Left And Right Politics

…plus the cream in the center.

The Ticking Debt Ceiling Time Bomb

Posted by Billy On July - 26 - 2011

With only a week to go before the August 2nd debt ceiling deadline, nether the Democrats or the Republicans can come to some sort of an agreement as to what to do to save the country from defaulting on it’s debt. Both side are more concerned with next year’s election than actually doing what is necessary to cut the deficit.

There are billions of dollars being spent on programs that do nothing to increase jobs in America or to raise GDP. Instead of talking about those items, both parties are using scare tactics about Social Security and Medicare. Two things that will get the American voter engaged in doing something next year at the booth.

At the same time, the Democrats are feeling the pressure from the labor unions telling the Dems to stand firm on Social Security and Medicare. While I strongly believe in keeping the benefits of the two programs in place, there are other areas of the programs that can be cut. Such as administration costs of the program. We all know that government offices have to many employees in each of the different offices. They can not tell us that there is no way to cut at least 15-20% of staff within each of the programs. Most of the system is automated and to have so many employees in the system is taxing on the program itself.

The federal government has known about this issue for months now and have touched on the subject, but they wait until now to really get involved in it. Why is it that they wait until the last minute to do something? It’s because with the pressure of time, they can push the bill through quickly and claim later on that they didn’t realize what was in the bill since they didn’t get adequate amount of time to go through it. Of course the American people have short-term memory and forget that they waited and that’s what the politicians hope for, so they can do it again.

So as we see the politicians are trying to draft anything to get a majority of the politicians to vote yes on extending the debt. The Republicans in the House of Representatives have unveiled a two-tier plan that will cut $1.2 trillion over a ten year period and will only raise the debt ceiling for a few months. Obama has already expressed that he will not sign it because it’s a temporary fix.

Meanwhile the Democrats have presented their own plan to cut @2.7 trillion over the next ten years, but with a debt limit hike that will carry it through the 2012 elections. An election where Obama and many lawmakers will be up for re-election.

As we see over the last decade that the situation is getting worse as in the politicians doing what is necessary to get the fiscal condition of this country back in order. It’s always a temporary fix and not a permanent one. Each time the debt ceiling has come into play, politicians never cut the spending that is needed, instead they draft plans that cut spending in the future, not in the present. What happens is the cuts never come, but the spending and the raising of taxes always do.

We are coming to the end of the fuse and if we, the American people don’t do something to change the mindset of Washington, we will be finished sooner than later. This has gone on for way to long and it will come to an end one way or another.

Debt Ceiling Sham

Posted by Billy On July - 20 - 2011

This week Senator Tom Coburn, (R-Okla) unveiled a major plan to cut the deficit by $9 trillion over the next decade, which also includes tax increases of $1 trillion, tax increases Coburn’s fellow Republicans oppose. The debt ceiling debate has become a sham and the American people are the ones that will lose after it’s all said and done. Then again, the American people are the ones that lose each and every time politicians negotiate.

Coburn’s plan is a joke of what needs to be done to get the economy and the country back on track fiscally. From raising the retirement age to 70 to start collecting Social Security to even proposing that many veterans pay more for their medical care as well as prescription drugs. There are other items of concern in his proposal such as cutting funding for community development grant, student aid, farm subsidies, housing subsidies for the poor and medicare. These things being mentioned are “hot points” for political battles. Just the mention of these items will put someone on the defensive, but let’s be for real, we need to get EVERYTHING in order fiscally if we want to survive as a nation.

Coburn’s plan also includes eliminating $1 trillion in tax breaks over the next ten years. A move that has set off an uproar from the anti-taxation group, Americans For Tax Reform. The plan will prevent taxpayers from claiming the mortgage interest deduction from their second home as well as limiting it to homes worth $500,000. He would also ease taxpayers into higher tax brackets more quickly by using a smaller measure of inflation to adjust the brackets.

Senator Coburn’s figure of $9 trillion in savings doesn’t include an additional $2.4 trillion in cuts to Social Security that will be funneled back into the program. Added to the fact of Coburn’s plan of raising the retirement age, his plan also calls for future benefits to be topped out at a less generous measure of inflation and hinder benefit increases even more for the top 40% of earners.

“I have no doubt that both parties will criticize portions of this plan, and I welcome that debate,” Coburn told reporters. “But it’s not a legitimate criticism until you have a plan of your own.” It’s too bad that many have offered some great ideas, but the powers that be won’t listen to them for the simple fact is that they don’t like the plan.

