May 17, 2011 at 3:07 pm #130593
This just in: government spending is out of control...
Well, it's finally here: the government has officially maxed out it's credit card. Yep yesterday the news dropped that we've officially hit the 14.3 trillion cap on federal debt. Also in the news that the gov't won't be able to pay it's bills is the fact that they are now borrowing money from your pensions.
I can't speak for govies but I'm assuming floating the government a loan from your retirement account probably isn't your idea of fun. So let's brainstorm:
What can the government sell so they can essentially payback what they are borrowing from your retirement account?
A few suggestions have been thrown out in the media:
- Selling the trillions of gold that we have in Fort Knox
- Privatizing Interstate highways
- Selling off government land and buildings
- Immediate raises in the tax structure
Nobody knows government more than GovLoopers so rack your brain... obviously spending probably needs to go down but how do we avoid the crisis RIGHT NOW so we can pay the bills come August.
May 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm #130649
How about raising the retirement requirements? Everyone is targeting Social Security. Why not target folks who are able-bodied enough to work a few more years?
May 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm #130647
Raise the retirement age, privatize medicare, privatize interstate highways, change the focus from the federal education programs to state responsibility, get out of the auto and finance and mortgage business, reduce income limits for food stamp and welfare recepient, Revamp the IRS, privatize USPS. Need I say more??
May 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm #130645
Selling the gold in Ft. Knox is, to me, a non-starter. Even if we no longer have a gold-backed currency, that's part of the backbone of our economy. Besides, as someone pointed out in reference to this in the Washington Post, dumping that much gold on the market at once would depress prices anyway. Selling it little by little to keep the prices up might help in the long run, but not much for right now.
Privatizing the interstate highway system is a terrible idea. We're free to move from state to state, but have to pay to do it? Sort of a contradiction in terms, to me. Private interests shouldn't be able to decide who gets to wander around the country and who doesn't.
Selling off some government buildings might be a good idea, especially as telework takes hold. Of course, some of them are historic (like the Archives building, for instance) and shouldn't be sold; also, some of their property is leased anyway (like the new-ish Patent Office complex in Alexandria, VA). Selling off government lands such as national parks, however, is a terrible idea. Those weren't established for us to sell, but for our children and their children to enjoy.
Raising taxes, however, should be a no-brainer. Especially with the weird, lopsided system we have, whereby people who rake in the most money pay the least tax. We pay the least in taxes of anyone but, I think, Australia, among the developed countries. It's no wonder that our infrastructure is falling apart. We need higher taxes for, probably, the top 70% or so of the population (I have no numbers on this - it's just a guess), and more steeply the more money people make. Americans have become so selfish that we can't stand to pay for a road we, ourselves, don't drive on, or a park we, ourselves, have never been to, and that's not what this country is for. We all need to look out for the whole country, rather than our own narrow interests, and to do so, we need to pay higher taxes.
May 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm #130643
@ Bob Fritz... Wow I think not why should my retirement age change bc the government screws up! I should not have to keep working until I die at my desk!
May 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm #130641
Keep an eye on this, New Jersey did this to us in the mid 1990's to help balance the budget for then Governor Whitman's property tax reduction plan. the Unions agreed but successive Governors have failed to pay back what was borrowed followed by the market collapses there is now a $46 BILLION hole. Now the current Governor is trying to bring that down on the backs of the public workers who have had the money stolen from them.
May 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm #130639
Terry W. DavisParticipant
Selling a few billion barrels of our untapped trillion-barrel-plus reservoir of sweet crude oil might help ...
Terminate funding for epic fails like the Departments of Education and Energy.
Terminate funding for all the nuclear weapons that we will never use.
Terminate funding for USAID to populations that only accept it because they hope to live long enough to destroy us.
Raise the export tax on our outgoing food to nations that sell crude oil to us.
Terminate funding for meddling in nations that have no impact on our National interests, like any country on the southern coast of the Mediterranean (the countries on the northern coast of the Med should be meddling there), Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
Terminate "peace pay offs" to countries like N. Korea, Israel, Egypt, etc. If they want to commit suicide/self-destruct, let them.
Terminate lifetime salaries for otherwise wealthy individuals that held politcal positions.
Implement a flat tax for individual income and corporations.
Terminate individual tax refunds that exceed the amount of taxes that an individual paid.
Shut down redundant U.S. embassies. Allow only one per country with small field offices as necessary.
And for crying outloud, stop spending tax $$ rewarding the criminal invasion of the USA.
May 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm #130637
Actually, the peope who EARN the most money pay the MOST tax to keep this country functioning.
Approximately 50% of resident of this country pay NOTHING! Oh, and, if you make so little we will GIVE you a "Earned Income Tax Credit" of $2,000, is it? And of course the money I earn at work is probably also subsidizing your groceries and rent.
Our infrastructure is falling apart because there is no incentive to be financially productive in this country. The more I make, the more the governement says I owe. Business is moving over seas because of tax incentives that aren't offered here.
Soon, the top 10% percent of earners, who pay, what, about 75% of the taxes total for the country are going to take themselves elsewhere and then people will actually have to be responsible for themselves! That will be an eye opener for alot of people who depend only on the government to take care of them.
