Well this has turned into quite the political thread, so I will go with it and hope to not offend.Paulekler: Everyone seems to like the govt services provided, but wants someone else to make up the deficits. Agree completely, it is always easier to have someone else take care of it. But it still comes down to this: either we pay our share (or accept the necessary cuts) or we pass it on to our grandkids and let them worry about it. As I recall, in Iraq, the US wanted all oil revenues to be distributed to the people then be taxed by the Gov. That way, everyone had a real stake and could see the cost of the Gov. If they just got a "post-tax" payout they would never know what they are missing. For that same reason, I would like to see all people pay an INCOME tax (at some rate) so they can see their taxes rising as "services" rise. Maybe there would be a little more care about what the gov is spending.For me, I don't like all the services, even ones I get. Way too many "services", so many of which are inefficient, possibly archaic. Here is a list of all agencies and departments. http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/index.shtml . How about we freeze the budgets for some agencies at today's level for 5-10 years (and I don't mean freeze the rate of increase, freeze the actual so that they even decline with deflation). I would freeze Dept of Ed (what is the most important thing they do?), Dept of Ag (Food prices are high, farmers doing just fine), Administration on Aging (huh?), Agricultural Marketing Service (is there an Oil marketing service?), (Sell Amtrak), Arctic Research Commission, Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Interagency Coordinating Committee (really?), Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program (is that important), Bonneville Power Administration (let that go commercial and regulate it), Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, Commission on International Religious Freedom (is that our job), Congress—U.S. House of Representatives and Senate (Freeze benefits and salaries 5 years, including staffing budgets, all they do is fight anyway, no pensions, only 401k), Freeze DOE 5 years, commercialize TSA inspectors, they will be more efficient like they are in the San Francisco demo project, Economic Analysis, Bureau of (they are always wrong, rely on common consensus), English Language Acquisition Office...Too tired to choose any beyond the "E" category. Note, I am not saying eliminate these, just freeze budgets, but I bet there are a few we would never miss.But the big stuff is in Social Security and Welfare, Medicare/Medicaid as you said. Spineless Pols on both sides need to put on their man pants and fix them. Start increasing (full eligibility) retirement age, increase the tax base way above the current $113K salary, means test. Signal to people that they better save more too. Welfare: maybe the payments should not get any COLA adjustment so they become less valuable and there is more incentive to fend for yourself. Plenty of people have snuck across our border and worked their butts off in dirty jobs, no reason a lot others could not work just as hard. How about a transition where you can pay someone less then min wage for 6 months while you train them for full min-wage jobs and beyond. welfare can subsidize the make up to equal minimum wage. Medicare: you have 50 states, try 50 experiments to see what might be more efficient. Allow some block grants and see what states do. Allow inventive changes to rules by states and see what works better. Everyone seems to like the govt services provided, but wants someone else to make up the deficits. the really sad thing is everyone seems to hate congress (approval 10%??) but they keep electing their guys! Go figure.
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