Got a roof over your head? Got heat? Got food on the table? Got a job? Count your blessings, Bunky.Things are gonna get worse before they get better. I am not a pessimist; I'm a realist, or as I prefer to be called, a grouchy old curmudgeon. (I get by with more that way)
Federal, state & local governments have been "Kicking the can down the road" for decades. Well, they have finally kicked the can down a dead-end street, & guess whose home lies there? - Yours & mine.
The Fed prints money that now comes in different colors, just like Monopoly money, & just as valuable. They issue bonds to back it, & sell them to China who no longer needs to invade us militarily; Hell, they own us! (Also our kids & grandkids).
So how does the Federal gov't. make up for this budget deficit? Do they end two illegal never-ending wars that are financed "Off-the books"? Do we cut the bloated military budget? Hell, no. What if we have to attack North Korea or Iran?
No, the easiest wat to cut the deficit is to cut entitlements. "Entitlements" by it's very name, connotes a benefit to which you are entitled to, i.e., that you have paid into, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Benefits, Social Security. Social Security is not broke, as some would have you believe.It's funds are good for years, except that those funds now consist of a wastebasket full of I.O.U.'s from the Federal Government.
Tweak Social Security to ensure it's future viability? Sure.Eliminate the max ceiling that the rich pay into the system. They should also have to show a need to collect benefits. Gradually increase the retirement age (Done). Rescind the 2% reduction in payroll deductions, which is the GOP's way to eventually bankrupt entitlements. Reduce waste & fraud.
The Federal govrnment is not aloine in kicking the can down the road. They reduce funds to the states for Medicaid etc., & the states reduce funds to local governments & school districts & we pay for it with higher property taxes, even though the market value of our homes has decreased, thanks to the Ponzi schemes of the big banks, who we bailed out.
Everyone has kicked the can down the road except us poor slobs at the bottom of the heap. Instead of negotiating wages, state & local governments have negotiated with pension & health benefits because that will be handled "Down the road." Well, that chicken has come home to roost: NJ faces a 54 billion unfunded pension liability. The CA teacher pension fund faces a 43 billion shortfall.
Government entities are not alone in this charade. Why did we have to resort to corporate welfare by bailing out GM & Chrysler? Bucause their health & pension benefits caught up with them, as compared to foreign manufacturers who don't have these expenses.Their unions also gave concessions that will accelerate the race to the bottom as far as U.S. workers are concerned.
Fact is, we need that little kid to remark that the emporor has no clothes. Don't expect that to emanate from Washington, Mr. & Ms. America. The buck stops with us. This being the 1st rant of the year from this grouchy old curmudgeon, I hope that it is apropos for me to wish that you all have a prosperous & happy New Year. Hey, are we havin' fun yet?