I hate to upset Paul Ryan or make Speaker Boehner cry. But, their plan for deficit reduction has some problems, as does Obama’s. We have a revenue and spending problem. Both must be addressed.
An Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal stated that our tax rate as a percentage of GDP is more than enough. However, is it evenly divided? If we get rid of all the loopholes the rates can remain the same and we would increase revenue. We also need to crack down on tax fraud. If we spent as much time on tax and Medicare fraud as we do on investigating and prosecuting baseball players for using steroids, we could save billions.
Regarding Medicare fraud, we need to get serious. My wife and I, a retired RN and CPA, volunteered to audit Medicare charges on a contingency basis. The only response I received was to join the Gray Panthers and report abuse on my personal charges.
I’m in favor of raising income tax rates on individuals making over $1,000,000. Everyone talks about leaving all the debt to our grandchildren. Many Wall Street executives and corporate CEOs make obscene salaries and bonuses, which would impossible to spend in their lifetimes. So their grandchildren will have plenty of money to handle the increasing deficit. Those making $1,000,000 are the job creators. However, they will create jobs when there is demand for their product or service; not because they have an extra million in their pocket.
Pay as you go Social Security and Medicare were destined to fail as the number of people paying in decreased in proportion to those collecting. If Medicare is in trouble, cancelling the program, as Ryan suggests is ludicrous. The biggest problem facing Medicare is that “the medical costs are too damn high.” The US spends twice as much on health care, per individual, as any other industrialized nation. Neither political party is addressing this issue. The other problem is that everyone is not paying FICA. Every working US resident should be in the program. We can also reduce the rate if we eliminate the salary cap. People making $50,000 per year will spend the savings, thereby stimulating the economy. Those making $1,000,000 won’t even notice it. It will just be a little less for their grandchildren. Illegals paying FICA, with false SSN’s, should be helping. They will eventually go home or become legal. In either case they will not be entitled to any monies paid in while here illegally.
In addition to health care costs being too high, health insurance companies make too much money. A no frills public option is the answer to this. The business model should be to break even. Ryan’s plan to eliminate Medicare and give seniors a health insurance voucher is absurd. I retired at age 55 and I had a hard time getting insurance at any price. The plan just takes taxpayer money and gives it to the insurance companies.
Medicaid will become solvent by reducing the cost of health care and collecting co-payments for services. For those who claim they cannot afford to pay anything, I will personally visit their homes and confiscate all cell phones, big screen TV’s, pets, junk food, cigarettes, and designer clothes.
A large part of the budget is defense spending. Ending all the senseless wars we are involved in is a no-brainer. There are billions which can be saved by eliminating unnecessary programs. The downside of eliminating any Federal program is the loss of jobs. There are plenty of other projects we need to address, such as the infrastructure. We can’t continue with useless projects just to create jobs. A high speed train won’t be much good if the bridge it is crossing collapses.
Discretionary spending on all other programs represents a small percentage of the budget. However, each program should be reviewed periodically to justify its existence.
Anyway think about it.