I have thought seriously, objectively, comprehensively, and coherently about "the problem". But my solutions invoke forbidden territory: Political Correctness. This is a chat group, so perhaps we all should just be nice and talk about the weather. But just being nice sidesteps issues that affect us all. So here is a coherent, temperate, rational, and logical summary of my analysis.
He is obviously thinking in the same direction:
I just finished Bob Woodward's "The Price of Politics". Reminded me way too much of my stint in Treasury Board staff here in BC. We were never quite this stupid and you could take 3 zero's off all the numbers but at the end of the day,
Try taking EIGHT zeros off the U.S. budget and pretend it is a family budget. For example: Government budget (removing eight zeros): http://useconomy.about.com/od/usfederalbudget/p/US-Government-Federal-Budget-FY2012-Summary.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt and others) Trillion = 12 zeros, removing eight puts you in the thousands: Annual Income: 24,690.00 Annual Expenses: 37,930.00 Additional Annual Debt: 13,240.00 Total Current Debt: 163,700.00 Years to pay off ***if ALL Income*** were spent on paying it off, nevermind the necessary expenses, like food and rent: 6.63 it would appear politicians and the political animals that
gravitate to them as staff are the same the world over.
And always have been, since Herod, Pilate, and hideously many before. More recently, Hitler, Stalin, Marcos, Castro, Chavez, and several other current center stage actors in the Mideast and elsewhere, maybe right here in River City. Enemies foreign and domestic. Especially the domestic... It is called pathologically narcissistic liars. Read, or just glance, at People of the Lie: http://www.amazon.com/People-Lie-Hope-Healing-Human/dp/0684848597 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._Scott_Peck http://www.geftakysassembly.com/Articles/Perspectives/MalignantNarcissism.htm
I could be way off base but a superficial look from way outside the situation would lead me to believe that only cutting spending the amount it would take would leave millions starving in the streets.
Mmmm. It depends. On a white market that might be so, but the black market survives, especially in a free capitalistic market. There are hideously huge entitlement programs already extant that would not be touched. Military pensions, social security, for starters. But then there's the black market. Wanna know how many snowy sidewalks $40 in cash will clear when you live ten blocks away from a public housing project? Give it a try. And so, people of determination and integrity with a historical (as in 3000 years of Judeo-Christian culture) work ethic will do just fine. Especially if paid in cash. As for the rest, Darwin rules. We don't need them.
No matter which side of the political spectrum you are on or how secure your gated community, nobody would see this as a recipe for re-election.
First, I don't live in a gated community. Au contraire, I live said ten blocks from said public housing project directly on the so-said "Ho Chi Mihn trail" from the minority community center to the said public housing project. We suffer daily vandalism and breakins of cars and other property, because these people are angry, ignorant, unemployed, perhaps mentally deficient, and otherwise disenfranchised. So they take it out on our Audis, BMWs, and Volvos. So hardly a gated community. But I digress. You are correct. Nobody would see this as a recipe for reelection. But why should they be reelected anyhow? We need to address a fundamental deficiency in our form of government: TERM LIMITS. We have term limits for the executive, Thanks Be To God. Although some idiots are trying to overturn that. In your dreams... But not for either senate nor house of "representatives" (representatives not: see People of the Lie). As a result you end up with the same sycophantic drudge of People of the Lie you cite above. If instead we had a three term limit: + First to learn and maneuver into position (committee positions, etc.) + Second to perform + Third to get jaded, corrupted, and suck up to contractors for a post-term "consultant" (read lobbyist) position then we would find people of courage and integrity who want to get in there, fix something, and get out and go home. As was envisioned by the founding fathers. If you raised taxes enough to cover spending you would drive anybody capable of running a hot dog stand to defecting to a low tax country like Russia.
Duh. As you have already cited. My boat is in the UK. It shall not return here.
It would appear to me that the only route likely to succeed would be a combination of tax increases and spending cuts.
Well, I disagree. Do the eight zero math above. If you do the math on the proposed marginal tax increase it is something like 6.2K in model above. 620 Billion divided by eight zeros: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/01/08/tax-changes-2013/ http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/01/fresh-from-fiscal-cliff-standoff-obama-demands-another-tax-increase-for-2013/ The fact is that constitutionality and a host of other reasons have sucked "more taxes" about as dry as they can be sucked. To quote Denver: tits on a boar hog. The only remaining solution is CUTTING EXPENDITURE. Now, I have spent some twenty years in Defense Department and local budgeting. I can point out time and time again excessive hideous waste and profligacy that could be axed without ANYBODY's ox being gored, except the fat cats collecting the money. Why does my town's Fire Chief need TWO SUVs plus a Ford Crown Victoria? Etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum. WHY? Because of Political Correctness. Because of people being afraid to speak out, to say what they know to be true because they are afraid of being called "not nice". "You don't understand, Commander." "I understand perfectly. You are a liar, a cheat, and a thief. How's THAT for understanding, Mr. GS-15? Go to hell. Your program is axed." "Want to complain? Here is my boss's phone number. Make my day." No one ever did. What I don't understand is what mix of political stripes and,
majority / minority mix could / would do that. What am I missing? How much runway is left before there is no way out?
There IS no way out. There IS no more runway. There IS no way out than radical action, a fundamental change in the paradigm: We are at a tipping point. There are millions of people in this country who are totally fed up, madder than hell (Google "madder than hell" for fun). We are at the straw being added to the camel's back. Mark my words. The only mix of political stripes that will solve this is a massively hideous tragedy (like World War II) or a collection of people of courage and integrity willing to speak the truth in coherent, temperate, rational, and logical terms. What part of this, anyone, please, is not coherent, temperate, rational, or logical? But as usual with big government, instead of coherent, temperate, rational, and logical thought we get soundbite politics and political correctness. + You cannot discuss matters coherently, temperately, rationally, or logically with incoherent, intemperate, irrational, or illogical people. So don't bother. Just use overwhelming force. + The salvation is the people in the middle looking left and right. That may be you. + To win the people in the middle we must be coherent, temperate, rational, and logical. + If THEY are coherent, temperate, rational, and logical they will see your argument's validity and vote accordingly. Now, THAT is overwhelming force. No more Political Correctness. God bless us all. And have mercy on us, we miserable sinners. Amen.