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Author Topic:   Dominant Force in West Today According to Dennis Prager is Fear of Left
Posts: 4164
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9

Message 100 of 308 (866646)
11-14-2019 2:17 AM
Reply to: Message 98 by JonF
11-13-2019 10:00 PM

Re: Leftist ideology and economics
Lumping everything together hides some important facts.

I took this graphic of the 2018 Federal Budbget from the Wikipedia page, United States Federal Budget:

So we have mandatory spending and discretionary spending as you kind of broke out with your second graphic. From mine we have these groupings:

Outlays $4.1 trillion
  1. Mandatory $2.523 trillion
    1. Social Security $982 billion
    2. Medicare $582 billion -- minus income from premiums and other offsetting receipts
    3. Medicaid $389 billion
    4. Other $570 billion -- Outlays for unemployment compensation, federal civilian and military retirement, some veterans' benefits, earned income tax credit, Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Program, and other mandatory programs minus income from offsetting receipts
  2. Discretionary $1.262 trillion
    1. Defense $623 billion
    2. Nondefense $639 billion -- outlays for many programs related to transportation, education, veterans' benefits, health, housing assistance, and other activities
  3. Net Interest $325 billion

But where are the revenues coming from that pay for that? This is the part the gets obscured:

Revenues $3.3 trillion
  1. Dedicated to specific programs -- $1.2 trillion
    1. Payroll Taxes $1.2 trillion -- fund social insurance programs primarily SS and Medicare A
  2. General Fund -- $2.176 trillion
    1. Individual Income Taxes $1.7 trillion
    2. Corporate income taxes $205 billion
    3. Other $271 billion -- excise taxes, estate and gift taxes, customs duties, remittances from Federal Reserve, misc fees and fines

So any discussion of the deficit requires that we define specifically where the deficit comes from, namely what specific revenues and specific outlays go into calculating the deficit. That must be known in order to figure out which factors cause the deficit and therefore which factors could be adjusted to reduce or eliminate the deficit.

Both Social Security and Medicare Part A (Parts B, C, & D are insurance programs, two of them private insurance, funded by premiums paid by recipients) are funded by payroll taxes levied specially for them and which cannot be used for any other purpose. As such, they cannot and do no play any part in the deficit. Since they are not factors contributing to the deficit, adjusting them would have no effect on the deficit.

Also, these figures are for the 2018 Budget. We need to see the figures for the 2019 Budget, which I believe was the first one based on the GOP's tax scam and which greatly increased defense spending from $623 billion to something like $800 billion (as I recall). And when we crunch those numbers, we will need to keep straight where specific sources of revenue are going (eg, payroll taxes going to Social Security and to Medicare A).

Also keep in mind that Fiscal Year 2019 ended a couple weeks ago and that we are currently in FY 2020 and hence under the 2020 Budget.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by JonF, posted 11-13-2019 10:00 PM JonF has not yet responded

Posts: 4164
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9

Message 125 of 308 (866719)
11-15-2019 1:01 AM
Reply to: Message 124 by Phat
11-14-2019 10:43 PM

Re: Fear Of The Left vs Fear Of being Left Behind
OK Dr.Jones, if you honestly think that humans can make it, get past our competitive destructive phase amongst ourselves and venture out like Star Trek, I hope you are right...even if it makes me wrong

OK, so then your alternative is to submit ourselves to the will of some authoritarian who tells us that he and he alone can interpret what Jebus wants us to do.

Gee, try to figure it out or else submit mindlessly to some clueless authoritarian nut. Hmmm! Tough one, that! What to do? What to do?

Edited by dwise1, : will of

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Posts: 4164
Joined: 05-02-2006
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Message 126 of 308 (866720)
11-15-2019 1:08 AM
Reply to: Message 121 by DrJones*
11-14-2019 8:00 PM

Re: Fear Of The Left vs Fear Of being Left Behind

This message is a reply to:
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Posts: 4164
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Message 223 of 308 (867196)
11-21-2019 8:53 PM
Reply to: Message 221 by Phat
11-21-2019 8:37 PM

Re: Pascal's wager is a ****** argument
Anymore he is best known for his essay, Why I am Not a Christian. My only copy is the German translation, Warum ich kein Christ bin.

I also heard a story about his arrest and imprisonment during WWI for being a pacifist. While he was being processed into jail, the old female clerk filling out his dossier asked for his religion. "Agnostic." She shook her head and muttered, "So many different religions, but I guess they all worship the same God." That bit of unintentional humor made his incarceration more tolerable.

He was a freethinker. He maintained that when a Catholic becomes a freethinker, then he usually becomes an atheist. But when a Protestant becomes a freethinker, he simply creates a new denomination.

Edited by dwise1, : becoming a freethinker

This message is a reply to:
 Message 221 by Phat, posted 11-21-2019 8:37 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

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