Roadmap to avoid the cliff: the moment of truth
On Sunday’s Meet the Press, Professor Obama took another moment to lecture America on the GOP’s then inability to achieve a fiscal cliff deal rather than using the opportunity to reach out and be presidential. During the interview, he places blame, accepts zero responsibility and manages to praise his efforts in avoiding the plunge. How ironic — a man who continually reminds us that he won re-election shows so little desire to be president and lead.
In the article Guns, Hostages and Kicking – The Fiscal Cliff, I reference The Moment of Truth report issued by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility & Reform. The report provides a road map to avoid the cliff on which we currently find ourselves standing and has been available to Congress and the president since 2010.
The Debt Commission established by President Obama’s executive order included members of both political parties along with executives from the business community. The committee’s charge: address the nation’s staggering debt and suggest significant changes to place the United States on a path to fiscal responsibility.
In 2010, our nation’s spending was the highest it has been since World War II: 24 percent of GDP. In 2011, spending rose by 62 percent to 38.9 percent of GDP, and yet our president — aided by the mainstream media — would have us believe the highest priority is taxing the evil earners at $250,000. However, they fail to mention two key items. First, the revenue raised from the tax increases pays for eight days of government spending. And second, the majority of the revenue raised by the tax increases will be used for more spending, not to pay down our debt.
But no one wanted a deal more than this president.
Understanding the lack of sustainability in our current approach, the commission spent eight months thoughtfully reviewing the federal government’s spending and revenue policies to develop recommendations to stop the bleeding. Understanding the extent of our debt, they placed every option on the table — no program off-limits. The commission knew any plan developed would include provisions each of their parties would oppose. Faced with the state of our economy, they understood tough decisions must be made in the best interest of our nation, not in the best interest of their political party.
It is imperative everyone take the time to read The Moment of Truth referenced above. The report clearly illustrates the federal government’s inefficiencies, and offers solutions addressing the real fiscal issue, the bloated size and unnecessary spending of the federal government.
By taking no action on the bi-partisan recommendations, I assumed the report’s suggestions were so severe that they had no chance of passing the House or Senate. I was wrong.
Examples of the Commission’s recommendations include crazy ideas such as:
- Stop funding duplicate programs
- Consolidate duplicate programs run across a myriad of federal agencies
- Stop funding programs unable to illustrate measurable results
- Adopt measures to run government more efficiently
- Reduce travel budget
- No more auto increases in pay
- Reduce the workforce by 10 percent through attrition (hire 2 people for every 3 who leave)
- Sell excess federal property
- Raise social security eligibility age from 65 to 67
- Reform the tax code
Radical ideas! I can see why this went nowhere. And, I hope my sarcasm is screamingly apparent.
As United States citizens and private enterprises, we tightened our belts and learned to live within our means doing more with less. However, after reading the report, you will find the federal government has not and has no intention of living by the rules they mandate we follow. Why do they do so? Because the public does not hold them accountable. Until such a time, the bloated size of government and unnecessary spending will continue.
It is 2013 — a new year, and time for a new perspective.
We need to remove our party hats and vote out those who will not spend our money as wisely as we do. The problem we face is not a Republican or Democrat problem, it is a Washington problem.
Washington relies on the public’s lack of interest and short attention span allowing them to continue receiving annual budget increases, annual salary increases and benefits far exceeding those available in the private sector while we pay for it.
Rather than participating in Washington’s dysfunction and the president’s blame game, try a new approach. Read and share The Moment of Truth, and regardless of party, hold your representatives accountable to you. After all, you are the one paying the bills.
- As if the explanation matters, Rep. Bill Johnson shares why he voted “yes” on fiscal cliff bill (thebrennerbrief.com)
- Exclusive: McConnell defends ‘imperfect’ fiscal deal (news.yahoo.com)
- It’s the Spending Cliff, Stupid (cato.org)
- How the fiscal cliff deal will affect the economy and deficits, in six charts (washingtonpost.com)
- Fiscal cliff averted, but not trouble (fresnobee.com)