Las Vegas Sun

August 30, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

We can’t afford not to cut waste

In a recent letter to the editor, Ed Dornlas stated that citizens are weary of hearing about the national debt accumulated by our generosity and says it is a fantasy to think we can grow our way out of our debt by cutting taxes. Mr. Dornlas also states that because we are such a generous country, we will bear the “cost of bringing in millions of new immigrants into our entitlement programs.” He mentioned that one way to pay for this would be raising taxes.

For people who believe that raising taxes is the answer, the math does not work. In 2000, our national debt was $5.6 trillion dollars and in 2012, it rose to $16 trillion. For the past four years, our national budget has had deficits of more than $1 trillion each year and it is projected to continue this upward spiral.

If we raised the taxes on those “rich folks” and were to seize all of their money and assets, the U.S. Treasury would receive approximately $1.5 trillion dollars. That would pay for the deficit for this year. So next year where are we going to get the taxes to pay for all these generous programs?

We are living in a fantasy land to think that all we have to do is raise taxes and our financial problems will go away.

Unless we get real and start cutting the federal budget and eliminating fraud and waste, we will wake up one day and find ourselves bankrupt.

Ask yourself: If you ran your household budget the same way the president and Congress run the federal budget, how long would it be before you went into bankruptcy? I do not want to give anymore of my hard earned money to the government because they do not spend it wisely.

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  1. Mr. Kreps has it right! Facts are stubborn things.

  2. I second your motion Bob about Kreps' letter.

    Carmine D

  3. Regarding Mr. Kreps letter, one of the largest problems we face is that the part of our government that makes our laws, creates and funds programs, and set taxes only does 50 % of the job they should do.

    If a private concern that can go out of business if they run their enterprise unwisely, creates a new service or product, they monitor performance and cost effectiveness closely. If both are not good, they modify the product or service and check performance again. This is constantly done. If performance and cost effectiveness don't improve, the product or service is discontinued.

    Does Congress do this? No. Because they cannot go out of business, they are not concerned with whether their programs perform well or are cost effective. That is why we have deficits and a large debt.

    Parties don't matter here because they operate similarly. No matter what party is in power, when waste, fraud, duplication, ineffective programs etc is uncovered, 'show' hearings 'may' be held but few people are ever held truly responsible and everything goes back to business as usual. This happens in defense (the favored area for Republicans and Conservatives) and domestic programs (the favored area for Democrats and Progressives). Each side blames the other and 'we' enable the whole mess by blindly and stupidly supporting 'our' side.

    Most programs and the associated spending are probably well intended, but the fact is, many are terribly run, and don't accomplish intended goals.

    What does Congress do? It creates more programs and more spending and then it 'creates' and 'borrows' the money to pay for the new and old programs.

    We carp about this but we do nothing that matters. We need to call for term limits, public financing of campaigns and we need to insist that Congress does 100 % of its job, not just 50 %.

    Michael

  4. This is an economic issue. However, to those on the Left who call themselves "liberal", yet remain resistant to change, this is just a political issue with which they use to vilify Republicans and strike fear and class hatred into their constituents.

    ...But, I digress.

    Actually, both parties like to trod out their respective economic fallacies so that as they continue to rob us at gunpoint, we can all feel good about it, and even thank them as we set them upon pedestals. Your family may be going hungry, but society as a whole is better off.
    ??????????????

    The so-called science of economics is a vast sea of contradictory theories and beliefs. IMO, mainstream doctrine has poisoned the well for about a century now which has become so entrenched in academia, business, public opinion, and politics. Its one and only true benefit is that it provides intellectual cover for the oppressive growth of big-government.

  5. I'll answer Bradley's question. Yes, we get and use the oil deposits in the shale, but we do it with environmental safeguards so we don't contaminate ground water sources. At the same time, the government should invest heavily in clean energy 'research', but not clean energy 'retail' development. That should be left to the private sector.

    'We' are going to use the amount of oil or more that could come from the oil shale. Like it or not, the world runs on oil and will for some time to come... and we are part of the world. The question is whether the oil we use here comes from within our own country or we send billions of dollars to other countries to import the oil when many of these countries don't like us and we have zero control over how the money we send in exchange for the oil is used.

    The oil shale could be and should be a boon to us, as long as we use appropriate environmental controls.

    Michael

  6. No one on either side has mentioned the real cause of our troubles: massive -- and increasing -- income inequality.

    We'll reduce our entitlement costs and increase our tax base when we recreate a middle class in this country.

