|Source:Nancy Pelosi- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, California) talking about the House Republicans deficit reduction plan.|
"Leader Pelosi: But the fact is that what's happening this floor is not serious. It's not serious. But the subject it addresses is serious. It's time for this Congress of the United States to get serious about debt reduction, job creation and to stop this assault on Medicare which is the basis for this legislation today.
Republicans voted to end Medicare and put insurance companies in charge, and now they are threatening our economy with a reckless stunt in order to get their way. Today the House is considering a resolution to increase the debt ceiling—House Republicans oppose this bill and admit cannot pass the House under suspension of the rules which requires 2/3 for passage. An increase in the debt ceiling is required to prevent default on the debt created by George W. Bush, not to approve new spending. Democrats, Republicans and the Obama Administration have been engaged for weeks in bipartisan deficit reduction discussions. In fact, tomorrow President Obama is hosting a meeting of House Republicans at the White House to discuss responsible debt reduction. It is bad faith for Republicans to jeopardize those bipartisan negotiations by forcing a vote on a divisive default resolution. Democrats are committed to responsible deficit reduction to prevent more debt.
From Nancy Pelosi
It is time for Congress and the White House to get serious about deficit and debt reduction, but that means coming up with a plan to actually accomplish this.
As much as President Obama gives speeches about talking about the need for deficit reduction, thats all they are, thats all he has. He's the President of the United States and he doesn't have a plan. Or at least he's not ready to release one yet for fear it might be criticized or offend some people. You ask him what do you think about this or that, he says: "I would be open to this or that." But when it comes to putting a plan on the table, he's not ready to do that yet.
Barack Obama has been President of the United States for two in a half years now and has speaking about the need for Deficit Reduction for three years now. And has yet to introduce a serious plan to accomplish that. At least the House GOP has a plan when it comes to deficit reduction and has put something on the table.
The problem with the GOP plan is that it doesn't do a thing to accomplish what it intends to. (But thats the only problem with it) It attempts to get our deficit and debt under control by focusing on 13% of the Federal budget when the real money is in defense, entitlements and the Bush tax cuts for high-earners. As well as corporate welfare.
What we need instead is a real deficit reduction plan that focus's on budget cuts, government reform to make the Federal Government more cost-effective and efficient. And tax reform, budget cuts, the fact is America spends too much and doesn't pay for enough. And what the Federal Government should be doing, we don't pay for and borrow way too much money.
The Defense Department is a great example (but not the only great example) of the U.S. Government and no I'm not going to make this entire piece about cutting the Defense budget and tax increases (sorry if that disappoints anyone) but we are currently responsible for defending developed nations oversees that have the financial resources to defend themselves.
Europe, but also Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea, are all nations that have the financial and personal resources to defend themselves. So what we should do instead is tell these nations that we are going to stop doing this and demand that they play a bigger role in defending themselves. And reform NATO in a way that would allow Europe to accomplish just that. Why we work with Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, while still being partners with Europe. But close our bases there as well as in Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea while still working with our allies.
Getting developed nations to defend themselves would save up in the hundreds of billions of dollars every year. And use the money from bringing the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq to pay down the deficit and debt as well. And force the Federal Government to pay for all of our military operations like when we invade and occupy a country or are in a no fly zone.
Let's stop borrowing money for our military operations. The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq represent 3T$ of borrowed money. One way to cut the budget deficit and debt is to make the Federal Government more efficient and cost-effective.
You don't always have to cut to save money, sometimes you can just reform things and make them work better. Entitlements is a pretty good place to start, one thing we should cut when it comes to entitlements is the benefits that high-earners receive from them. If you're making 500K$ a year or more or your a millionaire, you don't need a 20K$ a year from Social Security from the full retirement account or from early retirement. And if you're making that kind of money, you can certainly afford to pay more than 6.2% payroll tax.
Lets design Social Security and Medicare for the people actually need them and have the people who can afford to pay more into it and take Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid off of the Federal budget. And make them independent and self-sufficient, which represents around 2T$ annually.
When it comes to our social insurance programs like Welfare and Unemployment Insurance as well as Public Housing and Food Stamps, thats called something else now. I can never remember the name of the new Food Stamps program but anyway lets design those programs so they empower people to get off of them by letting them get the skills that they need to get a better job or a good job. So they can finally become self-sufficient. So they aren't collecting from these services but paying into them. Which would also help reduce our poverty rate.
Then reform our disaster relief and stop borrowing money every time we have a disaster by setting up a disaster insurance program, that people would pay into base on the financial worth of their property and how prone to disasters their property is. Also fully fund FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and make them self-sufficient and self-financed with something like a property tax. Again based on what property's are worth and how prone to disasters they are.
Tax reform- repeal the Bush tax cuts for high-earners back to the Clinton tax rates, if anything move them up to around 40-45% and use that extra tax revenue from 35-36%. Whatever they are right now to pay down the deficit and debt. U.S. Representative Jane Shakowski (Democrat from Illinois) who I like and respect, who's on the Ways and Means Committee, but who I agree with about as often as there's a blizzard in Saudi Arabia, has a good plan in the House to accomplish this.
Then reform the overall tax code by taxing more but at lower rates, by eliminating most if not all tax loopholes. Especially corporate welfare for things like big Oil and gas but also eliminating agriculture welfare and have farmers pay insurance to receive agriculture subsidies.
We'll never has a strong economy again long term until we get our deficit and debt under control. We don't need to balance the budget right away, but we need to start bringing down our deficit and debt. Otherwise most of the money that the Federal Government will be spending will to pay the interest of the deficit and debt and will be paying other nations to finance our deficit and debt our creditors. As well as the Federal Government competing with the private sector for lending. And we need a comprehensive approach, that has budget cuts, government reform and tax reform to get this done.