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Flirting With Presidential Run, Former Starbucks CEO Says America Needs to Address National Debt

"There's no for-profit business in the world that could sustain itself or survive with $20 trillion in debt," says Howard Schultz. "It's just not responsible."

Stuart Isett/Polaris/NewscomStuart Isett/Polaris/NewscomHoward Schultz, the longtime Starbucks executive who helped turn the Seattle-based coffeeshop chain into a globe-dominating brand, has announced that he's stepping down from the company at the end of the month. After flirting with the idea of running for president in 2016, Schultz' decision to step away from Starbucks is fueling talk that he might seek the Democratic nomination in 2020, and the businessman is happily encouraging the speculation.

If Schultz runs, he's sure to face a crowded primary field; you'd be wise to be skeptical about his chances. Still, he's someone worth keeping an eye on, if for no other reason than the fact that he's willing to say what needs saying about the national debt and the country's out-of-control spending.

"There's no for-profit business in the world that could sustain itself or survive with $20 trillion in debt," Schultz tells Time in a piece that is basically a trial balloon for the potential presidential bid. "And we can't keep pushing this. It's just not responsible."

Responsibility figures strongly in Schultz' political views, it seems. In the same interview, he bashes "both parties" for "a lack of responsibility" on everything from the national debt to global warming. But there's also a strong undertone of political naivety in his worldview. "If you just got people in the room who left their ideology outside the room and recognized that we're here to walk in the shoes of the American people," he says, "we could solve these problems." Shades of another CEO-candidate, Ross Perot, who repeatedly promised in 1992 that he would solve one problem or another by getting the best experts together in a room to come up with a plan to tackle it.

That approach may sound great. But this sort of radical centrism has failed to catch on with voters before—looking at you, Michael Bloomberg—in part because voters, especially the ones who participate in the primaries and caucuses, frequently don't want to leave ideology outside the room.

In a general election, Schultz, who stepped down as Starbucks' CEO last year but still serves as the company's executive chairman, could put his résumé up against Donald Trump's and come out ahead on almost every front. During his time running Starbucks, Schultz grew the company from a chain of 11 stores in the Seattle area to a global brand with more than 28,000 locations in 77 countries. As Ed Carson, news editor at Investor's Business Daily (and a former Reasoner) put it this morning on Cheddar, "before Starbucks, coffee was really not that good." His company has literally changed the world. Donald Trump only wishes he had that sort of business record.

But Democratic primary voters are the biggest hurdle facing Schultz—and other businessmen, like Mark Cuban or hedge fund manager (and former Massachusetts governor) Deval Patrick, who is also reportedly considering a presidential run. With the party veering to the left in the wake of a disastrous loss in 2016, will primary voters be willing to pull the lever for someone with "CEO" at the top of his C.V.?

Though he did not provide details to Time about what he would do to reduce the country's $20 trillion national debt, he did mention the need for a "centrist approach" to entitlement spending and bashed the GOP-passed tax cuts. His comments are too vague to know exactly what Schultz is thinking on this front, but it's good to hear someone talking about the problem that entitlements pose for America's long-term fiscal situation. If that hardens into a more serious proposal to reduce entitlement spending, it's difficult to imagine Democratic voters lining up behind him. If it's just a platitude, on the other hand, he may have a political future after all.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope Democrats will recognize that the Republicans have abandoned the high ground of fiscal responsibility and craft a campaign that aims to put entitlements (and the rest of the federal budget) on a more sustainable trajectory. But right now, "Schultz 2020: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, America" seems like a longshot at best.

Photo Credit: Stuart Isett/Polaris/Newscom

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  • Libertymike||

    How about zero funding the following for the next 4 years:

    (1) The Pentagon:

    (2) The VA;

    (3) The FBI;

    (4) The CIA;

    (5) The NSA;

    (6) The TSA;

    (7) The DEA;

    (8) The ATF;

    (9) The IRS; and

    (10) Secret Service

  • Libertymike||

    If one is not prepared to advocate for the above, one is not serious about debt reduction.

    Of course, one must be prepared for all of the statist snowflakes screaming that anyone advocating the above is immanentizing the Eschaton.

  • damikesc||

    Given that they are dwarfed by things like Medicare...why not, you know, cut that?

  • NoVaNick||

    Yep-entitlements (Medicare, Social Security) consume 2/3 of the federal budget. Of the remaining third, half goes to the military, and the other half for everything else.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Better yet, why not cut everything?

    "Fuck you, cut spending."

  • Juice||

    Given that they are dwarfed by things like Medicare...why not, you know, cut that?

    The pentagon is not dwarved by it. They're roughly the same size (~$700 B).

    But are you going to cut medicare and keep the FICA tax rate the same?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I believe that entitlement spending is about 2 trillion now. Unless you meant just medicare.

    Either way, I would take any cut. And I notice that many take discussion of certain cuts such as to Defense and say "cut entitlements" instead of discussing that topic.

  • ||

    And I notice that many take discussion of certain cuts such as to Defense and say "cut entitlements" instead of discussing that topic.

    Yes - and without addressing the point Juice raises that both Social Security and Medicare have associated revenue streams that also go away if you get rid of those programs (or should, anyway). Thus, getting rid of Social Security and Medicare entirely won't actually reduce the deficit by $2T.

