You want cuts? Here’s a start

Face it. Someone is going to have to eat cat food!

For 30 years the U.S. federal government has spent on ever higher levels of both guns and butter financed by an ever larger deficit. It started during the Reagan years with the military buildup to win the Cold War at the same time that entitlement costs were exploding.

Now we are so far underwater that there is a very real change that the Feds could default on their debt. All it would take is a refusal on the part of foreigners to buy Treasury paper that would force interest rates much higher. This would trigger a crushing debt service payment that simply could not be paid. The first time the U.S. government failed to pay, the next financial dark ages will begin. This is exactly what is at stake.

Are the entitlement, defense, discretionary programs in our budget worth taking that risk? Once the feces hits the fan will these programs still be paid for in the aftermath? Are there not reasonable things we can do to step back from the edge?

There are only two ways to do it. Cut spending or raising taxes. Or I guess you could do both.

If we raise taxes, on whom would we raise them? The rich already pay nearly all the non-payroll (FICA) taxes. Could we saddle them with a 70 percent tax rate and pay for everything? Of course not, they would emigrate, retire early, or simply refuse to produce wealth. They are the brains as well as the engines of our economy. If the rich quit, we are all out of work.

Can we tax the middle and lower classes at a level to cover the true cost of their entitlements? Many of them are already strapped. They are already revising their standards of living down in this economic malaise.

Given the unlikely ability to raise significantly higher taxes, massive spending cuts is the best bet we have. Below I have listed common sense cuts that I think are viable if we are willing to put the country’s long-term future ahead of our personal short-term interests.

1. Realize the post-Cold War peace dividend. Cut the military way back. Keep the nukes, the Special Forces, and the Marines. The rest of the defense budget should be cut way back. Also get the hell out of the Middle East; we have spent a trillion dollars there. Let the Europeans and Asians do their own heavy lifting. They’re the ones who get their oil from the Muslims. The Defense budget should only be about $150 billion a year. One day we may need to spend more on defense to counter the Chinese threat, but let’s save while we can.

2. Raise the retirement age for entitlements. When Social Security started, the average life expectancy was about 61. The retirement age is still set at the original 65. Set it to 70 or whatever age makes the numbers balance.

3. Use Paul Ryan’s voucher system or a life-time cap on benefits to control Medicare and Medicaid costs. You can’t promise an unlimited benefit to retirees paid for by limited payroll taxes. Duh! Also, our people need to get off the couch and get healthy. Fitness is the best way to keep down healthcare costs.

4. Stop the corporate subsidies and special tax treatments. Don’t subsidize ethanol and other agricultural products. Cut corporate income taxes, estate taxes, and capital gains taxes to zero in order to grow the economy. Better yet, switch to the Fair Tax or other transparent tax schemes that would cut corruption and compliance costs way down.

5. Get rid of the Department of Energy which provides no energy, the Department of Education that teaches no children, the Department of Commerce, and cut the EPA way back. The EPA needs to stop Love Canals or Cuyahoga River fires, not regulate cow farts. Get the feds and their red tape off the backs of the business community.

6. I think we could fire three-quarters of the federal workforce and never miss them. Change government benefits and retirement plans to mirror the private sector, i.e., 401k’s and higher contributions and deductibles on their health plans. Change the Civil Service work rules to make it as easy to fire slackers and incompetents like in the real world

7. Repeal all unfunded mandates by the federal government that have been imposed on the states and the people.

8. Allow state nullification of all federal laws that they deem unconstitutional. Especially use a Tenth Amendment test on big programs like Social Security, Medicare, and welfare programs.

Use the 18th century definition of the words in the Constitution for interpretation purposes, not the 21st century progressive definition.

9. Raise tariffs on imports from countries that have high trade surpluses with us. We need to bring the factories back home and become much more self-reliant.

That is all I can think of at this sitting. Let’s put the country first and save the future while we still can.

