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JimVanMeerten (57.42)

Request for reader comments of governmental debt



December 07, 2010 – Comments (9)

I'd like to poll the readers of Motley Fool -- the smartest people in the world that I know of -  and find out what you think.

There seems to be so much confusion on what course the governments, states, counties and cities around the world should take.

Should they:

1 - Increase spending and reduce taxes
2 - Increase taxes and reduce spending
3 - Increase both taxes and spending
4 - Reduce both taxes and spending
5  - Put their head in the sand and hope it all goes away

This is a serious question and your input would be appreciated

9 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 07, 2010 at 2:14 PM, goalie37 (86.66) wrote:

What path that should be followed is a subject better addressed by other readers, but I am fairly certain that #5 is the one that will be followed.  We have seen in Greece, Spain, and Ireland that any attempt by a government to right its ship will be met by strikes, upheaval, and ultimately defeat at the ballot box.  I don't know of any politicians in this country who have the testicular fortitude to take that upon themselves.

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#2) On December 07, 2010 at 2:23 PM, truthisntstupid (75.53) wrote:

I'll second what goalie said. 

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#3) On December 07, 2010 at 2:38 PM, brickcityman (< 20) wrote:

I'll third goalie, but my choice would be  a combination of 3 & 4.  The reason I say that is really what we need is a re-alignment of government.


Tax payers need to be seen as both customers and owners of government. 


This means improving their customer experience (lowering taxes where practical, optimizing operations based on tax payer needs, etc).  And it also means maximizing returns on tax payer 'investment'.  Meaning deploying taxes to keep things humming along as well as using the heft of government to invest in the types of things businesses either cannot or will not invest in.


Re-align the priorities of government to serve the needs of society and align the tax code to serve these priorities (and these priorities only).

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#4) On December 07, 2010 at 3:34 PM, A6Bogie (< 20) wrote:

# 4 with additions.

Limit the government to a 3 month session, cut their pay by 75%.  Seems to work in the state legislatures where reps have a day job.

Return to the states all powers not enumerated in the constitution to the feds.  You know, a little 10th amendment action.

Then people can do what Ronald Regan said, if you don't like what the government is doing vote with your feet.

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#5) On December 07, 2010 at 7:19 PM, MegaEurope (< 20) wrote:

China should take option 1.

PIIGS, Japan, UK, US should take option 2.

Mexico should take option 3.

France, Germany should take option 4.

Australia should take option 5.

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#6) On December 07, 2010 at 7:31 PM, starbucks4ever (89.16) wrote:

#2, but with additions. Reduce spending on the military toys, public schools, HMOs, and infrastructure, but increase spending on Social Security, welfare, Medicaid/Medicare, UE benefits, reduce work hours and decrease the retirement age. Overall, spending should stay at the current levels, but taxes need to go up radically. And shut down the printing press once and for all.

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#7) On December 07, 2010 at 7:48 PM, soycapital (< 20) wrote:

I'll ask my neighbor; he has been off work a year and a half. Today I saw him and said hey, CAT is hiring over in ...... so his response and I quote "if they aren't paying over $9.00 per hour, I think I'll stay on unemployment". Bit an odor of beer followed him around whilt smoking an old gold cigarette.

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#8) On December 08, 2010 at 10:45 AM, Melaschasm (71.39) wrote:

4 - Reduce both taxes and spending

The US is in need of drastic spending cuts right now.  At some point, the US also needs to cut taxes, but that is a lesser issue.


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#9) On December 14, 2010 at 9:41 AM, JaysRage (77.43) wrote:

Increase taxes and reduce spending.   We need to produce a balanced budget for starters.  It's not that hard to understand.    Of course, that is by far the most unpopular stance, which is why government has been doing the opposite for quite some time.   Everyone wants more services and they want to pay less for them.    We're living in a dreamworld of entitlement right now, and it needs to end quickly.    We're not out of the woods yet.   The high risk states kicked the can down the road, and the U.S. government continues to do the same.  

Some very extremely unpopular moves like raising the age to qualify for social security and medicare are long overdue.   The current ages were set when average life expectancy was much lower. 

So far, #5 has been the approach, as mentioned.  

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