  • TangoDelta||

    It does cut the associated revenue but those are severely limited. Social security taxes only apply to the first $128,700 of income and the rate of both SS & Medicare is only 15.3% for both employer and employee contributions and the 0.9% kicker on Medicare over $200k isn't exactly a giant kicker. When you consider that Uncle Sam makes probably at least as much on regular income taxes and even more when you add in excise taxes then if you can cut 2/3 of the payout for less than a 50% reduction in revenue then it's a win.

  • Juice||

    Unless you meant just medicare.

    I guess the original statement was "things like Medicare" but I meant Medicare.

    SS spending was $945 B in 2017. So that is larger than $700 B, but I wouldn't say it dwarfs it.

  • BambiB||

    Do you get tired flailing at that straw man you built?

    I'd be up for a 20% across-the-board spending cut every year until the budget is balanced and the debt is on a 20 year horizon for being paid off. If congress wants to rearrange spending, fine. That's their job. But every year the spending should be 20% less than the year before until we reach a point where flat spending, plus payment on the debt will result in zero debt within 20 years.

    That means you can keep everything if that's the priority. You just can't keep as much of it.

  • Trollificus||

    You think people would accept cuts if they knew every other government program was also being cut?

    What's that old Russian joke?

    Three Russian farmers find a magic lamp, the kind with a genie, three wishes, etc. They agree to take one wish each. The first two go, and the genie turns to Ivan.
    Genie: The others have wished. What is it you would want?"
    Ivan: Sooo...Petrov ask for pig, you give him pig. Vladimir ask for two pig, you give him two pig, is right?
    Genie: Yes. So what do you want?
    Ivan: I want you to kill Ivan and Petrovs' pigs!!

    It's supposed to say something about Russian nature, but I think it applies to such a reasonable, fair approach to the budget deficit.

  • Iheartskeet||

    Because these are, basically, irrelevancies from a spending standpoint. Even if you could cut them to zero, which for some is insane, we'd still be fucked. Long term, all of these are declining as portion of govt spending and GDP anyway, meanwhile entitlements will blossom 2030 onward, blotting out all sunlight. Slight hyperbole intended.

  • Bearded Spock||

    Wouldn't even make a dent.

    The Dirty Secret in Washington is that over half of all federal dollars are spent on just three programs: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid - programs that no politician, including Mr. Schultz, dares touch.

  • Citizen X||

    It's an okay start, but then i'd like to see some REAL cuts.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'd cut the IRS and ATF just to see what happens.

  • Citizen X||

    Merge them into one agency first: IS FART.

  • Iheartskeet||

    FIST might be more representative. FIST-ing is what it feels like. AFAIK.

  • Libertymike||

    If you combine all of the dough spent on the military, the national security kabuki theatre, all of the law enforcement pigs, the pensions for the military, and for maintenance of empire, you are not talking about irrelevancies.

    Let us not forget that buried within the budgets of many non-military and non-national security agencies are, surprise, war and maintenance of empire expenses.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    You can't be taken seriously if you're not going to list Medicare/SS.

  • Iheartskeet||

    Do tell. How much of SS/Medicaid/Medicare is empire-related expenses ?

    Also, you're list is mighty, er, selective.

    Where is the EPA, FDA, HHS, DOA, DOE etc ad infinitum.

    You could almost say your list isn't serious, but you know, I would want to cast ad hominems.

    Unlike some people.

  • Libertymike||

    What, do you think I don't want EPA, FDA, DOE eliminated?

    Its easier to pick on the poor folk wanting their gimmie dats than taking aim at the MIC. To be sure, the people running the EPA, FDA, DOE et al are all deep state swamp creatures who need to be gulaged.

  • Iheartskeet||

    Dude, its YOUR LIST. Which is apparently meant to be really really serious.

    Finally, gulags ? You know, we can just fire 'em, though it does lack in style points.

  • BYODB||

    It's not only easier to pick on the 'poor folk wanting their gimmie dats' but it's supported by spending data.

    That isn't intended to mean that slashing things like the FBI/NSA/CIA etc. etc. isn't also a great idea, I'd say slash across the board, but you're favoring one or the other position in terms of the liberal/conservative divide if you start with just one side of it.

    Both of them need to make concessions, but notably the conservative side has less that can actually be conceded and the populace themselves would need to accept less transfer payments. What are the odd's of that? Slightly higher than the sun exploding tomorrow, I'd wager.

    That said, it's an interesting note where you state that there are items buried in other budgets, but I find the language of 'empire maintenance' to be suspicious and would ask for a bit of clarification or citation there.

  • Libertymike||

    BYODB, on other threads and on other blogs, I have made debt slashing lists that consist of WIC, SNAP, CHIPS, SSDI, HUD, HHS, SS, Medicaid, and Medicare.

    Of course, they all need to be slashed.

    Of course, the odds you lay are accurate regarding the willingness of the populace to accept such transfer payment slashing.

    Empire maintenance? No need to be suspicious. First, we come up with a definition. Second, we include all expenditures which fall within the definition.

    There's the obvious: maintaining all of the military installations outside of the US. This maintenance would include all of the logistical expenses associated thereto like the transport of men and materiel to and from such installations. It would also include all of the energy needed to maintain the installations, feeding the personnel, housing them, etc.

    It would also include funding the CIA, Naval Intelligence, USIA, and VOA type personnel who are planted in or near such military installations or who are put in embassies and consulates, etc.

    Speaking of embassies, the money required to fund the monstrosity in Baghdad would be included in the definition.

    The above is illustrative, and is not exhaustive.

  • Iheartskeet||

    Based on this, "empire" is the wrong word, indeed a misleading word.