Bill Gilmer

Fayetteville, Ga.

diva1
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Justice for alll and justice for the Fayette County Sheriff Dept

I noticed an observation today,Tuesday April 26,2011 @ 5:15 pm and wondered if anyone else had observed this violation of a traffic sign.I was coming from Peachtree City to Fayetteville and came upon a Fayette County Sheriff's Dept car(charger)-car # 884 and I followed him all the way into Fayetteville-trafic was backed up and he preceded to cut through the Board of Education's front parking lot to beat the light and that's o.k. we have all done that,right? The next thing he did was TURN RIGHT in front the the sign that states 'NO RIGHT TURN".My question is if I had done the same thing trying to get off my shift in time would I have gotten a ticket? You bet I would-we as citizens are watching Fayette Finest.I followed the officer to the dept and he beat me there by 2 minutes with me patiently wanting in line for the light.Wow!

kevink
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Nuk, PTCObserverofu, Georgia Patriot. I actually am fascinated

By the angst and anger of those on the right. the frustration that government doesn't work and spends too much.

Yet conservatives send people to Washington who spend just as much as those they had denounced. And the real key is quite simple. It's why I haven't bothered batting the conservative ball of frustration and anger back and forth with you guys.

If you want to defeat President Obama and gain the White House in 2012 to advance whatever the *conservative agenda is......

YOU ARE GOING TO NEED A CANDIDATE. You guys can blog and Tea Party till you are Code Pink in the face, but without a real live viable, intelligent, articulate candidate who can win the middle with ideas, you gents and ladies are spittin in the wind... and we all know you don't pull on superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger,and you don't mess around with Jim DeMint or any other far-right Republican destined to lose middle America with talks of privatizing Social Security or handing out Medicaid vouchers(Thanks due to Mr. Croce).

I just worked with a very, very conservative gentleman. He is mad like you guys are. He says our economy is "in shambles" and "being destroyed". The fact that someone forgot to tell Wall Street about this not withstanding, I asked him who will be the Republican to lead the *conservative charge.............................................................
CRICKETS CHIRPING.

That's the problem my fellow Tea bag on hat wearers and "Miss Me Yet" Bumper sticker dudes... You need somebody. Anybody. And I hope for Bachmann or Ryan, or Trump or Huckabee, or Romney, or Sara who?, Representative West from Florida (if ballots won't solve our problems, bullets will) or... well, you get the point.

Who is going to save us from socialism? Who is going to protect us from the gift tax, unions, abortion, alcohol on Sundays, gay people, and Nancy Pelosi?

That is a BIG BIG problem that you amiable conservatives might want to put your craniums together to solve. Democrats aren't going to do it for you. But, in the meantime, let's sit back and watch the Republicans who promised to sight constitutional references for each of their bills ignore the promise. Pop some popcorn as they try to tell us how union busting or ending Planned Parenthood creates "jobs jobs jobs."

I find this all very entertaining, and I can't wait for the next Senator John Ensign to prove that the "do as I say not as I have behaved" policy just doesn't get you far in politics.

I can't wait to see the Republican primary adds and debates. It's gonna be bloodier than The movie Gladiator.

Can't wait for the fire works.

Cheers

PTC Observer
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KevinK -

"Who is going to save us from socialism?"

No one.....the Republicans are socialist too. To your point they spend and continue spending when they are in power. They continue endless programs, departments, and other wasteful activities. They line the pockets of their political supporters, just like the Democrats.

It doesn't matter which side wins.

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kevin: no anger here

I don't like the way the government has been/is being run and the outlook to me isn't positive at all, but I'm not in a rage over GOVERNMENT! SOCIALISM! AARGH! because I am old enough to accept that it is what it is sometimes. Not losing sleep(well, not MUCH) over my disagreements with policies and agendas. I figure I've been successful no matter who has been Prezbo or how asinine Congress is, so I'll just adapt and move forward even if nothing changes that I think is needed.

Where I disagree with you is expecting to see some kind of leader from the Repubs emerge that is going to actually implement an agenda more in line with what the TP seems to want or what liberty-oriented Repubs want, or even independent voters. If there is going to be a change, it's going to be from sending candidates into the House and Senate locally and nationally first, not from getting a charismatic leader at the very top and seeing if it filters downward to others at all levels.

With the current crop of neo-cons as front-runners or viable contenders for the Repub nomination, I have no problem at all supporting and voting for LP Lee Wrights, among a few others.

roundabout
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Kevink: The GOP

No one wants to run from the GOP right now for President, but someone of course will before the deadline.
The GOP has allowed the radical right to split them apart sufficiently to guarantee the reelection of President Obama.

