Another losing round in Washington
by Jim Nobles Guest Columnist
A week away from the debt ceiling deadline and no comprehensive plan has been offered. Seventeen trillion; yes I said $17 trillion in debt with no end to out-of-control spending in sight. Our national debt is the greatest threat to America’s future and any politician who says otherwise should be voted out of office, impeached, or imprisoned for reckless endangerment. America can not continue to spend more than we take in from tax revenues without serious consequences.
As I have said before on numerous occasions, President Reagan did not topple the Soviet Empire. It was their overspending on the Soviet military while neglecting their infrastructure that lead to their financial collapse. And the greatest driving costs of our Federal Budget that the GOP always ignores when promoting cuts is the Defense Budget. Nonetheless, they are more than willing to cut Social Security and Medicare-go figure. Republicans who claim to be conservatives that want to abandon the poor must be reading a different Bible than I am.
Meanwhile the Federal Reserve continues to pump money into the stock market which aids the rich and powerful, but it does little for the average person on the street. So instead of fixing Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) with interstate insurance competition, tort reform, preventive care, lower prescription costs, and lowering the cost of quality care; Republicans keep selling false hope in repeal. If the GOP was really concerned about the American people it would focus on repealing NAFTA and the “Patriot Act”. No wait that is not going to happen because they authored the legislation that outsourced high paying livable wage middleclass jobs twenty years ago so their friends on Wall Street could increase their stock portfolios. And while Republicans and their Tea Party fringe say they are constitutional conservatives, their support of the Patriot Act (an intrusion on the fourth amendment regardless of what an unaccountable Supreme Court that ruled Obamacare constitutional as a tax says) contradicts their ignoramus assertions.
Democrats on the other hand, always criticize although they rarely offer an alternative plan at least on paper. Social Security and Medicare are easy fixes; all Congress has to do is raise the age requirements for recipients. Add one year to every year a future recipient is away from the age of 65. That means a 55 year old would receive his or her benefits at age 65 years and 10 months and a newborn would receive his or her benefits at age 71 years and 5 months. And the only cuts should be the fraud and abuse in these programs.
Moreover, the same way Republicans sacred cows are the Defense Budget and Corporate Welfare (Tax Expenditure; $1.1 trillion annually); the Democrats refuse to reduce the size of our federal government their Holy Grail. For example simplifying the tax code means we could cut the IRS 90-95% and that would lessen the opportunities for targeting conservative nonprofit groups. We could also consolidate all federal agencies especially law enforcement agencies and cut these bureaucracies in half (50%). The Department of Agriculture is loaded with fraud, waste, abuse, and duplication similar to the Defense Budget, but Republicans only want to target and attack the Department of Education, Social Security, and Medicare when discussing cuts.
Fixing the Department of Education is as simple as simplifying our tax code. Allowing input at the local levels is reasonable, but we must implement higher standards, institute performance based pay, require accountability, offer school choice, and reinstitute discipline to compete in the global economy. Afterwards, we could cut the size of the Department of Education by 80%. Nevertheless solutions are not the problem, the problem is the special interest groups that represent these different factions who financially contribute and politically support members from both parties of Congress.
Therefore without real political reforms in campaign financing, lobbying, insider trading (members of Congress), gerrymandering districts, term limits, and political access (third party candidates); the gravy train is going to continue to flow one way. However, the Democrats hold an advantage because they have the national press as an ally and even though Republicans migrate to Fox News and its parent company’s media sources; they are outnumbered 4 to 1. And honestly World Corp is primarily concerned with protecting unethical capitalism (corporate greed) while pretending to be for the common man (Bill O’Reilly and company).
Once again, the Republicans are holding another losing hand because they can’t communicate a coherent message. Repeating Obamacare over and over will not magically fly you back to Kansas Dorothy. First, Congress has to freeze the annual increases in the Federal Budget and then they have to be willing to cap and modify salaries and pensions. Next they have to be willing to make serious cuts in every government agency-for there are no sacred cows. Regrettably Republicans are unwilling to make serious defense cuts and eliminate tax expenditures for the wealthy few and Democrats are unwilling to reduce the size of our federal government and cut the fraud, waste, abuse, and duplication in every government agency and program. The end result is the American taxpayers are the ones who are being steamrolled as our nation approaches a financial Armageddon.
I’m listening Thomaston, what do you think?
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