Cutting Taxes Is The Easy Part…

2018-04-23_18-51-12.pngAs the new header says the GOP just loves to cut taxes but that is the easy part.  They just don’t seem to be up to the more difficult part of cutting spending, or at least cutting it where a majority in Congress will agree.  They most often propose to cut entitlements as they call them.  Those are things that help the average citizen along in life. Things like Social Security, food for the poor, healthcare for those who can’t afford it are near the top of the chopping block list for them.

They don’t seem to realize that we are a nation that cares for the welfare of our citizens.  We, as our constitution says, promote the general welfare of our citizens. We care for each other.  The ironic part of the enigma related to this is that most of the GOP claim that the US is a Christian nation.  Jesus, who is the foundation of Christianity, said the two most important things in life are to love God and to love each other.  It’s hard to make anyone believe we love them while at the same time stripping a safety net out from under them.

I saw something the other day that shows that for the last forty years or so the Democrats have been more fiscally responsible than the GOP.  One of the biggest flaws of the GOP is that they can’t stop throwing money at our war machine, even when they don’t need it.

Cackle Footer Banner

Walking The Plank…

2015-03-06_08-02-31

 

I dread to think about how our totally politicized Supreme Court is going to rule on the latest attack on affordable healthcare for almost ten million of us.  Will they essentially make those folks walk the plank as Steve Sack shows in this editorial cartoon. It is widely known that most of the yahoos on the court vote primarily on their political alignment. The law and original intent just doesn’t seem to mean much to them.

 

Military SpendingI also see where the Republicans have recently come out with their budget proposals for the coming year. Take a look at that very little orange slice of the current budget pie to the right. That shows our current food stamp allocations. It seems that tiny slice is where they want to do the severest cuts. Part of their budget is to increase the dark blue area even more! They don’t think it is big enough yet.  Please tell me how anyone can actually believe that they are serious about their budget proposal when they take the elephant in the room off the table for cuts???

Why does it seem that we are living in an upside-down world right now???

 

Government made $100B in improper payments…

2014-07-10_07-56-04By its own estimate, the government made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them — tax credits to families that didn’t qualify, unemployment benefits to people who had jobs and medical payments for treatments that might not have been necessary. Congressional investigators say the figure could be even higher. The Obama administration has reduced the amount of improper payments since they peaked in 2010. Still, estimates from federal agencies show that some are wasting big money at a time when Congress is squeezing agency budgets and looking to save more.

SOURCE: Government made $100B in improper payments – Yahoo News.

Government waste is one area where I pretty much agree with my Republican friends. I worked hard to pay my fair share of taxes to keep our nation in business and it makes me mad when I see so much of it is wasted. The chart above show that $36 billion was paid out to perhaps fraudulent Medicare billers in 2013.

I know that the total Medicare spending for that year was almost $600 billion and that makes the fraud about 6% of the total spending. Those folks in Washington probably deem that an acceptable level and in reality that might be right in that we would probably spend more than that to catch the criminals bilking the system. But to me it is more a matter of principle. It would almost be worth it to spend more than we save to catch the offenders.

The number two thing on the list is the Earned Income Tax Credit. I’m not sure how this credit is abused to the tune of $15 billion? It goes to families with annual income up to $51,000. The amount of the credit is dependent on the number of children in a family. Are families claiming children they don’t have? I don’t know.

The current gridlock and the Republican’s constant demands to cut all budgets, except the military of course,  it is more likely that these abuses will increase rather than decrease in the coming years especially now that the GOP has control of congress. There seems to not be a government budget that they don’t want to cut. But again if the Democrats were in charge they would probably spend it on other things. How do we get ourselves out of this mess???? I think maybe the only answer it to keep voting the “ins” out of office until they get the message…

The Money We Spend On Government…

Pile of Money“Lord, the money we spend on government. And, it’s not a bit better government than we got for one-third the money twenty years ago.” – Will Rogers, 27 March 1932

Lord knows we spend hundreds of time more for our government than we even did in Will’s day so his words above are even more appropriate today. I am proudly a social liberal but at the same time I am a fiscal conservative.  No, neither word insults me as is does many other around me these days. Being a fiscal conservative I want government to spend my money as frugally as I do and of course that is not what is happening today.

But being a social liberal I don’t want our representatives to save money by taking away things like food stamps from those who don’t get enough to eat and that is what the House conservatives are currently trying to do.  They say they will get around to putting food stamps back together sometime in the future.  Given their past performances “sometime in the future” could be decades away!

