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skeeterses
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/f...lines-frontpage

Recently, Bush has proposed selling off 1 Billion dollars over the next decade to raise money for things like schools and roads.
QUOTE
Most of the proceeds would help pay for rural schools and roads, making up for a federal subsidy that has been eliminated from President Bush's 2007 budget.

Some of the officials have said that the lands that are going to be sold are not vital. I think it's a bad idea. Rather than selling off public lands to pay for rural schools and roads, the Federal Government should simply get its hands out of the education business altogether and let the states decide how to fund and regulate the schools. The idea of liquidating public assets to pay for federal programs is like a poor person selling his CDs to the Pawn Shop for grocery store money. What does a poor person do when there are no more CDs or T-shirts left to pawn? President Bush should have learned these lessons about budgeting before even getting into politics.

So the question is
Is President Bush's proposal a good way to help pay for the Federal Budget?
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RedCedar
Hmmmm. WOuld he be selling those lands to energy companies per chance?

I think schools should be run locally, but I'm 100% positive that "money for schools" is just an afront to hide the fact that Bush wants to sell off American owned real-estate to his gas and oil buddies.

What are the chances?

This administration is nothing but a bunch of pirates raiding the gov't trough. mad.gif
skeeterses
I don't think he's going to be selling it to the energy companies. If it were about energy, I think Bush would have tried this option before launching a war against Iraq. Bush has spent America's taxdollars recklessly and his advisors might be realizing the scale of the damage that he's done. This month, the United States of America for the first time has technically defaulted on its national debt.
http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdpenny.htm
QUOTE
Current          Amount

02/09/2006        $8,205,718,977,047.85

The current debt ceiling is $8.184 trillion. The problem is that Bush himself doesn't realize the scale of the damage. America is living on borrowed time and can only keep the creditors at bay for so long.
Bikerdad
QUOTE(skeeterses @ Feb 11 2006, 09:42 PM)
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/f...lines-frontpage

Recently, Bush has proposed selling off 1 Billion dollars over the next decade to raise money for things like schools and roads. 
QUOTE
Most of the proceeds would help pay for rural schools and roads, making up for a federal subsidy that has been eliminated from President Bush's 2007 budget.

Some of the officials have said that the lands that are going to be sold are not vital. I think it's a bad idea. Rather than selling off public lands to pay for rural schools and roads, the Federal Government should simply get its hands out of the education business altogether and let the states decide how to fund and regulate the schools. The idea of liquidating public assets to pay for federal programs is like a poor person selling his CDs to the Pawn Shop for grocery store money. What does a poor person do when there are no more CDs or T-shirts left to pawn? President Bush should have learned these lessons about budgeting before even getting into politics.

So the question is
Is President Bush's proposal a good way to help pay for the Federal Budget?
The Federal Budget consists of two components. New expenses and ongoing expenses. I'd like to point out to you that one of the reasons they're selling these lands is because the ongoing cost of managing them and maintaining roads through them is not worth it. Before the poor person sells his CDs, it might be a good idea to cancel the Columbia House membership first. mrsparkle.gif

So, I don't have a problem with the Feds selling land. They're also selling military bases, and BLM land sales are a frequent occurence hereabouts. What specific lands are sold may be worthy of closer examination, but the mere fact of land sales? 'Tis a non-issue.

BTW, aren't you supposed to be libertarian? I'd figure you'd argue for selling about 1000% more of the Federal lands....

QUOTE(Red Cedar)
Hmmmm. WOuld he be selling those lands to energy companies per chance?

