We have several vocal liberals and conservatives that frequent the Mt. Democrat letters and comments section. For the liberals, I have yet to comprehend if they understand the magnitude of the financial problems facing our country. They seem to think that taxing the rich will solve everything. Here is the magnitude of the problem. If we stopped all federal discretionary spending tomorrow, that is shut down the government, we will still run a deficit. The sum total of Social Security, entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, EBT, food stamps, etc.) and the interest on the debt exceeds revenues by over $10 billion. Discretionary spending involves defense, justice, energy, education, weather, agriculture, commerce, etc. The debt currently stands at about $16 trillion which is just about 104 percent of GDP. It is growing at a rate in excess of $1 trillion per year. A national debt that exceeds 90 percent of GDP causes a proportional decrease in the growth rate. Hence it becomes much harder to grow our way out of the problem. The unfunded future liabilities (promises) that we face from entitlements are many times this. We are on a path to fiscal ruin.
I thought Gov. Christie gave the best speech at the RNC. His basic message was to tell the truth to the public and the public will respond. Solving these financial problems will require sacrifice from all not just the 1 percent or the 10 percent. We are all part of the problem, hence we all must be part of the solution. We need to conduct a multi-front war.
1) Overhaul of our tax codes. Far too much money is wasted on circumventing them. The emphasis should be on revenue generation that is fair and uniform not on social engineering. Loopholes should be eliminated, that includes yours (mortgages, etc.).
2) Significantly increase domestic energy production of all forms, coal, nuclear, oil, gas, wind, solar, etc. Eliminate subsidies. Think of our domestic energy supplies as money in the bank that we can use to reduce our debts.
3) Reduce the size of government significantly. The Federal government operates many departments that are not sanctioned by the Constitution. Eliminate them. This can be done over a 10-year period with reductions in the impacted departments of 10 percent per year. In tough times, businesses reduce their workforce using the opportunity to clean out dead or weak departments and people. Government needs to do the same.
4) Critically evaluate all programs. If they are not accomplishing their missions, eliminate them. Failure should not be tolerated nor rewarded with continued funding.
5) The EPA is significantly exceeding its charter and needs to be reined in by Congress. Despite the court rulings, CO2 is not a pollutant and does not fall within the EPA’s charter. If such mandates are to be imposed, let our elected representatives do it.
6) We need to significantly reduce regulations that hamper businesses from expanding domestically. A new factory can be planned and built in China in weeks or a few months. It takes years here and frequently companies must fight off a hoard of lawsuits.
7) We need a serious discussion on Social Security, healthcare and other entitlements that does not involve the demagoguery that so often occurs.
I would welcome an intelligent discussion on fiscal responsibility.