No, I don’t want them to take food out of people’s mouths in order to say money. It totally dumbfounds me that the conservatives, and the not so conservatives, in congress can’t see the mammoth elephant in the room when it comes to spending my dollars. It is widely recognized that those yahoos have thrown so much money at the folks at the Pentagon that they really can’t even figure how to spend it all.  Why can’t they see all this useless spending when it is so obvious to so many of us?

 

Why Pentagon won’t say how it would cut $55 billion

 

Source: Why Pentagon won’t say how it would cut $55 billion starting Jan. 1 – CSMonitor.com.

BudgetsOne reason is because the Pentagon would then have to show its cards, some argue. That is, it would have to tell Congress how it would reallocate funds from its lesser priorities to its higher priorities, says Todd Harrison, senior fellow for defense budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), warned back in August.

“Once you show people there are higher- and lower-priority items in your budget, then the lower-priority items become the target, and they’re likely to get cut no matter what,” he says. Mr. Harrison is one who suggests that the Pentagon “would be wise to start planning.”….

Now that we are finally winding down Mr. Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan I hope the budgeters in congress take a serious look at our defense spending. The Department of Defense is the only department that has more than doubled during the last twelve years.  I pray that President Obama will also live up to his pledge to begin stepping back from being policemen of the world. I am hoping that he will have the guts to take on the industrial/military establishment and put then into a peace time mode from a financial standpoint. That alone would go a long way to balancing our budgets.

During the later parts of my employment in the corporate world I was required to set up budgets on an annual basis. Part of the process of allocating the money was I was forced to give priorities to where my group would spend the dollars allocated to us.  How the Department of Defense can get everything they want year after year is dumbfounding to me. What is even more dumbfounding is that they also frequently get money for projects they don’t even want.

I have no problems making sure that the boys and girls who make up the bulk of our military forces get a living wage but even there I hear that many are living below the poverty level! Much of the money seems to be spent on things related to  cold war strategies.

I mourn the fact that so many in the GOP are more willing to put cuts on seniors and the poor rather than to reign back some of these unknown military expenses.  Lets start these forthcoming budget talks by requiring the DOD to actually tell us where they spend all the money we throw at them. But, then again I doubt if they could even do that. Are we still buying $10,000 toilet seats. I wouldn’t be surprised.

But I am just a simple guy so what do I know….

The Origins of the Fiscal “Cliff”

source:  A Very Different Lame-Duck: Lessons From 2010 – ABC News.

canstockphoto11084666The fiscal cliff is what we’re focused on,” Cantor spokeswoman Megan Whittemore said. “That’s what we need to get a resolution for.”

“Fiscal cliff” this “fiscal cliff” that; I am really getting tired of all the rhetoric. It is almost as if some evil empire dropped the “fiscal cliff” viciously into our laps. This reminds me of all the gloom and doom associated with Y2K. Does anyone remember that one.  That happened in 1999 when some wise guru decided that the world was going to end when the calendar turned to January 1, 2000. The reasoning was that computers would get the date confused with 1900 as we only use the last two digit in most of our year designations.  Of course when the date actually happened it was as mundane as the year before.  No the “fiscal cliff” wasn’t dropped down on us by some evil empire, it was a result of a big majority vote by those same folks in our congress that are so upset about it now.
I know that some of us have very short memories so I am going to give you a “history” lesson here less than two years old. The “fiscal cliff” is actually called the Budget Control Act of 2011. In July of that year our representatives in congress were hard at work trying to figure out how they could blame their opponents for the increasing deficits. Their solution, as usual, was for a committee to look into it. So they assigned their biggest thinkers to attack the problem. In order to give these guys an incentive they decided to pass a law of what would happen if they couldn’t come up with something that would get the votes.

Continuing on with our history lesson the super committee (now get ready for this) couldn’t decide on how to do it so the Budget Control Act of 2011 is scheduled to kick in next month.  Both side are now very upset that they could have been so stupid to pass this law. The GOP says it will result in the end of the world if the job makers have to pay more of their huge incomes in taxes. The Democrats say it will cause millions of people to die in the streets. Both sides are screaming that our military will cease to exist if they must cut their huge over bloated budgets by ten percent!  Here is what I have to say about all of that.

 Poppycock!!!

The world will not end; the super rich will go on being super rich; our military will hardly feel the effect as their budgets are many times more than they actually to keep us “safe”.  We need a new moniker for the “fiscal cliff”. The best I have heard is to call it the “fiscal curb”. Yes, if we unknowingly step off this curb we might get a quick jolt but it would be nothing we can’t recover from and in the end it just might be the best thing to happen.

We need to somehow learn as a government to live within our means and to pay for what we need. This fiscal curb might just do the trick if our seemingly spineless representative have the guts to just let it happen.

But I’m just a simple guy so what do I know….