As a Libertarian, I’m tired of the political moves of the Democrats and the Republicans which will always leave the American people out in the cold while they live the high-life. There are so many unnecessary programs that the federal government is involved in. Many of which, they shouldn’t even be involved in. If the Senate would write the overdue budget, we would be able to see what and where we can cut to save the country. Too bad the democratic controlled Senate has not written a budget in over 800 days. What are they waiting for? I’ll tell you. As long as there isn’t a budget in place, they (politicians) can spend without any checks and balances. It’s just a spending frenzy that isn’t being monitored.

When politicians talk about how much money this program or that plan will save over a period of five, ten, or twenty years, it’s a joke. What they’re doing is what is known as “creative accounting. President Clinton did it during his term by saying that his administration had a surplus of $9 billion and the Democrats like to say that G.W. Bush destroyed and spent it all. In actuality there was never a surplus, it was all “projected” surplus and that is not the same thing as actually having the money in the bank.

The Fair Tax Plan

Posted by Billy On July - 18 - 2011

For many years there has been a movement to have a new tax plan in place to have this country run smoother. The Fair Tax Plan is an idea who’s time has come. I know it seems to be too complicated, but that’s because the government is doing that to keep the idea from getting supporters.

With the present system, we pay taxes on everything, income, corporate, property, sales, and a whole slew of others that I’m sure you can name. You are basically being taxed on both ends of the equation. Why should you pay taxes when you get your money and then when you want to spend it? The system was designed to get the government the most of your money without you really complaining.

This country was created because our fore fathers felt that they were paying taxes to England without representation. That is something that is going on again in this country. When was the last time your local politician or even your state representative actually went around and ask everyone (or at least most) of his/her constituents what they really wanted? Of course they will take the time to talk to the wealthiest of the sector, but that’s not the majority of the sector.

If we were to go with the Fair Tax Plan, there would only be one type of tax. The consumption tax would be the only tax in place under the Fair Tax Plan. Without corporate taxes, payroll taxes and a few other related taxes that corporations pay, their products would be cheaper because of the reduce costs of running the business. With a company having less financial burdens on their balance sheets, it gives them more capitol to invest, do research or hire more employees.

Another thing that is never considered when talking about taxes, is the handful of industries that don’t pay taxes. The drug industry which is a $40+ billion one doesn’t pay any taxes on their profits, since they don’t record or report any of them. With a consumption tax, the money that is made in these types of business would be collected. Think of it, when a drug dealer goes out and spends his/her money, the government is only collecting a small part of the taxes they could have collected if the Fair Tax Plan was in place.
Don’t forget about all the gambling, prostitution, and other illegal activities that don’t pay their share of the tax burden that it takes to keep this country running.

I don’t have a problem paying my taxes. I like to have policemen protect my family from criminals, firemen to put the fires out when they threaten my home and family. Let’s not forget that having the garbage picked up is a good thing too. These are the types of taxes that each state imposes on it’s residents.

The federal taxes have gotten totally out of control. Our federal government’s responsibility is to protect our borders from foreign attacks. It was the States that created the Federal government, not the other way around.

Washington DC Needs Diapers

Posted by Billy On July - 15 - 2011

debt talks
AP Photo- Charles Dharapak

With all the talk about the debt ceiling and the politics being played out, I think it’s time to ship diapers to Washington DC. Obama, along with congress have been trying to come to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling or not. Obama want to raise it $2.4 trillion, Congress wants to keep it down to about $1.4 trillion. Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader and seven other Congressional leaders met yesterday to work out what can be done to accomplish this task.

Of course, in true form of politicians, nothing was done except Obama and Cantor had their feelings hurt and walked out of the meeting. Depending on who you talk to, you will get different comments as to what happened behind closed doors. Either way you look at it, our political leaders are more concerned about their chances in next year’s election instead of what’s right for the country. Obama (like the kid in the playground with his marbles) is threatening to veto any bill that is put before him if he doesn’t get his way. The president said that he’s concerned for the American people. So if he is, why isn’t he eliminating programs that are draining the system?

The big problem that politicians are faced with, is if they have to close portions of the government for any length of time, the American people may realize that these programs weren’t needed in the first place and there won’t be a need to be reinstated once the crisis is over. Obama has used scare tactics this week by saying he can’t guarantee that the social security checks will go out in August. He knows that will not be the case and saying it just shows you how he’s willing to play ball.

Every time the threat of the country (or State) having to shut down part of the government, politicians will always use the tactic of claiming that the police, firefighters and medicare will be the programs that will be affected. This isn’t the case since there are so many other ones (parks, museums and rest areas) that can be cut for the time being (if not permanent).

So in the meantime, politicians will sit there and use spin tactics to scare the people and in turn whine and complain about the way things are getting done. If you think about it, the government is working exactly the way our politicians have set it up to work…poorly.