Here are a few structural reforms, any one of which would be worth fighting for in this fiscal cliff diving exercise:
• A federal balanced budget amendment. States have balanced budget laws, small businesses have to balance their budgets, and families have to do the same. This is an idea that is supported by virtually every American who does not live in the 202 area code. It’s common sense. It is also laughed at in Washington. When you mention the BBA as a solution, they roll their eyes and write you off as a non-serious person. But the American public is dead serious about it, and they should be. I disagree with this. There are times, such as during a recession, when running at a deficit is advantageous. I would, however, like to know there's a pay-back plan in place.
• Place a cap on discretionary and mandatory federal spending by fixing a limit on it tied to a percentage of GDP. Eighteen percent is a reasonable number in my book, but almost any number would be a victory at this point. Require a super majority vote to over-ride this limit, which would allow for recourse in a time of war or other national emergency. Again, this solution makes far too much sense to be taken seriously in Washington, a sure sign that it’s a good idea. This president is rapidly making a permanently higher level of government spending the new normal.Grandstanding aside, I don't have a problem with this. I agree that "almost any number would be a victory at this point".
• A super majority to increase taxes. Make it harder for the politicians in Washington to simply take more from Americans, thereby forcing them to stop growing government. Yes, Washington hates this idea, so it should be pursued with vigor.Ok, so long as it takes a supermajority to reduce taxes as well.
• Term Limits. I know, I know, we can’t do that. But we should. And while we are at it, how about forbidding congressmen from lobbying for 5 years after they leave office.YES!
Now that I’ve offended everyone in Washington, a few final thoughts – our debt is strangling us. It seems to be a given that we will once again raise the debt ceiling. So the one thing that all involved agree must happen, may in fact be the single worst thing we can do – unless it is one-time, limited, and accompanied by structural reform to make sure we don’t repeat this nightmare.
Additionally, amidst all the talk of increasing taxes and cutting entitlements, something more important than either of these has been lost – economic growth. America is forever young because America is forever growing, leading the world and showing the way forward. All actions taken by Washington should be seen through this simple prism – will this help grow our economy? If not, maybe we shouldn’t do it.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/bobby-jindal-opinion-fiscal-cliff-diving-84647_Page2.html#ixzz2EHItVGqg
Nothing can be done if enough of us even whimpering means they don't get elected.
We all know what needs to be done. Squeezing until the pips squeak is what needs to be done. And let 'em weep.
There’s a growing sense in the House GOP conference that Republicans will have to bend on raising tax rates on the wealthy, GOP Rep. Steven LaTourette (Ohio) said Thursday.
But LaTourette said President Obama will have to agree to spending cuts and entitlement reforms if he really wants to make a dent in the deficit.
"We had a meeting of the House Republicans yesterday morning, as we always do every week, and the sense was that there's a growing number of folks in our party that are saying, 'You know what, the president has won this round relative to the rates but we need to sit down and get the second half of the deal and that's the spending,’ ” LaTourette said on CNN. "I think that the president — if he wants to take the deal and come forth with real entitlement reform, there's a deal to be had."The Hill
Educate, educate, educate the masses, especially the poor. There will always be haves and have nots. There will always be industrious and creative individuals to help grow an economy so long as we give them the tools to do so and the means to nourish their brains and bodies.
if he wants to take the deal and come forth with real entitlement reform, there's a deal to be had.
On Wednesday, during an appearance on CNN’s Situation Room, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) became speechless when asked to list the spending reductions Congress should adopt, as host Wolf Blitzer pressed the Chairman of the House Republican Conference for just one example. Fellow guest Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) just threw his hands up in frustration and detailed the $1 trillion plus in cuts Democrats have already supported:
Earlier this week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released a vague counter offer to President Obama’s plan to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, offering $800 billion in revenue by closing unspecified loopholes and deductions and $1.4 trillion in spending cuts. Republicans have refused to provide details and have pressed Democrats to detail which cuts they would accept.
Quote:BLITZER: So, what’s the one thing you want Xavier Becerra to agree to, to avoid the fiscal cliff?
McMORRIS RODGERS: We need to have the spending cuts.
BLITZER: What? Give me an example?
