Thursday, March 01, 2012

Money Matters

A bit of a flaw in my system when it comes to money matters. I grade them based on what they say, but I may not really trust them all equally to do what they say. It's easy to throw out numbers, in other words.

12 points- Ron Paul
I think Paul has the most specific plan to cut the federal budget. And they are big cuts! I also tend to think he's right about the federal reserve system being flawed at its core. He may be the only guy who suggests lowering taxes that can actually match lost revenue with deleted programs. But would it ever happen? Probably not.

11 points- Mitt Romney
I have him and Santorum as 11's on paper, but my gut trusts Romney way more than Santorum on economic issues. I like the idea of linking the federal budget at 20% of GDP. His 25% corporate tax number is better and realistic compared to some of the other lower suggestions. Other issues made him sound pretty similar to Obama.

11 points- Rick Santorum
He talks a big game (5 trillion in cuts in 5 years), but I haven't seen a specific plan to get there. His other positions seem pretty reasonable.

9 points- Newt Gingrich
I think I'd trust Newt on the economy more than Santorum, but his plan is pretty vague and seems more like a campaign than a realistic set of ideas. I don't see how we could cut the corporate tax all the way down to 12.5% without cutting out a lot of government. I do like the optional flat tax idea for the sake of simplicity, but I am sure this would create tons of lost revenue too.

-6 points- Barack Obama
I just don't think his positions reflect the serious nature of the problem. Increase spending? Try to increase revenue? Bernanke's doing fine? Raise the debt ceiling? Bailouts are working? Keep taxes the same or raise them? I only found a few points of agreement here, but many minuses. Big contrast.


Anonymous said...

Looks like someone is a ron paul fan haha. is an interesting article, in response to what has been proposed re: spending, borrowing, and taxing by the various GOPers.

Do you think slashing social services is the best way to achieve financial stability? Would a combination of spending cuts and tax increases be completely out of line? Do you think the cuts should come mostly from social services, or things like national defense?

defs interested in seeing where you stand.

matthew said...

You asked 3 questions

1. I think having a balanced budget from the get go is the best way to have financial stability. Once that's been ignored for so many years there are no 'good' ways to get back to it. I certainly prefer cutting to trying to increase tax revenue since the latter just gives a bigger check to the government that caused the problem to begin with.

2. No, every option should be on the table. It might not be the best option though.

3. I wouldn't cut defense at all, but I differentiate b/w defense and military. I'd stop policing the world. I'd bring all troops home except for declared wars. This would save a lot of money. I'd end the drug war (Save money) and therefore clear out a lot of our prison overpopulation (save money). Then I'd cancel all proposed increases in spending (the nerve to propose more is crazy). I'd end foreign aid b/c it's crazy to borrow money to give away. I guess those would be my starting points.

Anonymous said...

1. I take it you are not a fan of keynesian economics then. fair enough.

2. what do you think the best option is, generally speaking? cuts exclusively?

3. you might differentiate, but it doesn't appear that the department of defense does :P.

If you bring all the troops home, would you keep the returning soldiers as members of the military, or would the reduction in external world presence result in a reduction in troop numbers generally? if the latter, do you think that it will help, hinder, or not affect at all the unemployment rate?

matthew said...

1. Well, I'm certainly not an expert on economic schools, but I'd tend away from Keynesian, yes.

2. I think the best way to achieve financial stability on a federal level is the same way one achieves it on a personal level. Live within your means. Have as precise a budget as possible. Figure out what is absolutely necessary. If you have the income to pay for that, cool. If not, you have to increase income. If you have extra after the needs are met, then you have freedom to spend on other things too.

3. I think the DoD should differentiate b/w militarism and defense (by getting rid of militarism!). Or, to put it another way, they should re-think what 'defense' means. They seem to think militarism is a good defense. I disagree. I think it actually weakens our defense.

4. I'd imagine that the wise course of action would be to bring the troops home and put them to work on the borders of our own country at first. I would recommend a gradual reduction if there's not enough for them to do.

5. I think the employment (or unemployment) of those returning military men and women would have more to do with the state of the economy than with the influx of a bunch of new people.

matthew said...

that was a good article, thanks :)