    In very few (any ?) places we have OUS military installations do we exert the kind of authority/power implied by the word "empire". We certainly have influence, but empire, no. Even if it were an empire, it would also be history's 2nd shittiest run empire (after the Soviets), with "reverse tribute" the norm. The Mongols would be aghast.

    I don't know what the right phrase is (Team America World Police ?) but empire ain't it.

  • GeoffB1972||

    Dollar-wise, it's small, but how about the Department of Education's SWAT team as an example?

  • Libertymike||

    Yes. An example of an expenditure to terminate and an example of empire maintenance.

  • Trollificus||

    +1, good use of "to be sure"

  • BambiB||

    I could get behind those cuts. Might as well cut Education and a half-dozen other worthless POS programs while we're at it - but IRS and ATF might really get people's attention!

  • Billy Bones||

    Great list with the exception, IMHO, of #2. I do not dispute that MAJOR changes need to be made to the VA, but this country is obligated to the veterans IT has created, and we citizens have a duty to ensure that obligation is met.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Buy them an account with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Probably cheaper.

  • Libertymike||

    We'll never get rid of the debt that way.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    We'll never get rid of the debt your way, either.

  • Libertymike||

    How about zero budget the entire fucker for the next decade?

  • Bubba Jones||

    How is that different from any other promise the government has made to the tune of $20T in debt?

  • rituviv||

    "but this country is obligated to the veterans IT has created,"

    The drafted ones AND the volunteers?

  • Juice||

    this country is obligated to the veterans IT has created

    Well, then "this country" can fulfill its obligations through voluntary means.

  • Agammamon||

    As one of those veterans - this country didn't 'create us'. We got paid. Pretty darn well, actually.

    Even if you wanted to take care of genuine military retirees you could

    a) eliminate the program I'm in right now - the Fleet Reserve (and other service equivalents if they have one). Technically, I'm not retired until 2022, I'm subject to call-up and receiving a retainer for that equal to approximately half my base pay. However, I'm not in a critical MOS/rating (unless we actually go and invade the Norks) and the likelyhood of callup is low short of WW3. Even lower after 5 years out. Not every service has this and they do just fine. I've basically been getting free money to sit on my arse for almost a decade now.

    Here's the kicker. If they didn't pay me to be available and there were a genuine need for my skills . . . I'd go back if they asked. Most of us would. Especially the guys who have genuinely critical skillsets. There's literally no need to pay us to stick around.

    b) get rid of the defined benefits plan we have now and institute a portable 401k with mandatory contributions.

    c) for the injured, those most likely to get injured are also those least taken care of. Medical payments equal half your high-3 base pay. If you catch an IED as an E-4 that's jack shit. Sure, you get access to the VA - so do I though - but the VA sucks.

  • Paloma||

    Numbers 1-4, cut 50%, numbers 3 and 4, 75%, numbers 5-10, 99%. Add the FDA as number 11, and ICE as number 12. Abolish agriculture subsidies and the Department of Education. That's a good start.

  • Paloma||

    Oh and switch over Social Security and Medicare to a Chilean like pension plan.

  • Trollificus||

    Always with an eye towards reducing the numerical strength of the Fed Employees Union. Getting that down to a less powerful voting/donating/volunteering block might do the most good of any of these proposals.

    Consider it: They are the largest union, with a hostage employer which cannot go out of business no matter what generous wages and benefits they "negotiate" for themselves. Scary destructive potential...so cut the branches, hack the roots, but be careful to strip, gather and burn the millions of leaves.

    FIRST goal of any "debt reduction" scheme, gotta be.

  • Dillinger||

    the IRS immediately on general principle...fuck those guys

  • The Last American Hero||

    Do you seriously think we can run this country with only 12 intelligence agencies?

  • Agammamon||

    I think we could run it with only 12 intelligence *agents*.

  • Charles Barr||

    How about we STOP ISSUING DEBT!!! The *debt* and the *deficit* are *two separate issues*! Fiat money is inferior to hard money, but "unbacked" fiat money is much less destructive to the economy and to personal liberty than the "debt-backed" fiat money we use today. We urgently need to transition to a debt-free currency before the national debt overwhelms the economy. See www.fixourmoney.com .

  • Longtobefree||

    1, 4, & 9 are specifically authorized by the US constitution.
    You missed the departments of; education, HHS, commerce, Interior, Labor, HUD.

  • Hugh Akston||

    The Superdelegates are never going to go for this guy.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Would you say he is latte to the Party?

  • Citizen X||

    Chipper likes his jokes like he likes his coffee - stale, lukewarm, and with his dick all in it.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Gross. I like with fresh, cold, with his dick all in it.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I can't wait for the Trenta cups, let me tell you.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Sure. I'd say that.

  • Iheartskeet||

    Prediction: He'll end up proposing to balance the budget by raising taxes and cutting defense only, and ignore the entitlement (SS/Medicare/Medicaid) time bomb that dwarfs everything else. Within the confines of the D party, I can't see any other approach getting him much support.

  • Sevo||

    "Prediction: He'll end up proposing to balance the budget by raising taxes and cutting defense only, and ignore the entitlement (SS/Medicare/Medicaid) time bomb that dwarfs everything else."

    Sounds right; the rich have to pay their 'fair share', right?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    He'll balance the budget by mandating a federal living wage, free college for all, socialized healthcare, purging the rich, establishing work camps....

