The latest is that Obama has issued a "veto threat" over Boehner's "Plan B."
A laughable response, of course, since The Senate was never going to pass it in the first place. Indeed, I doubt you could manage to get it on the floor of the Senate, say much less get an affirmative vote, given Reid's control of the chamber.
The simple issue here is that neither side of the aisle is being honest, and both are playing with funny numbers. The latest insult to the collective intelligence of Americans is trying to count interest cost "savings" that are a consequence of Fed manipulation as "cuts" in federal spending.
Put this in your pipe and smoke it folks: To come into some reasonable level of balance -- not a balanced budget, but just to approach it, you must cut $10 trillion from spending over 10 years, raise taxes by the same amount, or some blend of the two.
If you do "$1 for $1" then you need to raise taxes $500 billion a year right now and forever, and cut spending by the same amount -- now and forever.
You can get $200 billion or so out of expiring the Payroll Tax Cut, and we should. Simply put, if you want to demand services out of government (like Social Security checks) then you have to shut the hell up and pay for them, and everyone who wants to make the demand has to shut up and pay.
But that's not even half of the tax side. And there's now way to get the rest from the "rich." There aren't enough rich and they don't make enough money.
On the spending side we blow double, roughly, what was spent in 2000. Just going back to that level would solve the problem immediately. Going back to that level ex-inflation and then killing the Payroll Tax Cut would get damn close.
Those are real, serious solutions -- and neither Obama and the Democrats or Boehner and the Republicans are talking about it. The reason they're not is that it won't matter if you don't at the same time literally take the medical monopoly out behind the Canon Office Building and make them eat the business end of the canon.
That is the true third rail of American politics, and it's not the old folks or the young folks or the brown folks or the black folks who are holding the paddles, prepared to electrocute any representative or senator who dares go there.
That distinction belongs to the medical lobbyists up and down the line, from the financiers in the insurance business to the drug companies to the health care firms such as hospitals, the AMA and more.
We cannot solve what ails our nation from a budget perspective without destroying that industry's monopoly preference in the law, allowing true competition back into the mix.
I will not try to tell you that this would be painless or that some people wouldn't lose access to things that they believed they would be able to obtain in the medical realm. That would be a lie, and I refuse to lie.
What we are doing now, however, cannot be continued. Our options are to accept that some treatment modalities and how we distribute the costs, effectively granting unlimited care irrespective of cost and benefit to anyone who wants it, must end voluntarily and we must accept both our mortality and that sometimes price will exclude you from that which is technically possible, or we will drive our national government along with private industry into literal bankruptcy.
Jump you ****ers.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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