Monday, July 25, 2011

The Problem Of Social Programs And National Debt

by Dick Mac

Only one Western nation is working to eliminate social programs for its citizens during its most difficult economic times. This nation spends about the same as its two closest comparable peer nations, but it is unable to provide a safety net of any substance while its peers provide remarkable services.

All are democracies, all are free-market economies, all are former colonies of and political and cultural descendants of England, all enjoy remarkable technological advances, their citizens travel far and wide, and people from all over the world flock to their doorsteps. They have populations that are very mixed, they are melting pots. They have so much in common that they are basically siblings. One of them, however, can't seem to make things work.

The journalist Ray Medeiros did some research into the gross domestic products (GDP) and deficit spending of three Western nations: United States of America, Canada, and Australia.

These three nations are culturally and economically similar.

In particular, he focused on the impact of social programs on the countries' overall financial standing.

He found that all three spent about the same percentage of their GDPs on social programs:

USA spends 16.2%
Canada spends 16.9%
Australia spends 16.0%

Canada and Australia get more bang for their buck than the USA because they have a single-payer health care system for all citizens, whereas the USA has a single-payer system for only senior citizens. Sadly, the USA is about to eliminate that, too.

Neither Canada nor Australia are wacky socialist countries; in fact, Australia may now be more like the America of militia and rebels, cowboys, gold-rushes, diplomats and entrepreneurs than America. America sacrificed its get-up-and-go to Reagan's misinformation of our nation from people who can change the world to a bunch of Hollywood cowboys (tough on screen, but really a bunch of grovelling pantywaists behind the scenes - like Reagan himself).

Canada's GDP is $1,300,000,000,000 and it's public debt is $561,000,000,000, which is less than half. So, Canada runs a deficit that is half of its GDP, provides single-payer health care for all citizens along with a robust social welfare program, and is generally a stable culture.

Australia's GDP is $1,200,000,000,000 and it's public debt is $264,000,000,000, which is less than 25%! Australia also provides single-payer health care and a robust social welfare program. Australia, too, is a stable nation with a stable culture.

The United States GDP is $14,000,000,000,000 and our public debt is about the same; we run a public debt of roughly 100%. Yet we provide no health care for the majority of the citizenry, and our social welfare system has been systematically dismantled by the current and previous four Presidents.

The USA spends the same percentage of its GDP (16%) on social welfare, and runs a public debt double and triple the size of its peers.

Using math, one can see that social spending is not the problem!

Still, as Canada and Australia out-America the USA, we suffer a bunch of television blow-hards determining public policy, a once great political party serving tea instead of whiskey, and the ruling party sucking bon-bons and letting the USA be further co-opted as a plaything for failing, bloated, welfare-taking corporations.

And yet, as the money is pushed to the top so that it can trickle-down and make America a greater place, we are debating the elimination of health care services for the oldest and sickest Americans, and giving them a stack of vouchers they can use in the open market to get medical care.

In these troubled economic times, we need to spend more, not less, on social programs; we need to provide them as we provided social programs before Reagan (that is, stop giving the money to private corporations to provide public services), and find where the real bloat in our budget lies.

Our deficit problem is not social spending.

America's Debt Problem Is Not Caused By Social Programs

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