    /prog

  • lap83||

    Our country is in debt?! Outrageous! Let's have the government forgive those loans as soon as it forgives all the student loans

  • damikesc||

    Shades of another CEO-candidate, Ross Perot, who repeatedly promised in 1992 that he would solve one problem or another by getting the best experts together in a room to come up with a plan to tackle it.

    As usual, we simply need the BEST PEOPLE to fix all of the problems.

    I like that he feels we aren't doing enough for global warming while whining that we spend too much.

    As President, you cannot overcharge for shitty coffee.

    That approach may sound great. But this sort of radical centrism has failed to catch on with voters before—looking at you, Michael Bloomberg—in part because voters, especially the ones who participate in the primaries and caucuses, frequently don't want to leave ideology outside the room.

    Oh, FFS, you're arguing that people were too partisan to appreciate Bloomberg? This is from REASON?

    Eric, you come across like a naive moron here.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I feel like "radical centerism" means these days just boring pleading of obvious ideas, usually without good solutions to the problems.

  • Libertymike||

    Any relation to L. Douglas Wilder's "new centrism"?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Not familiar, sadly.

  • Libertymike||

    He was the former governor of Virginia. In fact, he was the first Afro-American ever to be elected governor.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I feel like Reason tries to play of Libertarianism as a type of radical centerism as well. Which I think is a common, but sort of silly concept. That the only problem is ideologues and the solutions to our problems are obvious, just no one is willing to do anything.

  • ||

    I feel like Reason tries to play of Libertarianism as a type of radical centerism as well. Which I think is a common, but sort of silly concept.

    I agree with your critique, but I think the idea is to re-brand libertarianism as "what most Americans already believe" rather than as "radical whackos way far right from Republicans," in no small part due to most Americans identifying as "socially liberal, fiscally conservative." The problem being, as you point out, that people have different notions about what those phrases mean.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think Libertarianism is radical, I don't think it's more radically right. The philosophical conceits underlying it are quite different from those that most people rely on. And there is a disconnect as these differences remain unvoiced.

  • ||

    And there is a disconnect as these differences remain unvoiced.

    Very true, and this was a big problem in Johnson's campaign. They emphasized wanting legal weed, for example, but whenever the shoals of "legalize all drugs" were skirted, they would hem and haw and act all embarrassed and change the subject. Same with guns and free association.

    I predict the outcome will be one or the other of the major parties embracing "social liberal, fiscal conservative" without those parts of libertarianism that freak people out. Or maybe Weld runs as a "Libertarian" and wins and "Libertarian" becomes the mainstream party and a more radical "Liberty Party" emerges, or some such. Baby steps.

    Nevertheless, I'm feeling pretty good about the future.

  • steve sturm||

    "If you just got people in the room who left their ideology outside the room..."

    What a naive statement. The public wants (what they view as) problems solved in line with their ideology. Who at Reason would like to 'solve' the drug problem by summarily executing drug users? What conservative would like to solve the entitlements problem with massive tax increases?

  • ||

    The concerning thing about a statement like that is that it tells you that its speaker doesn't consider his views to be ideological. They're just accurate perceptions of reality.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    "If we left ideology outside the room" is exactly the sort of weak-assed, cowardly, milquetoast suggestion that's to be expected from today's globo-bureaucratic elites, as it's a euphemism for, "we're going to figure out a way to kick this can in a way that gets us backpats from our fellow elites and the media without making any hard decisions."

  • damikesc||

    You know what happens when you leave ideology out of the room.

    Spending cuts become a laughable joke. But more spending is simply humane and just.

  • Robert||

    Most people don't think they have an ideology. Most of them are right about that. Even of those who do have one, most have one you couldn't think easily of a name for, because it's based on something you never considered. A different thing in each person's case. Not an -ism you'd recognize.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Looks like the Democratic Party is ready to serve...

    [dons sunglasses]

    ....up a burnt offering.

  • lap83||

    I like my politics like I like my coffee....bitter, expensive, and on every street corner

  • damikesc||

    Isn't it problematic that he headed a company that refers to itself as quite racist?

    I don't think I'd want the head of a self-professed racist company to run this country and make us all racist too.

  • The Last American Hero||

    I also don't want to have to attend government mandated struggle sessions.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Yeah. I can get behind a candidate serious about fiscal responsibility, but not if it come with bending the knee at the SJW altar.

  • DajjaI||

    Yes I think national debt is the most important issue facing the country, and no I am not being sarcastic. I don't like this guy because he's probably a Zionist and supports ADL (no, again I am not being sarcastic) but it's great that this issue is getting attention. So am I crying because the Dems won't recognize fiscal disaster? Who cares! I'm a libertarian!

  • Brandybuck||

    The idea that either party would nominate someone who knows how to run a business is absurd.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    It's good to see that the professional fake libertarians of libertarians "care about" the national debt once again. Yes, it is a serious issue, and spending should still be cut across the board.

    You assclowns sure would have a lot more credibility though if you didn't go ballistic every time there was the slightest prospect of a "government shutdown" or of a non-defense item being cut (especially on shit like abortion and Medicaid).

  • NoVaNick||

    Just because someone is successful in business and talks about fiscal responsibility does NOT mean they would be desirable as POTUS, or in any other elected office. Yes, I am looking at you Michael Bloomberg...

  • Citizen X||

    I hope Democrats will recognize that the Republicans have abandoned the high ground of fiscal responsibility and craft a campaign that aims to put entitlements (and the rest of the federal budget) on a more sustainable trajectory.

