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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:21 AM 
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Most of the countries with true universal healthcare also have significant debt problems, are beginning to ration that care, have huge percentages of adults living at home and can't sustain the cost of entitlements.

I know you're not a stupid person, so you must know something I don't. How do we pay for social security and medicare/medicaid entitlements AND enact a universal healthcare system, while lowering our debt enough to sustain our economy, creating jobs and avoiding a double dip recession?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:24 AM 
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krby,

The republicans have basically made it impossible to sue healthcare providers for millions of dollars. most malpractice rewards get lowered by the courts, against the jury's wishes, to maybe half a million at best. You should consider watching the "Hot Coffee" documentary on HBO.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:48 AM 
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randy wrote:
Most of the bases in Germany are to be closed in the next five years, but I'll have a hard time believing this is not wasteful spending that could be better spent keeping our people alive here.


You are preaching to the choir with this. I FULLY support closing a large number of overseas military installations to bring those troops and support units to bases in the US. Would be a cost savings for the government and an economic stimulus for the areas they return. IIRC there are something like 350 US military installations in GERMANY. Closing one or two in many areas is just a drop in the bucket.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:34 AM 
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joxur wrote:
Most of the countries with true universal healthcare also have significant debt problems, are beginning to ration that care, have huge percentages of adults living at home and can't sustain the cost of entitlements.

Links?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:44 AM 
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Argrax wrote:
joxur wrote:
Most of the countries with true universal healthcare also have significant debt problems, are beginning to ration that care, have huge percentages of adults living at home and can't sustain the cost of entitlements.

Links?


It's true for many nations as far as I'm aware. The question I had is whether or not the financial issues are a result of the systems really not working or if it's just a symptom of the global financial issues that most every nation is having.

If there's a large-scale recession and every nation has to make cutbacks and tighten their belts, an ambitious spin doctor could point the finger at pretty much ANY program as "contributing to the crisis".


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:49 AM 
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krby71 wrote:
We can't afford a single payer, government provided healthcare system.


Ahh, but we could. I'm as hawkish with regards to the economy as any true Scotsma...err, I mean, any "real" Conservative. I fully support a socialized system for care, with additional coverage available privately to cover botched titjobs or high-end prosthesis.

Just because it would be hard, doesn't mean it should be planned for, or addressed in the near term. If anyone's ever done spring cleaning in their house, think of it the same way. Seems fucking impossible until you start clearing shit away.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:33 PM 
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I think a number of people would suggest that the "clearing shit away" portion consists of getting our economy back from the dead before attempting to impose a healthcare system that no country of our size and bureaucratic tendencies has successfully implemented yet.

Quote:
I can't understand how someone believes this. Or maybe I just don't understand what you're saying. This isn't a rental at Redbox, it's the ability of citizens of a modern civilization to remain alive.

The government isn't the problem, the "entitled" patient who needs health care to remain alive isn't the problem. The insurance company and the HMO and the pharmaceutical companies that are the problem, as they drive the cost of the care up for the patient so everyone can report great earnings year over year. The patient just needs an operation that bears an actual soup-to-nuts cost of a few thousand dollars but carries a high-fives bill because of the free market.

The free market destroys this made up person's life, unless they had the unbelievable fortune of being rich before the fact.


If by modern civilization you're implying we should be able to maintain 300 million lives with ease... Well, we're not quite living in Star Trek land yet. It's possible, sure, but not without cost. I'm sure there are plenty of extreme cases out there where a procedure costs 5k to do but 500k to the person, but that's not the norm from what I've seen. Are they still somewhat steep hikes? Sure, but not that extreme. At this point we've undoubtedly got reports from both sides of the debate that will give out faulty figures to advance their agenda, especially from organizations with a deep hatred of HMOs and pharmaceutical companies.

As I said though, for every person that dies under a health system that doesn't cover everyone, there will be another(and probably then some) that will die because we didn't have a treatment for a disease or issue that could have a discovery for a cure by now under a system that promotes growth.

I'm still in favor of providing assistance to people in genuine need, but I don't think we can cover everyone and maintain our economy right now(along with everything else we spend on). If nothing else, it sends the wrong message to people about our economy, instilling distrust in people who think we spend without thought before tightening our budget responsibly in times of need. Like Sarissa said, some people would choose dying over working hard. I don't want them to die, but that's a pretty direct choice in some cases.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:58 PM 
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Quote:
I know you're not a stupid person, so you must know something I don't. How do we pay for social security and medicare/medicaid entitlements AND enact a universal healthcare system, while lowering our debt enough to sustain our economy, creating jobs and avoiding a double dip recession?


