Saturday, September 4, 2010

VITAL Issues, Part I

This is the first installation of my Vital Issues -- that is, issues that are too important to allow our politicians a free pass. These are NOT answers... just questions with some footholds for comments. Please... contribute your comments, get your friends involved... TALK ABOUT IT NOW. Write your opinions -- and then send a copy to you congressman or congresswoman.

The rules -- no name calling, no finger pointing, no buzzword, no talking points. Let's work together to solve some problems and demand that out legislators do the same!

OK... here goes:

The problem: Our mounting national debt.

We would not run our personal lives this way -- why do we allow our government to operate with this incredible debt, currently $13.3 TRILLION and growing. We spend over 9% of the Federal Budget servicing the interest on the debt.

Do you think this is only the Democrats? Republican talking points would have you believe this. But when George Bush inherited a budget surplus, the Republican congress balked at paying down the national debt, instead choosing the politically charged options of sending tax rebates to citizens. I wrote Texas Senator, Phil Gramm, author of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget Act of 1985 (a bi-partisan initiative, by the way), asking WHY we should not pay down the debt. This outspoken, courageous budget hawk wrote back with some idiotic talking points obviously authored by some ideologue -- Tom Delay, Newt Gingrich or whomever. Notice that Phil Gramm opted to retire soon afterward... could he not stomach this hypocrisy?

Our indebtedness has a grim underside... in the shadows lurks our debtors. China owns something like $800 Billion of the debt. Do you think this entitles them to a say in our foreign policy? I'll be THEY think it does! How do you think they would react if there was a chance we'd default on a nearly $1 Trillion debt? I think they might try to come collect their assets!

So... what do we do about the deficit?

Raise taxes? If so, what taxes? Lot's of Americans already feel overtaxed, particularly if they don't like how their tax dollars are used. Would they support tax increases if the revenues were pledged to lower the national debt?

Cut spending? What spending --keeping in mind that you can't balance your personal budget by promising to buy cheaper bread... it takes BIG cuts. Would Americans agree to decreased services if savings were pledged to lower the national debt?

How about it? What can we do... no name calling, no finger pointing, no buzzwords.

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