18 August 2010

Cutting social security and medicare is off the table, but here are some ways to ease the deficit

To Congress Members:

Cutting spending during a recession is dumb, but if you're so all-fired determined to to "do something about the deficit," here's what you do (this isn't that hard to figure out, and you're not that dumb, so don't pretend you aren't beholden to oligarchic influences; you aren't fooling us anymore):
  • Deep cuts to military spending ... close some of the 700 foreign military bases, quit building more and more cold war weapons systems, shut down the middle east war machine that's doing our country no good
  • Not only allow the Bush tax cuts to the top 2% to expire, but reform taxes to impose much higher marginal rates on those earning over $400,000 --just like we had in the halcyon days of the 1950s (and even later, for the most part)... and impose taxes on earnings regardless of where the richies live or earn their money; if they operate in America, they pay taxes in America 
  • End prohibition of marijuana and the "War on Drugs," at home and abroad--which costs a fortune and is counterproductive
  • Invest in public transportation transportation, renewable energy, power grid, technology research (including automotive and energy research), and general infrastructure... these investments pay for themselves in economic development and improved trade balance (less foreign oil)• Yes, geniuses, you do sometimes have to spend money to save it later.
  • Change tax and trade policy to keep jobs in America; give tax credits for retaining jobs; penalties for outsourcing
  • Change tax policy to keep corporate money in America: you wanna do business here, you pay taxes here, no matter where your offices or factories are located
  • Foster and encourage American industry through public relations: Buy American... what brings in revenue is a thriving real production economy
  • Strengthen and finish the job of Wall Street Reform, to ensure no future bailouts; this can include new sources of revenue, including full taxes on hedge fund and derivative trading income and a reasonable financial transaction tax to not only raise some revenue, but to discourage short term trading in securities, which is destructive to the real economy (European countries do this)
  • Strengthen and finish the job of health care reform: completely eliminate for-profit insurance system; all private insurers non-profit as they are in France & Germany; use public commissions to set medical (including pharmaceutical) reimbursement rates; provide for a robust public insurance option... this would do far more to cut growth in Federal health care spending than cutting medicare benefits directly
These would do more than any cuts to social security. Just eliminating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and repaying the social security trust fund with the savings would do that. And that's a fact. And the same applies to Medicare: cut the costs, and the profits, not the benefits; and the growth in health care spending will take care of itself.  

Would these things be easy, either technically or politically, to accomplish? Of course not. But that's what we're paying you to do, so get busy!  

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