I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news. There are no easy solutions. There are only painful, more painful, and really, really painful solutions. Both mainstream corrupted political parties have had the chance to put the country back on a prudent fiscal path. They have both failed miserably. One party will spend the country into oblivion and the other country will try to democratize the world with their military machine. Thereare no fresh ideas from either party. There are the same old stale ideas and rhetoric.
I've been waiting for someone to distinguish themselves as a straightforward leader who will level with the American people and tell them the TRUTH. There is only one totally truthful politician in Washington DC. His name is Ron Paul. He is trapped in a Republican Party run by neo-con warmongers. Chris Christie, the governor of NJ, has the guts and demeanor to satisfy the requirements of a new leader, but the hacks who run the party will not allow him to become the face of the party. Paul Ryan, Congressman from Wisconsin, has the brains and ideas to help save the country. The party hacks will pretend to adopt his ideas to get elected in 2012 and then go back to the same old policies.
Both parties are captured by corporate lobbyists, the military industrial complex and Wall Street. Lobbyists spend $40 billion per year "convincing" politicians that their ideas should be implemented. Politicians DO NOT represent the people. They represent those who give them the most money. Radical earth shattering change is needed to save this country. Incremental steps won't work. We need a leader wielding a sledgehammer.
The ONLY way to save the country from financial collapse is to take on the largest expenditures. They are:
- $895 billion for Military spending
- $730 billion for Social Security
- $491 billion for Medicare
- $297 billion for Medicaid
These 4 areas total $2.4 trillion per year out of $3.8 trillion. This is 63% of all Federal spending. A real leader would tackle these areas. A 3rd party candidate with a strong backbone would propose the following ideas:
- When George Bush took office in 2000 the annual Defense (funny name) Budget was $380 billion. Since that date CPI has increased 25%. On an inflation adjusted basis, the Defense Budget should be $475 billion today. Essentially we are paying an additional $420 billion PER YEAR to fight the phantom WAR ON TERROR. This is nothing but a fraud perpetrated by the neo-cons and now the neo-liberals. My plan is to declare victory in the War on Terror. No one knows what victory means anyway. Withdraw ALL the troops from the Middle East, Germany, Japan and Korea. Let them blow themselves up if they want. Not our problem. Germany, Koreaand Japan can pay for their own defense. Tell the Pentagon they have $475 billion to allocate and not a dime more for the next 10 years. SAVINGS = $420 billion
- John Hussman has a fantastic idea regarding Social Security. This idea would benefit the working class and stick it to the rich."Drop the rate substantially, but include all income wage and non-wage. Three-quarters of Americans pay more in payroll taxes than in income taxes. By reducing the wedge between the hourly amount earned by employees and the hourly cost paid by employers, this strategy would create immediate incentives for employment. Moreover, it would raise more revenue because at present, even Warren Buffett only pays Social Security taxes on the first $106,800 of income." This idea would be an immediate boost to the economy as the average worker would take home more pay. Revenue from Social Security would increase by $200 billion.
- On the cost side of Social Security, life expectancy, amount of wealth, and market incentives would need to be introduced. Anyone over 55 years old would get just what they were promised. Workers from 30 years old to 55 years old would see the age they were entitled to collect SS rise from 67 to 76 depending on their current age. Anyone whose net worth is in the top 5% of all Americans would not receive SS when they retire. Workers just entering the workforce would be given the option of a significantly scaled down benefit or a private account to be managed by them. These steps would make the system viable forever. It would not cut costs in the near term.
- Paul Ryan's common sense approach to Medicare would be:For those under 55--as they become Medicare-eligible--it creates a Medicare payment, initially averaging $11,000, to be used to purchase a Medicare certified plan. The payment is adjusted to reflect medical inflation, and pegged to income, with low-income individuals receiving greater support. The plan also provides risk adjustment, so those with greater medical needs receive a higher payment. The proposal also fully funds Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) for low-income beneficiaries, while continuing to allow all beneficiaries, regardless of income, to set up tax-free MSAs. Enacted together, these reforms will help keep Medicare solvent for generations to come. This proposal, along with eliminating the fraud within this system would save at least $200 billion per year.
- Paul Ryan's healthcare plan would reduce costs, keep the high quality, and keep it out of the government's clutches:It provides a refundable tax credit--$2,300 for individuals and $5,700 for families--to purchase coverage (from another state if they so choose) and keep it with them if they move or change jobs. It establishes transparency in health-care price and quality data, so this critical information is readily available before someone needs health services. State-based high risk pools will make affordable care available to those with pre-existing conditions. In addition to the tax credit, Medicaid will provide supplemental payments to low-income recipients so they too can obtain the health coverage of their choice and no longer be consigned to the stigmatized, sclerotic care that Medicaid has come to represent. This plan would save $200 billion per year.
- There are two options to simplify the tax system. Americans spend $11 trillion per year. They pay $1.1 trillion in income taxes per year. The tax code is 17,000 pages long. By scrapping the entire income tax and replacing it with a 10% VAT, the country would get the same revenue with individuals being freed from the tax code. The other option is essentially a modified flat tax as proposed by Paul Ryan:This highly simplified code fits on a postcard. It has just two rates: 10% on income up to $100,000 for joint filers and $50,000 for single filers, and 25% on taxable income above these amounts. It also includes a generous standard deduction and personal exemption (totaling $39,000 for a family of four), and no tax loopholes, deductions, credits or exclusions (except the health-care tax credit). The proposal eliminates the alternative minimum tax. It promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends. It eliminates the death tax. It replaces the corporate income tax--currently the second highest in the industrialized world--with a business consumption tax of 8.5%. This new rate is roughly half the average in the industrialized world and will put American companies and workers in a stronger position to compete in a global economy.