How would you balance the budget?

Would you rather

Cut taxes more, with a large cut for those making over $250k/year if the budget is balanced with cuts in social security, medicare, medicaid, and education?

Or, would you rather see taxes go back to the levels under Clinton, which is primarily an increase for those making over $250k/year, if we can keep social security, medicare, and medicaid roughly where they are now?

If we are serious about the budget then we have to make some tough choices over the long run. We can't have our cake and eat it to, we either have to pay for the programs we want with taxes or get rid of or reduce them.

One tough choice I'd make is to remove the cap on social security. Right now if you make over something like 90k then you don't pay SS on the money you make over 90k. Removing this cap will make SS more solvent even though the upper middle class and rich will pay a bit more in taxes. I'd let the tax Bush tax cuts expire for those making over 250k now, and make the rest expire once the economy is back on track. Then we have to make some hard decisions about healthcare, and find some ways to cut costs. Ideally I'd like to find a way to encourage people to be healthier, a lot of our costs are a result of our change in diet and exercise patterns.

What would you do?

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satyr said over 3 years ago ...

I would extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone, but I agree that Social Security should be uncapped. At least for the employee portion.

Yes, there needs to have some tough decisions made, and we're all going to suffer to some degree. There is too much debt, and it has to be paid back. The perks that Congress get need to be drastically reduced and/or eliminated. The bureaucracy has to be trimmed, there is way too much fat. Entitlements have to be slashed - and that is really gonna hurt. I believe one of the best ways to ease the pain for Americans, and there is going to be pain, is to limit entitlements to American citizens and legal residents.

We may be the "Land of Milk and Honey" for many, but the milk is starting to sour.

satyr said over 3 years ago ...

Proposed Amendment to the United States Constitution "Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ."

This I would heartily support.

sean_renaud said over 3 years ago ...

What entitlements would you cut? I really think this "entitlements" thing is a myth someone made up one day so there was something to rally against.

  1. Allow the Bush tax cuts for the rich to expire. They are simply irresponsible. And there is little to no evidence that they did what they were claimed to do which was create jobs. Hell given my way I'd drag everybody kicking and screaming back to 1983 and a 50% tax on the rich.

  2. I would aggressivly close tax shelters and gaps. No more getting a mailbox in some far flung third world nation.

  3. I would introduce tarriffs on oversea labor in countries that have slave wages. So Europe and Canada don't get hit at all, China and and India do.

  4. I would introduce tax breaks and incentives for employers to both hire more workers AND pay them better. Basically if your CEO makes 1000x what the average worker makes then you get taxed at one rate and if you make 100x you get taxed at a different rate. Obviously this wouldn't apply to the average small bussiness. We can sit around and crunch the number details on it later.

  5. I'd cut military spending by at least 15%. I'd start with pay cuts across the board, probably 5%. Maybe more. They've gotten a raise every year since Bush took office. In 2000 a fresh recruit made 900 a month. Today he makes 1300. We haven't had THAT much inflation. Hell we've had close to zero inflation the last three years. There's other stuff I'd cut to.

  6. I'd find a country with socialized Health Care (not the halfassed attempt to compromise that is Obamacare) and emulate it. Doesn't really matter which one because they ALL outperform us and more importantly they ALL COST LESS than ours. That's right ladies and gentlemen America PAYS the highest percentage of GDP and the most on a person by person basis in the world. I want what I'm fucking paying for.

reckoner said over 3 years ago ...

Ah yes, I forgot the military, I'd cut the military budget too. If you add every other country's military budget, the entire world, ours is bigger. Think about that for a minute. We spend more on the military than the rest of the world combined. I'd move some of that spending to NASA which invents amazing technology which many of our private industry is based on.

sean_renaud said over 3 years ago ...

Honestly I'd probably cut NASA even further. I think as a government we've gotten most of the fruit off that tree. I'd let private citizens start going into space.

reckoner said over 3 years ago ...

We have to colonize space at some point and I'd much rather that be done by a government where I have a vote than by unaccountable corporations.

sean_renaud said over 3 years ago ...

I don't think colonizing the moon is something realistic to discuss for probably a hundred years or more. Besides just because we didn't invent the thing doesn't mean we won't get the benefit as a nation.

beyondtheveil said over 3 years ago ...

I wouldn't de-fund NASA for the reason there's better places to get money. I do agree that upping the tax rate on personal incomes of the very rich and the military are the places to start. During the Eisenhower administration tax rates went to 90% for an idea how much we've come down. And in the military I'd begin looking first at our 900 bases worldwide. Also, following the Constitution and getting congressional approval before starting wars would be a step up. As for immediate national security, after 9-11 special units went into Afghanistan to get Bin Laden and were pulled back for some reason. Ok, that's another topic.

sean_renaud said over 3 years ago ...

Why is the fact that there are better places to get money than NASA even brought up? Assuming I could find them I would take money from them as well. It's like saying you shouldn't cut your Blockbuster budget because you spend more on smokes and liquor. The correct answer is cut all three.

wombat said over 3 years ago ...

Make all the rocks found in the ground worth the same amount. Like, $10 a piece?

Sorry, just in a foul mood tonight.

reckoner said over 3 years ago ...

Except NASA isn't like smokes and liquor. It's an investment that has positive returns which the private sector doesn't produce.

sean_renaud said over 3 years ago ...

I disagree. For starters just off the top of my head cars, cell phones and laptops were all developed in the private sector and all have had positive returns. And I didn't say I wouldn't fund them at all, I said I'd let and encourage private sector to step up and get to work on it. I'm a firm believer in the market and I think the way you kick start a new big jump would be to start letting folks make money off it.

Tired of your bratty kids? Ship them off to space camp! Kids in space can't hear you screaming with nasty sex!

reckoner said over 3 years ago ...

Hehe, computers as we know them today owe a lot to government research. A laptop is just a smaller computer. A cell phone call is composed of tons of government funded research achievements.

No private person is going to invest in going to mars with a hope to ake a profit off of it. The profits are too far off to take that gamble. There are a number of private companies working on tourist style space flight but that isn't the same thing. No private company would make the Hubble telescope which has greatly increased our understanding of the universe we live in.

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