Big government/small government, who cares?
This is just jargon politicians like to throw around. What we really need to do is to reduce our national debt. The national debt is not just a huge negative number. It's something that affects each tax payer every year. Whenever, around this time of the year, the white house publishes its discretionary budget there's a huge glaring piece of the pie in the expenses chart. It says *Interest on debt* and it's a greater than a Quarter Trillion dollar slice of pie. Ok, so that's a large number, but realistically, that's about $1000 per tax payer. So you'd probably think I'm p***ed that $1000 of my tax money goes into a black hole (technically not, but it might as well...). You're right, it's not something that makes me excited. However, the WORST part of it is that our national debt keeps on growing, that we do not feel the responsibility to reduce it to say... 2% of our GDP or something manageable like that. So, what would it take to reduce it to 2% of our GDP. Well, I'm no 'get out of debt' expert, but say we get a quarter trillion dollar surplus each year from now on, It would take close to 40 years to get out of debt, or maybe 35 years to make our debt more manageable. But a 250,000,000,000 surplus is a pipe dream. In reality, maybe 100 years is a more realistic goal. So in all reality, our children AND grand children WILL be paying for our irresponsible behavior. So, government, if you are listening, here are some suggestions on how to get a budget surplus:
Increase revenues, decrease spending (NO S***!)
Decrease DoD spending by 30% from $481.4B to $300B -> Save $161B!
Finish up this 'War on Terror' from $145B to $0 -> Save $145B!
Cut all other spending by 5% ->Save $100B
for a total spending cut of $406 Billion
Have Bill Gates donate 25% of his assets -> Receive $10B extra
Tax executive stock compensation at 50%
-> Receive $10B extra
Raise taxes by 1% -> Receive $12B extra
...Ok, so it seems really hard to increase income without radically increasing taxes. I'm not against increasing taxes for the super rich, for those with incomes higher than 500,000, but then again, I'm not super rich, so that's easy for me to say.
Anyway, with those suggestions, we'd have a difference of $440 billion, and it would give us a surplus of $200 billion.
Stop feeding the pigs!
So, I'd never heard of 'pork barrel spending' before. But, geez, it seems so wrong. In high school, I learned about a thing called 'federalism'. It's nice for states when it works one way (in that the federal government can't tell them what to do in certain situations) however, it does not make any sense that the federal government is paying for local projects. The only thing I can think of that the federal government should pay for are: federal lands (parks, military bases, etc.) and highway construction between states. Leave the state funding to the state governments...please...Ok, so I don't know what amount of money goes to these local spending projects, but regardless it should not be allowed.
Don't let them in, but let them stay
I'm talking about illegal immigrants. I, for one, do not feel 'threatened' by them. However, I think we should do more to stop them from coming into the US. However, for those already here, I think we should have them registered, get them working permits, HAVE THEM PAY TAXES, get them on a naturalization track of say 10 to 15 years, make them US citizens. But it's only natural to require them to learn to speak english. What language they speak at home, I don't care about, but we should not have to go out of our way to make this a bilingual society by printing everything in two languages, having customer service available in two languages, etc., etc. In the end, I believe that this policy will be good for the American economy. The more American consumers, the better!
Where is our money going?
Whether your believe the late Milton Friedman or not, it is a fact that money is flowing out of our country at the rate of about $800 Billion each year. Now, it has been argued that that money will eventually come back to us, or that the value of the money will eventually be returned. The problem, however, many argue , is that our trade deficit to other countries will be reinvested in the country of origin by those with a surplus. So in the end, who will the American government be owing money too? Probably the Chinese who have invested their surplus in American bonds. Only if we'd decide that we are unaffected by outside economies, and said we'd be trading with just a 'black hole' or something like that, it may be rightfully argued that our economy is unaffected, or even better off by the trade deficit. Because what's better than trading with a 'black hole'? You put in money, you get out goods, and the money never returns, which, locally increases the value of the currency. So you'll have more goods, and your currency is worth more. In any case, I personally believe the trade deficit might be bad for our economy. I, at least, perceive it as making it more vulnerable. The economy just gets so complicated these days!
You got hosed Tommy, you got hosed... Part II
Big government/small government, who cares?