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Wow! BBC asks for my opinion! Floored and flummoxed!
#1
Wow! BBC asks for my opinion! Floored and flummoxed!

Wow!

I was reading the BBC's Website late yesterday evening (my time) and a new article about the debt discussions by the US Congress (more accurately termed "debt arguments" or maybe "debt threats") popped up.

I read it, then made a comment. Lo and behold, I was first. I have made comments on BBC articles before; they have always been mostly ignored in the past. Not this time though.

A short while later, I got a message from the BBC: They would like to do a telephone interview with me on my opinion about the debt fight. (I mentioned in the comment I am a disabled vet and am somewhat concerned my disability compensation, which is discretionary spending in the budget, would be axed if there is no agreement.)

I thought about it, then wrote back to decline. My education in economics is only sufficient to balance a cheque book, and ends at high school. I have no clue what to do about the problems the GOP and the Dems are wrangling with. I don't care to show my lack of education on television in the UK and on the BBC's worldwide shortwave service.

I did give a response which I hope was not too provincial to her, pointing out the things above and that for a long time I was homeless and was forced to live within my means. Neither a borrower nor lender am I: no credit cards, no loans, no debts. My wife and I bought a house recently with money we saved for the purpose. We will buy a new car the same way later this summer. We are not wealthy by any means (VA disability does not make you rich), we just don't buy what we cannot afford. (That is why I am using a laptop with no "k" nor "m" keys: I cannot afford another computer.)

It does occur to me though, that veterans' pensions, veterans' disability, and active duty and reservist pay are all discretionary spending in the USA's budget. Discretionary spending is the first thing to go when the government wants to raise funds without raising revenues. It also occurs to me what has happened to other nations in the past when they stiff their armed forces of their pay.

James. Living the high life beyond civilisation in the Nebraska Sand Hills.

"Be ye not lost amongst Precept of Order." - Book of Uterus, 1:5, "Principia Discordia, or How I Found Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her."
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#2
RE: Wow! BBC asks for my opinion! Floored and flummoxed!
Shit, tough spot. I don't understand how your government can neglect their responsibility to those who were injured in service simply because they're broke from spending more money injuring more people for no good reason - It's about as ass-backwards as any policy decision I've ever heard of.
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#3
RE: Wow! BBC asks for my opinion! Floored and flummoxed!
(July 26, 2011 at 6:19 am)theVOID Wrote: Shit, tough spot. I don't understand how your government can neglect their responsibility to those who were injured in service simply because they're broke from spending more money injuring more people for no good reason - It's about as ass-backwards as any policy decision I've ever heard of.

Well, that's the way the set up is here.

The government basically has two types of spending, divided into Discretionary and Mandatory (neither of which means what the terms imply).

Mandatory spending is when a bill is passed that includes its funding. An example of that is when the Department of Defence is tasked with acquiring a new weapons system.

Discretionary spending is when a bill is required to authorise spending every year. This includes things such as military pay, veterans' benefits, foreign aid, &c. It was noted to us by the officers when I was still in the Navy during the last showdown of this type (during Reagan's presidency) that "pay" is not mentioned anywhere in an enlistment contract. Service would be required, even if the government failed to pay us.

That did not occur, of course. But for a nation that has an all-volunteer military, it seems rather short-sighted to tell the armed forces, the guys with the guns, that they aren't going to be paid.

While there has never been a successful mutiny in the history of the US Armed Forces, I wouldn't want to be the government official on watch the first time there is.

"Be ye not lost amongst Precept of Order." - Book of Uterus, 1:5, "Principia Discordia, or How I Found Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her."
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#4
RE: Wow! BBC asks for my opinion! Floored and flummoxed!
That's nuts! nothing is more mandatory from an ethical perspective than honouring the obligations you have agreed to. Imagine if someone got to decide every year if they were going to continue paying child support!
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#5
RE: Wow! BBC asks for my opinion! Floored and flummoxed!
(July 26, 2011 at 6:39 am)Anymouse Wrote: While there has never been a successful mutiny in the history of the US Armed Forces, I wouldn't want to be the government official on watch the first time there is.
There was one time in our nation's history when we came very close. It was only stopped by Washington's force of personality. The cause was the same. His advice to Congress was something along the lines of "pay the military".
Atheist Forums Hall of Shame:
"The trinity can be equated to having your cake and eating it too."
...      -Lucent, trying to defend the Trinity concept
"(Yahweh's) actions are good because (Yahweh) is the ultimate standard of goodness. That’s not begging the question"
...       -Statler Waldorf, Christian apologist
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#6
RE: Wow! BBC asks for my opinion! Floored and flummoxed!
(July 26, 2011 at 6:11 am)Anymouse Wrote: (That is why I am using a laptop with no "k" nor "m" keys: I cannot afford another computer.)
You can get replacements on ebay for about £20 for new. Pretty simple to fit Wink
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