    They've been doing that all along. Just ask shreek.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Does this imply that the only reason Democrats haven't been fiscally responsible is because they trusted Republicans to handle it?

  • Citizen X||

    There's no way to know for sure, shreek being an unmedicated crazy person and all.

  • BYODB||

    It's probably because Democrats seem to be under the (possibly correct) impression that raising taxes is more politically expedient that fixing something they'll never be credited with fixing. It seems Republicans just got that memo, so...checkmate populace?

  • lafe.long||

    "before Starbucks, coffee was really not that good."

    lol.

    This guy is Chock full o' Nuts.

  • goneGalt||

    ^This!

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Who's nuts?

  • NoVaNick||

    I think having a penis is enough to disqualify anyone from running for office as a democrat in the current environment.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    He has enough time to start transitioning.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    At least having a penis that isn't in my coffee.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    At first I thought you were talking about people dipping their penises into your scalding hot coffee, but then I realized that doesn't make sense. That would hurt and would result in coffee spillage. So I realize now you are talking about those cute little gummy bear penises.

  • rituviv||

    It's reached the point where I feel bad making fun of you for so obviously "trying way too hard"

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Trying hard is a good thing. It's what makes him lovable.

  • rituviv||

    I said "trying way too hard", which is never good with humor, which you know.

    So, really, stop. You don't love him. He's not funny.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "There's no for-profit business in the world that could sustain itself or survive with $20 trillion in debt,"


    It's no secret where the big part of the budget lies. Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, and other "welfare" programs.

    It's also no secret that there's a huge underclass in America that relies on those programs and still scrapes by, paycheck-to-paycheck.

    Slash or remove those programs, and what do you think that underclass is going to do?

    There may be no "for-profit company" that would run itself like the US Government does, but I'm skeptical that for-profit companies are willing to make the sacrifices to their bottom-lines such that the US Government could do less without causing riots.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm always curious how much we could remove from entitlement spending if we just lessened the tremendous bureaucratic bullshit we have around it.

    But I agree, the problem is that people want it. We are voting ourselves rich, and the consequences of that will probably occur before the population stands against it.

    Also why I hate polls that say "The population cares about the debt." Ask them what should be cut, to see how little they actually care about the debt.

  • EscherEnigma||

    I'm always curious how much we could remove from entitlement spending if we just lessened the tremendous bureaucratic bullshit we have around it.
    Depending on the program, a fair amount.

    For example, we have the numbers on "drug testing for welfare" programs, they cost more then they "save". Cut that "bureaucratic bullshit" and we save money.

    That said, the biggest programs (Social Security and Medicare) have relatively little "bureaucratic bullshit", and they're our biggest spenders. Their problems aren't the bureaucracy, it's that there are too many old people.

    So while playing with the means-testing and distribution of benefits might save us some on the margins, they won't really do anything about the elephants.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    It's not too many old people. It's too many old people and a limited supply of doctors. Fix the supply and you can accommodate the demand.

    An MRI doesn't have to cost $2000 (plus $500 for a schlub to read it).

    Start opening up more med schools. Gut the AMA's stranglehold on teaching/certification.

  • MarkLastname||

    Ok, you're clearly out t lunch. Medicare and social security are massively over staffed by the standards of 21st century technology.

    "There's nothing left to cut!" Jesus Christ. How can people believe this.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Even the government itself admits that Medicare fraud alone runs around $100 billion a year. $100 billion a year! And that's just one program.

  • Sevo||

    "Slash or remove those programs, and what do you think that underclass is going to do?"

    Whine and stamp their feet?
    Oh, tell us of your fantasies, EE.

  • rituviv||

    "Slash or remove those programs, and what do you think that underclass is going to do?"

    Doesn't matter, they'll be weaned voluntarily now or by reality later.

  • The Last American Hero||

    How many "for profit companies" can print their own money and force customers to give them cash at gunpoint?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Apple?

  • MarkLastname||

    You're reasoning in the wrong direction. The major reason why they are 'scraping by' is because entitlements reduce incentives to work. No single thing has done more to drive down young make workplace participation than making disability and Medicaid more generous in the 70s.

    Entitlements don't boost poor people's incomes (because entitlement receipts aren't counted as income by 'inequality' hand wringers); they drive them down.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "There's no for-profit business in the world that could sustain itself or survive with $20 trillion in debt," Schultz tells Time

    Well he's not wrong about that, but I'll have to find out where he stands on The Most Important Issues of Our Time - gay marriage, nazi cakes, and NFL players standing for the anthem - before I'll know if he's someone I could see myself voting for or not. /sarc

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    "If you just got people in the room who left their ideology outside the room and recognized that we're here to walk in the shoes of the American people," he says, "we could solve these problems."

    On the contrary, you need to stay the fuck out of my shoes. You assclowns are ruining my shoes. That's how we got all these problems in the first place: megalomaniacs insisting they have to make all of our decisions for us, "for your own good".

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    What does it even mean to leave your ideology outside of the room? I fucking hate that shit. It's meaningless to say. We ARE our beliefs on things. If you leave all ideology outside the room you have literally nothing.

    Why is debt bad? Why is not murdering gay people bad? These come from ideology. It's a fucking zero calorie statement.

  • Sevo||

    "What does it even mean to leave your ideology outside of the room?"

    Pretty sure it means if you do not agree with him, you've brought YOUR ideology into the room. He hasn't; he's indicated in no uncertain terms he's 'beyond ideology' (except his).

