Wednesday, March 2, 2011
CUTTING THE BUDGET
We are being told by the Republicans that problems are smaller than they are. Politicians and Congressmen, like helpful salespeople, are saying we can fix the deficit by cutting things from the budget.
And having been told this over and over, most Americans and Congress think the federal deficit is the number-one problem that must be addressed now.
I say it isn't. But 7 out of 10 Americans, according to the Gallup Polls, say it is.
And THIS is what Congress is working on? Nope. It seems to be "PRETEND TIME."
Republicans lunch with the President and emerge talking of "common ground" and, smiling happily, say "We need to send a signal that we are serious about cutting spending."
"SIGNAL?" A beep-beep? A green light? Well, maybe with their "Yay team!" stuff, they've been sending the "SIGNAL," but I don't see or hear anything but noise.
What actually is going to be cut? And is the amount $100 billion? Even the amount, has been fudged.
President Obama proposed a budget that ultimately addresses the deficit. His budget adds $7 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, rather than $8 trillion.
Note the word "ultimately." Eventually, after 10 years, the debt might be $1 trillion less. Well, at least it sounds okay.
Actually I can't picture $1 trillion, but I don't know why I have to bother. Nothing is happening.
Everyone says NO to cutting antipoverty programs or education supports. What about cutting "unemployment payments to jobless millionaires?" Or cutting all waste, fraud and abuse; all foreign aid; Air Force One; all congressional pensions?
Hey guys, c'mon -- unless Congress cuts Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and defense, we are NOT going to be able to cut the deficit by anything approaching what they're sort of fudgingly, more or less talking about.
If you believe that low taxes promote strong growth -- okay, enjoy it, but be prepared to put some of your money into cancer research, paying for the music classes your kids' school canceled, and contributing money to take care of the men and women who come home from the wars they've fought to protect us.
I can't help thinking, and therefore stating right here -- don't try to cut the deficit now.
Despite all the former great American presidents (starting with Jefferson) who have said the federal deficit must be reduced and paid -- yes -- I'm saying again, don't fix the deficit now.
Times have changed. It used to be major, number one, significant, important not to pass federal deficit onto the next generation.
Right now we have urgent, life and death problems we are neglecting in order to figure out how to handle the deficit.
Congress, Republicans, Democrats -- people -- we have get to work on those life and death problems. We can't fix/solve/ or pay off the national debt right now.