I think schools should be run locally, but I'm 100% positive that "money for schools" is just an afront to hide the fact that Bush wants to sell off American owned real-estate to his gas and oil buddies.
Rather than speculating, why don't you investigate and prove your base charge? The LA Times, certainly a mouthpiece of the far right, was of course completely silent about the legions of planned oil wells, massive strip mines, and glow in the dark uranium mines that will sprout on the lands to be sold... rolleyes.gif

CruisingRam
As an Alaskan AND a libertarian- I am all for land sales- and we have a great deal of it locked up here, so I can get behind this- however- I don't know if any of you have actually BEEN to a school board meeting, because it pretty much IS run locally- only the NCLB is the MOST intrusive thing you have to date. Really, it depends on how active your parents are by how much oversite the federal gov't ends up having. Start going to school board meetings and you will see what I mean. The federal money comes down to us in blocks, and for the most part, pretty free to spend the money on the school as it is needed. It's just never enough, that's all.
RedCedar
QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Feb 12 2006, 04:01 AM)
Rather than speculating, why don't you investigate and prove your base charge?† The LA Times, certainly a mouthpiece of the far right, was of course completely silent about the legions of planned oil wells, massive strip mines, and glow in the dark uranium mines that will sprout on the lands to be sold...†† rolleyes.gif


It's really not that uncommon.

QUOTE
Some homeowners in Colorado are upset over plans to drill for gas and oil on their property. Many didn't know the federal government owned the mineral rights to their land. Now the Bureau of Land Management is auctioning off oil and gas leases without warning affected property owners first.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4651566

Showdown In Wyoming Over Gas (property rights)

www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1523629/posts



I can post more links. I'm not just throwing something out there that's totally without precedent.

And is the LA Times really that liberal? Or are you being serious, I always thought the LA Times was pretty right wing or at least not very liberal.
Ultimatejoe
Ignoring politics for a second, it is a pretty rudamentary concept in financing that you shouldn't use capital assets to pay for continuing costs. Land rights/use aside, is nobody concerned about the bad economics behind using one-time revenues to pay for continuing expenses? I learned that that was a bad idea in grade 10 business class.

Switching to accounting mode... If you can't finance your expenses with expected revenues, then your expenses are too high, or your revenues are too low. Selling capital assets to raise revenues is never a viable long-term solution.
CruisingRam
Bikerdad- I didn't even think of the shallow bed methane coal issue- this IS a real problem, and became an issue in this all-republican all conservative pro-oil all the time state- because it destroys well water, and property values of those that live near it- i wasn't even thinking in those terms.


If it is THAT kind of sale we are talking about- I think the locals should have 110% say, and reap a % of the profits for the damage that WILL occur to thier properties, both in real damage and loss of property values.

So- I amend my comment to "only if doesn't hurt poeple already living there"
Bikerdad
Red Cedar,

That the gummint sells lands for mineral exploitation isn't what I challenged, its whether or not these lands are are going to be turned over to Bush's Texas oil baron cronies. Certainly, none of the California parcels slated for liquidation seem to fit the strip mine mold. Furthermore, the question and the article are referring to land sales, not mineral rights.

UJ,

Which part of "eliminate the ongoing expenses of managing these lands" doesn't fit under your bookkeeper's visor? Frankly, it seems as cutting costs on properties that, due to land use restrictions, no longer generate any income, AND getting some ducats on the back side is a wise thing. Tossing the ducats at rural education is a politically prudent thing.

So the question is, are these lands actually "capital assets", or are they a liability?
AuthorMusician
QUOTE
High-ranking officials in the Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Forest Service, said Friday the forest lands selected for sale are "isolated, expensive to manage and no longer meeting Forest Service system needs," and do not include wilderness areas or habitat vital to wildlife.


Let me get this straight. The land is isolated but expensive to manage? What exactly are we talking about here, maintaining a forest road? What else goes into maintaining isolated land? I'm under the distinct impression that isolated land maintains itself. It's called Ma Nature.

Secondly, who would buy isolated National Forest land if it's so darn expensive to manage?

Thirdly, isolated land might not be officially designated as a wilderness area, but if you get lost in it, by gosh it sure seems like a wilderness.

Finally, all isolated land is vital to some kind of wildlife.

