I have correctly told you that the Republican Party establishment are a dhishonest group of hypocrites equivlent to leftist Deocrats and the people at CNN (and in the rest of the mianstream media). For them, this debt ceiling "fight' has ALWAYS been about "politics as usual".
Remember, the Republican establishment CHOSE this fight (with, it is admitted, a push from Tea Party people in the House) . Republicans CHOSE to concentrate on the debtg ceiling, instead of on SPENDING (as in the SHAM deal on this year's spending, and the basic SILENCE on next year's spending--with the appropriatioins bills already being due). As I have told you, Republicans have the POWER to cut spending next year al of the way to BALANCE. Now it is true they don't have the WILL to take the heat--including a probable Obama/Democrat government shut down rather than accept Republican spending restraint, but it is still true that Democrats CANNOT STOP Republicans from balancing the budget for nexte year, if Republicans in the Hoouse simply refused to appropriate more money than we have. What I have proposed is makng it obvious that this is all about SPENDNING, by simply raising the debt ceiling enough to get through September (the end of this fiscal year), and then NOT raising it again until the spending bills for next year are ALL passed--which would detemine the amount you HAVE to raise the debt ceiling for nextg year. It would also let everybody know exactly how much next year's spending will add to the debt. Then I would do it all over again next yeear, and ever year after that. This woul dput the emphasis where it belongs: On SPENDING. The debt ceiling--while it is a leftist LIE to say it must be raised because we have already spent the extra 2.4 TRILLION Obama wants to add to the debt ceiling--is violated by SPENDING. When Congress authorizes DEVICIT SPENDING for nextg year, they are REQUIRING that the debt ceiling be raised by the same amount. The process should reflect that by having the debt celing vote AFTER the spending is determined--while debating the spending with the fact that you are also determining how muhch the debtt ceiling must be raised in mind.
"But Skip, you have said it is not realistic that we can balance the budget next year. Paul Ryan did not even propose doing so for TEN YEARS and more. If you were in Congress, what kind of spending cuts would you propose for NEXT YER (one year--not these pie in the sky future years)? No problem. I would propose to REDUCE next year's budget deficit by appoximately 500 BILLIN dollars. That woul dreduce the deficit by more than 11/3 in ONE AR. And I would not be LYING (John Boehner, pay attention) to the American people about "cutting " 4 TRILLIN dollars from the deficit (or watever other FICTION I chose to use). Cut NOW. That is the only HONEST cuts you can point to. Sure, do tax reform. Do Medicare reform. Definitely do Medicaid reform. Eliminate ObamaCare (although that would not help the deficit now--but would remove a TRAIN heading right for us in 2014). Yes, lookm at Social Security on the merits of saving that program. But saving programs for the FUTRE really does not even address our current debt/deficit crisi. At this rate, we will not even SURVIVE ten years. Do these "big" , long-range things on their merits. But CUT THE SPENDING NOW. Here is what I wwould at least consider doing:
1. End all farm subisdies as soon as lpossible. I am not talking about elquipment tax "breaks", or ordinary tax deductioins. I am talking about PRICE SUPPORTS, ethanol MOENY SUBSIDIES, and the like. Nope. I do NOT consider these as "tax increases".
2. Cut the ENTIRE Federal Government 5%--EVERY agency. My only excepton would be that I would not reduce the compensationo of military ranks below captain, and military/veteran health care (in terms of primary care--not salaries and wate). Social Security? 5%. That includes BENEFITS, unless you can find administrative savings elsewhere. Medicare? 5%. Medicaid? MORE than 5%. This is an area where I would IMMEDIATELY start sending the program to the states with block grants.
3. I would--as some Republicans are propsoing--reduce discretionary spending to 2005 levels, BEFORE cutting an additonal 5%. Again, EVERY salary in the Federal Government, including Congress and the President, would be cut 5%--excluding only the minor amount for lower rank military personnel. Congracors with the Federal Government (to the exten contractually allowed)? 5%. But the discretionary spending would be cut back to 2006 levels BEFORE THAT.