McMORRIS RODGERS: Well, it is, it’s, looking at the spending, looking at entitlement reform, looking at the growth in government. And you know what the President put on the table, the President is moving in the wrong direction. He proposed higher taxes than he ever said during the campaign, more stimulus, more spending, that’s moving us in the wrong direction.
Republicans have been short on examples, though they have repeatedly requested “very painful cuts” in programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
They won't say it out loud because they'll have the AARP up their rectums.
WASHINGTON -- Congressional Republicans' opposition to any tax rate hike on the top two percent of earners shows few signs of letting up as the debate wears on. But the beneficiaries of that opposition, the nation's wealthiest executives, have themselves begun opening up to the possibility of a rate hike.
On Tuesday, FedEx Chairman and CEO Fred Smith, an adviser to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, said that the notion that tax hikes on the richest Americans would kill jobs was simply "mythology."
And on Monday, a gathering of the nation's top defense executives took a surprising turn when they endorsed tax rate increases on the wealthy and cuts of up to $150 billion to the Pentagon's budget. Top executives from Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, TASC and RTI International Metals appeared at the National Press Club at an event organized by the Aerospace Industries Association, the top defense contractor lobbyist.
David Langstaff, CEO of TASC, said that the executives were speaking out because so far leaders of the defense industry were "talking a good game, but are still unwilling to park short-term self-interest." After the event, he told a defense reporter for Politico that tax rates need to go up.
“In the near term, [income tax rates] need to go up some,” Langstaff said. "This is a fairness issue -- there needs to be recognition that we’re not collecting enough revenue. In the last decade we’ve fought two wars without raising taxes. So I think it does need to go up.”
David Hess, head of Pratt & Whitney, said his parent company, United Technologies Corp, believed personal income tax rates should be on the table; Dawne Hickton, CEO of RTI, said he would back a rate hike if it led to a deal.
The CEOs join other high-profile executives who are willing to chip in more. Following a meeting with President Barack Obama last week at the White House, executives emerged to endorse higher rates. "There needs to be some revenue element to this, and [Obama] started with rates," said Joe Echeverria, CEO of Deloitte LLP. "And he started with rates on what we would define [as] the upper two percent … that we have to pay our fair share. And I think everybody was in agreement with that notion."
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, who was also at the meeting, said in a statement that a deal "will require a compromise involving an increase in both tax rates and revenue."
And you are clearly the #1 Keynesian on A2K (seconded perhaps by Thomas).
Governmental stimulus spending (which requires great gobs of borrowing no matter how much taxes on the Rich are raised) will, inevitably, create an economic boom of such proportions that we can continue or even increase federally funded benefits while at the same time paying off our debt?
Let's assume we have another huge stimulus package. What should it be spent on, and why do you imagine that this time it will not simply be orgy politically beneficial pork?
So what can we expect to get from even more spending on education?
And let's say it was, and the government got to shore up all of the sagging bridges to boot.
Good for the country? Absolutely.
Good for the economy? Not so much.
Beyond the temporary jobs created, how would these expenditures have helped the economy?
The bottom line is that there is absolutely no rational reason to believe that any additional government stimulus spending will be anything more than throwing good money after bad.
Maybe Keynesian economics can, in theory, work but not so in the real world where the personal interests of the political class that profess to be true believers, have absolutely no intention of following the rules.
House Rs need to have cover. They've signed Grover's pledge and they need coverage to avert being primaried in 2014. Tom Coburn gave them cover yesterday, but he's resigning at the end of this year. The CEOs can give them cover, but the CEOs aren't going to fund their next election -- unless they are...
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- NOVEMBER 2012
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 146,000 in November, and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care.
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Labor Department announced Friday that the national unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.7 percent in November, setting the stage for lawmakers who must decide whether to preserve extended unemployment insurance or let the long-term jobless fend for themselves.
The declining jobless rate could give ammunition to Republicans wary of the $30 billion it would cost to keep the benefits through next year. But Democrats have said repeatedly that Congress has never dropped federal benefits when the unemployment rate is above 7.2 percent.
Federal unemployment compensation is scheduled to lapse on Dec. 29, abruptly cutting off 2 million people. The benefits are part of the so-called fiscal cliff, the nickname for when spending cuts are scheduled to take effect and the Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year. Congressional Democrats have demanded that long-term unemployment benefits be a part of any cliff deal.