Call me selfish if you want, but keep in mind 16 years ago I agreed to strap on a gun and potentially give my life to protect a total stranger,even a non-tax paying illegal alien receiving govrnement benfits at my expense. All I ask is that everyone contribute to this great country so the government can successfully carry out the essential functions it should and drop the waste.
By the way, raising taxes has NEVER made the government function more efficiently or effectively. Tell me, how far should we keep raising them?
May 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm #130635
May 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm #130633
Roll back taxes to the Reagan era.
May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm #130631
Pull troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
May 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm #130629
May 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm #130627
Terry had some good points: I agree
Politicians shouldn't receive lifetime benefits until they have done their 20 or 30 years
Pull troops and support out of countries that have enjoyed our comfort from past wars like Korea, Okinawa, Germany
Stop the Congress self voting pay raises and let the people vote their pay raises as they do us
Stop handouts through welfare and illegal immigration work for it and get legal
Stop all programs that are duplicated in one way or another and consolidate them
DONNA you are correct, I'm a military retiree 2 tours afghan and 3 Iraq why should my retirement age or yours be messed with for a mistake some else made we did our time and paid for it one way or another. NO WAY BOB
Stop earned income credit, you made the extra dependents, its your job to support them
Cut the politicians fringe benefits
Cut civilian contractors supporting military functions soldiers are already trained for ( cooks, engineers, electricians) BROWN and ROOT
May 19, 2011 at 7:22 pm #130625
@ Roger I don't think politicians should receive full life-time benefits at all, never, ever. I work for the gov't and I don't get that!!! They are just like me... not better! I say cut that first! That would make a lot of people very happy!!!!
May 19, 2011 at 7:31 pm #130623
How about tasking Federal employees to cut waste and operate more efficiently, saving money?
May 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm #130621
Donna I was referring to the fact if they were equated to a federal gov't. regular employee. Do your years and draw retirement. If they don't get re-elected to stay in office then its like us not performing in our jobs you get fired or relieved of duties thus no retirement for them. Yes, I agree it would make alot of people happy as well as the congress self pay raise vote be terminated.
May 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm #130619
Allow purchasers to bargain with vendors. In private corporations the RFP response is an opening bid.
May 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm #130617
How about tasking Gov't FACILITIES to cut waste and operate more efficiently!
May 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm #130615
Considering the top 20% of Americans have 93% of the wealth perhaps they ought to pay 93% of the taxes. (I do understand there is a fundamental difference between income and wealth I also understand that it is this difference that is exploited by those with wealth)
Stats drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2010)
May 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm #130613
Actually businesses could pay zero dollars (and many do) and STILL move overseas. Why? Because the economic driver ISN'T taxes, it's the cost of labor. The point of any discussion on fixing the budget MUST include discussions of raising taxes. You simply CAN'T cut enough to get to the point where the budget balances (never mind start to pay down the debt) unless you raise taxes. It simply won't work.
Let's also accept that EVERYTHING has to be on the table. This means ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan NOW, closing 1/2 of all overseas military bases NOW, firing about 1/2 of all government support contractors NOW, Cutting DOD and DHS by about 50% NOW, and then tackling entitlements. Yes, we'll have to increase the age for retirement. Yes, we'll have to means test for Social Security and Medicare. No, privatization isn't the answer because (as we've seen from the recent financial bail out) businesses really AREN'T more efficient or effective than government... they just SAY they are. We should roll back the tax cuts to the Clinton era levels, that's hardly back breaking. We should eliminate subsidies and tax breaks for oil companies. We should close all corporate tax loopholes so that a company that makes 14 Billion dollars in one quarter does not pay ZERO taxes. We will have to incentivize the people on unemployment to start working in lower paying jobs. Finally, we should stop subsidizing the outsourcing of jobs to third world countries through tax expenditures, policy, and law.
Enough of a fix for you?
May 19, 2011 at 9:15 pm #130611
How about the White House!? Many states are selling their government/state buildings to balance their budgets (and then leasing them back). Besides, how many government employees are provided a residence to live in - all expenses paid?
May 19, 2011 at 11:18 pm #130609
How about selling the Tea party? I'm sure that there's a third world country somewhere that might need a bunch of obstructionists...
May 20, 2011 at 4:00 am #130607
If we continue to make public service so unattractive only idiots would want to work there. If we could afford for the Wall Street folks to get their bonuses, we can afford to pay our own workers the pensions they agreed to work for. Gee, we'll just have to start one less war somewhere...
May 20, 2011 at 10:46 am #130605
Curt L. BoettcherParticipant
May 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm #130603
Woah... Curt and William lets both pump the breaks a little. I realize everyone has political opinions which is perfectly cool and encouraged but calling particular people out and name calling on the site is not. So while we want to hear your opinions keep them respectful. Once again thanks for commenting I truly appreciate your feedback.
GovLoop Community Manager
May 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm #130601
May 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm #130599
May 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm #130597
Requirements? Meaning you HAVE to work until a particular age...I don't think I'd go for that.
May 20, 2011 at 6:46 pm #130595
As you can see this is a touchy subject so I ask, are any of our brainstorming ideas going to see the light of day?
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