You Fix The Budget

Submitted by: kurush 6 years ago
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html

Interactive tool with which you can try a mix of taxation and cuts to attempt to solve the budget deficit.
There are 80 comments:
Male 5,608
I think this needs to present a projection of consequences.

Here is mine...

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Male 237
I think what some people are forgetting is that most states have a state income tax, sales tax, and various other taxes.

As far as a VAT tax...lets go with the extreme. I currently pay 8.25% on pretty much everything I buy. If we were to enact a 25% VAT tax on top of that it would be 33.25% of taxes. So if I were to buy something that cost $1.50 it now would cost nearly $2.00.

If we were to add up all the taxes that people are wanting I would feel comfortable in saying that 60, 70, or 80% of income would be going to taxes...now seriously, is that fair? People in this country are already working for several months just to pay off their tax bill.

If we`re going to go to tax levels that high then lets all just give all our money to the government and let them decide how much income isn`t too much (Inspired from when Obama said "At some people you`ve made enough money")...but wait, that would be communism
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Male 2,121
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Male 10,845
--cont.--
Carbon tax: I don`t need to explain this
Other cuts to the federal government: Read closely there`s a clause mentioning "Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools" which has a strong emotional appeal among the masses. Now the govt wants to cut it?
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Male 10,845
@Baelzar, Gerry, Waffle

Granted your solutions could actually work, problem is: is it really practical?

If we`d just cut foreign aid it would cause a loss of face. When it comes government agencies they are difficult if not nigh impossible to get rid of.

Furthermore here are options I found too impractical on the list:
Eliminate earmarks: Ironically, most constituencies like it when their senators/reps bring home the pork. This is pretty much how DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) was able to expand.
Reduce Nuclear Arsenal and Space Spending: The former would actually weaken our hand in the world. The latter is actually worthwhile investment. Furthermore, defense absolutely loves to make serious $$$$$ off both of these.
Reduce Navy and Air Force fleets: Similar reasons as above
Cancel or delay some weapons programs: again Similar reasons
Millionaire`s tax on income above $1 million: They`re rich they got serious influence
Carbon tax:
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Male 1,399
Choices not presented:

-Phase in privatization of Social Security
-Phase in Medical Savings Accounts; phase out Medicare
-Elimination of several government agencies (Department of Education, for example) and freeze federal hiring.

Many, many more that weren`t options in this exercise.
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Male 167
@connor53 you are an ignorant teenager, you make me sad that you represent our demographic

P.S. I fixed our budget!
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Male 102
Sure we could add a federal sales tax, a value added tax, but remove the income tax to do so.
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Male 1,226
Thank you bob, those were exactly the statistics I was too lazy to look for :)
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Male 4,290
[quote]It would *absolutely* kill jobs.[/quote]Orly. So according to your idea, unemployment should be higher in places with higher sales tax.

VAT throughout the EU varies from a minimum of 15% to a maximum of 25%.

Norway, VAT 25%. Unemployment 3.1%.
Sweden, VAT 25%. Unemployment 6.4%.
Denmark, VAT 25%. Unemployment 6.6%.
Finland, VAT 23%. Unemployment 6.8%.
Italy, VAT 20%. Unemployment 8.5%.
France, VAT 19.6%. Unemployment 9.4%.
Germany, VAT 19%. Unemployment 7.3%.
UK, VAT 17.5%, soon to increase to 20%. Unemployment 7.6%.

I could go on, but you get the idea.
Incidentally, US unemployment is 9.6%.
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Male 28
Why wasn`t "Legalize Cannabis" one of the options? How much would we gain of of taxing it, and how much would we save on the people currently serving life sentences for non-violent crimes? It would also help the agricultural industry, reduce costs of paper, cardboard, rope, and clothing.
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Male 1,226
I love that everyone saying it`s so easy are not American. Increase the sales tax nationally? I already pay a ten percent state sales tax, but you wouldn`t know that. It would *absolutely* kill jobs. I`m not going to bother buying luxury items if I have to give a good fifteen or twenty percent of the price to the government for the honor of buying it here. I suppose it`d be nice for Canada, since I would just go there often as not.

WHAT, TEN PERCENT?

