From the article"The only practical alternative is for the
parties to sit down like adults and hammer out a pragmatic plan that spreads the
pain evenly and offers future deficit reduction and economic growth."- Large entitlement cuts - modest tax increase- Military
spending cut.That is what constitutes a "practical
alternative".Beg your congressmen do that. DO NOT demand that
your side give nothing and expect to get everything they want.
To Joe Blow..It's obvious entitlements must be on the table in any deficit
reduction conversation..however I would propose that changes in entitlements,
especially Medicare, and Social Security, be characterized as reforms to the
programs rather than large cuts. The reason I say that is first of all
there's a lot that can be done with both programs structurally that help to
make them viable that aren't necessarily cuts in benefits. Secondly there
are demographics in play here that won't change and make both programs
necessary. It's fine to say people should work longer than 65 but the fact
is many many people don't have that opportunity. Health reasons and a
propensity for younger workers keep many older workers out of the work force.
Also few have the ability to save enough today to pay for both retirement needs,
and medical needs. A drastic cut in either program would put most retirees dire
Re: "The only practical alternative . . . .- Large entitlement
cuts- modest tax increase- Military spending cut."Hmmmm.No reduction in the deranged size, deranged scope, and
deranged expense of [non-defense] Big Government, huh?It's
interesting that liberal desperation appears to have sparked a willingness to
implement what they recently described as "throwing the poor and elderly
under the bus," but that they continue their adamant opposition to any
decrease in the size or cost of government.Makes one wonder which
government employees' union the writer represents.
Re: JoeBlow Far East USA, SC"- modest tax increase"Why
only a modest tax increase? An out of control federal government with no
financial self control will always be able to spend more than they take in. A
100% tax on worker's incomes wouldn't be enough to satisfy
Obama's financial plans for this country.Giving more money to a
glutinous government is like giving more booze to an alcoholic in the hope that
it will cure his drinking problem.
Large entitlement cuts = restructure, not just financial cuts. I agree that
trimming, tweaking among other thing is the answer.Tax cuts should
only be allowed once the associated spending cuts are made. It is extremely
easy to push a tax cut. Much more difficult to trim what those taxes pay
for.INstead, our politicians opt for the easy tax cuts and do not
make associated spending cuts. That goes for both R and D. And they give the
bill to future generations.
Re: "I agree that trimming, tweaking[,] among other thing[s,] is the
answer."I don't agree. Trimming and tweaking accomplish
little. Cutting and slashing is what's needed.As any former
Washington bureaucrat, like myself, can attest -- EVERY non-defense federal
agency could manage just fine with a 50%, across-the-board cut in personnel and
infrastructure. And, it could be rather painlessly accomplished, by attrition
and retirement incentives, over a period of 5-10 years. More than 40% of the
current federal workforce beomes eligible for regular or early retirement during
that period.Additionally, there are several federal agencies that
are entirely redundant to existing state and/or private entities, and have a
history of performing as well or better than the feds -- the EPA, the Department
of Education, Interior's Bureau of Land Management, and the General
Services Administration spring to mind. There are others.Even DoD
should be examined for areas in which expenditures could be cut, but not at the
expense of readiness.All that, at least, would be a good start.
Procuradorfiscal,First, I know of no agency that could take a 50%
cut and still be functional. Attrition can and will shrink the workforce, but
it will be slow.Second, DOD uses the readiness card all the time.
But it is the largest non-entitlement spending we have. We spend vastly more
than any other country on defense (by any measure you wish to use - per capita,
as a percentage of GDP, etc.). If we are going to shrink spending, DOD will
have to take a hit as well.
Re: "First, I know of no agency that could take a 50% cut and still be
functional."There are plenty. I've been there and seen
them.And, there are plenty more that are merely duplicative of state
and local agencies, or which provide services readily available in the private
sector, which must be entirely eliminated, not merely slashed by 50%.Too many liberals just hoe to a deranged, trade-union dictated party line.
They don't even know what a bloated, inefficient, unsustainable, and
ineffective bureaucracy they're defending, when refusing to cut unnecessary
federal programs, infrastructure, and spending.Even in DoD, there
are many, many cuts -- primarily to the civilian workforce and to shoddy and
unnecessary defense systems foisted on the military by politicians "bringing
home the bacon" -- that can and should be made without hurting readiness.
But because there is so much at stake, we should move carefully in that area,
being guided by soldiers, rather than by politicians and by gritty, greedy
governmental trade unions.