I actually think this is an excellent question, and I fully admit that I don't have a complete answer. I would definitely start by nearly halving the budget for the armed forces, but even that doesn't bring spending down. I would also move the age for qualification for Social Security up-- people often talk about going to 67, but I think with today's health care we could even talk about going all the way to 70. People can work that long now, barring major life changing illnesses. This would be an unpopular beginning, but hey I'm trying! Imagining a completely socialized medical system, at least some of the money that we currently pay to insurance companies could be turned into tax revenues to pay for the socialized medicine. Unlike the insurance companies, the government would not be looking to profit from the enterprise, and so there are immediately some savings there. It's a massive project, and it's not like I can type a one paragraph answer here that solves all our problems.

I often have a similar question about people who propose balancing the budget without raising revenues. Forget making it complicated-- do this simple mental exercise: a quick look at wikipedia tells me that the deficit for fiscal year 2010 was approximately $1.3 trillion dollars. Give me a list of $1.3 trillion dollars of expenditures you would cut in order to balance the budget that year. If you don't raise revenues at all, you cannot do it without seriously gutting programs that millions of people depend on. You can't do it without laying off thousands of people, and putting our already precarious economy in a downward spiral.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:59 PM 
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btw... I am liking, at least so far, how we are managing to stay fairly civil on topics that we generally know we all very much disagree on. I am hoping we can continue this way.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:30 AM 
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I'll throw out a potential "hot potato" because I'm really interested in gauging the diverse responses/thoughts on this subject.

Many states are throwing around bills to enact mandatory drug testing for those people who are on gov't subsidized income/welfare etc, the reason being
that, if you have a job in many/most cases drug testing is a requirement of employment, so why for those who don't, not be subject to the same, because while not all, and I am very understanding of those people who bust their ass daily trying to make it, find a job in touch times etc, there are those who sit around on their ass collect that check and well spend that money on less than shall we say what it should be used for.

I'm in full support of this type of legislation, and while I can see the angle of "invasion of privacy, violates my civil rights !!" it doesn't wash here in these circumstances, the people who are busting their ass and using these services the way it was intended, I seriously doubt would have any problem with mandatory drug tests.

well there it is, discuss, respond, really interested to hear/see what people think !


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:42 AM 
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joxur wrote:
My point being that people having $200k in health care bills is not a common thing. If you want to build a system where that never happens, you will not accomplish it in the forseeable future.


200,000 perhaps not, but one good car accident, or in mom's case, breast cancer and it's nothing to see her medical bill over over 100,000 sitting there. Halfway through her chemo her bill was already sitting at 65,000 and that was before the mastectomy and subsequent radiation and continuing chemo.

My uncle fell into a ditch while working for the park district and shattered his shoulder joint. After emergency surgery and the 2 day hospital stay his bill was 70 something thousand dollars. Thankfully that was a workman's comp issue, but you can see how things can add up.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:19 AM 
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OK, so here are some questions.

If you believe that we have no business subsidizing the cost of healthcare for our own citizens (either because of ideological leanings or simply a matter of economics and priorities), do you also believe that we have no business subsidizing healthcare for the rest of the world?

Because that's essentially what we're doing. Pharmaceuticals and other medical technologies are available much cheaper in other countries. And it's not because those countries' socialized medicine programs are footing the bill. In most cases, they have no national healthcare initiatives.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:37 AM 
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Fribur wrote:
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I would definitely start by nearly halving the budget for the armed forces, but even that doesn't bring spending down.


I'm mostly lurking now, but I've seen this halve the armed forces budget thing a few times now. This seems like quite an exaggeration of what is actually possible even with drastic cuts. How would you envision this playing out if you did get your wish of a 40-50% budget reduction? How would our role in the world change and what level of national security would we retain?

For arguments sake, I am guessing our troop payroll is about 40% of our budget, which is a fairly fixed cost. Even if we cut our troop force by 10% by letting reserves called to active duty go back to reserve status, that is only a 4% savings. To still achieve a 40-50% overall reduction would mean cutting most tech programs and physical purchases by 75-80%. This sounds like a recipie for disaster to me (modern USSR), but I'm curious to how others calling for this action see it playing out.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:17 AM 
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I'd prefer we get out of the *3* fucking wars we're in right now before we start talking about cutting defense.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:26 AM 
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Draconi wrote:
I'll throw out a potential "hot potato" because I'm really interested in gauging the diverse responses/thoughts on this subject.

Many states are throwing around bills to enact mandatory drug testing for those people who are on gov't subsidized income/welfare etc, the reason being that, if you have a job in many/most cases drug testing is a requirement of employment, so why for those who don't, not be subject to the same, because while not all, and I am very understanding of those people who bust their ass daily trying to make it, find a job in touch times etc, there are those who sit around on their ass collect that check and well spend that money on less than shall we say what it should be used for.


