Originally Posted by Lusankya
But it makes the world better. It shouldn't matter whether the US is hated or not. It's going to be hated no matter what, because it's big and powerful, and the biggest and most powerful society of any era is always hated and/or feared. If we do nothing, we are hated for having all this power and wealth and being selfish with it; if we try and lead we are hated for being bossy; if we give endlessly we are hated for making the rich and corrupt even richer (throwing money at poor countries is a notoriously poor solution and if we try and use that money for them we get into the bossy problem). As for being depended upon, well, that is what a policeman is for. The world needs a policeman. Had the US been more aggressive in policing, the genocide in Darfur might not have happened. Or Rwanda. Had the US been less aggressive, South Korea could be as desperately poor as North Korea and Western Europe could be looking like Eastern Europe. All in all, the world needs more policing, not less. It's not a fun job by any means, nor may it be profitable. But it's necessary. (Note that I'm not arguing for nation-building like in Iraq or Afghanistan; that's not the kind of policing the world needs)
You can't claim the world is solely better for America's policies of "policing" the world. I certainly don't advocate us turning a blind eye to calls for help, but our manner and our method is not what is needed. Libya right now is a perfect example of we should act, working as one part of a machine in the pursuit of peace. To presume ourselves as the world's police force leads to things like Iraq.
You can't get rid of inefficiency in government. That's just a property of the system. And what inefficiency you can get rid of won't improve the deficit by that much. The ultimate problem with entitlements is their sheer size, and tackling anything except that is just avoiding the problem. We are giving too much money to people who have done too little to deserve it, and the country is paying the price for that now. Phrases like "getting rid of inefficiency" or "cutting fat" get tossed around a lot because they sound nice and imply that we can solve the problem without needing to actually hurt anyone's bottom line, but even if the US government got rid of as much fat as it possibly could, the sheer laws of numbers would still leave us with a huge, gaping deficit hole.
Government is not by definition inefficient. It's only attitudes like that that keep it from being properly fixed.
Let me make this abundantly clear: I support cutting down on entitlement spending. But doing so without fixing it where it is very clearly broken will do nothing but harm to the common people, no matter what good it does to our deficit.
And finally, the problem is not that those are inherently empty words. The problem is that the people who say
mean them as empty words. It's not that the system can't be fixed, it's that politicians don't want to fix the system. It benefits their political careers in the short term; as long as things stay bad, they can point their fingers at the other side and blame them.