This country has a problem. It is a problem that exists in the rest of the world as well, but one that will get noticeably worse if we don't make changes. That problem is debt. Current debt in this country is around 87% -96% of GDP, depending on who you ask. Thats pretty large. Granted, there are larger debt to gdp ratio's out there. Hungary's debt is 121% of gdp. And if you take the top 20, it only gets bigger.
US - 96%
HUngary - 121%
Australia - 124%
Italy - 147%
Greece - 170%
Germany - 182%
Spain - 186%
Norway - 202%
Finland - 220%
Hong Kong - 223%
Portugal - 235%
France - 248%
Austria - 256%
Sweden - 264%
Denmark - 316%
Belgium - 328%
Netherlands - 376%
Switzerland - 382%
UK - 425%
Ireland - 1312%
And that is at the end of 2009.
Now, a crowning jewel in the rhetoric merry go round of the tea party is to talk about passing debt on to our children. Well lets not be crass, we are already going to pass on massive debt to our children. And lets not be ideologically ignorant either. Most tea partiers supported Bush for eight years while he passed unfunded medicare programs, prosecuted two wars based on lies, all while cutting taxes twice. If you supported an idiot who decided to increase spending while reducing income, you can't suddenly say you are tired of big government spending. At least not if you want to be taken seriously.
So here are the common sense ways to cut and eliminate this debt. And make no mistake, these aren't really that debatable. Not if you are serious about cutting debt and deficits.
1. Medicare and medicaid spending must be cut. Now, there are great ways to do this. But first we must acknowledge that this nonsense of the party out of power claiming that the other party will cut your benefits is only designed to scare you, and is used as a political tool. When the republicans said that the democrats medicare waste reduction amendment was designed to cut grannies benefits, and lots of seniors believed them, we must admit that this was stupid on our part. There are lots of ways to cut spending without cutting benefits. To say it is cutting benefits unilaterally is deceitful and should be called out by the party who does it.
A. Allow bidding for medicare prescriptions and allow imports from canada that are fda approved and scanned. Yes we can, and yes we should.
B. If your net worth is measured in multiples of millions, you don't get it. I'm not paying for some rich man or woman to get free health care when
he/she can fund their own clinic.
C. Like Reagan and Clinton, the medicare/SS taxes must be increased.
D. Actually investigate and crack down on medicare/medicaid fraud.
2. SS must be made solvent. You can do this by increasing SS taxes. And again, if you measure your worth in multiple millions, you don't get SS. And yes, you still have to pay into it. It isn't going to kill millionaires to continue to pay into a fund for the poor and elderly.
3. Bring home the troops. All of them. It is much cheaper to house troops here, that abroad. Couple in the fact that there are hundreds of bases we would no longer have to maintain. Then, you can solve the illegal immigration problem by putting them on the border. Not interested in arguments for immigration reform here. Make a path to citizenship, what ever. But stop the violence at the border the way all other countries do. With your own troops.
4. Once you bring the troops home, you can drastically cut the military budget. Without spending money on housing troops abroad, you can effectively reduce the budget without having to cut any other areas of defense.
5. Taxes must be raised. Don't like it? Sorry. You can't complain about passing on a debt when you aren't willing to pay for it yourself. So either shut it or own up. If you don't want your kids to own it, then guess who has to pay for it? Thats right, you. So, there are several ways of doing this. One is to have the rich pay more. After all, they have benefited more than the rest of the country, from the system we live in. Why must people continue to insist that we lower taxes even more? Federal taxes are very low compared to history. Eisenhower had the top tax bracket at 90%. For goodness sake open your eyes and stop calling taxes socialism!
These five things would lower spending on the top expenses in our budget, and increase revenue. Like anyone who runs a budget, this seems like an obvious answer. Reduce spending, increase revenue. Why is this difficult?
Now, some will say this can't be done in a recession. And I agree, you cannot raise taxes in a recession. However, we can stop the military spending and reduce the waste in medicaid and medicare right? That would take a big chunk out of the yearly budget!
Its time to put up or shut up America. Either suck it up and do what is needed, or stop crying about passing on debt to our children.