I have two thoughts on this question.
The first thought is that as long as drugs are illegal, we should not be subsidizing people to maintain an illegal way of life. In this case, passing a drug test should be a requirement for receiving/continuing to receive government benefits.

That brings me to my second thought of how this would be implemented if we ever implemented a decriminalization of drugs? What if using drugs is no longer a crime? If the method of removing the profit motive from drugs is, IMO, properly implemented then the government would know who is selling and who is using due to education programs and such. If we did not allow people that have the government as their primary source of income, there will be a black market for drugs or whatever. We know that we cannot function properly when addicted to drugs, alcohol, or <insert destructive addiction here>.

Somehow we need to transition welfare/non-employed government income from a way life to nothing more than a detour back to productive life (productive meaning employed and able to pay taxes instead of being supported by other people's taxes)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:26 AM 
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Quote:
I'm mostly lurking now, but I've seen this halve the armed forces budget thing a few times now. This seems like quite an exaggeration of what is actually possible even with drastic cuts. How would you envision this playing out if you did get your wish of a 40-50% budget reduction? How would our role in the world change and what level of national security would we retain?

For arguments sake, I am guessing our troop payroll is about 40% of our budget, which is a fairly fixed cost. Even if we cut our troop force by 10% by letting reserves called to active duty go back to reserve status, that is only a 4% savings. To still achieve a 40-50% overall reduction would mean cutting most tech programs and physical purchases by 75-80%. This sounds like a recipie for disaster to me (modern USSR), but I'm curious to how others calling for this action see it playing out.


I appreciate you asking. Again being honest even though I know it shows that I haven't completely thought it out but.... my stance on cutting military funding is a personal response to the following statements:

1) We are in two wars that I never thought we should have been in, costing us billions every year.

2) We spend more on the military than almost everyone else in the world combined.

With that kind of expenditure, either we are incredibly inefficent in our spending, or we are defending against massive imaginary threats. I do not think we need a military anywhere near our size, simply based on that undoubtedly simplistic analysis.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:41 AM 
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Fribur wrote:
I would definitely start by nearly halving the budget for the armed forces, but even that doesn't bring spending down.


I think that you, along with most of the people believe that we spend so much more on defense than everything else combined. I go back to my favorite budget site http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/budget_pie_gs.php it shows that yes as single item, the 25% of federal government spending is for defense.

But you will also see that 23% of total federal spending is for healthcare, 12% is for welfare, and 22% for pensions (social security makes up the bulk of this).

I agree that there are areas in the defense budget that can be slashed. Excessive overseas bases, too many reservists on active duty, and involved in too many conflicts. But cutting defense spending in half, would not be enough to balance the budget.

There need to be increased revenues, but not increased taxes. We need more people paying taxes and less people receiving money from the government. The debt and deficit problems are intensified because too many people are out of work. Get more people working and that will increase the revenues coming to the government without raising taxes.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:42 PM 
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No, cutting defense would definitely not balance the budget. I actually said in my posts that it isn't enough. We have been spiraling around several different topics, and my previous post answering "why cut defense spending?" wasn't claiming this is the solution to all our problems. The solution is a balanced combination of all kinds of cuts and yes, raising taxes.

Since you again said that increasing taxes is off the table for you, I'm going to quote question to you again and see if you try to answer it this time :)

Quote:
I often have a similar question about people who propose balancing the budget without raising revenues. Forget making it complicated-- do this simple mental exercise: a quick look at wikipedia tells me that the deficit for fiscal year 2010 was approximately $1.3 trillion dollars. Give me a list of $1.3 trillion dollars of expenditures you would cut in order to balance the budget that year. If you don't raise revenues at all, you cannot do it without seriously gutting programs that millions of people depend on. You can't do it without laying off thousands of people, and putting our already precarious economy in a downward spiral.


Quote:
The debt and deficit problems are intensified because too many people are out of work. Get more people working and that will increase the revenues coming to the government without raising taxes.


It is true that the problems are intensified by people being out of work, but just saying, "get unemployment back to 4-6%" isn't going to all of a sudden make us solvent. It isn't enough new revenue. In addition, your implied proposal to cut spending all the way to a balanced budget would put hundreds of thousands of people out of work in the public sector, making the economic problems and unemployment problems even worse.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:43 PM 
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bah krby, I probably also should have pointed out that in my previous post I was comparing our defense spending to the defense spending of other countries that we are theoretically defending against. My comments weren't comparing it to spending in other parts of government at all.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:45 PM 
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raise taxes on everyone 2%, let the bush tax cuts expire for people who make 200k+ or families who make 250k+, eliminate a lot of silly tax deductions and loopholes, and cut defense, and you'll probably end up with a budget surplus again that can be used to pay down our debt faster than we can accumulate it for once.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:53 PM 
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One other thing to add on top of my call for a privatized, more competitive and progressive healthcare system.

