Let’s discuss the deficit

A matter of Opinion—Economy and Deficit started off the week for the middle of October and a couple of weeks before the 2 November 2010 mid term elections with questions for what we should do to address this particular problem. What precisely we should want out politicians to do to address this problem. What with the negative political TV ads however, that could be a real problem. Since those ads don’t exactly say what the people who actually run them would do about the problem. on the 24th of October, the Spokesman-Review ran these columns: Gary Crooks latest “Smart Bombs.” And also, David Broder, “U.S. could emulate British austerity.” which presents two views on how President Obama is attempting to address this nation’s massive deficit.  What seems to have been left behind in all the strum and drang of the “TEA Party” dissatisfaction, GOP attempts to exploit (now) that massive burden of debt, is that Obama is attempting to address it.  And it is at least good that this has been published.  Broder thinks that the GOP, should they win the 2 November 2010 elections would have sufficient leverage to force British style austerity on the American public.  However, Crooks knows that the GOP couldn’t come to an agreement with the Dems to actually appoint a bi-partisan commission and so it was left to Obama to appoint such a commission.

What it says, is that Broder suffers a high degree of optimism that the GOP would even intend to work with Obama and that further, it could be a highly misplaced optimism.  Those negative ads don’t even suggest it.  Don’t hold your breath waiting on it, American electorate.

Yes, let us discuss the deficit.  What would you [the “TEA Party” for example] cut?  How about subsidies for agribusiness?  Or some John Doe who owns a piece of land but grazes no cattle nor raises any crops.  But, he is able to get subsidized by the taxpayers regardless.  An act of fraud against agricultural subsidies exposed a long time ago by, I believe, “60 Minutes.”  We could start there.  How about you [GOP]?  Would ending those tax cuts for multi-billionaires reduce substantially our current rate of borrowing and spending?  Or is that too much “austerity” for the GOP to stomach?  Or maybe just too much “class warfare” to be acceptable?

When it comes to the Democrats, what would you cut?  A lot has been said about oh, Senator Patty Murray okaying far too many earmarks.  Something that the budget deficit commission did address (Reference:  Smart Bombs linked above).  Earmarks or as it is more crudely called, “pork” that is brought to the particular district of that particular member of Congress that also (not surprising here) wins that politician a re-election bid.  Some of that pork is indeed just plain silly (road crossing signs for turtles—GOP ad), some quite frivolous (like a dedicated monument, building, etc. to the pol handing out taxpayers’ paid for goodies), or beyond belief (like “studies” of what ever).  But while the GOP have condemned the Democrats for too much pork, they haven’t exactly been scrooges in the “pork department” themselves.  So, what else, Democrats; prepared to go against the unions and the American workforce by eliminating say, unemployment benefits?  Well, I do understand the the blue collar workers are prepared to vote for the GOP who definitely wanted to cut their unemployment benefits, especially for those who worked in the auto industry.  Maybe carrying such an act through in economically tough times would bring the same blue collar workers back to the Democratic fold in droves.

What would you, the truly poor wish to see cut?  Medicaid?  Public education?  What would you the middle class wish to see cut?  Tax vouchers for private education?  Your eventual Social Security check as you are now required to save for your retirement by way of a Roth IRA?  How about you, the very rich?  No more off-shore banking accounts?  No more subsidies from federal, state, or local governments for planting your business or mansion in that particular geographical area?  How about you, megacorp?  No more federal level subsidies for say being an energy company?  In short, if we need to quit digging that too deep hole (according to a Grassroots GPS ad) you need to line up and give back some of that federal bankroll to the feds.  Only in that way, will we begin to fill in the hole, right?  Oh, that’s right, Grassroots GPS doesn’t mean you, just the Democrats, just Obama.

After all, those negative ads may only desire to point out the flaws of the opposition, that doesn’t mean that those who run them actually have any better ideas.  So, here’s another suggestion, the millions of dollars that come from anonymous donors should not get a tax write off.  You know, part of that line item deduction that the truly wealthy cherish (Reference Gary Crooks “Smart Bombs) who might just try to claim that those ads run every two years are actually charitable in nature.  If they can no longer claim a write off for such political donations, that would surely mean, wouldn’t it, that they are helping to end that truly catastrophic credit card abuse by the federal government?  Why not?  Or maybe, it would reduce those tax exempt negative ads if people knew that they would still have to pay their taxes by January of the following year no matter what.  And that they could not in fact claim their donations for political attack ads as charitable.  There would have to be a strict limitation on what could be called “charitable.”

So, think about it.  We need to reduce spending:  tax breaks, subsidies and write offs are an element of spending.  So is pork.  We are in a period of time in which there are things we can no longer afford because of the trillions in dollars in deficits.  What should we collectively no longer do as an American electorate, to give up on something collectively to reduce significantly the deficit?  When you go to vote, it is something to consider.

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