  • The Last American Hero||

    Ah, the Obama Doctrine.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    BUCS cannot enter the bedroom without quoting Mises' insight that all human action is motivated by a feeling of unease, or climaxing without referencing Hayek's pretense of knowledge.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I never climax, as human achievement continues to climb ever higher.

  • Robert||

    Seriously, I think it means, be willing to compromise. Don't take your preferences as moral imperatives, don't take those who disagree w you as evil. Amazingly, I think that's good advice. Even if you don't accomplish anything, you'll at least stop stressing yourself out.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    His comments are too vague to know exactly what Schultz is thinking on this front, but it's good to hear someone talking about the problem that entitlements pose for America's long-term fiscal situation. If that hardens into a more serious proposal to reduce entitlement spending, it's difficult to imagine Democratic voters lining up behind him. If it's just a platitude, on the other hand, he may have a political future after all.

    On a slightly more serious note, if I was betting man my money would be on "platitude." I don't think there's any path to the Democratic nomination talking about entitlements and national debt. Unless your talk about entitlements is basically "They're great, and we should have a bunch more!" and your solution to the national debt is "Tax the fuck out of 'the rich'!"

  • EscherEnigma||

    Can I point out that during the primaries one of the big ways President Trump differentiated himself from the other contenders is that he promised he wouldn't touch entitlements and said that he should be taxed more?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Knock yourself out, if spouting random non-sequiturs is your thing. It has fuck all to with this particular topic. The only thing it does is show that if Trump had laid off the immigration rhetoric he could have ran as a Democrat instead of a Republican.

    And he wouldn't have even had to lay off the anti-immigration rhetoric all that much, just a minor change of tone would have sufficed. After all, Bernie Sanders once claimed that "open borders" was a Koch brothers conspiracy to import more low wage labor into the country. So immigration bashing goes over pretty well with Democrats if it's framed correctly.

    Trump has been called a lot of things, fiscal conservative sure as hell ain't one of them.

  • MarkLastname||

    Your point being?

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Flirting With Presidential Run, Former Starbucks CEO Says America Needs to Address National Debt


    "Read my lips: yes new taxes."

  • AlgerHiss||

    "Ross Perot, who repeatedly promised in 1992..."

    Look, Larry...all you have to do is lift the hood and fix the engine. Got that Larry?

  • Citizen X||

    Can ah finish? CAN AH FINISH?

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I don't see anything positive about him.

    He bashed the GOP tax cuts, meaning he doesn't see our current ludicrous level of taxation as a problem.

    He tried to compare the government to business, and it isn't.

    A business has to make a profit to exist, regardless of whatever other goals the business might have. In pursuit of that, anything legal and within the ethics of the owners should be considered and possibly acted on.

    A government most certainly should not be trying to increase revenue, it should be completely restrained by it's constitution, and it should always be trying to minimize it's impact.

    I don't trust anyone who thinks a business attitude qualifies them for government. The only thing that should qualify someone for government is an absolute hatred of it.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    The only thing that should qualify someone for government is an absolute hatred of it.

    Write in Ron Swanson in 2020.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    A business doesn't have to make profit to exist. Have you seen Amazon's balance sheet? Do you not believe that the Komen Foundation is a business despite being a non profit?

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    It depends on how you define profit I suppose. Reinvesting your income in your company counts as profit my mind since you are increasing the valuation of the company. The same goes for paying your employees.

    You sure as hell can't run a true sustainable business if it isn't taking in enough money to cover it's expenses.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Second thought.

    Who out there really wants the government to start charging market rates for land-use? I'm pretty sure that the government charging market rates for mineral rights and permits would kill, or at least drastically harm, American energy production.

    Heck, think about that whole "Bundy" thing from a few years back. That was over below market rates. Think how much the ranchers would whine if the gov was charging market rates?

    Hell, what about the stock market? I know there's been talk before about how the government should "invest" Social Security and what-not, but do we really want the government to use the SS Trust Fund to perform hostile takeovers of businesses, hollow them out and sell them off like "capital investment" businesses do? Sure, it's profitable for the "investor", but it's harmful to everyone else. Is that really what these "government should be run like a business" think we need?

  • ||

    Heck, think about that whole "Bundy" thing from a few years back. That was over below market rates. Think how much the ranchers would whine if the gov was charging market rates?

    Your framing of the question sidesteps that the US government was not originally envisioned as a landlord and the US Gov's acquisition of all of the land west of the Mississippi was predicated on the promise that the land would be deeded to homesteaders who made use of it and improved it. Like the Bundys have for generations. The US Fed Gov wasn't supposed to be "perpetual landlord handing out subsidies to favored families," it was supposed to divest itself of that land so that the land would be private property.

    Saying that the Fed Gov is being super merciful by not jacking up rates as much as they possibly can on the people who have homesteaded the land ignores this history.

  • Just Say'n||

    Believing in small government is not libertarian.

  • Libertymike||

    That's what I told Carla "Small Government is Beautiful" Howell.

  • BYODB||


    Saying that the Fed Gov is being super merciful by not jacking up rates as much as they possibly can on the people who have homesteaded the land ignores this history.


    I suspect Escher, like most people, think that the government functionally owning all property in the United States isn't much of an issue. Fail to pay those property taxes, and in plenty of states that property goes back to the government for them to resell. That's a more extreme outlook, but it's more or less the same underpinning issue.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I wonder about that a lot as well. That's an underlying assumption of property taxes that are not often spoken.