The doublespeak has me suspicious. Something else is going on here, and I bet it isn't pretty.
Google
RedCedar
QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Feb 13 2006, 05:31 AM)
So the question is, are these lands actually "capital assets", or are they a liability?


Seeing that the US is a country and not a corporation, I'd say they are a national treasure. Since the US gov't doesn't have to file taxes, they don't have to cost a penny.
Julian
QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Feb 13 2006, 08:52 AM)
Ignoring politics for a second, it is a pretty rudamentary concept in financing that you shouldn't use capital assets to pay for continuing costs. Land rights/use aside, is nobody concerned about the bad economics behind using one-time revenues to pay for continuing expenses? I learned that that was a bad idea in grade 10 business class.

Switching to accounting mode... If you can't finance your expenses with expected revenues, then your expenses are too high, or your revenues are too low. Selling capital assets to raise revenues is never a viable long-term solution.
*




Bang on the money.

And, in skeeterses opening post:

QUOTE
The idea of liquidating public assets to pay for federal programs is like a poor person selling his CDs to the Pawn Shop for grocery store money.


It isn't exact, since much of the land wasn't purchased in the first placed the way CDs are. It's more like selling the antique pocket watch you inherited from your grandfather to pay for groceries. But it's good enough to be going on with, and the important part is that you aren't spending the money on luxuries for the most part.

Sure, there will be some economies and cuts to be made. But, in the case of education (as it's already been mentioned), if the Feds cut spending entirely and drop Federal taxes, won't state taxes have to rise by about the same amount overall if educational standards are to stay about the same?

I mean, does anyone think that overall the American economy spends too much on education? Maybe the Federal proportion of it is too high, and it should be entirely State funded, but at the individual school level, don't they need (if anything) their spending maintained or even increased?

As parents, most people would say yes. This would likely apply to most areas of federal spending, I'd guess. If, as taxpayers, they vote for state governments that won't cut spending and won't increase the taxes to pay for it, then in effect all that would happen is that the Federal defecit would be devolved to state level. That's no kind of solution.

The elephant in the room here is that, with a defecit this large, even if you cut every cent from the Federal budget (effectively shutting down the US government, military and all foreign diplomatic contacts as well as all domestic federal programs) it would still take a while to pay it off at current Federal tax levels.

Rule of thumb: if the defecit is 6% of GDP, would be just under a year if Federal tax revenue is about 8% of GDP, but I don't know that these figures are remotely accurate.

But nobody suggesting the total shutdown of Federal spending, so it would more likely take several years, or longer.

And if the states rights crowd get their way on health or education, the defecit would still exist (someone would still have to spend the money), but the government would effectively be spreading it to states who'd have to up their taxes to maintain standards in essential areas like education, and to the citizens and to businesses who'd have to pay these taxes, or privately provide what was previously available publicly.

In simple scale terms, to scope for inefficiency is rather larger, not smaller, if the debt is devolved to millions of smaller levels, rather than one big federal debt. And the foreign governments that are funding the defecit at the federal level will almost certainly not lend Arizona their, or Joe Schmoe his, share of the debt at such favourable terms, so overall it would be MORE expensive to the American ecomony as a whole to try to cut Federal spending on essential programs like education.

And that's leaving alone the longer term problems that would be caused by removing funding from education, because, dollars to donuts, overall spend would go down. Local politicians are as afraid of increasing taxes as national ones.

Which brings us to the elephant in the room - yes, their spending cuts that can and should be made to reduce the defecit. But sooner or later, there will HAVE to be tax increases to fund them too. Better to do that now and limit the growth rate of a reasonably healthy economy than wait for the massively high levels of private indebtedness in America to grind consumer spending to a halt, and then have to increase taxes when the economy is in the deep recession that would likely follow.
Amlord
Is President Bush's proposal a good way to help pay for the Federal Budget?