4. NPR and PBS? Gone. Planned Parenthood and rith contorl services? GONE. I would go through and do what Obama SAID he would do--wihout meaning it: Look line by line, and determine whether we really NEED it. National Endowment for the Arts? GONE. Foreign aid (except in ountries deemed vital for security of THIS country and our troops)? GONE. NASA? If it were up to me, I would go to Mas as fast as we can, and definitely back to the moon. But hee is where I accept the PAIN to what I wuould like. Cut NASA 50%. The shuttle program is gone . Sned the message that the rest of NASA needs to go PRIVATE (at leat until we have the money). Food stamps? At least the 5%--helps with the obesity problem. State memorials, pork, etc.? GONE. None of these "earmark" type programs, even if they are not labeled earmarks. Cancer research? 5%. Research on tradmills for shrimp, and other "luxury" GRANTS we cannot afford? Gone. I cxould go on, but you get the idea.
Remember, 5% (which would be from the PREVIUS YER'S SPENDING, and not from projected spending for this year, will only rduce the deficit about 165billin dollars (5% of 3.7 TRILLION or so representing lat year's spending level). Not good enough. ut if we throw out everything we can throw out, we should be able to get to about 400 billion. in deficit reduction. Maybe we can't quite make it,. But we could make a damn good TRY. What is left?
4. Welfare payments disgised as tax credits. College tax credits? GONE, except as a DEDUCTION. Those payroll tax "cuts"--to EXPIRE anyway? GONE. Extended unemployment insurance? GONE. Obama "green energy" WLFARE PAYMENTS? GONE. "Earned income tax credits"--to the extgent people get MONEY paid to them? Gone. The idea here is to eliminate giving people MONEY because of "credits" ,instead of allowng them deductions. Nope. The mortgage interest deduction is NOT a welfare payment. It is a long-existing DEDUCTION that wold represent a TAX INCREASE (and tax complication) to eliminate for the "rich". In general, I would not touch DEDUCTIONS (where a person has to ut up most of the money). And I would limit the CREDIT elimination to 1/4 of the SPENIDNG CUTS (ONE YER spendng cuts) I would reserve other tax reform to tax reform rather than deficit reduction. Yes, I WOULD eliminate the "loopholes" for oil and gas. The energy companies do not need them, and they really are WELFARE PAYMENTS disuised as tax credits. Now I am not familiar enough with exactly what Obama regards as a "llophole", and therefore would not automaticlly endorse eliminating what Obama wants to eliminate. Business jets Not enough to worry about. Notice how the "3 to 1" ratioo of spending cuts to revenue raises suddenly becomes REAL (apples t apples, as is not ture of ANY proposal Obama has ever made). Yes, I agree that "raising revenue' from private sources takes the money out of the private economy . But so long as you get REAL spendin gcuts, I don't think eliminating these WELFARE PAYMENTS is the same as a tax increase.
Would I be flexible? Sure. College tax credits too "important? Cna't stand to get rid of "earned income tax credit"? Can't stand reducing Social Seucrity payments 5%? Fine. Come up with a way to get to 500 BILLION dollars in ONE YEAR (or at least close--at least a 1/3 reduction in the deficit in ONE YEAR). Do this for three years (hoping you will be able to slow down on cuts as the economy improves-helped by real TAX REFORM), and yo will have BALANCED THE BUDGET. Starting with the CURRENT YEAR (that is, the next year beginning in October) is the ONLY way to get to a balanced budget. as quickly as we need to do it. Nope. Cutting Medicare ten years from now is not good enough. Ditto on Social Secu;irty. Those programs need to be REFOREMD to SAVE THEM. And ObamaCare needs to be REPEALED because we can't afford it in 2014. Obama and the Repubilcans are facing that ADDITONAL entitlement begining in 2014 (when the real subsidies/spending starts into effect). We CANMNOT be looking ten years into the future. Sure, a spending limit/balanced budget amendment would be NICE, but probably TOO LATE. Even if it could pss, we do not have the resources to get from here to there. I do not know where we get the idea that we have TEN YEARS to run 1 TRILLIN dollar deficits, and then we can "solve" our debt problem at that point. Not ture. Obama will liely abut duble ur debt in FOUR YERS. And we will still be running deficits at about the same rate (unless we get a really strong recovery not now in the cards).
As I say, I would be willing to debate HOW to cut. But I would NOT be willing to debate cutting HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of spending NEXT YER. That is what bother me abut the debt ceiling debatte. The Republican establishment (Boehner, McConnell, e al) WAQNTS to CAVE by some "grnad deal" that is phony as a three dollar bill. I the menatime, Republicans are hardly even talking about spending for NEXT YEAR, or about the fact that Republicans in the House have the POWER to enforce their will on spending (if they had the WILL).
