Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's time to get drastic...

So, I've read a half dozen breakdowns of the supposed cuts in the President's proposed 2012 budget and I've read the reports regarding the 2011 budget that the republicans in the house pushed through this weekend.  Seriously?  This is how you're taking a $1.6 trillion deficit seriously???

Yes, with little more than half the fiscal year remaining the republicans are trimming $61 billion from the federal budget.  So what?  That's 3.8% of the deficit.  Do that another 26 times and we're getting close. 

I'm not sure the President's budget is worth commenting on.  He promises $1.1 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years, however, $1.3 trillion of that is actually already accounted for in the total budget.  It includes over $1 trillion in projections of increased tax revenue on raised rates and new taxes and fees and otherwise grows the federal budget by nearly $1.5 trillion over the next ten years.  Like I said, not worth the time commenting on it.

What makes me think that "politics as usual" will triumph once again, that no one can afford to be serious about cutting our deficits and trimming this bloated behemoth of a government is that no one is touching the entitlements.  There is not one bit of reform of medicare, medicaid, social security, or welfare?  Nothing meaningful happens until these things are tackled. It's sad, though perhaps understandable.  If you've read my previous posts you might remember that we've discussed this before.  No one wants to be first here.  If the Republicans go first, the Democrats call them names. 

It's past time to get drastic here.  Someone is going to have to be first.  So, let me.  Cut it.  Cut it now.  Trim present benefits, and reform the system.  Allow individuals to begin purchasing long term health insurance for retirement.  If you create the conditions the marketplace will spring up.  Raise the retirement age for everyone born after 1960.  Raise it by 2 years.  For everyone born after 1970, raise it by 5.  For everyone born after 1980, raise it by 7 years.  That MAY help shore it up, but to be honest, I don't know if it can be shored. 

Our elected officials need to take this seriously.  They need to be proposing these ideas now, no matter what someone may call you.  Sticks and stones have nothing on what this debt is doing to our country.  If you do nothing?  You may as well go hang out in Illinois with some Wisconsin State Senators I know.