He is too smart to screw up very much over the next year or so---notice who he has given the lead in the stupid dictator wars occurring now! That move will get the same thing accomplished as if we had listened to McCain and the Senator from South Carolina whose constituency is right of Barry Goldwater and Strom Thurmond. That is except we may not have t call up another Guard division this way to hang around there for nine years!

Anyone with any real conscious of how the American people (the majority)
feel about eliminating or cutting Social Security. Having the President pray six times a day toward Israel, continually saying the poor must always be with us, actually know better.
Move the supervision of schools to total county or city responsibility and accept NO MONEY from the state or federal government, and of course cut the taxes of those earners over a quarter million and all corporations (including Joe the Plumbers plumbing company, LLC).
All of this is baloney of course--none of it will ever happen.

PTClurker
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Great letter

Nicely put, Bill.

roundabout
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lurker

What branch of the TEAS do you claim?

AtHomeGym
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Gilmer & Recommendations

I'm sure your intentions are honorable so I'll limit my comments to what I personally know about:
. Yes, you may be able to eliminate many Federal employees but I can just about guarantee you that high-paid contractors would take their place. That's just how the hiearchy works. As for changing civil svc rules to make it easier to eliminate poor performers, I will tell you that it can be done now. All you have to do is find supervisors with the nads to do it! No, it's not simple or easy, but should it be? It can be done--I've done it. As to retirement: since 1984, retirement of Fed employees hired after then (including members of Congress elected since then) are in the Social Security program. That, plus their personal contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan(like a 401K) constitutes their retirement. Health Insurance: my personal figures tell me that they pay 66% of the premium--some may say it's 75%--I don't agree. Hey, it's like any contract between an employee and the employer. You want quality employees, you must offer attractive compensation, just that simple. Are there some sorry Fed employees? Sure, just as there are in private business. Nevertheless, mostly good though

Davids mom
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Shhhh AHG

I think we agree here.

roundabout
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Mr Gilmer: I understand.....

........cut everyone and everything except the rich!

Also, just set an age for retirement pay at "whatever" it takes to balance the budget! Totally ignore the "people" who are being forced to either work or do without until after 70-75! Who will hire them at that age?

Since the rich are the saviours of us all by providing the jobs, where are the jobs now?

You propose so many cuts on so many things I have to assume that you don't even know of that which you propose, nor what their consequences may be.

It is of course evident that the poor will have to give some, the middle a little more, and the rich just as much.

Also, the IRS isn't doing it's job or we would have enough money. Just simply collect from ordinary citizens all they owe and stop letting corporations find ways to reduce what they owe!

The debt wasn't made by ordinary citizens or corporations but by wars, entitlements with not enough to pay for them, and poor planning by politicians.

The worst thing we could do would be to penalize old people needing health coverage, poor people needing a helping hand, and making old geezers work sacking groceries for food to eat at 70-90 years of age.

PTC Observer
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Wow - excellent letter

This should bring out the socialists in mass on this board, with their detrite philosophy and incessent logorrhea.

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others."

Ayn Rand (enemy of the state)

roundabout
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PTC Observer :Even a Sonnet......

.........may get written?

Sonnet on _Humans and Economics_

When it is decided to cut instead of charge more,
Or to not borrow any more to keep humans rolling,
Then those that have do defend their locked door.
They earned every penny won't give in their holding.

First however in such a circumstance of recession,
All must give their opinion of who it is to blame.
It's like we haven't suffered before this transgression,
And can't stop the cards of credit from whence it came.

But since there are two parties of politicians who spout
Whatever it takes to prolong the job, power, and pension,
It is necessary to calculate the lies each side worry about,
And to build up as much of a source as possible of tension.

We need to tax the rich more so sayeth the middle and poor,
Let us cut waste, SS & health care sayeth the rich, even more.

Chris P. Bacon
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To the contrary, Petey C!

Your dyspeptic commentary aside (pssst....it's "en masse", not "in mass"), we liberals firmly support Bill "Cow farts" Gilmer's clarion call for all Republicans, together with their glibertarian brothers to unite behind a 2012 political platform of abolishin' Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, the U.S. Navy and the Veterans Administration.