It seems like a lot of people have no clue how to properly get the things they've essentially already paid for from their insurance companies. I can almost guarantee many of the people with very high bills have not thoroughly looked through the fine print to figure out what their insurance company will pay for. If pushed and prodded, they can end up footing huge portions of even large and uncommon procedures.

So I'd say not only are the 200k bills exaggerated and less common than pro-universal advocates suggest, many high bills are from people not taking the time to methodically make sure they're getting what they pay for... even on the smaller bills.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:57 PM 
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Here's an example of the murder people let insurance companies get away with. I won't deny that they're dirty, conniving bastards sometimes, but what amazes me is what people let them get away with. It's stories like this that leave me with no wonder about whether or not people are really reading the documentation about their coverage plans.

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/ ... 019069.php


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:27 PM 
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Vanamar wrote:
raise taxes on everyone 2%, let the bush tax cuts expire for people who make 200k+ or families who make 250k+, eliminate a lot of silly tax deductions and loopholes, and cut defense, and you'll probably end up with a budget surplus again that can be used to pay down our debt faster than we can accumulate it for once.


Van, it seems you missed this chart from the GAO:
Image

It is showing that there was an INCREASE in TAX REVENUE after the implementation of the "Bush Tax Cuts". "Revenues" declined when the economy went into the crapper.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:49 PM 
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And frib, I must not be making myself clear. I would cut some defense spending, would cap all other budgets to 2008 levels (no more automatic increases of around 10% per year) and I would eliminate the corporate tax loopholes and then lower the rate. That would be a start. I would also eliminate Obamacare and it's mandates. The business mandates there are not conducive to aggressive hiring right now. I am not saying that we don't need to look at healthcare reform, but the Obama bill is just bad right now.

I don't know if that would generate $1.3 trillion, but I think it is a large start. The government needs to make actions that get more people working. Having more people working (and not working for the government) is a win/win as you remove required spending in social benefits as the people don't need it anymore and you get more people paying taxes. It is like a double bonus.

It is those reasons why I think the government is going about this the wrong way. First, make the cuts that we can make that are economically friendly (bringing home troops, etc), then not automatically increase what the government is spending on a year to year basis, and then reduce the federal government's burden on businesses so that hiring can resume.

Then after those efforts have started we can see what is needed to hit the rest of the delta to get to a balanced budget.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:53 PM 
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Quote:
It is showing that there was an INCREASE in TAX REVENUE after the implementation of the "Bush Tax Cuts". "Revenues" declined when the economy went into the crapper.


And just think how much more increase the revenue would have been without the Bush tax cuts!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:30 PM 
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Venen: In your example, the penalty was far too low. They had to pay $148k reimbursement + 8% to the women involved as well as a $100k fine. Should have been ten times that. If you want to do something about insurance companies wrongfully denying claims, you have to enforce stricter penalties.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:09 PM 
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krby71 wrote:
Vanamar wrote:
raise taxes on everyone 2%, let the bush tax cuts expire for people who make 200k+ or families who make 250k+, eliminate a lot of silly tax deductions and loopholes, and cut defense, and you'll probably end up with a budget surplus again that can be used to pay down our debt faster than we can accumulate it for once.


Van, it seems you missed this chart from the GAO:
<snip>

It is showing that there was an INCREASE in TAX REVENUE after the implementation of the "Bush Tax Cuts". "Revenues" declined when the economy went into the crapper.


The economy went into the crapper on Bush's watch, due to legistlation signed by him. Any increase in revenue was due in part to shady economic policy.

Granted, some of those policies were signed during Clinton's administration, but the final nails in the coffin came during 2000-2008.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:35 AM 
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As our current Commander in Chief is likely to say rather soon, the legislation passed under a President's watch is not entirely their fault. ;)

I don't care to look in to tax revenue because it is hideously boring, but I do recall that during that time the IRS was also hot on the trail of offshore tax havens. A lot of money came in during the amnesty period.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:32 AM 
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excerpts from a Washington Examiner article
Quote:
Spending, not entitlements, created huge deficit
"We're $1.5 trillion in debt," Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol said Sunday, referring to this year's projected deficit. "Where's the debt coming from?"
...
There's no doubt federal spending has exploded in recent years. In fiscal 2007, the last year before things went haywire, the government took in $2.568 trillion in revenues and spent $2.728 trillion, for a deficit of $160 billion. In 2011, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, the government will take in $2.230 trillion and spend $3.629 trillion, for a deficit of $1.399 trillion.

