Stuff the Federal Government should cut

subsidies for oil and gas companies
corporate welfare
tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires
agriculture subsidies
unnecessary defense programs
prices Federal programs pay for prescription drugs (they are currently not allowed to negotiate prices with Big Pharma)

None of these were suggested by the Tea party dups or the errand boys for the rich in Congress.

Well, remember that the Tea Party is a creation of corporate honchos and Fox news.

Question for you: By unnecessary defense programs, do you include all the wars, occupations, and aggressions as well? They are literally money sinkholes.

Sounds rational. How much would that amount to on a yearly basis? I mean, can you give a rough estimation?

This is all very general, felix, so in very general terms, I agree. So do most people.

But just what tax loopholes are you talking about? Just what corporate welfare are you talking about? Which defense programs are unnecessary? I think the devil is in the details.

How many of ya’ll know that Exxon couldn’t survive without government subsidies? I say, cut the money off and hang em out to dry. It’s time to move to clean energy and independence from fossil fuels anyway.

Have any details on that, jonquil?

let me add one to the list:

Oh. Jonquil. I googled it. Joe Barton. Thought you were serious.

The supposed ‘war on drugs’.
Privatized prisons.
Whatever toilet paper my company uses.
People I don’t fancy.

Can the government cut toilet paper?

Certainly the war on drugs is way up there, but will the midwestern soccer moms go for it? Isn’t the war in drugs the only thing keeping black men from raping their daughters?

To do what ?

What exactly would you do with the “money saved” from these expenses ? Do you really think there are better things that could be done ? All I hear is, worldwide, everything must be cut, taxes (for the rich as usual), jobs (workers always cost too much and are worthless lazy crap anyways), health care must be cut (too many people getting sick, especially all those without jobs and insurance, why don’t they just go away or die ?), federal jobs are way too much, pay way too much, they are lazy turds, etc. Welfare queens having babies at 16, what a huge pile of crappy people, what else ? We need to pay back trillion dollar debts worldwide, therefore cut costs, cut jobs, kick all the workers out, those lazy turds who got us all into this mess. Greece must cut all of their salaries, make them make 100 euros month, same everywhere else. The fun and satisfaction people get on beating up each other, taking way from as many people as possible is mind boggling. These ideas are so accepted, never challenged, never questioned by anyone, as if they are laws of physics, natural laws from GOD himself. Cut costs, fire workers, cut pensions, “increase the age of pensions” (while we have millions of people less than 30 years old worldwide that need jobs and are kept idle, with too much time on their hands, likely to start breaking up countries like Libya (who’s next ?), we keep old hacks at work in the name of some imaginary cause and effect, that by keeping them at work, the economy is more efficient, is gaining something, total lunacy!).

Oh, you can find a never ending list, of the need to “save”, “take away”, to “cut costs”, to get the “economy more competitive” (when the most competitive economy today in the world is Germany that is at the extreme opposite of all of these right wing cut the welfare programs). The real subtle message is, anyone who is not super rich, capitalist, a superstar entrepreneur who invented the next big thing, is a total turd that costs too much and is robbing from some “general good”, from “some general wealth”, from some “common good”.

Well, I got news for all of you, there is no such thing as “general wealth”, or “common good”: any and all money saved by the cuts, the debts, the layoffs, you name it, all of that will go directly and squarely into the hands of the already super rich, you can be sure. Nothing at all “better” will ever be done with it, since better today means only better to some super rich capitalist, all other programs are a “huge waste”, any program like a new extensive BUS system across the USA is BAD, any program for cheap rents is BAD, any program hiring millions of idle workers is BAD (there goes out the window your “competition”, which essentially means, kick the ass of the guy next to you, etc.).

Also, someone talked about “meritocracy”. This is a fine word that really means I want to be better than you, and really want to kick your ass, lazy crap, not because I am better and already have more than you because of my talent and drive for hard work. There is this idea that equality is BAD, but everyone must strive to be equal to the best, which is rediculous: everyone has their own level and talent.

From: … ment-43600

"“I think people have become experts at creating
their own misery.”

I think you guys are onto something here. There seems to be an addiction among humans to misery and self-sabotage. Especially among societies that have a lot of free energy in the system, like Americans or Japanese. Was it always this way? I’ve written before about how my wife and I are systematically dumping our addictions in preparation for (and in celebration of) energy descent - first any hard drugs, a category in which I also include cigarettes, then TV, then the daily news, then pot (for me only, and only for the most part;), and now alcohol. My mind has started to turn to excessive sugar as a final frontier here lately. Then what? Is it possible that one can be addicted to breaking addictions? What happens when a habitual quitter runs out of vices? Surely there is some sort of habit-forming medication for that. "

I answer:

What you call “free energy in the system” is really EXCESS CAPACITY, is excess wealth, free time, more food than you need, less real productive labor than you would want to have, too much information, too much education, too much thoughts and games, too much complexity, in a never ending maze of information technology, conflicting information, conflicting choices - politics, confusing ideas, Mass Media, movies, books, etc. brought to you by the application of Science and Technology to all productive endeavors.