We`re at 19%. 10% sales tax is still way below most taxes in Europe.
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Male 2,290
FAZE* not phase.
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Male 145
The trick is to choose the Clinton policies over Obama, I`m not a big Obama fan, but even I`m offended by what this "game" insinuates.
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Male 293
Yeah, just something most people don`t realize, presidents and senators usually take pay-cuts from their previous jobs in order to do what they do. Why? Because they all usually come from rich families and money isn`t really an issue. Also what bob said. Our debt is so large, paying our president and senators nothing wouldn`t even phase the debt.
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Female 612
I love that everyone saying it`s so easy are not American. Increase the sales tax nationally? I already pay a ten percent state sales tax, but you wouldn`t know that. It would *absolutely* kill jobs. I`m not going to bother buying luxury items if I have to give a good fifteen or twenty percent of the price to the government for the honor of buying it here. I suppose it`d be nice for Canada, since I would just go there often as not.

And, as you all well know, everyone hates us except those of you who need us. You ignore our military, you pretty much condemn us to war, because there won`t be anything stopping the currently less powerful nations from attacking us if they think they could win. Don`t pretend they wouldn`t jump at the chance. It`s a precarious position being on top, and whoever would succeed us would find that out, too. Yes, cut military WASTE, but not the military itself.
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Male 4,290
[quote]Where is the "pay cuts to the people that work Senate/House/Supreme Court/President" option? Those guys get tons of money, and they give themselves raises as well.[/quote]
Aside from the fact that it would only save trivial amounts of money compared to the rest of these cuts, lots of those roles have their pay protected by the Constitution. For example the President`s pay cannot be increased or decreased during his term in office according to Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution.
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Male 4,004
My choices were to enact as many as possible of the options. Bankrupt America, and disband the military and wait for someone with money to take over.
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Male 4,290
Yay, I solved the deficit.


Domestic programs: Other cuts

Military: Reduce nuclear arsenal, cancel weapons programs, reduce troops to 60k

Healthcare: Malpractice reform

Social Security: Reduce benefits for high incomes

Existing Taxes: Obama`s proposal, Obama`s proposal, expiration above 250k, Payroll tax

New Taxes: Millionaire`s tax, close loopholes, national sales tax, bank tax



Boom. Without even taking any of the options that involved losing jobs. I`m tweeting it to Obama now. You`re welcome America.
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Male 11
try fix the irish one... i reckon any IABer`s could do a better job than our government..
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Male 591
Where is the "pay cuts to the people that work Senate/House/Supreme Court/President" option? Those guys get tons of money, and they give themselves raises as well.
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Male 420
Easy really.
Cut your absurd military budgets, get some taxes on the rich, sort out your ridiculous health system and you`re pretty much sorted.
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Male 4,014
APPLE. Feds Consider Antitrust Action Against Apple For Stifling Third Party App Developers.

Why do you think there is no Flash on apples? Because the BLOCKED Adobe from offering developer tools.

Yeah, capitalism at its finest right there.
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Male 4,014
"Do you honestly think it is better economic policy for the government to reward failure and punish success?"

Thats a pure straw man argument. That NEVER HAPPENS. "Success" is only ever punished when it was wrongfully procured.

Hehe, truly, it is cute to read your simplistic view of capitalism.

You mentioned MICROSOFT

You do realize that Microsoft was sanctioned in massive antitrust (aka anti-monopoly) cases in both the US and Europe, right? Why? UNFAIR COMPETITION.

Jesus, and to think you walk around the world thinking Bill Gates made billions ethically.

Microsoft was / is notoriously ruthless. They intentionally designed products to stifle competition - ACTUALLY STIFLE INNOVATION AND COMPETITION - THE CORNER STONES OF CAPITALISM.

Want to know who does that even better, but came too late to the party to make up market share (and gets away with it because Microsoft draws the federal heat)?
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Male 4,014
"I am confused as to why you don`t just open your own company, sell a similar product, charge half the price, and steal all the evil corporations customers?"

Because were I a corporate director, I would stomp you out of existence by every underhanded method I could get away with. The executives who pay fines and go to prison are the ones who get caught. The SEC, however, doesn`t catch them all.

I mean, have you noticed the trend towards corporate omnipresence? When you could spend every dime you have trying to start up a new company, and your competitor has so much money it can intentionally sell its products at a loss for years (*cough Wal-Mart), drive you out of business, and raise prices when you`re gone, good luck with your "small business."

NOBODY GETS SUPER RICH WITHOUT HAVING F*CKED SOMEONE IN THE ASS, hard.

Remember ENRON? Yeah, Ken Lay was just a hard working man trying to make an honest buck.
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Male 4,014
Do you honestly think it is better economic policy for the government to reward failure and punish success?"