  7. Here's the "math", the abridged version. To work our way out of a reward-dependency, reward-frivilous-debt lack-of-economy, we must OPERATE ON REVENUES WITH NO DEFICIT SPENDING--and that includes carrying current debt--paying the interest out of current revenues. To do this, we must STOP PAYING ILLEGAL INVADERS TO COME HERE, force them out, employ American citizens ONLY, STOP SENDING AND SPENDING $trillions on 400-plus military posts worldwide, get out of the wars and conflicts, shut down the State Department which gives away--they send their agents into every "emerging" area to asses what THEY NEED and send us the bills. We need to NOT INTERFERE WITH ECONOMIC RECOVERY--keep government out of SBA and other loans to specific industries, get government OUT OF HIGHER ED--no more student loans, no more Pell grants. We need to get government out and let our economy resuscitate. IF we let them "help" we're much more likely to kill off another industry with all those "unintended" consequences.

    p.s. WE NEED MORE INCOME INEQUALITY--where the ambitious and innovative get rewarded for building a business or inventing something and those who refuse to support themselves get less.

  8. But Emthree, we might consider legislation in that stockholders (unless majority owners) seldom have ANY SAY in what executives are paid--and executives keep getting mega million raises REGARDLESS OF THEIR WORTH AND / OR PRODUCTIVITY. Ron Johnson has destroyed JCPenney and they kept paying him millions saying how talented he is--Wall Street is still saying how talented he is. SO TAX THEM--tax the employers who pay ANYONE IN EXCESS of $1 million a year and tax the executives and all employees---by increasing the FICA withholding tax with NO CAP. Also tax the stock options....

  9. Waste is more excessive than fraud in government programs and we must ATTACK BOTH FRAUD AND WASTE. There is no reason for taxpayers paying to support healthy adults with or without children for more than a very TEMPORARY time. There is no excuse for Americans to pay for European "defense" and "defense" of EVERY PLACE ON THE GLOBE. Who are we defending them from? From us? We certainly are NO SHINING EXAMPLE of how to do anything right, not in the last 50 years.

  10. EXAMPLE out of current headlines: THE FARM BILL. Portion of which is EBT SNAP of $24 B or so. They want to "cut" eligibility by restoring benefits for LEGAL IMMIGRANTS--so as soon as Congress can hoodwink Americans into ANOTHER AMNESTY, the illegals become "legal" and qualify for welfare. We already pay "case workers" government salaries at the state and local levels to take applications and process $16 a month for cold and hungry, low-income seniors getting $800 a month in SS. Yes just $16 a month while we pay the government employees upwards of $60K. And the FARM BILL covers FREE BREAKFAST, FREE LUNCH, FREE GROCERIES for illegal invaders. The Farm Bill and other federal sources FUND "NON-PROFIT" FOOD BANKS that prioritize large illegal families and turn away American seniors. Want to show me the math on how many of the 25 million illegals we adopted with previous amnesties are getting how much of our safety net while American long-term unemployed are committing suicide because they cannot face their children, cannot feed their children or themselves?

  11. people like Mr. Kreps are living in a world devoid of reality. Illuminating fraud and waste if there is any would accomplish nothing.

    You could eliminate the entire Defense Department including veterans benefits and off the books appropriations and you would save about $900 billion. Then you could eliminate the entire federal workforce including Congress and the president and you would save about $250 billion more. That combined saving would barely cover the $70 trillion shortfall in Medicare and Medicaid.

    Or we could bring our medical costs down to the second most expensive country which is Norway. That would save enough money in the next few decades to cover Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security as well as eliminate the debt.

    Take your pick! It's medical that draining the blood out of the country. People typically want to reduce foreign aid and eliminate waste to deal with the deficit. At the same time they want increased medical spending. Foreign aid amounts to 1% of the budget and fraud and waste are pittance.

  12. A law was passed several years ago that allowed Americans to keep a substantial amount of the money that was recovered when fraud and waste was reported.
    So far I've seen one guy get $30 million. The program has been in effect for years. Ranting about fraud and waste and actually finding some are two different things. If you can find it and report it you're going to be rich. Good luck!
    http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2011-...

  13. A typical talking point is that substantial numbers of welfare recipients are also substance abusers. I believe Florida initiated a program to drug test the downtrodden. They figured they would save a bundle. How many substance abusers are they finding? Almost none! It's costing more money to run the program than they are saving.

  14. For political parties to point fingers at one another is another waste of time. Every country in the industrialized world is dealing with debt problems. There are 72,000 people in United States that are over 100 years old. Tens of thousands in Japan and Europe. People living unbelievably long lives, sky high medical costs, and the demand for entitlements is what is causing the budgetary problems. There are currently 10,000 people a day retiring in the United States. Each one of those is going to get about $24,000 a year in Medicare and Social Security benefits. I could care less whether there is a Republican in the White House or Democrat that's a very expensive situation and not one that's easy to resolve.

