Seriously, I think we should just remove all soldiers on foreign soil, and work on our military internally. That way, we would effectively erase all oil costs to transport troops, and spend the left overs on better training, or on luxury.
@Lumpkin: The government can easily make you pay for them: the Federal Reserve can 'just' print a $17 trillion note and pay off the debt (or 170 billion $100 notes, or 17000 $1 billion notes, etc.). Your $100k savings may worth $60-70k after a night. That's how the government rob us. Our money is not really in our pockets at all. It's in the hand of the government. Use gold/silver, or something real, or something that can't be made up in one night.
maybe it's too paranoid, but that's what my history teacher said. Did he troll his students?
@tntxtnt: I'm actually more afraid that your teacher wasn't trying to troll you and he is the type of person who actually believes in that crap. What makes a fiat currency more valuable then one based on a material standard is it's liquidity and availability. If we had to wait for a new deposit of gold to be discovered every time we needed our economy to expand we would never get anywhere, there would be no money to lend out and therefore no new businesses would be able to start. You'd be in a queue for months just to get a loan for your used car. Of course some new business would start up, and new loans would trickle out but no where near the rate that it does today. If you think that our economy would expand because of "Gold in the Ground" (known deposits being mined at a fixed rate) then you haven't been paying any attention to how oil works and how the term "Futures Market" applies the same to both cases.
Honestly why are you concerned about the sum total of the national debt? We are still able to make the necessary payments by a large margin so there is no concern about some one coming by and repossessing the country. If you go through life thinking in these terms you'll never survive adulthood, as a real life example I don't mind telling you guys that I personally owe a little over $60,000 across the board, I'm only 26, my SO is somewhere around $50,000 her self, we have a kid to raise and the women and I are talking about acquiring ANOTHER loan to buy a house. And I don't lose a second of sleep over any of this, you know why? Because I am able to make the payments I owe, buy a few extras and still go on a family vacation every year. In return for all of this debt I have an engineering degree that I would STILL be saving up for without the loan and a decent four door car that was built in 2009.
What should concern those people who are intelligent enough to balance a checkbook, is the rate at which the interest payments increase\accumulate. Because even though we are WAY the heck away from that being an actual concern anytime in the near future, it is something that would have a direct impact on our day to day lives. This sequestering crap that you are seeing is partisan BS and our current congress should be jailed for it. I guarantee the next time either party holds both the house and the office we see all of this go away and all of the blame get stacked on the other guy.
The form of income tax we have today came sometime in 1913. It just takes a percentage of your income based on your various variables (marital status, number of children, amount of income, disability, so on).
For example, my very first pay check at the current job I have was 1010.68. After income tax, medicare, and social security is taken out, I actually only made 862.86, income tax alone taking 70.51.
Basically, if you don't have a lot of people who rely on you and if you're poor, income tax is heavy on you. Strangely, the percentage if you make more money can sometimes be *less* than when you make less.
Welcome to America.
P.S. Something might be off, I'm no economics/business major.