That's an increase of $901 billion in spending and a decrease of $338 billion in revenue in a very short time. Put them together, and that's how you go from a $160 billion deficit to a $1.399 trillion deficit.

But how, precisely, did that happen?
...
A lot of the higher spending has stemmed directly from the downturn. There is, for example, spending on what is called "income security" -- that is, for unemployment compensation, food stamps and related programs. In 2007, the government spent $365 billion on income security. In 2011, it's estimated to spend $622 billion. That's an increase of $257 billion.

Then there is Medicaid, the health care program for lower-income Americans. A lot of people had lower incomes due to the economic downturn, and federal expenditures on Medicaid -- its costs are shared with the states -- went from $190 billion in 2007 to an estimated $276 billion in 2011, an increase of $86 billion. Put that together with the $257 billion increase in income security spending, and you have $343 billion.

Add to that the $338 billion in decreased revenues, and you get $681 billion -- which means nearly half of the current deficit can be clearly attributed to the downturn.

That's a deficit increase that would have happened in an economic crisis whether Republicans or Democrats controlled Washington.

There is no line in the federal budget that says "stimulus," but Obama's massive $814 billion stimulus increased spending in virtually every part of the federal government. "It's spread all through the budget," says former Congressional Budget Office chief Douglas Holtz-Eakin. "It was essentially a down payment on the Obama domestic agenda." Green jobs, infrastructure, health information technology, aid to states -- it's all in there, billions in increased spending.

As for the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP -- it has no specific line in the budget, either, but that is because it was anticipated to pay nearly all of its own cost, which it has.

Spending for Social Security and Medicare did go up in this period -- $162 billion and $119 billion, respectively -- but by incremental and predictable amounts that weren't big problems in previous years. "We're getting older one year at a time, and health care costs grow at 7 or 8 percent a year," says Holtz-Eakin. If Social Security and Medicare were the sole source of the current deficit, it would be a lot smaller than it is.

The bottom line is that with baby boomers aging, entitlements will one day be a major budget problem. But today's deficit crisis is not one of entitlements. It was created by out-of-control spending on everything other than entitlements. The recent debt-ceiling agreement is supposed to put the brakes on that kind of spending, but leaders have so far been maddeningly vague on how they'll do it.


This goes to my point that since half of the current deficit is due to the economic downturn, it is vital to get the US Economy churning again.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:53 AM 
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While getting the economy churning again will help us with our deficit and maybe eventually our debt, it is only part of the solution.

Democrats want to blame Bush-era wars, tax cuts, & medicare expansion. They are absolutely correct on all three but they don't want to undo them; they want to keep the larger part of the tax cuts, continue the wars (expanding them in a couple of areas), and protect the medicare expansion.

Republicans want to blame entitlements and stimulus packages. They are also absolutely correct but don't truly want to cut entitlements (at least not during their office-holding years) or address the stimulus dollars spent (they start at base 2010 numbers including stimulus dollars + 8% for their illusory cuts).

We need a common sense approach that both recognizes a need to stimulate the economy in ways that build for the future (ie NOT short-term tax cuts and unemployment compensation extensions that only stimulate short-term consumerism). One legislatively easy fix would be a mandate that ALL defense contracts go to U.S.-based manufacturers. Another amazingly effective fix, although tougher legislatively, would be to get rid of the baseline budgetary bump of 8%. Fixing loopholes in and simplifying the taxd code is a no-brainer. Those are 2 relatively easy fixes. After those come the hard choices (for politicians).

Tax increases with promises of future cuts (given the fact that no congress can guarantee or hinder the actions of any future congress without a constitutional amendment) aren't going to work. We've been down that road before (in fact, what happened to those across-the-board cuts Obama required from every agency shortly after taking office?) and we learned that tax increases mean increased spending.

It's a tough position to be in... We need stimulus money; we need to get out from under our debt (9% of July's revenues went to servicing our debt); there is 0 trust in government anymore; I don't see a fix that isn't constitutionally mandated.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:18 PM 
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A reasonable post, Kula... I can go along with all of it.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:09 PM 
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Quote:
One legislatively easy fix would be a mandate that ALL defense contracts go to U.S.-based manufacturers.


If by easy legislatively you mean harder in virtually every other way, then yes. We've been outsourcing these jobs for many years now, with commitments/facilities/organizations rooted in many different countries. The tax burden simply shifts and we pay even more for high-end military equipment. Oh we'll get jobs in the short term, but at a price that will end up cutting those jobs in the near future anyway, nullifying the point.