This state of being seems unnatural to our measly human brains that evolved for thousands of years in probably simpler - limited environments - societies, where the rules were probably (since I don’t really know since I haven’t lived in them), simpler, less conflictual and contradictory internally. Granted, they were probably violent beasts and all, but anyways…

What I am getting at, is that this global - social Technological Economy has no choice but to go forward, ever more and ever faster, by creating ever more ambitious programs and endeavors, putting to work, in real productive activities millions of young people worldwide: make them build skyscrapers, rockets to Mars, let them build everything: keeps their minds and hands occupied, and they don’t kill each other. But to do this, you must get rid of a great part of all of the present day right wing mythology, you have to make an environment that includes and uses as many people as possible at all levels and trades: the exact opposite of what is constantly chanted by the right wing and mass media that wants to exclude as many people as possible because of a never ending array of excuses (skill sets, competition, age, not educated enough, etc.).

the government should cut telling lies, stealing, cheating, and stop living in secret. but the people need to clean up their moral and ethical house.

we need a new humanism with the focus on good behavior and personal responsibility without looking to the heavens.

Pretty much. We should stop trying to control the world and limit military acitivity to defending ourselves.

I can’t really estimate this yet. I suspect it would go beyond what the Repubicans are proposing.

Really I favor a flat tax on all income including capital gains. Corporate welfare would certainly include bailing out banks, automobile manufacturers and the others I listed above. Let’s find out if “free enterprise” actually works.

I agree that ‘corporate welfare’ is a misleading term. Although I can see how it came about, since corporate tax policy, which should be used as a way to encourage investment and jobs in a country as well as to make private industry share the federal tax burden fairly with individual citizens, has become so convoluted that it’s like a shell game. There’s obviously a problem, since corporate income tax as a source of revenue has gone down by a big percentage over the last few decades, something like 30 - 40%. But the point is to balance ways of increasing corporate tax revenues by closing loopholes (like stopping the tax advantages they get for financing their investments by debt instead of raising capital through equity arrangements) AND by truly reforming the current system to encourage businesses to invest and provide jobs in the U.S. Our tax policy is outdated in that it doesn’t really take into consideration the impacts of a global economy and increased competition from other countries to attract U.S. businesses because they have better tax environments. So companies go overseas to produce the products that then get consumed here in the US, but if the companies themselves are located in a foreign country, then the income earned from sales here aren’t subjected to taxation here. And doing business has become so mobile that companies can figure out ways to obfuscate where their income is earned (and thus how it’s to be taxed). One suggestion I’ve seen is to put in place a good system to identify and tax that amount of their income related to where the products are bought and consumed, not where the companies themselves and their manufacturing facilities are located. That would cut out their ability to use overseas tax shelters for profits they make from U.S. sales and they would have less incentive to move elsewhere just to avoid taxes.

We discussed this before, but I am not persuaded that we can do without government. Without a “court of last resport” with the power to enforce society would descend into chaos. Of course, if you prefer that alternative…

I hope not. Going back to the ol’ corn cob would be a rough transition.

Oh, man, the midwestern moms have nothing on the southern suburbanites. Picture all of the same pretentiousness, but coupled together nicely with a southern baptist faith. I’m talking utter ignorance and intolerance that is justified half by ‘class’ and half by religious indoctrination. I predict that if the country begins to budge on drug policies, the south will be the last to go.

I guess the argument could be made either way, though. The drugs either keep them too busy to bother with rape, or it exacerbates an already rampant rape instinct. Second only to the chicken instinct, of course…

Ingenium - that was one of the relatively few truly intelligent posts I have ever seen here about corporate tax policy. I read it twice, just for fun.

Felix - I personally favor no capital gains tax. Unless there are big loopholes for the middle class.

As for those bailouts, it’s easy to be against them, but I find it’s just as easy to be for them. GM is not a well-run company, by any measure, but they still provide and support a lot of domestic jobs, directly and indirectly. I cannot say that the world is better place because we can still buy Buicks, though. I’m not usually on the fence about this stuff, but that’s where I am with the automakers. If allowing them to fail while encouraging other automakers to preserve those jobs was possible, then let them fail. But it was a tough time to do that.

The banks - I think we could have let them fail, yes. The assets get transferred to other banks, and this could still preserve a lot of those jobs. The problem is - which banks? We’d be screaming about backroom deals about that, now.

Why is it that when the middle class gets a tax break, a new exemption, a new deduction, it’s called “Tax relief” and when a millionaire gets one, it’s called a loophole?