  15. http://www.ifhp.com/documents/2011iFHPPr...
    If you look at the above comparative cost analysis Americans have to be out of their minds to put up with this crap. It doesn't even seem possible that it could get to this.

  16. Want to cut waste? Stop giving profitable corporations billions in subsidies.

    Want to cut waste? Stop paying billions to contractors manufacturing antiquated weapons and armaments the military doesn't want.

    Want to cut waste? Stop paying billions to contractors spying on us.

    Want to cut waste? Stop paying politicians $174,000 to sit on their arses and obstruct the operation of government.

    Want to cut waste? Stop inserting more contractors than soldiers into combat zones.

    Want to cut waste? Stop bribing countries such as Pakistan thinking we can but their allegiance.

    Want to cut waste? Stop financing completely corrupt governments such as Afghanistan.

    Want to cut waste? Stop nation building in other countries that cost U.S. citizens billions in revenue.

    Want to cut waste? Bring our troops home.

    I wonder, how many trillions could have been saved over the last ten years if we had done the above?

  17. VidiVeritas,

    Nixon was impeached and resigned from the presidency, before he could or would divulge what his "Secret Plan" was to end the Vietnam war.

  18. 1. If I ran my personal budget as the Republican'ts want the Federal government to run its budget, I would NEVER have been able to buy a house. After all, that meant assuming a debt 2 to 4 times greater than my annual income and the Republican'ts are freaking OUT even though the Federal debt is barely equal to ONE year o fthe national income.

    2. If the Federal budget was run as I run MY budget, Congress would long since have found new sources of income.

  19. Future,

    Why are you ignoring what I posted and continue to blame Obama for wasteful spending? President Obama CAN NOT do a damn thing without congress enacting their wasteful spending bills which includes Republicans. He doesn't have a carte blanche checking account and can just write checks at will. You can post all the figures you want but the cost of those physically and mentally injured will go way above the numbers you believe. Do you remember the battle vets had with the gov't. over agent orange?

    Another significant fact you left out, Nixon escalated the Vietnam War by bombing and inserting troops into Laos and Cambodia.

  20. How much is Syria going to cost us now that they have crossed Obama's, errr, our line?

  21. VidiVeritas,

    Thanks for that link, I didn't realize how high the cost of spying was.

  22. I'm all for cutting waste and abuse from government projects. Does anyone have real data on how much waste and abuse there actually IS in any program? DON'T simply cite anecdotes and isolated instances. Anecdotes, on BOTH sides, are a dime a dozen.

    What about cutting FRAUD from government projects? Of course, that will take spending even MORE money for the necessary staff and controls. Yet Republican'ts CUT the IRS staff, so IRS can't afford to audit many people suspected of tax fraud! Particularly the 501(c)(4) organizations that spend so much untaxed money on politics rather than on social welfare.

  23. Samspeaks (sam pizzo) (4:09 p.m.):

    1. Nixon was NOT impeached. The House Judiciary Committee approved the first of three articles of impeachment on July 27, 1974. Nixon resigned on August 8 - BEFORE the full house actually voted on the three final articles of impeachment.

    2. Nixon's "secret plan" was apparently to declare that "We won!" after which he would order our troops removed. He never formally stated his pre-election "plan" but that was the plan he actually executed. The last troops left Vietnam on March 29, 1973, a year and 4 months before the House Judiciary Committee's first impeachment vote.

  24. sam pizzo shows a surprising lack of knowledge of history.

    Sam says "Nixon was impeached and resigned from the presidency...."

    Sam, check your history books. Nixon was never impeached. Only two US Presidents have ever been impeached. Andrew Johnson on Feb 24, 1868 and Bill Clinton on December 19, 1998. (both Democrats) Both were acquitted at the trials held by the Senate.

    Nixon resigned from office on August 9, 1974 without the US House of Representatives ever voting on Articles of Impeachment.

  25. Sam:

    President Nixon resigned to avoid the disgrace of being impeached which would have happened had he not.

    Carmine D

  26. "Resignation

    Richard Nixon resigns

    Resignation speech of President Richard Nixon, delivered August 8, 1974.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "In light of his loss of political support and the near-certainty of impeachment, Nixon resigned the office of the presidency on August 9, 1974, after addressing the nation on television the previous evening.[197]"

    If Nixon had in fact been impeached, there would be no need for him to resign.

    Carmine D

  27. Since we're on the subject, here's the second article of impeachment against Nixon:

    "1. He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner."

    Sound familiar.

