You can’t DIG yourself out of a hole!

‘Really close’ to debt deal as deadline nears

Racing to avoid a government default, President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders reached urgently for a compromise Sunday to permit vital borrowing by the Treasury in exchange for more than $2 trillion in long-term spending cuts. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the two sides were “really, really close” to a deal after months of partisan fighting.

Vital Borrowing?  Are you [foul words] kidding me?  Borrowing, overspending and arrogance is what’s gotten us in this mess.  If your trying to get out of a hole – stop digging!!

I woke up this morning writing a letter in my head to the current administration.  Here are some ideas for budget cuts:

Every government employee at the Federal level should take a two week hiatus this year with no pay – that’s what we’ve done in Iowa with our government employees.  How much would that save?

Any former federal government employee who is still drawing a salary and complete benefits even though they haven’t actually EARNED it in years or decades should forfeit the salary – go back to work like the rest of us.  How much would that save?

Stop ALL subsidies – harsh, maybe – but yes, I mean all.  Farm subsidy (farmers welfare), fossil fuel subsidy (take away the money and force renewable energy development), tobacco industry, pharmaceuticals, big oil, others?  People are really smart about getting and using every advantage available to them, they’ll figure out how to make up the differences.

Crack down on abuses across the board and including the welfare, Medicaid, medicare systems.  These programs were originally intended to help people – and that’s a noble thing.  I support helping where help is needed – to aid people in getting back on their feet not to substitute the desire to make a living.  Instigate a weaning system.  Parent is on DHS aid – ok.  Let’s say that parent gets a job a McD’s, low paying of course, but it’s a job.  Stop punishing those who are using the system as it was intended and stop rewarding those who have figured out how to live off of it.  So a parent gets a job to bring pride and some money back to the family that they are leading – awesome – reward them by freezing the benefit level for 2 years – they get their wages and all the benefits they have been getting as a reward for going out there and getting after it – well done.  For the next 2 years reduce public benefits by 25% and continue to pay for all/any education they are interested in pursing with the caveat that they succeed in attaining the 2-year, 4-year, job training degree that is started so they can get a better job and bring pride back into the family.  If this same parent won’t work or has every excuse not to work for the last 10 years – CUT THEIR BENEFITS.  Do not pass go, do not ride the system any more.  This will do two things.  It will support those people who are trying to do the right thing and it will motivate those who aren’t.  It will also bring a workforce to the lower paying jobs who are struggling to find help.  Win. Win. Win. 

One other minor change in attitude is stop wasting money on trying to collect money from people who don’t have any and spend more of that portion of the budged on education and better jobs so they have money to pay for things that they need.

And my last idea (for today anyway).  Pass a one time 5% (of gross) annual budget deficit tax on families making over $75,000 joint and 2% for families making between $30,000 and $74,999, with 100% of the money going to pay down the pathetic lie of the trillion dollar deficit that we are all responsible for allowing to build.  If your making less than $30,000 gross a year – your already getting taxed in my opinion and you should keep your money to support your family.  If you can’t budget $75,000 or more in a year then shame on you and you should pay a stupid tax anyway.

Assuming that 350,000,000 (million) people in the US make more than (only) $75,000 per year and they only contribute 5% in one tax year, that’s $1,312,500,000,000 that’s a trillion dollars off the deficit in one year.

…and if you make over a million dollars a year – you should step up and contribute a greater share.  I’m absolutely certain your attorneys, accountants and other staff have found enough gimme’s in your life for you to afford to pitch in extra to get the US out of this mess.  We’re all in the soup together.

…but, tell us how you really feel.

The critical piece to this puzzle though is to stop spending money we don’t have and stop spending money that is in certain funds (oh, for instance the social security fund) on things completely unrelated to social security – get your grimy mits off of it.  And while I’m on that thread.  If you are retired and you are still making a good wage – at least equivalent to what you made prior to retirement – what makes you think your entitled to draw social security above the amount you put into it?  This is money that could be better spent on those who were wiping your butt in life and didn’t have the education or wherewithall to save for themselves.

ok….so if you’ve read my tangent I hope that I gave you a few more things to consider and I’ve likely ruffled some feathers of the golden geese – I say good.  My job here is done.  This isn’t exactly the letter I would mail to our POTUS but they are issues we have got to get a grip on.  We are the most powerful nation on the planet so it’s been said and if we can’t lead by living on a balanced and reasonable budget than the world is in a deep pile!

And if you need a visual – here’s one recommended to me by a friend (thanks, Chris)  It’s two years old so probably not enough pennies today but it makes the point.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWt8hTayupE (btw-I’m not anti party of either, I think they are both equally responsible for this mess and for getting out of it, this budget could be assigned to any former presidential party in the last few decades).

We all know the solution.  We have to make the hard choices.  Thjere are plenty of things that can be done to get us out of the soup – but are we grown up enough to do it, to keep special interest groups leashed, to stop spending and printing money we don’t have, to keep the dollar strong and help our people become the most educated in the world… do we have the courage to enforce what is in the best interest of ALL of the citizens of the US and subsequently be able to bless other parts of the world with our true wealth?  I challenge you to stand up and demand change – that was the platform, wasn’t it?

1. Step up to put up the money in arrears.

2. Stop spending money we don’t have to spend.

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