  • BYODB||

    It's also why in Texas there are homesteading laws that can help with that very situation, but they spell out exactly what circumstances they apply to and someone's situation might not fit into any of those boxes.

  • ||

    Fail to pay those property taxes, and in plenty of states that property goes back to the government for them to resell. That's a more extreme outlook, but it's more or less the same underpinning issue.

    True - and that's really an artifact of feudalism. Technically speaking, the government does own all the land, and we "private property owners" actually just own very small fiefdoms in tenancy to the Federal Government, which stands in for the King.

    A fundamental notion behind the USA is that all landholders are supposed to be tenants-in-chief, not lessees of Federal agencies.

  • BYODB||

    Hence how someone might 'own' their 'property' yet almost certainly don't have mineral rights to said land.

  • ||

    Exactly - just the way that if you farm your land, you'll pay taxes on both the labor you pay to do it and the products you sell from it, in addition to your "feudal rent."

  • MarkLastname||

    This is essential it. Many leftists believe the government owns everything, you're just renting, and it's their right to pull the rug out any time they want. Hence the belief that others are automatically entitled to a 'fair share' of your income.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Who out there really wants the government to start charging market rates for land-use?

    I don't. I want the government to sell the land instead.

  • The Last American Hero||

    The SS would be broken up into a series of blind trusts, doled out to major brokerage houses.

    Alternatively, they throw all of it into a SPDR or similar index-type funds.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    SPQR?

  • Agammamon||

    1. Yes. We want these people to be paying market rates. The first step would be to sell off that land.

    2. If your company can be taken over 'hostilely' and then 'hollowed out and sold piecemeal' then your company was on the brink of bankruptcy. Its not harmful to everyone else. Its just that the pieces of your company were more valuable than the company as a whole. So someone has moved those resources from a less valuable use to a more valuable use.

  • MarkLastname||

    First of all: the government should do one better and auction off federal property they have no reason to own tonthe highest bidder, then there will actually be a market rate. What determines the market rate of government owned property?

    Secondly, you're an idiot who doesn't understand how the stock market works. If an investor can make a profit hollowing out a company, then it is to the publ C's benefit because the company's capital was worth more in different hands. That's why someone else was willing to pay more for it. When resources can be used more profitably than in their current use, it is good that someone reallocates them.

    This leftist horse shit about how every company ought to continue to exist in perpetuity no matter how unprofitable it is would be hilarious if so many people didn't actually believe it.

  • lap83||

    In all seriousness, it would be a nice change of pace to see a Democratic candidate who has held down a real job. Too bad the party is overrun by SJWs and communists, so he has no chance

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Well, we may see the spectacular collapse of Tesla in the next few months, so we'll see if a private corporation can sustain 20 trillion in debt...

  • Don't look at me.||

    Fuggedaboudit.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    They can if the government just gives them more money. Which is what the government was always meant to be.

  • Bubba Jones||

    My employer doesn't kill snakes. It forms committees on snake diversity and inclusion.

    My MIL doesn't want to balance the budget. She wants Medicare and Social Security to keep paying full benefits until she dies. Afterward, she gives no fucks.

    So, I expect the second coming of H. Ross Perot to have a bad time.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Oh, your MIL gives fucks alright.

  • Eidde||

    If you leave your ideology outside the room, what happens to this idea of yours that the national debt is a problem? Isn't that an ideology?

    And your talk of "responsibility" sure sounds like an ideology to me.

    Or is an "ideology" just something that the other guy has?

  • Eidde||

    If we want people who are free of ideology (except in campaign speeches nobody believes), then we have that already. Mission accomplished!

  • HGW xx/7||

    Exactly. His "WHY HAZNT GUMINT NOT FIXED DA CLIMATZ" is very much an ideology. It just happens to be the "socially mindful" thing to say. It's sacrosanct and isn't grounds for discussion. Ergo, it's not an ideology; it just is, man!

  • Just Say'n||

    You're a bad woketarian

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Yes, I absolutely hate this idea that philosophy is something that impedes people from doing things, as if there are core obvious statements that are absolute apart from our reason.

  • Dillinger||

    >>> he bashes "both parties" for "a lack of responsibility" on everything from the national debt to global warming

    he's the internet.

  • Just Say'n||

    Hell yes! Reason carrying water for Democratic candidates that are about as libertarian as Chuck Schumer! I love this parody site

  • BYODB||

    Let me guess, his solution to the 'debt problem' is more taxes isn't it?

  • BYODB||


    Though he did not provide details to Time about what he would do to reduce the country's $20 trillion national debt, he did mention the need for a "centrist approach" to entitlement spending and bashed the GOP-passed tax cuts.

    So, yes, more taxes and 'reforms' that probably end up being more generous than they are today. Keeping quiet about his inevitable solution is probably pretty wise of him but bashing tax cuts as a problem when spending is almost all the matters makes his idiocy pretty clear.

    I hope I'm wrong, but if he intends to cut entitlements guess who isn't getting the Democrat nomination?

  • Libertymike||

    Ed Carson, referenced in the article, was the name of my high school debating partner. Notwithstanding the fact that he had a stuttering problem, we made it to the finals of the state debating tournament. In the semi-finals, we beat female twins who had never lost a debate.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Go on...

  • Citizen X||

    Afterwards, the twins came back to Ed and Mike's motel room. One thing led to another, and Ed did both of them. It was classic.