Looks good on paper, and gives an artificial "feel good" to the people who get ancy about outsourcing anything military, but it ignores the reality of the situation.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:06 PM 
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For us to shift more defense contracts to domestic sources, we'd have to redevelop the manufacturing sector and overhaul regulation of the industry.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:31 PM 
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If the global economy continues to struggle for the next few years, I would not be surprised if there comes a renewed US protectionism fervor.

I don't know if that would be a good thing in the long run, but getting competitive in the manufacturing arena again would be good for the US. We are way too dependent on other countries for our goods. This is in part due to the higher wages required by workers in the US.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:03 PM 
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Venen wrote:
If by easy legislatively you mean harder in virtually every other way, then yes. We've been outsourcing these jobs for many years now, with commitments/facilities/organizations rooted in many different countries. The tax burden simply shifts and we pay even more for high-end military equipment. Oh we'll get jobs in the short term, but at a price that will end up cutting those jobs in the near future anyway, nullifying the point.

Looks good on paper, and gives an artificial "feel good" to the people who get ancy about outsourcing anything military, but it ignores the reality of the situation.


You are ignoring the important fact that we will be keeping tax dollars within our borders instead of sending them overseas. I'm not advocating dropping contracts/commitments already in place, that would be silly as we don't have the manufacturing capacity for it and fostering ill will overseas is not a good idea. A prohibition on future defense purchases from overseas would give the domestic marketplace a chance to gear up and be ready to replace overseas suppliers.

By "legislatively easy" I mean something we could get the two wings, democratic liberals and republican conservatives, to agree to do without either side facing political repercussions from their base.

This, I think, is the biggest challenge we face right now. Everybody knows what needs to happen in the macro: cuts in outlays and increases to revenues. Sadly, politicians for decades have lied and bribed their bases with milk & cookies to the point that nothing they propose is believed. How do we get past the kind of ingrained distrust of the citizenry for political solutions? It is too easy to say "But that won't work because...." without offering alternative solutions and is part of the reason why we are in the mess we are.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:08 PM 
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krby71 wrote:
If the global economy continues to struggle for the next few years, I would not be surprised if there comes a renewed US protectionism fervor.

I don't know if that would be a good thing in the long run, but getting competitive in the manufacturing arena again would be good for the US. We are way too dependent on other countries for our goods. This is in part due to the higher wages required by workers in the US.


Oops, forgot to address this. I'm in no way in favor of a vast new wave of protectionism. But being able to supply our own military with the pieces-parts it needs is more national security than protectionism. Although I do agree that as our legacy costs increase calls for protectionism to help increase our economic strength to meet those costs will also increase. Just as US automakers learned, legacy costs reduce competitiveness.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:55 PM 
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Am curious, what significant military purchases are made by the US, outside of the US?

Isn't all the aerospace and marine 'stuff' done within your own borders?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:57 PM 
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Assembly is usually done inside the US.

Some parts are purchased from companies that specialize in the design and fabrication of those types of items. Not all of those companies are US based.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:29 PM 
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BAE for example, and we've outsourced a lot of our ordnance.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:41 AM 
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Back to the race...

Leading the race (just entering the first turn):
Mitt Romney - Has taken the Perry challenge and has mopped the floor with him in the past debates. After the summer dust settles, Romney will still be the front runner. Ran away with the "Home Builders" poll and had a disapointing third in Florida

Rick Perry - After a glorious announcement, has stumbled, a lot, recently. Still early enough to change direction, but lacking that "it" factor. Was a far distant second in both the Florida straw poll and "Home builders" poll.

A legnth back:
Herman Cain - His past two debate performances and his win in the Florida straw poll really boosted his status. There are still many questions about his international experience, but as long as this race is about jobs and the economy Cain could have an edge. I am seeing more support for Mr. Cain in unconventional places (hell I saw a few Herman Cain for president t-shirts at a high school football game in Texas over the weekend). He is riding a positive wave for the first time in his campaign. Also finished third in the Michigan "Home Builders" Poll over the weekend.

Ron Paul - More of the same from Ron Paul. Dr. Paul usually draws strongly at Straw Poll events, but the way the Floriday Poll was run prevented the Paulbots from stacking the race in their favor. The Paulbot factor can be seen when contrasting "open" polls vs "closed" polls where the open voting (on-line or multi-vote not eliminated) Paul has a very strong showing, but in "closed" polls (not allowing multi-vote or requiring membership) Paul's support is cut to a fraction of the other polls.

Rick Santorum - Moving up really because the others around him are falling back. Started to show more of a spine in the past debate, but needs a big positive to break for his campaign.

