the attitude that they are pushing it off on the states?
.
Again, I still think it depends, specifically what it is we are talking about.
.
Here’s an example I found: The current administration plans to spend between 16 and 20 million dollars helping students from Indonesia get master’s degrees.
.
I don’t think this is the type of spending your referring to though. Can you give me a specific example?

ETpro's avatar

It’s a dilemma. We can’t keep deficit spending and exploding the deficit forever. But with the economy still so fragile, if we significantly cut federal spending right now, it will have the same effect it did in 1936 when we had the recession within the depression. Money is not magic. It doesn’t know who is spending it and behave differently when it is money raised through taxes. Federal spending goes to manufacturers and service providers who use those dollars to hire workers.

Somehow, the right gets that so long as it is defense spending, but they want to claim that repairing our crumbling roads and bridges, or investing in infrastructure does no good. Magic money works when it goes to Haliburton to kill people and blow stuff up, but not when it goes to The Hubbard Group or The Lane Construction Corp. That’s utter nonsense. Spending on infrastructure construction and repair, or on education pays back for many decades to come; while spending for defense, albeit necessary, provides no long term return.

Sooner or later, the partisan gridlock in Washington has got to go. With gridlock, we’ll just keep kicking the can down the road till it gets so heavy with debt it breaks Congress’ foot.

ETpro's avatar

Perhaps FDR can explain “conservatism” clearly.

choreplay's avatar

Yes we should not have used a cannon to take out a fly. I agree. Yes the gridlock caused by all the polarizing must stop. Well said.

woodcutter's avatar

The Tea P has dragged the republicans too far over and I think that will cause that party to implode. I think at that point the T.P.ers will be asked to leave the party by the voters. I know this will flame just about everyone here but the country needs the republican party but it needs to be solid. Just like we need the dems to counter weight. Too much of one, either one, is not good for a democracy.

and you know it

JLeslie's avatar

@woodcutter The tea party basically is the base of the party at this point. The republicans have been catering to them for a while now. I keep hoping that will change, but it doesn’t seem like it will so fast. When the Tea Party first started I was interested in the movement (I’m a Democrat). I didn’t perceive it as Republican, because I was disgusted with the deficit that was growing under Bush, I didn’t perceive Republicans as really caring about balancing the budget (I was in my teens dyring Reagan, and was semi aware of politics, and disliked that Reagan and Republicans thought a deficit was just fine, and good fiscal policy). It took me a few weeks to realize what the Tea Party became.

woodcutter's avatar

The tea party did seem sensible in the very beginning but they sure changed radically very fast. After that trend I started to worry about them. It seems the moderates are being driven out. I like moderates they know when and how to compromise but we aren’t seeing that now.

JLeslie's avatar

@woodcutter If the Republican party cut lose the right wingers/base/religious wing they would be rather moderate probably.

woodcutter's avatar

They would be democrats then ! That wouldn’t leave much to consider then would it? It’s ok to have them but as of late they have become crazy emboldened thanks to the TP. If the TP was sent packing those elements you bring up there would be more marginalized.

JLeslie's avatar

@woodcutter Well, they would be like moderate Democrats. Or, like a lot of Northern Republicans. Clinton was rather conservative on fiscal issues, but liberal on social issues. If the Republicans drop most of their fight regarding social issues, then people really could maybe come to a compromise and reasonable plan for fiscal matters. A lot of Northern Republicans are pro gay marriage, pro choice, and that is why they get voted in in left leaning states. In my opinion it’s really big city vs. small town and north vs. South, but of course that is not 100% true. Here in Memphis there are a significant amount of Democrats against gay marriage, against choice, and were against gays in the military; it was shocking to me.

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