I think Bikerdad has a good point. The BLM, which manages federal land, has a budget of $1.8 billion a year. Less land means less maintenance costs. This LA Times article talks about selling 300,000 acres to raise $1 billion. The thing is, the BLM maintains over 261 MILLION acres of land. This is a drop in the bucket, either in maintenance costs or in "precious" federal land.

UltimateJoe brings up a good point about general financing rules: don't finance continuing costs with one-time sales of capital. True, but if this money is used for the one-time capital cost of public school infrastructure (which has been debated in-depth HERE, then it is more prudent. Basically it amounts to exchanging one type of capital asset (public land) for another (public schools). That is a financially sound strategy.
Doclotus
Is President Bush's proposal a good way to help pay for the Federal Budget?
I'm sort of on the fence about this, largely because the article leaves a lot of information out. I'm curious as to what use these lands would potentially be used for, in particular what their resource map looks like.

I find some of the language being used in relation to this sale a tad repugnant, however. This sale is important because rural education is. Duh. How about not cutting the subsidy to begin with? How about not cutting education funds period?

Governance is about priorities, and sometimes about sacrifice. Take a look at the legislative record over 2005 in comparison with the 2007 budget, and I think you get a clear picture of where the priorities are (hint: its not education). There's tons of pork that can be trimmed from the Federal budget, rural education subsidies shouldn't be very high on that list.

While I agree that the net amount of land for sale is a pittance in the grand scheme of things, it still represents the largest land sale since 1905 and deserves a lot more scrutiny before I'd be willing to agree to it.
Amlord
QUOTE(Doclotus @ Feb 13 2006, 11:01 AM)
Governance is about priorities, and sometimes about sacrifice. Take a look at the legislative record over 2005 in comparison with the 2007 budget, and I think you get a clear picture of where the priorities are (hint: its not education). There's tons of pork that can be trimmed from the Federal budget, rural education subsidies shouldn't be very high on that list.


Doc, FY 2007 appropriations for the DoE are up 11.5% from last year. Link We must keep in mind that until very recently, education has been largely a state function.

This land sale represents less than 0.1% of federal lands.

The federal government owns more than half of Idaho, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon. It owns more than 47% of the Western United States-much of this is in Alaska where the feds own over 2/3 of that huge state. We should sell some (if not the majority) of this land.
Doclotus
QUOTE(Amlord @ Feb 13 2006, 11:28 AM)
Doc, FY 2007 appropriations for the DoE are up 11.5% from last year.  Link  We must keep in mind that until very recently, education has been largely a state function.

No argument there. The problem lies in the imbalance in other areas. Would you agree that many Federal programs have been trending a shift in responsibility (fiscally) to the states? Philosophically, you and I would probably differ in whether that should be the case, but I'm unwavering in the idea that education is both a Federal and state burden. While I don't like how either side is managing that burden, I'm fairly sure cutting the program isn't a good start.

Also, how does the 11.5% compare with the mandate of NCLB? If you're increasing the responsibilities of the states while nominally increasing their budget (I'm at work so can't find the exact NCLB mandate numbers to say if that is 100% the case), it does't really represent an increase at all.

I understand this is .01 of all Federal land. And I'm not wholesale opposed to the sale conceptually. What worries me is how the land is used following the sale (which admittedly is an unknown) and why the rural education subsidy is being held hostage for it.

Doc
Fife and Drum
Iím constantly amazed what this administration will do to avoid raising taxes. Theyíll give tax breaks and subsidies away to big oil companies who in the same year post record annual earnings and then claim this sale is needed for other funding. Iím sorry, but if a single company posts 38 billion in profits they donít need tax breaks, incentives and certainly no subsidies. Itís estimated the ďpackageĒ given to oil companies could total over 20 billion dollars in just the next five years.

Thatís a lot of rural roads improvements and school funding.

This further reinforces my belief that this administration has no real foresight into any long term strategies. As UJ points out this is a one time revenue generator and you must consider that the expected proceeds wonít even cover the amount of interest weíll pay on the national debt in the next year. Get rid of the debt and suddenly funding is less an issue.