Michelle Bachmann - Fading fast. She tried to attack Perry in the past couple debates and still got her facts wrong. She finished fifth in the Home Builders poll (in her neighboring Mchigan) and eighth in the Florida poll. More people are seeing that she is is not a leader.

Stumbled out of the gates:
Jon Huntsman - I really don't know why he is running for the GOP nomination.

Newt Gingrich - Not electable, too much baggage. Smartest one in the room during the debates, yet when he talks people just tune out.

Not in the starting gate:
Sarah Palin - Nothing really new here. More polls are showing that her negative numbers are rising within the GOP. I think she will try to wait until 2012 to enter the race to try to win the first few caucus/primaries due to her "new to the race" bounce. I don't think that strategy will work. Iowa and New Hampshire voters want to be, for a lack of a better word, coddled, leading up to their caucus and primary. If Palin doesn't officially enter the race until 2012 then she risks those voters thinking that Palin feels she is bigger than both of those states and doesn't need to campaign, but just show up and win.

Mitch Daniels - Said no earlier, still says no now, but people are still calling for him

Paul Ryan - still not committed to running

Chris Christie - Ann Coulter is his strongest ally, calling for him to run. That alone makes me question it.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:46 AM 
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I am going to post something here that I posted on Townhall.com in a thread saying that Palin is the savior. (if you want see some nut-jobs, go there. To most of you, I would seem somewhat rationals as compared to many of the posters there)

How soon do you people forget the past. In 1996 President Clinton was W-E-A-K. His charm had faded, he lost the 1994 mid-term elections in HISTORIC fashion, his signature policies had been defeated and rejected by the populace, and he was primed to be defeated and be a one-term president. Yet the GOP nominated the even weaker Bob Dole and Clinton won an easy re-election.

Here comes the 2012 election cycle. Obama lost the 2010 mid-terms badly. His signature policies had been railroaded through congress yet the populace have not accepted them, the economy is as bad or worse than it was under Carter with signs of getting worse, and yet the Republicans are thinking that they just have to show up and they will beat Obama.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:32 PM 
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I'd vote for Romney over Obama and Obama over Perry. I don't like Perry at all.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:13 PM 
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The shine has fallen off Perry's star.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:48 PM 
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The shine was there at all?

The only thing I can actually applaud him for is requiring all teenage girls in Texas to get the HPV vaccine, as controversial as his opponents are trying to make it.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:28 PM 
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I liked that requirement too. The opponents don't get the full meaning of what he was trying to do, but they are looking for any way to attack Perry.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:55 PM 
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Actually, the other thing I will give him credit for is the defending educating children of illegal immigrants when others are trying to say they wouldn't have.

Other than that, I don't care for him. >_<

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:36 PM 
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It is getting to the point now that it doesn't matter who is in the president position as the House / Senate tend to hold the reigns for who is in charge lately.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:11 AM 
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That has been the case for many years.



For more on Chris Christie, The Asbury Park press listed a bunch of his stances on a few hot topics on Friday. Compared to the rest of the field he's far from being too Conservative (NJ is still a blue state, unlikely a far right would ever get elected..).

Not sure if available online but can dig out the paper if people really are interested... assuming he runs.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:43 AM 
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With the moving of the Florida primary and the other jockying for position by several other states, it looks like the field is finally set.

Contenders:
Mitt Romney - As the pundits look at Romney they are saying "Romney expands the map, Perry energizes the base". With the recent announcements of others that they are not running this may still be Romney's race to win. Also, it is looking like the money what was behind Gov. Christie will now go to Romney.

Herman Cain - Has moved into contender position with severl great showings over the past few weeks. The only candidate that has proposed a plan to help the economy (9-9-9 plan that moves to Fair Tax Plan).

Rick Perry - There is a danget that Gov. Perry could fall into the "second tier" group. His support has faded quicker than it surged. Had BAD showings in the debates, handled the offensive rock issue poorly (but some attacks were way beyond rational)

The second tier:
Ron Paul - I have seen a representation of Paulbots in the Occupy Wall Street mob. Paul is more right about the killing of the "American Terrorist" than people want to give him. However his foriegn policy statements leave many scratching their head (self included). His support is solid (staying around 10%) but is not growing.

Newt Gingrich - Still not electable, but through a strong showing in the recent debates he has moved up in the polls, in some polls he is as high as fourth.

Rick Santorum - nothing new here, just treading water.

Michelle Bachmann - Will be interesting to see if she gets a "Palin isn't running" bump as she is "Palin Jr". I doubt it. Bachmann is still a reactionary with no real leadership plans of her own.

Yes, he is still in the race:
Jon Huntsman - I really don't know why he is running for the GOP nomination.

