Sunday, June 12, 2011

2012 Budget

Budget and Deficit

The 2011 budget has finally been passed and put to bed. Now the attention is on the 2012 budget. The goal is to decrease the national debt. One way is to reduce spending and use the money to pay down the debt. Understand that this is only one part but an important one to reduce the debt. So how did we get here? There is a lot of talk and blame coming from both sides of the aisle. Both sides need to go back to school on economics and ethics.

To steal a line from Lewis Black “I watched the President’s speech the other day and realized one of us was nuts. For the first time I realized it was not me.” The problem with the debt started many administrations ago, not with the last President. The Financial Report of The US Government clearly shows when President Bush left office the national debt was $ 9.8 trillion. When President Clinton left office the national debt was $ 5.770 trillion. After only two years of the Obama administration the debt has grown to $ 14.5 trillion. The debt rose under each of these administrations as it has for many administrations in the past. These numbers are actual figures as a result of a financial audit that occurs after every fiscal year and are available for free to the public. This is an independent group and their results are honest. They and the Congressional budget office both also show despite all the claims of a surplus under President Clinton, that was simply not true. The Clinton administration did not count any of the debt occurred under Social Security to make it look like there was a surplus when in fact the country was spending more than it was taking in. I guess that since the administration was using phony numbers, the corporations in America figured they could do the same. But when President Bush became President and companies like Enron as well as many dot com companies asked for bail outs, they did not get them. As a result, Enron and many dot coms went bust. Many other corporations reported mistakes in their reporting and made financial corrections. Suddenly companies and stocks were not worth what they were claimed to be. As a result the stocks and company values went down to their proper levels.

So that brings us back to now. Today as both sides of the aisle crank up their rhetoric, the President gave a speech on his plan to cut the national debt. Now when I went to school, they started the new math. When I asked my parents for help, they looked at the books and went crazy. Now it appears there is a new math program called Obama math. Obama says that his cuts will save $ 4 trillion over 12 years. Other proposals are close in number but are over 10 years. The President claims he cut one trillion out of last year’s budget and that his health care law will save another one trillion per year. So two trillion dollars per year times twelve years under Obama math is four trillion dollars. Not sure but I thought two trillion times twelve years is twenty four trillion dollars. So if Obamas statements were true, what would the congress be fighting for? After all the Presidents cuts would have more than taken care of the national debt. Obviously the Presidents statements were not quite accurate.

But it does show one thing to be true; we can seriously reduce the debt or may eliminate the debt by just cutting the budget. The debt will not be gone overnight or in a few years. If both sides of the aisle could work together and cut one trillion per year, the debt can shrink every year till eliminated. Both sides say cutting this only saves one million, cutting that only saves ten million, so do not cut it because it will not help. HELLO, all cuts added up will help. There must be a beginning. So let’s start with Congress and the President. How about a reduction of 25% from their salaries? The same should occur at the State level. Then a complete audit per department to cut all waste. If Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid waste was eliminated, that may be enough on its own so that there would not need cuts

now. After removing the fraud from the system, then look at ways to make changes but not at the expense of care for the patient. Lastly, eliminate useless programs. For example, we spend millions per year on the mating habits of bees. This has been in the budget for years. Do the bees have that many sexual positions that it takes years to monitor them? Or how about the bridge in Florida for turtles? How about the $ two million of the budget given to Charles Rangel of New York. He then donated that money to one school so that the school would be named after him. Nothing wrong with a school name after him, but use his own money instead of the taxpayers. Let’s face it that would pay the salary for 50 teachers. These are only a few examples of waste, there are hundreds of others.

The President’s speech and his open mike comments show that both sides of the aisle cannot get along. But they must work together to bring economic stability. The result will not be pretty if they do not. Both sides have misread the midterm elections. They think the Tea Party campaigning for cuts is the reason the Democrats lost the house. That is a part of it; Americans are tired of the bickering at taxpayer’s expense. Voters are choosing new candidates with the hope of replacements will end the fighting so the business of the people can occur. After all does not Congress represent the people?

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