With all the talk, much of it completely misleading, on the deficit and debt, Mr. Tomasky links to three “budget calculators” that allow one to try their hand at juggling the books for the country. To hear the politicians talk, it’s a piece of cake, right? How many times during the mid term elections did you hear the alleged budget hawks being asked “What will you cut in the budget?” And they fumbled around searching for an answer or mentioning cuts so tiny that they would have little to no effect on the deficit or the standby of “cut waste, fraud and abuse.” Then we had many seeing the deficit and yelling “Fire” while holding the fire hose and at the same time screaming “don’t tax the rich” in effect not turning on the water to help squelch the blaze. If the tax cuts were so great, why weren’t the made permanent when they were put into effect?
Oh, that’s right they were passed using that dastardly lefty procedure-reconciliation.
Taxes , another post is needed on that subject.
Back to the debt and the calculators. I tried all three and like Mr. Tomasky, I like the one from the NY Times the best because of it’s options on both spending and revenue. I think the difficulty of making various cuts was I held in my mind “how would this effect the livelihood of the people and how much harm or help it might bring to the country.”
A couple of examples of my thinking.
One option dealt with the pay of government workers: Cut their pay by 5%, freeze their pay or do nothing. All three showed what the outcome would be on the debt.
Can the clerk at the local Social Security/Medicare office handle a 5% cut, do any workers deserve a 5% cut? Will this hurt the economy having thousands of people having 5% less disposable income?
Similar questions on reducing the number of workers. I pictured the children being raised, the homes and furnishings being purchased. Does this cut reduce a chance for employment? A quality job?
Same with raising retirement ages. I see, and know, the hardship it would be on those that have to do physical work. Backs, knees and other joints are asked to do chores not meant to be done day in and out. But what of others (most ?) who spend their jobs with minimal use, abuse, of their bodies? The budget implications are large.
You may be able to divorce yourself from the consequences and find this task easier than I did.
Give them a go and tell us how you did.
Can this country be all for everyone and no one has to pay taxes? Roads, schools, hospitals, parks to be built. Wars to be fought and the country to be defended.
Don’t be mad at me, but I think I just sent you to the unemployment line and slashed your benefits.
While I found the lack of options maddening: The calculators:
How did you do?