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bitmasher's picture
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Bunning Shunning

I was kind of surprised at the firestorm (from both sides of the aisle) aimed at Bunning for his resisting of unemployment benefit extensions. I think somehow unemployment benefits (and even employment) has become some sort of ad hoc entitlement program.

Bunning's point is legit in my book, there really isn't money to keep extending unemployment benefits. What happened to PayGo?

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Re: Bunning Shunning

It's also interesting to note that the media hasn't covered the PayGo part of his message at all. The administration passed that piece of window dressing to put up a facade of fiscal responsibility -- kudos to Bunning for calling out their hypocrisy.

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Re: Bunning Shunning

Choosing to shorten the length of unemployment is not a good idea right now. Bunning has some good points but the economy is tough right now for jobs and a lot of people are out of work so it wouldn't be a good idea.

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Re: Bunning Shunning
bitmasher wrote:

Bunning's point is legit in my book, there really isn't money to keep extending unemployment benefits.............

It has always been the Governments answer to a problem to just throw money at it.
It has now become such commonplace practice that they don't even consider where the money comes from, Taxes.
Taxes that come from Employers who could better use the money to expand and create jobs.
Government should just get out of the way and stop trying to bottle feed everyone.

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Re: Bunning Shunning

Unemployment benefits used to be based on what your employer paid into the system and how long you were employed. So if you had not held your job for very long, you didn't receive much in benefits. This program was supposed to be self-sufficient, not funded by our tax dollars.

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Re: Bunning Shunning

I wish it was as simple as taxes, JTapia, I really do. If the government was required to offset any expenditure with a given revenue stream I think it would force some sort of fiscal responsibility, that is PAYGO in a nutshell. Tax increases are not popular, so instead the treasury continues to issue t-bills to finance the federal governments spending. Many conservatives are tax hawks, but few are debt hawks, because politically it isn't as much of an issue for voters. Tax changes effect voters now, debt may not even effect the voters of today, in fact it can be shown to effect them positively. I'm not sure how to force voters to understand (or even care about) the fact that this debt spending is going to have serious consequences down the road.

Their are some fancy economists that believe that even the current gdp/debt ratio is not terrible and can rise to the level of say Italy, etc. However it was fancy economists that didn't see the problems of AIG and opined greatly about the infallibility of the U.S. housing market.

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Re: Bunning Shunning

PayGo is a joke, because there's no such thing as a no-cost government expenditure. The only resources government has are what it takes from the private sector. What you're going to see in the future is an increase in fees and such that generate revenue but can't be called "taxes." The only way to get it under control is to cut spending...period.

I watched a documentary on Rome tonight that was talking about the famous baths built by Emperor Caracalla. History recorded him as being particularly cruel, but he became obsessed with building an enormous, opulent bath complex that covered 33 acres in an effort to curry favor with the populace. The cost of construction grew to be enormous, eclipsing the cost of the army, corn dole, etc. There were no new conquests bringing in more income, and Caracalla's obsession with building the baths was slowly bankrupting Rome as unemployment rose and the economy declined. Now here we are again...an obsession with government spending, a suffering economy, and a ruler who thinks the best way to deal with the population's unrest is to spend more money.

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