When success is built on exploitation, and failure is built on being exploited - yes, that is the very role of government, to protect the weak from the over-reaching of the strong.

Why does the SEC punish corporate directors who make misleading financial statements?

Your naivety is cute, how you view the world as a perfectly level playing field where people "succeed" based solely on handwork, creativity, and virtue. Were that true, I would agree with you.

Now wake up to reality and learn about how the very wealthy in this country have structured government to insulate themselves from the responsibilities of the general public.

I have to pay income taxes on every dollar I make according to income level.

Hedge fund managers? They can treat income as capital gains, taxed at 15% - even if they make millions!
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Male 558
this whole exercise has been nothing short of a steaming pile...
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Male 4,014
"Do you honestly think it is better economic policy for the government to reward failure and punish success?"

When success is built on exploitation, and failure is built on being exploited - yes, that is the very role of government.
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Male 4,014
I advocate stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, a la Robin Hood. Also, thwarting the Sherrif of Nottingham in a dashing manner, while utilizing my world class education to build a tree-top village in the forest with a band of merry men.

Oh, and, like, print more money. That solves things, right?

And free chocolate milk at lunch time.
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Male 179
i don`t like the options; there are way more options to reduce the debt and balance the budget; the NY times just didn`t think of them!
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Male 102
Well that was easy. And there is more I would have liked to cut. note: I did not cut everything on the list and I did not raise any limits on social programs or hinder their ability to keep up with inflation

My grandmother passed away 2 years ago but my grandmother`s friend just passed away last month. This lady was truly gifted, she was a german who married a US soldier who died years ago. She received a large area of land in Alabama on his death to which she sold the rights to cut timber from and got paid $180,000 per quarter, she also got military retirement and benefits from her deceased husband, and collected social security, and had medicare coverage on top of VA coverage. Not only was she wealthy but all her medical bills were fully paid for by tax payers even though she never worked a day in her life to pay those medicare or social security taxes. All of which she could have paid for herself, but instead she traded in her mercedes for a new model every year.
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Male 31
a small business owner does not have that luxury
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Male 31
@HKelch, I never said a thing about rewarding failure, but you`re saying that anyone can just go out and start a business and make billions, which is ridiculous. You gave me 4 examples of companies (websites, something relatively new in the scope of things) that got big. I would give you 1000 examples of companies that never made it, but they never made it, so i don`t know what they are. It is EXTREMELY rare that someone just starts a company and gets rich, if it was easy everyone would do it.

You`re a fool if you think anyone can just start a company and make billions. Corporations that are already big put great effort into keeping it that way, for example: Home Depot sh*itting on small home improvement companies by offering (cheap) home improvements through Home Depot, rather than just offering the supplies. Home Depot already owns and produces many of the products, so they can sell it for as cheap or expensive as they want.
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Male 418
Connoe53,

Maybe you don`t under stand. The president only makes $500,000 a year. Everyone of these options are at least $13,000,000,000(That`s 13 billion) or more. How can cutting 1/26,000th(and that is based on one option) of our government spending by about 10% help?
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Male 207
Where is the option to cut welfare to all the obese peices of crap living on food stamps? I wanna check that one. We could also save quite a bit by cutting congress`s and the president`s salary.
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Male 117
@Gerry1of1- I wholeheartedly agree. I couldn`t care less about foreign countries. That`s not to say I think they should all fail or suffer or anything, I just don`t care one way or the other. F*** the other countries when we`re in need ourselves. The only reason we`re helping other countries is to look good. We don`t get anything from it. Those countries can`t do anything for us. That`s TERRIBLE business!
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Male 213
@ everyone spouting off about taxing the "rich"
First off, personal income + your business` income are one and the same (unless you file for separation). You may only take home 80k a year, but add that to the 1 million that your company makes and suddenly you are in the top 2%. So who gets hurt by those taxes? you do. Think you`re going to get that raise this year? nope. Think that prices aren`t going to increase for the John Everybody? When it comes down to a business decision, the company comes first because that ultimately means that that owner puts food on the table for his/her family.

Its a hell of a lot more complicated than "Tax the rich guys! They can afford it!"
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Male 37,888
How come Foreign Aid options was only "Cut In Half" ?

Where was the Cut Foreign Aid Off Entirely option?
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Male 113
@Untouchable1

Google.. facebook.. Amazon...Microsoft.. Their founders all made billions, desipte what big corporations wanted. If someone else can do it better, consumers will reward them with their dollar. Its called Capitalism. Its not really new.

