Sunday, February 13, 2011

Listen to David Stockman

I couldn't have said it better than what he said on NPR today.

Summary and audio.

As the deficit commission said, everything should be not only on the table but cut. Everything, including the Department of Defense, and not just cosmetically with future programs and systems, but now and significant. Start with providing aid to Iraq and Afghanistan and all the forces we're helping develop for their future. They won't do it on their own if we keep paying the bills and doing the work.

We also need to cut weapons systems, not just reduce to cancel, until such time the ecomony and the budget will support these programs and systems. We need to ensure we have an economy more than we have our future defense. We can always catch up the programs and systems, we can't catch up the economy.

And this include the Homeland Security Administration and the intelligence work. Again, equal significant cuts. Start with airport security and passenger screening. It's unnecessary and hasn't proven to work, that is except enrich the corporations the former head of HSA sold to us (he's now a consultant for those very companies).

This includes the current HSA Secretary. She has to face the music and offer up real cuts for years to come. Do more with less as they saying goes and as the other government agencies have been doing and are expected to continue well into the future, especially the next 5 years of level funding. The DOD and HSA need to reduce they funding by 10% and stay there with the rest of the agencies.

And then we can look at Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Social Security is quite good and only needs tweaking provided we don't do one thing which would help it tremendously. The tweaking involves raising the ceiling for the tax and other small measures, all of which would extend it for another 3+ decades.

The biggest gain can come from adding all the illegal immigrants working under the table. Adding another 4-5 million workers would expand the base for decades to come. But that would require solving the illegal immigrant and worker problem, and maybe that's the solution, solving one solves another.

Medicare and Medicaid are problems I don't have answers, but clearly they need adjustments to ensure everyone is covered but the funds don't bankrupt the government. But these lead to the one answer everyone takes off the table almost immediately, the proverbial white elephant in the conversation.

The truth is we have to raise taxes for everyone. For the rich, considerably. For corporations, simply keep them honest where all pay equitably, something that hasn't been done for decades. We need to encourage them to spend they $1.9 Trillion is cash to add jobs here, to build factories, to create new markets overseast for US made goods, and so on.

They need to step up to the plate. We need to discourage them from moving jobs and assets overseas, which can be done by taking away their US status if they do and then charge them to sell goods and services here. If the foreign companies can build factories and create jobs here, so can the American companies. It's good for them, for America and good for Americans.

And we need to find a way to generate income to the government to face the reality of all the work they want from our government. We can't keep demanding more and cutting taxes to do that. We can't keep creating smaller government when there's more for government to do. It's a reality we have to face and create the income from taxes that balances the burden proportionately and fairly.

We need to pay for the government we want. It's that simple. One which doesn't create annual debt and slowly pay down the deficit. All of government has to be on the table and cut across the board. We need to redefine what our government is for the people and not corporations and special interests.

To cut through the political rhetoric and dogma, to where our children will have that better life. And not look back and blame us as we're blaming our past. That's the reality we're facing, the future we want for our children or the future we leave our children.

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