Not running:
Sarah Palin - Finally announced that she will not seek the nomination. (THANK YOU!). Now maybe she will fade away.

Mitch Daniels - Said no earlier, still says no now.

Paul Ryan - still not committed to running

Chris Christie - Re-enforced his committment to not run for President.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:59 AM 
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I was really hoping Sarah would run and win the nomination.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:22 AM 
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Since the Iowa Caucus has come and gone, I guess I should update this....

Contender:
Mitt Romney - This is his race to lose. Winning Iowa after Ron Paul and Rick Santorum have basically lived in Iowa over the past several months shows that the Iowa voters prefer electability. His campaign's utter destruction of Newt over the past few weeks showed what "Team Mitt" can do.

The second tier:
Rick Santorum - Rick spent nearly all of his campaign money and capital to win Iowa, yet came eight votes short. This campaign has been based in Iowa, nearly every day over the past several months he had some sort of event in Iowa. The reports say that the Santorum campaign doesn't have the money to get past South Carolina. His campaign isn't doing much in New Hampshire and they have to borrow money to get to SC. I think that the Iowa will be his only win.

Ron Paul - Paul's claim that "third place in Iowa is just as good as a win" is political spin. Paul had to win Iowa. Iowa was supposed to be a win for Paul. Sadly, I think Paul will stay in the race until the end.

Newt Gingrich - Still the "smartest man in the room" but the Mitt-Slap removed the shine off Newt's rising star. If Newt has another third or worse showing in South Carolina I think that will end his campaign.

It is over, they just won't admit it:
Rick Perry - He surprised his campaign by announcing that he will continue through SC. I think he is there just to marginalize the Santorum support.

Jon Huntsman - Yes, he is still in the race. It looks like he has been targeting New Hampshire as his "big reveal". I don't see how a supposed candidate can just appear once the voting begins. There is being on the fringe, there is being outside of view, then there is what Huntsman is doing - not being there. It is like he is the party goer that shows up with his glass ready to go as the host is taking out the trash.

Over and done
Herman Cain - Funny what a few potential sexual misconduct issues can do to a somewhat promising campaign. Officially ended his campaign.

Michelle Bachmann - I am so glad that she officially ended her campaign. Every time she was talking on camera my skin would crawl.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:28 AM 
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Really hoping Romney pulls it off. I'd hate to vote for Obama.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:53 AM 
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Romney needs to grow a pair and shake off his corporate masters.

Santorum is fucking scary, and he needs to be defeated soundly. Romney winning by only 8 votes makes me think this will be a long hard slog for the GOP nom.

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Romney is literally a robot.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:35 PM 
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I still don't think any of the Republican candidates have a realistic shot at unseating an incumbent President. That's made awkward for me by my decision not to support Obama anymore.

This year's NDAA was signed into law while it still contained clauses allowing the military to deploy domestically against its own citizens, and detain them indefinitely without charges or trial. Obama threatened to veto it -- but it turns out that was just because of a clause limiting the Executive branch's ability to control those deployments without legislators' approval. When analysts determined that the imagined limitation wouldn't actually exist, he signed it right into law. I'd try him for treason if it worked that way, but it doesn't. Right now the only way to get our safety from our own military back would be to challenge the law as unconstitutional in the US Supreme Court -- a case I'd have trouble founding while being held in a secret location and denied access to the outside world for the rest of my short life.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:39 PM 
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Quote:
Right now the only way to get our safety from our own military back


If the military really did decide to go rogue and take over, would the legality or lack thereof really bother them?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:12 PM 
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No, and I'm sure your point is that that's always been the case, but previously it's been all-or-nothing; now, they can arrest just you, and keep you under lock and key forever without even accusing you of anything specific, and they don't have to be willing to overthrow the government to do it. Deploying the military domestically at all used to be illegal as hell.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:16 PM 
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The LULZ are about to begin, because all of them will be so thoroughly destroyed by Obama that he will win in yet another landslide. I'm looking forward to the 2016 election, because 2012 is on lock.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:38 PM 
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TBF I can't see any way NDAA passes the Supreme Court.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:12 PM 
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It doesn't pass the Supreme Court; the Supreme Court isn't in the way. They don't get to approve or disapprove of new laws at will; they have to be asked to hear a case wherein an aggrieved party can demonstrate that they have been harmed, before they can review anything.

In this case, if you have been harmed by this law, you are now a nonexistent entity placed indefinitely in limbo, and you can't speak your case to a court anyway, so the Supreme Court can't ever come into play unless the military detains someone then grants them access to the press. Therefore, basic strategy suggests that anyone the military arrests, they'll arrest forever -- because the first person ever to be detained and then released will act to end their power.


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