I can't run my home that way; a business would go bankrupt trying to borrow that much, and a country is no different. If we keep this up, we will go bankrupt as a nation.
What really pisses me off is that there is nobody in Washington right now willing to admit how bad things are. Paul Ryan is taking heat for his budget proposal which takes a stab at fiscal sanity but it still doesn't balance the budget, even 10 years out.
As Tam says:
We are so boned.
So John Q. Public is wheeled in with an arterial bleeder, and Dr. Reid says a bandaid should fix it, while Dr. Boehner wants one of those little 3" gauze squares. They compromised on a 2" gauze pad, but with only one strip of tape.
My neighbor's dog has more foresight than these yahoos
So, what would it take to make me happy? I'm glad you asked.
- Roll back spending to 2008 levels before Obama and the Democrat Congress exploded the budget. And yes, I know Bush signed TARP into law, but TARP came from a Democrat dominated Congress, and Obama voted for it so even though he likes to claim he inherited the deficits, he didn't. he voted for them; he owns them. TARP was supposed to be a one time event, aiming to prevent a full economic crash. Once he took office, Obama and the Democrats have tried to make spending at this level permanent and our economy can't handle it. We need to return to sustainable levels of spending and going back to where we were before the spending orgy is a good start.
- End stimulus spending, and make sure that every dollar given out in bailouts is returned with interest. And no, GM's bullsh*t claim doesn't count. Obama loves to tout all the jobs created or saved, and Democrats trip over themselves talking about the great success of TARP and the two stimulus bills.
OK, great. They worked. The economy is saved and we can go back to living within our means.
- Pass a Constitutional Amendment that
- requires a balanced budget.
- If there is cause for a deficit, that budget must be approved by super majority in the House and Senate, must include Constitutional justification for the spending, and a plan to pay back the deficit.
- links congressional pay to the GDP. If it goes down, so does their pay. Alternately, Congressional pay raises should be linked to the whatever calculation they use to determine military pay raises.
- caps government spending at a percentage of GDP, which historically runs at just under 20%. Exceeding that cap would again require super-majorities of the House and Senate.
- Make it illegal for the Fed to purchase US debt. Monetizing the debt is no different than monetizing mortgage debt. It didn't work in the housing market, and it won't work for federal debt either.
- Make a rule forcing Congress into continuous session starting Oct 1st if there is no budget. Limit continuing resolutions to 2 weeks in duration and cap spending at 90% of the previous budget, to include Congressional and federal pay, with the exception of military pay and benefits. That gives Congress incentive to do their jobs.
- Replace the tax code with one that rewards saving, simplifies returns, and distributes the burden more equitably. A flat tax with deductions for food, clothing, and housing and an income threshold of the poverty level would be a good start. That would come out to something like 23% or so to fund government at the current level of spending.
- Abolish capital gains and inheritance taxes. Income should be taxed once, not multiple times.
- Welfare payments should be repaid just as student loans are. Payment can be in cash, or time spent in civic service.
I could go on, but you get the point. Almost every one of these ideas is a political non starter, which is too bad because TANSTAAFL (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) isn't just good idea; it's fairly close to being a natural law. Any culture that flouts that law generally fails within a generation or two. We're in our second generation now. Time is running out. We can take charge of our fiscal affairs and get America back on a sound financial footing, or we can continue on the path to insolvency, default, and ruin.
Unfortunately, based on what's been going on in Washington, and some of the conversations I've had with folks lately, I think the choice has already been made. Too many people have an entitlement mentality and they are unwilling to face the truth, that America is on a path that will lead to financial ruin. We won't change our direction.