Over the past 30 years income inequality has grown to levels not seen since before the great depression. This has been due to a number of factors but if those not in the top 10% of income cannot earn enough to pay taxes it will lead to the US becoming a third world nation.
Step 1reinstate a progressive tax structure and cut loop holes. Repeal laws that lead to the income inequality.
It seems we have got our selves into a mess. Since the 1980's the conservative wing of the Republican party has used a strategy called "Starve the Beast" in an effort to cut the size of government. It hasn't worked, in fact just the opposite, government has grown considerably.
Step 2 should be to abandon the starve the beast strategy.
Revenues are down because we have a jobs crisis in this country. Many jobs have been outsourced to cheap labor countries. Many jobs have been lost to technological improvements. Many jobs have been lost to corporate restructuring . We need to create well paying jobs in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
Step 3 should be to spend the money to finance large scale infrastructure projects.. and to educate our workforce.
Throughout the history of this country we have found ourselves at war. Every time we went to war taxes were raised to fund the war effort. Every time until the turn of this century that is. To fund the war in Iraq and Afghanistan we borrowed and spent as well as lowered taxes. What kind of fiscal responsibility is that.
Step 4 should be to create a tax that is used specifically to pay off the war debt.
One of the main reasons we are in debt is due to entitlements. Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. Both the employer and the employee contribute evenly to SS at roughly 12% of wages. The same goes for Medicare /Medicaid, only the total is 2.9% of wages. There is a ceiling of just over $100,000 for SS. Monies collected from these wage deductions goes into the general fund. Medicare was expanded during the Bush administration and as part of the expansion the government gave up the ability to negotiate with Pharmaceutical companies on drug prices.Step 5 should be to get entitlements in order. I propose the following
1. get SS out of the general fund.
2. Raise medicare rates. They have not been raised in years, have they? Health care costs have skyrocketed. Get our best deals on drugs, repeal the provision in the law that does not allow for negotiated drug prices.
The defense budget has skyrocketed the past decade. We are the policemen to the world at no charge. Why do we need to protect Europe from Russia? Why do we need to be in Iraq. Do we have to send forces to Libya . Where does it end?
Step 6 should be to cut the military budget in half.
The discretionary portion of the federal budget has also skyrocketed in the past decade. Many programs are overlapping and redundant. All departments need to tighten the belt until the deficit is zeroed out and the debt is substantially reduced.
Step 7 should be to reduce the department budgets to the 2008 level unless it affects job creation or education.
John , judging by the talks regarding the current budget debate defense spending isn't even on the table. Because it takes so much money to get elected at the national level I would suspect that there are no politicians brave enough to advocate for cutting the defense budget, Bernie Sanders excepted.
It seems we are basically on the same page although you didn't seem to mention income inequality as an issue. What is you take on that issue?
Some very good points made here. There are a couple things I would like to add.
Yes the Medicaid budget is out of control and yes I think it is way passed time to raise the rate on this. What wasn't mentioned tho is that another part to this is the out of control costs of medical care and prescriptions in the country. Unfortunately from what I can get out of the Presidents new Health care package it fails to do much if anything on either issue. While I do approve of some of its content it needs to be fixed at the least.
Defense spending is always a major thorn. I even struggle with it personally at times. I want the vets to be taken care of. I want our men and women in our services to have proper and working equipment. With that in mind I still feel we as a nation are too eager to jump into every world crisis and try to "fix them". I totally agree that we have men and women posted in way to many foreign countries to "protect them". I also firmly believe we pay 2 to 3 times what items are worth the minute they know its going to our armed services and that must stop.
TJ income inequality is a issue in my book on many levels with many twists.
Well said this.
Thatcher James seems to have a good plan of steps here. I find myself mostly in agreement with all of the steps.
I would add that We Americans need to undo the culture of debt that has entrenched itself amongst Us. The Federal Reserve Bank should be abolished, or redesigned to be an arm of the Treasury Department. The Treasury Department should, with the approval of We The People, decide what is needed for Our Monetary System. We should be printing Our Own Money and not buying it from the International Banking Cartel. This is the source of Our Debt. The rest follows from this.
Do not spend more than We have, or can quickly generate.