Being fiscally responsible means having to make tough decisions and instead of making the current tax breaks permanent the administration needs to repeal the tax protection for the rich because theyíve only gotten richer under his watch.

And who do they think will be at the auctioneers block when these properties are put up for sale? The average 40K/year income family? My guess: logging companies and developers.

Whatís next, a Smithsonian yard sale?
Bikerdad
First, some historical perspective:

QUOTE
Federal Land Ownership: Constitutional Authority and the History of Acquisition, Disposal, and Retention

Authors: Ross W. Gorte, Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division; and Pamela Baldwin, American Law Division

Abstract: This report responds to numerous requests for information on the history and constitutionality of the ownership of public lands by the federal government. Over the years, the U.S. government has acquired 1.8 billion acres of land, and disposed of 1.1 billion acres. The remaining lands are heavily concentrated in 12 western states (including Alaska), where the federal government owns and manages more than half the land (ranging from 27% in Washington to 83% in Nevada).
1.1 billion acres.
************************* Both quotes from Penny Hill Press******************************************
QUOTE
PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes): Somewhat Simplified

Authors: M. Lynne Corn, Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division

Abstract: Under current law, local governments are compensated through various programs for losses to their tax bases due to the presence of most federally owned land. Some of these programs are run by specific agencies, and apply only to that agency's land. the most widely applicable program, while run by the Bureau of Land Management, applies to many types of federally owned land, and is called "Payments in Lieu of Taxes" or PILT. Payment levels are calculated under a complex formula. This paper explains PILT as simply as possible.
Consider that. The lands in question in this topic include lands in Los Angeles Count. Gee, I wonder how much the property taxes on that land, if available, will add to the local and state coffers?

The "sell land and direct the money to local education" concept comes from the Clinton Administration, or you can simply consider it to be a revival of the Land Grant Colleges. The Clinton administration plans to ask Congress this year for authority to sell excess public lands in the West.

Ultimatejoe
QUOTE
True, but if this money is used for the one-time capital cost of public school infrastructure (which has been debated in-depth HERE, then it is more prudent. Basically it amounts to exchanging one type of capital asset (public land) for another (public schools). That is a financially sound strategy.


One of the great failings of governance in the 20th century was the continued belief that infrastructure costs are fixed. Building schools costs money, but money is also required to maintain them.

Continuing in the accounting vernacular (stop me if I'm wrong... accounting principles can differ between Canada and the United States), liquidating one capital asset to pay for another, assuming all things remain equal, is a neutral sum effort because there is no change in liability or revenue; and as such there is no improvement in financial position.

Back to reality, I really have no objection to the government selling off some of it's land. It is foolish to think however that this is a way to alleviate financial burdens or relieve financial responsibilities. As has been pointed out, the amount of land being sold is miniscule; so regardless of how remote that land is the savings will be negligible. It is the one-time cash sale that is being pursued to pay for other obligations, and that is bad financial policy every single time.
Amlord
QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Feb 13 2006, 02:20 PM)
It is the one-time cash sale that is being pursued to pay for other obligations, and that is bad financial policy every single time.
*



Let me read that again... hmmm.gif

I don't think you meant this statement, Joe.

Are you saying that if I have credit card bills that I shouldn't sell the BMW (or the shares of Microsoft or my beach house) I bought last year when I had a higher paying job in order to pay them?

You're oversimplifying here. Sometimes selling fixed assets is NOT revenue neutral (as your second paragraph would have us believe). Many of these federal lands cost the government money (via PILT, or upkeep, or clean forest initiatives or whatever else). Some land costs more than others, of course. Some land generates revenue for the feds as well.

Of course infrastructure has maintenance costs. I didn't see anyone claim otherwise. Most school districts have money allocated for maintenance but most do not have capital improvement funds (or the funds aren't very big, especially for rural districts).