  • Dillinger||

    no incorporation of the stutter?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    He c-c-came twice. That's enough.

  • Libertymike||

    I know you guys will find this hard to believe, but Ed is black. He was a good guy who was razor sharp and was in all of the AP classes. He went to Boston College.

    He used to say, "s-s-s-s-soooooooo Mike, ...."

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Why would I find that hard to believe? I grew up near Boston, I know black people are there.

  • Libertymike||

    Aw, I'm just riffing on the fact that some here think I have something against black folk.

    There are also black people in RI, where I was raised.

  • BYODB||

    That's ok Mike, people also say that affirmative action isn't institutional racism as well.

  • Libertymike||

    Believe me, both Ed and Mike would have loved to have done them both. We probably would have both dropped our loads before completely removing our trousers. I know I would have.

    The twins were blue-eyed blonde babes from Barrington.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Was there a rebuttal?

  • Dillinger||

    let the chicks win and take them out after...especially twins der

  • Libertymike||

    Earlier in the season, those twins had kicked our asses. Me and Ed wanted us some revenge and I can still see their crestfallen faces after we beat them in the tournament.

  • Dillinger||

    revenge-winning IS sweet...

  • Libertymike||

    Not to feed the right Rev. Arthur any ammo, but I still remember that those twins were headed to Brown and they were stuck on themselves.

    They had never been beaten and they had to stomach the fact that a red headed loudmouth and a stuttering black kid beat them.

  • BYODB||

    Ah, a fellow ginger debater. I didn't clear regionals, but my CX partner was basically a bag of sand.

  • Darth Soros||

    If, as it appears, he's a "liberal" (using that once-honorable term in its contemporary bastardized sense as a euphemism for "tax-happy, coercion-addicted, power-tripping State fellator") you pretty much know how he's going to deal with the deficit. Hint: it ain't by cutting spending.

  • Tony||

    About time we had a businessman president.

  • Dillinger||

    George Washington not your cup of tea?

  • The Last American Hero||

    Didn't know you were a Bain Capital kind of guy.

  • MarkLastname||

    Sexist.

  • ||

    Flirting With Presidential Run, Former Starbucks CEO Says America Needs to Address National Debt

    I've been duly informed by Justin Amash that the distinctions between microeconomics and macroeconomics both within, between, and among command and democratic economies are moot. The US isn't $20T in debt, it's just a multi-year trade deficit. When my grocer enslaves it's workers to shovel more goods on me than I could possibly pay out on, we both benefit.

  • Iheartskeet||

    I've been duly informed by mad.casual that only the US can run trade surpluses, that we must manage individual business transactions so that it all balances out, that he knows better than I do what I should be buying and selling and to who, and furthermore we must police the working conditions...indeed moral fiber !...of all trading partners and only trade with those that meet our standards. Not that he would apply those same standards to just Americans trading with themselves.

  • ||

    Yeesh. Not another woke politician. Bloomberg 2.0 is so not cool.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The Dotard doesn't give a flying fuck about the national debt. Dubya obviously did not.

    Yet the H&R "libertarians" will say that only Republicans are serious fiscal reform.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Who, specifically? Because most of what I've seen here over the years has been "Dems choose to bury their head in the sand on debt and entitlements, Repubs choose to give it lipservice and go on spending." Kind of the reverse of the how the parties claim to view war.

  • Agammamon||

    Why would you think anyone would want a W8 product key? Either you're still using W7 or you may as well go straight to W10 - which isn't shite, unlike W8.

  • Agammamon||

    Still, he's someone worth keeping an eye on, if for no other reason than the fact that he's willing to say what needs saying about the national debt and the country's out-of-control spending.

    Who cares what they say? So they mouth the right platitudes? Who cares? You've seen at least a hald dozen presidents *say* all sorts of things - things they failed to carry out. Things they went and did the complete opposite of when they got into office.

    Senator Obama vs Candidate Obama vs First term President Obama vs 2nd term President Obama. Or Trump. Or Bush. Either one. 'Read my lips' and all that.

    Let's look at their track records in the real world.

    And this guy? The guy who was in charge of Starbucks until recently? Mr 'let's have a conversation about race'?

    No thank you.

  • Stephen Seligman||

    While I agree 100%, why should I trust him over anyone else?

  • Davulek||

    If the debt was your backyard swimming pool, unfunded liabilities would be the Pacific Ocean.

  • MichaelL||

    I think that is rich, coming from a man who charges over $6 for a cup of coffee. In such a case, over-spending of the customers is encouraged. Why look for cheaper coffee?! Just throw your money away, wastefully. It is no different than the government spending it like it is other people's money! They don't care if a hammer costs $1,000!

  • Longtobefree||

    Sounds good.
    He is already addressing the homeless problem by allowing everyone to live in his stores.
    He can address the national debt (if he is serious) by donating $2.00 to the treasury for each cup of coffee sold in his stores.
    And all that before even announcing his candidacy.

  • Alex15||

  • levalen98||

    Mobdro features a active team of developers who are always coming up with changes to the application form. There has been updates to the app every month or two and also most of the days changes into this app are huge. If you are one of those that had not upgraded the application form for some time, then you will need to upgrade it now. Here is the task to download mobdro-apk and upgrade the current version on your device. Mobdro Settings and Options click the link Latest mobdro-apk to download the apk-file or start the application in your apparatus surely got to Menu->About->up date once you click the Update button, then the program will look for the most recent variant and redirect you to the page where you can get the most recent version. - update Mobdro App

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