Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How Low Are You Willing to Go?

There is no doubt that our spending is out of control.  Obama released his budget today and the spending cuts are way too small and too much spending.  Even democrats have been largely silent on it.  But the question is how much are you willing to cut? 

We have many difficult choices to make and I think it may be time that we start voicing how far we are willing to go. 

We have to raise the retirement age.  Not right away, but over time this has to be done.  People are living longer, so working for another few years will be necessary.  Of course we can make adjustments to certain blue collar jobs that cause health issues. 

For people who have a great deal of assets should be able to opt out of Medicare.  We may find that it will become mandatory at some point.  But where is that number? 

We will need to cut defense.  This is not something that is easy for me to say, but it is necessary.  Now, I am not saying that we do anything that endangers our readiness in case we are attacked, but I would think that we can find plenty of waste.  After all it is government run, I find it impossible to believe that there isn't waste. 

We need to cut the government workforce. 

We need to audit every government agency.  I know someone who works at agriculture I think it is.  She told me her job takes her about 3 or 4 hours a day and she stretches it out to make it look like she is busy all day.  That needs to stop.  Since I live in area that has many government workers I hear stories about waste all the time.  The government is not efficient by any stretch of the imagination.  We could probably cut the workforce by 25% and have no change in the services whatsoever.  They may even be better. 

Privatize the Post Office. 

Some agencies just need to go all together.  The Department of Education is a complete waste of money.  They have a $70 billion budget and not one single child gets educated for that.  We may need to keep a percentage of that money to give to the states, but this will be less wasteful.  The closer it gets to the classroom, the less likely it will be wasted. 

Many children in this country can be better educated in private schools for far less money.  Lets give families more choice. 

Government employees need to pay a larger percentage of health benefits.  Both on the state and national level. 

But these are pretty easy, and most thinking people will agree on these.  Now is where it gets more complicated.

Do we cut benefits to the men and women who have served our country in the armed forces? 

Do we cut benefits to the poorest amongst us? 

How much of the scientific and medical research and development do we cut? 

How much of foreign aid do we cut?  The more financially unstable countries are, the more likely they are to start a war.  History shows that.  Some of that aid is in our national interest. 

Do we give a one time buy out for Social Security to the very wealthy?  What happens if they run out of money before the die?

Do we partially privatize Social Security?  People were not ready hear that when Bush tried it.  Are they ready to hear it now?  Maybe not after the performance of the stock market over the past few years. 

We are running out of time for the choices to be ours.  If keep spending and borrowing the choices will be harder to make and even more painful. 

What are you willing to cut? 

1 comment:

Deekaman said...

Where do we start? The Constitution. What are the Constitutionally mandated responsibilities of the federal government? Not the made-up stuff like Welfare and Social Security. The stuff that is specifically called out (Common Defense, for one).

Reforming Social Security shouldn't be that hard. People over a certain age (say 50) are grandfathered in. Between say 35 and 50, you can take a hybrid of the current system and a privatized program....or not. Below 35, your Social Security contributions are placed into highly conservative investments. Something along those lines. The shortfall in the near term would be made up by the General Fund, but long-term, the system becomes solvent.

Everything except Common Defense must be on the table. That's not to say we shouldn't look at defense, but it IS a mandated responsibility.

These programs MUST change or we and our children are doomed.

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