The US government owns 17 acres of prime beachfront property on Waikiki in Hawaii estimated to be worth in excess of $200 million. Should it sell that to pay down the deficit? Would that be bad financial policy every single time?
Ultimatejoe
QUOTE
Are you saying that if I have credit card bills that I shouldn't sell the BMW (or the shares of Microsoft or my beach house) I bought last year when I had a higher paying job in order to pay them?


No, but those are not necessarily capital assets. I also didn't say you shouldn't sell under those circumstances either... all I am doing is saying that is bad fiscal policy. Sometimes desperation trumps proper planning. But desperation should also be recognized for what it is.

QUOTE
You're oversimplifying here. Sometimes selling fixed assets is NOT revenue neutral (as your second paragraph would have us believe). Many of these federal lands cost the government money (via PILT, or upkeep, or clean forest initiatives or whatever else). Some land costs more than others, of course. Some land generates revenue for the feds as well.


My bad, I was speaking in hypothetical terms with a qualification, but I did not make it clear. That's what I meant by "all things remain equal." The point I was trying to make is that as a general rule selling capital assets to finance debt or capital expenditures is at best revenue neutral. Granted, this is not universally true, but the point remains. As I said in my last post, the amount of land being sold is miniscule compared to the total held, so regardless of what sort of land it is, the reduction in expenses will be miniscule.

QUOTE
Should it sell that to pay down the deficit? Would that be bad financial policy every single time?


I think I've moved away from my central point. I never said that the government shouldn't sell land. Nor did I say that it shouldn't do it in this case. I said it was bad fiscal policy. My main point is this:

If the government cannot afford to meet it's financial obligations through it's operating activities, then it's revenues are too low or its expenses are too high.

I'm not saying that the government can't sell its public lands. I'm saying that we should recognize this sale for what it is, and question why it is necessary.

* - In North America, the sale of capital assets is not classified as an operating activity.
Fife and Drum
QUOTE(Amlord)
The US government owns 17 acres of prime beachfront property on Waikiki in Hawaii estimated to be worth in excess of $200 million. Should it sell that to pay down the deficit? Would that be bad financial policy every single time?

That would depend on how the property is currently used. If itís public access than no itís not worth selling as itís sure to end up on the design board for a major developer. Now youíve taken property that (assuming itís public) we all have access for free and now itís going to cost $xxx/night to have the same privilege.

Even if this property was acquired for investment purposes and the public currently has no access or use I still donít support the idea.

Because itís only $200 million. A mere drop in the budget bucket, maybe a weeks worth of interest on the national debt and an extremely small percentage of the big oil tax break/subsidies scheduled for the next 5 years. So yes itís bad financial policy (why donít we go looking for the 8.8 BILLION thatís disappeared in Iraq).

Sorry Amlord, this ďplanĒ reeks of taking what is ďoursĒ and putting it in the hands of a few and another example that this administration has their priorities out of line. Because Iím guessing that property wouldnít end up in the hands of someone in the ninety eight percentile of our population.
Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Feb 13 2006, 02:52 AM)
Land rights/use aside, is nobody concerned about the bad economics behind using one-time revenues to pay for continuing expenses?

<snip>
Selling capital assets to raise revenues is never a viable long-term solution.
*


This sums it up for me. Not only is it just one more step towards selling America to the corporations, but it is horrible business sense. Our CEO is breaking up a strong company that took over 200 years to build to finance wasteful spending. If you were on the board, wouldn't you want to hire someone else?
Ted
So the question is
Is President Bush's proposal a good way to help pay for the Federal Budget?