"Skip. You are nuts. Republicans are never gong to get awya with a 5% cut in the whole government, including Social Security payments and salaries."
No? Well, I would cut all Federal employees earning more than $100,000 TEN PERCENT (with the 5% extra not even counted agaist the overall 5% cut for every agency). I agree that maybe we will not be able to get a cut in Social Security benefits. That merely means looking HARD at everything else.
By the way, if Michele Bachmann and the Tea Party Repubicans are not willng to do something like what I sugget, are they really being HONEST.? Sure, it is EASY to say that PRESIDENT OBAMA should "pioritize" our spending so that we spend within our means. But CONGRESS is supposed to authorize the spending, and it HAS (until Septermber 30). Further, Repubicans have failed and refused to fight for (or even propose) "spending within our means". This is POLITICS--not reality. Reality is what I have said weneed to do: SYNC teh debt ceiling and the spending bills. Increase the det ceiling just enough to get through September, and then don't raise the debt ceiling ("defualt" or no default) untile EVERY spendin gbill is passed. Then yo raise the debt ceiling lby the amount REQUIRED to cover the spenidng VOTED BY CONGRESS for the next year. Ye, this should be part of the ARGUMENT over the spending . If Repubicans are not willing to do this, then they are NOT being honest. They are simply playing political games.
Did I just say Michele Bachmann is dishonest? Yes and no. I hink Michele Bachmann is willing to "live within our means". But she is still a POLITICIAN (and maybe has not really thought it through). That means that if yo ask Michele Bachmann n HOW she proposes to "balance the budget" NEXT YER, she will not answer you. She can't. Michele Bachmann has no idea how to cut 1.4 TRILLION dollars from next year's budget in a way that people will accept. Looik at what I have proposed, and realize that it does not comeCLOSE to cutting that much. And you probably think what I have proposed is impossible to pass, and would result in the defeat of Republicans if they FORCED those spending limits down the throat of America.
Yep. You have totally missed the point if you don't understand this. Republicans have the POWER to FORCE a "balanced budget" for next year, OR to FORCE $500 billin in deficit reduction (as I have proposed, with flexibility on how we get there). No, they may not be able to do it withut a government shut down, and maybe political disater, but they have the POWER to do it. The HOUSE haS to start all revenue and spending bills. If a revenue bill does not pass the House, the money cannot be spent. Taht means that Republicans have absoute CONTROL over how much money is spent. If they do not exercise that control, it is because of FEAR (of the public) and a lack of WILL. The fact is that Michele Bachmann is unwilling to say where she would make 1.4 TRILLION dollars in spending cuts for next year, because it would be political suicide. And yet, she says she will NEVEr vote for a debt ceiling increase. Those tow positionis are not really honest, even though I believe Michele Bachmann would really be willing to balance the budget NEXT YER (if she culd wave an Obama majic wand). What she is not willing to do is PROPOSE an actual method of so doing. Yes, I understand that there is no reason for her to do that, because she knows she cannot prevail, but that is pretty convenient (and explainss the OBAMA vote not to reaise the debt ceiling). If you KNOW that your position will not ultimately revail, your vote is "free" (no consequences).
The problem Republicans have created on the debt ceiling is that peole like me are going to hold them ACCOUNTABLE for their promises, which I don't think they will keep. Yes, they could yet adopt my solution of LINKING spending and the debt ceiling by keying the raise in the debt ceiling to spending already approved, EACH YEAR,. But I don't expect that. Otherwise, I don't see how Republicans avoid a huge problem. They have NOT keyed the debt ceiling increase to NEXT YEAR'S SPENDING. Yet, it is going to be OBVIOUS that any "deal" that relies on "ten year spending cuts" is a SHAM. And they are never gong to get a "balanced budget amendment" passed, or any "big" restructuring of Medicare (not helphing the current deficit/debt in any event). I see no FICTIONAL way out for Republicans, no matter how hard they wriggle and squirm. That is why I regard the odds as 8020 that I will walk away from the Republican Party FOREVER after this debt ceiling "deal". To me, this has all of the earmarks of a political game GNOE WRONG. Yes, Democrats are playiong even more political games. But jsut like Obama's problem is that he PROMISED to be "different", and tuned into a standard LEFTIST politician, Republicans are about to expose themselves as the sAME OLD POLITICIANS. That is FATL, especially when you do not have the mainstream meid aon yhour side (aS Obama does).
P.S. No proofreading or spell checking (bad eyesight).