Do you honestly think it is better economic policy for the government to reward failure and punish success? Can you name on example where that has ever worked in the history of the world?
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Male 10,845
My choices:
Cut 250000 Govt Contractors
Cut aid to states by 5%
Reduce non-combat military compensation and overhead
Reduce troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan to 30000 by 2013
Enact medical malpractice reform
Increase medicare eligibility age to 70
Raise social security retirement age to 70
Reduce Social Security benefits for those with high income
Use alternate measure for inflation
Modify estate taxes as per Obama`s Proposal
Return investment taxes to Clinton Era`s level
All Bush tax cuts to expire
Eliminate Tax Loopholes and reduce rates
Bank Tax
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Male 2,388
Ticked every last box except for the social security and hospital stuff turns out the greedi bastards and killing machines can pay for it all. Who knew?
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Male 98
LMAO love this propaganda.... really the true solution is far simpler
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Female 246
Yay! I did it!
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Male 5,194
Hint: start at the bottom of the list.
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Male 31
@HKelch, do you honestly believe that you`re the first person to say "just start your own company with a cheaper product"? big corporations make a point to eliminate competition, obviously people have thought of that before. Big corporations have 2 much money and can get all the newest technologies a lot sooner than a small business could afford. One of the problems is that large corporations buy in bulk, so they get their products cheaper, and, as a result, can sell it cheaper. a small business owner has to pay closer to the retail price, so their profit margin is smaller.
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Male 496
FIX IT!
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Female 3,001
thanks Buiadh :D
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Male 705
It`s gonna be a lot harder than that in real life
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Male 113
All you people screaming about evil corporations who just steal everyone`s money.. I am confused as to why you don`t just open your own company, sell a similar product, charge half the price, and steal all the evil corporations customers? Maybe its just easier to complain or to be lazy & sit there with your hand out asking for more.
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Male 113
Tax increases do not usually bring in more revenue in the long run. High taxes and a large government inhibit economic growth.

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Taxing the rich would not be "high taxes" for all. Besides Warren Buffet disagrees with you. He can`t be right about everything that has to do with money and wrong about that can he?

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What gives you or anyone the idea that its OK to take money from one group of working people and give it to non-producers? If that model works for you, why not just move to Cuba?
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Male 21
This game is too easy, but at least it changes from all the physic games.

Walkthrough: just click almost everything and you win.
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Male 7,585
wow, according to this fixing the budget is numbingly easy. if only that were truly the case and everybody agreed on what was best for our economy and nation as a whole.
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Male 1,744
this sucked, i was hoping we could mess w/ actual dollar values appropriated to various aspects of government, not just "approve or disapprove" the pooty laws going into effect by our inept lawmakers, who`ve probably never had to balance a checkbook in their entire lives. Dicks.
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Male 757
i win, and i did it without hurting john everyman
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Male 12,365
[quote">http://www.guardian.co.uk/ politics/interactive/2010/oct/19/ comprehensive-spending-review-cuts

(Had to split the link twice)[/quote">

here it is unbroken
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Male 12,365
[quote]The way I see it, tax the rich. a guy who makes 10 mil a year who gets taxed 50 percent walks away with 5 mil. That`s still more money then you or I will ever see in our lifetimes at one time and more than enough to provide for themselves and their family and still have a lot left over. Tax them to death IMO.[/quote]

They`re rich enough to be able to afford to go somewhere else, so if you tax them too much you end up with nothing. It`s counter-productive. You need to find a balance.
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Male 27
That was easy, and I did it without cutting in the social sector. I`m awesum.. I should be president.

tl;dr give me everything
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Male 4,004
Note on the rich: Most of them aren`t rich at the bank. They are rich due to being a majority shareholder. They may even have started the company they hold the shares to. Their shares are doing good, they are rich, but they need to sell some shares to actually see any money.

You can`t tax something like shares since their value fluctuates daily.

Of course a lot of them do have a lot of actual revenue, since they do own a profitable company, I am sure they take home a butt load of money, which is, more heavily taxed than mine or yours already...

But I don`t think someone who builds jobs should be taxed even more than they already do...

Now.