It is a wonderful idea and will free up land locked into government hands and use the money productively.
Schools are primarily run locally and overall badly. We have one of the worst elementary education systems in the industrial world as a result Ė right down there, in some cases with the third world. NCLB is a start but we need more standards, and penalties for not meeting them, if we are ever going to improve our abysmal education system.
VDemosthenes
QUOTE(skeeterses @ Feb 11 2006, 09:42 PM)
Is President Bush's proposal a good way to help pay for the Federal Budget?
*



Government land is the governments to do with as they so desire. I think that it is a particularly wonderful idea that in fact makes me think someone outside of the power structure came up with it. I would love to see more of this because supposedly the money will be spent wisely and it will free up private lands for preserves for the public to enjoy, more land or other purposes except simply sitting there collecting dirt. It is a wonderful way to improve this economy and I look forward to reading the results... after all, every great result has to start with an experiment.




Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(Ted @ Feb 14 2006, 12:48 PM)
So the question is
Is President Bush's proposal a good way to help pay for the Federal Budget?


It is a wonderful idea and will free up land locked into government hands and use the money productively.
*


QUOTE(VDemosthenes @ Feb 15 2006, 08:36 PM)
Government land is the governments to do with as they so desire. I think that it is a particularly wonderful idea that in fact makes me think someone outside of the power structure came up with it. I would love to see more of this because supposedly the money will be spent wisely and it will free up private lands for preserves for the public to enjoy, more land or other purposes except simply sitting there collecting dirt.
*



My first reaction to this, why exactly do we need to free up more land? We have so much land in this country that Kansas and other midwestern states were literally giving it away recently. Source. I'm all for capitalism, but I personally feel that we need to maintain some land for National Parks, the military, and environmental health in general. Maybe the feds have too much. Until land is running short in the private sector, I'm hesistant to support this kind of thing because it is very difficult to reverse once sold.
Hobbes
QUOTE(Fife and Drum @ Feb 13 2006, 05:19 PM)
QUOTE(Amlord)
The US government owns 17 acres of prime beachfront property on Waikiki in Hawaii estimated to be worth in excess of $200 million. Should it sell that to pay down the deficit? Would that be bad financial policy every single time?

That would depend on how the property is currently used. If itís public access than no itís not worth selling as itís sure to end up on the design board for a major developer. Now youíve taken property that (assuming itís public) we all have access for free and now itís going to cost $xxx/night to have the same privilege.


We might all have access to it...but how many of us actually do use it? I personally haven't been. However, I do indeed pay, each and every year, some portion of the debt that could be reduced if we sold it for that purpose. See, this argument isn't valid unless you include the money that all of us have to pay so that some of us might get to actually visit the land. Cuz I'll tell you right now, the right to access it is worth almost nothing to me--I am essentially then paying for those who do access it. Why not have a fee-based use where those that actually do use it are the ones who pay for it?

QUOTE
Land rights/use aside, is nobody concerned about the bad economics behind using one-time revenues to pay for continuing expenses?


Apparently not. We've been operating on bad economics now for a good fifty years, and we keep voting for people who just continue doing it. This is in fact the whole theory behind the inevitable fall of democracies....seems like we might as well all just enjoy the ride, since essentially no one seems to want to do anything about it.
Fife and Drum
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Feb 17 2006, 02:11 AM)
QUOTE(Fife and Drum @ Feb 13 2006, 05:19 PM)
QUOTE(Amlord)
The US government owns 17 acres of prime beachfront property on Waikiki in Hawaii estimated to be worth in excess of $200 million. Should it sell that to pay down the deficit? Would that be bad financial policy every single time?

That would depend on how the property is currently used. If itís public access than no itís not worth selling as itís sure to end up on the design board for a major developer. Now youíve taken property that (assuming itís public) we all have access for free and now itís going to cost $xxx/night to have the same privilege.


We might all have access to it...but how many of us actually do use it? I personally haven't been. However, I do indeed pay, each and every year, some portion of the debt that could be reduced if we sold it for that purpose. See, this argument isn't valid unless you include the money that all of us have to pay so that some of us might get to actually visit the land. Cuz I'll tell you right now, the right to access it is worth almost nothing to me--I am essentially then paying for those who do access it. Why not have a fee-based use where those that actually do use it are the ones who pay for it?