Let's make the 2012 election a referendum on "catfood conservatism". Once and for all. No tears.

Observerofu
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And we will make it about the collapse of America

and Obama's promise during his campaign to cut the deficit and his excoriating of Bush on his spending.

Speaking of memories have you renewed your prescription on Phosphatidylserine since yours seem to be a little faulty lately?

JeffC
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Who? You and The Donald?

Haley Barbour announced he's out. You're stuck with Donald Trump.

See the new forum:

Haley Barbour Opts Out

Chris P. Bacon
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Balkanization of the Republicans

The Republican party has a number of candidates this year, each of them in turn appealing to a specific prejudice of the Republican voter.

Huckabee will fire up the fundamentalist base, he's the only true Christian social conservative in the bunch. He's a big spending conservative though (hey "Christian Nations" cost money!) so he won't get much support from main stream Republicans.

Romney is the favorite of the corporate Republicans, but is a Mormon and toxic to the fundies. Ditto Huntsman

Pawlenty is nothing more than a face in the crowd.

Palin, Bachman, Trump and Grubby Herman Cain have no chance.

Georgia Patriot
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And

you're stuck with your clueless community organizer who's never even ran a lemonade stand! -GP

JeffC
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But GP

That's what everybody said last time while he was organizing all of the communities.

AtHomeGym
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JeffC & Candidates

Here's my bet: Repubs will unite behind Mitt Romney, who will pick Mike Huckabee for his VP (check how many primaries Huckabee won last tme). Huckabee will help greatly in getting past the Healthcare & Mormon issues.

Ninja Guy
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Romney Until They Get To The Late Night

comedy sketches about him wearing magic underwear! Also, his daddy was born in Mexico--that's turnabout fodder for the reverse birthers!

Why doesn't Utah have a baseball team?

Go Braves!

mudcat
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Romney/Huckabee = Obama II for sure

Obama II would be bad enough, but with a new wrinkle. I predict that he will dump Biden and appoint either Hillary or Nancy Pelosi as VP. Dumping Biden will be done tastefully - probably a health issue next spring.

Having 1 1/2 minorities on the ticket eliminates the Palin factor. Nothing the Republicans can do against that.

NUK_1
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AHG: Highly doubt it

Huckabee has a very personal dislike towards Romney due to Romney's religious beliefs and I'd venture it's a lot more likely that Romney would choose someone not so hostile towards him and also someone who doesn't scare-off lots of independent voters like Huckabee who is a neo-con big spending fundie. Romney is sort of neo-con himself so I think he'd go for a little more Tea Party or diversity than Bush/Cheney Part 2.

Where Huckabee did well in the primaries are states that are going repub no matter what anyway.

AtHomeGym
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Nuk, Huckabee & Romney

You might be right. I know from reading one of Huckabee's books that they clashed on the campaign trail for a number of reasons. I think Huckabee sorta got the "elitist" message from Romney & his campaign team.

Georgia Patriot
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Jeff

The difference now is many of the deluded euphoric heads full of mush have discovered the mystery box they purchased was full of excrement instead of deeds. Gitmo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, all will serve to keep them at home. Independents have seen the light and shifted. Face it Jeff, the magic is gone, we have all seen the incompetent socialist behind the curtain and he is wrong for America! -GP

Observerofu
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Allen West Jeff if we can get him to run

This guy gets it.

http://west.house.gov/

bad_ptc
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JeffC, having to run against the 'Don' and his rug

is the best thing Pres. Obama could possibly hope for.

JeffC
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Yes bad_ptc!

Please see the new forum:

Haley Barbour Opts Out

Chris P. Bacon
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Yes, you and your fellow magpies...

Yes, NotLindsey, you and your fellow magpies will natter "deficit! deficit! deficit!"...just like you did in the last election cycle.

Funny thing about how priorities change upon election, though: The "tea party tidal wave" hasn't done a damned thing about the deficit in the six months since....but your boys have found time to introduce 351 bills to ban abortion!

Observerofu
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Yeah what nuk said

Ditto Nuk.

It's the spending stupid to steal a phase and we are going to pound Obama with it. He is the gift that keeps on giving.

