Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bi-partisan Balancing

I was watching McCain this AM talk about the budget, and after seeing tea party style Republicans looking at peanuts for political gain as it relates to budget cuts (think Foreign aid, only .16%, that's POINT ONE SIX), McCain kept on harping about Agriculture Subsidies. But again, nice political buzz word, but eliminating those subsidies is again, ONLY .07% (yes, POINT ZERO SEVEN).

I've said it before, if we are going to make meaningful efforts in restoring the federal budget to sanity, we need to make the painful, yet not politically popular, decisions to reel this behemoth in. I propose the following:

1) Do NOT raise the debt ceiling. Force congress to make the cuts or revenue investments necessary to stop the growth in borrowing and begin buying down the debt, not increasing it.

2) A straight across the board cut, 15 % to start, on ALL budget areas INCLUDING Defense.

3) Revenue enhancements; not the least of which is rolling back the top tier tax bracket to pre-President GW Bush levels, adding a scant 3 cents on the dollar influx on adjusted Gross Income of the first dollars over $500,000

So that's the quick and dirty of where I am at, but coming off the heals of the President's Debt Commission recommendations, there is a bi-partisan piece of legislation being proposed that also recognizes the balanced approach needed to resolve the budget conundrum:
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner is about to heed his own admonition that Congress "put up or shut up" when confronting the dangerously high federal debt.

The Virginia Democrat and U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Georgia Republican, are close to introducing a complex bill that would cut trillions in federal spending, raise some taxes and lower others, and spread the pain of cutting the federal deficit among just about everyone in America.

Nothing will be sacred. Everything is open for cutbacks or change to get spending under control, including defense, Social Security and Medicare.
And that is all I ever said that has to happen to make true and real budget reductions, EVERYTHING needs to be on the table, be it cuts or revenue.

No, as it the case with any legislation, by the time it hits the floor it will be sliced and diced. Radicals from both sides will play politics with amendments and slight of hand proposals to get members in vulnerable district to go on records with trick votes. The bi-partisan authors have a message for them:
The political cost is so high, Warner said in a recent interview, that the entire plan has to be a single bill - one up-or-down vote.

"The only way you realistically can get there is if you get... one package where everybody can say, 'I don't like a lot of it, but the sum of the good it does is worth the pain it will cost,' " Warner said. "At the end of the day, this is not going to be a painless process."
It's not easy, and it will hurt, but the hurt should be spread evenly.

If YOU want to try your hand it dealing with trillions of dollars in deficits, play the game. It kind of puts things into perspective.


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