Iíve never been to Yellowstone National Park, Iíve never driven on an interstate in Alaska, and I didnít get a ride on the space shuttle but Iím not going to complain that part of my tax money is used for the cost and maintenance of these projects.

Itís simply not practical to base federally funded projects on your premise that if 100% of the citizens arenít using it or has no interest in using than it doesnít have merit.

QUOTE(Hobbes)
However, I do indeed pay, each and every year, some portion of the debt that could be reduced if we sold it for that purpose.

The purpose of the ďfireĒ sale is to raise money for rural roads and school funding. But you should be writing letters to your congressmen and president that they need to get their fiscal house in order. This ďsolutionĒ isnít addressing the real problem and itís only another example of this administrations inability to look past their noses.

This plan is attempting to raise 1 billion dollars. As I mentioned earlier, thereís over 8.8 billion dollars unaccounted for in Iraq at the moment. Why donít we go after the thieves who have stolen from us all and keep our ďcommonwealthĒ of properties in place? Somebody has illegally fattened their wallets with your tax dollars and we want to turn our heads and look elsewhere to raise money.

Color me silly but it appears we have our priorities out of line.


QUOTE(Hobbes)
Why not have a fee-based use where those that actually do use it are the ones who pay for it?

So the low income family that struggles to pay bills can no longer treat the kids to a day at the park. Wow. Whatís next, every motor way becomes a toll road and pay per view to watch the space shuttle? Nice.

I understand the right wing mantra that you should earn everything in your life, and I agree. But Iím guessing the real difference in base philosophy is ďIím my brotherís keeperĒ, for some day I might not be able to afford admission to a public park but would still like to take the bike there for a spin.

ďWill work for park admissionĒ.

skeeterses
QUOTE(VDemos)
Government land is the governments to do with as they so desire.

This is our land. And the Government money is our money. Government needs to do a better job at managing it. Nowhere in the Constitution is the Federal Government directed to get involved in Education and Healthcare.
If the Federal Government lived within its means, it wouldn't need to be selling capital assets to pay for continueing costs. To me, this sale reaks of an accounting trick from the Federal Reserves to keep Wall Street quiet until Congress raises the debt limit.

For those people who say that the lands being sold are "isolated" and "expensive" to maintain, aren't those lands in California? California is the most populous state in America. Any person in that state could easily take a bus out to those parks. So I don't believe that those lands are "isolated." California is also the richest state as well. Charging each visitor $10/day for a visit should be adequate to pay for maintainence costs.
Hobbes
QUOTE(Fife and Drum @ Feb 17 2006, 11:01 AM)

Iíve never been to Yellowstone National Park, Iíve never driven on an interstate in Alaska, and I didnít get a ride on the space shuttle but Iím not going to complain that part of my tax money is used for the cost and maintenance of these projects.

Itís simply not practical to base federally funded projects on your premise that if 100% of the citizens arenít using it or has no interest in using than it doesnít have merit.


Where did I state that was my premise? That's not what I was saying at all. It is a matter of financial common sense. The premise I was arguing against was that any and all federal projects (land, in this case) are justified, regardless of cost, as long as some people get use of it. This was implied here:

QUOTE
That would depend on how the property is currently used. If itís public access than no itís not worth selling as itís sure to end up on the design board for a major developer. Now youíve taken property that (assuming itís public) we all have access for free and now itís going to cost $xxx/night to have the same privilege.


Nowhere in this quote is the value of the land or the relative value of its access ever brought into it. Simply well some of us might use it for free, so we should all therefore essentially finance it. This thinking is exactly why we have the financial mess in government that we do...it's all well and good to provide things for everybody, but at some point some sort of fiscal reality needs to enter in to the equation. My suggestion allowed all those who wanted access to use it, without having everyone else bear the cost. What's wrong with that?
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