The budget fiasco in DC right now and pending government shutdown underscores a very simpe and very undeniable truth - if our government continues to spend at the current rate, we're done for. It will cause an economic tsunami that will cripple this country for decades.
Take a look at this article...
- Last fall, the Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission released a report on how to avoid an economic catastrophe; the report got the attention of various think tanks and government offices who suddenly were overflowing with proposals to reduce debt and reform entitlements, the tax code, and just about every other government program..
- As soon as a poll came out that registered and likely voters weren't willing to accept any tax increases or benefit cuts, President Obama and other government officials bailed on the idea; it would be political suicide.
- The President walked away from the Simpson-Bowles package and instead submitted a budget that would double the country's debt over the next decade, according to the NONPATRISAN Congressional Budget Office.
- Over the last few weeks some highly respected economists (including the ex-chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers) have cited in letters to our governement that the debt situation is so explosive, that simply doing nothing is "not a survivable option".
Afterall, it's all about holding on to power inside the beltway. I mean the President - in the midst of this potential Doomsday situation - announces his re-election bid for 2012 and starts - you guessed it - FUND RAISING ACTIVITIES.
However, everyone should take note of Paul Ryan, the chair of the House Budget Committee; he's going to release what some are calling "the most comprehensive and most courageous budget reform proposal any of us have seen in our lifetimes".
Ryan proposal will tackle the real issues...not about simply cutting a few billion dollars, but seriously looking at the very foundations of ALL domestic programs in 2012 and beyond. It will show all arguments in proper context, that the current welfare state can not be sustained and a new deal of the social contract has to be invented.
The press will nail Ryan on his top number of $4 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years; but, I'm sure they will ignore his proposals on HOW he would reform programs. He would reform the tax code along the Simpson-Bowles lines, but without the tax increases. Medicare isn't changed for anyone over 55, and for younger people it turns into a DEFINED contribution plan..."Instead of assuming open-ended future costs, the government will give you a sum of money (starting at an amount equal to what the government now spends) and a regulated menu of insurance options from which to choose". It will also turn Medicade into a a block grant, which gives states more flexibility.
It tackles agriculture subsidies and other corporate welfare.
It consolidates the job-training programs into a single adult scholarship.
It reforms housing assistance and food stamps.
It stares down almost every single "politically risky issue" without worrying about re-electability.
It does NOT (although will be painted to) take the proverbial meat ax approach; it emphasizes social support, social mobility and personal choice.
Most importantly to me, at least, is that it is going to force President Obama's hand. Is he going to be the catalyst of change he campaigned about and look at this proposal and COMPROMISE after coming up with a counterproposal, or will he do what I fully expect - politicise the issue by ranting about "savage", "uncaring", "protecting only the wealthy", "previous administration's fault", etc., Republican proposed cuts and continue to turn a blind eye to the glaring and very real long-term fiscal consequences?
I can't wait to hear what Pelosi will have to say as she will be on the attack from the word "Go".
And we as a country have to look at the very hard and ugly truth; the government can't afford to continue spending the way they are without raising taxes and cutting and reforming some programs, including social programs. The majority of American's need a STRONG dose of reality, and we ALL need a leader to have the grapefruits to tell us what is needed to prevent our country from going bankrupt...and I can assure EVERYONE, if that happens, the pain and inconveince will be 100-fold stronger than any proposed cut or tax hike.
ENTITLEMENT doesn't work anymore.
Stop the spending, reform ALL programs, and save our country!
Until next time...