Hollywood Celebrities (Actors, Directors, etc...), Sports Athletes, Musicians : drat `em. Tax 75% to any who make more than 250,000% and most of them are able to make a living of their art and not become a rich douche in the process.
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Male 174
The way I see it, tax the rich. a guy who makes 10 mil a year who gets taxed 50 percent walks away with 5 mil. That`s still more money then you or I will ever see in our lifetimes at one time and more than enough to provide for themselves and their family and still have a lot left over. Tax them to death IMO.
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Male 174
There`s two major economic problems in this country when it comes to large corporations. CEO`s don`t have the American public`s best interests in mind, all they care about is how many more boats they can buy a year (proof of this is the bailout. We bail them out, they give themselves bonuses...). The first problem is they send jobs overseas, now you could argue "give them incentive to do it here by taxing less etc. etc." That`s naive. No matter what you do they will still go overseas because it will always be cheaper chinese work for 50c and hour, we can never compete with that. There needs to be laws and regulations preventing it. No it`s not capitalist, but capitalism is an ineffective, dead theory in this day and age. Secondly, CEO`s can decide each others wages, basically instead of expanding the company and creating jobs, most give each other pay raises which take away from company profits while doing nothing for job growth, wages or the company. This needs to end.
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Male 564
gorgack2000:
I agree about taxing rich more than poor, but that kind of contradicts what we consider the american dream. If we agree that more money = more success, then we`d essentially be punishing people for being successful
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Male 4,547
"High taxes inhibit economic growth".

Tax rates.
GDP Growth.

Stop using it as a mantra. The who, when, why, how, where, changes whether it is true or not. The Bush tax cuts for the top 2%, at this point in time, will have a detrimental effect, as they will not pour most of it back into the economy, they will, as with the current money they have, keep it.

Think about this:
My company makes X profit.
If I take it out, it will be taxed.
If I reinvest it, it will not.
Reinvestment includes job creation.

Tax in this case, encourages greater reinvestment, job creation, salary increases, greater spending power, et
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Male 25,416
Yay im not an american so i dont have to really worry about this! Yay!
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Male 4,680
I cut the military a lot (but let them research some fancy new weapons), enacted things like a carbon tax and a bank tax, steered clear of taxing the poor and made sure that the rich were more heavily taxed.

Not that I`m an anarchist or anything. I just think that if you have more money, you should pay more. Since, y`know, you can afford to.
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Male 6,737
@ruthless1990

http://www.guardian.co.uk/ politics/interactive/2010/oct/19/ comprehensive-spending-review-cuts

(Had to split the link twice)

Enjoy. :)
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Male 15,510
Billions!
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Male 774
Well I fixed the budget, but now I`m going to have to listen to every fortune 500 company whine like the day they entered the world.

Not to mention the amount of money they`d throw at fear mongering the public to hate my guts.

:(
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Female 3,001
@buiadh
can u post a link for that please?
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Female 3,001
i want something like this for my country :) i wanna see what our options are!
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Male 6,737
The Guardian newspaper had a much more indepth deficit tool, granted it was for Britain however.
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Male 7,378
[quote]Tax increases do not usually bring in more revenue in the long run. High taxes and a large government inhibit economic growth.[/quote]
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Taxing the rich would not be "high taxes" for all. Besides Warren Buffet disagrees with you. He can`t be right about everything that has to do with money and wrong about that can he?
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Male 128
Wow, tax the upper class and most of the deficit is gone.
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Male 37,888
piece of cake.

I am a genious!
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Male 113
Interesting to look at, but the calculator design is fundamentally wrong. Tax increases do not usually bring in more revenue in the long run. High taxes and a large government inhibit economic growth. They take money away from the productive private sector and force it in to inefficient government programs. The revenues coming into the federal government were at record highs AFTER the 2nd Bush era tax cuts because the economy was strong. The model suggests that by increasing taxes by billions, the federal govt will take in more money. However if those tax increases force thousands more jobs overseas, there are far less taxpayers paying that higher percentage. Low taxes and less government intrusion leads to economic growth. Economic growth leads to higher govt revenue. That, combined with slashes to wasteful spending will lead to a more balanced budget.
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Male 7,378
I fixed it without touching social programs or taxing the middle class. Easy peasy.
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Male 67
Fixed it without taxation. Sure there will be some unhappy people, a few jobs lost, but keeping taxes low should help the economy keep moving.

My Solution
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Male 1,455
Done.
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Male 1,021
change the name of our county and the flag so when other governments try to collect the debt we can say "Oh, sorry, America went out of business"
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Male 4,807
Print more money!!! Problem solved
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Male 146
Link: You Fix The Budget [Rate Link] - Interactive tool with which you can try a mix of taxation and cuts to attempt to solve the budget deficit.
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