R17, I don't disagree in the slightest that our federal debt level is fucking absurd, and that something needs to be done about it. The problem is that you're blaming the wrong parties.
[quote]Those NOT laid off, including those who retired before the criss, are draining wealth from the system.
Please explain further. By "wealth" do you mean Social Security benefits? You understand that everyone in the country is REQUIRED to pay over 15% of their income DIRECTLY into funds for Social Security and Medicare, right? And that we've guaranteed everyone who's paid these taxes that they will GET income as a result when they retire?
[quote]Sure, they need their retirement benefits, but who signed on to having these folks collect guaranteed income while those who build our future can't even find decent jobs?
Again, you're conflating two completely different issues. Social Security and Medicare have absolutely nothing to do with unemployment levels among the young. The BIGGEST obstacle recent college grads are encountering, actually -- aside from the obvious general economic malaise -- is the fact that Baby Boomers, who comprise a substantially outsized percentage of the current 50- to 65-year-old American age pool, are delaying their retirements because they haven't saved up enough yet for it (in part due to layoffs, but also due to much more complicated reasons like their failure to save enough and spending too much on revolving credit card payments and similar bullshit). The trickle-down effect means far fewer jobs at the end of the line for 22- to 25-year-olds with no substantial job history.
[quote]The typical civil-service pension is absurd. You have people collecting a lot more than $600 a week. Unemployment does go up to $4450 a week in many states as well.
Link, please. I don't buy those figures at all, but regardless, the overwhelming number of people with civil-service pensions get them from municipalities and their states, not the federal government.
[quote]Now where do you get the other $1.5 trillion in cuts?
You're fallaciously assuming cuts are the only answer in addition to raising taxes on the wealthy. How about ending the war in Afghanistan, cutting defense spending on redundant and outdated weapons systems designed for the Cold War instead of the modern world, eliminating corporate welfare for massively profitable companies like ExxonMobil (which gets $5 billion a year in federal subsidies) and Monsanto (among hundreds of others), chopping pork-barrel spending in Congress (something people on both sides of the aisle are shamelessly guilty of), and allowing the reforms in Obama's health-care bill designed to substantially *cut* health-care costs take effect, for starters?
[quote]It won't matter if we default on our bonds or have to print another $20 trillion, will it?
Of course it matters. You're just blaming the wrong parties for the causes of our insane debt.