    Carmine D

  28. renorobert 4:28: How do you quantify the amount when we haven't defined the parameters? Paying government employees to process applications to provide American seniors $16 a month in EBT SNAP demonstrates that the programs are INSIDE OUT. We pay more to the employees than we spend on the hungry seniors. In may be "legal" but we give illegal invader families endless benefits. You'd have to do expert parsing, tirelessly, to explain that, oh say, the latest amnesty proposal would deny welfare to illegals--but they already get endless benefits. I am not stretching the truth. You have one anchor baby or claim a kid was born here. You get the kid all the welfare as a "family of one." AND THEN, the entire household gets freebies: free LIHEA utilities based on household size, not based on legal residency. AND WHEN YOU GET LIHEA, the household AUTOMATICALLY GETS FOOD STAMPS. The proposed Farm Bill says "legal" immigrants would qualify for EBT SNAP so if you get an "exemptions" or an Obama-ordered exception to immediate deportation (Dreaming "students"), you get all the welfare.
    WE CAN let them stay or leave of their own accord (while we expel and deport the criminals, violent, those stealing UMC health care, those stealing welfare...) WITHOUT INTERFERING and pretending they're gonna pay back taxes and fines. No, they'd just do what they've been doing and all their kids become citizens. IF we allowed them to stay, it would preclude an economic revival that would allow American adults to find jobs, to support our kids, to control escalating costs in K-12, health care, welfare, law enforcement, prisons.... We didn't force them to come here. They made their own decisions. So THEY CAN DECIDE TO GO HOME. THIS is NOT their home.

  29. Vernos, would you be interested in an appointment to CBO and/or Congressional assistant?

  30. p.s. Renorobert: the ILLEGALS get about $186 in EBT SNAP per person, while low-income seniors get the $16 a month.

  31. Resignation is more graceful. LOUD and LOUDER calls for Holder to be gone. Hillary is out of there pretending we want her back in higher office.

  32. Roslenda (Roberta Anderson): Your 7:52 a.m. post certainly came out of the blue!!! It bears no relation whatsoever to my 4:38 p.m. post of the prior afternoon. Contrary to your allegation, I quantified NOTHING! I simply asked if anyone, and that most definitely includes you, could quantify ANY systemic fraud, waste, or abuse in ANY government program! Rather than do so, you elected to go off on another extreme rant in a totally unrelated direction.

    If you have nothing productive to add to discussions here, you are very much a major part of the problems our society faces.

  33. Roslenda (Roberta Anderson): at 10:10 a.m. today, you claimed that "ILLEGALS get about $186 in EBT SNAP per person, while low-income seniors get the $16 a month." Since you don't bother to provide a source for this very specific allegation, it's probably best if we take it with a handful (not just a GRAIN!) of salt.

  34. Two American Presidents have been impeached: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Both were subsequently AQUITTED in their trials by the Senate. The former is pretty much ignored (justifiably, I'd say) by history - but on grounds not pertaining to his impeachment. The latter is still around and making a mark.

    Was Nixon impeached? Absolutely not. Would he have been if he hadn't resigned? Quite possibly. Would the Senate have convicted him after a trial? I'd not even chance a GUESS on that. How would history have reacted to his impeachment? Probably indifferently if the Senate acquitted him. Again...I offer no guesses.

  35. "Was Nixon impeached? Absolutely not. Would he have been if he hadn't resigned? Quite possibly."

    Near certainty is more likely. He met, prior to his resignation speech, with key members of Congress, some lifelong political friends, who told him they would vote for his impeachment. Your friends are the last to go right before you.

    Carmine D

  36. "Hmmmmm....is Carmine hinting that maybe we should consider impeaching President Obama?

    Naw! Carmine would never go down that road, would he?"

    My wish is for President Obama to serve out his entire second term and live with the joys and heartaches of the consequences and results.

    Carmine D

  37. renorobert: Do a SIMPLE search of the LVSun online--they have explained the $ re EBT. And or course, you could go to the proposed FARM BILL where they cite the $16 per recipient when you have some income like the $800 a month SS many Nevadans who worked in the service industry get.

  38. I did that "simple search" Roberta. I found NO HITS AT ALL for "EBT" in the Sun's online files, so I didn't even try your "$ re EBT" suggestion.

    The original Farm Bill of 2002 (7 USC Section 3007) addresses benefits for Seniors and sets aside $20,600,000 for fiscal years 2008-2012. The proposed farm bill currently in Congress (H.R.1947 - see the Library of Congress's "Thomas" web site) extends that to fiscal years 2014-2018. NEITHER mentions $16 per senior.

    Neither the original Farm Bill of 2002 nor the proposed current amendment includes the words "illegal," "undocumented," nor "alien" in ANY context.

    Do you REALLY have references available? (If so, please provide them...) Or are you simply blowing Fox smoke at us?