Davids mom
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Tea Party Promises

Those who believe the rhetoric of oou and PTCO are helping the outcome of the 2012 election. Independents will be the key in this election - and the 'labeling' and 'name calling' are losing the so-called effectiveness against Obama. Reasoned and civil discourse is getting through to most lawmakers - and we're beginning to see a LITTLE progress with this Congress. This Congress will take a big 'hit' if we don't see some more compromise and cooperation between Democrats and Republicans. The Independents are listening - and the repeated empty rhetoric of those of oou and PTCO beliefs are not helping those who are not Democrats. We're in a mess - that all have a responsibility for - and the repeating of Randisms isn't solving any of our problems.

Take a peek at a town hall meeting attended by REPUBLICANS! They are not convinced that the 'trickle down' theory worked or will work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5kgnE1Xvec

PTC Observer
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DM - I am

I am an independent, but not yet old enough to vote according to Ninja. ;-)

Don't worry about the election, Mr. Obama will be our next President, there's no one that can raise the kind of money he will raise this cycle. Some say it will be north of $1 billion, wonder where all that money is coming from? Just can't imagine. Good thing he's looking out for the little guy, I am sure none of those big money guys will have their hands out after the election. They're looking out for the little guy too.

Observerofu
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Rhetoric or facts Dmom

If you can't stand the heat etc, etc, etc.

I have yet to see your evidence of but just one of the many "factoids" you present. I keep asking and you keep deflecting.

Thankfully America is not as stupid as you think they are.

Davids mom
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Fact
Quote:

If you can't stand the heat etc, etc, etc.

I have yet to see your evidence of but just one of the many "factoids" you present. I keep asking and you keep deflecting.

Thankfully America is not as stupid as you think they are.

Oh, I've answered, as have others. What is your excuse? Blind or simply can't comprehend? The point: There are other viewpoints besides yours. Americans are thinkers-and will wallow through all that they consider rhetoric in their quest for truth. We have seen where 8 years of spend, spend, spend has gotten us. We're not sure that Obama has the answers - but your 'redistribution' mantra has given many pause. The sharing of Ann Rand's thoughts and the offerings of the other possible candidates assure Obama of a second term. Keep posting. You have nothing néw to offer - and I have no additional responses to your repeated comments.

PTC Observer
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Randisms? DM

"Randisms isn't solving any of our problems."

Do we have "Randism" running anything DM?

Don't think so, it's business as usual in the Halls of Government.

NUK_1
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Tea Party

The block of TPers who just got elected very much voted against the compromise bill the Dems/Repubs/WH came up with because the cuts weren't big enough and some of the cuts were total fantasy and not actually cuts. Good for the TP members who voted like they campaigned on the budget. Now, if they could get over their obsessions with social policies that they didn't run on and focus instead of squeezing every dime out that they can, so much the better.

I'd say the TP is making an effort as is Paul Ryan. As did the WH Deficit Commission that immediately was denounced over and over by a lot of Dems and Repubs. It's no mystery that independents as well as partisans think the House/Senate are terrible and 75% disapprove. Obama's own approval rating is 46%.

I don't think "business as usual" is the mood in the US these days, especially among independents. "Yes We Can" has failed. "Change That We Can Believe In" failed as there was no "change" as Obama and a Dem Congress gleefully extended many of the failed policies of Bush and had to eat their words over and over as they exposed the total hypocrisy in their positions in relation to their rhetoric.

The Repubs have a golden opportunity right now but instead are more concerned with birth certificates and the laughable Donald Trump. Yeesh. Clowns to the left of me...jokers to the right....

Davids mom
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Nuk
Quote:

The Repubs have a golden opportunity right now but instead are more concerned with birth certificates and the laughable Donald Trump. Yeesh. Clowns to the left of me...jokers to the right....

Yup! What we need are leaders (from any and all parties) that work for the American people.

phil sukalewski
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Nicely put. I would add that

Nicely put. I would add that if taxes are raised, and more revenue starts coming into the government; the politicians (especially Democrats) will simply spend it on new or expanded programs - not to cut the debt.

PTC Observer
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Phil - you're so

You're so right....

Michael D. Tanner (enemy of the state) said it best:

"Big government is antithetical to freedom. Every new government program reduces our freedom just a little bit more."

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