Monday, July 11, 2011

A Modest Proposal for the U.S. Budget

There is not enough money to do everything everyone wants done. When we had enough money to do nearly everything everyone wanted done, we pissed it away on useless crap, foreign intervention, poorly organized educational reform, military toys and highways to nowhere. We were indeed on the road to nowhere. But that is the past, this is the reality of the present and to dig ourselves and the rest of the world out of this debt mess, we all will have to suffer. Suffering, in this case, for many, will mean not having all the stuff you never used anyway.

Here is my proposal for dealing with the budget problem as it exists today. Please note I am offering this within the context of the present two party system which I hate with a passion bordering on fervor. But we don't have the time to fix the political system and then deal with the budget. Priorities please.

This is a quantitative issue - we either spent less, raise more or some combination of both. Voodoo economics didn't work, neither did trickle down. The guiding principle shall be: Everybody Gives, Nobody Takes.

So, in order:

-Take all proposals that have been offered in Congress as of today, there will be no additions after today; that way no one gets to add anything to offset what they will lose under this proposal. Everyone has had plenty of time to make proposals. No new projects, period, end, done, stop.

-Everything is on the table, this includes Medicare, Social Security and the Department of Defense. It also includes: education, health care, foreign aid and whatever happens to be your pet project or program. Everything.

-First action: Both parties then get to throw out 10% in dollar value of the other guy's proposals. We call this the "are you insane!" rule. Yes, these cuts will be based solely on ideology, so get over it. Both sides get 10% and then you stop all the stupidity based solely on how you read the bible or the constitution or any other piece of moderately entertaining fiction.

-Next, cut the Republican cuts by 80% or if you prefer - restore $4 out of every $5 in cuts proposed by the Republican party. Now do the same to the Democrats cuts, yes they do propose cuts, they just hide them better. This will maintain an overall 20% cut in spending. Math wonks, take a seat.

-Cut all additional spending by 90%, even if they are being called "restored expenditures." It should be 100% but there actually are some new things that need being done.

-All tax cuts or tax break proposals will be taken off the table. Tax cuts currently in place will be rescinded, tax breaks will be rolled back over ten years. This does mean items like the oil depletion allowance. American business is supposed to be flexible and innovative, so prove it. Also the biggest tax break on the books, the home mortgage interest deduction must become part of the conversation.

-Each and every time anyone in the discussion refers to "they" or "them", as in: "they caused this problem" or "they don't want to pay their fair share", the person uttering the offending "they" will be fined five dollars which will go directly to state debt reduction. California should be fine in about two days.

-This budget is to be in effect for four years, subject to renewal under guidelines I will dream up as soon as they actually start implementing this proposal.

Next: Fixing those greedy bastards on Wall Street. First option - castration.
art from The Atlantic

1 comment:

mira amiras said...

Another proposal from the 1970s: tax only men (for all the obvious reasons).